Myth Making: Idol of Vishnu in Ancient Russia.

Romanticizing about the ancient Indian history, or rather, more precisely, about the ancient  Vedic civilization has spawned a veritable industry on the internet. The names of “scholars”, “scientists”, “archaeologists”, and “historians” mingle easily in the narratives found on host of websites that seem to work in tandem. Recently on a forum was shared an old news (2007) of the archaeological find of Lord Vishnu idol at *Staraya (old) Maina village*dating back to 7th-10thcentury. The message within its body gave link of a Time of India news item too. The TOI report quoted a Reader of Ulyanovsk State University’s archaeology department Dr Alexander Kozhevin, who said that “we have ground to assert that Middle-Volga region was the original land of Ancient Rus”. Principally, this is all that the TOI report has to say: the location of “Land of Ancient Rus” and excavation of the “idol of Vishnu” among many other archaeological finds. This could and would indicate at most trade or even cultural ties between the two regions in the absence of any other conclusive evidence. But suitably charged imaginative minds can build an edifice of whole castle out of a mere pebble. In the forum message, not only the idol of Vishnu has become the idol of Lord Vishnu, but many other spurious elements, which have no mention whatsoever in TOI report (but are part of another link of questionable character), have gained a surreptitious backdoor entry below the radar of unsuspecting readers.
When I tried to search for the source of the image of the *idol of Vishnu* that was given on the forum message, I was led to another site, which has more bizarre claims.
See Song of the Universe for these nuggets: **…While the first line identifies a location, the second line talks about the exact latitude and longitude at which the solar spectrum produces interference lines at one, fifty two, and forty seven. The extreme precision of the calculations show the advanced science of the Vedic period, and also a thorough knowledge of SI units (it has been conclusively proven that French scientists stole the system from the Indians”. “The Russian language also owes a lot to Sanskrit, whose origins 50,000 years ago roughly correspond with the language of the people of the Smritzyi archaeological site, along the banks of the now-dried up Vernstokhlin (Varnasatyakhalini) river system”. “The Vishnu idol is depicted with a hammer in one left hand while the deconglated seventh arm on the right side holds a reticulated sickle.This hammer and sickle imagery is also found in the Parashurama Sutra, conclusively placing the origin of great and popular Russian political ideology in Vedic India”.** I leave it to the readers’ discretion to decide if their credulity would sustain the foregoing assault.
The search for the experts quoted in the news report do not –not surprisingly- lead to any academic or peer reviewed scholarly websites, but point to the very same sources that want to establish the antiquity of the Vedas in the time much before the human civilization began in any sense of the word anywhere. Not just that, but they would like to claim too that it had spread almost all over the ancient world. Regurgitating the same spiel tirelessly through different but ideologically related websites looks like the new found way of establishing eternal truth. The Google search for the *Reader of Ulyanovsk State University’s archaeology department Dr Alexander Kozhevin* throws up following top results. Kozhevin has made, it must be said, no such outlandish claims going by the news-story in TOI. Yet his name and reputation are abused in wholesale manner by implicating him in such dubious *scholarship*.
The simple but nagging question that such wild claims leave behind and begs the answer is: Why did such universal and peerless Vedic civilization decline at all?

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