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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The group of people who migrated from their original Indo-European homeland stretching from Eastern Europe to Central Asia called themselves Aryans ("noble ones").

Beginning around 1500 BCE, some migrated down through the Khyber Pass into India, superimposing their pastoral lifestyle over the agricultural customs of the indigenous people, and forming the background for Hinduism.

Others moved eastward into present-day Iran, building the foundation of what would become Persian Zoroastrianism. Their language, Sanskrit, is closely related to other Indo-European languages, as is their culture and religion. Yet another group migrated westward into Europe, eventually becoming Greeks, Romans, and Germanic peoples, Slavs and Balts.

Eventually, of course, the migration jumped the Atlantic and asserted itself among the indigenous peoples in what is now North America.

Aryans have historically been identified as a warring culture. They were originally tribal, with each tribe headed by a war chief. Because they had domesticated the horse and invented the chariot, they were a fierce opponent in battle, and their early skills in metallurgy produced superior weaponry.

Aryans produced the very first scriptures. Although they did not possess a written language, they composed hymns and ritual verses known as Vedas, transmitted orally in priestly families and castes. Vedas were thought to be timeless, eternal truths heard by the rishis, the seer-prophets of old. After the invention of writing, Vedas became the foundation of Hinduism. The Rig Veda is the oldest, containing more than one thousand hymns.

The word for God in Sanskrit is deva, meaning "shining" or "auspicious." By this, Aryans referred to the powers experienced in the various aspects of nature— wind, fire, water, speech, and consciousness.

Aryans must be separated from Aryanism. "Aryan" simply denotes ancestry. Aryanism, according to Webster's dictionary, was the doctrine put forth by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler that Aryan people "possess superior capacities for government, social organization and civilization." This is the "superior race" doctrine that led to the formulation of what was to be the "Thousand-Year Reich," an ultra-nationalistic German regime headed by Hitler. Under his leadership, the Nazis conducted a systematic slaughter of several million people they had labeled non-Aryans, including Jews, Poles, and Roma (Gypsies). Germany's defeat in World War II ended the ThousandYear Reich, but various hate groups, who often use religion to justify their bigotry, still carry on the philosophy.

The Religion Book: Places, Prophets, Saints, and Seers © 2004 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a term which has various usages in literature. The concept “Aryans” was already used in the mid-19th century to designate peoples belonging to the Indo-European linguistic community. This use of the term was developed in racist literature (especially in fascist Germany), which added to it a tendentious and antiscientific meaning. The only justifiable and scientifically acceptable use of the term “Aryan” at the present time is in reference to the tribes and peoples which spoke Indo-Iranian languages. In the oldest writings of the Indo-Iranian peoples they called themselves Aryans, which meant people with full rights, as distinguished from neighboring or subjugated peoples. A whole group of geographic and ethnic names derives from the word “Aryan.” An example is the modern name Iran (from Aryanam, “the country of the Aryans”) and others. In a number of instances, “Aryan” was the name used by a tribe to refer to itself—for example, the tribe of Medes known as the Arizanteans (“the tribe of Aryans”); the Sarmatian tribe of Aryans called the Alans; and the term “Allen,” used by the Ossets in folklore when referring to themselves (derived from the Old Iranian aryana).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
How Hindutva Scholars Reject the DNA Evidence for Aryan Migration
Much of its attention is focused on the Nazi legal system, which regarded accused criminals as guilty if they were deemed unfit members of the Aryan bloodline and decided they deserved to die in the name of racial purity.
The collection is the work of painter and art historian Kishan Chand Aryan. A great visionary, he foresaw long ago the fate these artefacts would meet and began preserving them for posterity.
Devsena (Karthika Nair), the heir apparent and an unparalleled warrior, born in matriarchal society will be seen heading the Dravidian clan to defend it from the ambush of the Aryans, who in search of SaptSindhu were willing to leave no stone unturned.
They began to lose their Aryan complexion and started to look like fat Muslim men or worse, dark-skinned residents of the city's otherwise excellent sewerage system.' 'No more!' Adityanath shouted.
The constructive principle of Aryan humanity is thus displaced by the destructive principle of the Jews.
" There is a need for extensive new Vedic study and research in India, including considering the mantric and yogic dimensions of Vedic knowledge," Frawley said on Monday while giving a presentation of his findings on ' Aryan Theory in The Light of Textual Evidences'.
We are delighted to launch the NIIT nGuru Math Lab at The Aryans School, Kolkata, which will help its students comprehend the subject better.'
STREET Legend eased past Aryan, 2-1, in the Indian Club BMMI Indian Expat Five-a-side Football Tournament.
Still, the Sikhs of northern India are regarded by many ethnologists as being "Aryans," something the ignorant spray-painters in Brampton, Canada, likely have no clue about.
In the 1930s, when Hitler was trying to curry favor with the government of Reza Shah, German propaganda declared that the word "Iran" was derived from "Aryan" and that Iranians were fellow Aryans.
Most of the twins were blond with blue eyes=97featu= res=20 considered highly desirable under the Aryan supremacist views held by=20 Mengele and his fellow Nazis.