Friday, May 20, 2022


Major scripts of the world

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | March 06, 2022 07:05 AM
Jasbir Singh Sarna
Jasbir Singh Sarna

By Dr Jasbir Singh Sarna
There is an authentic notion of scripts that the Phoenicians have Started reading and writing in the world. That is why the Phoenicians are respected throughout the world, due to their Script legacy.

We will try to discuss the scripts briefly.

The Sami Script is considered to be the original script of the world. There are mainly two variants: Northern Sami script and Southern Sami script. The original Semitic script came into use around 1900 BC. The three major branches of the Semitic script are generally considered. Two scripts have emerged from the Northern Sami script. Most of the world's scripts are believed to have originated from this script. The original Semitic script had a total of 22 letters. The rest also completed their alphabet due to lack of growth. The description of the characters in some scripts is as follows:
Phonicy 22, Hebrews 22, Sabi 22, Aramaic 29, Arabic 28, Greek 23(26 after 15th century ) Persian 35, Kharosthi 20, Devanagari 42, Urdu 36, Gurmukhi 35

The origin of the Kharosthi script dates back to the Iranian invasion (558 BC). It came from the Aramaic script. Many of King Ashoka's inscriptions, inscribed on the rocks of Shahbazgari and Mansehra (border state), are in Kharosthi script, indicating that the script was used only in the third century BC near the north-western frontier region of India. It was prevalent in Gander Pradesh of Punjab. The propagation of this script is very common in inscriptions and coins of foreign kings. The inscriptions in Kharosthi are engraved on stone, gold, silver, copper vessels, rocks, rocks or idol ashnas, which were placed in Buddhist saputs. The script was written like Persian from right to left. The script is similar to Semitic. Its characters (11) are very similar to the Aramaic letters which are pronounced.

The Kharosthi script came to Punjab during the foreign rule and when the foreign rule came to an end it too came to an end. Although it continued for another two hundred years in Turkestan etc. but with the Koshan dynasty it became extinct in Punjab. The three oldest friendly scripts of India are considered. Kharosthi has been associated with Punjab more than any other country.
Dr. Among the antiquities that Oral Stein has worked so hard to collect from China, Turkestan, etc., is the invaluable asset of books and wooden tablets of this script. Mr. Rawlinson accepts the Kharosthi script as an armored script.
Kharosthi is derived from the destructive Aramaic script which belonged to the Assyrian dynasty (1180-606 B.C.) and was very popular in West Asia.
A silver coin of the Iranian Achaemenid dynasty is found engraved in Migloi, or Shekel Kharosthi. Similarly, the Kharosthi script has been developed by modifying the Aramaic symbols. As far as the name of this script is concerned, its creator according to Chinese history was an acharya named 'Kharosthi', from whose name it got the name 'Kharosthi script'. The Buddhist encyclopedia Fayuan Chulin was created in 608 AD, listing 64 scripts according to the Lalit Vistar, the first of which is Gurmukhi Brahmi and the other is Kharoshthi. It's in Chinese in the description of Kharosthi. The lexical meaning is 'donkey's hand'.In the area of Chinese Turkestan, due to the large number of mules and camels, it may be called 'Kharosthi Desh' but in Pali texts only 'Kharothi' is found.

Almost all Indian scripts are believed to have originated from the Brahmi script. It is considered to be the 'great mother' of Indian scripts. Inscriptions from the time of King Ashoka date back to the 3rd century BC. According to Gauri Shankar Ojha, "a few years ago, two small inscriptions of this script, one of which came from the stupa of Piprava and the other from the village of Barli, dating to the fifth century BC (Gauri Shankar, 2001, p 51). There is no clear difference between the script of these articles and that of Ashoka. Western scholars have differing views on the origin of Brahmi. Dr. Afrid Muller says that the Greeks who came to India during Alexander's time taught the people the "alphabet". Mr. Senart and Prinsep also hinted at the evolution of the Brahmi script from the Greek script. Wilson believes that Brahmi originated from the Greek or Phoenician script. Mr. Halvey then considers Brahmi's exit. Mr. Hallway concludes Brahmi with a mixed script.

Mr Kasht believes that the Phoenicians knew how to write in the eighth century BC, so the Brahmi script must have been derived from the Phoenician script. Stevenson's idea is that the Brahmi script is made up of either the Phoenician script or the Egyptian alphabet. Scholar Burnell is of the opinion that the Brahmi characters are derived from the Aramaic letters and then derived from the Phoenicians. Lenorment writes that the Phoenician alphabet became the Hemimetic alphabet of the Arabs and Brahmi from them. Dick believes that the Brahmi script is derived from the Assyrian cuneiform script. Taylor says that the Brahmi script is derived from an unknown Southern Semitic script. Edward Claude writes that from the Phoenician came the Serbian script, from which Brahmi originated.

Leading scholars of the world including Lesson and Edward Thomas describe Brahmi as the invention of the Dravidians of the South. Sir Alexander Cunningham, Dawson, etc., attribute it to the vernacular. Similarly Prinsep, Utfried Miller, and Sinart, among others, describe the origination of Greek script .

Dickey and Talir refer to the Southern Sami as the origin of Brahmi, while Tabor and Beaubler call the Northern Shami script as the father of Brahmi. The famous calligrapher Buller writes that the hard work of construction of Brahmi script was completed around 5th century BC or earlier and the time of introduction of Semitic scripts in India was considered as around 8th century BC.

The development of Brahmi script can be explained through a 'table'. This table is based on the ancient Indian alphabet. Of the 64 scripts mentioned in the Buddhist encyclopedia, Brahmi comes first. Pandit Gauri Shankar writes that the art of writing was invented by the three divine powers Acharya, the most famous of whom is Brahma, whose script (Brahmi) is read from left to right. Brahma and Kharosht got their scripts from Dev Lok.

Dr. Hunter finds the existence of Brahmi's characters in the Harappa and Mohenjo existence . The Brahmi script is actually the birthplace of India and is related to the earlier ancient script, which can be said to be an independent invention of the Indians. The same opinion is supported by Scholars like Dawson, Edward Thomas, General Cunningham and Pandit Gauri Shankar . Just as the human language changed its form in different countries, so did the script appear in many forms. It developed in different countries and many scripts came into existence. Ancient medieval and modern literature has been transcribed by each country in its own script. Aryans living on the banks of the river Saraswati worked tirelessly for the development of the Brahmi script. The same script was prevalent upto Ujjain.

The essence of Pandit Gauri Shankar is that the letters of Brahmi script are not derived from Phoenician or any other script nor has the system of writing from left to right been changed from any other script. This is the original invention of Arya of India arising from his own research. From its antiquity and all-encompassing beauty though its creator Brahma.

The deity was given the name Brahmi, although the Sakvasar society may have been called Brahmi in the script of the Brahmins, but there is no doubt that it has nothing to do with the Phoenicians.

In a nutshell we can say that the birthplace of the Brahmi script is India which is associated with an ancient script. The vernacular script of the Indus Valley pictorial script was Brahmi and the three developed forms of Brahmi, Sharda, Nagari and Sidh-Matrika were semi-urban and this is called semi-urban Gurmukhi script.

In India, of all the scripts, the most widely circulated is considered to be 'Nagari'. From the tenth century AD to the present day, the script has been prevalent in Gujarat, Rajputana, Kathiawar, Kachho, Central India, Yukta Pravesh, Madhya Pradesh etc. The immediate testimony of many scholars is that some symbols were made and written in triangular circles which were called 'Devnagari'. Devnagar is also the name of Kashi which has been the center of learning for ages but the Nagari name is older than Devanagari. ‘Dev’ has been added as a prefix that it has been used in Devbhasha Sanskrit. Due to its prevalence in most of the towns it may be called Nagari.

Another scholar is of the opinion that the Aryas living in the Ganga-Jaman Doab began to hate the Aryas living in the Punjab. The Nagar Brahmins living in Ujjain used to use this Brahmi only, hence the name Brahmi became popular here as Dev-Bani, Vedic literature was written in this script. It is also possible that these letters were coined from idols of the gods, hence the name Dev-Lipi and later the name 'Dev-nagri'. Sardar GB Singh writes about the existence of 'Nagari' that before the arrival of Aryans Punjab was inhabited by people of Taksh or Nag community. The Karkotak dynasty has ruled Kashmir for over three hundred years. These belonged to the Nag community and only a few centuries have passed . This is evidenced by the millions of people in the hilly region of the Punjab, called 'Nag' in the extreme Main Doab in the neighboring country.

In many inscriptions and donation letters, the Nagari script is called 'Nandi Nagri',
and Sanskrit books are still written in it in the South. He then goes on to explain that the style of writing is somewhat different due to the handwriting of different individuals but there is no hesitation in calling their script Nagari. It is well written.
Today's form of Devanagari numerals was clear by the tenth century. By the eleventh century this form of Devanagari was established which is prevalent today. Somewhere along the fifteenth and sixteenth-seventeenth centuries new forms came into being, the script had become more beautiful and clear.

The Brahmi script which was in use from the river Saraswati to Punjab, Sindh, is believed to have been named 'Sharda' after the name Saraswati. Apart from Punjab, Sharda script has also been prevalent in Kashmir. The Jogis and Naths, who are associated with the Siddhas, have lived in the hilly region of Kashmir since ancient times and used to travel to every city in India. The script used by these Siddhas was an evolved form of 'Sharda'. This script was later given the name 'Siddha-Matrika'. The compound form of Sharda, Siddha-Matrika and Devanagari was given the name of Ardh-nagri, prevalent in the Punjab, which later came to be known as the Gurmukhi script.

Dr. Beuler adapted 'Sharda' to a different script until the 8th century AD. The Sharda script is found in most parts of the Punjab and in Kashmir in ancient inscriptions, donations, coins, manuscripts. The earliest article in the Sharda script is 'Sarahan Prasasti' which dates to around the tenth century AD. This period can be traced back to the origin of the Sharda script. Many articles were found from Chamba and Kullu etc hilly valleys.

Dr. Fazal, the famous archaeologist, worked hard in 1911 AD and wrote "Antiquities of Chamba State". Published which provides practical material of 'Sharda script' for those who are interested in ancient scripts. Many scholars have termed the Sharda script as the "sister of Nagari ''. Kashmiri scholars were mostly worshipers of Saraswati or Goddess Sharda. The Gurmukhi script is believed to have evolved from this.

The predominant goddess of Kashmir is considered to be 'Sharda' which is why she is called ' Sharda Desh' or 'Sharda Mandal' and hence the script is called 'Sharda Lipi'. Later it was also called 'Devadesh'. The original Sharda script originated from 'Kutil Lipi' around the 10th century AD and its family lived in Kashmir and Punjab. It was changed to the present day 'Sharda' script, which is now rarely used in Kashmir, and has been replaced by "Nagari, Gurmukhi or Takri" in general(Gauri Shankar, P. 155). The love, devotion and worship of this river had changed among them and they used to worship the Goddess of knowledge as 'Saraswati' or 'Sharda-Devi'. The Pandit scholar who lived on the banks of the river Saraswati had at one time left the plains of Punjab and settled in the safe valley of the mountainous country of Kashmir.

There is an ancient script of Punjab called Takri which is the earliest hill form of Sharda. It has been prevalent in Jammu, Punjab, Kangra etc. According to Pandit Gauri Shankar, "The 'Dogri' of Jammu region and the 'Chamiyali' of Chambe are its forms" . People like Mahajan and others shape by increasing their vowels. That's why reading Takri is difficult for other people. The origin of the name 'Takri' is not known. But it may have originated from the word 'Thakri' (Thukri). Rajput, Thakura (Thakura), the script or Tak (Lavana) is the script of the merchants of the caste, hence the name 'Takri'.
It is also a fact that at one time the Tak caste was very strong in Punjab. The center of their splendor was the town of Taxila and most of the Punjab was called Tak Desh. In ancient Sanskrit and Prakrit books, the language of this Tak country is called Takki or Taki, perhaps the script used for this language is called Takrey or Takri.

Prof. Joginder Singh is also of the opinion that the naming of 'Takri' means that the script is intended as 'Takur' or 'Thakur'. Thakur people call themselves Rajputs. The hill chiefs were usually of Rajput caste, hence the script associated with them came to be called Thakuri or Takri.
Explaining in detail the origin of the word 'Takri', Sardar GB Singh writes that in Prakrit the names 'Takka' and 'Thaka' are derived from 'Taksh'. When the Aryans arrived, they were driven out of the plains and pushed into swamps and mountains. Their social condition deteriorated day by day and in many places the Shudras became untouchables. But in their time these people were the king of the country, merchants and traders. These same merchants of northern India, like the Dravidian merchants of the south, went to the country of Tod Babru in the west, and it was they who brought the Phoenician alphabet from there. The letters that have been in vogue among these 'Takka' people are the same 'Takri' letters . This is the reason why merchant characters are called 'resistance'. Chimbe, tailors, weavers, goldsmiths, etc. are among the descendants or clans of these 'Takka' people.
Apart from the above scripts, there has been a lot of use of Sharda, Takri, Mahajani or Lande script among the traders of Punjab. The script was free of clutter and unattractive. It is also called Sarafi or Mahajani akhar. The same script was used in the hill valleys and in the Punjab.

Pandit Gauri Shankar has evaluated about a hundred merchant scripts in India. In Punjab, Sarafi, Mahajani, Khoja, Arora, Lamma-Vasi, Multani, Bahawalpuri, Prachi, Uchhi, Rohri, Sindhi, Sarika, Thali and Kirki etc. are used in various accounts. This is the modified form of all Landis. Takri is similar to Landis. The only difference is that Takri is a perverted form of Sharda and Gurmukhi Landiya's modified form .

Apart from the above scripts, another script 'Siddha-Matrika' was also used. It is also called Indus script. Many scholars believe that script was born in Kashmir. Apart from Kashmir, these letters were also used on the side of Madhya Pradesh or Kannauj, Banaras. The wise bhikkhus or sadhus were called 'siddhas'. The script used by these 'siddhas' is called 'siddha matrika' or 'siddh script'.

A Japanese monk, Sogein, composed the Asharjo Granth in five volumes, consisting of valuable manuscripts of Chinese, Japanese, and Buddhist Acharyas, from ancient temples and libraries. It is said that the script made it a revered place in the Buddhist temples of China from a religious point of view as it gave special spiritual meaning to each one by writing Yantra Mantras. Most of the scholars are of the opinion that many Gurmukhi characters correspond exactly to the script. Its relationship with Gurmukhi seems to be very close.

From the above brief discussion it is clear that the Gurmukhi script was directly or indirectly influenced by the Sami script, Kharosthi script, Brahmi script, Devnagri script, Sharda script, Takri script, Lande and Siddha-Matrika. Most of the Gurmukhi characters are believed to have originated from the scripts described above.

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