Aryan

Aryan

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Aryan ˈɛərjən is an English language loanword
Loanword
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

 derived from Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 ārya ('Noble') and denoting variously
  • In scholarly usage:
    • Indo-Iranian
      Indo-Iranian languages
      The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It consists of three language groups: the Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Nuristani...

       languages (Indo-Aryan
      Indo-Aryan languages
      The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

       and Iranian
      Iranian languages
      The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

      )

  • in dated usage:
    • the Indo-European languages
      Indo-European languages
      The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

       more generally and their speakers
  • in contemporary usage:
    • Among Hindu
      Hindu nationalism
      Hindu nationalism has been collectively referred to as the expressions of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and cultural traditions of historical India...

       nationalists, the Hindu/Indian people
    • in colloquial English the word has been adopted in accordance with Nazi racial theory
      Nazism and race
      Nazism developed several theories concerning races. The Nazis claimed to scientifically measure a strict hierarchy of human race; at the top was the master race, the "Aryan race", narrowly defined by the Nazis as being identical with the Nordic race, followed by lesser races.At the bottom of this...

      's appropriation of the term to describe persons corresponding to the "Nordic", "blond-haired, blue-eyed" physical ideal of Nazi Germany
      Nazi Germany
      Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

       (the "master race
      Master race
      Master race was a phrase and concept originating in the slave-holding Southern US. The later phrase Herrenvolk , interpreted as 'master race', was a concept in Nazi ideology in which the Nordic peoples, one of the branches of what in the late-19th and early-20th century was called the Aryan race,...

      " ideology)
    • within the ideology of white supremacy
      White supremacy
      White supremacy is the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social and political dominance by whites.White supremacy, as with racial...

      , the "White race", i.e., Caucasians
      Caucasian race
      The term Caucasian race has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia , Central Asia and South Asia...

       who are native Indo-Europeans of the Western or European branch of the Indo-European peoples, as opposed to the Eastern or Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European peoples.
    • The "Aryan race
      Aryan race
      The Aryan race is a concept historically influential in Western culture in the period of the late 19th century and early 20th century. It derives from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive race or...

      " taken to correspond to the original speakers of Indo-European languages and their present day descendants.


As an adaptation of Latin Arianus referring to Ariana
Ariana
Ariana was a region of the eastern countries of ancient Iran, next to India.Ariana may also refer to:* Ariana In places:*Ariana Governorate, a governorate in Tunisia*Ariana, Tunisia*Lake Ariana, a lake in Sofia, Bulgaria...

, 'Arian' has "long been in English language use". Its history as a loan word began in the late 18th century, when the word was borrowed from Sanskrit
Vedic Sanskrit
Vedic Sanskrit is an old Indo-Aryan language. It is an archaic form of Sanskrit, an early descendant of Proto-Indo-Iranian. It is closely related to Avestan, the oldest preserved Iranian language...

 ārya to refer to speakers of North Indian languages
Indo-Aryan languages
The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

. When it was determined that Iranian languages
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 — both living and ancient — used a similar term in much the same way (but in the Iranian context as a self-identifier of Iranian peoples
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

), it became apparent that the shared meaning had to derive from the ancestor language of the shared past, and so, by the early 19th century, the word 'Aryan' came to refer to the group of languages deriving from that ancestor language, and by extension, the speakers of those languages
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

.

Then, in the 1830s, partly based on the theory (now regarded as erroneous) that words like "Aryan" could also be found in European languages (such as the idea that "Éire
Éire
is the Irish name for the island of Ireland and the sovereign state of the same name.- Etymology :The modern Irish Éire evolved from the Old Irish word Ériu, which was the name of a Gaelic goddess. Ériu is generally believed to have been the matron goddess of Ireland, a goddess of sovereignty, or...

" derived from "Aryan"), the term "Aryan" came to be used as the term for the Indo-European language group
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

, and by extension, the original speakers of those languages
Proto-Indo-Europeans
The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language , a reconstructed prehistoric language of Eurasia.Knowledge of them comes chiefly from the linguistic reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics...

. In the 19th century, "language" was considered a property of "ethnicity", and thus the speakers of the Indo-European languages came to be called the "Aryan race
Aryan race
The Aryan race is a concept historically influential in Western culture in the period of the late 19th century and early 20th century. It derives from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive race or...

", as contradistinguished from what came to be called the "Semitic race
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

". By the late 19th century, among some people, the notions of an "Aryan race" became closely linked to Nordicism, which posited Northern European racial superiority over all other peoples (including Indians and Iranians). This "master race
Master race
Master race was a phrase and concept originating in the slave-holding Southern US. The later phrase Herrenvolk , interpreted as 'master race', was a concept in Nazi ideology in which the Nordic peoples, one of the branches of what in the late-19th and early-20th century was called the Aryan race,...

" ideal engendered both the "Aryanization
Aryanization
Aryanization is a term coined during Nazism referring to the forced expulsion of so-called "non-Aryans", mainly Jews, from business life in Nazi Germany and the territories it controlled....

" programs of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, in which the classification of people as "Aryan" and "non-Aryan" was most emphatically directed towards the exclusion of Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

.Under the 1933 Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, a non-Aryan was defined as "an individual descended from a non-Aryan (in particular Jewish parents or grandparents)" . By the end of World War II, the word 'Aryan' had become associated by many with the racial theories and atrocities committed by the Nazi regime.

In colloquial modern English it is often used to signify the Nordic racial ideal promoted by the Nazis. As the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language states at the beginning of its definition, "Aryan, a word nowadays referring to the blond-haired, blue-eyed physical ideal of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, originally referred to a people who looked vastly different. Its history starts with the ancient Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

, peoples who inhabited parts of what are now Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

."

In Iranian context
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 the original self-identifier lives on in ethnic names like "Alani
Alans
The Alans, or the Alani, occasionally termed Alauni or Halani, were a group of Sarmatian tribes, nomadic pastoralists of the 1st millennium AD who spoke an Eastern Iranian language which derived from Scytho-Sarmatian and which in turn evolved into modern Ossetian.-Name:The various forms of Alan —...

", "Ir
Iron (dialect)
Iron is one of the two main dialects of the Ossetic language, spoken in the Caucasus. The majority of the Ossetians speak Iron, notably in the East, South and Central parts of North Ossetia-Alania, while in the West the Digor dialect is more prevalent. The Iron dialect is the basis of the Ossetian...

". Similarly, The word Iran is the Persian word for land/place of the Aryan(see also Iranian peoples
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

). In present-day academia, the terms "Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

" and "Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

" have, according to many, made most uses of the term 'Aryan' obsolete, and 'Aryan' is now mostly limited to its appearance in the term "Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryan refers to:* Indo-Aryan languages* Indo-Aryan migration, a supposition that holds that the Indo-Aryans migrated to India.* Indigenous Aryans, a theory that holds that the Indo-Aryans are native to India....

" to represent (speakers of) North, West and Central Indian languages. Notions of an "Aryan race" defined as being composed of those of the Western or European branch of the Indo-European peoples is used in the context of fascist nationalism, an ideology of nationhood defined by ancestry.

Derivation of the word "Aryan"


The English word "Aryan" is derived from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word ārya meaning 'noble'; it was used initially as a national name to designate the worshippers of the Hindu deities
Deva (Hinduism)
' is the Sanskrit word for god or deity, its related feminine term is devi. In modern Hinduism, it can be loosely interpreted as any benevolent supernatural beings. The devs in Hinduism, also called Suras, are often juxtaposed to the Asuras, their half brothers. Devs are also the maintainers of...

 and especially Indra
Indra
' or is the King of the demi-gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall.Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda...

 according to Brahmanical principles (performance of sacrifice, Yajna
Yajna
In Hinduism, yajna is a ritual of sacrifice derived from the practice of Vedic times. It is performed to please the gods or to attain certain wishes...

).

The Zend
Zend
Zend can mean:*Zend, commentaries on the Avesta, the sacred texts of the Zoroastrian religion.**In older texts, Zend can refer to the Avestan language*Salla Zend, a character in Star Wars*Zend Technologies, a PHP-focused company...

 airya 'venerable' and Old Persian ariya are also considered as national names.

Possible derivations from Proto-Indo-European


According a 1957 theory by Laroche, Indo-Iranian ar-ya- descends from Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 (PIE) , a yo-adjective to a root "to assemble skillfully", present in Greek harma "chariot", Greek aristos, (as in "aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

"), Latin ars "art", etc. Thus, according to this theory, an Aryan is "one who skillfully assembles". Proto-Indo-Iranian *ar-ta- was a related concept of "properly joined" expressing a religious concept of cosmic order
Cosmos
In the general sense, a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from the Greek term κόσμος , meaning "order" or "ornament" and is antithetical to the concept of chaos. Today, the word is generally used as a synonym of the word Universe . The word cosmos originates from the same root...

.

Various attempts to find an etymon are as follows:
  • Before 1950 – all are reductions of the historical variety to an original unity:
    • Bopp (1830): ar- "to go, to move", read as "one who roams" (like a nomad)
    • Müller (1862): ar- "to plough", read as "cultivator of the land"
    • Güntert (1924): ar- "to fit", read as "allied, friendly"
    • Thieme (1938): ar- "to give, allot, share", read as "hospitable"
  • After 1950 – all treat the autonym as distinct from similar-looking words:
    • Laroche (1957): ara- "to fit", read as "fitting, proper"
    • Dumézil (1958): ar- "to share", read as a uniting property of "appartenant au monde aryen"
    • Bailey (1959): ar- "to beget", read as "born, nurturing"
    • Benveniste (1969): ar- "to fit", read as "companionable"

A review of these and numerous other ideas, and the various problems with each is given by Oswald Szemerényi
Oswald Szemerényi
Oswald John Louis Szemerényi was a Hungarian Indo-Europeanist with strong interests in comparative linguistics in general....

.

In Indian/Sanskrit literature


In Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 and related Indic languages, Arya/Ayya/Ajja refers to one who does Noble deeds . The title of Arya was used with various modifications throughout the Indian Subcontinent. Kharavela
Kharavela
Khārabēḷa was the third and greatest emperor of the Mahāmēghabāhana Dynasty of Kaḷinga . The main source of information about Khārabeḷa is his famous seventeen line rock-cut Hātigumphā inscription in a cave in the Udayagiri hills near Bhubaneswar, Orissa.During the reign of Khārabēḷa, the Chedi...

, the Emperor of Kalinga around 1 BCE is referred as an Arya in the Hatigumpha inscriptions of the Khandagiri–Udaigiri cave complex in Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Orissa, officially Odisha. The city has a long history of over 2000 years starting with Chedi dynasty who had Sisupalgarh near present-day Bhubaneswar as their capital...

, Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

. Various Indian religions, chiefly Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

 and Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 use the term Arya as an epithet of honour and it occurs as such in their religious texts.

In the Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

 and Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

, Arya is used as an honorific for many characters including Ravana
Ravana
' is the primary antagonist character of the Hindu legend, the Ramayana; who is the great king of Lanka. In the classic text, he is mainly depicted negatively, kidnapping Rama's wife Sita, to claim vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister...

.

Vedic Sanskrit


The term Arya is used 36 times in 34 hymns in the Rigveda
Rigveda
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns...

.
According to Talageri (2000, The Rig Veda. A Historical Analysis)
"the particular Vedic Aryans of the Rigveda were one section among these Puru
Puru
The Purus were a tribe, or a confederation of tribes, mentioned many times in the Rigveda, formed around 3180 BCE. RV 7.96.2 locates them at the banks of the Sarasvati River. There were several factions of Purus, one being the Bharatas...

s, who called themselves Bharatas
Bharatas
Bhāratas are an Aryan tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, especially in Mandala 3 attributed to the Bharata sage Vishvamitra. In the "river hymn" RV 3.33, the entire Bharata tribe is described as crossing a river. Bharatá is also used as a name of Agni Bhāratas are an Aryan tribe mentioned in the...

.
" Thus it is possible, according to Talageri, that at one point Arya did refer to a specific tribe.
"Brahma of glory is he to whom both the Aryans and the Dasas belong" (RV 8.8.9).

While the word may ultimately derive from a tribal name, already in the Rigveda it appears as a religious distinction, separating those who sacrifice "properly" from those who do not belong to the historical Vedic religion
Historical Vedic religion
The religion of the Vedic period is a historical predecessor of Hinduism. Its liturgy is reflected in the mantra portion of the four Vedas, which are compiled in Sanskrit. The religious practices centered on a clergy administering rites...

, presaging the usage in later Hinduism where the term comes to denote religious righteousness or piety. In RV 9.63.5, "noble, pious, righteous" is used as contrasting with "not liberal, envious, hostile":
"[the Soma
Soma
Soma , or Haoma , from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities...

-drops], performing every noble work, active, augmenting Indra's strength, driving away the godless ones." (trans. Griffith)

Sanskrit Epics


Arya and Anarya are primarily used in the moral sense in the Hindu Epics.People are usually called Arya or Anarya based on their behaviour.Arya is typically one who follows Dharmic principles. This is historically is applicable for any person living any where in Bharata Varsha or vast India.
Ramayana

In the Ramayana, the term Arya can also apply to Raksasas or to Ravana. In several instances, the Vanara
Vanara
Vānara popularly refers to a group of ape-like humanoids in the Hindu epic Ramayana who were brave and inquisitive by nature. They possessed supernatural powers and could change their shapes...

s and Raksasas called themselves Arya. The monkey king Sugriva is called an Arya (Ram: 505102712) and he also speaks of his brother Vali as an Arya (Ram: 402402434). In another instance in the Ramayana, Ravana regards himself and his ministers as Aryas (Ram: 600600512).

A logical explanation is that, Ravana and his ministers belonged to the highest varna (Ravana being a Brahmin), and Brahmins were generally considered 'noble' of deed and hence called Arya (noble). Thus, while Ravana was considered Arya (and regarded himself as such), he was not really an Arya because he was not noble of deeds. So, he is widely considered by Hindus as Anarya (non-Arya).

The Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

 describes Rama
Rama
Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

 as: arya sarva samascaiva sadaiva priyadarsanah, meaning "Arya, who worked for the equality of all and was dear to everyone."
Mahabharata

In the Mahabharata, the terms Arya or Anarya are often applied to people according to their behaviour. Dushasana
Dushasana
Dushasana was the second son of the blind king Dhritarashtra and Gandhari in the epic Mahābhārata, and the younger brother of Duryodhana.-Birth and development:...

, who tried to disrobe Draupadi
Draupadi
In the epic Mahābhārata, Draupadi, also known as ' is the "emerged" daughter of King Drupada of Panchāla and the wife of the five Pandavas. When Yudhisthira becomes the king of Hastinapura at the end of the war, Draupadi becomes the queen of Indraprastha...

 in the Kaurava
Kaurava
The term Kaurava is a Sanskrit term, that means the descendants of Kuru, a legendary king who is the ancestor of many of the characters of the Mahābhārata.The term is used in the Mahābhārata with two meanings:...

 court, is called an "Anarya" (Mbh:0020600253). Vidura
Vidura
Vidura was an important figure in the Mahabharata, a major Hindu epic. He was half-brother to the kings Dhritarashtra and Pandu of Hastinapura, born the son of the sage Vyasa and a lady-in-waiting to the queens Ambika and Ambalika of the city...

, the son of a Dasi born from Vyasa
Vyasa
Vyasa is a central and revered figure in most Hindu traditions. He is also sometimes called Veda Vyasa , or Krishna Dvaipayana...

, was the only person in the assembly whose behaviour is called "Arya", because he was the only one who openly protested when Draupadi was being disrobed by Dushasana. The Pandava
Pandava
In the Hindu epic Mahābhārata, the Pandava are the five acknowledged sons of Pandu , by his two wives Kunti and Madri. Their names are Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Although, Karna is told by Lord Krishna that according to the laws and ethics he is the first son of Kunti making...

s called themselves "Anarya" in the Mahabharata (0071670471) when they killed Drona
Drona
In the epic Mahābhārata, Drona or Dronacharya was the royal guru to Kauravas and Pandavas. He was a master of advanced military arts, including the Devastras. Arjuna was his favorite student. Dronas love for Arjuna was second only to his love for his son Ashwatthama...

 through deception.

According to the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

, a person's behaviour (not wealth or learning) determines if he can be called an Arya. Also the whole Kuru clan was called as Arya .

Religious use of the Sanskrit and Pali term


The word ārya is often found in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain texts. In the Indian spiritual context it can be applied to Rishis or to someone who has mastered the four noble truths and entered upon the spiritual path. The religions of India are sometimes called collectively ārya dharma, a term that includes the religions that originated in India (e.g. Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 , Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

).

Hinduism


"O my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although born of a low family like that of a Chandala
Chandala
Chandala is a Sanskrit word for someone who deals with disposal of corpses, and is a Hindu lower caste, formerly considered untouchables. Currently it is a term used specifically in Indo-Aryan speaking regions of India. Sandala has become a swear word in the colloquial usage of the Tamil language...

, is situated on the highest platform of self-realization. Such a person must have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to Vedic literatures many, many times after taking bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Such a person is considered to be the best of the Arya family" (Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata purana
The Bhāgavata Purāṇa is one of the "Maha" Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna...

 3.33.7).

According to Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda , born Narendranath Dutta , was the chief disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna Paramahansa and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission...

, "A child materially born is not an Arya; the child born in spirituality is an Arya." He further elaborated, referring to the Manu Smriti
Manu Smriti
' , also known as Mānava-Dharmaśāstra , is the most important and earliest metrical work of the Dharmaśāstra textual tradition of Hinduism...

: "Says our great law-giver, Manu
Manu (Hinduism)
In various Hindu traditions, Manu is a title accorded to the progenitor of mankind, and also the very first brahman king to rule this earth, who saved mankind from the universal flood. He was absolutely honest which was why he was initially known as "Satyavrata"...

, giving the definition of an Arya, 'He is the Arya, who is born through prayer.' Every child not born through prayer is illegitimate, according to the great law-giver: "The child must be prayed for. Those children that come with curses, that slip into the world, just in a moment of inadvertence, because that could not be prevented - what can we expect of such progeny?..."(Swami Vivekananda, Complete Works vol.8)

Swami Dayananda founded a Dharmic organisation Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj is a Hindu reform movement founded by Swami Dayananda on 10 April 1875. He was a sannyasi who believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas. Dayananda emphasized the ideals of brahmacharya...

 in 1875. Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo , born Aurobindo Ghosh or Ghose , was an Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. He joined the Indian movement for freedom from British rule and for a duration became one of its most important leaders, before developing his own vision of human progress...

 published a journal combining nationalism and spiritualism under the title Arya from 1914 to 1921.

Jainism


The word Arya is also often used in Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, in Jain texts such as the Pannavanasutta.

Buddhism


The word ārya (Pāli
Páli
- External links :* *...

: ariya), in the sense "noble" or "exalted", is very frequently used in Buddhist texts to designate a spiritual warrior or hero, which use this term much more often than Hindu or Jain texts. Buddha's Dharma
Dharma
Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties, and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender...

 and Vinaya
Vinaya
The Vinaya is the regulatory framework for the Buddhist monastic community, or sangha, based in the canonical texts called Vinaya Pitaka. The teachings of the Buddha, or Buddhadharma can be divided into two broad categories: 'Dharma' or doctrine, and 'Vinaya', or discipline...

 are the ariyassa dhammavinayo. The Four Noble Truths
Four Noble Truths
The Four Noble Truths are an important principle in Buddhism, classically taught by the Buddha in the Dharmacakra Pravartana Sūtra....

 are called the catvāry āryasatyāni (Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

) or cattāri ariyasaccāni (Pali). The Noble Eightfold Path
Noble Eightfold Path
The Noble Eightfold Path , is one of the principal teachings of the Buddha, who described it as the way leading to the cessation of suffering and the achievement of self-awakening. It is used to develop insight into the true nature of phenomena and to eradicate greed, hatred, and delusion...

 is called the āryamārga (Sanskrit, also ) or ariyamagga (Pāli). Buddhists themselves are called ariyapuggalas (Arya persons). In Buddhist texts, the āryas are those who have the Buddhist śīla
Sila
Śīla or sīla in Buddhism and its non-sectarian offshoots, is a code of conduct that embraces self-restraint with a value on non-harming. It has been variously described as virtue, good conduct, morality, moral discipline and precept. It is an action that is an intentional effort...

(Pāli sīla, meaning "virtue") and follow the Buddhist path. Those who despise Buddhism are often called "anāryas".

In Buddhism, those who spiritually attain to at least "stream entry
Sotapanna
In Buddhism, a Sotāpanna , Srotāpanna , or "stream-winner" is a person who has eradicated the first three fetters of the mind. Sotapanna literally means "one who entered the stream ", after a metaphor which calls the Noble Eightfold Path, 'a stream'...

" and better are considered Arya Pudgala, or the Arya people.

In Chinese Buddhist texts, is translated as 聖 (approximately, "holy, sacred", pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

 shèng, on'yomi sei).

The spiritual character of the use of the term ārya in Buddhist texts can also be seen in the Mahavibhasa and in the Yogacarabhumi. The Mahāvibhasa
Mahavibhasa
The Abhidharma ' Śāstra is an ancient Buddhist text. It is thought to have been authored around 150 CE.-The Compendia: is a term meaning 'compendium', 'treatise' or simply 'explanation', derived from vi + , 'to speak' or 'to explain'...

  states that only the noble ones (āryas) realize all four of the four noble truths (āryasatyāni) and that only a noble wisdom understands them fully. The same text also describes the āryas as the ones who "have understood and realized about the [truth of] suffering
Dukkha
Dukkha is a Pali term roughly corresponding to a number of terms in English including suffering, pain, discontent, unsatisfactoriness, unhappiness, sorrow, affliction, social alienation, anxiety,...

, (impermanence
Impermanence
Impermanence is one of the essential doctrines or three marks of existence in Buddhism...

, emptiness, and no-self
Anatta
In Buddhism, anattā or anātman refers to the notion of "not-self." In the early texts, the Buddha commonly uses the word in the context of teaching that all things perceived by the senses are not really "I" or "mine," and for this reason one should not cling to them.In the same vein, the Pali...

)" and who "understand things as they are". In another text, the Yogācārabhūmi (Taishō 1579, vol. xx, 364b10-15), the āryas are described as being free from the viparyāsas.

Several Buddhist texts show that the was taught to everybody, including the āryas, Dasyus, Devas
Deva (Hinduism)
' is the Sanskrit word for god or deity, its related feminine term is devi. In modern Hinduism, it can be loosely interpreted as any benevolent supernatural beings. The devs in Hinduism, also called Suras, are often juxtaposed to the Asuras, their half brothers. Devs are also the maintainers of...

, Gandharva
Gandharva
Gandharva is a name used for distinct mythological beings in Hinduism and Buddhism; it is also a term for skilled singers in Indian classical music.-In Hinduism:...

s and Asura
Asura
-In Hinduism:In Hinduism, the Asuras constitute a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes considered sinful and materialistic. The Daityas and Danavas were combinedly known as Asuras. The Asura were opposed to the Devas. Both groups are children of Kasyapa...

s. The (from the Mūlasarvāstivādavinaya
Mulasarvastivada
The Mūlasarvāstivāda was an early school of Buddhism, developed in India during the 2nd century AD and in decline by the 7th century. Its vinaya lineage has been preserved by Tibetans and Mongolians up to the present, although until recently, only Mulasarvastivadin monks existed - the lineage of...

) describes a story of Buddha teaching his dharma to the Four Heavenly Kings
Four Heavenly Kings
In the Buddhist faith, the Four Heavenly Kings are four gods, each of whom watches over one cardinal direction of the world.The Kings are collectively named as follows:...

  of the four directions. In this story, the guardians of the east and the south are āryajatiya (āryas) who speak Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, while the guardians of the west and the north (
{{about|the English language
loanword
Loanword
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

|}}

Aryan ˈɛərjən is an English language loanword
Loanword
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

 derived from Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 ārya ('Noble') and denoting variously
  • In scholarly usage:
    • Indo-Iranian
      Indo-Iranian languages
      The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It consists of three language groups: the Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Nuristani...

       languages (Indo-Aryan
      Indo-Aryan languages
      The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

       and Iranian
      Iranian languages
      The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

      )

  • in dated usage:
    • the Indo-European languages
      Indo-European languages
      The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

       more generally and their speakers
  • in contemporary usage:
    • Among Hindu
      Hindu nationalism
      Hindu nationalism has been collectively referred to as the expressions of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and cultural traditions of historical India...

       nationalists, the Hindu/Indian people
    • in colloquial English the word has been adopted in accordance with Nazi racial theory
      Nazism and race
      Nazism developed several theories concerning races. The Nazis claimed to scientifically measure a strict hierarchy of human race; at the top was the master race, the "Aryan race", narrowly defined by the Nazis as being identical with the Nordic race, followed by lesser races.At the bottom of this...

      's appropriation of the term to describe persons corresponding to the "Nordic", "blond-haired, blue-eyed" physical ideal of Nazi Germany
      Nazi Germany
      Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

       (the "master race
      Master race
      Master race was a phrase and concept originating in the slave-holding Southern US. The later phrase Herrenvolk , interpreted as 'master race', was a concept in Nazi ideology in which the Nordic peoples, one of the branches of what in the late-19th and early-20th century was called the Aryan race,...

      " ideology) {{#tag:ref|The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language states at the beginning of its definition, "[it] is one of the ironies of history that Aryan, a word nowadays referring to the blond-haired, blue-eyed physical ideal of Nazi Germany
      Nazi Germany
      Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

      , originally referred to a people who looked vastly different. Its history starts with the ancient Indo-Iranians
      Indo-Iranians
      Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

      , peoples who inhabited parts of what are now Iran
      Greater Iran
      Greater Iran refers to the regions that have significant Iranian cultural influence. It roughly corresponds to the territory on the Iranian plateau and its bordering plains, stretching from Iraq, the Caucasus, and Turkey in the west to the Indus River in the east...

      , Afghanistan
      Afghanistan
      Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

      , Pakistan, India and Bangladesh
      Bangladesh
      Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

      . "|group="n"}}
    • within the ideology of white supremacy
      White supremacy
      White supremacy is the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social and political dominance by whites.White supremacy, as with racial...

      , the "White race", i.e., Caucasians
      Caucasian race
      The term Caucasian race has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia , Central Asia and South Asia...

       who are native Indo-Europeans of the Western or European branch of the Indo-European peoples, as opposed to the Eastern or Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European peoples.
    • The "Aryan race
      Aryan race
      The Aryan race is a concept historically influential in Western culture in the period of the late 19th century and early 20th century. It derives from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive race or...

      " taken to correspond to the original speakers of Indo-European languages and their present day descendants.


As an adaptation of Latin Arianus referring to Ariana
Ariana
Ariana was a region of the eastern countries of ancient Iran, next to India.Ariana may also refer to:* Ariana In places:*Ariana Governorate, a governorate in Tunisia*Ariana, Tunisia*Lake Ariana, a lake in Sofia, Bulgaria...

, 'Arian' has "long been in English language use". Its history as a loan word began in the late 18th century, when the word was borrowed from Sanskrit
Vedic Sanskrit
Vedic Sanskrit is an old Indo-Aryan language. It is an archaic form of Sanskrit, an early descendant of Proto-Indo-Iranian. It is closely related to Avestan, the oldest preserved Iranian language...

 ārya to refer to speakers of North Indian languages
Indo-Aryan languages
The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

. When it was determined that Iranian languages
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 — both living and ancient — used a similar term in much the same way (but in the Iranian context as a self-identifier of Iranian peoples
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

), it became apparent that the shared meaning had to derive from the ancestor language of the shared past, and so, by the early 19th century, the word 'Aryan' came to refer to the group of languages deriving from that ancestor language, and by extension, the speakers of those languages
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

.

Then, in the 1830s, partly based on the theory (now regarded as erroneous) that words like "Aryan" could also be found in European languages (such as the idea that "Éire
Éire
is the Irish name for the island of Ireland and the sovereign state of the same name.- Etymology :The modern Irish Éire evolved from the Old Irish word Ériu, which was the name of a Gaelic goddess. Ériu is generally believed to have been the matron goddess of Ireland, a goddess of sovereignty, or...

" derived from "Aryan"), the term "Aryan" came to be used as the term for the Indo-European language group
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

, and by extension, the original speakers of those languages
Proto-Indo-Europeans
The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language , a reconstructed prehistoric language of Eurasia.Knowledge of them comes chiefly from the linguistic reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics...

. In the 19th century, "language" was considered a property of "ethnicity", and thus the speakers of the Indo-European languages came to be called the "Aryan race
Aryan race
The Aryan race is a concept historically influential in Western culture in the period of the late 19th century and early 20th century. It derives from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive race or...

", as contradistinguished from what came to be called the "Semitic race
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

". By the late 19th century, among some people, the notions of an "Aryan race" became closely linked to Nordicism, which posited Northern European racial superiority over all other peoples (including Indians and Iranians). This "master race
Master race
Master race was a phrase and concept originating in the slave-holding Southern US. The later phrase Herrenvolk , interpreted as 'master race', was a concept in Nazi ideology in which the Nordic peoples, one of the branches of what in the late-19th and early-20th century was called the Aryan race,...

" ideal engendered both the "Aryanization
Aryanization
Aryanization is a term coined during Nazism referring to the forced expulsion of so-called "non-Aryans", mainly Jews, from business life in Nazi Germany and the territories it controlled....

" programs of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, in which the classification of people as "Aryan" and "non-Aryan" was most emphatically directed towards the exclusion of Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

.Under the 1933 Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, a non-Aryan was defined as "an individual descended from a non-Aryan (in particular Jewish parents or grandparents)" ({{harvnb|Campt|2004|p=143}}). By the end of World War II, the word 'Aryan' had become associated by many with the racial theories and atrocities committed by the Nazi regime.

In colloquial modern English it is often used to signify the Nordic racial ideal promoted by the Nazis. As the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language states at the beginning of its definition, "Aryan, a word nowadays referring to the blond-haired, blue-eyed physical ideal of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, originally referred to a people who looked vastly different. Its history starts with the ancient Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

, peoples who inhabited parts of what are now Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

."

In Iranian context
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 the original self-identifier lives on in ethnic names like "Alani
Alans
The Alans, or the Alani, occasionally termed Alauni or Halani, were a group of Sarmatian tribes, nomadic pastoralists of the 1st millennium AD who spoke an Eastern Iranian language which derived from Scytho-Sarmatian and which in turn evolved into modern Ossetian.-Name:The various forms of Alan —...

", "Ir
Iron (dialect)
Iron is one of the two main dialects of the Ossetic language, spoken in the Caucasus. The majority of the Ossetians speak Iron, notably in the East, South and Central parts of North Ossetia-Alania, while in the West the Digor dialect is more prevalent. The Iron dialect is the basis of the Ossetian...

". Similarly, The word Iran is the Persian word for land/place of the Aryan(see also Iranian peoples
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

). In present-day academia, the terms "Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

" and "Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

" have, according to many, made most uses of the term 'Aryan' obsolete, and 'Aryan' is now mostly limited to its appearance in the term "Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryan refers to:* Indo-Aryan languages* Indo-Aryan migration, a supposition that holds that the Indo-Aryans migrated to India.* Indigenous Aryans, a theory that holds that the Indo-Aryans are native to India....

" to represent (speakers of) North, West and Central Indian languages. Notions of an "Aryan race" defined as being composed of those of the Western or European branch of the Indo-European peoples is used in the context of fascist nationalism, an ideology of nationhood defined by ancestry.

Derivation of the word "Aryan"


The English word "Aryan" is derived from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word ārya meaning 'noble'; it was used initially as a national name to designate the worshippers of the Hindu deities
Deva (Hinduism)
' is the Sanskrit word for god or deity, its related feminine term is devi. In modern Hinduism, it can be loosely interpreted as any benevolent supernatural beings. The devs in Hinduism, also called Suras, are often juxtaposed to the Asuras, their half brothers. Devs are also the maintainers of...

 and especially Indra
Indra
' or is the King of the demi-gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall.Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda...

 according to Brahmanical principles (performance of sacrifice, Yajna
Yajna
In Hinduism, yajna is a ritual of sacrifice derived from the practice of Vedic times. It is performed to please the gods or to attain certain wishes...

).

The Zend
Zend
Zend can mean:*Zend, commentaries on the Avesta, the sacred texts of the Zoroastrian religion.**In older texts, Zend can refer to the Avestan language*Salla Zend, a character in Star Wars*Zend Technologies, a PHP-focused company...

 airya 'venerable' and Old Persian ariya are also considered as national names.

Possible derivations from Proto-Indo-European


According a 1957 theory by Laroche, Indo-Iranian ar-ya- descends from Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 (PIE) {{PIE|*ar-yo-}}, a yo-adjective to a root {{PIE|*ar}} "to assemble skillfully", present in Greek harma "chariot", Greek aristos, (as in "aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

"), Latin ars "art", etc. Thus, according to this theory, an Aryan is "one who skillfully assembles". Proto-Indo-Iranian *ar-ta- was a related concept of "properly joined" expressing a religious concept of cosmic order
Cosmos
In the general sense, a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from the Greek term κόσμος , meaning "order" or "ornament" and is antithetical to the concept of chaos. Today, the word is generally used as a synonym of the word Universe . The word cosmos originates from the same root...

.

Various attempts to find an etymon are as follows:
  • Before 1950 – all are reductions of the historical variety to an original unity:{{Clarify|date=July 2010}}
    • Bopp (1830): ar- "to go, to move", read as "one who roams" (like a nomad)
    • Müller (1862): ar- "to plough", read as "cultivator of the land"
    • Güntert (1924): ar- "to fit", read as "allied, friendly"
    • Thieme (1938): ar- "to give, allot, share", read as "hospitable"
  • After 1950 – all treat the autonym as distinct from similar-looking words:{{Clarify|date=July 2010}}
    • Laroche (1957): ara- "to fit", read as "fitting, proper"
    • Dumézil (1958): ar- "to share", read as a uniting property of "appartenant au monde aryen"
    • Bailey (1959): ar- "to beget", read as "born, nurturing"
    • Benveniste (1969): ar- "to fit", read as "companionable"

A review of these and numerous other ideas, and the various problems with each is given by Oswald Szemerényi
Oswald Szemerényi
Oswald John Louis Szemerényi was a Hungarian Indo-Europeanist with strong interests in comparative linguistics in general....

.

In Indian/Sanskrit literature


In Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 and related Indic languages, Arya/Ayya/Ajja refers to one who does Noble deeds . The title of Arya was used with various modifications throughout the Indian Subcontinent. Kharavela
Kharavela
Khārabēḷa was the third and greatest emperor of the Mahāmēghabāhana Dynasty of Kaḷinga . The main source of information about Khārabeḷa is his famous seventeen line rock-cut Hātigumphā inscription in a cave in the Udayagiri hills near Bhubaneswar, Orissa.During the reign of Khārabēḷa, the Chedi...

, the Emperor of Kalinga around 1 BCE is referred as an Arya in the Hatigumpha inscriptions of the Khandagiri–Udaigiri cave complex in Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Orissa, officially Odisha. The city has a long history of over 2000 years starting with Chedi dynasty who had Sisupalgarh near present-day Bhubaneswar as their capital...

, Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

. Various Indian religions, chiefly Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

 and Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 use the term Arya as an epithet of honour and it occurs as such in their religious texts.

In the Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

 and Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

, Arya is used as an honorific for many characters including Ravana
Ravana
' is the primary antagonist character of the Hindu legend, the Ramayana; who is the great king of Lanka. In the classic text, he is mainly depicted negatively, kidnapping Rama's wife Sita, to claim vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister...

.

Vedic Sanskrit


The term Arya is used 36 times in 34 hymns in the Rigveda
Rigveda
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns...

.
According to Talageri (2000, The Rig Veda. A Historical Analysis)
"the particular Vedic Aryans of the Rigveda were one section among these Puru
Puru
The Purus were a tribe, or a confederation of tribes, mentioned many times in the Rigveda, formed around 3180 BCE. RV 7.96.2 locates them at the banks of the Sarasvati River. There were several factions of Purus, one being the Bharatas...

s, who called themselves Bharatas
Bharatas
Bhāratas are an Aryan tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, especially in Mandala 3 attributed to the Bharata sage Vishvamitra. In the "river hymn" RV 3.33, the entire Bharata tribe is described as crossing a river. Bharatá is also used as a name of Agni Bhāratas are an Aryan tribe mentioned in the...

.
" Thus it is possible, according to Talageri, that at one point Arya did refer to a specific tribe.
"Brahma of glory is he to whom both the Aryans and the Dasas belong" (RV 8.8.9).

While the word may ultimately derive from a tribal name, already in the Rigveda it appears as a religious distinction, separating those who sacrifice "properly" from those who do not belong to the historical Vedic religion
Historical Vedic religion
The religion of the Vedic period is a historical predecessor of Hinduism. Its liturgy is reflected in the mantra portion of the four Vedas, which are compiled in Sanskrit. The religious practices centered on a clergy administering rites...

, presaging the usage in later Hinduism where the term comes to denote religious righteousness or piety. In RV 9.63.5, {{IAST|ârya}} "noble, pious, righteous" is used as contrasting with {{IAST|árāvan}} "not liberal, envious, hostile":
{{IAST|índraṃ várdhanto aptúraḥ kṛṇvánto víśvam âryam apaghnánto árāvṇaḥ}}
"[the Soma
Soma
Soma , or Haoma , from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities...

-drops], performing every noble work, active, augmenting Indra's strength, driving away the godless ones." (trans. Griffith)

Sanskrit Epics


Arya and Anarya are primarily used in the moral sense in the Hindu Epics.People are usually called Arya or Anarya based on their behaviour.Arya is typically one who follows Dharmic principles. This is historically is applicable for any person living any where in Bharata Varsha or vast India.
Ramayana

In the Ramayana, the term Arya can also apply to Raksasas or to Ravana. In several instances, the Vanara
Vanara
Vānara popularly refers to a group of ape-like humanoids in the Hindu epic Ramayana who were brave and inquisitive by nature. They possessed supernatural powers and could change their shapes...

s and Raksasas called themselves Arya. The monkey king Sugriva is called an Arya (Ram: 505102712) and he also speaks of his brother Vali as an Arya (Ram: 402402434). In another instance in the Ramayana, Ravana regards himself and his ministers as Aryas (Ram: 600600512).

A logical explanation is that, Ravana and his ministers belonged to the highest varna (Ravana being a Brahmin), and Brahmins were generally considered 'noble' of deed and hence called Arya (noble). Thus, while Ravana was considered Arya (and regarded himself as such), he was not really an Arya because he was not noble of deeds. So, he is widely considered by Hindus as Anarya (non-Arya).

The Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

 describes Rama
Rama
Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

 as: arya sarva samascaiva sadaiva priyadarsanah, meaning "Arya, who worked for the equality of all and was dear to everyone."
Mahabharata

In the Mahabharata, the terms Arya or Anarya are often applied to people according to their behaviour. Dushasana
Dushasana
Dushasana was the second son of the blind king Dhritarashtra and Gandhari in the epic Mahābhārata, and the younger brother of Duryodhana.-Birth and development:...

, who tried to disrobe Draupadi
Draupadi
In the epic Mahābhārata, Draupadi, also known as ' is the "emerged" daughter of King Drupada of Panchāla and the wife of the five Pandavas. When Yudhisthira becomes the king of Hastinapura at the end of the war, Draupadi becomes the queen of Indraprastha...

 in the Kaurava
Kaurava
The term Kaurava is a Sanskrit term, that means the descendants of Kuru, a legendary king who is the ancestor of many of the characters of the Mahābhārata.The term is used in the Mahābhārata with two meanings:...

 court, is called an "Anarya" (Mbh:0020600253). Vidura
Vidura
Vidura was an important figure in the Mahabharata, a major Hindu epic. He was half-brother to the kings Dhritarashtra and Pandu of Hastinapura, born the son of the sage Vyasa and a lady-in-waiting to the queens Ambika and Ambalika of the city...

, the son of a Dasi born from Vyasa
Vyasa
Vyasa is a central and revered figure in most Hindu traditions. He is also sometimes called Veda Vyasa , or Krishna Dvaipayana...

, was the only person in the assembly whose behaviour is called "Arya", because he was the only one who openly protested when Draupadi was being disrobed by Dushasana. The Pandava
Pandava
In the Hindu epic Mahābhārata, the Pandava are the five acknowledged sons of Pandu , by his two wives Kunti and Madri. Their names are Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Although, Karna is told by Lord Krishna that according to the laws and ethics he is the first son of Kunti making...

s called themselves "Anarya" in the Mahabharata (0071670471) when they killed Drona
Drona
In the epic Mahābhārata, Drona or Dronacharya was the royal guru to Kauravas and Pandavas. He was a master of advanced military arts, including the Devastras. Arjuna was his favorite student. Dronas love for Arjuna was second only to his love for his son Ashwatthama...

 through deception.

According to the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

, a person's behaviour (not wealth or learning) determines if he can be called an Arya. Also the whole Kuru clan was called as Arya .

Religious use of the Sanskrit and Pali term


The word ārya is often found in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain texts. In the Indian spiritual context it can be applied to Rishis or to someone who has mastered the four noble truths and entered upon the spiritual path. The religions of India are sometimes called collectively ārya dharma, a term that includes the religions that originated in India (e.g. Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 , Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

).

Hinduism


"O my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although born of a low family like that of a Chandala
Chandala
Chandala is a Sanskrit word for someone who deals with disposal of corpses, and is a Hindu lower caste, formerly considered untouchables. Currently it is a term used specifically in Indo-Aryan speaking regions of India. Sandala has become a swear word in the colloquial usage of the Tamil language...

, is situated on the highest platform of self-realization. Such a person must have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to Vedic literatures many, many times after taking bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Such a person is considered to be the best of the Arya family" (Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata purana
The Bhāgavata Purāṇa is one of the "Maha" Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna...

 3.33.7).

According to Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda , born Narendranath Dutta , was the chief disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna Paramahansa and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission...

, "A child materially born is not an Arya; the child born in spirituality is an Arya." He further elaborated, referring to the Manu Smriti
Manu Smriti
' , also known as Mānava-Dharmaśāstra , is the most important and earliest metrical work of the Dharmaśāstra textual tradition of Hinduism...

: "Says our great law-giver, Manu
Manu (Hinduism)
In various Hindu traditions, Manu is a title accorded to the progenitor of mankind, and also the very first brahman king to rule this earth, who saved mankind from the universal flood. He was absolutely honest which was why he was initially known as "Satyavrata"...

, giving the definition of an Arya, 'He is the Arya, who is born through prayer.' Every child not born through prayer is illegitimate, according to the great law-giver: "The child must be prayed for. Those children that come with curses, that slip into the world, just in a moment of inadvertence, because that could not be prevented - what can we expect of such progeny?..."(Swami Vivekananda, Complete Works vol.8)

Swami Dayananda founded a Dharmic organisation Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj is a Hindu reform movement founded by Swami Dayananda on 10 April 1875. He was a sannyasi who believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas. Dayananda emphasized the ideals of brahmacharya...

 in 1875. Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo , born Aurobindo Ghosh or Ghose , was an Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. He joined the Indian movement for freedom from British rule and for a duration became one of its most important leaders, before developing his own vision of human progress...

 published a journal combining nationalism and spiritualism under the title Arya from 1914 to 1921.

Jainism


The word Arya is also often used in Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, in Jain texts such as the Pannavanasutta.

Buddhism


The word ārya (Pāli
Páli
- External links :* *...

: ariya), in the sense "noble" or "exalted", is very frequently used in Buddhist texts to designate a spiritual warrior or hero, which use this term much more often than Hindu or Jain texts. Buddha's Dharma
Dharma
Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties, and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender...

 and Vinaya
Vinaya
The Vinaya is the regulatory framework for the Buddhist monastic community, or sangha, based in the canonical texts called Vinaya Pitaka. The teachings of the Buddha, or Buddhadharma can be divided into two broad categories: 'Dharma' or doctrine, and 'Vinaya', or discipline...

 are the ariyassa dhammavinayo. The Four Noble Truths
Four Noble Truths
The Four Noble Truths are an important principle in Buddhism, classically taught by the Buddha in the Dharmacakra Pravartana Sūtra....

 are called the catvāry āryasatyāni (Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

) or cattāri ariyasaccāni (Pali). The Noble Eightfold Path
Noble Eightfold Path
The Noble Eightfold Path , is one of the principal teachings of the Buddha, who described it as the way leading to the cessation of suffering and the achievement of self-awakening. It is used to develop insight into the true nature of phenomena and to eradicate greed, hatred, and delusion...

 is called the āryamārga (Sanskrit, also {{IAST|āryāṣṭāṅgikamārga}}) or ariyamagga (Pāli). Buddhists themselves are called ariyapuggalas (Arya persons). In Buddhist texts, the āryas are those who have the Buddhist śīla
Sila
Śīla or sīla in Buddhism and its non-sectarian offshoots, is a code of conduct that embraces self-restraint with a value on non-harming. It has been variously described as virtue, good conduct, morality, moral discipline and precept. It is an action that is an intentional effort...

(Pāli sīla, meaning "virtue") and follow the Buddhist path. Those who despise Buddhism are often called "anāryas".

In Buddhism, those who spiritually attain to at least "stream entry
Sotapanna
In Buddhism, a Sotāpanna , Srotāpanna , or "stream-winner" is a person who has eradicated the first three fetters of the mind. Sotapanna literally means "one who entered the stream ", after a metaphor which calls the Noble Eightfold Path, 'a stream'...

" and better are considered Arya Pudgala, or the Arya people.{{Citation needed|date=February 2007}}

In Chinese Buddhist texts, {{IAST|ārya}} is translated as 聖 (approximately, "holy, sacred", pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

 shèng, on'yomi sei).

The spiritual character of the use of the term ārya in Buddhist texts can also be seen in the Mahavibhasa and in the Yogacarabhumi. The Mahāvibhasa
Mahavibhasa
The Abhidharma ' Śāstra is an ancient Buddhist text. It is thought to have been authored around 150 CE.-The Compendia: is a term meaning 'compendium', 'treatise' or simply 'explanation', derived from vi + , 'to speak' or 'to explain'...

  states that only the noble ones (āryas) realize all four of the four noble truths (āryasatyāni) and that only a noble wisdom understands them fully. The same text also describes the āryas as the ones who "have understood and realized about the [truth of] suffering
Dukkha
Dukkha is a Pali term roughly corresponding to a number of terms in English including suffering, pain, discontent, unsatisfactoriness, unhappiness, sorrow, affliction, social alienation, anxiety,...

, (impermanence
Impermanence
Impermanence is one of the essential doctrines or three marks of existence in Buddhism...

, emptiness, and no-self
Anatta
In Buddhism, anattā or anātman refers to the notion of "not-self." In the early texts, the Buddha commonly uses the word in the context of teaching that all things perceived by the senses are not really "I" or "mine," and for this reason one should not cling to them.In the same vein, the Pali...

)" and who "understand things as they are". In another text, the Yogācārabhūmi (Taishō 1579, vol. xx, 364b10-15), the āryas are described as being free from the viparyāsas.

Several Buddhist texts show that the {{IAST|ārya dharma}} was taught to everybody, including the āryas, Dasyus, Devas
Deva (Hinduism)
' is the Sanskrit word for god or deity, its related feminine term is devi. In modern Hinduism, it can be loosely interpreted as any benevolent supernatural beings. The devs in Hinduism, also called Suras, are often juxtaposed to the Asuras, their half brothers. Devs are also the maintainers of...

, Gandharva
Gandharva
Gandharva is a name used for distinct mythological beings in Hinduism and Buddhism; it is also a term for skilled singers in Indian classical music.-In Hinduism:...

s and Asura
Asura
-In Hinduism:In Hinduism, the Asuras constitute a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes considered sinful and materialistic. The Daityas and Danavas were combinedly known as Asuras. The Asura were opposed to the Devas. Both groups are children of Kasyapa...

s. The {{IAST|Bhaiṣajyavastu}} (from the Mūlasarvāstivādavinaya
Mulasarvastivada
The Mūlasarvāstivāda was an early school of Buddhism, developed in India during the 2nd century AD and in decline by the 7th century. Its vinaya lineage has been preserved by Tibetans and Mongolians up to the present, although until recently, only Mulasarvastivadin monks existed - the lineage of...

) describes a story of Buddha teaching his dharma to the Four Heavenly Kings
Four Heavenly Kings
In the Buddhist faith, the Four Heavenly Kings are four gods, each of whom watches over one cardinal direction of the world.The Kings are collectively named as follows:...

 ({{IAST|Catvāraḥ Mahārājāḥ}}) of the four directions. In this story, the guardians of the east ({{IAST|Dhṛtarāṣṭra}}) and the south ({{IAST|Virūḍhaka}}) are āryajatiya (āryas) who speak Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, while the guardians of the west ({{IAST|Virūpākṣa}}) and the north (
{{about|the English language
loanword
Loanword
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

|}}

Aryan ˈɛərjən is an English language loanword
Loanword
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

 derived from Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 ārya ('Noble') and denoting variously
  • In scholarly usage:
    • Indo-Iranian
      Indo-Iranian languages
      The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It consists of three language groups: the Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Nuristani...

       languages (Indo-Aryan
      Indo-Aryan languages
      The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

       and Iranian
      Iranian languages
      The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

      )

  • in dated usage:
    • the Indo-European languages
      Indo-European languages
      The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

       more generally and their speakers
  • in contemporary usage:
    • Among Hindu
      Hindu nationalism
      Hindu nationalism has been collectively referred to as the expressions of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and cultural traditions of historical India...

       nationalists, the Hindu/Indian people
    • in colloquial English the word has been adopted in accordance with Nazi racial theory
      Nazism and race
      Nazism developed several theories concerning races. The Nazis claimed to scientifically measure a strict hierarchy of human race; at the top was the master race, the "Aryan race", narrowly defined by the Nazis as being identical with the Nordic race, followed by lesser races.At the bottom of this...

      's appropriation of the term to describe persons corresponding to the "Nordic", "blond-haired, blue-eyed" physical ideal of Nazi Germany
      Nazi Germany
      Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

       (the "master race
      Master race
      Master race was a phrase and concept originating in the slave-holding Southern US. The later phrase Herrenvolk , interpreted as 'master race', was a concept in Nazi ideology in which the Nordic peoples, one of the branches of what in the late-19th and early-20th century was called the Aryan race,...

      " ideology) {{#tag:ref|The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language states at the beginning of its definition, "[it] is one of the ironies of history that Aryan, a word nowadays referring to the blond-haired, blue-eyed physical ideal of Nazi Germany
      Nazi Germany
      Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

      , originally referred to a people who looked vastly different. Its history starts with the ancient Indo-Iranians
      Indo-Iranians
      Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

      , peoples who inhabited parts of what are now Iran
      Greater Iran
      Greater Iran refers to the regions that have significant Iranian cultural influence. It roughly corresponds to the territory on the Iranian plateau and its bordering plains, stretching from Iraq, the Caucasus, and Turkey in the west to the Indus River in the east...

      , Afghanistan
      Afghanistan
      Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

      , Pakistan, India and Bangladesh
      Bangladesh
      Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

      . "|group="n"}}
    • within the ideology of white supremacy
      White supremacy
      White supremacy is the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social and political dominance by whites.White supremacy, as with racial...

      , the "White race", i.e., Caucasians
      Caucasian race
      The term Caucasian race has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia , Central Asia and South Asia...

       who are native Indo-Europeans of the Western or European branch of the Indo-European peoples, as opposed to the Eastern or Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European peoples.
    • The "Aryan race
      Aryan race
      The Aryan race is a concept historically influential in Western culture in the period of the late 19th century and early 20th century. It derives from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive race or...

      " taken to correspond to the original speakers of Indo-European languages and their present day descendants.


As an adaptation of Latin Arianus referring to Ariana
Ariana
Ariana was a region of the eastern countries of ancient Iran, next to India.Ariana may also refer to:* Ariana In places:*Ariana Governorate, a governorate in Tunisia*Ariana, Tunisia*Lake Ariana, a lake in Sofia, Bulgaria...

, 'Arian' has "long been in English language use". Its history as a loan word began in the late 18th century, when the word was borrowed from Sanskrit
Vedic Sanskrit
Vedic Sanskrit is an old Indo-Aryan language. It is an archaic form of Sanskrit, an early descendant of Proto-Indo-Iranian. It is closely related to Avestan, the oldest preserved Iranian language...

 ārya to refer to speakers of North Indian languages
Indo-Aryan languages
The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

. When it was determined that Iranian languages
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 — both living and ancient — used a similar term in much the same way (but in the Iranian context as a self-identifier of Iranian peoples
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

), it became apparent that the shared meaning had to derive from the ancestor language of the shared past, and so, by the early 19th century, the word 'Aryan' came to refer to the group of languages deriving from that ancestor language, and by extension, the speakers of those languages
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

.

Then, in the 1830s, partly based on the theory (now regarded as erroneous) that words like "Aryan" could also be found in European languages (such as the idea that "Éire
Éire
is the Irish name for the island of Ireland and the sovereign state of the same name.- Etymology :The modern Irish Éire evolved from the Old Irish word Ériu, which was the name of a Gaelic goddess. Ériu is generally believed to have been the matron goddess of Ireland, a goddess of sovereignty, or...

" derived from "Aryan"), the term "Aryan" came to be used as the term for the Indo-European language group
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

, and by extension, the original speakers of those languages
Proto-Indo-Europeans
The Proto-Indo-Europeans were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language , a reconstructed prehistoric language of Eurasia.Knowledge of them comes chiefly from the linguistic reconstruction, along with material evidence from archaeology and archaeogenetics...

. In the 19th century, "language" was considered a property of "ethnicity", and thus the speakers of the Indo-European languages came to be called the "Aryan race
Aryan race
The Aryan race is a concept historically influential in Western culture in the period of the late 19th century and early 20th century. It derives from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive race or...

", as contradistinguished from what came to be called the "Semitic race
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

". By the late 19th century, among some people, the notions of an "Aryan race" became closely linked to Nordicism, which posited Northern European racial superiority over all other peoples (including Indians and Iranians). This "master race
Master race
Master race was a phrase and concept originating in the slave-holding Southern US. The later phrase Herrenvolk , interpreted as 'master race', was a concept in Nazi ideology in which the Nordic peoples, one of the branches of what in the late-19th and early-20th century was called the Aryan race,...

" ideal engendered both the "Aryanization
Aryanization
Aryanization is a term coined during Nazism referring to the forced expulsion of so-called "non-Aryans", mainly Jews, from business life in Nazi Germany and the territories it controlled....

" programs of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, in which the classification of people as "Aryan" and "non-Aryan" was most emphatically directed towards the exclusion of Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

.Under the 1933 Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, a non-Aryan was defined as "an individual descended from a non-Aryan (in particular Jewish parents or grandparents)" ({{harvnb|Campt|2004|p=143}}). By the end of World War II, the word 'Aryan' had become associated by many with the racial theories and atrocities committed by the Nazi regime.

In colloquial modern English it is often used to signify the Nordic racial ideal promoted by the Nazis. As the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language states at the beginning of its definition, "Aryan, a word nowadays referring to the blond-haired, blue-eyed physical ideal of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

, originally referred to a people who looked vastly different. Its history starts with the ancient Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

, peoples who inhabited parts of what are now Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

."

In Iranian context
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 the original self-identifier lives on in ethnic names like "Alani
Alans
The Alans, or the Alani, occasionally termed Alauni or Halani, were a group of Sarmatian tribes, nomadic pastoralists of the 1st millennium AD who spoke an Eastern Iranian language which derived from Scytho-Sarmatian and which in turn evolved into modern Ossetian.-Name:The various forms of Alan —...

", "Ir
Iron (dialect)
Iron is one of the two main dialects of the Ossetic language, spoken in the Caucasus. The majority of the Ossetians speak Iron, notably in the East, South and Central parts of North Ossetia-Alania, while in the West the Digor dialect is more prevalent. The Iron dialect is the basis of the Ossetian...

". Similarly, The word Iran is the Persian word for land/place of the Aryan(see also Iranian peoples
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

). In present-day academia, the terms "Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

" and "Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

" have, according to many, made most uses of the term 'Aryan' obsolete, and 'Aryan' is now mostly limited to its appearance in the term "Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryan refers to:* Indo-Aryan languages* Indo-Aryan migration, a supposition that holds that the Indo-Aryans migrated to India.* Indigenous Aryans, a theory that holds that the Indo-Aryans are native to India....

" to represent (speakers of) North, West and Central Indian languages. Notions of an "Aryan race" defined as being composed of those of the Western or European branch of the Indo-European peoples is used in the context of fascist nationalism, an ideology of nationhood defined by ancestry.

Derivation of the word "Aryan"


The English word "Aryan" is derived from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word ārya meaning 'noble'; it was used initially as a national name to designate the worshippers of the Hindu deities
Deva (Hinduism)
' is the Sanskrit word for god or deity, its related feminine term is devi. In modern Hinduism, it can be loosely interpreted as any benevolent supernatural beings. The devs in Hinduism, also called Suras, are often juxtaposed to the Asuras, their half brothers. Devs are also the maintainers of...

 and especially Indra
Indra
' or is the King of the demi-gods or Devas and Lord of Heaven or Svargaloka in Hindu mythology. He is also the God of War, Storms, and Rainfall.Indra is one of the chief deities in the Rigveda...

 according to Brahmanical principles (performance of sacrifice, Yajna
Yajna
In Hinduism, yajna is a ritual of sacrifice derived from the practice of Vedic times. It is performed to please the gods or to attain certain wishes...

).

The Zend
Zend
Zend can mean:*Zend, commentaries on the Avesta, the sacred texts of the Zoroastrian religion.**In older texts, Zend can refer to the Avestan language*Salla Zend, a character in Star Wars*Zend Technologies, a PHP-focused company...

 airya 'venerable' and Old Persian ariya are also considered as national names.

Possible derivations from Proto-Indo-European


According a 1957 theory by Laroche, Indo-Iranian ar-ya- descends from Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 (PIE) {{PIE|*ar-yo-}}, a yo-adjective to a root {{PIE|*ar}} "to assemble skillfully", present in Greek harma "chariot", Greek aristos, (as in "aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

"), Latin ars "art", etc. Thus, according to this theory, an Aryan is "one who skillfully assembles". Proto-Indo-Iranian *ar-ta- was a related concept of "properly joined" expressing a religious concept of cosmic order
Cosmos
In the general sense, a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system. It originates from the Greek term κόσμος , meaning "order" or "ornament" and is antithetical to the concept of chaos. Today, the word is generally used as a synonym of the word Universe . The word cosmos originates from the same root...

.

Various attempts to find an etymon are as follows:
  • Before 1950 – all are reductions of the historical variety to an original unity:{{Clarify|date=July 2010}}
    • Bopp (1830): ar- "to go, to move", read as "one who roams" (like a nomad)
    • Müller (1862): ar- "to plough", read as "cultivator of the land"
    • Güntert (1924): ar- "to fit", read as "allied, friendly"
    • Thieme (1938): ar- "to give, allot, share", read as "hospitable"
  • After 1950 – all treat the autonym as distinct from similar-looking words:{{Clarify|date=July 2010}}
    • Laroche (1957): ara- "to fit", read as "fitting, proper"
    • Dumézil (1958): ar- "to share", read as a uniting property of "appartenant au monde aryen"
    • Bailey (1959): ar- "to beget", read as "born, nurturing"
    • Benveniste (1969): ar- "to fit", read as "companionable"

A review of these and numerous other ideas, and the various problems with each is given by Oswald Szemerényi
Oswald Szemerényi
Oswald John Louis Szemerényi was a Hungarian Indo-Europeanist with strong interests in comparative linguistics in general....

.

In Indian/Sanskrit literature


In Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 and related Indic languages, Arya/Ayya/Ajja refers to one who does Noble deeds . The title of Arya was used with various modifications throughout the Indian Subcontinent. Kharavela
Kharavela
Khārabēḷa was the third and greatest emperor of the Mahāmēghabāhana Dynasty of Kaḷinga . The main source of information about Khārabeḷa is his famous seventeen line rock-cut Hātigumphā inscription in a cave in the Udayagiri hills near Bhubaneswar, Orissa.During the reign of Khārabēḷa, the Chedi...

, the Emperor of Kalinga around 1 BCE is referred as an Arya in the Hatigumpha inscriptions of the Khandagiri–Udaigiri cave complex in Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar is the capital of the Indian state of Orissa, officially Odisha. The city has a long history of over 2000 years starting with Chedi dynasty who had Sisupalgarh near present-day Bhubaneswar as their capital...

, Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

. Various Indian religions, chiefly Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

 and Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 use the term Arya as an epithet of honour and it occurs as such in their religious texts.

In the Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

 and Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

, Arya is used as an honorific for many characters including Ravana
Ravana
' is the primary antagonist character of the Hindu legend, the Ramayana; who is the great king of Lanka. In the classic text, he is mainly depicted negatively, kidnapping Rama's wife Sita, to claim vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister...

.

Vedic Sanskrit


The term Arya is used 36 times in 34 hymns in the Rigveda
Rigveda
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns...

.
According to Talageri (2000, The Rig Veda. A Historical Analysis)
"the particular Vedic Aryans of the Rigveda were one section among these Puru
Puru
The Purus were a tribe, or a confederation of tribes, mentioned many times in the Rigveda, formed around 3180 BCE. RV 7.96.2 locates them at the banks of the Sarasvati River. There were several factions of Purus, one being the Bharatas...

s, who called themselves Bharatas
Bharatas
Bhāratas are an Aryan tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, especially in Mandala 3 attributed to the Bharata sage Vishvamitra. In the "river hymn" RV 3.33, the entire Bharata tribe is described as crossing a river. Bharatá is also used as a name of Agni Bhāratas are an Aryan tribe mentioned in the...

.
" Thus it is possible, according to Talageri, that at one point Arya did refer to a specific tribe.
"Brahma of glory is he to whom both the Aryans and the Dasas belong" (RV 8.8.9).

While the word may ultimately derive from a tribal name, already in the Rigveda it appears as a religious distinction, separating those who sacrifice "properly" from those who do not belong to the historical Vedic religion
Historical Vedic religion
The religion of the Vedic period is a historical predecessor of Hinduism. Its liturgy is reflected in the mantra portion of the four Vedas, which are compiled in Sanskrit. The religious practices centered on a clergy administering rites...

, presaging the usage in later Hinduism where the term comes to denote religious righteousness or piety. In RV 9.63.5, {{IAST|ârya}} "noble, pious, righteous" is used as contrasting with {{IAST|árāvan}} "not liberal, envious, hostile":
{{IAST|índraṃ várdhanto aptúraḥ kṛṇvánto víśvam âryam apaghnánto árāvṇaḥ}}
"[the Soma
Soma
Soma , or Haoma , from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the subsequent Vedic and greater Persian cultures. It is frequently mentioned in the Rigveda, whose Soma Mandala contains 114 hymns, many praising its energizing qualities...

-drops], performing every noble work, active, augmenting Indra's strength, driving away the godless ones." (trans. Griffith)

Sanskrit Epics


Arya and Anarya are primarily used in the moral sense in the Hindu Epics.People are usually called Arya or Anarya based on their behaviour.Arya is typically one who follows Dharmic principles. This is historically is applicable for any person living any where in Bharata Varsha or vast India.
Ramayana

In the Ramayana, the term Arya can also apply to Raksasas or to Ravana. In several instances, the Vanara
Vanara
Vānara popularly refers to a group of ape-like humanoids in the Hindu epic Ramayana who were brave and inquisitive by nature. They possessed supernatural powers and could change their shapes...

s and Raksasas called themselves Arya. The monkey king Sugriva is called an Arya (Ram: 505102712) and he also speaks of his brother Vali as an Arya (Ram: 402402434). In another instance in the Ramayana, Ravana regards himself and his ministers as Aryas (Ram: 600600512).

A logical explanation is that, Ravana and his ministers belonged to the highest varna (Ravana being a Brahmin), and Brahmins were generally considered 'noble' of deed and hence called Arya (noble). Thus, while Ravana was considered Arya (and regarded himself as such), he was not really an Arya because he was not noble of deeds. So, he is widely considered by Hindus as Anarya (non-Arya).

The Ramayana
Ramayana
The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon , considered to be itihāsa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India and Nepal, the other being the Mahabharata...

 describes Rama
Rama
Rama or full name Ramachandra is considered to be the seventh avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism, and a king of Ayodhya in ancient Indian...

 as: arya sarva samascaiva sadaiva priyadarsanah, meaning "Arya, who worked for the equality of all and was dear to everyone."
Mahabharata

In the Mahabharata, the terms Arya or Anarya are often applied to people according to their behaviour. Dushasana
Dushasana
Dushasana was the second son of the blind king Dhritarashtra and Gandhari in the epic Mahābhārata, and the younger brother of Duryodhana.-Birth and development:...

, who tried to disrobe Draupadi
Draupadi
In the epic Mahābhārata, Draupadi, also known as ' is the "emerged" daughter of King Drupada of Panchāla and the wife of the five Pandavas. When Yudhisthira becomes the king of Hastinapura at the end of the war, Draupadi becomes the queen of Indraprastha...

 in the Kaurava
Kaurava
The term Kaurava is a Sanskrit term, that means the descendants of Kuru, a legendary king who is the ancestor of many of the characters of the Mahābhārata.The term is used in the Mahābhārata with two meanings:...

 court, is called an "Anarya" (Mbh:0020600253). Vidura
Vidura
Vidura was an important figure in the Mahabharata, a major Hindu epic. He was half-brother to the kings Dhritarashtra and Pandu of Hastinapura, born the son of the sage Vyasa and a lady-in-waiting to the queens Ambika and Ambalika of the city...

, the son of a Dasi born from Vyasa
Vyasa
Vyasa is a central and revered figure in most Hindu traditions. He is also sometimes called Veda Vyasa , or Krishna Dvaipayana...

, was the only person in the assembly whose behaviour is called "Arya", because he was the only one who openly protested when Draupadi was being disrobed by Dushasana. The Pandava
Pandava
In the Hindu epic Mahābhārata, the Pandava are the five acknowledged sons of Pandu , by his two wives Kunti and Madri. Their names are Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva. Although, Karna is told by Lord Krishna that according to the laws and ethics he is the first son of Kunti making...

s called themselves "Anarya" in the Mahabharata (0071670471) when they killed Drona
Drona
In the epic Mahābhārata, Drona or Dronacharya was the royal guru to Kauravas and Pandavas. He was a master of advanced military arts, including the Devastras. Arjuna was his favorite student. Dronas love for Arjuna was second only to his love for his son Ashwatthama...

 through deception.

According to the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
The Mahabharata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India and Nepal, the other being the Ramayana. The epic is part of itihasa....

, a person's behaviour (not wealth or learning) determines if he can be called an Arya. Also the whole Kuru clan was called as Arya .

Religious use of the Sanskrit and Pali term


The word ārya is often found in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain texts. In the Indian spiritual context it can be applied to Rishis or to someone who has mastered the four noble truths and entered upon the spiritual path. The religions of India are sometimes called collectively ārya dharma, a term that includes the religions that originated in India (e.g. Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 , Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, Sikhism
Sikhism
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region, by Guru Nanak Dev and continued to progress with ten successive Sikh Gurus . It is the fifth-largest organized religion in the world and one of the fastest-growing...

).

Hinduism


"O my Lord, a person who is chanting Your holy name, although born of a low family like that of a Chandala
Chandala
Chandala is a Sanskrit word for someone who deals with disposal of corpses, and is a Hindu lower caste, formerly considered untouchables. Currently it is a term used specifically in Indo-Aryan speaking regions of India. Sandala has become a swear word in the colloquial usage of the Tamil language...

, is situated on the highest platform of self-realization. Such a person must have performed all kinds of penances and sacrifices according to Vedic literatures many, many times after taking bath in all the holy places of pilgrimage. Such a person is considered to be the best of the Arya family" (Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata purana
The Bhāgavata Purāṇa is one of the "Maha" Puranic texts of Hindu literature, with its primary focus on bhakti to the incarnations of Vishnu, particularly Krishna...

 3.33.7).

According to Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda , born Narendranath Dutta , was the chief disciple of the 19th century mystic Ramakrishna Paramahansa and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission...

, "A child materially born is not an Arya; the child born in spirituality is an Arya." He further elaborated, referring to the Manu Smriti
Manu Smriti
' , also known as Mānava-Dharmaśāstra , is the most important and earliest metrical work of the Dharmaśāstra textual tradition of Hinduism...

: "Says our great law-giver, Manu
Manu (Hinduism)
In various Hindu traditions, Manu is a title accorded to the progenitor of mankind, and also the very first brahman king to rule this earth, who saved mankind from the universal flood. He was absolutely honest which was why he was initially known as "Satyavrata"...

, giving the definition of an Arya, 'He is the Arya, who is born through prayer.' Every child not born through prayer is illegitimate, according to the great law-giver: "The child must be prayed for. Those children that come with curses, that slip into the world, just in a moment of inadvertence, because that could not be prevented - what can we expect of such progeny?..."(Swami Vivekananda, Complete Works vol.8)

Swami Dayananda founded a Dharmic organisation Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj is a Hindu reform movement founded by Swami Dayananda on 10 April 1875. He was a sannyasi who believed in the infallible authority of the Vedas. Dayananda emphasized the ideals of brahmacharya...

 in 1875. Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo
Sri Aurobindo , born Aurobindo Ghosh or Ghose , was an Indian nationalist, freedom fighter, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. He joined the Indian movement for freedom from British rule and for a duration became one of its most important leaders, before developing his own vision of human progress...

 published a journal combining nationalism and spiritualism under the title Arya from 1914 to 1921.

Jainism


The word Arya is also often used in Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, in Jain texts such as the Pannavanasutta.

Buddhism


The word ārya (Pāli
Páli
- External links :* *...

: ariya), in the sense "noble" or "exalted", is very frequently used in Buddhist texts to designate a spiritual warrior or hero, which use this term much more often than Hindu or Jain texts. Buddha's Dharma
Dharma
Dharma means Law or Natural Law and is a concept of central importance in Indian philosophy and religion. In the context of Hinduism, it refers to one's personal obligations, calling and duties, and a Hindu's dharma is affected by the person's age, caste, class, occupation, and gender...

 and Vinaya
Vinaya
The Vinaya is the regulatory framework for the Buddhist monastic community, or sangha, based in the canonical texts called Vinaya Pitaka. The teachings of the Buddha, or Buddhadharma can be divided into two broad categories: 'Dharma' or doctrine, and 'Vinaya', or discipline...

 are the ariyassa dhammavinayo. The Four Noble Truths
Four Noble Truths
The Four Noble Truths are an important principle in Buddhism, classically taught by the Buddha in the Dharmacakra Pravartana Sūtra....

 are called the catvāry āryasatyāni (Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

) or cattāri ariyasaccāni (Pali). The Noble Eightfold Path
Noble Eightfold Path
The Noble Eightfold Path , is one of the principal teachings of the Buddha, who described it as the way leading to the cessation of suffering and the achievement of self-awakening. It is used to develop insight into the true nature of phenomena and to eradicate greed, hatred, and delusion...

 is called the āryamārga (Sanskrit, also {{IAST|āryāṣṭāṅgikamārga}}) or ariyamagga (Pāli). Buddhists themselves are called ariyapuggalas (Arya persons). In Buddhist texts, the āryas are those who have the Buddhist śīla
Sila
Śīla or sīla in Buddhism and its non-sectarian offshoots, is a code of conduct that embraces self-restraint with a value on non-harming. It has been variously described as virtue, good conduct, morality, moral discipline and precept. It is an action that is an intentional effort...

(Pāli sīla, meaning "virtue") and follow the Buddhist path. Those who despise Buddhism are often called "anāryas".

In Buddhism, those who spiritually attain to at least "stream entry
Sotapanna
In Buddhism, a Sotāpanna , Srotāpanna , or "stream-winner" is a person who has eradicated the first three fetters of the mind. Sotapanna literally means "one who entered the stream ", after a metaphor which calls the Noble Eightfold Path, 'a stream'...

" and better are considered Arya Pudgala, or the Arya people.{{Citation needed|date=February 2007}}

In Chinese Buddhist texts, {{IAST|ārya}} is translated as 聖 (approximately, "holy, sacred", pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

 shèng, on'yomi sei).

The spiritual character of the use of the term ārya in Buddhist texts can also be seen in the Mahavibhasa and in the Yogacarabhumi. The Mahāvibhasa
Mahavibhasa
The Abhidharma ' Śāstra is an ancient Buddhist text. It is thought to have been authored around 150 CE.-The Compendia: is a term meaning 'compendium', 'treatise' or simply 'explanation', derived from vi + , 'to speak' or 'to explain'...

  states that only the noble ones (āryas) realize all four of the four noble truths (āryasatyāni) and that only a noble wisdom understands them fully. The same text also describes the āryas as the ones who "have understood and realized about the [truth of] suffering
Dukkha
Dukkha is a Pali term roughly corresponding to a number of terms in English including suffering, pain, discontent, unsatisfactoriness, unhappiness, sorrow, affliction, social alienation, anxiety,...

, (impermanence
Impermanence
Impermanence is one of the essential doctrines or three marks of existence in Buddhism...

, emptiness, and no-self
Anatta
In Buddhism, anattā or anātman refers to the notion of "not-self." In the early texts, the Buddha commonly uses the word in the context of teaching that all things perceived by the senses are not really "I" or "mine," and for this reason one should not cling to them.In the same vein, the Pali...

)" and who "understand things as they are". In another text, the Yogācārabhūmi (Taishō 1579, vol. xx, 364b10-15), the āryas are described as being free from the viparyāsas.

Several Buddhist texts show that the {{IAST|ārya dharma}} was taught to everybody, including the āryas, Dasyus, Devas
Deva (Hinduism)
' is the Sanskrit word for god or deity, its related feminine term is devi. In modern Hinduism, it can be loosely interpreted as any benevolent supernatural beings. The devs in Hinduism, also called Suras, are often juxtaposed to the Asuras, their half brothers. Devs are also the maintainers of...

, Gandharva
Gandharva
Gandharva is a name used for distinct mythological beings in Hinduism and Buddhism; it is also a term for skilled singers in Indian classical music.-In Hinduism:...

s and Asura
Asura
-In Hinduism:In Hinduism, the Asuras constitute a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes considered sinful and materialistic. The Daityas and Danavas were combinedly known as Asuras. The Asura were opposed to the Devas. Both groups are children of Kasyapa...

s. The {{IAST|Bhaiṣajyavastu}} (from the Mūlasarvāstivādavinaya
Mulasarvastivada
The Mūlasarvāstivāda was an early school of Buddhism, developed in India during the 2nd century AD and in decline by the 7th century. Its vinaya lineage has been preserved by Tibetans and Mongolians up to the present, although until recently, only Mulasarvastivadin monks existed - the lineage of...

) describes a story of Buddha teaching his dharma to the Four Heavenly Kings
Four Heavenly Kings
In the Buddhist faith, the Four Heavenly Kings are four gods, each of whom watches over one cardinal direction of the world.The Kings are collectively named as follows:...

 ({{IAST|Catvāraḥ Mahārājāḥ}}) of the four directions. In this story, the guardians of the east ({{IAST|Dhṛtarāṣṭra}}) and the south ({{IAST|Virūḍhaka}}) are āryajatiya (āryas) who speak Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, while the guardians of the west ({{IAST|Virūpākṣa}}) and the north ({{IAST
Vaisravana
' or ' also known as Jambhala in Tibet and Bishamonten in Japan is the name of the chief of the Four Heavenly Kings and an important figure in Buddhist mythology.-Names:...

) are dasyujatiya (Dasyus) who speak Dasyu languages. In order to teach his Dharma, Buddha has to deliver his discourse in Aryan and Dasyu languages. This story describes Buddha teaching his Dharma to the āryas and Dasyus alike. The {{IAST (a Mahāyāna
Mahayana
Mahāyāna is one of the two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice...

 sūtra) describes how Avalokiteśvara
Avalokitesvara
Avalokiteśvara is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. He is one of the more widely revered bodhisattvas in mainstream Mahayana Buddhism....

 taught the ārya Dharma to the asura
Asura
-In Hinduism:In Hinduism, the Asuras constitute a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes considered sinful and materialistic. The Daityas and Danavas were combinedly known as Asuras. The Asura were opposed to the Devas. Both groups are children of Kasyapa...

s, {{IAST
Yaksha
Yaksha is the name of a broad class of nature-spirits, usually benevolent, who are caretakers of the natural treasures hidden in the earth and tree roots. They appear in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist mythology. The feminine form of the word is ' or Yakshini .In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist mythology,...

s and {{IAST
Rakshasa
A Rakshasa or alternatively rakshas, is a race of mythological humanoid beings or unrighteous spirit in Hindu and Buddhist religion...

s.

In many parts of the South India, if somebody (new) is supposed to be addressed respectably, the prefix "Ayya", derived from "Arya" is used. South Indians used to call them "Arya" which is now transformed to "Ayya". This term is used even today.

In Iranian literature


Unlike the several meanings connected with ārya- in Old Indic, the Old Iranian
Old Persian language
The Old Persian language is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages . Old Persian appears primarily in the inscriptions, clay tablets, and seals of the Achaemenid era...

 term has solely an ethnic meaning. That is in contrast to Indian usage, in which several secondary meanings evolved, the meaning of ar- as a self-identifier is preserved in Iranian usage, hence the words "Iran"/"Iranian"
Etymology of Iran
The name of Iran derives immediately from Middle Persian Ērān, Pahlavi ʼyrʼn, first attested in this form in the inscription that accompanies the investiture relief of Ardashir I at Naqsh-e Rustam...

 themselves. Iranian airya meant and means "Iranian", and Iranian anairya
Aniran
Anīrān or Anērān is an ethno-linguistic term that signifies "non-Iranian" or "non-Iran." Thus, in a general sense, 'Aniran' signifies lands where Iranian languages are not spoken...

meant and means "Un-Iranian".Arya may also be found as an ethnonym in newer Iranian languages, e.g., Alan/Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 Iran and Ossetian
Ossetic language
Ossetian , also sometimes called Ossete, is an East Iranian language spoken in Ossetia, a region on the slopes of the Caucasus Mountains....

 Ir/Iron

The name Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Iranian
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

 is itself equivalent to Aryan, where Iran means "land of the Aryans," and has been in use since Sassanid times

The Avesta
Avesta
The Avesta is the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the Avestan language.-Early transmission:The texts of the Avesta — which are all in the Avestan language — were composed over the course of several hundred years. The most important portion, the Gathas,...

 clearly uses airya/airyan as an ethnic name (Vd. 1; Yt. 13.143-44, etc.), where it appears in expressions such as airyāfi; daiŋˊhāvō "Iranian lands, peoples", airyō.šayanəm "land inhabited by Iranians", and airyanəm vaējō vaŋhuyāfi; dāityayāfi; "Iranian stretch of the good Dāityā", the river Oxus, the modern Āmū Daryā. Old Persian sources also use this term for Iranians
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

. Old Persian which is a testament to the antiquity of the Persian language and which is related to most of the languages/dialects spoken in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 including modern Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, Kurdish
Kurdish language
Kurdish is a dialect continuum spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. It is part of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian group of Indo-European languages....

, Gilaki and Baluchi
Balochi language
Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.-Vowels:The Balochi vowel...

 makes it clear that Iranians referred to themselves as Arya.

The term "Airya/Airyan" appears in the royal Old Persian inscriptions in three different contexts:
  1. As the name of the language of the Old Persian version of the inscription of Darius the Great in Behistun
  2. As the ethnic background of Darius in inscriptions at Naqsh-e-Rostam and Susa (Dna, Dse) and Xerxes
    Xerxes
    Xerxes is a male name. Most notably, it may refer to Xerxes I of Persia . It may also refer to:-People:*Xerxes II of Persia, reigned 424 BCE*Xerxes of Armenia, Armenian king, assassinated around 212 BCE...

     in the inscription from Persepolis (Xph)
  3. As the definition of the God of Aryan people, Ahuramazda, in the Elamite version of the Behistun inscription.


For example in the Dna and Dse Darius and Xerxes describe themselves as "An Achaemenian, A Persian son of a Persian and an Aryan, of Aryan stock". Although Darius the Great called his language the Aryan language, modern scholars refer to it as Old Persian because it is the ancestor of modern Persian language
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

.

The Old Persian and Avestan evidence is confirmed by the Greek sources". Herodotus in his Histories remarks about the Iranian Medes that: "These Medes were called anciently by all people Arians; " (7.62). In Armenian sources, the Parthians, Medes and Persians are collectively referred to as Aryans. Eudemus of Rhodes apud Damascius (Dubitationes et solutiones in Platonis Parmenidem 125 bis) refers to "the Magi and all those of Iranian (áreion) lineage"; Diodorus Siculus (1.94.2) considers Zoroaster (Zathraustēs) as one of the Arianoi.

Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

, in his "Geography", mentions the unity of Medes
Medes
The MedesThe Medes...

, Persians, Bactrians and Sogdians:{{quotation|The name of Ariana
Ariana
Ariana was a region of the eastern countries of ancient Iran, next to India.Ariana may also refer to:* Ariana In places:*Ariana Governorate, a governorate in Tunisia*Ariana, Tunisia*Lake Ariana, a lake in Sofia, Bulgaria...

 
is further extended to a part of Persia and of Media, as also to the Bactrians
Bactrians
The Bactrians were the inhabitants of Bactria.Several important trade routes from India and China passed through Bactria and, as early as the Bronze Age, this had allowed the accumulation of vast amounts of wealth by the mostly nomadic population. The first proto-urban civilization in the area...

 and Sogdians on the north; for these speak approximately the same language, with but slight variations.|Geography, 15.8}}

The trilingual inscription erected by Shapur's command gives us a more clear description. The languages used are Parthian
Parthian language
The Parthian language, also known as Arsacid Pahlavi and Pahlavanik, is a now-extinct ancient Northwestern Iranian language spoken in Parthia, a region of northeastern ancient Persia during the rule of the Parthian empire....

, Middle Persian
Middle Persian
Middle Persian , indigenously known as "Pârsig" sometimes referred to as Pahlavi or Pehlevi, is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times became a prestige dialect and so came to be spoken in other regions as well. Middle Persian is classified as a...

 and Greek. In Greek the inscription says: "ego ... tou Arianon ethnous despotes eimi" which translates to "I am the king of the Aryans". In the Middle Persian Shapour says: "I am the Lord of the EranShahr" and in Parthian he says: "I am the Lord of AryanShahr".

The Bactrian language
Bactrian language
The Bactrian language is an extinct Eastern Iranian language which was spoken in the Central Asian region of Bactria. Linguistically, it is classified as belonging to the middle period of the East Iranian branch...

 (an Middle Iranian language) inscription of Kanishka
Kanishka
Kanishka ) was an emperor of the Kushan Empire, ruling an empire extending from Bactria to large parts of northern India in the 2nd century of the common era, and famous for his military, political, and spiritual achievements...

 the founder of the Kushan empire at Rabatak, which was discovered in 1993 in an unexcavated site in the Afghanistan province of Baghlan clearly refers to this Eastern Iranian language as Arya
In the post-Islamic era one can still see a clear usage of the term Aryan (Iran) in the work of the 10th century historian Hamzeh Isfahani. In his famous book "the history of Prophets and Kings" writes: "Aryan which is also called Pars(Persia) is in the middle of these countries and these six countries surround it because the South East is in the hands China, the North of the Turks, the middle South is India, the middle North is Rome, and the South West and the North West is the Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 and Berber lands". All this evidence shows that the name arya "Iranian" was a collective definition, denoting peoples (Geiger, pp. 167 f.; Schmitt, 1978, p. 31) who were aware of belonging to the one ethnic stock, speaking a common language, and having a religious tradition that centered on the cult of Ahura Mazdā
Ahura Mazda
Ahura Mazdā is the Avestan name for a divinity of the Old Iranian religion who was proclaimed the uncreated God by Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism...

.

Before the 19th century


While the original meaning of Indo-Iranian *arya as a self-designator is uncontested, the origin of the word (and thus also its original meaning) remains uncertain.There is no shortage of ideas, even in the present-day. For a summary of the etymological problems involved, see {{harvnb|Siegert|1941-1942}}. Indo-Iranian ar- is a syllable ambiguous in origin, from Indo-European ar-, er-, or or-. No evidence for a Proto-Indo-European (as opposed to Indo-Iranian) ethnic name like "Aryan" has been found; it would be impossible ever to find such evidence because at the time of the Proto-Indo-Europeans, writing
Writing
Writing is the representation of language in a textual medium through the use of a set of signs or symbols . It is distinguished from illustration, such as cave drawing and painting, and non-symbolic preservation of language via non-textual media, such as magnetic tape audio.Writing most likely...

 had not yet been invented—at that time, among the Proto-Indo-Europeans, all information
Information
Information in its most restricted technical sense is a message or collection of messages that consists of an ordered sequence of symbols, or it is the meaning that can be interpreted from such a message or collection of messages. Information can be recorded or transmitted. It can be recorded as...

 was transmitted to subsequent generation
Generation
Generation , also known as procreation in biological sciences, is the act of producing offspring....

s by bard
Bard
In medieval Gaelic and British culture a bard was a professional poet, employed by a patron, such as a monarch or nobleman, to commemorate the patron's ancestors and to praise the patron's own activities.Originally a specific class of poet, contrasting with another class known as fili in Ireland...

s.

The meaning of 'Aryan' that was adopted into the English language in the late 18th century was the one associated with the technical term used in comparative philology, which in turn had the same meaning as that evident in the very oldest Old Indic usage, i.e. as a (self-) identifier of "(speakers of) North Indian languages".The context being religious, Max Müller understood this to especially mean "the worshipers of the gods of the Brahmans". If this is seen from the point of view of the religious poets of the RigVedic hymns, an 'Aryan' was then a person who held the same religious convictions as the poet himself. This idea can then also be found in Iranian texts. This usage was simultaneously influenced by a word that appeared in classical sources (Latin and Greek Ἀριάνης Arianes, e.g. in Pliny 1.133 and Strabo 15.2.1-8), and recognized to be the same as that which appeared in living Iranian languages, where it was a (self-)identifier of the "(speakers of) Iranian languages
Iranian peoples
The Iranian peoples are an Indo-European ethnic-linguistic group, consisting of the speakers of Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family, as such forming a branch of Indo-European-speaking peoples...

". Accordingly, 'Aryan' came to refer to the languages of the Indo-Iranian language group
Indo-Iranian languages
The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It consists of three language groups: the Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Nuristani...

, and by extension, native speakers of those languages
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

.

19th century


In the 19th century, linguists still supposed that the age of a language determined its "superiority" (because it was assumed to have genealogical purity). Then, based on the assumption that Sanskrit was the oldest Indo-European language, instead of the Greek alphabet, and the (now known to be untenable){{Citation needed|date=January 2011}} position that Irish Éire
Éire
is the Irish name for the island of Ireland and the sovereign state of the same name.- Etymology :The modern Irish Éire evolved from the Old Irish word Ériu, which was the name of a Gaelic goddess. Ériu is generally believed to have been the matron goddess of Ireland, a goddess of sovereignty, or...

 was etymologically related to "Aryan", in 1837 Adolphe Pictet
Adolphe Pictet
Adolphe Pictet was a Swiss linguist, born in Geneva.Pictet is well-known for his research in the field of comparative linguistics. He was the cousin of the biologist Francois Jules Pictet.-Works:...

 popularized the idea that the term "Aryan" could also be applied to the entire Indo-European language family as well. Hence, European dictators, in an attempt to try to convince themselves that their people were also descendents of Sanksriti People of modern day India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afganastan, begin to call themselves "Aryans." The groundwork for this had been laid in 1808,

when Friedrich Schlegel, a German scholar who was an important early Indo-Europeanist
Indo-European studies
Indo-European studies is a field of linguistics dealing with Indo-European languages, both current and extinct. Its goal is to amass information about the hypothetical proto-language from which all of these languages are descended, a language dubbed Proto-Indo-European , and its speakers, the...

, came up with a theory that linked the Indo-Iranian words with the German word pie, 'honor', and older Germanic names containing the element ario-, such as the Swiss
Suebi
The Suebi or Suevi were a group of Germanic peoples who were first mentioned by Julius Caesar in connection with Ariovistus' campaign, c...

 [sic] warrior Ariovistus
Ariovistus
Ariovistus was a leader of the Suebi and other allied Germanic peoples in the second quarter of the 1st century BC. He and his followers took part in a war in Gaul, assisting the Arverni and Sequani to defeat their rivals the Aedui, after which they settled in large numbers in conquered Gallic...

 who was written about by Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 Schlegel theorized that far from being just a designation of the Indo-Iranians, the word *arya- had in fact been what the Indo-Europeans called themselves, meaning [according to Schlegel] something like 'the honorable people.' (This theory has since been called into question.)


Following this linguistic argument, in the 1850s Arthur de Gobineau
Arthur de Gobineau
Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau was a French aristocrat, novelist and man of letters who became famous for developing the theory of the Aryan master race in his book An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races...

 supposed that "Aryan" corresponded to the suggested prehistoric Indo-European culture (1853–1855, Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races). Further, de Gobineau believed that there were three basic races – white, yellow and black – and that everything else was caused by race miscegenation
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

, which de Gobineau argued was the cause of chaos. The "master race
Master race
Master race was a phrase and concept originating in the slave-holding Southern US. The later phrase Herrenvolk , interpreted as 'master race', was a concept in Nazi ideology in which the Nordic peoples, one of the branches of what in the late-19th and early-20th century was called the Aryan race,...

", according to de Gobineau, were the Northern European "Aryans", who had remained "racially pure". Southern Europeans (to include Spaniards and Southern Frenchmen), Eastern Europeans, North Africans, Middle Easterners, Iranians, Central Asians, Indians, he all considered racially mixed, degenerated through the miscegenation
Miscegenation
Miscegenation is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation....

, and thus less than ideal.

By the 1880s a number of linguists and anthropologists argued that the "Aryans" themselves had originated somewhere in northern Europe, which would imply that The Vedas and Hinduism started in Europe, a claim that reveals both ignorance and racism. A specific region began to crystallize when the linguist Karl Penka (Die Herkunft der Arier. Neue Beiträge zur historischen Anthropologie der europäischen Völker, 1886) popularized the idea that the "Aryans" had emerged in Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

  and could be identified by the distinctive Nordic characteristics of blond hair and blue eyes. The distinguished biologist Thomas Henry Huxley agreed with him, coining the term "Xanthochroi" to refer to fair-skinned Europeans (as opposed to darker Mediterranean peoples, who Huxley called "Melanochroi").



This "Nordic race" theory gained traction following the publication of Charles Morris
Charles Morris (American writer)
Charles Morris was an American journalist, novelist and author of popular historical textbooks.He was born in Chester, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel Pearson Morris and Margaret Burns. After studying locally he worked as a teacher in Chester, but in 1856 moved to Philadelphia where he became...

's The Aryan Race (1888), which argued that the "original Aryans" could be identified by their blond hair and other Nordic features, such as dolichocephaly
Cephalic index
Cephalic index is the ratio of the maximum width of the head multiplied by 100 divided by its maximum length ....

 (long skull). A similar rationale was followed by Georges Vacher de Lapouge
Georges Vacher de Lapouge
Georges Vacher de Lapouge was a French anthropologist and a theoretician of eugenics and racialism.- Biography :...

 in his book L'Aryen et son rôle social (1899, "The Aryan and his Social Role"), in which the French anthropologist argued that the "dolichocephalic-blond" peoples were natural leaders, destined to rule over more brachiocephalic (short-skulled) peoples. Archetypes of these short-skulled people, according to Vacher de Lapouge, were the Jews. To this idea of "races", Vacher de Lapouge espoused what he termed selectionism
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

, and which had two aims: first, achieving the annihilation of trade unionists, considered "degenerate"; second, the prevention of labour dissatisfaction through the creation of "types" of man, each "designed" for one specific task (See the novel Brave New World
Brave New World
Brave New World is Aldous Huxley's fifth novel, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 , the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of...

 for a fictional treatment of this idea).

Meanwhile, in India, the British colonial government
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 had followed de Gobineau's arguments along another line, and had fostered the idea of a superior "Aryan race" that co-opted the Indian caste system in favor of imperial interests. In its fully developed form, the British-mediated interpretation foresaw a segregation of Aryan and non-Aryan along the lines of caste, with the upper castes being "Aryan" and the lower ones being "non-Aryan". The European developments not only allowed the British to identify themselves as high-caste, but also allowed the Brahmans to view themselves as on-par with the British. Further, it provoked the reinterpretation of Indian history in racialist and, in opposition, Indian Nationalist terms, and – in following a special interpretation of Max Müller
Max Müller
Friedrich Max Müller , more regularly known as Max Müller, was a German philologist and Orientalist, one of the founders of the western academic field of Indian studies and the discipline of comparative religion...

's identification of "Aryan" as a national name – this gave rise recently among Hindu nationalists (the "Saffron Brigade") to the "indigenous Aryans
Indigenous Aryans
The notion of Indigenous Aryans posits that speakers of Indo-Aryan languages are "indigenous" to the Indian subcontinent.The "Indigenous Aryans" position may entail an Indian origin of Indo-European languages, and in recent years, the concept has been increasingly conflated with an "Out of India"...

" or so-called "Out of India" theory, disputed by many scholars in academia, which seeks an Indian origin of the Indo-European "Aryans".

In The Secret Doctrine
The Secret Doctrine
The Secret Doctrine, the Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy, a book originally published as two volumes in 1888, is Helena P. Blavatsky's magnum opus. The first volume is named Cosmogenesis, the second Anthropogenesis...

(1888), Helena Petrovna Blavatsky described the "Aryan root race" as the fifth of seven "Root race
Root race
Root Races are stages in human evolution in the esoteric cosmology of theosophist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, as described in her book The Secret Doctrine . These races were said to have existed on now-lost continents. Blavatsky's model was developed by later theosophists, most notably William...

s", dating their soul
Soul
A soul in certain spiritual, philosophical, and psychological traditions is the incorporeal essence of a person or living thing or object. Many philosophical and spiritual systems teach that humans have souls, and others teach that all living things and even inanimate objects have souls. The...

s as having begun to incarnate
Reincarnation
Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

 about a million years ago in Atlantis
Atlantis
Atlantis is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written about 360 BC....

. The Semites were a subdivision of the Aryan root race. "The occult doctrine admits of no such divisions as the Aryan and the Semite, ... The Semites, especially the Arabs, are later Aryans — degenerate in spirituality and perfected in materiality. To these belong all the Jews and the Arabs." The Jews, according to Blavatsky, were a "tribe descended from the Tchandalas
Chandala
Chandala is a Sanskrit word for someone who deals with disposal of corpses, and is a Hindu lower caste, formerly considered untouchables. Currently it is a term used specifically in Indo-Aryan speaking regions of India. Sandala has become a swear word in the colloquial usage of the Tamil language...

 of India, the outcasts
Dalit
Dalit is a designation for a group of people traditionally regarded as Untouchable. Dalits are a mixed population, consisting of numerous castes from all over South Asia; they speak a variety of languages and practice a multitude of religions...

" as they were born of Abraham, which she believed to be a corruption of a word meaning "No Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

".

The name for the Sassanian Empire in Middle Persian
Middle Persian
Middle Persian , indigenously known as "Pârsig" sometimes referred to as Pahlavi or Pehlevi, is the Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that during Sassanid times became a prestige dialect and so came to be spoken in other regions as well. Middle Persian is classified as a...

 is Eran Shahr which means Aryan Empire. In the aftermath of the Islamic conquest in Iran, racialist rhetoric became a literary idiom during the 7th century, i.e., when the Arabs became the primary "Other
Other
The Other or Constitutive Other is a key concept in continental philosophy; it opposes the Same. The Other refers, or attempts to refer, to that which is Other than the initial concept being considered...

" – the anaryas
Aniran
Anīrān or Anērān is an ethno-linguistic term that signifies "non-Iranian" or "non-Iran." Thus, in a general sense, 'Aniran' signifies lands where Iranian languages are not spoken...

 – and the antithesis of everything Iranian (i.e. Aryan) and Zoroastrian. But "the antecedents of [present-day] Iranian ultra-nationalism can be traced back to the writings of late nineteenth-century figures such as Mirza Fatali Akhundov
Mirza Fatali Akhundov
Mirza Fatali Akhundov , former – Akhundzade , was a celebrated Azerbaijani author, playwright, philosopher, and founder of modern literary criticism, "who acquired fame primarily as the writer of European-inspired plays in the Azeri language"...

 and Mirza Aqa Khan Kermani
Mirza Aqa Khan Kermani
Mirza Aqa Khan Kermani was an Iranian literary critic.Kirmānī emphasized "that it is meaning, not the mode of expression, that exerts the real influence on the reader," and thus discouraged the "destruction of the natural clarity of language .....

. Demonstrating affinity with Orientalist views of the supremacy of the Aryan peoples
Aryan race
The Aryan race is a concept historically influential in Western culture in the period of the late 19th century and early 20th century. It derives from the idea that the original speakers of the Indo-European languages and their descendants up to the present day constitute a distinctive race or...

and the mediocrity of the Semitic peoples, Iranian nationalist discourse idealized pre-Islamic [Achaemenid and Sassanid] empires, whilst negating the 'Islamization' of Persia by Muslim forces." In the 20th century, different aspects of this idealization of a distant past would be instrumentalized by both the Pahlavi monarchy
Pahlavi dynasty
The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty consisted of two Iranian/Persian monarchs, father and son Reza Shah Pahlavi (reg. 1925–1941) and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi The Pahlavi dynasty ...

 (In 1967, Iran's Pahlavi dynasty
Dynasty
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers considered members of the same family. Historians traditionally consider many sovereign states' history within a framework of successive dynasties, e.g., China, Ancient Egypt and the Persian Empire...

 [overthrown in the 1979 Iranian Revolution] added the title Āryāmehr
Aryamehr
Aryamehr was the title used in the Pahlavi dynasty by Shahanshah Mohammad Reza Shah of Iran. It means Light of the Aryans.-History:It was granted as a secondary title by a session of the joint Houses of Parliament 1965 September 15, to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, reigning since...

 Light of the Aryans to the other styles of the Iranian monarch
Iranian monarchy
Iranian monarchy may refer to:*pre-Islamic Iran**2700 BC – 519 BC Elamite Empire**715 BC – 549 BC Median Empire**558 BC – 330 BC Achaemenid dynasty**247 BC – 224 AD Arsacid dynasty **224 AD – 651 AD Sassanian dynasty*Islamic Iran...

, the Shah of Iran being already known at that time as the Shah
Shah
Shāh is the title of the ruler of certain Southwest Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia , and derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".-History:...

anshah (King of Kings)), and by the Islamic republic
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 that followed it; the Pahlavis used it as a foundation for anticlerical monarchism, and the clerics used it to exalt Iranian values vis-á-vis westernization.

20th century



In the United States, the best-selling 1907 book Race Life of the Aryan Peoples
Race Life of the Aryan Peoples
Race Life of the Aryan Peoples is a book written by Joseph Pomeroy Widney, published in New York by Funk & Wagnells in 1907, of the history of the Aryan race, a hypothesized race commonly described in the late 19th and early 20th century as consisting of native Indo-European Language-speaking...

by Joseph Pomeroy Widney
Joseph Pomeroy Widney
Joseph Pomeroy Widney, M.D. D.D. LL.D was a polymathic pioneer American physician, clergyman, entrepreneur-philanthropist, proto-environmentalist, prohibitionist, racial theorist, and prolific author....

 consolidated in the popular mind the idea that the word "Aryan" is the proper identification for "all Indo-Europeans", and that "Aryan Americans" of the "Aryan race" are destined to fulfill America's manifest destiny
Manifest Destiny
Manifest Destiny was the 19th century American belief that the United States was destined to expand across the continent. It was used by Democrat-Republicans in the 1840s to justify the war with Mexico; the concept was denounced by Whigs, and fell into disuse after the mid-19th century.Advocates of...

 to form an American Empire.

Back in Europe, in a summary of the status-quo, Hermann Hirt
Hermann Hirt
Hermann Hirt was German philologist and Indo-Europeanist.- Biography :Hirt wrote on German metres , edited Schopenhauer's Parerga , and then devoting himself to Indo-Germanic philology made special studies on accent, writing Der indogermanische Accent and Der...

 (1905, Die Indogermanen - Hirt consistently used Indogermanen, not Arier, to refer to the Indo-Europeans) asserted that there was no longer any question that the plains of northern Germany were the Urheimat
Urheimat
Urheimat is a linguistic term denoting the original homeland of the speakers of a proto-language...

(p. 197) of the Indo-European languages, and he connected the "blond type" (p. 192) with the core population of the early, "pure" Indo-Europeans. The identification of the Indo-Europeans with the north German Corded Ware culture bolstered this position. First proposed by Gustaf Kossinna
Gustaf Kossinna
Gustaf Kossinna was a linguist and professor of German archaeology at the University of Berlin...

 in 1902, it gained currency over the following two decades, until Vere Gordon Childe
Vere Gordon Childe
Vere Gordon Childe , better known as V. Gordon Childe, was an Australian archaeologist and philologist who specialised in the study of European prehistory. A vocal socialist, Childe accepted the socio-economic theory of Marxism and was an early proponent of Marxist archaeology...

  concluded that "the Nordics' superiority in physique fitted them to be the vehicles of a superior language" (1926, The Aryans: a study of Indo-European origins).

Gordon Childe would later regret having expressed that idea, but the depiction as possessors of a "superior language" became a matter of national pride in learned circles of Germany. Against the background of the lost World War I (portrayed to have been lost because Germany had been betrayed from within – miscegenation was at fault, more evidence for which was seen in the "corruption" represented by socialist trade unionists and other "degenerates"), Alfred Rosenberg
Alfred Rosenberg
' was an early and intellectually influential member of the Nazi Party. Rosenberg was first introduced to Adolf Hitler by Dietrich Eckart; he later held several important posts in the Nazi government...

 asserted that there was a "racial threat" to Germany's homogeneous "Aryan-Nordic" (arisch-nordisch) or "Nordic-Atlantean" (nordisch-atlantisch, cf. Blavatsky above) civilization. In Rosenberg's view, the "racial threat" was "Jewish–Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 race" (jüdisch-semitisch Rasse). Where Germany's homogeneous people were a "master race
Master race
Master race was a phrase and concept originating in the slave-holding Southern US. The later phrase Herrenvolk , interpreted as 'master race', was a concept in Nazi ideology in which the Nordic peoples, one of the branches of what in the late-19th and early-20th century was called the Aryan race,...

" capable of, or with an interest in, creating and maintaining culture, other "races" were merely capable of conversion, or destruction of culture.

Rosenberg – one of the principal architects of Nazi ideological creed – argued for a new "religion of the blood
Blood and soil
Blood and Soil refers to an ideology that focuses on ethnicity based on two factors, descent and homeland/Heimat...

", based on the supposed innate promptings of the Nordic soul to defend its "noble" character against racial and cultural degeneration. Under Rosenberg, the theories of Arthur de Gobineau, Georges Vacher de Lapouge, Blavatsky, Houston Stewart Chamberlain
Houston Stewart Chamberlain
Houston Stewart Chamberlain was a British-born German author of books on political philosophy, natural science and the German composer Richard Wagner. He later became a German citizen. Chamberlain married Wagner's daughter, Eva, some years after Wagner's death...

, Madison Grant
Madison Grant
Madison Grant was an American lawyer, historian and physical anthropologist, known primarily for his work as a eugenicist and conservationist...

, and those of Hitler ("the exact opposite of the Aryan is the Jew") all culminated in Nazi Germany's race policies
Racial policy of Nazi Germany
The racial policy of Nazi Germany was a set of policies and laws implemented by Nazi Germany, asserting the superiority of the "Aryan race", and based on a specific racist doctrine which claimed scientific legitimacy...

 and the "Aryanization
Aryanization
Aryanization is a term coined during Nazism referring to the forced expulsion of so-called "non-Aryans", mainly Jews, from business life in Nazi Germany and the territories it controlled....

" decrees of the 1920s, 1930s, and early 1940s. In its "apalling medical model", the annihilation of the "racially inferior" Untermensch
Untermensch
Untermensch is a term that became infamous when the Nazi racial ideology used it to describe "inferior people", especially "the masses from the East," that is Jews, Gypsies, Poles along with other Slavic people like the Russians, Serbs, Belarussians and Ukrainians...

en
was sanctified as the excision of a diseased organ in an otherwise healthy body, which led to the Holocaust.


By the end of World War II, the word "Aryan" among a number of people had lost its Romantic or idealist connotations and was associated by many with Nazi racism instead.
By then, the term "Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranians
Indo-Iranian peoples are a linguistic group consisting of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples; that is, speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, a major branch of the Indo-European language family....

" and "Indo-European
Indo-European
Indo-European may refer to:* Indo-European languages** Aryan race, a 19th century and early 20th century term for those peoples who are the native speakers of Indo-European languages...

" had made most uses of the term "Aryan" superfluous in the eyes of a number of scholars, and "Aryan" now survives in most scholarly usage only in the term "Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryan refers to:* Indo-Aryan languages* Indo-Aryan migration, a supposition that holds that the Indo-Aryans migrated to India.* Indigenous Aryans, a theory that holds that the Indo-Aryans are native to India....

" to indicate (speakers of) North Indian languages. It has been asserted by one scholar that Indo-Aryan and Aryan may not be equated and that such an equation is not supported by the historical evidence, though this extreme viewpoint is not widespread.

The use of the term to designate speakers of all Indo-European languages in scholarly usage is now regarded by some scholars as an "aberration to be avoided." However, some authors writing for popular consumption have continued using the word "Aryan" for "all Indo-Europeans" in the tradition of H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells
Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

, such as the science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 author Poul Anderson
Poul Anderson
Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories...

, and scientists writing for the popular media, such as Colin Renfrew. Notions of the "Aryan race" as an elite group that is regarded as being superior to other races only survive in extreme right nationalist contexts, such as Neo-Nazism
Neo-Nazism
Neo-Nazism consists of post-World War II social or political movements seeking to revive Nazism or some variant thereof.The term neo-Nazism can also refer to the ideology of these movements....

 and Iranian nationalism
Iranian nationalism
Iranian nationalism refers to nationalism among the people of Iran and individuals whose national identity is Iranian. Iranian nationalism consists of political and social movements and sentiments prompted by a love for Iranian culture, language and history, and a sense of pride in Iran and...

. Echoes of "the 19th century prejudice about 'northern' Aryans who were confronted on Indian soil with black barbarians [...] can still be heard in some modern studies." In a socio-political context, the idea of a white, European Aryan race that includes only people of the Western and not the Eastern branch of the Indo-European peoples is entertained by certain circles, usually representing white nationalists or national anarchist
National-Anarchism
National-Anarchism is a radical, anti-capitalist, anti-statist, right-wing political and cultural ideology which emphasizes ethnic tribalism. As a prelude to an anticipated racial civil war and a collapse of the capitalist system, National-Anarchists seek to establish autonomous villages for...

s (extreme right-wing anarchists who believe that anarchist societies should be organized along ethnic
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 lines) who call for the stemming of migrations of Muslims from Turkey, the Middle East and Africa into Europe and limiting illegal immigration
Illegal immigration
Illegal immigration is the migration into a nation in violation of the immigration laws of that jurisdiction. Illegal immigration raises many political, economical and social issues and has become a source of major controversy in developed countries and the more successful developing countries.In...

 by Mexicans into the United States. These people feel that excessive immigration by non-white people
White people
White people is a term which usually refers to human beings characterized, at least in part, by the light pigmentation of their skin...

 is an unwelcome encroachment into what they regard as the Aryan homeland
Homeland
A homeland is the concept of the place to which an ethnic group holds a long history and a deep cultural association with —the country in which a particular national identity began. As a common noun, it simply connotes the country of one's origin...

of Europe, Asian Russia, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Anglo-America
Anglo-America
Anglo-America is a region in the Americas in which English is a main language, or one which has significant British historical, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural links...

, Southern South America, Australia, and New Zealand. They argue that a large intrusion of immigrants can lead to ethnic conflicts such as the 2005 Cronulla riots
2005 Cronulla riots
The 2005 Cronulla riots were a series of sectarian clashes and mob violence originating in Cronulla, New South Wales and spreading, over the next few nights, to additional Sydney suburbs....

 in Australia and the 2005 civil unrest in France
2005 civil unrest in France
The 2005 civil unrest in France of October and November was a series of riots by mostly Muslim North African youths in Paris and other French cities, involving mainly the burning of cars and public buildings at night starting on 27 October 2005 in Clichy-sous-Bois...

.