Story or History of writing'/Part:19

Undoubtedly, one of the most important developments of humankind has been writing, but often people are unaware of how long and complicated this path has been. At school teachers do not explain to students the way writing began. Instead, they present writing as something which has always existed. In this way, teachers lose the opportunity to describe a charming history which could enchant children and increase their desire to learn this ancient and refined technique of expression and communication. Not only children, but also many adults take writing for granted and they do not think about the complex process that brought it into existence. But they happily belief that all was given by or created by god including writing?. Literary evidences from dharma Sastra, for example, Narada smṛti  gives an important note on writing as:

 नाकरिष्यद्यदि ब्रह्मा लिखितं चक्षुरुत्तमम्। तत्रेयमस्य लोकस्य नाभविष्यच्छुभा गतिः।। नारदस्मृतिः, 4.70. nākariṣyadyadi brahmā likhitaṁ cakṣuruttamam|. tatreyamasya lokasya nābhaviṣyacchubhā gatiḥ|| nāradasmṛtiḥ, 4.70.

If Brahma weren't create the beautiful letters, then the working style of the world would not be smooth .Thus the smrti claims that the letters were created by Brahma. Vyavahara Prakashika [Vyavahara means 'legal proceeding'] too gives the same reference. It says :Since in six months, men got confused, Brahma, created the script and the same was written on leaves. So, most of the teachers, teach students these kind of stories and put full stop for searching the real history of writing? 

Languages and scripts are not the equivalent things. Languages are spoken and every language may have subgroups, like dialects. Nowadays the writing system is known as the script. One language can be written in various scripts, and one script can be used to write various languages. The origins of language in particular can be complex to trace because language mostly needs no physical medium. Scripts have physical evidence to back them up. Regarding Brahmi scriptExperts say that Brahmi script is one of ancient script origin of many writing system, and also written on the pillars of Ashoka. There are several opinion about the origin of brahmi script.  As some says its originate in Northwest Asia others says south but at last all had agreed that from its roots are from India. Regarding the name of  Brahmi, Some say that ,Jain mythology which describes that the first Tirthankara Rishabhdev who bring the civilization to humanity, had two daughters Brahmi and Sundari. Brahmi invented the scripts. and so this scripts is called  Brahmi scripts , But others say that, they consider Brahma is the father of the script and as such this most ancient script was named as Brahmi script. 

But, In real, It was invented by man. At the beginning, to indicate something people used its
picture or a conventional sign. Then they moved on to a phonetic writing system based on the mechanism of the rebus, then they went to a syllabic writing and only at the end did they arrive at alphabetic writing.

For example,Word-signs (one sign for each word) first developed from pictures. It was then discovered that a word-sign could also be used to represent any other word with the same sound but having a different meaning. Such sets of words are known as homophones (as in English can (noun), 'a container' and can (verb), 'to be able to'.). Thus a sign which is pictorially easier to draw can be used to represent another word with the same sound, but the meaning of which cannot be depicted by pictures as, for example, abstract nouns, grammatical particles and proper names. This technique, employed in all ancient logo-syllabic scripts, is known as rebus writing (from Latin rebus, 'by means of things')

[Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]

Part:20 will follow


  1. Tirthankar Rushabdev or Adinath was a human only. Not a mythological character like most Hindu gods & goddesses.

    Infact in his period the civilisation was advanced. He divided the society into 4 based on skills, was a non-discriminating society. His daughters were Brahmi and Sundari. 2 of his 100 sons were Bahubali & Bharat. Bharat raja became the Chakravarti, based on whom our country was called Bharat. These mentions are found in old Jain literature. Infact recently I got to know that Dravid was one of his sons too, yet to confirm sources. If people believe in Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu etc without proper evidence, even when no religion called Hindu ever existed, no harm in believing this. Going by it, infact a lot of history can be well understood logically. Scientists & historians should consider this. Since years, Jain works are used for scientific study in all areas, esp in countries like Germany, USA etc.