Extend your shelter to us and to our cows and horses."
- Rig Veda
It was around 5,000 B.C., give or take a millennium, that the many tribes of prosperous Caucasian nomads who loosely inhabited the Danube River Valley of Eastern Europe coalesced into a single, identifiable people. Unified by the attractive force of a common language, known today as Proto-Indo-European, and solidified by a common aggressiveness (if not hostility) towards outsiders, these semi-civilized people had bred their way out of the stone age into an astonishing era of organized warfare and civil advancement. They were mostly tall and blonde, and such genetic differences as there were between them and the smaller, darker, Mediterranean peoples they encountered were amplified by diet. For, aside from some farming and fishing, they tended huge herds of cattle and sheep and had all the milk and meat necessary to maintain height and strength. Their animals, at once the cause of their mobility and the provision for it, yielded wool and leather for cold weather clothing and shoes and, as they constantly moved to greener pastures, furnished them with transportation in the form of litter, sled and cart-pulling oxen.
Their greatest art - perhaps their only one - was their language. They loved to sit around fires under the stars and, enlivened by honey beer, tell and listen to wonderful stories of love, adventure and war. Marvelous poems were gracefully carved out of their splendid language; and so great was their appreciation of the glorious lines that frequently they blinded the bards who memorized them to keep the fellows from straying out of earshot.
As their population increased, so did their requirements for land. They fanned out taking their cattle, sheep and language with them. Too powerful to be stopped, they simply went wherever they wanted to go; and they brought to their relations with other men that same refinement of taste and delicacy of feeling that would characterize their Viking descendants. Whenever they encountered a superior civilization, which was usually always the case, they hacked it to pieces. No sweet-lipped vegetarians, they were meat eaters and killing came as naturally to them as a smile.
The Seventh World of Chan Buddhism
Chapter 1: India, Page 1 of 15
Last modified: July 11, 2004
©1996 Ming Zhen Shakya (Chuan Yuan Shakya)