vnI] MIEDIAE VAL IISTOR Y OF N. INVDIA 305
to Muttra, and Parthians ruled in Gujarat and on the lower Aryans in
Indus. When these foreigners were becoming assimilated to the West.
the indigenous populations, the White Huns came and threw
everything into confusion. Yasodharman had defeated them,
and his successors for a time maintained a doubtful supremacy;
but the conquests of Harshavardhana were the last efforts of
the ancient regime. Thus the Aryan element, submerged in
the East and overthrown on the West, was chiefly confined to
the Doab and the Eastern Punjab, the only parts of Northern
India which still retained stability and a dense population.
The tribes now dominant, whether aboriginal or foreign, were Character
often very large, and their settlements were scattered over .ad civil-
a wide extent of country. Nor were they without a certain the non-
amount of civilization. Ruins of their numerous forts are still Aryan
extant. But they were split up into innumerable small com- ties.
munities, which were continually warring with each other, and
their ways were abhorrent to the true Aryan. They were
a valiant, jovial, witless, and drunken people. On the rare
occasions when they did unite they could be very formidable.
They were at once the allies, the saviours, and the victims of
the Rijputs; they repeatedly defeated Muhammadan armies;
and they were neither completely absorbed nor subdued until
the sixteenth century. But they were unable to establish any
political cohesion. The GCjars alone, a pastoral tribe of
Scythic origin, founded several petty states in the Punjab,
Central RAjputAna, and Gujarat; but, with a single exception,
none of these survived the tenth century.
The absorption and assimilation of these aboriginal or Neo-
foreign masses within the Hindu fold was the task of Neo- Hinduism.
Hinduism, a task mainly accomplished between the seventh
and eleventh centuries A. D.: and it was so thoroughly done that
we now find throughout Northern India a Hindu population
fairly homogeneous in blood, culture, and religion, and differ-
ing markedly from the degraded tribes that still haunt the out-
skirts of civilization. The transition was effected by a threefold
movement: religious, social, and political.
The religious movement consisted in the substitution of the
popular and non-Aryan cults for the Vedic or Aryan.
(a) The Vedic religion had always been the exclusive posses- The
sion of the Aryan tribes, and to communicate a knowledge of religious
the Vedas to outsiders was a sin. On the other hand, from
immemorial times Siva and Krishna had been the popular
deities of the Dravidians. By a process which we cannot now
fully trace, Siva (whom the Greeks, although not always quite
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