Saturday, 8 April 2017


Ladoga is a freshwater lake located in northwestern Russia just outside the outskirts of Saint Petersburg. It is the largest lake in Europe and is fed by a river named Ladoga (also known as Volkhov) from which the lake gets its name. The only river that flows out of the lake is the Neva, and despite its modest length (74 km) it is the fourth largest river in Europe in terms of average discharge after the Volga, the Danube and the Rhine.

The Neva River gets its name from Indo-European
or Sanskritic 'nava' (नव) or new.

In one of his papers published posthumously in Studia Etymologica Cracoviensia, author Eugene Helimski deals with the etymologies of the names Ladoga and Neva. He states that the river Neva, which was formed about 3000 years ago got its name from an Indo-European-speaking population who observed the birth of the ‘New’river. (Quoted from Juha Janhunen's Some Additional Notes on the Macrohydronyms of the Ladoga Region). Neva is the same as the Sanskritic 'nava' (नव), with the same meaning.

A Swedish fortress called Nyenskan stood at the mouth of the Neva river in Swedish Ingria, on the site of present St. Petersburg, Russia. Cities that stand on fort-sites in Europe often have names that end with the suffix -burg, said to be a variation of the Sanskrit 'durg' (दुर्ग) or fort. 

In the same research paper Juha Janhunen, Professor of East Asian Studies at University of Helsinki states, "The etymology of Neva is potentially important in that it shows that the historical presence of the Finnic branch of Uralic on both sides of the Gulf of Finland is secondary to an earlier Indo-European expansion to the region....This conclusion is confirmed by the well-known fact that the entire marine terminology of the Finnic languages is of an Indo-European origin. In some cases, as in that of the very word for ‘sea’, Finnic *meri : *mere- : *mer-, the exact identification of the Indo-European source language is controversial." 'Meri' is the same as the Sanskrit 'mir' (मीर) meaning 'sea'.

Juha Janhunen further states that Helimski’s proposal of a Scandinavian etymology for Ladoga is problematic. Although it is clear that its modern name Laatokka is based on Russian, it is far less obvious whether the Russian name can really be derived from Scandinavian *Ald-aug-ja ‘Old Eye(d)’ - which would have been the name of Ladoga had it been derived from Scandanivian languages. Besides 'Old-Eyes' is not a convincing name for a lake or a river.

It might be added here that of all the Indo- European languages, Sanskrit is the oldest and best decodes the names of ancient sites and rivers and mountains of Europe. Here is a look at some of the names mentioned above through the Sanskrit lens. First an observation: 

Many river names in Russia end with the suffix -ga, much like the Ganga of India. River names in Russia include Volga, Pinega and Onega. The ancient names of Volga include Jilga and Julga.

Roman Jakobson, Russian linguist and literary theorist, quoted Nikolai Trubetzkoy's research thus, "In primitive eastern Slavic, un-rounded front vowels changed into rounded back vowels before a tauto-syllabic 'l', so that 'jilga' must have changed tojulga; the initial j was lost before rounded vowels in eastern Slavic, and the initial u acquired an obligatory prothetic 'v'. Thus the form 'vulga' arose, and short 'u' changed in the 12th–-13th centuries into 'o'. So through a long series of changes Jilga became Volga". 
Nikolai Trubetzkoy was a Russian linguist and historian whose teachings formed a nucleus of the Prague School of structural linguistics.

Here is the actual quote from Ramon Jakabson's 'The Balts- Ancient Peoples & Places':
' 205 Notes CHAPTER I 1 Tacitus (90), XLV. 2 Orosius (87). 3 Adam of Bremen (82), 199. 4 G. Gerullis, Die altpreussischen Ortsnamen, Berlin-Leipzig, 1922; A Salys, “Prūsai,” Lietuvių Enciklopedija, XXIV (Boston), pp. 146-57. 5 L. Kilian, “Baltische Ortsnamen westlich der Weichsel,” Altpreussen, IV, 3 (1939), pp. 67-68; H. Krahe, “Baltische Ortsnamen westlich der Weichsel?,” Altpreussen, 1943: I, pp. 11-12. 6 V. N. Toporov, “Dve zametki iz oblasti baltijskoj tomonimii,” Rakstu krājums veltījums audd. J Endzelīnam, Riga, 1959, pp. 251-66. 7 A. Kamiński, Jaćwieź, Terytorium, ludnosć, stosunki gospodarcze i spoleczne (Jatvingia. Territory, population, economy and social structure), Ĺódź, Societas Scientiarum Lodziensis, sectio II, No. 14, 1953. 8 Polnoe sobranie russkikh letopisej, I, 1, Petersburg, 1908. 9 Būga (1). 10 Vasmer (6). 11 The etymology of Volga as proposed by the linguist Trubetzkoy — in his lectures at the University of Vienna — was as follows: in primitive eastern Slavic, unrounded front vowels changed into rounded back vowels before a tauto-syllabic l, so that jilga must have changed to julga; the initial j was lost before rounded vowels in eastern Slavic, and the initial u acquired an obligatory prothetic v. Thus the form vulga arose, and short u changed in the 12th-13th centuries into o. So through a long series of changes Jilga became Volga. (Oral information by Roman Jakobson.) 12 Thomsen (4) 13 B. A. Serebrennikov, “O nekotorykh sledakh izcheznuvshego indoevropejskogo jazyka v centre Evropejskoj chasti SSSR, blizkogo k baltijskim jazykam” (Traces of an extinct Indo- European language related to the Baltic in the centre of the European part of the USSR), Lietuvių Mokslų Akademijos Darbai (Trudy AN Litovskoj SSR), serija A, vyp. 1 (2), Vilnius, 1957. 14 M. Vasmer, “Die alten Bevölkerungsverhältnisse Russlands im Lichte der Sprachforschung,” Vorträge and Schriften der Preussischen Akademie, No. 5, 1941. ' IN

It is more likely that the original name of Volga was 'Julga' rather than 'jilga' if one were to look at the name through the Sanskrit lens. 'Jala' (जल) is 'water', both in Sanskrit and in Hindi. The suffix 'ga' () means 'going' or 'moving'. Hence 'Julga' means 'moving water'. 

Once the -ga suffix is explained one may look at the prefix Lado. La (ला) has the meaning of 'begin' or 'undertake'. 'Uda' (उद), Udra (उद्र) and 'daka' (दक) all mean 'water'.

The older Finnish name of Ladoga was Nevajarvi, jarvi is lake in Finnish, while 'jhari' (झरी) is Sanskrit for 'river'. The Finnish 'joki' or river may be a variation of 'jhari' where the 'r' changes to 'k'.

Juha Janhunen observes that several macrohydronyms in different parts of Scandinavia cannot be explained from any known language. In th
e Ladoga region an example of such a hydronym is the name of Lake Saimaa (Finnish Saimaa, Swedish Saima or Saimen), the largest lake of today’s Finland. But Sanskrit does. Saimma or Sahima (सहिम) means 'with snow' or 'with ice'.

The river draining Saimaa into Ladoga has the name Vuoksi or Swedish Vuoksen which is the same as Sanskrit 'vakshan' (वक्षण) meaning 'river'.

The etymology of Volkov, another name of Ladoga, is unknown, but since 'v' and b' are often used interchangeably in Sanskrit derived languages, Vokhov changes to Balkhov. Bolkhov and Baltic may have the same root and maybe a variation of the Sanskrit 'balaksh' (बलक्ष) meaning 'white' which is one of the interpretations of the name 'Baltic' as made by western linguists.

Suggested Link:

Saturday, 25 March 2017


Romuva or Romowe was a pagan temple in western part of Sambia, one of the regions of pagan Prussia. The temple, central to Prussian mythology, was mentioned once by Peter von Dusburg (a Priest Brother and Chronicler from 14th century) in 1326. According to his account, Kriwe, the chief priest or the "pagan pope", lived at Romuva and ruled over the religion of all the Balts. The Lithuanian neo-pagan movement Romuva borrowed its name from the temple. 

A bit about the etymology of the names mentioned above.The terms Romuva, Romovė and Ruomuva are said to have come from medieval written sources in East Prussia mentioning the pagan Baltic temple Romowe. The word has meanings of 'temple' and 'sanctuary', but, further, also 'abode of inner peace'.The Baltic root ram-/rām-, has the meaning of 'calm, serene, quiet', stemming from the Proto-Indo-European *(e)remǝ-. But that surely is the same as the Sanskrit Sanskrit root-word 'ram' (रम्) which means 'pleasing' or 'delightful'. Besides Sanskrit offers a scriptural collateral that no other culture or language does. Rama of course is the name of the Vedic Indian God-king. The 'pagan priest' of Romowe who was known as the Kriwe, also most likely the same as the Sanskrit 'kartr' (कर्तृ) or 'priest'.

In their book 'Religious Diversity in Post-Soviet Society edited by Ingo W Schröder and Dr Milda Alisauskiene, the authors make this comment about the Romuvan movement, "... there is one particular dimension of this Pagan movement that transcends strictly Lithuanian or Baltic cultural framework. There is a certain connection with Indian religion and culture that functions on several different levels of significance...".

Lithuanian rivers have names which have obvious Sanskrit links. Even if these names have Proto-Indo-European links, Sanskrit is the only living language that can decode the meaning of these names.

For example, the river Instruch is known as Inster to the Lithuanians but Srutis to the Polish. Srutis is the same as the Sanskrit 'sruti' (स्रुति) or 'stream, outflow. Then there is the Neman, also called the Nemuna or Nemunas- which is the longest river in Lithuania

The etymology of the name is much disputed: some say that 'Nemunas' is an old word meaning 'a damp place',while others that it is 'mute, soundless river' (from nemti, nėmti 'to become silent', also memelis, mimelis, mėmė 'mumber, gawk'). But to anyone with some idea about the link between Indian and Lithuanian culture, it is obvious that Nemuna represents on the Lithuanian geography none other than the river Yamuna. This is not a surprise considering that the name Yamuna also occurs in various avatars in place names of ancient cultures - such as the town of Jamnia on river Jamnia that flows into the Jamnia Harbour in the land of Canaan (ancient Israel). 

The Nemunas is the largest river in Lithuania
Its name is a variation of Yamuna.
On it banks lie towns with Sanskritic names such as
Punia, Karmelava, Ramuciai, Dainava! 
The Nemuna in its lower reaches forms the border between Lithuania and Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast. There is no real known reason why Kaliningrad is known by that name, but once again those familiar with Indian scriptures know that Yamuna, the river on the backdrop of which Sri Krishna's life unfolds, is also known as Kalindi. 

The second longest river in Lithuania is Neris, 'nira' (नीर) is 'water' in Sanskrit.  Old and new town names in Lithunia reveal their direct and indirect links to Vedic culture and the Sanskrit language. An ancient town which was referred to as Mitau up until 1917 was given the name Jelgava, which the Lithuanian believe to be derived from the Livonian word 'jalgab' meaning 'town on the river.' But 'Jalgram is Sanskrit for 'town on the river' - 'jalgab' is obviously its variation. 

Yet another river is known as the Jagla. Jagla  seems to be a variation of Jilga or Jalga. Jilga or Jalga was the ancient name of the river Volga. The etymology of Volga as proposed by the linguist Trubetzkoy — in his lectures at the University of Vienna — was as follows: "In primitive eastern Slavic, unrounded front vowels changed into rounded back vowels before a tauto-syllabic l, so that jilga must have changed to julga; the initial j was lost before rounded vowels in eastern Slavic, and the initial u acquired an obligatory prothetic v. Thus the form vulga arose, and short u changed in the 12th-13th centuries into o. So through a long series of changes Jilga became Volga." Julga, the most ancient form of the name of Volga- is Sanskrit. Jula or Jala is water, ga - that which flows. Like the Ganga - which means 'swift flowing'. There is also a town by the name Gelgaudiskis just south of the river Nemuna!!

Then there are in Lithuania towns by the
name Trikai, Kursenai, Radhikiai and Varena - which seem to be variations of the names of Trikal, Krishna, Radha and Varuna. Much like the Vedic culture, the Romuvan festivals include the celebration of the winter and summer solstices.

It is suggested that name of Baltic Sea into which the Nemunas falls on the west coast of Lithuania originates from the Proto-Indo-European root *bhel meaning white, fair which is the same as Sanskrit 'balaksh' (बलक्ष) or white. The Baltic Sea was known as Mare Suebicum or Mare Sarmaticum up until 11th century. Tacitus, a Roman historian of the 1st century, in his work 'Agricola and Germania', dated to 98 AD, stated that Mare Suebicum was named for the Suebi or Suevi tribe (Suevi translates as 'our own people' in the Baltic culture) - a large group of people who lived in Germania that were first mentioned by Julius Caesar. Etymologists trace the name Suevi from the Indo-European root 'swe', which is the same as the Sanskrit 'sva' (स्व) meaning 'self'.

Thursday, 2 March 2017


Mexico, today officially known as the United Mexican States, was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations in the pre-Colombian era before its first contact with Europeans in the early 1500s. In Nahuatl, the native language of the Mexicans, Mēxihco or Machico - was a term used to refer to the heartland of the Aztec Empire, namely, the Valley of Mexico. Its capital was known as Tenochitilan. 

There is much debate on the etymology of the name Mexico and Tenochitilan. It has been suggested that Mexico is derived from Mextli or Mēxihtli, a secret name for the god of war Huitzilopochtli. The name Tenochtitlan was thought to come from Nahuatl 'tetl' (rock) and 'nōchtli' (prickly pear) and is often thought to mean 'among the prickly pears growing among rocks'. However, one attestation in the late 16th-century manuscript known as 'the Bancroft dialogues' questioned the logic here, so that the true etymology of both the words remains uncertain.

Mainstream historians ignore the theory p
ropounded by many other scholars who are of the view that there is a definite connect to the etymology of Mexico with Sanskrit. The basis for this is the many common features and attributes in the culture, the remains of Aztec architecture and languages spoken by pre-Colombian natives of the Aztec empire to that of some of the ancient cultures of Asia.

In the Asiatic Society
 Researches, Volume 11, published in 1808, Major F. Wilford states in his paper 'An Essay on the Sacred Isles in the West', "....various etymologies are given of the name of the city of Mexico, the true pronunciation of which is Machico. The most probable is from the Sanscrit Matsya, or Mach'ha, fish; and, in a derivative form, Matssyacha, and Mach'hica. This word, in the Machico language, is pronounced Mecho, and Mechoa. According to the learned Abbe Clavigero, a native of that country, the name of the town and province of Mechoacan, signifies the place of fish. In Hindi, Mach'hi-c''han'a implies the same, and Mach'hwa-c'hana, a place of fishermen, or Mechoa-can...In the Mexican tongue Teu-Calli signifies the house or cell of god, in Latin Dei-cella, which is to be pronounced Dei-kella....".

Major Wilford links the suffix 'co' in Mexico and -kella in Latin to the Sanskrit 'kula' (house) - as in  'deva-kula' (देव-कुल) or 'house of god'. The prefix 'Teu' in Teu-Calli according to Wilford is a distortion of Sanskrit 'dev', which we know changes to 'deu' in Latin.

The largest Teucalli was located in Tenochitilan which was the most venerated of all Teocallis for the Aztecs. As mentioned above in the popular literature, the name Tenochitilan is translated as 'place of the nopal rock', but this argument is not convincing for the simple reason that it is unlikely that a place as important as Tenochitilan be named after nopal, a cactus plant.

The two prefixes, Teu & Teno in the names Teucalli and Tenochitilan probably have the same root - both a distortion of the Sanskrit Deva,  much like the Latin Deu, all meaning 'god'. 'Chitilan' is a close cognate of 'sthalam' (स्थलम), or 'place'. Hence, Tenochitialn - as a distorted form of 'Deva-stahalam' translates as 'place of god'.

A reconstruction of the ruined Temple of Tenochitilan
has features of vaastu-shastra of South Indian Temples

Tenochitilan stands in ruins today, almost completely destroyed by the Spanish missionaries, but thirty miles away from it stands the city of Teohuacan which has a much better preserved temple. Teohuacan sometimes also pronounced as Teotiguacan was, according to Giovanni Francesco Gemelli Careri (1651–1725) - an Italian adventurer and traveler who was among the first Europeans to tour the world by securing passage on ships involved in carrying trade, a distortion of the Sanskrit 'devakhani', 'khani' (खानि) - meaning 'area' or 'mine'.  

It is more likely though that the suffix 'huaca' in the word Teohuacan is a mispronounced form ofSanskrit 'khanda' (खण्ड) meaning 'section' thus making Teotiguacan an altered form of 'Deva-Khanda' or 'god's area'.

There are examples of such distortions of the word 'khanda' in other languages too. For example, in Avestan, the mother of old Persian', the Sanskrit 'khanda' deviates two ways - from one deviation stems the word 'khaneh' which in Persian means 'house' and from the other stems the word 'haiti' which means 'section'. *

Another possibility
for the source of the word 'huaca' is khetra or shetra (क्षेत्र) or 'area'. This may seem unlikely at first but once again there is an example in Avestan where 'kshetra' distorts to 'shoitra' but keeps the same meaning. 

*[Words in English or Hindi or any other language that are traced to Persian are really just a step away from Sanskrit via Avestan]. 

Suggested Readings & Links:1.  Asiatic Researches or Transactions of the Society instituted in Bengal, Volume 11
2. Nahuatl-English Dictionary

3. History of Mexico by Francesco S. Clavigero, 1806
4. Sanskrit Scholars in Spain and Mexico by Juan Miguel De Mora
5. Mexico - Siva Temple

6. Avestan-English dictionary

Saturday, 4 February 2017


There are many theories regarding the arrival of Native American hunter-gatherers in the Americas across the Bering Strait, about 12,000 to 30,000 years ago. Scholars differ on and debate about whether the Natives came from West or East Asia or whether in a single or multiple waves. Though the debate continues, it has long been established through DNA studies, that there is an undoubted link to Asia. 

Here is a look at the remnants of their cultural heritage and languages, that sheds a little more light on the Native American Asian link. As early as 1789 Thomas Jefferson had written,"I endeavor to collect all the vocabularies I can, of American Indians, as of those of Asia, persuaded, that if they ever had a common parentage, it will appear in their languages."

In their research, 'Linguistic Origins of Native Americans', Joseph H. Greenberg and Merritt Ruhlen state,"The evidence of comparative linguistics indicates that the Americas were originally settled by three major migrations from Asia ...... the recent discoveries at least in part fulfill Jefferson's hope that one day the languages of native Americans would illuminate their relations to one another and will reveal the Asian origins of the first Americans." 
There is very little left of the Native American culture; yet their are traces of some commonalities with ancient cultures of the East, cultural heritage that indicates that they might have followed the same traditions and practices as that of ancient India

Of all the native American people, the Quiche of Guatemala have left a rich mythological history in their scripture 'Popul Vuh', which is regarded as one of the rarest relics of Quiche aboriginal thought. In the Quiche account of the creation of the earth and its inhabitants is the concept of a supreme, all- powerful Creator of all things, but the Creator is joined in a somewhat perplexing matter, much like in the Hindu pantheon, a huge number of auxiliary deities and makers. 

The Popul Vah also suggest that man was created four times and destroyed four times - with some stories of creation similar to the Puranas. The story of creation is recorded in the Chimalpopoca manuscript, also known as the Codex Chimalpopoca, named so by Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg (1814 – 1874), a noted French writer, ethnographer, historian and archaeologist. He became a specialist in Meso-American studies, travelling extensively in the region.

In the Native American scripts, myths and mythologies survive names of their deities, gods and goddesses, among which some stand out for their likeness to Indic-Sanskritic names. Included here are Viriseva and VairubiAndrés Pérez de Ribas (1576-1655), a Spanish Jesuit missionary, and historian of north-western Mexico records Viriseva, in his book 'My Life Among The Savage Nations Of New Spain', as a goddess and Vairubi as a god.  Ribas states, "The Sinaloas, from Culiacan north to the Yaqui River, have dances in honor of a certain Viriseva, the mother of the first man. This first man, who was her son, and called Vairubi, they hold in like esteem." These names seem to be linked to Lord Shiva and Goddess Bhairavi of the Hindu tradition. Virshaiva    (वीरशैव) is a particular sect of Shiva in India, Bhairavi is the same as Parvati, the consort of Shiva.

What lends support to the above is the existence of two other names in the Meso-American tradition. In his book, 'The Native Races of the Pacific States of North America', author Hubert Howe Bancroft states, "The Pericues, also of Lower California, call the creator Niparaja, and say that the heavens are his dwelling-place.....The nations of Los Angeles County, California, believe that their one god, Quaoar, came down from heaven; and, after reducing chaos to order, put the world on the back of seven giants. He then created the lower animals, and lastly a man and a woman. These were made separately out of earth and called, the man Tobohar, and the woman Pabavit...". Niparaja is most likely a distortion of either Nataraja or Nagaraja. Nataraja is a name of Shiva, and Pabavit is most likely the equivalent of Parvati, Shiva's consort. Nagaraja is the 'god of snakes' in the Hindu pantheon.

There is an interesting tidbit about a group of Native American tribes in Idaho who are known by the name Snakes. It is a collective name given to the Northern Paiute, Bannock, and Shoshone Native American.

The term Snake was used as early as 1739 by French trader and explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de la Verendrye when he described hearing of the Gens du Serpent (Snake people) from the Mandans - another tribe from North Dakota. This is probably the first written mention of the Shoshone people. The term "Snakes" is also used to refer the Shoshone by British explorers David Thompson and Anthony Henday. No one has a clue why the Snakes were referred to the Snakes - though even the river in the area that they inhabited later came to be known as the Snake.

But the origins may be hidden in one of their tales related by Herbert Howe Bancroft, "In Idaho there are certain famous Soda Springs whose origin the Snakes refer to the close of their happiest age. Long ago, the legend runs, when the cotton-woods on the Big River were no larger than arrows, all red men were at peace, the hatchet was everywhere buried, and hunter met hunter in the game- lands of the one or the other, with all hospitality and good- will. During this state of things, two chiefs, one of the Shoshone, the other of the Comanche nation, met one day at a certain spring. The Shoshone had been successful in the chase, and the Comanche very unlucky, which put the latter in rather an ill humor. So he got up a dispute with the other as to the importance of their respective and related tribes, and ended by making an unprovoked and treacherous attack on the Shoshone, striking him into the water from behind, when he had stooped to drink. The murdered man fell forward into the water, and immediately a strange commotion was observable there; great bubbles and spurts of gas shot up from the bottom of the pool, and amid a cloud of vapor there arose also an old white-haired Indian, armed with a ponderous club of elk-horn. Well the assassin knew who stood before him ; the totem on the breast was that of Wankanaga, the father both of the Shoshone and of the Comanche nations, an ancient famous for his brave deeds, and celebrated in the hieroglyphic pictures of both peoples....". The name Wankanaga may say it all - Naga is Sanskrit for 'snake' - hence snake people!

In the Native Races of the Pacific, Bancroft mentions many other names that are very close cognates of the names of Vedic Gods, goddesses and other deities. For example he writes, "..the Clallams, a coast tribe on the mainland opposite the south end of Vancouver island, have  a principle good deity called by various names; and an evil spirit called Skoocoom; to these some add a certain Teyutlma, 'the genius of good fortune'."  These names seem to be characters from the Ramayana, Sukshama was a demon, certainly an evil spirit. He was the cursed son of Rishi Kashyap, by his wife Danu. Teyutlma, a close cognate of Tillottama, was an apsara or celestial nymph who was made of 'tila' or 'tiny particles', each particle 'uttama' or 'of excellence'. There seems to be a thread here, Sukshama also means 'tiny' or 'minute'.

Bancroft adds, "The medicine men of the tribe (Clallam) are supposed to have much influence both for good and evil with these spirits and with all the demon race."

There are many other names that make perfect sense in Sanskrit. The Cahrocs of Klamath River in Northern California believe in a  Chareya, Old Man Above, who made the world, sitting upon a certain stool. Bancroft adds, "The Cahrocs of Klamath River in Northern California...believe in a certain Chareya, Old Man Above, who made the world, sitting the while upon a certain stool now the possession of the high-priest, or chief medicine-man."  'Chareya' may be the same as the Sanskrit 'acharya' with a syllable dropped. Gene D. Matlock links the name Quaoar to the Vedic Kubera or Kuvera.

There are many other deities in the native American pantheon. Ikanam, the Creator of the Universe is a powerful deity among the Chinooks. Iknam translates as 'One Name' in Sanskrit. The Mexican God Tlaloc is a close cognate of Trilok, Sanskrit for  'three worlds', referring to the Heaven, Earth and Hell or the world underground. 

The Mexican tribes worshipped the moon-god under the name Meztli, as a deity presiding over human generations. Meztli is considered by some experts of Meso-American studies as identical with Joaltecutli. This is reminiscent of Shiva in the Hindu context where Shiva is the moon-god and the god of night as well. Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg describes in his writings a time when the forefathers of the natives lived in a certain Crescent land, the cradle of their civilization, which was lost in a deluge. There they had practiced what they referred to as Saba-ism! Saba is most likely  a distortion of Sava or Siva, the 'v', as established by Grimm's Law of Consonant Shift, distorts into a 'b' with passage of time. 

"It is the moon", writes Abbe, "male and female, Luna and Lunas, personified in the land of Crescent (Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean) , engulfed in the abyss that I believe I see at the commencement of this amalgam of rites and symbols of every kind." The deluge is described in the ancient texts of India, which say that following the deluge the survivors, left with no option, set off to distant lands, taking with them their scriptures and culture, language, myths and practices. "The saved remnant of the people wept the loss of their friends and of their old land, making the latter, with its Crescent shape, memorable forever by adopting the moon as their god." 

The Crescent Shaped Lesser Antilles

Suggested Links:

1. Sanskrit Roots of some Pre-Columbian Native American Words
2. Sanskrit found in Native American Tribal Names
3. Native American races of the Pacific States of North America
4. Native Americans with Ancestors from India
5. The Old Santa-Fe Trail by William F. Cody
6. Indian Legends from the Northern Rockies by Ella Elizabeth Clark
7. Allied Chambers Transliterated Hindi-Hindi-English by Henk W. Wagennaar & S.S. Parikhh

Friday, 13 January 2017


The Komati River (also called Incomati River) is a 480 km long river that flows in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique. It is said that the name Komati is derived from inkomati (in the Siswati language) meaning "cow", as its perennial nature is compared to a cow that always has milk. Given its name and meaning the name Komati is obviously a corruption of the Sanskrit Gomati, the name of a river with the same meaning - 'plentiful in cow and therefore milk'. Gomati is the name of a river in India. Other rivers in Swaziland with Sanskritic names is the Lomati also called Miumati.

The Siswati language is the native language of Swaziland, it also goes by the name Swati. The Anglicised name of Swati is Swazi. It is from Swazi that Swaziland gets its name. The meaning of Swati and Swazi is otherwise unknown in the native languages though Swati is a Sanskrit word and is the name of a nakshatra (star constellation). In his book, 
'Fortunes of Africa: A 5,000 Year History of Wealth, Greed and Endeavour', Martin Meredith states that Swaziland is named after the son of a Dlamini chief named Sobhuzha (1899-1982) who had retreated from the Pongola River and formed a new kingdom incorporating the Soho and Nguni tribes. His son's name was Mswati - who himself was named after the name of the language. There are traces of Sanskrit in the Swati language, for example 'mother' translates as 'ngenina' equivalent of Sanskrit 'janani' (जननी) also meaning 'mother'.

In his book, 'Indo-Africa: Towards a New Understanding of the History of sub-Saharan Africa', anthropologist, Hindu-expert and linguist, Dr. Cyril Hromnik, postulates that Dravidian traders and seafarers from the Gomti river in India in their quest for gold, travelled to South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique along with their Indonesian slaves during the first millennium AD. In time the sea-faring traders came to be known as the Komates - a distortion of their original home 'Gomati'. In his researches Dr. Hromnik has deeply examined the background of the Komates gold miners of Eastern Transvaal and Swaziland by making systematic use of oral tradition and the early Indian scriptures, Jataka stories, and Tamil literature. He has linked the roots of the Komates to the early Dravidian seafarers who's navigation skills took them to distant lands in their quest for gold.

The Komates settlements came up in Eastern Transvaal, Mozambique and Swaziland, where they settled around a naturally radioactive spring known to have healing powers - the town was known as Mpumalanga. Mpumalanga is strewn with the ruins of ancient temples among other stone structures which have been found to be aligned with star constellations, solstices and equinoxes.

Dr. Hromnik contends that it was the sea-faring Dravadians who erected these temples, stone-circle dwellings and astronomical observatories on mountain tops and built stonewalled cities from which they hunted, mined and traded throughout Southern Africa. He says that the Komates cohabited with the local people 
creating the Quena - or Hottentot - race. He also states that the genetic traces of the Komates are to be found in much of the contemporary South African population.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


Vanara (वानर) refers to a group of people living in forests in the Hindu epic the Ramayana.The Ramayan says that the 'monkey-like' Vanara race was procreated by numerous gods or celestials who endowed them with a mighty physique and super-human power so that they could come to the help of Sri Rama in the inevitable war with Ravana which was to occur in the future.

The vanaras were produced from the genetic material taken from many 'celestial species' as well as animals such as the 'bear' and 'monkeys'. Today the word 'vanara' is translated as 'monkey' but nowhere does the Ramayana say that the 'vanaras' were 'monkeys' . Infact no genetic material was taken from 
the 'human' species for the creation of the 'vanaras'.

In the Bala- Kanda, Section 17, Verses 3-6, it is
 stated that Bramha himself addressed the 'celestials' and said that monkey-shaped progeny equaling Vishnu's valour be procreated from the bodies of prominent apsaras and gandharvas, from the girls of yakshas and pannagas, and also from the bodies of kinnaraas, (celestial musicians), 'she-vidyaadharaas' (विद्याधर) meaning 'fairy', and from 'she-rikshas' (ऋक्ष) meaning 'bear' and 'she-monkeys'. 

The Ramayana says that the ensuing species would be the wizards of miracles: "In travel they shall have the speed of air, bestowed with intellect they shall be the knowers of all 'ideas', and with their divine physique they shall be in-eliminable, they shall be endowed with all the assault- power of missiles, and they shall be as untiring in their efforts as the celestials who lived on 'amrita', and 'ambrosia'."

This pedigree that was being genetically engineered in Bala-kanda was not given the label of monkeys! They were look-alike of monkeys but not monkeys. They were vaana ruupiNam or 'resembling monkeys'. The Ramayana says about vanaras - 'vane charati iti vanara' i.e, because they range far and wide over forests hence they are called vanaras'', 'vana' (वन) = 'forest', 'chara' = 'roam'. (Inputs from '

G. Ramdas, in his book “Aboriginal Names in the Ramayana, published in 1925 states that the tail of the vanaras was actually an appendage in the dress worn by them just as is common, for example, in the dhoti that the men of Savara or Soura tribe wear. The Soura Tribe is also known as Lanjia Souras due to their dress pattern of wearing a loin cloth hanging from behind and which could be mistakenly identified as a tail by a stranger, 'lanj' (लञ्ज) is Sanskrit for 'tail'.

The last verse of Section 17 of Bala -Kanda of Ramayana says that the 'gods' procreate many thousands of such valorous and guise changing entities who with their immeasurable strength and bravery are manifest for the elimination of the demon Ravana. It is obvious that the vanara-commandos are genetically engineered, strong enough for the task of assisting in the war against Ravana. Click here for a bit more. In fact before the war, the vanaras are recruited by Sri Rama and the vanara-chief Sugreeva from all around the world.

So are there any traces of the vanaras anywhere in the artifacts found from around the world? The inscriptions on the ancient Dendera Temple in Egypt seems to indicate to the existence of a 'vanara'-like tribe or race.

Vanara-like people hewn on the
walls of the ancient Hathor-Dendera Temple Complex in Egypt.
Temples have been built on this site since 2250 BC

A vanara-like person in attendance .
An inscription on the Dendera-Hathor Temple in Egypt

A person in a Halasana Yogic Posture
Dendera-Hathor temple, Egypt

The Lanijia-Soura tribesmen of India
sport a dhoti with a tail like extension.

Sunday, 4 December 2016


Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeren (1760- 1842) was a German historian. Heeren's primary talent lay in historical research. His books Politics, Trade, and Commerce in the Ancient World (1796); History of Ancient Civilizations (1799) and History of European States and their Colonies (1809) all met with overwhelming reception when they were first published.

In his researches on the pre-Greek civilization of Greece which was then inhabited by a race called the Pelasgi, Heeran states, "We can distinctly trace an overland communication between India & Greece, at an age long before the historic period." Heeran quotes Baron Cuvier here, "The Pelasgi were originally from India, of which the Sanskrit roots that occur abundantly in their language do not permit us to doubt." Baron Cuvier traces the route that the early Indians might have taken to Greece. He was of the opinion that, ".. they by crossing the mountains of Persia penetrated as far back as the Caucasus and then from there instead of continuing by land, they embarked on the Euxine Sea and made a descent upon the coast of Greece." *

In 'A Classical Dictionary: Containing a Copious Account of All the Proper Names', author John Lemprière states, "...the name Pelasgi was never assumed by them, but was given to them by the Greeks. They called themselves Raseni, or rather Tyrseni. The name Palesgi was applied to them in familiar language by the Greeks.... Before they fixed themselves permanently in Greece they would appear and disappear from the land at stated and regular intervals...".

All the Pelasgic colonies which established themselves among the early Greeks, brought with them the elements of civilization and the arts and also the use of letters. The Pelasgi are acknowledged , moreover to have been the founders of theology of the Greeks. "They established an oracle at Dedona, they instituted the mysteries of the a word, everything connected with them tends strongly to confirm the belief that they were a sacerdotal race, a caste of priests." [For more about the India connect to the Oracle of Dodona click here.]

Says Lampriere, "It has (been) established, from an examination of the scattered fragments of early history , the intimate connection which once subsisted between the east and the west. The earliest monuments which the geography, the antiquities, the mythology, the architecture, and the religious systems of the most remote times afford, clearly indicate that in a very remote period colonies of priests from northern India, with the worship of Buddha, spread themselves over the countries along the Phasis, on the Euxine, in Thrace, along the Danube, over many parts of western Europe, and even through the whole of Greece. The Pelasgi evidently were a colony or race of this kind." *

Lampriere was spot on with his analysis. Raseni is the same as Tyrseni with the first syllable dropped. The prefix Tyr in the name Tyrseni derives from the Buddhist 'Thervada', one of the two major sects of Buddhism. In antiquity, and during the times of Ashoka the Great, the Thervada Buddhist monks travelled from India in all directions, taking with them and spreading not only the elements of the Sanskrit language, but also the arts, architecture, medicines and the culture of India.

According to Edicts of Ashoka (304-272 BC), Greek populations, generally described in ancient times throughout the Classical world as Yona, Yojanas, Yavanas, or 'Ionians' were under his rule in northwestern India:

Here in the king's domain among the Greeks, the Kambojas, the Nabhakas, the Nabhapamkits, the Bhojas, the Pitinikas, the Andhras and the Palidas, everywhere people are following Beloved-of-the-Gods' instructions in Dhamma.
                                   — S. Dhammika, Edicts of Ashoka, Rock Edict No. 13

Far from just being on the receiving end of conversion to Buddhism, the treatise Mahavamsa indicates that Greeks took an active role in spreading the Buddhist faith as emissaries of Ashoka. These Greek missionaries appear in the list of the 'elders', or Sanskrit 'sthavira', distorted in Pali to 'thera', sent far and wide by Emperor Ashoka.

John Lemprière does find reason enough to believe that the prefix Tyr in Tyrseni is somehow connected to sacred priests and to Buddhism, but he was unable to zero-in on the Thervada Buddhist monks. He quotes the works of Ritter and makes this observation: "As regards the first part of the name Tyrseni, namely the syllable Tyr, it is curious to compare with it the remark of Ritter, who after a long examination of the subject arrives at the conclusion...that the syllable Thyr ...was a religious appellative. Such for example are the names of the Idanthrsi, Thyrsagetos, Thyssagetae, Thyrsi etc." All the above names contain the syllable 'Thyr', either as a suffix or prefix, and are all the names of ancient tribes that dwelt in Greece.

Lemprierie quotes the authors of the Etymology Magazine and says that those authors clearly state that when the Greeks referred to the Tyrseni people as Pelasgi they were referring to the 'fine linen robes' that the Tyrsent wore. The Greeks were referring to the robes that the Pelasgi wore, who in reality were none other than the Buddhist Thervada monks. With time they came to be known as the Idanthrisi, Thyrsagetos, Thyssagetae, Thyrsi etc. As mentioned above, in the times of Ashoka Thervada monks travelled in all directions spreading the word of the Buddha. There also was an exodus of Buddhist monks from India in later times when Buddhism declined in India.

In fact Zacharias P. Thundy, Professor Emiretus of the Northern Michigan University made the observation that the word 'Therapeutae' itself arises from the Sanskrit/Pali word 'Thervada' which means 'Elder'. He says, "Therapeuta is the Hellenization of the Sanskrit/Pali word 'Thervada'; they were probably the successors of the missionaries whom Emperor Ashoka sent to Egypt, to the kingdom of Ptolemy in the 3rd century as Thervada medical missionaries. Greek, which does not have have corresponding sounds for the labio-dental 'v' and the apico-dental 'd', changed the Indian v & d to p & t ....." Hence, 'thervada' changed to 'therapeuta'.

Heeran had made the observation that the Indo-European languages extended from India to Europe and was spoken in countries lying between the Paroparmisan chain and the Euphrates river that is Ariana, Persia, Media, Armenia and Asia Minor. It is more than likely that the root words of Sanskrit that appear in some form or the other in all these languages do so for a reason and the artificial Proto-Indo-European is just the reverse engineering of Sanskrit.

Herodotus had clearly stated all intermediate languages spoken in this region including the Zend and Persian, Armenian and Ossete, all have the same structure and etymology. He also observed that when the Medes ruled Asia Minor, they were referred to as Arii, which was a distorted for of the Sanskrit 'arya' which translates as 'noble' and was a title of honour.

* - [As quoted in 'The Athenaeum, Issues 271-322'edited by James Silk Buckingham, John Sterling, Frederick Denison Maurice, Henry Stebbing, Charles Wentworth Dilke, Thomas Kibble Hervey, William Hepworth Dixon, Norman Maccoll, Vernon Horace Rendall, John Middleton Murry].

Suggested Readings:

1. The Athenaeum, Issues 271-322 edited by James Silk Buckingham, John Sterling, Frederick Denison Maurice, Henry Stebbing, Charles Wentworth Dilke, Thomas Kibble Hervey, William Hepworth Dixon, Norman Maccoll, Vernon Horace Rendall, John Middleton Murry

2. A Classical Dictionary: Containing a Co[pious Amount of all the Proper Names mentioned in ancient authors" by J. Lampriere

Tuesday, 8 November 2016


The Britannica Encyclopedia states that Nubia, one of the earliest civilizations of ancient North-eastern Africa, flourished along the Nile river in regions that are today identified as northern Sudan and southern Egypt. 

Nubia is traditionally divided into two regions. The southern portion known as Upper Nubia was called Cush by the Egyptians and Ethiopia by the ancient Greeks. Lower Nubia was the northern part of the region and was called Wawat. 

Biblical sources trace the earliest ancestry of the Nubians to Noah and his son Ham, who in turn was the father of the greatest ever Nubian ruler Cush who's capital city was Kerma. The existence of Cush's reign is tentatively estimated  at around 3000 BC.

The Nubian names Ham and Cush have lead some to put forth the view that their legend might have its source in the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana. The Ramayana is the story of the great ancient Indian God-King, Sri Ram, who had a son by the name Kush

The Ramayana traces the lineage of Sri Ram to Manu, the first man on earth, much like how the Nubian texts trace the lineage of Ham to Noah, whom they regarded as the first man. Biblical sources say that the name of the father of 'Cush' was 'Ham'. It is highly likely that these sources are inadvertently referring to Manu, Lord Rama and Kush. 

In the compilation 'Memoirs Relating to European & Asiatic Turkey', 1820, edited by the Robert Walpople, the author states, "It is probable, that a more minute observation of the remains of sacred buildings in Nubia would throw light on the hypothesis of Sir William Jones, that Ethiopia and Hindustan were peopled or colonized by ‘the same extraordinary race'. Characters have been found in Ethiopia which have an astonishing resemblance to those of ancient Sanscrit, and particularly to the inscriptions in the caves of Canara, in India". The author is referring to the Kanheri caves of Maharashtra here.

Sri Ram had two sons, Kush and Lava. In Sanskrit, 'Kush' is translated as 'grass'. It is said that 'Kush' was 'created' by Rishi Valmiki (the author of Ramayana) from 'grass'. In ancient Indian texts, Africa was referred to as 'Kusha-dwipa' (कुश द्वीप), 'the island of grasslands'. Uncannily, the Nubian king, Cush had a grandson by the name 'Ramaah'.

The Name 'Nubia' came into use in the Roman period. The origin of the name Nubia is obscure. Some have linked it to nwb, the ancient Egyptian word for gold. However, for much of antiquity, the region south of the 1st cataract of the Nile was called 'Kush.' The Kushites developed powerful kingdoms. The first was centered 
at Kerma (2000–1650 BC). The later kingdom had capitals at Napata (800–270 BC) and Meroe (270 BC–370 AD).

Kerma was the capital city of the Sudanese Kingdom of Cush (3000-1785 BC). The name 'Kerma' is probably a distortion of the Sanskrit 'Karma' (कर्म) meaning 'action.

Another Sanskritic name is Meroe which is close cognate of 'Meroe is 'Meru' (मेरु) which translates as 'Divine Mountain' from Sanskrit. The link between Meroe and Meru is not that far-fetched considering that Tanzania too has a mountain by the name of Mt. Meru which is the second highest peak after Mt. Kiliminjaro. 

Jean-Antoine Dubois, (1765 – 1848), a French Catholic missionary in India, and member of the 'Missions Etrangères de Paris', who authored the book, 'Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies', a valuable work of Indology stated that in the Indian tradition the belief is that the route of civilization is from north to south and that civilization descended from Mt. Meru and Mt. Mandara situated in the remotest quarter of the north. 

Edward Pococke states in 'India in Greece' that the  route of civilization was from north to south and hence  "we must bid farewell to the idea that this (India) country received the grains  of religion from the continent of Africa; the only remaining supposition is that Meroe was indebted for its civilisation to India."- the argument being that had civilization moved from south to north, ancient Hindu authors would have stated the name of the sea and sea-route from were the civilization travelled from the south rather than Mt. Meru and Mandara situated in the north.

 A stylised elephant, much like the temples of India,
at the Meroe ruins in Mussawarat, Sudan.
The four-armed, three faced lion-headed god Apedemek at Meroite ruins in Sudan
has a close resemblance to Hindu God Narsimha

Lucius Flavius Philostratus (170-250-AD), a Greek sophist of the Roman imperial period states in his works that the Ethiopians were originally an Indian race, compelled to leave India from  the impunity contracted by slaying a monarch to whom they owed allegiance.

Julius Africanus Thallus, was an early historian who wrote a three-volume history of the Mediterranean world from before the Trojan War to the 167th Olympiad, c. 112-109 BC. Most of his work, like the vast majority of ancient literature, has been lost, although some of his writings were quoted by later authors. Thallus, often cited for details on Syrian and Assyrian history stated in his works that "the Ethiopians, emigrated from the river Indus and settled in the vicinity of Egypt."

'Uttara Ramayana' (the Indian text that traces the story of Luva and Kush) mentions that Kush had a great great grandson by the name' Nabha'. In Sanskrit , NAbha (नाभ) means 'centre', and, Nabha (नभ) means 'sky'. Many scholars from India have argued that Lord Rama's sons, Kusha expanded his empire westward. Though his capital city was 'Ayodhya', Kush also made a city by the name 'Kushapur'. 

What is interesting is that there is yet another Kush in the lineage of the Ikshvaku's, the dynasty  to which Lord Rama belonged. And he precedes the birth of Lord Rama. In fact, the Valmiki Ramayana says that  Lord Brahma, the creator of the world had a son by the name 'Kusha' - the one with the 'Highest Soul'. Kusha had four sons, who he encouraged to rule and govern piously. Kusha's four  sons developed four cities including one that was named Kusha Nabha. 

Up north from Sudan in Egypt lies the ancient archaeological site by the name 'Nabta Playa'. Nabta Playa is an ancient stone observatory aligned to the Sun and constellation Orion. The entire sky can be mapped from Nabta Playa, and therefore the link with Sanskrit word 'Nabha' which is Sanskrit for 'sky' is ascertained.

Suggested Links:

1. 'None but India' by Jagat Motwani
2. About Nubia
3. Ancient Kingdoms in Land of War
4. Ancient Sudan : Nubia
5. Dravadin, Mande and Elamite by Clyde Winters
6. Nubia and Nubians
7  Son of Ham: Cush
8. Aksum & Nubia Commerce, Warfare and Political Fictions by George Hatke
9. The Athenaeum - Journal of Literature Science, and the Fine Arts Issue 271-321, Jan-Dec 1833

Tuesday, 4 October 2016


In the Bible names of remote and ancient countries include Sheba, Ramaah, Haran, Canneh, Eden, Chilmad etc. These names are unmistakably Sanskritic. Though there are other towns and places that today bear the same names mainly in the central Asian region, it is unknown whether these towns are identical with the towns of antiquity mentioned in the Bible. The history and the etymology of their names is unknown and the scriptures provide no clear pointers that can help unravel the mystery. In general the assumption is that the origin of these names must emerge from the languages of the civilizations that lie in the region of Canaan (Israel, Syria, Lebanon) and Mesopotamia. 

However many researchers have differed and questioned this assumption - mainly because the languages and culture of this region have not been able to either decode the meaning of these names or provide any cultural context from which these names could have been derived.  These scholars are of the view that these names stem from names of characters and idols that belonged to a time more ancient and to civilizations that were geographically way distant from the location and setting of the Bible. The names must be traced therefore to a mammoth civilization and culture which preceded the Biblical time and was large enough to have its impact and influence way beyond its geography. The names point in the direction of India and the Indus Valley.

In the Journal of Asiatic Researches, Vol 8, the writer states,"The oriental Sheba is understood to be Malabar, and is so laid down in some ancient maps of the geography of Scriptures. Raamah may be with equal probability be the same with the coast of Coromandel extending from Ramancor near the island of Ceylon, so named from Rama, an idol of the Indians. It is off these coasts that they fish for pearls and obtain coral, which latter in Hebrew is called Rammoth. Chilmad is explained as Karmana in the Greek texts and in the maps Carmania, situated on the north-east of the gulf of Ormus, The country called Eden must mean some part of India, celebrated as the garden of the world, situated amongst the finest rivers, and abounding with everything rich and luxuriant".

In his book 'History and Chronology of a Myth-making world', author J. F. Hewitt states about the Sabeans who were the people of Sheba who had originated from India and settled in the Arabia before they migrated to the Euphrates valley, "These Sabeans were not in ancient times as they are now, merely artisans and traders of the Euphrates valley. They were formerly the rulers of southern Arabia called Seba......they are the people called in Genesis 10.7  the sons of Raamah or Raghma, the Indian god...."

The author in the Journal of Asiatic Researches links the name Canneh with an area on the Gandak river flowing from Nepal towards Patna; the river is kown for 'saligram' or 'shaligram' stones which are known as Canneh in the Chaldee language. He states, "Canneh or Channeh seems to agree with the description of a country bordering on the river Gandica, which descends from the mountains on the north of Patna and discharges itself into the Ganges in that city which is famous for the remarkable stone flint, salagram; for Cannah signifies in Chaldee, vermiculi genus, a species ...of the snail kind generated in the rocks, and which are indented and marked with the figure of the insect......". Another possibility though is that Cannah may be a reference to the Hindu God Krishna, who is also commonly referred to as 'Kanaah' or 'Kanan'.

The etymology of the name 'Eden' is unknown. The name Eden is equated with 'delightful place', only because in the Genesis Eden is described as a 'delightful place somewhere in the east'.

Traditionally, the favored derivation of the name 'Eden' was from the Akkadian edinnu. Edinnu is itself derived from a Sumerian word meaning 'plain' or 'steppe'. In Sanskrit 'edhini' (एधिनि) simply means 'earth' - and probably best fits into the meaning of the verse. As far as Haran is concerned, Haran is another name of Lord Shiva.

There is a Haran which was located near the Turkish- Syrian border in the middle of an arid plain, and is said to be one of the oldest Mesopotamian settlements. But were did it get its name from? Excavations in Haran have revealed a large mud-brick building which dates to the end of the 3rd millennium BC. It is thought this might be the predecessor to the temple of the Sumerian and Mesopotamian Moon-God Sin.

The insignia of the Moon God Sin bears a remarkable likeness to that of the Vedic God Shiva. In fact, Shiva is also known as Som-nath (सोमनाथ) which means 'Lord of the Moon'. Shiva's insignia includes the crescent moon and the bull called 'Vrishabha' or 'Nandi' who was the vehicle of Lord Shiva.

The earliest known form of the name 'Sin' is 'Suen' which may well be a distortion of the Sanskrit 'Shivam' - the name of the Vedic Moon God. In any case 'Haran' (हरन), is another name for
Lord Shiva.

There is much debate on the origins of the name Canan, its etymology is unknown, but to those who are familiar with the Mahabharata it is obvious that the name Canan is a distortion of 'Kanha', considering that rivers that stll go by the name of 'Kishon' and 'Narbata' flow in Israel, towns by the names Ramah and Ramathiam and Canan and Gitta still exist in Israel, and the memory of Baal refuses to fade away. In the Canaanite pantheon. Prof. P. N. Oak has argued that Baal is none other than Baleshwara or Sri Krishna and that the Canaans were the people of Kanha or Sri Krishna. 

No matter where these Biblical cities were situated, their names indicate that they were heavily influenced by Sanskrit and the culture of India. For more on the Indian influence on Haran and Eden click here and here.

Ancient Haran, located north of Euphrates River.
Haran is another name of Vedic God Shiva.
Sanskritic names on the map include a town
by the name 'Nagar' - Sanskrit for 'town'
Insignia of the Moon God 'Sin'
of Haran. Notice the crossed-legged posture akin to
yogic semi-Padmasana of Shiva, the crescent moon
and the bulls which were the vehicles of the moon-god 'Sin'.

Suggested readings:
1.The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany,
Volume VIII
2. History and Chronology of the Myth-Making Age by J.F. Hewitt