Sunday, 4 December 2016

A BIT ABOUT THE PRE-GREEK CIVILIZATION OF THE PELASGIS WHO ORIGINATED FROM INDIA

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 Cabiri...in 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

ANCIENT NUBIA AND MEROE- NOTES FROM THE WRITINGS OF HISTORIANS OF THE PAST

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

A BIT ABOUT NAMES OF BIBLICAL TOWNS - AND INDIA!

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

Saturday, 10 September 2016

THE GARDEN OF EDEN, THE BIBLICAL LAND OF HAVILAH - LINKS TO INDUS RIVER AND INDIA

One of the most frustrating issues with the Old Testament and the Bible is the unknown etymology and the unknown meanings of the names of protagonists as well as the names of the most important places, rivers and mountains that occur in these texts. Unlike the Vedic literature, where for the most part the meanings of names, their etymology and sources are crystal clear, the Old and the New Testaments provide no clear answers to such questions.

Says Edward Pococke in his book 'India in Greece' (1852) - "Let it be granted that the names given to mountains, rivers and towns have some meaning. Let it be granted that the language of the native name-givers will explain the meaning."

Why is it then that Aramaic, the original language of the Bible, is unable to explain the meaning of the names of the rivers and towns, places and protagonists. In fact why is that these words do not directly exist in the Aramaic dictionary at all. It is quite evident therefore that these names are distorted, having travelled into the language from foreign sources; the Aramaic writers merely recording the events of a distant land rather than the history of their native geographical arena. 

For example, 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 edinnuEdinnu 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. 

Genesis 2:10-12 states, "A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there.” In spite of a lot of conjecture the meanings of the names Eden, Pishon and Havilah are unknown, so is their location. What is known is that there is no location in the vicinity of either Canaan or Mesopotamia which is the source of four river systems or even four rivers. Also there is no known place in Canaan or Mesopotamia that fits in with the paradisical beauty of Eden.

Because the Genesis states that Eden was somewhere in the east, many historians have looked towards the east for a site and civilization that fits the description in the Genesis in a more apt manner. 

In his book, the Antiquities of the Jews, Roman-Jewish scholar Flavius Josephus (37 - 100 AD) stated that the unidentified river Pishon was either the Indus river or the Ganges, while the Gihon was the Nile.

The researchers of the Asiatic Journal had a similar view. In Vol 8 of the Journal published in 1819 this matter is dealt with in detail in the context of the origins of the Chinese civilization. It states, "The river Indus which constitutes the western boundary of India within the Ganges, may probably answer to the Pison river which is said to encompass the whole land of Havilah, or India."

Again referring to the gold of the land the author states, "The gold-sand washed by rivers from the sides of mountains is likely to be the specimen of the metal first discovered in the primitive ages anterior to the art of working mines; and as the provisions of nature seem to have been pre-adjusted to the growth in the knowledge of mankind and the progress of invention, it is reasonable to suppose that the rivers of India, many of which in Sanscrit bear the epithet of golden-armed, were richer formerly in gold dust than they are now, though many of the streams from the Himalaya still afford it in some degree."

In her book 'Origins of Modern Witchcraft: The Evolution of a World Religion' author Ann Moura Aoumiel states, "In Genesis, the land of Havilah, where the gold is, through which the main river of Eden flows, is a reference that definitely fits the irrigated farmlands and the legendary wealth of the Indus Valley. One of the great Indus cities has a name evocative of the strange name (Havilah) used in the Bible - Harappa. India's rivers provide 90% of the total gold production in India today, so that just when the Genesis was written, these are rivers of gold. When we consider the theory of consonantal shift, called Grimm's Law (1819), with the softening of the consonants over time and the systematic changes in words moving from one language to another, the development of Havilah from Harappa is easy to see...".

However it is also true that Harappa's ancient name was not Harappa - and is probably a distortion of an ancient Sanskritical name such as 'Hara-Apa' ,i.e., 'Hara's river' or 'Hara-rupa' or 'having the form of Hara'. So the name Havilah must arise from some other name, which is discussed ahead.


Gihon, the second of the four Biblical rivers, that supposedly encompasses Ethiopia has been interpreted as the White Nile. But neither the White Nile, nor the Red sea encompasses Ethiopia. Ann Moura Auomiel states the Gihon is "more likely to have bordered Kashmir...". She further adds that when the Bible states that the Gihon encompassed the land of Cush, "...it was referring to the passes of the Kush", or the mountain passes of the Hindu-Kush range as they are called today. In Sanskrit 'Gahan' (गहन) means 'deep' or 'depth'.

The third river mentioned in the verse is the Hiddekel and is equated with the TigrisMatthew G. Easton,(1823–1894) a Scottish Presbyterian preacher states in Easton's Bible dictionary,"Hiddekel was called by the Accadians id Idikla; i.e., 'the river of Idikla', the third of the four rivers of Paradise (Gen. 2:14)." many writers have assumed that the Hiddekel is the Tigris which is linked to the word 'tiger' equated with 'rapid'. In any case the word 'tiger' is derived from the Sanskrit 'vyagra' also meaning 'tiger'.

But looking at the names Eden and Heddekel, or Idikla through the Sanskrit lens, one finds that Eden and Idikla might be related. The Sanskrit 'edhini' (एधिनि) and 'idika' (इडिका) both mean 'earth' and are cognates of Eden and Idikla. 

The fourth river is the 'Phrath' and has been equated with the Euphrates.The Babylonians and Assyrians called Euphrates 'Su-Purattu'. Fausset's Bible dictionary states that in the word Euphrates, the first syllable Eu, is derived from the Sanskrit Su (सु) meaning 'good'. 

Edward Pococke states in his book 'India in Greece' that the name Euphrates is a distortion of 'Su-Bharata' which changed into 'Su-Purattu', hence the Babylonian and Assyrian name. 'Bharat' (भरत्) is the name of ancient Indian king after which India was named 'Bharata' (भारत). Bharata is known to have extended his empire into Central Asia right up to the Mediterranean.

Vedic author and scholor Vinay Vaidya states, " 'Euphrates' could be seen as 'avaprathas' (अवप्रथस्) of Sanskrit, 'ava' (अव) which means 'low', 'prathas' (प्रथस्) means flows, follows, moves. This is ...after careful treatment according to the Laws and rules of Sanskrit structure and grammar and in the light of Vedic support, with proper investigation."

Once again the author of the article "On the Origin of Chinese nation", published in Vol 8 of the Asiatic Journal states, "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." 

About the location of Havilah, Tse Tsan-tai (1872-1938) one of the earliest Chinese revolutionaries of the late Qing Dynasty wrote in his book named 'The Creation, the Garden of Eden and the Origin of the Chinese', published in 1914, that based on the geographical description in the Bible it is evident that the Garden of Eden was located in China and that Havilah was India. Here is a map from his book: 



Chines author Tese Tsan-tai identified Havilah as India , the rivers of Himalayas as the Biblical rivers and Eden some where in the Himalayas

Though India was never known as Havilah it was known as the land of Himalaya. If the four major river systems of the Himalaya are the rivers of the Bible, three can be identified as the Indus, Bramhaputra and the Ganges which all rise in the Himalaya. The Ganges and the Bramhaputra fall into the Bay of Bengal forming the largest delta in the word. The Indus falls into the Arabian Sea. The Indus, Bramhaputra and the Ganges, in a way surround the Indian peninsula as they fall into the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. For a little more about the river Pishon click here.
The land of Himalaya may be the 'Havilah' mentioned in the Bible.
The three river systems of Indus, Bramhaputra and the Ganges fall into the
 Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal which then surround the India Peninsula
to make the fourth water body.

Thus the Pishon that surrounds the land of Havilah or Himalaya, is the coming together of the waters of the three major river systems that arise in the Himalayas. The name Himalaya can very easily distort into Havilah if the 'm' consonant changes to 'v'. The Garden of Eden then is a paradisical region inthe Himalayas, probably Kailasha and Mansarover, now in China.

It is interesting that many of the modern languages have been traced back to Indo-European roots of Sanskrit, but history is not yet ready to address the religious heritage of various cultures around the world which too along with the languages are embedded in Vedic culture and language of Sanskrit.

Suggested Readings:
1. Origins of Modern Witchcraft: The Evoloution of a World Religion by Ann Moura Aoumiel
2. Heritage of Herappa Vol 1 by Lakshmi Chatterjee

3. Journal of Asiatic Researches Vol 8

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

BIBLICAL RIVER PISHON - THE INDIA CONNECT

In his book, the Antiquities of the Jews, Roman-Jewish scholar Flavius Josephus (37 - 100 AD),  in his description of the four rivers of the Bible, the Pishon, Gihon, the Tigris and the Euphrates, stated that the unidentified river Pishon was either the Indus river or the Ganges, while the Gihon was the Nile. 

Though it is often assumed that the Garden and Eden are the same place, many rabbis hold the view that the verse which states ,".. A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden. From there it divided and became four major rivers" suggests that the garden and Eden are two different places.

The Genesis further states in Verse 2:11, "…The name of the first is Pishon, the one that winds through the whole land of Havilah, where the gold is. And the gold of that land is good. There is bdellium and the onyx stone. The name of the second river is Gihon, the one that winds through the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Hiddekel, the one that flows east of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Perat."

Josephus interpretation is quoted here, " Now the garden was watered by one river, which ran round about the whole earth, and was parted into four parts. And Phison, which denotes a multitude, running into India, makes its exit into the sea, and is by the Greeks called Ganges.... And Geon runs through Egypt, and denotes what arises from the east, which the Greeks call Nile".

In his book Atlantis the Final Solution: A Scientific History of Humanity, author Zia Abbas states, " ... the most important point about the above verse is that it tells that in Havilah, onyx stone was found, onyx is a marble like stone which is only found in present day Pakistan ... Also the Indian subcontinent ...has been known for thousands of years, as a place where good quality gold is found. Many invaders and conquerors had only attacked India for the gold...". 


On the Indus, close to Haripur in present day Pakistan, stands a town by the name Havelian which some say may be the Havilah that the Genesis refers to. The bdellium mentioned in the verse is the guggul tree which grows commonly in the Indian sub-continent.

Steven J. Gold states in his book 'Yoga and Judaism', "...There's an opinion that the one (river) called Pishon, was the Ganges. These are not far-out New Age interpretations, this is coming from traditional Jewish commentators. The Pishon/Ganges surrounded the land of Havilah, believed to be a reference to India. Another fascinating description in the same section referring to the Pishon/Ganges and Havilah/India, refers to Havilah as land of good gold, 'bedolach' and 'shoham' stone. Jumping ahead to Exodus .....  there is a lot of detail about the vestments of the High priests. Part of the vestments was a breast plate.... There were many items on the breast plate including stones representing each of the twelve tribes, and a stone for every letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The same shoham stones mentioned as coming from the land of Havilah/India in Genesis were included on the breast plate and the two shoulder straps attached to it...".

The priest's breast plate was not only ornamental,  it was functional. It served as an oracle and would spell out the answers that the priest could gauge by studying the manner in which the Indian shoham stones on the breast plate would light up.

Steven Gold links the word 'shoham' to the Sanskrit 'soham' and links it to the soham mantra which means , "That I am,  I am that." He says, "Shoham certainly sounds like soham.  In fact in Biblical Hebrew, the same consonants would be used for the two words, with the only difference being the placement of a dot above the first letter... ".

The Abarim Publications site, which has published thousands of articles on Bible study from all kinds of angles but mostly from a scientific point of view states, "Many enthusiasts have wondered where the Garden of Eden might have been located, and since the Bible mentions that two of its rivers were the mighty Tigris of Assyria and Euphrates of Babylon (Genesis 2:14), it was at some point concluded that Paradise must have been in Mesopotamia. But this assumption is obviously based on an error, because one of the other two Paradisal rivers (even the first or oldest two) flows through Africa, namely the Gihon, which flows around the whole land of Cush, which is Nubia (Genesis 2:13). The fourth (or rather the first or oldest) is the Pishon, which flows around Havilah. Where Havilah might have been is unclear, but the Pishon may very well have been the Indus River".


There is no known etymology of Pishon, though in Hebrew the name Pishon could be derived from פוש (push) meaning to spring about or to be scattered. In Sanskrit the closest cognates are Ishan (इषन्) meaning 'pouring out'. The name Pishon is interpreted as "the great effusion", the river is described as a "reminder of God's abounding grace". In Sanskrit, a cognate of Pishon is 'poshin' (पोषिन्) which means 'nurturing' which is the equivalent of 'God's abounding grace'.


About the location of Havilah, Tse Tsan-tai (1872-1938) one of the earliest Chinese revolutionaries of the late Qing Dynasty wrote in his book named 'The Creation, the Garden of Eden and the Origin of the Chinese', published in 1914 that based on the geographical description in the Bible it is evident that the Garden of Eden was located in China and that Havilah was India. Here is a map from his book: .


According to Chinese scholar Tse Tsan-tai the land of Havilah is India

And there is much truth in what Tse Tsan-tai claimed.                                                                                          ...... continued here.



Suggested Readings:
1. Judaism and Yoga by Steven J. Gold
2. Abarim Publications

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

A JOSHIMATH - IN ANCIENT ISRAEL? AND MUCH MUCH MORE....

On a map of ancient Israel (then called Caanan),  the existence of a Biblical town by the name Beth-Jeshimoth, which appears as Beth-Jeshibeth in other sources raises the question of the nature of the links between the Indian and Caananitecivilizations.

The name Jeshimoth is translated as 'Place of deserts'. It is described in the Old Testament as the last camping site of the Israelites before they crossed the river Jordon near the North East end of the Dead Sea also referred to as the Salt Sea. The camp-site extended up to a place called 
Abel-Shittim. 




The word Beth means 'house' or 'dwelling' in Hebrew. But there is much debate on meanings of the names of sacred towns such as Bethlehem. Known as Bayt Lahm in Arabic the name literally means 'House of Meat'. In Hebrew the town is known as Bet Lehem which means 'House of Bread'.

Bethlehem is a sacred site.The Hebrew Bible identifies Bethlehem as the city of David. The New Testament identifies Bethlehem as the birthplace of Jesus. Therefore, 'House of Bread' or 'House of Meat' does not do the name Bethlehem much justice. 

A historical reference to Bethlehem appears in the Amarna Letters (c.1400 BC) where Bethlehem is known as Bit-Lahmi . The proximity of the name Bethlehem to Bit-Lahmi indicates that this was a settlement of the Canaanites, a pre-Jewish people who lived in Israel. 

In his book 'The uttermost part of the Earth: a Guide to places in the Bible', Richard R Losch traces the name Bit Lahmi  of the Amarna Letters to Lachmo, the Akkadian god of fertility. The Akkadian (Mesopotamian region) civilization flourished around 3000 BC. Lachomo, the Akkadian God was worshiped by the Canaanites as Lachma. They also worshipped Goddess Lachama as his wife. 

About 1000 years before the Hebrews arrived in Israel, the Cannanites erected a temple to worship the god on the hill now known as the Hill of the Nativity in the town of Beit Lachama. Beit Lachama was fertile and had a good water supply. When the Jews came in they would naturally not worship the Caanan god Lachma and the distortion of interpretations began.  

William F. Albright, an American archaeologist  and Biblical Scholar states in his research that, to the Cannaites Beit Lachma meant 'Temple of the God Lakhmu', which later distorted to 'House of Bread' in Hebrew & Aramaic and to 'House of Meat' in Arabic. The etymology of Lakhmu and why the God had that name is unknown. His female counterpart was known as Lachama.

There are two Vedic Gods or figures that have names close to Cannanite God Lachmu and Goddess Lachama. In the Indian scriptures two well known names are - 1. the Goddess Laksmi (लक्ष्मी) - the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and 2. the brother of Sri Rama whose name was Lakshmana (लक्ष्मण). 'Lakshmi' (लक्ष्मी) in Sanskrit means 'wealth', 'fortune' or a 'mark'. 'Lakshman' (लक्ष्मण) means 'lucky' or 'fortunate'.

If the Canaanite name Beit Lachma is linked in anyway to Lakshmana or Lakshmi, then it is possible that the word Jeshibeth may be somehow be related to Joshimath. As the Hebrew 'beth', so the Sanskrit 'math' (मठ्). Both mean dwelling. In fact the equivalent of Sanskrit 'math' is 'sacred dwelling'. 

This may sound unconvincing at first, but the ancient map of Israel also has the following Sanskritic names on it: Rivers Kishon and Narabata, the towns of Ramah and Ramathiam and Kanah, the town of Jamnia on a river and the Jamnia Harbour and so on..

Caanan is referred to in the Amarna Letters as 'Kinahhu', while other sources of the Egyptian New Kingdom mention numerous military campaigns conducted in a place called 'Ka-na-na' - all these ancient names are cognates to the name 'Kanha' (कान्हा) - the name of Sri Krishna who was also known as 'Kanan' (कानन) and 'Kishen' (किशन). The existence of a river Jamnia in Caanan, the name a close cognate of Yamuna or the Jamuna therefore is no surprise. 


On the map of  Caananite Israel, is the river Jamnia,
a Jamnia town and a Jamnia Harbour.

On the map of Israel are the towns of  Narbata on River Narbata,
the towns of Tirathana, Rathamin and Mahanayim. There
is a Gitta too. 
One of the largest rivers in Israel, is known as the Kishon (also called Kishen).The Kishon flows in the region known as Phoenicia. In the same province are located the towns of 'Ramah' and 'Kanah'. Then there is the town of 'Ramathiam' in the province of Judea - and yet another town by the name of 'Ramah' in Judea which is different from the one located in Phoenicia.  See map at the bottom.

Edward Pococke, in his book 'India in Greece' states that the Cannanites were the people of Kanha, or Krishna, the Vedic God, who after the devastation of the Mahabharata war moved westwards from India. There is much authenticity in this argument and the Jewish Encyclopedia attests to this fact.

The posture of a Cannnite (pre Jewish Israel) God seated on the left
shows a close link to Indian sculpture.

Cannanite Goddess of Fertility -
There is much confusion about
the names (God) Lachma and its female
form (Goddess)  Lachama.

The Cannanite Goddess Astrate
depicted here with snakes in her hands

and skulls under her feet,
much like the Vedic Goddess Kali.

Here is a Canaanite Goddess
wearing a 'tilak' on her forehead.

The 'Sea of Galilee' is also known as Kinneret or Lake Gennesaret. In Sanskrit, 'sara' (सर) means 'lake', 'sarat' (सरत्) means 'flowing', and 'sarita' (सरित्) means 'river'. The word 'ghanasara' (घनसार) means 'water' - the 'ghana' here indicating 'deep' or 'immense' amount of water.

The Jewish Encyclopedia, referring to the writing of Clearchus of Soli, who was the disciple of Aristotle and wrote extensively around 320 BC on eastern cultures, states that Aristotle was of the view that the Hebrews were descendants of the Indian philosophers.

Titus Flavius Josephus was a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, historian and hagiographer, who was born in Jerusalem. In his works, Josephus quotes the writings of Clearchus of Soli. He relates the story of a dialogue between Aristole and a Jewish scholar. He quotes Clearchus thus, "In his first book on Sleep he relates of Aristotle, his master, that he had a discourse with a Jew; and his own account was that what this Jew said merited admiration...... To speak of the race first, the man was a Jew by birth and came from Cœlesyria [Palestine]. These Jews are derived from the philosophers of India. In India the philosophers call themselves Kalani, and in Syria Jews, taking their name from the country they inhabit ... the name of their capital is rather difficult to pronounce: they call it Jerusalem". For more on this click here.

Godfrey Higgins states in his book 'Anacalpysis', "Megasthenes, who was sent to India by Seleucus Nicator, about 300 years before Christ, and whose accounts are every day acquiring additional credit, says that the Jews 'were an Indian tribe called Kalani...".



Look for the River Kishon just north of Mt. Carmel and many towns named Ramah.

Suggested Readings:
1. Who was Abraham? 
2. The Phoenicians - Global Navigators
3. Encyclopedia of Ancient Dieties
4. Jewish Encyclopedia
5. The Cottage Bible - Volume 2 edited by Thomas Williams
6. A Study in Oriental History by Fredrick Carl Eiselen



Sunday, 10 July 2016

SENEGAL - THE ORIGIN OF ITS NAME AND SANSKRIT

A commonly accepted source of the name Senegal is 'sunu gaal' meaning 'our canoe' in the local Wolof language. It is said that the name resulted from a miscommunication between the 15th-century Portuguese sailors and Wolof fishermen. But Senegal - the name, predates 15th century.

A strong challenge to the above theory is that 'Senegal' derives from 'Singhanah', a city described by the Arab historian al-Bakri in 1068. In his map the town of Singhanah is shown to be located by the mouth of the Senegal River, the city straddling both banks of the river Senegal. (The map belongs to a time when it was believed that the river Senegal was connected to Niger). 


Western Nile (Senegal-Niger River) according to al-Bakri (1068). Al-Bakri (c. 1014–1094) was an Andalusian Muslim geographer and historian.

But then what does 'Singhanah' mean! Edward Pococke states in his book 'India in Greece', " Let it be granted that the names given to rivers, mountains and towns have a meaning, let it be granted that the language of the name-givers expressed that meaning, let it be granted that the language of the name-giver will explain that meaning...". So who named the town on al-Bakri's map Singhanah, in what language, and what meaning did it have in that language. There are no answers to any of these questions.

Surprisingly, many of the names on al-Bakri's map are Sanskritic. Ghanah and Singhanah have possibly Sanskrit origins. There are many cognates to these words in Sanskrit. Ghana (घन ) means 'complete', 'profound' , 'compact' or 'fortunate'. Sanghanah (सङ्घना) means 'condensation of water'. 

Sangha (सङ्घ) means 'union' or 'association' and is linked to Buddhism - an association of monks is known as 'sangha'. Edward Pococke was of the view that Buddhist monks and Buddhists who had left India in droves around 2000 years back, carried their culture and language with them, travelled across Western Asia, Europe and Africa, and had a compelling influence on the local inhabitants and tribes. Buddhist settlements had sprung up in many parts of Europe and Africa which explains Indian-Sanskritic-Buddhists names in these parts of the world. Examples - there is the town of Bihar in Hungary, Gaya in Nigeria, another Gaya - in Niger, a Trikala in Greece, a Sangam in Sierra Leone; the towns of Kanika- Yamina- Gangu- Calimana on the river Niger and so on.... 

Western Nile (Senegal-Niger River) according to Muhammad al-Idrisi (1154) was a Muslim geographer, cartographer and Egyptologist who lived in Palermo, Sicily at the court of King Roger II. Muhammed al-Idrisi was born in Ceuta, then belonging to the Moroccan Almoravids.

Any of the names in the al-Idrisi's map above can be exact Sanskrit words with a mild tweaking, but that is not the intent. The question still remains what exactly do the names mean in the local language. The fact remains that these names have no meaning without considerable tweaking in the Wolof and Mande group of languages either. 


But Sanskrit can explain some of these names without any tweaking. Sama-khanda which appears on both the maps above, has the meaning of 'even land'; another town on the river is named Ghanah (घन), Sanskrit for 'thick' or 'cloud', alternatively 'ghaNa' (गण) or 'tribe' etc.

The argument is not that the names have a meaning in Sanskrit. The question is why do these names not have a meaning in the local languages.




The Senegal was also known as the 'Sanaga'. There is  another river in Africa (in Cameroon) known as the 'Sanaga'. Two rivers, Djerem River and Lom River unite to make this river. As stated above 'Sangha' is Sanskrit for 'union'. Djerem, a cognate of 'jharim' means 'river' in Sanskrit.