Monday, 31 December 2012


The English word 'hibernation' originates from the Latin 'hibernationem' which is the action of 'passing the winter' The root word here is 'hibernare' which means 'to pass the winter' which English dictionaries say is related to the PIE 'hiems' which means 'winter'.

But it is Sanskrit that really explains the word and the context. A look at the so called PIE 'hiems'. In Sanskrit - 'himA' (हिमा), 'hemanta (हेमन्त) or 'hiemal' ( हैमल) all mean 'winter'. The base word for all the words is 'hima' (हिम) which means 'snow'.

And of course every one has heard of the 'Himalayas' - literally the 'Abode of Snow'. The 'Himalayas' are also known as 'Himadri' (हिमाद्रि).

In the Vedic context, Goddess Parvati (Daughter of the Himalayas) is also known as 'Hemavati' (हिमवती).

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


The word 'diamond' is said to have originated from Old French 'diamant' and Latin 'adamantem' meaning 'the hardest metal'. The source word is 'adamant' which of course means 'that which cannot be tamed or controlled'.

Herein lies the Sanskrit connection. 'Adamant' itself derives from Sanskrit 'daman' (दमन) which means 'control', 'oppression', and 'restraint'. 'A' negates the meaning. 'A-daman' (अ + दमन) means 'that which cannot be tamed or controlled or broken'. Hence, 'adamant'.

'Adamant' describes the 'extreme hardness' of diamond. Hence its name.

To read about the Sanskrit connection to the word 'Topaz', click here.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is so, so close to Sanskrit, that it seems to be the same language.

Lets look at the name Atlas. Scholars attribute the origin of the word to the reconstructed, re-engineered language PIE and say that the word is derived from the root word 'tele' which means "to lift, support or weigh." Atlas - 'the one who bears the world'.

But then that is Sanskrit. Tulana (तुलन) means 'weighing' or 'lifting' in Sanskrit. The sun sign Libra, depicted by the 'weighing balance' is known as 'Tula' (तूला) in Sanskrit.

Here's then a look at the word 'Libra' itself. Li (लि) in Sanskrit means 'equality' 'Bhara' (भार) is weight' or 'load'. In Sanskrit 'Li-bhara' means that 'where there is equality of weight' implying the balance of scales.

Saturday, 8 December 2012


In the Vedic literature and the Astrological treatises of ancient India, Jupiter is referred to as 'Guru' (गुरु) or the teacher. Astrologically, Jupiter is the planet that dispels the darkness of the mind, enlightens or illuminates, gives higher education and an interest in the study of scriptures. In Sanskrit, the more specific word for the one that illuminates or enlightens is 'dipitr' (दीपितृ). It is from 'dipitr' that the word Jupiter is derived.

The Western world of course disagrees. The etymological origins of Jupiter are traced to the reconstructed language Proto-Indo-European. The PIE word that is created for Jupiter is 'dyeu-peter' meaning 'God-father'. However, in Sanskrit too 'Dev-Pitra' (देव पितृ) means 'God Father' and 'Dyo-pitr' (द्यो पितृ ) means 'Heavenly Father'.

The many other words for Jupiter in Sanskrit include: 

Didivi (दीदिवि), Deva-pati-mantrin (देवपतिमन्त्रिन्), Prakhyas (प्रख्यस्), Brihatipati, (बृहतीपति), Brhattejas (बृहत्तेजस्), Prakphalgun (प्राक्फाल्गुन), Maha-mati  (महामति) Saptarshija (सप्तर्षि), Surguru (सुरगुरु), Surapati-guru  (सुरपतिगुरु) etc. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


One of the leading scholars of the Maori Language of New Zealand was Adele Schaefer. She traced the origins of Maori (spoken by the aborigines of New Zealand) and other Polynesian languages to Sanskrit. Here is the famous list of words that she had compiled as an example to show the Sanskrit words from where some of these Maori words were derived:

English       Maori        Sanskrit        Sanskrit 
                                                          (in Devanagri Script) 

I/Me            auaha        aham             अहम्
Outside      waho         bahiye           बाह्ये
Woman      wahine      bhaginīM       भग्नी
Monster     taniwha     danaváA        दानव
to dig        ko               khan              खन्
to look      titiro           drishyate       दृश्यते
tree           rakau          vruksha          वृक्ष
see           kite              cit                  चित्
throat       korokoro     karukar         करूकर
run            tawhiti        dhavate         द्रवते

Friday, 30 November 2012


The River Volga! Russians call it 'Volga Matushka' (Mother Volga). It is said that the name probably derives from Proto Slavic*  'vòlga' which means 'wetness' or 'moisture'.

Here's a look at the Sanskrit connection. A word that corresponds to Volga and its meaning 'moisture', and is at the same time a cognate of 'Volga' is the Sanskrit word 'Vigala' (विगल्), which means 'flow' or 'ooze away' and 'drain-off'. A derivative of 'vigal', is 'vigalita' (विगलित) which has the same meaning. 'Volga' may just be a distortion of the word 'Vigal' or 'Vigalita'.

In Sanskrit the sound 'vi' (वि) means 'apart' or 'away'; and 'vI' (वी) (with emphasis on 'i') means 'set in motion'. 'Gala' (गल) means 'oozing'. 'GAla' (with emphasis on 'a') (गाल), means 'liquefying' and also 'flowing'.

Hindi speakers are familiar with the word 'pigala' (पिघल) which means 'melt away' or 'ooze'. This Hindi word has the same Sanskrit origin.

The etymology of Volga as proposed by Russian historian and Linguist Nikolai Trubetzkoy (1890-1938), in his lectures at the University of Vienna,  links the name 'Volga' to the Slavic 'Julga', which he says in course of time changed to 'Volga'. 

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 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"

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 was 'Julga' rather than 'jilga' if one were to loke 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' in Sanskrit means 'moving water'. The name 'Jilga' however cannot be explained through Sanskrit.

Also 'Julga' is very close to the name 'Ganga' - the
 Sanskrit name of the great Indian river - the Ganges. Incidentally the name Ganga (गङ्गा) means 'swift goer' or 'fast moving'. Indians call it 'Ganga Ma' - 'Mother Ganga' just as the Russians call Volga 'Volga Matushka'.

"I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges". - Francois Voltaire

Rivers 'Kama' and 'Vyataka' flow into the River Volga.
In Sanskrit the verb 'vyati' means both to  'flow on' and 'vanish'.
'Kama' means 'desire' and is also the name of Lord Vishnu.

The Volga flows into the Caspian Sea. The name Caspian is said to be derived from the ancient Vedic name of the Caspian, which was 'Kashyapa', named after the sage 'Kashyapa' who in the Vedic tradition is the father of all 'devas', 'asuras', 'nagas' and of all humanity.

*All languages names which are preceded by the name 'Proto' are languages constructed from groups of existing languages that, it is believed, might have had a common ancestor - it is at best only a conjecture).So Proto-Slavic is an engineered language which it is believed will be similar to the 'mother' of all Slavic languages - if the Slavic languages indeed originated from one single source.

**From the writings of Lithuanian American Archaeologist  Marija Gimbutas about the 'Balts'.
Suggested Links:
1. The Balts

Tuesday, 27 November 2012


The etymology of the word heaven is traced to Old English 'heofon' which meant 'Home of God'. Though the earlier meaning of 'heofon' was said to be 'sky', in the later days of Old English 'hefon' was used more in the sense of 'Home of God'. 

The origin of 'heofon' itself is not clear, though suggested roots include Proto Germanic 'himin' which itself is said to have originated from the PIE word 'kem' which meant 'cover'.

A more likely source of the word 'heofon' is its Sanskrit cognate 'vyoman' (व्योमन् ). 'Vyoman' has many meanings, which include sky, space, preservation, wind or air, ether and heaven. In the Rig Vedic texts 'Vyoman' is used more in the sense of 'that which is celestial', than in the context of 'heaven' for which a more appropriate translation is 'swarga'.

The Sanskrit 'Vyoman' is derived from the root word 'av' 
(अव्) which means 'to protect', the prefix 'vi' (वि) indicates vastness, and the suffix 'manin' denotes 'making room or space'. The literal meaning of the word 'Vyoman' therfore is 'that which protects by providing space'.

Calvert Watkins, Professor of Linguistics at Harvard University is of the opinion that 'heaven' from the PIE 'akman' which means 'stone' or 'sharp stone' therefore taking 'heaven' to mean the 'stony vault of heaven' but that sounds a little forced.

Suggested Links:
1. The Secret of the Vedas
2. Akasha, Kha and Vyoman
3. Kalatattvakosa

Saturday, 24 November 2012


The origin of the English word 'God' is traced to Old Frisian 'du', where it found its way from the Proto Germanic 'guthan'. Both 'du' and 'guthan' mean 'God'.

'Guthan' and its many variations in European languages, are said to have originated from the Sanskrit 'huta' (
हुत), which means 'that which is invoked'. Most Hindi speakers are familiar with the word 'ahuti' (आहुति) which means 'invoking' or 'offering' both in Sanskrit and in Hindi, and, are derived from the root word 'huta' (हुत). 

In the Vedic tradition 'huta' refers to Lord Indra as in the following verse from the Sanskrit Sri Vishnu Sahsranama, a Strotram (hymn) from the Mahabharata:

"Om ananta-huta-bhug-bhoktre-namah". Listen to the verse (with translation) here.

Monday, 19 November 2012


The origin of the English word 'die' has been traced to the Old Danish 'doja' and Old Norwegian 'deyja' - both meaning 'to die, pass away'. The origins of 'Deyja' and 'Doja' are in turn traced to the 'Proto Germanic' (a hypothetical language which is regarded as an ancestor of all European languages) 'dawjanan' which, it is said, means 'to kill'.

'Dawjanan' is traced to yet another hypothetical language PIE (Proto Indo European) - the concerned PIE word here being 'dheu', which means 'to pass away' or 'become senseless'.

This is a little contrived. A more likely explanation comes to fore if one traces the source of 'die' to Sanskrit. 

In Sanskrit the word 'deh' (देह) means 'body'. The Proto Germanic 'dawjanan' which means 'to kill', may really be a distortion of the Sanskrit 'deh hanan' (देह हनन) which in literal Sanskrit means 'body kill'. 'Hanan' (हनन) is Sanskrit for murder.

The old Norwegian 'deyja' which again means death might be a distortion of the Sanskrit 'dehant' (देहान्त). In literal Sanskrit, 'dehant' means 'end of the body' - deha (देह) meaning body and 'anta' (अन्त) end.

To describe death as 'the end of the body' is also a Vedic concept, where death is regarded as the end of the body alone while consciousness or the spiritual self lives on.

Saturday, 17 November 2012


The most ancient Indian astrology treatise is the 'Brihat Parashar Hora Shastra', (बृहत् पराशर होरा शास्त्र). It was written by Rishi Parashara, the father of Rishi Vyasa. The 'Brihat Parashar Hora Shastra' is the treatise on which the entire Vedic astrology system is based.

'Brihat' (
बृहत्) translates as 'great'. 'Hora' (होरा)  is the Sanskrit term for 'hour', 'horoscope' and 'half of a zodiacal sign' which equals 15 degrees. It is from the Sanskrit 'hora' (होरा) that the English word 'hour' is derived.

Western dictionaries claim that 'hour' originates from the Greek 'hora' which means 'limited time' which itself, is said, originates from the Proto-Indo-European root word 'yer'.

Rishi Parashara was the grandfather of Dhritrarashtra and Pandu, and hence the great grandfather of the Kauravas and the Pandavas of the Mahabharata. He was the grandson of the Rig Vedic Rishi Vashist, whose existence has now been dated to at least 3700 BC from artifacts found in the Saraswati region.

Thursday, 15 November 2012


In Vedic philosophy the 'Panchatatva (पञ्चतत्त्व) or the represents the five essentials or the five elements from which life evolves, 'pancha' (पञ्च) which means 'five' and 'tatva' (तत्व) from Sanskrit 'truth', 'element' or 'essence'. The five basic elements which comprise the universe are 'Prithvi' (पृथ्वी) that is Sanskrit for 'earth', 'Apas'(आपस्) which is water, 'Tejas'(तेजस्) which means light, Maruta (मरुत) that is wind, and Aakaash (आकाश) that is sky, space and the heavens above. The first four elements are material, the fifth element is cosmic and spiritual and has the highest place in Vedic thought. 

In western philosophy the four known elements were, earth, fire, water and air. The fifth element was added by Aristotle, he called it 'ether'. However, the cosmic & spiritual element which is deeply entwined in the Vedic philosophy never found the same position in western thought.

The word 'quintessence' first occurs in European languages in the 16th century as Latin 'quinta'  i.e "fifth" + essentia that is 'essence'. This is a loan translation of Greek 'pempte ousia'.  
The word 'quintessence' came to mean 'the pure and concentrated essence of a substance."

Click here to listen to the Panchtatva Stuti from the Vedas.

Sunday, 11 November 2012


There are many synonyms for 'daughter' in Sanskrit, which include 'tanujA' (तनुजा) - literal meaning 'born from the body', the 'A' at the end denotes feminine gender), 'nandini' (नन्दिनी)- one who brings joy), and, andangajA (अङ्गजा) which means 'born of a body part'.

The closest Sanskrit cognates to 'daughter' are duhitr' (दुहितृ) and 'duhita' (दुहिता). In Sanskrit, each word is derived from a root word, the root describes a property of the word. The nouns 'duhita' and 'duhitr' are derived from the root verb 'duha' (दुह्) which means 'milking', 'yielding' or 'granting'. And it is to 'duhitr' that the origin of the word 'daughter' is traced to.

Thursday, 8 November 2012


The English word 'son' derives from the Sanskrit 'suna' (सून). English dictionaries are quick to say that the word 'son' derives from 'PIE' 'sunu' .

Lets look at the many other Sanskrit synonyms for the Sanskrit 'suna' (सून) which means 'son'.

The most common word in Sanskrit, as in Hindi, for son is 'putra' (पुत्र). In the Vedic context, the River Brahma-putra (ब्रह्मपुत्र) is revered as the "Son of Brahma".

Then there is 'suta' (सुत). In the Ramayana, Hanuma is referred to as 'Pawansuta' (पवनसुत) - the 'Son of Pavan' or 'Air'. There is no PIE equivalent of 'suta'.

Lord Krishna is Devaki-Nandan. Nandan (नन्दन) means 'son'. Son of Devaki. Nandan also means 'rejoicing', an integral part of Lord Krishna's personality.

Another, word for 'son' is 'tanay' (तनय) . Then there is 'tanuj' (तनुज). 'Tana' (तन) means 'body'. 'Tanay' and 'Tanuj' mean 'that which originates from the body'.

Incidentally TanayA (तनया) and TanujA (तनुजा) both mean 'daughter' in Sanskrit. No PIE equivalents for these either.

But there are other world languages where we see words derived from the Sanskrit 'tana' (तन). In The Native American languages together called Amerind, the word 'tana' means 'son' and 'tuna' means daughter. Scholars there claim that the words 'tana' and 'tuna' (obviously a distortion of 'tanu') are indigenous to the Amerind group of languages.

In their paper "Linguistic Origins of Native American Languages"* in the Scientific American Journal dated November 1992, Joseph H. Greenberg and Merit Ruhlen write about Proto-Amerind and wrongly claim , "...... the root word "tana" (son) and "tuna" (daughter) ...not only ties Amerind (languages) together but also distinguishes Amerind from other language families. It (the root word 'tana' & 'tuna'), as linguists say, is an exclusive innovation of the Amerind language".

Not True! Obviously, these scholars have chosen not to recognize these common Sanskrit words.

It is obvious that PIE is not the source of Sanskrit. In fact, Sanskrit is the source of all languages.

Lets not forget to look at other Sanskrit synonyms for the word 'son'. Here are just a few of them:

'Daraka' (दारक), 'Angaja (अङ्गज), Kleshapah (क्लेशापह), 'Udvaha' (उद्वह), Hrikthad (ऋक्थाद) and Kukshij (कुक्षिज).
No PIE or Amerind claims on these Sanskrit words. At least not yet!!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and flourine. Roman Scholar, Pliny the Elder, born 23 AD, wrote that the mineral 'topaz' was first mined at Topazos. Topazos is an island located in the Red Sea. As per the writings of Pliny the Elder, the word topaz is derived from the Sanskrit word 'tapas' (तपस्) which means 'fire', 'burn' or 'hot'.

The Masorah (texts that code guidelines to correct interpretation of  Hebrew scriptures, the Protestant Bible translations are based on the Masoretic text), mentions that the gem topaz is made from the 'pitdah' stone. 

'Pitdah' is derived from two Sanskrit words 'pita (पीत) which means 'yellow', and 'dah' (दह्) which means 'to burn'.

In Sanskrit, topaz is known as 'pita' (पीत) or 'pitamani' (पीतमणि).

Monday, 29 October 2012


The Mitanni Empire (1500-1300 BC) was a loosely organized Hurrian speaking state in what is today the northern part of Syria and South East Turkey. During the Amarna Period, around 1350 BC, Mitanni was a major international power.

By about 1480 BC Mitanni had been unified under Parrattarna, the Hurrian overlord of king Idrimi. The name Parattarna means 'Superior Sun' or 'Great Sun' in Sanskrit [Para (पर) meaning ''superior' or 'great'. Tarna or Tarni (तर्णि) meaning Sun].

Tarna (तरण) means 'heaven' or 'crossing over' in Sanskrit and points to 'crossing over to heaven' or attaining moksha. Nevertheless, the word 'tarna' emerges repeatedly in the names of Mittani royalty. names include Shuttarna (शत-तरण), Parratarna (पर-तरण) and Artatarna (अर्थ-तरण).

The word 'ratha' (रथ) meaning chariot also occurs repeatedly, example - Tushratta and Chittaratta, akin to the Dasharatha of Ramayana. Or the name 'ratta' may be used in the sense 
of  रत, which means joyful. Tusha and Chitta mean 'splendid' and 'mind or thought'.

The Vedic Gods such as Mitra, Varuna and Indra were also invoked in many of the treaties that the Mittani signed with other kingdoms.

Egyptian sources refer to the Mittani as Egyptian 'nhrn', the Assyro-Akkadian word for 'river'. 'Nhrn' itself may have had Sanskrit roots either in 'nira' (नीर) that is 'water' or 'nihar (नीहार), which means 'heavy dew', 'snow', 'fog', or 'mist'.

Indian scholars have long argued that  there was a major Vedic influence on Egypt. Here is a photograph from the book 'Egyptian Myths and Legends' which has caught the attention of some Indologists. The attire is akin to what was the dress code of ancient Indians and the person seems to be wearing a Vedic Tilak - though that cannot be verified.

Suggested Links: 1. Indo European Sanskrit Decipherment of the Indus Valley Script
                           2. A Thousand Miles up the Nile

Friday, 26 October 2012


As per Sumerian mythology, the Annunaki were a pantheon of good and evil gods. The word Annunaki translates from Sumerian as 'those who came from the sky' or 'those who came from heaven'.

There are theories today that say that the Annunaki were highly advanced extra-terrestrials who visited the earth many thousands of years back.

What might the word 'Annunaki' mean in Sanskrit. 'Anu' (अणु) has many meanings including 'atom', 'atomic', 'minute', 'soul', 'matter', 'life' and 'sacred text'. 'Nakin' (नाकिन्) means 'god' or 'the one who possesses heaven'. Naka (नाक) means 'heaven', 'sky' or 'sun'.

The word 'Annunaki' would then translate as 'Life from Heaven'. Whether the Annunaki are mythological Gods or extra terrestrials is difficult to say, but the translation of word Annunaki in both Sumerian and Sanskrit suggest that they were people who either came from another world or from another dimension.

Saturday, 20 October 2012


The 7000 ft high Mt. Nemrut in Turkey, is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historically, it was the location of King Antiochus's temple sanctuary, which he constructed in 62 BC. Today it remains a large but little visited necropolis on Turkey's tourism map.

Mount Nemrut lies south of Malatya (ancient name, Milidia), and 40 km north of Kahta and Adiyaman in Turkey. Malatya has been identified as 'Melid', an ancient city on the Tohma River, a tributary of the upper Eupharates rising in the Taurus mountains. The name Melid and Milidia is described in Hittite texts which mention that etymologically this area was named 'melid' which meant 'honey' in the language of the Hittites. That there is a close association between 'Melid' and the Sanskrit 'madhul' (मधूल) meaning 'honey' is of course obvious.

Nearby was the town of Adiyaman. Adi (आदि) translates from Sanskrit as 'the beginning' or 'commencement'. 'Yaman' (यामन्) translates as 'the approach to God'.

King Antiochus wanted to see his name and that of his  dynasty preserved. His tomb was built in order for his vassals to worship him after his death. A Greek inscription reveals that he was buried at Nemrut in the temple sanctuary surrounded by colossal statues of Gods, as a sign of his parity with the Gods. The fact that the mountain is named Nemrut (नमृत) which means 'not dead' or 'alive' in Sanskrit is therefore not surprising.

King Antiochus' original name was Mithridate; he assumed the name Antiochus when he ascended the throne. The word Mitra (मित्र) means 'friend' or 'ally'. 'Datta' (दत्त), meaning 'giver' or 'the honoured one', and often kings in India would add 'datta' to their names as an achievement epithet.

There are interesting references to King Antiochus in the Sanskrit inscriptions of ancient sites in India. The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany, Volume 27, 1838, in the chapter named 'Important Historical Discoveries in the Inscriptions of India', page 208, mentions Sanskrit shlokas (verses) about King Antiochus. The shlokas were found in the ancient rock inscriptions of Girnar in Gujarat, and, in the rock inscriptions of Dhauli, in Cuttack in Orissa (now Odisha) state of India.

Here is a translation from an ancient edict of Emperor Ashoka of India which makes a passing reference to King Antiochus. Of course the verse is about the glory of Emperor Ashoka and his fame around the world and the knowledge emanating from India being passed around to other civilizations, but it mentions King Antiochus nevertheless. Here it is:

"Everywhere withing the conquired provinces of Raja Priyadarshi (Ashoka), the beloved of the Gods, as well as in parts occupied by the faithful, such as the Cholas, ....the Ketalputras, or even as far as Tambapanni (Sri Lanka) ..... and moreover, the dominion of Antiochus the Greek, everywhere, the Heaven-Beloved, Raja Priyadarshi's double system of Medical Aid is established....".

Check King Antiochus in Emperor Ashok's Edicts for the original verses.

Monday, 8 October 2012


The 'tepui' are the table-top mountains of the Guiana Highlands of Venezuela, South America. In the ancient Native tongue of the Pemon, the indigenous people who inhabited the Grana Sabana region of Venezuela, the word 'tepui' means 'house of the gods'.

In Sanskrit, the root word 'tap' (तप्) means austerity, penance and is often used in reference to the sacred sites, such as the many 'Tapovans' (तपोवन) in the Himalayan mountain range. Tapovan is a combination of the Sanskrit root word 'tap' (तप्) meaning 'sacred, penance, meditation etc' and 'vana' (वन) meaning 'forest'. In the ancient times, and this is true of India even today, sages and rishis retire to the hills and mountains for 'tap' (meditation).

Cognates of the Sanskrit 'tap' appear in names of many ancient holy hills and mountain names in South America especially in Mexico. Some of these are Tepatit·n, Tuxtepec, Tepec, Tepic, Mazatepec, Tepetatas, Tepantita, Tepetzintla, Tepuste, Tepetlix and Tepetlalco. (These names are from the research done by Gene Matlock). Even in Turkey, in the name Goebekli Tepe, one of the most ancient sites in the world, the word Tepe makes an appearance.

In Sanskrit any sacred place including hills are known as Tapod (तपोद). In ancient India, the hills 
of Himalayas were the centres of 'tap' or 'tapasya', that is sacred meditation. 
Scholars such as Gene Matlock have linked the word 'tepe' to the sanskrit 'stupa' (स्तूप) which means a 'heap' or a 'pile' or a 'mound'. It was later that the word 'stupa' was associated with the Buddhist 'stupa' structures. In some Sanskrit derived languages distortions caused the dropping of the first syllable 's'.

One of the largest known Tepui in Venezuela is the 'Auyantepuis'. It has an area of about 700 square kms. In Sanskrit the word Aunantaya (औन्नत्य) means 'height' or 'elevation'.

There is another tepuis by the name of 'Sari-sarinama' famous for its water cascades and water sinkholes. In Sanskrit the word 
'Sara' (सर) means a 'spring', it also means 'fluid', 'waterfall', and 'cascade of water'. Incidentally, the word 'sara' also makes an appearance in the name of the water-springs town of 'Saratoga' in New York, USA.

Whether the ancient inhabitants of the Gran Sabana area in Venezuela had any links to Asia and Sanskrit is difficult to say, but there are many more ancient place names such as Tepuis Neblina, {Sanskrit Nabha 
(नभ) - meaning 'sky'} or Tepuis Autana, {Sanskrit Audana (ओदन) meaning 'cloud'} which points to the fact that maybe there was a link between the ancient peoples of India and Venezuela which researchers today may find  worth exploring.

Saturday, 6 October 2012


Arkaim is an ancient archaeological site located south of the Urals on the Kazagisthan border in Russia and is dated by different archaeologists to approximately between 2200 and 1650 B.C. It has often been described as 'Swastika city' or 'Mandala city' owing to its design, though there are many who say that referring to the site by these names is stretching our imaginations too far. 

However, what is established is that Arkaim was not only a settlement, but it was also a temple, and an astronomic observatory! Some have contended that "Arkaim' was a weapon-storage facility. The ruins of the site have revealed that it was round with a diameter of 160 meters. The four entrance gates to the structure or temple coincide with the four cardinal directions.

The etymology of the name of 'Arkaim' is unclear. It is also unclear whether there the site was a 'sun' temple. Nevertheless, a look at the word 'Arkaim' through the Sanskrit lens is interesting.

In the ancient Megalithic sites of South America, the name 'Arka' occurs many times. The two most prominent ones are:

1. The Araqhama Sun Temple and Manya-Araki Temple Plaza in Peru.
2. The Arkapana Pyramid of Bolivia.

Existence of Sun temples at these sites is well known.

The word 'Arka' (आर्क) means 'Sun' in Sanskrit. 'Arka' (अर्क) has many other meanings including 'fire', 'religious ceremony', 'sun beam' and 'copper'. 
'Arkin' (अर्किन्) and 'archin' (अर्चिन्) mean 'radiant with light'. This is not surprising as initial archaeological research has revealed that Arkaim was a site for religious ceremonies and probably also served as a Sun-Temple.

Nearby, are the remains of the even older 'Sintashta' archaeological site, a settlement dated to 2800–1600 BC and named after the river by the same name. The name for river 'Sintashta' may have been derived from the Sanskrit 'Shinta' (शीन्त) meaning 'cool', probably a description of the waters of the River Sintashta!

Thursday, 4 October 2012


In 1984 a large cache of over 300 artifacts was discovered in the jungle-covered mountains of La Maná, Ecuador.

It is said that the place name 'Mana' itself is a remnant of the ancient Sanskrit speaking inhabitants of La Mana. 'Mana' (मन) of course means 'mind', 'opinion' or 'belief' in Sanskrit as it does in common spoken Hindi.

The artifacts found at La Mana include representations of the Pyramids similar to those of Egypt, Cobra (a snake local only to South East Asia) and representations of the globe as it was before huge chunks of land were submerged post the melting of the ice after the end of the last ice age.

A ruined 'manadala' shaped structure was also found close to the La Mana site. Inscriptions in an ancient script were also found near this site. When the script was decoded, here is what it said:

Su-ta ma ti kara as!  

This was identified by German linguist Kurt Schildmann as Pre-Sanskrit and according to him 'su-ta ma ti kara as' meant "The son/daughter of my creator moves from outside into....". Though the language has been called Pre-Sanskrit, the words have been directly taken from Sanskrit:

Suta ( सूत ) Child or Son
Ma (मा) Build or Create
Kara (कार) act, action, make
Chara (चर) moving

However, this is a very contrived interpretation of Sanskrit, almost forcing to bring in a 'Son of Creator' angle into the translation!! 

Lets look at what these words might really mean in Sanskrit: Sutamam Ati Akara As!

Sutamam (सुतमाम्) most excellent
Ati (अति) extremely
Aakar (आकार) shape, configuration
Aas or As (आस्) to be

This is would pretty closely translate from Sanskrit as "This is an most excellent configuration'. This makes more sense when we take into the consideration that this inscription was found on an artifact that has to do with Orion constellation - a constellation that is visible from any point of the earth.

Another La Mana inscription has been decoded as: "ash-ta-ma asta viupama as". This was termed Pre-Sanskrit and translated as " "Venus mine, is from highest/creator Star". But the words probably have a more refined meaning if we look at it through the Sanskrit lens. Here are the meanings of the words".

Ashtamam - (अष्टमान) measure
Ashtamah - (अष्टमः) eight
Aashtamah - (आष्टम) eighth part
Upamaa (उपमाम्) highest degree or compared with
Asta (अस्त) sunset or decline

Considering that these artifacts have to do with the skies and the constellations, this artifact could have many meanings in Sanskrit and it is important to know the context before the many possible meaningful translations are suggested.

But the language on the artifacts of La Mana, Ecuador, as decoded by scholars is definitely Sanskrit, not Pre-Sanskrit. 

Suggested Links: 

Monday, 1 October 2012


Referring to the mists in the Naver Region, in Sutherland, Northern Scotland, W J Watson in his classic ‘The Celtic Place-Names of Scotland’, explained the etymology of the name 'Naver' . Naver was known as 'Nabar' in Roman times. It was known as Nabhair in Gaelic, and was named for the fogs rising from the river.

Professor W.J. Watson saw the origins of the name 'Naver' from Sanskrit 'Nilab' (नीलभ) meaning 'cloud' and also from 'Nabhas' (नभस्) and 'Nihar' (नीहार) both meaning 'mist'.

W.J. Watson (1865-1948) was one of the greatest Scottish scholars. He was also a toponymist. Toponymy is the study of place names, their origins and meaning.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012


Artifacts from ancient Mayan ruins reveal that even far off Latin America was influenced by the Indian Vedic culture.

The Mayan Howler Monkey God
Copan, Hondurus, South America
Remarkably close to the Hindu Monkey God Hanuman.

Hanuman - The Vedic Monkey God.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012


The etymological origins of the word 'Alcohol' are traced to the Middle Latin 'alcohol' which meant 'powdered ore of antimony' and referred to anything that was produced by the process of sublimation. Alcohol originated from the Arabic 'al-kuhul', the fine metallic powder used to darken the eyelids also produced through sublimation process. "Kuhul" comes from 'kahala'  meaning "to stain" or "to paint".  Later, the meaning of the term alcohol was extended to the 'intoxicating element in fermented liquids'.

 The Arabic 'kahala'  itself originates from the Sanskrit 'Kalaka' (कालक) or 'Kala' (काल) meaning 'black'.

Monday, 17 September 2012


Wikipedia says Vesta is the goddess of the Hearth, Home and Family in ancient Roman religion. Vesta's presence came to be symbolized by the fire that burned at her hearth and temples. Her closest Greek equivalent is Hestia.

In his book, Contributions to the Science of Mythology, Max Mueller wrote," ..much is gained if we can find in the Vedic poetry words and ideas that throw light on the names of the Greek (and Roman) deities". He adds, "There is no Goddess Vesta or Hestia in Vedic literature, but the Sanskrit root 'vas' (वस्) is recognized by everybody though on phoenetic grounds alone it is impossible to determine whether it was derived from the root 'vas' (वस्) to shine, or root vas' (वस्) to dwell."

Though there is no Goddess of 'Home and Hearth', in the Vedic context, one may want to look at another close phonetic Sanskrit root word, 'bhas' (भास्), which means 'to speak', 'shine', 'lustre', 'splendour' and 'ray of light', that may show how there might be a Vedic link to the name Vesta.

In that context, one may want to look at the Vedic Goddess Sarasvati, the Goddess of Eloquence and Wisdom. Like 'bhas' (भास्), saras (सरस्) also means speech. Since both 'bhas' and 'saras' mean speech, Roman Vesta may have evolved from 'bhas' as did Vedic Sarasvati from 'saras'.

Therefore, though Goddess Vesta is recognized today as the Goddess of Home & Hearth due to its closeness to the Sanskrit 'vas', but it may really have been the Sanskrit 'bhas' meaning speech or brightness (of thought), from where the name Vesta was derived. That would connect the Roman Vesta to the Vedic Sarasvati. But then Vesta would originally have had to be the Goddess of Speech & Wisdom!

Suggested Links:
'Contributions to the Science of Mythology" Max-Muller

Saturday, 15 September 2012


Seneca, is the name of a Native American tribe that lived near the Great Lakes, whose name is said to mean 'Place of Stones'. The Seneca nation's endonym (the name by which the Seneca call themselves), is 'Onondowaga', meaning "People of the Great Hill."

'Onondo-waga' may be a distortion of the Sanskrit Ananda-Vigar meaning Joyous Mountain or more appropriately Beautiful Mountain. 'Ananda' (आनन्द) has many meanings such as Joyful, Happiness, Blissful and Beautiful.

'Waga' may have been derived from any of the many words for 'mountain' in Sanskrit: such as Vigar (विगर), Tunga (तुङ्ग), Shringin (शृङ्गिन्) and Urvanga (उर्वङ्ग). Waga sounds closest to thae Sanskrit 'Vigar' or 'Urvanga' and may be a distortion of either of the two.

Other nations called the Onondo-Waga by the name 'Seneca' after their principal village of Osininka. Since "Osininka" sounds like Asinikaa(n), meaning "Those at the Place Full of Stones", the name Seneca caught on.

George P. Donehoo in his book "Indian (Native American) Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania" writes, that 'achsun' or 'asun' and its corruption 'assini' all mean stone in Native American languages.

'Achsun' and 'asun' are Native American words, yet very close to the Sanskrit 'ashan' (अशन्) and 'ashna' (अश्न). Both the words mean 'stone' in Sanskrit as they do in the Delaware dialect and other Native American languages.

Thursday, 13 September 2012


According to Wikipedia, the name "Chicago" is derived from a French rendering of the Native American word 'shikaakwa', translated as "wild onion" or "wild garlic," from the Miami-Illinois language which belongs to the Algonquian group of languages spoken in Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Western Ohio and adjacent areas along the  Mississippi River.

'Shikaakwa' is a corruption of the Sanskrit 'Shikakand' (शिखाकन्द) which means 'onion and garlic'. In Sanskrit 'shika' (शिखा) means root, 'kanda' (कन्द) is any bulbous plant. The Native American 'akwa' maybe a corruption of the Sanskrit word 'kanda". By itself, onion is known as 'Sukanda'(सुकन्द) in Sanskrit.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


The Puranas say that the arrival of Lord Kalki (the tenth avatara of Lord Vishnu) brings the end of the Kalyuga, and all that which is 'kalka' as well. 'Kalka' (कल्क) means that which is 'filthy, wicked, impure, hypocritical, sinful and evil'.

The popular interpretation of the story is that Lord Kalki arrives on a white horse called Devadatta and kills all that is evil. The Puranas say that the death of 'kalka' (कल्क) takes place when consciousness awakens. Consciousness arrives in an 'ashvah' (अश्वः) moment. Here's what it really means:

"Shva" (श्वः) means yesterday. "Shva" (श्वः) also means tomorrow. A-shva (अ- श्वः) means "neither yesterday, nor tomorrow'. Consciousness awakens, neither in the past, nor in the future. Devadutt (देवदत्त) is the vehicle. Dev (देव) means 'God', Datta (दत्त) means 'given'.

Consciousness awakens at a 'godgiven' or a 'godly' moment. A moment that is therefore 'auspicious'.

Kalya (कल्य) means yesterday. Kalye (कल्ये) means tomorrow. Yesterday and tomorrow are both enveloped in the name of Lord Kalki.

Yesterday or tomorrow (Kalya or Kalye) , neither yesterday nor tomorrow (A-shvah) , at a pious or a god-given (devadatta) moment , whenever consciousness awakens, marks the arrival of Lord Kalki and the end of Kalyuga. Kalya (कल्य) also means auspicious!

KalyA (कल्या) means 'praise'. 'KalyA' or praise be to Lord Kalki.

To Hindi speakers this should not be confusing. After all 'kal' (कल) does mean both yesterday and tomorrow in Hindi. And while we are at it, lets look at the word "Purana' (पुराण). The word "Purana" is defined as "Pura api nava iti", that which is "Old and new as well".

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


The Russian word for 'Goodbye' is 'Dasvidanya'. It is really the conjunction of two words: 'Do' which means 'until' and 'Svidanya' which means 'meeting'. 'Dasvidanya' is therefore "Until We Meet Again".

Three Sanskrit cognates fit closely. One is 'Vidath' (विदथ) which means 'meeting'. The second is 'samvadhan' (समवधान) which also means 'meeting'. ['Sama' always means 'together' in Sanskrit. It is from 'Sama' that the English words 'sum', and ' assimilate' are derived.]. A third cognate is 'Samvidan' (संविदान), which means 'joint or associated'.

The 'Do" in 'Dasvidanya' may be derived from the Sanskrit 'Ya-vad' (यावद्) meaning 'until'. 'Do' could also be a corruption of 'tada' (तदा) meaning' then', or 'yada' (यदा) meaning 'whenever'.

But the Sanskrit word that really enriches the meaning of the word 'Svidanya', is 'Vidhi' (विधि) which means 'destiny' or 'fate'. If derived from 'Vidhi' the meaning of Dasvidanya is close to "Until Destiny Brings Us Together"!

In Sanskrit 'vid' (विद्) means knowing, observing, perceiving and hence the 'name Vedas. 'Vedas' are the ancient Sanskrit books of knowledge, there are four of them, namely - RigVeda, SamVeda, Athatveda, Yajurveda. The Russian vid and ved are derived from the Sanskrit 'vid' which means 'Perceiving' . Perceiving includes - knowing, seeing, understanding, observing and seeing.

Monday, 10 September 2012


Assunepachla, Assinnisink and Assunepachala are three Native American Villages in the New York-Pennsylvania region. Are the names derived from Sanskrit?

In Sanskrit, Pasya (पाष्य), Shila (शिला), Ashan (अशन्), Ashna (अश्न), Pashi (पाशी), Shan (शाण) and Pashan (पाषाण), all mean 'stone'. These words in their exact form as mentioned above, or in a corrupted or distorted form, are found in many Native American place-names.

One name is Assunepachla. This is the name of a former Delaware-tribe village. George P. Donehoo, in his book 'Indian (Native American) Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania' writes, "Assunepachla is a probable corruption of 'achsun' or 'asun' meaning stone, and 'pachsajeek' meaning 'valley'." He translates Assunepachla as 'Stone Valley'. 

What is remarkable is that though 'Achsun' and 'asun' are Delaware words, they are phonetically very close to the Sanskrit 'ashan' (अशन्) and 'ashna' (अश्न) - both of which also mean 'stone'. So, the 'Assune' in Assunepachla has the same meaning in both the languages. The second syllable 'pachala' (पाचल) means 'fire' or 'wood' in Sanskrit. If the second word is derived from 'pachala', the meaning of Assunepachla becomes 'Stone-Fire' or 'Stone-Wood'.

However, it is the word 'Panchala' (पाञ्चाल) that is more meaningful in the Vedic context. 'Panchala' is the name of a kingdom in the great Vedic epic - the Mahabharata. 'Panchali' is the daughter of the king of Panchala. She is also the wife of Arjuna,one of the protagonists of the epic Mahabharata. 'Panchala' is also the name of one of the most ancient tribes of India that predate the Mahabharata and are considered as one of the five original tribes of the world. Whether or not the tribes of America had origins in India will be debated forever, but words of Sanskrit origin do seem to have traveled into Native American language(s).

'Assinni', in the name Assinnisink, too maybe a distortion of Sanskrit 'Ashan' or 'Ashna' which are the cognates of Delaware 'achsun' or 'asun'. Stephen A. Runkle, Consulting Engineer, Susquehanna River Basin Commission who has researched Native American place names translates 'Assinnisink' as 'Place of Stones' or 'Where the stones are Gathered'. In Sanskrit the word 'Sam' (सम्) means to 'put together' or 'add together'. It is also the root word of the English words 'sum', 'summation' and 'assimilate'. The same could be true of the second syllable 'sink' in the word 'Assinisink'. It would then have the exact same meaning 'Stone-Gather' in Sanskrit, as it does in Delaware.

Geographically, Assinnisink Village in New York lies at the confluence of the River Tioga, [probably a corruption of the Sanskrit Tri-yoga, (त्रि-योग)] and River Canisteo, [also a corruption of Sanskrit, Kanistha (कनिष्ठ)]. For more details about the Sanskrit connection to the names 'Tioga' and 'Canisteo', click here .

Wappasening Creek is a 20 mile long tributary of the Susquehanna River in New York and Pennsylvania. Wappasening has been translated as 'Place of White Stones' from Delaware dialect. The closest Sanskrit cognates of 'Wappa' meaning white are 'Vasa' (वसा) and 'Shweta' (श्वेत). (For the Sanskrit connection to the name Susquehanna click here). 'Asening' again is probably a corruption of the Sanskrit 'ashan' or the Delaware 'aschun'.

It is interesting that the Delaware names of villages and rivers are not only cognates of Sanskrit names, it is even more interesting that the meaning of the words are also uncannily similar.

Saturday, 8 September 2012


The state of Wyoming is named after the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania. The Seneca name for Wyoming (Pennsylvania) is 'Tsanandowa' - meaning "the place of the great flats" or "great meadows". A Sanskrit cognate of 'Tsanandowa' is 'Sama-dhara' (सम-धरा), meaning 'level earth' or 'great meadows'. 'Sama' (सम) has many meanings in Sanskrit including 'equal, same, and parallel'. It is also the etymological source of the English word 'similar'. 'Dhara' (धरा)  is earth.

Later the name 'Wyoming' was transported westward, and that is how Wyoming state got its name. Sometimes, it is said that the Native American source word for Wyoming' is 'xwe wamenk' with the same meaning - 'the great plains'. In Sanskrit, 'variman' (वरिमन्) means 'expanse'. 'Vyoman' (व्योमन् ) means 'atmosphere', 'space', 'sky' or 'open expanse'. 'Xwe' could be a distortion of 'eksay (एक्ष्य) meaning 'looking out at'.

Whether these words are in any ways linked to the etymology of the Native American words is difficult to say. But they definitely are close cognates.

Friday, 7 September 2012


In antiquity, the River Danube had many names. In Latin, the Danube was known as Danubius and Danuvius. In ancient Greek it was known as the 'Istros'.

The name 'Danube' is said to derive from Proto-Indo-European, a language reconstructed from European & Indic languages. In PIE, the word 'dānu' is apparently a term for "river", but PIE of course does not have any scriptures or literature that detail the context in which the Danube was called "danu". The word "Danu" simply translates as "a river". It is said that the PIE root word is 'da' which means 'rapid, swift and violent'.*

In Sanskrit, the word 'Danu" (दानु) has many meanings. It means 'dew, dew drops, fluid, valiant and courageous'. The root word is 'da' (दा) which means 'that which is cleansing and purifying, giving and protecting'. This is probably more appropriate as a name source for a revered river.

The Rig Veda and Puranas identify the details of Goddess Danu and her sons, the Danavas. In the Vedic context, 'Danu' was a primeval cosmic river. Goddess Danu, the daughter of Daksha, who was the son of Brahma, embodied the primeval waters. For more details about the story of Goddess Danu and Danavas click here.

*Just a quick look at other related Sanskrit words. 'Drav' (द्राव) means 'going quickly' and (द्रुत) means to run. The root word here 'dru' (द्रु); which means to 'run', 'go swiftly', 'melt', 'dissove' and 'become fluid'. The 'dru' root word may describe the river's swiftness, but it lacks the 'cleansing and purifying, giving and protecting' aspect that the 'da' (दा) root word adds to the description of the river. 

The Sanskrit word for 'rapid' is "Ishiram" (इषिरम्) which is the etymological source for "Istros", the Greek name for the River Danube.

Thursday, 6 September 2012


The name "Wisconsin" originally applied to the Wisconsin River; is a Native American name of unknown origin though there are many theories about it. Early spellings include 'Mescousing', 'Mishkonsing' and Miskasinsin.

The Columbia County website says that "Wisconsin means dark waters in a Native American language. The dark water of the Wisconsin River and Lake Wisconsin comes from the very dark roots of the Tamarack (Larix Larcina*) trees which line its banks in the northern part of the state and bleed a natural dye into the river".

A cognate of 'Meshcousing' in Sanskrit is 'Mechakpag' (मेचकापगा) meaning 'Dark-Blue River'. The word Mechak (मेचक) means 'dark blue', 'smoke', or 'darkness' . Mechakita (मेचकित) means 'having a dark blue colour'.

"Meskonsing" has also commonly been translated as "it lies red". But that does not appropriately describe the waters of Wisconsin.

There is another river in Wisconsin state that is lined by a large number of Tamarack and Oak trees. Its waters are even darker than the waters of the Wisconsin. The river is called the "Black River". Its ancient Native American name is lost.

*Larcina - from Latin 'larix', probably a loan-word from an Alpine Gaulish language, corresponding phonetically to Old Celtic. *Darik meaning"oak". Refer: 'Darik', is originally derived from Sanskrit 'devadar' meaning "God's Tree". For more details click here

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


Native American culture is composed of many tribes, each with distinct traditions and customs. It is difficult to characterize any aspect of a wedding as being 'Native American'. Some traditions are common to many tribes, while others are unique.

It is fascinating that just as the Vedic Sapta-Padhi (सप्तपदी) or the 'Seven-Steps' is the core of the wedding ceremony for the Hindus in India, in distant America, another ancient people, the Native Americans, too have the 'Rite of Seven Steps' at the core of their wedding ritual.

The Native American 'Seven-Step Rite' vows are very similar to the Vedic SaptaPadi, where the Bride and the Groom take Seven Steps together, at a slow pace, in the north-easterly direction, making a promise at every step.

For details of Vedic Hindu 'Saptapadi', Click here. For details of Native American 'Rite of Seven Steps' click here and here
No one can argue that the two are not almost identical.

The Native Americans also have other ceremonies similar to the Vedic Hindu Wedding. The 'Sacred Fire Ceremony' is equally important to the Vedic Indians and Native Americans. The Native Americans build their fire with seven different types of wood. The Hindus too believe that there are seven types of energies and circumambulate
 the sacred fire seven times. 

Generally brides belonging to most tribes wore red for the ceremony, their attire passed down many generations. Today quite a few, especially for example brides belonging to the Cherokee tribe wear white. In India, brides always wear red for the wedding ceremony.

The Sapta-Padi in the Vedic tradition
Another Native American ritual which they call the 'Blanket Ceremony', is similar to the Vedic 'Aashirwad' (आशीर्वाद) ceremony. The Bride and groom are covered with a Blanket or Sheet and are showered with flowers. In the Vedic tradition the couple is taken to be the manifestation of Shiva & Parvati and flowers showered over the covering blanket are an offering to Shiva & Parvati.

A Native American Wedding.
The Sacred Fire in the foreground.
Exchanging rings is a (comparatively) new addition to the wedding rites and was not a part of the wedding custom in either Vedic or among the cultures of various Native American tribes .

Most Native Americans believe that in the universe there exists the Great Spirit – a spiritual force that is the source of all life believed to be formless and to exist throughout the universe. Similarly, in the Vedic tradition the spiritual force is called the 'Supreme Consciousness' or 'Brahman' and is regarded as omnipresent.

Monday, 3 September 2012


Nebraska State is named after the Platte River, which is called 'NiNbdhaska' in Omaha-Ponco. In Ioway-Otoe, the Platte River is known as 'NiNbraske'. Omaha-Ponco and Ioway-Otoe are Native American languages.

Ninbdhaska and NinBraske, the two Native American names for the Platte River have the same meaning, i.e., 'Flat Water'.

In Sanskrit, the root word 'nini' (निनी) means to 'pour in', 'pour out' or 'pour down'. 'Abhadak' (अबाधक) means 'without obstacles'. Saka (सक) is added as a suffix for 'he' or 'she', in this case 'she' as river names in Sanskrit normally have a female gender. 'Ninabhadaska' woulld mean "that which pours or flows without impediment'. (Like a Flat-River!).

John E. Koontz, Department of Linguistics at the University of Colarado, says that the name Nebraska probably came from the the Ioway-Otoe 'NiNBraske". 

In Sanskrit, 'NinBraske' can be traced to the word 'Prastirna' (प्रस्तीर्ण) which means 'flat'. (The 'p' and 'b' sounds are easily convertible). If we add 'NiN' to 'Prastirna' we have 'NinPrastirna' which would mean 'pouring flat'. We could even add the 'saka' or 'aka' and the name would then change to 'Nin-Prastirn-aka' meaning 'that which pours out flat'. 

Yet another Sanskrit word, 'Nirbhugna' (निर्भुग्न) fits in well. Nirbhugna means 'flat'. It also means 'bent' or 'not straight'. If we add an 'A' as a suffix, we have NirbhugnA, which means a river that flows 'flat but not straight'. 

And here is the interesting part. The Nebraska State is little more than 200 miles from north to south and about 430 miles from east to west, but the serpentine windings of the River Platte give it a length of 600 miles within the state of Nebraska. Flat the river may may be, but it certainly is not straight.

Infact, the River Platte is serpentine.'Vatasha' (वाताश) as they say in Sanskrit! 'Nin-VatashA' - 'that which pours or flows like a serpent'.

If any of these Sanskrit words existed in the Native American languages, then a link between the Native Americans and  India definitely existed.

And if all these Sanskrit words exist in the Native American languages in some form or the other, then the origins of Native Americans just might have been in the Indian Subcontinent. 

Unless ofcourse the Vedic culture and the Sanskrit language was all-pervasive in the ancient world!

Saturday, 1 September 2012


It is largely believed, for want of a better explanation perhaps, that the state of Arkansas which gets its name from that of the river Arkansas, is named after the 'Akansa' - a Siouan tribe. The initial 'a' in 'akansa', is an Algonquian (a language spoken by another neighboring tribe) prefix, found in the names of many ethnic groups.

Kansa tribesmen also go by the name Kaw, Kaza, Kosa, and Kasa meaning 'People of the Wind' or 'People of Water'. In Sanskrit 'Kush' (कुश), 'Kashas' (कशस्), 'Kulinas' (कुलीनस), 'Kritas' (कृत्स) and 'Kavan' (कवन) all mean 'water'. 'Ka' () and 'Khaga' (खग) mean 'wind' or 'air'. 'Ashuga' (आशुग) also means 'wind'. 

Whether there is any link to the Sanskrit words and the tribe name Kansa described as 'People of the Wind' or 'People of Water' is difficult to say. It is also said that the term Arkansas means 'south wind' and is derived from a name used by some Native Americans to describe the Quapaws, an early tribe in the area. Wikipedia says that 'The French Jesuits pronounced the tribe name Oo-gaq-pa, which the Algonquins pronounced Oo-ka-na-sa, and Marquette wrote Arkansoa; LaSalle wrote Arkensa; DeTonti, Arkancas; and LaHarpe, Arkansas'. No matter what the original word, to the Sanskrit or Hindi speaking world, the names of many Native American Tribes, and the names of their rivers and mountains, just sound so familiar, that it is worth it to take a look at them, through the Sanskrit lens.

The word Kansa (कंस) pronounced Kamsa means copper, brass, bell-metal, or just metal, and any vessel made of these metals. Kansa is also the name of a prominent character in the Indian epic, Mahabharata- specifically the maternal uncle of Lord Krishna.

'Washunga', the Chief of the Kaw
or Kansa Tribe, circa 1885. 
In Sanskrit 'Vasha' (वश)
means 'authority'.
'Vashi' means 'one who controls'.

A look at the word 'Arkansas' out side of what is generally accepted as its source therefore is warranted. In Sanskrit, 'Ark' (अर्क) means the 'Sun' and 'Ansha' (अंश) means a 'part' or 'day'. Arkansas would mean 'Part of the Sun' or 'Sunday'!

Sanskrit words such as 'arun' (अरुण) mean 'red', 'ruddy' or 'tawny'. 'Arusha' (अरुष) means 'reddish'. That perhaps has something to do with the name of the 'Arkansas River.

Not surprisingly, there is a major river in Arkansas which today goes by the name 'Red River'. The river was named for the red-bed country of its water shed. Red beds are sedimentary rocks which typically consist of sandstone, siltstone and shale that are predominantly red in color due to the presence of ferric oxides. Did its ancient name have anything to do with the Sanskrit 'arun', or 'arusha' is not known. Who is to know!

Edward Moor in his book Oriental Fragments had stated that in Europe and elsewhere around the world, river names abound in words which mean black or white. Of Arkansas he said,"Arkanza - a river and a territory....and America has a red river, perhaps this...".

The Red River, or sometimes the Red River of the South, is a major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya. 'Atchafalaya' is an interesting name - and sounds Sanskrit to the core. In his research 'Native American place names of the United States' published in the year 2004, Bright William stated that the name 'Atchafalaya' comes from Choctaw for 'long river', from 'hachcha', 'river', and 'falaya', 'long'. As for Sanskrit, 'Atchfalaya' could be a distortion of many Sanskrit words.
'Falam' (फलं) means 'fruit' or 'end result' or 'reward'. 'Atcha' may be a distortion of 'atichar' (अतिचार) 'fast moving' or 'accelerating', 'atigha' (अतिघ) or 'aticha' (अतीच्छ) meaning 'desirous'.