Friday, 30 August 2013

THE WORD 'CAUCASIAN' - THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

The Caucasus is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia and is situated between the Black and Caspian Sea. It includes regions from Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountain Range which contains Europe's highest mountain, Mount Elbarus.


Mount Elbarus, the highest peak in the Caucasus Chain.
Elbarus gets its name from Proto-Iranian 'Hara Bṛzati'.
where 'bṛzant' means 'high.
Probably from Sanskrit 'brihant' ( बृहन्त ) which means 'high'
.

It is generally believed that the name 'Caucasus' derives from Latin 'Caucasus' and Greek 'Kaukasis'.

Francis Wilford, (1761-1822), an Indologist, Orientalist, fellow member of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and a constant collaborator of its journal 'Asiatic Researches', had decoded a number of ancient names of places in Central Asia wiith the aid of Sanskrit.

Francis Wilford was of the opinion that the Greeks received the name 'Kaukasis' through their interaction with the Persians who in his supposition, would have called the mountain Casus-Coh or Cas-Coh. 'Coh' or 'Koh' in Persian signifies a mountain. He then translated the name 'Coh-Cas' or 'Cas-Coh' from Persian into Sanskrit and arrived at 'Cas-giri' or 'Cas-gair'. ['giri' (गिरि) means 'mountain', and 'gaira' (गैर) 'of the mountain'].

The Calmet's Dictionary of the Holy Bible says that, "As the Greek word Caucasus was probably derived from India, and the tracing of it to its source is connected with some geographical views, it may not be uninteresting to refer to Francis Wilford's extract from Asiatic Researches." 
Quoting from Francis Wilford's writings, Calmet's Bible Dictionary of the Holy Bible  says, "The true Sanskrit name of the Caucasus mountain is C'hasa-giri or the mountain of the C'hasa, a most ancient and powerful tribe who inhabited this immense range, from the eastern limits of India, to the confluence of Persia and most probably as far as the Euxine and the Mediterranean seas.... They are often mentioned in the sacred books of the Hindus. Their descendants still inhabit the same regions and are known to this day as C'hsas, and in some places as C'hsyas and Cosias..... They are certainly a very ancient tribe for they are mentioned in the institutes of Menu (Manu); and their great ancestor C'hasa or C'hasya is mentioned by Sanchuniathon* under the name of Cassius. He is supposed to have lived before the great floods and to have given his name to the mountains he seized upon." [*Sanchunaithon is an ancient Phoenician author to whom the work 'Ammouneis' (or the Priests of 'Ammon') is attributed.] 

Francis Wilford himself then quotes Pliny the Elder (25 AD - 79 AD), Roman author, Naturalist and Philosopher who had written in his 'Naturalis Historia, "The inhabitants of the mountains between the Indus and the Jamuna were called C'esi, a name obviously derived from C'hasa or C'hesia as they are called in the vulgar dialects. The appellation of Caucasus or Coh-Cas extended from India to the shores of the Mediterranean and Euxine seas most probably, because this extensive range was inhabited by C'hasas."

Further, quoting Pliny's view, Wilford writes, "Mount Caucasus was also called 'Graucasus', an appellation obviously Sanskrit, for 'grava' which in conversation as well as spoken dialects is invariably pronounced 'grau' signifies a mountain". In Sanskrit the word 'grava' 
(ग्रावा) means 'hard', 'rock', 'stone' or 'granite', and is used in the context of a 'mountain' in the name 'Graucasus'.


Francis Wilford had more to add. He dwelt upon the Scythian meaning of the word Caucasus. Pliny the Elder had also contended that word Caucasus may have been of Scythian origin because it is similar to 'kroy-khasis', literally 'ice-shining, white with snow'. 


Wilford clarifies, "In the language of the Calmuck Tartars 'Jasu' and 'C'hasu' signifies snow, and in some dialects of the same tongue, they say 'Jusha' and 'Chusha', 'Tusha', 'Tucha' or 'Tuca'. These words in the opinion of my learned friends here are derived from the Sanskrit 'Tushar' by dropping the final 'Ra'." In Sanskrit 'Tushara' (तुषार) means 'snow' and thus also explains the Scythian 'ice-shining, white with snow' meaning of the word Caucasus.

In their ignorance, and worse, in their bias, Francis Wilfords works were rejected and ridiculed as were the works of other Indologists such as Edward Pococke, author of the famous 'India in Greece - Truth in Mythology', Edward Moor (1814-1902), author of 'Oriental Fragments' and Lt. Col. Ja
mes Todd, an official of East India Company who had traced the history of the Rajputs to the Yadhu tribe of Sri Krishna in his 'Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan'. They were Orientalists who did not cave in under the pressures of the East India Company and presented to the world their findings that they had arrived at with the aid of Sanskrit. But their research was not accepted by the East India Company, the British Empire and the European scholars, contrary as it was to their bid to present Asian and African to the world as savages and thus White Man's Burden.


Mt. Shakhar, is the highest peak in Georgian
Caucasus Range. In Sanskrit ,
'Shikhira' 
( शिखर)  means 'peak' or 'summit'.


The 'Ushaba' Peak in the 
Greater Caucasus Range, Georgia.
In Sanskrit 'Usha' (उषा) mean 'dawn'.
Ushapa (उषप) is another word for 'sun'
.


German anthropologist Friedrich Blumenbach who coined the term Caucasian, in his work in the late 1700s and early 1800s, divided Homo sapiens into five distinct races based on their physical characteristics. There was the Mongolian (yellow) race, the American (red) race, the Malayan (brown) race, the Ethiopian (black) race, and the white Caucasian race. In his definition, to the Caucasian category belonged the European (except the Lapps and Finns), inhabitants of Eastern Asia - as far as the river Obi, the Caspian Sea and the Ganges; and lastly, the inhabitants  of Northern Africa.

So why did Friedrich Blumebach choose the name 'Caucasian'. In a paper presented at the Fifth Annual Gilder Lehrman Center International Conference
at Yale University in August 2003, Nell Irvin Painter said, "Beneath this history of classification and measurement, however, lies another, hidden history of beauty and hierarchy. Blumenbach's embrace of beauty links his classification, which serves large geographical races and American racial binaries, with the nineteenth-century division of white people into better and lesser breeds..... Blumenbach borrowed the name 'Caucasian' from a reactionary colleague who was interested in setting Germans and Aryans at the top of the white heap". 

Today the term 'Caucasian' is erroneously used to describe the 'white race' in general while the more scientific and logical origins of the word 'Caucasus' are rejected.

Suggested Links:
1.Calmet's Dictionary of the Holy Bible
2. India in Greece by Edward Pococke
3. On ount Caucasus - Asiatic Researches
4. About Caucasus -Francis Wilford (Abridged)
5. Full Text of Asiatic Researches Index
6. Collective Degradation - Slavery and the Construction of the Race" - Nell Irvin Painter


Saturday, 24 August 2013

SANSKRIT - THE MOTHER OF PROTO-INDO-EUROPEAN (PIE)!

A theory was propounded in the 19th century which stated categorically that Sanskrit has roots linked to European languages. It claimed that Sanskrit and European languages had a commomother. They called the language Proto-Indo-European (PIE).

Wikipedia describes Proto-Indo-European as a hypothetical, re-engineered or reconstructed language. Its reconstruction involved putting all the words in European languages AND Sanskrit together, then looking for words co
mmon to all of them, and formulating a list of words that, it was claimed, would be the closest to a mother of European languages and Sanskrit, if that language had ever existed in antiquity!

PIE was formulated in the mid 1850s when European scholars were already exposed to Sanskrit, its scriptures and manuscripts. Three phonologists or linguistic researchers- Wilhelm Grimm, Rasmus Rask and Franz Bopp - were involved in the 'reconstruction'. Researcher Winfred Lehmann of University of Texas has this to say about their research, "Grimm, Rask, and Bopp did not even attempt to reconstruct the language from which the (European) dialects developed, assuming it to be much like Sanskrit." 


And commenting on the work of another phonologist of the 19th century by the name August Schleicher, Lehmann says, "Trying to escape such undue emphasis on Sanskrit, Schleicher reconstructed PIE on the basis of all the dialects." 

But the truth remains that PIE was reconstructed and developed on the logic and pattern of Sanskrit. Its grammar and the concept of root words is identical to Sanskrit. Had it been developed before the Europeans had exposure to Sanskrit books and manuscripts, PIE would have had earned its credibility. But a look at the process of its reconstruction reveals that it was at best a concoction.

European Scholars had access to
ancient Sanskrit manuscripts
that helped the
m formulate PIE
Does PIE really explain all the words in Sanskrit?  No. Here is a look at just one word, 'gold'. English dictionaries say that the word 'gold' derives from the 'PIE' root word 'ghel' which means 'yellow, green'. English etymological sources say that 'ghel' is a cognate of Sanskrit 'hiranyam', Old Persian 'daraniya' and Avestan 'zaranya'. A cursory look at these words tell us that the Sanskrit 'hiraniyam', Persian 'daraniya' and Avestan 'zaranya' are cognates - 'ghel' does not quite fit in.

The question remains what are the root words in PIE for the other 58 Sanskrit words for 'gold'. There don't seem to be any in PIE. The next best thing then is to look at 
Latin. Latin has about '5' words for 'gold' which include:

1. 'aurum' which means gold the metal or the colour, gold money, riches;
2. aurifer, aurifera, auriferum - which mean gold-bearing, producing/yielding gold (mine/country); bearing golden fruit;
3. barbaricarius, barbaricarii which means gold-weaver, embroiderer in gold; gilder;
4. balux, balucis or gold-dust, gold-sand;
5. baluca, balucae or gold-dust, gold-sand;
6. ballux, ballucis or gold-dust, gold-sand
Sanskrit has more than 50 words for 'gold'. If PIE is the mother of Sanskrit, it must have the root words to the following list.
  1. hyrania (हिरण्य)
  2. svarna (स्वर्ण)
  3. paraj' (पारज्)
  4. varni (वर्णि
  5. rkhtha ()
  6. garmut (गर्मुत्
  7. dru (द्रू
  8. kakand (ककन्द)
  9. surabhi (सुरभि)
  10. avastambha (अवष्टम्भ)
  11. kandal (कन्दल)
  12. kachigha (काचिघ
  13. dalapa (दलप)
  14. tarkashya (तार्क्ष्य)
  15. tavisha (तवीष)
  16. dhattura (धत्तूर)
  17. piyu (पीयु)
  18. bharu (भरु)
  19. rasa (रस
  20. lohottama (लोहोत्तम
  21. varnavarna (वरवर्ण), also varna (वर्ण)
  22. ri (री) and also 'ra' (
  23. marut (मरुत्)
  24. astapada (अष्टापद)
  25. champeya (चाम्पेय)
  26. niska (निष्क)
  27. heman (हेमन्)
  28. kanaka (कनक)
  29. kanchana (काञ्चन)
  30. jatarupa (जातरूप)
  31. surarha (सुरार्ह)
  32. agnibija (अग्निबीज), agnivirya (अग्निविर्य), agnisikha (अग्निसिख), 'agnibha' (अग्निभ
  33. amrita (अमृत)
  34. ayas (अयस्
  35. aujasa (औजस)
  36. aruna (अरुण
  37. agneya (आग्नेय)
  38. apimjara (आपिञ्जर)
  39. ujjwala (उज्ज्वल)
  40. karchura (कर्चूर) or karbura (कर्बुर)
  41. kalyana (कल्याण)
  42. kartasvara (कार्तस्वर)
  43. kesara (केसर)
  44. kushan (कृशन
  45. kusumbha (कुसुम्भ
  46. gangeya (गाङ्गेय)
  47. garuda (गारुड)
  48. gairika (गैरिक) or gaur (गौर),
  49. chamikar (चामीकर)
  50. charusar (चारुसार)
  51. jambava (जाम्बव)
  52. tapaniyaka (तपनीयक)
  53. tamarasa (तामरस) or tapana (तापन) or tejasa  (तेजस्
  54. tirita (तिरीट)
  55. diptaka (दिप्तक) or dipta (दीप्त)
  56. dravya (द्रव्य)
  57. narjivana (नारजीवन
  58. pinjana (पिञ्जान) or pinjara (पिञ्जर)
  59. pita (पीत) or purata (पुरट
How does PIE explain the existence of these additional words for 'gold'. Or for that matter the hundreds of words for 'water' or 'sun' or 'sky' or 'cloud' in Sanskrit. What is their origin?

The Rig Vedic literature states that Sanskrit was brought to the earth by Lord Shiva. In the current context, it may not be important as to how the language emerged or who brought it to earth, what is important is to accept that the structure of the language is such that it could not have evolved randomly. It is more than likely that this language was handed over or revealed in one package much like the computer languages of today. 


Click here to listen to the sutra that encapsulates the sounds of the alphabets that Lord Shiva revealed to the seers.   

Interesting, Sanskrit has the power to shed light on words that exist even in Latin. For example, the Latin 'aurum' that is 'gold' is said to be derived from PIE root word 'aus' meaning 'golden'. In Sanskrit 'aru' means 'sun', 'aruna' means 'golden'. And it is likely that the Latin 'aurum' indeed derives from the Sanskrit 'aur' rather than the PIE 'aus'. But that is not the end of it. There is an 'aus'
 (ओष) in Sanskrit too, it means 'shine'.

Here now is a look at the Latin 'baluka', 'balux' and its other forms which all mean 'gold-sand'. In Sanskrit 'valuka' (वालुका) means 'sand' (not gold-sand) and 'bhalu' (भालु) means 'sun'. The 19th century phonologists seemed to have confused 'valuka' (वालुका) and 'bhalu' (भालु) and interpreted it as 'gold-sand' in Latin. And 'carii', the suffix in the Latin 'barbaricarii' (gold-weaver), means 'do-er' in Sanskrit. In fact the Sanskrit word for hand is 'kara' (कर) and your actions are karma (कर्म) and the person who does the karma is 'kari' (कारि). So a weaver or a mechanic or an artist or an artisan are all 'kari'. Logical.

No matter what the source of Sanskrit, it is too organized to have evolved from another language. PIE, for one, did not even exist. PIE was propagated in a bid to establish the superiority of the white race and further the cause of the Aryan Invasion Theory - a theory that has floundered in the face of current research on ancient history and archaeology.



The Vedas were passed on by
Shruti (
श्रुति )
 (divine knowledge revealed to the sages), and
Smriti (
स्मृति)
knowledge that was derived or inculcated from Shruti)
Suggested Links

Thursday, 15 August 2013

THE NAMES 'BRAZIL' & 'IBIRA-PITANGA' - THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

The website www.freedictionary.com states, "The name Brazil is derived from the Portuguese and Spanish word 'brasil', the name of an East Indian tree with reddish-brown wood from which a red dye was extracted. The Portuguese found a New World tree related to the Old World 'brasil' tree when they explored what is now called Brazil; and as a result they named the New World country after the Old World tree".

The (East) Indian tree that is being referred to here is the Sappan, botanical name 'Caesalpinia Sappan' which in Sanskrit is known as 'Bhaarya Vrksha' (भार्या - वृक्ष). Bhaarya Tree has been used in India since ancient times to extract the red dye called 'abira'. The word 'brasil' as in 'brasil tree' mentioned above in www.freedictionary.com might therefore be a distortion of the Sanskrit 'bhaarya' or at least have the same source from where the name is derived.


Sappan Tree, or Bhaarya Vriksha, India.
The wood yields red dye
 known as 'Abira'. The flowers are
'Pitanga',  Sanskrit for 'yellow'.
In the 1550s when the Spanish and the Portuguese explorers and invaders reached what would later be known as Brazil, they found a similar timber tree which was later classified as Caesalpina Echinata. This tree yielded a wood with an orange-red hue and was used for making musical instruments by the locals. The Spanish and Portuguese called this land 'Terra de Brasil', or, 'Red-Dye Wood Land'. [The word 'brasil' had already entered the Portuguese, Spanish, as also French dictionaries]. In these languages the word 'brasil' meant 'ember' and referred to the reddish-orange-yellow colour of a dying fire.

The most interesting part of the story is that this Brazilian tree Caesalpina Echinata already had a name - the locals called this tree 'Ibirapitanga' in their own ancient Tupi language.

But then 'ibira-pitanga' are Sanskrit words and mean 'red yellow (dye)'! 'Ibira' is the same as 'abira' (red dye) mentioned above, 'pita' (पीत) is 'yellow'. The suffix 'ang' in 'Pitanga' is probably a distortion or cognate either of 'ranga' (रङ्ग) which is 'color' or 'anga' (अङ्ग) which means 'constituent' or 'part'!

There is even a place in Brazil by the name 'Ibirapitanga'.


 
Ibirapitanga, Brazil
How do Sanskrit place names appear everywhere around the world? It has been argued by some Indologists that ancient Indians were excellent navigators and travelled the world, carrying Indian culture and spreading ancient knowledge all around. People around the world, and especially in India, have to review their own history through the Sanskrit lens to have a clearer vision of who they really are.

Some of the readers of this blog have put forth the view that many languages have similar sounding words with the same meaning and therefore should be called 'cognates'. Agreed. But when there is an amazingly large number of cognates in many languages which can be decoded with Sanskrit, what does that indicate? For example the place name 'Ibirapitanga' in Brazil in the Tupi native american language is a cognate of Sanskrit 'abira-pitanga'. The word has a common 'tree' context.  It is obvious that the ancient world was more connected that we have ever believed in modern times.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

NATURALLY RADIOACTIVE HOT-SPOTS OF THE WORLD - THE SANSKRIT CONNECT

The 3 most naturally radioactive hot spot in the world are the following:

1. Gaurapari, Brazil

2. Ramsar, Iran

3. Paralana, Arkarula in Australia 

The names are fascinating to say the least if one were to look at them through the Sanskrit lens.

1. Gaurapari (Brazil): In Sanskrit 'gaura' 
(गौर) means 'shining' or 'splendid'. 'Pari' (परि) means 'abundant'. Put together GauraPari means 'Abundantly Splendid'. Another cognate of GauraPari is the Sanskrit 'GhoraPara' - 'ghora' (घोर) means 'terrible' and  'para' (पर) means that which is 'across' or 'cut off'. GhauraPara would therefore mean 'that terrible area which is cut off' or that which should not be approached. The coastal mountains around Gaurapari are rich in Monazite (a phosphate of uranium and thorium) and the pounding waves around the mountains wash the rare elements into the water. Even so, p
eople have been residing in Gaurapari from time immemorial, and surprisingly or not, show a relatively lower rate of lung cancer.


2. Ramsar (Iran): This name is equally fascinating and means Sri Rama's Lake or Pond. 'Sara' (सर) means 'lake', 'pond' or 'water-spring' in Sanskrit. 

'Ramsar' springs are located in the Mazandaran province of Iran. The ancient name of Mazandaran was the Sanskrit derived 'Verkana', meaning Wolfland - Vrka means Wolf in Sanskrit. Verkana once had a huge population of wolves. There are other places in Iran, such as 'Babolsar'  which have the Sanskrit 'Sara' as a suffix. Yet another place is Iran goes by the name 'Sari' .  'SarI' (सरी) is Sanskrit for 'cascade' and Sari सरि means 'waterfall'.


Many place names in India have 'sara' as a 'suffix' such as Amritsar, Thanesar, Manesar etc. The thermal springs of Ramsar in Iran have been used for therapy since ancient times .

3. Paralana, Arkarula (Australia) is even more fascinating. In Sanskrit 'pariluna' (परिलून) means 'cut-off' or 'severed'. 'Arka' (अर्क) means 'sun' or 'fire'. The name 'arka' appears in the sun temples of India like 'Konarka'. 'Kula' (
कूल) means 'pond' or 'pool'. 

Legend says that Arkarula was named after a monster named 'Arkaroo'. In Sanskrit 'Arkaripu' (अर्करिपु) means 'enemy of the sun' and is another name of 'Rahu', the shadowy planet. In Vedic astrology, Rahu (North Node) is one of the two points were the Moon crosses the ecliptic, the other being Ketu (South Node) - thus resulting in eclipses. Rahu is therefore depicted as a 'demon' in Vedic astrology.

The hot springs of Arkarula are heated up to 62 degrees centigrade by radioactive decay and are a popular destination for visitors!


Gaurapari, Brazil
The most naturally radioactive place in the world.
Gaura means 'shining' in Sanskrit.

Ramsar, in Mazandaran, Iran
The ancient name of Mazandaran was 'Verkana'
derived from the Sanskrit 'Vrka' meaning Wolf.

Arkarula in Australia is
known for its waterholes naturally
heated by radioactive decay.
'Arka' means 'sun' in Sanskrit.



Suggested Links:

Monday, 12 August 2013

THE 'DAIVA' INSCRIPTION - PERSEPOLIS, IRAN - THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

The Daiva, Inscription.
Paraspura (Persepolis) Iran
Dated around 500 BC
In one of the lines, the Daiva (or Deva Inscription) at Persepolis (ancient name Paraspura), Iran, dated to around 500 BC says, 'pasāva vašnā Auramazdāha adam avam daivadānam viyakanam' and is translated from Old Persian as 'Afterwards, by the favor of Ahura-mazdā, I destroyed that temple of the Daivas.' The Daiva Inscription was placed at the Persepolis temple on the orders of King Xerses (Persian name:  Khshayarsha), who lived from 520 to 465 BC and was the grandson of King Cyrus (his name is recorded in Iranian annals as Kambhoja) and the son of King Darius (Persian name - Daresh).

The entire Daiva inscription can be decoded with the help of Sanskrit. Here is the decode of a section (
pasāva vašnā Auramazdāha adam avam daivadānam viyakanam) with the help of Sanskrit.

The Old Persian 'Pasava' is derived from and is a simplification of the Sanskrit 'pasch' (पश्च) which means 'later'. It is from the root 'pasch' that the Sanskrit (and Hindi) 'paschat' (पश्चात्) is derived.

In Sanskrit, 'purva' (
पूर्व) means 'before' and it also means 'East'. 'Pasch' (पश्च) means 'later' and it also means 'West'. Sun rises in the 'East' 'before' it does in the 'West' (where it rises 'later)'. Hence 'purva' (East, before) and 'pascha' (West, later). This is the kind of logic that is woven into Sanskrit and is missing from other languages.

The next two words 'vasana Auramazdāha' is translated from Old Persian as 'by the favour of Auramazdaha'. However in Sanskrit 'vasana' (
वासना) means 'wish' or 'desire'. The two words would therefore mean 'as desired by Auramazadaha'.

'Adam' is translated from Old Persian as 'I' and is a distortion of the Sanskrit 'aham' (
अहम् ) which means 'I'.

'Avam' is translated from Old Persian as 'this' or 'that'. In Sanskrit, 'idam' (
इदम् ) and 'etat' (एतत्) both mean 'this'.

'Daivadana' is translated from Old Persian as 'temple of the daivas'. In Sanskrit, the word is 'devadham' (देवधाम) that is the 'dhama' of the devas' - 'dham' (
धाम) means 'abode', hence 'abode of God'.

'Viyakanam' is translated from Old Persian as 'destroyed'. In Sanskrit, 'viya' (वियम्) means 'rip apart'. 'Viya' is a compound word, where 'vi' (
वि) means 'apart' or 'asunder' and 'ya' (या) means 'to set out' or 'move away'.

The name 'Azuramazda' is also a distortion of the Sanskrit 'Asura-medira' (असुर- मेधिर). In Sanskrit 'medira' means intelligent. Asuramedira was the name of God Varuna in the Vedic context. During the Vedic times and early Hinduism, the Asura and Devas were all worshipped. It was only later that there was a divide.

Suggested Link:
The Asura

Friday, 9 August 2013

MAZANDARAN & BEHISTUN, IRAN - THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

The Greeks called what is today known as Mazandaran in Iran by the name Hyrcania - a distortion of its earlier name 'Verkana'. The name Verkana is recorded in the inscription of Behistun, dated somewhere between 522 - 468 BC. 

The word 'Verkana' is a distortion of the Sanskrit 'Vrka' (वृक) which means 'wolf'. The Sanskrit 'Vrka' distorts in Avestan (ancient language of Iran) to 'vehrko', also meaning 'wolf', and therefore Hyrcania is translated as 'Wolfland'.


The original name of Behistun was Bagistana, a distortion of the Sanskrit 'Baghvan-sthana' (भगवन् स्थान) meaning the 'Place of God'. Though Bagistan is known as the place where God dwells, the Behistun inscription (located in  Kermenshah Province) is nothing but a list of 23 principalities that King Darius (his actual name was Darayavaus) of Persia ruled. What is interesting are the names of these 23 principalities and those of their rulers who had fought and lost in battle to King Darius. 

Behistun Inscription
Here is a look at the name 'Darayavaus'. In Avestan this name is said to mean 'one who holds firm the good'. In Sanskrit 'dharay (धारय) means 'holding' and 'bahu' (बहु) means 'abundance' . 'Vahu' in Avestan is said to mean 'good'. Given the closeness of Avestan and Sanskrit, his name probably was a distortion of the Sanskrit 'Dharmaraya' - dharma meaning 'righteousness'  or 'goodness' and 'ahraya' (अह्रय) meaning 'abundant'. 

The Sanskrit Dharaya-Ahraya (धारय - अह्रय) definitely makes sense as 'holding-abundance' but is an unlikely name.


Just as the Avestan language is derived from Sanskrit, so are the names of the kings and princes and place names. The 23 principalities of the kingdom of Darius included Persia, Elam, Babylonia, Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, Sardis, Ionia, Media, Armenia, Cappadocia, Parthia, Drangiana, Aria, Chorasmia, Bactria, Sogdiana, Gandara, Scythia, Sattagydia, Arachosia, Maka and 'those located by the sea': in all, 23. 


Here is a look at some of the names through the Sanskrit lens: 

1. The name 'Persia' derives from 'Parasa' which is what Persia was known in the Indian region then. 'Parasa' (
पारस) is Sanskrit as 'beyond' or 'across the boundary'.


2. 'Elam' was once known as 'Susa' (शूष) which means 'strength' or 'vigour' in Sanskrit.

3. The name Babylon is derived from Akkadian 'Bab-ilani' meaning 'the gate of the gods.' Akkadian was according to the ancient Indian records the language of the Asuras. In India, Babylon was known by its Sanskrit name Baveru (बावेरु) and details of trade with Baveru exist in Indian annals. For example, in 'Baveru Jataka' we come across a merchant who carried an Indian peacock to Baveru. It says, 'Yada cha sara sampanno moro Baverum-agata'.


4. Assyria was known as 'Asura' in Akkadian - the language of the Asuras. In Sanskrit, 'Asura' (
असुर) means 'demon'. The indigenous inhabitants of the Indian region called themselves 'Sura' (सुर) which means 'divine'. In return, the Asuras equated the word 'Sura' (also known as 'Devas') with 'demon'.

5. Arabia gets its name from the Sanskrit 'Aravan' (अर्वन्) meaning 'horse'.

6. Egypt - The link between India and Egypt is well established. To read what scholars from  around the world have to say about the two civilizations click here.

German Egyptologist, Heinrich Karl Brugsch, had this to say,"We have a right to more than suspect that India, 8000 years ago, sent a colony of emigrants who carried their arts and high civilization into what is now known as Egypt." The Egyptians came, according to their records, from a mysterious land (now known to lie on the shores of the Indian Ocean)."



To be continued....

Suggested Links:
1. Baveru Jataka

2. Mazandaran: A song in a Hindi Movie.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

THE PARTHIAN EMPIRE OF IRAN - THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

The wide occurrence of the Sanskrit root word 'Para' (पार) which means 'to bring across, a small piece or quantity of something, the other side, shore or boundary' in various place-names of old Persian empires proves the dispersion of the Indian tribes into Central Asia and beyond. The movement of the tribes like the Gandharvas, the Yakshas, the Yadus and the Kinnaras in all directions is documented in the great Indian epics - the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. 

The etymological origins of the word 'Persia' are unclear though it is known that the most ancient form of the name 'Persia' is 'Parsa'. The name 'Paras' is of Sanskrit origins and of Indian coinage. In India 'Persia' was known as 'Paras' (परस्) which means 'further', 'away' or 'beyond'.

With the death of the Aryan Invasion Theory, and the confirmation (by satellite imaging) of the existence of what was until very recently dismissed as a mythical river and a figment of the imagination of the great Indian sages - the Sarasvati, is evident that the direction of the flow of culture was radiating from India into other parts of the world. For the sake of argument if one were to say that there was an Aryan invasion, one would have to believe that the people of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Ethiopia, Russia all moved towards India and somehow created a homogeneous Vedic way of life. All these ancient cultures, and many others, lay a claim to the Sanskrit language. Yet not one of them has even the memory of one sutra  or one shloka - let alone an epic in the Sanskrit language.

With this as the background, here is a look at the Parthian empire in Persia- that lasted from 227 BC to 224 AD. 


First the name. In Sanskrit, the word 'partha' (पार्थ) means 'prince' and was one of the many names of the great warrior Arjuna. Arjuna was the son of Pritha (पृथा), also known as Kunti (of Mahabharata). Kunti was born as 'Pritha', but was promised to be given away to her childless uncle, and hence separated from her parents. The name 'Pritha' itself is derived from the Sanskrit 'Prth' (पृथ्) which means 'separate'. 

Second, the local name of what was later known as the Parthian Empire was Parthava (पार्थव). In Sanskrit, the word Parthava (पार्थव) means that which belongs to 'Pritha'. The capital city of Parthava was Partha-nisa (पार्थ-नीषह्). 'NiSHa' means 'overpowering' or 'powerful' in Sanskrit.


{As an aside - both the Ramayana and Mahabharata, warrior tribes from India - of which Sri Krishna's Yadhu tribe is one of the most well known - had spread their empires far and wide empire right up to Uttarakuru and the Kuru Sagara, that is now known as the Kara Sea (in the North Arctic Ocean) in the North. The Ramayana mentions the 'Vanara' search party travel in all directions - including what can only be identified as the Andes and  Peru. The 'Paracas Trident' etched on a mountain slope in the Andes mountains of Peru visible to this day is mentioned in the Valmiki Ramayana.}

Third, the ancient name of the city which the Greeks later called Persepolis was 'Parasapura'  (पारसपुर). In Sanskrit 'pura' means 'city'. Another ancient Persian city, that is 'Susa', is known for the 'Palace of Darius' which is located on the hill mound of 'Apadana', dated to 5th century BC. The Palace itself was built on the ruins of other ancient structures. The 'Apadana' was the 'entrance hall' and 'portico' of the Palace of Darius. Interestingly, in Sanskrit 'apadana' (आपादन) means 'to bring' used here in the sense of an 'entrance to a building structure'. Incidentally, the word Susa (शूष), as a noun means 'power' and as an adjective means 'courageous' in Sanskrit.

The Parthians displayed the art, architecture, religious beliefs, and royal insignia heavily influenced by the culture of India. Take a look:

A Parthian warrior
Notice the 'dhoti'- like attire

common in India till today
The minstrels, that is the musicians and singers in the courts of the Parthian nobility were known as 'gosan'. The word 'gosan' is derived from the Sanskrit 'ghoshan' (घोषण) which means 'proclaiming', 'announcing' or 'sounding'.

Here is a sculpture of a Parthian Queen, notice the attire and the hand position.

Parthian Queen
The 'blessing hand' gesture is commonly seen in Indian sculpture.

The 'blessing hand posture' is
common to Vedic Gods and Goddess. India.
The Lord Krishna-like sculpture from Susa, Iran
Notice the 'Angarakha' style knotted front of the attire.

The string-knot 'Angarakha' is common to the folk attire
of Gujarat and Rajasthan in India

Notice the neck of the Angarakha
tied with strings worn
in Rajasthan, India.
A column at 'Apadana' at the entrance of
 the Palace of Darius, Iran. 'Apadana'
means 'entrance' in Sanskrit.

'Nandi' the bull is a common fixture at the entrances of the Shiva temples in India.



Nandi, the bull
at the entrance of Thanjavur Temple, India
No Sanskrit manuscripts have ever been found outside of India, though some Sanskrit inscriptions have been found at temple sites in Iran. It is curious that the Palace of Darius has an entrance hall called by a Sanskrit word, 'apadana'. This in no way indicates that the word 'apadana' appeared in Sanskrit from Avestan. The reason is the sustained logic within Sanskrit. 

For example 'apada' (आपद् ) which means 'enter', 'bring near or towards','fetch' or 'get in' is related to the words 'apadana' (entrance), 'apadayati' (bring near or fetch), 'apada' (arriving at) and so on. And the base root is 'pad' (पद्) which means 'step'. Notice that all the words mentioned here are related to the property of taking a step or getting into a situation or moving. Even getting into trouble is known as 'aapada' (आपदा) in Sanskrit - aaPada - a non-step, or the inverse of a step. There is nothing random in Sanskrit - the entire vocabulary is neatly tied up - by scientific arrangement and by logic.

Thus Sanskrit, developed as a part of the Vedic culture of India and both the language and the influence of the Vedic and the Indus Valley culture travelled in all directions out of India.


Suggested Links:
The Mithraic Studies: Proceedings of the First International Congress