Thursday, 31 October 2013

PARAISO, PERU - ARCHAEOLOGISTS DISCOVER AN ANCIENT 'HAVAN KUND'

Archaeologists in Peru have unearthed a previously undiscovered temple, believed to be about 4500 years old at the famous El Paraiso site, located not far from Lima, the capital city of Peru. 

An ancient Fire Temple in Lima, Peru, close to
the site of the Paracas Trident was discovered in January, 2013
The Fire Temple structure is similar to the
Vedic 'Havan Kund'
On the western edge of the Paraiso Complex is a temple which is described thus, "A small stone structure which features walls coated in yellow clay and traces of red paint, is thought to be around 4,500 years old and has already been dubbed the Temple of Fire. It was discovered within the western wing of the main El Paraiso pyramid. The hearth located in the newly discovered structure was used to burn ceremonial offerings." Marco Guillen, who led the team of researchers interpreted his findings and said, “The smoke allowed the priests to connect with the gods.” 

However, this explanation is a little too simplistic.The Fire Temple of the Paraiso complex in Peru bears a close resemblance to the Vedic 'Havan Kunds' that are a part of Hindu temple arenas. 'Havan Kunds' are fire pits that are used  for performing 'havan' (sacred fire ritual) and making ceremonial offerings to the sacred fire in India. The Paraiso Fire Temple is a larger version of a 'Havan Kund', with seating space for the pundits (priests) chanting mantras.

Pyramid shaped Vedic 'Havan Kund' has been a part of the Indian
tradition since ancient times. Take a look at the fire worship and
listen to the accompanying chants here. 
The Vedic sacred fire ritual ‘havan' serves as a link between man’s consciousness and the cosmic consciousness.The 'havan fire converts the physical components and all offerings made to the fire, into their ‘psychic’ components serving as homage to the deities presiding over the 'havan'. 

In his book 'Pyramid and Temple Vaastu', author Dr. Bhojraj Dwivedi writes, "... when a pyramid shaped temple is inverted, it assumes the shape of a 'havan kund'.... when various articles, fortified by chanting of 'mantras' or Vedic hymns are consigned to the sacrificial fire, the atmosphere gets charged with the multiplied effects of the mantras which spread (pervade) even to the minutest objects." 
Copper 'Havan Kund' shaped like an
inverted Step Pyramid
In fact, the 'offering' made into the fire is known as 'homa' (होम) in Sanskrit. It is probably from the Sanskrit 'homa' that the English word 'homage' is derived - though English etymological dictionaries trace the source to the word 'homme'  meaning 'man'.


All religions worship the higher force in the form of fire, Lighting candles or lamps is common to all religions. In the Vedic tradition, fire or 'agni' is the acceptor of all offerings. 'Agni' is the first word of the Rig Veda. 

The fire therefore is far more significant than a simple smoke signal. The spiritual vibrations emanating from the mantras that are chanted during a 'havan' are very powerful and create positive energy around the person and other participants of 'havan'. 

As for the name 'Paraiso' itself, that too has a Sanskrit source. Dictionaries trace the source of the word 'Paraiso' to Latin 'paradisus', to Greek 'paradeisos' and finally to Avestan 'pari daeza', all  
meaning 'walled enclosure'. However, the source is probably the Sanskrit 'paridhi' (परिधि) meaning 'circumference' or 'walled enclosure'. In Sanskrit, the root word 'pari' (परि) has to do with 'space' - as in 'paryeti' (पर्येति) meaning 'surround', or 'parivapati (परिवपति) meaning 'scatter' and so on.

Was the Paraiso Fire Temple an ancient Vedic Temple? Quite possible, for Peru has many temples that bear names of Sanskrit origin - one example is the KoriKancha. Some symbols such as the Paracas Trident of Lima are uncannily close to the Vedic symbols. The most prominent God is Vira-cocha. The ancient language of the Americas, called the Quechua, seems to have many similarities to Sanskrit! And so do the rivers and ancient place names of Peru. In fact, in Sanskrit, Peru (पेरु) means 'Golden Mountain' and 'paru' (परु) means 'Paradise'. It was in 'Paraiso' Temple Complex that construction workers razed an ancient Pyramid to the ground.

Suggested Links:
1. Rig Vedic Chanting and Havan
2. Greater India
3. Hindu Temple - Paridhi Prakara
4. Ancient Vedic Temple

5. 'Pyramid and Temple Vaastu' by Dr. Bhojraj Dwivedi

Friday, 25 October 2013

THE 'VIMANA' OF RAMAYANA AND THE ANCIENT AIRPORTS OF LANKA

Rishi Valmiki writes in the Ramayana that Ravana - or Sri Ravana as he is called in Sri Lanka - was the owner of many aircraft. Of course, the 'Pushpak' is the most famous one and there is a detailed description of the Pushpak in chapter 7 verse 11 of the Sunder Kanda.:


पुष्प आह्वयम् नाम विराजमानम् |
रत्न प्रभाभिः च विवर्धमानम् |
वेश्म उत्तमानाम् अपि च उच्च मानम् |
महा कपिः तत्र महा विमानम् || ५-७-११

"There the great Hanuma saw a great Vimana, the best among best of aerial cars, shining with the name of Pushpaka with the rays of precious stones, and capable of traveling long distances".


Chapter 8, Verse 2 of the Sundar Kanda says:

तदप्रमेयाप्रतिकारकृत्रिमम् |
कृतम् स्वयम् साध्विति विश्वकर्मणाः |
दिवम् गतम् वायुपथप्रतिष्ठितम् |
व्यराजतादित्यपथस्य लक्ष्मिवत् || ५-८-२

"That plane shone like symbol for solar path standing in the aerial path obtaining the sky. Manufactured by Vishvakarma himself and praised by him as one without comparison in beauty."


Another aircraft of the Treta Yuga (the era of Sri Rama), by the name of 'Mayura' is mentioned in the Vaimanika Shastra (aviation scripture) of India. The local legend of Sri Lanka also says that Ravana owned a plane by the name 'Dondu Monara Yantra'. In Singhalese 'Monara' means 'mayura' or 'peacock' and 'Dondu' means 'that which can fly'. Way back in the year 1864 Galle Face Hotel of Colombo chose for its logo, the 'Dondu Monara' - a peacock shaped 'yantra' (machine).


The first flight in modern times, the one that was operated by Wright brothers, did not happen until the year 1903*. It is therefore significant that the Galle Face Hotel had a 'flying machine' as its logo many years before that. The Art of Living publication 'Ramayana in Lanka' says that it is most likely that the 'Monara Dandu' of the Singhaese legends is the same 'Mayura' that is mentioned in the Vaimanika Shastra.


Sri Lankan legend also mentions many airports that existed in Lanka in the Treta Yuga during the times of Sri Rama and Ravana. Here are a few:


1. 'Werangantota' in Mahiyangana - in the Singhalese language this word means 'a place for an airport to land'. In Sanskrit, 'varanka' (वारङ्क) means 'bird' and 'ghatta' (घट्ट) means 'landing place' and is is the source of the word Werangantota. Singhalese itself is a Sanskrit derived language. Legend has it that 'Werangantota' is the airport where the Pushpaka Vimana landed when Sita is abducted and flown to Lanka. The Ashoka Vatika where Sita is held in captivity site is located about 10 km from Werangantota.

A temple stands today at the Ashoka Vatika site
in Sri Lanka, not far from the site of Werangantota ancient airport.


It is also quite evident that Jatayu, the so so-called bird that tries to forestall the flight of Ravana is also an aircraft. How else could a bird battle the Pushpaka vimana and attempt to stop the flight of an aircraft. Of course, the pilot in the aeroplane named Jatayu has been confused for the aircraft itself. One may have noticed that whenever a powerful machinery is mentioned in the Ramayana, Valmiki, the author describes it by saying that the person involved 'changes his shape at will'. For example, every time Hanuman takes off in the air he always transforms his shape. His arms extend out but his legs become comparatively shorter. His chest extends, he presses the ground with his chest, there are huge gusts of wind, there are loud noises and then he is airborne. That's Hanuman in an aircraft!

2. 'Thotupola Kanda' (at Hoton Plains): The word 'thotupola' means a port, a place that one touches during ones journey, 'kanda' means rock. In Sanskrit 'ghattan' (घट्टन) means 'a landing place' and 'katha' (काठ) means 'rock'. The Singhalese word 'Thotu' may be a distortion of the Sanskrit 'ghatta'. Thotupola Kanda is a flat land over a rocky range 6000 feet above sea level in Lanka. 'Pola' may be derived from Sanskrit 'pura' meaning city. 'Pura' appears in the name Singapore as 'pore' and as 'por' in Por Bajin (Siberia) etc.


3. Wariyapola (Mattale): The word Wariyapola is said to have been derived from 'watha-ri-ya-pola' meaning place for landing and taking off. The source of 'watha' is the Sanskrit 'vithi' (वीथी) which means 'path', 'atarya' (आतार्य) is related to 'landing', 'tarya' (तार्य) is related to 'carrying freight'. Or 'wariya' may just be a distortion of the sanskrit 'varanga' which as mentioned above means 'bird'. In fact va (वा), vata (वात), vaha (वाह) all are realated to air, flight and flying. 'Pola' is probably a distortion of the Sanskrit 'pura' which means 'place'.

* In India, of course, the story of Wright brothers is no longer accepted. For more on this subject click here.

Suggested Link:
From Bharata to India: Chrysee the Golden by M. K. Aggarwal

Saturday, 19 October 2013

PERU - 'THE LAND OF THE RISING SUN' - SAYS THE RAMAYANA

In Chapter 40 of the Kishkinda Kand of the epic Ramayana, the author Sage Valmiki states that the Udaya Adri (उदय अद्रि) ('Udaya' means 'Sunrise' and 'Aadri' means 'Mountain') can be located after crossing many oceans when travelling east of India. In Chapter 40 the 'vanaras' travelling east of India are directed to reach Udaya Mountain - they were to cross Yava (Java), Golden & Silver Islands (Sumatra, Bali etc.), Mt. Shishira, River Shona, Plaksha Island, Ikshu Island, the 'furious' Ikshu Samudra, and then passing the 'disastrous' Lohita Ocean would bring them to Shalmali Dvipa. Shalmali Dvipa has been identified by researchers as the Australian land mass. 

Further they would pass the ocean which has milky waters, Mt. Rishaba and Lake Sudarshana. This seems to be a reference to the mountains and islands around New Zealand.


This is the path that Sugreeva chalks out for the 'vanaras' headed east of India in search of Goddess Sita. Refer to Kishkinda Kand Chapter 40 of the Ramayana.
Further on, the 'vanaras' are told, that they would come across the so called mighty 'Soft Ocean' (Jala Sagaram) whose waves are quite often ferocious. Then Valmiki says the 'vanaras' would pass the 'fantastically refulgent fire resembling the face of a horse' (Verse 4-48). This for sure is a reference to what is today called the 'Pacific Ring of Fire' .

The area encircling the Pacific Ocean is called the 'Ring of Fire,' because its edges mark a circle of high volcanic and seismic activity (earthquakes). Most of the active volcanoes on Earth are located on this circumference.


'The Pacific Ring of Fire' is described in
 Chapter 40, Verse 48 of the Valmiki Ramayana

Once the mighty 'Soft Water Ocean' (which has been identified as the Pacific) has been crossed the 'vanaras' would then reach the Udaya Mountains where they will see Jaat-Shila-Rupa (which translates as Golden Rock Peak), etched on which is a 'golden pylon resembling a palm tree with three branches with a golden podium'. 

Sugreev continues, "That pylon of palm tree is constructed as the easterly compass by celestial gods beyond which lies the Udaya Adri." (Verse 4-52). The Udaya Adri mountains are the Andes of South America. And in the Andes range of Peru is the 'Shining or Golden Trident'. Today it is known as the 'Paracas Trident'. It shines to this day and is visible from the skies.

The 'Shining Trident' beyond which lies the
'Udaya Adri' (Sunrise Mountain) is described in
Chapter 40 Verse 53 of Valmiki Ramayana.
According to the Ramayana, day breaks on earth in the Udaya Adri. In today's world we are conditioned to think that sun rises first in Japan. But the fact is that at every geographical point of land in the world, darkness will fade away and day will break at a certain point of time every day. 

So why did the Ramayana choose the Andes as the point of sunrise, or in other words, why was day-break in Peru over the Andean Mountains chosen as the first ray of sun for the entire earth. Why not India, Japan, or any other place?

Chapter 40 Verse 57 of the Kishkinda Kand gives the reason. It says that when Lord Vishnu first 'invaded' the earth he strode across the earth in three giant steps. "He placed the first step in 'Mt. Saumanasa' which lies in the 'Udaya Adri'." (Chapter 40-58 f Kishkinda Kanda). That point became the point of Sunrise. Where he put his last step was called Mt. Asta (Sunset Mountain). More about Mt. Asta here.. India lies at the middle of Mt. Udaya and Mt. Asta. 


Peru is therefore the land of the rising sun according to the Ramayana. What lay beyond Mt. Udaya Adri and Saumanasa, Valmiki wrote that he knew nothing except that it was there that the celestials frequent. 

Research indicates that Lord Vishnu was revered as Lord Viracocha in ancient America. He carried a 'thunderbolt' in his hand. Interestingly, the word 'Adri' in Sanskrit not only means 'mountain' or 'rock', it also means 'thunderbolt'. Is the word Andes a distortion of the word 'Adri', a reference to Viracocha's 'thunderbolt'. Perhaps our friends in Peru can shed some light.

Is there a temple dedicated to Vishnu's footprint (Vishnu Padam Temple) or Viracocha's footprint in Peru? Are there any similarities to the Vishnu Padam Temples of India and Viracocha's Temples in Peru? Yes, there are. But more about that in a later post.

Monday, 14 October 2013

REMNANTS OF ANCIENT VISHNU TEMPLE AT HUMAYUN TOMB SITE, NEW DELHI

A photo reproduced from page 78-79 of 'The World of Ancient India' shows that the site where the Humayun Tomb stands today was the site of an ancient Vishnu Temple. The book 'World of Ancient India' is a translation of Dr. Gustave Le Bon's original French work by the name 'Les Monuments de L'Inde' published in Paris in 1893. The English Translation was published by David Macrae, Tudor Publishing Co., (New York) in 1974.

'Vishnu Pada' (विष्णुपद) or 'Vishnu Charan' (विष्णुचरण) temples are significant in context of the legend that Vishnu in the form of Vamana strode across the world and planted his feet at three sites on earth.

Dr. Gustave Le Bon Here is the photograph of the Vishnu footprint slab from Dr. Gustave le Bon's book. The slab had survived at least until 1893 at the Humayun Tomb site. The photograph was captioned in the French version and then translated into English in 'The World of Ancient India' as 'Vishnu's Footprints at Humayun Tomb'.

Vishnu's Footprints photographed at the Humayun Tomb
by Le Bon for his book 'Les Monuments de L'Inde'


Above is the caption from the English version of Le Bon's book
titled  'The World of Ancient India'

There are other indications that the Humayun Tomb was constructed by the Moghuls on the site of an ancient Hindu temple.


Ancient Temple Pillars were used as construction material.
A view of Humayun Tomb's rampart.

Another view of the pillars taken from destructed Hindu Temples
and used for construction of Humayun Tomb. In the background

is a section of a typical Moghul fortress wall at the Isa Khan Tomb
within the Humayun Tomb Complex.

Notice the 'elephant head' engravings at the bottom of the pillar -
a characteristic of Vedic and Hindu art.


A closer view of a less eroded
'elephant head' engraving.



Ancient Temple Pillars were used as construction  material at Humayun Tomb.
Notice that the pillars were placed upside down in this 'canopy structure' 

by the artisans in Moghul times.

.

The white quartz structure which is a remnant of the ancient temple
is far more eroded than the red-sandstone rectangular structure dating to
Moghul times. Sandstone erodes faster than quartz. The fact that the sandstone piece is in better shape than the quartz structure proves that the quartz pillars

are much older than the sandstone piece.


Eroded engravings on Temple Pillars which were used for construction
of tomb of Isa Khan at the Humayun Tomb Complex indicates that they belong to a different era.

Friday, 11 October 2013

GEORGIAN MOUNTAIN PEAK NAMES - A SPRINKLE OF SANSKRIT

The Caucasus Mountains are a mountain system which include two ranges, the Greater Caucasus and the Lesser Caucasus ranges.

The highest peak in the Caucasus range is Mount Elbarus in the Greater Caucasus. Elbarus is said to get its name from Proto-Iranian 'Hara Bṛzati'. where 'bṛzant' means 'high, originally from Sanskrit 'brihant' (बृहन्त) which means 'high'. Some of the other notable peaks in the Caucasus that have a Sanskrit connect are the Shkhara, Janga, and Ushaba. 'Shkhara' which is the highest point in the nation of Georgia seems to be derived from the Sanskrit 'Shikhira' (शिखर) which means 'apex' or 'summit'. 'Janga' sounds like a distortion of the Sanskrit 'tunga' (तुङ्ग) meaning 'peak'. [The name 'Kanchanjanga', a peak in the Himalayan range in India is also a distortion of 'Kanchantunga' (Golden Peak), though other interpretations have been offered brushing aside 
the Sanskrit meaning that explains the name the best]. 'Ushabha' is likely a distortion of the Sanskrit 'Usha' (उषा) meaning 'dawn' or 'Ushapa' (उषप) meaning 'fire' and 'sun'. Yet another peak is named 'Ushguli' - probably derived from the Sanskrit 'Ushakala' (उषःकाल) which means 'dawn-break' or 'morning'.


Mount Ushaguli, Georgia.
The na
me 'Ushaguli' is probablly a
distortion of Sanskrit 'Ushakala'
Photo Courtesy: http://karavaningwithkimo.blogspot.in

Javakheti Plateau is a volcanic plateau within the Caucasus Mountains.There have been theories about the etymology of the name but the one that explains the name 'Java-kheti' best is probably Sanskrit. 'Java' could well be distorted 'jwala' (ज्वाला) which means 'fire'. In Sanskrit and Hindi volcanoes are known as 'jvala - mukhi' which translates as 'fire - mouth'. 'Kheti' could be a distortion of 'Kshetra(क्षेत्र) meaning 'region'. In the local language though it is conjectured that 'Java' is derived from the name of a tribe by the name 'Javakh'. 

The highest point in the Java-kheti is Mount Achkasar. In the vicinity are Mt. Parakh, Mt. Ashotskar and Mt. Sevasar. The 'sara'
(सर) end-syllable in the na
mes 'Achkasar', 'Ashotskar' and 'Sevasar', namely 'sara' seems to indicate that these are names of lakes and springs. The Himalayan range of India has many lakes names which end in the syllable 'sar', for example 'Satisar', 'Vishensar', Kishansar' etc. The Sanskrit 'sara' (सर) means 'lake'.. The 'Sevasar' in the Caucasian range in Armenia seems to be named after Lord Shiva. 

Indeed the earliest mention of the name Javakheti was found in the Uratu sources of King Argishti-I  dated to 785 BC. The name recorded there was 'Zaabakha' which itself seems to be a distortion of 'Shivaka' (शिवक) which means 'an idol or image of Shiva'. Infact the name of the tribe 'Javakh' may itself be derived from 'Shiva'. Even the name 'Achkasar' seems to have been derived from the Sanskrit 'Akshara' (अक्षर) which means 'fixed', 'unalterable', 'Shiva' and 'Vishnu'. Another range in the Lesser Caucasus region is known as Abul-Samsari Range. 'Samsara' (संसार) is Sanskrit for 'creation', 'world' or the 'universe'.

Located in the Javakheti Plateau between Abul Samsari and Javakheti Range is the Paravani Lake which is fed by the Paravani River. The name again seems to have a Sanskrit source, 'para' (पार) means 'across' in Sanskrit and 'avani' (अवनि) means 'bed of a river' or 'stream'. Another volcanic lake name 'Tabatskuri' seems to have been derived from 'Tapeshvari', 'tapa' (ताप) meaning 'warmth' or 'heat' and 'ishvari' (ईश्वरी) meaning 'goddess'.
Lake Paravni, Georgia, is fed by River Paravni.
In Sanskrit 'par' means 'across' and
'avani' means 'stream' or 'river'.
Then there is the volcano by the name Mkinvartsveri in the Caucasus in Georgia.The name is translated as 'Ice Capped' from Georgian. But from the Sanskrit perspective, the 'varta' (वार्ता) and 'sveri' (स्वरि) in Mkinvartsveri refer to Sound. It implies 'Mkinvartsveri' was a 'Sound Making Volcano'. The last syllable in Mkinvartasveri may also refer to 'ishvari' (ईश्वरी) which means 'Goddess' in Sanskrit. The volcano may thus have borne the name 'Goddess of Sound'.

The As for the name 'Caucasus' itself, 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.] 

Suggested Links:
1. The Shirak Region 
2. Vedic World Heritage

Saturday, 5 October 2013

PERUVIAN ELIXIR 'AYAHUASCA' - THE SANSKRIT CONNECT

The Amazonian basil is a South American variety of the basil plant which is often utilized in 'ayahuasca' rituals of South America. The word 'Ayahuasca' is derived from the ancient Quechua language word 'ayawaska'. 'Ayawaska' is an infusion which was prepared by the shamans of Meso-America and is still used by the shamans of Peru today. The very fact that one of the ingredients of this brew is basil indicates that there is a probable link with the health brews of India. But there is more!

Ayawaska is known to enhance connect with the spiritual world. It is said that Ayawaska gives its user a clearer view of the spiritual world. People who have used this brew have experienced positive effects. It is not an easy brew to handle and it is therefore rarely used as an intoxicant. In the Vedic texts of India, the 'soma-rasa' (सोमरस) and amrit-rasa (अमृतरस) were regarded as the elixirs of spiritualism.

The term 'ayahvaska' that is commonly used in Peru and Equador is a word of the ancient Quechua language. The word 'waska' is the Quechua term for any species of vine and the word 'aya' refers to the 'soul' and to the 'spirit of a dead person', hence the two English translations of Ayavaska, 'vine of the soul' and 'vine of the dead.'

One of the ingredient herb of 'Ayavasaka' is Justicia Pectoralis. Surprisingly, in Sanskrit the Justicia shrub is known as 'vasaka' (वासक) or 'vashaka' (वाशक). 'Ayu' (आयु) has many meanings including 'life', 'living being', 'divine personification presiding over life'. The word also takes the form 'ayur' in 'Ayurveda' - where 'ayur' stands for 'life'. The 'aya' of 'ayawaska' seems to be related to the Sanskrit 'Ayu' and 'ayur'- both in sound and in meaning. 

Justicia Pectoralis is one of the
ingredients of the South American
'Ayavaska' brew. In Sanskrit, plants of the
Justicia Genus are known as 'vasaka' or 'vashaka'.
In Peru another medicinal plant goes by the name 'Ayahuma' and is recommended by the shamans of Peru for its medicinal properties. 

Ayahuma is known as Nagalinga
in India. It is a sacred tree and
is planted in many temples
dedicated to Lord Shiva.






In India 'Ayahuma' is known as 'Parusa' or 'Neel-Parna' or 'Naga-Linga'. Its medicinal use in Ayurveda is well recorded - its extract possesses antibiotic, antifungal, antiseptic and analgesic qualities. 'Naga-Linga' is a sacred tree and is associated with Lord Shiva and is planted in many Shiva Temples.

Suggested Links:
The Soma drinkers of Ancient India