Thursday, 29 January 2015

THE VEDIC KINGS OF ANCIENT MITTANI EMPIRE

The Mittanni, empire located in northern Mesopotamia flourished roughly from 1500-1300 BC. At its height the empire extended from Kirkuk (ancient Arrapha) and the Zagros Mountains in the east through Assyria to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 

Its heartland was the Khabur River region, where Wassukkani, its capital, was located. The name Wassuukkani has been traced to the Sanskrit 'Vasu-khani' (वसु खानि) that is 'a mine of wealth'.
The capitals’ archaeological sites have not yet been located. The foreign policy of Mitanni during its early years was based largely on competition with Egypt for control of Syria, but amicable relations were established with the Egyptian king Thutmose IV who reigned between 1425–17 BC. Mitanni's north-western border with the Hattian kingdom of the Hittites was fluid and constantly subject to aggression except when the two rivals concluded a peace treaty - one that invoked the Indo-Iranian pantheon of Mitra, Varuna, Indra and the Nasatyas (Aswin twins).


The Kingdom of Mittani. Notice the other Sanskrit names
such as Ugarit and Urkesh on the map.

Despite its greatness no Mittani texts regarding its own history have been found, so most of the information concerning the Mittani comes from Egyptian, Hittitie and Assyrian records.

Two important figures in the Mittani-Egyptian equation are the Mitanni king Tushratta and the New Kingdom Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten. The Sun King Akhenaten of Egypt who ruled between 1352-1336 BC was a son-in-law of Tushratta, the Mitanni king. The name Tushratta has been recorded in the Hittite cuneiform script. Some have suggested that the Sanskrit origin of Tushratta is Dasaratha, a few others that it is Tvesaratha (having splendid chariots), a name which is attested in the Rigveda.



In his research paper 'Akhenaten, Surya, and the Rigveda', Prof Subhash Kak (an Indian American computer scientist, previous Head of Computer Science Department, Oklahoma State University known for his Indological publications on history, the philosophy of science, ancient astronomy, and the history of mathematics) states that the Mitanni, who worshiped Vedic gods, were an Indic kingdom that had bonds of marriage across several generations with the Egyptian 18th dynasty to which Akhenaten belonged.

Subhash Kak traces the names of the Mittani kings to Sanskrit. He says, "The first Mitanni king was Sutarna I (good sun). He was followed by Baratarna I (or Paratarna great sun), Parasuksatra (ruler with axe),.... Saustatar (Sauksatra, son of Suksatra, the good ruler), Artadama (abiding in cosmic law)..Tushratta (Dasaratha), and finally Matiwazza (Mativaja, whose wealth is thought) during whose lifetime the Mitanni state appears to have become a 
vassal to Assyria". Subhash Kak traces the 'arna' syllable in the names of the kings to 'araNi' (अरणि) meaning 'sun'.

A cuneiform inscription.
Amarna letter from King Tushratta
to Akhenaten - an Egyptian Pharaoh of
the eighteenth dynasty of Egypt.
The name Akhenaten has been traced to
the Sanskrit 'Eknathan'. 

In his research 'About the  Mittani-Aryan Gods', Arna ud Fournet states, "A number of Indo-European sounding words have been identified in the cuneiform documents of the Mitanni kingdom (1500-1200 BC). In addition to nouns and adjectives with parallels in Sanskrit this Hurrian speaking kingdom had kings with Indo-Aryan names and two documents even list the main Gods of the Indian pantheon...."

Arna ud Fournet quotes Manfred Mayrhofer who was an Austrian Indo-Europeanist who specialized in Indo-Iranian languages. Mayrhofer served as professor emeritus at the University of Vienna. He is noted for his etymological dictionary of Sanskrit. Mayrhofer had written about some other adjectives that have been found in a document in Yurgan Tepe (ancient Gasur) which included "babru and pabru-nni (cf. Skrt babhrú- ‘brown’), parita (cognate of  Sanskrt palitá- ‘grey’) and pinkara (cf. Sanskrit  pingala or ‘red’)."

One of the most fascinating sections of the Mitanni Aryan documentation is the mention of five major Indo-Aryan deities - Mitra, Varuna, Indra and the Nasatya. Mayrhofer states, “If asked to cite them in their most common nominative forms, no Vedologist could possibly hesitate to put down the series: Mitrá, Varuna, Indra, Nasatya. .If further asked to name a Rigvedic verse in which thesenames appear side by side and in this order, he would have to quote Rig Veda 10.125.1bc :

"
Aham mitra varunobha bibharmyaham
aham indragnee aham asvinobha
"

In fact not only the Mittani Kings, but the Egyptian Pharaohs have also have been known to have a major Indic influence.



Suggested readings:


Sunday, 18 January 2015

BOANERGES, SONS OF THUNDERBOLT OF THE BIBLE - THE SRI KRISHNA CONNECTION

The Gospel of Mark gives an account of Jesus recruiting His disciples. It states, " He appointed twelve that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. These are the twelve He appointed: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter), James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means ‘Sons of Thunder’)…” (Mark 3: 14-17 NIV).

The common method of interpretation of 'Boanarges' is to compare the forceful actions and utterances of James and John with 'thunder'. There is no debate that Mark tells us to equate the transliterated Semitic word 'Boanarges' with 'Sons of Thunder '. Most scholars find the appellation 'Boanarges' peculiar and have been unable to decode the word.

In his book 'Boanerges', Rendel Harris explores Hebrew and Arabic as possible sources of the word 'Boanerges'. Thunder in Hebrew is re'em, so Harris deducts that re'em should explain the second part of the word 'boanerges'. 


Another possibility Harris says is that the second part of the word 'Boanarges may have a link to the Arabic 'ragasa' which means 'to roar aloud'. That has a link to the Sanskrit 'raga' (राग) which has the same meaning.

An attempt to trace the word 'boan' in any known language as the equivalent of 'son' does not give any satisfactory results. So that still leaves the question as to how Boanarges came to mean 'sons of thunder' unanswered.

Can we find 'sons of thunder' mentioned as 'Boanarges' or as its cognate in any other text? Can we find the concept of 'sons of the sky,' or ' sons of lightning,' as parallels to the Boanerges  in any scripture?


Here is a look at the Sanskrit word 'vajra' which is relevant in this context and means 'thunderbolt'. It is relevant because one of the most common occurrences of sound shift in languages derived from Sanskrit is the shift from the sound 'v' to 'b'. Hence 'vajra' (
वज्र) changes to 'bajra' in Sanskrit derived languages. In fact in India 'v' & 'b' are used inter-changeably especially where names are concerned.


'Vajra' is a versatile word and has many meanings such as 'invincible', 'mighty', 'hard' or 'diamond'. It is also the name of Lord Indra's weapon 'the thunderbolt' and Sri Krishna's weapon 'the discuss'. 

Vajra also appears as the first syllable in words such as 'vajrangi' 
(वज्राङ्गी) or 'thunderbolt-bodied; 'vajrabRht' (वज्रभृत्) which means 'wielding the thunderbolt', 'vajravega' (वज्रवेग) or 'swift like the thunderbolt'. A shift from the sound 'v' to 'b' in any of these names can generate a name such as 'Boanarges'.

'Vajra' is a versatile word and has many meanings such as 'invincible', 'mighty', 'hard' or 'diamond'. It is also the name of Lord Indra's weapon 'the thunderbolt' and Sri Krishna's weapon 'the discuss'. 'Vajrangi or 'thunderbolt-bodied', is a name that was not unknown in Central Asia. A Silk-route ancient city by the name Nishapur (निशापुर) which is located in present day Iran was established in 3rd century AD by the Sassian King Shapur, who was the son of King Ardashir. (In Sanskrit 'Ardasi' (अर्धासि) means a 'dagger'). Probably his name derived from a given name like 'the sworded one'. Shapur's father's name was Sassan who was married to a lady by the name 'Ram Behest' (राम विहस्त) meaning 'completely absorbed in the thought of Ram'. She was the daughter of the chief of a tribe named 'Bazrangi', an obvious distortion of the Sanskrit word 'Vajrangi' (वज्रङ्गी)! 

To answer 'Rendel Harris question as to whether we can find either 'sons of the sky,' or ' sons of lightning,' as parallels to the Boanerges, indeed we can. The names listed above are from Vedic stories.


In Buddhist lore 'Vajraputra' was a lion hunter who after he attained enlightenment was befriended by a little lion who was grateful to him for giving up the life of killing lions, thus sparing its parents and brothers. The lion, with its earth-shaking roar, symbolizes the invincible might of Buddhism. Though in this case the name 'Vajraputra' (वज्रपुत्र) is translated as 'man of lions', its true meaning is 'son of the invincible' or 'son of thunderbolt'.


'Vajraputra' of the Buddhist Tradition

The thunderbolt occupies an important place in Buddhist symbolism. It also gives it’s name to 
one the three great phases of the development of Buddhism in India- the Vajrayana.


Many have linked the lore of Sri Krishna with that of Jesus Christ - what with the likenesses in their stories. To begin with the two names are pretty close cognates, second Krishna was born to a cowherd, Christ to a shepherd, Krishna spent is early life in Mathura, Christ is believed to have spent his childhood in the city of Maturea in Egypt and so on as put forth by Godfrey Higgins in his book 'Anacalypsis'.

According to the Mahabharata and the Puranas, one of the great-grandson's of Sri Krishna was 'Vajranabh' (वज्रनाभ्). Vajranabh succeeded his father King Aniruddha to the throne of Mathur. Vajranabh was the great grandson of Shri Krishna and the grandson of Pradyumna. Vajranabh is the equivalent of 'born of Vajra' or 'born of the thunderbolt'. 'Boanarges' may then well be a distortion of 'Vajranabh'.


Sri Krishna's great grandson Vajranabh is said to have
 built the original Dwarkadish Temple.
'Vajranabh' translates as 'born of thunderbolt' and
hence may reveal the meaning of 'Boanerges'.

As an aside, Pradyumna is believed to have laid the foundation of a city by the name of Vajrapur - which is identified as the Por Bajin of Siberia. For more on Por Bajin and the Sri Krishna connection to Por Bajin click here and here.


Suggested Reading:

Monday, 12 January 2015

ANCIENT LEBANON - THE LINK TO SRI RAMA, BALARAMA AND SRI KRISHNA

The area now known as Lebanon first appeared in recorded history around 4000 BC. It was inhabited by the Canaanites whom the Greeks called 'Phoenicians'. The most ancient name of Lebanon is recorded in ancient Egyptian annals as 'Rmnn'. Also the English name Canaan appears as 'ki-na-ah-na' in the Amarna letters dated to 14th century BC.

Interestingly, both the names 'Rmnn' and 'Ki-na-ah-na' correspond to names of Vedic gods - Sri Rama and Sri Krishna  or Kanha which was Sri Krishn'a other name. In fact the kingdom of Canaan which mainly includes present day Israel has many ancient cities & sites that have names which are cognates of the names Rama and Krishna. The territory of ancient Canaan included present day Lebanon, Israel, Palestinian Territories, the western part of Jordan and southwestern Syria.

One of the largest rivers in Israel, is the Kishon (also called Kishen). It drains into the Jezreel (also called Yizreel) valley.
 The name of Sri Krishna's mother was 'Yashodha' (यशोधा) also called 'Jashoda' (जशोधा), close cognates of the names Yizreel and Jezreel. The Kishon flows in the region known as Phoenicia. In the same province are located the towns of 'Ramah' and 'Kanah'.


But back to Lebanon and the clues that its ancient sites provide. Baalbek was known as Heliopolis or the city of the Sun during the period of Roman rule and is the site of what is today known as Temple of Jupiter. The Romans built upon the more ancient 'Temple of Baal (Baal was a Cannanite god). The Temple of Baal is a monumental temple - its base is a massive platform made of stones. The trilithon (a trilithon is a structure consisting of two large vertical stones (posts) supporting a third stone set horizontally across the top (lintel) - terms commonly used in the context of megalithic monuments) standing on the platform is made of three of the four largest stones ever hewn anywhere in the world - a feat that the Romans could not have accomplished. And therein lies the clue. 

The stones of the temple of Baalbek, Lebanon.


In his book 'Ithihasa: The Mystery of His Story is My Story of History author Bhaktivejanyana Swami states that the Temple of Baal and the god Baal is really the elder brother of Sri Krishna - that is Sri Balarama who went on a pilgrimage to different nations during the time of the Mahabharata war which by all accounts in the original texts was a time of superior technology.


The entrance to the Temple of Balbek.
This entrance is remarkably close to the Hindu Temple gates

An earlier picture of the entrance to Balbek Temple

Svastika and simha carvings at the Balbek Temple


A six-pointed star and a four-pointed star at Balbek, Lebanon.


The Shatkona , a Hindu symbol, represents the union of
 the male and feminine form. It represents
Purusha (the supreme being) or Shiva,
and Prakriti (causal matter) or Shakti.


In an article published on the Graham Hancock website author Bibhu Dev Mishra states, "The statements of the Greek writers, as well as a large number of the symbolic correlations, indicate that Hercules was Balarama, the elder brother of Krishna. As per the ancient sources, Hercules-Balarama, on his arrival in Egypt, had stopped a flood on the Nile, deposed of a tyrant king called Busiris, and established his own son Ramesses (also known as Aegyptus) on the throne of Egypt...At a subsequent period, the Phoenicians, who had emerged as a significant maritime culture in the Mediterranean around 1500 BC, worshipped a god called Melqart who was regarded as a powerful king, as the protector of the Phoenician colonies, and as a god of harvest. Melqart was also known as Belus, Baal Melqart, and the Tyrian Heracles which indicates that all of these epithets described the same person."  Quoted from bibhudeva.blogspot.in. For more on this click here.



 Figurine of the God Baal. The right arm is risen
upwards as if brandishing a weapon which
is lost. So is the left hand.

Godfrey Higgins wrote in his book 'Anacalypsis an Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis' (Vol. I), "When all other circumstances are considered, it will not have surprised the reader to find the Hebrew God Baal the Bullheaded, among the Hindoo Gods. He is called Bala-Rama. He is the elder brother of Cristna (Krishna)..". Higgins further adds that Max Mueller was of the view that Baal is a modification of Sri Rama...." Volume 1
Hence, it may not be a surprise that Lebanon in ancient times was named after Balarama which with time distorted to 'Rmnn'. 


Stone sculpture, Lord Bala-Rama, Odisha, India.
He holds a club in his right hand
and a plough in his left.
Another sculpture of God Balarama.
India



Suggested Reading:
1. Anacalypsis: Godfrey Higgins