Wednesday, 24 August 2016

BIBLICAL RIVER PISHON - THE INDIA CONNECT

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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



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

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

The Cannanite Goddess Astrate
depicted here with snakes in her hands

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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