Tuesday, 4 September 2012

THE VEDIC CONNECTION - NATIVE AMERICAN WEDDING CUSTOMS

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.

20 comments:

Hendon Harris said...

Thank you for this extremely informative article.
MesoAmerican scholars vigorously deny the influences of absolutely any foreign culture in
pre Columbian America but the support for that claim is beginning to crumble. How do you explain why it is that the Hopi nation use the very same word as it is in Sanskrit for the Vedic Manji--"The Whirlwind"? Everyone admits now that the Native American Medicine Shield and Medicine Wheel is a North American mandala which
is Sanskrit for "circle". How about the Native American "sand paintings" that are exactly like
Tibetan Buddhist sand paintings? Why does it now appear that so many ancient Anasazi settlements were constructed in North America along the 108th Meridian West especially since the number 108 has such major significance in all Vedic cultures including Buddhism. This is
certainly not random. Is it possible that the
Anasazi were Buddhists? How about that Imperial
Chinese journal that informed us of a trip taken
in 458 CE by Hwui Shan and four other Buddhist missionary monks to a land they called Fu Sang.
Henriette Mertz, Edward Vining, my father Hendon
Harris and my sister Charlotte Harris Rees have
written extensively on this topic if anyone cares to connect the dots on these mysterious Vedic symbols and customs appearances here in North America.

Hendon Harris said...

Speaking of possible Vedic connections with North America. How about the Hopi deity Kokopelli and his apparent ties to the ancient North American Anasazi culture as well as India? Google: "Hopi Deity Kokopelli Hindu God?" or www.viewzone.com/kokopeli.html

Hendon Harris said...

It is well established that Buddhism originated in ancient India from Hinduism and the Vedic culture from which they and other Indian religions equally share. That is why there should be no confusion why both Vedic and also specifically Buddhist symbols are found all over the North American Pacific Southwest. 1) Phallic symbols are an important element of all Vedic based religions which include not only Buddhism, Hinduism but also Shintoism and numerous other Asian religions. There are huge Phallic symbols that remain here to this day. Google: "Phallic Symbols North America" and "Phallic Symbols Arches National Park" for images of these symbols. 2) The Parasol is one of the Eight
Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism. For examples of ancient rock carved Parasols here in North America google: "Bisti Rock Formations New Mexico" and go to the Images section. Also google: "Mexican Hat Rock Utah" for a similar image. These are but a fraction of the rock carved Parasols here. Many other Vedic symbols remain here to be discovered and revealed.

Hendon Harris said...

A construction technique used in Vedic China in their rock caves has now been found at a rock cave location in ancient North America. How is that possible? For that and other evidence of Vedic influences here--Google: "Were the Anasazi People Buddhist?"

Hendon Harris said...

In attempting to highlight a link between the Anasazi people and early Vedic Buddhism I believe that one should reflect on "The Sacred Fire" mentioned in the above highlighted references in this article to the Seven Step Wedding celebrated even today in India and in North America as the most common wedding ceremony for Native Americans. Since both of these ceremonies are identical in every respect then I believe its safe to say that since the Vedic sacred fire is Agni THEN AGNI MUST ALSO BE THE SACRED GOD OF FIRE FOR ITS NATIVE AMERICAN USE. Understanding this and accepting it as probable then makes it easier to connect Agni to the ceremonial fire pits of the Anasazi (Pueblo) people. It makes sense when you think about it. Those fire pits and the designs are so similar to the fire pits used today to honor Agni by Tibetan Buddhists and all other Vedic religious devotees worshiping and praying to Agni. Remember that this Anasazi (Pueblo) Four Corners area is the place in North America where the Vedic symbol the Manji (swastika) is still used today in the art and culture of the Hopi and Navajo tribes which are also the tribes said to have the closest connect to the now departed Anasazi culture. In fact the Hopi tribe call the
Manji the very same name as its called in Sanskrit--The Whirlwind. How is it possible for that to be a coincidence?

Hendon Harris said...

In 2007 Professor Jeannie Martinez Welles of the University of New Mexico wrote an article titled "Changing Woman and Yeshe Tsogyel: A comparison of Women's Roles in Din4 and Tibetan Tantra Buddhist Traditions" This scholarly article with references compares these two accounts which have incredible similarities in several cases. To best access this article google: "Dimensions of Dine (Navajo) and Buddhist traditions". When you arrive at the page click on "Quick View" in order to read the article. How about the Ghost Dance of Tibet and the Ghost Dance excitement that swept the Native American tribes from 1888 to 1890 when the massacre at Wounded Knee abruptly ended it? How about the masks that are used by both cultures to celebrate The Ghost Dance? Is there a connection? You decide.

Neeta Raina said...

Thank You for all your comments. I now have the time to go through all the articles that you have mentioned. Give me the time to read through and dwell on these and I will continue the discussion with you ASAP. Regards

Hendon Harris said...

For an excellent book on this topic with a letter in the front from the Dalai Lama, head of Vajrayana (Tibetan) Buddhism, himself read: "Navajo and Tibetan Sacred Wisdom: The Circle of the Spirit. Isn't it safe to assume that if the Dalai Lama allowed his letter to to used in this book that he either believes this theory outright or at a minimum leans in that direction.

Hendon Harris said...

The checkerboard pattern has significance in the Vedic culture
even today. Google: "Checkerboard Patterns Bollywood" And
yet checkerboard patterns are also found in abundance in the
art of the Four Corners region as well as in petroglyphs.
Enormous beautifully defined checkerboard grids are found throughout the western United States and Canada that are only visible from the sky. These forms are called geoglyphs and they are similar if not even larger in size and scope to the famous yet mysterious Nazca Lines of South America. You can access images of these huge geoglyph formations by googling: "The Joseph Needham Grid Map Collection". What is
the ancient meaning of the checkerboard and does the Masonic
interest in this topic tie back to Vedic India?

Neeta Raina said...

By checkerboard pattern are you referring to what we call 'Yantra'. Here is a link on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yantra . There is a lot of information on Yantra on the net. In fact a Yantra by the name 'Sri Yantra' appeared as a crop circle in Oregon in USA in 1990s.

Hendon Harris said...

Yes, the chessboard pattern is a form of a yantra if you're Hindu and a form of mandala if you're Buddhist. This is amazing to me because both yantras and
mandalas are from ancient Vedic India and yet they both show up in ancient North
America as improbable as that may be to Americans who have been taught all their
lives that practically all civilization that has ever existed in North America came from
Europe. Vedic symbols show up all over North America but particularly in the Four
Corners of the Pacific Southwest once home to the Puebloan/Anasazi people and now
home to the Navajo and Hopi people who even today use Vedic symbols routinely
in their culture. The chessboard pattern is one such symbol. For an Anasazi example
of this google: "Anasazi Checkerboard Rock Art by Gary David". This pattern shows
up routinely in Hopi and Navajo art. For another ancient example of tHis pattern
google: "Google Maps". When you get to the main page type "Priest Lake Idaho" in
the location finder bar. When you arrive at the lake site use the tool to back out of
the narrow shot so you can see much more of the lake and in particular the area just
to the south of Priest Lake. In that area you will see the huge beautiful dark and light
green chess board type grids that can only be seen from high altitude. How is that and the other huge grids found in "The Joseph Needham Grid Map Collection"
possible without the ancients having incredible scientific skills?

Neeta Raina said...

I checked out the Priest Lake Checkerboard. If I have identified it correctly it is located just south of Dickensheet Highway. Is that correct?

If you had not pointed out, I would have thought that the Lake Priest checkerboard is of recent origin. 'Yantras' and 'mandalas' have to do with energy fields. Wonder if the Priest Lake squares too have to do with energy fields.

2. There definitely was a contact between India and Peru in ancient times. The navigation route from India to Peru via Australia is clearly mentioned in the Ramayana. Also the Andes including the Paracas Trident of Peru etched on the Andes is mentioned in the Ramayana. Today, the birth of Sri Rama (of Ramayana) is taken to be 5118 BC, the Paracas Trident is therefore older than that.

3. I think 'Goddess' Sita (The wife of Sri Rama) was born somewhere in South America, the Ramayana says she was born in 'Patala', and that the 'Earth' was her mother. 'Patala means 'under-the-ground' in Sanskrit. At the same time, South America is also called "Patala' in Indian texts. South America is on the other side of the earth and therefore under-the-ground if one were to look at it from India. It could be that Sita really was from South America. In fact Sita returns to 'Patala' when Sri Rama ascends 'heaven' as per Ramayana.

Hendon Harris said...

Yes, You have correctly identified the location of the Priest Lake Idaho chessboard
grid. Thank you for taking the time to check it out. It is beautiful isn't it? Not many
Miles away to the east of Flathead Lake are numerous grids that are one mile by one
mile. That's a square mile which is 640 acres of land. These alternating and matching two color grids were obviously designed this way on purpose with a great
deal of time and effort expended. These grids were then by definition extremely
significant to the people who surveyed, laid these out and then constructed them.
For information on how these patterns tie back to Vedic and Shamanistic Asia here are references available on the Internet: 1) "The Symbolism of Chess-The Structure
of the Vacuum 2) "Thoughts on the Origins of Chess" by Joseph Needham 3) "Go
(Weiqi) in Ancient China" by John Fairbairn. Given the number of these large grids
and this same pattern still used in the culture of the Navajo and Hopi tribes today
there was obviously a much greater importance given to this particular "Yantra" than
we moderns now currently understand.

Hendon Harris said...

Chess and the Chessboard originated from either India or China. Then why are there enormous chessboard grids found
all over the western United States? Google: "The Homer H Dubs Priest Lake, Idaho Chessboard Grid System" or www.chinesediscoveramerica.com

Neeta Raina said...

Regarding the 'checkerboards' that are called 'yantra' in Vedic scriptures, they may well be diagrams of 'worm holes' or the shape or path that energy takes' in a worm hole. One can pass through 'worm holes' to travel from one dimension to the other'. Or worm holes may be created by folding space within our dimension in a way that one can reach from one point to another point which is light years away by passing through that 'worm hole'.

The Sri Yantra and the so called 'Mayan calender' is also explained as a pathway to a 'worm hole'. Maybe the Priest Lake is a location for a 'worm hole'. Any idea why it is called 'Priest Lake'?

The Chess Board originated from India, it was called 'chaturaṅga' meaning "having four limbs or parts" and in ancient epic poetry often means 'army' - hence the 'horse' and the 'knight' etc.

Hendon Harris said...

Dominoes are reported to have originated in 12th century China if not even earlier. Then why are pre Columbian domino images showing up in coastal Oregon. Is it because people from Vedic Asia were clearly here then even though scholars still continue to deny it. Google: "The Joseph de Guignes Coastal Oregon Grids". Latitude and longitude came about as the result of the highly technical application of grid mapping to our entire planet. The origin of grid mapping is credited to two major civilizations--The Greeks and The Chinese. Although the Greeks lost this technology early in the Common Era and the West did not recover it again until the late 14th or early 15th centuries the Chinese had continuous use of this technology until after the voyages of Admiral Zheng He which ended in 1433 when China isolated itself from the rest of the world.
Could it be that the numerous huge grid patterns visible only by satellite imagery around the North American west
were the prototypes of what the modern world would later know as Longitude and Latitude? Isn't it interesting that
a former name not now commonly used for Asians by westerners
was "Orientals". The definition of "Orientated" is one who
"knows where they are". When new students go to western colleges or universities they go to "Freshman Orientation" where they are given maps and told where the important places are on the campus of the school they are now attending. Obviously then the western world has acknowledged through our speech that Asians apparently had
a better knowledge of directions and locations than the rest of us. Have those grids in Oregon and the western States
had anything to do with Asians having better ORIENTATION?

Hendon Harris said...

Phallic symbols in North America provide additional proof of the prior existence of Vedic religions like Buddhism here. Google: "Buck and Mabel's Big Adventure: King Kong's Dong" and "Phallic Symbols North America". The amount of Vedic symbols here in North America is amazing.

Hendon Harris said...

For more great evidence of pre Columbian North American contact between the Native American Hopi tribal culture and the Vajrayana (Tibetan) Buddhist culture look no further than their respective oral and written prophetic record. Google: "Hopi and Tibetan Prophecies" and/or "Hopi Prophecies and Buddhist Symbols". These prophecies are so similar they appear like they could have been made by the same same man. Several people believe that this was the case. Guru Rinpoche is recorded as the founder of Vajrayana Buddhism in the 9th century even though there are records that point to key elements of this school of Buddhism existing centuries earlier. Guru Rinpoche is acknowledged to be the source of at least the Tibetan prophecies. But how about the similarities between the two? And how about the settlement(or resettlement)of displaced Tibetans today on the reservation land of the Navajo and Hopi First Nations people. Volumes have been written on the cultural similarities between these two cultures separated by the
Pacific Ocean and thousands of miles. Personally I believe
that in the future it will likely be proven that the Tibetans themselves are the long lost Anasazi people (the
Enemy Ancestors)that left their Vedic religious beliefs, symbols, customs and monuments here in North America with their successor cultures the Navajo and the Hopi in approximately 1300 CE when they suddenly and mysteriously left. If this isn't the case then why is there so much evidence of Vedic India influences in this relatively small area that we call the Four Corners region of the North American Pacific Southwest?

Hendon Harris said...

Arches have significance in Vedic religions which includes Buddhism. At this
time I do not know what arches represent but I am confident of my theory.
Recently a Hindu temple was built on Apple Valley Road in the Town of
Apple Valley, California. At the top of the temple's four exterior walls around
the building is a contiguous pattern of arches. These patterns used in the construction of Vedic holy sites lead me to my conclusion.
Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah is said to be a simple random
act of erosion that resulted in a huge stand alone arch on the edge of a
cliff clearly removed from any other surrounding raised rock structure.
Google: "Delicate Arch, Utah" for a view of this feature. Recently I have
discovered that Delicate Arch is not the only rock shaped like this and
located in a place where it's hard to believe that it was created as the result
of natural erosion. In addition on each arch foundation there is a clear "cut"
line just a few feet above ground level. For images of these other arches
similar to Delicate Arches google: "Anasazi Arch Cox Canyon" and "Arch
Rock Hart Canyon". This clearly demonstrates that this type of Arch is a
rock formation that reoccurs throughout the Four Corners region and may
be or probably is a Vedic religious symbol. What religious meaning does
the arch have in Hinduism, Buddhism and other Vedic religions?

Hendon Harris said...

I've now found the answer to my question "What is the meaning of the arch
in Vedic religions?" The arch in Vedic religions is called the Torana and it
is sometimes called the Temple Gateway Arch. Apparently its origins predate Buddhism. The Vedic arch serves as a frame for an image of Buddha or some other Vedic diety or sacred symbol. Google: "Torana Temple Gateway Arch". The top and the supports holding it up are important but the most important part of the Torana apparently is the sacred ground at the bottom of the arch where the shrine rests. Rainbow Bridge Utah is such a symbol here in North America. It's a very special place in the religious beliefs of the Navajo and several other tribes in the area. The creation of Lake Powell and the resulting flooding of much of the land around Rainbow Bridge has made tourist access to one of the 14 largest land bridges ("The Tour of the Big 14") in the world much easier. Now 300,000 or more tourists each year travel to this amazingly beautiful Navajo sacred site. Too many of them ignore the rules and walk under the arch despite Navajo admonitions not to do so. The Navajo are so concerned about this happening that they recently and unsuccessfully sued the U.S. government in an attempt to halt the tourist access there. However, they lost and this annoyance for them continues. The only reason I mention this sensitive subject is to point out that the Navajo desire to stop this is a religious belief shared with them by devotees of Vedic religions wherever they've settled around the world. To me this is more evidence that Vedic Buddhist priests did arrive in pre Columbian America and shared their beliefs which are still shared today by some Native American cultures. The reason I believe it was Vedic Buddhists and not Hindus is because of the two as far as I know Buddhism is the only one of the two religions that from its origin has sought to recruit others to their faith. Hinduism has strong cultural roots in India and that in my opinion is why it exits strong in the greater India area and has not needed to recruit while Buddhism had practically disappeared from that area for a long time. King Ashoka, the king of India ( 3rd Century BC) who was the first to convert to Buddhism, knew that Buddhists had to recruit others to their faith to grow and exist long term. Therefore he was personally responsible for the building of thousands of Buddhist stupas (temples) in India and wherever the missionary monks he sent out around the world could and did travel. King Ashoka's efforts in my opinion took Vedic Buddhism far far beyond the areas that most modern scholars currently believe the influence of Vedic Buddhism reached. Advancements in science and further scholarly research will one day reveal to the world what today we have yet to understand and appreciate about the genius and dedication of those Buddhist monks from India and the Vedic influences they spread to numerous distant lands.