Tuesday, 1 April 2014

THE VEDIC NAME 'MERU' - IN AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST

In Vedic Cosmology Mount Meru (मेरु), also called Sumeru (सुमेरु), meaning 'excellent Meru',  is a sacred mountain with five peaks. It is considered to be the center of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes. Determining its location is difficult. The Suryasiddhanta, an ancient doctrine of Vedic astronomy, mentions that Mt. Meru lies at 'bhugol-madya' (भूगोल - मध्य) which means at 'the middle of the earth'. 

The Suryasiddhanta indicates that Meru, does not mean a mountain at all, and refers instead to the earth's axis, with Sumeru (सुमेरु) as the northern tip of the axis, Meru at the centre of the earth, and Kumeru (कुमेरु)  at the southern tip. In Ayurveda the 'spinal cord' is known as 'meru-danda' (मेरु-दण्ड) - 'meru' meaning 'spinal' or 'central', and 'danda' meaning 'rod', hence, the axis of the body. In popular discussions though though Meru is translated as 'Divine Mountain'. 

Around the world too, the word Meru is associated with 'mountain peak', though the name 'Meru' also emerges in the name of ancient civilizations and pyramids.


The names of the Rivers of Babylon
have been traced to  Sanskrit Su-Bharata (Euphrates)
and 'Vyagra' (Tigris)

Sumerian civilization : It is said that the Sumerian civilization gets its name from the Akkadian name 'Shumer' but 'Shumer' only represents a certain 'geographical area', the phonological development of the Akkadian term 'sumeru' is unknown. The Hebrew 'Shinar' is also some-times cited as the source of the name Sumer but 'Shinar' is again a Biblical geographical locale of uncertain boundaries in Mesopotamia. There is no commentary on the genesis of the word 'sumeru'. Hence, it is more than likely that the name Sumerian is associated with the Sanskrit 'meru'.

Meroe: Meroe is an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile in Sudan extending into present day Ethiopia. This city was the capital of the Kingdom of Cush from 530 BC to AD 350. Its location along the middle of the Nile and the connection to many major river systems such as the Niger aided with the production of pottery and iron allowed for the rise in power of its people. 


The Pyramids of Kerma, in Meroe, Sudan
Pococke traces the name 'Kerma' 
to Sanskrit 'Karma'

So how did the city of Meroe emerge in Sudan/Ethiopia. Genesis 10:6 states "The country Cush (Ethiopia and part of Sudan) was named after the man Cush, the first son of Ham, son of Noah" - (Genesis 10:6). Cush was the name of the King who ruled what was then known as the kingdom of Cush or Kush. Ancient Ethiopia was also known as Nabha or Nubia.

Ancient Indian texts trace predecessors of Lord Rama, who ruled India from the city of Ayodhya to Manu, the first man. Lord Rama had two sons, Kusha (Cush) and Lava. And Kusha had a great-great grandson called Nabhas
The name Ham may then have been a distortion of the name Ram(a).

Here is a quote from Abbe Dubois book 'India'. Dubois (1765-1848) was a French missionary in India who failed in his efforts to bring the Brahmins of India to adopt Christianity as their faith. Dubois quoted Greek historian Lucius Flavius Philostratus who died in 250 AD. In his works Philostratus had stated, "Ethiopians were originally an Indian race, compelled to leave India for the impurity contracted by slaying a certain monarch to whom they owed allegiance." 

The Calmet's Dictionary of the Holy Bible states that "Western Ethiopians were emigrants; and they migrated from near the river Indus....." Vol. 4, page 60. No. DXXIV.

Edward Pococke states in India in Greece, "Meroe was indebted for its civilisation to India."


Tanzania too has a mountain by the name of Mt. Meru, the second highest peak after Mt. Kiliminjaro.


Mt. Meru, Tanzania, is located at Arusha National Park.
Arusha (अरूष) means 'sun' in Sanskrit


Suggested Links:
Calmet's Dictionary of the Holy Bible
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