Monday, 7 July 2014

MT. MERU AND THE SANSKRIT ORIGINS OF THE ZOROASTRIAN 'MT. HARA LEGEND'

In the Rigveda Mt. Meru is described as a transcendental mountain extending from the deepest ocean up into space. The summit of Meru says the Rig Veda is near the North Star or Polaris.

Meru has often been interpreted to be a mountain, even though the word 'meru' (मेरु) in Sanskrit means 'spine'. For example, the human spinal nerve is known as 'meru-cheta (मेरू -चेता). It is therefore correct to interpret 'meru' as the 'axis' of the earth.

In fact Indian texts refer to three parts of the axis, the 'sumeru' (सुमेरु) which is the end that points to the Pole Star, the centre which is the 'meru', and 'kumeru' (कुमेरु) which is the southern tip of the earth's axis.

In Avestan cosmogony, Mt. Hara and not Mt. Meru, is the geographic center of the universe. The pinnacle of Mt. Hara is Mount Hukairya, translated as 'of good activity' in the Yasht, a collection of 21 Zoroastrian hymns. From Hara springs the source of all waters of the world. These waters rush down from the mountain as the mighty world river Aredvi Sura Anahita (translated as 'fertile, powerful, spotless), which in turn feed the great sea Vourukasa, upon which the world rests.


The Avestan 'Aredvi' meaning fertile' has its source in Sanskrit 'artava' (आर्तव) meaning 'fertile', 'sura' (सुरा) is Sanskrit for 'goddess' and hence the equivalent of the Avestan 'powerful', 'anahita' from Sanskrit 'ana-ahita' (अन -अहिता) 'that which is 'proper' - 'ahita' (अहिता) means 'improper', the prefix 'ana' reverses the meaning.

In Sanskrit 'good activity' may be translated as 'su-karya' (सु - कार्य) and may therefore be the source of the Avestan 'Hukairya' - the Sanskrit 's' distorts to 'h' exactly as it does in the name 'Sindhu' to 'Hindu'!



By the same logic 'Hara', which in Avestan legend is the source all waters of the world, may indeed be 'sara' (सर) which is Sanskrit for 'spring', or' fluid' or 'water-body'. 

The sacred plant 'haoma' grows on Hara, which indeed then has to be the Vedic 'soma' (सोम) - the elixir of the gods. Another possibility is that the word 'hara' may have passed on into Hebrew and Avestan from Sanskrit 'hara' meaning 'god'.For more on this click here.

The Zoroastrian texts say that Hara is free of the 'devas' - who are regarded as 'false gods' and 'evil spirits'. As the separation of the Zoroastrianism from the Vedas progressed, the 'devas' began to be regarded as 'evil' and the 'asura' became the object of reverence. Hence the name Ahura Mazda - the highest spirit of worship in Zoroastrianism. Once again the 'h' of Ahura may be read as 's'.

Researchers and explorers trying to locate the original 'Meru' are unlikely to find it geographically. The name is not mythical, it is however the interpretation that is incorrect. The 'meru' of the Vedas is a reference to the earth's axis, and there
 is much more to the concept of Meru. 

The 4th century BCE Indian mathematician Pingala described Mount Meru as a pyramid of numbers that can be added together diagonally into the well-known series {1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 ... ∞} now named after Fabionacci found throughout nature as proportions of growth. 

The Fibonacci Sequence is the series of numbers where the next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it. For example, the 3 in the series is found by adding the two numbers before it (1+2). If we take a number in the series  and divide it by the number preceding it, we find that as we progress down the series we reach the perfect value of phi= 1.6180339... and so on.

Pingala's 'Prastara-Meru' or 'Steps of Meru'.
The triangle was later adopted by
Fibonacci in his  work  in Mathematics 

from the original works of Pingala,
 the ancient Indian mathematician.
Pingala indicated through his 'Prastara Meru' that all solar system periods fit the Fibonacci series. His Meru Pyramid concept links all the planets and the Sun into a harmonious system represented by the Fibonacci series.


Another another Indian mathematician, Bhaskara presented a triangular array of the binomial coefficients as 'Khanda Meru', later adopted by Pascal and today known as Pascal's Triangle.

Pascal's Triangle is derived from
the 'Khanda-Meru' of the 

ancient Indian mathematician
Bhaskaracharya

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