Saturday, 18 July 2015

THE RIVERS OF BRAZILIAN AMAZON - THE VEDIC-SANSKRIT LINK

In his book, Mysteries of Ancient South America, author Harold T. Wilkins writes about the findings of an expedition in the 1920s lead by Colonel P.H. Fawcett into the woods of the Brazilian Amazon where he chanced upon an ancient city and some rock inscriptions, about which Wilkins says, "... those strange writings are something more remarkable... they are of an esoteric Hindu cult." (page 63).

Writing about the inscriptions, he further adds," I have myself discovered some queer links between these strange letters of old Brazil, and characters found in Tibet and Vedic Hindostan". (Page 118).

Brazil which has no apparent link to Vedic India holds many a clues to its Vedic past in its ancient place and river names. First Brazil was once known as Pindorama and though it is said that 'Pindorama' translates as 'Land of Palms', Sri Rama was not unknown in this part of the world. Also, the Brazilian Amazon is home to several tribes which seem to have a link to India.

There is an ancient tribe of Brazil by the name 'RamaRama'. The RamaRama were a Tupi speaking group of considerable size living in the Brazilian Amazonian area in a place called Rondonia who inhabited the banks of the Machadinho and Ahara river. The Amazon was itself known as the 'Maranon' in ancient times. In Sanskrit marmahan (मर्महन्) is the equivalent of 'striking the vitals', 'mardana' (मर्दन) is 'tormenting', and both the names describe the temperament of the river well. RamaRama is also the name of a Tupian language.

Then there is the 'Kaiapo' - a powerful and well-known Brazilian tribe who lives in villages along the Xingu River across the Central Brazilian Plateau. The Kaiapo call themselves Mebengokre, meaning 'the men from the water place'. The name Kaiapo was given to them by the neighbouring native tribes, which means 'resembling apes' and was probably given because the men used to dance with monkey masks. It is interesting that 'kaipo' is a cognate of the Sanskrit 'kapi' (कपि) which means 'monkey' - in fact the etymological source of the English 'ape' is unknown and is sometimes attributed to the Sanskrit 'kapi'. 


Kaiapo Tribals of Brazil. They wore
masks to look like monkeys -
in tribute to monkey gods.

Hanuman in a slightly different form was also known in South America. The famous Monkey God Sculpture of Copan and the legend of Monkey God worship in the city of Ciudad Blanca in Hondurus, is well known. Click here and here for more. 



The Howler Monkey God Sculture
Copan, Hondurus

The etymological source of the name 'Xingu' is largely unknown though it is conjectured that 'Xingu' may derive from the name given to it by a tribe named Asurini who called the river 'Yh Uu' meaning 'Great Water'. The fact remains that the tribe name 'Asurini' itself is Sanskrit. The name 'Xingu' is just one syllable away from the name 'Sindhu'. Sindhu is one of the most important rivers of India, and though Sindhu is a pronoun, it is also a generic word for 'river'. The Asurini 'Yh Uu' is probably a distorted form of 'sindhu'. The Asurini language belongs to the Tupian group of languages and the most widely spoken language of this group, the Tupi-Guarani is close to Sanskrit.

Many of the tributaries of the Amazon also bear Sanskrit names. The Jara and the Javary seem to be related to the Sanskrit 'jhara' (झर ) meaning 'water-body' or 'water-fall, also 'Jhari' (झरी) is 'river';  these words also  appear in the names of major rivers around the world such as the Jordon and the Niger' etc.. 


Then there are the 'Paru', 'Para' and 'Purus' rivers. 'Paru' (परु) is 'sun' or 'heaven', 'Para' (पर) is 'greatest' or as a direction it means 'across', and 'Purus' (पुरस्) is the equivalent of  'in front' or 'ahead'. 



Other river names include the Uchayali. 'Uchayali' is probably linked to the Sanskrit 'ucchala' (उच्चल), i.e, 'spring forth'. Then there is the Apurimac. 'Apu' (आपू) means 'to flow forward after purification'. 'Apurima' (आपूरिमा) would covert the verb 'Apu' into a noun or pronoun of feminine gender, which aptly describes a river.


Even if the word Apurimac is split into two words 'Apu' (आपू) and 'Ramac' (रमक) as has been done for the Quechua decode, it still makes perfect sense in Sanskrit. 'Apu' (आपू) as mentioned above means 'to flow forward after purification', and, 'ramak' (रमक) means 'sporting, dallying, toying amorously' - again an apt description for a flowing river.


Suggested Links:

1. The Indians of Central and South America: An Ethnohistorical Dictionary
2. From Kyper Pass to Gran Quivira
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