Sunday, 1 October 2017

KARNAK IN EGYPT- THE SANSKRIT CONNECT TO ITS NAME

Sun Temples around the world have similar names - for example: the 'Konark' temple of India and the 'Karnak' Temple of Egypt. In Sanskrit 'Konark' is a combination word, 'kona' (कोण) meaning 'angle', 'karna' (कर्ण) meaning 'diagonal' and 'ark' (अर्क) meaning the 'sun'. Then there is the ancient megalithic  site of Carnac in France. It is not known whether Carnac was a sun temple or not but it is known that the stones of Carnac are aligned to the sun and moon in a special way.

In his article 'Thebes/Karnak, Select Place of Cairns and Carnage', Charles Pope quotes from "A History of Ancient Egypt" by Nicolas Grimal and states "The temple of Karnak dates back to the Third Dynasty if the list in the Hall of the Ancestors is to be believed.......there is certainly evidence for the existence of the Karnak temple in the reign of Inyotef II [11th Dynasty], when it was called 'the abode of Amun'......The entire city of Thebes on both sides of the Nile was essentially one huge temple complex dedicated to the cult of the primeval creator god/sun god Amon-Ra "


Amun is spelt variously as Amon, Ammon, Amen, Ámmōn and ‘Ymn’, which is pronounced as ‘Yamunu’ or ‘Yamun’ leading to the hypotheses that Amun is a corrupted form of the name Yamuna, a river in India on the banks of which Sri Krishna took birth and lived his early life. Other clues that Amun is really a reference to Sri Krishna is that Amun wears two plumes in his hair much like Sri Krishna who wore peacock feathers in his hair. Sri Krishna is an avatara of Vishnu from whose lotus feet emanates the Ganges; in the Egyptian lore  from the feet of Amun emanate all oceans, lakes and rivers. Sri Krishna is blue complexioned. So is Amun.
Regarding the city of Thebes or Karnak Nigel & Helen Strudwick 
write in their 'Thebes in Egypt' , "The ancient Egyptian term for the city and adjacent area was Waset, and is written with a special form of the hieroglyph meaning 'dominion'". Interestingly, 'vasati' (वसति) is Sanskrit for dwelling or habitation. 

No convincing source for the name Karnak has emerged so far. In Hindu scriptures the name Karna is well known. Karna was the son of Sun and hence the association with Karnak being a sun temple site is established. Karna is the Sanskrit term for ear as well as diagonal.

Charles Pope states that Waset is sometimes also spelled as Uast or Was, and as Wasr-sceptre it symbolizes the kingly "dominion". Once again the Sanskrit 'vasa' (वास) dwelling or 'inhabited area'  explains the term.

Suggested Readings:
1. Domain of man
2.Were Hindu Gods worshiped by Ancient Egyptians

No comments: