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Friday, 7 October 2022

AYAHUASKA IS THE SOMARASA OF INDIA'S VEDIC TRADITION

In his visit to South and Central America, Joannes Magnin (1701 – 1753) a Swiss Jesuit missionary, chronicler, cartographer, and explorer made the following observation in his book ' A Brief Description of the people of Quito, "...they have for that matter, ojas, roots, sumos, vines, such as hurupschi, ayahuessa, corahuana, Maviari or flowers of love, and others." He was referring to Ayahuasca - a traditional drink used as a medicine in Latin America.

But what is most interesting here is that each of the various  names of the drink that Magnin had heard and recorded in his writings between 1734-1740 are of Sanskrit origin, for example ojas (ओजस् ) means vitality or splendor, 'sumos' is a variation of the Sanskrit 'soma' (सोम)  or soma-rasa, the elixir of life in the Vedic tradition, hurupschi seems to be a variation of the sanskrit 'ahuti' (आहुति) which means invocation, or related words such as 'juhoti' (जुहोति) or sacrifice, stemming from the root word 'hu' (हु) meaning offering, sacrifice, invocation, worship and honour. Corahuana has the suffix 'havana' (हवन) which has the meaning of 'sacrifice, offering, invocation. The presence of so many Sanskritic words indicates that there definitely was a connect with the Vedic-Indic tradition.

Ayawaska is known to enhance the link with the spiritual world. It is said that Ayawaska gives its user a clearer view of the spiritual world. People who have used this brew have experienced positive effects. It is not an easy brew to handle and it is therefore rarely used as an intoxicant. But it is no different from the soma-ras of the Hindus.  In the Vedic texts of India, the 'soma-rasa' (सोमरस) and amrit-rasa (अमृतरस) were regarded as the elixirs of spiritualism. And the fact that all the appellations used to describe the infusion in Central America originate from Sanskrit, establishes the fact that an ancient Hindu civilization perhaps existed in Central America.

The word 'Ayahuasca' in popular culture it is said derives from the ancient Quechua language compound word 'ayawaska',  aya (meaning spirit, dead) and waska (meaning rope, rope). The explanation given for the significance of the word rope here is that in the worldview of the native peoples ayahuasca is the rope which allows the spirit to leave the body without it dying. The word 'waska' is also the Quechua term for any species of vine and the word 'aya' refers to the 'soul' and to the 'spirit of a dead person', hence the two English translations of Ayavaska, 'vine of the soul' and 'vine of the dead.'

Bit the etymology of 'wasaka'  may gave an entirely different source. One of the ingredient herb of 'Ayavasaka' is Justicia Pectoralis. Ant not so surprisingly, in Sanskrit the Justicia shrub is known as 'vasaka' (वासक) or 'vashaka' (वाशक) - and means 'that which brings you under its spell'. 'Ayu' (आयु) has many meanings including 'life', 'living being', 'divine personification presiding over life'. The word also takes the form 'ayur' in 'Ayurveda' - where 'ayur' stands for 'life'. The 'aya' of 'ayawaska' seems to be related to the Sanskrit 'Ayu' and 'ayur'- both in sound and in meaning.

Justicia Pectoralis is one of the
ingredients of the South American
'Ayavaska' brew. In Sanskrit, plants of the
Justicia Genus are known as 'vasaka' or 'vashaka'.

In Peru another medicinal plant goes by the name 'Ayahuma' and is recommended by the shamans of Peru for its medicinal properties.

Ayahuma is known as Nagalinga
in India. It is a sacred tree and
is planted in many temples dedicated to
Lord Shiva


In India 'Ayahuma' is known as 'Parusa' or 'Neel-Parna' or 'Naga-Linga'. Its medicinal use in Ayurveda is well recorded - its extract possesses antibiotic, antifungal, antiseptic and analgesic qualities. 'Naga-Linga' is a sacred tree and is associated with Lord Shiva and is planted in many Shiva Temples.

Suggested Links:
The Soma drinkers of Ancient India

Tuesday, 4 October 2022

JAYANTI DEVI STHANA IN KABUL

Kabul and Kubha

What's hidden in the name Kabul? Plenty! It is commonly said that Kabul was known as Kubha in antiquity owing to its location on a river by the same name. The Rigveda, which itself is of unknown antiquity, referred to the Kabul River and to a settlement on its banks by the name Kubha.

This Rig Vedic name Kubha is equated with the Sanskrit 'kubja' (कुब्ज) with the meaning of 'crooked' or 'curved'. Popular sources such as Wikipedia state that in Zoroastrianism Kabul was known as Vaekreta, which is a later name. It is the same as the Sanskrit - 'vikrit' (विकृत)  meaning 'bent' or 'crooked', which is a synonym of 'kubja'. It is often said that the river Kubha is crooked and curved in its course and hence the name. However, that is not the true reason. 

The name Kubha is really a truncated form of Kubhjika (कुब्जिका), the name of a goddess of the Kubjika cult of Tantra. She is also known as Kubjini. Both the names mean 'the bent, the curved or the crooked one'. 

Many questions arise. First, why is the tantric goddess known as the curved one. According to the Satsahasra-Samhita commentary, just as the one who bends enters everywhere, similarly as her form is contracted, she pervades everywhere. Hence, she is Kubjika, 'the bent goddess'.

The connection of Kubhjika with Kabul:

In the context of stating that the Greeks who arrived into Afghanistan during the times of Alexander and picked out Hindu place names and made cities and towns and sacred sites on the same pattern when they returned to Greece, Francis Wilford, a scholar of the Asiatic Researches Journal named two cities of Greece - Nicaea and Daedala who he said were built on the Hindu pattern. Of the two, he said, the name Nicaea has its etymological source in the name Jayantisthana, which he says was the most revered place of the Afghan Hindus. Jayantisthana has a fascinating history, now forgotten, yet not completely. It still exists. Here's how:

Francis Wilford writes about Jayanti-sthana, as well as the Greek city of Niceae in 1801, and says, "The first (Nicaea) is a true and accurate translation of the Sanskrit Jayantidevi sthana, or the 'place of the goddess of victory', who is worshipped under that name in Cabul to this day." He explains further that 'nike' is 'temple' in Greek, and 'niki' is 'victory'. In Greece they constructed a city and called it Nicaea. In Afghanistan the Greeks called Jayanti-sthana  Joy-e-nike. That place with that name still exists in Kabul and is now known as Joy-e-Nikpay!

The Location of Jayantidevi Sthana in Kabul. 

We find some clues in the Hindu texts. According to the  Srimattotara Tantr text, there are eight upapitha-s . Upapitha-s are a secondary sacred site, as against a pitha (पीठ) which is a primary sacred site

More specifically Upapitha-s are sacred sites or the centres of the Kubjika Tantra tradition, a subdivision of the Srimattotara Tantra. One of the Kubjika tantra upapitha has the name of Sri Jayanti, the other seven being Kuluta, Malava, Mahuja, Kamkipura, Kurukshetra, Barbara, and Samvara.

The Jayanti Devi temple of Kabul is the Sri Jayanti upapitha of Kubjika tantra. It is only in this tantra tradition that the name of the goddess Jayanti ever occurs in Hinduism. There is no other goddess by this name in Hinduism. 

So, if there was a Jayanti-devi-sthana in Kabul, it had to be a sacred site of the Kubhjika tradition. But where in Kabul is this forgotten temple.

We get some more clues from Wilford. He says that some other names associated with Jayantidevi-sthana that the Hindus talked about in 1801 were Asbana, Urdh-Asbana and Asvana pronounced Ashaban or Ashavan, 'asha' being the Sanskrit word for 'hope' and 'desire'. 

Wilford says, "Numerous are the legends in the Puranas, relating to this place, which is called Asavana and in the spoken dialect Asbana." He adds more details about the location of this place in Kabul. He states, "There are two places of that name; one is the lower (Asbana); and the other Urdh A'sbana or A'sbana-the-upper." And that is all the information that one needs.

A'sbana-the-upper is the Mt. Asamayi of Kabul. The Koh-e Asamai, as it is now called, is a mountain located directly to the west of downtown Kabul, and is the location of the oldest Hindu  temple in Kabul.  Mt. Asamayi is named after its namesake Hindu temple at the foothill, which was an important site of Afghan Hindus until recently and one of the oldest temples in Afghanistan. 


The Asamayi temple in Kabul is regarded as the temple of the "Goddesss of Hope'. Asamayi is now equated with Durga who has been the popular goddess in this era. Kubjika is lesser known in mainstream Hinduism, though she is well known in the Tantra tradition of Hinduism.  New temples to Asamayi goddess have also been built by Afghan Hindus in whatever new locations they now inhabit. As for Jayanti Devi, though she was revered in the Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, there is only one well known temple in India which is located on the outskirts of Chandigarh. 

In Kabul, though the name Jayantidevi is forgotten, the place where the temple stands is known as Joyshir, but the people are blissfully unaware. Kabul, or Kubha, as it was once known is the city of Kubhjika devi, hence Kubha and Kabul.

The Greeks also called Kabul as Ortospana or the 'High Place' which is the equivalent of the Sanskrit 'Uddha-sthana' (High Place) which is Kabul's name in Tantra-shastra. According to the Manthana- Bhairava-tantra, a vast sprawling text concerning the worship of the Goddess Kubhjika, her primary sacred site was known as Oddiyama, which is the same as Uddhasthana, or Kabul.

Kubhjika , in the Ta
ntric tradition, is implicitly identified with the sacrificial fire into which the world is offered and from which the world arises again. There is a natural eternal fire, an 'akhand jyoti' burning continuously at Mt. Asamayi, for the last 4000 years. It is for this reason that the location was chosen for the establishment of the Jayantidevi-sthana by ancient Hindus.

The Asamayi Temple was known as 
Jayanti-devi sthana of antiquity.
It was the centre for the worship of Tantric Goddess Kubhjika.
It is from her name that Kabul came to be known as Kubha
which distorted to Kabul in time.

Monday, 3 October 2022

KUBHJIKA, THE HINDU GODDESS OF KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

What's hidden in the name Kabul? Plenty!

Kabul and Kubha

It is commonly said that Kabul was known as Kubha in antiquity owing to its location on a river by the same name. The Rigveda, which itself is of unknown antiquity, referred to the Kabul river and to a settlement on its banks by the name Kubha.

This Rig Vedic name Kubha is e
quated with the Sanskrit 'kubja' (कुब्ज) with the meaning of 'crooked' or 'curved'. Popular sources such as Wikipedia state that in Zoroastrianism Kabul was known as Vaekreta, which is a later name. It is the same as the Sanskrit - 'vikrit' (विकृत)  meaning 'bent' or 'crooked', which is a synonym of 'kubja'. It is often said that the river Kubha is crooked and curved in its course and hence the name. However, that is not the true reason. 

The name Kubha is really a truncated form of Kubhjika (कुब्जिका), the name of a goddess of the Kubjika cult of Tantra. She is also known as Kubjini. Both the names mean 'the bent, the curved or the crooked one'. 

Many questions arise. First, why is the tantric goddess known as the curved one. According to the Satsahasra-Samhita commentary, just as the one who bends enters everywhere, similarly as her form is contracted, she pervades everywhere. Hence, she is Kubjika, 'the bent goddess'.

The connection of Kubhjika with Kabul:

In the context of stating that the Greeks who arrived into Afghanistan during the times of Alexander and picked out Hindu place names and made cities and towns and sacred sites on the same pattern when they returned to Greece, Francis Wilford, a scholar of the Asiatic Journal Researches, named two cities of Greece - Nicaea and Daedala who he said were built on the Hindu pattern. Of the two, he said, the name Nicaea has its etymological source in the name Jayasthana, which he says was the most revered place of the Afghan Hindus. Jayasthana has  a fascinating history, now forgotten, yet not completely. It still exists. Here's how:

Francis Wilford writes about Jayasthana, as well as the Greek city of Niceae in 1801, and says, "The first (Nicaea) is a true and accurate translation of the Sanskrit Jayantidevi-sthana, or the 'place of the goddess of victory', who is worshipped under that name in Cabul to this day." He explains further that 'nike' is 'temple' in Greek, and 'niki' is 'victory'. In Greece they constructed a city and called it Nicaea. In Afghanistan the Greeks called Jayanti-sthana  Joy-e-nike. That place with that name still exists in Kabul and is now known as Joy-e-Nikpay!

The Location of Jayantidevi-Sthana in Kabul. 

We find some clues in the Hindu texts. According to the  Srimattotara Tantr text, there are eight upapitha-s . Upapitha-s are a secondary sacred site, as against a pitha (पीठ) which is a primary sacred site

More specifically Upapitha-s are sacred sites or the centres of the Kubjika Tantra tradition, a subdivision of the Srimattotara Tantra. One of the Kubjika tantra upapitha has the name of Sri Jayanti, the other seven being Kuluta, Malava, Mahuja, Kamkipura, Kurukshetra, Barbara, and Samvara.

The Jayanti Devi temple of Kabul is the Sri Jayanti upapitha of Kubjika tantra. It is only in this tantra tradition that the name of the goddess Jayanti ever occurs in Hinduism. There is no other goddess by this name in Hinduism. 

So, if there was a Jayanti-devi-sthana in Kabul, it had to be a sacred site of the Kubhjika tradition. But where in Kabul is this forgotten temple.

We get some more clues from Wilford. He says that some other names associated with Jayantidevi-sthana that the Hindus talked about in 1801 were Asbana, Urdh-Asbana and Asvana pronounced Ashaban or Ashavan, 'asha' being the Sanskrit word for 'hope' and 'desire'. 

Wilford says, "Numerous are the legends in the Puranas, relating to this place, which is called Asavana and in the spoken dialect Asbana." He adds more details about the location of this place in Kabul. He states, "There are two places of that name; one is the lower (Asbana); and the other Urdh A'sbana or A'sbana-the-upper." And that is all the information that one needs.

A'sbana-the-upper is the Mt. Asamayi of Kabul. The Koh-e Asamai, as it is called now, is a mountain located directly to the west of downtown Kabul, and is the location of the oldest Hindu  temple in Kabul.  Mt. Asamayi is named after its namesake Hindu temple at the foothill, which was an important site of Afghan Hindus until recently and one of the oldest temples in Afghanistan. 

The Asamayi temple in Kabul is regarded as the temple of the "Goddesss of Hope'. Asamayi is now equated with Durga who has been the popular goddess in this era. Kubjika is lesser known in mainstream Hinduism, though she is well known in the Tantra tradition of Hinduism.  New temples to Asamayi goddess have also been built by Afghan Hindus in whatever new locations they now inhabit. As for Jayanti Devi, though she was revered in the Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, there is only one well known temple in India which is located on the outskirts of Chandigarh. 

In Kabul, though the name Jayantidevi is forgotten, the place where the temple stands is known as Joyshir, but the people are blissfully unaware. Kabul, or Kubha, as it was once known is the city of Kubhjika devi, hence Kubha and Kabul.

The Greeks also called Kabul as Ortospana or the 'High Place' which is the equivalent of the Sanskrit 'Uddha-sthana' (High Place) which is Kabul's name in Tantra-shastra.

According to the Manthana- Bhairava-tantra, a vast sprawling text concerning the worship of the Goddess Kubhjika, her primary sacred site was known as Oddiyama, which is the same as Uddhasthana, or Kabul.    

Kubhjika , in the Tantric tradition, is implicitly identified with the sacrificial fire into which the world is  offered and from which the world arises again. There is a natural eternal fire, an 'akhand jyoti' burning continuously at Mt. Asamayi, for the last 4000 years. It is for this reason that the location was chosen for the establishment of the Jayantidevi-sthana by ancient Hindus.

The Asamayi Temple was known as 
Jayanti-devi sthana of antiquity.
It was the centre for the worship of Tantric Goddess Kubhjika.
It is from her name that Kabul came to be known as Kubha
which distorted to Kabul in time.

Another ancient temple in Kabul is located at Khair Khaneh.
Its artifacts were exhibited at the Kabul Museum.
Present status unknown.



Monday, 26 September 2022

THE LOST SACRED SITE OF GARUDA-STHANA NEAR BAMIYAN IN AFGHANISTAN

Bahlika, also called Valakhiliya, refers to an ancient district mentioned in the Mahabharata which corresponds to Bactria or modern Balkh in northern Afghanistan. Garuda, the Vedic 'King of the birds' was born in Bahlika say the Hindu scriptures. Scholars of the Asiatic Journal from 200 years ago have recorded the existence of a temple dedicated to Garuda close to Bamiyan in Afghanistan the memory of which is now almost completely lost.

The Mahabharata states that Garuda was born as a consequence of the ascetic penances of the Vahlikhiliyas. In every instance in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, whenever there is a mention of a yagya, tapasya, or an ascetic penance by rishis, that event is always followed by the occurrence of something extraordinary. Unsurprisingly, therefore, in this instance of ascetic penance, the result is the birth of an extraordinary bird. This bird, an eagle, to be more specific, in time comes to be known as Garuda. On first appearance, Garuda seems like a bird, but as more features unveil in the description, it begins to descend that Garuda was perhaps a vimana, all though in the Puranas it is always considered as a bird irrespective of all its features and feats.

The Mahabharata says that Kashyapa, the father of Garuda, was assisted by Rishis, the gods, and the Gandharvas (celestial beings) to enable the 'birth' of Garuda. The Mahabharata also says that Kashyapa appointed Indra himself to bring the 'sacrificial fuel' as well as to gather deities and the ascetics from Valikhiya to facilitate the 'birth' of Garuda. It is also mentioned that Garuda was not born of a mother. Yet it has a mother called Vinata. She too can fly, only Garuda is the next generation! And therefore, of more power! If Garuda was a machine, ancient Afghanistan would have to be designated as a center for aviation research, but that is an entirely different debate. 

In the Vedas, Mahabarata and Puranas, Garuda, the eagle, is regarded as a demi-god bird. So for now, in this essay one may begin by looking for evidence of Garuda in either ancient place names or the sacred sites of Bahlika, that is Afghanistan. 


A Garuda artifact, dated to 2nd  century AD
Gandhara, Afghanistan


Closer to our times, up until the 1800s at least, we find that Hindu pilgrims visited a place called Garudasthana, located in the province of Bamiyan, on the river Surkhab. This is attested to by Captain F Wilford who states in his essay 'Sacred Isles of the West' in the Asiatic Research journal, volume VIII published in 1808, "Garuda's den is well known to this day to the pilgrims, and to the Hindus of these parts. The place is called Shibr in Major Renell's maps, for Shabar; and it is not far from Bamiyan. There Garuda used to devour all the Shabaras who passed by; in the Puranas, all savage tribes are thus called. Amongst others were some servants of Mahadeva whom he devoured; this drew upon him the resentment of that irascible deity, whose servants are called Pramathas." (Page 258)  

Shabar lies close to a place known as Gholghola in Bamiyan. Gholghola, or 'the city of woes' they say was so named after the massacre  unleashed  by Genghis Khan when his grandson was killed in a battle at this site. However,  the name Gholghola might have already existed, for it was the site of Hindu temples and perhaps that of the Garuda temple that Wilford mentions. Gholghola seems to be a variation of Garula,  Vedic Sanskrit for eagle.  Garulasthan probably already existed, and was tweaked to the Pashto Gholghola after the mayhem caused there.

Shabar exists on the present day map of Afghanistan. It lies in the Bamiyan province, its name a continuation of its earliest name as stated in the Puranic legend of Garuda. Bamiyan itself had the name of Vama-nagari in antiquity and gave its name to the  mountain range on which Bamiyan developed.

Wilford was of the view that the true and original mountain range that came to be known as Caucasus lies in Afghanistan. He says that an extensive branch of the Caucassus was called Parapannisus. He says, "The word Parapannisus, or Para Fanisus, is obviously derived from the Sanscrit Para-Vami, or 'the pure and excellent city of Vami', commonly called Bamyan. It is called in Sanscrit Vamlnagari, Vami-gram, and in a derivative form Vamiyan or the most beautiful and excellent city. It is a place of great antiquity; and was considered at a very early period, as the metropolis of the feet of Buddha; hence it was called emphatically Buddha- Bamiyan ; but the Musulmans have maliciously distorted this venerable title, into But-Bamiyan or 'Bamiyan of the evil spirit', or of the idols. Para which signifies pure and holy is also one of the thousand names of Vishnu."

Shabar is located in the region of Bamiyan, not far from the province of Gaur, also known as Ghor, Ghorid and Ghoristan. Ghoristan may well be the Garudasthana of the Hindu Puranas. Though there are many theories about the origin of the name Gaur, none other has the antiquitarian support of a scripture that the name Garudasthan has. Balkh or the Valakhiliya of the Mahabharata too lies in close proximity to Gaur. Hence all the Mahabharata sites are in fact tied together by both, legend as well as geography.

Lake Shiva lies in the Shive Province.
Bamiyan was known as Vami Nagari in the Mahabharata
Shibar gets its name from the Shabara of the Garuda legend
Ghoristan name springs likely from Garudasthan
Balkh gets its name from the Valikhiliyas of Mahabaarata


Ghoristan is not the only place which may have its etymology in Garuda or Garudasthan. Gardez is another one. It is here that a Ganesha was excavated by British archaeologists in the 1930s. It is dated to 8th Century AD. Gardez lies close to Kabul, who's ancient name was Kubha, (कुभ), named after the river Kubha, or 'the curved one'.


The 8th century Ganesha of
Gurdez, Afghanistan

The Parapamisus situated not far from Bamiyan on James Renell's map of Afghanistan. Gurdez lies to the south.


For a clearer view of James Rennell's map of Kabul, Bamiyan, and Gaur, click here and scroll down to the last map and zoom in.


In the Asiatic Journal Vol VI, in his essay 'On the Mount Caucasus', author Francis Wilford states, " The few Hindus, who live toward the Indus, insist that the lake near Bamiyan, is the real and original Mansarovara: and near Cabul a little to the north west of Sacardara is a small lake, which they call the lesser Man- sarovara, and which corresponds to a similar lake to the south of Bindu-Saro-vara, called in the Puranas the eyes of Mansarovara." The Kabul Lake is now known as Band-e-Amir. 

James Rennell (1742-1830), English geographer and historian, considered as the Father of Indian geographical Survey, also identifies and marks a place called Naggaur in the vicinity of Bamiyan on his map. This corresponds to the Devanagar of the Puranas. Devanagar's existence is unquestionable. It is here that the Devanagari script of the Sanskrit language is said to have been born. This name no longer exists on the map of Afghanistan.

There is a Puranic story about Naggur too though. Its complete name was Deva-nagar. It is said that Atri, a deva who sprang up from the mind of Bramha was given the task of establishing cities and entrusting Vedas in the people of those cities by Bramha. It is said that after establishing cities in the west and Sanchadwipa (Africa), Atri repaired eastward. In Asiatic Researches Vol III it is stated by Wilford, "After the arrangement he (Atri) left and went to the country, near the Sindhu, or Indus, settling on the Devanaca Mountains, where he avoided the morning twilight, which had be fore been improsperous, and produced a race eminent in virtue, for whom, when they multiplied, he built the famous city of Nagara, emphatically so called and generally named Deva-nagara, which stood near the site of the modern Cabul (Kabul)." Page 348

About Bamiyan,, Wilford collated the following interesting information from travellers. He writes, " The city of Baimyan consists of a vast number of apartments, and recesses, cut out of the rock ; some of which, on account of their extraordinary dimensions, are supposed to have been temples. They are called Samach'hh, in the language of the country, and Samaj in Persian. There are no pillars to be seen in any of them, according to the information I have received from travellers, who had visited them. Some of them are adorned with niches and carved work; and there are to be feen the remains of some figures in relievo, which were destroyed or miserably disfigured by Musalmans. Some remains of paintings on the walls are still to be seen in some of them: but the smoke, from the fires made there by the inhabitants, has all but obliterated them. It is said in the Ayeen-Akbery that there are about 12,000 of these recesses, in the Tuman or Tagavi of Bamiyan; this is also confirmed, from general report, by travellers. But what never fails to attract the notice of travellers, are two colossal statues which are seen at a great distance." These are the two Bamiyan Buddhas that were destroyed in 2001.

But there are some additional interesting facts that Wilford relates. He states, "At some distance from these two statues, is another of a smaller size, being about fifteen cubits high. Natives and Persian authors, who have mentioned them, agree neither about their sex nor their names. The few Hindus who live in these countries, say, that they represent Bhi'm and his consort...". Later, the Buddhists, the Christians and the Muslims chose to believe they were sculptures of deities of their tradition.

These statues were visited, at lead ten or twelve different times, by a famous traveler, called Me'yan- Asod-Shah, who was a man highly respected, both on account of his descent from Mohammed, and his personal character. He was well informed,  and he said that the two statues were that of a male and a female. 

Wilford writes that from Shah he learnt, "One of the legs of the male figure is much broken : for the Musulmans never march that way with cannon without firing two or three shots at them : but from their want of skill, they seldom do much mischief. Aurangzebe, it is said, in his expedition to Bahlac (BalkhI in the year 1646, passed that way and ordered as usual a few shots to be fired; one of them took place, and almost broke its leg."

References:
1. Asiatic Researches Or Transactions Vol. 8 : Not Available : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive Garudasthana
2. Asiatic Researches - Vol.3 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive Devanagri, Parhmeti of Ptolemy found on Renall's map. This information is found in the Essay "on Egypt and the Nile'.
3. Afghanistan Map
Maps and Map-making in India | James Rennell: The Father of the Indian Survey · Online Exhibits (umich.ed
Bamian and Paropamisus marked on the map but not Shibi or Shibr
4. Garuda – Snake Vasuki Fight To Bring Shiva Back From Cosmic Sleep | Hindu Blog (hindu-blog.com)
5. Devanāgarī | writing system | Britannica
6. Amori Sonko, and his people of Sankola, Kaabu, Mandinka of Sarakule (Soninke) origins. (sonkosankohsancho.blogspot.com)
7. The mythology of the Hindus; with notices of various mountain and island tribes, inhabiting the two peninsulas of India and the neighbouring islands, ... and religious terms, &c. &c., of the H: Amazon.co.uk: Coleman, Charles: 9780217804486: Books
8. Afro-Asiatica: An Odyssey in Black: 2012 (afroasiatics.blogspot.com)
9. Asiatic researches. Vol. 3 – download as pdf at LitRes complete
10. Asiatic researches. Vol. 3 (litres.com) The story of Garuda and Chakragiri mountai, Login with Bluelotus2006@hotmail.com if required
12. Asiatic Researches : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive Volume 15 An essay on the Hindu history of Kashmir

Friday, 2 September 2022

ANCIENT INDIAN ROOTS OF PALESTINIANS AND THE PRE-GREEK CIVILIZATION OF GREECE

Summary: 
1. The pre-Greek inhabitants of Greece were known as Pelasgis who had migrated from Palakshakhanda (Bihar) of India.
2. The Pelasgis came to be known as Philistines by the time they poured into Canaan (Present day Israel) from Greece. 
3. The Pelasgis also came to be known as Pala over time, which corrupted to Pale later.

In his article 'The Land of Pales, an Overview of Ancient Palestine', in the World History Encyclopedia, Dr. Joshua Mark, Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, New York, states, "The name 'Palestine’ is thought to derive from either the word plesheth (meaning `root palash’, an edible concoction carried by migratory tribes which came to symbolize nomadic peoples) or as a Greek designation for the nomadic Philistines".

So where did this concoction of the root of 'palash' come from? And why would that name matter? For an answer to this question, one must turn to the pre-Greek civilization of the land that later came to be known as Greece. The name Pelasgians was used by classical Greek writers to refer to the predecessors of the Greeks, or sometimes to all the inhabitants of Greece before the emergence or arrival of the Greeks.

In his research on the Pelasgis, German historian Ludwig Heeran (1760-1842) stated, "We can distinctly trace an overland communication between India & Greece, at an age long before the historic period." Heeran quotes an earlier historian Baron Cuvier here and says, "The Pelasgi were originally from India, of which the Sanskrit root words that occur abundantly in their language, do not permit us to doubt."

Baron Cuvier traces the route that the early Pelasgians from Indians might have taken to Greece. He was of the opinion that, "... they by crossing the mountains of Persia penetrated as far back as the Caucasus and then from there instead of continuing by land, they embarked on the Euxine Sea and made a descent upon the coast of Greece." The Euxine Sea is more commonly known as Black Sea and the Caucasus region encompasses the land that lies between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea which holds Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and south-eastern Russia.

Another historian, Reverend Thomas Richard Brown, Vicar of Southwick, states in his work, 'Grammar of the Hebrew Hieroglyphs applied to the Sacred Scriptures, published in 1840, "It is generally allowed by historians, that the most ancient inhabitants of Greece were the Pelasgians. They were probably, originally settled somewhere in India, and from the fate of war, or an overflowing population, obliged to seek habitations elsewhere."

But why were they known as Pelasgians. The Pelasgians got the name from their leader Pelasgus. In turn he got his name from the land he originally hailed from. States Brown, "Here again we have, in true probability, the etymology from the Sanscrit". He adds, "पलाशं palasham is the ancient name of Behar (Bihar) in India and पलाशखंड Palshkhanda, is the district of Behar, so named from the Palasha tree growing there in great abundance."

That Palasha-khanda was the name of ancient Bihar, more specifically, the kingdom of Magadha, is attested in all Sanskrit dictionaries such as the most authentic of them 'The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary' by Vaman Shivarama Apte. In fact, author E. Pococke traces the name Macedonia to Magadha via Makadonia in his book "India in Greece' published in 1852. 

The above-mentioned names still exist on the map of India. There is the village of Palasi in Bihar, which was called Pallasey by the British and was the location of the battle of Palassey. There is a Palashkhanda in Orissa, there is another in West Bengal, ana one in Bangladesh. The name Meghadh never went away. It was the name of the empire of Emperor Ashoka whose reign is well documented.

Author E. Pococke wrote in his book India in Greece, in 1852, "Pelasa, the ancient name for the province of Bahara (Bihar) is so denominated from the Pelasa, or 'Butea Frondosa'. Pelasha is a derivative form of Pelasa, hence the Greek 'Pelasgos' ". 

'Butea Frondosa' is the botanical name for what is known in Sanskrit as the 'Palasha' (पलाश) tree, commonly called 'the Flame of the Forest' in English. Decoctions are made from all parts of this tree in India since ancient times and it has been used has for the treatment of many conditions because it has well known anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, diuretic, analgesic, antitumor and astringent properties.

It is this word 'Palasha' that distorted into the word 'plesheth', the syrup of which the Pelasgis carried as they made their way from Palshakhanda in India to Causcasus, and then to Greece. And it is this 'plesheth' that Dr. Joshua Mark is referring to as the source of the name Phillistines or Palestinians. 

There are many scholars who have arrived at the conclusion that the Palestinians had a Greek origin. It appears that the Indic Pelasgians kept moving and arrived at the land of Cannan. Linda Sue Grimes states in her Literary Works, "Some historians claim that Palestinian history traces back to the Philistines. But the Philistines were not Semites nor were they Arabs. They were likely Greek in origin and came in several waves from Greece to the Israel/Palestine area in the Middle East." It is is for this reason that the word 'pleseth' took on the meaning of 'migratory'.

Greek philosopher Herodotus (484-425 BCE) was the first one who called the Cannans as Phillistines. The term `Palestine’ does not appear in any written records until the 5th century BCE in the Histories of Herodotus. After Herodotus, the term `Palestine’ came to be used for the entire region which was formerly known as Canaan. The Biblical meaning of 
Philistia was "land of sojourners".

This view is further supported by the following fact. Author and researcher Linda Sue Grimes says, "The Philistines had no ethnic, linguistic, or historical connection to Arabia. The name applied by Arabs to the area "Falastin" was not, in fact, an Arabic name. This term is derived from Plesheth meaning migratory, as in having migrated to that area from Greece, and the term likely harkened back to the "Philistine" invasion along the coast."

It appears that the Pelasgis, kept moving and entered into ancient Egypt too. The name Plesheth, which had its source in the Sanskrit 'palash', took on the meaning of 'migratory' along with the movement and spread of the Pelasgis, who were now known as Phillistine or Palestinians. Its earlier meaning of 'decoction' faded in usage.

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic records from the New Kingdom Kingdom (16th-11th century BCE) period list a group of the Sea Peoples called the Peleset or Pulasti, as invading Egypt in the mid-13th century BC. About a century later, pharaoh Ramesses III boasted of having defeated the Peleset, and allegedly relocated them to the southern abandoned coast of Canaan. The Pulsati are also generally identified as the Philistines.



Saturday, 27 August 2022

MT. ANANTA IN SOUTH AMERICA AND PURANIC GEOGRAPHY OF PATALA

The Vishnu Purana states that the realm below the surface of the earth is seven layered, each realm extends downwards 10,000 yojanas. Yojana is a unit of distance and is the equivalent of somewhere between five and ten kilometres. The seven layers are collectively known as Patala Loka. 

It appears that Patala Loka is a reference not so much to the land below the surface of the earth, but to the region in the direction 'below the surface' or the 'other side of the world', in the southern direction from Bharat Khanda (India). Hence, Patala has been identified as Latin America by Indic scholars.

The Vishnu Purana lists the names of the seven levels of Patala as Atala, Vitala, Nitala, Ghabhastimat, Mahatala, Sutala, and the seventh which also bears the name  Patala. Below these seven regions there exists a form or a shape which is described as the resting place of Vishnu. That form is shaped like a great celestial serpent and is known by two names, Sesha and Ananta. The Shesha or Ananta is also described as the bed on which Vishnu sleeps during the intervals of creation. This 'serpent shaped being' bears the entire world on its head like a jeweled crown.

There are many interpretations to this Puranic lore. But the one that is rarely alluded to is that the seven regions of the Patala are a reference to the many regions within the South American continent. One may argue that it is the continent of South America which is the celestial snake 'Ananta' described in the Ramayana and the Puranas. These texts state that with a '1000 heads and a narrow tail' this serpent supports the world on its head. The continent is certainly shaped like a serpent with it's hood fanned out . 


South America is the Celestial Snake 'Ananta' who carries 
the world on its head as described in the Ramayana and the Puranas. The continent is shaped like a serpent's head with its hood extended.

Some of the names mentioned in the Puranic lore still exist on the present day map of South America. Here is a look:

1. Ananta: The Puranic name Ananta survives in the name of Mt. Ananta in Peru. Ananta, located in the Andes Range at  13° 48′ 50″ S, 70° 37′ 14″ W, lies to the east of the dormant volcano Ampato and south-west of the mountain Warank'anthi. 

Mt. Ananta is also sometimes known as Callangate, Calla is a distortion of the Ayamara 'qullu' meaning 'mountain', perhaps derived from 'kukila' (कुकिल) Sanskrit for 'mountain'. The name Ananta (अनन्त) distorts to 'Angate' in Ayamara, hence the name Callangate. The affinity between Sanskrit and the Mayan languages such as Ayamara and Quechua is well established.


Mt. Ananta lies in Peru, in the Vilcanota sub-range of the Andes.
It is also known as Callangate. 

The Andes are not a single line of peaks but a succession of parallel mountain ranges. Andes means 'shining mountain' in Ayamara and appears to be a corruption of 'adri', (अद्रि) Sanskrit for 'mountain'. The Andes are also part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges that consists of a continuous sequence of mountain ranges forming the western “backbone” of North America, Central America, South America, and Antarctica. 

2. Ammerisque Range: The Cordillera also includes the Ammerisque range of Central America. The Amerrisque mountain chain runs like a central spine which extends throughout central Nicaragua for about 700 km from Honduras in the northwest to Costa Rica in the southwest. In her writings Helena P. Blavatsky had argued that the name Ammerisque is an extension of the word Meru (मेरु), Sanskrit for 'spine'. Interestingly the Ammerisque and Andes appear as one giant spine from Central to South America extending into the ranges of North America. The Puranas say that a meru- a spine or axis, connects the North Pole to the South pole.

The Puranas state that Meru (मेरु), or the spine of the earth, extends from the Arctic to the Antarctic. The 'spine' is a reference to the mountain ranges of the American Cordillera extending from the north to the south. It is from Meru that the name America is derived.


In 1888 Blavatsky stated in her book ‘The Secret Doctrine, “…the name of America may one day be found more closely related to Meru, the sacred mount in the centre of the seven continents according to the Hindu tradition, than Americus Vespucius.” In the same book Blavatsky quotes Dr. Alexander Wilder (1823-1909), an American physician and Neoplatonist who in his writings had commented earlier, “It is most plausible that the state of Central America where we find the name Americ signifying (like the Hindu Meru we may add) great mountain, gave the continent its name.” In popular culture it is widely believed that America is named after explorer Americus Vespucius.

Guyanan novelist and educator Jan Carew (1920-2012), in his book titled ‘The Caribbean Writer and Exile’, took a different route to the Sanskritic link to the name Amerrique. Carew quoted Marcou’s Augustus Le Plongeon, an anthropologist, who had studied the Mayan culture in Yucatan, and wrote, "The name America or Amerrique in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and sometimes the suffix '-ique' and '-ika' can mean not only wind or air but also a spirit that breathes, life itself."

Interestingly Vedic scriptures add collateral to Carew’s interpretation. First, there is ‘Maarutta’ (मा
रुत), the Rig Vedic ‘god of Wind’. His name derives from the Sanskrit word for ‘breath’ and ‘wind’ which again is ‘marutta’ (मारुत), thus establishing a Sanskritic-Vedic connect to the Mayan meaning of the name Amerrique. For more on this subject click here.

Meru also appears in Peru as Maru in the name of the ancient site Aramu Maru, an abandoned stone carving near Lake Titicaca. Aramu Maru is regarded as a 'Gate of the Gods'. Today the site is a destination for tourists interested in 'paranormal pilgrimages'. Legend has it that an Incan priest in possession of a golden disk, placed the disk in a small depression in the 'door' or the niche carved into the rock, and this caused the door to open.

Sanskrit names in the Arequipa region of Peru:
First, the name Peru itself may be a distortion of the word Meru. Second 'peru' (पेरुः) is Sanskrit for 'sun', 'ocean' and 'fire' and its name may be derived from any of these words. This may appear as conjecture but  the Arequipa region of Peru alone throws up so many Sanskritic names that this view cannot be dismissed. There is Mt. Ananta and Laguna Ananta. Then there is the Rio Jarrinan. 'Jhari' (झरी) is Sanskrit for river, a word which appears in some form or the other in many, many rivers around the world, such as 'jor' in 'Jordan', as 'ger' in 'Niger', as 'gara' in 'Niagara' and so forth.

'Jor' derives from Aramaic 'yarden' and means 'flowing', Niagara stems from the Native American Oniah-gahrah and means 'thunderer of waters' in the Huron language, and 'ger' the suffix in the name Niger means 'gushing water' in the Tureg language.

However, Jarinnan has no appropriate meaning in the Ayamara language and can only be decoded with Sanskrit. Jarinnan is a  stream that flows in Matarani, a coastal region of Peru. The suffix 'tarini' in the name Matarani means 'river' in Sanskrit and is an appropriate name for a town on the coast.

Four town in Arequipa have very curious names. Sancaro, Chivay, Rinramayo, and Sanumana are towns in close vicinity of Ananta. None of these names have any meaning in Ayamara, however with slight tweaking they all turn into names of Vedic-Puranic gods. Shankara, Shiva, Rama and Hanuman. Once again this may appear as conjecture. But there is evidence that all these names are well known in the Mayan culture. One of the highest gods in the Mayan culture was Xibalba, pronounced Shivalva, a cognate of the Sanskrit Shiva, who was is also known as Shankara. Hence the Ayamara name Sancaro.

Rinramayo is a reminder of the name Rama. The name Rama is not unknown in the Mayan tradition. The Rama are an indigenous people living on the eastern coast of Nicaragua. A majority of the population lives on the island of Rama Cay. There is another ancient tribe of Brazil by the name 'RamaRama'. The RamaRama were a Tupi speaking group, living in the Brazilian Amazonian area in a place called Rondonia and inhabited the banks of the Machadinho and Ahara rivers.

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 name Kaiapo was given to them by the neighboring native tribes, which means 'resembling apes'. 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'. In the Ramayana, the 'kapi'- the vanara tribe was lead by the highest of them all - Hanumana. The word Hanumana is only one letter away from the place name Sanumana located in Arequipa. Monkey gods were not unknown to the Mayans either.

Monkey God, Copan, Hondurus
is the spitting image of Hanumana


Ancient Shivalinga, Tulum, Mexico


The base or the Yoni of the Shivalinga at Tulum, Mexico


Patala and Atala:


Patala and Atalaya on the present day map of Peru

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Friday, 1 July 2022

THE HINDU CITY OF AMRIT THAT PHOENICIANS BUILT IN SYRIA

Phoenicia was an ancient civilization composed of independent city-states which lay along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea stretching through what is now Syria, Lebanon and northern Israel. The Phoenicians were known for their mighty ships. Phoenicia thrived as a maritime trader and manufacturing center from 1500 to 332 BCE. The Phoenicians were regarded highly for not only their skill in ship-building but also glass-making, the production of dyes, and in the manufacture of luxury and common goods. Above all they were astute traders.

The various names given to the Phoenicians, like Poeni by the Romans and Phoinike by the Greeks, resemble the Vedic terms such as Pani (पणि) meaning bargainer or trader, Paani (पाणि) meaning shop, Vani (वणी) and Vanik (वणिज्) both meaning bargainer and trader. Many scholars have identified the Vedic Panis with the Phoenicians because of the many similarities between them. Most have argued that the Paanis of the Rig Veda were none other than the Phoenicians.

In the 'Social History of Kamarupa' (1922), historian Nagendranath Vasu states," It is these Panis of the Vedic age who have passed as Phoenicians in the western civilized world. The ancient Greeks and Germans called them Fonic or Fenec and even Punic". E. Pococ    ke states in his India in Greece, "The Phoenicians originally dwelled in Afghanistan."

The Panis were Vedic Hindu traders who were wealthy but were regarded as irreverent and uncouth. The Panis did not recognize the priest-class as superior, nor did they pass on alms from their earnings to the priest-class as was the tradition. As a result they were regarded as miserly, lowly, rude of language, cow thieves and were referred to as 'mleccha-s' (म्लेच्छ) - the ignoble, as against the arya (आर्य) or the noble.

The Panis naturally therefore are not spoken of very highly in the Vedas though their skills are recognized. They were ultimately driven away from the Sapta-Sindhu region after a battle, and their defeat was at the hands of none other than Indra himself, who was recognized as the highest of the earliest Vedic gods. With time the word Pani distorted to Kani and became the endonym that the Phoenicians gave themselves. By the time the Panis appeared on the Mediterranean coast, they called themselves Kani, or Kanana, who were referred to as the Canann-ites. The name Cannan appears in the Bible. It was the name for the area of ancient Palestine west of river Jordon, the promised land of the Israelites. In western sources the name Cannan is traced to Hebrew Kenaan and means a 'pack'.

In this post we trace just a couple of the cities that the Vedic Panis built in the Mediterranean. Amrit and Tartous. Amrit is an ancient Phoenician site located on the Mediterranean coast of Syria. After the Phoenicians had settled the island of Arwad, a short distance offshore, the Phoenicians subsequently established a number of settlements on the mainland.

Arwad was mentioned as Irtu in the Annals of Thutmose III, at the Karnak Temple in Egypt. Thutmose III was the 6th King of Egypt's 18th Dynasty and reigned around 1430 BCE. Irtu eventually came to be known as Arvad, Arpad, and Arphad and then as Arwad. Irta (ईर्ते) is Sanskrit for 'elevate' and perhaps it was named so since an island is an 'elevation in the sea'. However, this is only conjecture though one might say that phoenetically 'irta' is  a Sanskrit sound.

Tartous and Amrit were two of the settlements located closest to the island of Arwad. Amrit, known to the Greeks as Marathos, is thought to have been used as a suburb or religious center. There are many theories regarding the etymology of Tartous, the most commonly accepted is that Tartous, ancient name Tortosa, got its name from the Greek Anti-Arados or Antarados or Anti-Aradus, meaning 'the town facing Arwad'. However, Arwad was known as Irtu in antiquity and Arwad is only a much later Arabic distortion of the original name Irtu. So that derivation of the name does not count.

Tartous is a port city and its ancient most known Phoenician name is Tartosa, the one given by the Vedic pani-s. Taratos may have to do with water or tara (तर), Sanskrit for 'tide' or 'swim across', tosha (तोष) trickle, and toja (तोज) water. To this day there is an ancient town known as Baniyas on the coast of Syria- the source of its name unknown but certainly linked to the Pani-s and the variations of their names including kani, vanik 
or banik . In the Rig Vedic tradition amrita is equated with a 'celestial drink of immortality' or the 'nectar of the gods'.

Arwad and Tartous remain occupied today, but Amrit was destroyed in the third century B.C. and only a few physical remains survive. Its ancient most name is said to be Marat (Phoenician: 𐤌𐤓𐤕, mrt), but since in the earliest form of Phoenician writing the vowels were never written, the word 𐤌𐤓𐤕 or mrt , may just as well have been a truncated form of Amrit rather than Marat- the interpretation given by mainstream researchers.

In their paper 'The spatial organization of the Phoenician city of Amrith (Syria)', authors Michel Al Maqdissi and Christophe Benech state, "The site is crossed by two rivers, a fact possibly linked to the religious tradition of Amrith in which the water has an important role. There is the Nahr el Amrith, which runs past the main temple (Ma’abed), and the Nahr el Kuble, not far from the place where the Syrian archaeological mission has discovered a second temple."

One of the most important excavations at Amrit was a Phoenician temple, commonly referred to the "ma'abed," . It is said that the temple was dedicated to the god Melqart of Tyre and Eshmun. One must first remember here that the ancient most name of the Phoenician city of Tyre was 'Sur'. The Pani-s, it must also be remembered, were considered both as 'mleccha-s' and perhaps liked to designate themselves as 'sura-s' rather than be equated with the 'asura-s as they were when they lived in the Sapta Sindhu during the Rig Vedic era. The Rig Veda states that the then highest god of the Sura-s Indra had himself driven the Pani-s out in a massive battle. The Pani-s perhaps equated themselves to the Sura-s.

The name Sur has survived in many forms since the Phoenician build the city of Sur, the Old Tyre. In the book A Description of the East and Some Other Countries', authors Robert Pococke, Hubert Francois Gravelot, and Charles Gringion state, "New Tyre is now called Sur, which is the ancient name of Tyre, and this having been the chief city of the whole country, possibly Syria might receive its name from Sur". It may therefore be inferred that Assyria, the older name of Syria, derives its name from asura.

The colonnaded temple, excavated between 1955 and 1957 at Amrit, consists of a large court cut out of rock surrounded by a covered portico. In the center of the court is a well-preserved cube-shaped covered area. What is of note is that the open-air courtyard around the cube-shaped structure was filled with the waters of a local, traditionally sacred spring. This unique feature of this site is true of all ancient Shiva temples of India.

The cube shaped structure was surrounded by the
waters of a scared spring
The Phoenician temple of Amrit, Syria
near the Nahr el Amrit river

Inside the rectangular structure at the Water Spring
Temple of Amrit, Syria was housed
a deity wearing a lionskin. The area around the structure
held water fed by a water spring.
It was in all liklihood a Shiva Temple constructed by
the Rig Vedic Panis of India

In their book 'The Archaeology of Syria: From Complex Hunter-Gatherers to Early Urban Societies, authors Peter Mattheus, Maria Gerardus Akkermans, Peter M. M. G. Akkermans, and Glenn M. Schwartz state," Preeminent among the sites within the Arwad vicinity is Amrit noted for its impressive open-air temple ["Maabed"] the best preserved monumental structure from the Phoenician homeland."

Describing the water-temple site of Amrit, they further state," ...the extraordinary rock- cut structure consisted of a colonnaded portico enclosing a large rectangular basin.. A large ritual pit contained limestone votive statues.....depicting a young man wearing a lionskin and brandishing a club." Though the idol here is equated with the Phoenician god Malqaart, the attire is much like the Indic Shiva who wears lionskin and holds a trident, as of course is the layout of the Phoenician temple which corresponds to Indic Shiva temples where water plays an important part.
A reconstruction of the Water-spring Temple,
at Amrit, Syria. The cubic structure in the centre 
housed a deity dressed in a lionskin and was surrounded by water


The Indic Shiva wears lionskin
and holds a trident

Other examples of Phoenician Temples at Arwad, such as the one a few miles away from the main Phoenician Temple of Amrit, has led historians such as N.M. Billimoria and Nagendranath Vasu, to the conclusion that what we see in ancient Phoenician architecture are the images of gods from ancient India, including Rig Vedic deities and Shiva.

The Phoenicians were the Vedic Pani-s.
They built many cities on the Mediterranian Sea.
Here is a structure, perhaps a 'shivalinga', from
the Temple at Amrit in Syria

Archaeological site at Amrit, Syria

About the city of Tyre, who's ancient most name is Sur, and of which all names such as Syria and Assyria are variations, N. M. Billimoria states in the 'Panis of Rigveda', "It has not been ascertained when the Panis left India by sea and established the colony of Phoenicia along the coasts of Syria. From the account left by Herodotus, however, it is found that the very ancient capital of Phoenicia, the city of Tyre, was founded 2,300 years before him, i.e., 2,756 B.C. In these circumstances it may fairly be concluded that the Panis must have deserted the shores of India long before that date. From a consideration of the legend telling how Sargon I (about 3,800 B.C.) crossed the eastern sea, it will also appear that the Panis colonised themselves in Syria so long back as 5,717 years from now. And subsequently they gradually extended their sway as traders and rulers over Egypt and Asia Minor."

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