Says Edward Pococke in his book 'India in Greece' (1852) - "Let it be granted that the names given to mountains, rivers and towns have some meaning. Let it be granted that the language of the native name-givers will explain the meaning."
Why is it then that Aramaic, the original language of the Bible, is unable to explain the meaning of the names of the rivers and towns, places and protagonists. In fact why is that these words do not directly exist in the Aramaic dictionary at all. It is quite evident therefore that these names are distorted, having travelled into the language from foreign sources; the Aramaic writers merely recording the events of a distant land rather than the history of their native geographical arena.
For example, the etymology of the name 'Eden' is unknown. The name Eden is equated with 'delightful place', only because in the Genesis Eden is described as a 'delightful place somewhere in the east'.
Traditionally, the favored derivation of the name 'Eden' was from the Akkadian edinnu. Edinnu is itself derived from a Sumerian word meaning 'plain' or 'steppe'. In Sanskrit 'edhini' (एधिनि) simply means 'earth' - and probably best fits into the meaning of the verse.
Because the Genesis states that Eden was somewhere in the east, many historians have looked towards the east for a site and civilization that fits the description in the Genesis in a more apt manner.
In his book, the Antiquities of the Jews, Roman-Jewish scholar Flavius Josephus (37 - 100 AD) stated that the unidentified river Pishon was either the Indus river or the Ganges, while the Gihon was the Nile.
The researchers of the Asiatic Journal had a similar view. In Vol 8 of the Journal published in 1819 this matter is dealt with in detail in the context of the origins of the Chinese civilization. It states, "The river Indus which constitutes the western boundary of India within the Ganges, may probably answer to the Pison river which is said to encompass the whole land of Havilah, or India."
In her book 'Origins of Modern Witchcraft: The Evolution of a World Religion' author Ann Moura Aoumiel states, "In Genesis, the land of Havilah, where the gold is, through which the main river of Eden flows, is a reference that definitely fits the irrigated farmlands and the legendary wealth of the Indus Valley. One of the great Indus cities has a name evocative of the strange name (Havilah) used in the Bible - Harappa. India's rivers provide 90% of the total gold production in India today, so that just when the Genesis was written, these are rivers of gold. When we consider the theory of consonantal shift, called Grimm's Law (1819), with the softening of the consonants over time and the systematic changes in words moving from one language to another, the development of Havilah from Harappa is easy to see...".
However it is also true that Harappa's ancient name was not Harappa - and is probably a distortion of an ancient Sanskritical name such as 'Hara-Apa' ,i.e., 'Hara's river' or 'Hara-rupa' or 'having the form of Hara'. So the name Havilah must arise from some other name, which is discussed ahead.
Gihon, the second of the four Biblical rivers, that supposedly encompasses Ethiopia has been interpreted as the White Nile. But neither the White Nile, nor the Red sea encompasses Ethiopia. Ann Moura Auomiel states the Gihon is "more likely to have bordered Kashmir...". She further adds that when the Bible states that the Gihon encompassed the land of Cush, "...it was referring to the passes of the Kush", or the mountain passes of the Hindu-Kush range as they are called today. In Sanskrit 'Gahan' (गहन) means 'deep' or 'depth'.
But looking at the names Eden and Heddekel, or Idikla through the Sanskrit lens, one finds that Eden and Idikla might be related. The Sanskrit 'edhini' (एधिनि) and 'idika' (इडिका) both mean 'earth' and are cognates of Eden and Idikla.
The fourth river is the 'Phrath' and has been equated with the Euphrates.The Babylonians and Assyrians called Euphrates 'Su-Purattu'. Fausset's Bible dictionary states that in the word Euphrates, the first syllable Eu, is derived from the Sanskrit Su (सु) meaning 'good'.
Vedic author and scholor Vinay Vaidya states, " 'Euphrates' could be seen as 'avaprathas' (अवप्रथस्) of Sanskrit, 'ava' (अव) which means 'low', 'prathas' (प्रथस्) means flows, follows, moves. This is ...after careful treatment according to the Laws and rules of Sanskrit structure and grammar and in the light of Vedic support, with proper investigation."
Once again the author of the article "On the Origin of Chinese nation", published in Vol 8 of the Asiatic Journal states, "The country called Eden must mean some part of India celebrated as the garden of the world, situated amongst the finest rivers and abounding with everything rich and luxuriant."
About the location of Havilah, Tse Tsan-tai (1872-1938) one of the earliest Chinese revolutionaries of the late Qing Dynasty wrote in his book named 'The Creation, the Garden of Eden and the Origin of the Chinese', published in 1914, that based on the geographical description in the Bible it is evident that the Garden of Eden was located in China and that Havilah was India. Here is a map from his book:
|Chines author Tese Tsan-tai identified Havilah as India , the rivers of Himalayas as the Biblical rivers and Eden some where in the Himalayas|
|The land of Himalaya may be the 'Havilah' mentioned in the Bible.|
The three river systems of Indus, Bramhaputra and the Ganges fall into the
Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal which then surround the India Peninsula
to make the fourth water body.
Thus the Pishon that surrounds the land of Havilah or Himalaya, is the coming together of the waters of the three major river systems that arise in the Himalayas. The name Himalaya can very easily distort into Havilah if the 'm' consonant changes to 'v'. The Garden of Eden then is a paradisical region inthe Himalayas, probably Kailasha and Mansarover, now in China.
2. Heritage of Herappa Vol 1 by Lakshmi Chatterjee
3. Journal of Asiatic Researches Vol 8