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The Celtic-Vedic Connection

Source: Hinduism Today

1) Celtic cosmology cognizes four interrelating worlds of existence: netherworld, earth realm; heavenly realm of dead and demi-gods; white realm of supreme Deities and energy source of stars. [a comment from a Celtic reconstructionist: latter two unsubstantiated]

Vedic cosmology perceives three interrelating worlds-physical; astral world of dead and demi-gods; causal universe of Deities, Supreme Being and primal energy; plus a fourth netherworld.

2) These worlds further divided into lands and cities occupied by spirits and disincarnate people of similar character. Time is slower in these realms.

The three worlds divide into loka habitats of existence, occupied by spirits and like-minded disincarnate people. Time is dilated in the lokas.

3) Celtic earth realm is called bitus. Celtic Gods are called deuos, meaning "shining one".

Vedic earth world is called bhu. Gods of Vedas are invoked as deva, meaning "shining one".

4) Departed souls dwelled in refined or hellish lands until their next reincarnation as a human or animal. [a comment from a Celtic reconstructionist: hell unsubstantiated]

At death, souls continue existence in subtle or hellish realms until entry into the next human or animal body.

5) Celtic priests taught that human souls were indestructible, but the universe ends and rebuilds through fire and water in a repeating cycle.

The universe existence span-called kalpa-ends in a repeating creation/destruction cycle through fire and water, symbolic of primal light and sound.

6) Celtic deities included Gods who actualized nature forces, promulgated ethics, justice, knowledge, speech, arts, crafts, medicine, harvests, gave war courage and battled forces of darkness, and Goddesses of land, rivers and motherhood. Gods often did multiple functions.

The early Vedic pantheon included deities of fire, solar, atmospheric and nature forces, ritual stimulants, speech, crafts, arts, harvests, medicine, justice, ethical/ecological order, war, battlers of malevolent beings, river Goddesses. Gods often had overlapping functions.

7) Celtic God of thunder was Taranus who carried thunderbolts. God of fire is Aedh (pronounced uh-ee), meaning fire. The sun Deity is Sulios. The Celtic word for invocation is gutuater. [a comment from a Celtic reconstructionist: Taranus exact function is unknown, he is known through statuary and inscriptions, and is Gaulish. Aedh is an epithet held by many mythological figures in medieval Irish literature, but was not a deity onto itself (and also not found among the Gauls). Sulios as a solar deity is spurious at best, would only be Gaulish, as in Gaelic the sun and moon are referred to as female.]

Vedic God of rain and thunder was Indra who carried thunderbolts. Vedic God of fire is Agni, meaning fire. The solar Being is Surya. The Sanskrit term for invocation is hotar.

8) Celtic cosmology conceived of cosmic creation as a primal Person sacrifice. The Celt term for breath is anal. For soul, the Celt word is anam.

Vedic cosmology describes cosmic creation as the sacrifice of Primal Being. The Vedic word for breath is prana. The soul in the Vedas is atman.

9) The central Celtic ritual was the fire sacrifice, conducted in geometric pits with offerings of herbs, mead and flour cakes, conducted by chanting druids, the Celtic priests.

The central Vedic ritual was the fire sacrifice, performed in geometric pits with offerings of ghee, spices, rice-conducted by hymn- and-mantra-chanting brahmins.

10) Celtic priests were called druids, meaning "knowers of the tree, or truth." They memorized the entire knowledge of the Celts and passed it on orally, forbidding written transmission. They were divided into several classes: seers, judges, royal advisors, hymn chanters, poet bards, sacrificers. They were also astronomers, healers and magicians.

The Vedic priesthood-the brahmins-memorized the scriptural and societal law knowledge of the Hindus, passing it on orally, forbidding writing. Brahmins formed several divisions associated with the fire ritual duties. Enlightened brahmins became rishi seers. Others advised kings and some specialized in medicine and astronomy/astrology.

11) Druids studied for 20 years in strict discipleship to master their oral, ritual, law, science and psychic arts.

Brahmins studied for 12 years in a gurukulam to master oral, ritual, mathematical, astronomical knowledge.

12) Druids memorized extremely lengthy poetic sagas that communicated spiritual metaphysics and civic laws. The poetic metre was a fixed syllable line, free form, with 3-part cadence at end.

Bards of the Vedic literature memorized lengthy poetic sagas conveying spiritual knowledge and dharmic duty. The poetic metre was a fixed syllable line, free form, with 3-part cadence at end.

13) Druids practiced breathing, posture and meditation techniques that gave degrees of ecstasy, often accompanied by intense heat in the body.

Vedic ascetics practiced breathing, posture and meditation skills in a spiritual unfoldment process called tapas (heat), generating high body heat.

14) Celtic society was divided into three hierarchical stratas of life: priests, warriors and producers (inclusive of merchants). Druids advised warrior-kings known as rix. Upward progression through classes was possible.

Vedic society divided into four hierarchical castes: priests, warriors, merchants, workers. Brahmins counseled warrior-kings (rajas). Upward mobility was sanctioned in Vedas, but later frozen in societal law books.

15) Celts prized the magical power of telling truth, honor/piety among men and eloquence in conversation and oration.

Vedic society prized the supernatural power of truth-saying, piety and honor, and eloquence in gatherings.

16) Celts honored women, guarded their virtue, and allowed by law daughters of sonless fathers to inherit property or to marry kinsmen to bear male heirs to the father. Seeresses were sanctioned, and priestesses for Goddesses favored.

Vedic Hindus prized womanly virtues, and by law sonless fathers could bequeath property to daughters or arrange her marriage to relatives for male heirs. Female seers were countenanced, and female ascetics tended Goddess rites.

17) Celts recognized 8 forms of marriage from arranged to love to abduction. A bride gift was given by the groom.

Vedic Hindus followed 8 forms of marriage from arranged to love to abduction. The groom paid a bride price.

18) Celts defined life stages, columns of age: infancy (0-1), boyhood (2-11), adolescence (12-18), young adult (19-45), old age (46-65), decrepitude (65+) in which enlightening inspiration is sought.

Vedic society taught four ashrama stages of life: studentship (12- 24); family life (25-48); elder advisor (49-72); religious solitaire (72+), in which the individual seeks enlightenment.

19) The Celtic ideal measure of life was to live 100 years.

The Vedic ideal of a fulfilled life was to live 100 autumns.

20) Celt family unit was a group of four generations from a great- grandfather.

The ancient Hindu family unit is four generations from a great- grandfather.

21) One Celt calendar was based on 62 lunar months (5 years +) intercalated to a 3-year solar cycle for solstice correction. Druids studied stellar motion, navigation and contemplated such abstracts as the size and nature of the universe.

Vedic astronomy is based on lunar months daily aligned to star positions and related to 3-year and 5-year solar cycles. Vedic astronomy was applied to astrology, and the rishi seers contemplated the universe's nature and genesis.

22) By Celt law a man owed money could fast at the door of the debtor- who must join the fast-forcing the debtor to pay or enter an arbitration.

By Hindu law, a creditor could fast at the door of the past due debtor, who then was obligated to protect the health of the creditor and pay the debt.

Related:

  • Hindu and Celtic Culture Are One by Druuis Belenios Ategnatos
  • Our Druid Cousins
  • Irish Scholars: Irish and Indian the Same People

    Source: THE CELTS By Gerhard Herm

    Bryan Mcmahon, historian, scholar of folklore, teacher, a well known poet and much else besides, likes to test his favorite theories in practice and to retail them with all the skill and timing of a seasoned performer. He told me: Whenever I meet an Indian I take him to one side and hum the first lines of an Irish folk-song. Then I ask him to continue the melody as he likes; and, believe it or not, almost every time he will sing it to the end as if he already knew the song. Isn't that astonishing?

    For me it is an indication that Indians and Irishmen have a common past; that, as I put it in one of my plays, "We Celts came from the Mysterious East."

    The late Myles Dillon, formerly Prof of Celtic at U of Dublin cites a whole series of further astonishing parallels between the culture of the Aryan Indians and the Irish Druids. (Druid from Dru = Oak, Wid or Ved = Wisdom) His main contention is that in both cases there was a distinct class of scholars; the Brahmins in India, the highest reps in the Varna system; while in Ireland there were the 'wise men of the oak'. Dillon reckons that the Brahmins and the Druids should be equated because they carried out their profession-teaching and study, poetry and law-in a similar way.

    There is evidence that this is so.

    The principles by which justice was administered were similar, indeed identical with those in India. There a father with daughters but no sons could order one of them to take a man of his choice and produce a legal heir. Beyond the Hindu Kush mountains, such a girl was called putrika (she who takes the son's place) and in old Ireland ban-chomarba (female-heir). But who if not the Continental Celts can have told the Irish what was going on in the far east? Dillon further notes similarities: in both cultures there were 8 different forms of marriage, from arranged marriages, marriage by purchase and love- matches to kidnapping. In both cultures there was a strict distinction between inherited and earned property and when contracts were drawn up there was an exact statement as to who was to provide what guarantees before obtaining what he wanted. In one case it was the Brahmins and in the other the Druids who administered these principles.

    All this, Dillon says, suggests that the Celtic Druids indeed represented the same tradition as the Hindu Brahmins... If we continue to feel our way along the parallels between India and Gaul, sooner or later we sense that the Druids were also political leaders, just as the Brahmins clearly stood above generals and warriors.

    The Druids, Caesar says, taught that "souls do not disappear but wander from one body to another". Lucan in his Pharsalia - a verse epic about the Roman civil war - addressed them with the words: "If we understand you aright, death is only a pause in a long life." Does the fact that according to Scythian custom, crests depicted eagles, wolves, bears as ancestors reflect the conviction of these people that the spirit of the dead goes through many life-forms, human and animal, as the Hindus believe?

    ...Ancient author Diodorus's own most adventurous suggestion - "they still hold Pythagoras's belief in the immortality of the soul and rebirth." ...But since Pythagoras, with his strong influences from the east, was among the few great Hellenic philosophers who believed in the possibility of life after death, they could only conclude that his belief was related to the blonde barbarians (the Celts) or that they had taken theirs from him.

    Related:

  • A Celtic Orient?
  • Celts and Karma
  • Norse Universe

    Yggdrasil as a cosmic tree is sometimes called an ash and sometimes a yew. Yggdrasil, otherwise known as the World tree, grows out of the past, lives in the present and reaches toward the future. It nourishes all spiritual life and physical life. Its roots reach into all the worlds; its boughs hang above Asgard. Yggdrasil has three main roots which hold everything together. One root reaches into the well of Urd in Asgard, another into the Mimir of Midgard, and the third into the Spring of Hvelgelmir in Hel. ...

    The World Tree is constantly under attack by evil creatures. ...

    Of the nine worlds in the Norse Mythology, Asgard is on the highest level, with Alfheim to the east and Vanaheim to the west. The Prose Edda states that Midgard is in the center of Ginnungagap, an area of 11 rivers and frozen wasteland. It is Midgard that ties together all the other worlds. On the same level as Midgard is Svartalfheim to the south, Nidavellir to the east, and Jotunheim to the west. Below Midgard lie Hel and Nilfheim. The Aesir gods live in Asgard, the Vanir in Vanaheim, and the Light Elves in Alfheim or Ljossalfheim. ...

    Niflheim is the world of the dead, ruled by the goddess Hel, while the kingdom Hel is realm of the dead, ruled by Urd. ...

    Niflheim or Niflhel lies south of Midgard. It is an immense land of darkness and great cold, an area of torture for evil souls. To reach Niflheim, one has to travel downwards for nine days from Midgard on the Helway. This road goes through great forests and deep dark valleys, over high mountains. There is a deep black cave between the two levels of Midgard and Hel. Near the end of the Helway, the maiden Modgud guards the Gjallarbru or Gjoll. Beyond the bridge are the Hel gates (Helgrind) and behind them the Hall of Death. The Goddess Hel s palace is called Sleetcold or Sleet-Den. ...

    Hel is the lower world Thingstead of the Gods. There the souls of the dead are judged by Odhinn, and rewards or punishments handed out. Even the Valkyries must first bring their chosen warriors to this Thingstead where they are accepted or rejected as unworthy.

    At the lower world Thingstead, the Hamingjur (individual guarding spirits) can speak for an individual during judgement. If the person is evil he or she is deserted by his/her Hamingjur. Those souls judged good go to Hel where they live in eternal joy. Those condemned as evil are shackled and driven to Niflhel by the Dark Elves. They must drink burning venom and are subjected to the nine realms of torture.

    Out of Norse Magick; By Rev. D.J. Conway. Llewllyn, ISBN 0-87542-137-7

    New Proof Of Ancient India's Flourishing Trade With Rome

    By Anand Parthasarathy, KOCHI 6-14-2

    A gruelling nine-year-long international archaeological expedition in Egypt, has unearthed the most extensive evidence so far, of vigorous trade between India and the Roman Empire " 2000 years ago.

    The project funded by Dutch and American agencies, at Berenike, on the Sudan-Egypt border along the shores of the Red Sea, has revealed that the location was the southern-most, military sea port of the Roman Empire in the first century A.D. and the key transfer point for a flourishing trade with India, whose magnitude was hitherto not known.

    In major findings to be published in the July issue of the monthly scientific journal Sahara and announced today at the archaeological database website of the expedition, researchers report having unearthed the largest single cache of black pepper "about 8 kg" ever excavated from a Roman dig. They were able to establish that this variety was only grown in antiquity in South India.

    Because of the drier weather of Egypt, the Berenike site preserved organic substances from India, like sail cloth, matting and baskets dating to AD 30-AD 70, all traces of which were destroyed in the more humid climate of the subcontinent.

    In one of the surprise findings, the archaeologists also report stumbling on a Roman "trash dump" containing well-preserved evidence of Indian `batik' work and ancient printed textiles as well as ceramics.

    All this leads archaeologists, Willeke Wendrich of the University of California, and Steven Sidebotham of the Delaware University to conclude in next month's paper that a "Spice Route" from India to Rome, existed long before the better known "Silk Route" to China.

    They suggest that the goods traveled from the west coast Indian ports to Berenike by ships in the monsoon months, and were then transported by camel and Nile river boats, to the Mediterranean port of Alexandria, from where ships conveyed the cargo to Rome by sea.

    This route was preferred for almost 50 years because the alternative land route through what is today Pakistan and Iran, passed through countries hostile to the Roman Empire.

    "We talk about globalism as if it were the latest thing", Wendrich is quoted by the Associated Press as saying, but trade was going on in antiquity on a scale that is truly impressive".

    The Berenike route was finally abandoned in AD 500 probably after a plague epidemic.

    The new findings are said to establish what was long suspected - the central role that India played in the maritime trade 2000 years ago.

    Roman Settlement of Kaveripattinam

    Alexander the Great, born in 256 BC in Pella, Macedonia. At the age of thirteen he became a pupil of Aristotle. Alexander routed Darius and forced his entire army east. After this the city of Babylon surrendered, which allowed Alexander to easily capture Susa and Persepolis.

    Darius was soon killed by one of his generals which made Alexander King of Asia. He did not rest for long, as he had set his sights on India. In 326 BC Alexander defeated Porus, the prince of India. Alexander was now at the height of his power. His empire stretched from the Ionian Sea to northern india. Alexander had greater plans. He wanted to combine Asia and Europe into one country, and named Babylon the new capital. The most profitable overseas trade was the Roman trade with South India. Yavana merchants (i.e. merchants from western Asia and the Mediterranean) had trading establishments both in the Satavahana kingdoms and in those of the far south. Early South Indian literature describes Yavan ships arriving with their cargoes at the city of Kaveripattinam. Excavations in 1945 uncovered a sizable Roman settlement which was a trading station, it would seem that the Roman were using Arikamedu from the first century BC to the early second century AD.

    The frequency of hoards of Roman coins found in the Deccan and south India indicate the volume of this trade. Most of the urban centers of the south were ports which prospered on this trade. Western culture had its early birth in Greece and Rome. India came into contact with Greece politically in the days of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC. But the cultural contact of the Greek as well as the Greece-Roman world with India was in all probability far earlier and lasted quite longer so far as South India was concerned. The Great Greek dramatists of the 4th century BC., particularly Euripides and Aristophanes, appear to have been familiar with the Kannada country and the Kannada language, and had actually used Kannada phrases and expressions in the dialogues of their characters. This shows a far more intimate contact of the Greeks with Kannada India culture than with Indian Culture elsewhere. Kannada and Tamil are two of the most ancient literature's not only of South India, but of all India as well. The antiquity of Kannada literature as at present back to the 9th century of the Christian era.

    A study of Roman coins in south India forms a fascinating but little known chapter in the history of south India. A large number of Roman coins of gold and silver found in south India and Karnataka testify to a highly flourishing trade between India and Rome during the early part of the first century AD. In addition to these hoards of Roman coins, many antiquities and pottery having connections with Roman culture have been unearthed at many sites in this area. Further, there are a large number of references to Rome in Indian and Greek literary texts. All these point to an era of brilliant maritime contact between India and Rome in the early centuries of the Christian era.

    Large number of Roman coins found in Karnataka were made of gold, silver and copper. From the beginning of the Christian era to the third century AD., Roman silver and gold coins were brought into this region for the purchase of Indian commodities which were in great demand in Rome. These coins have been found at various places in the Chera, Pandya and Chola countries in large numbers. These coins were often converted into Indian coins by a simple method.

    REFERENCES: 1. Coins and Currency system N. Karnataka Dr. A.V. Narasimha Murthy.

    The Sanskrit Dialect Known as English

    By Neil Kalia Robinson

    (Abstract of Paper to be Presented at WAVES 2002 Conference Being held at U of Mass. in Dartmouth, Mass.)

    In western curriculum there is a tendency to exclude Sanskrit as a root to the English language. Numbers and alphabet are categorized as Roman or Arabic. There is however recognition of the Indo-Aryan or Indo European language group which Sanskrit is admittedly an elder member.

    How important is the role of Sanskrit in regards to world languages and in this case English, possibly the most dominant language in the modern world?

    It is imperative to note that the English language, except for the current written alphabet, is as close to ancient Sanskrit as Hindi, Bengali or any other dialect from India. And yes, English numerals are Sanskrit not Arabic or Roman.

    It is helpful to understand that many English words have no intrinsic denominator without application or aid of Sanskrit.

    The compound word San-Skrit, San; meaning whole, equal, complete, total or amount and Skrit; meaning script, scribe etc. Thus reveals the common basis and subtle collusion of English words to be non different than Sanskrit i.e. San; Sum, some, syn, same, sane, saint etc. all these English words meaning either whole, total, equal or even.

    To opine that in time Sanskrit developed its refined status from a earlier more crude form of the Indo-European or other language family is herein questionable due to the vivid, concise depth of Sanskrit Syllabary and antiquated references

    An example is given that the Name for the human race "Man" has come from "Manu" (Manoah, Noah, Nuh), the "Manvantara" descendant from the Vivasvan, the solar deity.

    The word "Man" has no sufficient origins given in English. According to Vedic chronology the story of Manu stretches so far into antiquity that it no longer finds cohesive analogy in English literature, except perhaps in form of the Biblical story of Noah.

    In United States of America we have no monarchy so the title "King" can only refer to periods and places where where it actually did or currently exist, such as The "Queen" of England. Yet we still use the word "King and Queen" in North America, because in the past it was used frequently in reference to actual monarchy.

    Even though there are no lions in England the Kings where still known as lion hearted. Coats of arms often portrayed lions attributing the qualities of the lions to the kings such as courage, strength, chivalry, generosity and resourcefulness.

    The old English spelling of King is "Cing" As in ancient Sanskrit appellation King, Cing, Singh, Simha or Simba (Swahili) for lion meaning powerful chief or leader.

    The English language, full of such descendants perceived directly in relation to its sister dialects, Hindi and Bengali is no further remote from Sanskrit. Apparently Sanskrit similarly supplies integral structure and identifying roots of English.

    Could the very word "Sanskrit" claim what it may well be a "Samskrit" or "complete alphabet" of a universal language originating from the subtlemost realm of consciousness?

    Even Professor Max Mueller had to acknowledge the greatness of the Devanagari script admitting its very perfection and realizing its antecedent superiority. Vedic Sanskrit of Ancient India very possibly may contain the "perfect" contributing factor providing spiritual and metaphysical roots and reason to many branches of global languages.

    N Kalia

    Lakshmi-Hari Worship in Ancient Denmark

    Dr Subhash Kak

    One of the things you have mentioned is the Gundestrup Cauldron (Scientific American, March 1992), something that was unearthed in a peat bog in Denmark. Apparently it shows strong evidence -- including goddess-images similar to Lakshmi and Hariti and a god-image similar to Vishnu -- of cross-cultural connections between Indic civilizations and those of far northern Europe. You have also noted the apparent connections between Celtic/Druidic pre-Christian cultures of Europe and Hindu practices. Is this merely circumstantial evidence or does it prove conclusively that there was a migration of peoples westward from India, rather than eastwards into India (the Aryan Invasion Theory)?

    There is whole host of evidence that proves that Indian ideas, if not people (that is apart from the gypsies), traveled from India to Europe. Indic people were apparently present in Palestine, Turkey, Babylon in the 2nd millennium BCE. The names of the ruling dynasties of these places and some Sanskritic inscriptions tell us this. The father of the beautiful Nefertiti, Queen of Egypt, was a king of the Near East named Tusharatha or Dasharatha.

    The Puranas also say an Indian tribe called the Druhyus emigrated West. Whether they emigrated all the way to Europe, we cannot say. What is likely to have happened is that an Indic element became the political and religious aristocracy in many countries, all the way up to Europe. This may also explain the parallels between Indian and European mythology.

    What are the parallels between Indian and European mythology?

    We have these parallels at many levels: in names and in the grammar of the myths. Let's begin with names. There are two Rigvedic skygods, Varuna and Dyaus; the corresponding Greek skygods are Ouranos and Zeus. Similar to Agni and Bhaga we have the Slavic Ogun and Bogu. For Aryaman and Indra we have the Celtic Eremon and Andrasta; Ribhu and Ushas are the Greek Orpheus and Eos. The list goes on and on, and the most interesting thing is that the Vedic list is comprehensive and we see parts of it remembered in different parts of Europe suggesting that the Vedic is the original.

    The Vedic gods belong to three categories: the terrestrial, the atmospheric, and the celestial, if we see them superficially, as the Indologists of the 19th century saw them. In reality, they represent categories in the spiritual firmament: they are shadows of the One. The Europeans also saw their mythology in similar terms which is why when the Greeks came to India they declared that Shiva and Krishna were like their own Dionysius and Herakles.

    There are still deeper connections, and these have been examined by the scholar Georges Dumezil in a series of fascinating books. In Rome, the raj-brahmin dichotomy of India was paralleled by the rex-flamen division. The injunctions to the flamen -- the keeper of the flame -- are very similar to those to the brahmin. The gandharvas in India had a shadowy role related to music and fecundity; in Rome this was assigned to centaurs. Dumezil found enough parallels to fill five or six books. Joseph Campbell also wrote about these connections in his books, as have many others.

    After the Old Religion of Europe was extinguished, Indian myths continued to influence Europe. From the lives of Krishna and Buddha a nascent Christianity adopted the stories of miraculous conception and birth, the star over the birthplace, the twelve disciples, and the various miracles. Parables such as that of the pious disciple whose faith makes it possible to walk on water, or the story where the master feeds his numerous disciples with a single cake or bread were borrowed. Medieval Christianity took some Indian Jataka tales and transformed them into accounts of Christian saints. The most famous of such instances is how a Buddha legend from the Lalitavistara became the story of Barlaam and Josaphat!

    If there were was no Aryan Invasion, then what exactly happened to the Indus-Sarasvati civilization? A major civilization that spread some thousands of square miles and was apparently quite sophisticated cannot simply vanish.

    It never vanished. There was a shift of population after the economy around the Sarasvati river collapsed due to the drying up of the river. People moved to the east and to the northwest and to the south. There was no break in the cultural tradition. The same ceramic styles continued. Only the level of prosperity went down. The Vedic books also speak of a period when the rishis went to the forests, the age of the Aranyakas. The Puranic books speak of a catastrophe in 1924 BCE.

    Your work in archaeo-astronomy suggests unambiguously that the Max Mueller chronology of the Vedas must be rejected and that the Rig Veda must be dated not to ca. 1500 BCE, but to ca. 3000 BCE. What is the impact of this?

    Well if not 3000 BCE, certainly prior to 2000 BCE. Max Mueller was absolutely wrong. What is the impact of the new dates? It changes the history of ancient India and that of the rest of the ancient world. It gives a centrality to India in world history.

    Your recent book with Georg Feuerstein and David Frawley, In Search of the Cradle of Civilization (Quest Books, Indian edition to be published by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi), suggests that in fact India was the site of the very first civilization, not Sumer in Iraq. If this is true, then India has not only the oldest continuous and surviving civilization, but in fact it is the birthplace of civilization. Could you elaborate on this?

    Look, India has had cultural continuity for at least 10,000 years. Before that we had a rock-art tradition which, according to some estimates, goes back to 40,000 BCE. Not only are we one of the most ancient civilizations, we have found in India the record of the earliest astronomy, geometry, mathematics, and medicine. Artistic, philosophical and religious impulses, central to the history of mankind, arose first in India.

    You have done considerable research on the structure of the fire altars in Scriptural ritual (The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda, Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi), and you have demonstrated that there was a very formal and mathematical basis to the construction of these. Could you explain?

    Vedic Indians were scientific. They believed in laws of nature. They represented their astronomy in terms of the altar constructions. One problem they considered was that of the synchronization of the lunar and the solar years: the lunar year is about 11 days shorter than the solar year and if we add a round number of days every few years to make up for the discrepancy, we find we cannot do it elegantly unless we have a correction cycle of 95 years or its multiples. This 95-year cycle is described in the earliest Vedic prose books.

    The altars were to be built to slightly larger dimensions each year of the cycle to represent the corrections. There were other symbolic constructions. Like building a square altar (representing the sky) with the same area as a circular altar (representing the earth), which is the problem of squaring the circle. This led to the discovery of the earliest geometry. They were aware that the sun and the moon were at 108 times their own diameters from the earth.

    These fire altars are at this time obsolete, right? Nobody uses them any more, or is that not so? The only time I have heard of them before reading your work was when I read of an impoverished Nambudiri (Kerala brahmin) family whose illam or house was being sold, and they had fire altars in the shape of a falcon, and the old head of the household said this 5,000-year-old tradition was dying because they couldn't afford the rituals any more.

    It is a great pity that we are letting our cultural and civilizational treasures die right before our eyes. We must do whatever we can to preserve and celebrate this heritage.

    You have mentioned a connection, apparently evident in the Vedas, between internal and external things -- for instance between the rhythms in the human body and astronomical cycles. Could you elaborate?

    A central Vedic belief was that there are connections between the outer and the inner. The rishis declared that it was due to these connections that we are enabled to know the world. One dramatic aspect of these connections are the biological cycles which run the same periods as various astronomical cycles. For example, the Purusha Hymn of the Rigveda says that the mind is born of the moon. Just recently, by research on volunteers, who stayed in underground caves for months without any watches or other cues about time, it was found that the natural cycle for the mind is 24 hours and 50 minutes. The period of the moon is also 24 hours and 50 minutes. Our clock is reset every day by daylight!

    The connections between the outer and the inner were also represented by other symbols. The 108 sun diameters from the earth of the sun were paralleled by the 108 beads of the rosary for a symbolic spiritual journey from the normal state to one of illumination.

    I have read the book edited by you and Dr TRN Rao (Computing Science in Ancient India, University of Southwestern Louisiana Press) on some surprising mathematics: pi to many decimal places, Sayana's accurate calculation of the speed of light, hashing algorithms, the binary number system of Sanskrit meters -- are these mere coincidences or is there conclusive evidence of advanced mathematics?

    The binary number system, hashing, various codes, mathematical logic (Navya Nyaya), or a formal framework that is equivalent to programming all arose in ancient India. This is all well known and it is acknowledged by scholars all over the world. I shouldn't forget to tell you that a most advanced calculus, math and astronomy arose in Kerala several centuries before Newton.

    In particular, I am amazed, as a layman, by the evidence that Sayana, circa 1300 CE, who was prime minister at the court of the Vijayanagar Emperor Bukka I, calculated the speed of light to be 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha, which does come to 186,536 miles per second. (Subhash Kak - The Speed of Light and Puranic Cosmology)

    Truly mind-boggling! The speed of light was first measured in the West only in the late 17th century. So how could the Indians have known it? If you are a sceptic, then you will say it is a coincidence that somehow dropped out of the assumptions regarding the solar system. If you are a believer in the powers of the mind, you would say that it is possible to intuit (in terms of categories that you have experienced before) outer knowledge. This latter view is the old Indian knowledge paradigm. If it were generally accepted it would mean an evolution in science much greater than the revolution of modern physics.

    It is also well-known that the Vedic or Puranic idea of the age of the universe is some 8 billion years, which is of the order of magnitude of what has been estimated by modern astrophysicists. Is this also a mere coincidence?

    Again, either a coincidence, or the rishis were capable of supernormal wisdom. Don't forget that the Indian texts also speak about things that no other civilization thought of until this century. I am speaking of air and space travel, embryo transplantation, multiple births from the same embryo, weapons of mass destruction (all in the Mahabharata), travel through domains where time is slowed, other galaxies and universes, potentials very much like quantum potential (Puranas). If nothing else, we must salute the rishis for the most astonishing and uncanny imagination.

    You also suggest that that the modern computer science term for context-free languages, the Backus-Naur Form, should more accurately be called the Panini-Backus Form, since Sanskrit grammarian Panini invented the notion of completely and unambiguously defined grammars (and devised one such for Sanskrit) as early as about 500 BCE.

    Oh yes, all this is well established and well known, as also the Indian development of mathematical logic.

    How has the reaction been in scholarly circles to some of these discoveries and conjectures of yours, which do turn conventional wisdom on its head? In India, you are aware, some of your views would have you branded as "reactionary", "Hindu fundamentalist", etc.

    My work has been received most enthusiastically in scholarly circles both in the West and India. I have written several scores of scholarly articles and reviews and am in the process of writing major essays for leading encyclopaedias. School texts in California and other American states have been rewritten. Likewise, new college texts in the US speak of these new findings. We are talking here of hard scientific facts, they can neither be "fundamentalist" nor "reactionary". But I am aware that some ignorant ideologues in India may actually pin pejorative labels on this work. This only creates opportunities to bring facts to the attention of such people. I am ever hopeful of converting more and more people!

    How has your work in the history of science affected your research in computing science?

    Surprisingly, it has strengthened my technical work. It has provided me a focus and a perspective. It has also given me the courage to work on fundamental problems.

    What do you attribute this to? Is this because it is a matter of self- image? Indians have always been self-effacing, and perhaps not believing in themselves much?

    Self-image is a central factor in our development. We eventually become what we want to become. We need faith in ourselves. That is why a cultural focus is so crucial. I think our current self- effacement is a result of the negative stereotyping we have experienced for generations. Our school books talk about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle -- and rightly so -- but they don't mention Yajnavalkya, Panini and Patanjali, which is a grave omission. Our grand boulevards in Delhi and other cities are named after Copernicus, Kepler and Newton, but there are no memorials to Aryabhata, Bhaskara, Madhava and Nilakantha!

    Is self-image, then, sufficient reason for us to explore the past?

    It could be a sufficient reason for some. For others, it is one of the many impulses that guides them in their personal journeys.

    Is there something that your Web readers can do to take some of this research forward? Any references or other suggestions?

    There is so much to be done to spread the knowledge of Indian history. For at least 50 years, Indian intellectual life was stifled by a Stalinist attitude. And before that, for two centuries, colonialist historians appropriated Indian past for their own purposes. What they left for us was a mutilated version of our past. We are barely emerging from that hell. We need more people to actively carry forward this research. We also need institutions -- private foundations, perhaps -- that ensure that our historiography will remain vital, critical and devoted to truth.

    Any messages from you for your diasporic readers?

    Pay attention to Indian and world history, there is much to be learned from the past. Also go to the springwells of Indian tradition, you'll find great treasure. Indian ideas provided central themes to the American transcendentalists in the early 19th century which led to American culture as we know it. I believe even more vital Indian ideas will transform world culture in the coming decades, and if you choose to be the interpreters of these ideas to the modern world you would have participated in the most wondrous drama of our times!

    Vedic Croatia

    Kaivalyapati das

    There is a lot of evidence here in Croatia. I met one very famous academic Kujundjic and he showed me his book in which he gives different proofs that Croatians came originally from Iran (Aryan). I will not write about that I just put this to make connections with my following descriptions:

    1. When old Croatians came on the Adriatic coast they have sikhas on their heads. This I found on one painting of a famous Croatian painter from last century.

    2. The national symbol of Croatia is red and white chess fields. interesting I saw on Navadvip mandala parikrama Bengali painting the walls of houses with colors in the form of chess fields (I have photo). On the national symbol there is also lion with three head's like on the one rupee coin.

    3. Sanskrit word hriyate means 'passes away', in Croatian language we are writing Hrvatska for Croatia (Hrvat for Croat). Possibly because they passed away from Iran. They where known like Sun warriors because they worship Svanimira (Surya).

    4. They where cruelly killed and forced by Christians to accept Christianity. Before they worshiped demigods.

    Brahma-Svetovid ( one who sees in all directions)
    Surya-Svanimir (means rising of the sun)
    Varuna-Vodan
    Indra-Ilija

    I lost my long list with all names.

    3.There are legend about beautiful girls called Vilas (apsaras). The legend said that they are not from this planet earth but from heaven. They are coming regularly on one mountain, Velebit. Many people saw them, talked with them, even mixing with them. They where sometimes good or bad. There are famous Croatian song about them: "Oj, ti Vilo, Vilo Velebita ti naseg roda diko"... (Oh,you vila-apsara, apsara from mountain Velebit, you are the gift of our nation).

    4. The marriage ceremony was same like in Krishna book (Vasudeva and Devaki) as now.

    5. Language has many words same or similar like sanskrit: Ana-grain, tadiya-tulasi leaves, mati or mama for mother, tata-father, jedan-eka, dva-dva, tri-tri, chetiri-catur, pet-pancha... deset-dasha, tama-tama, baba roga-bhava roga (material disease), udariti (to beat somebody)-uddharet, Eva-eva, Tada-tada, Svi-Sarve, Ovu-etam, Tvoj-tava, ca-ca, veliki ratnik-maha-ratha, ta-tat, svuda-sarvesu, vibha-vantah, shkoljka-sankham, jaram-yukte, sjedeci-sthitau etc... Almost in every Bhagavad Gita sloka I find 1-3 same or similar words. There is more evidence but in this moment I cannot remember more then this.

    Vedic Macedonia

    Vrin Parker

    In 1977, a royal tomb was found at Vergina, near Saloniaca, in Macedonia, Greece. All the evidence proves it to be the tomb of King Philip, the father of Alexander the Great. However, Western scholars were puzzled because of the many artifacts, within the tomb of an obvious Indian/Vedic nature. Because of these artifacts, some experts dated the tomb to a time after Alexander's. This theory is no longer being accepted.

    In Michael Wood's series, In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, he presents 2 sculpted portraits of Alexander and Philip. Archeologists accept these sculpted portraits of Alexander as the only ones made during his lifetime. Philip's portrait is also recognized as being made in his lifetime.

    Where were these portraits found? They were found in the Macedonian tomb, discovered in 1977, thus confirming that the tomb is definitely from before Alexander's march to Asia.

    King Philip of Macedonia

    Because the tomb is full of Vedic/Indian style artifacts, this is solid proof that Greek culture had a strong connection to India, long before Alexander's time. The tomb in question has also been accepted as the tomb of King Philip on the series War and Civilization. The body interned in the tomb, fits every ancient description of King Philip. Without a doubt, it is the tomb of King Philip.

    The question is, "Why does King Philip's tomb have so many Indian influences? How is it possible if the Greek and Indian cultures had no direct contact until Alexander's Asian campaigns?"

    The answer is simple. Because Greek culture is an offshoot of Vedic culture, it is only logical that there would be strong Indian influences in Greek art, religion and culture. The tomb of King Philip is also more than proof of Greece's vedic past.

    It is also a smoking gun exposing the extreme prejudice involved in the cover up of the world's ancient vedic heritage. Though western scholars are now admitting the tomb to be Philip's, they are staying mute about the evidences proving Greece's Vedic heritage. On one hand, western academics are using these tomb artifacts to promote various theories, and on the other hand, they are ignoring the artifacts that prove their theories wrong. Because there is no doubt about the Vedic artifacts found in this one case, one wonders as to how much other evidence is out there that has been ignored and perhaps even destroyed. It is obvious that the current mainstream academic community, has made it's mind about world history. Any evidence that contradicts their theories, is not accepted. rather than change their pet theories, these so-called scholars are willing to change the historic record and force it to conform to their views. This is the great perversion of truth that is being perpetrated on the world at large. It is even more ironic that this is being done by the very people, i.e. the historians, who have a duty to research and present a true and accurate record of the world's ancient past.

    Vedic evidence in Russia

    Madana-mohana das

    A couple of weeks ago one devotee from Odessa (Southern Russian city) told me he personally saw in a museum over there three small dolls looking EXACTLY like Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra. They were digged from a barrow around 1000 year old and were found on human remains buried there, placed on a neck. The figures were ordered on the neck exactly in the same sequence - first yellowish Lord Balarama, than white Subhadra, than blackish Jagannath. They were made of metal and covered with enamel. Interesting enough, the deities were two-faced - there were exactly the same appearances of their faces at their flip sides. The museum attandants had not a clue as to who the images were. The devotee promised to make pictures of them.


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