Then even nothing was not, nor existence. There was no air then, nor heavens beyond it.Who covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping?Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed?...But, after all, who knows, and who can say,Whence it all came, and how creation happened? The gods themselves are later than creation,So who knows truly, whence it has arisen?-Rig Veda The proto-Shiva seal found in Harappa was treated as one of the proofs thatHinduism had its roots in Indus Valley. Analysis of the seal has led to variouscontradictory theories about the origins of religion. The body of the figure shown in the seal is naked, except for many bangles andwhat appear to be necklaces. He wears a peculiar headdress consisting of horns anda plant like object between them. This pattern was found in five seals and in one of them he is surrounded by an elephant, tiger, rhinoceros and a buffalo while beneathhis stool are two deer’s which is also found in the representations of Buddhateaching his first sermon in the Deer Park in Varanasi. The name proto-Siva was given by Sir John Marshall who led excavations that led tothe discovery of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa in 1920s. Marshall thought that theprotuberances on the sides were the second and third faces and Shiva is oftendepicted with three faces and is also known as
(The Lord of Beasts). Fromthis Marshall concluded that Shaivism has a history of five thousand years making itthe longest living faith in the world.While Marshall identified the image as Siva, others have suggested that it is Agni. This was countered by others who thought that the horns on the head-dress aresuggestive of the trident and fertility aspect of Shiva. Other interpretations include:
Figure depicted on the seal is neither three faced, nor human but is acombination of various animals
Since the Indus religion was centered on the Mother Goddess cult, the figureon the seal is female.
The figure is not Siva, but divine bull-manWhile the head-dress, animals and other symbols depicted on the seal have beeninterpreted in various ways, the yogic posture has never been carefully examined.Is there a possibility that Yoga was known and practiced by the people of IndusValley civilization? The person on the seal is seated with his legs drawn close to the body with twoheels touching, which A L Basham calls, “a posture quite impossible for the averagewesterner”. This posture has been identified as
, which is difficulteven for people who practice Yoga. The same posture has been depicted on all fiveproto-Siva seals found disproving the theory that it was the work of an imaginativeartist. Besides this other seals have been found with figures in other yoga posturessuggesting that people in the Indus valley were the practitioners of Yoga.Perhaps, the animals tame or otherwise arose in importance that a deity of animalswas needed and hence
. The sect of
has been lost andfound across the steady stream of history. It has been in conflict with Vedic