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Kundalini in Ancient Greek And

Kundalini in Ancient Greek And

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Kundalini in ancient Greek and other non-Indian cultures

27 Replies Thomas McEvilley has done a systematic study of the correspondence between ancient Greek and Indian philosophy in his 2001 book The Shape of Ancient Thought. This post summarizes his discovery of the Kundalini concept in Greek and other ancient non-Indian cultures. The manner in which these concepts were divined or disseminated through various ancient cultures is a matter of contention, which I shall not pursue here. The concept of Kundalini is well-known in ancient Indian scriptures and modern Yoga circles. There is supposed to be a subtle central channel named Sushumna alongside which run two auxiliary channels named Ida and Pingala. These two auxiliary channels are intertwined and criss-cross each other at five junctions which are called Chakras. The goal of Yoga is to practice Tapas (austerity) which conserves Retas and changes it to Ojas, (see the previous post on Transmutation of sexual energy for more) which eventually causes the Kundalini, a secret libidinal force which lies dormant at the base of the spine, to rise up through the Sushumna channel until it reaches the Sahasrara Chakra at the top of the brain. When this ascension of Kundalini occurs, the practitioner of Yoga is supposed to experience an incomparable ecstasy and when this power stabilizes in the head, it results in what is called Enlightenment or Self-realization, after which the soul is said to be freed from the cycle of reincarnation.

Thomas McEvilley cites Plato’s Timaeus which seems to discuss something similar to the Hindu doctrine of the Kundalini. In this book, Plato speaks of the divine seed which resides in the brain, which flows down the spinal column towards the sexual organs. He discusses two hidden

channels which flow alongside the spinal column, which intertwine with each other at the throat and the heart knots(Chakras). Plato distinguished between two forms of Eros (Love). True Eros is the desire of the higher soul to be united with the World soul. When the soul becomes embodied in Matter and experiences the bewilderment of Time, True Eros or the desire for supreme knowledge is replaced by False Eros, which is sexual desire. It may be beneficial to present some of the exact passages which McEvilley cites, so here they are as extracted from the translation by Benjamin Jowett. I used the translation available online here. There are other translations here and here. In the first passage, Plato while discussing the formation of the human body mentions the soul-stuff (divine seed) that resides in the brain. “That which, like a field, was to receive the divine seed, he made round every way, and called that portion of the marrow, brain, intending that, when an animal was perfected, the vessel containing this substance should be the head; but that which was intended to contain the remaining and mortal part of the soul” [Plato. Timaeus, More about the body, 73c] In this passage, Plato discusses of the two auxiliary channels (Ida and Pingala) which flow alongside the central Sushumna, as well as the the places where they intertwine. “In the first place, they cut two hidden channels or veins down the back where the skin and the flesh join, which answered severally to the right and left side of the body. These they let down along the backbone, so as to have the marrow of generation between them, where it was most likely to flourish, and in order that the stream coming down from above might flow freely to the other parts, and equalise the irrigation. In the next place, they

divided the veins about the head, and interlacing them, they sent them in opposite directions; those coming from the right side they sent to the left of the body, and those from the left they diverted towards the right,” [Plato. Timaeus, More about the body, 77 d] In this passage, Plato discusses the virtues of continence. “He who has the seed about the spinal marrow too plentiful and overflowing, like a tree overladen with fruit, has many throes, and also obtains many pleasures in his desires and their offspring, and is for the most part of his life deranged, because his pleasures and pains are so very great; his soul is rendered foolish and disordered by his body; yet he is regarded not as one diseased, but as one who is voluntarily bad, which is a mistake. The truth is that the intemperance of love is a disease of the soul due chiefly to the moisture and fluidity which is produced in one of the elements by the loose consistency of the bones. And in general, all that which is termed the incontinence of pleasure and is deemed a reproach under the idea that the wicked voluntarily do wrong is not justly a matter for reproach.” [Plato. Timaeus, Diseases and therapy of the soul, 86d] Here, he discusses the manner in which the sexual organs are connected to the head through the vertebral column; the latter serves as a conduit for the “seed” which gives life. “The outlet for drink by which liquids pass through the lung under the kidneys and into the bladder, which receives then by the pressure of the air emits them, was so fashioned by them as to penetrate also into the body of the marrow, which passes from the head along the neck and through the back, and which in the preceding discourse we have named the seed. And the seed having life, and becoming endowed with respiration,

according to McEvilley. These extend through the belly along the backbone. Timaeus. as quoted by Aristotle.produces in that part in which it respires a lively desire of emission. this knowledge can only be gained through occult insight or through exchange between cultures. one to left. McEvilley cites the myth of Osiris in ancient Egypt. Diogenes of Appolonia. and upwards to the head. and thus creates in us the love of procreation. either one to the leg on its own side. 91b] Knowledge of something akin to Kundalini seems to have been pervasive in ancient Greece.There are two veins pre-eminent in magnitude. The Greeks referred to the spinal column as the Holy tube(hiera surinx). one to right. the god of afterlife. is said to ascend to heaven over the spinal column of his mother. where it becomes semen. Egypt While tracing the various possibilities of cultural dissemination. the correspondence is noteworthy because anatomists cannot discover these occult concepts by dissecting cadavers. Osiris. the goddess . is also said to have referred to the two auxiliary channels beside the spinal column: ‘The veins in man are as follows:.” [Plato. Historia Animalium) As McEvilley states in the book.” (Aristotle. through the throat. Genesis of Other Animals. past the collar bones. Alcmaeon of Croton stated that “holy tube” conducted engkephalos from the brain to the base of the spine. The Pythagorean and Orphic schools taught that semen comes from brain and is of one substance with the spinal marrow. Homer mentions that the cerebro-spinal fluid engkephalos was endowed with life-power.

Richard Onians in his book The Origins of European Thought suggests that the djed column.Nut. Click image for source) Mesopotamia/Sumeria In analyzing the evidence across other ancient cultures. This is exactly how the Sushumna and its two auxiliary channels are arranged. This is similar to the Yogic concept of Enlightenment. According to Onians. Photo: Djed Column.” indicates the same idea. the vertebrae being used as the rungs of a ladder. McEvilley also cites the Gudea vase which shows two serpents intertwined around a central axis. representing the spine of Osiris and worshipped as an “amulet of life. their bodies touching each other at seven knot-points. . (Via Flickr. the vital fluid in Egyptian iconography is repeatedly shown as being transmitted by laying the hand on the top of the spine or passing it down the spine.

the caduceus is depicted within the human body indicating a strong resemblance to the concept of Kundalini. Click image for source The symbol of caduceus seen below. occurs in Greek mythology as well as in Mesopotamian sculptures.Gudea Vase. In Sumerian examples. . a staff entwined by two serpents who intersect at five points.

He teaches French. where it was expected to nourish fields of cinnabar. and by the Sung dynasty the whole system.. History and Sanskrit. unlike the avowals of tantric alchemists who seek either enlightenment or immortality or both (and Plato). “Draw in ch’i to fill the brain. Jean-Yves Lung is a teacherresearcher living in Auroville since 1993. this article by Jean-Yves Lung probes the similarities between the Vedic god Agni and the Sumerian god Enki.The text Uniting Yin and Yang(Ho Yin Yang). for example.” and observes. with the circuit of ch’i (in India prana) up the Tu channel and down the Jen had been established [1] Similarities between Sumerian Anki and Vedic Agni by Jean-Yves Lung 6 Replies A previous article examined whether the notion of Kundalini may have existed in ancient Greek and other cultures. advises the practitioner to “suck the ching-spirit upward.” The upwardization theme is barely mentioned in these early texts. Still.China McEvilley also cites examples of something equivalent to Kundalini in Chinese literature: The Taoist alchemists of China taught techniques to force the semen up the spine to the brain. “All the ching rises upward. by the T’ang dynasty the esoteric practices of sexual yoga were used in the hopes of becoming immortal.” implying the suction-from-the-bladder technique attested to by Indian yogis at a later date. leading to the alchemical transformation of the mind…. says. and their orientation is specifically toward pleasure. the Shih Wen. This article originally appeared in June 2009 issue of Ritam. In consonance with that theme. it was present and growing. Another early Han text. a biannual journal published by Sri Aurobindo International Institute for Educaitional Research (SAIIER) .

the double liberation of the Sun and Waters occupy a prominent place and appear to be. As the god of knowledge. he is the most intelligent and the most expert. He is represented here standing. which carry in themselves discernment and judgment. In all these cultures. We will first present the iconographic representations of Enki/Ea in the cylinder-seals of Mesopotamia (Sumer. created by his fertilizing power. But the most striking similarity was found between the Vedic god of the Fire Agni and the Mesopotamian Enki (Sumerian) or Ea (Akkadian). He created the human race to help the gods digging the channels for the release of the rivers. ready to come out. Enki/Ea is the god of the underground Waters. Akkadian Apsû). He is the intermediary between the gods and the human beings and generally favors the latter. As the god of sweet waters. I have come across many similarities between Vedic India.(The rest of this article is in the words of Jean-Yves) In my researches on comparative mythologies. Mesopotamia and Egypt. the two pillars of their mythological architecture. Enki in his abode in the lower waters (Sumerian Abzu. he is connected to the rivers. Akkad and Assyria) and then turn to the images used to describe Agni in the Veda. His abode is the Abzu or Apsû. . from Sumer to Akkad and Assyria. In Mesopotamian literature. He is at the origin of the flowing of the Tigris and Euphrates. the underground water. as in the Vedas.

Apkallu: The fish is also the symbol of Enki’sassistants. Enki’s assistants.the Sun in or of the Abzu).A king with a scourge masters anenemy. the seven Apkallu. the symbol of the sun isvisible above two praying figures.which on this seal represent the stream ofknowledge and wisdom.On the left. . “created in the river”(one of them is named “Utuabzu”. the wisefish-men. Enki and the fishes: Fishes are often representedswimming up the flow of waters thatdescend from Enki’s shoulders. sagesand experts.Enki releasing the waters: He has the power to release the waters.

in the presence ofthe goddess Ishtar (right). closelyassociated as if in one event: the rising ofthe sun supported by the star goddess Ishtar(the morning star Venus) coincides with thejoining of the waters from above with thewaters from below.of the waters and of the sun. (probably Shamash the Sun-god)lies helplessly inside the mountain. Then. . The two liberations coincide: On an Assyrian seal. in the presence of twoapkallu. Anothergod awakes him. we see the two liberations. the godemerges mastering an animal (left).The Sun god in the Mountain: A god.

Enki is associated with the sun rising out of the twin mountains in the presence of Inanna/Ishtar (the morning star Venus) and another god. then earth and sky. It is significant that in Mesopotamian mythology. we see Enki/Ea stepping on the mountain to assist the rising of the sun and we see Enki symbolized by a pillar or a tree rooted on the mountain and ascending towards the rising sun or supporting its rising. he is the same ascending force climbing the mountain and the tree reaching out for its flowers. knowledge and the god of all skills. He seems therefore to symbolise the hidden deity successively awakening in the waters. . we can draw some conclusions about Enki’s role as a god: residing first in the lower waters.Enki assisting the liberation of the Sun:On the seal of Adda. with fishes swimming up the two streams. he pours the waters from above. they are immediately reminiscent of Vedic mythology to whomever is familiar with it: the ascent of man through the double liberation of the sun and the waters with Agni/Enki playing a key role. as a mountain goat. The cylinder seals above convey a general meaning: We see the liberation of the waters and of the sun celebrated and interconnected. From the pictures above. as a winged mountain-goat he has access to the sky itself. whose streams join with the waters from below. In his full awakening (which seems connected to the liberation of the sun at dawn). with the sun god imprisoned in it and coming out or stepping on it when it rises or fighting the demon who leans on the mountain. he enters the movement of a fish swimming up the stream towards the original source. Enki/Ea is the god of wisdom. If these images do not evoke any coherent meaning for the Assyriologists. in an ascending movement. with the goddess Ishtar as an active element making them possible. we see Enki as the mountain goat stepping on the mountain and climbing what is commonly called “the Tree of Life”. where the sun rises. where the waters flow downward from his shoulders. we see the victory over the mountain associated with them.

1). uniting the solar waters from above with the waters from below: . 6. of thee are all felicities and they grow wide from thee like branches from a tree (VI. and compared to a pillar holding the sky or heaven: New-born he stands up high like a pole well planted and firm (IV. sometimes is himself called a tree (vanaspati): O Tree (or: Master of delight – vanaspate). then becomes a galloping horse and then a swan in his ascending awakening towards the solar world.Connections with Agni (Vedic verses translated by Sri Aurobindo) All this is very reminiscent of the Vedic deity Agni. 13. 2.3. He is also the son of the waters and of the trees. climbs them one by one like branches (II. 3). and is the link between men and gods. 33). 1).10 & VII. Pillaring the high lifted light of the sun (at dawn) (X. The seven far-flowing rivers climbed from him like branches (VI. 5. 19. 4). who is also connected with the waters and with knowledge.2). Its flames are compared to branches to be climbed: The man who knows the law of his workings that are steadfast for ever. He breathes in the Waters (apsû). He props up the firmament like a pillar (IV. born from them and setting them in movement. 4. He is associated with the rising of the sun. 7. other fires dwell dependent on thee as on a tree its branches (VIII. He is nurtured by the seven rivers.5. O felicitous Fire. 6).10). release thy yields to the gods (III. O Fire.

the doer and accomplisher of all works. 6.67. to be of unknown etymology. Like Enki. Considering that some mythological and psychological functions are also similar (particularly the link with knowledge and skill). he is the craftsman. 3). 22. he knows the secret names of things. both are associated to the sunrise and stand as a tree or a pillar. he is called a thinker and a sage (pracetas. Like Enki. he has up-pillared heaven with his mantra of truth. go towards.Thou goest towards the ocean of the sky…towards the waters that abide above in the luminous world of the sun and the waters that are below (III. he is himself the guiding Thought. anj. it is very difficult to escape the hypothesis of a Vedic or maybe pre-Vedic input into the Sumerian civilisation. . 22. are said by Jean Bottéro. locative plural of apah. Let thy fires that dwell in the waters joining with those that descend the slopes accept the sacrifice (III. but also “the unborn”. dakshâ. 7). to bend. vicetas) and a knower (vidvân). (He) gathered wealth from the nether and upper ocean (VII. and ajah the goat. It is striking that they are very close to the Vedic Agni and apsu (in the waters. charcoal. to move in a curve. giving to each god its share. Enki and Abzu. angârah. pramatih. sometimes. see the nouns ankurah. Agni and the Goat There is also a semantic connection of Agni with the goat and with an ascending curving movement: see the Sanskrit roots ank. he is the intermediary and link between men and the gods and disposes rightly the sacrifice. the waters) and that the structural relation between Agni and apsu is the same as between Enki and Abzu: two hidden ascending gods with similar names sit in the watery abode designated with a similar word. There are other similarities: like Enki.3: As the unborn (ajar na) he has held the wide earth. a germinating form. request worship. the French Assyriologist. 4). an offspring. We find the word associated with the image of Agni as a pillar in RV I. Agni is always presented as having an inner discernment or understanding. Enki/Abzu and Agni/apsu The two key-words.

he is râjâ apsu.4. I. lit in darkness. a thinker. always renewing themselves.1). maybe from the land of Dilmun (Bahrain).3&4). often the seer-will (kavikratu). Morever. as Enki their father. purifying. fosterer. The outer symbols of water and fire are only images used to convey this underlying meaning.45. Let thy fire that dwells in the waters joining with those that descend accept the sacrifice. horse then swan for Agni) and represented as an ascending force. mountain-goat then winged goat for Enki. a seer and a will. a stream. gods of light and warriors. (Rig Veda. a lion. He himself is like a river running in its channel and sends in his front the descending waters (Rig Veda. a bird.66. The common . and none of these exhaust his reality. for he is said to have many names and to be manifold in his forms.5) and connects the waters from above with those from below: Thou goest towards the ocean of the sky… towards the waters that abide above in the luminous world of the sun and the waters that are below. a feature that his simili Enki seems to have lost in Mesopotamian written literature (the only one that survived in some forms). ritam. like Enki. To take Agni as the name of the ritual fire only is to mistake the signifier for the signified. purifier. X. both born in the Apsû and holding some of Agni’s specific characteristics: fire and light of the house. a craftsman. Agni being a god of Fire and Enki of Water. possessing the truth. assisting the Sun god. ritavân. guest. X. presented as Enki’s assistants or creatures. (Rig Veda. a chariot. presenting offerings to the gods. and he fulfills many functions: messenger. He is many things: a flame. And also Thou art like a fountain in the desert to the longing man (Rig Veda. But he is always connected with the truth . friend and leader of the human people. knower of all things born. What is common to both Agni and Enki is their representation of a hidden god awakening progressively to different planes of being (as fish. a tree. priest of the call.This is reinforced by the fact that the Sumerians themselves considered that civilisation was brought to them from the East. by seven wise fish-men swimming up the rivers from the sea.22. III. where he appears more clever than truthful. a horse. one could object to their brotherhood. satyam. Agni is closely related to the waters: first. a boat. a sage and a knower. the king in the waters. a warrior. But we find in Mesopotamian mythology two gods of Fire: Girra (Fire) and Nusku (the lamp). as fire. and both sages and experts. bringer of the oblation.5).

which is not favoured by the present over-specialisation of scholarship in this field. which is why both can be represented by a tree: the tree is a symbol of an ascending and unfolding movement linking the underground waters to the sun. when the Sumerian culture constituted itself. or that both cultures had a common origin.pattern is the outflowing or upflaming of the hidden deity. Note I have omitted some cylinder seals which appeared in the original article. It is very striking that the Mesopotamian cylinder-seals display the closest and oldest iconographic representation available of some of the main Vedic images. respectively). servants of Agni and Enki. This generally escapes the attention of the Assyriologists who have no knowledge of the Vedic material. Go to the RITAM webpage and click on the June 2009 link to view the original in entirety. The fact that the symbolic vocabulary (the signifiers) is proper to each culture implies that the initial input (the signified) has been reinterpreted in the terms of the Mesopotamian physical milieu. Going further in this study would require a pluridisciplinary approach. of course. maybe referring to what the Vedas call the forefathers (see the similarities between the seven Angirasas and the seven Apkallu. This. . still less of Sri Aurobindo’s psychological interpretation of the Vedic corpus. supposes that a Vedic or pre-Vedic culture was not brought to North India around 1500 BC by invading Aryans but was already in the area in the fifth millennium. We find in the Vedic and Mesopotamian system of images a similar underlying structure: the liberation of the sun and waters is the main architecture.

1. How the ancient Egyptian religion developed is unknown as no written records of these developmental stages. although this religion is not recognisable as the form practised by Hindus today. through the archaeological record. The Indus Valley Civilisation and their religion is contemporary with the Egyptian Old Kingdom and the religion of the ancient Egyptians was in a fully developed form. such as Buddhism (which was born from Hinduism).A Tribute to Hinduism: The Book Hinduism and Ancient Egyptian Religion A study of the similarities between Hinduism and Ancient Egyptian Religion. but as Hinduism is one of the six main world religions the comparisons between this vibrant religion and a long-extinct ancient religion are interesting. 24) and therefore the contents (religious or otherwise) are unknown to us. Unfortunately this language has not yet been deciphered (Brockington 1996. when it was at a cultural high point. . EARLY RELIGION Considering the enormous geographical distance between India and Egypt. ancient Egyptian religion and modern Hinduism have a surprising number of similarities in concepts and practices. Hieroglyphs were not introduced until approximately 3100 BC on the Narmer Palette whereas the Indus Valley civilisation has written texts dating to prior 2500 BC. This is not to say that other polytheistic religions do not have similarities with each other or with ancient Egypt but not in what appears to be such abundance as between ancient Egyptian and Hinduism. and some African belief systems. from the Mohenjo-Daro region. A number of religions do have similarities with Hinduism. Aspects of Hinduism can be traced to the Indus Valley Civilisation (approximately 2500 BC).

although there are also many references to the stars. The Aryan race recorded their beliefs in Sanskrit. are the Pyramid Texts from the pyramid of Unas (2375. 8) indicating the traditions may have existed for as long as the Egyptian beliefs if not longer before being recorded.g. sun. air and moisture are the first created by the sun god (Hart 1990. 7). although passed down for centuries through oral tradition. were considered too sacred to permanently record (Brockington 1996.However. CREATION MYTHS . which has been deciphered and has produced a number of religious texts. other than on a very superficial basis. However most religions include doctrine to explain the local environment and this alone cannot form a basis of comparison between two religions. and a loss or absorption of the traditional religion into that of the Aryans. the river and the environmental elements involved in the creation stories. 2. The earliest written religious texts in Egypt. which are primarily concerned with the elemental gods (e. earth. fire.2345 BC) approximately 1000 years earlier than the Hindu Vedas. The Aryan invasion of India instigated a decline in the Indus Valley Civilisation. Thorough careful examination of the creation stories and other myths further comparisons can be made to support similarities between the two religions. wind and storms) and the ritual of sacrifice and cosmic balance. it is likely that some elements of the Indus Valley religion may have become absorbed into that of the invading Aryans (2500-1500 BC) and therefore into modern Hinduism. However the Vedas. Like the Vedas. where deities of the sky. 10-8). The earliest known Hindu texts are the Vedas written in approximately 1500-1000 BC (Brockington 1996. which are still important to modern Hindus. and indeed many early belief systems the gods of the Pyramid Texts are elemental as the sun (Re) is the primary deity of these texts. Both the Vedas and the ancient Egyptian religion were passed down orally for generations but only remained in a fixed form once they were recorded.

The ancient Egyptians feared the world falling back into this primordial chaos and this fear saw the development of the solar cult. If the sun failed to rise. with no light and no movement. nothingness and darkness. until from these waters the creation of the Universe began. This description could refer to the time before creation in both ancient Egyptian religion and Hinduism. What is being compared is the potential of the Universe reverting to a state of primordial chaos. For modern Hindus this idea of primordial chaos is also a very real although an inevitable one. at the end of which the universe will be destroyed and reabsorbed back into the Supreme Deity residing in the primordial waters. Before creation the universe consisted of primordial waters. all the variations follow this element of the story almost as if this was the ‘original’ legend. In the Book of the Dead (spell 175) the creator god . After a further prescribed number of years he will then start the creation of a new Universe. a time of darkness. There are however numerous elements of the Heliopolitan myth and the Hindu myths which correspond. There are a number of variations on the story but the basis for all of them is the Heliopolitan myth of creation.There is often a great deal of confusion about the nature of the pluralistic nature of the ancient Egyptian creation stories. The time cycles here are not being compared as the Egyptian solar cycle was a daily event.000 years (Zimmer 1974.320. It was a time of chaos. and the Hindu yugas last for thousands of years. 15). which will last for 4. Egypt would be plunged into darkness and return to this primordial chaos. For the Egyptians this could happen if the sun failed to rise and was therefore a daily threat on their lives. primordial water and nothingness. They believe that the earth is in an era called the Kali Age (Yuga). worshipping the sun ensured the daily cycle of the sun would continue.

It was suggested by Goodyear (1891. very similar to the story of Vishnu’s creation of the Universe. and Brahma. sprouting from his navel. a direct parallel to Brahma emerging from the flower at the dawn of creation. reverting back to this primordial chaos cannot be avoided as they believe that at the end of the current yuga the Universe will be thrown back to primordial chaos. and there were specialist “Hour Priests” whose role was to ensure that the rituals and prayers were carried out at specific times of the day. 77-8). Goddesses in Hindu art are also often shown standing in a lotus. with no hope of new life. the earth shall return to the Abyss. and the beginning of all creation (Lurker 1984. and in early mythology the lotus is closely associated with Surya the solar god (Goodyear 1891:5). In Egyptian mythology the lotus is also connected to fertility and associated with solar deities. This indicates that once the earth has reverted back to the primordial chaos it will remain in this state. and holding and smelling them at funerary banquets. For Hindus. The outer petals are the inaccessible continents of foreign people and the underside of the petals are where the demons and serpents reside (Zimmer 1974. People are often show making offerings of lotus flowers to the gods. From this lotus the sun rose. Creation started with a lotus flower. 175). which prayer and worship cannot avert.Atum describes how he will “destroy all that I have made. 191) that the lotus imagery reached India in the third century BC. representing self-creation and their fertility aspects. and is an inevitable event. In the creation myths f a mound of earth rose from the primordial waters and on this mound sprouted the first flower. This lotus flower then splits into three petals creating the earth. the sky and the abode of the gods. Through these associations with fertility and creativity the lotus in Hinduism is thought to be connected to solar deities. 51-2). until the sun (Atum) decides to leave the underworld (Osiris). to the surging flood. as in its original state. As the lotus flower was a common flower in the environment of the ancient Egyptians and early Hindus the importance of this flower may have developed independently of each other. Vishnu. The most famous Egyptian representation of this is that of the wooden head of Tutankhamun emerging from the lotus flower resting on the mound of creation. This is the time when there is clear evidence of contact between Egypt and India. and one nation could have influenced the other although the lotus forms in each region is different and they are . but I will remain with Osiris” (Faulkner 1972. or Vishnu who represents the sun and the first dawn of creation. lay recumbent in the primordial waters and as he awoke the creation of the Universe began. the deity of spiritual awareness and consciousness. prayers and offerings to the sun god. starting the first dawn. There are also images of the king emerging from a lotus flower as the sun god and therefore the creator of the Universe. In Egyptian art and architecture this mound is often depicted and represents fertility and new beginnings. is seated in the centre of this lotus. although it is very interesting that the two religions should have very similar ideology associated with the lotus. and started to appear in the imagery. Once the current yuga has ended the whole creation process starts again. which in some records is a lotus flower. due to the role as an aid in rebirth of the deceased. At the dawn of time the Supreme Deity. This catastrophe could be averted by rituals.

as they both have a concept of cosmic law. The king in particular had to uphold the law of Maat in order to prove his worthiness as king.depicted in very different manners. 66-7). natural disasters) did not govern during his reign. resulting in an eternal death (Quirke 1997. These would have included extending the boundaries of Egypt. These tasks needed to be done to appease the gods who would in turn favour Egypt . If it does not balance the creature Ammut. through correct and moral behaviour. the symbol of truth and righteousness. This statement again could apply to both religions. In ancient Egypt this cosmic law was called Maat and was personified as a goddess with a feather. will pounce and devour the heart making it impossible for the deceased to be reborn. The most famous usage of this feather is in the ‘Weighing of the Heart’ ceremony in the Hall of Judgement (Book of the Dead spell 125).g. and if it balances they are reborn into the afterlife. standing nearby. Here the newly deceased’s heart is weighed against this feather. improving on the works of their father and producing a male heir. foreign invaders. Each king had a set of tasks that he would try to perform to prove his worthiness and his maintenance of order. on her head. 3. As this concept of cosmic balance was so central to the beliefs in the afterlife. the concept of Maat also became essential to the everyday life of the Egyptians. COSMIC ORDER In order to keep the Universal equilibrium balanced it was essential to uphold the cosmic laws. His main role was to ensure that order was always maintained and that the forces of chaos (e. truth or balance which needs to be maintained in order to uphold the universal equilibrium and prevent the laws of chaos from gaining control.

Everyone has to uphold this cosmic law. It is clear that both maat and rta are very similar concepts although maat is something primarily governed by the behaviour of the king. unified life-energy and the principle of intelligence. Rta has many meanings including order. harmony. law. according to this cosmic law. For this reason in the Hindu community Rama is viewed as a virtuous god who Hindus try to emulate. in the Hindu religion the concept of universal cosmic law is known as rta. Both religions have one Supreme Deity. Akhenaten. 105-6). In the Bhagavad Gita (18:47. To make it easier for this concept to be understood by the individual the everyday Hindu lives according to their personal dharma or duty (Fowler 1997. who abandoned the gods. who went against the principle of Maat. Any kings. and constitutes the specific duties that needed to be performed. balance. King lists used in India of the 4th -12th centuries AD were also used to connect the kings of the Mahabharata (text from first millennium BC) with Manu. it explains in detail how it is more important to carry out your own dharma even if it seems unimportant than to try and carry out the dharma of another. as a modern Hindu. Dharma means “what is right”. Even though this is sometimes difficult. the first man (Brockington 1996. Even after he was called back to the palace by his brother. which would also prove their right to rule as well as their divinity. If dharma is not carried out correctly. according to your caste and stage in life. Examples of these would include Hatshepsut the female pharaoh. and any foreign rulers. In the Ramayana. the more universal concept of rta is maintained. King lists in general were used to connect the current king to the deities who ruled Egypt at the beginning of time. if all Hindus uphold the laws of personal dharma. gods included. it will lay the foundation for morality and intelligence. In the same way that Maat was an important concept in the lives of the ancient Egyptians. were erased from the king lists and therefore from history by those who ruled after them. indicating that the ideology of divine kingship was similar in ancient India and ancient Egypt. and rta is maintained by everyone through the practice of dharma. Egyptian kings did not want to be connected to those that went against the law of Maat. or face the disturbance of the universal equilibrium. 4. Prince Rama was exiled by his father for something he did not do for fourteen years. but he had to go as his dharma states he should obey his father. If you live your life. 3:35). 192-3). Many kings are shown in temple and tomb decoration offering a small figure of the goddess Maat to Amun to show that they live by her rule and that they are governing Egypt fairly and justly. who is seen as the creator of all . although that will not be discussed here. the larger concept of rta is not maintained and the universe will fall into primeval chaos before the end of the kali yuga. THE ONE AND THE MANY The main similarity between ancient Egyptian religion and modern Hinduism is their polytheistic nature. he insisted on staying in exile until the fourteen year period was over.and allow order and prosperity to reign.

appealing to different people on many levels. the worshipping of one chosen god over others. although for both religions it is impossible for a god to actually be killed. all men. For example Sekhmet. in ancient Egypt was addressed to cure illnesses (Lurker 1984. the Hindu gods have many myths about their lives. However many Hindus would argue that all gods are in fact a part of the Supreme Deity and therefore essentially the same. The gods however held different roles within the two cultures as the concerns of the population was different due to landscape. all cattle. they take on different forms. As the Supreme Deities are too complex or too powerful for many ordinary people to comprehend and bring into their lives on a personal spiritual level. each is a manifestation of the Supreme Deity and it has been argued that both religions have a monotheistic element.life. social and climatic differences. Shiva or Brahma. battles and killing. which can be approached for particular things. This debate of One God or Many is one that will continue. They are killed for the purpose of the story but this death is not a permanent state. It has been stated that both religions are in fact henotheistic religions. 106) as the goddess of epidemics. the lioness headed goddess. The choice of Supreme Deity is often related to political events and is often the state god. In the Memphite Theology describing the Egyptian creation the god Ptah is said to be present in “everybody and is in every mouth of all the gods. 31). all creeping things that live” (Allen 1988. Although both Hindu gods and Egyptian gods exist in their thousands. that is. 43) and indicates that the ancient Egyptians also argued that one god could be present in all other deities. In ancient Egypt the Supreme Deity was either Amun. relationships. (or the Aten in the Amarna period) and in modern Hinduism the Supreme Deity is Vishnu. each with different personalities or characteristics. However both religions have a choice as to which deity they chose to worship in this role. A perfect Egyptian . or Ra. and in Hinduism before embarking on an exam or a business venture you would make an offering to Ganesha the elephant headed god of removal (and placing) of obstacles (Kanitkar & Cole 2003. As in ancient Egypt.

The Goddess in this story is Pattini and her husband Palanga is killed. Isis and Nephthys were able to resurrect him. 389). Despite the stories’ differences. Sati into Parvarti and Osiris into the god of the Underworld. indicating that Isis may have been present in India earlier than the Roman period. The Oxyrhynchus Papyrus (1380) mentions Isis in her role of an Indian goddess known as Maia (a derivative of the Sanskrit word for mother). which is a completely un-Hindu idea. the similarities could suggest an adoption of ideas. Another similarity between the religions is in the relationships that the gods have with each other. There is evidence of an exchange of ideas in the form of the Egyptian cult of Isis travelling to India in the Roman period. Although his body parts were scattered the length and breadth of Egypt. Vishnu decided to cut up the body of Sati. although he is often worshipped alongside his mother Isis. When Pattini finds her husband she laments over his death. the deceased in both were reborn into another form. Another Hindu story seems to have been inspired by the Isis/Osiris mythology. Gods do not die in either religion. Sobek/Hathor (Kom Ombo). Pattini searches for his body in the same way that Isis searches for the body of Osiris. Although the stories are slightly different. in Egypt of the Nile…………in India of the Ganges” It is suggested that although written in Greek it may have been a copy of an earlier text (Fynes 1993. There is also a dismemberment story in Hindu mythology. they move on and live again. therefore creating a male/female partnership. Shiva then retired to a mountain to meditate. and although the motivation for the dismemberment is different there are clear similarities. not dead but not permitted into the land of the living. Shiva carried her body the full length and breadth of India. brought here by traders and merchants. It is likely that as Horus and Khonsu are divine children their relationship with their parents is . Osiris became the god of the Underworld. and the power of her grief resurrects him whereas Isis has specific personal powers of resurrection (Fynes 1993. 381-2). until there was nothing left in Shiva’s arms. Khnum/Anukis (cataract region). Although his wife Sati was dead and dismembered she was reincarnated into Parvati who managed to persuade Shiva to marry her (Doniger O’Flaherty 1975. In his grief. In both religions most male deities have a consort or wife and in Egyptian religion in particular form family groups and genealogy. “You bring forth the flood tide of rivers. when Shiva’s consort Sati died. Seth/Neith (Pyramid Age)) and the only major god without a consort is Horus. and even has the resurrection of the dead god rather than the rebirth. there arose a sacred centre or temple. In both the Hindu and Egyptian mythology in many places where the dismembered body parts fell onto the earth.51). 249. After he had impregnated Isis. Some of the major deities in Egypt have a “token” consort who do not necessarily hold much importance in the grand scale of the pantheon (Amun/Mut (Karnak). The other gods saw he was inconsolable and decided that he needed to part with the body of his wife in order to grieve and to continue with his life.example is the dismemberment of Osiris by Seth.

These dual serpents are also present in the Egyptian religion and are called Mertygoddesses and are red and white. The similarity is slight but interesting. and shrines within that temple dedicated to other gods associated with the patron deity. The tilaka represents the third eye of Shiva. is also an image of importance in Hinduism and Indian tantra. with a temple dedicated to a particular deity. The importance of this female element of the gods in Hindu imagery is sometimes represented by the god being shown as half male and half female. In Egyptian religion this creative element to the divine couples is represented by the production of a child as a means of completing a family unit. as they appear in the same position. 5. one of them being in the same position as the tilaka and ureaus.more important than any relationship with a wife/consort. In addition to this idea of the duality of male and female characteristics a further similarity is suggested through the worship of dual snakes. PRACTICE Worship in both religions also has similarities. The snake presented in the uraeus. The . In Indian tantric rituals the power of enlightenment is reached through the chakras. and places the wearer under their protection. wearing the red and white crowns of dual Egypt. as the females represent the creative power and energy needed for birth and creation. The general idea behind these relationships is that everything needs a male and female element to be whole. DuQuesne suggests there was a similarity between the uraeus in ancient Egyptian kingship ideology and the the tilaka (red dot on the forehead) in Hindu practice. a red and white snake and through invoking this power can lead to enlightenment. although there are certain similarities it has to be considered that symbols as synonymous as a snake or the forehead could have developed independently of each other and do not necessarily suggest a borrowing of ideas. and the ureaus represents the goddesses of Upper and Lower Egypt. providing the protection and enlightenment of the god. 55-62). “Serpent power” in tantra is known as Kandalini and is represented by two snakes. representing the completeness of Egypt (DuQuesne 1995. However.

However in ancient Egypt the temples were closed to the public. in a temple environment. They offered prayers and devotions as the god was carried past and it was also a time to ask the god for help in the form of an oracle. In Hindu religion rather than these rituals solely being carried out by the priests. 3). flowers. Each morning the statue is “woken up”. the worshipper seeing the god and the god seeing the worshipper (Eck 1998. In modern Hindu temples the god blesses the food and it is given back to the devotees to eat and is called prashad or ‘blessed food’ (Kantikar & Cole 2003. and in ancient Egypt it consisted of fruit. Despite this more informal location the same rituals are carried out. In the Hindu religion one of the most important things about worship is what is known as darshan. In ancient Egyptian processions the deities were hidden in a shrine. and even an honour to approach the god. In ancient Egypt there was also an emphasis on worship at home as the temples were unavailable to the general populace. offerings and washing of the statues. washed. At the end of the day the statue is again dressed and washed and given an evening meal. before feeding the statue. Although they could not physically see the statue they conversed with the god. asking for advice and answers to various problems (Quirke 1997. The statues housed in the temples. which means “to see”. albeit via the priests. and are often the centre of the community. getting nourishment from it. vegetables. The Egyptians on occasion also applied cosmetics and perfume. but this relationship between worshipper and god was an essential part of the procession. This reflects an interaction and a relationship between the worshipper and the god and is something that has also been adopted by monotheistic religions as well. as Hindus believe the god is actually present in this statue for the duration of the procession and therefore it is important to take part. or sweets. and whatever is left was taken by the priesthood and eaten. 100). even in the shrine. However it was considered important. before being sealed in the shrine until the morning rituals. 9). In ancient Egypt symbolically the god ate the food. and prayers and offerings were made on a daily basis.most important part of the temple in Hinduism and ancient Egypt is the inner sanctum. anointed. These processions in India are a way for many people to see the statue of the god and offer prayers and devotion to it. the belief that the statue was not a representation of the god but in fact housed the spirit of the god and was essentially divine. meat and wine. they are carried out on a daily basis in the home generally by the women of the household. Another similarity between the religions are the processions through the streets of the statues of the deities. 23). whereas Hindu temples are open to everyone. so viewing the statue was not possible for the general populace. the main shrine of the patron deity and the centre of the temple. This is in fact one of the fundamental similarities between the two religions. especially at festival times (Sauneron 2000. including prayers. and given new clothes. were treated the same by both the ancient Egyptians and modern Hindus. Most of the houses at Deir el Medina for example would have contained a household shrine dedicated to local deities and the ancestors. This ensured the priesthood in ancient Egypt ate well. In Hinduism this consists of fruit. and was an .

170). as we can see from the few examples cited. where or what is this source?” There is evidence from the archaeological record that Egypt was trading directly with India from at least the Ptolemaic period. 165). and also of the ancient Egyptian which were very similar. The question therefore arises. 4). However it appears that during the Persian period (535-405 BC) in Egypt an Indian colony may have grown in Memphis (Asthana 1976. 209) therefore creating the colourful and varied religion of the modern Hindu. which was many centuries after both religions were fully formed.opportunity for the ordinary people to be close to their gods. bearing the names of eighteenth dynasty kings (Wilkinson 1994. Both religions absorbed local deities into the main pantheon. “is there a common source for the religion and if so. Most ideas were not rejected (Brockington 1996. The so-called ‘foreign quarter’ is believed to have been on the east side of the city near the river in order to be close to the trading harbour (Petrie 1909. a major harbour site and centre of trade in Egypt. More concrete contact between India and Egypt comes from the sixth century BC when the northwestern part of India came into contact with Egypt when they both became part of the Persian Empire. which can be explained through both the Egyptian religion and the ancient religion of the Indus Valley being very accommodating. although the extent of the contact is uncertain (Asthana 1976. as well as local practices and myths. However this does not necessarily mean they were trading directly with the Indian continent. DISCUSSION There are many more similarities between these religions. During the pharaonic period spice may have been imported from India for use in the temples and a number of Indian products including indigo. although it has also been . 237) have been found in tombs. 6. although evidence suggests there may have been indirect contact from an earlier date. and tamarind wood.

red. primarily worshipped by Buddhists and Jains and connected to the cult of Isis may have reached India via Roman functionaries. for example. 386). blue and green paint) (Harle 1989. These figures may represent an early androgynous form of Harpocrates or perhaps they could represent the dancing girls participating in cult ritual (Harle 1989. and this saw an exchange of ideas and the spread of Buddhism. then by land to Naqada (Mark 1997. 375). and may have been the same women who danced for the cult of Harpocrates giving the procession an element of spirituality. 7. 377). hunting dogs. 37). were also used by religious functionaries. and the southern route by sea through the Persian Gulf. a finger to his mouth and wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt (Harle 1989. The other similarities between the ancient Egyptian religion and the Hindu traditions and practices could also be due to contact between these functionaries and Egyptian traders in the region of Mesopotamia. These figures are similar to Buddhist carvings although the purpose of manufacture seems to be different. Due to increasing trade between the regions a third route was introduced via the eastern coast of the Red Sea in the late third to early second millennium BC. 1985. around Saudi Arabia up the Red Sea to the Wadi Hammamat. The formed close links with trading groups. and it is thought these Indian dancing figures may be connected to the cult of Harpocrates. the Indian dancing figures appear to have a different purpose. . The cult of Pattini. 3). Hinduism and Christianity.suggested that the “foreign quarter” did not exist. 377). 383). These foreign figurines including examples of Indian dancing girls which are thought to date to the first or second century AD and not the 300-200 BC date assigned to them by Petrie (Harle 1989. The Roman cult of Isis was then adapted into the cult of Pattini (Fynes 1993. cows and camels. the Buddhist custom of modelling heads was to represent the people Buddhism was preached to. In later periods. This therefore suggests that there were Indians living in Egypt at the time these figures were manufactured. and possibly even Afghanistan during the earlier periods of Egyptian and Indian history. which included Indian women. and then were presented at a great festival before being discarded (Gordon 1939. 189) indicating that there were definitely trade expeditions at this time to India. The Indian women included in this procession possibly resided in Egypt. who is often shown with a side lock of hair. but has only been identified as such due to a concentration of foreign figurines discovered in one place (Jeffries. The earliest evidence of Indians physically present in Egypt is from a record of the royal procession of Ptolemy II Philadelphos (approximately 250 BC) (Gordon 1939. TRADE ROUTES One of the most substantial indirect trade relationships was between Egypt and Mesopotamia and this started in the pre-dynastic period. There were two passable routes between Egypt and Mesopotamia. They show traces of colour (white slip and black. trade routes from the Indian sub-continent throughout the Near East including Mesopotamia. 39). Afghanistan and Syria. 37). the northern route through Syria Palestine using both land and sea routes. The saloon in the yacht belonging to Ptolemy II was also lined with Indian stone (Asthana 1976.

produced from locally grown sesame seeds. where goods were received into Berenike and then sent for distribution throughout Egypt (1993. indigo. Along the Egyptian Red Sea coasts. There is also evidence of wheat being exported from Egypt to India which may have been destined for Egyptian traders situated there (Sidebotham 1998: 306) indicating that in the Ptolemaic and Roman period at least the trade may have been regular necessitating Egyptian envoys to be placed in Indian ports. one of the richest in archaeological remains being that of Berenike. 8. fragrant roots and oils. Job’s tears and teak wood that may have been used for ship building (Cappers 1998: 311 & 347-8). The teak wood. and Deir el Medina from the eighteenth dynasty (Cappers 1998: 311 & 2000: 318) although not on an extensive scale. coconuts. were originally imported to Egypt in the early Ptolemaic period and domesticated. or plum) a stone fruit has also been discovered at Berenike but may have been imported to Egypt during the pharoanic period. as an expensive import has only been discovered in the form of objects and not un-worked or charred (Sidebotham 2000: 133). Fynes suggests that it is via this trade that the cult of Isis travelled to India. The cordia myxa (Indian cherry. The trade passing through Berenike into Egypt were of a luxury nature and consisted of black and long pepper. semi precious and non-precious stone beads. glass.Evidence of direct trade between India and Egypt is clear from the late Ptolemaic and the Roman period in particular. It is also suggested that Sesame oil. cotton and pottery. Her main cult was at Coptos. 379). INDIRECT TRADE Indirect trade was a legitimate way for Egyptians to obtain goods from outside of their . Non-food stuffs imported from India include in addition to teak wood. as evidence has been found at Saqqara dating to the third dynasty. are various ports of trade. in her role of “Goddess of the sea and navigation”.

political jurisdiction and was common throughout their history. There are also numerous examples of lapis lazuli objects in funerary contexts from as early as the Naqada II period. timber. Magan (southern Iran). and whilst it was abundant in Egypt in this early period it appears to be rare in Mesopotamia and Palestine and therefore it may have reached Egypt via the Red Sea (Mark 1997. and they may have come along the same trade routes. Dilmun (on the Arabian Gulf in Saudi Arabia). and agricultural products rather than for exotic goods (Ray 2003. Badakshan and the Egyptian expeditions may have had contact with them directly although evidence for this has not yet been found. 9. There are numerous Mesopotamian objects in Egyptian tombs from all periods indicating this relationship was maintained for many years. These goods are found alongside other foreign goods. 84). The archaeological record suggests that there was a Harappan outpost on the Amu-Darya giving access to the lapis lazuli mines of Sar-i-sang. 82). MARITIME TRADE The introduction of maritime trade saw the first direct contact between Egypt and India. Maritime trade in Egypt however only increased in the seventh century BC with the Greek settlement in Egypt and saw increased maritime activity between the regions (Mark 1997. In the seventh century BC the neo Assyrian king also mentions these three trading places indicating a continued trade between the areas. The only source of lapis lazuli was Afghanistan. There are three maritime trading centres mentioned in Mesopotamian sources. 38) perhaps through direct trade with Afghanistan. Maritime trade in India started in the second to third millennium BC and was driven by entrepreneurs and a regular demand for coarse cloth. and Meluhha (in Pakistan) and all are mentioned in a text by Sargon of Akkad (2334 – 2279BC). .

the reasons for these similarities are uncertain. although lost after the collapse of the civilisation following the Aryan invasion (Possehl 2002. The main resource of Dilmun and the Magan region was copper. This contact falls into three categories. lapis lazuli. 87). so close to India. A number of etched carnelian beads have been discovered in Mesopotamia. and the Egyptians were trading with the Mesopotamians. As a number of the similarities are environmental it is probable that these aspects of the religions developed independently based on their own environment and spiritual needs. crafts in addition to commodities. CONCLUSION Although it is clear from this study that there were numerous similarities between ancient Egyptian religion and Hinduism. that the Mesopotamians traded for wool. fresh dates. Again this indicates that the Mesopotamians were not just trading in raw materials but also in finished goods. although numerous goods have been found in Mesopotamia from this region (Possehl 2002. silver. 222). manufactured using a technique perfected by the Indus Valley Civilisation. and crafts. an indirect route with India was available to the Egyptians. Old Akkadian texts refer to the commodity lists of MELUHHA which include carnelian. The Indus weight system was possibly adopted from this region as it was known as the ‘standard of Dilmun’ by Mesopotamians suggesting continued contact. pearls.DILMUN was one of the most important trading partners of Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC. milk and cereal products. As these goods are primarily ‘invisible’ there are very few Mesopotamian goods in the Indus Valley. cats and dogs (Ray 2003. and acted as a centre for the shipment of goods from further a field. 227). wood. 10. . copper. As Mesopotamia was trading with these regions. There is enough evidence from the material culture to suggest that trade held an important part of the contact between India and Egypt. which could have included a trading of ideas. and carnelian and lapis were popular in Egypt throughout its history. fat. and shows the development of their relationship. 1 – Indirect trade – passage of goods via Mesopotamian merchants (pre-dynastic period onwards) 2 – Contact through trade – the travelling of Egyptians and Indians to Mesopotamia or Afghanistan where they may have met and conversed (pre-dynastic period onwards) 3 – Direct trade – with Egyptians travelling directly to India and Indians travelling to Egypt (Ptolemaic Period onwards). gold. plants.

independent development of both religions due to similar environment and similarity of need.The direct trade started in the Ptolemaic period and then dramatically increased in the Roman period. a local Indian goddess (southern India and Sri Lanka). This cult may have been exported intentionally from Egypt to India or may have travelled there via the religious functionaries traversing the trade routes with a mind for evangelism. This increase in trade saw the cult of Isis introduced to India. if at all. and it is possible that the similarities between the religions may be due to a combination of borrowed ideas and the natural. Although at present no conclusions can be made regarding how much one religion may have affected the other. . but then appears to have influenced the cult of Pattini. even if it was for the use of the Egyptian merchants residing in India.

language.C. "the cord pattern occurring in a copper tablet in the Indus Valley and on three Egyptian seals is the most striking link between the two countries. Walafrid Strabo (c. "In other words. In this context it is of interest to note that the Egyptian mummies are said to have been wrapped in Indian muslin. 200 A. compared India with ancient Egypt. in the third millennium B. has five petals which symbolizes the four limbs and the head. There are elements of folk art." Indian contacts with the Western world date back to prehistoric times. Mongolian. Egypt (Africa) was known as Sancha-dvipa continent mentioned in Sir Willliams Jones' dissertation on Egypt. A terracotta mummy from Lothal vaguely resembles an Egyptian mummy and a similar terracotta mummy is found also at Mohenjodaro. inevitably developed into cultural relations. and rural culture of Bengal which have an affinity with their Egyptian counterparts and which have not been explained satisfactorily in terms of Aryan. Recently. but evidence of a direct relationship between the two is at best fragmentary. snake. Other esoteric meanings abound: for myths are seldom simple. According to the Skandha Purana. the five senses. Gordon Childe has said. Peter Von Bohlen (1796-1840) German Indologist.D. the four parts of the compass and the zenith. more definitive evidence suggesting contact between India and Egypt has become available. In the Akkadian tongue." Assurbanipal (668-626 B. or Dravidian influences.C) cultivated Indian plants including the "wool-bearing trees" of India. sacred to Buddha and to Osiris. and like the pyramid. and river are common. India was already in a position to contribute to the building up of the cultural tradition that constitutes our spiritual heritage as she notoriously has done since the time of Alexander. in Egypt. There are similarities between place names in Bengal and Egypt and recently an Egyptian scholar. Indian cotton was expressed by ideographs meaning "vegetable cloth.) and by Clement (c.Neither historical events nor cross-cultural currents can explain the unique parallels in the myths and imagery of ancient Egypt and India. Evidence of Indian contact with the ancient civilizations to her west. Trade relations.) Indirect contact between ancient India and Egypt through Mesopotamia is generally admitted. however is certain. preceded by the migration of peoples. He thought there was a cultural connection between the two in ancient times. Indian scholars were a common sight: they are mentioned both by Dio Chrysostom (c. Knobbed pottery vases came to Sumer from India and so did cotton." . 100 A. has pointed out that in both Egypt and India the worship of cow. sun. 809–849) German scholar has said: "The lotus flower. El Mansouri. At Alexandria. the five digits.D. and never irresponsible. Of all the Egyptian objects and motifs indicating some contact between India and Egypt during the Indus Valley period. Characters similar to those on the Indus seals have also been found on tablets excavated from Easter Island.

15-16). He thought there was a cultural connection between the two in ancient times. (source: German Indologists: Biographies of Scholars in Indian Studies writing in German .Introduction The Lotus and the River Cultural Contacts with Egypt The Sun King and Dasharatha The Persian Connection Links to Ancient Egypt Conclusion *** Introduction Peter Von Bohlen (1796-1840) German Indologist.By Valentine Stache-Rosen. p. Empire of the Soul: Some Journeys in India. Paul William Roberts. There must have been one. states: " Recent research and scholarship make it increasingly possible to believe that the Vedic era was the lost civilization whose legacy the Egyptians and the Indians inherited. In his book. compared India with ancient Egypt. There are too many similarities between .

who sent five ships to obtain spices. thought referred to some part of India. Erman further says that analyzing the Egyptian legends makes it clear that from Punt the heavenly beings headed by Amen.. incense.By Paramesh Choudhary p. which an historian of the West. these in turn echoed in somewhat diluted form and a confused fashion by the authors of Babylonian texts and the Old Testament. Horus and Hather. He cites the type 'P' as depicted by Hatshepsut's artists as his support. Adolf Erman (1854-1937) author of Life in ancient Egypt and A handbook of Egyptian religion. Dr. Klaus K. The most famous of these ports was Sopara. 18 says: "For several centuries a lively commerce developed between the ancient Mediterranean world and India. according to Sir John Marshall who was in charge of the excavations. an Asiatic country. dogheaded apes and long tailed monkeys. claims to have had trade contacts with Ancient Egypt under Queen Hatsheput.By Paul William Roberts p. Hall. The Indus Valley civilization is. identified with the ancient Muziris.hieroglyphic texts and Vedic ones.Translation and Commentary by Sachindra K. as well as with ancient Israel during King . full of valleys. cheetahs. (source: The Aryan Hoax: That Dupes The Indians . passed into the Nile valley.) It is older than the Sumerian and it is believed by many that the latter was a branch of the former. 300). Dr. winged creatures with strange feathers to fly up to the boughs of wonderful trees." (source: Empire of the Soul: Some Journeys in India . the oldest of all civilizations unearthed (c. the Egyptians themselves had the tradition that they originally came from the South.To this same country belongs that idol of Bes. 28). (source: The Bhagvad Gita: A Scripture for the Future . M A Murray author of Legends of Ancient Egypt rightly observes that as a race the Egyptians are more Asiatic than African.R. Majumdar p. not far from modern Bombay. rich in animals. which was recently renamed Mumbai..C. particularly the ports on the Western coast.a distant country washed by the great seas. balsum. panthers. Present day Cranganore in Kerala. from a land called Punt. in his book A Survey of Hinduism p. the ancient figure of the deity in the Land of Punt. a description of which is unveiled by this scholar from the old legends . says that the persons who were responsible for a highly developed Egyptian civilization were from Punt. 225). Klostermaier. 4000 B. precious metals and stones. It is believed that the Dravidians from India went to Egypt and laid the foundation of its civilization there. H. especially the incense tree and the coconut trees.

Apparently.Soloman's reign. . the contact did not break off after Egypt was conquered by Greece and later by Rome.

and the Tamil work.This is what Bengsch Bey. 1792). Lt. who worked in French India as a government official and was at one time President of the Court in Chandranagar. However.. I imagine. a Greek writer. Colonel Wilford's description of the Hindus' intimate acquaintance with ancient Egypt led Speke to Ripon Falls. from a mysterious land (now known to lie on the shores of the Indian Ocean). Louis Jacolliot (1837-1890). In an essay entitled On Egypt from the Ancient Book of the Hindus (Asiatic Researchers Vol.Yaksha (dwarf) image discovered in cave 2nd century BC. depicted as a deformed dwarf. has also recorded that the early Ethiopians emigrated from the river Indus and first settled in the vicinity of Egypt. a former president of the Theosophical Society.." Col. "We have a right to more than suspect that India.India ." (source: Hinduism in the Space Age . British Lt. will appear to contest the purely Hindu origin of Egypt. then deprive India of the Sanskrit.by E. sent a colony of emigrants who carried their arts and high civilization into what is now known as Egypt.edited by Saryu Doshi p. a temple bas relief tending to prove Egyptian birth. sent a colony of emigrants who carried their arts and high civilization into what is now known to us as Egypt. who in 1862 discovered the source of the Nile in Lake Victoria. 1881 edition of The Theosophist (page 123) that: "We have a right to more than suspect that India." The Egyptians came. that language which formed all other. (image source: India and Egypt . The British explorer John Hanning Speke.71). no one. III. Henry Steel Olcott. Vedavyas p. unless to suggest that: "And who tells you that it was not Indian that copied Egypt? Any of you require that this affirmation shall be refuted by proofs leaving no room for even a shadow of doubt? "To be quite logical. the modern as well as the most trusted Egyptologer and . according to their records. eight thousand years ago. Colonel Wilford gave abundant evidence proving that ancient Indians colonized and settled in Egypt.117). Egypt Bes. the Manusmriti. 70 . acknowledged that the Egyptians themselves didn't have the slightest knowledge of where the Nile's source was. but show me in India a leaf of papyrus. 3rd century BC. Eusebius. translated numerous Vedic hymns. a columnar inscription. Heinrich Karl Brugsch agrees with this view and writes in his History of Egypt that. This French savant and author of La Bible Dans L'Inde says: "With such congruence before us. at the edge of Lake Victoria. For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor *** Max Muller had also observed that the mythology of Egyptians (and also that of the Greeks and Assyrians) is wholly founded on Vedic traditions. who explained in a March. eight thousand years ago. Kural.

leave us scarcely room for the smallest doubt that the old civilization of Egypt is the direct outcome of that the older India. wife of the chief of Punt . Regarding these as a branch of the Caucasian family having a close affinity with the Indo-Germanic races. according to their own records. (image source: India and Egypt . For many ages the Egyptians traded with their old homes. and the reference here made by them to the names of the Princes of Punt and its fauna and flora.. he insists that they 'migrated from India before historic memory. the sacred Punt. or Holyland. 123). 32). By the pictorial hieroglyphic inscription found on the walls of the temple of the Queen Haslitop at Der-el-babri.on the shore of the Indian Ocean. A representation of the physical characteristics of Ita. to find a new fatherland on the banks of the Nile. we see that this Punt can be no other than India.. especially the nonmenclature of various precious woods to be found but in India. in old Egyptian. and crossed that bridge of nations. the Isthus of Suez." (source: Theosophist for March 1881 p.' PaNuter.. Watch Lost / Submerged city of Dwaraka – The Learning Channel video *** . from a mysterious land." The Egyptians came.. the original home of their gods.who followed thence after their people who had abandoned them to the valley of the Nile. and now proved beyond any doubt to have been quite a different place from the Holyland of Sinai.antiquarian says on the origin of the old Egyptians.People of Punt carrying baskets of myrrh. led by Amon. Hor and Hathor. This region was the Egyptian 'Land of the Gods.edited by Saryu Doshi p.

in the second.Heeran p. .. spread the blessings of civilization over Hellas and her islands. its social institutions and laws. the proletaire – the menial almost a slave.. as a desire of gain would have formed a sufficient inducement. was colonized by the Hindus. Minos. and Yeman (the Eastern Arabia). they appear at the cradles of four different peoples to play the same role. kings. ingenious. and again ascending mighty stream that fertilizes a land of wonders. and last in the social scale. and enterprising as when. Nubia and Abyssinia. and again adhering to the sea-board of Oman.e. found the kingdom of Egypt. Louis Jacolliot has written: “Egypt received from India. traverse the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Sir William Jones says: "Ethiopia and Hindustan were possessed or colonized by the same extraordinary race. and placing the priest in the first rank. i. the liberation of the servile caste of He brews founds a new society and is named Moses. Moses – these four names overshadow the entire ancient world. Lastly. by Manes or Manu..” Manu – Manes – Minos – Moses A philosopher gives political and religious institutions to India and named Manu. and carried with them their industry. Hadramant. 426).By Edward Pococke p." (source: India in Greece ." "Whatever weight may be attached to Indian tradition and the express testimony of Eusebius confirming the report of migrations from the banks of the Indus into Egypt. they sail up the Red Sea. centuries subsequently to this colonization. and perhaps also their religious worship. Manes. then traders and artisans. active. 309). there is certainly nothing improbable in the event itself. Manu. 42). ages subsequent to this great movement. The Egyptian legislator receives the name of Manes. Banian families should have passed over Africa. These are the same stock that. which resulted in division of the people into four castes. Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeren (1760-1842) an Egyptologist has observed: "It is perfectly agreeable to Hindu manners that colonies from India. Ethiopia. as is universally admitted now.Edward Pococke (1604–1691) English Orientalist says: "At the mouths of the Indus dwell a seafaring people." (source: Asiatic Researches ..these people coast along the shores of Mekran.volume I p.. and history preserves his memory under the name of Minos. A Cretan visits Egypt to study the institutions with which he desired to endow his country." (source: Historical Researches .

Salon. Champollian and Weddington that the temples of upper Egypt are of greater antiquity than those of lower Egypt.." Two ancient civilizations. There has always been evidence to suggest indirect means of contact between these two. he agreed to show the Ptolemy's men a direct sea route to India across the Indian Ocean. "It is testified by Herdotus. in exchange for hospitality. Pythagoras. He was taken to Alexandria where. (source: Bible in India: Hindoo Origin of Hebrew and Christian Revelation p 60 . during the time of Ptolemy Euergetes an Indian sailor was found shipwrecked on the coast of the Red Sea. After a short hiatus renewed ventures were undertaken now bigger and powerful markets of Rome clamoring for goods. Bartholomew’s resound with Te Deum of exultation. the Vandois massacres.. There is evidence to suggest contact between the two from around BCE 3000 with the findings of Indian muslin. according to the testimony of those monuments. of Sacerdotalism. After about the third century BCE.67 and 125). Both have a form of caste system.. through desert.. in Judes. of Levitism. or St. the times of Brahminism. Surely they must have interacted despite the vast geographical distances involved. and Philostratus that the religion of Egypt proceeded from India...It is testified by Neibuhr. cotton and dhania (coriander) in Egypt. Valentia... Contact continued until Egypt came under Roman Law. Thus began a most profitable period of contact between these two nations. Plato. Although trade was the reason for exchange many ideas that influenced each other's art and iconography also passed back and forth. During Emperor Ashoka's reign ambassadors were exchanged. contemporaneous. Philostratus introduces the Brahman Iarchus by stating to his auditor that the Ethiopians were originally an Indian race compelled to leave India for the impurity contracted by slaying a certain monarch to whom they owed allegiance. in India.came from India. There is a large body of evidence which documents the close relationships between these two countries.. Both have contributed immensely to world culture in almost every field.that consequently the religion of Egypt..Let us beware. Both rivers support crocodiles and both people worship river gods and crocodiles and worship cows and have a wonderfully developed cosmogony. presents nothing to compare with the flames of Inquisition.The chronicles found in the temples of Abydos and Sais and which have . in Egypt. both growing along the banks of rivers which flow down from mountains.

The Boghz koi inscriptions of the 14th century BCE." There was intimate relations between India and Egypt. contain the names of such deities as Mitra. and steel. Gustav Oppert (1836-1908) born in Hamburg. This points to trade between India and Babylon. We are not completely in the dark on the question of Indian influence on Greece. Madras for 21 years. Germany. Government Oriental Manuscript Library. Hence there is no difficulty in regarding India as the source of the entirely new ideal of asceticism in the West. and girdles.been transmitted by Josephus. and the discovery of modeled heads of Indians at Memphis. He was the Telugu translator to the Government and Curator. Varuna. of about the fifth century B. The use of the Indian names for merchandise raises a strong presumption in favor of their Indian origin. Indian hunting dogs. there was a sea voyage to the East in the time of Soloman (c." . There are imported Indian iron. and coats of skin and mallow-colored cloth. According to the Jewish chronicles. It is pointed out that in the processions of Ptolemy Philadelphus (265-246 BCE) were to be seen Indian women.By Valentine Stache-Rosen. The word 'Sindhu' found in the library of Assurbanipal. and many articles were brought from there. Indra etc. and Eusebius. p. These names indicate that there was a very close contact between India and Western Asia before the 14th century BCE. and colored lac. Speaking of ascetic practices in the West. Indian cows. is used in the sense of Indian cotton. the broad cloth called monache and that called sagmatogene. Julius Africanus. Professor Sir Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) British archaeologist and Egyptologist.C.C. The Hebrew Karpas is derived from the Sanskrit Karpassa. shows that Indians were living there for trade. all testify that the religious system of the Egyptians proceeded from India. author of Egypt and Israel (1911) observes: "The presence of a large body of Indian troops in the Persian army in Greece in 480 B.8182)." "We have Hindu chronologies (besides those of the Puranas concerning the Yuga) which go still further back in time than the Tables of the Egyptian kings according to Manetho. One of the Jataka stories makes a reference to a trading voyage to the kingdom of Baveru and scholars have interpreted it as the Indian form of Babylon. and Indian spices. and Indian cotton cloth. 800 BCE). and a few muslins. (source: German Indologists: Biographies of Scholars in Indian Studies writing in German . In his book Oppert discussed the chief gods of the Aryans and he compares Aditi with Egyptian Isis and the Babylonian Ea. he taught Sanskrit and comparative linguistics at the Presidency College. shows how far west the Indian connections were carried. He wrote a book Die Gottheiten der Indier ("The Gods of the Indians") in 1905.

ancient references to embalming and afterlife in the area and the unmistakable 'bengali' accent in Egyptian (v becomes b.(source: Eastern Religions & Western Thought . the lotus is associated with Sri. of the first century BC in India. the blue lotus appears in the earliest wall paintings of the VI Dynasty at the pyramids of Saqqara and in all funerary stelae. and held in the hand as thought they possess the power to revitalize them: to bring the deceased . was accepted in Egypt under the Indian influence. From the earliest imagery in stone at Sanchi. theologically similar cat headed goddess Shashti. Indonesia is also geographically central to almost all ancient temple-building cultures." (source: Prehistoricsche Topfen aus Indien and Aegypten . Freiherr von Bissing (1873-1956) wrote: "The land of Punt in the Egyptian ethnological traditions has been identified by the scholars with the Malabar coast of Deccan. signifying the fertilizing powers of the sun as he travels through the universe. 150). Radhakrishnan p.By W. They are offered to the deceased. 211).By Friedrich Wilhelm. favored by keeping all bodily senses in abeyance. M Flinders Petrie p. Amenti.By S. and brought to pass by driving out the twelve inner torments by their antitheses. used to be imported into Egypt. grows out of the waters and opens its petals to be warmed by the sun: to be fertilized. since Egyptians had more in common culturally with East India . who is later invoked as Lakshmi. He feels that the doctrine of rebirth. Jains. From this land ebony. barring Europe Top of Page The Lotus and the River The flower so prolific in the imagery of both India and Egypt. Freiherr von Bissing. the goddess of wealth and abundance . etc. a becomes o or u (Eg Vena becomes Benu)] and Amenti should be Indonesia. the goddess of fertility. precious metals. The lotus is held in each hand by Surya. Chapter VIII ). Friedrich Wilhelm. (source: Religious Life in Egypt .being worshipped by Buddhists. The polynesians both in Madagascar and in Fiji seem to trace their origins to Indonesia. and Hindus alike. In Egypt. Puanit can be reached leading off the Red Sea (South-east direction) to India [specifically East India. balsam. and other rich woods. incense. The Egyptians similarly called their ancient land Puanit (land of Panis (poenis or traders) in Egyptian : Word corrupted to a meaningless Punt) and before that.

Carved out of blue lapis. are personified and worshipped. becomes a leitmotiv. the Ganga and the Nile. For. to explain the topographic conditions of the land. along with the golden falcon and the sun that are the symbols of the god Horus. the lotus appears among the funerary treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamen. 4). The lotus then. it is the seed of the plant which spells out the cycle of birth-decay-death and rebirth that forms the essential pattern of belief in these two riverine and agricultural societies. Lotus in full bloom. the rivers Saraswati and Ganga and the Nile have brought sustenance to the land and nourished these civilizations which have survived five millennia. Sanchi Kalaghat painting Gajalakshmi seated on Lotus. as . (image source: India and Egypt . through the rich deltaic region which is known as Aryavarta. Railing pillar in stupa. the earth to sky . Both these rivers.edited by Saryu Doshi p.back to life. a symbol most apt since its links the waters with the sun.signifying fertility and regeneration in both Egypt and India. the Ganga flows some two thousand five hundred kilometers. Watch Scientific verification of Vedic knowledge *** From its source in the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal. They provide the dramatic backdrop against which myths and indeed created. Puranic myths recount the divine origins of Ganga. in the most densely populated area of India. In India and Egypt.

on to the Himalayas. the gandharvas and kinnaras (celestial beings). . Besides this cleft are carved the serpentine forms of the naga devatas (snake divinities).all of them rejoicing in this great event where the divine rive is celebrated as the savior of all mankind.she fell from heaven to earth in response to penance performed by the sage Bhagiratha: to bring the powers of water to an earth parched for over a thousand years. described in the myth as tapas. A natural cleft in the rock allows the rain water to pour down in great torrents . the sun and the moon. to flow back into the ocean. and then falling back to earth as the divine river. At the seventh century seaport of Mahabalipuram in south India.as though this were the descent of a mighty river. In this myth one senses an acute awareness of the ecological balance which needs to be maintained: of the vapors of the sea rising to the sky through heat. the hunters and animals of the forest . to flow down through the matted locks of Lord Shiva. this epic theme is entirely carved out of a granite rock spanning almost fifty feet. Here is a spectacular instance of the way in which myth is used to relate man to the environment.


holding a pair of blue lotus stalks in his hands. The main presiding deity of the Egyptian pantheon is Osiris. like Yama. but with one female breast to symbolize his role as nourisher . so in Egypt.edited by Saryu Doshi p. Unlike the Ganga.releasing the waters each year to provide sustenance to mankind.River Goddess Ganga. suspended from the god's right arm is the ankh. Egypt. Rameshvara Caves. Ellora. god of the Nile. whose story of life. A sandstone relief from the temple of Rameses II at Abydos depicts Hapi. Temple of Abydos. the symbol of life. . god of the River Nile.9). *** As in India. the river is personified in human form. the blue god of the Nile is male. god of the dead. 8 . (image source: India and Egypt . Hapi. death and regeneration has been transmitted to us in great detail by Plutarch.

" says Speake. and the map correctly mentioned another native name. Speke wrote that to some Indian Pundits (Hindu scholars) the Nile was known as Nila. secured his best information from a map reconstructed out of Puranas.W. in solving the mystery which enshrouded the source of their holy river. the leader of the Nile expedition. The Puranas have a remarkable connection with one of the most important discoveries of the 19th century. *** The Puranas." (source: Periplus of the Erythrean Sea . "concerning the hydrography of these regions. from a great lake in Chandristhan. 216. The Hindi word for cow means also "ray of illumination." and in Egyptian lore a cow is sometimes depicted as the source of light in the sky.Some extraordinary parallels with the Osirian myth are found among the myths and images of India. "All our previous information. Nila means blue and Kaali means dark – both apt descriptions for the Nile near its source. when planning his discovery of the source of the Nile. Amara. This went against the conventional wisdom. 77. pp. "Country of the Moon. however. Wilford.H. The Hindu traders had a firm basis to stand upon through their intercourse with the Abyssinians. Nile and Lake Amara Significant also is the fact that Lieutenant Speake. were so many hypothetical humbugs. insisted that the real source was a much large lake that lay to the north. John Hanning Speke (1827-1864) – Speke was commissioned in the British Indian Army in 1844 – made the discovery that Lake Victoria was the source of the River Nile in Africa. in Asiatic Researches. and Somagiri therefore are none other than the fabled Mountains of the Moon in Central Africa! The Pundit must have . having the same meaning. originated with the ancient Hindus. Schoff p. applied to the district bordering Lake Victoria Nyanza. had identified Lake Tangyanika as the source. ‘Soma’ in Sanskrit stands for moon and ‘giri’ means peak. (Journal. III). Sir Richard Burton. These are mentioned in several Puranas including the Bhavishaya. for Lake Victoria was unknown at the time. 27." through Cusha-dvipa. In 1858. Speke. Following this advice Speke went on to discover Victoria. It traced the course of the river. Lord Vishnu lied recumbent on the bed of the ocean asleep. as indeed Osiris lied prostate and dead on a bier. following upon the advice of a Benares (Varansi) Pundit. The name was from the native Unya-muezi. who disseminated their knowledge with a view to be famous for their long-sightedness. and also as Kaali. 229-230). the "Great Krishna. The Pundit had also told him that the real source were twin peaks as Somagiri." which it gave the correct position in relation to the Zanzibar islands. who told it to the priests of the Nile. and all these busy Egyptian geographers.

teak. which is the name of a country at the north-east corner of the Victoria N'yanza. Hindus brought with them apes. got their muslin from India. rice." It is generally assumed that internationalism or cosmopolitism is a very recent phenomenon in human affairs.htm). cedar. As it exemplifies. cotton. The Assyrians also. He published his book Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile in 1863. Since the days of Mohenjo daro culture. As early as about 3000 B.C. monkeys. and wool producing plants have been some of the earliest gifts of Hindu merchants to the world. As a matter of fact.C. 60 . From the tenth to the sixth century B. They were in touch with the Pharaohs of Egypt. Colonel Rigby now gave me a most interesting paper. however. . about the Nile and the Mountains of the Moon.capitalnet. shows clearly. (source: Nostradamus and Beyond – N S Rajaram p. peacocks. spices. The mummies of the Egyptians were wrapped in muslin which was imported from India.C. I would fain draw the attention of the reader of my travels to the volume of the "Asiatic Researches" in which it was published. In fact. sandal-wood. It was through this Indo-Mesopotamian trade that the Athenians of the sixth century B. the Assyro-Babylonian trade of the Hindus seems to have been very brisk. the supposition I formerly arrived at concerning the Mountains of the Moon being associated with the country of the Moon.67). from the "Purans" of the Ancient Hindus. with a map attached to it. elephants. Top of Page Cultural Contacts with Egypt All through the ages the peoples of India have had active intercourse with the other peoples of the world. It is also believed that the textile craftsmen of Egypt dyed their cloth with Hindu indigo. Karnak and Memphis. or to the Land of Punt. Hindu ships brought the Indian commodities to the Arabian ports. Hindu trade gave to the land of the Nile ivory. the Rome of Western Asia. I think. It is remarkable that the Hindus have christened the source of the Nile Amara.com/~jcbyers/Speke/nile-chap01. came to know of rice and peacocks. and from there these were transported to Luxor. the Hindus have never lived in an alleged "splendid isolation. culture has ever been international. This.e. tamarind-wood. and other articles to Babylon. The dawn of human civilization finds the Hindus as captains of industry and entrepreneurs of commerce. ivory. to a certain extent. the Hindus supplied the Chaldean city of Ur on the Euphrates with teakwood. like the Egyptians. tigers. It was written by Lieutenant Wilford. (source: Journal of the Discovery of The Source of the Nile http:/www.known all this. Hindu commerce with the land of the Euphrates was more intimate and direct. that the ancient Hindus must have had some kind of communication with both the northern and southern ends of the Victoria N'yanza. i. gold. vegetable "wool". and other characteristic Indian plants and animals.

(India) vanadevata's (wood spirit) hand issuing from tree trunk offering water - (Egypt) deceased drinking water offered by tree divinity (image source: India and Egypt - edited by Saryu Doshi p. 69). ***

This expansion of Hindu activity influenced the literature of the time, e.g. the Vedas and Jatakas. A cylinder seal of about 2,000 B.C. bearing cuneiform inscriptions and images of Chaldean deities have been unearthed in Central India. In Southern India has been found a Babylonian sarcophagus. Hindu trade with the Hebrews also was considerable. Soloman (1015 B.C), King of Judaea, was a great internationalist. In order to promote the trade of his land he set up a port at the head of the right arm of the Red Sea. He made his race the medium of intercourse between Phoenicians and Hindus. The port of Ophir (in Southern India) is famous in Hebrew literature for its trade in gold under Soloman. The Books of Genesis, Kings and Ezekiel indicate the nature and amount of Hindu contact with Asia Minor. It is held by Biblical scholars that the stones in the breast plate of the high priest may have come from India. The Hindus supplied also the demand of Syria for ivory and ebony. The Hebrew word, tuki (peacock), is derived from Tamil (South Indian) tokei, and ahalin (aloe) from aghil. Top of Page

The Sun King and Dasharatha Subhash Kak has observed: "A sad consequence of the racist historiography of the 19th century Indologists and their successors is the neglect of India's interaction with Africa. Cyril A Hromnik's Indo-Africa : towards a new understanding of the history of subSaharan Africa (1981) is the only book on the Indian contribution to the history of subSaharan Africa that I am aware of, but it is just an exploratory study. The Sun King and Dasharatha - Two historical persons with Indic connections -- one from North Mesopotamia and the other from Egypt. The Sun King Akhenaten of Egypt (ruled 1352-1336 BC according to the mainstream view) was the son-in-law to Dasharatha, the Mitanni king of North Syria, through the queen, Kiya. (The name Dasharatha is spelled Tushratta in the Hittite cuneiform script, which does not distinguish between 'd' and 't' very well. Some have suggested that the Sanskrit original is Tvesharatha, “having splendid chariots.”) Letters exchanged between Akhenaten and Dasharatha have been found in Amarna in Egypt and other evidence comes from the tombs of the period that have been discovered in excellent condition. The Mitanni, who worshiped Vedic gods, belonged to an Indic kingdom that was connected by marriage across several generations to the Egyptian 18th dynasty to which Akhenaten belonged. The first Mitanni king was Sutarna I (“good sun”). He was followed by Paratarna I (“great sun”), Parashukshatra (“ruler with axe”), Saukshatra (“son of Sukshatra, the good ruler”), Paratarna II, Artatama or Ritadhama (“abiding in cosmic law”), Sutarna II, Dasharatha, and finally Mativaja (Matiwazza, “whose wealth is prayer”) during whose lifetime the Mitanni state appears to have become a vassal to Assyria.

But how could an Indic kingdom be so far from India, near Egypt? After catastrophic earthquakes dried up the Sarasvati river around 1900 BC, many groups of Indic people started moving West. We see Kassites, a somewhat shadowy aristocracy with Indic names and worshiping Surya and the Maruts, in Western Iran about 1800 BC. They captured power in Babylon in 1600 BC, which they were to rule for over 500 years. The Mitanni ruled northern Mesopotamia (including Syria) for about 300 years, starting 1600 BC, out of their capital of Vasukhani. (For Mitanni names, I give standard Sanskrit spellings rather than the form that we find in inscriptions in the inadequate cuneiform script, such as Wassukkani for Vasukhani, “a mine of wealth.”) Their warriors were called marya, which is the proper Sanskrit term for it. In a treaty between the Hittites and the Mitanni, Indic deities Mitra, Varuna, Indra, and Nasatya (Ashvins) are invoked. A text by a Mitannian named Kikkuli uses words such as aika (eka, one), tera (tri, three), panza (pancha, five), satta (sapta, seven), na (nava, nine), vartana (vartana, round). Another text has babru (babhru, brown), parita (palita, grey), and pinkara (pingala, red). Their chief festival was the celebration of vishuva (solstice) very much like in India. It is not only the kings who had Sanskrit names; a large number of other Sanskrit names have been unearthed in the records from the area. The Vedic presence via the Mitanni in Egypt and the Near East occurs several centuries before the exodus of the Jews. This presence is sure to have left its mark in various customs, traditions, and beliefs. It may be that this encounter explains uncanny similarities in mythology and ritual, such as circumambulation around a rock or the use of a rosary of 108 beads. (source: The Sun King and Dasharatha - By Subhash Kak sulekha.com). The Sphinxes of India In Indian art and culture the existence and presence of the sphinx as a mythological being has so far gone unnoticed and unrecognized. But through many years of research I have found that the sphinx plays a significant role in the arts and traditions of many temples in India. And not only in the art, but also in ritual and legend. (source: The Sphinxes of India - By Raja Deekshitar - Swaveda.com). *** India's Contact with the West H. R. Hall writes in his book, The Ancient History of the Near East (London, 1913, p. 74): “There is no doubt that the Indus must have been one of the oldest centers of human civilization, and it seems natural to consider that the strange non-Semitic and non-Aryan people who came from the east to civilize the west was of Indian origin, particularly when we see to what point the Sumerians looked like Indians in appearance.”

. The center of sea trade between India and the Mediterranean appears to have been south of Arabia and Socotra (probably the Egyptian Pas-enka). Maritime communications and trading from the mouths of the Indus to the south of Arabia and as far as the Egyptians coast – very important during the early period of Egypt – had always existed. the Greek Dioscorida. starting that they had come from the East by sea. The fact that the Egyptians had built a canal from the Nile to the Red Sea implies a considerable volume of trade toward the south and east. called Sukhadara dvipa (the Happy Isle) by the Indians. from the land of “Punt”.The Egyptians attributed an eastern origin to their culture.

The prophet Ezekiel relates that their trading expeditions reached as far as the Phoenician city of Tyre. written in the first century tells of the founding of the city of Endaemon. the Minas.” Between the 6th and the first millennium B. it received the cargoes from both countries. Plato. whom Strabo calls Minaeans.” The Periplus indicates that Endaemon had been founded by Indian merchants. " The land of Punt in the Egyptian ethnological traditions has been identified by the scholars with the Malabar coast of Deccan.By the pictorial hieroglyphic inscription found on the walls of the temple of the Queen Haslitop at Der-el-babri." (image source: Bold Voyages and Great Explorers: The Quest for India . relations between India and the Near East are evident. some Asians came to Egypt. in the equatorial regions. towards the south. under the name of Makheshvara. Indian seals have been found in Bahrain and in Mesopotamia in pre-Sargonic levels (2500 B.2. According to Sergi. “Garamantes” can be connected to Karama “city in Dravidian). Pythagoras. (The Hesperians” are the ancient inhabitants of Spain.By Bjorn Landstrom).. “at the beginning of history. first from the south. St.E).” while according to Haddon.128): “They came in ancient times from the River Indus. and Philostratus that the religion of Egypt proceeded from India. and there are archaeological indications of sea trade with India in the . the Garamantes in Tripolitania. and other rich woods. From this land ebony. and “the Indians” refers to the inhabitants of Ethiopia. Precious stones – amazonite – coming from Nilgiri in southern India have been found at Ur prior to the Jemder Nasr period (3000 B. together with its black stone as an emblem of the god Shiva. incense. and the Indians in the east. and when they did not dare to sail from Egypt to the ports across the ocean (those of India).C. Isidore made a summary in his Encyclopedia of knowledge derived from ancient Greek and Latin authors. used to be imported into Egypt. or modern Aden: “In the early days of the city when the voyage was not yet made from India to Egypt. who were also mistaken in ancient literature for the inhabitants of India. *** The geographical sections of the Puranas (Ancient Chronicles of India) mentions Mecca among the holy places. etc.” In the seventh century. Traces of Indian cotton have been found. They became three nations: the Hesperians to the west. “the Egyptians and all other Hamitic peoples came out of Asia. eventually bringing with them bronze and probably also the plough and wheat. He also speaks of “Ethiopians” in his Etymologiarium (IX. precious metals. many of whose works have now disappeared.E).C. "It is testified by Herdotus. but all came together at this place.C. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. Pliny speaks of the Minaeans as the most ancient of trading peoples and mentions relations between the Minaeans and King Minos of Crete. balsam.E. we see that this Punt can be no other than India. established themselves in Egypt between the Nile and the sea. Salon.

Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeran says: "In point of fact that Zind is derived from the Sanskrit. and trade of the Carthaginians. though in fragments only. 220). Top of Page The Persian Connection F.Larsa period (2170 to 1950 B. The beams of the Temple of the Moon. H. 82-82).20). and Egyptians ." (source: Science of Language .By Max Muller p. Max Muller speaks of the colonization of Persia by the Hindus. Sir William Jones writes: "I was not a little surprised to find that out of words in Du Perron's Zind Dictionary. he says: "But it was more faithfully preserved by the Zoroastrians. Heeren Volume II p. . and a passage to have descended from the Hindus of the second or warrior caste.C." (source: Sir William Jones' Works Volume I p. 242-253). He again says: "The Zoroastrians were a colony from Northern India.) were of teak and cedarwood coming from Malabar in southern India.By A. at Ur of the Chaldees. who migrated from India to the North-west and whose religion has been preserved to us in the Zind Avesta. Ethiopians. (source: A Brief History of India .E. and those of the palace of Nebuchadnezzar (6th century B. Discussing the word 'Arya'.E). intercourse." (source: Historical researches into the politics. 12 .C.By Alain Danielou p. six or seven were pure Sanskrit.

third son of the patriarch. had five sons. 288). It is certain. sacrificial rites. compares it with Brahminism. and cosmographical opinions that occur both in the Vedic and Avasta writings. he continues: "These facts throw some light upon the age which that great religious struggle took place. domestic rites. It must have occurred when Indra was the chief god of Hinduism. Nila. *** Mr Haug. that it took place before the Mahabharata. Regarding three the Puranas are silent. founder . religious observances. Col James Tod writes: "Ujamada. there are sufficient traces to be discovered that the Zoroastrian religion arose out of a vital struggle against a certain form of Brahminical religion had assumed at a certain early period. and points out the originally-close connection between Brahminical and the Zoroastrian religions.By Haug p." (source: Essays on the Parsees .solar boat (image source: India and Egypt . in an interesting essay on the origin of Zoroastrian religion. 80-81). After comparing names of divine beings. he says: "In the Vedas as well as in the older portions of the Zind-Avesta (see the Gathas). by his wife. who spread their branches on both sides of the Indus.(India) A terracotta solar plaque illustrating solar boat (Egypt) . the consequence of which was the entire separation of the Ancient Iranians from the Brahmins and the foundation of the Zoroastrian religion. After contrasting the names of the Hindu gods and the Zoroastrian deities. which implies their migration to distant regions. however. Menu and Madai.edited by Saryu Doshi p. Is it possible that they might be the origin of the Medes? These Medes are descendants of Yayat. customs and observances. names and legends of heroes. It is not easy to acertain when the Hindu colonization of Persia took place.

the Prophet of the Ancient Persians." The Assyrians.C. and was therefore his contemporary.C. the patronymic of the branch of Bajaswa. p. is from Aja 'a goat'. Sakas (Scythians). 2200 and BC 2000. Apart from the passage in Manu. He ruled from Cambodia to Greece. others five thousand years before the Trojan War. (source: The Power of India . 218). states that Dravidas. there is another argument to support it.. Count Bjornstjerna writes: "The Chaldeans. says that he lived about six hundred years before the Trojan war (which took place about 1800 BC).Afghanistan and Kashmir .being to the east of Persia. It is. (Manusmriti is much older than Mahabharata) describing the origin of the Ancient Persians. Hurmuzd of God tells Zapetman (Zoroaster)" "I have given to man an excellent and fertile country." (source: Hindu Raj in the World . the Babylonian historian. as well as highland compared to the Persian planes. clear that the Hindu Colonization of Persia took place anterior to the Great War. The Theogony of the Hindoos with their systems of Philosophy and Cosmogony says: "The country alluded to above from which the Persians are said to have come can be no other than then the north-west part of Ancient India . This Boal or Bali was a great King of India in ancient times. Pahlavas (Persians). the earliest Greek writer. was of Japhet's line. too were of Hindu origin.. Zoroaster." (source: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan: or the Central and Western Rajput States of India ISBN 8120612892 Volume I. are sprung from Kshatriyas . Professor Maurice says: "Bali. Kambojas (Tibetans.the second highest caste who forgot their religion and went astray. 1-3). XXX. Top of Page .of the Medes. makes him a king of the Babylon between B." "when Jamshed (the leader of the emigrating nation). This land lies to the east (of Persia) where the stars rise every evening. The Assyrian Mede in Scripture is typified by the goat. 14). Nobody is able to give such a one. came from the highland in the east to the plain. 470). In the first chapter (Fargard) of the part which bears the name Vendidad of their sacred book (which is also their most ancient book).By Michael Pym p. Aristotle and Eudoxus place his era as much as six thousand years before Plato. Berosus. and Sinas (Chinese).was the puissant sovereign of a mighty empire extending over the vast continent of India. 88-92). The code of Manu.By Krishan Lal Jain p." Count Magnus Fredrik Ferdinand Bjornstjerna (1779-1847) author of the book. the Babylonians and the inhabitants of Colchis derived their civilization from India. was born from the emigrants from India had settled in Persia long enough to have become a separate nation. Burmese). who mentions Zoroaster. India's great law book." The Chaldeans were originally migrators from India. Aia Mede. however. Vyasa held a grand religious discussion with Zoroaster at Balkh in Turkistan. Yavanas (Greeks). Siamese. Zanthus of Lydia (B. (see Pliny: Historia Naturalis. there were neither domestic animals nor wild nor men. Their first king was Bali Boal or Bel.

There can be little doubts that official embassies were exchanged between the Mauryan court and that of Ptolemy II. G.Egypt Pharaonic Age . deep-rooted mysticism. between the concept of the Egyptian maat and the Vedic rita . it is nevertheless intriguing to note the remarkable parallels which go as far back as the second millennium BC. in connection with the expansion of his policy of the propagation of the Law of Righteousness (dharma). In the Ashokan records of Ptolemy II is referred to as Turamaya. 92). According to both the Egyptian and Indian traditions. Emperor Ashoka refers to his contacts with Ptolemy II Philadelphus of Egypt (285-246 BC). Both are recited at the time of death. Other interesting points of similarity between the two ancient cultures were the deification of the forces of nature.Links to Ancient Egypt Difficult as it is to pin point exactly when communication between Egypt and India commenced. preserved in the Mauryan Emperor Ashok's thirteenth rock edict. faith in magical chants. Their gods and goddesses are also similar. Pliny names the Egyptian ambassador of Ptolemy II to India as Dionysius. however. and an emphasis on symbolic expression. "The Book of Dead" and Garuda Purana are similar. it was the principal duty of the king to establish order in place of disorder or chaos. In it. C. Forms of the Djed column .By H.the divine order of nature or creation. The brightest evidence of India's direct relations with Egypt is. if not earlier. (source: Intercourse between India and the Western World . There is a close proximity between Hindu mythology and Egyptian mythology and rituals. as opposed to the chaos of falsehood. inscribed in the early decades of the third century B. Rawlinson p.

A Hellenistic writer. Watch Scientific verification of Vedic knowledge *** Ashoka. in his second rock edict. refers to the philanthropic activities undertaken by himself. India.edited by Saryu Doshi p. must have functioned as one of many intermediary ports between Egypt and India. Lotus pillar surmounted with lion heads Egypt. it is stated that the Egyptian ruler Ptolemy IV. He records that he had made arrangements for the medical treatment of men and animals in the territories of his own empire as well as in the region ruled by Antiochus Theos II of Syria (260-246 BC) and its neighboring kingdoms. which also included Egypt. Pharanoic Age. Philopator. 66). lined a part of his yacht with Indian stones. (image source: India and Egypt . Socotra. (source: India and Egypt: Influences and Interactions . The presence of Indians in Egypt in the third century BC has been attested by Athenaeus who observes that the processions of Ptolemy II Philadelphus also included women. cows. and it is believed that Indian traders reached the land of the Pharaohs. Interestingly. With the growth of India's links with the West. . the learned tutor of Ptolemy Soter II informs one about a colony of Indians on the island close to the mouth of the Red Sea. which in Sanskrit would be Sukhottara-dvipa (island of great joy). and hunting dogs from India.edited by Saryu Doshi). Agatharchides.Ashokan pillar with lion capital. named Socotra. there was brisk communication in the area of trade with the Hellenistic world including Egypt.

establishes that the region must have been known to our forefathers. including wine from the Greek island of Kos and fine tableware. Local Ababda nomads dig in one of the streets in Berenike. Col. From Berenike. the discoverer of the source of Nile. Nile was clearly a Sanskrit word and secondly the Hindus were familiar with the source of the river Nile. the Zang of Arab and Persian geographers. Among their finds at the site near Egypt's border with Sudan: more than 16 pounds (7 kilograms) of black peppercorns.D. The Arabs probably borrowed the name from Puranas. Musafar Ali. they could have moved by ship through the rest of the Roman world. Kakasaheb Kalelkar maintains that the very fact that the Puranas mention Miair. John Speke. (source: cnn. notes that Salmalidwipa is the tropical part of Africa bordering. According to Col. the ancient Egypt. John Speke. she said. the ancient Hindus must have had some kind of communication with both the Northern and .com) Top of Page India’s cultural links with Africa since Ancient times by Medha Vishwas Gadre India had established contacts with Africa long before the discovery of Monsoon winds by hippalus in 43 a. The region between the central lake and east of Africa (part of Tanzania) is referred to as ‘Chandrastan’ and river Nile as Krishna in the Puranas. Sankha-Dwipa signifies the Island of Shells. which they called Amar (Immortal) and the mountain of the Moon Rwenzore near the source of the Nile. where they were shipped by boat to the Mediterranean port of Alexandria. Dr. which holds an array of artifacts that scientists say reveals an "impressive" sea trade between the Roman Empire and India. According to the Arab geographers the term Zangistan from which the term Zanzibar or Zang Coast is derived. The ancient Hindus knew of great sweet water Lake Victoria. The Hindus have accurate knowledge of many East African localities. the Harina of Puranas and the Sankhdwipa of some other writers. the Indian Ocean in the West. covers the whole of the eastern part of the Africa. Ships would sail between Berenike and India during the summer. Wendrich said. Zang is obviously equivalent to the Sanskrit word ‘Sankh’. when monsoon winds were strongest. including fabrics.Historians have long known that Egypt and India traded by land and sea during the Roman era. the largest stash of the prized Indian spice ever recovered from a Roman archaeological site. known to the Muslims. by actual discovery of Kushadwipa has confirmed the Puranic Statement regarding the source of Nile. This Indian cotton textile was excavated from a Roman trash dump in the ancient Egyptian town of Berenike. It included Madagascar. S. There are references to the geography of Africa in Puranas. camel caravans probably carried the goods 240 miles (386 kilometers) west to the Nile. Mediterranean goods. spices and wine. From there. moved in the opposite direction. in part because of texts detailing the commercial exchange of luxury goods.

the goddess Neith was honored in the form of shield on which two crossed arrow were nailed. their enemy. Nandi to Apis and Hanuman to Cynocephalus. snake and river was common. The use of Cowrie was brought from Maldive Islands. itself a great collecting center for ivory from various regions.” According to another authority “the Indian who traded with Egypt used Cowrie shells for money. the goddess Nut as Bubastis a cat and goddess Buto a Serpent. Indian gods Shiva. The port of Adulis by the time of Periplus had become a meeting point for the maritime trade and served as an outlet for Axum. El Manswori. Vishnu.C. was a sacred bull of Memphis. a lotus flower. has pointed out that both in India and Egypt. who says that Indian women. This system dated as far as 28th B. Leakey. Historical conclusions from a study of Indo African language. establishing the possibility of very old trade contacts between India and Africa. sun. Indian merchants with Brahmi and Kharoshti alphabet were moving about. These tusks were sent by boat to India. the Egyptian deities were represented in animal forms. The saloon of Ptolemy yacht was lined with Indian Memphis may indicate that the existence of and Indian settlement and a ptolemic grave stone have been excavated bearing signs of the wheel and trident. Persia and the Land of Himyariteis. The ancient kingdom of Ethiopia which evolved around the capital Axum.Southern ends of Victoria Nyanza. the god Neferterm. hunting dogs. The Ethiopians were allowed to control trade in gold. incense. The most famous of these sacred animals. The goddess Plator was a cow. however. Both in India and Egypt the lotus flower too was held sacred. Shiva! Brisk trade led to Indian settlement to Egypt and Egyptian colonies in India. According to Mrs. Thoth an Ibis. That contact between India and Egypt had become closer the period is confirmed by Athenaeus.D. Later Cosmos confirmed that there is a multitude of elephants with large tusks from Ethiopia. “Cowrie shells from Maldive Islands were found in an Iron Age settlement near Nakuru in the Kenya Highlands. Sebek a Crocodile. The importance of India’s trade relations with Axumite Empire was brought to the light by the discovery of 103 Kushana Gold Coins around 230 A. The infant deity Horus is represented in Indian postures seated on lotus. cows and spices carried on camels. following the same traders who had preceded them. contained the legends in Prakrit and Kharoshti script as well as Greek. Apis whom the Egyptians conceived to be the servant of god Ptolah. ivory and also products imported from Indian Ocean. The Roman Emperor Justinian had tried to persuade the Ethiopians to directly purchase the silk from India and sell it to the Romans in order to break the monopoly of Persians. Horus a Falcon. in Ethiopia as well as Egypt from the early pre-Christian centuries with vowel . figured in the procession of Ptolemy. Brahman are linked to the solar of Egypt as the Ishwara to the Orisis. developed a written language. Lilias Homburger in his paper says. Ge’ez providing 200 years of documentation. The Brahmi and Kharoshti script probably had an influence on the Auximite script. Nandi. Mostly. An Egyptians scholar. The god Khnum was Ram. worship of cow. the first dynastic Egyptians came from Indus Valley. near the Indian Coast. The Indian silk was highly prized in the region than traditional cotton.

for their dearest friends conduct them to their death more readily than do any of the rest of mankind conduct their fellow-citizens when they are going a very long journey. ‘‘Are we not. the charismatic leader rose again. for these good men do but unwillingly undergo the time of life. AD 74. an evocation of the Hindu rite of passage. nor drives them upon it. but look upon the others as happy persons. They would all have to die. kill each other. indications from India. so firmly and certainly do they believe that souls converse with one another [in the other world]. (source: Afro-Hindu Vision ICCS Nagpur p 84 . the historian Josephus was to later record. when no misfortune presses them to it. Eleazer’s listeners demurred. ashamed to have lower notions than the Indians? and by our own cowardice to lay a base reproach upon the laws of our country. They recite the vowels in approximately the same order as is customary in Sanskrit. let us regard those Indians who profess the exercise of philosophy.91). ought to become an example to others of our readiness to die. and nobody hinders them. Sensing their fear. Eleazer’s pulsating tour de force was not about Israel. ‘‘ashamed to have lower notions than the Indians? And by our own cowardice?’’ "We.signs. to deliver a final exhortation. rose to address his people. affixed to the Kharoshti and Brahmi consonants could in this way brought to the cognizance of the Ethiopians who must have learnt their system of vowels. the Jewish faith and the barbarians at the gate. It was. and make haste to let their souls loose from their bodies. nay. but every one thinks them happy men. therefore. of seeing death in the flesh as just another milestone on the soul’s immortal journey. as so soon to be made partakers of the immortal order of beings. which are so much desired and imitated by all mankind?" . April). and look upon it as a necessary servitude. So when these men have heard all such commands that were to be given them. in order to their getting their soul a separation from the body in the greatest purity. who have been brought up in a discipline of our own. that they tell other men beforehand that they are about to depart. these have such a desire of a life of immortality. and. therefore.’’ Eleazer asked. He had a simple message: There would be no surrender. if we do stand in need of foreigners to support us in this matter. who at the same time weep on their own account. Top of Page Masada and Ancient India On the 15th of Xanthicus (roughly. Are not we. from which they were also influenced in other respects. and gives them letters to be carried to their familiar friends [that are dead]. they die in the midst of hymns of commendations made to them. with the last man killing himself. Yet. they deliver their body to the fire. the son of Judah the Galilean and leader of a Jewish community besieged by invading Romans in their rock fortress of Masada. Eleazer ben Yair.

Book VII. the Chinese. There are strong indications showing that Egypt in remote antiquity derived her civilization from India.indianexpress. Hindu Superiority . While there can be little doubt that trade occupied a central position in the relations between India and Egypt through the ages.. this is the result.edited by Saryu Doshi 2.By Satyavrata R. Patel ASIN 0896844536 p. Sumer.By Ashok Malik . it must be remembered that commercial transactions brought in their wake intellectual and cultural exchanges. Babylon. Assyria.For more refer to Wars of the Jews . India in Greece .volume I p. the Phoenicians. Greeks. *** Books used for this chapter 1.com and Josephus: Wars of the Jews. that they had an immemorial affinity with the old Persians. (source: The Soul of India . The earliest Ethiopian tradition says that they came from a land situated near the mouth of the Indus. India and Egypt: Influences and Interactions .By Satyavrata R. the Scythians. section vii). Japanese. which it would require volumes to expand and illustrate. rejected or modified the impulse from India. and Tuscans. Top of Page Conclusion Sir William Jones says: "Of the cursory observations on the Hindus.By Krishan Lal Jain 4. 1-4). Empire of the Soul: Some Journeys in India .By Flavius Josephus (source: Hail Mogambo . The extensive maritime activities of India in the remotest time led to her earliest contacts with Egypt. Patel *** . The Soul of India .By Paul William Roberts 3. or Goths.Har Bilas Sarda 6. and Peruvians. Judea and many other countries. Chapter VIII. Hindu Raj in the World . 426). and Celts. Those who went from India must have mixed themselves with the natives of the land and the indigenous culture absorbed.by Edward Pococke 5." (source: Asiatic Researches . Ethiopians and Egyptians. Eusebius and Philostratus believe that Indians first colonized Abyssinia and gradually descended to Egypt watering her civilization.

ca/1001/Speke/nile.htm Top of Page Did You Know? The Astronomical Code of the RgVeda The Rigveda speaks of fire altars symbolizing the Vedic system of knowledge. visit these sites: Trade in and metal sources for the Indian Bronze Age Civilization http://www.wollamshram. Astronomy is central to the understanding of the Indian civilization. as it is to that of other ancient civilizations. Satapatha Brahmana and other early texts. these notions soon got frozen and when science itself changed. are described in great detail in the Taittirya Samhita.org/saraswati/trade1. Most dismissed the idea of an underlying unity because such an idea had not yet arrived in physics. there was no corresponding revolution in the academic Vedic exegesis.org/hindu_history/sarasvati/dictionary/8095TO.For more links between India and Egypt. The fire altars built of bricks in elaborate designs.htm http://www. the governing metaphor being that of a mechanistic physics.hindunet.http://www. Unfortunately.HTM India-Egypt Connections Could Be Much More Than Anyone Can Think Of Journal of the Discovery of the Nile . The nineteenth century Indologists were influenced by attitudes that were inimical to the spirit of free inquiry. That astronomy played a very central role in Vedic cultures is apparent from the innumerable references to naksatras and devas (heavenly bodies) in the earliest texts and the continuing cycle of ceremonies related to the calendar. There exists a scientific basis to the Vedic fire ritual. .hindunet. It is generally accepted that the geometric constructions of the fire altars represent the earliest Indian mathematics and geometry. There were those who wished to fit the Vedic chronology within the straitjacket of biblical chronology and this colored their interpretations.

615 . The astronomical references in the Vedic literature cannot be brushed aside any longer. It appears that the Indic element was intrusive into South-western Asia starting about the beginning of the second millennium. many Rgvedic hymns turn out to have allusions to astronomical phenomena. In particular. (source: Astronomical Code of the Rig Veda .C. He has discovered a long-lost astronomy of the Vedic texts which allows us to establish a chronology of that period with reasonable certainty.E. It is generally accepted that the references to the Vedic gods Mitra. can be understood within an astronomical framework. considered paradoxical or unclear. C Pande p. The recognition of the central role of astronomy in the Vedic world view has great significance for the interpretation of the Vedic literature. Varuna. If this intrusion was triggered by the collapse of the Harappan economy caused by the desiccation of the Saraswati river around 1900 B. This discovery has the greatest implications for the understanding of ancient science and the chronology of the ancient world. refers to the Indo-Aryan rather than the Iranians.The Astronomical Code presents a long forgotten code at the basis of the altars and the organization of the Vedic books. He shows why the Rigveda should be prior to 2000 BC and is perhaps much more older and how the earliest astronomy and mathematics arose in India.C. E. Watch Scientific verification of Vedic knowledge (For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor). Author Subhash Kak presents an astronomical key to unlock the secrets of the Rigveda.By Subhash Kak in The Dawn of Indian Civilization up to 600 BC .C.edited by G. This chronology has the greatest significance in our understanding of ancient India and its civilization. . Indra and the Nasatyas in the Hittite-Mitanni treaty of the second millennium B.620). These references can be helpful in constructing a chronology of the Vedic era. One might speculate that the Vedic astronomy was taken over by the Babylonians and it was built upon further during the flowering that took place there starting around 700 B.By Subhash Kak and Astronomy and Its Role in Vedic Culture . Many hymns.E. then one can see how this intrusion was accompanied by a transmission of the astronomy of the fire altars and the planetary period values of the Rgveda.

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