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TWO SYSTEMS OF SYMBOLIC WRITING THE INDUS SCRIPT AND THE EASTER ISLAND SCRIPT 4th revised edition 2012 © 2012 by Verlag Egbert Richter, 27726 Worpswede All rights reserved ISBN 3924942730 firstname.lastname@example.org
C o n t e n t s
Introduction I. The interpretation of the Indus script in relation to the Ṛg and AtharvaVeda 1. The historical setting of the Indus script 2. The testimony of a bilingual 3. Short inscriptions 4. The sacred marriage 5. The great seer Agastya 6. The standard as an image of the somapress 7. Two seals with cosmogonic inscriptions 8. The parable of the elephant and the blind 9. The swastika
10. Crosschecking 11. Conclusions References II. The Rosetta stone of the Rongorongo script Preliminary remarks 1. The beginning of Rongorongo research 2. The settlement of Easter Island and the war between the longears and the shortears 3. The breast ornament Rei Miro 2 4. The New York birdman 5. Line Br1 and Br2 of tablet Aruku Kurenga Selected Bibliography The author and the book Appendix: Rig Veda helps unravel Indus Valley secrets The numbers of the seals and tablets were taken from the Finnish Concordance. The Sanskritletters have been rendered according to the internatioal alphabet of Sanskrit transliteration (IAST). All inscriptions have to be read from right to left.
The Indus Script and the Easter Island Script also called Rongorongo have several things in common, apart from the fact that both are still regarded as undeciphered. The most striking parallel is that some pictograms look identical, as was pointed out already by G. de Hevesy, but he relied on insufficient renderings of the signs. Though the signs that look identical or nearly identical in its form must not have the same meaning, it cannot be denied that both writing systems make use of a similar method of rendering words by pictograms and word sequences by ligatures and fusions. Moreover, the number of basic signs in both scripts is about 100. It is known that the Rongorongo script was not used for ornamental purposes, but that the inscribed tablets called kohau rongorongo were recited publicly on special occasions with a religious purport. Many of the inscriptions of the Indus seals and tablets look too short for a recitation, but since they have amulet function they served for a religious purpose too. This is also evident from the motifs. On the other hand, there are great differences. The Indus script was written on small seals, the average number of signs on a seal being only five, whereas the Rongorongo script was carved on wooden plates and sticks in lines of about 40, sometimes about 80 signs depending on the length of the tablet. The language that is expressed
by the signs is known in the case of Rongorongo as being Rapanui, the language of Easter Island, called Rapa Nui nowadays, though not identical in grammar and words with the Rapanui that is presently spoken there. It can only be surmised that the language of the Indus script is related to some of the languages spoken today in the Indus Valley or in the neighbouring areas. The Indus script is often applied as a legend to a motif, whereas the Rongorongo script has no relation to motifs, except that in a few cases the signs were carved on wooden figures like a breast ornament and a birdman. Besides, the Indus script was used in big towns with a population of many thousands of people that had far reaching oversee and overland relations with other civilizations, the Rongorongo script was used by and known to a very small group of persons not exceeding five hundred, and it was developed in a tribal society that had very little and over several centuries no contact at all with other cultures. The Indus script is one of the oldest writings that were conceived by the human mind going back to the era of the bull 3000 years before the beginning of the Christian era. There are only the Sumerian and the Egyptian pictographic writings that are of equal age or still older. The Rongorongo writing is comparatively a new invention. It is certainly not older than 500 years. If the Easter Islanders would have obtained any knowledge of a script in their former homeland, it could either be a derivative of Chinese or one of the many branches of the Brāhmī script that is based on the Indus script (cf. RichterUshanas 2012b; 223). Petroglyphs found in the Marquesa islands can be related to the Old Javanese Kawi script that is derived from the Brāhmī script. Even if there would be a closer relation between the Indus script and Rongorongo, it would not be helpful in the decipherment of each of the two, because we would only compare the unknown with the unknown. A decipherment of one or both of them can only be afforded by studying the two scripts in their own surroundings. This has been done here in the case of the Indus script by comparing it with verses of the Ṛg and AtharvaVeda, the oldest books of the Indian tradition. These books have been transmitted orally until our time, but nonetheless they contain several words related to writing and writer. The word for 'sign' is well known in the ṚgVeda already and is once even used in connection with word (ṚV X.71.2). In the AtharvaVeda, charms in relation with amulets are common. The Indus script has survived the oral tradition and probably been adopted by another writing, the oral tradition of Easter Island has survived the knowledge of writing and it has never given rise to another tradition. There exist the readings of four tablets of the islanders Metoro and Ure Vaeiko. Metoro's readings are not as incoherent as was thought hitherto by the scholars in this field. Several inscriptions and motifs of the Indus seals and tablets and the inscriptions of two Rongorongo artefacts as well as two lines of Metoro's reading of the tablet called Aruku Kurenga are presented here to the general public for information and further discussion. A word script, with which we have to do in both cases, can be understood even by people who do not speak the same language or dialect, as is obvious from the Chinese script. It is not necessary to write grammatical forms, if the oral tradition is known to the writer and the reader alike. Even a letter script cannot dispense with the oral transmission, otherwise we could close our schools and universities. There is a great amount of disbelief and distrust, if somebody ventures to read these inscriptions as word scripts. In addition to those people who believe in the incomprehensibility of all symbolic writings, there is another group who tries to mould them into a letter script under the influence of a way of thought that is associated for more than thousand years with letters.
The apostle Paul says in Kor 2.3 that the letter kills, but nobody cares for this. I was myself no exception to this rule. So I tried to read the Indus signs as syllables. The results thereof have been published in 1997. Only after I was sure that the Rongorongo script can be read as a word script indeed, I came back to my former logographic word readings of the Indus script published in 1992 under the title the Fifth Veda. In the present form of this study the reader will only find these word readings, but improved sometimes through the results of the syllabic readings. Thus, the endeavour to read the Indus script syllabically was not entirely fruitless. The author of the present book does not pretend that his readings of each or of both the two writings are final, but after it has been in a process for about 25 years most of the signs of the Indus script and a great number of inscriptions have been made readable in a way that it can be called a decipherment. The same can be said in regard to the Rongorongo script. Not a decipherment in the narrow sense of the word, however, which is impossible in the case of wordscripts that do not consist of ciphers or letters. In spite of their inherent ambiguity the pictograms can be made intelligible for the modern mind. If the word decipherment could be altogether discarded in regard to these readings, I would do so. We do not possess a better word in modern languages, however, and the newspapers and magazines want to have their headline. At any rate, the word 'decipherment' should not be used by those who have nothing more to tell, but that symbolic writings are no writings at all. The reader who takes the time will find that a word script is very well understandable and that it can even open new insights to a mind that is not only occupied with economical or technical problems or to a merely analytic scientific approach. If I make use of a synthetic heuristic method including yoga and meditation, it does not mean that I am a pseudoscientist or a crank, as I am called in Wikipedia. If Wikipedia is really a free encyclopedia, as it pretends, it should follow the basic rules of any scientific discussion and refrain from personal defamation and not quote from a long outdated review. It should also accept that yoga and meditation can be part of a scientific approach as it has been shown by many famous scientists before. This is no reason of putting them and their books on a virtual index as the catholic church has done it hundreds of years before and is still doing in praxis. It may be correct to call me a 'spiritual' scientist, if this is not confined to Christianity, but the best would be to dispense with such labels altogether, whose only purpose is to discriminate and even criminalize all efforts that do not follow the main stream of science which means that they do not apply the standards the Western neocolonialism. The discussion of this issue should not be confined to the internet, but there should be held a symposium, where the protagonists of the different ways of deciphering can present the results of their investigations to each other and to an interested public. To facilitate the discussion and to open the opportunity of continual revision also of the main work of the Message of Indus Seals and Tablets that has appeared as book on Demand in the 4th edition in August of this year, a revised and enlarged version of The Two Systems has been published as E Book. On this occasion I have improved some readings contained in the Message, the grammatical renderings of the inscriptions of seal 9702 (§ I.2), 2606, 2728 and 9006 (§ I.4) and of tablet 2807 (§ I.9). Moreover, I found a better suitable Vedic verse for the inscription of seal 6208 (§ I.4). The rules that have been applied for the decipherment of the Indus script and the Easter Island script have also been proved successful in the deciphering of the disk of Phaistos, which is inscribed by another unknown symbolic writing, the Cretan hieroglyphs (cf. RichterUshanas, Der Diskus von Phaistos und die Heilige Hochzeit von Theseus und Ariadne, Nordhausen 22012c). Worpswede, in November 2012
. The most frequent pictogram that served as a marker for the end of a verse or a quarter (pada) of it. whose oldest and holiest book is the ṚgVeda. singer. Certainly. but the Indus pictograms could be and were written or painted on pottery and bangles and also on perishable materials. On account of their pictographic character the signs of the inscriptions can and must be read in a symbolic way. There are about 400 signs in the Indus script. the production of seals stopped henceforward. they have only not been registered as such in the dictionaries. there are also words for to write and writer in Vedic times and in the Veda itself. It is synonymous with the root rad. Far more important for the reading is. if not write themselves. however. may mean writer too. The language of the Vedas is an ancient type of Sanskrit. however. The historical setting of the Indus script Like the SumeroAkkadian pictographic writing the Indus script has been engraved on seals. to knit together. the people to whose tradition these gods belonged. The root grabh is not used in this sense in the Veda. has many hymns in common with the Ṛg Veda. The interpretation of the Indus script in relation to the Ṛg and AtharvaVeda 1. Its main subject are charms which are to be expected to be found on the Indus seals too. The AtharvaVeda. seer. In Mesopotamia cylinder seals were used. that was explained as to write by Geldner (2008 III; 26). is derived. It can hence be supposed that the early Vedic poets could. to carve (in stone). from which hieroglyph. there are only these seals and a few terracotta tablets and graffiti. Contrarily to the opinion of most of Western and Indian scholars. to scratch. Its root rabh is related to Greek rhaptein. We have to consider the cultural environment. From the latter root ṛṣi. can only be maintained to a certain extent: Symbols have to be regarded subjectively like old and modern art.I. at least understand the pictographic meaning of the Indus signs. Accordingly. on an average they consist of only five signs. Nearest or even contemporaneous to the Indus civilization is the Vedic tradition. to let flow (the line of writing) and ṛṣ. the inscriptions on the Indus seals are very short. It is highly unlikely that the remembrance of the Indus civilization and the script in particular was lost all of a sudden after the end of the Indus cities. Synonymous and homophonous with rabh is the Sanskrit root grabh corresponding to Greek graphein for to write. It consists of about 1000 hymns addressed to different gods and goddesses. but since some of the Vedic gods are mentioned in a Hittite contract of 1350 ante. to pierce. whereas in the Indus Valley stamp seals prevail. must have lived in the area of the Indus Valley already at an earlier time (RichterUshanas 2012b;1319). sacred sign. to write. there are no inscribed clay tablets of larger size as were found in Mesopotamia. is derived. that is said to be of a younger age. but we come across the roots ṛī. that in case of the Indus Valley. which can also mean to write. and glyphein. may have been compared to a cup or vessel in the symbolical language of the Veda. Another root that is used for to write is piś. The Celtic grail may have the same mythological origin. Thus Ṛbhu. the name of three Vedic artisans. That a symbolic interpretation is subjective. Western science dates the origin of the ṚgVeda between 1500 to 1200 BC. the Āryans.
is better suitable. Brahmā is the successor of Tvaṣṭar in the later Indian tradition. as is maintained by the Vedic scholar J. is Āryan.7. however. Even if the elaboration of Sanskrit took place after the decline of the Indus civilization. whereas his daughter Brāhmī has invented all the sciences. In a second step diacritic strokes were added to it. whether the Veda was transmitted in this language from the very beginning. whose geometric signs have much more similarity with the Brāhmī alphabet than the Egyptian. the Devanāgarī.32. The Brāhmī is probably named after the daughter of the god Brahmā. as it can be deduced from the fight of their main god Indra with the snakegod Vṛtra called a eunuch in ṚV I. The thick lips make the figure appear like a eunuch who had a leading function in the government and the army in Mesopotamia. however. The same method was applied by the priests and poets of the Indus civilization in respect to the pictograms of the Indus script. Gonda (1948: 348). three or four additional strokes. that it is based on the Indus script. as it is maintained by Western scholars. Though the feelings of the Āryan poets for the former tradition were inimical sometimes. that its original language was a Prakrit idiom. which corresponds to the fishsign with a stroke or eye. It is much more likely. The language of the Veda that has been transmitted orally for at least two thousand years. and the Brāhmī script that comes chronologically between the Indus script and the modern Sanskrit script. the cosmic periods.In several hymns the Ṛbhus are said to have made the cup of the creator Tvaṣṭtar into four. two. Sometimes an abstract word or name is explained there by a concrete homophone. (the script) of the town of the gods. Certainly. but we do not know. no doubt. Divine and urban origin is also ascribed to the modern Sanskrit script. they could not prevent or did not even want to prevent the infiltration of the ideas of the Indus lore in the Vedic tradition. is an early type of Sanskrit. who is the creator of the world. whereas the socalled priestking illustrated above and other human figures excavated in the Indus towns have no Āryan features at all. This would imply to give up the idea that Sanskrit is older than any other language and that the Āryans are the supreme race. The denomination priestking cannot be correct hence. The Veda consists of an older and a younger part. The functions of the priest and the king were separated there as in the Vedic tradition. This can be explained in relation to the quarters of the universe and the yugas. . and that only the younger hymns were originally composed in Sanskrit. since Sanskrit. for the common people a Prakrit language like Pali. the reminiscences of its tradition may have been incorporated into the Vedic tradition in this language. that served this purpose for the Buddhists. It is more likely. It may be an image of a leading priest. This is also obvious from the method of etymology applied in the Brahmāṇas and the Upaniṣ ads. Western scholars believe that the Brāhmī alphabet is based on the Old Semitic script going back to the Phoenicians who are said to have developed it from the Egyptian script at a time when it was still pictographic. but it could also contain a hint to the development of the script that consisted of simple signs in the beginning as it is found on early graffiti and in neolithic cave paintings. the founders of a high civilization can also be credited with the ability of developing a refined language like Sanskrit. In fact. there exist cupsigns with one. its language. It can further be objected that it is not very likely that the Indus inscriptions or even some of them are contained in the ṚgVeda. that was from the very beginning the language of a small group of people. It is possible that the older hymns were translated into Sanskrit from a Prakrit language. indicated by the ribbon with a third eye he wears round the head.
the Old Persian and the Akkadian. below at least five Indus script signs. Even bad activities like the destruction of a city can be a sacred act therefore. In the Finnish Concordance II the five Indus pictograms are rendered as read from right to left of the impression. This has promoted already the deciphering of other scripts like the Egyptian. Heimpel points out that similar epithets are given to other countries as Kurmesikilla to Aratta. the seer and priest. The lower line would be equal then to land. A drawing of it is found in the catalogue Vergessene Städte am Indus (1987; 123). The soma is purified in a . The seal was first published by Kjaerum (1983; 119. the discovering of a name written in two languages has the greatest probability. but it may also be a wordsign for the fishman. The three pictograms of the lower line are most probably Sumerian. The last syllable ḫa is equal to the Sumerian genitive. In the same position a fish is found in the second line of the inscription of the Failaka seal 9702 that is reproduced here from the drawing contained in the exhibition catalogue Vergessene Städte am Indus (VSI 125). In field bottom left a crescent. an unidentified figure. The Sumerian sign for luḫ is explained by him as to clean. It may have been added from euphonic reasons. as is suggested by the fishsign and the triangle at the end. The signs for the name that are written vertically on the seal are equal to . Since the fishsign and the lozenge render ḫaki. whereas the name of the stapleplace Makan at the Persian Gulf was passed on to Nubia (Borger 1979 I; 89).2. wild bull. But the translation of the Sumerian me with power is inadequate. The testimony of bilinguals For the discovering of the language of an unknown script a working hypothesis is needed to begin with. With regard to the shortness of the Indus inscriptions. A bilingual would be of great help to remove this insecurity. The appellation Meluḫḫaki appears on the Akkadian cylinder seal 557 in Boehmer's catalogue. the initial compound of the lower line must be equal to meluḫ. The syllable ḫa is rendered by a sign whose original pictographic value is a fish (Deimel 1947; sign 961). After the decline of the Indus cities this name was passed on to Egypt. Sikil means clean like luḫ. since it can also designate institutions and activities with a sacred character on account of their relation to the goddess Inanna or the god Ea. where the bull is purified (by the priest) in a ritual. The prolonged strokes at the left can be explained as horns. but their phonetic values remained insecure (RichterUshanas 1992). Probably he interpreted the fishsign as a crescent. fig. The 50th me called 'holy purification' is rendered by the syllable luḫ. Both signs have no similarity with the compound on the seal. The only name that is known in this field is Meluḫḫaki. partly damaged. Between the bull and the signs. Heimpel explains meluḫ as clean powers (1987; 24 note 14). sign 889). to wash (sign 596). a similar appellation in the language of the Indus seals may be contained in the upper line. written in Akkadian as (Borger 1979; sign 170). After a long search I discovered that its equivalence is the sign for rimu. On the ground of the hypothesis that the Indus seals contain mantras of the ṚgVeda I could read most of the inscriptions logographically. Read in the direction of the normal sequence of the signs on the Indus seals we get . 279) with the explanation: A bull facing left. If they are read as Meluḫḫaki. The determinative for ki is written by the lozenge. The bull in the motif is an epithet of the soma in the Veda. the Akkadian appellation for the land at the borders of the Indus river. The sign for me in the Sumerian script is derived by Deimel from the pictogram of a mouth with a tongue and explained as language (Sumerian Dictionary.
whose first sign can be explained as a woollen sieve. This is the only battle mentioned in the Veda with a historical background.6 he is described as a man busy with prayers and it is said that he will obtain full vessels (puriṣa).12 too.1).83. the radiating threads correspond to the numbersign with the triangle beneath. The next sign can be interpreted as the vessel. Then we get the number five. The merchant is called vanij in the Veda.3. if he purifies himself in the mind. where the somajuice was collected before it was drunk by the priest designated by the last sign. an attribute of the creator in ṚV I. The bull standing in front of a plant illustrated on pots from the Mehi area is a rebus for its place of origin. The first sign denotes the sieve. called āp in Sanskrit. the Indians or Hindus as they are called today. With regard to the Veda the upper line we are directed to ṚV IX.164. is derived from this river too. This may refer to Sanskrit or its forerunner. The second sign looks more like the sun. who is depicted on several Indus seals.83. The soma is also called pavamāna.6). The bull is used as a motif not only on the Failaka seal. After purification it runs in a vat filled with water like the river Sindhu into the ocean. Phonetically. The heavenly place of the sun can be identified with Meluḫḫa as the country. In ṚV V. In those times many things were transported and kept in vessels. Perfection by merging in the ocean of bliss is the aim of the yogi. Sindhu is derived from the root sidh.83.woollen sieve. mrdhravāc is used in connection with the battle of the ten kings called daśarajña in ṚV VII. If the cupsign is explained as the bed of a river. where the soma is identified with the sun and the sieve for its purification with the mind: The sieve of the glowing (sun) is extended at the heavenly place; its radiating threads spread out (in the vat) helping the somapresser to mount the back of the sky in the mind. Numbersigns have to be read generally behind the sign they qualify. the second the sun at the heavenly place. The owner of the seal is protected against foreigners (the raw ones in IX. but on many Indus seals and sherds found in Mesopotamia and Baluchistan. If the long strokes are explained as fingers. speaking disdainfully (like an enemy). He has negative and positive connotations. where the soma is ritually purified. According to the Sumerian myth Enki and the order of the world the land of Meluḫḫa is ruled by the god of wisdom. The four long strokes of the following sign can be an image of the streams of soma. the purified. strive for perfection. we obtain land of five rivers.2. If we translate me as language. but the soma is often compared to it in the Veda.45. Probably it got this meaning at the end of the Indus culture. the land of Meluḫḫa too (cf. The name of the people living at its borders. The bull of the motif is mentioned in ṚV IX. The pressing of the soma in a sieve of wool is referred to in the inscription of the upper line. the variant of the cupsign and the mansign render the somapresser who purifies himself in the mind. when the Āryans came into power.18. we obtain a numbersign with the triangle at the bottom as the thumb.33. as it is suggested by Deimel we would obtain (land) having a pure language. Significantly. In VII. § I. Meluḫḫa can also be affiliated to Vedic mrdhravāc.13 we read about the enemies: . Ea. Pañjab. The man of the last sign can also be a merchant who brought his goods from the land at the Indus river to sell it in Failaka.3.
That means that this name refers to a whole area. in which the soma runs. The Akkadian reading is seer with protruding (big) eyes (igi[si]gal). The basic cupsign is found in the inscription of the unicornseal 9102 found in Kiš. According to the Āryan invasion theory. It is identical to the inscription of seal 2502 (M228) from Mohenjo Dharo. the Āryans are the foreigners or barbarians. sak. Pūru (4) and his seven citadels (5. In Sumerian the three signs of the seal render. If the fourarmed fish is interpreted as a waterbird. the still expected last avatāra of Viṣṇu. This event is referred to in the inscription of the motifless seal 2120 with the inscription : Who speaks (1) hostile (3) at the sacrifice (3).si. This agrees with the landscape of Baluchistan. In this way they are identified with the Dasyus in the ṚgVeda.4ab: The Dawn appears like the breast of the śundhyubird. now a southern province of Pakistan.6). § I. With regard to the motif we obtain (the bull) that stands in front (of the cow). But there is no proof that they are descendants of the population of the Indus cities. This name is also found on vessels with the motif of a bull bound to a tree (cf. It refers to the golden embryo in the beginning of creation and to the sacred marriage of the somabull and the cow in the form of the vessel. In the Śatapatha Brahmāṇa Meluḫḫa has been transformed into mleccha. is inscribed. Its literal meaning is (a)head/in front stand eye. especially in the East.ku. It proofs that the Indus script is logophonetic. This is heretical from the Purāṇic point of view and contradictory to the archaeological excavations. is said to come in particular for annihilating the Mlecchas. The variant of the cupsign of the Failaka seal never forms a pair with a mansign in the Indus inscriptions. There are still tribes said to speak a mleccha idiom in India. This is similar to the frequent sequence in the Indus inscriptions. the seven citadels of the enemies he has broken into pieces; to Trtsu he has given the house of the (former) owner. probably with the intermediate form mrdhra(vāc). called footprint by Kjaerum. when the Āryan tribes were fighting for supremacy over the remnants of the Indus cities the doctrine of the four yugas can only be of mythological value. speaking hostile. In the Purāṇas Kalki. speaking a barbarian idiom. Parpola reads Meluḫḫa as Dravidian highland (1994; 170). read from left to right. however. we can read the inscription as ṚV I. The soma is also called a seer. On several seals from Failaka the sign . It is known. Since the battle of the ten kings took place at the end of the Indus civilization. It depicts the somaplant or ephedra gerardiana and corresponds to the sign also written in the Indus script. that there has never been a war between the mleccha speaking tribes and the later Āryan or Dravidian inhabitants.6) Indra (7) shall destroy with violence (8). Through the Persians the name Meluḫḫa has survived in the name of Baluchistan. . advocated in particular by American indologists. Meluḫḫa may also be inscribed on the square seal 9000 found in Ur.124. may we conquer Pūru who speaks disdainfully at the sacrifice.At once Indra has destroyed all the castles.
The unicorn appears as a horse in Europe. the inscription can be read as the second half of ṚV I. is equal to amṛta. and the whole motif renders Meluḫ(ḫ)a again like the bull with the standard found on sherds from Mehi (cf. The unicorn has features of the deer and the goat. The attempt to read the Indus signs as letters undertaken by several scholars. The stable is also related to the goddess Ištar (Kramer 1969; 98. in which the Indus scribes thought. unborn. two heads and seven hands. This animal can be compared to the composite animal found on several Indus seals. The standard before the unicorn has been retained in the word aśvattha. The most frequent motif on the Indus seals is not the bull. it can be read as me.58. as it does not consider the symbolic way. § I. the unicorn (cf. immortal. Hence the single horn must have been attached to the animal for artistic or mythological reasons. where the Dawn is compared to a shepherdess who opens the pen for the cows.1: When the horse emerged from the water or the foam with the wings of the eagle and the legs of the antelope. Like a bull it has no mane.3 the soma is said to be a bull with four horns. The two seals are hence related to both traditions and can be regarded as a bilingual too. which is a name of the soma. were the next settlers in the area together with the Āryans. Since the standard is a ritual instrument.163. i.161. On seal 8630 it is associated with the standard normally found in front of the unicorn. In ṚV I. where the horse stands. the codex of the Indus inscriptions would have been incorporated in the holy books of that people who.161. the Greeks with the Minoans. identical with the unicorn. They may have belonged to an Akkadian priestess and to an Indian seer respectively. if not contemporaneous.e. Recent finds confirm that a small asslike horse was extant in the Indus civilization and there is no reason to suppose that it was not domesticated. The cupsign designates the Dawn here. aja. The second sign can be explained as the shop of the merchant Nodhas. It has the body of a bull and the head of a horse.like the merchant Nodhas she displays her lovely things. with regard to the inscription of the unicornseal 0251 this can be referred to a horse without mane. cannot be successful. If the second sign is read as a stable. three feet. On some seals it is depicted with two additional heads. In ṚV IV. Besides. 101).6). The Vedic name of the goat. The vatsign standing above a unicorn on seal 2802 (M1656) can be explained in connection with ṚV I. it is contradictory to the structural analysis of the script (Mahadevan 1973; 41) and to the historical evolution from pictograms to letters (Haarmann 1990). but a fabulous animal with one horn called unicorn that is standing in front of a standard. RichterUshanas 2012b; 35; 277). In this way the Akkadians dealt with the Sumerians.4. If the original language in the Indus Valley was Dravidian. There is no sufficient basis for the Dravidian hypothesis either. China and Japan.92. tree. the Āryans with the Indus civilization. The horse (aśva). but it has also elements of a bull and a deer. its birth was highly praised. Indian and Western.7) who have also invented the script. the Romans with the Etruscans. The lines on its breast look like the cloth that domesticated horses wear. This was first done by the Ṛbhus (I. In .7 the Ṛbhus create a horse from a horse. emerged with the soma from the sea as described in the story of the twirling of the ocean. Its Indian equivalence would be land where the unicorn is purified.
if it could only be related to the pictographic form. The Vedic language offers many possibilities in regard to homophony and synonymy. Deimel mentions in his dictionary 26 signs for syllable 'ge'. but that other signs can have several meanings too. even in the rare cases. Though reading the signs symbolically. and though it appears invariably at the end of the inscriptions. The dice were treated like gods. He explains it as abyss (1990; 185). If we read it as the genitive ha. 301). Inspite of its one horn. The greatest difficulty is to find the most appropriate verse for a certain inscription in the bulk of the 1000 Vedic hymns. we need an 'indicator' to start with. It can represent abstract and concrete words. matter and spirit. The same defect is found in Meriggi's approach of reading the Indus signs with the help of the Hittite script as denoting articles of rural life (ZDMG 1934). Which sign was taken for a certain word. because they predestinated fate. when it has two horns. The cupsign is also found in the 'priest alphabet' of Mu allegedly discovered by Churchward. but the cupsign is the most frequent sign of the Indus script. Though the cupsign looks like the last capital letter of the Greek alphabet. In spite of the Failaka bilinguals it would be impossible therefore to arrive at a definite translation of an inscription without the ṚgVeda. . it is even found with syllabic writings. because it designates the somaplant. Some scholars believe that the unicorn is an urus that appears to have one horn only. Short inscriptions (one to four signs) The method of the logophonetic reading of the Failaka and the Kišseals on the ground of the ṚgVeda proved to be successful also in case of many other inscriptions. Churchward did not take notice of their multivalence. This cannot be otherwise in the case of a word script. noun and verb. There is. we face the difficulty that it has no word meaning in Vedic Sanskrit as it has in Sumerian. to pour out (the sacrificial drink). they are a great help in crosschecking. 12 for 'gi'.Christian symbolism it is an image of Christ like the deer (Sälzle 1965; 294. hi and hu. it cannot be affiliated to a word in the list arranged after the final letter in Grassmann's dictionary. the cupsign corresponds to the pictogram for god and to the syllables a. the Sumerian animal is definitely to be recognized as a bull. By its form the cupsign incorporates all objects. but certainly not the only one. Though the ambivalence of the signs applies to sequences too to a certain degree. if turned upside down. This meaning could be appropriate for the cupsign too. They are far from infinite. however. For the Hittites it also represented the dice. 3. because it is looked upon in profile as in the case of the bull on Sumerian seals of the Uruk period. the fishsign. the last letter of the Sanskrit alphabet. In the Old Testament it has negative connotations (Jung 1972; 527). however. was obviously left to the writer. In the Hittite script. the related syllable hu. We have got only the values or some of the values of seven signs through the investigation of the Failaka and the Kiš seals. however. This can be a reading of the cupsign in the Indus script too. because this would be contradictory to its frequency. In the zodiac it was replaced by the lion. the wombsign and the man sign are also quite frequent and the sign for the ephedra is most important. In any case. Multivalence is also found with the Sumerian pictograms. In the course of this research it was confirmed that not only the cupsigns. male and female. whereas the unicorn is always a different animal.
4678 and 2704 . since its elements are a stylus and a hand. On the unicornseal 5023 the thigh is replaced by a plant that denotes the female principle too.90. where it is found on the reverse. But in ṚV I. In ṚV X. This recalls the unicornlegend. the tree of the man.3 (cf. This can be the meaning of the compound on seal 2704. In later times he was called Nārāyaṇa. three of his steps form the immortality in heaven (ṚV X.90.4. Apart from early Harappan graffiti and potmarks. In this case the leaf can be explained as an image of the soma plant. the cosmic man. § I. the cosmic man. The soma is an awakener too like the Dawn. where a compound mansign is followed by a wheelsign .3. On the tigerseal 3246 the mansign is combined with a wheel sign similar to the inscription of the unicornseal 2546. The male principle is often expressed by the foot or step in the ṚgVeda. The seed fertilizes the field or . who implores the Aśvins to send her a man like a seedgiving bull who places his head in her womb. identical with dubsar on many Akkadian seals and with ṛbhu or ṛṣ i in the Veda. Viṣṇu creates the world with three steps. The seal with the motif of a gazelle or goat can hence have a awakening function or be used as a magic spell over this animal by a hunter or a lover. the name of the author of the Puruṣ ahymn X.15 the goat is like the shewolf an image of the apsaras or waterwoman.40. where the script is still in a rudimentary stage. Virāj means light.95. Light is the first emanation of the universe. In this way it can be explained on the round seal 3413 (H342). It can be deduced from the elephantmotif of the seal that its owner was a brahmin who knew the ancient Vedic cosmogony. On seal 3089 the female principle is written by a thigh. whereas the Puruṣ a needs only one step for the same deed. On several seals it is inscribed over a gazelle or goat.4).5) and they are able to destroy the trees in this way. The trianglesign in connection with a unicorn can also denote a woman who looks for a man like the princess Ghoṣ ā in ṚV X. stretching the legs up or apart (for creating and conceiving) in ṚV X.90. if the owner of the seal is a writer. 3089 . inscriptions with a single sign are rare. It is likely that the compound mansign of seal 2546 that consists of a man with a girdle and hoofs indicating the female and animalic part of his being is a symbol of the Puruṣ a. The single wheel together with the mansign directs us to ṚV X. The wheelsign can be explained as the sun in this connection.161. whose potency she robs. the material of the seal the female. The circle is also a symbol of writing. 1292 . The female principle is called Uttānapad. By invoking the female principle the owner of the seal wants to obtain a wife of similar qualities as the goddess has. from Virāj the Puruṣa. On seal 1292 the male and the female aspect are formed by the seed and the field. the male by two oblique strokes that when elongated form the stepsign . Both these animals live on leaves as it is illustrated on tablet 2719.13 the male goat is said to be an awakener like the dog.11. we shall study at first several seals with one sign only. which means son of Nara.72. In most cases the singularity is a compound as on the elephantseal 2058 and the five unicornseals 5131 . The writer or carver designates the male aspect. The male and the female principle are also referred to.To illustrate how this method of reading the Indus inscriptions works.5: From him (the Puruṣa) the (goddess) Virāj was born. who is androgyn and theriomorph and represents the principle of unity in diversity. The most frequent singularity is the leafsign or a variant of it.
In the Old Testament we meet it in the Song of Songs of king Salomo. where these women lived.2. The male and female aspect of the cosmic man are also represented in early Harappan graffiti and on neolithic cave paintings (Tillner 1981/82; 87). 4.189. in Christianity in the relation of Jesus with Maria Magdalene. whether the violator was male or female. the name is related to the Greek word hierodule. It was celebrated by the Greeks in Eleusis and other towns and has found its way into the monotheistic religions too. It is especially known from the Egyptian.45. the staff denotes authority and the triangle behind him may refer to fire. . The rule that different signs can have the same meaning can easily lead to a wrong or partly wrong affiliation. In the ṚgVeda the sacred marriage is regarded with ambivalence. the sacred marriage causes great problems for monotheistic religions. The geometric compound of seal 5131 occurs also at the end of seal 2120.101. Etymologically. These motifs were still known by the seers of the older Veda who could still read and understand the Indus pictograms. The god of the Jews has even created the Great Flood to annihilate it. . where Indra became the sovereign god. Seen as In case of seal 4678 the Puruṣ a is illustrated by the simple mansign.3). There are several motifs on the Indus seals and tablets that are related to the sacred marriage. holy or sacred woman.6).1. It does not only enhance fertility. On the other hand. as it is stated in many modern Western dictionaries. which has the same meaning.6. It is firmly established in its older parts. and to Akkadian harimtu. According to the Koran it refers to the white and black of the big gazellelike eyes of the huris. but it also opens a way to resurrection. Hence the compound can denote the Aṅgiras (ṚV X. The crosses and lozenges which we find in these paintings can be interpreted as a symbol of the female organ and of the fireplace. The name huri does not mean 'white'. The Sacred marriage The sacred marriage belongs to the fundamental ceremonies of polytheistic religions. The strongest testimony for the integration of the sacred marriage in the Vedic tradition is the marriagehymn ṚV X.85 that deals with the cosmic and the human marriage. one leading to resurrection. where it is connected with Indra as suppressor. in the Koran in the marriage of the truthful Muslim with a beautiful virgin or huri in the gardens of Paradise. The apparently obscene passages of the Veda have to be looked upon in this religious context. Religion in ancient times included sexuality as a means for securing fertility and for rejuvenation and the realization of the truth as it is reflected in the Jewish metaphor of to know a woman by sexual intercourse. The female organ is an aspect of Agni in the FiveFireDoctrine of the BṛhadAraṇyakaUpaniṣ ad. It expresses the desire to overcome all calamities as Agni is asked for in ṚV I. no matter. The harim was originally the secluded holy place. On account of seal 4678 I have formerly affiliated the five unicornseals to the first verse of the Agnihymn I.the womb (ṚV X. To enter a holy place was only allowed after the purification of body and mind. the Sumerian and the Akkadian religion. For the same reason. On the zebuseal 2310 the male principle is added through a long stroke pearls the seed is an epithet of the truthful merchant in ṚV V.62. but the flood is based on the Mesopotamian tradition. but it is suppressed in the younger parts. The violation of this rule was punished with death everywhere in the world. the other to fertility. there is a white and a black tree in the Muslim paradise.
where a bull is killed by a man with a lance. the inscription can hence be read in relation to Viśvakarma according to ṚV X. in the lunar mansion Phalguṇī (the bride) is brought home. The name of the lunar mansion Aghā can be derived from the weak stem gha of the root han.e.81. but also immortality is achieved. . If the sunsign in the middle of the initial compound of the inscription (read from left to right) is regarded as female. the sacred marriage. If the first sign is taken as male. enjoyment. The bloody forms of the sundaughter are mentioned in ṚV X. The same idea is illustrated on the Śrī yantra in a geometrical way. were not killed in the modern sense of the word. In Vedic times marriage was a sacred act similar to a sacrifice. This agrees with the Śrī yantra and the enneagram.4.85. rendered by the feast. On seal 1387 (M 296) illustrated at the left a stylized pipal tree with the protomes of two unicorns attached to its trunk is depicted that can be identified with the cosmic tree and with the car of the sundaughter called allshaped in ṚV X. The tree of the motif has nine leaves.20: The car of the sundaughter (1) the foremost man/the husband (2. The petals of the stalk in the centre of the motif can also be explained as the blood dripping from the head of the sacrificed bulls or unicorns. to kill.3) on the sacrificial place (5). the compound can be explained as the car of the sundaughter. on which she is driven along the ecliptic to celebrate the cosmic. Creation and fertility are the main topics of Vedic thought.1: Viśvakarma (1) has created (3) these worlds (1) by sacrificing the former beings (2.85. but sent to heaven.On the Indus seals the sacred marriage is described in various ways.2. Agha means not killed. i.35. four pointing downwards and triangles in the middle. The fieldsign is used in this connection in the inscription of seal 2279. because the bulls that were sacrificed. The cosmic husband of the sundaughter is Viśvakarman. Both are symbols of luck that is wished especially at the occasion of marriage. This is referred to in ṚV X. the allmaker.81.85.3) mounts (4) for the sacrificial place (5). five pointing upwards.85. which agrees with the third and the fifth sign. But this is only the material aspect.81. Viśvakarma is called the pillar and the fundament in ṚV X.20. The cosmic tree is mentioned in ṚV X.13: The wedding car of the sundaughter went ahead sent off by Savit ṛ (the sun as the father); in the lunar mansion Aghā the bulls are killed (sacrificed). In later time the mansion was called Maghā. the whole inscription can be read then according to ṚV X. In Vedic times a lot of bulls were killed to provide the food for the retinue and the relatives of the bridegroom and the bride. By knowing the laws of creation not only fertility. Creation is reabsorbed then through Yoga. A feast is held together with marriage all over the world. whose roots can be traced to the Indus civilization as is indicated by the person sitting with crossed legs on several Indus seals and tablets. however.
is identical to the cosmic marriage. is often called drop (indu). the foremost seers (2. The sacred marriage is also illustrated on the cylinder seal 7038 (Kalibangan65).184. where two warriors are depicted who form a cross with their lances protecting the woman between them. 3).56.e. In the first part of ṚV X. the cooperation of the male and female parts of being. I pervade the earth. The centaur is a symbol of language on account of its being manifold.3 and the horned animal that draws the car of the Aśvins according to ṚV I. The centaur is standing under an acacia or kino tree. i. the two Nāsatyas (came) to the marriage of the sundaughter; your waterborn car drawn by horned animals hovers near.2. This recalls the story of the hostile armies of the Devas and the Asuras who both want to obtain the goddess of language.5 and the second of X.125. The quadrature of the circle. that can also be explained as a comb. 3000 years B. The human part of the centaur is identical with the woman between the two warriors. The two signs can be read according to ṚV X.13 Jacobi dated the Veda to c. Language creates peace by saying what is agreeable and quarrel through misunderstanding. who has taken their hands showing that she wants them to be friends.125.125. Three drops refer to the three components of the soma. where they are called with their older name Nāsatya: The two arrowmakers (came) for winning the prize. Though she is the daughter.8.85.125. The soma. which is a symbol of language like the sign . The head of this world is the vault of heaven.C. Like the primordial female being Language has the power of creation and destruction. what is agreeable to the gods and to human beings; I create quarrel among men. the spiritual liquor of the Vedic Āryans. In this way mathematics becomes part of religion and Yoga. she gives birth to the father. The sacred marriage is also referred to in ṚV X. Vāc. On the right of this scenery a centaur is depicted. .3. o Pūṣan. before whose mouth three strokes and before his feet a handsign is inserted. With regard to ṚV X.The inscription of seal 1387 can also be read mathematically: The quadrature of the circle (1) is achieved by the mathematicians. Square and circle are equal to male and female. where the goddess of language says: I carry (2) the swelling soma (1). the main sign for woman in the Indus script. by approximation (4) to the field (5). (Kleine Schriften 1970; 258).6 the goddess Vāc says: I am she who says.7. The centaur and the two signs can also be identified with the allformed seedgiving bull Viśvarūpa of ṚV III. The fatherdaughterrelation is the fundament of patriarchy and matriarchy simultaneously. where the goddess says: I give birth to the father in the head of this (world).
the two short strokes and the treesign in the circle are equal to wealth and sons. he could afford the procession depicted on the seal. whose first part. They can be identified with the intersected circles.16. In reversing the fathersonrelation he chooses the Aśvins as his fathers (ṚV X. where the flags are carried. He is even older than Varuṇa. because the two principles create each other mutually (ṚV X.41: the sign Soma gave her to the Gandharva.188.8.131.52 that she touches the sky with the tuft of her hair. Indeed. whose first sign can denote the Aśvins. Their car has three wheels according to ṚV X. ṚV X. Its inscription (according to the Indian concordance).125.2 the Puruṣa. The centaur is an image of these two aspects of creation too. The first sign can be read as the (six) worlds. The last sign can be explained as to enter the head or to give birth in the head (of the father) as it is done by Language in X. the husband is rendered by the warriorsign. The gods Agni and Soma and the Gandharva are rendered by the three long strokes in the beginning. Explained etymologically the word 'world' means high or great (altus) man (wer. the Gandharva to Agni. The yokes of the car of the Aśvins are fringed out like the leaves of the acacia on the seal and the hide of the centaur. To give in marriage is equal to the second sign. The middle sign of seal 1084 can also be read as marriage and the last sign can denote the daughter of the sun. but was always related to marriage and fertility as human marriage was correlated to the cosmic marriage. This corresponds to the second sign of the inscription of the unicornseal 1084 (M798) . The sign is frequently used in the Indus script. But in ancient times love was not an aim in itself as it is nowadays. where we find again. Agni is also depicted by the single stroke at the end. He is half man and half woman. Parpola has related it to the Dravidian god Mumukan who is a god of love and war.14). It is said of the goddess in ṚV X. especially when looked upon holographically. The six worlds are equal to heaven and earth in the Veda. but also of castration or retention of the seed strived for in Yoga.7.their yokes are fringed out like the clothes of the rich Varuṇa. Because of his age he has no teeth. the second as the goddess of Language. In ṚV X. i. Since the bridegroom (and the owner of the tablet) was a warrior. is illustrated on the seal 1568 (M491). The rhombussign with a tree inside it stands for the fertile womb.5). for the bride.90. Pūṣan is an old fertility god. In this way creation is reabsorbed. if looked upon as female. In Vedic times the bride was sent to the husband on a beautifully decorated car in a procession.7 is also contained in the inscription of the tablet 7142 (K79). the cosmic man.85. Varuṇa is invoked in relation to the sacred marriage. The sign is not only a symbol of fertility. because he is a symbol of fertility like the father of the sky. Heaven and earth are often called plates in the Veda. vir = man). Agni gave her (the bride) to the husband with wealth and sons. which indicates that he is the protector of his wife. Seen as a whole heaven and earth form the world. is said to be all this world.125. the two circles could be an image of love. can be read according to ṚV X. Hence the inscription can be read as the Nāsatyas come to the marriage of the sundaughter.e.90. .
If the standing person is regarded as male.2) opens her limbs with love (3). he is the master. The knife or saw and the shellring (VSI C 98) cut by it he carries in his hands may have served as a marriagepresent for the woman sitting in front of him.37: Who for the seed of the lord of the house (1.6 of the Song of Songs in the Old Testament. whose virile member hangs between his thighs. This agrees with the instruments she holds in the hands. which is a sign of love also in verse 8. By the ironical approach sexuality and austerity shall be reconciled to uphold fertility and to open a way to immortality.17 dealing with the relationship of Indra's wife Indrāṇī with the ape (or apelike man) Vṛṣākapi: He is not the master. Lopāmudrā. According to ṚV I.16. who is a form of the earth'.6 dealing with Agastya and Lopāmudrā: Who ploughed (1) the field with pegs (2). Moreover.179. who fulfilled the truth (4. The watercarrier in the inscription is also an image of the seer and yogi.5). rendered as the watercarrier here.85. the ploughed one. The two fighting tigers on the reverse can be explained as man and woman striving for perfection (ṚV I. the father of the bride. who carries firewood on her head thus showing her agreement. whose virile member hangs between his thighs Indra is higher than everything. whom the hairy slot opens when sitting down on it. Lup can also mean earth. is the sungod.5). Lopāmudrā would mean then 'she.179. the inscription can be read ironically according to ṚV X. Pūṣan. Pūṣan (6) shall bring (5) hither/to the sacrificial field (4). the sitting person here.The fertile womb is also illustrated on the reverse of tablet 3304 (H180). where a plant grows out of it. who carries somatwigs on his head to ask the gods for redemption from the sin of breaking the vow of austerity (ṚV I.179 they indicate that she wants to be treated like a shell or like the earth by Agastya. He is not the master.3). whose name means literally 'whose seal (mudrā) is broken up ((lup). The fourth sign has the form of a seal. whom the hairy slot opens when he sits down on it Indra is higher than everything. In analogy of the reduplicated inscription the two persons of the first side can both be male and female.3). who placed the seed in the womb (3). Agastya combined both colours (6). in whose womb he inserts the member (1. .179. This is also the function of the seal. The two colours are fertility and immortality. but it can also be explained as 'she who broke the seal (of austerity)'. the inscription can be read according to ṚV X. If the standing person is regarded as female. whose desires agree with the law.86. the reading corresponds to ṚV I. he is the master.
like Nodhas she displays her beloved things.4: The rosy Dawn unveils her breast like a śundhyubird. In the early Vedic tradition the shamelessness of the goddess is part of the sacred marriage. If the first sign is read according to the Finnish concordance.911 he destroys the cart of the Dawn like Jesus expelling the merchants and the prostitutes from the temple with a whip (John 2. where it follows the marriagesign. He is a descendent of Kak ṣīvat.6 Indra urges his wife to partake in sacred prostitution. we get the night. like a pushed ball that wins cows. where king Purūravas describes the behaviour of his favourite. the third as the śundhyubird. The handsign and the watercarrier can either denote Indra as the master or the servant. but in ṚV IV. the missile from the quiver. has forsaken him. Nodhas is the name of a merchant. The name can be explained as na + uddhā. It agrees with ṚV I. But he is not willing to let her go and after some time he recovers her in a lake and tries to make her come back to him. It was difficult for some Vedic poets to tolerate the shameless and cruel behaviour of the Dawn as she shows it in particular in ṚV X. The merchant displays his pearls like a prostitute or apsaras her navel and her other beloved things. instead.86. the second as to unveil the breast. In this way. like a smiling prostitute (3) she lies on the bed (4) adorned with beautiful ornaments (5) for the husband (6). All the signs of this seal can be referred to the goddess of Dawn in her aspect of a housewife and a prostitute. The beautiful ornament are two birds that touch each other with their breasts as a symbol of love. Who is a potent man and who is impotent is also dealt with in ṚV X.126.15) recalling Nietzsche's warning in his Zarathustra: You go to a woman? Do not forget the whip.3. This is equal to ṚV I. that wins hundreds (of jars); . He answers: Like the lucky shot of the arrow. She says that she has left him like the first of the Dawns and that she is as difficult to catch as the wind.124. her divine companions. In X. the fourth to sit on. the waterwoman Urvaśī. The Śatapatha Brahmāṇa tells that the Gandharvas. her sister.124. the last as Nodhas. that we shall study later. displaying pearls or the navel. as it is indicated by the fourth sign. they have made him breaking one of her conditions. want her back after she has become pregnant by the king and therefore they steal the lambs she has brought with her and which are tied to her bedpost.95. Thereupon Purūravas gets up to fetch the lambs and she sees him naked in a lightning created by the Gandharvas. This surpasses Nietzsche's overman and the rights of women in the later Āryan society. however. that was performed for fertility and immortality alike. the author of ṚV I.7: Like a devoted wife (1) she opens her bosom (2). the third sign is equal to the hairy slot.For the first sign we get the virile member hanging down. her house is open like that of a merchant. which in the Finnish concordance bears the number 0736. but here it has been replaced by the sign . for the second between the thighs.30. whereupon she leaves him. The sign for unveiling the breast is also found in the second position of the inscription of the unicornseal 2002. The second sign of the inscription of tablet 3304 occurs only once again in the inscription on an etched bead registered in the Indian concordance under the number 3512. a waterbird. The first sign can be read as having beautiful buttocks or as the rosy stripes of the Dawn.95.
In the left corner we find a sunflower and a mansign. and can be compared to the sacred marriage. In ṚV I.28.15). that is similar to the friction of the firesticks and the pressing of soma.15 the boy Śunaḥśepa asks him to release him from the sacrificial post he is bound to: Release me from the upper snare. He is therefore called a fool by Urvaśī. The mansign renders the son. and lovers behaving in this way are called cruel. Varuṇa. This is contained in the inscription of the unicornseal 2111. whose translation renders: Whose character (1) is superhuman (2). the second is jumping over the rope. the guardians of treasures/the Gandharvas (6) play the flute (79). He feels. The last three signs can literally be read as to play a flute by spreading the fingers. as if he has lost his potency and his mind. It means maitaki.95. o son of Aditi. Owing to the sacredness of sexuality. with whom no friendship is possible (X. The two are acrobats like the youths jumping over a buffalo on seal 2510. after she has left him. The noose is an attribute of Varuṇa. A cupsign has been retained on the reverse of the tablet. release me from the middle one; then. they enjoy the company of women. the separation of the sexes is only temporarily. All these similes are related to inseparability. release me from the lower. as the Gandharvas have made a sheep roar. there and is mostly used in relation to youth initiation which included defloration.35 he says with reference to the somapressing: . But from the modern point of view this is a challenge to personal love. the third holds his hands up to prevent him from falling on the earth. Hence the tablet is dedicated to Varuṇa. the lord of the noose.as they let flash up (a lightning) by an unmanly design. we shall do our service free from sins for you before Aditi. The motif shows three human figures. In ṚV I. Though the Gandharvas are impotent hermaphrodites and castrates like the centaur on seal 7038. whereas Purūravas. a variant of the mortar.95 was so much appreciated in the Indian tradition that it has become the theme of a drama of Kalidāsa (6th century) and forms an episode of the Harivaṃśa (6th century) and the Bhagavāta Pūrāṇa (12th century) and other collections. one is beating a drum. He is a son of Aditi who is illustrated by the flowersign. on the other hand it is her beauty which has made him losing his mind. An exact copy of the three circles of the last sign of seal 2111 is found in the Easter Island script. The dialoguehymn ṚV X. good. The long strokes are equal to the three strands or gunas of the human character.24. who possess a mortar (4) and (3) a firevessel (5). In explaining her behaviour she compares women to prostitutes. though a virile man. is not able to make Urvaśī stay with him. the son of Aditi. Four circles in the form of a threefold noose are found on the broken tablet 2740 (M 1406).
This reading is contained in the inscription of the waterbuffaloseal 2445. Janssen calls it therefore correctly a vase (1991; 463). The additional stroke represents the vulva as in the inscription of tablet 3304. Indra! Where they bind the pestle like the horse with the reins. The verse does not refer to two (etau).1113 it is the apsaras Urvaśī who induces the gods Mitra and Varuṇa to lose their seed in a lotusflower and in a vessel. but to these (etā) worlds. The rhombussign and the two strokes are equal to the two worlds.33. and even the worlds have to be supplemented. the fourarmed fishsign to the smith. Death is only the other aspect of sexuality.10). there you may swallow down the soma. The flute was blown on the occasion of burials or cremations. and originally she has neither a bosom no arms and her feet are drawn upwards. The snare has become the flute like that blown for Yama. there you may swallow down the soma. where the deceased stay after death (ṚV IX. Heaven is also a place of marriage as in the Muslim paradise. because he feels like a victor.2: The creator has forged together these (two) worlds like a smith. Therefore she can be identified with the Vedic mothergoddess Uttānapad. Both these wombs are combined in the body of the lajjā gaurī. Indra! Though you are yoked in every house.113. The shameless woman who is an aspect of the Dawn is depicted as a relief on Indian temples dating from the 2nd to the 8th century presented by Janssen at the conference of South Asian Archaeology in Berlin 1991. The motif of the seal is related to fertility and immortality like that of tablet 3306. This is equal to the Indussign . whose symbol is the buffalo.Where the woman knows to move (the pestle) up and down. The inscription of tablet 2774 (M453) illustrated at the left that depicts a yogi with adorers holding a cup of soma in their hand and snakes at both sides can be read according to ṚV X.135. the lord of the mortals (ṚV X. The intersected circles are also found in the short inscription of the twosided tablet 3306 that we shall discuss in the following chapter on account of the five swastikas depicted on the reverse. After his release Śunaḥśepa dances to the rhythm the drum. little mortar. the intersected circles and the two long strokes render to forge together. who draws the feet upwards for giving birth. Her head is replaced by a lotusflower. In ṚV VII. here sound loudest like the drum of the victor! The author of the hymn is illustrated in the jumping and the dancing persons of the tablet. The two persons bringing somaofferings to the yogi illustrated by the simple cupsign are probably husband and . shameful woman. The flower recalls the meadow of Aditi.7). She is called lajjā gaurī. The cupsign on the reverse is a hint in the same direction. the cupsign the creator.72. But before she can do so fecundation has to take place and for this purpose women often use a similar position.
a personal god is missing in the Upaniṣad. Her bad quality. the two strokes render own or separate. she who hides herself like a female ichneumon (in a hole). she who embraces closely. the two long strokes of the fifth sign can be read as to remain here. The first. RichterUshanas 2010). the inscription can also be read according to YogaSūtra II. The snakes are an image of fertility and resurrection too. from the whole the whole evolves; when the whole emerges from the whole. The ichneumon or mongoose is a holy animal. that is like a sacred prostitute. In spite of that the seer asks her whether she is ready to celebrate the sacred marriage with him: She who holds tight. so the seer gets a virgin who has grown much hair. the second and the third its lord. as it were. In ṚV I. The adornment of the goddess Ištar belonged to her divine me.6 the mongoose or ichneumon is mentioned as a simile of a virgin by the 100yearsold seer Kak ṣīvat.1: This is the whole.23: The coming together or marriage of the power and its lord is for the realization of their own separate natures. The first sign renders the power. the fourth coming together. which is regarded as rather ugly in the Indian tradition. realization is represented by the cupsign. her thick hair. the adorned (woman). whom she was given by an Asuraking among other presents for his conducting a big sacrifice. her magic attributes (cf. the fourth and the last sign can be regarded as ideograms for whole. Moreover. the two short strokes of the second sign render this or that. In the Old Testament. becomes her adornment now. The bride is adorned like a goddess in India and elsewhere. the sacred prostitute was called zenot. the voluptuous girl will she give me hundreds of joys? The girl answers: Come near and embrace me closely! Do not fear that I have only few (hair); I am full of hair like a sheep of the Gandhāris.1. Though a virgin the girl invites the seer like Yamī her brother. the whole remains as the whole. the fishsign renders to evolve. that is the whole. because it kills venomous snakes that cannot defend .wife. The inscription is also contained in the introductory verse of BṛhadAraṇyakaUpaniṣad V. The Asuras are known for their malignancy.126.
Both inscriptions can be read according to I. his age is indicated by the stick held by him. The town was regarded as female in ancient times as in the Song of Songs in the Old Testament. The basing meaning of the first sign is marriage. . The ichneumonsign occurs eight times on Indus seals and tablets.e. The womb is also the field. The first sign of the second half of the inscription refers again to the old seer. It can be read according to ṚV VI. the number hundred as a symbol of perfection is denoted by the small circle. however. The bow can be identified with the womb or with a ship. The meaning of the sign of the intersected circles is fairly the same in all inscriptions. The mongoose is also appreciated because of its hide like other animals of this family.82. Parpola has explained it as a squirrel hanging on the trunk of a tree (1994; 103). either with one.e. the post can be referred to the somaplant and the axis mundi. because its last three signs are identical with the last three signs of seal 1387 that we have studied in the beginning. The second cupsign can be read as joy that is obtained from soma as well as from sexual intercourse. The lance can also mean arrow as in the motif of seal 7038. The mongoosesign is related to the bosomsign. because both are fecundated by the seed. In the inscription of the bullseal 1325 (M1202) and of the motifless seal 3678 (H771) the sign of the ichneumon follows the sign for marriage. The two separate signs of the inscription of tablet 3678 that are written on the reverse are often found on tiny seals from Harappa. inspite of his hundred years. The female ichneumon has a certain smell that makes it a fit partner for the sacred marriage and helpful for fertility in the eyes of the Vedic seer. The next sign can be read as wearing a bosom. They denote the town of Harappa called Hariyūpiyā in the Veda. i. three and four long strokes.126. Its literal meaning is 'post of Hari'. two. and to the virile member. Its protagonists in the beginning of creation are heaven and earth or two similar gods according to the Vedic and other traditions. the fourth sign can also be read as hundred.themselves with their poison against it on account of a drug it produces. The fieldsign can be read as battlefield. the five long strokes as her thick hair. Both signs have female connotations too.75. to which the Soma is often compared in the Veda. The ichneumon can be affiliated to the sign of the Indus script. This inscription is of particular interest.81 and X. The first cupsign of seal 1325 can be read as holy. or a related verb. It is like the womb for the creator as described in the cosmogonic hymns X. is a name of the somajuice. marriage or cohabitation in a sacred way. in the inscription of the unicornseal 2373 (M154) it means young woman or virgin.4: The two (3) (bow and arrow) (1) go to the battlefield (7) like a young woman (2) to the place of marriage (7); like a mother (4) the son (5) the womb (7)shall carry the arrow (6). whose name means 'having a girdle' literally. as a woman.6: To embrace closely is contained in the first sign of seal 1325 and the first and the third of seal 3687. i. In seven inscriptions it has the same meaning. The field can also be the whole cosmos. In these cases the arrow is equal to the virile member or to an oar. In this context the two signs can be read as giving hundreds of joys. Hari. because both refer to the sacred prostitute and the virgin. but this animal is not mentioned in the Veda. the girl does not hesitate to fulfil his desires. green or golden. The second sign renders in both inscriptions the ichneumon. the fourth and the fifth sign refer to the priest and seer Kak ṣīvat. Since he is a seer. place of marriage and womb.
The wool of the markhor was used for the sieve.6. in which the soma was purified. When the two initial signs are fused we get the compound . The eye is a term for the vulva and of the power of discrimination called buddhi in later Indian philosophy.The sheep of the Gandhāris. § I.46 dealing with the rescue of the seers Atri and Saptavadhri: When Atri descended into the fireoven and called for your help like a woman on her childbed. with whom the girl compares herself in her answer in I. On the obverse a jar covered by a lid indicating virginity and the deity in the tree with the tiger are depicted at the left.1: The father (2) has created (3) all beings (1) by penetrating (4) the later and hiding the former (worlds) (5).81.2. the cupsign as infinite joy. The two signs can be read together with the motif according to ṚV I. The markhor is also depicted on the famous seal 2430 (M1161). which was not only celebrated to obtain fertility. where it takes part in a sacrifice or is the sacrifice itself (cf. Like the womb of a parturient woman! Listen to my cry. The motifs agree with ṚV V. but also for regaining immortality. With regard to the cosmic field it can be explained as the father of the eye which is a name of the creator and the knower in ṚV X. The same happens in the ṚgVeda in the story of Atri and Saptavadhri illustrated on tablet 2728 (M478). The inscription of seal 2279 that we have mentioned in the beginning can be read according to ṚV X. On the reverse a man offers a cup of soma kneeling before a kinotree followed by several signs and a design in the form of an endless knot. at the right a man is caught up in a kinotree assisted by two persons. among them is the seal 2606 illustrated at the left. is the markhor. you came with speed of a falcon.7).13. Therefore it is related to the sacred marriage. o king of the trees.8. the wild ewe with spiral horns still living in the Himalayas.81.126.78. Aśvins. The first sign can be read as the embrace of the young woman. It is depicted on several Indus seals. too. release Saptavadhri! (5) For the frightened seer Saptavadhri . The two principles of the field and the knower of the field are also mentioned in Bhagavadgita 13. We know from the 6th tablet of the Gilgameš epic that the sacred marriage sometimes had to tackle with obstacles. For that the purification from sins is an indispensable precondition.7: The embrace of the young woman who has thick hair like the sheep of the Gandhāris (motif) gives infinite joy. as we know. Aśvins! (4) Open yourself.126.
the night was bright with stars. the ears were moving softly. Saptavadhri feels like a castrate (vadhri). Saptavadhri (bound with seven throngs) who is identical with the man caught up in the tree from a resistant woman. Atri suffers from too much heat. Sexuality is reduced to a quiet kiss in this romantic poem. so sternklar war die Nacht. The Aśvins use their magic power to open the tree. This inspiration has become very rare in modern times. In reality. but sometimes we can find it till now as in a poem of the romantic German poet Joseph von Eichendorff: Es war. Die Luft ging durch die Felder.4: Atri (1) whose seed (2) fell into the fireoven (2) called the two Aśvins (4) for help (1) like a woman (5) on her childbed (motif). as if she was flying home. als flöge sie nach Haus. In English prose these verses would run: It was. The tree replaces the two tigers held apart by a hero on other tablets. Und meine Seele spannte weit ihre Flügel aus. In the last verse of the hymn an easy birth is asked for. flog durch die stillen Lande. als hätt der Himmel die Erde still geküßt. flew through the silent land. you Aśvins have opened and closed the tree through your māyā. so that she must dream of him in the flushing of her flowers. daß sie im Blütenschimmer von ihm nur träumen müßt.who was searching for help. much blood went along with marriage as it is . in which Saptavadhri is caught. the forests were rustling peacefully. because it is a symbol of a resistent woman like the closed vase. Therefore he was correctly called a seer or a seerpoet. It was by his inspiration that the Vedic priest or poet (kavi) could recognize the male and female principle in all phenomena of the world.78. And my soul widely spread her wings apart. (6) Atri who can be identified with the kneeling man on side 2 suffers from an obtruding. es rauschten leis die Wälder. as indicated by the covered vase. but the problems the two seers were facing are of a different kind. as if the sky had quietly kissed the earth. The inscription is contained in ṚV V. The air went through the fields. die Ähren wogten sacht.
indicated in the motif of seal 1387. Invariably, heaven and earth are bridegroom and bride. The cosmic marriage is celebrated in spring as well as in summer, when the human marriages take place preferably. After marriage of the male and female principle the soul returns home to itself. In the poem a bit of incompleteness is left as in the relation of man and nature, therefore the rhymes Himmel (heaven) and Blütenschimmer (flushing of flowers) and spannte (to spread) and Lande (land) are not exact. This deviation is similar to the Pythagorean colon. For the same reason we will never get an exact identity of two Indus signs or sequences applied in different inscriptions. Exactness is scientific, but it kills the inspiration. The gods like ambivalence, as it is said in the Upaniṣ ads. On the other hand, one must be careful, not to fall a victim of the socalled Pygmalioneffect and to depend too much on one's own approach of interpretation. Whether a reading is still in the field of pictographic ambivalence or whether it is beyond it and wrong, can only be decided by looking upon it again and again from different angles and by comparing it with other wordscripts like the Sumerian, the Chinese or even the Easter Island script. A word script is a vehicle of inspiration, but it can also be the cause of misinterpretation as language itself. Nevertheless, word scripts can give a better clue to ancient civilizations than letter scripts, because they contain the key of their interpretation in themselves, they are pictorial bilinguals, as Parpola has called it (1994; 277). We have pointed out already that the apparently obscene passages in the Veda must be looked upon in its religious context that was inherited from the Indus culture. An example thereof is the cohabitation of a bull and a woman depicted on seal 5013 excavated in Chanhu Daro that is illustrated at the left. Its inscription agrees with ṚV X.61.6, where the fatherdaughterincest at the beginning of creation is described in clear sexual metaphors: In the midst of this work, when the father had directed his whole love to his daughter; it happened that the two lost some seed in separating, that fell on the earth in the womb of the good deed. The first sign is equal to the father putting his whole love on the daughter, the two divine lovers are denoted by the cupsigns, their seed by the additional single strokes. In that time, it was attributed to both sexes. The trianglesign renders to embrace. The long strokes can be read as to separate here. The earth and the womb are equal to the rhombussign. The three last strokes can be read as Chanhu Dharo, the good place where the rite took place. The name means literally 'hill with a place of shelter' or 'hill with huts' (Hindi chāṃhā). Chanhu Dharo was probably the earliest inhabited place in the Indus Valley and it also survived the fall of the big cities in the Jhukar period. The cosmic marriage is also represented in the mating of a bull and a cow on seal 9902 (Gadd 18/Parpola 1994; 219). After having restored the first two signs its inscription can be read as ṚV X.85.14d: The daughter of the sun (1) chose (1) the Aśvins (3) as her husbands (2) at the marriage (5) on the sacrificial place (4). In the Vedic hymn it is Pūṣ an who chooses the Aśvins as his father to avoid the incestuous relationship (cf. 7038).
Apart from the mating of a bull and a woman the sacred marriage is illustrated through cohabitation a tergo on the signless Indus tablet 1574 and the stoneslap 8025 from Daimabad. Its two signs that can be restored as can be affiliated to ṚV X.101.3: Sow the seed (1) in the ready womb (2)! The motifs of seals with foreign signs or signless seals can be interpreted in regard to the sacred marriage too, as in the case of a round seal excavated in Dilmun and a cylinder seal with Indian motifs found in Ur. The motif of the Dilmunseal depicts a bull and a cow in cohabitation, contrarily to the natural position the cow is on the top. The three pictograms above the motif that correspond to the Indus signs can be read according to ṚV X.125.8: The goddess of language (1), who is the pervader and fertilizer (2), is like an ichneumon/like a hierodule (3). The female ichneumon is compared to a virgin who behaves like a hierodule in ṚV I.126.6.
The image of the goddess on the cylinder seal 9006 illustrated above excavated in Ur in Mesopotamia is based on a matriarchic conception. Like the woman on the Indus seal 3304 she gives birth to a plant, while lying on the back with her legs drawn up, here she has no male supervisor, however, but drives the bull in front of her with a stick. One of her toes is placed upon the tail of a scorpion, whilst her vaginal fluid trickles down on its head. Instead of the figtree on Mehi sherds we find a palmtree in front of the bull that is an attribute of Ea, the Akkadian god of wisdom. The Vedic name for this goddess is Aditi or Uttānapad. In the Vedic tradition the beating of the bull is equal to the purification of the soma. It is said in ṚV IX.74.5 that the soma places the seed in Aditi's womb that is identical to the somavessel. The elements of the motif render the name Meluḫḫaki as on the Failakaseal. Me is rendered by the stick, luḫ by the watertank in front of the bull. The scorpion can be read as ha here as on the Dilmunseal above, because it was regarded as a sacred animal. Therefore it is placed under the marriagebed on Akkadian seals (Boehmer fig. 549, 690, 691). The determinative for land, ki, is rendered by the two wavy lines beside the scorpion. Through the scorpion cohabitation becomes a sacred act like the purification of the soma. Two scorpions are found on both sides of the naked goddess with her legs spread apart on another cylinder seal from Ur published by Legrain (Philadelphia 1936). Ute Franke(Vogt) classifies the cylinder seal under animals in a row, which leads to a wrong interpretation of the motifs. Bull and scorpion do not form a row of animals. In this connection she mentions the doublesided tablet 6208 that was excavated in Lothal and whose motif consists of a bull and a unicorn. These animals do not form a row either, but they illustrate a dual principle as is revealed by the inscription that is contained in ṚV X.39.11,14: Whose car (1) moves in front (2) with his wife (3) through the two kings (4,5) is blessed (6); this songoffering (7) is like a girl (9) for the man (8), like a son (10), who is a
progenitor (11). The two kings are Mitra (bull) and Varuṇa (unicorn). As on tablet 3304 the woman is pliable and obedient. Even if the first hymns of the Veda are 500 years younger than the last material traits of the Indus culture, the spiritual tradition of such a big and long tradition does not die, not even after an elapse of 500 years. It is not debated that its traits are found in later Hinduism, so why not in the Veda? An agricultural and nomadic culture is very well able to incorporate traditions of an older urban civilization as it is was done by the Akkadians, the Greeks, the Romans and the Jews. This applies in particular to the conception of the sacred marriage. It is not necessary that the languages are identical, because some newcomers can be trained in the older language and serve as interpreters.
5. The great seer Agastya
The motifs on a seal or tablet can be helpful to a great extent in the affiliation of the inscription. On the other hand, the motif can be explained and sometimes restored with the help of the Veda. To demonstrate this we shall study the foursided tablet 2719 (M1431), of which three sides have no inscription. Of the motif on the fourth side only some traits have remained. The animal at the left is certainly a bovine, probably bull, the animal at the right a centaur with a tree behind it as on seal 7038. In the middle four persons can dimly be recognized, the first feeds the bull, two hold their hands together as the tigers on seal 3304b, the last one offers a vessel to the centaur. On the third side a ceremony is illustrated that can be identified with the soma pressing (cf. § I.6). It is described in ṚV I.28.1,2: Where the stone on the broad fundament is erected for the pressing, there you may swallow with greed, Indra, the soma pressed in the mortar! Where the two boards (on which the press rests) resemble the thighs (of the woman), there you may swallow with greed the soma pressed in the mortar, Indra! In these verses the thighs of the woman are used instead of the two wooden boards, as it is done by the left person in the motif on side three. The upper pressing stone has the form of a pestle and the lower is round and deepened in the middle like a mortar. After the soma has been pressed by the squatting woman, the sap is poured from the mortar in a vessel by the standing woman. With regard to the Veda the figure behind the vessel is the god Indra, to whom the soma is dedicated in most of the Vedic hymns. He runs to the vessel to swallow it with greed. The hymn I.28 was composed by the boysaint Śunaḥśepa, but it is not very likely that he is
illustrated on the tablet, because there are two persons engaged in pressing the soma. The first sign of the inscription on side 1 makes it more likely that all the motifs refer to the famous seer Agastya and his young wife Lopāmudrā. According to ṚV I.179 Agastya had the desire for progeny in spite of his old age. On the first side the couple is illustrated as the tiger and the person in the tree. The squatting position that is also found with the woman holding the pestle on side 3 is an image of seduction. The two are also represented by the two gazelles or goats eating from the tree at the left of side three, which is a butea frondosa called ḍhāk in India. It belongs to the family of the acacias like the tree on the Mehisherd (cf. § I.6). Its leaves are almost identical with those of the pipal tree and there is one sign for both in the Indus script. Agastya, whose name means '(who) is (asti) immovable (aga)' [like a tree or hill], is the enjoyed as the tree, when generating progeny he is the enjoyer. These two aspects of life are also illustrated by the motif of the tiger and the deity in the tree on side one and the file of three animals (unicorn, elephant and rhino) with a crocodile hunting two fowls above them on side two. Agastya and Lopāmudrā are depicted again on the fourth side of the tablet as the unicorn at the left and the composite animal at the right that is an image of the goddess of language, Vāc, whose personification Lopāmudrā is. The motif in the middle can be explained as Agastya and Lopāmudrā making love, the man with the vessel as Agastya praying for remission of his sin (cf. I.179.5). That Agastya regards it as a sin to have had sexual intercourse with his wife can be explained with his leading an ascetic life and with the youth of Lopāmudrā. Therefore their relation appears incestuous. Like Indra Agastya conquers the snake, the image of sin, that lies on the altar like Vṛtra on the hill. The inscription on the first side that can be restored as Agastya dug with (wooden) pegs desiring children, descendants and power; both colours the mighty seer let bloom, with the gods his desires became true. The mansign in curved lines can be identified with Agastya reconciling the two colours of fertility and austerity by ploughing the land, the sign for the pipal or ḍhāk leaf can be rendered as to let bloom, the first cupsign consisting of two hands folded together can be read as to desire, the second cupsign can denote the truth and the gods. This renders: After the furrowmaking seer Agastya let bloom the two colours, his desires became true with the gods. The name of Agastya who is one of the most famous seers in the Veda does not only appear on this tablet. Thus the signs of a pipalleaf and a cupsign on tablet 2734 that designate the divine nature of the Soma can be referred to ṚV I.179.5 and read as Soma, the god, is the redeemer. The motifs of the tablet can be related to the mythology of Agastya. On the first side three persons are standing in front of a kino tree which is a variant of the somaplant. The man at the right who is killing or sacrificing a bull is an image of Agastya (cf. Bhagavadgītā 4.24). The composite animal is contained in ṚV I.179.6:
but this was a natural process brought about by watering the stalks of the plant. the bull with three heads at the right is an image of the somabull called Viśvarūpa in VI. Normally. The man standing behind the bull can be identified with Agastya. This family is also indicated by the needleleaves on the back of the bull. whereas from the śamī its bitter variant was obtained. Here the net is at the bottom. sometimes the peacock has a man in its stomach whom he is going to bring into the other world.2 the inscription indicated the place. Unlike the German mead the soma never was an alcoholic drink. The gazelle eating from a pipal or ḍhāk tree in the middle of the third side represents Lopāmudrā again.on the second side represents Agastya's wife Lopāmudrā here. 6.4). On a miniature painting from Rajasthan of the 17th century the Gāyatrī. as if the contrivance is standing on the trunk of a tree similar to that of the following tree. It is often said that it swells. though the pipal is a parasite that suffocates other trees.3. particularly for medicinal plants (Akkadian šammu). Agastya created Lopāmudrā by taking a part from each animal. The same idea is expressed by the pipal leaf together with the peacock on painted urns from Harappa. the ephedra. The standard as an image of the somapress The unicorn on the Indus seals is regularly standing behind a 'cult object'. There are red coloured impressions in the lower part. the upper part of the standard has the form of a net that is always smaller than the lower part looking like a vessel.41. but the leaves can also belong to the butea frondosa belonging to the acacias called śamī in India (cf. for . Its prototype is found together with a bull on several sherds from Mehi in Baluchistan. On account of these features the contrivance could be an image of a firedrill or a mortar or whim. the bull. On the sherd only the frame of the net has been retained. and a symbol of transmigration through cohabitation. The two footprints at the right side pointing in opposite directions are another variant of the somaplant. excavated in Harappa some years ago (Kenoyer/Meadow 1994; 467). however: . The fruits of the pipal have berryform and are sweet like dates. The pipal and the śamī are both venerated in India till today as an image of the cosmic tree. Since the standard has the form of the crescent of the moon on the Failaka seals. A small ivory sculpture. we can translate the whole symbol as 'moonplant'. but there are no holes. the land of Meluḫḫa. § I. It may have delivered the sweet soma or madhu. On the Failakaseal that we have discussed in § I. from where the pot came. 139148). is depicted in the form of a composite animal. whose function is unknown so far. In the Sumerian script the netsign is used as a determinative for plants (Deimel sign 593). Mode thinks (1959; 258) that the tree between the two bulls is a figtree called pipal or aśvattha. This is identical to the somaplant. was purified in a sacred rite. According to later Indian mythology. shows that the whole object has a round form. a synonym of the goddess of wisdom. where it is combined with a tree: It seems. A standard is also found on several Failaka seals (Kjaerum 1983; fig. The same appellation is obtained from the motif of the sherd. where the soma.
here it is written separately under the deity in the tree. is a spark of him. The cosmic tree is an aspect of the cosmic man. The similarity of the two inscriptions can best be recognized when they are written under each other: . On seal 2430 the fieldsign that we have met on seal 1387 appears again. The inscriptions of the two seals are nearly identical. the 'hair' can be explained as the ends of the stalks that were pressed by the pestle or the pressing boards. Leaves and eyes are also found on painted urns from the Harappa cemetery (VSI. Their main motif is the peacock whose tail sometimes looks like a foot or as acacialeaves. The way of the moon leads to reincarnation. This proves that the Harappans believed in rebirth. a meander is painted on its back and a lot of lines are drawn on its belly.soma is a name of the moon. Pad. the way to the sun and the way to the moon. that the upper part of the contrivance is a filter used for the purification of the soma. Two seals with cosmogonic inscriptions Cosmogonic conceptions play an important part in the Veda and on this ground a lot of inscriptions can be read. 44). If the lower part is regarded as a mortar. The somabull is fastened to a śamī tree with very fine budfibres here. A śamī with two birds sitting in its crown with a fruit in their beaks is depicted on a jar from Lothal (Rao 1991; fig. fig.164. in particular those of the often discussed seal 2420 (M304) with the motif of a horned figure in a yoga position surrounded by four animals and the equally famous seal 2430 (M1186) with the motif of a deity in a pipal tree accompanied by seven persons with plaits and venerated by a kneeling man with a head of an ancestor on a dais at his right and a markhor at his left side. The two birds can represent the two ways after death. The meander can be read as hills as on the Mehi sherd. The peacock is the vehicle of the soul after death. Beside it are twigs. 181).20. He explains the 'hair' issuing sometimes from the lower part as splash of the liquid (1994; 437). The reincarnating entity. on others with a templedoor giving it a sacred function. 31). the other with leaves of the śamī. bird. On several Failaka seals the netsign appears together with a plant that has pinnate leaves. Therefore the cosmic man and the soul are both called puruṣ a in later Indian philosophy. is homophonous with pati. the soul. This motif can be related to ṚV I. the eyes are a symbol of wisdom and may represent the seers or the planets. the tree is then an image of the cosmic tree. The mortar and the whim work after the same principle as the modern motor or as pole and a car. Mahadevan supposes (1994; 435). The name of Meluḫḫa is also indicated on a jar from Nindowari (VSI. foot. fig. There are many combs and several eyes above and under the animal. one with leaves of the pipal. 7.
8 the animals of the plains. whereas originally he is the victim being seduced by his daughter. The yogi and the deity in the tree are both androgyn according to this reading of the inscriptions. as the cupsign the creator. from Dak ṣa (4) Aditi (3); then the beneficial gods (5) were born. the mansign renders friend here. the friends (7) of the drink of immortality (6). On seal 2430 the sign is written separately beside the treegoddess. As the man sign Dakṣ a is the victim. the shameless woman. of the forest and of the village have emanated from the . the aggressive tiger would represent the east. Turned round the triangle appears as the form of the human beings on the neolithic Indian cavepaintings. The gods behave like human beings in regard to the soma. the cupsign denotes the drink of immortality. the region of Yama. The goats under the pedestal are not part of this classification.4cd. but with regard to the Vedic tradition they can be classified according to the directions as it was suggested by Hiltebeitel already (1978; 776). The inscriptions can then be affiliated to ṚV X. the soma. The fishsign renders the gods. In the Veda the sequence AditiDakṣ a has been interchanged. § I. it can be read as the creator god Dakṣ a. the second in her aspect of the daughter.On the presumption that the additional stroke of the mansign represents a phallus.3 and 4. it is the abstract form of the first mansign of the inscription of seal 2420 and can be placed on the top of the inscription of seal 2430. He has also absorbed the energies of the other animals as the goddess Durgā did in later mythology. or the goddess Aditi again. 'she.72.6). the priest of the gods and the author of the hymn. The elephant that is known for its memory and dignity would correspond to the north. who spreads her legs apart'.72.5cd: From Aditi (2) Dak ṣa (1) was born. Likewise Aditi is not only the mothergoddess. whose name means potency literally. On seal 2430 the first sign can be read as Aditi in her aspect of the mother again. the waterbuffalo the south. By wearing the horns of the buffalo the yogi shows that he has overcome death. The two trianglesigns represent the mothergoddess Aditi called Uttānapad in X. The name lord of the beasts (Paśupati) for the central figure is already explained in the Varāha Purāṇa as referring to the gods who have taken the form of animals to accept Śiva's sovereignty after he has destroyed the sacrifice of Dakṣ a because he was not given a share of it. The diacritic fishsign renders Bṛhaspati. Dak ṣa! With this interpolation the commentator wants to make Dakṣ a the actor. the cupsign for the drink of immortality. because in the Veda the line 5ab is added: For Aditi has been born as your daughter. She can also be compared to the lajjā gaurī. According to ṚV X. In this way we arrive at the same number of signs on the two seals. The inscription runs over two lines. The same motif occurs on an Etruscan bronze tablet as lady of the beasts (Sälzle 1965; 63). The penultimate cupsign signifies the drink of immortality. the rhino the west. literally who draws her feet upwards (for conceiving and giving birth) as it is illustrated on the cylinder seal from Ur (cf. she is the daughter too.90. Since it means (place of) sacrifice. the last mansign stands for the friends. The Pūrāṇa does not state the names of the gods.
In this respect it resembles the unicorn. it is part of nature too. Seen as a yogi he is outside society. goats winter Mercury (Aśvins) 3.12. the rhino to the common people and the waterbuffalo to the servants.12. The sacrifice of the head is equal to the sacrifice of the male potency. . If they are included. where all planets stand in one line.2 as the seven seers. Only three seasons are mentioned in X. It is represented by the markhor on the seal. It is said that the creator of the world is still beyond them.121. as it is regularly done on the seals. buffalo rainy season Saturn (Yama) After the rainy season follows the autumn again. The rhino is correlated to the spring on account of its potency represented by the horn. The goats live in the plains.10. Probably in the Indus Valley five seasons were known too.125 addressed to the goddess of Language. in the Veda. it is a simile of the virile member of the cosmic father. It may be objected that the animals are wild. leading the semen upwards. only the dissipation of the semen. The head is equal to a the primordial constellation. This process together with prāṇāyāma.82. the tiger to the kings. but as the year it is related to both realms of life.13). There were no slaves in this on the whole peaceful society. The seven persons in the lower register of seal 2430 are referred to in X. The head beside the main priest in the middle of the seal is mentioned in the cosmogonic hymn X. who declares in X. The order of the animals looked upon in the direction of the original of the seal is equal to a pentagram: 1. especially in daytime is prevented (cf. They are never tamed. The goats under the dais can be correlated to the tribal people. Prajāpati is another name of Dakṣ a. soma is the substitute of the semen.7: I give birth to the father in the head of this (world). Besides. the highest god in ṚV X. but five are enumerated in I. Praśna Upaniṣ ad I. As a liquid. tiger summer Mars (Indra) 5. that emanate from the Puruṣ a according to X.90. According to the following verse the seers of ancient times have sacrificed to him like those of the present time. seen as the year he is Prajāpati. Then the elephant would correspond to the brahmin. the father of all beings.90. the animals can also be correlated to the four castes. This was replaced by ūrdhvaretas.164. the castes civilized. in the later tradition .6. the controlling of the breath. The Aśvins correspond to day and night and to the male and female principle. nature and society. The animals of seal 2420 live both in the plains and in the forest. elephant autumn Jupiter (Bṛhaspati) 2. the animals around the yogi can be classified according to the seasons and the planets.125. This objection can be refuted by placing a manger before each of the four animals so that they look as if the were tame. and certain positions of the body like standing on the head is said to be the fundament of yoga in the Tantric Saṃhitas. Mercury is connected with the constellation of the Twins. Since the lord of the beasts is an aspect of the cosmic man.Puruṣ a. The sexual activities can be resumed if necessary as the story of Agastya reveals. heat. It leads to a temporary austerity called tapas. The winter is a pleasant season in India. As the deity in the middle is surrounded by wild animals that belong to nature. rhino spring Venus (Uṣ as/Dakṣ a) 4.
too. to some the ear. This myth has also found its way in the Christian New Testament. how the elephant was like. reads: When the Buddha stayed in Sāvatthi. 8. the quarrel with each other saying: The right law is like this. they tried to bring it in a historical frame and to incorporate it in this way in their own teaching. Thereupon the Buddha said: In a former life there ruled a king here in Savatthi who gave order to somebody to collect all the people in the town who were blind by birth. And because they do not know it. The Buddha was no friend of mythical thought in general and of the Veda in particular. but this does not mean that he and the Buddhist teachers who followed his dhamma rejected the Vedic tradition altogether. Masefield. to some the end of the tail. not knowing the law (dhamma). In the Buddhist version. but it was also influenced by the preceding oral tradition of the Veda and the Upaniṣ ads.4. Then the king asked the blind that had touched the elephant. (Cf. Then they hit each other and cried: The elephant is like this. they quarrel with each other about the nature of the elephant they touch.I do not believe that a nomadic people as the Āryans describe themselves in some hymns of the Veda would have been able to develop such lofty philosophic ideas as they are found in the cosmogonic hymns of the Veda. the blind men do not regain sight. to some the back. And the Lord said the following sentence (udāna): Some Brāhmīn recluses are attached to this or that (doctrine) and they quarrel with each other like the blind who have each touched only a part of the elephant. the elephant is like this. he was told of monks and Brāhmīns quarrelling with each other about what was the wrong and what was the right doctrine. the elephant is not like this. the parts of the elephant that are touched by the blind are all found in the inscription of the broken . to some the tusk. They must have been composed in an earlier time. After they had been brought. however. and each time he added. to some the leg. Oxford 1994). so some the tail. the king said to this man: Show them an elephant! To some of them the man indicated the head. The parable that is narrated in Udāna 6. Those who had touched the head said that it was like a waterpot; those. notably by Christianity. Surprisingly. Buddhism has left its impact on Indian history. This amused the king. The parable of the elephant and the blind is an example for this dealing with an older tradition. Instead. The Udāna. The parable of the elephant and the blind The parable of the elephant and the blind has been told by a Buddhist monk to overcome the obstacles impeding the further spreading of the Buddhist teaching (dhamma). not knowing what is not the law. It was applied by other creeds and religions. to some the belly. In the same way those are blind who follow other teachings. on the contrary. P. to some the trunk. The reason of their quarrelling is that they do not follow the dhamma and this is a sort of blindness. they do not know what is to their benefit and what is not for their benefit. the law is not like this. who had touched the ear said that it was like a winnowingbasket; those who had touched the tusk said that he was like a peg; those who had touched the trunk said it was like a ploughbeam; those who had touched the belly said that it was like a covering; those who had touched the leg said that it was like a post; those who had touched the back said it was like a mortar; those who had touched the tail said it was like a pestle; those who hat touched the tuft of the tail said it was like a broom. The parable is based on the ancient myth that a blind man can regain his eyesight by touching a sacred person or object. a rather late Buddhist text.
30. It is identical to the Kuṇḍalinīsnake dwelling coiled up at the end of the spinal cord. but also as a hierodule like the Mesopotamian goddess Ištar. The reading andha can only be discovered with the help of the Veda. the strokesign to the covering (the blind only touch the skin of the belly). In the parable the narration of the parts of the elephant starts with the head and goes on step by step till the tuft of the tail is reached. he becomes a seer. In spite of her purity the Dawn was not only regarded as a virgin.20). Its power is attributed in this hymn to Indra though it is otherwise identified with his enemy VṚtra. Therefore it can be read as being lame. The name is derived from mahāmatra. the teethsign to the broom. The first sign renders andha. excellent man. the unicorn has been replaced by the elephant. The man has lifted his hands and carries a chain or hook around his waist.9cd: The blind saw after touching the snake. The mansign with horns is a symbol of the seer and priest. perhaps because they resemble each other in their . the mansign with additional stroke between the legs is equal to an impotent old man. the second cupsign to the mortar. The last cupsign refers to the snake again. By looking on the radiance of the Dawn or the sun a man can become dazzled or blind. With regard to the ṚgVeda the inscription agrees with IV. leader. The narrator of the parable was probably a brahmin who knew the Veda very well and who still had some knowledge of the Indus script. as the Brāhmī script was read at the time of the Buddha: The first cupsign renders the waterpot. vessel. The compound ukhachid is a hapaxlegomenon. The god Soma is also represented by the cupsign. A man standing behind an elephant is depicted on the cylinder seal 8801 found in Maski. a mahout. though the unicorn would have better suited the purpose. Most probably he is an elephantdriver. On the Indus seals the beginning of the inscription is indicated by the head of the motif. the two fieldsigns are equal to the winnowingbasket. the first mansign to the pillar (on account of the stroke or phallus between the legs). Snake and elephant are both called nāga in Sanskrit. the trianglesign corresponds to the plough. proves that the Buddhist story is based on an older tradition. too. In the Buddhist parable. The sign can also be read as a banner. Maharaṣ tra. the two fieldsigns that can also represent a texture are equal to the joints (parva) meaning also the knot which is found in textures. The first two signs form often a pair in the Indus script. Ukha is otherwise a pot. the first cupsign represents the snake. the stepsign to the handle of the plough. blind. In other Vedic hymns it is the god Soma who makes a blind man see. The narrator reads the line from left to right. but here it means the crutch that has the form of a pot at the end. because he knows the character of the animal and how to deal with it. The seal can hence be used as an amulet to protect its bearer against attacks of a furious tamed elephant or for protecting the fields against wild elephants. The fact that two different blind men referred to mortar and pestle. Blind is related to being dazzled. the horned mansign to the pestle. the trianglesign can be read as to fix together. The German equivalence Krücke is etymologically related to Krug. because the seer is the friend of the Dawn (ṚgVeda I.unicornseal 2317: . the breaker of the crutches (the lame) walked away. because the elephant is known even to a person that is blind by birth. the following oblique sign to break.19. The strokesign denotes a clutch here. whose literal meaning is to be covered by darkness. but when done with his inner eye. his joints having been fixed together (by touching the snake).
which includes sexuality. the Buddha has lost the ground of the perennial philosophy. Another said it was like a winnowing fan; he had touched only his ear. Vedic women are generally regarded as seductresses. it can strife for inner freedom. Just so. a man who has only seen one aspect of God limits God to that alone. The parable of the elephant and the blind was also narrated by the Bengali saint Ramakrishna. It can be inferred from this version of the story that Ramakrishna who introduces God (īśvara) did not regard the world as ephemeral like the Buddha.61 has its origin in the Indus religion. In the eyes of a Buddhist the horned man. He may have been induced to do so by the second mansign in the inscription of seal 2317. To refuse it can be a sort of blindness. even if they are mother. In this way they are serving fertility. Sexuality is identical with silliness and blindness for the author of the parable. daughter. 1969. that made its first appearance in this cycle in the Indus Valley. This means that sexuality is not dealt with in the Veda in the profane sense the Buddhist narrator attributes to it. It is his conviction that God cannot be anything else (recorded by M. The drop of soma is symbolically identical with the male seed. but as a sacred ritual. as Indra is the god of fertility. In this way others having touched its tail or belly. because the horns create the notion of outdatedness and stupidity. This applies for the society too. By his reading of the inscription of seal 2317 the Buddhist narrator degrades the Vedic tradition by pointing out that its priests were merely engaged in pressing soma which is described with sexual metaphors in ṚgVeda X. Sexual symbolism becomes part of the religious life again only in Mahayana Buddhism. Only when the body is healthy. .12.. The blind men began to feel its body.antagonistic qualities and because the tusk looks similar to a snake. 125).61. but rather similar to the Mesopotamian religion. The primordial incestmyth dealt with in ṚgVeda X. though his monastic followers adhere to the teaching of Advaita that has many similarities with Buddhism. One of them said the elephant was like a pillar; he had touched only its leg. When cohabitation is compared to the purification of the soma. but they are also instrumental in securing resurrection and immortality as in Gnostic traditions. gave their different versions of the elephant. By rejecting the Vedic tradition. sister or wife. On several Indus tablets the relation between death and immortality is illustrated by a fish caught in the mouth of a crocodile. may have been a simile for a cheated lover or husband as in our tradition. This relation is also the precondition for leading a healthy life. Sexual metaphors are also used in the cosmogonic hymn X. The behaviour of the Vedic seers and priests in respect to sexuality is not in tune with Buddhism nor with a tribal society. the Indus sign for priest. sexual allusions are only admitted as a concession to human nature being as unable to cut off the fetters of sexuality as to give up the hankering after gain and money. macrocosm is reflected in microcosm. Death is then only an intermediate stage as it is experienced in initiation.101. It can be supposed therefore that it was inherited from the Indus civilization that was contemporaneous with the Mesopotamian. but with a different moral: Once some blind men chanced to come near an animal that someone told them was an elephant. If the innermost being is empty. too. as the enlightened Buddhist realizes in his nirvana. They were asked what an elephant was like.
who imprisons women. if not the only. in this way he avoids the association with sexuality. Therefore the Buddhist version of the story is not a good example for the illustration of tolerance. treat the myths that deal with a similar deed in other traditions with disregard or call them devilish even. too. 9. on which all these stories are based. This is not a reason for to be laughed at. to become a jīvanmukta. who is told to have been born like the Vedic Indra (cf. The swastika Swastika is the Indian name of a symbol called the gammadion cross in English after the Greek capital letter . for overcoming lameness it is not sufficient to walk in the physical sense of the word. Ramakrishna has omitted the similes of the broom and of the pestle and the mortar. Obviously. Its fundamental message is that a man should not only try to see with his outward eyes. but for compassion. One of the most crucial options is related with sexuality. the teacher of Śankara. as it is done in modern times not only by Christianity. but with his inward eyes. To admit this is also a question of tolerance. but only of limited understanding. gives the following unbiased summary of human self identification in verse 29: That conception. which one wants to see. because it means to give up the belief that one's own tradition is. if not the only reliable. Neither in the Veda nor in the Buddhist parable nor in the New Testament the original meaning of the miracle is revealed. Herein he behaves like an Advaitin or Buddhist. as for the king in the parable. To make a blind man see and a lame walk is one of the miracles ascribed to the Christian saviour. he does not take notice of the mythical elements of the story. They do not quarrel with each other either. men cannot realize their inner independence. It has to be combined with solidarity and equality. But the Christians who ascribe this miracle to him. There cannot be tolerance and peace between different creeds and traditions.In Ramakrishnas version the men who touch the elephant are not totally blind. as it is called in the Indian tradition. and it protects and satisfies him who sees it.32 calls Indra's enemy Vṛtra a eunuch. in the Buddhist parable people are called blind who do not follow the Buddhist doctrine. as it is generally supposed. one sees. X. and after he has realized it. Moreover. Similarly. as long as sexuality is excluded or degraded by them. This independence is part of the fundamental human rights. the Indus tradition where these ideas have been born is the fundament or turntable of the Western and the Eastern religious tradition. The same problem is found in the methods of modern science. but in the spiritual sense. 73. Belief in God and his son is a necessary precondition for doing miracles in the case of Jesus Christ. that means that man must give up to look on himself as a slave and to realize his inner freedom and independence. Similarly. that means that he should try to become a seer. but also by the Feministic ideology that regards itself as the most advanced nevertheless. at least the highest. As long as they struggle with each other. but each method can only reveal a part of the truth. he identifies himself with it. too. After enumerating several conceptions of the world in the 2nd chapter of his Kārikā the famous Advaita philosopher Gauḍapāda. in the same way as the author of ṚgVeda I.2) through parthenogenesis. It can only be discovered with the help of the Indus tradition. Every scientist believes that his method is the best.
the warriors were born from his arms. from which the world came into being: The brahmins were born from his mouth. The population of the Indus cities was mixed. This is explained in the Bhagavadgātī in a psychological sense: The caste depends on the natural inclination of a human being. prosperity. Its earliest appearance.Gamma. but also in the Near East. these were the first laws; thus these mighty beings reached the sky. The Indian name for caste. where the origin of the castes is described for the first time in Indian literature. dated 2600 ante approximately (VSI fig. it could be understood as representing the Dharma. the holy order.90. however. varṇa. as its adaptation by the nationalistic movement in Germany may suggest. This is mainly due to the caste system which was most probably invented by the founders of the Indus civilization or developed by itself in those cities with its different population. As the swastika is one of the oldest symbols of the Indian civilization. is on seals and tablets from the Indus Valley. where the former gods. which is another proof for the persistence of this civilization.13. in Scandinavia and in the areas inhabited by the Celts. and this determines his profession. A 69). established together with the primordial sacrifice of the Puruṣ a described in ṚV X. are. they were produced from the body of the Puruṣ a.90. The first swastika has been found on a stamp seal from Mehrgarh. where it is found on the back of the feet of the Buddha. It was hence related to life and death. the common people were born from his thighs. the servants came forth from his feet. since the Indian mythology and philosophy has not changed very much in the course of the five millennia that are known to us historically. From the 3rd century ante to the 4th century post our era the swastika appears on Indian coins together with the motif of the cosmic tree or the pyre. It is therefore connected with god Viṣṇu. Its name is derived from Sanskrit svasti. in Egypt and Crete. The swastika has not been found in India only. It is one of the most popular symbols in India and is painted on the walls of many temples and houses. means colour.16: Through sacrifice the gods sacrificed the sacrifice. however. the pervader. that the swastika is an Āryan sign. welfare. According to ṚgVeda X. it cannot be altogether precluded that these peoples were influenced by the Indus civilization. It is not unlikely that the meaning of the swastika in India today is identical to that it had in the time of the Buddha or the Indus civilization. This does not mean. the Sādhyas. the maintainer. when he was sacrificed by the gods in the primordial sacrifice. luck. Though it is generally believed that the symbol came into being independently in all these regions. . Its meaning is peace and happiness. It has a similar meaning in Buddhism.
the second sign looks like . The eating and noneating are denoted by the first sign. Andrew's cross. there are the tablet 2733 (M1415) with the motif of a Latin cross. There are four steps in total and four steps in all directions which correspond to the arms of the swastika. In the Finnish concordance the swastika is replaced by the fieldsign that occurs also on the two tiny seals 3482 and 3486 (H911) with the same inscription. They are equal to the seasons. but of them only one seal and four tablets have an inscription: Seal 1311 and the tablets 1580 (M482).6 the gods create three seasons by sacrificing the Puruṣ a.The Sādhyas are probably identical with the yogis depicted on the Indus seals. According to the Indian concordance the swastika is also used as a sign in the inscription of the tiny seal 3500 rendered there as .6). One are eating. the fieldsign corresponds to the cave. one step remains here; then he goes in all directions over eating and noneating. The two fishsigns can be identified with the master and the seer. the short vertical stroke to the Dawn. According to ṚV I. The long horizontal stroke is related to Agni. The gods are part of his creation (X. the cupsign denotes the sky here.129. The four castes would then be equal to the branches of the swastika and its centre to the divine state that everybody should strive for according to the injunction of the Bhagavadgītā. On tablet 2078 (M419) and 2624 (M 1389) the swastika occurs together with a grid motif. With regard to the two fishsigns the inscription of tablet 2733 on the reverse can be read as ṚV IV.3 the horse consists of three parts. of which 16 copies are illustrated in the Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions. with a variant of the Latin cross . The crosssign is the placeholder of the Latin cross that denotes fertility and resurrection and the source of the activity of the seers.163. 2717 (M488). The Puruṣ a divides himself.2. There have been found about 50 seals and tablets with the swastika motif in the Indus Valley. the mansign the sons.4: With three steps the Puruṣa goes upwards. who opened the cave. The Puruṣ a can be identified with the horse sign. In any case the inscription can be read according to X. the father of the Aṅgiras. They do not know how it came into being.15cd: We want to be like the Aṅgiras. The diacritic mansign denotes the Aṅgiras. of which nine copies exist and the tablet 2720 (M461) with the motif of a variant of a St. On tablet 1623 (M443) and on the stone slab 2707 (M 1356) it appears with another geometric design. the excavator of Harappa.90. In addition. the crosssign renders to open.90. the sons of the sky. 3306 (H182) and 3317 (H242). Seal 3500 is not illustrated in CISI . their mother. In X. but according to Vats. The swastika can be identified with the Puruṣ a or with the year in this inscription. It would then be possible to restore the so far hypothetical original meaning of the swastika with the help of the Veda in the same way as we have done it with the signs of the Indus script in the foregoing chapter. The gods are not mentioned on the seal. the masters of the seers. The Veda does not reach the highest plane of wisdom here. the others are eaten. This is the law of nature.
Since the fieldsign can be explained as a manger or food.On account of first sign the inscription the bullseal 1311 (M1225) can be affiliated to ṚV X.8cd: Beyond the sky. They have been born from the same womb. The motif on the first side illustrates the goddess Vāc as a voluptuous woman who draws up her skirt as we find it on Akkadian seals depicting the goddess Ištar. the mighty preserver of power. It denotes the four main parts of the year. The admiring tiger is an image of the seer. The motif on the reverse of these tablets can be explained as a snake coiling up a tree. They are also related to the sun and the year with five seasons and an expression of happiness and inward and outward peace (svasti). the cupsign as its lord. The inscription would read then: Like heaven and earth the twins (Yama and Yamī) have been born from the same womb.1: The food is to be praised.3: The welladorned virgin with four earphones (1) whose face (3) is dripping with butter (2) wears a distinguising mark (vayuna) (4).10. There are six coils. we arrive at ṚV I. The right and left turning swastikas on the reverse are a symbol of fertility and resurrection again. The motif can also be related to the twins Yamī and Yama. such a one I have become through my greatness. together with the railing we get the number seven.114. as Yamī says to her brother in X. The inscription of tablet 3306 is repeated on the reverse like that of the sealing 3304: It can be read according to ṚV X. beyond the earth (I am).5. The oblique cross with additional bars following the two signs on tablet 2720 and others (M457 to M463; M1409 to M1414) is a fertility symbol like the Latin cross and the swastika.125.187. The intersected circles render heaven and earth. The mark is also illustrated as the swastika on the back of the seal. the two long strokes beyond. Therefore the motif can be identified with the cakras and the . The two long strokes would denote the twins then and Yama would be identical to the tiger. the cupsign greatness.
. the disciple will not attain liberation. but they can be restored with the help of the inscription of seal H1922 that has been recently excavated. The dark aspect of the mothergoddess can be overcome by the initiate who knows the relation of nature with the androgyn cosmic man. It came to my mind that if the snake would have been a big one the frog would have been silent after three croaks. Similarly. The egosense of the disciple is not removed and he is not released of the clutches of attachment to the world. when he meets a real guru. The crocodile with a fish in its mouth on the reverse depicts the law of nature: The big swallow the small. When I came back after some time the croaking had still not come to an end. Both are divine. somebody's egosense is removed. The equivalence for the inscription of tablet 1580 followed by a swastika and a kinotree and the motif of a crocodile with a fish in its mouth on the reverse is found in ṚV I.9). but she is not only a symbol of peace. with which we shall deal in the next chapter. the three initial signs are severely damaged. of course.164. not to the members of organisations including that one established in his name. It is the male that is sacrificed.125. but the disciple must be 'swallowed' by the teacher to get rid of his egosense. Therefore the state of suffering of the frog did not cease. In a similar way the nature of a true guru is illustrated by Sri Ramakrishna in one of his parables.6). after which many Indian religious organisations are modelled today. can be derived from the root gṝī. Ramakrishna's critic refers only to the personal teacher of the ancient tradition. Her healing capacity is referred to in ṚV IV. My translation follows the Hindi version: One day [when making a walk] I heard the croaking of a bullfrog and I thought that it must have been seized by a snake. The Vedic paraphrase is contained in ṚV X. she also brings about dissension and war (cf.125. The heaviness of the guru is caused by the disciples he has swallowed.5).Kuṇḍalinīlinisnake.4. In the inscription of tablet 3317 arranged around a swastika. to swallow. As it was only a water snake both had to suffer. the guru and the disciple. to the present needs.19. the food the disciple. Though called inexhaustible. Indian religiosity has to answer. The swastika is a symbol of the goddess Vāc here. The goddess is depicted on the reverse as a deity in a tree similar to the figure on seal 2430. as it happens with the priests of the Christian church.49: Inexhaustible (2) is the breast (1) of Sarasvatī (3)! The inexhaustible breast is the bed of the river here and Sarasvatī is the goddess of the river. The egosense is the offering then. I went nearer and saw that a small watersnake had seized the frog and now it could neither swallow it nor get rid of it. as it were. The crocodile becomes the teacher or guru then. When he has come across an unripe guru. § I. When the guru is 'unripe'. the primordial sacrifice symbolized by the swastika. both have to suffer. X. That means that the institution of guruship has its origin in the Indus culture like the castesystem. The guru is described as the swallower and as being swallowed in the Uśanasstory of the Mahābhārata. it dried up at the end of the Indus culture (cf. Through initiation the higher purpose of nature is realized.5: Loved (1) by the goddess (4) the man (3) becomes wise (2) he is given (7) knowledge (5) and security (6) by the goddess Vāc (8. literally meaning 'heavy'. A teacher in a religious organisation will not suffer very much from his being unripe. With regard to this sacrifice the word guru.
that separates day and night ruling over all (creatures) that have blinking eyes. Therefore the motif is a symbol of luck like the swastika. It is also a symbol of the inverted cosmic tree. the horse is born from the ocean (ṚV I. The last motif is a composite animal that can be identified with the seven parts of the cosmic man (cf. With seven she went to the gods.89). By this sacrifice fertility and resurrection is obtained. the eighth she put aside. mark of luck. From the fleeting ocean was born the year. Lakṣ mī. They can be read according to ṚV X. A similar motif is found on the copperplate 2807 (M1457). a personification of the swastika. it refers to ebb and flood depending on its attraction. If the sign is read as the moon. Luck is needed on the battlefield too. On the right half we find a tiger and the deity in the tree who tries to seduce the tiger. day and night is written by the two netsigns. the Dawn. The motif recalls the Śri yantra. who is like the goddess of luck.125. from that the fleeting ocean. The sacred marriage is also illustrated by the motif of the endless knot together with a swastika on a rectangular stone slab recorded under the number 2707 (M1356). the endless knot is worn as a crest . He is known as the deathborn son who became the sun (cf. can be related to the first two verses of the From that was born the night. The year is equal to the twelve strokes representing the months. the sign of the androgyn deity as inflamed heat.163. and a priest with the horns of a buffalo is depicted who sacrifices a markhor to the deity in the tree. The motifs of the tablet 2717 illustrated at the left (FrankeVogt 1991.Tablet 2717 (M488) with the inscription cosmogonic hymn X. where it is used in relation to war (Parpola 1994; 57). because it is the father of the sky whose tapas is inflamed by his daughter. The guardiansign can be read as law and truth. Probably the grid motifs on tablets 2624 and 2078 have the same meaning as the triangle motif.1). The womansign can be read as the (cosmic) night. The watercarrier with a vessel on the head represents the goddess Vāc. § 4). the ocean as the horsesign and the strokesign. the vehicle of Sarasvatī in later time. 264) shows on the upper side a swastika as symbol for creation and the elephant as symbol of Dātar or Dakṣ a. because the mane of the horse resembles the waves. the eight circles with her sons.1 the Puruṣ a is said to have 16 parts. RV X. Under the name of śrīvatsa. On tablet 2773 the swastika on the reverse is replaced by the two signs . the creator in the limited sense of Indian philosophy.190: Law and Truth have been born from the inflamed heat.8b: I carry all the worlds.72. The rhombus in the middle can be identified with Aditi. It has no inscription. On the lower side an altar with a goose. On the reverse of the swastikatablet 1623 we find an inverted with 15 triangles in a circle. Moreover. It is spread all over India till today like the swastika and also known from Mesopotamia. On account of the retina they may also represent the blinking of the eyes. plate 259. In Praśna Upaniṣ ad 6.
The 12 strokes denote saṃvatsara. at least they are their relatives or descendants like the seers. at the place (5) of the good work (6). Maybe. I give it the provisional number 9911*. This has a sexual connotation too. the raingod. ūrdhvaretas. The inscription can also be correlated to ṚV VII. Vratācariṇa. if not a cylinder seal with Indus characters had been rediscovered in the British Museum several years ago that has been excavated in the Seistan area between Afghanistan and Iran.2: Agni has to be praised by the poets as he was praised by the former seers.jewel by Viṣṇu and Jain saints. but most likely it can be deduced from the root pṛc. he is the friend of the divine women (7). whose feet are standing on an egg. which corresponds to the centre of . they are identical to the yogis of the Indus culture.1 of the froghymn: After having been silent for one year like brahmins who observe a vow. observe a vow or going with the wind (vāta). Three seasons are mentioned in ṚV X. the first mansign is equal to the silent brahmin or muni. a frog was written on the lost opposite end of the seal as on the seal 2078. is equal to the bird sign and the two long strokes.136. the frogs invigorated by Parjanya started their speech.90. is rendered by the second mansign. We could end our investigation here. The frog denoted by the last mansign. who is the whole brilliant sky (3).2). The seal is broken off on the top and at the left end and only a part of the inscription has remained. This directs us to ṚV X.85. five in ṚV I.23.103. who has realized the eternal brahman. The unknown bird is called the divine soul in the human body by the Bāuls who are the spiritual descendants of the Vrātyas.24 of the marriagehymn: Aryaman (1) and Bhaga (2) may lead you to marriage (3.12. firmly I have bound you there (to the husband). The derivation of the name Parjanya is somewhat obscure. The radiant seed is the seed that is kept inward. Aryaman is inserted later. the speech by the womansign. to fill. The fourth sign from the right can be restored as an eagle. The inscription of plate 2807 which consists of two lines can be read according to ṚV X. It looks similar to the vulva. This attitude should also be followed by modern philosophers. The inscription contains elements of all verses except the last one: The longhaired who carries the fire/the radiant seed and the poison (1. This is recognized for example in ṚV I. But since the gods are said to sit on a throne. uninjured (9) to the divine husband (7) in the womb of the true order (8). Western scholars do not admit that the sacred marriage or the yogi are mentioned in the Veda. who flies through the air like a bird (4.1. It has been adopted by Buddhist art like the triratna . Its arms and feet can form a swastika.4).6. is a personification of the muni too. the two first signs of the first line denote only Bhaga originally. Then we obtain . in this case.164. not from there. invigorated corresponds to the eggsign. The strokes can be explained as sparks and denote fire or the seed.5). who knows all things (6). year.25ab: From here I dissolve you.85. The motif that is equal to the sign is described in X. Six seasons may be referred to by the monogram on top of the Seistan seal. Parjanya.
when the Puruṣ a burns up evil.the Śrī yantra again and to the cosmic tree. whose form is also found in the ancient Indian caturangachess. Therefore it was easy for them to win the masses. Parjanya is compared to a bull in verse 1 of this hymn.4. but they buried it in the mass movement that their leader Hitler created. It may be compared with the monogram on the top of the cylinder seal 7733 (Sibri2). Whatever it is. The main motif on the seal from Sibri. be used in its oblique form for bad purposes.90. but in their politics they only carried out the philosophy of Darwin. The bull and the lion are both aspects of the godhead. but a Hun. the Āryans believed that the Dasyus were the evil that the Puruṣ a seemed to have left for them to destroy. says the Bṛad ĀraṇyakaUpaniṣ ad in I. inspite of the crimes they did.5 and 15. In ṚV V. we have nevertheless arrived at a comprehensive and consistent result. too. The lion would symbolize the fecundating power and the zebu the fecundated.2. but in the eyes of the warriorclass he did not burn it up sufficiently. Apart from the astrological meaning it could be explained as an illustration of the fight of the elements. With three quarters the Puruṣ a is said to be the immortality in heaven. Creation begins. To sum up. On the top of Sibri3 with the motif of a lion facing a zebu we find a small animal which could be a scorpion. but which is most likely a frog. Hitler and his followers thought the Jews were the evil that had to be annihilated. Male and female is within this one quarter and within it is good and evil. we can say that the swastika is a symbol of the sun and of the year and that it represents the cosmic order and of the goddess of language and luck as well as the cosmic game (līlā). They thought that the spirit of life which is called jīvabhūta. the eternal principle of life in Gītā 7.7 had allotted a special mission to the German race which they believed to have descended from the Āryans. whose meaning is peace and welfare in medieval and modern India. . with one quarter only he is the universe according to ṚV X. a lion attacking a zebu.83. Though we had only very little material for our study of the meaning of the swastika. Therefore.3cd we read in this connection: From the distance the thundercries of the lions arise. too. They think it their job to complete creation or to reinstall truth and virtue. In a similar way.1. There is one question left. both animals belong to the rainy season. as it happened in Germany 80 years ago? The reason for this lies in the structure of creation. when Parjanya creates the rainclouds. It was known to them that the principle of life was part of the cosmic spirit. however: How could an emblem. because they were an obstacle to the development of the German Empire which they thought would last for at least 1000 years. where she fights and kills a buffalo. God himself is born for this purpose according to Bhagavadgītā 4. though he who was certainly not an Āryan inspite of his blue eyes.78. The crocodiles above and below the motif on Sibri2 are a symbol of fertility. the goddess Durgā is identified with the lion in a later Indian legend. when they have been lost. In the time of the Veda. has much similarity with one of the main motifs of the Akkadian seals. As a symbol of the cosmic order it is related to welfare and fertility. since he was born in the area where they had lived before.3.
even in modern times an Indian town is still a big village. also in the sense of having sexual intercourse. One sign has the size of about 40 cm. Indra is described in the following way: Indra is the king of the moving and the staying. of the striving and the satisfied. The sign can obviously be explained as a hook and is similar to the Greek capital letter gamma. The verbal root gam means to approach. the thunderbolt. The triangular form is conventional. There we have read it as writer. On the other hand. whether the reading of a certain sign is correct. like the rim the spokes (of a wheel). but obviously we get comprehensible and consistent readings of its inscriptions with the help of the ṚgVeda and in some cases of the AtharvaVeda. though the rural Vedic life was different from the urban life of the great Indus towns. The pictorial form of the sign has been retained in several inscriptions the most famous among them is from Dholavira and has been excavated only recently. Aditi is the food. a variant of which we have come across already as a singularity on seal 2704. on the other seals as the mothergoddess Aditi. This is similar to draw the water from a well. The vajra. In the later Indian script called Devanāgarī this sign is used for the letter ga. Here we meet with an exact explanation of the wheelsign and that it is used to designate the king. It can be supposed that at least one of them refers to Indra as the king of the gods and the god of the monsoonrain and the monsoonwinds. Since it gives us a good opportunity to continue our crosschecking. The . The original image is the crab with an ecliptic body. And in this sense the swastika was misused by the Nazimovement. he. Singular signs have a religious connotation too.32. In the seals 2420 and 2430 we find several crosssigns. who holds the vajra in his arms; indeed. as for instance the sign that is found on potsherds. Hence it combines the male and the female principle as in the sacred marriage and the swastika.We do not know the language of the seals. the last verse of the hymn. however. he rules as the king over the peoples. because it is repeated four times. Indra's weapon is also called axe or hammer in the Veda (kuliśa; ghana; khedrā) as depicted on the Dholavira board. By the way. 10. is identical to the second sign. It is written on a wooden board which was probably fixed over the entrance door of the city. his śakti. we shall study it here in detail: .134. The Vedic seers and writers knew.5 Vṛtra is said to have been hewn down by Indra's axe like a tree denoted by the third sign. because he encloses his people like the rim enclose the spokes. In ṚgVeda X.15.6 it is a simile for Indra's power. Going upright and adulterate are attributes of lordship that can be used in a negative sense.The 'indicator' is the wheelsign here. In I. That means that everybody who entered the city could see it. The name of the mother goddess means the 'eating one' according to Indian etymology. This can be justified by the basic pictographic meaning of the sign which can be rendered as to grasp. The well is a place for the meeting of both sexes also in the Old Testament. how to adapt the inscriptions to their life.32. he holds them together. This would also agree with the size and the position of the board. CrossChecking In a wordscript crosschecking is the best and often the only means to prove. Eating and grasping are identical. In ṚV I.
The curves represent the earth on the sealing. of which several are found on the dagger 2798. The places are represented by the housesign. The waters are the female power through which a work is carried out or an aim is reached. The watercarrier represents Indra again. which agrees indeed with the pictogram. but as they often occur together with the numbersign for seven. but in case of the inundation of the Indus cities ruled by the Asura Vṛtra. This attitude changed after the Āryans came into power. These readings show that the daggers were not intended to fight against an outward enemy. who are identical to the seven planets. the second line of one of the weapons reads . of the king (7) who encloses all peoples like the rim the spokes (8). § I. but they can be identified with the moving and the staying. Their meaning may also be head.second wheelsign renders to rule as a king. All of them have an additional line. The second line of the zebuseal reads .6). is born again (and again). . Three of them have been inscribed on bronze weapons. The additional lines on the weapons can be affiliated to verse 7 of the same hymn. the waters that were formerly under his control worked against him and destroyed him and the cities for the advantage of the Āryan tribes. Therefore we should be careful not to interpret every battle in the Veda as purely symbolical as Sri Aurobindo did. The two wheelsigns at the end are used for the wheels of the car. but their priests ascribed this deed to Bṛhaspati and the Aṅgiras. one belongs to the broken zebuseal 2119.85. The last sign renders to hold together. The two initial pictograms are rather conventionalised. of the other . the other.32. The four signs at the beginning of the inscription from Dholavira are replaced by the two signs in all other inscriptions. The three signs of the zebuseal can be affiliated to ṚV I. The country with its people going or standing is equal to the following three pictograms. so that their meaning is difficult to ascertain. whose spokes are hold together by the rim. We cannot end our crosschecking here. a verse of the marriagehymn: Ahead and behind (each other) two boys go playing around the (heavenly) way through their magic power; one looks on all beings. This directs us to ṚV X. the Ādityas.1: The bellies of the hills were crashed with the thunderbolt (for setting free the waters). they can represent the sons of Aditi. There is no equivalence for the beings with and without horn. They came into power after the flood subsided. but that they had a spiritual or mythological purpose as we have found it in the battle of the ten kings (cf. In this inscription they can be identified with sun and moon. The zebu can be a symbol of Indra on account of its majesty.3). since there are four other inscriptions with the sequence . however. who arranges the seasons. The short strokes can be explained as the pieces of Vṛtra that Indra distributes over many places like relics. The crabsign in triangular shape with a circle in the middle is also found on the motifless inscription 2301 (M 1262) . Indra's deed I shall praise for those who work on the field (4) and those who wander (around) (5. Together with the main line we obtain: Who has crashed (3) the bellies (1) of the hills (2) with the thunderbolt (3).18. The two signs of the middle line can be read as Indra's deed and to praise as it is done with an amulet. To distribute is equal to the hand in the circle.
The apsaras denoted by the rhombussign of seal 7122 resemble ducks or horses illustrated by the signs in brackets. The inscription of the unicornseal 3006. The hand with four short strokes renders to arrange the four seasons. The compound triangle sign can also symbolize the navel of a woman. but there is no reason to explain it as the banyan tree only as I formerly did induced by A. The main part of the sign can be read as a skull and as bald. If taken as a tree it can also mean to be born again and again. the inscription of this seal can also be read as the law of Thales: A rectangular (1) triangle (2). Certainly it depicts a plant or a tree. the ecliptic. because to play means here that the heavenly bodies go in a certain direction. The "arrow" can also mean to decapitate. Sun and moon are both threatened with decapitation in the time of the eclipses. whose fruits were used as dice. The equivalence for magic power and all beings (of the three worlds) is found in the diacritic cupsign. i. The longest inscription with the vibhīdakasign is found on the unicornseal 7122 (K15) . can be affiliated to X. (like playing mares we bite). The flowercup of these trees is nearly identical to this sign. It may have served as a branding mark which indicated that it belonged to the chief.1. Since the sign follows twice a square sign and since the crabsign is often placed in the middle of it and because of the form of the "berries". seal 1387). who have a swelling bosom. which is equal to the daughter on seal 2430. is a bridge between heaven and earth (6). i. the moon. The vibhīdakasign stands for immortality then: When a (worthy) mortal feels attracted to the immortals. The vibhīdaka tree belongs to the terminalia.9. we get a single stroke.34. The bridge is the rainbow. the last sign represents the dice board excavation. The comparison with horses is probably a later interpolation.e. the two long strokes are equal to born in the storm. and it appears together with the leafsign on seal 3862. it can represent the vibhīdaka tree. A head is also found in the motif of seal 2430.95. But here the two circlesigns which can be read as ducks direct us to ṚV X. the verb to play can be derived from the arrow under the signs. according to our will. and unites with us. ṚV X.34. Parpola. By crosschecking it was corroborated that most of the inscriptions with this sign can be affiliated to the diehymn. we polish ourselves like ducks. A variant of the first sign without the "hair" and the arrow is found as a singularity on pots from Rahman Dheri. The Indian mathematicians have always used a poetical language for their laws.e. the head (of the clan). The first sign renders the dice. Another important pictogram that can hardly be recognized is the sign . the single stroke denotes the worst cast. Ahead and behind is rendered by the sequence of the first two signs. For the one that looks on these beings. only the number of the pistils have been reduced from five to three. obtained by drawing a demicircle (5) in the middle (4) of two lines (3).The trianglesign with a circle can be read as the heavenly way the sundaughter is going to her husband. too (cf. the second the vibhīdaka tree. the sun. the bowsign that can be interpreted as a bowl renders to intoxicate. Since the game of dice had to do with mathemathics and since the seers were architects. illustrated in the beginning. since the horse is scarcely known in the .
The Veda served as an ark. the handsign in a circle is equal to benevolent. Instead the donkey was used. too. the three fishsigns denote the personal pronoun referring to the seers here. In fact. the cupsign the gods. by which the wisdom of the Indus civilization was saved from its destruction in the Great Flood caused by an earthquake together with a flood most probably. On account of the relatively early decline of the Indus civilization. This is called the family seal (Geldner) of the Gṛtsamadas. The letters or syllables of the alphabet are words at the same time. Conclusions From the Indus seals that have been found in Mesopotamia. To come together is equal to the bowsign. 11. from the occurrence of similar motifs and pictograms in the Sumerian and the Indus script we can deduce that both civilizations were not only exchanging goods with each other. the crossingsign the conference. The plantsign renders their big bosom that swells like the somastalks in the water. The (worthy) mortal is a potent sacrificer rendered by the sign of the somavat and the seer. Immortal corresponds to the sign of the banyantree regarded as immortal on account of its airy roots. the authors of the second book of the Veda. may we speak as spiritual heroes in the conference of the gods! The first two signs can be read as the incomparable goddess Aditi. The strokes denote the seed the apsaras are longing for.35 and II. .40. Thus ka means who. the Devanāgarī. ga to go. has retained a logographic substrate. the Indus script retained its logographic character. as it were. the haresign denotes the heroes. on a seal from Failaka and in the Mehi area of Baluchistan. the strokesign to speak. kha hole. it also allows us to retrace the links between the cultures of the past and to discover the ultimate origin of the Indian philosophy and religion and of the 'mythic mind' of the Indian culture. This method is particularly promising and necessary in the case of identical sequences.45. as it were. the last two signs are equal to the will of the waterwomen. ja be born. the whole sequence can be read as may we speak as heroes to the conference of the gods.6: is found on the unicornseal 3005 (H12) which can be May the incomparable goddess Aditi be benevolent to us.2: Put (8) your thoughts (7) on the weaving loom (9) of the gods (10)! This is similar to YogaSūtra I. both have their origin in the era of the bull. word and image did not become separate entities. but that they were in a close cultural contact. it did not develop into a syllabic or a letter script. Through the Veda it is not only possible to read the signs of the Indus script even today. Even the modern Sanskrit script. The words kept their pictographic and ideographic wholeness. it is indispensable for systematisation and the only way to arrive at a signlist with lexical qualities (RichterUshanas 2012b; 249). Though crosschecking does not prove that the particular reading of a sign is correct as long as the basic meaning has not been ascertained. etc. The most interesting inscription correlated to ṚV II. The longest identical sequence occurring in more than fifty inscriptions is . the trianglesign with a stroke stands for to unite. from the name Meluḫḫa on an Akkadian seal.Indus civilization. The last four signs can also be read according to ṚV X. Since the first sign can be read as horse or hero.101.
in order to arrive at a peaceful future of humanity. Stuttgart 1959; Vergessene Städte am Indus. 2011. The first numbers of the seals and tablets are from A Concordance to the Indus Inscriptions. that is at the basis of modern societies and makes them so aggressive that they do not only destroy themselves mutually.W. The main body of the oral tradition in regard to the tablets consists of the chants of the natives Metoro Tau a Ure and Ure Vaeiko. For general information about the Vedic and the Mesopotamian traditions cf. Thomson. as the Easter Island script is generally called today. Aachen 1987; Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions; Helsinki 1991; Ute FrankeVogt. is contained in these songs. Norderstedt 42012a. or by taking recourse to the oral tradition. What are called human rights should be again examined in the light of this tradition. The Rosetta stone of the Rongorongo script Preliminary remarks There are two possibilities to read the tablets of the Easter Island script: Either by ascertaining a structural regularity on account of the repetition of certain signs or signsequences. though it is sometimes contradictory and therefore unreliable to a certain extent. This monograph contains a complete list of signs too. Mainz 1995. Metoro's chants were written down by the bishop of Tahiti. Nordhausen 42011b; Die sakrale Liebe im Alten und Neuen Testament und im Alten Orient. Part of the oral tradition are a number of popular songs that have been saved from oblivion by the ethnologist K. F. Helsinki 1987. A few passages were translated in the past only to illustrate its uselessness for the understanding of the tablets. Mode. The Message of the Indus Seals and Tablets as preserved in the ṚgVeda and the adjacent Traditions. References H. the numbers in brackets from the Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions I to III (CISI). Nordhausen 32010. in particular in those songs that deal with youth initiation. Ure Vaeiko's chants have been translated insufficiently into English by A. 1991. (Tepano) Jaussen in about 1873. on the ground of the notes of the Tahitian merchant A. E. though not totally incomprehensible. The chants of Metoro are judged by all scholars as incoherent. RichterUshanas. Salmon. Das Frühe Indien. The inscriptions of the breast ornament Rei Miro 2 and of the New York birdman have been translated here on . the paymaster of an American ship visiting the Island in 1886. Routledge. Die Dreigestalt des Seins und der androgyne kosmische Mensch. The Rosetta stone of the Rongorongo script. For a detailed study of the Indus script in relation to the ṚgVeda cf. E. In this contribution the attention will be focused on the oral tradition. but structural rules will be considered too. Helsinki 1973. The chants of Ure Vaeiko that could not be affiliated to any tablet so far were recorded by J.The rediscovery of the spiritual fundament of the ancient Indus civilization proves that the idea of sacrifice is stronger than the notion of egotism. Die Glyptik aus MohenjoDaro. Salmon. RichterUshanas. II.E. but also the natural environment to an extent never witnessed before.
and that he only relied upon the method. studied this line carefully he arrived at the same result (1932: 153155). of which he believed that it would make Metoro's chants intelligible. P. however. In spite of these circumstances. This may be the reason. Thirteen years after Wolff's and only five years after LanyonOrgill's rather fruitless attempts the renowned . though on the other hand he deemed it possible that the natives were consciously misleading the ethnologists (1973: 62). as if Metoro was not interested in revealing the secrets of the script to a foreigner. 8594). A signlist elaborated by bishop Jaussen in 1893 turned out to be indispensable for the translation of these texts as well as of Metoro's chants. Keiti and Mamari. LanyonOrgill tried to translate the tablets Atua Mata Riri (Small Washington Tablet) and Mamari after Wolff's example with the help of the Jaussenlist only. too. Though the bishop explained the signs in this list at first in Rapanui. Though his 'translation' the first line is mainly based on Ray's contains several mistakes and does not go much beyond simple wordrenderings. was of the same opinion. The ethnopsychologist W. and illustrated this by translating the first line of the tablet Aruku Kurenga (Heyerdahl 1965: 353). by which he had himself learnt the script from his teachers on Easter Island. Jaussen made the first attempt to decipher the Easter Island script called Rongorongo nowadays. just because he is a competent interpreter could make himself understandable to the bishop only in the frame of the bishop's limits of thought. and by comparing his readings word for word with the signs Jaussen elaborated a list of 253 signs and ligatures known as Jaussenlist (J). the language of Easter Island the island is called Rapa Nui nowadays . Most likely he had objections against the contents. It is also possible. Wolff tried in 1945 to read the first three lines of the tablet Aruku Kurenga on the ground of Jaussen's wordlist (1973: 80104) having access to Metoro's reading in a corrupted form only. why he did not invite Metoro for a second session.the ground of this oral tradition. though he looked on the matter from the right point of view. that Metoro had a feeling of respect for the bishop. Metoro's chant of the tablet Mamari was unknown to him and his transcriptions of the tablets were quite insufficient. It even appears. Hence he could not achieve verifiable results. known under the names of Aruku Kurenga.H. is not taken into consideration by Wolff. It was published posthumously by Alazard in 1893 and reproduced by Wolff (1973: 6677) and Heyerdahl (1965: Fig. Already on account of the length of the chants he thought it inappropriate to publish them. and then in French. it is obvious that Metoro's chants are not completely meaningless. As an example of Metoro's chants his reading of the first two lines of the tablet Aruku Kurenga are presented to the reader. were read to him by Metoro. Barthel in 1958 and 1963. since he could not have failed to notice the sexual meaning of many words. S. When 40 years later the reputed ethnologist and expert of Rapanui. The beginning of Rongorongo research When in the 1870ties bishop T. 1. Wolff regarded Metoro as a competent interpreter therefore (1973: 90). That Metoro. the bishop saw only a bulk of words and short sentences quite similar to a dictionary. he made his list. he had the assistance of the native speaker Metoro Tau a Ure who was working on a plant in Tahiti at that time. after it had been adjusted to the signlists published by the German ethnologist Th. A. At any rate. Jaussen was not able to find out a meaning in Metoro's reading of the tablets. Eight years later. Four tablets. the publisher of his book. because the sticks and tablets (kohau) on which it is inscribed were chanted (rongorongo). Ray. Tahua. Alazard.
Beyond doubt. she confines herself to the investigation of the realm of rational knowledge. by which she tries to show that Metoro's readings are deceitful. Metoro would not have deceived the bishop. In the signlist of 1963 only 170 signs are explained. S. R. Metoro need not fear the consequences of violating the taboo connected with the tablets either. Fischer (1997: 228) looks upon Bathel's scientifically uncontrollable explanations as a house of cards built on sand.R. since creativity cannot be confined to the realm of rationality. At any rate. he remarked that it would seem to be a disavowal of Metoro's abilities as tangata rongorongo man. because he was taught in his youth by three teachers of Rongorongo (Fischer 1997: 49). she has made several mistakes. The list of about 700 signs that was published by him at the same place as an appendix has no explanations either. We have to recognize. that Metoro did his best to explain the meaning of the signs to Jaussen. since they are mostly his own conjectures. S. Besides. if he would have read it exactly in the same way. this is contradictory to her enthusiastic panegyric on the creative abilities of the Soviet researchers at the end of her article. Irritated by the fact that different signs can have the same and identical or nearly identical signs a different meaning.K. if one tried to read from his information intelligible stories (1965:381). It is unrealistic to expect to obtain the meaning of whole tablets or of whole lines even by only translating short passages relying on a small number of signs. Having undertaken the necessary efforts it will become clear that a coherent translation can be afforded without relying too much on fantasy. therefore. The translations from the tablets scattered in the monograph and his later attempts to read the script are confined to short quotations. Heyerdahl studied Jaussen's manuscripts kept at Grottafera near Rome. he was competent to read the tablets. too. Barthel published Metoro's four chants for the first time in total. This is the case with all symbolic systems of writing. but without a translation in his monograph on the Easter Island script in 1958. she has only given an interlinear translation of the first line of the tablet Aruku Kurenga like her predecessors apart from some examples taken from here and there of Metoro's readings. Fischer follows Fedorova in his judgement on Metoro's chants (1997: 53). which we shall discuss later. whether different signs have the same meaning and same signs a different meaning. But in her 'evidence based on circumstances'. Moreover. climax and balance found in all works of poetry and music. because each chant deals with a certain category. It is unimportant in this regard. partly on arbitrary epigraphic suppositions. that he has often rendered them indirectly or metaphorically. I. without testing her arguments. It took nearly 30 years till Heyerdahl's verdict was confirmed by the detailed scientific investigation of Metoro's chants through the Russian ethnologist and expert of Rapanui. the sand being Metoro. But Metoro cannot be held responsible for Barthel's explanations. however. Th.German ethnologist Th. he reads a nearly identical sequence of signs on the tablets Keiti and Mamari nearly identical. Fedorova (1986: 238254). Independent of Barthel's publication of Metoro's readings. After considering that bishop Jaussen wanted to know the meaning of each single sign and making hence no demands contrarily to this preposition. They are sometimes even composed according to the rule of tension. even if he would have read the same tablet in a different way a few days later. however. Such a method cannot be called scientific either. partly based on Metoro's readings. In a way. he would have done it. as she admits herself (1986: 253). It can be assumed. since after the . Metoro's chants are the best means to study the Rongorongo script.
The tree represented by the leaf and the sky can be related to each other. It was quoted by the natives. when most of the islanders and among them nearly all Rongorongo experts were brought as slaves to Peru and died there or on the way back of smallpox. it is not helpful for the decipherment of each of the scripts. Scholars who criticise de Hevesy often do not notice that in the title of his lecture held on this topic he has spoken of 'paraissant'. however. The elements of the Rongorongo sign for sky are the sign for white and for hibiscus that cannot be regarded as a candidate for the world tree. they need not have the same meaning. At any rate. but need not change its basic meaning. The at first sight promising attempt to compare the Easter Island script with the outwardly similarlooking Indus script undertaken by de Hevesy (1933) does not find the approval of modern scholars anymore. mostly on account of many faults in his transcription of the Indus signs. R.R. whenever they were asked to recite the contents of the tablets and was even given as a name to all tablets (Fischer 1997: 272). who died around 1850. who owned a sheep station on Rapa Nui at that time. The same can be said of the similarities between the Indus script and the Hittite script discovered by Meriggi (1938). A traditional song going under this name has been recorded by Routledge in several versions (Fischer 1994: 415417) and a short rendering of it is contained in manuscript A in Latin writing collected by Heyerdahl (1965: Fig 127).year 1862. compares the Rongorongo sign for sky with the Indus sign for the leaf of the pipal (fig) tree with additional strokes that lend it the appearance of a mapleleaf. however. Therefore. the transcription of the original language of Easter Island and its translation into English is full of mistakes. that de Hevesy opened up a whole new era of scientific interest in Rongorongo (1957:153). W. nobody was there to punish him after his return to Easter Island. Fischer (1997: 268). in relation to the similarity of the two writings. Fischer admits. Thomson. the paymaster of an American warship. a Tahitian of Jewish origin. but had no effect on the understanding of Rongorongo. because he has compared the unknown with the unknown. Moreover. . but besides the names of some tablets only the beginning of a tablet called he timo te akoako has been recorded apparently. appearing. The most important point of objection is. To read a syllabic writing is not more difficult than reading a letter script. if the tree is regarded as the world tree. even boys were taught to read and write the Rongorongo script. De Hevesy. it can be said with security. Although the oral tradition is unreliable. and had learnt the script from the king directly. if one is conversant with the oral tradition and the symbolic conception behind the pictograms. Other manuscripts that have been written in Latin (B to F) have been translated. but the text is regarded as being unintelligible (Fedorova 1965: 401). Another source that could be helpful in understanding the script is the oral tradition in general. Salmon. But Ure Vaeiko's readings did not promote the understanding of the tablets at all. the greatest hope to read the Rongorongo script is still resting on the discovery of similarities between the oral and the written tradition. S. Many words were misunderstood by Thomson's translator A. that even if the signs of the Indus script were similar to Rongorongo signs.J. In view of these failures. as is pointed out beforehand by many ethnologists and linguists. Ure Vaeiko had been a cook of Ngaara. the last independent king of Easter Island. In 1886. eventually by S. was able to persuade the native Ure Vaeiko to read photographs of the tablets that had been brought by him to the Island as a loan of bishop Jaussen. that what is written in the tablets is known at least to a certain extent from the oral tradition. but this concept is unknown to the oral tradition of Easter Island. since they were apparently not related to them. for instance.
as he calls it. however. Fischer's new transcriptions (1997: 403508) display a great number of improvements. they do not deserve the name writing. which was also called for by Barthel (1958: 224). Since cloth patterns cannot render grammatical forms. Except the snuffbox all artefacts were published by Barthel in his monograph in the transcriptions of the americanist B. Induced by Ure Vaeiko's chant Atua Mata Riri Fischer discovered a cosmogonic formula on the Santiago staff and other tablets. Fischer speaks himself of a second breakthrough after the first discovery (1997: 260). though several details remained unintelligible. the Rongorongo signs can easily be recognized as men. from the point of view of his structural method. that much better results can be obtained by translating them directly from the Rapanui text. however. without he himself being able to do it. Dietrich (1998; 1999). the former translation has been proved to be wrong in many aspects. Besides. The Pleiads and Orion are springconstellations on Easter Island and they are related to youth initiation therefore. as Fischer himself does. Before I ventured to approach the comparatively long texts of the tablets.If anywhere. Meanwhile. but the only constellation named there is that of the Pleiads. animals and plants. the breast ornament Rei Miro 1 (with two signs). The Jaussenlist does contain signs for star(s) and the Milky Way. even the most important after Barthel's monograph. Its study yielded a meaningful result to me at the very beginning. but it is not more than a contribution to the decipherment. the breast ornament Rei Miro 2 (with 43 signs). Fischer mentions the songtradition in this monograph. I discovered the model of Ure Vaeiko's Love Song (Thomson 1889: 526) with the help of the sign for woman in the tablet Tahua. There are many further breakthroughs necessary. rendered by him as X1YZn. not the decipherment itself. For this purpose. however. . there are a four other objects incised with Rongorongo script. which cannot be afforded by cloth patterns or constellations. Since this condition is fulfilled by the reading of the Rongorongo signs through Metoro and Ure Vaeiko. it is justified to call Rongorongo the only script that exists in the huge Pacific area. has been confirmed by Fischer's explorations: The Easter Island signs form a script. before one can say that the script of Easter Island can be called deciphered. as it is maintained by the hobbyastronomer and designer M. This means that Barthel's numeralizations have still to be used. I thought it recommendable to study the shorter material. the single line of the breast ornament Rei Miro 2 is especially suitable. Melville (1986: 109). After translating the breast ornament I looked for identical passages in the recitations of Ure Vaeiko and of Metoro. Generally. Eventually. of which 21 have been retained in a more or less good condition. Fischer did not numeralize the signs. This may be a breakthrough. the Belt of Orion is mentioned by Metoro several times. The comparison with Metoro's readings made it clear. This would not be sufficient to call them a script. because they are based on the originals and not on photographs and plasters that were used by Spranz. the Rosetta stone of Rongorongo lies in the discovery of such similarities. however. implements and geographica. Only on the ground of the oral tradition a complete reading of the tablets can be afforded. a snuffbox (Fischer 1997: 429) and the figure of a birdman. Beside the tablets. Spranz. This discovery led to a provisional translation of the tablets Keiti and Aruku Kurenga on the ground of the Jaussenlist. its formal criteria have been retained until now. For this the ability of rendering grammatical constructions at least in a rudimentary form is required. One thing. The Rongorongo script cannot be compared to Hawaiian cloth patterns either that are called a script by L. too (1997: 304). Nor are they reproductions of constellations. however. They are not merely mnemonic devices nor lists of ancestors nor purely ornamentic.
Stimson's Tuamotudictionary (1964). Churchill (1912). Harmony was explained by the Greeks already as the putting together of sherds. that is inexplicable. is the most promising means to secure their meaning. compiled by Biggs and Walsh (1966).Even Fischer admits that these readings are not Metoro's invention. The underestimation. that means with our conception of what is logical. as it were. Hermeneutic means here as well as there to discover the hidden meaning. as some of them live in Germany. This requires even more philological endeavour and consistent examination of the results. The protoPolynesian word list. no doubt. to which the texts belong. we shall have a look on the oral tradition in regard to the history of Easter Island. but that they are based on the oral tradition (1997: 52). can sometimes be used as an additional dictionary. Du Feu (1996) that contains a small vocabulary. either because they are obsolete or because they have been incorrectly rendered by Jaussen. Metoro's chants require the same hermeneutic endeavour that is given to the interpretation of texts of the ancient literature. but the real author is probably A. besides asking the natives. dim as it may be. but such a rest is even found in mathematics. When the meaning of a number of signs has been ascertained. since the original in Rapanui is missing here. the Tahiti grammar and dictionary of bishop Jaussen (1949). The tablet can be named after the main category of the first line. and even disregard of Metoro's chants is partly due to the fact that they do not coincide with our conception of sound and melody. In greater detail this tradition has been . And as in the case of other cultures it is necessary here to study the language as well as the oral tradition of the people. we shall confine us to the single line of the breast ornament Rei Miro 2. J. the Marquesan grammar and dictionary of Dordillon (1931) and the grammar of modern Rapanui by V. to find a common ground either philological or epigraphical. In this way. To learn the native idiom of Rapanui I had to my disposal the vocabulary attached to his book on Easter Island by W. but it can be affiliated to a line as well. the seven short lines of the wooden figure of the New York birdman and the first two lines of the tablet Aruku Kurenga. too. Line and tablet can consist of several categories.W. the rest of the line can be translated in accordance with it. The latter way has become quite easy. Therefore I read these 'fragments' in the light of this tradition. Fuentes' grammar and vocabulary. Quite helpful were the grammatical notes in Fedorova's articles (1965; 1986). Englert's Rapanui grammatica y diccionario (1978). as was shown by Bierbach/Cain. through which the category of a line can be ascertained. This includes the whole Polynesian culture here. the fragments or the signs and words of a line are becoming notes of a melody. There remains a 'heuristic rest'. and some of them still know their native language. In this paper. 2. In these cases crosschecking. Pater S. The first report of the settlement of the Island goes also under the name of J. Barthel's opinion that girls are almost never mentioned in the tablets (1958: 322) has been proved as wrong. Salmon. The passive voice that is said to be historical by Du Feu (1996: 150) is frequently used by Metoro. The settlement of Easter Island and the war between the long ears and the shortears Before studying these events in detail. Sometimes the comparison with other Polynesian languages can deliver interesting results. All of them have to do with the initiation of boys and girls. Barthel has indeed discovered Bruchstücke echter Tradition [parts of genuine traditions] herein (1958: 210). but hitherto it was not believed that they deserve the same attention. Many of the words occurring in his chants are not contained in the dictionaries. Thomson. Fischer relates the category to a complete tablet.
60). The next day the queen started in one of the canoes to explore the coast to the Northwest. The first archaeological research was carried out by Th.R. . which was named mokioone. as hotu. since the relation to Mangareva. It is interesting to note that the Sanskrit word pitar. while the other canoe. including the papermulberry and the toromiro trees. for which the god Makemake and the king were responsible. Métraux (1940) and Th. with two large double canoes and three hundred chosen followers. and the seeds of various plants. however.3: 109) is not convincing. Fischer in his monograph (1997). Barthel (1958). Barthel renders in his second signlist (1963: 430) the sign B 37 (J 111. father. In particular. but wrongly translated by Métraux. attracted by the smooth sandbeach. In the article going along with the signlist. Fischer's explanation of the name through the variant Hatumatua (1997. in J 111 of the Jaussenlist. and the nuts of a creeping plant found growing along the ground. as it is stated by Métraux's informant Tepano.dealt with by K. Heyerdahl argues on the ground of the main draft of the sea (1969: 204). Hotumatua steered from there to the right along the northwest coast. let run (the seed). In line Ab6. and there the first food was cooked that had not been tasted for one hundred and twenty days. The first landing was made on the islet of Motu Nui. let swell. The second part of the name of Hotumatua means father. out of which the god Makemake created Hina. This is indeed related to fertility. A. is conjectural.60 where it occurs as annexe of the sign for water (B 70) Metoro reads it as hotu. but TuukoIho has quite different connotations in the oral tradition. on the north coast. The modern state of research is rendered by S. Thomson writes on this matter (1889: 526): The island was discovered by King Hotumatua. Motunui lies in the southwest of Easter Island (Métraux 1940: 8. the first woman. without translating it. bananas. In the lines Er9 and Ca1 he reads it as an image for the heaped up white sand. This means that Hotumatua came from the west. rounded the island to the Southeast. in which the island was discovered. The queen landed and immediately afterwards gave birth to a boy. Heyerdahl and his group (1965). turtle. J 205). but then they would have arrived at the east of the Island. sugarcane. Hotumatua landed and named the island te pito o te henua or the navel of the deep. The landing place was named Anakena in honor of the month of August. Mostly. All the plants brought in the canoes were used for seed. The directions are not stated correctly. can be derived from the root pi. and the people immediately began the cultivation of the ground. This would also agree with Metoro's frequent reading kovare. yams. For the first three months they subsisted entirely upon fish. The word hotu does not occur in the Jaussen list. At Anakena Bay the two canoes met and. in charge of the king. the sign B 37 is fixed to the sign B 5/J 136 for hibiscus or follows it. He also wants to replace Hotumatua by Tuuko Iho. creeper. who is the leader of the second boat according to a later tradition (Métraux 1940: 63). which is not used by Metoro. he explains it as 'bearing fruit (1963: 388) and relates it to Hotumatua in a note. This could be referred to as ira. two small circles above each other hanging on a line. who was named Tuumaheke. he is known as the inventor of the script (Métraux 1940: 65). Bellwood (1978). afterbirth (J 205). on which it is based. They brought with them potatoes. that the two boats must have come from the opposite direction. the first part is not listed in the dictionaries. tobacco. With regard to the Makemakemyth and in connection with water the name Hotumatua can be explained as 'the father whose seed (abundantly) flows'. The history of whole Polynesia was investigated by P. however. Routledge (1919). who came from the land in the direction of the rising sun. where it can be translated as to flow or to swell. From the botanical point of view it could be explained as a branch of the hibiscus.
The purpose of tattoo. Horokarua and Ririkatea. Oone means sand. six or seven were meant probably (tae atuinstead of te kauatu) and not tablets. on account of the feather that is attached to it. it would mean that tablet Tahua.R. was incised at the time of the English buccaneer Edward Davis at least 100 years earlier than the arrival of the Spaniards. The Maori name papafor the mother earth can be translated as 'double (i. This would mean to roll back the cycle of history. If the script was only invented after the visit of the Spanish ship in the year 1770. however. The fruit mokioone is unknown today. If we suppose that these names refer to the time of the invention of the script. to protect the bearer against evil spirits (Gell 1993: 192). The final swastika has also been borrowed from India. because it is incised on a European oar. To protect means pa/pale in Proto Polynesian like Sanskrit pā/pāla.e. The name of Hotumatua is read by him in line Br1 of the tablet Aruku Kurenga. By this reason. According to Thomson. but sticks are told of. the number of the signs is identical and the Maori signs were arranged in three columns of twice of 13 and once of 11 signs like an alphabet. who are separated from Hotumatua by nine or ten generations of kings. Metoro mentions in line Ab8 of the tablet Tahua the names of the two tuhungas Kahui and Kahui Manava and the kings Hirakautehito. because it has retained some features of a word script like the Brāhmī script. there is no reason to attribute the origin of the script to another source than that of the first settlers. 45; Linton 1925: Plate XIIIXV). Signs and tattoos in relation to youth initiation have been found as petroglyphs on the Marquesas (Gell 1993: Fig. the inventor of the script would certainly be known by his historical name and there would be no need to replace it by a legendary name like TuukoIho. as it happened on Easter Island. The oar can be from his ship. is read by Metoro in line Bv3 of the tablet Aruku Kurenga as (two) sticks. Moreover. since tablets were only used in later times. Fischer (1997: 367). as is admitted by Fischer (1997: 375). History renders no example for a true symbolic writing having developed from a letter script. The sign B 100. there are no similarities between the Easter Island script and the European. that is held to be one of the youngest tablets. Perhaps it was a cactus or peanut. it can also be explained that the signs the Maoris of New Zewland wrote under the treaty of Waitangi (Fischer 1997: 5) have certain similarities with the Javanese Kawi script. there are strong arguments for a contact of the Polynesians with the IndoJavanese Madhajapahitculture. as is maintained by S. its . invented by TuukoIho already in the time of Hotumatua's father Ririkatea. too? Though no European influence on the script can be maintained. strongly) protecting'. Moreover. They did not lead to the development of a script. HirakauteHito lived several generations earlier than Horokarua. Moreover. This means that they must have lived approximately 200 years after Hotumatua.The two double canoes are nowhere mentioned on the tablets that were recited by Metoro. With regard to the sign V48 on the breast ornament it could be the pod of a mimosa or a gourd. however. but only three generations after the tuhungas mentioned in all genealogies. Most likely they gave the script. where the birth of his eldest and youngest son are mentioned too. The IndoJavanese Kawi script can be regarded as its ultimate cause. is similar to the purpose of the Indus and Mesopotamian seals. Instead of 67. Above all it is not a letter script. that Barthel explains as such (1963: 433). the redoubled Kawi sign for pa is identical to the structure of the most frequent Marquesan tattoomotif. And why is it supposed that only the script is dependant on a European origin. Though the number may be exaggerated. Hotumatua arrived on the island with 67 inscribed tablets or sticks (1889: 514). too. why not the works of art. The latter two are rendered in all genealogies (Wolff 1973: 16) as the greatgreatgrandfather and the greatgrandfather of king Ngaara.
The reason of the war. Here the great wars started. too. The development of the script in the time of the tuhungas would also explain. and murdered to a man. and great distress prevailed on account of the destruction and neglect of the crops.present form. and the plan circumvented by opening the battle prematurely and in the night. One of the most important taboo was the virginity of the secluded girls called neru. as it is reported in the tablets read by Metoro. mo te rau. why there are several signs in the script whose counterpart does not exist on Easter Island. and into this the longears arranged to drive their enemies. As the greatest war on the island. in which the longears had planned the utter annihilation of their enemies. can also be explained by the work of the tuhungas. The longears were driven into the ditch they had built. mo hakamamae ana tupu. The remembrance of the former country is still extant in the readings of Metoro and Ure Vaeiko. of announcing blood vengeance and of the mummification and burial of the death. it proves that the tradition remained alive even after this historical date. That may be the reason. He Hanaueepe ana te [h]anga tahi i te ahu oira i riri ai roto te manava mo te Hanaumomoko. ina kai amo. where it took place. mo te tao. that belonged to the most important events in the life of the natives. Long and bloody wars were kept up. when the brushwood was to be set on fire and every man exterminated. That the most complicated signs are found on the staff of Santiago. He noho. of making rain. the warriors assembled too. let us carry stones to the shore of Kaokao. This view is not contradicted by the fact that certain petroglyphs have been incised only after the contact with the Europeans. "He hakarere. The trap was found out. "He hakahoki te Hanaumomoko ki te Hanaueepe: "Ina eko amo te maea mai [ma i] runga mai [ma i] te henua nei. the leading shaman of the Island. on the contrary. He manau te hanaueepe mo te Hanau momoko o te tae hauu i te [h]angai te ahu. the island was about equally divided between his descendants and the longeared race. This is corroborated by Barthel's list of the frequency of the signs (1958: 165). why Ure Vaeiko could not read some of these old signs (Fischer 1997: 93). The longears said to the shortears: "Come. that originated mostly in the violation of a taboo. and between them a deadly feud raged. On the mountain of Orongo. by a desperate battle. had the duty of the first intercourse for making rain." The shortears answered the longears: "We do not want to carry the stones to that place there above. is stated by Métraux's informant Tepano (1940: 69): He ki te Hanaueepe ki te Hanaumomoko: "Ka oho mai korua ki amo tatou i te maea ki kaho[kaho] ki te tai. notably the frigatebird and several plants. He haka rere ro avai. This unsatisfactory state of affairs was brought to an end. but it is wrapped in the form of the events that happened on the island itself. mo te maika. who was also in charge of the circumcision of the male youths. Thomson (1889: 52829) reports the fight of the shortears (hanau moko the thin ones) and the longears (hanaueepe the big ones): Many years passed after the death of Hotumatua. after many years' fighting. hakarere no mo te kai. Only the timo. These signs were forgotten after some time. Therefore it occupies an important place on the tablets and the Santiagostaff. A long and deep ditch was dug across Hotuiti and covered with brushwood. we want to leave . as it is reported by Ure Vaeiko in the tablet called Apai by Thomson. not mentioned by Thomson. It is certainly not only accidental that the name of Hotumatua's father is identical to the name of the greatgrandfather of Ngaara. This is especially true for the youth initiation.
they did not carry them away. As a result. the longears and the shortears were not two different races. the vulvasigns were incised on the rocks as before. Therefore they are against using them for a tomb of the longears. 18). According to the archaeological investigations the settlement of the island took place between the 7th and the 8th century of our era. too). however. EsenBaur with god reasons (1989: 107; 1993: 151). are taboo. According to this discovery the war ended around 1676 ± 100. that are explained by Barthel as ears (1958: 259). They left them there for ever. The opinion that the Island was settled twice is also advocated by H. The homeland of Hotumatua called Hiva is said to be a rich country and inhabited by ghosts. It is recorded in an oral tradition that there were people on the island before the arrival of Hotumatua (Barthel 1974: 14). more than one settlement in the course of 1000. proves that the people who have told this story have exaggerated a great deal. linguistic investigations state the 3rd century even (Fischer 1997: 366). as Heyerdahl supposes (1969: 76). In the following war fertility wins the victory over death. Hiva is a name for the Marquesas. 100 years before the arrival of Davis. that are rather poor islands. are more probably symbolizing a featherhat. According to Métraux (1940: 7174). In Marquesian the word means 'far away' and may have been given to the new living place in memory of the earlier homeland of the Marquesians (being in the West. if not 1500 years is quite imaginable and with regard to the seaworthiness of the Polynesian boats even likely." They left them there. for the plants. Barthel stuck unto his last days to his opinion that Hotumatua arrived at the island in the 14th century (Fischer 1997: 642. Though Easter Island is far away from any other settled island. because they are inscribed with vulvasigns that secured the fertility of the land according to the belief of the shortears. The longears had only lost their ruling position. The ditch that was dug by the long ears is a symbol of the devouring vulva. They stayed. for the sugarcane. since Cook met many of them in 1774 (Métraux 1940: 73). at any rate. The original homeland of the ghosts and the country of affluence can be the Society Islands or Samoa with the greatest likeliness. The circles on both sides of the head of the signs B 200299. as it is maintained by EsenBaur (1983: 314). for the bananas. when they have grown up. because they did not help them to erect the tomb (ahu). The longears were enraged in their stomach. but arrived together with Hotu matua and lived side to side with the shortears on the island in the beginning. but the adolescents who were going to be tattooed in the course of initiation. because they had to erect the tomb alone. If we take the earlier date. Those. it would mean that the script was given its present form at the end of the 16th century. who suffer. for those. There is neither a sign for longears nor for shortears in the script. The stones that the longears want to make use of to erect their tombs. This would also agree with .e. who suffer. n. The custom of the elongation of the ears died out only after the contact with the Europeans in the 1850ties. That there were not found any remnants of a conflagration by recent Chilean investigations of the area (Van Tilburg 1994: plate 6).them here for the food. The erecting of the statues stopped in the 15th century (Bellwood 1978: 370). At any rate. are certainly not the plants why should they suffer? . there is only a sign for a longnecked bird. Certainly not all of the longears were killed then. Only in later time they occupied a separate area in Poike. they are not long ears. too.M. however. as can be deduced from the inscription of the breast ornament. The longears were angry with the shortears. It is reported of being situated in the west of Easter Island. The settlers were Polynesians. when they have grown up. i. There are numerous great statues with long ears. The burning of the longears is archaeologically confirmed by a layer of ashes found in the ditch that separates the peninsula Poike from the rest of the island (Murril 1965: 316). This corroborates that the script got its present form only after the end of this war.
Barthel's transcription of the signs was compared with Fischer's and corrected.the time of 120 days for the voyage that is stated by Thomson. 306s. featherstick 7. 51 37. Since there is no paraphrase of Metoro for this artefact. 1. V48 gourd (J 74a/J 102d) 3. V193° young bird with a cross and feather designating initiation 25. V71 plant (for hanging up) 5. plant(poporo) 3. 430 sooty tern (J 61) with egg 22. 51. The same rules are applied to the other transcriptions. 115 30. the textual explanations in square brackets.678a cool (J 45)/small; beak hanging down[be ready to let be seen. The Rapanui meaning 'foreign country' for Hiva and its affiliation to the small islands of Sala y Gomez that are only inhabited by birds is of late date (Bierbach/Cain 1988: 402). 66 sugarcane (J 96) 4. 700 36. Hence I render this line in Fischer's transcription (1997: 492): 1. Nowadays Hiva is identified with South America. 780 prostrated girl 11. 51 43. since the Polynesian double canoes had an average speed of 100 miles per day (Best 1924: 36). V124b blooming toromirotree 20. V48 15. V48 14. stick: incise (J 133 and J 118) 38. 51t birdman with head bowed down [for inspecting a vulva] 32. beak hanging down [be ready to let be seen] 33. the takebird carries the poporoplant. V700 fish 27. 51 39. the sugarcane is hung up (at the entrance of the house) for the good thing.10 rocky place. In Barthel's transcription of the breast ornament the first ligatures and the fusions B 545:51 (B 545 corresponds to J 45a) and B 51:48 (vulva/mountain) are not drawn correctly. 11 land with crater 42. The takebird carries the featherstick. He plants the toromiro tree and the gourds .3 man.10 earth/stick (to cultivate) 16. gourd 17. [607:3] frigatebird (take). he goes to the girl lying prostrated on the rock. 2 earth/sacrifial ground 8. 380. 20. 2 good (thing) 6. if necessary. 4 niche. V607 frigatebird [timo] sitting on the head of a small bird 26. The man with the featherstick/the timo comes to the sacrificial ground. My philological explanations are given in round. The breast ornament Rei Miro 2 The breast ornament was transcribed and numeralized by Barthel under the letter L (1958: 40. to show (hakarava J 198)] 21. rock 10. [607:71] frigatebird. 545.41). 48 44. 376 eating (grasping) man (J 225) 9. V71 plant (toromiro) 12. my interpretation is solely based on the Jaussenlist after having adjusted it to Barthel's transcriptions. V470 31. 216s man with lifted hands: to work (J 216)/to do the particular thing 18.51 34.678a good (thing). 400° young bird with feather 24. featherstick 2. 51 41. as it is done in the cargo cult. [545:51] cool/small vulva 35. V124a blooming gourd 19. 11 land with navel[Te Pito Te Henua] 40. 2. V408° sooty tern with feather sitting on an egg 23. V670 bird with feather and long neck: let be seen/let be grasped 29.V48 eating man. 3. 115 = 51:48 vulva/rock 28. Through this shift of meaning the Europeans can be related to the ancestors.
If the vulva is small. . i. cock or hen. are rendered by the sign of the hill on the breast ornament. Metoro renders this ceremony in Br10 as e tangata hanga era ki te mea ke the man does the particular work. The signs B 470 is equal to J 54 and J 198. cock/hen and tamaiti. however.on the earth with the stick.e. child. Moa. after the vulva has been pierced. when the young bird with the featherhat flies to the rock for initiation. to let be known. the girl's vulva on the hill. whose vulva is small]. the girl's vulva. to show. The adolescents partaking therein were also called take or takaor poki manu. the frigatebird/the timo will sit on the young bird. when it sits on the egg. he eats the gourd. LanyonOrgill's supposition. who ascertained whether it was small (teketeke). whether the girls were still virgins (Métraux 1940: 105; Barthel 1958: 282; Fischer 1997: 295. 334). that on account of the plantsigns and the birdsigns the text of the breast ornament describes a vegetationceremony (1953. they incise (the sign of) the vulva on the rock. on which the girl was standing. hen with chickens (J 65). In the Jaussenlist we find moa rikiriki. It must be added. The man with the red string/the timo does the particular thing. For the girls the initiation ritual started with the examination of their vulva. Both. When the vulva was found to be small. The elongated neck or beak indicates the readiness of the girl to let her vulva be grasped. when she sleeps. the hill of Orongo and the rock. to let it be examined by the stick of the Rongorongomen. For this purpose they went up to the hill of Orongo. The man is the Rongorongoman here. that the ceremony deals with youth initiation (take). he goes to the cool girl. be ready. after the vulva has been inspected.1: 85). climbed on a rock there and presented it to two Rongorongomen. After the incision of the fish. or by the causative form hakarava. the fish and the vulva are carved on the rock. When the sooty tern has come. the girl's vulva is the navel of the earth. he goes to the blossoming plants [like the god Makemake to the gourd]. is also used in Ure Vaeiko's lamentation song of the father for his child (Thomson 1889: 525). after the good thing (the vulva) has been grasped. The girl's vulva is the navel of the earth. moa. its sign (B 51) was carved in the rock. is principally correct. bird child (Routledge 1919: 267). [the girl. This is expressed by the verb taha.
But do we have a better solution? The article on youth sexuality in the magazine stern 7. before the discovery of the island (Métraux 1940: 57). Freud the rite was carried out by an old man to save the husband of the virgin's vengeance for the loss of her virginity and the pain going along with it (1947: 172). The Rongorongomen were only in charge of the examination of the girl's vulva and the defloration. The political name Rapa Nui is explained by Fuentes (1960: 835) as a loanword from Tahiti being given to Easter island by Tahitian visitors. Its meaning in Tahitian language is 'flat board' and may have been given to Easter Island in comparison with the much higher hills of Tahiti. So the old men were not envied. For this examination it would have been sufficient to look at her vulva. i. From the variant pito te rangi. but the pain is negligible and the defloration is highly desired by the girl. The pubescent girl plays a prominent part in fertility and selfrealization also in the Indian cosmogony and in the Euleusian mysteries of the Greek. After the initiation of a boy a fish was carved in the rock. navel of the sky (Br1) the name Easter Island was probably derived. which had no hygienic implications. Therefore they were called taha. . Boys and girls had a natural inclination to old men of dignity like the timo in that time. For this procedure a needle or small knife would have been sufficient. but paid for their task. The ritual of defloration independent of the first sexual intercourse of the girls and the incision that the boys had to undergo.In the end of the inscription of the breast ornament.e. that was seen by Haumaka. nevertheless Metoro often speaks of the adze as the basic instrument of fertility in this connection. if she was not a virgin any more.2004. p. the girls were deflorated manually on a public. particularly to the great crater Rano Kao at Orongo. On Samoa. the girl's vulva is compared to the navel of the earth. It is indeed wise from the biological and the sociological point of view. Some selected virgins were sent to the timo for the first sexual intercourse. especially by the old women. The relation between the timo and a virgin who stayed with him for a short time. But it is written in the tablets and confirmed by the oral tradition. According to S. that a stick was taken for this purpose. te pito te henua. even if there occurred some sort of resistance now and then. It is said on tablet Tahua that the examination of the virginity of the girls who are compared to the Pleiads there was done by an old woman as in other tribal societies.105; Métraux 1940: 203). as we nowadays are apt to believe. The virgin possessed great power (mana) in the Easter Island society. because no girl would have dared to show it to a Rongorongoman. It refers to the craters of the island. inclined. were invented by the wisdom of god Make make as said in line Ev8 of tablet Keiti. which is also the poetical name given to Easter Island by the natives. From the modern point of view the ceremony of inspecting the girl's virginity may appear degrading. Salmon's explanation of Te Pito te Henua in Thomson's report of the arrival of Hotumatua is philologically untenable. Apart from the relation to fertility the reason could be that the act meant no or very little pleasure for the old man except the timo. That the island was discovered at Easter. why a man of dignity had to do this. was not based on love as we expect of a girl for the man whom she has selected for her defloration and first sexual intercourse done at the same occasion normally. though we may not believe it. often only for one night. The question is. The incision of the boys is also known from Tahiti (Oliver 1874: 434) and the Marquesas (Linton 1925: 41). too. The Rongorongomen had to use a stick even for defloration. is not sufficient to explain its name. sacred place (Gell 1993: 83). in a dream. but the Polynesian notion of human individuality is different from ours on account of another conception of the human soul (Käser 1977: 31).48 proves the contrary. But rapa nui means great paddle in Rapanui and may refer to the paddles painted with the head of Makemake being found in a house of Orongo (Routledge 1919: Fig. the tattoomaster of Hotumatua. Therefore one wanted to make sure that she was virgin indeed.
though he must have lived generally outside the society on the hill of Orongo. It is a symbol of divinity. but women could not read the Rongorongosigns. Sign no. however. It is generally written by the sign B 34. feathersticks were carried that correspond to the sign B 3. gods). In later time. The featherhat is a symbol of power and fertility. The correct writing would be Ruanuku. too. Makemake was engaged in making the earth fertile like the timo and the king. At this opportunity kava was drunken. is take. it was replaced by the poporoplant (solanum nigrum). his brother. There were two main gods on Easter Island. The author of this line combines the categories of take (youth initiation) with the category of rangi (heaven. The occurrence of warriors in the song is also related to the aim of initiation: To obtain courage. Tangaroa was the god of the netherworld and of death. When the sign is read as dead warrior we obtain: The dead warrior wrapped in tileaves was carried to the place of sacrifice. How long it survived there is unknown. Therefore it is likely that such a man has manufactured this breast ornament and that he has worn it too. because the inscription starts with a sign referring to it and because it takes the largest space. Makemake and Tangaroa. however. but it was invented in later times. who according to Metoro's readings was the most important man in the Easter Island society after the king. the pepper methysticum of the Polynesians. both are rendered by the sign B 59f. that were both secured by the initiation.Like on other Polynesian islands a great feast was celebrated together with the ceremony of initiation. It was communicated by two islanders that the breast ornament was worn by a woman (Fischer 1997: 494). because it is homonym with the word for sugarcane. There are many rocks on Easter Island inscribed with the motif of the big eyes together with that of the vulva and the fish (Lee 1989: 114; Englert 1970: 24). This can be attributed to the timo in particular. as it is explained by Metoro several times. the participants in the initiation a smaller one. The literal meaning of rau hei is entwined (hei) with leaves (rau). Only a Rongorongoman could have the necessary knowledge to present the ceremony in this way. Barthel reads the sign as warrior (ta'o). because his hair was arranged like that of a woman. where he calls him Nuku. The . In the script. In the script and as petroglyph Tangaroa is represented by the shark and the seal (B 720730). in which the warriors participated. too. 17 can be read as warrior. Ure Vaeiko mentions the god of feathers in the tablet Apai (Thomson 1889: 519). The competition was also carried out in spring. The main category. In addition. The king and the timo wore a big featherhat. The timo can be regarded as a woman. Another symbol of fertility is the skull from which Barthel derives the signs B 510519 (1958: 249). The Polynesians believed to enter heaven through tattooing and to live there for some time for their own benefit and for securing fertility for their people like the virgin who assisted the timo in making rain. The competition for the first egg of the sooty tern (Métraux 1940: 331) is a form of a courage test and is therefore closely related to initiation. The stalk that is carried by the second birdchild is part of thepoporoplant that is also found as a tattoomotif on the thighs of a woman (Métraux 1940: 248). It must have been brought to the Island by Hotumatua. This may refer to a human sacrifice. The third sign of the breast ornament can either be read as sugarcane and refer to the custom of hanging up a twig at the door when the girl in the house is grown up that is also mentioned in Ure Vaeiko's love song. The dead warrior was entwined with threaded tileaves that made him taboo. The symbol of the skull can be interpreted as the victory of fertility over death. The eyes are like that of the Christian God a symbol of inspection. too. or it can be read as dead enemy (rau hei) according to J 77. Makemake by the frigatebird and by two eyes in the form of a mask corresponding to the signs B 510519.
Epigraphically the sign looks similar to J 194. This is related to the Pleiads. The cross upon the head of the fourth cock is difficult to explain. since the motifs of tattooing were also used as signs in the script and to tattoo means also to write in Rapanui. Sign B 2 is often used in connection with the sign for javelin or stick. Hoarseness and slime given by Fuentes as the meaning of the word are related to fertility. Makemake creates man by copulating with Hina. hoarseness. Contrary to Barthel's opinion this plant is referred to in the first line of Ure Vaeiko's creationsong Atua Mata Riri. that corresponds to the signs J 30. The sign B 2 can be related to writing too. to draw back (huri) being related to the incision of the young men. since this is a metaphor for defloration and incision. whose components occur again in other ligatures.10 stands for to incise (the rock). Barthel explains it (B 14) as a sign of prohibition (1963: 429). Here it may indicate that the initiates were taboo. Sign B 2. fresh air. the stick. The stick can also be used for inscribing Rongorongo signs. This ritual is also affiliated to fertility. because he interprets the appendix as an airy root being characteristical for it. Therefore the sign B 20 that is missing in J. was probably a Rongorongoman. In accordance with this. referring to Tahitian inoino. The motif of the paddle reappears with a pointed head as sign B 87 and B 88. because it served on Easter Island as substitute of the kava plant. Barthel who always gives one meaning only. vero (J 132). The fish is a symbol of Tangaroa. too. is read by Metoro as good. Metoro reads the sign generally as maitaki or inoinoin the sense of beaming. however. since both were regarded as something good. The apotropaeic use of the plant seems to have been unknown to him. The sap of the plant was used for tattooing together with that of the charred leaves of the tiplant (Métraux 1940: 238). J 183 and J 184. A significant epigraphical hint is given through the fusion B 545:678a in the middle of the line. there are several signs identical to tattoomotifs. The paddle is a symbol of Makemake. .i as the meaning of the sign. or as javelin (mataa). the master. Jaussen renders the crosssign as scaffold (J 122). The pandanus grows at the seaside and from this reason it may symbolize the fresh air. because it resembles a string figure that is the origin of the Easter Island script according to Wolff (1973: 55). because it promoted fertility in various ways.plant shall guard against bad ghosts like the nightshade. On the breast ornament the sign B 20. Barthel explains the sign as a pandanus tree. bad (1963: 392). The three circles can be explained as the three craters of the island. who tattooed Hotumatua and led him to Easter Island after he saw the place in a dream. the sign B 50 for earth and the sign B 51 for vulva. By the tattoo patterns and the string figures only very few signs can be explained. Therefore the sign may also refer to female fertility and designate the cool or small vulva. In several cases Metoro reads the sign as hatu huri. which he calls a good thing. to come back. has many connotations. to draw back the foreskin. Barthel explains sign B 34 as sweet potato. as for instance sign B 17 that can be explained as fishscales. The berries of the plant are slightly poisonous and were eaten only in case of famine (Métraux 1940: 160) as was the case at the time of the settlement of the Island. even though their head was torn off. the sand piled up and formed by him (Métraux 1940: 314). Therefore it is also carried by the warriors who climb up to the hill of Orongo. renders it as uri. because he thought that a small plant like the poporo does not fit the requirements of the Easter Island tradition (1958: 234). slime is contained in the name of Make make (Bierbach/Cain 1988: 407) who represents the male aspect of fertility. black. as we have mentioned already. too. Haumaka. Good (or fertile) is an attribute of the earth that is rendered in J 30h. In a lovesong taken down by Métraux (1940: 356) fresh air and dew (hupeehau) are mentioned. Sign B 545 is explained by Jaussen in J 46a as hupee.
This is also corroborated by the Santiagostaff. its neck. Since there are two or even three signs for vulva. The New York birdman The initiation ceremony of the girls is also referred to in the six legible lines of the wooden figure of a birdman inscribed on its beak. Fischer believes that the sign B 50 has developed from the sign B 51 (1997: 546). which is epigraphically justified. which he translates as snail. Barthel interprets the signs B 23 and B 24 as vulva (1958: 228. 4. to let be inspected; 1 earth; 14 cave (of the neru): taboo; 545 three stars [Orion]; 400 takebird; 1 earth: Hiva X 2: Occiput: 381 reading man; 1 tablet X 3: Beak:  poporoplant; 59f featherhat; 22f yamsroot/phallus (taboo); 22f yamsroot . it can be supposed that each sign has an additional meaning. Since the sign B 51 was used until modern time as petroglyph (Fischer 1997: 373. but the correct translation is shell. its chest. probably because he did not want to hurt the ears of the bishop by telling him the correct meaning. On the third Honolulutablet (V) the sign B 51 is also used in connection with youth initiation. Most probably the birdman was carved in memory of such a ceremony: Upper line: Beak (X 3) neck (X 1) occiput (X 2); lower line: chest (X 4) stomach (X 6) thigh (X 7) The relation to the ceremony of initiation of the girls also follows from the two small fishes incised on the neck and two vulvae incised under the stomach of the figure that are not part of the inscription. 35). Jaussen explains in J 81 the sign B 24 as Rapanui pure. vulva of the girl. Metoro reads the signs B 23 and 24 generally as water. Barthel has transcribed the lines of the birdman under the letter X in the following way: X 1: Neck: 4 small; [28:V14] engraved vulva; 4 rock; 99 Rongorongoman; [470?] inclined bird: to let be grasped.51 in I12 refers to the Rongorongo man inspecting the vulva. its stomach and its thigh. it is quite unlikely that the sign B 50 developed from it. as it is the case with the signs B 23/24 and B 50 that can also mean shell or earth. where the ligature B 379. but otherwise only on the Santiagostick and once on the third Honolulutablet. Defloration becomes a holy act for the Polynesians. n. when it is carried out in public. 7; 281). Sign B 51 can be interpreted in connection with the ceremony of defloration as 'small vulva' (teketeke). whose meaning has more connotations and which was used as a motif of tattoo in former times already. its occiput. is generally explained as vulva on account of its form.Sign B 51 that occurs ten times on the breast ornament alone. n.
Metoro reads the sign generally as huki. were secluded in caves during puberty for getting a white skin. Since the first part of the first compound of the neck. particularly the girls who were called neru.X 4: Chest: 515 Makemake; 40h moon ? ? X 5: Flank: Two lines with illegible signs. a stone for depositing a corpse. These are both tattoo implements (J 118; Métraux 1940: 241). as it has the form of a phallus (or vulva). The sign for niche can also be read as vulva. The seclusion of children is also known from Mangareva and Tahiti (Hiroa 1991: 117; Oliver 1974: 435). the featherhat in the second part can either refer to the initiate or to the warrior. after the Rongorongomen have inspected the inclined bird on the sacred earth. for the sign can also mean taboo. Barthel (1963: 429) renders it as ahu. in which the bones of the deceased were buried eventually (Métraux 1940: 115). The white skin was regarded as an expression of mana. he who appears in the thorn. he kindles the fire. stone formation. For the examination of their vulva the girls stood on a rock whose form is similar to the sign turned by 90°. but not confined to it. when he tears off the head of the young bird. represents the poporo plant as on the breast ornament. He is written by the sign B 515 . According to van Gennep (1999: 72) this custom belongs to the rites of passage. since woman is related to life and death. stick. The cave is open under the Orion for the takebirds from Hiva. too. They are naturally connected with puberty (Eliade 1990: 160). From the following two signs symbolizing a red yamsroot it is clear that the initiates are meant here. The children of welltodo families of Easter Island. The sign of the torn off head can also be related to initiation. The thorn is an attribute of Makemake. of which only the upper part is left. thorn. The Rongorongomen read the tablets. but the proper meaning of avangais niche of the ahu. because it improved their chances for a good marriage. when the bearer of the featherhat come with poporoplants and yamsroots to adore Makemake at new moon. who is called Tarahoi. X 6: Stomach: V205 man climbing up (the sky)/Timo; 22f vulva; D380 sitting man; 8 fire X 7: Thigh: 400 takebird; 546 to tear off the head The small vulva is engraved in the rock. Sign B 4 is explained in J 148 as tau avanga. Metoro reads it in line Br 9 of the tablet Aruku Kurenga in the sense of defloration or the first sexual intercourse. whose obtainment was one of the most cherished aims of the Polynesians. The timo climbs up (the sky) when he enters the vulva.
te hiva te Manu ko te hiva.. Apero ta a mée o korua. The eyes often appear as a petroglyph for the god. but were published only recently by Fischer (1997: 296. E akaaka no ena e mitimiti After the elimination of the orthographic mistakes their translation runs as follows: 1. Ka tuu no koe e huru oka e. Mata(h)i epee ku riri hoki.297). The content of these lines is contained in three takesongs that were written down by Routledge already. take o te hiva.here. o te pua ara. Fischer renders the songs: Kia . in which the sign is read. te manu te hiva.. The inscription of the birdman can hence in particular be regarded as a Rosetta stone of Rongorongo. . 2. Ihe (B 4) can also mean peak or rock depending on the direction. Katoo no koe ehuru oké a umu ko marié he manu haka ohiohi o . he motu tureme hau. Kia [Maherenga] o te hiva... "Maherenga" o tabooa ara tahé o te iva. Aa umu komari he manu hakahiohio maherenga. Matai épa hoki te monu turé hau maru na te ragni na te wero wero na te rere na te hohoku nui he atu hereri ai agnaroi Katuu mai e te Také na Kahu par ravarava Také Koai to Tua agnakopé komata mahoré.
e mitimiti no ena. Maherenga. He gives his strength to you. AperotaaMee o korua. he holds up the stick against the sky to make fire (by lightning). ma te hoko nui he hatu. e te taka e.The big old man climbs up with the stick. the bird from Hiva: Stand (on the rock). ma kahu pua ravarava. take from Hiva. here ria ia gnaroa.maro ma te rangi ma te verovero na te rere. . 3. the fence is open! Like the earth oven is the vulva for the bird(man). taka e. the fear to hear him. Ka tuu mai. 2. on the way to the vulva. to tua gnakope. e akoako no ena. By the big stick he is the lord of the bound ones. 1. he cuts turemegrass and hibiscus. For Maherenga from Hiva. ko mata mahore.
On this ground it can be understood that the stick the timo holds against the sky induces lightning like the stick of the raingod.71 in Ev7 as ko raua ka tuu they stand upright. AperotaaMee has sung this song for you and clicked with his tongue. The rite was carried out after the first menses. The incision of the male youths is not . The timo is the bird(man) here. described in ṚgVeda X. According to the marriagehymn of the ṚgVeda only the old Brāhmīn was not contaminated by it. Englert). taka. 58; 2010. is compared to making fire in the commentaries. Stand on the rock refers to the custom just mentioned. E huru oka erefers to the moment of release.3. according to which the girl had to climb up a rock for the inspection of her vulva. Kahumeans cloth and skin.65. The sign can symbolize a tongue. at the same time the cave of imprisonment was opened. Therefore. both metaphors for the youths imprisoned in a cave. Metoro reads the ligature B 71.95. but rapa is the paddle used by the timo in dancing. Br1) and the earthoven (umu). taka! The young men go to the old man. The examination was done by a plantstick that was also used for setting plants and putting seed in the earth (Fuentes. Line up. is supplemented by Metoro in line Br2 of tablet Aruku Kurenga (cf. The pronoun refers to the girls being generally represented by the sign for plant or flower. Therefore the sexual relation of king Purūravas with the waterwoman Urvaśī. Kahua auroauroa when the dress is ready/when the girl is mature. Metoro reads sign B 45 (rapa) on line Bv9 of tablet Aruku Kurenga as clicking of the tongue. Here. is used by Metoro in line Bv1 of tablet Aruku Kurenga in relation to the fish and the fruit. the following chapter). The name of the singer AperotaaMea contains the word taa. that some beautiful virgins went to the timo for the first sexual intercourse (Fischer 1997: 335). The relation between the timo and the girl resembles the sacred marriage in Mesopotamia (RichterUshanas 2004a. to write. let the vulva and the hymen be grasped.) that the girls brought presents and food to the old men. bound.37.85. For him are the eyes of the mahorefish. on Easter Island the girls were brought to two old Rongorongomen for defloration. In many societies the blood of defloration is regarded as dangerous for the man. But the taboo of virginity is lifted only after the Rongorongomen have pierced the hymen. Similarly it is said that the men sow their seed in the womb of the woman in the marriagehymn of the ṚgVeda X. 131). in connection with the vulva (pua) it refers to the hymen. fire is created by rubbing a stick in the hole of another stick. The clicking of the tongue may have indicated the rhythm of the song like the movement of the paddle. The vulva is the earth (cf. Routledge has also noted (ibid. In the same way. Perhaps it is also used to express admiration as we do. The relation to the first settlers is pointed out by the name of Hiva here. The eyes of the mahorefish that are mentioned here as presents brought by the boys to the old man (the timo) may have been particularly tasty. That means that he was a Rongorongoman. Routledge noted.
. according to the context.394.2 ka haka nohoa he takes his seat/he lives (J220); 6. S. 4 ki te henua on the earth; 10. Br2. 1 3. But it is against the principles of a literal translation to read one's own suppositions into a text. Line Br1 and Br2 of tablet Aruku Kurenga Metoro's reading of this line was translated. to go. For the simple negation tae would have been sufficient. perhaps induced by Jaussen's wrong explanation of the ligature J 219.2 e hiri ki te rangi ki te henua he attains to heaven; on this earth (J 154); 16. J. by I. 595 ka tuu i te rangi he arrives in heaven; 2. the translation is philologically untenable. Guy (1982: 445 447) has presented a structural analysis for the first half of this line that I have indicated it by paragraphs in Metoro's reading: 1. 2 mai tae atu ia ki te henua he does not come to the earth [of Hotumatua]; 18. sign no. but Churchill gives 'as far as.1 ki te hito o te rangi with Hito (Hiro). 2 ki tona henua on his earth; 11. 200 koia he; 15. can be deduced from the sequence of signs. Fedorova. until' can be used alternatively. 91 mai tae atu ki te tamaiti not to the child; 14. In the inscription of the birdman the incision of the boys is not mentioned either.50 kua oho ia ki te henua he goes to the (sacred) place; 20. to come. because he alters the structure of the words and sentences.2 ka oho koe you go; ka noho au I stay; 23. (the god) of heaven; 7. 5. 50 ki te henua on the earth; 8. the negation can be written by a cross. 50. mainly to corroborate his supposition that the name of Hotumatua was taken from Mangareva. It seems to be likely that the meaning 'before' and 'as far as. I decided to translate these particles by the simple negation 'not' or the qualified negation 'not yet'. as already mentioned. Fedorova reads them like Jaussen in J 234 as 'not' (1986: 251).394s ki te henua e rua on the two areas; no Hotu matua of Hotumatua; 4. Moreover. mostly used paratactical in Polynesian languages. Ray has understood the particles mai taeas the Tahitian verb tae. 301s te atariki the eldest son; 9. 'not at once'.4t 17.K. 4 22. 595. because they only deal with the initiation of the girls. Even if his investigation is founded on a Eurocentric positivism. however (cf. 40 kua tere te vaka the boat comes ashore; 12. Often a subordinate clause occurs together with it. and 'not' only for the single tae. H. In the script. normally neither the subclause nor the negation are expressed. 211s:42 ko te matua i runga o to pepe the father on his seat (J 156); 24. it should follow the principles of philology. 1). though in song 3 the young men are mentioned in relation to the timo. The subclause. 91 mai tae atu ki tona tamaiti he does not come to his child; 25. 211s ki tona tahina to his youngest son; 13.contained in the three takesongs.2 koia kua koakoa ki te rangi he enjoys heaven (J 157); 19. Fischer (1997: 52) has translated the first 11 signs. but perhaps it was related in the illegible signs of line X5. Alazard. 595.4 5. Sometimes oho. until' as equivalence of tae atu ki. 301s e tangata era e the man/the god there; 21. After much consideration. 50. This indicates a basic meaning of 'not yet' corresponding to the Marquesan comparative of inferiority (Dordillon: 47). 595. The grammars of Englert and Du Feu contain 'before'. Metoro uses the two particles often in the beginning of a subordinate clause like tae ai in modern Rapanui (Du Feu 1996: 54). is inserted after mai tae. Ray (the first 33 signs) and I. as Fischer admits (1997: viii).
22 ka vero ia he beats; 44. Br2). i. But the name occurs in the genitive here. who eats the thing; 29. it would belong to the category ta'u. 381 mai tae atu ki te tangata mea kai it does not come to the man. but then we have difficulties to translate the following sentences. The place where the king landed is called Anakena. which has the meanings to climb up and to braid the hairs. The place where this happened has obviously been referred to in this line as the second place. 53 [te ua] the rain; 35. The other place is Orongo. this would mean that Metoro learnt the name from this source and inserted it in the text only for the sake of pleasing the bishop. 430 kua tuu he/it comes; 34. This purpose is mentioned by Metoro in his explanation of the sign no. 770b koia kua hakahiri ia he [the timo who tears off the head] has braided his hair. to which category the line belongs. 4 30. because the sacrifice goes to heaven. meaning august. This seems to be justified. 305. that is explained by Jaussen as taha.595s e kua koakoa ia ki te rangi he enjoys heaven; 26. rangi. was the timo again. 200 ka rere ia he [the timo] flies; 42. This may be the reason. since the added log can better be explained as a phallus than a navel (pito). the human being that had to entreat this god and who like the shaman went to heaven for this purpose. but its main subject is the timo. Generally. because it was august. 325 i te moa the cock/the child (J 65); 33. As on the breast ornament they are also called moa.e. 4  ka vero koe you beat; 39. Firstly. At any rate. as is postulated by Fischer (1997. but there was. It describes how he climbed up to heaven to obtain rain from the god of rain. since he was responsible for making rain. The participants of this initiation are rendered by the sign of the frigatebird again (B 600/J 26). 306 ko te tangata hangai the man feeds; 32.2). heaven. when he arrived at the island. why he is mentioned here together with the eldest son. however. 430 e te moa e the cock; 38. 50 ki runga o te henua on the earth; 28. that it is a contraction of haka iri. We remember that his first son was born just after the boat of the queen landed at the shore. The category rangi is classified by Fischer together with ranga. As already mentioned. Before we can make a whole of these apparently incoherent parts. 208 mai tae atu ki te Ariki e noho mai they do not go to the king. the god of rain. the category rangideals with the gods or with a man in relation to a god. 600 kua rere te manu the (Take)bird flies; 27. it refers to the timo who had braided hairs and whose featherhat was woven.3: 109). 17 kua koti ia he digs up (the earth)/he cuts up the skin; 37. The youngest son is known in the oral tradition as the dearest son of Hotumatua (Routledge 1919: 280). where the boats of the king arrived first. as we know already. 2 koia kua rere ki te maitaki he flies to the good [thing]; 43. If the line only dealt with historical events. 15 (B 595.1 (sign 6). we must ascertain. they stay here/with the timo; 41. and who went up to the hill of Orongo. Fischer is not able to explain this word (1997: 282). too. The name of the god in question here is Hiro. his note is not helpful either in this matter. There is still another category in this line that bears the name hakiri.74f ki te hua rae the first fruit/the child (J 11); 45. The binding of the featherhat and the erecting of the polished stones for the priesthouses in Orongo can also be designated by this word. sacrifice (1997: 291). It was so sacred to king Hotumatua that he went there to die. the ascent of the warriors and of the youths. hen or .2 i te henua (he stays) on the earth; 31. this is indicated by the first significant word of a line. that Jaussen has even written in capitals. Hotumatua is not the real subject. There is little doubt. which literally means cock. 2 mai tae atu ki te maitaki he does not come to the good [thing]; 40. who climbed up the hill for the purpose of initiation (cf. 1 o te henua on the earth; 47. He could be identified with Metoro's reading hito of the compound 595. If it would be correct that the name of Hotumatua was brought to the Island at the time of the arrival of the first missionary Eyraud from Mangareva in the year 1866. 430 ki te moa to the cock; 36. 95 [ki te tamaiti] to the child; 46.
He who lives with the god of heaven. Van Gennep (1986: 85) mentions that on the Salomon Islands and on the Bismarck Archiple the male initiates were beaten with a stick. At the end of the ceremony the initiated were given a stick with Rongorongo signs (Fischer 1997: 298). Most probably. there is nothing extraordinary in the combination of categories. He [Hotumatua] stayed at the place. who stays on the (sacred) earth. who eats the thing. with Hiro. timo. they stay here/with the timo. . in particular in the case of resistance against the ceremony. He does not come to the earth [of Hotumatua]. (until) his youngest son was born. They do not go to the king. The bird does not want to go to the man. he comes to the two places of Hotumatua. we obtain: He [the timo] goes to heaven. Fischer. He [the timo] does not come to the child. The ritual was carried out there by a birdman too. but which can also mean child. too. he enjoys heaven. Metoro took part himself in an initiation rite and remembered it very well. Such rites have been mentioned by Jensen in regard to initiation (1933: 165).fowl. As we have seen already. the god of rain. The god there [says]: You go! [He answers]: I stay. points out to this possibility (1997: 286). If we translate the line on this ground. He gives them the stick when they do not want to do the good (thing). He goes to the place of the eldest son [of Hotumatua]. where the boat landed. Something similar might have happened on Easter Island. he gives rain to them when he digs up the earth/when he tattoos them. after he has entered the (sacred) place. before he has arrived in heaven on the sacred earth [of Orongo]. feeds the children. but the stick mentioned in this line can also have had other functions. The takebird flies up to the (sacred) earth. before he has enjoyed heaven. As long as the father [the timo] stays on his seat. We can conclude from this investigation that in this line the categories rangi. hakiri and takeare combined by the intermediate of the category ta'u. The father.
16. On the ground of the five categories timo. became the place of . atariki (eldest son). The five times repeated bigram 4/2 is read by Metoro mostly as noho. the personal pronoun he and the man/the god there [in heaven]. mai tae can only be known from the oral tradition. The additional strokes of the sign C for earth in the fourth case that can either be explained as plants of the earth or as the hair of the vulva.394s in no. Orongo. do not make any difference for Metoro nor in the structural analysis. The timo goes to the child (or youth) only after he has arrived in heaven. in regard to D: Hotumatua. One of them. B and C are also read in the same way in each case. by Ray. to live. From the point of view of cosmology the activities of the timo serve to associate heaven and earth. In his structural analysis. since it is clear from the context. 3 and 16 have not been read identically by Metoro. There are great deviations. navel of the sky. that can be explained as a belly. This is done for the same reason as by referring it to Hiva in the takesongs. ta'uand takewe obviously arrive at a coherent reading for this certainly not easy text. In the case of the first and the third sign the feet are replaced by a circle. The initiation rite is called the good thing here or the particular work in Br8 and elsewhere. It can be understood as defloration or the first sexual intercourse or as incision or circumcision. to stay. The initiation rite is traced back to the arrival of king Hotumatua. god and man in a way similar to the sacred marriage in the ancient cultures. Guy divides the first half of this line in four parts of almost equal length: A B C D E F A B C D1 E F G H I J A F C D F A F C D1 E F H1 I A1 A is read by Metoro somewhat different in each case. Though one can easily add Hotumatua in no. since there is a significant epigraphical difference between D and D1. but for obtaining fertility for the land and in order to bring the initiate on a higher level of existence. Here the places are referred to. that the raingod Hiro is meant here. The rite is not celebrated for fulfilling personal desires. Of the child who has climbed up to Orongo [he tears off the head]. That he enjoys heaven in the course of this rite is not to be understood in the modern hedonistic sense. often used by Metoro in this sense. The shaman does not exploit the child as it is done today by pederasts and by employers and leaders who compel them to do heavy work for small wages and even force them to partake in wars. rangi. as is hinted at in the little inserted dialogue. Hito o te rangi was emended wrongly into pito o te rangi. The structural analysis is not helpful here. The same applies to Metoro's readings for heaven (rangi) that are all related to the timo. that means. the two identical ligatures B 50. when he is in a state of ecstasy. but always in connection with heaven. hakiri. where the timo or Hotumatua lived. Metoro says that the timo is like a father to the child and to the land and feeds both of them by the rain that is produced by this sacred act. Not even the god of rain himself can throw the timo out of heaven. Other metaphors for initiation are he digs up (the earth) and he tears off the head that we know already from the birdman figure.he gives the stick to the first fruits. as stated in J 220. however. Guy did not notice this. Cohabitation is also described by the metaphor he eats the thing. This recalls the Indian relation between guru and disciple. Moreover.
In this case the vulva is meant. To stay can also be rendered through the sign B 208. the fertility of the land was in danger. A translation under this aspect is possible. In case the youths did not go to be initiated nor to the king after tattooing. Metoro reads the sign B 2 as good (thing). The two places would then be the former homeland of the king and Easter Island. cannot be justified through Metoro's reading. 2 mai tae atu ia ki te henua he does not unite on the earth; 18(38). The 'seat' has the form of a boat that is repeated in the fundament of the Rapanui houses. From here onwards. 394s no Hotu matua of Hotumatua; 4. This is especially known of king Ngaara. which is an attribute of the earth and of initiation in its various forms. But here it refers to the tattooing or the beating of the youths by the timo. he runs to heaven; 16(35) ki te henua to the earth; 16(36). She divides the text in three parts (a. 12 as 'youngest son'. which is also recorded in the inscription of the birdman figure.c). 40 kua tere te vaka the boat goes; 12.2 ka haka nohoa he stays there; (b) 6. It would also mean that this line would mainly belong to the category of ta'u. It is hence a good place to stay for the ancestors and consequently for the living too. The sign B 211s (H) is read by Metoro in no. in which I believed myself formerly. The meaning 'to stay' can be derived from the fact that the niche was used for the burial of the bones. 2 ki tona henua to his earth; 11. 1. whose literal meaning is tuhunga. the more so as the youths were lying halfsleeping on the earth during the painful procedure of tattooing. 4 ki te henua to the earth; 10. The king gave his opinion on the tattoos and the Rongorongo sticks (Fischer 1997: 341). the bird in the second half would correspond to the cock of Ariana that cried before the king died according to the oral tradition. 211s ki tona tahina to his youngest (son); 13. needle or stick. as is stated by Barthel. in the fusion B 211s:42 in no. This reading of the two signs can be added in the other cases too. where it has not been done by Metoro. 38 is not B 4. which does not correspond to its contents and to its first significant word. tattoomaster. 301s te atariki the eldest son of the king; 9. This led to the immediate interference of the timo.2 e hiri ki te rangi he runs. however. but B 22. Besides. 200 koia he; (c) 15(34).394 17(37). as was mentioned already. 595.50 ki te henua e rua to the two places; 3.1 ki te hito o te rangi ; 7. For comparison I shall now give the English version of Fedorova's Russian translation. After the tattooing was finished they went to the house of the king for examination of the motifs (Métraux 1940: 134). 50 ki te henua to the earth; 8. where the timo lived. But such an interpretation. and the sign B 2 as earth or good (thing). the stick is a symbol of the male organ. 91 mai tae atu ki te tamaiti he does not unite himself with the child; 14. The reading 'to stay' for the two signs only occurs in this line. 50.b.2 koia kua koakoa ki te rangi he enjoys himself in . 595.4 5. The contradiction is solved by remembering that the rock of Orongo is the place. Barthel infers from the occurrence of the name of Hotumatua that this line deals with the arrival of the king on the Island (1958: 211). The sign no.sacrifice (marae) later on. 23 as 'father on his seat'. 595. The sign B 4 is often read by Metoro as niche. The ligature of this sign with the sign for rat representing the Rongorongoman on the tablets Keiti and Mamari shows that it can also stand for the Rongorongo stick. but it does not lead to a satisfying result. Her substitution of the sequence of the signs in c is indicated by me through the numbers given in brackets: (a) 1. 595 ka tuu i te rangi he comes to heaven; 2. The translation of the second half of the line starting with the fifth repetition of the sign B 595 depends on the interpretation of the sign that Metoro reads as stick (vero) here.
430. stick. That some words like vero. The bird has flown from the earth. coming to the man who eats on earth. to unite (in a sexual sense). cock. His rendering does not agree at all with the philological data. 600 kua rere te manu the bird flies; 27(17). 22 ka vero ia he throws the javelin; 44(32). Guy. however: May it rain from the sky on the two earths of Hotumatua! May he sit high in the sky and on the earth! The oldest son is on the earth. Two phrases she does not translate at all. whether he be in the sky or on the earth. 430 kua tuu he arrives; [34. go away. . 422. 306 ko te tangata hanga the man does; 32(21). 305. you. 2 koia kua rere ki te maitaki he runs to the good (thing); 43(31). Hotu matua she renders in the nominative. go to your child. 381 mai tae atu ki te tangata mea kai he does not unite with the man. who eats something; 29(19). Man. Fedorova did not even try to form a consistent reading out of the whole line as it was done by I. For him. right up to the child. and moa. you who sit on your throne. 50 ki runga o te henua over the earth; 28(18). 430 ki te moa at the cock; 36(24). He enjoyed himself in the sky. 301s e tangata era e ka oho he goes; koe you; 21(41). 91 mai tae tona tamaiti he does not unite himself with the child; 25(15). 325 i te moa the cock; 33(22). on his own earth: His canoe has sailed towards his younger brother. Father. which is philologically wrong. though she has translated it in her otherwise very helpful grammatical notes on the foregoing page (252) correctly as you go.74f ki te hua rae to the first fruit; [45. Her substitution of the last part by the middle part does not lead to a better understanding of the text. The words atu kiare transformed by her several times into tuki. are used in a metaphorical sense is not noticed by her either. 595s e kua koakoa ia ki te rangi he enjoys himself in heaven; 26(16). 53]; 35(23).heaven; 19(39). For ka oho koe(20/40) she gives the meaningless translation he goes. 17 kua koti ia he breaks up (the earth); 37(25).2 ka noho au he is located; 23. 208 mai tae tuki te ariki e noho mai he does not unite himself with the king;: 41(29). 2 mai tae tuki te maitaki he does not unite himself with the beautiful; 40(28). 200 ka rere ia he runs; 42(30). In the following sentence ka oho au(21/41) she replaces the first person by the third. 4 ka vero koe you throw the javelin; 39(27). but gives a good suggestion of the meaning of the text. 95]; 46(33). he who enjoyed himself in the sky! He keeps the earth in his hand. 770b]. 1 o te henua of the earth; [47. 430 e te moa the cock; 38(26).50 kua oho ia ki te henua he goes to the earth; 20(40). Fedorova did not undertake a structural examination as it was done by J. Alazard (Heyerdahl/Ferdon 1965: 353).(42) 211s:42 ko te matua i runga o to pepe the father on his throne; 24(43). This could only have been achieved by inserting the translation 'rain' for sign B 53.2 i te henua to be on the earth; 31(20). may he come to the earth. I will remain on my earth.
It starts with the last word of the foregoing line. Opapako: Make the cock crow for me! And the cock crew in Maraerenga. on'. In a somewhat different way the story is related by Métraux (1940: 69): [The king] left his house. though in the negative. and he died. and went along to the cliff where the edge of the crater is narrowest. Hen. 'He keeps the earth in his hand' is not found in the text. Then the king said: Here I am and deliver my last speech. . The particular work (mea ke) after 'who eats' is not translated. A word or sign for rain does only occur in the second half of the line. in the direction of the (sea) route. 'From the sky' should be read as 'to the sky'. The preposition ka is always translated by 'may' or by the imperative. take care of the spear. go to the good place. far from the spear: flying towards the children of the earth it is flown into safety. 'Under water' is not found in the text. even if he had not committed grave philological mistakes as Federova's translation shows. Mai taeis left untranslated. and he heard it across the sea; that was his death signal. 'Take care' is not found in the text either. According to the oral tradition. The king climbed upon a stone and looked in the direction of Hiva. Kuaha. that those who wear it. and stood on it by two stones. Through the initial word it belongs to the category hakiri. From this reason he would not have translated the line correctly. Kuihi. Go right up to the king to his house. he has taken its feathers. Obviously. for the trunk with many roots [the king] enters! The king fell back and Hotumatua died. but 'above. because he like Fedorova did not understand the category of the line. he has put the hen under water. climb up for initiation. 'Into safety' is an unfitting rendering of the sign 'man without head'. 'He has taken its feathers' is not found in the text. on which he had come. 'Whether or' is grammatically possible. The people (mahingo) listened when he spoke. the featherhat. stick. so that I can announce my death. kua only by the past. to climb up (to Orongo). 'His canoe sailed to his younger brother' is meaningless. Tongau. fly: it is flown to the good place. 'Good' is better read as 'good thing' instead of 'good place'. and he looked over the islet of Motunui towards Maraerenga. 'From the earth' is not found in the text. We shall study this ascent here for comparison. The first reads (Barthel 1974: 239): The king rose from the sleeping mat and said to all people: Let us go to Orongo. [Translated from German]. Hotumatua climbed up the hill of Orongo before his death. so he said to his sons: Take me away! So they took him back to his house. Since the most frequent sign is B 59f. haka hiri. The object is ki tona henua. I will' renders no meaning. The correct meaning for the sign is rain or simply water. to his earth (of the elder brother). hen) and vero. Like Fedorova Alazard does not realize the metaphorical meaning of moa (cock. 'Far from (the spear)' and 'it is flown into safety' is not found in the text. Let us now study line Br2 of this tablet. The translation of the two imperative forms 'go away.The man feeds the hen. but does not give any meaning here. Alazard has interpreted the name of the raingod Hiro in the sense of rain. but 'he digs up the earth'. There are two versions of the story. Alazard commits these mistakes. The king said loudly to his spirits (akuaku) Kuihi and Kuaha: Let the voice of the cock of Ariana softly crow. and called to four akuaku in his old home across the sea. we can suppose.
V95x kua hanu he brings forth/fertilizes; 37. 6 kua oho te rima the hand goes; 35.73f ki te ariki to the king; kua tere ko te heu ia the lobster runs; 36. . 22 kua vero he beats; 39. 208. V670 kua haka (h)iri he climbs up; 7. whose correct spelling would be to ngauand o papaku(Barthel 1974: 257). On the other hand. 430 ki te moa the cock; 25. papaku is the corpse.It is clear from both texts that Marearengawas situated in the West Pacific. 17 ko koti koe you break up(the earth); 23. 600 kua rere koe. 59f o tona hau of his featherhat; 3.2 ka unga koe you bring/you order; ki to maitaki for the good (thing); 31. 300.26 ko te manu haka umu the bird is tattooed; hakahoki he leads him back (to the tribe); 14. that is translated as trunk with many roots. 630 koia kua (h)iri it (the takebird)climbs up; 4. 95x mai tae hahau ia he does (not wear the featherhat; i te nuku roa in the big group; 33. though he wears a featherhat. Ngau means to chew.D68? (J 219) mai tae atu ki te hakahiri ia he does not come to the climbing (of the rock); 2. both suitable names for ghosts or akuaku. You fly to the dancing man. 300. when its dress is ready/when it is mature; 6.3 ku hukahuka kia ia he kindles the fire for him; ki te maro who carries the featherstick; 26. 22 mai tae vero hia he is not beaten; 24. 600 e te manu e the takebird; 22. That bird does not come to climb up the hill. who carries the yamsroot (in his hand). be he Hotumatua or any other king. 40. 59f. 600 i atu manu rere to the flying bird; 18. 59f kua hau i tona hau he wears his featherhat; 21. Kuihi and Kuaha can perhaps be derived from kuhane. 360. V64.63 e kua rere ki te toki he flies to the stoneadze. soul. 220. 400 ka rere te manu kura the red bird flies; ka rere ki to manu kahua auro aroa he flies to the young bird. 430 ko te moa the cock; 20. The epithet heuheufor Hotumatua.22 ko te tangata kua mau the man takes; i te tao hia the sugarcane at the right time; 19. 26 ma te humu for tattooing; 34. e te manu e you fly; the bird; 9. 200s. occurs in the simple form heu in line Br2. this bird climbs up (to Orongo) with his featherhat. 6 ko te rima kua oho the hand goes; 15.10f kua tuui te hau o te heu he comes to the water/the dew of the lobster; 29. 430 ki te moa to the cock; 16. The red bird [the timo] flies to him when the dress is ready. 59f 32. The metaphor trunk with many roots is missing in the second version. the two names Tongau and Opapako are added.73f ki te tangata hakanganangana to the dancing man; koia kua mau i te tapa mea he takes the yamsroot (J 158); 10. 430 koia ki te moa he (beats) the cock; 40. 600 13. 59f ki tona o te hau with his featherhat; 8.59f ki te ona o te hau with his featherhat; 5. 205 e tangata era e the man there; 30. where it means lobster and is a metaphor for the female energy that is related to fertility like the potency of the king. 208. 1. 17 ki te kotia ia the dug up (earth); 38.70. 59f hau ia he wears the featherhat; 12.95 ko te marama o te nuku the moon for the group; 27.95x kua hau i te hau o te nuku he wears the featherhat of the group (J 161); 28. 59f e kua hau ia he wears the featherhat; 17. 430 mai tae atu ki te moa he does not come to the cock/the child; 11. then the young bird climbs up (the hill) with its featherhat.
too. He tattoos them and brings them to the king. that wears the featherhat. But such a principle has no basis in Metoro's readings. Barthel reads a Haumakachant here. Heuheu that is explained in Englert's dictionary as 'hair of the body except the pubic hair'. [the timo]. nobleman (600) are his inventions. tattoo. Here it is a symbol of the male potency. can be translated as lobster. The lobster runs to him. The water or dew is a synonym for the vaginal fluid. He comes to the water/the dew of the lobster. can be seen in particular from the fusion V64. you do not beat him. over the bird. who is fledged. Metoro. He who tattoos them. then he runs back to the stoneadze. That is the young cock with the featherhat. the roots are his feet. following his 'principle of partial phonetical rendering'.he does not come to the young cock with the featherhat. with this name (1963: 417). dreambird (V670). the group. however. the whole interpretation breaks down like a house of cards. That Metoro really knew what he read and did not pretend to read only as Fedorova maintains (1986: 244). to use Fischer's expression. who do not wear the featherhat. the sign for 'he comes' is a variant of the stick that can also represent the male member. for instance ihe for rock and thorn. when the time of the sugarcane has come. After having investigated them carefully. He brings those (against their will). the lobster stands for the mature girl. who wears the featherstick. because it fits in his concept of Haumaka's tattooing of Hotumatua. 28) that is rendered by him as kua tuu i te hau o te heu he comes to the water/the dew of the lobster. he fecundates the earth after he has dug it up. Like the dug up earth you tattoo the young cock. He seizes her. but to the sand. on which it has been built in Fischer's opinion.70. He always uses a complete word as synonym. The group kindles the fire for the man. the featherhat. but Haumaka is not mentioned by . Barthel refers only in case of the sign for humu. It should be noted that these animals undergo a metamorphosis. The trunk is his body. by identifying hau.10f (no. Barthel's other readings like counsellor (630). when the moon has risen. He holds his hand over the young cock with the featherhat. He gives the stick to the cock. [he tattoos him]. leads him back to the tribe. The fusion of the signs is a symbol of their sacred union.
Anthropos 58. D.Metoro at all. Makemake from Hiva to Rapa Nui. It requires considerable training of the mind to regain this capacity. R. The fox is more intelligent. ProtoPolynesian Word List 1. In the same way. In the same way as these two lines. Such a behaviour is equally foolish as that of the fox against the grapes in Aesop's wellknown parable. than Aesop thought. That the modern mind has lost this capacity is due to his involvement in letter scripts. Man's Conquest of the Pacific. R. Hamburg 1958 RongorongoStudien. Grundlagen zur Entzifferung der Osterinselschrift. why the previous endeavours to do this failed seems to be the incapability of the modern mind to make himself familiar again with the symbolic way of thought. 1963 Das achte Land. The main reason. BabylonischAssyrische Lesestücke. we are not entitled to hold this system and those who have developed it. München 1974 Bellwood. A. Auckland 1966 Boehmer. all the four tablets that were read by Metoro can be translated. the grown up man loses the memory of his childhood. B. Selected Bibliography Barthel./Cain. P. If we believe that such pictograms are unreadable at all. H./Walsh. Berlin 1996.S. Die Entwicklung der Glyptik während der AkkadZeit. he has started to produce artificial fruits and earns a lot by selling it. responsible for it. Hongkong 1978 Bierbach. Biggs. Rom 1979 . Berlin 1965 Borger. Berlin 1988 Religion and Language of Easter Island. however. If we do not succeed in reading the pictograms of a remote writing system.M. we are still on the track of the fox: we make our own inefficiency the measurestick of our judgment. Th. Having noticed that the true (and sweet) grapes are difficult to obtain.
Ieroglificheskie teksti ostrova Paaschi i 'chteniya' Metoro [The hieroglypic texts of Easter Island and the 'chants' of Metoro]. W. I.R. Asian and African Studies. M. in: Yuri V. 413441 . Rom 1947 Dietrich. S. Washington 1912 Deimel. R. Kleine Augen auf großer Fahrt. Das Heilige und das Profane. A. 118150; 8/1999. Easter Island. Bratislava 7/1998. Paris 1931 Eliade.I. H. Knorozov [ed.K. London 1996 Dordillon. Rapanui's "Great Old Words": E timo te akoako. V. Moskau 1986 Mifti i Legendi Ostrowa Paschi [Myths and legends from Easter Island]. S. Island at the Centre of the World. etnicheskaya semiotika [Ethnical languages]. Sumerisches Lexikon I. JPS 1994. Rapanui. Grammaire et Dictionnaire de la Langue des Îles Marquises.Churchill. Untersuchungen über den VogelmannKult auf der Osterinsel. Drevnie sistemy pis'ma [Ancient systems of writing]. M. Leningrad 1988 Fischer. Frankfurt 1990 Englert.]. Wiesbaden 1983 Fedorova. London 1970 Idioma Rapanui.M.1750 Du Feu. Santiago de Chile 1978 EsenBaur.
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ZDMG 87. D. Nordhausen 32010a Die Dreigestalt des Seins und der androgyne kosmische Mensch. Ferdon (1965) Oliver.I. Nordhausen 22012a The Message of the Indus Seals and Tablets as preserved in the ṚgVeda .L. Nordhausen 22011a Die Schrifttafeln der Osterinsel. Cambridge 1994 Rao. Dawn and Devolution of the Indus Civilization. Das Frühe Indien. Nordhausen 42010b Die Philosophie der Bhagavadgītā. Stuttgart 1959 Murril. Zur IndusSchrift.R. in: Th. Asko Deciphering the Indus Script. Honolulu 1940 Meriggi. Honolulu 1974 Parpola. R. A Study of Cranial and Postcranial Material from Easter Island. Delhi 22001 The inscribed tablets of Easter Island. Heyerdahl/E. P. Nordhausen 42011b Der Fünfte Veda.Ethnology of Easter Island. Bremen 22004a Die Sakrale Liebe im Alten und Neuen Testament und im Alten Orient. S. New Delhi 1991 RichterUshanas. H. E. 1934 Mode. eine Untersuchung zur Kosmosophie des ṚgVeda. The Indus Script and the ṚgVeda. Ancient Tahitian Society.
F. The Yoga has the same origin as it can be deduced from Indus seals and tablets with a person sitting in a yogaposture. New York 1973 The author and the book The deciphering of the Indusscript with recourse to the ṚgVeda shows that the Indusculture is older than the Vedic canon that was transmitted orally.J. Nordhausen 22012c Routledge Scoresby. Since the Indus cities were destroyed in a relatively early time the Indusscript was conserved as a word script. We can learn from the rediscovery of the Indusculture that the survival of a culture is caused through . K. A dictionary of some Tuamoto dialects of the Polynesian Languages. S. This is also evident through the Yoga practice of the greeting of the sun. A. Übergangsriten. Archaeology. J. Washington 1889. J. Te pito te henua or Easter Island. in: Vergessene Städte am Indus (exhibition catalogue). Aachen 1987 Van Gennep. Ecology and Culture. W.S.and the adjacent Traditions. It did not develop into a letterscript as the Egyptian writing. Maurizio Die IndusZivilisation jenseits des indischen Subkontinents. The Sanskritwriting can still be recognized as a word script. The Mystery of Easter Island.A. since syllables and even letters that all end into a. National Museum.W. 447552 Tosi. Annual Report. Frankfurt 1986 Van Tilburg. Washington 1994 Wolff. Easter Island. U. Island of Death. it was not divided into letters. Den Haag 1964 Thomson. where the hands form the Indussign for the sun . Norderstedt 42012b [BoD] Der Diskus von Phaistos und die Heilige Hochzeit von Theseus und Ariadne. London 1919 Stimson. The word remained a whole.
Like the Indusscript the Easter Island script also called Rongorongo has been regarded as ornamentic by some scholars. Egbert RichterUshanas . After over six years of painstaking research. February 12. Mr. Spiritualization is ambidextrous.10. The key to unravelling the secrets of the great Indus Valley civilisation lies in the Rig Veda. which in the Indusscript is rendered by the sign of the doublearcher . that is related to the creatorgod Prajāpati. In case of a canon the readings of two islanders can be used for the deciphering. if they are studied without prejudice as it was done by the author. This he does with his two bows that have no aggressive implications. Rudra.500odd seals unearthed from the archaeological sites associated with the Indus .121. the method evolved by the German. but also nature in a measure greater than ever before. In 2008 he was awarded the title prachya vidya parangata (expert in ancient Indian culture) by the World Association for Vedic Studies (WAVES) in Orlando. By the extension 'Ushanas' to his penname he indicates his relationship to the Indian and the Vedic tradition.1994 The inscription of the seal 1339 illustrated at the left renders: May we have children. who embraces and protects all beings as is said in ṚV X. Oriental and Indian languages. He has found striking if not parallel similarities between the translations of the motifs on Indus seals and the verses of the RigVeda. Of the few scholars who have claimed to have succeeded in deciphering the Indus script. The same happened to the Egyptian script before its deciphering. gives a new dimension to the search. Experts are no doubt impressed by the method. and the premise that the holy scripture was influenced by the Indus way of thinking. may our lord be blessed (ṚV II. that they not only kill themselves mutually.1). the science of religion and several European. Appendix: Rig Veda helps unravel Indus Valley secrets By PRASUN SONWALKAR The Times of India News Service NEW DELHI.33. Over 1. he has come up with a method that relies heavily on the verses of the ancient Rig Veda.spiritualization and renunciation and not on egoism and the striving for an unlimited progress that turns modern societies so aggressive. according to a German writer who has developed a new method to decipher and decode the Indus script that has defied researchers and scriptographers for centuries. Egbert Richter has studied Western and Indian philosophy. but would like more indepth study before they put the seal of approval.000 decoded: Of the 3.
This authorship of Sanskrit also explains why the words on the seals are often divided differently from the rules of modern etymology. Sanskrit has ever been an 'elaborated' language. around 2300 ante. he said. He has also written books on philosophy. but in agreement with the Brahmāṇas and Upaniṣ ads. Therefore it is likely that these books were composed between 1500 and 1700 ante. Mr. stating that such motifs are found almost everywhere in the world. Where could their authors have learned it from. Verma's method. partly due to the shortness of the inscriptions.K. This would also be the time of the composition of the first Vedic hymns. BASIC FEATURES: By careful study of the script he has drawn up ten basic features. RichterUshanas claims to have successfully deciphered and decoded nearly 1000.the priests of the Indus valley civilisation?". Verma did. it is impossible to arrive at a translation of an Indus inscription without the Rig Veda for comparison. verb. THE METHOD: After arriving at the meaning of an Indus inscription with the help of the Sumerian and Brāhmī script. His research on the Indus script beginning in 1988 at the age of 50 also took him to the Harappa and other sites of the Indus Valley civilisation. Hailing from Bremen in north Germany. Currently on a brief visit to India. except when they denote man or woman by nature. were originally names of gods. if not from . ∙ Contrary to the rules of a letter script. RichterUshanas said. different signs can have the same meaning and same signs can have different meanings. and finds a nearidentical verse in the Rig Veda to arrive at a more accurate meaning of the inscriptions. not to speak of Indian tribes who are still on the level of a dream world. According to him. ∙ All signs can be male or female. he said emphatically. This was partly be cause many verses are similar though occurring in different hymns. as Mr.valley civilisation. ∙ All signs can be used as noun. had claimed to have deciphered the script on the basis of 'motifs' of items used by the Santhals during puja. HARD TO TRACE: It was not always possible to find out the exact verse of the Ṛg Veda in which the in scriptions are handed down. but we should not violate them. Motifs like those on the Indus seals or of Indus signs can occur everywhere in the world. . Mr. But none of these reasons affect the "basic equivalence" of the inscriptions and the Rig Veda. N. RichterUshanas. prominent among them are: ∙ Most inscriptions are centred around a dvandva (a double word connected by and) or a tatpurusa (a com positum in the genitive gender). All the Indus signs on the seals. Mr. he strings together a loose meaning of a series of inscriptions on any given seal. including the Bhagavadgītā and the Upaniṣ ads. "Neither the Indus script nor the Brāhmī script are mentioned in the Brahmāāṇas. disagrees with Mr. Mr. however. Verma. Its elaboration cannot have taken place much earlier than the manufacturing of the first Indus seals. for he did not pay any heed to the historical development of the Devanāgarī script and its relation to the Brāhmī script. a district transport officer from Bihar. Some times ago. where the motifs are produced". adjective or comparative. the indologist has some translations to his credit. we ought to go beyond the laws or rules of science. and partly by the ambiguity of the signs. including the number signs. he told this correspondent: "In order to decipher an ancient script.
4 dedicated to Viṣṇu. Rudra was born from the seed that fell on the earth after the cohabitation of the father of the sky and his daughter. The Indus seer had a higher aim as it can be seen from the unicornseal 2632 dedicated to Agni. Mr. but the methodology adopted by Mr. The new reading of seal 1339 confirms that I was on the right track to affiliate the Indus inscription to a verse of the ṚgVeda for otherwise its decoding would be altogether subjective. Additional remarks by Egbert RichterUshanas In 1994. Geldner's note).101.C. he is apt to help the human father in getting children. the Dawn (ṚV X. Because Rudra was born from the seed of the cosmic father. because they were worn on the breast or round the arm. In this case the inscription was also useful in restoring line c of the Vedic verse. The deduction that the inscriptions have parallels in the Veda may need further probe. A word script is regarded as inferior. M. There is also a relation between Rudra and the zebu till modern times. the script was a means against oblivion of the past. mainly on the name of the god to whom the inscription is dedicated.155. Joshi.7). Probably this is the reason. when the article by Mr. In all endeavourings to decode the Indus signs. especially of Indian researchers.3) the drawing animal (5) goes on firmly (4) (RV X. as a yogi or jīvanmukta. whose basic images are known. can also mean Rudra. some scholars do not regard it as a script altogether. inspite of the Chinese and the Sumerian word script.4. I affiliated the inscription of the first seal the only one that was published in this article to ṚgVeda I. he said.11). . former directorgeneral of the Archaeological Suryey of India (ASI) is clearly excited about the conclusions.61. according to the similar verse V. The landlord (literally the man on the horse) is blessed through the children. Therefore the seed is a sign on the seal 1339. whose last four signs are identical with the inscription of seal 1339. why the Indus signs are mentioned in the Veda only cryptically as the names of the gods. The inscription of the seal 1135 illustrated at the left renders: Like a man (seedgiver) (1) with two women (in bed) (2. In Egypt. Sonwalkar appeared in the Times of India. RichterUshanas certainly has interesting logic. I was also right in reading the signs logographically. a man wearing bow and arrow.10d he becomes immortal through them (cf. because I read the three short strokes tentively as the three worlds and as three steps. Then I discovered that the sign for the guardian. This led to the new translation rendered under the image of the headline. This function they certainly had. which can be deduced from the motifs of several seals. they are treated as letters. He tried to become immortal in this very life. but many Āryans wanted to forget the past and the people who ruled at that time.The actual meaning depends on the context. It is often difficult to find out a reading of an Indus sign in the Veda that coincides with its pictographic form and with the amulet character of the seals. One of the basic rituals of the Indus Valley religion was the sacred marriage.
as he would have regarded her 20 or 30 years ago. who is about tens years older than she. by modern Western society. Worpswede. He does not criticize his former bride at all. In the movie his seeming selfcontrol proves in her eyes. that he does not really love her. one followed him. In the Veda the goddess Dawn is described as a loving and faithful wife and as a prostitute who approaches men. when they are regarded as the male and the female principle. Like the sun a man who has two wives goes firmly on his way of purification and perfection. Therefore a chapter on this ritual has been included in this enlarged study. In her novel she creates a dream world of love which ultimately leads into a commercial relation. and this ceremony was the main reason for its decay and of its apparent oblivion by the Āryans and its revival in Yoga and Tantra in later times. In this way she propagates the modern Western style of living. what the Indus civilization meant to the Āryan society. if a woman has two lovers. but it is much more likely that it was inherited from the Indus civilization. but with much more male violence in love situations. The movie follows the same intention. She married as a young woman a 20 years older man. In both versions it is love which gives her the right to leave him and marry the other man. On the day of her marriage she simulates a faintness and the marriage is postponed. or if they were. It was this ceremony that created fertility and resurrection in the ancient high civilizations. who was born in 1924. heaven and earth are the parents of the sun. The sun is the father and the son simultaneously. If she had married the earl. It will be accepted. Through the ritual of the sacred marriage this is realized and fertility and liberation (mokṣ a) is achieved. If we want to understand. Even then she would not have been called a prostitute as long as she pretends to have acted out of love. A year later she marries the other man and makes him enter her father's company. however. Western scholars believe that such behaviour of a woman crept into the Veda and the Āryan society through the tribes the Āryans met after their arrival in India. not to speak of calling her a prostitute. is one of the most renowned female writers in Germany nowadays. It is against the rules of modern life that a man has two wives. But what is love? To have a new relationship every three years or every week or so? Utta Danella. we must study the ritual of the sacred marriage. Certainly they were not only puppets as some scholars believe. They meet in a stable (a holy place in the Akkadian sacred marriage and in Christianity) a few days day before her marriage. they would have divorced after a short time and she would have married another man anyway or live together with a partner without marrying him. Therefore the seer Yajñavalkya. the other remained in the city. but than she happens to meet a younger man and falls in love with him. heaven and earth. On the other hand. In the movie they have sexual intercourse there. But marry she must. where figurines of young women with a beautiful body and seducing dress and appearance have been found. 1122013 . had two wives. More than 70 millions copies of her books were sold. When he retired to the forest.On this seal the sacred marriage is performed by the sun and his two wives. The former bridegroom accepts the new situation as a matter of fate without having any feeling of jealousy. who is the spiritual guide of king Janaka in the BṛhadAraṇyakaUpaniṣ ad. In Utta Danellla's novel The marriage on the countryside a young woman of a rich family is going to marry an earl of good reputation. they were the puppets of men. The sacred marriage is hence the forerunner of yoga as it is indicated by the original meaning 'union'.