The Defiling of Christ due to False Geography

           

      Christianity could never have evolved had its founder not been a real person. All the stories of Christian persecutions are not fabrications but the early Christians could never have fearlessly sacrificed their lives without the memory of a real saviour. Bertrand Russell, Christopher Hitchens and others who brand Jesus as mythical, fail to notice that there is nothing in the gospels that firmly binds Jesus to Galilee or 0 AD. St. Paul was a great figure whose letters clearly establish his historicity but the Stoic statement of the Encyc-lopedia Britannica; 'There are no reliable sources for Paul's life outside the New Testament', only exposes the poverty of mainstream history. J. D. Crossan captured headlines by stating that the title 'Son of God’ was used by Augustus before Jesus, and almost put Jesus in the dock but only chronological delusions obscure that it was Augustus the fake 'son of god' who impersonated Jesus and tried to wipe out Christianity. Erich S. Gruen describes Augustus as an epitome of Justice in the Cambridge Ancient History which is ridiculous. Sir Ronald Syme, on the other hand, saw through Augustus' chicanery. Echoing Gibbon Nietzsche likened Christianity to a 'vampire that sucked the blood out of the Roman Empire' but this is senseless. H. Galsterer writes in the Cambridge Ancient History that the period between Cicero and Tacitus is “one of the best known in ancient history”, but ironically this is the epoch (0–33 AD?) of Jesus whose life history is far from being 'best known'. The stage was set by A. Schweitzer's absurd remark; 'Jesus can never be known by means of historical research, but his words can inspire people in any age’.

       Christianity did not rise from a minor sect of heretical Galilean Jews to magically conquer Rome within three centuries and eventually become the most numerous world-religion. Jesus was a Jew but there were many Jews outside Palestine. Judaism has many facets and the Diaspora Jews far outnumbered the Jews of Palestine and many of them were in Asia Minor who accepted the primacy of Jerusalem. The main gospels are in Greek which was the language of Galatia, not Galilee. Although Geza Vermes and others heedlessly stick to Galilee it is plain that Jesus has been placed in a wrong land and era. The fact that all the Apostles and Evangelists are also unhistorical leaves no doubt about the carelessness of the historians.

 

Jesus Christ At the Crossroads of History

       

        A careful study shows that Christ was born in Iśauria/Bithynia near holy Pessinus and Nicaea, not in a Galilean backyard. Just as Buddhism spread through the Silk-road, Christianity’s rapid rise was also due to its origin near the famous Susa-Sardis Royal Road, which ran from Persia to the shores of the Mediterranean. There are many gospel references that apparently echo Galilean city-names but names often hallucinate. Archaeologists have not found a single relic of Jesus in Galilee which casts grave doubts on the veracity of the mainstream history. Significantly, Asia Minor was called ‘das Christliche Land’ by the great A. von Harnack.

 

Zeus Temple at Olba in Iśauria which may have been visited by the Jesus of History

 

       As Amyntas' 'death' (or crucifixion) took place in 26/25 B.C. this entails that the commonly accepted birth-date of Jesus, i.e. 0 AD, is false.

 

Iśa Amen of Iśauria

 

        Amyntas of Galatia, the greatest hero of Asia Minor of the 1st century B.C., was the true Jesus. The gospels (Rev. iii.14) give the crucial data that Jesus' name was Amen and this at once leads to the historical Jesus. His palace at Iśauria reveals his name Iśa.

 

      

Pessinus near Nicaea was the holiest center of the Roman world

 

        Jesus the holy messiah must have been linked to a holy shrine but this was not the Jerusalem temple. Another holy center was Ephesus but Amyntas was the son of Adobogiona, the chief priestess of the Pessinus temple (Piscis = fish, Jesus' early symbol), which was the holiest in the Roman world.

     

Jesus The Messenger of Love and Amity and Jesus the Healer

 

        Due to the geographical and chronological misconceptions Amyntas is ignored in the literature. B. M. Levick has a fleeting glimpse of Amyntas the martyr and writes in the Cambridge Ancient History that he “had lost his life carrying out the duties of his position” but misses the true Jesus. The Encyclopedia Britannica also does not know him. But A. R. Meadows writes with rare insight;

 

“Amyntas’ coinage is extraordinary, indeed I think unique in the world of Hellenistic rulers.”

 

    Amyntas' coins reveal a great stress on the Caduceus symbol (both obverse and reverse) which stands for Jesus the messenger of Love. It was a symbol of Hermes and is associated with peace and amity.

      

Bust of Hermes and Caduceus on a coin of Amyntas

 

          It is very likely that the Caduceus also symbolizes Jesus the healer. There are many references in the gospels of Jesus being a great healer (Mark 1:2-28). This is usually looked down upon as exaggeration as there are some miraculous episodes. A. N. Wilson's portrayal of Jesus as a Galilean holy man, surrounded by miracle workers and exorcists who taught in the tradition of the Hasidim fits the Galilean scenario but is a travesty of the facts. Jesus' fame as a great healer is a Mithradatic trait; Mithradates-VI Eupator, an ancestor of Amyntas, was the greatest medical scientist of his age whose expertise must have passed on to Jesus Amyntas. Justin Martyr of Nabulus who became a Christian in 132 AD at Ephesus denied that the Asclepius myth was a source for Jesus the healer but this skirts the truth as Pergamon was a centre of both Asclepius and Mithradates VI Eupator. A similar symbol was the Asclepius staff with a coiled snake, which was a symbol for medicine. The Caduceus is not only the emblem of the U.S. Army Medical Corps it is also used by the civilian medical institutions. The Encyclopedia Britannica denies its link with medicine and relates it to the magic wand of Hermes but this is a hasty interpretation that ignores the reality in Asia Minor. But that the Encyclopedia Britannica is wrong can also be seen from that in Homer’s Odyssey Hermes informs Odysseus that his companions have been turned into animals by the magical powers of Circe and advises him to protect himself by chewing a magical herb. Amyntas also depicted Artemis but this may have been the Asiatic Artemis of Ephesus who was mainly a nourisher goddess like Cybele of Pessinus.

 

  

The Caduceus symbol.  Courtesy Encyclopedia Britannica

 

     Herodotus associated Hermes with the Egyptian city of Hermopolis. Plutarch and Diodorus also stressed Hermes’ links with Egypt. According to the Alexandrian sources (c.150 BC), Hermes was the teacher of all secret wisdom and the source of religious and esoteric knowledge and ecstasy.  Like Min and Shiva, Hermes was also depicted as ithyphallic.

       The Caduceus symbol was also used earlier by Julius Caesar whose wife Cleopatra (and Mark Antony) has been slandered by Roman writers and Shakespeare. Arab accounts indicate that she wrote texts on medicine and was famous as a healer. That Mark Antony used the same symbol may also have been due to Cleopatra. Augustus’ use of the symbol was an instance of fraudulent impersonation of Amyntas. D. Salzmann remarks that the representation of the god Mēn in Antioch in Pisidia definitely bespeaks deliberate Augustan propaganda. Claudius also copied the Caduceus symbol from Augustus’ coins.

 

A Precious Christian Relic in The Baltimore Museum

 

        The great respect for Adobogiona in antiquity is indicated by a colossal marble head from Dorylaeum dated to the period of Tiberius. D. M. Robinson  assigns the bust (0.565 m) to Adobogiona, queen mother of Deiotarus Philadelphus who ruled Paphlagonia (36-31 B.C.),

 

A marble-head of the holy Mother of Jesus Amen.   Courtesy Prof. T. Banchich

but as Dorylaeum was very near Pessinus (~ 100 km), it probably depicts Amyntas’ mother Adobogiona. Finds from Pergamon also reveal the adoration for Adobogiona and Brogitarus before the birth of Christianity. T. Derks and N. Roymans write ;

The bust of Adobogiona, the daughter of Deiotaros I and wife of Brogitarus, belonging to her honorific statue in Pergamon, which must be dated between 63 and 58 B.C., shows an individual and consciously non-Greek portrait in contrast to the Greek costume and headdress…

Jesus, son of Adobogiona, was a legitimate 'son of god', but this was the root cause of his clash with Augustus, another 'son of god' and led to his fall. That Augustus gave an order to melt silver statues (including those of himself) was to liquidate the statuettes of Adobogiona.

    

Christianity, Platonism and A Prayer Jesus May Have Whispered

 

        The association of Christianity with Platonism is well known. Bertrand Russell writes, ‘what appears as Platonism is, when analysed, found to be in essence Pythagoreanism’.

 

                 Pythagorean mystics celebrating sunrise by Fyodor Bronnikov

 

      The bust of Hermes on the coins of Jesus Amyntas is of great significance. R. Valantasis writes in the book "Prayer from Alexander to Constantine" that the Hermetic prayers formed a part of a cultic liturgy comprising a prayer, a ritual embrace and a sacred bloodless meal. A  Hermetic prayer found at Nag Hammadi about sixty years ago which is dated to the second century AD, runs as follows:


We give You thanks!
Every soul and heart is stretched out to you.
O name which cannot be troubled, honoured by the name ‘God’ and praised by the name ‘Father’.
Your fatherly good-will, affection and love (extends) to everyone and to everything.
And any teaching there may be that is sweet and plain bestows upon us mind, discourse, (and) perception.
Mind (is bestowed) so that we may understand You;
discourse, so that we may interpret You;
perception, so that we may know You.
We rejoice since we have received light from Your knowledge.
We rejoice since You have shown us yourself.
We rejoice because while we were in (the) body, You have made us gods through Your knowledge.
The thanksgiving of the one who reaches to You is one thing: that we know You.
We have known You, O noetic light.
O life of life, we have known You.
O womb of every sowing, we have known You.
O womb pregnant with the form of the Father, we have known You.
O eternal continuance of the Father who begets, we have greeted Your goodness.
There is one wish that we ask: we wish to be preserved in knowledge.
And there is one protection that we wish: that we do not slip in this kind of life.

 

The clear Christian traits in the prayer need no elaboration. Strabo wrote that Amyntas was a follower of the god Mēn. Information about Mēn is available from an ancient inscription found at Smyrna (ISmyrna 753) near Ephesus which had a large Jewish population. Mēn was often associated with a cultic trapeza or table which cannot but remind one of the Last Supper. The Eucharist also reminds one of Attis of Pessinus who was associated with a sacramental meal of bread and wine.

        L. L. Thompson writes that the god Mēn was linked to Pythag-oreanism. Pythagoras himself was from Samos which was about 50 miles from Smyrna. The Church of Smyrna is one of the seven early churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation. It is said to have been founded by St. Paul who preached there but this is denied by the history of Amyntas. The early Churches at Lystra, Derbe etc. were all centers of Amyntas and the same has to be the true of Smyrna, which was called a Greek city. Platonism is a far cry from the tradition of Galilee.

       

St. Peter and the Trail of Jesus From Rome To Pessinus

         

       Although mainstream writers routinely chant stale old formulae, F. Carotta, has brilliantly taken Christian history closer to Rome. This frees Jesus from the dank Galilean setting which is akin to Nepal which is said to be Gotama's birthplace, but where his relics have not been found. But the Gospels did not grow from the Julius Caesar myth as Carotta states. Curiously, a Roman monument, the St. Peter's Basilica, has a scent of history. St. Paul also appears to be a Roman. Who really was Peter and why was he in Rome, of all places? Was he a fisherman or fish-trader? The Encyclopedia Britannica states;

 

"The problems surrounding the residence, martyrdom, and burial of Peter are among the most complicated of all those encountered in the study of the New Testament and the early church."

 

      In the new scenario St. Peter turns out to be Publius Petronius whose house in Rome is mentioned by Tacitus as a famous social hub. This may be the true background of the famous St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. The famous Roman Code of Law promulgated by Publi-us Petronius, the Lex Petronia, prevented a master from sending his slave to the beasts in the amphitheater without authorization. Though the Wikipedia dates it to 61 AD, this is certainly false. A better guess is late 1st century B.C. (Dict. of Greek and Roman Aniquities ed. W. Smith) and this makes Publius Petronius a contemporary of Amyntas. Was he the same as Publius Petronius Turpilianus, the moneyer of Agustus? Some sources refer to a Petronius who was a governor of Bithynia, the land of Amyntas.

      A famous mural of Sol Invictus at St. Peter's Basilica which is widely seen as a representation of Jesus Christ reveals the link of Jesus with Amyntas and Pessinus. This corresponds to a silver disk

 

A silver disk of Sol (3rd Cent. AD) from Pessinus and Jesus in the St. Peter's Basilica 

 

from Pessinus dating from third century AD which also depicts Sol Invictus with a similar two-horse chariot. Sol Invictus corresponds to the Greek Helios and the Indo-Iranian Mithra/Mitra, the god of light. The New Catholic Encyclopedia states;

Besides, the Sol Invictus had been adopted by the Christians in a Christian sense, as demonstrated in the Christ as Apollo-Helios in a mausoleum (c. 250) discovered beneath St. Peter's in the Vatican." Indeed "...from the beginning of the 3rd century "Sun of Justice" appears as a title of Christ.    

 A Saviour Behind the Earliest Christian Centers

 

        The oldest Christian centers, mentioned by St. Paul, were at Lystra, Derbe, Antioch in Pisidia etc. but it is uncanny that all these were centers of Amyntas which leaves no room for doubting that he was the founder of Christianity. He was pitted against the most brutal dictator of history, Augustus, who wanted the title 'son of god' for himself and ruthlessly eliminated not only Amyntas, but also Cleopatra's son Caesarion who was another legitimate 'son of god'.

 

  

A Coin of Jesus in India (Amyntas Nikator). Courtesy O. Bopearachchi

 

Amyntas is cited by all the ancient writers and his face on his coins from India and Galatia bears a striking similarity to the face of Jesus known from later pictures.

 

Jesus the 'Lamb' of Strabo and Jesus the Fish

 

       The Jews usually had only one name, claims the Encyclopedia Britannica but this is disproved by Rev. iii.14 which shows that, Amen was a name of Jesus. He was depicted by the symbol of the fish in the

 

 

early era which appears to be linked to the fact that in the Sumerian, Indian and many ancient cultures Min' was the word for 'fish'. As ‘A’ was often an honorific ‘Min’ may have become ‘Amen’ or Amyntas.

       Jesus is often called a lamb and Strabo writes that Amyntas was the owner of 300 flocks of sheep. This is a strong confirmation of that Amyntas was Jesus as Strabo’s other data on Amyntas also largely agree with the Gospels. The Indian coins of Amyntas suggest that he had survived crucifixion and gone to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

 

St. Paul Was the Great Asinius Pollio

 

       Writers such as R. Eisenman have erred in regard to geography and chronology of Christianity and have distorted the history of St. Paul, but as Albert Schweitzer noted, Paul is second only to Jesus. It can be seen that he was also a stalwart of world history. In the new scenario St. Paul turns out to be the great Asinius Pollio, described as the 'shinning glory' of the age by Ronald Syme. Christopher Pelling writes (“Cambridge Ancient History”, v.X ) with insight,


“At the beginning, there was a case for a quinquevirate, for Plancus and Pollio had played no less crucial a role than Lepidus in the maneuv(e)rings of mid -43. But Lepidus was included, Plancus and Pollio were not; and Lepidus owed that less to his army than to his clan and connexions. In 43 these seemed to matter; a few years later they were irrelevant, and so was he. Money too was a new, incalculable factor. In 44-43 the promises made to troops reached new heights; and there was certainly money around – money of Caesar himself; money from the dead dictator’s friends, men like Balbus and Matius;

 

Asinus Pollio and Matius cannot but remind one of St. Mathew, who was a tax collector and a very rich man. J. D. Crossan and J. L. Reed have attempted in vain to discover the Paul of history within the framework of the birth-date of 0AD. The picture of Paul painted by writers such as N. T. Wright also lacks any semblance of realism. Crossan rightly paints Paul as a dedicated successor of Jesus who promoted Jesus' vision of a Kingdom of God on earth against the concept of world peace under Roman hegemony but fails to imagine that Jesus Amen could have been a king of India. Asinius Pollio was inspired by the Hellenistic and Buddhistic ideal of the Brotherhood of Man and the same is true of Paul who hated the priests as mediators between God and humans. Pollio the Pharisee mentioned by Josephus may have intruded into the gospels at the behest of Augustus.

 

St. Mark, Another Shining Glory of the 1st Century B.C.

 

        F. Carotta's path-breaking suggestion that the gospel of Mark was first written in Latin has been pooh-poohed by unwary scholars but is indeed true. St. Mark appears to have been the great Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus whom Ronald Syme described as another 'shining glory' of his age. Messalla Corvinus was a Roman governor of Syria who was initially a great admirer of Augustus but turned against him about 25 B.C. which is the year of 'crucifixion' in the present sch-eme. He was a great literary figure who could have been the first writer of the Gospels.

       The end of Messalla Corvinus came is not known but it is possible that he was killed by Augustus. Another person who may have contri-buted to the gospel of Mark may be Marcus Lollius who became the governor of Amyntas' territory after its annexation by Augustus. He was also a trusted friend of Augustus who suddenly fell out of favour and was killed. Messalla Corvinus may have brought Asinius Pollio to the Christiani fold. This may be the crux of Paul's vision at Damascus.

         

St. Thomas was Deitarus Philadelphus and Hermaeus Soter


  
     Even a cursory look at the coins of Hermaeus Soter reveals that he was a Christian saint, but due to the imprudence of historians, it remains unknown that Hermaeus Soter was St. Thomas. Just as Jesus and St. Thomas are 'twins', in the gospels, Hermaeus Soter and Amyntas Nikator are 'twins' in the coins. St Thomas, is a great literary figure but has no archaeological trace. This reminds one of Diodotus-I Soter who has many coins but no inscriptions and who was the same as the great Asoka who has many inscriptions but no coins. Herameus Soter must have been the same as St. Thomas.

       A crucial clue comes from the monogram of Deiotarus in one of Hermaeus' coins which indicates that he was not only a scion of the house of Deiotarus, he was in fact Deiotarus Philadelphus. This is said to be a mint-mark of Kapisa but this is not true.

 

Deiotarus' monogram in Hermaeus' coin.    Courtesy O. Bopearachchi

 

       R. C. Senior has recently pushed back the date of Gondophares Soter to 20-10 B.C. This has a cascading effect on Christian history; for Gondophares was converted to Christianity by St. Thomas.

 

 

Hermaeus' coins are similar to those of the Christian Gondophernes

 

Christianity and Buddhism both grew from the crucible of Mitraism. Amyntas was linked to the Cult of Magna Mater which had a great impact in Rome but Amyntas and Hermaeus were influenced by the Cults of Mēn, Attis and Zeus-Mitra/Mithra.

 

St. Matthew, St. Luke and St. Barnabas

 

        The ‘sinner’ St. Matthew was clearly Matius cited by Cicero. “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” says St Matthew ( 22:21). It is difficult not to see the similarity of ethos in Matius' letters. Like Matius St. Mathew was a tax-collector and a rich man. St. Luke may have been and the priest-king Lycomedes. Mithradates, Pharnaces, Pharnabazus etc were timeless names. Thus St. Barnabas may have been Darius, son of Pharnaces II who was also called Pharnaces or Pharna-bazus. He may have been the same as Barabbas the prisoner who was set free before Jesus' crucifixion.

 

Virgin Mary, the Great Mother of Pessinus and  Attis

 

        Much has has been said about Jesus' mother Mary in Palestine from a linear interpretation of the gospels, but this defies common sense. The radiant figure of Virgin Mary has no place in Judaism of Galilee but belongs to the cult of the goddess at Epheseus-Pessinus. The chief priestess of Pessinus Adobogiona was the daughter of the Celtic King Deiotarus and her eminence is proven by that she and her husband were honoured in antiquity by a group of people who can be seen as the first Christians. Pessinus was also the seat of Attis, who was born of a virgin like Jesus, and is also depicted as sitting on his mother's lap. This is the background of Jesus' miraculous birth which has counterparts in the Pali legends. Attis was fed by a goat and was brought up among shepherds.  

 

Chronology and Geography - the Two Eyes of History

 

     Geographical and chronological errors devastate history. Bithynia and Isauria can be seen as the echoes of Bethlehem and Isa. Part of the OT pertains to Galilee-Judea but as the great E.A. Speiser not-ed, the Book of Genesis does not. The NT is totally different in spirit but to know the true Jesus it is essential to replace Galilee by Galatia. A close associate of Jesus was Mary Magdalene but no one knows where Magadan (Mat 15:39) or Magdala was. Magadan echoes distant Magadha but the biblical Magadan may have been in the Pontus region near Galatia ruled by the Mithradatic kings who were from Magadha. The archaeologists have found almost nothing in Nazareth. The name is not mentioned in the OT or other rabbinic texts. The gospel of John first refers to it but he had strong links with Epheseus and his Nazareth could have been Nagara not far from Epheseus. The author of Revelations mentions Patmos which is near Epheseus. Another Nagara was Alexandria Kapisa, the capital of Amyntas Nikator.

      Epheseus was ruled by the Seleucids who were close to the Mau-ryas but came under the Romans after Attalus. It was often hostile to the Romans. In 88 B.C. the Ephesians welcomed Mithridates VI Eupator as savior and 80,000 Romans are said to have been killed. This shows the link of Jesus Amyntas, who was a client king of the Romans, but was related to Mithradates Chrestus, with Epheseus.

      Gospel Chronology is widely suspected; Guignebert pointed to an error of +15 years, but if one ventures a little farther back, Jesus, St. Paul, St. Mark, St. Thomas and many other associates magically appear as radiant historical figures. Iśa Amen, the Jesus of history, was from Asia Minor. The only way of shaking off the Jinx that has dogged Christianity for ages is to scrap the birth-date of 0AD.

   Fortunately, just one amendment, namely ‘15th year of Augustus’ 2nd Triumvirate, 43 B.C.) in place of ‘15th year of Tiberius’ in Luke 3.1 as the beginning of the ministry (~28 B.C.) of John the Baptist brings Jesus face to face with history. Tiberius is named only once in the gospels (Luke 3.1) which is an error for Augustus. Many other citatio-ns to Caesar are without any further qualification and are wishfully assigned to Tiberius. John was arrested shortly afterwards and Jesus' own ministry may have started about 26 B.C. when he was about 30 years old. Accepting the gospel data that Jesus lived for 33 years this takes his birth to about 59/58 B.C. and crucifixion to 26/25 B.C. and in one stroke solves the problems of his historicity.

 

Amen - A Long-Forgotten Saviour

 

       Jesus' ancestor David is usually placed in Judea but this is false. In the OT he is a descendant of Rama who was not a Galilean and Goliath's armor resembles Greek armor which was not used in Judea. After turning to Galatia and purging Jesus' history of layers of accreted myth, certain basic facts of his life emerge, namely, that,

 

  1) His true name was Amen (Rev. iii.14) or Amyntas,

  2) His name Isu Chrestos links him to Isauria-Galatia, not Galilee,

  3) He was crucified in 25/26 B.C.,

  4) He was related to Mithradates Chrestus and Asoka,

  5) He was a Jew who followed the Hellenistic deity Mên Askaênos.

  6) He was a great healer and teacher.

  7) He was born at Pessinus which was Beth Lakhmu(House of fish).

  8) He ruled India-Pakistan-Afghanistan after surviving crucifixion.

  9) Amyntas' title 'Nikator' (Lat. Invictus) links him to Sol Invictus.

 

Amyntas, a Personification of Attis

     1st century Christianity was very different from the 4th century creed, and had pagan features. The Montanists were Christians and some Attis worshipers, who justifiably saw Amyntas as an embodim-ent of Attis, were early Christians. Phrygia (Pessinus) was the home of both Attis and Amyntas. Christianity took hold in Rome long before Constantine. Thus Claudius, who adored Attis, can be seen as an

 

 

early Christian. The Christians he punished may have belonged to a rival sect. The Greeks disliked the Mithraic bull slaughter and also had a horror of the emasculated Attis. Amyntas, a Hellenized Jew, may have had a similar view. As his head-dress reveals, Attis was a solar deity who was identified with the moon god Mēn. Amyntas followed the deity Mēn Askaēnos which was linked to Attis. It may not be idle to presume that if he could meet the flesh-and-blood Jesus, Constantine would probably have killed him for being a ‘pagan’.
 

Virgil’s Messiah and an ‘Accident of Dates’

 

      The vacuity of the present chronology of Jesus can be seen from a careful study of the poets Virgil and Ovid. Forty years before the supposed year of birth, Virgil, probably influenced by the prophesy of the Magi, speaks of a child who will bring back the Golden Age, banish sin, and restore peace. Unaware of the chronological trap, scholars have inverted plain logic and have turned Virgil into a Prophet. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church calls this an 'accident of dates' which is totally unwarranted. Virgil brackets Amyntas together with Apollo which shows his great respect for him. That he did not publish the Aeneid may be due to the passages of praise for Augustus he was forced to include.

 

The Mysterious Banishment of Ovid

 

       A more definitive warning comes from the mysterious banishm-ent of Ovid. The Encyclopedia Britannica makes a dubious prophecy - 'The reasons for Ovid's exile will never be fully known', and states;

 

Of the many explanations that have been offered of this mysterious indiscretion, the most probable is that he had become an involuntary accomplice in the adultery of Augustus' granddaughter, the younger Julia, who also was banished at the same time. In 2 BC her mother, the elder Julia, had similarly been banished for immorality, and the Ars amatoria had appeared while this scandal was still fresh in the public mind. These coincidences, together with the tone of Ovid's reference to his offense, suggest that he behaved in some way that was damaging both to Augustus' program of moral reform and to the honour of the imperial family.

 

This is a lame dialectic. Tacitus wrote that Augustus was a crook and R. Syme wrote that he gave orders to vilify Julius Caesar which Ovid disobeyed. The 'sexual offences' may have been wicked ploys. His sexual liaisons with Maecenas' wife Terentia are well known, and Cali-gula accused him of intercourse with his daughter Julia. Why were the law courts and the Senate sidetracked in order to banish Ovid? Why was Silanus let off? That he also executed Julia's religiously inclined husband Paullus and his grandson Postumus at the same time points to a Palace revolt favouring Amyntas. F. Norwood writes that Julia's incarceration was not due to adultery but her role in the 'conspiracy' of Paullus against Augustus. Paullus was linked to the Arval Brother-hood which had a group of twelve priests reminiscent of Jesus' twelve brethren. Augustus revived their practices to enforce his own cult which was probably resented by Paullus and this may be the crux of his 'conspiracy'. Tacitus writes that Postumus was not guilty.

 

The First Christian Circle of History

 

     The first Christian circle seems to have been formed around Ovid. The 'unauthorized' religion which Pomponia Graecina, the wife of A. Plautius, was tried for practicing, during the reign of Claudius, is kno-wn to be Christianity. Ovid and Julia the younger may have engaged in a similar worship of a despised  'son of god'. It is more than likely that Pomponia's father P. Pomponius Graecinus had Christian leanings. That he was a friend of Ovid, shows that the poet was one of the earliest admirers of Jesus Amen. It is likely, though not certain, that Sextus Pompeius and Junius Gallio to whom also Ovid turned for help from Pontus, had similar Christian sympathies. Syme writes that Passi-enus Blandus who was a preceptor of Tiberius was the first Roman knight who became a teacher. Seneca groups Passienus with great orators such as Asinius Pollio and Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus. Next in his opinion came the set of four which included Junius Gallio. Seneca also had glowing praise for Asinius Gallus, who according to him was overshadowed only by Asinius Poliio, his father. This Junius Gallio may have been linked to St. Paul at Corinth. Everett Ferguson links Paul to another Junius Gallio of the Claudian era inscription (~51 AD) which seems to be a mistake.

 

Augustus - the Wicked 'Son of God'

 

     St. Mark and St. Luke were contemporaries who could not err on chronology. The finger of suspicion points to the Roman dictator Augustus who madly desired to be remembered as a god and ruined Amyntas who had a divine aspect. Tacitus wrote,

 

'No honour was left for the gods, when Augustus chose to be himself worshipped with temples and statues, like those of the deities, and with flamens and priests.'

 

He also referred to widespread tampering of history by Roman rulers, the worst being Augustus. His cajoling the historians and producing false wills had a devastating effect. As R. Syme noted, the Res Gest-ae was aimed at suppressing true history. The bilingual inscription at Ancyra has been hailed as the 'Queen of inscriptions' by Mommsen who overlooked that these were at the centers of Amyntas to stifle Christian history. Augustus asked Roman writers to vilify Julius Caesar, his 'father'. This propaganda duped Shakespeare who disparaged Julius Caesar, a forerunner of Christ. Augustus grabbed Amyntas' land, dest-royed his temple at Antioch and installed his own cult. This  imperso-nation by a false son of god’ derailed history. Horace warned of the dangers to the life of Asinius Pollio (St. Paul) who gave shelter to the historian Timagenes who was hounded by Augustus. He may even have encouraged fake gospel writers. The Wikipedia states blindly,


“He also wanted to relate to and connect with the concerns of the plebs and lay people. He achieved this through various means of generosity and a cutting back of lavish excess. In the year 29 BC, Augustus paid 400 sesterces each to 250,000 citizens, 1,000 sesterces each to 120,000 veterans in the colonies, and spent 700 million sesterces in purchasing land for his soldiers to settle upon. He also restored 82 different temples to display his care for the Roman pantheon of deities. In 28 BC, he melted down 80 silver statues erected in his likeness and in honor of him, an attempt of his to appear frugal and modest.”

 

There are signs of Hellenistic influence on Augustus in his early years and he allowed Asinius Pollio to restore the old edifice of Atrium Liberatatis and turn it into a library. But after 28 B.C. when Amyntas probably assumed a religious role he turned agai-nst him. G. Stanton of Cambridge writes that in the early post-Easter period, the Gospels were heard against the backdrop of a rival set of ‘gospels’ concerning the imperial cult of Augustus. He also notes the earliest criticisms of Jesus and claims concerning his resurrection. He places Paul in Antioch in Pisidia yet fails to realize that this was a great centre of Jesus Amen whose temple of Mēn Askaēnos was destroyed by Augustus who installed his own cult there.

 

The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and Pontus Polemo

 

        The crucifixion of Jesus presents a myriad of problems. There is no corroboration of the episode from history. The Koran (Surah 4:157-158) reflects the uncertainties surrounding the episode. Crucifixion was usually reserved for the laity but nothing was beyond Augustus who had banished Ovid and decimated his own family in the blind pursuit of self-glorification. His annexation of Amyntas' territory and hasty destruction of his temple in the Pisidian Antioch turns him into a likely conspirator. J. D. Crossan brands the gospel's imputation of the blame for Jesus' 'death' on the Jews as the 'longest lie' but this epithet should be reserved for the date of 0AD of Jesus' birth. Also if the Jews are exonerated, the Romans remain as the only candidates for Jesus' killers but Crossan does not have the equipment to pursue them. He denies the historicity of the gospels and calls them 'prophecy historicized', i.e. written by later authors who looked back at the Old Testament and other early data  and then projected those prophesies on whatever historical episodes they could find. This is not wholly untrue but it is absurd to dismiss the gospels as nothing but useless fabrications.

        There are mysterious underground shelters at Derinkuyu in modern Turkey where about 20,000 people could once have lived. The shelters could have been used for military purposes and it is stunning to note that this area was once controlled by the fierce Homonadeis who brought about the fall of Amyntas. A modern commentator has this on Derenkuyu;


“To this day, no one is certain how it was created and what its original purpose was.... Scholars believe Derinkuyu was the hiding place for the first Christians who were escaping from the persecution of the Roman empire. Some things discovered in these underground settlements belong to the Middle Byzantine Period, between the 5th and the 10th centuries A.D. It is speculated that number of underground settlements, generally used for taking refuge and for religious purposes, increased during this era."

 

Not only the 'Christians who were escaping from the persecution of the Roman empire' Christ himself may have been linked to Derinkuyu.  Strabo hints at a conspiracy behind the demise of Amyntas. Was Derinkuyu controlled by Polemo of Pontus in the 1st century B.C.? He may have acted as an agent of Augustus.

 

Underground shelters at Derenkuyu       Courtesy http://derekbair.blogspot.in/ 

 

The sister of Barnabas, a relative of Christ was Queen Dynamis who was close to Augustus and may have trapped Amyntas to bring about his fall in 26/25 B.C. This treachery may have been unknown even to Asinius Pollio for some time. Augustus fell seriously ill after 25 B.C. and started stressing his title 'son of god' which may be a react-ion. Messalla Corvinus turned against him after 25 B.C. It is possible that C. Gallus' curious death was linked to Amyntas' fall. The only indication comes from Strabo who gives two versions of Amyntas' fall. The later version which mentions the treachery of a woman seems to be true. Augustus mentions in the Res Gestae that the gates of the god Janus Geminus were kept closed in 25 B.C. but keeps mum on his annexation of Asia-Minor. Dynamis' husband was Polemo of Pontus who may be the Pontius Pilate of the gospels. Cilicia and the Olba area was first awrded to Polemo-I but after he was shifted to Pontus by Antony, Amyntas became the ruler. It is not impossible that under Augustus Polemo of Pontus got the upper hand and turned the table on Amyntas.

 

Christ and Chrestus

 

       Jesus Amen was a descendant of Mithradates Chrestus who in turn was distantly related to the Seleucids and the Mauryas. Mithrad-ates VI was associated with the Magi and comets and stars. To understand how Amyntas could be the king of both India and Galatia it has to be noted that Chandragupta Maurya was a king of both India and the Pontus area. Mithradates II (ό κτιστής), king of Pontus was Chandragupta Maurya. Strabo(12.3.40) mentioned Sandaracurgium, and Gangra, the royal residence of Morzeüs (Strab. 12.3.41) but missed that Mithradates-II was the great Indian king Chandragupta Maurya. Gangra echoes Ganga. Chandragupta’s Suganga Palace on the Ganga, (actually on the Indus, the earlier Ganga) was famous.

 

St. Thomas' Conversion of Kujula to Christianity or Yavugasa Dharma

 

       The fact that the Kushan king Kujula Kadphises (34 - 20 B.C.) put Hermaeus' bust on his coins has baffled all the experts. Bachhof-er saw it as plain economic expediency which is shallow. This in fact proves that Kuzula was converted to Christianity or Yavugasa Dhar-ma by Hermaeus who was St. Thomas. This explains why Christianity came to Armenia before Rome. Kujula may have failed to get Augustus' support for his Christian sympathies. Augustus wanted to wipe out the legacy of Jesus Amen. Was Tigranes III the same as Vima Taktu and did he meet Augustus who mentions the Indians in the Res Gestae?

                                                                        more....

 

The Nomadic Jews, Rama, David and an India of the West

 

 

How Great was Alexander the Great?      

 

       Even after more than two millennia, the spectacle of Alexander the Great and his men streaming out of Europe and risking their lives across continents and seas to mingle with the exotic peoples of Africa and Asia appears stupefying. Alexander is generally acknowledged only as the greatest military genius of history but he was far more than that - a philosopher among kings who was a student of the great Aristotle. He knew about the importance of power and might but his uniqueness lies in his fascination also for the vagrant Indian sages. His call for brotherhood inspired not only great rulers such as Asoka and Julius Caesar but also Jesus Christ. No ruler of antiquity has left as great a legacy as Alexander has done. He dreamed of a Brotherhood and amity in a world torn by conflicts. This may forever remain an unattainable goal yet he is the finest symbol of our vision of a United Nations.

        'Putroham Prithivyah', 'I am a son of the earth', Alexander could have proclaimed, but sadly modern scholarship on him is dominated more by empty rhetoric on demystification of history than any genuine concern for historical truth. Almost no effort has been made to strike a balance between the wealth of  information from the Greco-Roman sources and the priceless Indian data. As the great king spent his last years in Indo-Iran, his life history has to be based not only on data from the Greco-Roman sources but also on the Indian and Persian accounts. All the extant Greco-Roman accounts were written long after his death and at locations far-away from the main theatre of operations. As a result, even writers such as Arrian, Plutarch or Diodorus were not always familiar with the social mores of the people in question, and many episodes in India and Iran were interpreted unsatisfactorily.

     

The Palace at Palibothra

 

      As Alexander spent his last years in India and Iran it is essential to have a sound understanding of the culture and history of the peoples he interacted with. He was aware of his unique role in history and had included expert writers in his train yet there is little that is certain. This is due to the inability to stamp out the lies spread by his generals who seems to have poisoned him, and also a careless interpretation of the geoggraphical setting.  E. Badian of Harvard University totally neglected the history and geography of India and Iran and wrote much about Alexander that is not related to ground data. Alexander's historians made much of his victory over the Indians but does this imply that he had set foot on the Indian capital Palibothra? The Greco-Roman sources do not give us any clue. Badian had no time to look carefully at the true location of Palibothra and blindly accepted the identification of Palibothra at the absurd location of Patna by Sir William Jones. Palibothra, the Indian capital, was famous for its peacocks; Lane Fox writes,


Dhana Nanda's kingdom could have been set against itself and Alexander might yet have walked among Palimbothra's peacocks"


Curiously, Arrian wrote that the great Emperor was so charmed by the beauty of peacocks that he decreed the severest penalties against anyone killing it. Where did he come across the majestic bird? Does this fascination lead us to Palibothra? It appears from Asoka's Edicts that ritual slaughter of the bird (Mayura) was practiced by the Mauryas. After all Justin wrote that he had defeated the Prasii. A closer examination of the histories of India and Iran shows that this is indeed the truth.
 

 

Deval near Karachi (or Patali near Kohnouj) may have been Palibothra where Alexander came. Justin's data that Alexander had defeated the Prasii is not only true, it also calls for a drastic revision of history. While rejoicing the victory over the Indians at the Palace at Kohnouj, near Djiroft Alexander may or may not have been aware of the hoary antiquity of the place.

 

Alexander in a Sanskrit Drama 

 

         One important factor behind the negative estimate of Alexander's legacy by modern writers such as E. Badian, P. Green and A. B. Bosworth is that Indian literature does not remember him. But this oft-repeated cliché is false. The Sanskrit drama Mudrarakshasa of Vishakhadatta offers a deeper insight into Alexander's life. Hoodwinked by the Jonesian bag of lies, even such great scholars as W. W. Tarn and M. Rostovtzeff came to the conclusion that Alexander is ignored in Indian literature. This is very far from the truth. The Mudrarakshasa has been very badly interpreted due to Jones' discovery of Chandragupta's capital at Patna which is not supported by a single archaeological relic. This is paraded as truth by  A. L. Basham, R. Thapar, and A. K. Narain of the London school.

          The Mudrarakshasa which is still very popular in India, has long been foraged for historical clues but due to geographical delusions this has been in vain. The interpretation of the play is in its infancy. No drama can be analysed without first ascertaining the period in which it was composed and the soil from which it arose. Although early writers like Dhundhiraja linked the play with the rise of the Mauryas, modern scholars have generally discarded it as unhistorical. None of the king-names can be found in the annals of Bihar and the frequent mention of Kashmir, Sindh, Hunas, Sakas and other north-western peoples only adds to the unremitting confusion. The learned Sanskrit scholar Sir A. B. Keith remarked,


A curious vagueness besets our knowledge of Vishakhadatta or Vishakhadeva, son of the Maharaja Bhaskaradatta or minister Prithu, grandson of the feudatory Vatesvaradatta. None of these persons are elsewhere known, and for his date we are reduced to conjectures.


Keith is hopelessly wrong. He was was unaware that this curious vag-ueness stems from one fatal mistake - Jones’ location of Palibothra, Chandragupta’s capital, at Patna. Once this is discarded, there rem-ains no basis for doubting Dhundhiraja’s claim that the play is linked to the rise of Chandragupta. A judicious study shows that Palibothra was in the north-west of India, probably near Karachi (Deval). Keith’s cat-egorical assertion now contrasts sharply with the remark of the famo-us Orientalist E. Herzfeld that Vishakha (Vaesaka) was an ancient name in Indo-Iran. The name Prthu also fits better in Parthia and figures like Rantivarman, Vatesvara etc. suddenly come to life in the north-west.

          It now becomes clear that the prelude to the intrigues in the famous Sanskrit drama Mudrarakshasa, set around Palibothra, is Alexander's death. In some manuscripts, Chandragupta is absent but his role is taken up by Rantivarma which shows that Chandragupta was Rantivarma or Orontobates.

        Without Orontobates Alexander's history reduces to a sham, for together they rewrote history. The main stratagem of the play is the theft of a signet-ring, which reminds one of the mysterious way in which Perdikkas produced Alexander's signet-ring. Crashing gates, poisoning cups, poison-maidens and forged letters feature in the drama, and the same devices appear in Alexander's history.

 

Chandanadasa of the Mudrarakshasa was a Ghost of Alexander

 

       The clue provided by the Mudrarakshasa, namely that Qoront-obates was the same as Chandragupta, dramatically changes history Without recognizing the true face of Orontobates it is impossible to understand Alexander. A careful scrutiny of the drama leads to another great surprise. It now appears that Chandanadasa of the play is a ghost of Alexander. Alexander's name was often split as Alakh-Chandra in India which resembles the name Chandanadasa. In the drama Chandanadasa is described as a phantom moving through the clouds which shows that he is a ghost. His wife and son also remind one of Roxane and her son. Most importantly the great respect shown to Chandanadasa in the drama may reflect Chandragupta's remorse for bringing about the end of Alexander and belies the contention of E. Badian and P. Green that Alexander was a bloodthirsty villain.

 

A Princess Between Alexander and Chandragupta

 

         It is mind-boggling to find a princess between Alexander and Sashigupta. Badian writes that in India Sashigupta was a trusted lieutenant of Alexander who proved to be of immense help. But due to his shallow prognosis he did not understand his role in Alexander's life. 'Sashi' in Sanskrit and other Indian languages stands for 'Chandra' or the moon. H. C. Seth wrote that Sashigupta was the same as Chandragupta but this was denied by H. C. Raychaudhuri whose arguments were totally worthless. Chandragupta was also a Maurya which echoes the name of another friend of Alexander, Moeris, who later turned a foe. Was Moeris also the same as Sashigupta/ Orontobates and Chandragupta? He was a partisan of Porus who was also suspected to be a Maurya by Nilakanta Sastri and others.

        When Alexander advanced to Caria, Memnon and the Persians under him had regrouped in Halicarnasus, its chief city. R. Stoneman writes that the legitimate queen Ada had been deposed by her brother Pixodarus who had recently died, and the rule was now in the hands of Orontobates, his son-in-law. Stoneman overlooks that ADA II, the wife of Orontobates was most probably the daughter of Pixodarus whom Alexander wanted to marry in his youth. This princess between Alexander and Orontobates throws light on aspects of Alexander's life totally missed by writers such as Badian, Green and Bosworth. 

        The Mudrarakshasa, together with the fact Palibothra was in the north-west reveals that Moeris, Orontobates, Sashigupta and Orontes were all names of Maurya Chandragupta who was once an ally but later turned a foe. Tarn wrote that Orontes of Armenia was not under Alexander's control. Diodorus' data shows that Tiridates who handed over the Persepolis treasury was also none other than Orontobates. Sisines who accompanied Alexander may also be the same as Sashigupta or Chandragupta.

 

Megasthenes Was Bagistanes

 

       Alexander is widely seen as the greatest military commander of history but all his victories were not won in battle. The Cilician Satrap Mazaeus was a collaborator. No wonder he was allowed to mint coins in his name even when Alexander was alive. When he offered to liberate Darius' mother Sisygambis, she is said to have refused which hints that he was seen as a traitor. Chandragupta is said to have briefed Alexander about the feasibility of unseating the Nanda king. This appears to be linked to Arrians information that Mazaeus' son Antibelus and Bagistanes, made a similar submission to Alexander. As 'M' often became 'B',  Bagistanes may have been Megasthenes, Seleucus' envoy to Chandragupta. He is mindlessly placed at Patna by most writers but this is baseless. Megasthenes does not mention any city near Patna.

 

Mithradates II (ό κτιστής) Was Chandragupta

 

       Much has been written on Mithradates VI, the 'Poison King' but Chandragupta Maurya was also some kind of a Poison king who is reported to have taken small doses of poison everyday in order to have immunity against poisoning. Was Mithradates VI related to the Mauryas? A careful study implies that Mithradates II (ό κτιστής), king of Pontus, was actually Chandragupta Maurya. Strabo mentions Sandaracurgium (Strab. 12.3.40), and Gangra, the royal residence of Morzeüs (Strab. 12.3.41) but had no idea that Mithradates-II was Maurya Chandragupta who also ruled India. Gangra is an echo of Ganga. Chandragupta’s Suganga Palace on the Ganga, (in fact on the Indus which was the earlier Ganga) was famous. ‘Dunia’ stands for the ‘temporal world’ and A. B. Bosworth has no idea that Mariandynia ruled by Mithradates-II (ό κτιστής) was the Mauryan realm which included Parthia and beyond. Diodorus assigns him a reign of thirty-five years, but it appears certain that he did not hold uninterrupted possession of the sovereignty during that period. The Indian texts, on the other hand, indicate a reign of about 22 years. After the death of Alexander he sided with Antigonus the one-eyed but when the latter had a dream foretelling the future greatness of Mithridates, he decided to put him to death. Mithridates, however fled to Paphlagonia, where he occupied the strong fortress of Cimiata, and gradually extended his dominion over the neighbouring countries. Chandragupta was clearly an ancestor of Mithradates VI Eupator, the famous poison-king. His relationship with the poison king makes it almost certain that Alexander was poisoned.

 

An Altar of Alexander Now Standing Near Delhi

 

      Alexander was keenly aware of the importance of monuments and erected colossal stone altars to record for posterity his presence in northwest India yet nothing survives. Sir Mortimer Wheeler wrote with a touch of sorrow,


And yet it is astonishing how very little actual trace we have of his passing... his material presence has eluded us. It is as though a disembodied idea had come and gone as a mighty spiritual force with little immediate tangibility.


However, it has to be remembered that the survival of relics is often a matter of chance. To the layman the accounts of Arrian, Plutarch and others may appear insignificant in contrast to the lustre of the Taj Mahal or the splendour of the relics of Tutenkhamon but the historian must tread more cautiously. In contrast one is confronted with the spectacular emergence of the pillars of Asoka a little more than fifty years later. If one notes that that Asoka was an Indo-Greek whose native province was also the northwest, it becomes natural to suspect a link between the sudden appearance of his Pillar edicts and the disappearance of Alexander's altars.

        Alexander lives in India. At least one of the Asokan Pillars was a re-inscribed altar of Alexander (Scholia, vol.15, p.78-101). Like King Chandra of the magnificent Mehrauli Iron Pillar, he had also subju-gated the ancient Vanga people. Badian had no idea that Gomata was Gotama but due to the Nepalese forgeries even such a great scholar as Tarn missed the crucial hint hidden in the name Alexandria Prophthasia. Prophthasia was linked to Prophets such as Gotama Buddha, Zoroaster and Abraham. This was Kapilavastu. The name of Babylon, which became the holiest city, echoes Kapil or Babil. This adds a new dimension to his call for amity which is the central plank of Buddhism.   

 

The Delhi-Topra Asokan Pillar was an Altar of Alexander

       

      Alexander's legacy should be sought not only in the Seleucid Empire or the culture of Alexandria but also in the clear Greek imprint on Buddhist religion and art. The rise of Asoka/Diodotus and the resurgence in Indian culture in the 4th century B.C. were largely due to Alexander's tryst with India.

 

The  Brazen Giant of Greek Fame, with conquering Limbs

 

          Alexander's spirit lives in the Statue of Liberty at New York. The statue represents Libertas, the goddess of freedom, who holds a torch and bears a tablet of Law. But a plaque at the pedestal is inscribed with a sonnet,

 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. .......

 

Despite this outward expressions of disavowal, the Greek genius looms large over the statue. It was modeled after the Colossus of Rhodes: a bronze statue of the Greek Sun-god Helios. But the Colossus of Rhodes is said to have been modeled after Alexander. This was one of the wonders of the ancient world which is reported to have been over 100 feet tall, and like the New York statue stood at a harbour entrance and carried a beacon for the guidance of ships.  Although Alexander has been portrayed only as a 'mighty conqueror', this is untrue, he was also a great liberator who did not enslave the people he conquered. The Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has described the exploitive role of both Christianity and Islam in Africa but notwithstanding the bloodletting, Alexander's voyage had a different effect. He stood for amity and the Golden Age of Buddhism in India started after his voyage.

 

Alexander and Amon of Siwa

 

      Alexander set great store by the oracles of the priests of the temple of Amon in the fertile Siwa oasis. But why exactly did he make a pilgrimage to the Libyan desert about 500 kilometers west of Memphis? Not much credence can be attached to the gossip that Olympias had actually borne him as a son to Ammon, not Philip, and that Alexander went to Siwa to 'discover the truth'. Even before Alexander, Zeus Ammon was greatly adored by the Greeks and it is mentioned by Herodotus. It is likely, however, that he wanted a oracle confirmation for his wish to found a city in Egypt in his name (Alexandria) and also the opinion of the priests as to which gods he should sacrifice as his expedition progressed.

         The visit to the oracle of Amon of Siwa marks a high point in Alexander's career. Before this he was a king who was little more than a top general but after being hailed as the 'son of Amon' by the priests, he was seen in a messianic light. Plutarch writes that according to his information, Alexander was met by the Siwan head priest who greeted him with the words "O, paidion", "Oh, my son", but mispronounced the Greek as "O, pai dios" meaning "Oh, son of god", much to Alexander's delight and amazement. After this episode Alexander often consulted the Priests of Siwa on many religious and other issues. Amon may have been a Mitraic deity for Shiva, who was similar to Min, was a Mitra-like god. As Zaehner writes, Mithra was a close counterpart of Indra who in turn shares many characteristics with Shiva. Buddhism appears to have evolved from Shaivism and Mitraism.

 

Alexander and Hephaestion

 

       The Indian data refutes the contention of scholars such as E. Badian and P. Green that Alexander was a brutal and bloodthirsty dictator. He was a great leader of people. In particular his soldiers greatly respected him and saw him as a superhuman deliverer. F. W. Walbank writes in the Encyclopedia Britannica;

 

What had so far held it all together was his own dynamic personality. He combined an iron will and ability to drive himself and his men to the utmost with a supple and flexible mind; he knew when to draw back and change his policy, though he did this reluctantly. He was imaginative and not without romantic impulses; figures like Achilles, Heracles, and Dionysus were often in his mind, and the salutation at the oracle of Amon clearly influenced his thoughts and ambitions ever afterward. He was swift in anger, and under the strain of his long campaigns this side of his character grew more pronounced. Ruthless and self-willed, he had increasing recourse to terror, showing no hesitation in eliminating men whom he had ceased to trust, either with or without the pretense of a fair trial.

 

There is much in his relationship with Hephaestion that is noble and worth emulating, yet this has been underplayed by modern writers who abet the unlimited thirst and tolerance for sensational falsehood in today's media-dominated world. His frenzy after Hephaestion's death has been given a sexual slant but this is disgusting. He suspected that Hephaestion was poisoned and executed the physician. Bosworth refers to the prevailing 'heavy atmosphere of distrust and suspicion around the king', and it is likely that his frenzy was due to his fear that the noose was tightening on his own neck. Walbank suggests that Alexander's wish for deification may have been an offshoot of his desire to honour Haephaestion;

 

In autumn 324 Hephaestion died in Ecbatana, and Alexander indulged in extravagant mourning for his closest friend; he was given a royal funeral in Babylon with a pyre costing 10,000 talents. His post of chiliarch (grand vizier) was left unfilled. It was probably in connection with a general order now sent out to the Greeks to honour Hephaestion as a hero that Alexander linked the demand that he himself should be accorded divine honours.

 

Walbank overlooks that it was Hephaestion who alone shared his fascination for new religious ideas which had alienated old allies like Cleitus, Callisthenes and perhaps even Parmenio. 

 

Alexander's Death - A Macbeth-Like Conspiracy?

 

         There is great uncertainty surrounding Aexander's death. A number of ancient writers hinted that his disgruntled generals poisoned his wine. Although recently some medical studies have claimed that he died of natural causes, namely typhoid fever these conclusions are not based on firm data. The surviving accounts of his death were all written two or three centuries after his death.

      The death of Hephaestion, his most trusted friend, had a devast-ating effect on the king. There was a strong suspicion in Alexander's camp that he was poisoned and Alexander executed Hephaestion's doctor. It is not impossible that the conspirators decided to eliminate Hephaestion as a tactical ploy to weaken Alexander. His frenzy after the death may suggest that he himself was fearing that the noose was tightening on his own neck - that he was the next target of the conspirators. Poisoning cups, Poison-maidens, crashing gates etc. are important themes of the Mudrarakshasa and the same devices crop up in Alexander's murder story.

       Not long after Hephaestion's death while he was busy in Babylon with plans to improve the irrigation of the Euphrates and to settle the coast of the Persian Gulf, Alexander fell ill after a prolonged banquet and drinking bout. Ten days later, on June 13, 323 B.C., he died in his 33rd year. Medios who lured him to another party on the night he fell ill is said to be a very close companion, but he remains a shady character. Was he Orontobates? 

        This seems to be hinted by the presence of the shady Diodotus of Erythrae in Alexander's diary. Asoka says in one of his edicts that his ancestors were also Devanampiyas or Diodotuses. This implies that Diodotus of Erythrae may have been Orontobates/Chandragupta. As the rise of Chandragupta coincides with Alexander's fall, it is natural to see a link. This is hinted not only by the Mudrarakshasa but also  In an edict Asoka gives the clue that his ancestors were all Devanampiyas, which reveals that they were Devadatta or Diodotus. Thus Diodotus of Erythrae was Chandragupta who may have joined hands with the generals to poison Alexander

     Did Seleucus join hands with Chandragupta to poison Alexander or was it Roxane who joined hands with Perdikkas as the Mudraraksh-asa seems to hint? This would be almost a Macbeth-like conspiracy. The name Macbeth is a variant of Magdabeth. Aristotle's name has been mentioned in connection with his poisoning but this appears to be false as Orontobates who was Chandragupta/Sashigupta was famous for taking small doses of poison everyday to get immunity.

       On the fateful night Alexander wanted to leave a drinking party and retire to his room but then one Medeios came forward and lured him to another party which he promised would be more enjoyable. Was this Medeios a conspirator? Was he Atropates the Satrap of Media, or Peithon? Both of them could have acted in league with Orontobates. Is there any substance in the alleged role of a poison-maiden? Lastly, did Ada II play any part in proceedings?

 

Alexander's Tomb

 

        Alexander was not deified but after his death his body came to be regarded as a holy relic. His soldiers remembered him as a super-human hero. According to the quasi-historical Alexander-Romance his body was placed in a lead sarcophagus and was first transported to Memphis and then to Alexandria. Other sources, however, reported a golden sarcophagus which was later replaced by one made of glass (or alabaster) by Ptolemy X Alexander (107-88). For almost 600 years, his tomb was a pilgrimage place for people coming from all over the world. However at the beginning of the 4th century AD, the tomb vanished and textual references to it also stopped.


 

In the 19th century, the Egyptian astronomer Mahmud el-Falaki tried to locate the tomb. Basing himself mainly on the Arabic sources, he surmised that the tomb was under the mosque of prophet Daniel, but he had no permission to dig there. Searches made during the 20th century also failed to locate the tomb. It is generally thought that it lies in the Latin Cemeteries, between the ancient Via Canopica (rediscovered by el-Falaki) and Via R1, in modern Alexandria.
 

 The Call for Brotherhood at Opis and the Feast of Mithra/Mitra

 

         Sir William Tarn did not know about Jones' blunder or that Gaumata was the same as Gotama Buddha, yet from his painstaking study had a better grasp of Indo-Iranian history. With great insight he noted that the Brahmins were the bitter opponents of Alexander. He recognized the crucial historical relevance of Alexander's call for Brotherhood of Man at the banquet at Opis. Describing the banquet he wrote;

 

... seated all the Macedonians round him, and next to them Persians, and then any persons from the other peoples who took precedence for rank or any other high quality, and he himself and those around him drank from the same bowl and poured the same libations, with the Greek soothsayers and Magi initiating the ceremony. Alexander prayed for various blessings and especially that the Macedonians and Persians should enjoy harmony as partners in the government.

 

Tarn was severely censured by E. Badian for writing that Alexander spoke about the Brotherhood of Man at Opis. He wrote that the idea of 'brotherhood of man' or 'unity of mankind' was developed later by the Stoic philosopher Zeno and his successors which influenced Plutarch's view of Alexander. Although this satisfied an overwhelming majority of scholars, it is an one-sided view which is plainly untrue. The Sanskrit and Pali accounts clearly prove Badian wrong. For Badian Buddhism was a Nepalese phenomenon and the literature of India and Iran does not pertain to the history of Alexander. It does not matter if the Greco-Roman authors did not have any precise knowledge of the Eastern cultures. Plutarch was a very learned scholar who was a priest at Delphi yet his knowledge on the east was scanty. He borrowed much from the writings of the great Asinius Pollio whose work is now lost. Only Justin seems to have had some idea about the Asiatic cultures. Zoroastrianism and Mithraism were catch-words but Greek knowledge about both the religions was less than satisfactory. It is possible that Buddhism was mixed up with Judaism.

        How easily history gets distorted due to the carelessness of historians! Badian had no idea that the Opis banquet was held in the month of Mithra and probably on the day of the feast of Mithra where a call for Brotherhood is natural. Sadly the Harvard professor also missed that Alexander sat on a throne that was probably adorned by Gomata who was Gotama Buddha. Incidentally, 'Brotherhood' or 'Maitri' is a central plank of Buddhism. The history of Diodotus-I / Asoka also makes it inescapable that Alexander had given a call for the Brotherhood of Man.

 

Alexander, Porus and Human Dignity

 

        Evelin Lindner has recently stressed the role of dignity in creating an atmosphere conducive to world peace. The treatment of Porus by Alexander the Great is a telling evidence of his realization that even a vanquished king has claims to dignity and that humilia-  tion ultimately negates peace. This was a continuation of the policy of Nebuchadrezzar who shared his table with the defeated Jewish king.

     Alexander was the first to conceive the idea of a United Nations. As the last Titan of the Heroic Age, he strove to further righteousness with the sword, but at the end of his career he mellowed and saw the futility of violence. He was a pupil of the great Aristotle but his wisd-om was also tempered by the famous Indian philosopher and playwrig-ht Asvaghosha (Sphines). After his victory over Porus Alexander restored him to his former kingdom. This is a telling evidence of his realization that humiliation negates peace.

        In a recent study A. B. Bosworth has discussed Alexander's actions in India/Pakistan and Central Asia. He turns his eyes away from the Porus incident and focuses only on bloodletting and repres-sion. Like E. Badian he also does not delve back into the geography of Palibothra or the Indian sources. Bosworth's comparison of Alexander with the Spanish conquistadores in Mexico is a sensational innovation based on a pile of crap. Bertrand Russell writes with far greater acuity;

 

It was left to the semi-barbarian Alexander to spread Hellenism throughout the Near East, and to make Greek the literary language of in Egypt and Syria and the inland parts of Asia Minor. The Greeks could never have accomplish-ed this task, not for lack of military force, but due to their incapacity for political cohesion.

 

Russell sates that the political vehicles of Hellenism were often non-Hellenic but it is evident that the Greek genius spearheaded by Alexander so inspired alien nations that a new Hellenistic/Buddhistic creed emerged which finally gave birth to Christianity and Islam.

 

Alexander and Jesus

 

        Jesus and Alexander both died at the tender age of thirty-three, but there is more to the two great figures of antiquity than just this coincidence. R. Stoneman writes,

 

'It would hardly be an exaggeration to say that the legends of Alexander are as widely disseminated, and as influential on art and literature, as the story of Gospels'.

 

This is not accidental -there is a link between the Alexander legends and the Gospels. Jesus or Iśa was Amyntas of Galatia/Iśauria, not Palestine, and his coins show that he was greatly influenced by Alexander's call for brotherhood. It is this ideal of amity or Homonoia that greatly inspired Jesus Christ. Following Sir William Tarn, A. R. Anderson wrote that Alexander unwittingly "prepared the ground in which Christianity was to grow," and with great vision described him as a forerunner of Jesus. Indeed many early representations of Jesus portrayed him in the likeness of Alexander. Significantly Amyntas of Galatia also emulated Alexander. Having no clues, Ory Amitay writes,

 

But Alexander not only kept Herakles' effigy as his companion. On occasion he even dressed up like him! This intriguing piece of evidence for the strong impression of Heracles on the mind of Alexander comes from a contemporary witness, Ephippos of Olynthos, who testified that Alexander used on occasion to dress up as various divinities.

 

That Alexander would emulate Ammon or Heracles (wearing the lion skin and holding the famous club) is not surprising, but Ory Amitay is totally at a loss to understand why he emulated Hermes and Artemis. It cannot be an accident that the coins of Amyntas of Galatia depict Heracles' lion as well as Hermes and Artemis.

        Anderson has been ignorantly criticized by E. Badian who saw nothing beyond the Greco-Roman tradition and who failed to recognize the Alexander of flesh-and-blood. Not surprisingly, Ory Amitay  who follows Badian is also skeptical of Anderson's thesis. He shows little understanding or even interest in the historical Jesus. He lays greater stress on the Alexander of myth than the historical Alexander and his elaboration of the links between the Jesus, Alexander and Heracles lacks true insight.

      The name Mēn Askaēnos of Amyntas' deity clearly shows the respect of Jesus Amyntas for Asoka and Hellenistic religion. Jesus was a Jew but Ory Amitay seems to be unaware that he was very different from the Jerusalem Jews who hated him. The very name of Amon (of Siwa) has a message that has been lost on writers such as Badian and Bosworth. Ory Amitay fails to note that Amon in many languages has the sense of peace.


Alexander and Julius Caesar

 

         Next only to Alexander, Julius Caesar ranks as one of the gre-atest heroes of written history. He was also a great admirer of Alexander the Great. He participated in the Roman civil war and irreversibly changed the course of the history of the Greco-Roman world.  F. Carotta is absolutely right in claiming that Julius Caesar was a forerunner of Jesus Christ though his idea that the Jesus myth evolved from that of Julius Caesar seems to be far-fetched. As a military leader, Caesar was undoubtedly as great as Pompey but as Ronald Syme writes, his history has been muddied by Roman propaganda instigated by his own 'son' Octavian. Unfortunately this deluded Shakespeare whose unsympathetic and false depiction of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Mark Anthony has created popular stereotypes which have also deluded many unwary historians. Miriam Tamara Griffin (editor) echoes Syme and holds that the picture of the despotic dictator better fits Augustus, not Julius Caesar. He was a partisan of Marius (as was Pompey's father) and was seen as a staunch opponent of the Republicans championed by Cicero. He had become a controversial political figure. After the suppression of Catiline's 'conspiracy' in 63 B.C., Caesar, and the millionaire Marcus Licinius Crassus, were accused of complicity. As Toynbee writes neither of them probably had committed himself to Catiline; but Caesar proposed in the Senate a more merciful alternative to the death penalty, which the consul Cicero was asking for the arrested conspirators. In the uproar in the Senate, Caesar's motion was defeated.

         Julius caesar was immensely rich but, like Alexander, he never became addicted to wealth. He also respected non-Roman ways of life and wrote favourably about the religion of the Druids. After taking care of Roman vituperation and some populist stereotypes, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Mark Antony appear as important players in the class struggle underlying the Roman revolution of the 1st century B.C. This class struggle finally sucked up Jesus Christ, a Hellenized Jew. To grasp the hatred of the early Christians against Cicero one has to realize that Jesus was Amyntas of Galatia whose reign came to an end in 25 B.C.

        While in Spain Julius Caesar is reported to have come across a statue of Alexander and lamented over the fact that at his age (33) Alexander had conquered the whole world, while he had achieved relatively little. After his victory over Pompey at Pharsalos Julius Caesar went to Egypt to visit Alexander's tomb at Alexandria. Not unlike Alexander, Caesar's most amazing characteristic was his energy, intellectual and physical. One does not have to turn to Badian for proof of Alexander's proficiency as a thinker but in one sense Julius Caesar stands above Alexander. He prepared his seven books on the Gallic War for publication in 51 B.C. when he still had serious revolts in Gaul on his hands, and he wrote his books on the civil war and his Anticato in the hectic years between 49 B.C. and 44 B.C.

        Cassius Dio (155-235 AD) who was consul of Africa in the reign of Septimus Severus, wrote that Augustus came to see Alexander's body. According to him he touched the nose of Alexander and dama-ged it. Suetonius (69-122 AD) reported that when asked if he wanted to visit the tombs of the Ptolemies, Augustus retorted, "I came to see a king and not dead men". Augustus adopted Alexander as the symbol of his reign and had fixed his image on his signet-ring.

 

Alexander and Mithradates VI Eupator

 

          Mithradates VI Eupator greatly respected Alexander. His history has been usually written from the Roman viewpoint but this is unacceptable. By his own admission he was a man of many worlds. A. Mayor writes that he traced his father's bloodline to the Persian kings and his mother's family to Alexander the Great. The Persian Princess Barsině whom Alexander knew from his boyhood resided at Pergamon and was related to Mithradates II (ό κτιστής). She had a son with Alexander who was killed. Mithradates VI Eupator cherished a cloak believed to have belonged to Alexander. He probably received it from Cleopatra III wife of Ptolemy VIII of Egypt. Mithradates VI was the worst enemy of Rome but Pliny eulogized him as the 'greatest king of his era' but Cicero's epithet for Mithradates was 'the greatest king since Alexander'. After his victory over the Bithynian-Roman alliance led by king Nocomedes, Mithradates set free all the captors just as Alexander had done after his victory over Porus. Even Pompey who took away Alexander's purple robe after defeating Mithradates himself donned Alexander's prized robe during his victory procession.

 

Alexander the non-citizen (Anagarika)

 

        About Aristotle's influence on Alexander, Bertrand Russell writes, 'On the whole, the contacts of these two great men seem to have been as unfruitful as if they had lived in different worlds', but this does not seem to be quite correct. Aristotle's pragmatic views made little impression on Alexander, but the imprint of Aristotle can be seen in many aspects of Alexander's life. About the emotional poverty in Aristotle's Ethics Russell writes;

 

There is in Aristotle an almost complete absence of what may be called benevolence or philanthropy. The sufferings of mankind, in so far he is aware of them, do not move him emotionally: he holds them intellectually, to be an evil, but there is no evidence that they cause him unhappiness except when the sufferers happen to be his friends.

 

In many respects Aristotle's approach is similar to that of the author of the Arthashastra. Aristotle did not visualize an universal state and supported the enslavement of barbarians but Alexander's view was very different. He was influenced more by eastern ideas. He has been criticized for choosing Babylon as his world-capital but writers such as E. Badian, B. Bosworth or P. Green have not understood the backgro-und of his his strong fascination for Nebuchadrezzar who also sought to further the Brotherhood of Man. He was certainly aware of the Greek concept of polis and Aristotle's view of the ideal state, yet coming under the influence of the Buddhist sage Asvaghosa, he embodied not only the Western scientific spirit but also Eastern religiosity. He went far beyond the confines of the polis and had become a world-citizen or Anagarika in the true sense of the word.

 

The Hellenistic Miracle

 

       Alexander was not a Greek of the Athenian mould but a half-barbarian, a man of many worlds. The Encyclopedia Britannica states,

 

He 'overthrew the Persian Empire, carried Macedonian arms to India, and laid the foundations for the Hellenistic world of territorial kingdoms.',

 

But the Hellenistic world not only about territorial hegemony. Alexan-der was an universalist who stood far above Roman and Athenian provincialism. Only Asinius Pollio, who was a Roman, spoke against 'patavinitas' or narrow nationalism. The chief motto of the Hellenistic revolution that followed Alexander's voyage was 'Brotherhood of Man' which was dear to Alexander's heart. Paul Johnson has hazy ideas regarding the background of Christianity yet notes;

 

But Greece could not, or at any rate did not, produce the ideas themselves. These came from the east, from Babylon, Persia, Egypt, mostly tribal or national cults in origin, later liberated from time and place by transformation into cults attached to individual deities. These gods and goddesses lost their localities, changed their names, amalgamated themselves with other, once-national or tribal gods, and then, in turn, moved westwards and were syncretized with the gods of Greece and Rome: thus the Baal of Dolichenus was identified with Zeus and Jupiter, Isis with Ishtar and Aphrodite. By the time of Christ there were hundreds of such cults, perhaps thousands of sub-cults. There were cults for all races, classes and tastes, cults for every trade and situation in life. A new form of religious community appeared for the first time in history: not a nation celebrating its patriotic cult, but a voluntary group, in which social, racial and national distinctions were transcended: men and women coming together just as individuals, before their god.

 

The Legacy of Alexander the Great

 

     Kalo hi ayam niravadhi, vipula cha prithvi', 'time is without bounds and the world is vast', wrote poet Bhavabhuti. But even in this infinite expanse, Alexander remains as a shining light. Arrian wrote about his irresistible yarning (Pothos) for the unknown which is undoubtedly true. Despite occasional bouts of drinking and cruelty, he was on the whole magnanimous and probably saw himself as a wise pilgrim in India and Iran. Like many Indian gods, he was not always above sin, but his greatness lies in that even Darius-III's mother Sisygambis courted death by refusing food after hearing of his death, and that the Prasiia-ns treated his altars with great respect. Sir William Tarn writes with insight;

 

For when all is said, we come back at the end to his personality; not the soldier or the statesman, but the man. Whatever Asia did or did not get from him she felt him as she scarcely felt any other; she knew that one of the greatest of the earth had passed. Though his direct influence vanished from India within a generation, and her literature does not know him, he affected Indian history for centuries; for Chandragupta saw him and deduced the possibility of realising in actual fact the conception, handed down from Vedic times, of a comprehensive monarchy in India; hence Alexander indirectly created Asoka’s empire and enabled the spread of Buddhism.

 

Bertrand Russell also wrote that in respect to politics and ethics Alexander and the Romans were the causes of a better philosophy than any that was professed by the Greeks in their days of freedom.  Walbank summarizes;

 

Alexander's short reign marks a decisive moment in the history of Europe and Asia. His expedition and his own personal interest in scientific investigation brought many advances in the knowledge of geography and natural history. His career led to the moving of the great centres of civilization eastward and initiated the new age of the Greek territorial monarchies; it spread Hellenism in a vast colonizing wave throughout the Middle East and created, if not politically at least economically and culturally, a single world stretching from Gibraltar to the Punjab, open to trade and social intercourse and with a considerable overlay of common civilization and the Greek koinē as a lingua franca. It is not untrue to say that the Roman Empire, the spread of Christianity as a world religion, and the long centuries of Byzantium were all in some degree the fruits of Alexander's achievement. 

 

The influence of Alexander on Christianity was not only due to the fascination of Julius Caesar and Amyntas for him but also for the great St. Paul (Asinius Pollio) who was profoundly influenced by Hellenistic ideals. Even the Roman emperor Caracalla, who was called "the common enemy of mankind" by E. Gibbon, was a great admirer of Alexander. Although he has been demonized by the leading historians of his day, F. P. Kolb writes that this is largely due to an Augustan bias.                                                                   more..

 

Alexander's Dream of a United Nations

Discovery of Alexander's Missing Altar

Sashigupta and the Poisoning of Alexander

Alexander the Great in a Sanskrit Drama

Alexander's Mission and World Peace
Alexander's Speech at the Opis Banquet

 

 

 

New Vistas in Early History of Buddhism

 

       Buddhism literally throbs with the history and geography of India. The relics from Sanchi, Ajanta, Bharhut, Amaravati, Gandhara, Thotlakonda and Mathura link India with early Buddhism. The Indian tradition of tolerance and moderation goes beyond 6th century B.C. and primitive Buddhism can be traced in the Harappan era, but Buddhist history is a queer mix of facts and fiction that baffles the discerning reader.

       The poet Goethe wrote; "Wer den Dichter will verstehen. Muss in Dichters Lande gehen." 'If you want to understand a poet, you must go to the poet's land.' Indeed, in order to understand Gautama Buddha one has to go to his true land which was Afghanistan not Nepal.

        The startling recent discovery of a 6th century B.C. Buddhist site at Mes Aynak in Logar province of Afghanistan, 35 km south-east of Kabul has dramatic repercussions on Buddhist history. Mes Aynak is one of the greatest Buddhist sites in the world.

 

 

The Dreadful Nepalese Forgeries

 

        Nepal is a beautiful country but Gautama Buddha of Nepal is a nauseating fraud. Nothing in the art, archaeology, history or literature of early Nepal has the faintest hint of Buddhism. Jonesian Scholars such as R. Thapar and A. K. Narain affirm that Gotama was from the Nepal area but this is denied by archaeology. C. Humphreys points to the stark ground reality,


The Lumbini gardens, where Gotama was born, lie in the difficult Nepal Terai, and Kusinara, where the Buddha passed away, has little to show'.


In contrast to gullible historians such as A. K. Narain the renowned Belgian scholar E. Conze also flatly dismisses the fanciful text-based accounts,


To the modern historian, Buddhism is a phenomenon which must exaspera-te him at every point and we can only say in extenuation that this religion was not founded for the benefit of the historians. Not only is there an almost complete absence of hard facts about its history in India; not only is the date, authorship and geographical provenance of the overwhelming majority of the documents almost entirely unknown, ....

 

      The way out of the chaos is shown by the British scholar T. A. Phelps whose painstaking study has exposed the dreadful forgeries of A. Führer who moved pillars and faked inscriptions and relics to falsely locate Lumbini. Nepal has no ancient Buddhist relics. Vincent Smith vehemently protested against the fabrications of Dr. Führer.  Gotama was a prince but after he was abandoned in the wilderness of the Terai by the rogue Führer, his history went to pieces.

     

Photo Courtesy AP

 

Dazzling New Finds From Mes Aynak and Tepe Naranj Near Kabul

 

       The discoveries cover more than one thousand hectares, and have unearthed temples, monasteries and about one thousand statues which cannot be compared with finds from any location in Nepal. The site is about 20km from the Indian border (pre-partition), and was probably within ancient ‘India’. The RigVeda names many rivers and tribes of Afghanistan which shows that it was a part of Vedic India. The new discoveries unmistakably indicate that Buddhism spread from Afghanistan and North-west India, not eastern India or Nepal. The discoveries at Bamiyan, Mes Aynak and Hadda highlight the primacy of Afghanistan and Gandhara in early Buddhist history.

 

Facade of a Vihara Probably Founded by Trapusa.   Courtesy Brent E. Huffman

 

Mohammad N. Rasouli of the Afghan Archaeological Department points to the great antiquity of Mes Aynak;


“There is a temple, stupas, beautiful rooms, big and small statues, two with the length of seven and nine meters, colorful frescos ornamented with gold and some coins… Some of the relics date back to the fifth century (AD)… We have come across signs that there are items maybe going back to the era before Christ or prehistory…”

 

Was Mes Aynak Trapusa's Vihara?

 

    It is very rarely that archaeological discoveries can be directly linked to the literary tradition but Mes Aynak seems to offer an opportunity. As it has the second largest copper deposit in the world, its name may have been linked to copper. This reminds one of Trapusa and Bhalluka who first gave food to Gautama Buddha after his enlightenment. They are said to have built monasteries. As ‘Trapu’ in Sanskrit stands for ‘Tin’, Trapusa was a Tin-man or a Bronze-man and he may have founded the Mes Aynak Vihara. This makes it very likely that the Mes Aynak Vihara which is linked to copper was founded by Trapusa.   

       'Nahoshet' is the Hebrew word for copper. As 'Nahos' in Hebrew means 'snake', the Pali word for it i.e. 'Naga' may also have designated copper. Thus the early name Mes Aynak may be surmised to be Mahanaga vihara which is mentioned in the Mahabharata. This is said to be in Rohana in Ceylon but early Lanka was in the north-west. Much has been written about the Silk Road but scholars such as R. C. Foltz have no idea that the important fact about it is that it passed through the Buddhist heartland.

 

The Location of Kapilavastu

 

      However, after rejecting the Nepalese stories and and shifting the locale to the north-west a bold new history of Buddhism emerges. The true geographical location of Kapilavastu has puzzled historians for more than a century. Vincent Smith's mysterious statement;

 

...the mystery of Kapilavastu will continue for many years to be the sport of unverified conjecture.

 

can only be understood vis-à-vis the the forgeries of Führer. It is most natural to presume that Kapilavastu was in Afghaniatan where the most radiant Buddhist relics have been found. In fact an echo of Kapil (avastu) can be heard in the name Kabul itself. The Pali texts mention one Kubulagalla in Rohana which appears to be Kabul. The Buddhist texts assert that Kapilavastu was situated between Deva-daha and Rama-gama. Devadaha appears to be Daykundi province near Ghazni which was once a great center of Hinduism and Buddhism.

 

 

 

Devadaha of the Pali texts was Daykundi west of Ghazni. Was Gayti the Early Gaya?

 

         Although there are many locations having Ram-names in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Ramgul in Kafiristan seems to be the Ramagama of the Buddhist texts. 

 

 

 

The fantastic finds at Tepe Naranj and Mes Aynak strongly hint that the Buddha's birthplace was in this area. Naranj echoes the name of Nalanda ('r' -'l' and 'j'-'d') and Sakawand which was a famous Hindu  pilgrimage center may have been Shakyavati or Kapilavastu.

     The location of Sakawand is disputed. It is usually given a late date but its antiquity can be seen from its name was Takht-i Jamshid. The name of Babylon echoes an ancient city-name Babil which was in the East. Babil is cognate with Kabil or Kapil. Babil is the same as Bawer mentioned by E. Herzfeld as a city founded by Jamshid. This is supported by the name Takht-i Jamshid of Saka-wand. However, there were other Takht-i Jamshids. Sakáwand was in the territory of Kabul and is mentioned by both Istakhrĩ and Ibn Haukal as one of the dependencies of Bámĩán, along with Kábul, Ghaznĩ, and Parwán. Idrĩsĩ gives it as being seven days journey from Kábul. Cunnin-gham placed it near Jalalabad which seems to be incorrect. One of the maps of the Encyclopedia of Islam, which may be more accurate, places Sakáwand west of Mes Aynak on the Logar river.

 

A splendid gilded Head of Buddha from mes Aynak

 

An Early Nalanda in Afghanstan

 

         The Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang wrote that Gautama Buddha once had his capital at Nalanda and gave "alms without intermission ". Even after allowing for the occasional flights of fancy of narrators, it is difficult to reject all the stories linking Gautama with Nalanda. But this is denied by the archaeological scenario at Nalanda in Bihar which developed only after the fifth century AD. Although most historians choose to ignore the finer details, a closer examination reveals hidden layers in the history of Buddhism.

 

 

Tepe Naranj Echoes Nalanda

       

Not very far from Mes Aynak is Tepe Naranj which has also produced many splendid stupas and other artifacts. The name Mahanaga vihara may allude to the land of the Nagas which may have extended from the Jiroft area to Afghanistan. This reminds one of Erapata Nagaraja immortalised in the Buddhist texts. The Nagas were seen as semi-divine and were strong and handsome. Asoka, who was allegedly very naughty in his youth, was sent to a Naga teacher. Naga maidens were famous for their beauty and many Epic heroes had Naga wives. Their kingdom is called Nagaloka, or Patalaloka, which is filled with resplendent palaces, ornamented with precious gems. Nagas were usually associated with wealth and treasure. Erapata Nagaraja is depicted in the beautiful stone carvings at Bharhut in his two forms, first as a serpent and secondly as a human being with serpent hoods attached to the back of his head. With his Queen and daughter he is shown advancing to the Buddha and then kneeling before him.



 

Naga King Erapata and his retinue worshipping the Buddha (2nd Cent BC)
 

The Nepalese forgeries are also exposed by the discovery of Buddhist stupas at Thotlakonda, Bavikonda and Pavurlakonda near Vishakhapa-ttanam. The name Thotlakonda resembles the name Tathagata of Gotama and Pavurlakonda is a clear echo of Baveru or Babil. Surprisingly the sites go back to 300 B.C. which is far earlier than Nalanda which is not far from Nepal. Lars Fogelin's recent book on

 

 

Thotlakonda is the most ancient Buddhist site(300 B.C.) in India

 

Thotlakonda is entitled "Archaeology of Early Buddhism" but curiously, as with G. Schopen of UCLA, his early Buddhism does not relate to Nepal, the Führerian venue of early Buddhism. He explains the name Pavurlakonda from Telegu language and totally misses the echo of Babil or Kapilvastu. Roman silver coins have been found here showing its maritime links with the west but Fogelin fail to realize is that the monks may have come from Deval which was near Babil or Kapilvastu and was the abode of Asoka. 

      Debala Mitra found nothing in Nepal that goes beyond 2nd century B.C. Recently R. Conningham has endorsed Kapilavastu in Nepal focussing on the chalcolithic relics and partly negating Debala Mitra's work. This is superficial scholarship. Conningham is totally unaware of Jones' blunder and the fact that Buddhism and Zoroastrianism are sister religions. In Merv and other sites Buddhist and Zoroastrian relics are found side by side. Nepal simply does not come into the scenario of early Buddhism.  

      In sharp contrast to the nothingness of Nepal, the antecedents of Buddhism abound in Seistan-Afghanistan-Gandhara. It is noteworthy that the earliest Buddhist artifacts have been found from this region. The claim that Gotama belongs to a later century is disproved by the date of Gomata who was Gotama. The claim of T. Insoll that 'there is no contemporary evidence of the individual known as the Buddha.' is empty and ignores the history of Gaumata and data from the Persepolis Tablets. The Jewish scholar Wendy Donigher writes that Vishnu deluded the Danavas to become Buddhists but forgets that Al-beruni gave Gotama's name as Buddho-Dana which links him not only to the Danavas but also Daniel the Jew. Sudda-Yauda-Saramana of the Persepolis tablets was Gotam's father Suddhodana and He is also named as Sudda-Yauda-Damana which shows that he was one of the good demons mentioned by W. Donigher. The Damanavadi Sangha mentioned by Panini alludes to the Sangha of the Buddhists. Gotama himself was Sedda Saramana of the tablets.

        If Nepal had been Gotama's homeland, Buddhist texts would have been in Nepali language, not Pali. The rise of Pali language has also puzzled scholars. Prof. Sukumar Sen wrote that Pali rose from the Ujjain area. This also clashes with Fuhrer's Gotama of Nepal. Pali is allied to Avestan language which supports the origin of Buddhism in North-west India.

         To find Gotama's abode it has to be noted that early India was wider than British India. Vincent Smith agreed with Pliny that Gedrosia and Karmania were in India. This is also implied by Alexander's victory over the Indians at Kohnouj in Karmania. A. Wink, quotes extensively from Mas'udi, but overlooks that the learned historian describes the journeys of Budasp or Buddha to Seistan, Zabulistan and Kerman. One can now recall that it was at Kuh-e Khwaja in Seistan, (~150 km from the Baluchistan border), that Sir Aurel Stein found an ancient Buddhist monastery. R. Ghirshman wrote that the Kuh-e Khwaja murals are the precursors of Gandhara art which reveals its true antiquity. Zabol near Ghazni echoes Kapil (vastu). The name Dahan-e Gholaman of another adjacent 6th century B.C. site echoes Gotama's name. Kapil (vastu), or Babil was the holiest religious centre of the world. The name Babil is echoed in the name Pavurlakonda. The statement of the Lalitavistara that all the Buddhas are born at Kapilavastu is echoed by the name Prophthasia. Later Babylon (Babil) gained ascendancy. The fantastic recent find of about 10,000 of ancient Buddhist fragments at Bamiyan, part of which is now in the Schoyen collection, shows that Buddhism

     

Bamiyan was near Kapilavastu, birth-place of the Buddha

 

was born here. The names Tiŝŝa, Siddharta and Suddho-dana, of the Persepolis tablets prove conclusively that Gotama was from Seistan-Baluchistan. About the iconography of a beautiful schist stele from Mes Aynak, G. Fussman of the College de France writes that the prince shown sitting under foliage of Pipal leaves is Siddhartha before his enlightenment. G. Schopen also writes about a "A cult tied to a cycle of festivals celebrating four moments, not in the biography of the Buddha but in the pre-enlightenment period of the life of Siddha-rtha.", yet neither he nor G. Fussman recognizes the need to integrate the Mes Aynak findings with the priceless inscriptions from the Persep-olis Tablets which mention Tissa, Sedda Saramana (Siddh-artha), Sudda Yauda Saramana (Suddodhana) and Saman. G. Schopen's video enlitled ‘Buddha as a Businessman’ is largely based on false Nepalese data. The Wikipedia also heedlessly places Gotama in Nepal.

           The legacy of Gotama Buddha can be clearly seen in Persian literature. The resounding humanism of Jalaluddin Rumi, Hafeez, AttarOmar Khayyam and Amir Khosrow cannot be grasped without the call of Brotherhood given by Gotama and echoed by Alexander and Asoka/Diodotus. Sufism is known to be a universal form of wisdom which has very ancient roots. That Fanâ of the Sufis is almost identi-cal to the Nirvāņa of the Buddhists, Moksha of the Hindus, Kephalia of the Manichaeans and Kaivaya of the Jainas is due to their common origin in Indo-Iran. A very large number of Sufi Saints were from Khorasan and Karman-Baluchistan where Buddhism once flourished. As W. Ball realized the caves at Chehelkhaneh and Heydari are linked to Buddhism. In fact these may also be linked to Mitraism/Mithraism.
  
     The poignant story of Ibrahim ibn Adham of Balkh, one of the earliest Sufis, closely paralles the life history of Gotama Buddha and has been immortalized in the legend of Baarlam and Josaphat. This was a great religious document which highlights piety and in many cultures, it marked the beginning of literature.

 

The Dawn of Religions in Afghanistan-Gandhara-Punjab

 

          Sir Aurel Stein found a Buddhist site at Kuh-e Khwaja in Seistan in 1916. There were many Buddhas before Gotama which implies that Buddhism was as old as Zoroastrianism. Early Buddhism was closely linked to Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Judaism which originated in Afghanistan-Baluchistan-Gandhara.                                                                              more...

Lost History of Buddhism Bangla

Antecedents of Hinduism-Buddhism in Indus-Saraswati-Seistan

Gotama and Zoroaster in a Non-Jonesian Frame

Sanchi & Ajanta -Windows to the Garden of Eden

Jalaluddin Rumi and The Lost Paradise

The Isigili Sutta

 

 

 

 

 

      Indology was fostered in the chrysalis of the British Raj. In the train of the conquerors were also scholars and benefactors who laid down their lives for the study of India's past. Sir William Jones was an 18th century Jurist and Orientalist whose founding of the the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1784 (with C. Wilkins) was a landmark in Oriental studies. Jones, chief justice of the Calcutta Supreme court, was a prolific linguist and studied the ancient Indian Law books in Sanskrit. His translation of Kalidasa's Shakuntala created a worldwide stir and highlighted the literary heritage of ancient India. He also held

 

 

 

that Sanskrit was related to classical Greek and Latin and that they were linked to Gothic, Celtic and Persian. He is famous for holding that Sandrocottos of the Greek writers was Chandragupta.

       

Early Vanga, Kalinga and Magadha were near Cape Maceta

 

       However, Jones was unaware that many Indian cities had earlier counterparts in Iran-Baluchistan and his idea that Palibothra was Patna was a huge blunder that has no archaeological basis. Rummaging among Jonesian claptrap R. Thapar wonders why there are no Asokan edicts at Patna, his so-called capital but the truth is that not a single relic of any Nanda or Maurya king, including Asoka, has been found here. Throwing caution to the wind, D. Chakrabarti and M. Carver try to prove Jones' idea by the Chinese reports written a thousand years later. M. Witzel of Harvard also enacts a spirited defense of Jones' 'discovery' which has literally wrecked world history. After rejecting Jones, history of the world becomes dramatically changed.

 

                   1) Early Magadha was Magan

 

     Bihar became Magadha only after the 3rd century B. C. The ident-ification of Bihar as early Magadha is a fatal error. The Wikipedia has no idea about the complex history of ancient Magadha. The first reference to Magadha is in an edict of Asoka far from Bihar. The Indus cities and also Magan, near Cape Maceta, was early Magad-ha. The Susinaks and Kak-kings of Magan were the Sishunagas and Kakavarn-as of Magadha. This is conclusively proved by the Magadi dialect and Magad people at Herat ("South Asian folklore: an encyclopedia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India", by P. J. Claus, S. Diamond, M. A. Mills, p. 203). Vanga and Kalinga, which were adjacent to Magadha, were also in the same vicinity. In the ancient Egyptian documents Babylonia is called Sangara which corresponds to Sangala, the older name of Simhala.

 

                  2) The Matchless Palace of Palibothra

 

         The Palace of Palibothra which 'excelled those at Susa and Ecbatana' may have been at Deval near Karachi or Kohnouj near Djiroft. Patali (~4th mill,) near Kohnouj echoes Pataliputra. A. Wink writes about Indians at Jiroft in early 12th century (Al-Hind, vol. 1, p. 59). Like Ubulla, the Djiroft area was once 'India' where Alexander celebrated his victory over the Indians. Djiroft appears to have been Dvaravati, capital of Kamboja. Vishvamitra may have been from Kohnouj.

        Just as the Magadha people came to Bihar, a southward trek of the Vanga-Magadhas is hinted by the Vengi kingdom and Magadi city near Bangalore founded by the Cholas (~ 11-12 AD). Magadi Kempe Gowda, founder of Bangalore, is said to have been a Mahagani which echoes Magan. The Dravidian language Brahvi was spoken in Seistan -Baluchistan. Like Magadha, there was also an early Vanga in Sindh-Baluchistan. Ancient Sindh may have extended up to Afghanistan.

 

         3) The Crucial Messages of the Harappan Seals

 

     Jones' error made it impossible to read the Indus seals which are priceless documents of world history. All the scholars agree that the Harappan sign reads as 'Min'. Thus from the inscription in the proto-Shiva seal, Shiva's name can be read as Min-uksha. His name Mahakal or Mekal (see below) is also in the seals which shows that the Amorites were a people of India. he seals may reveal other Amorite and Ikshvaku kings. Rishava of the Sanskrit texts matches the 'Semitic' god Resheph. The Sumerian Mar.tu echoes the Sanskrit Martah (world of mortals). The Mauryas may be linked to the Amorites (Hebrew emōrî). Due to the abyss created by Jones, the Amorite homeland has been placed in Arabia. The seals seem to mention great names such as Visvamitra and Vrishaparva.

 

           4) Adam, the Jews, and the Amorites in India

 

    The presence of the Amorites in India has a far-reaching impact on the problem of the Indo-Europeans. The Amorites, who are shown as tall and fair in Egyptian art, were half-Aryans. The Amorites were closely related to the Jews who are the descendants of the Indian Yadus. As "A" in many languages was an honorific Adam can be seen to be the same as the god Dharma. In fact labels having archaeological imprint such as Saka, Amorite, Dahae etc. are preferable to worn out blanket terms such as 'Semite' or 'Indo-European' which have a linguistic sense, not ethnic. Like the Vedic people, the Amorites were nomads who did not practice agriculture. The name Amaravati of Indra's capital links the Amorites with the Vedic people. The Amorites have been linked to the Halaf (or Ghassul) culture where the earliest evidence for chariots have been found. Sir Max Mallowan saw a link between Halaf and the Indus cites.

 

  5) Rama, Shutruk-Nahhunte and Lanka in Indo-Iran

 

       Rama, probably Ram-Sin or Rim-Sin of Larsa, was an 'Aryan' par excellence of the Ikshvaku line who may have been related to the 'Semite' (Amorite) king Lamgi-Mari Issakkv. The name of the Elamite king Sutrukna-hhunte echoes the name of Shatrughna. Ravana or Ravi-ana may be the Amorite king Hammu-ravi (or a close relative). Lanka of Ravana may have been the island of Queshm near Bandar-e Lengeh opposite Dubai in the Persian Gulf. S. B. Roy (Mohenjo-daro and the Lanka of Ravana, New Delhi, 1982) links Ravana with Mohenjo

 

Was Ikshaku Rama's attire similar to that of Lamgi-Mari Issakkv (~1789 B.C.)?

 

-Daro. It is possible that after the death of Rama he became the ruler of the Indus cities.

      Hinduism is a disparate mix of diverse doctrines, cults and social traits, yet no sensible history can be written without the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Wendy Donigher likens Hinduism to an armadillo but misses that the Mahabharata speaks of a 2nd millennium B.C. Jewish holocaust (Yahdu = Yadu). A non-Jonesian perspective opens the gates for a sober history of early Christianity.

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Colonial Indology and the Blunder of Jones

 

      

       Due to Jones' blunder, the great Chandragupta Maurya became almost a mythical figure with no known relics. In many respects even Asoka, whose voice reverberates throughout the length and breadth of India, remains a mysterious figure. R. Thapar, a leading writer on Asoka, wonders why no edicts are found at his 'capital' Patna. Scholars such as R. Thapar, A. K. Narain or D. Chakrabarti prefer to remain silent on the crucial fact that not a single relic of Asoka or any other Maurya or Nanda king is known from Patna. Most striking is the absence of coins of Asoka. Learned historians such as R. S. Tripathi expressed surprise over the fact that while even petty Indo-Greek kings had excellent coins, those of Asoka are not known. The punch-marked silver bars could hardly be said to suffice as coins of a ruler as great as Asoka. H. P. Ray's satisfaction with the so-called punch-marked bars of Asoka is bizarre.

       Noted archaeologists and historians such as Stuart Piggott and A. Toynbee were aware of the lacunae and Piggott almost playfully ventured beyond the Jonesian realm,

 

Perhaps it would be too much to say that Chandragupta Maurya and his dynasty were the ghosts of the Harappâ Empire sitting crowned on the ruins thereof, or to claim, in Toynbee's phrase, that the Harappâ kingdom was 'apparented' to that of the Mauryas.

 

     Piggott was unaware that the Mauryas were, in fact, the heirs of the Amorites (Hebrew emōrî) who were in the Harappa Empire. According to the historians, Sindh was ruled in this period by Hindu Kings, the last of whom was Raja Sahasi, whose dynasty ruled for over two thousand

or yet he gave priceless clues,

 

 'It is just possible that Ashoka had Seleukid blood in his veins; at least his reputed vice-royalty of Taxila in the Punjab during the reign of his father could have introduced him to the living memory of Alexander the Great, and, as king, he himself tells us of proselytizing relations with the Western powers'.

 

      Wheeler noted the clear Achaemenian imprint on his architecture and wrote that he could have been a half-Greek. Yet it occurred to no one that this half-Greek was the Indo-Greek king Diodotus-I, famous

 

 

for his superb coins. The gold, silver and bronze coins of Asoka, who was the same as Diodotus-I, are not only the most abundant, they are also the finest in history.

        From that the Greco-Roman writers do not refer to Piyadassi or Asoka, R. Thapar readily declares that Asoka was unknown in the West. This is clearly absurd, they must have used a different name. The most frequent name of Asoka in the Edicts is Devanampiya. As 'Nam' and 'Dat' both mean 'law', Devanam (piya) is the same as Devadat or Diodotus, a famous name in the Greco-Roman reports. After becoming a Buddhist, Asoka had to change his name Devadatta, the name of Gotama's enemy. The names of his biographies Asokavadana and Divyavadana also hint that Deva (datta) was his name. In the 8th Rock Edict he refers to his ancestors as Devanampiyas which shows that it was his patronymic, not title. The name `Devanampiya' is fondly translated as `beloved of the gods' but this is only partly true and was used by Asoka to befriend his subjects in the Indian peninsula. `Deva' was his name proper.

 

Deval which was linked to the Silk-Route was the Mauryan hub for maritime trade

 

     H. P. Ray has written on maritime trade of the Mauryas after placing them at the absurd location of Patna, but has missed that Deval the famous sea-port near Karachi was the Mauryan hub for maritime trade.

        While Asoka has numerous inscriptions but no coins, Diodotus, who was a neighbour, has numerous coins but no inscriptions. This clearly shows that they were the same. Diodotus' multi-faceted pers-onality baffled all. Holt is amazed by the figure of the thundering Zeus on his coins but wonders why he at times calls himself Soter (saviour). Later kings such as Agathocles and Antimachus issued coins which terms Diodotus a Soter. Tarn dismisses it as mere ‘royal rhodomontade’ and A. K. Narain states that the title shows that he saw himself as the saviour of the Bactrian Greeks. Turning a blind eye to the likelihood that the fierce Diodotus may have transcended into a missionary, Narain writes that his name Theodotus (Theos = God) given by Justin was a scribal error. The story of civilization is replete with instances of fierce men and women later responding to higher callings, but writers such as Holt have missed that the figure of Diodotus wielding the thunderbolt is not irreconcilable with the Bodhisatva-like Soter spreading the message of Brotherhood of Man. The history of Asoka matches that of Diodotus-I line by line because they were the same.

 

 Inscribed Portrait of Asoka from Kanganhalli (Courtesy ASI)

 

    What was Asoka's religion before he adopted Buddhism? The great visionary Ananda Coomaraswamy does not mince words,


Chandragupta Maurya, of whose origins little is known, displaced the last king of the Nanda Dynasty about 320 B. C. and made himself the master of Pataliputra, the capital of Magadha. His famous grandson Asoka (272-232) B. C., whose early faith may have been Brãhmanical, Jaina or possibly Magian, early in life became an ardent Buddhist;..


This was suggested by Dr. Spooner but he was shouted down by the Jonesian lobby. The legacy of the Macedonians and Greeks in India is yet to be truthfully acknowledged. The pillars of Asoka are the first examples of Indian Buddhist art but at least one of them was an altar of Alexander (Scholia, vol. 15, p. 78-101). This reveals the timeless heritage of Alexander in India. Buddhism is an universal religion in which people of many nations took part. Diodotus' 13th Edict, written after the Kalinga War is a priceless document of world history. The havoc created by the war filled the king's heart with remorse and totally transformed his character. He adopted Buddhism and became a Soter. This was a great moment in world history and led to a blending of Greek and the Indo-Iranian cultures which Alexander dreamed of. Just as Alexander's history cannot be grasped without Diodotus/Asoka, the reverse is also true. In a sense Alexander created the platform from which Diodotus operated. The Encyclopedia Britannica states,


The empire of Alexander and his successors created a great world community which, whether in Macedonian, Greco-Roman, or its later Christian form, established a cultural unity that was destined to be broken only 1,000 years later with the advent of Muslim imperialism (beginning in 7th century AD). This empire was so vast as truly to stagger the imagination. Extending from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Indus River, from the forests of Germany and the steppes of Russia to the Sahara Desert and the Indian Ocean, it took in an area of some 1.5 million square miles (3.9 million square kilometres; most of Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Africa, Persia, and the borderlands of India) and had a total population of more than 54 million.


Much has been written about Hellenistic culture by writers such as F. Holt and P. Green who overlook that Diodotus/Asoka was one of the founders of the Hellenistic world community.
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 A Coin-Portrait of Asoka Who Was Diodotus-I

Discovery of Alexander's Missing Altar

 

 

 

 

     

        Ideally, data from the Indus-Saraswati seals should have been the starting point of Indian history but attempts to read the seals have not succeeded. The Indus-Saraswati culture complex was the largest of its kind in the world and in sophistication and intellectual makeup, the seals have no peer in any contemporary writing yet from no civilization of antiquity there is such a deafening silence. Language is the most intimate vehicle of expression of a literate people, surpas-sing even art, and the failure to read the script reduced this erudite culture into a heap of dreary pottery sequences, obscure seals and of archaeological strata and their dates. This is an unfortunate legacy of British Indology - Sir William Jones'  'discovery' of Palibothra at Patna is a thorn in the flesh of Indian ancient history. But there are other reasons. Firstly, no bilingual inscriptions have been found linking the Indus script. Secondly, the hazy Jonesian setting thwarted any sound analysis of Indus polity, the all-important state of Magadha being ejected to the distant east. Then there was the mystery of the underlying language - most experts inclining to the simplistic view that it was Dravidian. Moreover, the international character of this civilization, though suspected by early stalwarts such as S. N. Kramer and R.D. Banerji, was ignored and this greatly obscured the scenario . The claim of scholars such as R. Thapar and S. Ratnagar that Harappan religion was unrelated to later Hinduism has greatly hindered the study of seals. Fortunately, some of the seals can be read after discarding Jones.

      It is crucial to note that early Magadha was Magan. Magadha (Mah-Gud) is synonymous with Melukhkha (Maha-Uksha) and this etymology hints at a Sanskrit substratum in the seals. Both Rama and Manu (Mannu) were linked to Magan. Manu also ruled Dravida (Dilmun?) and is cited in texts from Bahrain (a part of Dilmun). Dilmun, Magan and Melukhkha were always cited together and was akin to a confederation that can be seen as early India. Though the early history of Sanskrit is uncertain, the evolution of Dravidian appears to be less controversial. Here languages like Sumerian and Elamite are of crucial importance and may hold the key to the resolution of the Indo-Aryan problem. Recently eminent linguists like Svytich and Dolgopolsky have proposed that Sanskrit and Dravidian are not as unrelated as Jones imagined. A close study of Elamite disproves many common clichés. David McAlpine has suggested a link between Elamite and Dravidian which rests on correspondences in verbal morphology and lexemic cognates. The Wikipedia attaches great importance to Witzel's idea that the seals are non-linguistic which is as worthless as his other claim that the seal language is Para Munda. Much more sensible is M. Shendge's suggestion that Akkadian is linked to Sanskrit. Kinnier Wilson made the interesting suggestion that Sumerian may be linked to the language of the seals but the links with Brahvi, Amorite and Hebrew also have to be considered. The mature phase of the RigVeda may be about 1500 B.C. but the seals show clear Vedic traits. In the absence of bilingual texts, decipherment is a daunting task but a modest start can be made by making some simple and straightforward assumptions.

 

    1. The seal language is a mix of early Sanskrit and Dravidian (Brahvi).

   2. The symbol of Mitra   in the seals shows a link with Vedic culture.

   3The seals have to be seen vis-à-vis the hinterland of Indus-Saraswati-Elam (Magadha).

   4. The seals are logo-syllabic and run from right to left like Hebrew.

   5. Early Brahmi was read from right to left and was an offshoot of Indus writing.

   6. As Langdon suggested, the Indus symbols are linked to Sumerian symbols of the Jemdet Nasr period. 

  

         As S. N. Kramer and G. F. Dales noted, the Indus-Saraswati civilization was linked to other Bronze Age cultures. Thus data about the seals can be gleaned from Sumer and Djiroft (Dvaravati). Sir Max Mallowan wrote that signs for god, heaven, star , for water , for earth , for heaven and the deep , had long been painted on the pottery of Mesopotamia and Iran and were invested with magical prophylactic meaning. Similar signs appear in the seals and had very similar meanings. I. Mahadevan writes that the sign has the highest frequency. From the great importance of the bull in this culture, it is natural to expect that it is linked to the bull. In Sumerian the sign stood for the bull. Sir Max Mallowan saw a link between Tell Halaf and Baluchistan:

 

On the fringes of India there are certain wares which bear at all events a superficial resemblance to the Tell Halaf ware. In particular the polychrome sherds of Sur Jangal and related wares in feel, colour and minuteness of design bear an apparent kinship to Tel Halaf.

 

R. F. S. Starr also saw Halaf influence on Harappan painted pottery and although his work has been severely criticized by Dales and others, this seems unjustified. Significantly, a similar sign was used at Tell Halaf in 3000 B.C. for the bull (The Dawn of Civilization, p. 89).

 

 

Thus the sign can be read as Uksha which echoes the English Ox. It later became the Brahmi 'Sa' and perhaps also the Latin U.  Uksha later became the genitive case-ending 'Sa'.

        Śiva, the mysterious Hindu god, was a world deity worshipped in West Asia, Central Asia and Egypt. King-names such as Kak-siwe Tempti, Kaksivant,  Siwe-Palar-Khuppak, Queen of Sheba and place-names such as Seistan, Sippar, Borsippa etc. show the prevalence of the Śiva cult in the world. The eminent Indologist Sukumari Bhatta-charji writes about Śiva and the ithyphallic Egyptian god Min,

 

Min corresponds to Shiva very closely. He is ithyphallic, has the bull for his animal, is lunar by nature, and is associated with plants.

 

      Significantly, the name Min (uksha) can be read in the famous Proto-Śiva seal. Nearly all the scholars, excepting I. Mahadevan, who has now reversed his earlier stand, agree that the fish-sign reads as 'Min'. Thus the last two signs in the proto-Shiva seal becomes

 

in the head-dress of Proto-Shiva or Minuksha , a Mitra-like god

 

Min-uksha. Min's shrine was crowned with a pair of bull horns and the name of the city Akhmin where he was worshipped also echoes Uksha-Min. While Minuksha represents the procreative aspect of Śiva, many inscriptions from Mohenjo-Daro also mention Mahakal who stood for his destructive aspect. Mohenjo-Daro (Makkâŝ?) may have been a great religious centre of the ancient world. 

      The important text appears in many seals and copper tablets from Mohenjo-daro and was of great ritual significance. It can be read as the votive formula Maha Kala Dvara Uksha which echoes Darius and shows the great role of Shiva. Mahakal seems to be the same as the Canaanite deity Mekal (late 3rd millennium) linked to the Amorites. His other name Resheph is a clear echo of the Sanskrit Rishava and shows the uselessness of the label 'Semite'. The capital of Indra, the archetypal 'non-Semite' had the Amoritic name Amaravati.

     The term 'Amorites' occurs about 60 times in the Old Testament. They are said to be western 'Semites', but their presence in India hints at a closer link of the early Jews with Indo-Iran. They were called Mar-tu by the Sumerians which is identical to the Sanskrit 'Martah' (world of mortals) and this reveals the link with India. Kudur-Mabuk, the father of Ram-Sin of Larsa, who appears to be the Rama of Valmiki, calls himself the 'lord of Amurru' and a Shaik (Saka?). His enemy Ravana may have been Hammuravi, who was an Amorite. They are said to be nomads like like the Vedic Aryans. The Amorites are said to have brought down the 3rd dynasty of Ur. Were they the Maruts?

      The strong Amorite influence on the seals can be seen from the famous Amorite name Shanir, said to be Mount Hermon. The sign clearly stands for a tree (or shade), the Dravidian word for which is 'Niral' (DED 3679). Thus becomes (Uk)shanira. The text can then be read as Ukshanira Shiva Ketu. Ukshanira may be the same as Ushinara of the RigVeda (Ushinarani), Shinar of the Old Testament and Sineru of the Buddhists. Ushinara may be Seistan.
     
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         After Alexander the Great, the most illustrious figure of the 4th century B.C. was Chandragupta but his history has been reduced to a mockery by gullible historians. The Wikipedia also turns him into a joker. On the other hand, S. Piggott envisioned him as crowned on the Harappan ruins. A thorough study reveals that Piggott was right. According to the historians Sindh was ruled in this period by Hindu Kings, the last of whom was Raja Sahasi, whose dynasty ruled for over two thousand years. Raja Sahasi can be seen to be Raja Sashigupta. The Mauryas were related to the Amorites (Hebrew emōrî) who belonged to the Indus-Saraswati culture.

         Jonesian Indologists such as R. Thapar and A. K. Narain glibly maintain that no relic of Chandragupta can be found. This is absurd. Olmstead wrote that Orontes corresponds to the name Arunadas. 'Aruna' in Sanskrit means the 'charioteer of the Sun'. Thus the name Aruna or Orontobates of Chandragupta can be read from Andragoras' coin with the Sun's quadriga.

 

Courtesy http://www.flickriver.com/photos/antiquitiesproject/5496227808/

          Apart from the coins, the Laghman Aramaic inscriptions are also priceless relics of Chandragupta. As they mention Priyadarshi, A. Dupont-Sommer, H. Humbach and others have ascribed them to Asoka but this is hasty. H. C. Raychaudhuri warned that Priyadarŝi was also a title of Chandragupta. D. C. Sircar also rejected the ascription to Asoka. The injunction against killing of creatures in the inscriptions have been linked to Asoka but it has to be borne in mind that Chandragupta also later became a Jaina. The clinching evidence is that Vakshu in the inscriptions is Oxyartes (Tarn, GBI, p.101) who was a contemporary of Chandragupta. Vakshu may be Rakshasa of the Mudrarakshasa.

        That Chandragupta had met Alexander is reported by Plutarch, whose knowledge about Chandragupta was vague (Life of Alexander 62.9.). The Sanskrit drama Mudrarakshasa shows that Chandragupta was the same as Orontobates. The two were far more intimate than what Plutarch or Justin knew and it was together with Orontobates that Alexander created history. Sahsigupta who was the same as Tiridates played a silent role in Alexander's world conquest. The name Tiridates may correspond to Ŝrī-candra of Taranatha.

      Jones' idea that Chandragupta's capital was at Patna has no archaeological basis. R. Thapar is surprised by the fact that there are no edicts of Asoka at Patna but does not admit that barring Asoka, no relic of any Nanda or Maurya king is known. Dilip Chakrabarti cites many 2nd century BC texts from Mathura but prefers to remain silent on the absence of those of Chandragupta. F. R. Allchin also uncerem-oniously omits him in his book on South Asia. H. C. Seth wrote that as 'Chandra' and 'Sashi' are synonymous, Sisicottus must have been Chandragupta, but this was denied on flimsy grounds. That Moeris, another Satrap, was Maurya also went unnoticed. The noted Buddhist scholar B. M. Barua wrote that Chandragupta belongs to the North-West. Kulke and Rothermund miss that early Magadha was Magan, but reject Chandragupta's link with Bihar. That Maurya kings such as Virasena and Purnavarman have no place in history is due to Jones.

         After clearing the Jonesian mud and including West Asia in the scenario, Chandragupta's many aliases come to light - Andragoras, whose beautiful gold coins have remained a mystery, now becomes Androcottus. Plutarch and Appian wrote that Androcottus, king of the Indians, dwelt near the Indus. This dwelling place must be Deval near Karachi. H. C. Raychaudhuri had no idea that Chandragupta was a world figure like Alexander and wondered in vain why the Macedonian king wanted to kill him. Where did they first meet? To answer this it has to be noted that Sisines was the same as Sisicottus. This places the Maurya in Philip's court. The jigsaw puzzle can be solved by noting that he was the same as Orontobates. In some manuscripts of the Mudrarakshasa, Chandragupta is absent but his place is taken by Rantivarma which must be another name of Chandragupta. As Varma, like Bates, is a  title, Rantivarma was none other than Orontobates.

   Crucial cinematic aspects of their lives have been missed by the filmmaker Oliver Stone. The Satrap Pixodarus offered the hand of his daughter to Arrhidaeus but through his friends Alexander offered himself as a suitor but this was denied by Philip. Writers such as Badian and Green have overlooked that the princess became Orontobates' wife.

 

An Asiatic Princess (artist's impression)

       

     A crucial role was played in Alexander's life by Diodotus of Erythrae, the mysterious editor of Alexander's diary. He is usually taken to be a Greek without any warrant. Lane Fox states that nothing is known about him but rightly guesses that he could be a Carian associate. In an Edict Asoka gives the clue that all his ancestors were also Devanampiyas which shows that it was a title. Thus Chandragupta was also a Devanampiya/Diodotus. Thus the shady Diodotus of Erythrae of Alexander's diary was Moeris/ Chandragupta. Another alias of Sashigupta may have been Sisines.

  Curtius wrote that Sisines was sent on an embassy to Philip by the Persian Satrap of Egypt and remained in Macedonian service. He accompanied Alexander on his expedition and in Cilicia received a letter from Nabarzanes assuring him of rewards if he could kill Alexander. The letter, however, had fallen into the kings hands, who saw his treachery and ordered him to be put to death. Sisines is usually said to be a Persian agent but R. Lane Fox sees him as an ally of Alexander. He may the same as Sisicottus who fled to Egypt and then to Macedonia to escape from Ochus/Bagoas. 

       In her admirable book on Mithradates VI Eupator, A. Mayor mentions his strong Eastern links. A deeper study reveals that Mithridates–II (ό κτιστής, 'creator') who, according to Diodorus, rose to the throne of Pontus in 337 B.C. (Diod. xvi. 90.) was in fact Chandragupta. Diodorus assigns him a reign of thirty-five years(337-302 B.C.), but it appears certain that he did not hold uninterrupted possession of the sovereignty during that period. The circumstances that led to his absence from Pontus are not known; indeed no farther notice of him is available from the date of his accession in 337 B.C. until some time after the death of Alexander (~322 B.C.), when he is found attending the court and camp of Antigonus. The date 337 B.C. is important as it is the date of accession of Chandragupta.
 

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Sashigupta and the Poisoning of Alexander

                                                                       

 

 

      

         Herodotus described the unmatched splendour of Babylon which was famous for many Wonders of the Ancient World - the Hanging Gardens which had a touch of Paradise, the Tower of Etem-enanki which 'reached the Heavens', and a Colossal Statue of Marduk which was made of solid gold. There was also a golden statue of Nebuchadrezzar-II, during whose reign Babylon was widely seen as the holiest city in the world. But the fact that behind this perception of holiness lies Nebuchdrezzar's call for Universal Brotherhood has escaped the notice of most observers. Although Zoroastrianism and Judaism display a physical link, as is evident from the accounts of Daniel in the Old Testament, the Legacy of Babylon has been inherited by Jainism, Buddhism and Hellenistic religion. Amelie Kuhrt writes in the Cambridge Ancient History about Bagapa, the viceroy of 'eber nari' (which included Babylon) during the reign of Darius-I, but due to the Nepalese forgeries, fails to realize that Bagapa was none other than Gotama Buddha, whose title was Bhagava. Al-Beruni wrote that Gotama's true name was Buddho-dana which puts him in the same bracket as Daniel the Jew.

        Babylon first came into prominence during the rule of Hammuravi whose kingdom comprised parts of Assyria, Sumer and probably also Elam after the fall of Ram-Sin. It was a great commercial and political centre known for its fabulous wealth. Babylon was often in conflict with the Assyrians and culturally it was aligned to Elam but the true identity of Bagapa elucidates its affinity with the east.

     The name Babylon hides the secret of its holiness which accrued from its links with an earlier holy centre. The Greeks transformed Babil, the traditional name, into Babylon. The Akkadian bāb-ilû means Gateway of the gods, but as I. J. Gelb pointed out, this is not the primary meaning; Babil is an echo of an earlier city name. This earlier holy Babil was Bawer which, as Herzfeld wrote, was founded by Jamshid. Babil is cognate with Kabil (mentioned in the Koran) or Kapil which shows the link with Kapilavastu the birthplace of Gotama Buddha (Kuh-e Khwaja). Bagapa was probably the chief priest of E-Sangila who hailed from the older Babil, which was Alexandria Prophthasia or Alexandria of the Prophets in Seistan. These Prophets were Abraham, Gotama Buddha and Zoroaster. An ancient Babil in the east founded by Jamshid implies that Ur must also have been in the same area.

         Babylon is harshly censured in the Book of Revelation, but the Old Testament takes the opposite view. H. W. F. Saggs writes in the Encyclopedia Britannica,

 

Despite the fateful part he played in Judah's history, Nebuchadrezzar is seen in Jewish tradition in a predominantly favourable light. It was claimed that he gave orders for the protection of Jeremiah, who regarded him as God's appoi-nted instrument whom it was impiety to disobey, and the prophet Ezekiel expressed a similar view at the attack on Tyre. A corresponding attitude to Nebuchadrezzar, as God's instrument against wrongdoers, occurs in the Apocrypha in 1 Esdras and, as protector to be prayed for, in Baruch. In Daniel (Old Testament) and in Bel and the Dragon (Apocrypha), Nebuchadre-zzar appears as a man, initially deceived by bad advisers, who welcomes the situation in which truth is triumphant and God is vindicated.

 

D. J. Wiseman refers to Nebuchadrezzar's compassion and the eminent Dutch scholar C. P. Tiele describes him as one of the greatest rulers of antiquity.

       Significantly the Persian texts mention Urva which seems to cor-respond to Ur of the Book of Genesis. After his enlightenment Gotama Buddha preached at Uruvela which must have been near Shahr-i Shokhta. Islamic historians wrote about the Indian city Ubbula near Basra which is clearly an echo of Uruvela or Ur. Bawer echoes Baveru of the Jataka stories which is thought to be Babylon. 

       Every archaeological site is a precious relic from the past but Robert Koldewey, the meticulous excavator of Babylon was so overwhelmed by the sanctity of Babylon that he was reluctant to excavate it as this means destruction of ancient heritage. To understand the true dimension of this sacredness it is crucial to study Nebuchadrezzar's legacy which is larger than the millions of bricks inscribed with his name. An important clue is provided by Alexander the Great who died at Nebuchadrezzar's palace and who made Babylon his world capital. This was not for the city's splendour but its heritage of humanism which has not been properly explored in the literature.

         

 

Cameo of Nebuchadrezzar in the Berlin Museum

 

         From his helmet Nebuchadrezzar can be mistaken for a Greek soldier at first sight, but there more to it than just meets the eye. It is known that there was a contingent of Greek mercenaries in his army. Antimenides, brother of the Greek poet Alcaeus fought as a soldier on his side. More than two centuries later Alexander the Great expressed his adoration for Nebuchadrezzar in whose palace he breathed his last. One has to start by asking many intriguing questions which are evaded by nearly all the scholars:

 

  1) For what offence did Nebuchadrezzar deport the Palestine Jews?

   2) Why was captive Jehoiachin allowed to eat at the king's table? 

   3) Why did Jeremiah support Nebuchadrezzar?

   4) Who was Tattenai who opposed the Palestaine Jews?

   5) Who was Sethar-Boznai who is named with Tattenai?

   

It is very likely that Nebuchadrezzar was irked by the religious stance of the the Jews of Palestine. The clash with Sethar-Boznai and Tatte-nai may also have the same background. Bertrand Russell holds that Jewish religion was less exclusive before the era of Ezekiel. It is crucial to recognize that Buddhism evolved from the religion of the Yadus who were the early Jews. The fact that Abraham's abode Babil was the same as that of Gotama Buddha and Zoroaster leads to sea-changes in the history of religions.

     But there is more to the history of Babil, or Babylon of the Greeks, than Nebuchadrezzar who rebuild the city after it was destroyed by Sennacherib. Babylon is said to have become prominent during Sargon's era but some scholars hold that this was Sargon II. It is likely that after the decline of Prophthasia which was Babil, its sacred religious tradition was continued in Babylon.

         A rather strange Genesis story names Amraphael of Shinar, Arioch of Ellasar, Chedor-Laomer of Elam, and Tidal of Goiim as kings who confronted Israel. Amraphael is generally identified with Hammu-rabi which makes it likely that Chedor-Laomer or Kudur-Laghumar was Rim-Sin or Rama whose name was Raghupati. That Hammurabi was not deified may be due to his distaste for the idea of divine kingship.

                                                               

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Dawn of Religions in the Land of Prophets

 

 

 

Rama, Rostam, Shutrukna-hhunte and the BMAC

 

          'History is a set of lies agreed upon', lamented Napoleon Bonaparte and this is illustrated by the plight of Rama of India and Rostam of Persia. Jonesian writers such as A. L. Basham and R. Thapar have dragged down Rama to a tribal king bloated up by Valmiki, but this is totally false.

       A judicious study on the other hand, reveals that Rama was one of the greatest kings of world history. The 'Sons of Ramah' of the Book of Ezra include Darius-I, Gotama Buddha and David. Persian history in which such great heroes as Rostam and Zoroaster does not deserve the rank of history. He is placed in the Arsacid era by R. N. Frye and others but this is a mistake. In contrast to writers such as A. K. Narain and Amartya Sen who callously equate ancient India with British India, Sir Charles Eliot, Arnold Toynbee and Sukumar Sen warned that in ancient history India and Persia are deceptive labels. As South-east Iran was 'India' and part of India was under the Achaemenids, it is natural to expect an overlap between the histories of India and Iran. The Heritage of Persia cannot be grasped without reckoning the Heritage of 'India'. Herodotus' gives a list of tribes under Kurash, some of which are the tribes of the Indian Epic Mahabharata. Kurash, therefore, can be seen to be related to the Indian Kurus and Panchalas. This was noted by Toynbee who wrote that the Achaemenian state was a universal one.

       It is commonsense that Naqsh-i Rostam (carvings of Rostam) must be a memory of Rostam. Moreover as this was the Achaemenid burial place it is natural to suspect that Rostam was their ancestor. Although the Persian annals do not mention Rostam there is evidence for a mysterious ancestor Arya-Ram-ana (7th cent. B.C.) whose gold tablets are the earliest inscriptions in Old Persian. The Sasanid ancestor Ram-Behist also alludes to Rama who is none other than the great Rama of Indian history who is posted as a tribal king by Jonesian writers. Rama's link with Indo-Iran is proved by that the name of his half-brother Shatrughna echoes Shutrukna-hhunte, a great hero of

 

Kurangun relief of Ramo Vigrahavan Dharmah   Courtesy Prof. Mark Garrison

 

Elam. It is a sad miscarriage of history that while the greatness of Hammu-ravi is acclaimed, Ram-Sin of Larsa, who is called an Elamite, is lost to oblivion. The great Indian Epic Ramayana, on the other hand clearly indicates that Ram-Sin was Rama who ruled Sumer, Elam and Indus-Saraswati.

      The fact that the relief at Naqsh-i Rostam was copied from an earlier relief at Kurangun (~18th cent. B.C.) hints that the name Naqsh-i Rostam may be due to this relief. Thus it is very likely that the horned king depicts Rostam. Kurangun is near the ancient site of Sih-talu which reveals a link with the Indian texts. This must have been Sutala, capital of Vali, an important figure of the Ramayana. In Sumerian history also Valih is a great figure. The king and his wife in the Kurangun relief can thus be Rama and his wife Sita. Rama was an Ikshaku king which corresponds to the term Uksha-man (Bull-man) or Achaemenian. Shutruk-Na-hhunte is an younger namesake of Shatrughna, Rama's half-brother. Shimut Wartash may be Warad-Sin or Bharata, another brother. Tan Rukurater (~2004 B.C.) echoes Raghu, Rama's ancestor, and Dasa Ratha. Lukh-Ishshan (~2350 B.C.) may have been an ancestor of Lakshmana, Rama's brother.

       Rostam's name in other texts is Rathastam. This corrresponds to Rama's name Dasarathi  which is echoed in the Mitanni name Tusratta. 'Ratha' stands for the chariot in Sanskrit. The eminent linguist Sukumar Sen suggests that Rama's title was Margaveya, which may imply that he was from Margiana near the homeland of Babur, not Ayodhya. Rama's life story, the Ramayana, is akin to a scripture for many Indians. J. L. Brockington writes that it was the greatest Epic of the world which influenced a large part of humanity from Indo-Iran to Japan. Indian archaeology has failed to unearth Rama's relics from UP which indicates that Rama's India was a wider world that extended up to Elam and Central Asia.

 

 

        Hammu-ravi may have been Ravana (Ravi-ana) or his brother Bibhishana who also used the same name. In the Sumerian texts Ram-Sin and his enemy were both supported by ten kings. In the Ramayana he has ten heads. The clashes of Rama, the Indo-Aryan from BMAC with Hammu-Ravi takes one back to the crossroads of history when the Indo-Iranians arrived in Indo-Iran and Sumer.

     Bandar-e Lengeh echoes Lanka but the true Lanka may have been Dilmun which is likely to be between Qurna and Basra in the marshlands near the mouth of the Gulf. The Kish islands west of Lengeh could have been Kishkindha. There may be a scope for new archaeological discoveries to be made here.       

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Ram-Sin of Larsa was the Historical Rama

 

 

 

       Before 1971 Sindh and Bengal (East) were one political entity but this has not endured. It was Buddhism which once formed a bridge between Bengal and Sindh. But the references in the ancient texts clearly show that the name Vanga did not only designate modern Bengal but also at times a part in in the Sindh-Baluchistan area. In his magisterial 'Bâňgâleer Itihâs', Niharranjan Ray drew a line between a history of Bengal and that of the Bengalis, who were often on the move. Ray was aware of that ancient Vaňga was not always West Bengal and Bangladesh. In the Shaktisangama Tantra enlightenment of all forms is said to be attainable (Sarvasiddhi-pradarshakah) in Vanga. The Vaňga people were known for wisdom, not gallantry, but their country was important and is cited in the Mahabharata and other ancient texts. Although there is no clear data about the precise location of this Vaňga, there are important clues.

      The Ektara and Dotara of Sindh speak of a shared past with modern Bengal. Dombipa of the Charyapadas may have been a member of the Dombi clan of Sindh. The founding of the city of Gujarat by Kalaketu in the Chandimangal speaks of the nomadic past of the Bengali people and their floating traditions. Samatata in Bengal is usually located at the mouth of the river Brahmaputra, but its name echoes Tatta, a province of Sindh, (also a city). This may seem fortuitous, but there is more. The eminent geographer James Rennell (Memoirs of a map of Hindoostan, 2nd ed., 1785, p. 57) writes,
 

 ...and the province of Tatta itself (the Patale or Patala of Alexander) is said to resemble Bengal, not only in the flatness of its surface, richness of soil, and periodical inundations; but also in the food of its inhabitants, which is chiefly rice and fish. The site of the ancient capital, Homnabad, is near Tatta ; and, in the time of Acbar, some considerable ruins of it were remaining: particularly the fort, which is said to have had an astonishing number of turrets to it. Tatta is made synonymous to Daibul, ..
 

The name Homnabad or Somnabad may allude to the Samma dynasty which ruled Tatta for many years. Tatta ruled by the Sammas may have been called Samatata. Devaparvata was the capital of Samatata which resembles the name of the famous port city of Deval near Tatta. There was a Chandradwipa in Bengal and Alexander and his men found the Chandra desert near Sindh.
     The close links between high Sindhi and high Bengali was noted by J. Beames (1872) and others. K. Elst writes with insight about the linguistic unity of Indo-Aryan (The Indo-Aryan Controversy, p. 247),

 

The difference between Bengali and Sindhi may well be bigger than that between, say, any two of the Romance languages, especially if you consider their colloquial rather than their high-brow (Sanskritized) register. Further, to the extent that Indo-Aryan has preserved its unity, this may be attributed to the following factors, which have played to a larger extent and for longer periods in India than in Europe; a geographical unity from Sindh to Bengal (a continuous riverine plain) facilitating interaction between the regions, unlike the much more fragmented geography of Europe; long-time inclusion in common political units (e.g. Maurya, Gupta and the Mughal empires); and continuous inclusion in a common cultural space with the common stabilizing influence of Sanskrit.


Elst has hazy ideas about Palibothra and Magadha - the centre of the Maurya empire was the Sindh area - not Patna, yet his remark is significant and can be generalized to include Bangaru and Braj-Bhasha. Although obscured now by religious barriers, Sindh and Bengal-Bihar-Orissa form a cultural unit mediated by the vast riverine plains. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh were also allied to Bengal and Sindh.
     In the Aitareya Âraņyaka, the people of Vanga and Magadha are clubbed as Vaňgā-Magadhāh which shows that they were neighbours. But as early Magadha was Magan, west of Baluchistan, early Vaňga must also have been in Sindh-Baluchistan. From his study of the exploits of king Chandra of the Mehrauli Iron Pillar, K. D. Bajpai held that there was a Vanga near Bahlika. This is also implied by Bhima's expedition. Vaňga means 'broken' and the Vaňga people were scatter-ed into many areas. After the Muslim invasion of Sindh there was a migration of Hindus, both Aryan and Dravidian, into the eastern and southern parts of the peninsula but this also happened long before.
       The cultural unity of Bengal with the north-west sheds light on a thorny problem of Bengal history. Nothing much is known about Gopala (c 756 - 781) apart from that his father was Vapyata who is described as 'the slayer of foes'. To identify Vapyata one has to first recognize the 'foes'. Here both chronology and geography come to our aid. If it is noted that Gopala may have been a ruler of not only Bengal but a wider area including Punjab, Rajasthan and Sindh, then one can recognize the 'foes' as Arabs whose leader Mohammad Bin Kashim defeated the king of Sindh Dahir Sen about fifty years before (711 AD). This must have been the crux of the great social chaos described in the sources as Matsyanyaya. However the hegemony of the Arabs did not last long. In 738 AD the combined forces of the Gurjara Pratihars, Chauhans and Guhilots vanquished the Arabs in the famous 'Battle of Rajasthan'. The hero of this war was the famous Bappa Rawal who was a slayer of foes and appears to be the same as Vapyata, father of Gopala. Bappa's son Khommana, who said to have captured Chitor, or another brother may have been Gopala. It is possible that Rawal is a transform of Rampala. Dharmapala was called Rahma by Masudi.

        The great Pala king Dharmapala of Vaňgâla once ruled not only the whole of the East, Central and North India but also the Yavana lands. He was a supreme ruler who had 50,000 elephants and an army of 300,000. In a durbar held at Kanauj he was hailed as the

 

The legend 'Vankala' on 'Dharmapala's gold coin  Photo Courtesy http://coinindia.com/

suzerain by the rulers of Bhoja, Matsya, Madra, Kuru, Yavana, Yadu, Avanti, Gandhara and Kira, who uttered cheers of approval, "bowing down respectfully with their diadems trembling". R. C. Majumdar writes,

 

Gandhara represents the Western Punjab and the lower Kabul valley. Madra was in the central Punjab, while Kira, Kuru, and Matsya correspond respectively to Kangra, Thaneswar and Jaipur regions. Avanti denotes the whole or a part of Malwa, and the Yavanas must be taken to refer to a Muslim principality in the Sindhu valley.

 

The Yavanas may not be only from Sindh which was a part of Seistan, the largest province in Persia. Were states such as Fars also in the Yavana group? Alexander's army found the 'fish-eaters' west of Sindh who belonged to an earlier Matsya. Dharmapala was called Rahmi which was an ancient name of the Tatta region. His abode appears to be the same as that of Asoka and Chandragupta. He was a Buddhist King who may also have been the titular ruler of Eastern Persia.

                         

The ruins of Banbhore which was Vangala

 

       In the inscriptions of the Rashtrakutas Dharmapala is called the king of Vangala and as Pankaj Tandon points out, the term Vankala appears in the obverse of his gold coin. As D. C. Sircar and others noted, the location of Vangala (Bhangala of Taranatha) is a long-standing problem. A. Wink's view that it was an etymological variant of Vanga (Al-Hind, vol.1, p.257) is too simplistic. A study of archaeology and history point to a city named Vaňgâla near Karachi. Many scholars hold that Debal was Banbhore (an ancient port-city near Karachi). Remembering the well known labial-to-velar phonetic shift, it can be seen to be Banghore or Vangala. The name Deval seems to be linked to the Mauryas. In an edict Asoka states that all his ancestors were Devanampiya which is the same as Devadatta. Asoka himself was Diodotus-I. (Scholia, vol. 15, p. 78-101). Deval was Palibothra and also the Mauyan hub for sea-trade. There was a connecting road from Debal to the ancient Silk Route which was studded by many Buddhist monasteries. Alexander the Great is said to have come to Banbhore (or Thatta).

       Further insight is offered by the Bangash tribe of Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are said to be originally from Jalalabad in Afghanis-tan who have migrated to Pakistan, India and Iran. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, the famous maestro of Hindustani Classical Music, is a member



 

of the Bangash tribe of Afghanistan. There were also Bangash people in Khorasan and Mazandaran. The surname Bengalee among the Indian Parsees is a relic of an ancient Bengal in the Fars area. Signific-antly the Nawabs of Kanauj who ruled until the British period (1801) were from the Bangash tribe. The presence of the Bangash in Kanauj as well as the Kohnouj area shows the multiple layers in Indian history.

         The ancient proto-Dravidian language Brahvi was spoken in the Vaňgâla area and there is evidence of migration of Dravidian-speaking peoples from Sindh to Eastern and Southern India. Magadi near Bangalore is said to have been founded by the Cholas (11-12 AD.) Magadi Kempe Gowda, founder of Bangalore, was called Mahagani which is a clear echo of Magan in the north-west. The ancient Vengi kingdom and Vangala-palli may have been memories of Vaňgâla. That Karnataka was a kind of Vanga is shown by city-names such as Bengaluru, Bangarapet etc., and the clan-name Gawda.

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Dharmapala Gopala and Bappa Rawal

Bipin Shah on Bappa Rawal

 

 

 

 

      Was Jesus Christ just a holy figure or also a historical personage? Surprisingly, the answer to this million-Dollar question seems to be that he was both. After Bruno Bauer, it has become fashionable to label Christ as a mythical being and although this has been buttressed by an evil Nepalese forgery in Buddhism, this is totally false. A careful study of history reveals that Christianity did not evolve out of 'fabrications' centered around Jesus and other seers. However, to see Jesus and Thomas in the light of history one has to first turn to the home of all ancient regions such as Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and Judaism - the north-west of India and Seistan-Baluchistan-Afghanistan.

 

The Date of Kanishka

 

       'Must remain unknown' is a favourite cliché of Jonesian historians such as A. K. Narain. The date of Kanishka is a thorn in the flesh of Indology that reveals how shaky its Jonesian foundations are. Two London conferences have been held on this topic, one held under the auspices of A. K. Narain, yet the problem is far from being resolved. The date of 127 AD as the first year of Kanishka favoured by A. K.Narain, Harry Falk and others appears to be incorrect. Neither Narain nor Falk has any idea that Asoka was not at Patna. It has to be noted that the names of the Armenian kings such as Orontes, Artavasdes and Vardanes echo Rantivarma (Mudrarakshasa), Vasudeva and Asoka (Asokavardhana). This has a bearing on Kushan history. Kujula may have been the same as Artaxes II (34-20 B. C.) who sought Augustus' help but was refused. The name Artaxes is Arta-Uksha which is the same as Kadphises or Gud-Vrsa. B. N. Mukherjee supports the date AD 78 as the first year of Kanishka which is far more sensible.

 

India of the West - Pontus and Armenia

 

     Pontus, which was ruled by Chandragupta Maurya, was some kind of an India of the West. The significance of the crucial data provided by Yasht, X, 104.;

 

The long arms of Mithra seize upon those who deceive Mithra:

even when in India of the East he catches him,
even when in India of the West he smites him down:.....
 

has been lost on all barring A. Toynbee and Sir Charles Eliot. As noted by J. Kennedy (J.R.A.S. 1904), a similar link existed between India and Armenia. Just as Chandragupta was king of both Pontus and India, the Kushans also ruled Armenia. Artavasdes of Armenia is related to Vasudeva, king of India. The fact that Kujula put Augustus' bust on his coins has greatly surprised historians. Kujula seems to be the same as Artaxes II (34-20 B.C.) who sought Augustus' help but was refused. This may resolve the problem of Indian dates. The name Artaxes is Arta-Uksha which is the same as Kadphises or Gud-Vrsa.

     The joint coin issue of the great 1st century B.C. Indo-Greek king Hermaeus and Kujula Kadphises (34-20 B.C.) remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of ancient history. Tarn was awed by Hermaeus' legacy yet failed to recognize his true face. A. K. Narain also shared the same admiration. The opinion of modern scholars such as O. Bopearachchi is no better, although interestingly, some scholars

 

Photo Courtesy CoinIndia   http://coinindia.com/

have suggested that Hermaeus could have been one of the Magi. Surprisingly no one ventured beyond the linguistic inanities and analyzed the meaning and content of the name Hermaeus. It is linked to Hermes who, like the Egyptian Thoth, was also associated with law and the concept of Dharma. Gotama Buddha's name Tathagata links him with Hermes and Thoth. More importantly, due to the closeness of the sounds, the name Hermaeus was surely transformed into a Dharma-type name by his subjects. Dharma or Dhamma is the essence of the names Adam and Thomas.

          To understand the legend “Kujula Kasasa Kushana Yavugasa Dharmathidasa” one has to recognize the face of the Jew in Amyntas’ coin and also remember that Yahweh corresponds to Yava of the RigVeda. Christianity was a Judaic heresy which was called Yavugasa Dharma. Yava may be linked to Yeho (יהו) which is thought to be the root of the name Jesus. This Christianity or Yavugasa Dharma seems to have been close to Mahayana.

     

      Some of Amyntas’ coins depicted Tyche who was a capricious dispenser of good and ill fortune. Many Greeks believed that when no cause can be found to such events as droughts, floods, etc. then it must be due to the wrath of Tyche. So the favour of Tyche was sought to avert disasters. This may be linked to the suggestion of many scholars that Jesus had a premonition of doom. The largest silver coin of antiquity (85 gms) is credited to Amyntas.

 

Another coin of Amyntas Nikator. Picture courtesy O. Bopearachchi

 

The syncretic symbol of Zeus-Mithra in both the coins show why they were seen as twins. Zeus, as Tran warned, was not always the Hellenic deity of the Iliad, but very often the elephant god of Kapisa. Moreover the Vitarka mudra of the seated god is very similar to Abhaya Mudra. The symbolary of the coins suggests something like Christianity which was influenced by both Buddhism and Mitraism. Both Amyntas and Hermaeus are dated to about 50-60 B.C. by Tarn but S. Konow proposed a much later date. Hermaeus has been described as having a nomadic background which agrees with that he and Amyntas were active in Galatia-Isauria. Amyntas' religion was Hellenistic and differed from the practices of the Jerusalem Temple which was the most important Jewish shrine of the period.

In the New Testament Nazareth is associated with Jesus as his boyhood home, and in its synagogue he preached the sermon that led to his rejection by his fellow townsmen. The city is now a centre of Christian pilgrimage. Nazareth is not mentioned in the Old Testament or rabbinic literature and the etymology of the name is uncertain. It is first mention is in the NT (John 1). The contempt in which this then insignificant village was held is expressed in the same chapter (“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”). From there, Jesus went to perform his first miracle, that of the changing of water to wine at Cana (John 2). Nazareth had a Jewish population in Jesus' time; its Christian holy places are first mentioned after Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire (AD 313). The only site in Nazareth that can be definitely identified as dating back to New Testament times is the town well, now called St. Mary's

      Not surprisingly a Galatian King named Amyntas (37-25 B.C.) is known whose coin depicting Heracles has some resemblance with the second coin of Amyntas Nikator. The symbol of lion in his coin reminds one of Diodotus-I Soter or Asoka who used it on his pillars. This Amyntas also issued many coins with the face of Hermes which may link him to Hermaeus.

 

Coin of Amyntas of Galatia  Courtesy http://www.galloturca.com

 

       The Hermaeus-Thomas equation explains the joint coin issue of Kujula Kadphises and Hermaeus. In the coins Heramaeus calls himself Soter or Saviour and the raised hand of Zeus in his coins shows him as receiving benediction from Zeus. The cross-like specter in his coins suggests a link with Christianity.

      The archaeological proof for the presence of Thomas in India naturally raises the expectation that Jesus' relics may also be found in India. This is exactly the case. The coins of Hermaeus bear a very striking similarity with those of Amyntas which prove that they were very intimately related. To recognize Jesus one has to note that he was originally depicted by the fish symbol which was read as 'Min’ in many cultures. Thus Jesus' name can be seen to be Amyn or Amen. The face of Amyntas has a strong Jewish disposition which seems to confirm the holy accounts. The totally unadorned face can only point to a strong religious fervour. Tarn noted the close similarity and wrote that Hermaeus was the son of Amyntas which is rejected by others but it can be seen that they were co-religionists. Amyntas was the mentor of the great Hermaeus as the holy texts suggest.

        The fact that Kujula Kadphises depicted the bust of Augustus in some of his coins is very significant. Bachhofer explained the bust of Augustus as a demonstration of Kujula's commercial instinct which is shallow. This may be linked to the attempt of Kujula (Artaxes II) to get Agustus' support. In the Res Gestae, Augustus mentions an emba-ssy from Indian kings visiting Rome which may have been from Vima Takto, probably Tigranes III who was favoured by Augustus or a close relative. Although Augustus has been praised for his benevolence, he aspired to be a 'son of god' by displacing Jesus Christ.

       An amazing, if not bewildering, body of literature exits on Gondophares and St. Thomas (Hermaeus Soter). R. C. Senior has recently placed him in the period 20-10 B.C. Senior is unaware that this is exactly the timeframe of Amyntas-Jesus.

 

Bronze coin of Gondophares (Alchemic symbol for mercury in the obverse?)

 

The image of Zeus with raised hand and other symbols in the reverse reveal a close relationship with the coins of Amyntas and Hermaeus.

 

Silver coin of Amyntas

 

 

Gotama, Zoroaster and Sariputta in the Persepolis Tablets 

 

       The inscribed Persepolis Fortification Tablets are one of the most authentic set of documents in world history. Due to the efforts of R. T. Hallock, W. Hinz and others, the tablets, which date from 509 to 494 B.C., have provided rich historical data. Sadly though Sanskrit was considered in the study, the vast Pali literature was left out which has badly hampered the interpretation. The tablets deal with transactions relating to distribution of grain and other foodstuffs, management of flocks, and provisioning of workers and travellers in Persis and eastern Elam, and probably at some northwestern southeastern locations. These were drawn up at various sites and were sent to the Persepolis central office. Some were from far-away Susa. A careful study not only indicates the presence of Buddhism in Iran but also sheds light on Zoroaster who is classed as an elusive figure by the Wikipedia which is an epitome of confusion.

    

 

The thug Führer duped everyone into believing that Pali, which is similar to Avestan, belongs to Nepal, not Indo-Iran. Unaware that Zoroastrianism cannot be studied without its sister religion, Buddhism, Boyce missed great Buddhist names such as Tiŝŝa (PF781 and PF 1124). Tamma corresponds to Dhamma and Tiŝŝantamma of PF48 may or may not be the same as Tiŝŝa, but this Mardam of Mariyapikna who recieved 30 marriŝ of wine was probably an important Buddhist priest.

     It is stunning to realize that Batiŝŝa or Upatiŝŝa (PF 1129, PF1570 and PF1942) was none other than the great Šariputta, author of the famous commentary Niddesa and one of the closest associates of Gotama Buddha. It is just possible that he is the same as Umaya.   

       The title ŝaramana of some officials in the tablets points to a link with Buddhist history as the Buddhist were later called Shramanas. The ubiquitous Ŝudda-Yauda-ŝaramana (or Ŝudda-Yauda-Damana) now turns out to be Ŝuddhodana, father of Gotama Buddha. Ŝedda-ŝaramana of tablets is Ŝedda-Arta or Siddhartha Gotama himself who was the same as Gaumata. Incidentally Gotama's father and all his uncles had Dana-names and Al-beruni gave his name as Buddho-dana. This reveals his kinship with Daniel the Jew. Other names in the tablets such as Yaŝudda, Karaŝna etc. rubbishes the Nepalese 

 

   

PFS 79 may have been the Seal of Gotama (Courtesy Oriental Institute).

 

origin theory of Führer. In fact the Elamite scribes who wrote the tablets can be seen as half-Indians; Rama (Rim-Sin) was called an Elamite in the Sumerian texts.

           The tablets provide priceless data about the socio-religious aspects of Iraq, Iran and also India, yet much remains unknown. M. Boyce (History of Zoroastrianism, p.132) laments,


Excavations in the 1930's of the Persepolis treasury, and one area of the fortifications, brought to light a remarkable quantity of inscribed material, in Elamite and Aramaic. These discoveries raised great hopes of clear light being shed on the religion of the early Achaemenians, but such hopes were to be disappointed.
 

       For most writers Zoroastrianism was a purely Persian and Central Asian phenomenon while Buddhism pertained to the Indians. The confusion in the history of Zoroaster can be seen from that while Boyce places him around 1700-1500 B.C., E. Herzfeld, T. C. Young Jr. and J. Duchesne-Guillemin put his date in the 6th century B.C. Incidentally this coincides with the rise of Buddhism and as both the religions were similar heresies against old Vedic type religions, there is the possibility of a link. At Merv and other sites Zoroastrian and Buddhist artifacts are found side by side. M. Boyce writes,


Another name attested on the Elamite tablets, and elsewhere in Aramaic script, is Dāmidāta. There is no dispute that this means 'Created (or given) by the Creator', but it is uncertain to which divinity it refers. It seems probable that in ancient times it meant Varuna, and so this may well be yet another traditional name in honour of 'the Baga' - the god who in Iran was never named. In later times, however, the adjective was understood to refer to Ahuramazda.
 

As 'dat' means 'law', Dāmidāta may not have meant 'Created by the Creator'. The absence of Zoroaster's name in the tablets does not construe that Zoroaster the person is absent, as he probably had other names. According to Herzfeld, his adversary Graehma was Gaumata who can be seen to be the same as Gotama. In the Indian texts Gotama's adversary is Devadatta which finally leads one to Damidadda of the

 

Damidadda who used PFS1243 may have been Zoroaster (Courtesy Oriental Institute).

 

tablets. Damidadda who was the same as Bagadada, was Zoroaster The Pali texts indicate that Devadatta founded a parallel religious sect.

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Saraswati, Ganga, and Ushas in the Seals

 

    The Harappan civilization was based not on one but two large rivers - Indus and Saraswati. The fact that more than 1000 Harappan sites have been unearthed in the Saraswati basin in Haryana and Sindh shows that this should be called the Indus-Saraswati civilization. Remote sensing data show that in the 4th-3rd millennium B.C. the Saraswati was a mighty river which fell into the sea, but between about 2000 - 1700 B.C. geomorphologic changes caused its two main sources to change course. The Sutlej moved westward and became a tributary of the Indus whereas the Yamuna moved eastward and joined the Ganga. Due to the huge loss of water, Saraswati became defunct.

      

A tenth century image of Saraswati from Khajuraho (Photo courtesy ASI)

 

Did the Helmand, which was called Harahuvaiti or Saraswati, also at an earlier stage fall into the sea?

      Saraswati is an elegant Hindu goddess who stands for wisdom, learning and speech (Vac). In her usual representations she holds a lotus (a symbol of true knowledge) in one hand and sacred scriptures in another. With her other two hands she holds the musical instrument veena. But although there is sound archaeological basis for the name Sarasvati, it is apparently not cited in early epigraphic records.

       Fortunately the name Saraswati can be read in the seals though this may refer to a river or a river-group. Due to the inability to read the seals, the cults of the Mother-goddess and the Bull remain vague. The Harappans buried the dead with funerary items instead of cremating, yet there is an unmistakable continuity with Hinduism and Buddhism. No temple has been found, yet the many terracotta figurines of the Bull and the Goddess imply a link with later religion. The apparent absence of temples in any site reminds one of Herodotus’ report about Persian temples and agrees with Vedic religion.

     Although R. Thapar and S. Ratnagar affirm that there is no trace of Hinduism in Indus-Saraswati religion, this is baseless. Harappan religion can be termed proto-Hinduism. The great respect for Saraswati in the RigVeda links it with ancient Hinduism. The Encyclopedia Britannica stresses the link of Harappan religion with Hinduism:


... has produced much evidence of the cult of the goddess and the bull. Figurines of both occur, with the goddess being more common than the bull. The bull, however, appears more frequently on the many steatite seals. A horned deity, possibly with three faces, occurs on a few seals, and on one seal he is surrounded by animals. A few male figurines in hieratic (sacerdotal) poses and one apparently in a dancing posture may represent deities. No building has been discovered at any Harappan site that can be positively identified as a temple, but the Great Bath at Mohenjo-daro was almost certainly used for ritual purposes, as were the ghats (bathing steps on riverbanks) attached to later Hindu temples.

 

 The bull-cult in the seals agrees with Vedic religion. The horned deity who is the lord of animals is Shiva Pasupati. The seals show that his names were Minuksha and Mahakala. Many figurines of goddesses speak of a cult of a goddess who may be Ushas whose symbol is indicated in a seal. The Great Bath at Mohenjo-daro indicates a water-cult the presiding deity of which may have been Ushas who seems to be related to the river Goddess Saraswati. In the RigVeda Saraswati is lauded for the fertilizing and purifying powers of her waters and as the giver of fertility and wealth. Some seals depict rituals which are difficult to interpret but there is clear proof of adoration of the spirits of sacred trees, snakes and streams which are the principal elements of traditional Hinduism. The Indus symbol of the ornate leaf seems to be linked to the Soma cult. More importantly, the wheel sign which is an Asokan icon and an integral element of Indian ethos, appears in many Indus seals illustrating the continuity in Indian religion.

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Adam-Eve, Yama-Yami and the Jews and Amorites in India

 

      Jewish identity has shaped the social behaviour of the Jews over the ages but much of it is based on false history. As Arthur Koestler realized, Jewish exclusiveness is based on dubious premises. About ancient Judaism Rev. M. Black writes with rare insight in the Peake’s Commentary,


What we know as Judaism, as distinct from the ancient religion of Israel, is a post-exilic phenomenon.


Indeed, very little is known about the true background of the religion of ancient Israel. E. A. Speiser wrote that the Patriarchal stories contain traditions and social data that do not fit in with the later times and locale in which they were written down. Speiser also wrote that many Sumerian city-names echo older city-names in Elam. It is, therefore, more than likely that the religion of Abraham had much in common with that of his forefathers. A careful analysis reveals that Adam and Abraham were Indo-Iranians. This is evident from the close links between the RigVeda and the Old Testament.

         Most commentators on the RigVeda have been bewildered by the Yama-Yami episode which closely parallels the Adam-Eve anecdote in the Old Testament, yet no one realized that Adam corresponds to the Indian god Dharma and Turma of the 6th cent. B.C. Persepolis tablets. In many ancient languages the prefix 'A' was an honorific. Dharma was closely allied to Shiva and Yama, the name Yami of whose wife is a cognate of Eve.

     It has already been indicated that Buddhism and Zoroastrianism originated in Indus-Afghanistan-South-east Iran. The Adam-Dharma correspondence and the presence of the Amorites in India integrates Judaism with Buddhism and Zoroastrianism and vindicates Max Müller's idea of a Ur-religion.  

       

 Ivory diptych of Adam in the Garden of Eden resembles Shiva Pasupati

 

       The stunning discoveries of Sir Leonard Woolley at Ur in Sumer brought to light the history of a long-forgotten civilization. Ur was called Ur Kashdim or 'Ur of the Kashis'. These Kassis are probably from Kar Kassi (Kar=city) in the Sindh-Baluchistan area. Ur is also linked to the Chaldaeans or Kaldus who belong to Indian history. 

     The Encyclopedia of Islam names Usha as the mother of Abraham which makes sense in Chaldea of the Kashis. Moreover, literary data also reveals the Indo-Iranian links of Abraham. Cutha, near Babylon, was known as Tell Ibrahim and may have been linked to Abraham. But there were other Cuthas (Sumerian Gudua); Josephus ("Ant." ix. 14, § 1, 3) places Cutha in Persia. Thus like Zoroastrianism, Buddhism and Judaism also rose in Seistan-Baluchistan which was known as Dharmasthana (Darmashan) or the 'abode of religions' to Islamic geographers.
       Sadly, the literature on the Jewish Diaspora is appallingly cliché-ridden. Koestler proposed a new definition of Jewishness which has few takers. Scholars such as R. J. Zwi Werblowsky, E. S. Gruen and S. Shaked overlook that Abraham's original home was in Indo-Iran. This is why
El, Yahweh, Resheph and Nimrod resemble Ila, Yahvah, Rishava and Rudra of the RigVeda. Many Judaic traits were, in fact, inherited from ancestors such as Terah
who seems to be Yudhisthira (Yadus-Tera) of the Epic Mahabharata. Monotheism is a hallmark of Judaism but N. Sutton writes on monotheism of the Epic. About Jewish origins Ezekiel says;

 

Thy birth and nativity is of the land of Canaan: thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite.

 

It is important to note that the Canaanites came from the East and that the Harappan seals indicate the presence of Amorites in India.

      The name Šudda-yauda-Šaramana of Gotama's father links him with the Jews. Shinar of the Old Testament was Sineru of the Pali texts and Usinara of the RigVeda which was in the north-west. Rabbinic Judaism and Zoroastrianism abhor monasticism or asceticism but the Jewish Kabbala reveals link with Hinduism and Buddhism. The religion of the Jewish Essenes (2nd cent. B. C.-1st cent. AD) favoured asceticism and differed from Temple Judaism. According to both Plato and Aristotle, all gods are good and should be adored. About the exclusiveness of Judaism Bertrand Russell writes,

 

... Yahweh would withdraw his favour if other gods were also honoured. Jeremiah and Ezekiel, especially, seem to have invented the idea that all religions except one are false, and that the Lord punishes idolatry.

 

Russell clearly recognizes that before Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Judaism was less absolutist. On the other hand, the essential unity of world-religions can be seen from that the Persepolis tablets give Ŝudda-Yauda-ŝaramana as the name of Gotama Buddha's father Suddhodana. The appellation 'Yauda' shows that Buddhism evolved from the Yadus or pre-exilic Yahdus. This is also confirmed by Gotama's name Buddho-Dana which shows a link with Jews such as Daniel. Xerexes' attack on the Daivas echoes the report in the Pali texts of a raid on Kapilavastu.

      The Greek word  ουδαος is said to be a loan from the Aramaic Y'hūdāi but surprisingly it occurred to none that the Yadus of 'India' can be the early Yahdus. This

 

A scene from the Book of Esther depicted at Dura Europos

 

is in fact suggested by the Book of Esther. R. de Vaux linked the strifes in this book to Achaemenid history which brings in Gomata who was the same as Gotama. His name Ŝaman corresponds to Haman.

     The Bene Israel of India trace their roots to Galilee and maintain that they are descended from survivors of a shipwreck but this is not certain. The Encyclopedia Britannica states;

 

Their presence in India is and may remain a mystery, and Bene Israel tradition itself varies. Some claim descent from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, who disappeared from history after the northern Kingdom of Israel was overrun by the Assyrians in 721 BC. Others believe that their ancestors fled by sea the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, a theory that explains the absence of a Hanukkah tradition in Bene Israel practice. Whatever the case, the survivors—by tradition seven men and seven women—settled in Konkan villages, adopted Hindu names (with surnames usually ending in -kar), and took up the profession of oil production. They were known in Marathi as shaniwar teli (“Saturday oil pressers”), because they abstained from work on the Jewish Sabbath. They also practiced circumcision, recited the Shema on ceremonial occasions, celebrated several major festivals, and observed Jewish dietary laws.

 

The truth is far simpler, the Bene Israel are indigenous Indians and are in fact the descendants of the Yadus of Indus-Saraswati culture. Although the dispersal of Jews into the 'four corners of the earth' starts from the Babylonian Exile, (or the destruction of the second Temple) in Judaic history, this is a travesty.

      Although a full-fledged meditative tradition is absent in Rabbinic Judaism, a different picture emerges from the Jewish mystical tradition and Kabbala, the central plank of which is the startling doctrine of the deity. It uses mandalas, such as the ten sefirot, to help explain reality. It has even been conjectured that the star of David originated as a Kabbalistic mandala. Rather like a Buddhist teacher, Maimonides counsels on seeking internal peace and personal enlightenment in the Mishneh Torah. Echoes of tenets of love of Krishna can be heard from the compassionate teachings of the Kabbalah. The Bene Israel adored Krishna and it is possible that in later periods they played a part in the formulation and transmission of the Kabbalistic tradition. The Yadus displayed traits of republicanism and Gnosticism which characterized later Jewish politics and philosophy.

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Bindusara Amitrodates or Mithradates

 

      Being the father of the great Diodotus-I, Bindusara is of significant historical importance. Although scholars such as A. K. Narain and R. Thapar relegate him to the gutter of history, there are saner alternatives. If one rejects the notion of a Mauryan capital at Patna and turns instead to Punjab, Baluchistan and beyond, the real Bindusara can be identified in a Non-Jonesian setting. According to Strabo (II.1.9), Sandrocottus' son was 'Amitrochates' which is echoed by 'Amitrachates' of Athenaeus (XIV. 67). This is usually rendered as 'destroyer of enemies' but B. M. Barua saw it as an error for 'Amritachades' or 'Eater of Ambrosia'. However, a much better alternative is Mithradates (Amitradates), a name adopted by a line of Parthian kings. Mithridates II named by Diodorus was Chandragupta whose links with Patna were denied by Barua. Apart from Goura in the Laghman area of Afghanistan there was another Gaur near modern Firuzabad in Fars which was a famous city. Historians usually

 

   

The symbol of Mithra in Bagadates' coin proves that he was Mithradates

 

date the history of Gaur from the 3rd century AD but it may be an older city. Nearby Istakhr can be Ptolemy’s Astagaura.

         Chandragupta was a very powerful ruler and his dominion was larger than that of Seleucus with whom he clashed, but was he an absolute monarch? His identity with Andragoras seems to suggest that, at least in the early years, he acknowledged nominal Seleucid suzerainty. This was also true of his son Bindusara.

 

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A Portrait of Jesus and St. Thomas From Seistan

 

       It has escaped the notice of all that a famous mural of Kuh-i Khwaja in Seistan, a place described by Herzfeld as doubly-holy, depicts Jesus Christ and St. Thomas.

             

1st century Mural of Kuh-e Khwaja depicting Jesus, Thomas and Gondophares.

 

      As the usual accounts have not yielded any archaeological data it is expedient to consult other contemporary documents and focus on the missing 18 years of his life. As he was a religious teacher he certainly would have been interested in the holiest religious centre of those days. This was Seistan the land of Abraham, Gotama and Zoroaster. It is in Alexandria Prophthasia in Seistan, the abode of Prophets that evidence for Jesus should be sought. Moreover legends link St. Thomas (often called his twin) with Gondopher of Seistan. The great importance of Seistan can be seen from that,

 

  1) It is the locale of all ancient Persian lore.

  2) Seistan-Zabulistan was Darmashan, abode of religions,of the Islamic writers

  3) Alexandria Prophthasia or the Alexandria of Prophets was in Seistan.

  4) Sir Aurel Stein discovered a Buddhist shrine at Kuh-i Khwaja

  5) Sir William Tarn located Prophthasia at Kuh-i Khwaja in Sestan.

  6) I. M. Diakonoff and G. Gnoli associate Seistan with the Prophet Zoroaster.

  7) Kuh-i Khwaja was Kapilavastu, the birth-place of Gotama Buddha.

  8) Kuh-i Khwaja was also the abode of Abraham. (See Mithras Reader III)

  9) The name Seistan may have been Shivasthan, abode of the god Shiva.

10) Ancient Shahr-i Shokta near Kuh-i Khwaja was larger than contemporary Ur.

11) The name of the nearby ancient site of Dahan-e Ghulaman echoes Gotama.

12) E. Herzfeld wrote that the Three Magi went from the Palace in Kuh-i Khwaja.

 

        St. Matthew reported that "Three Magi" or "Wise Men" followed a star which they thought was a sign that the King of the Jews had been born and brought gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh) for the infant Jesus. Ernest Herzfeld, the great expert on early Iran, wrote that the Magi went from the Palace at Kuh-i Khwaja in Seistan. It cannot be ruled out that Jesus also came to Seistan

 

Kuh-e Khwaja in Seistan is linked to Jesus, St. Thomas and the Magi 

 

      Splendid murals have been found at Kuh-i Khwaja in Seistan the artistic pedigree of which has puzzled the greatest of experts. Although the Acts of Thomas does not mention it, Jesus may also have come to Seistan which was 'India'. The stories linking him and Gondophares 'King of Indians' who ruled Seistan, Punjab and adjacent areas contain grains of truth. The kingdom of Majdai is clearly Maga-dha which in those days designated the Indus area as well as Bihar. King Misdeus is clearly Mitradeva, most likely a later Maurya king. It is not unlikely that Jesus, who was a carpenter (Mark 6:3) and was very close St. Thomas, also accompanied him to Seistan. In fact this seems to be indicated by a mural of Kuh-i Khwaja which depict Jesus, St. Thomas and Gondophares (Indra, winged headdress). This may be the earliest depiction of Jesus and St. Thomas.

      The links of Christianity with Buddhism are inseparable as both the religions grew from the crucible of Mithraism. On the basis of some late and unreliable data it has been suggested that Jesus may have escaped crucifixion and came to modern Kashmir but this is very unlikely. Jesus may instead have come to the great religious centre of Babil in Seistan which was the abode of not only Abraham and Zoroaster but also St. Thomas and Gotama Buddha.

       Unaware of the holy background of Kuh-i Khwaja, E. Yarshater writes in a casual manner in the Cambridge History of Iran,

 

The gods represented on the walls of Kuh-i Khwaja are in Greek costume, except for one wearing winged headgear, suggesting an incarnation of Verethraghna. It will be remembered that in Commagene this god was represented in his Greek form, as Heracles.

 

       R. Ghirshman notes with insight that the Kuh-i Khwaja murals are the precursors of Gandhara. Verethraghna is similar to Indra and the incarnation of Indra should be the reigning king - Gondophares, but who are the other two? One can be Thomas but the third figure?

      Sir Charles Eliot and Sir Aurel Stein had a deep understanding of the close interplay between the Indian and the Persian worlds. Stein almost single-handedly established the material basis of Buddhism and was keenly aware of the close kinship between Gaeco-Iranian and Graeco-Buddhist artistic traditions. In 1916 he discovered a Buddhist shrine at Kuh-i Khwaja which was overlooked by later scholars due to the Nepalese frauds. Herzfeld did not know that Diodotus-I was Asoka yet he wrote about a Graeco-Bactrian school of mixed art, or rather of an Iranian art coloured with Hellenistic ornaments and motives; parallel to 'Parthian' art but based primarily on painting. Sir William Tarn pointed out that in the Parthian period, there was a common artistic tradition that prevailed from the Euphrates to the Indus.

       Mary Boyce wrote much but her journalistic ruminations turned Zoroastrianism into a wasteland of Graeco-Persian fantasy and obsc-ured that it was a sister religion of Buddhism which later bifurcated. This is mirrored by the quarrel between Gotama and Devadatta in the Buddhist texts. The 6th century monk Cosmas Indicopleustes wrote that Churches in Kerala and Ceylon were headed by 'Persian' priests which shows the primacy of Seistan-Sindh area in early Christian history. Mary Boyce collates much data and even brings in Jesus Christ yet due to her ignorance of the Indian tradition and the Anglo-German forgery of Lumbini, scales do not fall from her eyes.

 

The fame of the Kuh-i Khwaja itself caused it, it seems to figure, as the Mons Victorialis, in the birth legends of Christ; and still in early Islamic times, a Zoroastrian text records, the Zoroastrians who lived round about sent their virgin daughters each year, at the holy days of No Ruz and Mithragan, to bat-he in the lake there, in the hope that the time had come for the Saosyant to be conceived. Evidence from the Sasanian period for a contribution from Seis-tan to the establishment then of the Avestan canon, and to the study of the holy texts, testifies to the strength of the Zoroastrian tradition in this region.

 

The star in question in the Mons Victorialis legend, is said to have been cited by Balaam who has been identified with Gotama Buddha. Boyce had no idea that Balaam was from Kuh-i Khwaja. As always, Stein was right, not Boyce.

 

 

 

Parnaka was Purnavarman alias Amitro-dana, Uncle of Gotama and Darius-I

 

      Śankarâchârya, the famous Indian philosopher, is known worldwide for his erudition, yet his remark,

 

 'There have been no world emperors (sārvabhauma) after Purnavarman'

 

seems unfathomable. That almost nothing is known about the Maurya king Purnavarman, cited by Hsuan Tsang, is a legacy of Jonesian Indology. The epithet 'world emperor' appears absurd in the context of eastern India where the Mauryas are dumped by by Jonesian writers such as R. Thapar and A. K. Narain.

 

Mithradates-I (171-138 B.C.), a late Parthian King of Chandragupta's line

 

Curiously the Âchârya excluded great names such as Asoka and Chandragupta although he must have known about them. Did he consult a lost history written by the  historian Kshemendra of Kashmir(similar to the Rajatarangini) which is mentioned by Taranatha?

      For more information about Purnavarman one has to turn away from eastern India to Indo-Iran which has a very ancient history. In the inscriptions found at the fortification area of Persepolis, the most important treasury official during Darius' regnal years 16 to 25 appears to be Parnaka, who was called Pharnaces by the Greek writers. His Persianness is stressed by all the writers yet equally convincing arguments show him to be an 'Indian'. India was also called Bharata and Baratkama who succeeded Parnaka, (Darius 32 to Xerxes 6) may have been another 'Indian'.

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Mitraism, Buddhism, Christianity, Vishnuism and Kabbala

 

      That Christianity rose from the crucible of Mithraism is well known and its inseparable links with Buddhism can be seen from that Buddhism was also an offshoot of Mitraism. This is evident from the peerless Buddhist art of Sanchi. The links of Buddhism, Christianity and Mithraism with Vishnuism and Eastern Judaism become clear when studied from the wider perspective of greater India. The numerous Mithraic communes or Sanghas in Europe, Asia Minor and Iraq speak of a widespread but puzzling religious heritage.

 

 

Like Gotama Buddha, Mithra was also depicted on a lotus. The name Mitrabaudda in the Persepolis tablets prove that Mithraism was not a purely Zoroastrian phenomenon. On the other hand, the name of the monk Sanghamitra implies that early Buddhist cave monasteries may have been related to the Mithraic Sanghas. This is hinted by the presence of the Mithraic Cross at Sanchi which was a great

 

Mithraic Cross depicted at Sanchi

 

religious centre of the ancient world. The theism of Krishna and the Bhagavatas links the religion of the Yadus with Vishnuism. This is echoed in the Judaism of Kabbala, not Rabbinic Judaism. Sanchi is not associated with the life of Gotama Buddha and curiously Hsuen Tsang is also silent on it but it is at least as old as Asoka (Diodotus-I) and

        

Fergusson was surprised by the Composite Cross at Sanchi

 

the 'Mauryan' polish of the pillar fragment near Stupa-I shows Diodotus' fascination with Buddhism and India. It carries his famous edict warning against schism in the Buddhist community. This edict is also inscribed on the Allahabad and the Sarnath pillars. Were the conflicts in some way related to the rise of Mahayana? Incidentally the term first surfaces in the famous Lotus Sutra which is dated to the 1st century B.C. In the council of Pataliputra presided by Asoka a major split occurred between the Mahasanghikas who took a liberal interpretation of the teachings and discipline and those who adhered to the older conservative view. Whether this Pataliputra was Patali in Iran or Pattala is uncertain but the term Mahasanghika reminds one of the Sangumahhus of Babylon who were religious functionaries. It has to be recalled that Gudea of Sumer was an early Buddha and Gotama himself (Bagapa) was once at Babylon.

  

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Visvamitra and the Mithraic Bull-Serpent Motif in the Seals

 

    The symbol of Mitra in the seals firmly links the Indus-Saraswati era with early Vedic culture. This is also confirmed by the Buddhist attire and trefoils (which have an astral significance) of the Mohenjo-Daro priest-king which links him with Mitra. Who was this Mitra-king?

       The obvious answer is the sage Visvamitra, author of the famous Gayatri mantra, who is one of the great mysteries of Indian tradition. He was a Kshatriya but later became a Brahmin. Precisely why he fell out with his king is unknown. He is expressly declared as a ruler of the Earth but the significance of this was lost in the Jonesian chaos. Viśvāmitra is associated with Kanauj which must be Kohnouj near Jiroft. After his disgrace following the Ten-Kings war he went to the forest. Where was this territory? In the Epic Ramayana, Rama also went to the forest or Vana and he (Ram-Sin of Larsa) was in

 

The Buddhist attire and trefoils link the priest-king with Mitra

 

Sumer, Elam, and Indus-Saraswati. Therefore Visvamitra may also have gone to Sumer. Moreover he was the son of Gadhi, whose father was the legendary Kusha-nabha whose name echoes Cush and the god Nabo.

    Interestingly, in Sumerian history also there is a Mitra-like king who was an easterner. The Buddha-like dress of Gudea or Budea and his title Patesi (Priyadarshi) hints at a link with India. His clasped hands

 

Gudea was Viśvāmitra, son of Gādhi

 

are also symbolic of friendship which indicates a link with Mitra. But Gudea belongs to the late 3rd millennium B.C. which was the mature phase of the Indus-Saraswati civilization and a Mitra-king of this antiquity can only be Viśvāmitra who is placed in the middle of the second millennium B.C. by most scholars. As 'Gud' and 'Vrs' both stood for the bull Gudea can be seen to be a namesake of Visvamitra. He was was a son of Gādhi which agrees with Gudea's name.

       Visvamitra also appears to be mentioned in the seals. The sign-triad   must denote a very famous name as it has the highest frequency (37) of triplets in the seal corpus. The ending shows that it is a Mitra-name and it is very likely that it stands for Visvamitra.

 

The signs   link Mitra with Bull and Serpent

To proceed further it is expedient to turn to the leaf sign which does not have counterparts in any other ancient script.

                                                         more....

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

           If Alexander the Great had changed the course of the history of the world, Julius Caesar ushered in a radical transformation in the Greco-Roman world. But was he in any way linked with another Messianic figure of history - Jesus Christ? The answer is a resounding 'yes'. Francesco Carotta's idea that the Jesus myth evolved from that of Julius Caesar is perhaps far-fetched but Caesar can be easily seen to have been a forerunner of Christ. 

             This brings one to Cleopatra who had communed with two of the most powerful men of history and who has been described in derogatory terms by Shakespeare and others. But she was a polyglot and a descendant of the Ptolemies, and her history, as also that of Mark Antony, has to be viewed through the veneer of the Hellenistic reformation. After taking care of Roman vituperation and some populist stereotypes, Cleopatra and Mark Antony appear in a very different light - important players in the class struggle underlying the Roman revolution of the 1st century B.C. This class struggle finally sucked up Jesus Christ, a Hellenized Jew. 

            

 

 Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. Courtesy Granger Collection, NY

       

Horace's damning words for Cleopatra echo the male-chauvinist ideals of Roman society and has Augustan footprints. Women were worse than baggage in Rome of the 1st century B.C. Propertius dubb-ed her as 'the whore queen,' and for Cassius Dio she was "a woman of insatiable sexuality and insatiable avarice". He wrote that she had a secret knowledge of charming everyone. Boccaccio damned her as "the whore of the eastern kings". Even Dante derided her as a carnal sinner, and Dryden's label for her was 'a poster child for unlawful love'. Plutarch wrote

 

She sailed up the River Cydnus in a barge with a poop of gold and with purple sails, her rowers stroking the water with oars of silver that kept time to the music of flutes and pipes and lutes. As for Cleopatra herself, she reclined under a canopy of cloth of gold, dressed as that Aphrodite we see in paintings while on either side stood pretty little Cupids who cooled her with their fans. In her crew were the most beautiful of her women clothed as Nereids and Graces, some at the helm, some tending the tackle and the ropes of the barge, out of which came a wondrous sweet smell of perfumes that wafted over the river banks. A multitude of people raced to the riverside to view her progress and the city emptied to see hr. As the crowds fled away, Antony sat enthroned in the marketplace to await the queen. At last, he was left sitting alone, while the word spread on all sides that Aphrodite had come to play with Dionysus for the happiness of Asia.

       Shakespeare saw Cleopatra through Roman eyes and his play Antony and Cleopatra has attracted such media fancy that many half-truths and myths about the duo have infiltrated into their history. Truth, however, hides behind the Roman cacophony. Amy Crawford remarks with insight;

 

During her lifetime and in the century after her death, Roman propaganda, most of it originating with her enemy Octavian, painted Cleopatra as a dangerous harlot who employed sex, witchcraft and cunning as she grasped for power beyond what was proper for a woman.

 
But Shakespeare, as Dryden wrote, was 'the very Janus of poets; he wears almost everywhere two faces', and it is not certain whether the play describes the fall of a noble warrior, betrayed in his advanced years by a lusty and deceitful strumpet, or whether it should be read as a celebration of ageless love. However, there is much more to Antony and Cleopatra than was known in the Elizabethan era. The ancient sources seem to indicate that Cleopatra and Antony did love each other and that Cleopatra bore him three children.

 

Cleopatra - A Virtuous Scholar
 

According to Judith Weingarten the Arab writers saw Cleopatra as an Alchemist, accomplished mathematician, medical doctor, able monarch and a scholar who loved the company of philosophers and men of science. This is very different from the hedonist, sexy seductress, or an over-ambitious queen she is painted as by the Roman writers. Al Mas'udi (died 956 AD) wrote;

 

She was a sage, a philosopher who elevated the ranks of scholars and enjoyed their company. She also wrote books on medicine, charms and cosmetics in addition to many other books ascribed to her which are known to those who practice medicine.

      

Archaeology Disproves Shakespeare

 

      Apart from being wily, Shakespeare's Cleopatra was a stunningly pretty woman but this is not corroborated by the ancient writers or archaeology. A recent discovery of a silver denarius found in Newcas-tle upon Tyne proves Shakespeare wrong. It was coined in Antony's own mint to mark his victories in Armenia in 32BC, achieved with the help of Cleopatra's one undoubted  attraction, her money. The coin

 

A silver Dinarius of Cleopatra and Antony.     Courtesy National Geographic Society

 

profile emphasises strong characteristics including a determined, pointed chin, thin lips which are often associated with a sharp nature, and in particular a long, pointed nose. From the coin Cleopatra seems to have had a shrewish profile while Antony suffers from bulging eyes, a crooked nose and a bull neck. The faces of the couple have the stamp of authenticity. Plutarch wrote with better judgment;

 

"For her beauty, as we are told, was in itself not altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her; but converse with her had an irresistible charm, and her presence, combined with the persuasiveness of her discourse and the character which was somehow diffused about her behaviour towards others, had something stimulating about it. There was sweetness also in the tones of her voice."

 

He wrote that Cleopatra knew the language of Ethiopians, Troglody-tes, Jews, Arabs, Syrians etc but curiously, not Latin.

 

Julius Caesar - Antony-Cleopatra-Jesus Christ

 

      After Shakespeare it has been fashionable to term Julius Caesar as a ruler blinded by power. Unaware of true history E. Badian of Harvard and and his followers have used similar epithets to describe Alexander the Great. On the other hand, Ronald Syme has shown that the negative image of Julius Caesar was mainly due to to the directed propaganda of the wretched Augustus who owed everything to Julius Caesar. This is true also in the case of Antony and Cleopatra whose religion was closer to the Hellenistic creed and Buddhism. Irene Hahn follows Syme's idea but is not even remotely aware of the link between Julius Caesar and Christ. Arnold Toynbee, who had a fair idea of both the East and the West, writes;


Caesar was not and is not lovable. His generosity to defeated opponents, magnanimous though it was, did not win their affection. He won his soldiers' devotion by the victories that his intellectual ability, applied to warfare, brought them. Yet, though not lovable, Caesar was and is attractive, indeed fascinating. His political achievement required ability, in effect amounting to genius, in several different fields, including administration and generalship besides the minor arts of wire pulling and propaganda.

 

         Was Julius Caesar reminded of the 'wise' Queen of Sheba when he stumbled upon Cleopatra? Both he and Mark Antony may have been impressed by her wisdom and humanism, not beauty alone. There was obviously a case for seduction which is associated with power but later Caesar may have been won over by her wisdom. Like Jesus and Mithradates she was also a healer. Shakespeare's outlook was shallow and he denigrated Julius Caesar in his famous play and eulogized Brutus and Cassius which is one-sided. As the letters between Cicero and Brutus reveal, the latter was as fallible a human being as Julius Caesar but the latter played a part in world history that transcends petty power-play or erotic delight. Almost taking us back to the Elizabethan era Lane Fox calls Julius Caesar 'the fatal dictator' and focuses on Antony's sexual prowess. The story that Julius Caesar destroyed the Alexandria manuscript library, the most important institution of its kind in those days, is a slander.

    

Caesarion, Augustus and Amyntas, three 'Sons of God'  

 

     As Julius Caesar was deified, his son Caesarion by Cleopatra was naturally a 'son of god', which was a title cherished by Augustus who was only an adopted 'son'. Thus he and his mother Cleopatra posed serious threats to the wealth and power of Augustus. When Antony abandoned Octavia (Octavian's sister), and went to Egypt to join Cleopatra, he became a de facto stepfather of Caesarion, possibly the only son of Julius Caesar. He became the Pharaoh for a short period but in August, 30 BC, was killed by Augustus at the age of seventeen.

       Another legitimate 'son of god' was Amyntas of Galatia, the son of Adobogiona, the chief priestess of the holy Pessinus temple. Amynt-as, who was the greatest Anatolian local hero of the 1st century B.C., was a partisan of Antony. He had no option but to switch over to Octavian after Antony's fall.

 

A 'Son of god' Who Brought About the Fall of King Amen  

 

         History is written by victors. Antony was a valiant warrior but Augustus was a master of chicanery and deception. As Ronald Syme writes, he was a cruel and cunning dictator who was one of the shrewdest liars of all times. The Wikipedia paints him as a benevolent ruler but this is a sham. Tacitus harshly criticized Augustus and wrote that the Roman dictators so greatly misused their absolute power that no historian or poet dared to write anything without their approval. Shakespeare's idea that the 'misogyny' of Octavian (Octavius) was founded on moral principles is pure fantasy. As Strabo hints, the 'will of Amyntas' was a forgery. Augustus called himself a 'son of god' and surprisingly, also appears to be the chief enemy of Jesus Christ and Christianity. That there is so much uncertainty surrounding Jesus Christ is, in a large measure, due to Augustus. Asinius Pollio gave shelter to Timagenes risking his own life. Being an Alexandrian he probably had provided valuable data about Cleopatra and Amyntas.

 

Cicero, Catalina and Edward Gibbon

 

    Gibbon wrote much but did not understand early Christianity. The violence of the early Christians against Rome was in fact a reaction against the brutality of the 'son of god' Augustus against Christianity. He lionized Cicero, who was strongly hated by the early Christians and had no time for the hapless Catalina who was against slavery. Christi-ans were presecuted in Rome and the list of persecuted people reveals some unsuspected Christians. It is not known how Mesalla Corvinus or Asinius Pollio met their ends. Horace warned Asinius Pollio of the dangers to his life due to the Timagenes affair. Ovid was more popular and had to be banished. His letters from Pontus reveals the barbarity of 1st century Rome. This was the monster of the state devouring its hapless citizens. This monster also devoured Amyntas.
  
 

The Fateful Battle of Actium

 

      Cleopatra and Mark Antony were defeated in the Battle of Actium which in a sense signaled the end of the Roman Republic and the begi-nning of the Roman Empire. Egypt's surrender after Actium also marks the final demise of both the Hellenistic Age and the Ptolemies. But the Hellenistic ideals of Cleopatra and Antony were reincarnated as Christianity. Although for Lane Fox and most others Amyntas did not exist, it is likely that under Antony, his dominion would not have been snatched away under the false pretext of a forged will. Rome under Antony and Cleopatra would probably have been less brutal.

 

 

 

Hanuman, Bazrangids and the Indianization of S. E. Asia

 

       Hanuman, the close associate of Rama was a figure of great historical importance. That he was known as a monkey-chief should not distract us because there are many indications in the Ramayana itself that he was a normal human being. It is very likely that he was associated with a tribe with a

 

Phoenician galley (Courtesy Institute of Texan Cultures)

 

monkey totem. Bāndar, the word for monkey is very significant. Hanuman can be identified with Iliman, an associate of the Elamite king Ram-Sin who ruled Sumer and probably also Elam and India. Iliman’s name can also be read as Anuman as the cuneiform symbol for ‘An’ and ‘Ili’ was the same.

      Hanuman is also widely known by the name Bajarangbali which appears to be very significant. The Bazrangis were a well-known family of Fars. They were the traditional priests of the Anahita temple at Istakhr in Fars. According to Tabari, Ram-Behist the wife of Sasan, the earliest ancestor of the Sasanids was a Bazrangi. The Bazrangis were a maritime people who controlled the costal areas of southeast Iran which was once ‘India’. There is a hint of this in the name Maruti of Hanuman which is associated with mobility. The way in which he brought a mountain of medicinal herbs from a far-away place to cure Lakshmana who was critically wounded, can be readily explained by his maritime links.

        The word ‘Bāndar’ for ‘port’ may be a memory of the Bāndars (Monkey-people). The seventeenth century historian Taranatha refers to a Persian king named Bandero.

        The Bazrangis were the colonizers of Oman and East Africa and their influence reached as far as the Philippines. They appear to have played a major role in the Indianisation or Sanskritisation of South-East Asia.

 

                                            

Hammu-ravi and Rama at the Crossroads of History

 

     Numerous inscriptions, letters and archaeological relics confirm the Amorite Hammurabi as a colossus of the ancient world. However, as C. J. Gadd writes, he was one among several able contemporaries such as Ram-Sin of Larsa, Siwe-Palar-Khuppak and Shamshi Adad. His law-code existed before him. He is portrayed as a just king by Van De Mieroop but this is partly true. His treatment of his closest ally Zimri-Lim does not reveal a regard for propriety or Law. He was not deified like Ram-Sin and some of his love letters reveal a full-blooded personality.

 

8-pointed disk of the Sun (Ravi) reveals that Hammu-Ravi was Ravi-ana

 

       The description of Hammurabi as an Amorite is more apposite than by the blanket label 'Semite'. The Indo-Iranian features of Amorite language are known, and the Sun-disk in his Stele can be read in Sanskrit as Ravi and seems to be the crux of his name Hammu-ravi. This agrees with Ravana (Ravi-ana) of Valmiki.

    As Hammurabi addresses Siwe Palar Khuppak as a father, he may have revered not only Shamash but also a proto-Shiva like god. This brings him closer to Indo-Iran. Significantly the Bible names him as Amraphael which may correspond to hazy references to Mamre (Maha-Amra). Rim-Sin's capital was Senkereh (Larsa) which is also a name of Shiva. Borsippa may also be a Shiva-related name. Simparra of the Persepolis tablets echoes Sippar.

 

Hammuravi's nemesis Rim-Sin led an army from Hamadan (Akkasia) to Lanka

 

   Gadd pointed out many problems in Hammurabi's history. His palace has not been found at Babylon although it is generally supposed to be in the inundated levels.

      Historians have greatly misjudged Hammurabi's contemporary Ram-Sin (or Rim-Sin). Ram-Sin, who ruled for sixty years (longest in Sumer) was the great Rama. With rare insight Gadd terms his reign as the golden age of Sumer. As Rim-Sin appears to be Rama, Hammu-ravi may correspond to Ravana of the great Indian Epic Ramayana which is of great importance in world history.                                                           more...

 

 

 

 

A King-Name at Last in the Seals - Vrishaparva the Wise 

 

       The presence of the Amorites in Indus-Saraswati throws new light on early Indian history. They were neither 'Aryan' nor 'Semitic''Dravidian', Semitic, etc. are ambiguous and need to be used with caution. Though the evolution of Sanskrit is unclear the eminent linguist K. V. Zvelebil has suggested a a southward trek of proto-Dravidian speaker but a blend of both. In fact labels such as 'Aryan' and s from the Northwest of India. Curiously the origin of this has been traced by scholars to Central Asia from where proto-Sanskrit speakers are also said to have originated. The Brahui speakers in Seistan and Pakistan hint that there were Dravidians in the Indus-Saraswati Valley but little can be said about movements before this era.

       The absence of bilingual keys has made it difficult to study the seals, yet progress can be made by using controlled imagination. In line with the view of leading scholars such as  I. Mahadevan and G. R. Hunter, Brahmi is seen as an offshoot of the Harappan script. Scholarly misuse of the term 'Semite' is at the root of the prevailing chaos in the study of the seals. It is crucial note that part of West Asia was once within greater India. The Indus Saraswati culture was a blend of many ethnic elements which lived together harmoniously. There is also a distinct possibility of 'elite dominance' which entails that the language of the rulers need not have been the same as that of the laity. R. N. Frye notes the importance of multilingualism in early Iran.

        The name Minuksha of the Proto-Shiva has links with goddess Minakshi of South India who is revered as a consort of Shiva. More importantly, the ancestors of the Pallavas of South India seem to be of Harappan origin. Unlike writers such as R. Thapar who deny any link of the Indus-Saraswati culture with Hinduism, D. P. Mishra takes a saner view and writes about the Asuras,

 

Our view that the Asuras were the authors of the Harappan civilization has at present little support from the world of scholars, particularly archaeologists. .... John Marshall tentatively put forth the claims of the Dravidians and by now it has become a fashion not to disagree with his view. However, some have tried to modify it by associating the Mundas as junior partners of the Dravidians... 

    

The Asuras are generally seen as adversaries of the Devas but it is clear that they were not altogether different from the latter. Even the Mauryas are labelled as Asuras which shows that they may have been some kind of Amorites. Mishra boldly surmises (Studies in the Proto-History of India, p. 119) that the Asura king Vrishaparva may have been a Mohenjo-Daro king. This appears to be borne out by the seals.

 

        

Seal no. 1101 01 in Mahadevan's concordance reads Vrisha Pallava Kala Kala

 

The Sanskrit word for a young leaf is 'Pallava' which makes it very likely that the symbol of the leaf-man stands for the word Pallava which was the name of an important dynasty of South India. The word may also have been read as Palla which again is the name of another important royal line. 'Pālah' in Sanskrit means 'king' which corresponds to the Persian word Bala, which stood for city and King.

The sign has some similarities with the sign which also occurs in a large number (42) of seals and seems to have ritual significance. If this is identified with 'Soma' which was linked to sacrifice, may be given the value Vrisha or the sacrificial bull. The symbol may in fact depict a strapped sacrificial bull. The symbol depicts a city criss-crossed with roads and stood for a plot of land in Sumer. It may be given the value 'Kala' which corresponds to 'Kella' in Bengali and 'Kila' in Hindi and agrees with the Persian 'Bala'. The pair can then be read as Kala-Kala or Kaldu. Thus the seal may be read as Vrsa Pallava Kala Kala which may me provisionally rendered as 'Vrishaparva the ordainer of Time'.  B. M. Barua (A History of Pre-Buddhistic Indian Philosophy, p. 204) wrote that in ancient India, god was described as Kāla-Kāla, the knower of time at whose behest the Brahma-wheel turns. That this title was also assumed by priests and priest-kings is hinted by the name Ayatollah Khal-Khali. The word Chaldaean or Kaldu (Kala2) may also be linked to Kāla-Kāla. Vŗşaparvâ is variously described as both an Asura and a Danava.

       Two kings named Vrishaparva are famous in the Indian tradition. The older one, according to the Mahabharata, was a son of Prajapati Kasyapa and Danu. Stories involving his daughter Sharmistha and her friend Devayani have been immortalized in the Indian tradition. Both Sharmistha and Devayani (daughter of Shukracharya) were married to the great Yayāti who is said to be the first Samrât or universal ruler. His sons were the famous Puru and also king Yadu who may be the progenitor of the Jews. His other sons were Turvasu and Druhyu. This story hints at a reconciliation between the Devas and Danavas.

      In the Vana Parva, the Mahabharata describes a royal hermit Vrishaparva who may belong to the line of the older patriarch and who is eulogized in glowing terms. The holy hermitage of Vrishaparva was surrounded by blossoming trees that grew by whirling waters. He is said to be 'law-wise', 'celebrated over the worlds', 'wise and pious' and more significantly, 'knower of the past and future' which is in striking agreement with the seal epithet 'Kala Kala'. King Vrishaparva helped the Pandavas when they were banished to the 'forest'. This episode may in fact indicate that the Pandavas were related to the Yadus. Vrishaparva may have been an early Pallava king.

 

                                                            more....

 

 

The Vetullavadins of India Were Early Christians

      

        Christianity and Buddhism rose as a Judaic heresies, but as the ancestors of Abraham were from the east, the history of the early Yahdus cannot be limited only to the milieu of Jerusalem or Galilee but must also include the Yadus of India and Iran. Jesus was called the second Adam or Dharma and he may have had a Dhamma-type name in India. The name of St. Thomas may also be Dhamma. The Vetullavadis mentioned in the Mahavamsa (~260 AD) may have been related to early Christians. In Childers’ dictionary ‘Vetâlam’ is rendered as ‘… bringing dead bodies to life by spells’, from which the Vetullavadins can be seen to be the Christian resurrectionists. However, resurrection is not foreign to Mahayana. Toynbee wrote about the link of Mahayana with Christianity. The ancient Buddhist sites of Thotlakonda and Pavurlakonda may have been linked to early Christianity. Sanchi may also have been linked to Christians as the Cross is found in its art. The Vetullavadin Sanghamitta belonged to a Sangha of Mitraists which was different from the Buddhist Sangha and may have been close to the early Indian Christians. The Dhammaruchikas may also have been allied to Christianity.

 

   
 

Comments from leading scholars

 

"Your personal knowledge of the terrain makes your views especially valuable and I agree that Patna is too far east." (to be a Palibothra)


Prof. N. G. L. Hammond, editor of The Cambridge Ancient History and discoverer of Vergina.

 


* "I have read your essay "Isa Chrestos of Isauria" with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I am always charmed by the nimbleness with which you leap from one side of a comparison to the other (or others). And on the other hand I sometimes feel concerned that you may include too many pieces in the jigsaw puzzle. Amyntas is a figure I have never focused on before, and I am delighted by how far you wrest meaning from his eleven years. The coin material is fascinating. I think it would be an exagggeration to say you've proved your point--but it does seem that you have in any case presented a point, and that that point may remain in the field of discourse and beget new meanings as time passes and scholarship weaves its potentially infinite web."

 

* "I am both amazed and impressed by your paper 'An Altar of Alexander Now Standing near Delhi'. It is very convincing (though I would like to see counter arguments) and has changed my view of Alexander in India, of Ashoka, and the Euthydemid dynasty".


Prof. Thomas McEvilley, Rice University, author of

 "The Shape of Ancient Thought".                   

 

 

 

* "Dr. Pal departs largely from the trodden path (i.e. the Jonesian Indology) yet presents a cogent, well-documented thesis."


Prof. Sukumari Bhattacharji, noted Indologist and author of  "The Indian Theogony."

 

* " Basically, you rewrite the history of religion, would that be a fair description of your work and the aim of your work? And then, the summary of your next step, or you next inside, would be that you have found that all religions are much more connected, than we typically believe. And then, in a third round, you would describe your inside in more detail, is this a correct kind of introduction into your insights? Thank you a million for your kind care and your important work!"

 

Prof. Evelin Lindner Oslo University, author of "Gender, Humiliation, and Global Security: Dignifying Relationships from Love, Sex, and Parenthood to World Affairs".

 

 

*  "He has performed an incomparable service in rectifying the western bias that has always been preponderant in studies of Alexander. No one now should look at Alexander without also going to Pal and delving further into the Sanskrit sources and their allusions to Alexander.".


    Dr. Jan-Mathieu Carbon, Corpus Christi College,

          Oxford, in Scholia Reviews 14(2005)

 

 

  

  * I am absolutely fascinated by your theory regarding Alexander, Buddha and Asoka. Its a revolutionary discovery and I just wanted to say how I enjoyed reading about it on the web. I have ordered a copy of the book. I live in Karachi and am currently Minister of Education, Government of Sindh. Otherwise I am a historian of the British Colonial period specializing in Sindh studies.

    Dr. Hamida Khuhro, author of many books including

                   'Sind Through the Centuries'.

* The attempt to decipher the pictograms on seals discovered at Indus Valley sites is laudable. Unfortunately, I do not have the competence to comment on your work. But, I wish you all the best.

 

           Dr. Sayed Nurul Hasan, Dr. Phil., (Oxon.),

           a renowned expert on Medieval India and author of

           'Religion, State, and Society in Medieval India'.

 

 

* "Various renovations occurred at different times (at Kuh-e Khwaja) so the dating is complex with parts ranging from (pre-Sasanian) Buddhist to Sasanian to Islamic. It's very interesting to know that someone thinks the Buddha was born there."

    

     Dr. Trudy Kawami, Arthur M. Sackler Foundation,

              a commentator on the art of Kuh-e Khwaja.

 

* "It is good to know that scholars are making use of them. Too often one feels as if one is working in a vacuum. Good luck on your research".

 

Prof.  Mark Garrison, Trinity University, an eminent authority on the Persepolis Tablets.

 

 

* I found your papers on the poisoning of Alexander and his time in India fascinating.

 

     Dr. Adrienne Mayor, Stanford University, author of  "The Poison King, The Life and Legend of Mithradates".

 

* "Your piece in the Sunday Statesman on Ram is most interesting."

Prof. T. C. Young Jr. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, a noted expert on the history and archaeology of Iran

 

* "I read your article with great interest.  That is the rich nature of Alexander as a scholarly topic; there is always more to consider!"

 

        Dr. Janet Grossman, The J. Paul Getty Museum

 

 

* "I, personally, have been waiting impatiently to see what you have to say concerning Jesus Christ and Alexander."


Prof. John Scarborough, University of Wisconsin.

 

 

* "Your theses about Jonesian Indology certainly look stimulating and challenging".


Prof. Ian Mabbett, Monash University.

 

 

* "I sincerely thank you for the copies of your paper on Ancient Indian History which I received a few days back. Dr. Pal I regret to inform you that given my job of the Director of the Italian Embassy Cultural Centre I have quit Archaeology for good."

 

  Prof. Maurizio Tosi, discoverer of Shahr-i Shokhta.

 

 

* Remember, barking dogs often wake people up and alert them to things they otherwise would have missed. I think that some of your theses serve that very important function among scholars. I suspect that Monique Cordell's review of your book in Bryn Mawr Classical Review will attract more readers and create reasoned debate of your ideas among a range of scholars.

    Prof. T. Banchich, Canisius College, New York

 

 

* "Although I do not agree with your interpretations, I found them interesting reading. One of the few areas in which India is supposed to have made important contributions is religion, and now you are taking that glory away as well".

 

                Dr. Pratapaditya Pal, noted Art commentator.

 

 

* "Thank you for your letter and the enclosure which I have read. I regret to say that I cannot give you an opinion on its contents as I am neither a specialist in linguistics nor in the ancient history of west Asia. I am sorry therefore that I cannot be of help to you".

 

        Prof. Romila Thapar, Jawaharlal Nehru University,

        co-recipient of the $1mn Kluge Prize (2008).

 

* "There is no question of disagreeing with you in any matter"

Mr. I. Mahadevan, noted writer on the Indus script.   

 

 

* "I have decided not to submit the article you submitted to JNES, "Jesus Christ and His Associates From Coins and History" to our review process. It is not appropriate for our journal."

 

        Dr. Christopher Woods, Editor, Journal of Near Eastern Studies.  

 

 

 

 

 

A New Perspective In World History

 

Available from Amazon.com

 

 

Gotama Buddha in West Asia

 

Translated by T. Sato

 

 

Related Sites

 

*Bryn Mawr Classical Review * Scholia Reviews

* Nepalese Frauds  *Babylon  * Webster's Online Dict.
 *Humiliation & Dignity
 *Indo-Greeks *Chandragupta 
* History-Hunters *American Buddhist Journal 

  *Orontobates *Green's Alexander *History of Anatolia *Utrecht Univ. *John Bartram on Greco-India *Kalyan 97 *Historyfiles  *L'Encyclopedie de L'Agora  *Cais-Soas  *Newsfinder *atgtop10 *Trirat's blog

 

 

                   It ain't what you don't know

                   that gets you into trouble.

                   It's what you know for sure

                   that just ain't so.                

                                                         - Mark Twain

 

Dr. Ranajit Pal  

 

 

Copyright © 2012 by Dr. Ranajit Pal