Monthly Archives: July 2019

Dharmic Crusades of the Hindus

The term crusades which lasted for 196 years during the period 1095 A.D. to 1291 A.D. evokes memories of death, destruction and barbarity of unprecedented scale carried out in the name of religion. The aim of the crusades was to liberate the holy sites of the Christians from the Muslims. A different kind of crusades took place several millenniums earlier when Hindus led a peaceful expedition towards West Asia. Unlike the Christian crusades, the expedition of the Hindus was dharmic in nature which resulted in the establishment of political and legal institutions, expansion of trade and commerce and moral and spiritual elevation of the people in those areas. Being socially and culturally advanced Hindus migrating to other regions over a period of time became the dominant elite of the places they migrated. Naturally we find Hindu influences in those societies in law, customs, myths, religion, languages and other aspect of their lives till the advent of Semitic religions.

Hence Prof. A.H.L.Heerenin his Historical Researches writes that India is the source from which not only the rest of Asia but the whole western world derived their knowledge and their religion.1 In his work ‘Our Oriental Heritage’ the eminent historian and philosopher Will Durant had said- “India was the motherland of our race and Sanskrit the mother of European languages. India was the mother of our philosophy, mother through the Arabs of much of our mathematics; mother through Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity, mother through the village community of self-government and democracy. Mother India in many ways is the mother of us all.”2

Nature of Hindu Migration

Hindu culture did not spread in the wake of a world-conquering king who carried at the head of his legions fire and sword, savage barbarities and innumerable sufferings. India neither enforced her culture aggressively nor made herself manifest to the outside world in the person of a world shaker and conqueror like Alexander, Mahmud of Ghazni, Timur and Nadir Shah. Her Digvijaya or world conquest was the conquest of truth and law- the Dharma Vijaya. Those who disseminated Hindu culture abroad were impelled by inner spiritual urge and conscious will to carry the message of ideal spiritual life into distant lands. Their yearning for the general welfare and salvation of all persons inspired them to settle down in inaccessible lands and sacrifice themselves for the realization of the highest good and the conquest of piety. Herein lies the eternal glory of the Hindu culture. It built a unique empire- ‘an empire sharing not in a political life under a suzerain, but in a common cultural and spiritual life in a commonwealth of free peoples. The empire that India built overseas and overland was conquered by the piety and the spiritual energy.’ The guiding principle of this empire was Dharma or religious culture and righteousness. Indian colonial empire differed fundamentally from those of the western nations. Though Indians had established their colonies worldwide they did not think it right to settle down their growing population there nor they regarded these colonies as a profitable market for their expanding industries and increasing commerce. These colonies were never exploited anyway by the Indian emigrants and there is nothing to show that the Indian states derived any political advantage or economic gain from this extensive empire. It is even doubtful whether the colonial powers maintained any regular contact with the political powers in India.3

Causes of Migration

  • Emigration from India had been going on from time immemorial. Notwithstanding the marvellous fertility of the soil and the wonderful industries that flourished in the country, India had to plant colonies to provide for her super abundant population.

  • Religious schism was another cause for migration wherein the minority dissenters to escape the wrath of the majoritarian conformists left India.

  • Ancient India was the production centre of different kinds of merchandises and to market it Hindu traders moved to foreign lands. These merchandises were carried different part of the world through land routes and also in ocean going ships; and ancient Indians were experts in the art of ship building.

  • Wars played a role in migration wherein the defeated party used to be expelled from their land or migrated on their own accord.

  • The enterprising nature of Hindus led to regular migration both westward and eastward and through land and sea routes.

Evidence for Migration

For those who are sceptic of this claim of migration of ancient Hindus they should be aware of the fact that before the invention of motorized vehicles or railways, the mode of travel was either through walk or riding an animal or being carried on a palanquin. If through these means Alexander had reached India from Greece in 3rd century B.C; if the Gypsies had travelled from India to Europe in 10th century A.D. and if the European Christians had come all the way to Jerusalem during their crusades in 11th century A.D. what would had prevented the ancient Hindus from travelling to the Middle East several millenniums earlier? Another fact to be aware of is that during ancient times the border of India touched modern Iran in the west and hence to reach Iran meant just crossing the border and moving to Mesopotamia or modern Iraq meant just crossing Iran which was not a far-fetched feat.

Monuments form an important source for the reconstruction of history of a place or people. But unlike the monuments in South East Asian countries (in the form of sculptures and temples) which provides proof of Hindu migration to those countries, the iconoclastic attitude of the Christians and Muslims saw the destruction of all such monuments in West Asia. When it is rare or impossible to locate ancient temples in North India, is it not foolish to expect them in west Asia, the cradle of Islamic and Christian fanaticism?

According to the Syrian writer Zenob the iconoclastic zeal of Christian missionaries led to the destruction of two Hindu temples in the Canton of Taron (upper Euphrates, west of Lack Van). The temples were constructed by an Indian colony settled in that region in the second century B.C. About 304 A.D. St.Gregory attacked these temples and in spite of the heroic defence by the Indians, broke like Mahmud of Ghazni, two images of gods which were about five and seven meters high. St. Gregory must have been instrumental in wiping out to a large extent the trace of Indian religion in the west.4

This trend has continued even to this day. For instance, in 2001 the Taliban destroyed the Buddha images at Bamiyan and in 2016 the Islamic State destroyed priceless artefacts in Palmyra (Syria). Hence the difficulty in getting information on Hindu migration and influence in West Asia during ancient times.

When migration took place

According to Prof. Gulshan Rai there were several waves of Hindu emigrants to the west. The first took place when the son of Manu, Narishyanta and his son Saka spread out beyond the trans-Indus region. Manava Dharma Sastra mentions that the Sakas become split up into four sections; the Paradas (Parthians), the Kambhojas, the Pahlavas (ancient Iranians) and the Yavanas (Ionians or Greeks). The second outflow took place during the Deva-Asura sangrama (conflict). The third took place when the Chandravanshis displaced the Suryavanshis. For instance, the Dhruyus displaced the Narishyants. The fourth outflow of Hindus from India took place after the wars of Sagara and the fifth after the Dasrajna war in which Sudasa emerged victorious. The sixth took place after the Mahabharata war. There may have been some other subsidiary outflows also, he adds.5

Hindu Tribes who migrated to West Asia

Ancient India was inhabited by various Hindu tribes6 of which the Asuras, Panis and Dravidians were the pioneers to move westwards.

In ancient India the merchants belonged to Asura and Pani communities. They were mighty and intelligent people and accumulated fabulous wealth through extensive international trade and commerce. The Panis were adventurer mariners, ship builders and expert in trade and commerce. They first settled down on the coast of modern Gujarat and then moved to western coast and reached Malabar which was rich in timber.7

According to Prakash Charan Prasad, the leader of the Devas (ancestors of Manavas), Indra believed that profit from trade and commerce was to be in the hands of the society or country and yajna was introduced which means surrendering the wealth/profit to the society. Wealth was thus a social asset (probably for governance) rather than personal possession. But the Asuras and Panis believed in completely different principles of economies. They were individualistic and never offered any part of their income to the community and did not believe in yajna. As a result, enmity arose and led to conflict between the Devas and Panis/Asuras in which the former came out victorious.8

After losing a power struggle with the Manavas due to religious and commercial causes the Asuras and Panis migrated westwards. The Dravidians who were of enterprising nature migrated for trade and commercial purpose. This was the first phase of Hindu migration wherein the above-mentioned tribes carried Hindu culture and religion to places like Iran, Mesopotamia, Syria, Turkey and Egypt. The second phase of Hindu migration probably took place soon after the Mahabharata War when many kshatriya princes left India and established kingdoms in West Asia of which the Hittite, Mittani and Kassite are prominent.

Places where Hindus migrated

Mesopotamia (Iraq) – Mesopotamia was the first region to which the defeated Asuras and Panis along with the Dravidians migrated. The races who ruled over that region namely Sumerians, Akkadian, Assyrians, Mittanis and Kassites were all of Indian origin. Hence, we find Hindu influences in Mesopotamia; whether in place name, customs, ethnicity, language, myths or religion.

For instance the capital town Ur in Mesopotamia is a Dravidian word referred to a town like Nellore, Mangalore, Tanjore, etc.9 According to V.Gordon Childe the way of dressing the hair are similar in Sumeria and India. So also, the toilet sets are identical and that the wheel and carts had been independently invented in both lands.10 The ethnic type of the Sumerians is found to be identical with the Indian Dravidian type and Dravidian language itself seems to been a sister dialect if not the parent of the Sumerian and the Akkadian languages. The Brahui (spoken in Baluchistan) which form a connecting link between the Dravidian Indian and the Sumerian west is essentially a Dravidian language. Thus, the Sumerians were an Indian race which passed certainly by land, perhaps by sea also through Persia to the valley of two rivers.11

There is a striking parallel noticeable in the religious practices of early Mesopotamia and southern India. The worship of the mother Goddess under the name of ‘Lady of the Mountains’ and the annual celebration of her nuptials with the Moon God Ur closely resemble the Indian worship of Parvati in her various forms and the annual celebration of Divine marriage in south Indian Siva temples.12

In both countries the Mother Goddess is conceived as a virgin yet she had a consort. The sacred animal of the Mother Goddess in both countries was the lion and that of her consort was the bull. Besides the performance of the feminine function she was capable of doing purely male functions such as fighting. The Mesopotamian goddess was intimately associated with the mountain and called the lady of the mountain. The Indian Mother Goddess with the mountain is known by such names as Parvati, Haimavati, Vindhyavasini, etc. The name of the Sumerian goddess Nana is the Indian goddess Nanadevi who has a famous temple in Hinglaj in Gujarat.13

We find many similarities between the Mesopotamian gods and the Hindu gods. For instance, Enlil or Anila the god of winds was the Vayu of the Vedas and another god Oranna was a counterpart of Vedic Varuna. The Panis introduced the cult of Ahi called Ea in Babylon under the name Sarpanatha (written in Cuneiform as Sarpanathu). Another god of Sumeria was Bel or Baal who is identified with Vala or Bala a surname of Surya. Vala is mentioned in the Rigveda and is identified with the Sun by Sayana. Half man half lion statues found there probably depict Narasimha, the avatar of Vishnu.14 Several phallic emblems of deities were obtained by excavation in Babylon which bear complete resemblance to the Indian emblem of God Siva (Linga).15

Muir Sanskrit texts, vol I page 488 and vol II page 423 gives the following points to prove the Vedic origin of the Sumerians. The religious ceremonies of the ancient Babylonians like those of the Vedic Hindus ended in invocation and sacrifice. Creation of man from flesh and bones of Marduk as related in the Assyrian tablets resembles the Rigvedic legends of the sacrifice of Purusha and the creation from his limbs of the four castes into which mankind is divided. The custom of Devadasis; maidens dedicated to gods prevailed in both nations and priests held a high position the society in both the countries.16

The very name Assyria is a corrupt form of Sanskrit word ‘Asuryawhich means ‘belongs to the Asuras’. The epithet Asura is found in the name Ashur Bani pala which in Sanskrit will be rendered as Asura Avanipala meaning the Asura king or an Asura, the lord of the earth. Akkad is a Sanskrit word ‘Agada’ meaning without disease. In the dynasty of Akkad there are Sanskrit names like Amarsin (resembling Amara Simha or Nara Simha) and Shu-Sin (resembling Shiva Simha).17

Egypt– A body of colonist from India settled in Egypt some seven or eight thousand years ago which according to Egyptologer and antiquarian, Brngsch Bey, took place when Hindus crossed that bridge of nation, the Isthmus of Suez to find a new fatherland on the banks of the river Nile. Mr. Pococke gives evidences such as the provinces or rivers of Egypt deriving their names from the rivers of India, the ruling chiefs styled Rameses (Ramas) and similarity in sculpture and architecture of both countries. For instance, the river Nile is derived from the name Nilab as it was of blue colour.18

The Egyptians themselves always looked towards the east as their original homeland and called it as the land of Punt. According to A.Kalyana Raman, Punt is Pankth or Pakthya an area roughly corresponding to the present North West Frontier Province and parts of Afghanistan and trans Indus Punjab. It was from this place the Hindu came to Egypt via the Red Sea. They intermingled with the local inhabitants, adopting their language but introduced their own culture and religion which they modified in some measures according to local circumstances.19

There is striking similarities in the social and religious customs of ancient Egyptians and Hindus. Both were based on natural phenomena and their manifestation. The Egyptian sun god Horus was none other than Surya, Osiris was equatable with Asura, which in early Rigveda was an epithet of Indra. Osiris was later converted into Asurya that is sun of the night. Isis is Ushas, Har or Ra is Hara and Bes is Vishnu. In the majority of cases phallic emblems and some cases tigers and snakes used to be worshipped in connection with the adoration of the said god and a number of phallic emblems are also found carved on the walls of the Egyptian pyramids. In social aspects respect to elders and ladies was common to both and law of inheritance was the same. Both believed in the immortality of the soul and venerated the cow. Sacrifice of the bull was common and in oblation, one poured wine and the other ghee.20 It is also testified by Herodotus, Plato, Solon, Pythagoras and Philostratus that the religion of Egypt proceeded from India. So also, the chronicles found in the temples of Abydos and Sais have proved that the religious system of the Egyptians proceeded from India.21

Phoenicia (Lebanon)– In the Deva Asura war the Panis helped the Asuras but were defeated and driven out by Indra. According to A.C.Das one branch of Panis settled down with the Dravidians (Cholas) in Chaldea (Mesopotamia) while another branch very likely accompanied by the Dravidians of Malabar region (Pandyas) must have proceeded directly from the shores of India to Egypt through the Red Sea. Those of Panis who preferred a maritime life further went and established a separate colony on the sea coast of Syria and became the ancestors of the Phoenicians, who are a mixed product of the Panis and the Semites.22

In their new home the Panis called themselves as Kink Ahis or Kinkara Ahis meaning servants of the serpent god. The name gradually corrupted into kinnahi and kinnani in the local dialect and the Semites started calling them Cannani. The motifs of Ahi (serpent) can be found in several divinities found in Phoenicia and Sumeria. The symbol of fertility was the bull, appropriately called Risheb (Sanskrit Rishaba) by the Phonecians.23 The principal divinity of the Phoenicians was Baal or the sun-god and Ouranus or Varuna. Baal or Vala is also mentioned in the Rigveda and is identified with the Sun. The Rbhus whom Sayana identifies with Solar rays were the sons of Vala or Baal. The Panis under the leadership of Brbu were the votaries of the Rbhus.24

Just as in modern times European merchants paved way for the spread of western culture in eastern land, the Panis a mercantile community was responsible for the spread of Hindu culture in West Asia during the ancient period.25 Coming from a mercantile community their activity resulted in West Asia become an emporium of Indian goods. In the Old Testament we have references to trade between India and Syrian coast as far back as 1400 B.C. According to the chronicles of the Jews, during the reign of King Solonon (c. 800 B.C.) a navy equipped by Hiram, King of Tyre, undertook a triennial voyage to the eastern countries and brought back with-it gold, silver, ivory, apes, peacocks, plenty of Almug trees, jewels and precious stones. Ophir was the port at which they loaded these goods in their ships and scholars have identified Ophir with the port Abhir or Soppara on the western coast of India. Archaeological evidence reveals to us that in the 8th century B.C., India carried on trade both by land and sea with Mesopotamia, Arabia, Phoenicia and Egypt. The figures of apes, Indian elephants and Bactrian camels, made on the obelisk of King Shalmaneser III (860 B.C.), logs of Indian teak-wood found in the temple of the Moon at Mugheir (Ur) and in the royal palace of King Nebuchadnezzar are evidence to this.26

Turkey/Anatolia– In about 1600 B.C. various powerful and enterprising Hindu tribes advanced from Sapta Sindhu, westwards into the lands lying between the Caspian Sea and the lower Euphrates valley. These tribes were those known to the Hebrews as the Hurrians, the Mitannis and the Kassites. Earlier the Hittites had migrated to that region27 and it was these tribes which introduced Hindu culture and religion in that region. According to Vaidyanatha Ayyar the settlement of the Hittites, Mitannis and Kassites in Asia Minor date back as early as 3000 B.C. but their rise as political entities begin only from around 2000 B.C.28

The Hittites– The word Hittite is a corruption by the Hebrews of the word Khatti or Kheta of the Egyptians which again is a Prakrit form of the Sanskrit Kshatriya. The Khetas figure in the Old Testament as one of the peoples occupying Syria and Palestine. Solomon had wives from this nation and did some trade in horses with the kings of Hittites whose reputation as warriors was high in Israel. The capital of the empire of Khetas was at Hattusas (Sathwasa) now known as Boghaz Keui.29 The Hittite empire lasted for about 500 years from about 1700 B.C. – 1190 B.C. and at its height embraced practically the whole of Turkey in Asia as well as Syria.30

The earliest Hittite pantheon consists of the Attys, the Attargates, Astarte, Amon, Pra Sutekh, etc. corresponding to the gods of Hindu pantheon. There is a close affinity between the Hittite language and Sanskrit. The names of some of the Hittite and Mitannian gods, kings, kingdoms, cities and mountains bear such striking resemblance to those mentioned in the Vedas and the epics. For instance Arinna- goddess of spring (Sanskrit- Aruna), Arnuanta a Hittite king dated 1200 B.C. (Sanskrit- Ananta), Aruna, a town near the frontier of Kizzuvadana (Sanskrit- epic kings Varuna, Varuni, Aruna, Aruni), Dudkalia, a Hittite king dated 1250 (Sanskrit- epic king Dushkarma), Iruwattas, a fortress in the district of Barga (Sanskrit- Irawata), Karna a mountain, Kasipa a town similar to Vedic priest Kasipa, Tushratta a Mittanian king dated 1350 B.C. (Sanskrit- Dasaratha), to name a few.31

The epic Shiva finds a closer parallel in a god worshiped by the ancient Hittites in western Asia in the second millennium B.C. This deity is Teshub, the chief male member of the Hittitie pantheon. We have representation of this god at Malatia, the sacred gallery at Boghaz Keui, in the Zinjerli sculpture, in the monument at Isbekjur, on a stele at Babylon and also on coins at Hierapolis Syraiae. He stands on a bull and has the three-pronged thunderbolt as his distinctive weapon. He is represented as bearing a bow, the trident and mace, battle-Axe and dagger. His spouse is the great mother-goddess venerated as Ma in Cappadocia. The resemblance between Teshub as represented at the places mentioned above and Rudra-Siva as described in Vedic, epic and puranas text is too striking to be ignored.32

According to Prof Anderson the European civilization owes a debt to the Hittites who obtaining their civilization from an eastern source, transmitted it westwards to the distance shores of the Agean. From there the early Greeks conveyed it to the European continent.33 The influence of Hindu elite in West Asia resulted in the adoption of Sanskrit words in classical European languages. For instance, Van Kennedy gives a list of Sanskrit words found in other languages, about 339 in Greek (of which 300 of them are in the poems of Homer), 319 in Latin, 263 in Persian, 163 in German, 251 in English and 31 common to all of them.34

MitanniansThe Mitannians who were akin to the Hittites also rose into prominence around 1500 B.C. Their power was firmly established in northern Mesopotamia between the Euphrates and the Tigris under king Tushratta. Tushratta strengthened his authority by marriage alliances with the royal families of Thebes in Egypt to save his kingdom from being crushed by the Assyrians on one side and the Hittites on the other.35

From clay tablets with Babylonian cuneiform script discovered at Tel-el-Amarna in Egypt we know that between the years 1470-1400 B.C. there reigned in Mitani four kings whose names are Artatana (Artadhama), Artasuma (Artasama), Sutarna (Sudharma) and Dashratta (Dasaratha). All these names bear a close resemblance to Sanskrit Hindu names.36

In 1909 Hugh Winckler discovered at Boghaz-Koi, situated in Cappadocia (Turkey), a clay tablet dated about 1400 B.C. containing the terms of a treaty made by the king of Mitani in which the Vedic gods Mitra, Varuna, Indra and Nasatya (Ashwini gods) were invoked.37

A record found in Boghaz-Koi is a manual of chariot-racing composed in the Hittite language by a Mitannian author named Kikkuli. This manual was written in colloquial Sanskrit slightly different from Prakrit. Some of the terms used in the book like eika wartan (eka vartana in Sanskrit meaning one turn), tera wartan (thraya vartana in Sanskrit meaning three turn), pansa wartan (pancha vartana in Sanskrit meaning five turn), satta wartan (sapta vartana in Sanskrit meaning seven turn) and naivartana (nava vartana in Sanskrit meaning nine turn) clearly indicates the existence of an archaic Indian dialect in Asia Minor.38

Kassites– The descendants of Dasaratha, Lava and Kusha is said to have led large bodies of Arya elite into the countries of the west of Indus. One branch of this great exodus apparently went to the west into Anatolia and Syria under the leadership of Lava; the other presumably guided by Kusha settled in the fertile crescent and founded various principalities which were collectively known as Kushite or Kassite to their successors.39

The Kassites make their appearance for the first time in the province west of Elam and east of the Tigris and begin to give trouble to Babylonia immediately after the death of king Hammurabi and the reign of his son Shamsuiluma (2080-2043 B.C.). The Kassites finally gained ascendancy over the Babylonians and established their monarchy as the third dynasty of kings who ruled over Babylonia from 1760-1185 B.C.40

In 1800 B.C. Babylon was conquered by the Kassites or Kossaeans under Kandish (Gandis or Gaddas) who established a dynasty which lasted for 576 years. That they were from India is proved by the names of their principle deities, Surias or Suryas (Sun) and Maruttas (Maruts or the winds). Their language also bore a strong resemblance to Sanskrit and the Kassite kings described themselves in their inscriptions as Kharis (Khatris) or Aryans.41

Iran– A section of Asuras who were against the Indra cult were persecuted by the Manavas and subsequently migrated to Iran where they established a new faith called Zoroastrianism. The Supreme God of Zoroastrianism called Ahura Mazda is identical with Vedic god Varuna who is called Asura.

In the oldest part of the Rigveda the term Asura is used for the supreme spirit and in the sense, ‘good’, ‘divine’ and it was applied to several of the chief deities such as Indra, Agni and Varuna. Asura means ‘giver of life’ or adorable. It was only afterwards the word acquired an entirely opposite meaning and came to signify a demon or an enemy of god.42

The Iranians were also sacrifice lovers and held unshakable faith in the Fire God. But some did not see the necessity of worshiping the fire or performing the Soma sacrifice in honour of Indra. While others regarded fire too sacred to be polluted by the offering of the flesh of sacrificial animals. This gave rise to schism, dissensions, religious intolerance and active hostilities resulting in terrible bloodshed.43

According to N.K.Venkatesam Pantulu the early opponents of the Manavas (Devas) were led by two leaders Ahu and Ratu and the term Ahura is a word formed from Ahu and Ratu. Also, Twastri who was the artisan of the Devas (Manavas) later became the enemy of Indra when the latter slew Vishvarupa or Trishiras, the son of Twastri. It is possible that Twastri led one section of the people against Indra and this might be Zarathustra. Ultimately the followers of Zarathustra being persecuted and expelled from their motherland wandered away westwards and settled in the place which they named Iran. They also took with them their scriptures, the Gathas, their fire- the son of Ahura, the holy water-Zaotra and the rituals and the social structures of their motherland.44

The culture, religion and mythology of the Iranians and the Vedic Indians are strikingly similar. The ceremony of upanayana is practically the same in the Veda and the Zend Avesta and in both the conventional number of gods is the same that is thirty-three. Image worship is equally unknown in the Avesta and the Veda. The similarity between a large number of cult words like hoama (Soma in Sanskrit), manthra (Mantra in Sanskrit), yasna (Yajna in Sanskrit), Azuiti (Ahuti in Sanskrit), etc. indicates that the sacrificial rituals of the Vedic and Avesta are of one and the same origin. The culture reflected in the old texts of Iranian religion ‘Yastsis essentially that of Vedic India.45

Hang in his essays on the Parsees; after comparing the names of divine beings, names and legends of heroes, religious observances, domestic and sacrificial rites and cosmological opinions that occur both in Vedic and Avesta writings says that in the Vedas as well as in the older portion of Zend Avesta there are sufficient traces to be discovered that the Zoroastrian religion arouse out of a vital struggle against a form which the Vedic religion had assumed at a certain early period. As a consequence, the entire separation of the ancient Iranians from the Vedic people took place and led to the foundation of Zoroastrian religion.46

The Iranians did not all at once settle in Arachosia or Persia after leaving India. They roamed about in many countries before settling down as agriculturists in their new home.47 They called their new land Airyana Vaejo that is Arya Bija (seed) which later became Aryana or Iran. That they cherished the memory of their homeland is evidenced by the names Hapta Hendu (Saptha Sindhu), Harahvaiti (River Saraswathi), Hoama (Soma), etc. in their literature.48

According to A.C.Das the name of Zarathustra does not occur in the Brahmanas or the later Vedic literature while that of Tvastra as the Fire God occurs in them as well as in the Rigveda. Hence A.C.Das opines that Zarathustra must have flourished in comparatively recent times and it was he who gave the Ahura religion the shape in which we find it in the Zend Avesta. He was a great reformer of the Ahura religion and came to be regarded as an incarnation of Jarat Tvastr, the first of the seven Amshaspands or Princes of Light who surround the throne of Ahura Mazda.49

Hindu influence on Judaism

Abraham the first Jewish patriarch believed in the all-powerful God Yahweh. M.K.Agarwal identifies the Jewish God Yahweh with the ancient Indian ruler Yayati, who was defied as Yahweb by the descendants of his elder son Yadu and whose progeny became Yadus or Jews.50

Referring to Prof. Dilitzch the well known Assyriologist who had pointed out that the word Jehovah, God’s secret name revealed to Moses was of Chaldean origin and its real pronunciation was Yahve, Tilak opines that this word was borrowed by the Chaldeans from the Vedic word Yahva which means great and applied to Indra, Agni and Soma in the Rigveda.51 According to S.Radhakrishnan the Jews were Indians whom the Syrians called Judea, the Sanskrit form of which is Yadava.52 Aristotle in his account of the Jews said that they came from the Indian philosophers (or were Indian philosophers) and that they were called by the Indians, Calami and by the Syrians, Judea. Megasthenes also considered the Jews to be Indian and said the Jews were an Indian tribe or sect called Kalani and their theology has a great resemblance to that of the Indians.53 For instance the Star of David consists of two interlocking triangles which actually is a Tantric symbol, a simplified Sri Yantra. The God of Israel is described as unique, transcendental, shapeless and so vast that he fills the entire universe very much like Brahman.54

Similarly the account of creation and deluge in the Old Testaments could have been borrowed by the Hebrew priests from the Chaldean sources, which M.K.Agarwal asserts have been borrowed from the Vedic legend which mentions of a flood which lasted 40 days.55 According to M.K.Agarwal over 300 names of towns, regions, estates, geographical features, tribes, clans, families and individuals in the Old Testaments are phonetically similar to the names in Kashmir and the Identical Society of London in the 19th century proved that Kashmiri population is of Israelite descent.56

We can infer that after the Mahabharata War the Yadavas migrated westwards and came to be known as Yuda, to which tribe the ancestors of Abraham belonged. Abraham and his family originally lived in Ur in Mesopotamia. Abraham while establishing a monotheistic religion and believing in one god could have been influenced by his great ancestor Sri Krishna who had founded the Bhagavata Sect.

Jewish sect like Essenes adopted Indian ideas like celibacy, vegetarianism, image worship, initiation, belief in karma and rebirth. John the baptist who baptized Jesus Christ belonged to the Essenes sect. Like the Hindus they underwent ritual purification by water, faced east while praying and practices a self-discipline which was somewhat similar to Kundalini Yoga.57 Many schools of philosophy like the Neo-Platonism, Gnosticism, Pauline Christianity, Bardesanes, the Neo-Pythagorians; and philosophers like Prophyry, Lamblichus, etc. show the influence of Indian philosophy.58 Manichaeism a religious movement founded in Persia in third century A.D. by Mani was influenced by Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. Mani the founder of Manichaeism claimed to be the reincarnation of Lord Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster and the sect used to revere Lord Ganesha.59 Even now after centuries of Islamic rule traces of Hinduism can be found in west Asia where the Yezids retain their Hindu influences in terms of religious symbols and myths.60

While the World moves, the Hindu alone Witnesses

Nations have risen and fallen, empires founded and destroyed, races have appeared and disappeared but the Hindu civilization that saw this rise and fall, their foundation and destruction, their appearance and disappearance still remains.61 It is said that Time outlast everything, but it appears Hindu civilization will outlive Time as Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma is the essence of virtuousness and truthfulness which are eternal values; and as its followers, the Hindus will remain in this world for eons and will be the sole witnesser of the past.

References

  1. Har Bilas Sarda- Hindu Superiority, Ajmer, 1906, p.xxvii

  1. A.Kalyana Raman, Aryatarangini– The Saga of Indo Aryans, vol- I, Asia Publishing House, 1903, p.viii

  1. B.N. Luniya- Life and Culture in Ancient India, Lakshmi Narain Agarwal, Agra, 1989, pp:462,463

  1. Ibid, p.455

  1. Prof. Gulshan Rai- Five Periods of Traditional History in the Vedic Age, Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 4th session, Lahore, 1940, p.114

  1. https://ithihas.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/inhabitants-of-ancient-india/

  1. Prakash Charan Prasad- Foreign Trade and Commerce in Ancient India, Abinav Publications, New Delhi, 1977, pp:21,22,23

  1. Ibid, p.23

  1. N.M.Billimoria- The Panis of the Rigveda, Proceedings of the Indian History Congress, 4th session, Lahore, 1940, p.92

  1. Atul. K. Sur- Pre Aryan Elements in Indian culture, The Indian Historical Quarterly, vol X, March 1934, p.17

  1. Vaidyanatha Ayyar- Sumero-Dravidian and the Hittite-Aryan Origins, QJMS,19(4), 1929

  1. K.A.Nilkanta Sastri- Southern India, Arabia and Africa, New Indian Antiquary– vol-I, 1938-39, p.25

  1. Atul. K. Sur- Op.cit, p.15

  1. A.Kalyana Raman- Op.cit, pp: 100,101,102

  1. Bhudeb Mookerji- Indian Civilization and its Antiquity, Calcutta, 1928. pp:1,2

  1. N.M.Billimoria- Op.cit. p. 92

  1. K.C.Singhal and Roshan Gupta- The Ancient History of India, Vedic Period, A New Interpretation, Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 2003

  1. Har Bilas Sarda- Op.cit, pp:149,151

  1. A.Kalyana Raman, Op.cit, pp: 65,68,69

  1. N.M.Billimoria- Op.cit p. 93; A.Kalyana Raman, Op.cit, pp:70,71 and Bhudeb Mookerji- Op.cit, p.2

  1. Har Bilas Sarda- Op.cit, pp:449,450

  1. A.C.Das- RGVedic India, Calcutta, 1927, pp: 255,256; N.M.Billimoria- Op.cit p. 93

  1. A.Kalyana Raman, Op.cit, pp: 133,134

  1. A.C.Das- Op.cit, p.200

  1. Ibid, p.203

  1. B.N. Luniya- Op.cit, p. 441

  1. A.Kalyana Raman, Op.cit, p.206

  1. R.S.Vaidyanatha Ayyar- Op.cit, p. 306

  1. A.Kalyana Raman, Op.cit, pp: 157,158

  1. Ibid, pp: 161,162

  1. R.S.Vaidyanatha Ayyar- Op.cit, pp:310,311

  1. H.C.Raychaudhuri- Prototypes (?) of Siva in Western Asia, Acharya Puspanjali Volume (In honour of Dr. D.R.Bhandarkar) Editor- Bimala Churn Law, The Indian Research Institute, Calcutta, 1940,pp:301

  1. R.S.Vaidyanatha Ayyar- Op.Cit, p. 307

  1. Godfrey Higgins- Anacalypsis, vol- I, London, 1836, p.449

  1. R.S.Vaidyanatha Ayyar- Op.Cit, p. 306

  1. A.C.Das- Op.cit, p.301

  1. Ibid, pp:301,302

  1. A.Kalyana Raman, Op.cit, p. 208

  1. Ibid, p.12

  1. R.S.Vaidyanatha Ayyar- Op.Cit, p. 306

  1. A.C.Das- Op.cit, pp: 303,304

  1. D.S.Triveda- The Origin Home of the Aryans in the Annal of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Vol- XX, 1938-39, p.58

  1. Ibid

  1. N.K.Venkatesam Pantulu- Zend Avesta and Atharva Veda, QJMS, Vol-30 (4), April 1940,pp:412,413

  1. B.K.Ghosh- Indo-Iranian Relations in Vedic Age, chapter XI, History and Culture of the Indian People, Vol- I; Edited by R.C.Majumdar, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, London, p.221

  1. Har Bilas Sarda- Op.Cit, pp:157,158

  1. A.C.Das- Op.cit, pp:173,174

  1. Narayan Bhavanrao Pavgee- The Aryavartic Home, Arya Bhushan Press, Poona, 1915, pp:206,207,210,214

  1. A.C.Das- Op.cit, p. 174

  1. M.K.Agarwal- From Bharata to India, vol-I, iUniverse, Inc, Bloomington, 2012, p.453

  2. Bal Gangadhar Tilak- Chaldean and Indian Vedas, R.G.Bhandarkar Commemoration Volume, Bharatiya Publishing House, Delhi, 1977, p.37

  3. M.K.Agarwal- From Bharata to India, vol-II, iUniverse, Inc, Bloomington, p.42

  4. Godfrey Higgins- Op.Cit, p.400

  5. M.K.Agarwal- From Bharata to India, vol-II, p.20

  6. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Op.cit, pp:36,37; M.K.Agarwal- From Bharata to India, vol-II, p.18

  7. M.K.Agarwal- From Bharata to India, vol-II, pp:18,19

  8. M.K.Agarwal- From Bharata to India, vol-II, p.26; H.V.Sreenivasa Murthy- History and Culture of India to 1000 A.D., S.Chand & Company Ltd, New Delhi, 1980, p.375

  9. H.V.Sreenivasa Murthy- Op.cit, p. 374

  10. https://silkspice.wordpress.com/2011/04/

  11. http://www.yeziditruth.org/yezidis-and-hindus-re-uniting-as-one-people

  12. Har Bilas Sarda- Op.cit,p.3