Friday, January 27, 2012

The journey of Jagannath from India to Egypt: The Untold Saga of the Kushites

Note: This article has been published in the Comsomath Magazine (the Quarterly Journal of the Netaji Nagar College, Calcutta University) Vol.15, No.1, March 2012. It also appeared in the Graham Hancock website, Cycle of Time, and Esamskriti.

In a previous article titled “Krishna Worship and Rathyatra Festival in Ancient Egypt?” I had pointed out the many similarities between Amun, the all-powerful Creator god of the ancient Egyptians (with his primary center of worship at Thebes), and Krishna, the Supreme Creator of the Indians. Both of them were blue-complexioned, wore “feathers in their head-dress” and were depicted with a “sacred river” emerging from their feet. In addition, the grand Opet festival of the ancient Egyptians, which was celebrated over a period of 24-27 days during the season of the flooding of the Nile, is identical in form and spirit to the Jagannath Ratha Yatra festival that is still celebrated every year at the coastal town of Puri, India. The worship of Krishna (or Jagannath) and the observance of the Ratha Yatra festival are quintessentially Indian festivals, which have been observed for thousands of years prior to the establishment of the cult of Amun at Thebes (as per the information contained in many Sanskrit texts). This implies that the triad of divinities – Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra – must have been transferred from India to Egypt sometime prior to the beginning of the New Kingdom in c. 1550 BC. 
Fig 1: The Theban triad of divinities and the Opet festival are echoes of the Puri triad and the Ratha Yatra festival.

The Theban and Puri Triad

On further investigation I found many more similarities between these two ancient deities – Amun and Krishna. A number of hymns from the ancient Coffin Texts of Egypt associate Amun with the falcon-headed god Horus, while in Hindu myths Krishna is associated with the eagle-headed deity Garuda, who acts as his vahana i.e. carrier. Even the etymology of the name Amun has close associations with Krishna. In Egyptian, Amun is written as Ymn, which has been reconstructed by Egyptologists to “Yamanu”, and sometimes also spelled as “Yamun”. “Yamanu” or “Yamun” is very closely related to the sacred river “Yamuna” in India, which is intimately tied up with the childhood of Krishna, who grew up on the banks of the river Yamuna. The waters of the Yamuna are of a dark-blue color, which has been likened to the complexion of Krishna, and the river is regarded as the source of love, compassion and spiritual capabilities. It is possible that the Egyptian Ymn, may actually be a reference to the Yamuna, which became shortened to Yamun, and subsequently to Amun.

Even at a metaphysical level, Amun and Krishna are very similar. Amun was regarded as the “hidden one”, and the epithet, "he whose name is hidden", was frequently applied to him. Amun’s form was “unknown”, and it was said that no-one could behold or understand him, except Amun himself.  The Boulaq Papyrus from the XVIII Dynasty (1552-1295 BC) describes Amun as the “Greatest in Heaven…Lord of all, who is in all things.” Amun abides in all; everything happens in him, and nothing exists outside him. He is the Supreme Creator: “The One maker of all things, Creator and Maker of beings, From Whose eyes mankind proceeded, From Whose mouth the Gods were created.” He was, “The One Whose forms are greater than every God, In Whose Beauty the Gods jubilate.”  Amun was also the “champion of the poor” and he became the “personal savior” of anyone who took him into his heart.

“[Amun] who comes at the voice of the poor in distress, who gives breath to him who is wretched…You are Amun, the Lord of the silent, who comes at the voice of the poor; when I call to you in my distress You come and rescue me.”[i] 

Lord Jagannath of Puri is also the savior of the poor, destitute and downtrodden. His epithet “Patita Pavan” means “Saviour of the Fallen”. Krishna is “Karuna Seendhu” (sea of compassion) and “Deena Bandhu” (the friend of the poor), who responds to a devotee’s call instantly, as exemplified in the Mahabharata, when he was invoked by Draupadi. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna asks Arjuna to regard him as his only protector, for, he says, “Remembering me, you shall overcome all difficulties through my grace.”[ii] 

Krishna, like Amun, abides in the heart of all creatures as the indestructible “Self”, and his “unknowable form” pervades the entire cosmos. The birth and dissolution of the cosmos itself take place in Krishna: “There is nothing that exists separate from me, Arjuna. The entire universe is suspended from me as my necklace of jewels”[iii]. Although, Krishna remains unknowable and invisible, the multifarious celestial beings of this created world reflect his various divine attributes: “Wherever you find strength, or beauty, or spiritual power, you may be sure that these have sprung from a spark of my essence.”[iv] Yet, no-one could understand the real nature of Krishna, for Arjuna tells Krishna, “Neither gods nor demons know your real nature. Indeed, you alone know yourself, O Supreme Spirit.”[v] This is similar to the Egyptian texts which assert that no-one could behold or understand Amun, except Amun himself. Krishna further confirms this: “I know everything about the past, the present, and the future, Arjuna; but there is no one who knows me completely”[vi].

In fact, the entire Theban triad of Amun, Mut and Khonsu, are related to the triad of divinities – Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra - worshipped at the Jagannath temple at Puri, India. Krishna’s brother, the fair-skinned Balaram, is considered to be an incarnation of “Ananta-Sesha” - the primeval serpent of the abyss, in whose coils Vishnu rests in the middle of the cosmic Milky Ocean. Ananta-Sesha is himself a powerful agent of creation, and he co-exists with Vishnu at the beginning and end of the creative cycle. We find the same imagery associated with Khonsu, the son of Amun. On one of the walls at Karnak, a cosmogony is depicted in which Khonsu is described as the “Great Snake who fertilizes the Cosmic Egg in the creation of the world” (Wikipedia). In addition, Mut (who is believed to have been the wife of Amun), and Subhadra, the sister of Krishna, were both regarded as manifestations of the great mother goddess.

But the question is how did an entire pantheon of deities, along with associated ceremonies, rites and rituals migrate from India to Egypt, at a time when the existing pantheon and religious beliefs of the Egyptians was already well formulated? What historical events could have led to this?

The Trinity of Ethiopia

In order to understand this sudden influx of Indian beliefs into the religious practices of the ancient Egyptians, it is important to recount a critical event that took place before the beginning of the New Kingdom in Egypt i.e. prior to 1550 BC. Sometime during 1700 BC, Egypt had been overrun by a group of irreligious, nomadic invaders known as the Hyksos (which means “rulers of foreign countries”). The term was chiefly used during the Middle Kingdom to refer to the nomadic Semitic tribes of Canaan and Syria. As per the Egyptian accounts, the Hyksos had burnt the Egyptian cities to the ground, destroyed all their temples and had led their women and children into slavery. This was a time of great suffering for the Egyptian people. During this time, the Egyptian pharaohs had been forced to retreat south, driven into the neighbouring kingdom of Kush (Nubia), which was also referred to as “Ethiopia” by the classical Greek historians (although this region now falls within the boundaries of modern Sudan). The pharaoh Ahmose secured the favor of the Kushites by marrying Nefertari, the black princess of Ethiopia. She was of a very dark complexion, and was the most venerated woman in all of Egyptian history. Egyptologist George Rawlinson, in his book  Ancient Egypt, says about King Ahmose (referred to as Aahmes):

“He married a princess, who took on the name of Nefet-ari-Aahmes , or “the beautiful companion of Aahmes,” and who is represented on the monuments with pleasing features, but a complexion of ebon blackness. It is certainly wrong to call her a “negress;” she was an Ethiopian of the best physical type; and her marriage with Aahmes may have been based upon a political motive. The Egyptian Pharaohs from time to time allied themselves with the monarchs of the south, partly to obtain the aid of Ethiopian troops in their wars, partly with a view of claiming, in the right of their wives, dominion over the Upper Nile region. Aahmes may have been the first to do this; or he may simply have followed the example of his predecessors, who, forced by the Hyksos to the south, had contracted marriages with the families of Ethiopian rulers.”

Armed with the financial and military help of the Kushites, the Hyksos invaders of Egypt were finally evicted from the country after 200 years of occupation. During this time, the pharaohs Kamose and Ahmose had fought under the banner of their new-found god: Amun. This event, which took place at around 1550 BC, signified the beginning of the 18th dynasty, which is acknowledged as the greatest royal family of Egypt. Ahmose became the first pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. Amun became the supreme protector god of the monarchy and the state, and his priesthood gained immense power. Magnificent temple complexes dedicated to Amun were established in Karnak. Since Amun came to the aid of the Egyptian people at the time of their greatest distress and ignominy, his cult became all powerful, and dwarfed all the other gods and goddesses of the Egyptian pantheon.

This historical event indicates that the worship of Amun must have passed on to Egypt from the ancient Kushites of Ethiopia. This fact was known to the early Egyptologists. George St. Clair in his book Creation Records Discovered in Egypt: Studies in the Book of the Dead (1898, p 404), states: “These are Amen, Mut and Khonsu, often spoken of as the Triad of Thebes, or the Trinity of Ethiopia. . . . E. A. Wallis Budge tells us that the Theban triad had nothing whatever to do with The Egyptian Book of the Dead, and we may suspect that they were either gods newly come up or gods of foreign derivation. For some good reason, the orthodox Egyptian of the old school kept them out of his sacred books. They were the divinities of Thebes, and that city was hundreds of miles south of Heliopolis; they were the Trinity of Ethiopia and not of Egypt.”

The 18th dynasty pharaohs continued to maintain strong matrimonial connections with their Kushite neighbours, and Kushite priests held sway at the temple complex at Karnak. But how did the worship of Jagannath make its way to ancient Kush from India?


Fig 2: Map of Africa in 400 BC, showing the kingdom of Kush and its neighbouring countries. The river Nile flows through Kush and Egypt. Kush was also known as Nubia (The Land of Gold). Source: Wikipedia

The Ethiopians and the Indians

It was widely known in the ancient times that the kingdom of Kush (or Ethiopia) was colonized by the Indians. The earliest Ethiopian tradition says that they came from a land situated near the mouth of the Indus, and this has been confirmed by the testimony of Eusebius and Philostratus. Eusebius informs us that, “a numerous colony of people emigrated from the banks of the Indus, and crossing the ocean, fixed their residence in the country now called Ethiopia.”[vii] These earliest Ethiopians were a people highly civilized, and full of virtue and piety; their laws, their institutions, and especially their religion were celebrated far and wide. 

Apollonius of Tyana, a charismatic philosopher from the 1st century CE, had travelled extensively throughout the world and held discussions with a large number of philosophers. In a conference with the southern Ethiopians, finding that they spoke much in praise of the Indians in general, Apollonius told them, "you speak much in favour of every thing relating to the Indians; not considering that originally you were Indians yourself".[viii] Nilus the Egyptian had told Apollonius that, “the Indi of all people in the world were the most knowing; and that the Ethiopians were a colony from them, and resembled them greatly."[ix] 

It is for this reason that the Ethiopians were also called Indi. Jacob Bryant writes in An Analysis of Ancient Mythology (1776) that: "Aelian, in describing the Libyans of interior Africa, says that they bordered upon the Indi; by which were meant the Ethiopians...In short, Egypt itself was in some degrees an Indic nation; having received a colony of that people, by whom it was named Ait, or Aetia. Hence it is said that, Osiris was an Indian by extraction." (p. 216-17) He further writes that: "The Africans, who had the management of elephants in war, were called Indi, as being of Ethiopic origin. Polybius says in the passing of the Rhone: “it happened that Hannibal lost all the Indi; but the elephants were preserved.”" (p. 213-14)

The ancient poets and writers often spoke of two nations which were called Ethiopia. Homer says: “Neptune was now visiting the Ethiopians, who reside at a great distance: those Ethiopains, who are divided into two nations, and are the most remote of mankind. One nation of them is towards the setting sun; the others far in the east, where the sun rises.”The Encyclopaedia Brittanica confirms this: “all the ancients, both poets and historians, talk of a double race of Ethiopians; one in India and another in Africa”. The kingdoms of the Indians, the Egyptians and ancient Kush were widely regarded as part of one large global empire, and "India, taken as a whole, beginning from the north and embracing what of it is subject to Persia, is a continuation of Egypt and the Ethiopians."[x] 

Even now, the culture and traditions of the Ethiopian people bear a closer resemblance to that of India, than to the rest of Africa. The traditional dress and ornaments of the womenfolk, the rich musical traditions along with the use of the bamboo flute and the tabla, the presence of the caste system, the respect shown to elders, the spicy cuisine, mostly vegetarian, flavoured with exotic Indian spices, and most importantly their national food injera, which is a flat sourdough pancake just like the Indian dosa – all of this invoke memories of an enduring connection between Ethiopia and India. Even physically, many Ethiopian men and women, with their straight dark hair, sharp noses, and a complexion slightly lighter than that of other Africans, very closely resemble the people of Central and Southern India.
Fig 3: Ethiopians resemble Indians to a great extent.
The timeless familiarity of the ancient Indians with the kingdom of Kush is borne out by the detailed information about the geography of Ethiopia that is contained in ancient Sanskrit texts. When Lieutenant John Hanning Speke was planning his discovery of the source of the Nile in 1858, he relied on a map that had been reconstructed by Lieutenant Wilford from information contained in the ancient Puranic texts, with the assistance of some Pundits of Varanasi. In this map, the river Nile, referred to as the “Great Krishna” (because of its deep blue waters), was traced from a great lake called “Amara”. Speke later found that the name “Amara” is actually the native name of a district bordering Lake Victoria Nyanza. The map also mentioned that the real source of the Nile was the twin peaks known as Somagiri – “Soma” in Sanskrit stands for “moon” and “Giri” means “peak”. Somagiri, therefore, refers to the fabled “Mountains of the Moon” in Central Africa! Speke says in his book Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile (1863):

“Colonel Rigby now gave me a most interesting paper, with a map attached to it, about the Nile and the Mountains of the Moon. It was written by Lieutenant Wilford, from the "Purans" of the ancient Hindus. As it exemplifies, to a certain extent, the supposition I formerly arrived at concerning the Mountains of the Moon being associated with the country of the Moon, I would fain draw the attention of the reader of my travels to the volume of the "Asiatic Researches" in which it was published. It is remarkable that the Hindus have christened the source of the Nile Amara, which is the name of a country at the north-east corner of the Victoria N'yanza. This, I think, shows clearly, that the ancient Hindus must have had some kind of communication with both the northern and southern ends of the Victoria N'yanza.”[xi]

Such detailed geographical knowledge of the Nile and Ethiopia indicates that ancient Kush must have been a colony of the ancient Indians, as attested by various Greek historians. This leads us to wonder: what would have led them to colonize a land that was so far from their ancestral homeland on the banks of the Indus? 


The Migration of the Kushites

Philostratus mentions that the Ethiopians, an Indian race, dwelt in India under the rulership of King Ganges.[xii] But when they slew their king they were inflicted by a host of natural calamities which forced them to leave their homeland. They founded sixty cities along the path of their emigration, until they settled in the fertile land of Kush. This suggests that the colonization of Ethiopia may have been triggered by a large-scale emigration of people from the Indus Valley due to various environmental catastrophes. 

At its peak at around 2500 BC, the Indus Valley civilization included the whole of Pakistan, parts of Northern India, Afghanistan, and southern Iran, covering an area of roughly 1.2 million sq.km with a population of over 5 million, and constituted the largest urban settlement of the ancient world. Current research indicates that sometime around 1900 BC the Indus Valley civilization was plagued by a series of calamities. There was a long and devastating drought, followed by a series of cataclysmic earthquakes. Substantial portions of the Ghaggar Hakra river system (the “Saraswati” of the Rig Vedas) disappeared, and the Indus River changed its course. The princely state of Rajasthan turned into a desert. Parts of the civilization relocated to other sites along the Indus, and others migrated further eastwards to the fertile plains along the Ganges, and towards the southern parts of India. By around 1700 BC, most of the cities of the Indus Valley civilization were abandoned.
Fig 4: Map of the Indus Valley civilization, showing some of the important sites. Source: Wikipedia.
There was a large-scale westward migration of various Indus tribes during this time. One of the migrating Indus tribes was the Kassites (or Kussites, Kushites, Cushites) who first appear in Western Iran at about 1800 BC, when they attacked Babylonia in the 9th year of the reign of Samsu-iluna, the son of Hammurabi. The Kushites subsequently captured Babylon in the 16th century BC and ruled over it without any interruption for over 400 years. The Kushite pantheon of deities included Suriash (from Sanskrit Surya meaning the Sun), Maruttash (from Sanskrit Marut, a storm god) and Indas (from Sanskrit Indra, the king of the gods). Names of gods also appear in the names of Kushite kings, as is very typical among the Vedic people. Kushite kings established trade and diplomacy with far-flung kingdoms - Assyria, Egypt, Elam, and Hittites – and established royal alliances with them. They also governed with order, introduced advanced technologies, and followed the Vedic policy of honoring the customs and religious beliefs of the peoples whose land they occupied.

Although it is clear that the Kushites belonged to the Indo- Iranian stock of people, and worshipped Vedic deities, their exact point of origin still remains in question. The early Babylonian texts portray them as migrants from the “eastern mountains”. This was interpreted by some historians as a reference to the Zagros Mountains in south-western Iran. This is now doubted, since the Zagros Mountains could not have been the original homeland of the migrating Indus tribes, and may simply have been one of the mountains that they crossed during their westward expansion. 

According to Strabo (13.3.6), the Kassites, also referred to as "Kossaei", lived in the mountains to the east of Media and were one of several mountain tribes that regularly extracted gifts from the Achaemenid Persians (approx. 5th century BC). "Media" refers to the Median Kingdom of Iran, beginning in the late second millenium BC. Therefore, the "Cossaean mountains" must be to the east of Iran. Now, if we travel to the east of Iran, we run into the majestic Hindu Kush mountain range, an offshoot of the mighty Himalayas, stretching between Afghanistan and Pakistan. For centuries, the Hindu Kush was recognized as the “mountains of India” or the “boundary of India”. It is of interest to note that the term “Hindu” is derived from the term “Sindhu”, which is the Sanskrit name of the river Indus; while the term “Kush” was always used in reference to the Kushites (or Kassites). This means that the term Hindu Kush could be a reference to the mountain range which defines the “domain of the Kushites on the banks of the Indus” – the erstwhile Indus Valley Civilization. 

Many Sumerian inscriptions often refer to the Kassites as “Meluha-Kasi”. It is now an accepted fact that “Meluha” (or Malaha, Meluhha, Mehluha) was a term used in the Sumerian region for the Indus Valley civilization. The Sumerian cuneiform texts of the times of the Akkadian king Sargon (c. 2334 - 2279 BC) shows that Babylon had extensive trade with its neighboring countries, including Meluhha. Meluhha was described as a land of exotic commodities, and a wide variety of objects produced in the Indus region have been found at sites in Mesopotamia. Thus “Meluha-Kasi” must be a reference to the ancient Kushites (or Kassites) of the Indus Valley.

From a mythological perspective as well, the Kushites find mention in the ancient Indian texts. The Puranas say that the Kushites were the descendants of King Kusha-nabha who ruled in the Satya Yuga (Golden Age), and one their illustrious descendants was the king-turned-sage Vishwamitra, the preceptor of Rama. Later, the Kushites rallied around Kusha, the son of Rama, and the Kashi tribe played a significant role in Ayodhya, the capital of Rama’s kingdom.

There is, however, a surprising lack of scholarly resources regarding the expansion of the Kushites, although ancient traditional sources constantly extol their numerous achievements.  One of the few scholarly works which addresses this topic is the book, History of civilizations of Central Asia, which was commissioned by the UNESCO, and included participating scholars from Iran, Afghanistan, India, China, Pakistan, Russia and Mongolia and a panel of experts from USA, UK, Turkey, Japan and Hungary . This monumental study concludes that the, “invasion of Babylonia by the Kassites – which caused the fall of the first Babylonian dynasty – was already obviously connected with the migrations of the Proto Indians.”[xiii] The presence of the Indo-Aryan linguistic terms in the Kassite language, “speaks clearly for the assumption that the people of war-charioteers, which had induced the Kassites to invade Babylonia, belonged to the Proto-Indians.” The study further states that:

“It seems very likely that simultaneously with the movement of the Kassites – and in any case before 1700 BC at the latest, or perhaps even earlier, at the end of the third millennium BC – the immigration of Proto-Indian groups into Hurrian territory began, led by the class of war-charioteers (maryannu). They brought with them a new species of horse, more suitable for the war-chariot, a new method for horse training, described by Kikkuli, the man of Hurri, in a treatise written in Hittite, and a perfected form of the chariot. Through these important elements of their civilizations the Proto-Indians gave an impetus to the development of Hurrian society and, and to the organization of the Mitanni kingdom, many kings of which bore Proto-Indian names. The Proto-Indian tribal aristocracy spread also to Syria and Palestine where it brought about the formation of stage organization based on the class of war-charioteers. Proto-Indian linguistic influence was considerable on the vocabulary of horse-breeding, horse-training, social life and religion as shown by the following list of Proto-Indian terms borrowed by the Hurrians and other peoples of western Asia.”[xiv]

The Kassites were not the only Indus tribe that migrated westward, as a consequence of the major cataclysms in the Indus Valley.  The Hittites appeared in the upper Tigris-Euphrates basin and ruled from their capital at Hattusa from around 1800 BC. To their south was the Mitanni, who ruled from their capital at Wassukanni (c.1475 BC). The Hittites and Mitanni had concluded a treaty in c. 1380 BCE, which we know as the Suppiluliuma-Shattiwaza Treaty, which invokes the Vedic deities Mitra, Varuna, Indra and the Nasatyas. However, the Indian antecedents of the Kushites and the Mitanni continue to be ignored by modern academia. In the History of civilizations of Central Asia, the editor Vadim Mikhailovich Masson laments that, “In the present writer’s opinion recent research tends to underestimate or even to deny the role played by Proto-Indians in Mesopotamia in general and in the Mitanni kingdom in particular.”

Of all the Proto-Indian tribes that had migrated westward, however, the Kushites were the ones who had left their indelible footprints over vast swathes of Central and West Asia, and Africa. Hundreds of towns and cities came to be named after them – Kissia, Kossea, Kussara, Kashan, Kashband, Kashgar, Kashmir, Kashi and many many more. Iarchus of India told Apollonius of Tyana that, “almost in every place, where their (Kushites) history occurs, the name of Indi will be found likewise.”

Jacob Bryant writes about them in the book An Analysis of Ancient Mythology (1776): "I have mentioned that the Cushites sent out many colonies; and partly by their address and superiority in science, and partly by force, they got access among various nations. In some places they mixed with the people of the country, and were nearly absorbed in their number: in other parts, they excluded the natives, and maintained themselves solely and separate."[xv] He further writes: "The sons of Cush are said to have come under the titles of Cafus and Belus into Syria and Phoenicia, where they founded many cities...the extreme settlement of this people was in Spain, upon the Baetis, near Tartessus and Gades: and the account given by the natives, according to the historian Ephorus, was, that colonies of Ethiopians traveled a great part of Africa: some of which came and settled near Tartessus; and others got possession of different parts of the sea coast...” (p 183).

On the basis of various traditional sources, it is possible to conjecture that the Kushites conquered the southern part of Mesopotamia called Sumer and reached the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, where they founded many kingdoms, including that of Sheba (present day Yemen). The Kushites then crossed the Red Sea into Northeast Africa and established the renowned African kingdom of Kush. David Gibson mentions that “the descendants of Cush may have split, one part remaining in Asia, the other migrating to Africa to become the Ethiopia we still know to this day.”[xvi] Hence, (as per the Encyclopaedia Britannica), “it cannot be doubted that the tribes on both sides of that branch of the sea were kindred nations.”[xvii] 

Some of the Kushites (presumably those living near the mouth of the Indus) may have taken the sea-route to Kush and Egypt. Orientalist Edward Pococke may have been referring to them, when he says: "At the mouths of the Indus dwell a seafaring people, active, ingenious, and enterprising...these people coast along the shores of Mekran, traverse the mouth of the Persian Gulf, and again adhering to the sea-board of Oman, Hadramant, and Yemen (the Eastern Arabia), they sail up the Red Sea; and again ascending mighty stream that fertilizes a land of wonders, found the kingdom of Egypt, Nubia and Abyssinia."[xviii]

Kush attained its greatest power and cultural energy between 1700 and 1500 BC, during the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. This is nearly a 100 years after the Kussites first emerged in western Iran in c.1800 BC. This was the time when Egypt was run over by the Hyksos, and the Egyptian pharaohs had retreated to Kush. We know that Amun was the principal god of the Kushites of Ethiopia. Here he remained a national deity for centuries, with his priests at Meroe regulating the whole government of the country via an oracle, choosing the ruler, and directing military expeditions. The pharaohs Kamose and Ahmose would have been introduced to this new cult at this time, and had carried it into Egypt after evicting the Hyksos. In this manner, the worship of Jagannath would have travelled the long distance from its ancient homeland to the kingdom of Kush, from where it was adopted by the victorious pharaohs of the 18th dynasty. 

We can also find footprints of Vedic temple architecture in the grand temple complexes set up by the 18th dynasty pharaohs. The magnificent temple complex of Luxor, whose construction started at c.1400 BC (during the reign of Amenhotep III) after the beginning of the New Kingdom, incorporated advanced Vedic knowledge. The Egyptologist R.A.Schwaller de Lubicz had conducted as 15 year on-site study of the Luxor Temple complex in 1952 and had concluded that the “the various sections of the human body had been incorporated into the proportions of the temple. He found that specific locations within the temple correspond to the seven Hindu Chakras (energy centers) in the human body. These locations actually stimulate experiences and feelings that dowsers and meditators are able to perceive consciously.”[xix] Thus, the onset of the New Kingdom in Egypt was marked by a sudden influx of Vedic ideas, which we find reflected in its religion, art and architecture.
Fig 5: An aerial view of the Kushite pyramids at Meroe, the capital of ancient Kush. Source: Wikipedia

The Land of Punt

I had also mentioned in my previous article that the ancestral homeland of the ancient Egyptians, which they referred to as “Punt” (also called “Pwenet”) may be India. Punt was referred to as “Ta netjer” meaning the “Land of the Gods” or the “Land of Gods and Ancestors”. Most scholars agree that Punt was located to the south and east of Egypt, and could be reached leading off the Red Sea, in a south-east direction. India too can be reached from Egypt by sailing in a south-east direction by following the ancient maritime trade routes, popularly known as the Silk Route, which led from Egypt to the flourishing ports on the coasts of India. This long journey across the Indian Ocean may have been quite daunting for the ancient Egyptians, since the journey to the land of Punt was considered as “long and hazardous”. It was attempted quite infrequently, but when it did take place, it was executed on a grand scale, involving thousands of people and multiple ships.

The first mention of Punt comes to us from the Palermo Stone of the Old Kingdom, during the reign of King Sahure at around 2500 BC.  This expedition returned with huge quantities of myrrh, which is a resin used for making incense that the Egyptians used for their temple rituals, along with precious wood, and electrum (an alloy of silver and gold). Further expeditions took place in subsequent dynasties, in which thousands of men were involved. The most detailed description of the expedition to Punt has been preserved in the reliefs in Hatshepsut's mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri in Thebes. Hatsheptsut’s expedition had been headed by her Chancellor Senmut, accompanied by a fleet of five ships. They received a warm welcome from the rulers of Punt, King Parahu and Queen Ati, and subsequently returned with ships laden with heaps of myrrh resin, fresh myrrh trees, ebony and pure ivory, gold, cinnamon wood, khesyt wood, incense, cosmetics, along with apes, monkeys, dogs, skins of the southern panther (which the priests of the Egyptian temples wore), and with natives and their children.

All the products of Punt, as depicted in the Hatshepsut illustrations can be found in abundant quantities in India. In fact, the primary export of Punt to Egypt i.e. myrrh for producing incense, was used extensively in India for all religious purposes.  Of particular interest in this regard is the relief of the Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros at Hatshepsut's mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri, which is found only in the north-eastern part of India! In addition, the rulers of Punt during Hatshepsut’s expedition were called King Parahu and Queen Ati –these are clearly Indian names.

More evidence linking pre-dynastic Egypt with ancient India comes to us from the study of cranial features. In 1924-25, an expedition of the British School of Archaeology in Egypt, led by Sir Flinders Petrie, excavated 59 skulls at Badari, the site of the pre-dynastic Badarian culture in Upper Egypt, which flourished from around 5000 BC. These skulls were studied by Miss Stoessiger at University College, London, who concluded that: "Badarian skulls differ very little from other less ancient pre-dynastic skulls; they are just a bit more prognathous. Next to these, they most resemble primitive Indian skulls: Dravidians and Veddas. They also present a few affinities with Negroes, due no doubt to a very ancient admixture of Negro blood."[xx] In 1972, another study by Berry and Berry cluster Egyptians closer to each other than any other group, but find some similarities with Asian Indians. A craniofacial study by C. Loring Brace et al. (1993) concluded that: "The Predynastic of Upper Egypt and the Late Dynastic of Lower Egypt are more closely related to each other than to any other population. As a whole, they show ties with the European Neolithic, North Africa, modern Europe, and, more remotely, India, but not at all with sub-Saharan Africa, eastern Asia, Oceania, or the New World.”[xxi]
Fig 6: The Silk Road (both overland and water routes). Source: Wikipedia
Punt was also considered as a “personal pleasure garden” of the god Amun, whom we have already identified with Krishna (or Jagannath). The Boulaq Papyrus from the XVIII Dynasty (1552-1295 BC) describes Amun as the “Sovereign of Punt...Whose fragrance the Gods love When He comes from the land of Punt.”Queen Hatshepsut was an ardent devote of Amun and had actively developed the Opet festival into a grand ceremony. The expedition of Hatshepsut to the land of Punt was done primarily with the objective of acquiring incense and a number of exotic goods for her “divine father Amun”, and was conducted with the blessing of the god Amun:

“Said by Amen, the Lord of the Thrones of the Two Land: 'Come, come in peace my daughter, the graceful, who art in my heart, King Maatkare [i.e. Hatshepsut]...I will give thee Punt, the whole of it...I will lead your soldiers by land and by water, on mysterious shores, which join the harbours of incense...They will take incense as much as they like. They will load their ships to the satisfaction of their hearts with trees of green [i.e. fresh] incense, and all the good things of the land.'[xxii]

Queen Hatshepsut had also returned with many species of trees from her expedition to Punt, specifically myrrh trees. On the walls of her mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri she mentions that she had complied with the wish of the god Amun-Re, her father, to have a grove of myrrh trees “for ointment for the divine limbs”. She says: "I have hearkened to my father...commanding me to establish for him a Punt in his house, to plant the trees of God's Land beside his temple, in his garden."[xxiii]The clear association between Amun and Punt indicates that Punt can be no other than India.

A very interesting discovery was made in 2003, by a team of British and Egyptian conservators under the aegis of the British Museum, working on the tomb of Elkab's 17th dynasty (c.1600-1550 BC) governor Sobeknakht. They “stumbled upon an inscription believed to be the first evidence of a huge attack from the south on Elkab and Egypt by the Kingdom of Kush and its allies from the land of Punt, during the 17th dynasty”[xxiv]. This is during the same time that the pharaohs Kamose and Ahmose were in exile in Kush, preparing to launch an attack on the Hyskos. It is quite possible that the “allies from the land of Punt” is a reference to the Kushites who had migrated to Kush around this time from the banks of the Indus.

The migration of the Kushites from the Indus Valley to the Nile, sometime around 1700 – 1600 BC, or even earlier, as a result of the cataclysmic events in the Indus Valley, represents a forgotten, and often ignored, episode of human history which explains some remarkable similarities between the ancient civilizations of India, Egypt, the Middle East and West Asia. Of course, there were close economic ties between these nations, for many thousands of years prior to this event. However, the transfer of an entire pantheon of deities, along with associated rites and customs, was possible only because of an extensive process of migration spanning over many centuries. The hypothesis is well-supported by evidences from various sources, and will hopefully be investigated by historians in further detail.




[i] Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume II: The New Kingdom, Miriam Lichtheim, p105-106, University of California Press, 1976
[ii] The Bhagavad Gita 18.57 – 18.58, translated by Eknath Easwaran, Penguin Books
[iii] Ibid 7.6 – 7.7
[iv] Ibid 10.41
[v] Ibid 10.14 – 10.15
[vi] Ibid 7.26
[vii] Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol XVI, p 309
[viii] An Analysis of Ancient Mythology, Jacob Bryant, Vol III, p 217
[ix] An Analysis of Ancient Mythology, Jacob Bryant, Vol III, p 218
[x] Itinerarium Alexandri
[xi] Journal of the Discovery of The Source of the Nile, Lieutenant John Hanning Speke, 1863
[xii] Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Philostratus, Book 3, from livius.org
[xiii] History of civilizations of Central Asia, Volume 1, Vadim Mikhaĭlovich Masson, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1999, p 370
[xiv] History of civilizations of Central Asia, Volume 1, Vadim Mikhaĭlovich Masson, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1999, p 372
[xv] An Analysis of Ancient Mythology, Jacob Bryant, Vol III, p 192
[xvi] The Land of Eden Located, David J. Gibson, 1964, Chapter four
[xvii] Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol XVI, p 308
[xviii] India in Greece, Edward Pococke, 1856, p. 42
[xix] Martin Gray, Sacred Earth, Sterling Publishing, 2007, p 112
[xx] Emile Massourlard, "Prehistoire et Protohistoire d'Egypt" 1949, p. 394
[xxi] Brace et al., 'Clines and clusters versus "race"', 1993
[xxii] The Life and Monuments of the Queen in T.M. Davis (ed.), the tomb of Hatshopsitu, E. Naville, London: 1906, pp.28-29
[xxiii] Immanuel Velikovsky, Ages in Chaos I: From the Exodus to King Akhnaton, p 140
[xxiv] Elkab's hidden treasure, Al-Ahram Weekly Online, 31 July - 6 August 2003, Issue No. 649, http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2003/649/he1.htm

36 comments:

  1. As with all Civilizations they must come to there ends, because the Vedic civilization was a Agriculture people it would not surprise me if they brought about there own demise through agriculture, which destroys topsoil's and depletes water.

    Neanderthin author Ray Audette concurs with this view:

    Since ancient times, the most destructive factor in the degradation of the environment has been monoculture agriculture. The production of wheat in ancient Sumeria transformed once-fertile plains into salt flats that remain sterile 5,000 years later. As well as depleting both the soil and water sources, monoculture agriculture also produces environmental damage by altering the delicate balance of natural ecosystems. World rice production in 1993, for instance, caused 155 million cases of malaria by providing breeding grounds for mosquitoes in the paddies. Human contact with ducks in the same rice paddies resulted in 500 million cases of influenza during the same year.(7)

    Our Hunter gatherer society's do not have this problem of wasting away natural resources because they have a wild diet, and do not eat Domesticated grains etc Please check out http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/price/pricetoc.html

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  2. Dear "Anonymous" -- The decline of the Indus Valley civilization was triggered by a series of earthquakes that dried up the river beds and diverted their courses. It is unlikely that tectonic movements can be affected by agricultural practices. In fact, we do not yet understand the factors behind long term climate changes, such as ice ages, and they certainly cannot be blamed on agriculture. Agriculture continues unabated in large parts of the world, for thousands of years, without any noticeable detrimental effects on rainfall, monsoon patterns etc. Therefore, the transformation of the soil in Sumeria cannot be blamed on agriculture. There must be other factors at play which are not yet properly understood.

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    1. Not so when antropologists study the bones of these Indus valley people there teeth are full of cavities and there skeletons show signs of much stressed caused by a agriculture poor nutrition diet.Around 70 skeletons At the R-37 Harappan site many individuals had suffered from Dental caries and other dental diseases which Hunter gatherer tribe lack. this poor dental health in this site is because of the soft food processed cereal diet, which is not a real diet for humans. Women at this site had far worse teeth than the males suggesting a cultural differences in treatment of sexes, which is still seen in hindhu today. Also signs of malnutrition in female child skeletons more than males. I think there Agriculture ways had huge factor in there declined.

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    2. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ohio-earthquake-likely-caused-by-fracking That link is example of how i think Hydraulic water pressure can play a part in producing earthquakes.

      There overuse of water for there Agriculture could of been a huge influence. I live in Christchurch, New Zealand and we have been pumping our aquifers for a while and recently we have had some very shallow big earthquakes basically destroyed our city. these local faults in my area have not been active for over 10,000 years and now since we have started pumping huge amounts of water for the agriculture the earthquakes have become very constant...i think the draining of the aquifers might cause faults to release energy through hydraulic pressure.
      There have been many studies showing many civilization have come to there end because of agriculture reasons.

      also Our finding indicates that common land-use practices that have lasted for thousands of years in China are not environmentally sustainable http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20597295
      Thanks for your time.

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    3. Firstly, my condolences for the earthquakes in Christchurch. Earthquakes occurrences have indeed increased all over the world. However, to blame agriculture for that has no scientific basis. The groundwater for agriculture comes from 100-1000 feet underground, whereas even the shallow earthquakes take place tens of kilometers below the earth's surface. No geologist will ever connect the two events. Besides, the groundwater gets regularly replenished by rainfall. The maximum effect that excessive water pumping can have on the landscape is land subsidence. Seismic waves from earthquakes, on the other hand, can cause considerable damage to aquifers (contamination, drying up etc.)

      The only human activities which may have an impact on earthquakes are oil drilling activities (which can drill down to 10 kms)and mining/natural gas exploration activities (which drill upto 5 kms). Or even underground testing of nuclear weapons. Even in these cases the impacts are largely not understood, and purely speculative. Perhaps you may want to explore these kind of activities around New Zealand. In addition, the gravitational effects of the sun and the moon on the earth's crust can cause tectonic movements, and is an area that requires further investigation.

      The comparison between hunter gatherer and agricultural societies also appears flawed. It is due to agriculture that large city states could develop along with advances in the arts and sciences. Hunter gatherers spend all their time foraging for food and moving from place to place. I can assure you that billions of people around the world, surviving on agriculture have no problems with their teeth. To draw connections between tooth decay and cereal consumption based on a few fossils from the Indus Valley is very poor science.

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    4. Not so, the science for the health between the two society's diets through anthropological studies shows that Hunter gatherer society's have far stronger teeth and bones compared to people in Agriculture society's. The anthropological record of early man clearly shows health took a nosedive when populations made the switch from hunting and gathering to agriculture. It takes a physical anthropologist about two seconds to look at a skeleton unearthed from an archeological site to tell if the owner of that skeleton was a hunter-gatherer or an agriculturist.

      Also your comment about rainwater/groundwater is incorrect.http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/11/111215-rainfall-hurricanes-typhoons-earthquakes-science-earth/

      Check that link there is actually a link between water and earthquakes. so i think more geologists need to do more research, there are many factors at play, and yes the sun is the main driving factor.

      Many studies have shown that Agriculture is one of the most destructive factors that has effected the earth since our domesticated beginnings of centralized control by a few. Sounds like by the evidence at the Indus valley there was problems already with this civilization. Civilizations can be a disease in itself because civilization needs sanitation because of all the unbalance it has caused to the eco system.

      Plus also i think your understanding of Hunter gatherers is minimum. As it could well be these same people that started the Astronomical megalithic ancient stone structures you see around the world al aligned to certain astronomical alignments etc.

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    5. you said...
      ''To draw connections between tooth decay and cereal consumption based on a few fossils from the Indus Valley is very poor science.''

      Brother you really need to do more Anthropological studies this shows you have no real knowledge in this field so why make such comment with no such basis.

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    6. When I wrote the Overcoming the Curse of the Mummies chapter in Protein Power, I wrote mainly about the evidence of disease found in the mummies of ancient Egyptians and correlated this disease with their high-carbohydrate diet here is just one link example http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/low-carb-diets/nutrition-and-health-in-agriculturalists-and-hunter-gatherers/

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    7. Thanks for the links. Yes, there appears to be a connection between torrential rainfall and the timing of earthquakes.In fact, it has been seen that if huge dams are constructed in geologically unstable areas, they have an effect on the timing/intensity of an earthquake. But they do not cause earthquakes. As of now, there is no association between underground acquifers and earthquakes, and until geologists draw a connection, I will not consider that as a possibility (because of reasons I have mentioned earlier - shallow depth and replenished by rainfall.)
      Regarding hunter gatherers vs agriculture, the link that you provided is much better than the offhand remark about Indus Valley fossils. Hunter gatherers do appear to have better bone/teeth structures than agriculturists due to their high protein intake. However, even in this example the to populations are separated by 3500 years. That's a very long time frame, and no one can be certain of what geographic/ecological/physiological changes may have taken place within that time period. Even now, there are many hunter gatherer tribes all over the world in India, Africa, Amazon and other places, and there are villages which purely survive on agriculture. A comparison between their fossils would be a much better indicator of their relative healths. I know for a fact that the tribal hunter-gatherer peoples of India, called adivasis, are extremely strong and agile (apart from being simple and honest). However, that could be due to a combination of their high protein diet as well as the physical exercise that they derive from game hunting and other activities necessary for survival in a forested region. However, the adivasis are also considered to be "backward" as per current definitions of progress. Their arts, sciences, education and social skills are primitive, and that is because of their own free choice. So, my assessment is that while hunter gatherers are physically stronger (and probably healthier -- not sure), their lifestyle does not permit social, economic and technological progress.
      Therefore, agricultural societies are necessary for progress, and the damage that is caused to the environment is not because of agriculture or hunting-gathering, but because of increasing human greed and total disregard for the environment.

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  3. Interesting research. I recall a book I read many years ago, written by Bhagwan S Gidwani, former diplomat with Indian Foreign Service. The book: "Return of the Aryans" talks about ancient Indian's civilizing forays into Africa. That book as well as the article by Bibhu Dev Mishra is worth serious reading.
    http://www.nmsresolution.blogspot.com/

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  4. Thank you Mr.Nilesh Shukla. I will try take a look at the book that you mentioned. The connections between India and Egypt are very clear, and hopefully more research will be directed in this area.

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  5. You have mentioned Krsna as Amun, but we all know Krsna took samadhi around 5000 years ago...wat say on this? regards...Samaara Sai...

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  6. Hello Samaara,

    This is exactly what I have discussed in this article. That the worship of Krishna was transferred from India to Egypt by the migrating Kassites sometime between 1900 BC- 1550 BC. The worship of Amun was not established in Egypt before the New Kingdom starting 1550 BC, whereas Krishna has been worshipped in India since 3000 BC. I will also refer you to my previous article on this topic: “Krishna Worship and Rathyatra Festival in Ancient Egypt?”

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  7. I read some of your writings but in reality its backwards. Life originated in Africa particularly S. East Africa. Then humans migrated up the Nile into other parts of the world such as Asia then Europe and so on. So to say that the Ethiopians came from India is not historically nor scientifically correct. Its as backwards as many Eurocentrics who tried to claim for years that Europeans built ancient Egypt from the ground up. There is an 160-200K yr old civilization that was recently rediscovered in S. Africa in which statues of falcons which is Heru/Horus logo. Also a calender has been found at the location. Also you state the other cultures in Africa are not like Ethiopia's...that is an incorrect statement. The Yoruba, Igbo of Nigeria today honor similar deities that their ancestors honored when they were in Egypt. There a even pyramids in Nsude which is part of Igbo land in Nigeria. The Yoruba have traced their lineage back to the 4th and 5th dynasties. The Dogons of Mali have also traced their lineage back to Egypt. Also the Zulu's claim they left Egypt under their leader Nguni and even today the priest wear leopard skins just like the Egyptians priest did. You can also study the Himba tribe of Namibia and see that the boys wear the princes lock hairstyle similar to what the ancient Egyptian boys used to wear. DNA studies on the Amarna Pharaohs thanks to DNATribes.com has revealed that their DNA is of Southern African and West African in origin. As far as Amun/Amon/Amen that deity was worshiped in Ethiopia/Nubia before the Kemites/Egyptians had it. Amon is just the personification of the blackness of the universe as Amun means "hidden one" which Blackness causes for things to remain hidden. Krishna fits more in with Heru/Horus than Amun as Heru was born from Ausar/Osirus and Auset/Isis just like Krishna was born from Vishnu. And Amun was originally painted black then brown. Then around the Amarna period he was painted blue to symbolize the primeval creation and his association with the sky and air. So before you claim that India brought culture to Africa you need to revisit the origin of man and trace how long culture itself has been alive and do remember culture does evolve over time just as humanity and animal life has but you will still find the root of it by going back to the very beginning of it all, life that it is.

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    1. I have heard and seen much research on the overlap of Krishna/Heru/Jesus stories. Also I see how the relativism of the author suggests the idea that India "civilized" Africa, but we should remember that the oldest civilizations based on scientific records begin in Africa, and where there are humans, there is culture, so as it stands, it is logical to say that first humans migrated from Africa to India, before any returning cultural exchange was done (note that due to pangea-ish continent forms this may have been easier back then).

      cheers, and great topic to research. Thanks to God for the author and commenters

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  8. @HeruTutuankoma: Thanks for the feedback. I think you are reading too much into my article, because nowhere have I stated that Indians brought culture to Africa, or that human civilization originated in India and so on. All I have said is that there had been a migration of Kussites from the Indus Valley to Ethiopia sometime around 1700 BC, who carried with them the worship of Jagannath (Amun), and from Ethiopia this worship spread to Egypt during the New Kingdom. I have provided sufficient evidence to support this hypothesis, but you are free to disagree. There is considerable evidence for the presence of Shiva worship in many parts of Africa, which may have been an outcome of the migration of the Kussites. Regarding the Ethiopians, the similarity with Indians is not with respect to only their religion, but touches almost every aspect of life - food, music, clothes, customs etc. There is also a very strong possibility that the ancient Egyptians may have migrated from India (Punt) at a distant past (we dont know when). However, this does not imply that the migration from Punt represented the beginning of civilization in Africa. New evidence is continuously pushing back the origins of humanity and human civilization all over the world. We dont know from what distant period the Egyptian or Ethiopian civilization started, but at certain points of time there had been an emigration of people from India, who brought with them their own customs, religion etc. This Indian influence is readily visible today in many places of Africa.

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  9. Such detailed geographical knowledge of the Nile and Ethiopia indicates that ancient Kush must have been a colony of the ancient Indians, as attested by various Greek historians. This leads us to wonder: what would have led them to colonize a land that was so far from their ancestral homeland on the banks of the Indus?

    not to mention the foot of Indus Valey was called HinduKush Parvat Mala.

    they were definitely of Indian Origin :)

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  10. Brahma + Sarasvati = Abraham & Sarah... ???
    Considering the conspicuous absence of temples of Brahma in India, is it possible the Abrahamic faiths are the evolution of his cult after migrating out of India...? Is that the obvious explanation for the presence of Beta Israel in Ethiopia...? Does the Puri Triad prove that Christianity actually predates Judaism...? The Yagna (Sacrifice) of Daksha is interesting to speculate on as well....
    Also on the Indus - Africa connection... comparing images from Kornark with Karnak (both solar temples) can be quite illuminating....

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    1. Hi, you have raised many interesting questions.Regarding the connections between Brahma and Abraham, much has already been written. I believe the Kushites were responsible for seeding Vedic beliefs in Babylon, for we know that the Kushites captured power in Babylon in the 16th century BC and ruled there for over 400 years. However,I am not sure why the Puri triad should indicate that Christianity predates Judaism?
      Regarding Konarak and Karnak - The present day temple complex at Karnak was established in c.1400 BC by Amenhotep III, and was clearly dedicated to Jagannath i.e Amun while the Sun temple at Konarak was for Surya, the Sun god and established in c.1000 CE. I have been to both places, but have not detected any obvious similarities. I would be interested to know what kind of connections you have identified between these two temples.

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  11. I come across a Ethiopian woman, first I mistook her to be of Indian origin, she looked so much Indian. Although not all Ethiopians look Indian. There must have been migrations from India to Ethiopia as this article indicates. Would be interesting to see DNA testing results.

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    1. I believe there are DNA connections between Indians and Ethiopians, as well as between Indian and Ethiopian cattle...which means that the Kushites migrated to Ethiopia along with their cattle. There are also many similarities between Indian and Ethiopian pottery, burial sites, megalithic architecture etc.

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  12. In africa there is a goddess named Yemanja She is the Godess of river nile, She is depicted as holding a garland of lotuses same as godess yamuna! both which have stiking similarities with amun and Krishna! Even the name Yemanja is very similar to Yamuna!
    Yemanja: http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lllj3aLyA51qk6m4io1_400.gif
    Yamuna:http://www.vimlapatil.com/vimlablog/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/B6.-yamuna-Icon.jpg

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    1. Thanks for sharing this information. I just found out that Yemanja is also worshipped in South America. She is the great mother goddess, the source of all the rivers, and she is depicted in blue colour. Yamuna is also believed to be a blue river. The parallels are quite noteworthy and deserve to be investigated further.

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  13. very nicely researched .

    thank you for the hard work

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  14. Shrinath ji pictures are shown with Shri Nath ji flanked by Yamunaji and Mahaprabhu Ballabhacharya in Rudra Sampradaya. Yamunaji is shown as holding garland of lotus flowers in her right hand. Her complexion is shown as Blue. Yamunaji is also considered patarani of Krishna and sister of Yamaraj.

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  15. here is a link for information about Goddess Yemaja

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemaja

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  16. Wrestled on and on with registering at Graham Hancock's boards, and then somehow found your blog here for which I am grateful. In my happiness, guess I overlooked that you had the Kushite article linked in the left margin, so I presume you'll want to take out these same remarks under your more recent Hercules article...which I thought at the time was all that you had up.

    Yes, I took a look at your "...saga of the Kushites" again after some months. Cursory Google searches don't turn up similar themes so far for me.

    These sentences seem pretty significant.

    "It was widely known in the ancient times that the kingdom of Kush (or Ethiopia) was an extension of the Vedic civilization of India."

    "Armed with the financial and military help of the Kushites, the Hyskos invaders of Egypt were finally evicted from the country after 200 years of occupation. During this time, the pharaohs Kamose and Ahmose had fought under the banner of their new-found god: Amun. This event, which took place at around 1550 BC, signified the beginning of the 18th dynasty, which is acknowledged as the greatest royal family of Egypt."

    Interesting that you describe the Hyskos as "irreligious." I'm wondering how genetically similar they were to the tribes of Judah and Israel around 300 yrs later.

    I did find this link which questions whether Aryan invasions were the main cause of the Indus Valley Civ's demise. http://archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/harappa-mohenjodaro

    But then there's another sort of qwacky one that claims the Hindu Kush prevented westward migration of the Harappians (I'll have to look at a map again..today's my day off and many projects are at this moment suffering neglect). And another one purporting that Ethiopians colonized the Indus River Valley (thus far I'd assume humans originally...WAY back there...did arrive at the Indus from Africa!).

    I always read of the Aryan "descent" into India, but this article of yours seems to be stressing an almost opposite movement of almost equal importance. One site characterized the Indus Valley Civ as walled off without much outreach; and, to me actually, Sudan or Ethiopia do seem a great distance away. In the course of the founding of 60 cities...how long are you proposing it took the Kushites to set up an outpost in Africa? Also, I'm supposing
    the name Kush derives from a word out of India? Don't remember reading this if you said so.

    Just curious if you've relied on any Jungian concepts in your conjecturing.

    thanks for your interesting ideas,

    David

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    1. Hi David, thanks for your observations. Most of what we know about the Hyksos comes to us from from Manetho and Flavius Josephus. It was Manetho who said that the Hyksos burned the temples to the ground, and took the women and children to slavery. So the term 'irreligious' comes from these descriptions. Manetho also said that the Hyksos, after being driven from Egypt went to Judea (southern Israel) and some of them settled in Jerusalem. So there could be a genetic connection there. I dont know if there have been genetic studies along these lines.

      The collapse of the Indus Valley has now being firmly ascertained to have being caused by a number of natural factors - earthquakes, change in the course of rivers, floods and droughts. The Aryan invasion hypothesis was proposed around a hundred years back, in the absence of any evidence whatsoever, and it has been discarded by most historians familiar with the subject.

      The Hindu Kush preventing westward migration is quite hilarious. For thousands of years the Indus Valley carried on trade with Mesopotamia and many othe places via the land and sea route. There are a number of passes through the Hindu Kush mountains, and the famous Silk Route which connected China and India with the west also passes through the Hindu Kush. So, I am surprised that anyone would even suggest this as an argument.

      The bulk of historical and archeological sources suggest that the Kushites arrived in Ethiopia, and share many aspects of their culture with the Indians, as I have mentioned in the article. The reverse theory has nothing in its favor. Regarding the Out-of-Africa theory - it is supposed to have happened log, long back. And even then I find the out of Africa theory quite unconvinging. I dont believe that humans originated out of a single place on the earth. There many been many, many cataclysms which have impacted our planet in the past, and the centers of civilization have shifted, with multiple, different migrations. It appears more likely that humans existed on many different continents at the same time.

      Th archeological sources indicate that the migrations out of the Indus Valley started as early as 2000 BC, and continued upto 1700 BC or even later. So over a 300 year period the Kushites, and other Vedic tribes (Hittites, Mitanni etc.) moved both westwards and eastwards. Some of them settled along the way, and built those cities, while others moved along, ultimately arriving in Kush i.e. Ethiopia. There would have been multiple tranches of migrations, as more and more Indus cities collapsed. The first arrivals in Kush could be as early as 1900 BC.

      The Kushites actually have a long history in India. They descended from King Kush who was a mind born son of Brahma during the Golden Age (c. 12000 BC). The great-grandson of Kush was the famous sage Vishwamitra who was the preceptor of Rama. So, the Kushites were already present during the time of Rama, and they were known as the "Kashi" tribe which had rebuilt the city of Ayodhya. Subsequently the Kushites became associated with Kush, the son of Rama, who became the emperor of Ayodhya.

      There is an interesting connection here with respect to the Biblical accounts where Cush is said to be the son of Ham. I suspect that Ham is simply a distortion of Ram i.e. Rama. We dont find any cities associated with Ham or hear of any of his acomplishments, but all over India, the Middle East and West Asia there are hundreds of cities named after Ram.

      Since most of my articles are based on new ideas and hypotheses, I try to rely on valid historical facts, archeological findings, and symbolic connections. I do not find Jungian concepts convincing or particularly relevant.

      Best,
      Bibhu

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    2. All your answers are greatly appreciated. It's a real privilege to connect as I had thought impossible registration at Graham Hancock's boards might mean I was cut off from people interested in these ideas completely.

      Neglected to say how I got into these questions recently again.

      1) Saw the film "Agora" a second time recently (yes, greatly altered account of Hypatia...by either historical record)
      2) After Paco de Lucia passed on I began looking up items on the Roma/Gitanos/"gypsies"
      3) About 15 yrs ago (which seems like yesterday) I read "The Golden Ass of Apulieus" (had been on my parents' shelves for 35 yrs of my life with me never even having seen even the title; the edge was dark)
      4)Also about 15 yrs ago I began imagining that there might have been treatises in the Alexandrian library on connected themes between Isis and Shakti...histories of evolutions and splinter groups

      During this 15-yr-ago-period things seemed to be coming together from my point of view in terms of philosophies and theologies. I got into Indian philosophy & sects, reading Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Andrew Harvey, Ramana Maharshi, and Aurobindo. People gravitate to splitting hairs on different subjects. For me, it seemed [I remember at that time] all the hairs I wanted to split were addressed in Harold Coward's "Jung & Eastern Thought." In comparing Jung's take on various ideas, I felt and still feel there was in that book a good examination (for a westerner) on exactly what a number of Indian concepts were implying (now they seem to be "older" concepts..given what's going down in the world...typified by ones kheper dot net attempts to connect and contrast for example).

      See "Romani migrations" map at this link. I suppose the arrow coming out of Africa represents something recent, but perhaps it represents an ancient much traveled route of Indian peoples [Rupert Sheldrake I guess might say there's a pattern or "resonance" for such a trek established]. I'd like to see a map for when it's calculated genes from Indian groups were estimated to have arrived along this arrow [prior of course to reaching Spain]...and in contrast to the Ethiopian area or "Kush." Actually, I have no idea what times the arrow refers to. I realize Gitanos carry along a very hybridized version of Indian culture and/or beliefs [and that, in the era of Kush/Ethiopia, the heritage was more intact]; but the map causes me to wonder if little groups out of Kush found their way out along the Mediterranean coast over a long time span. Thinking of a "Cloud Atlas" covering lives having made these long treks!
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gitanos

      Theological "truth" seems to be conditioned by the traditions and contexts of what we grow up with in our lives. My take on Incarnations is so unique, I sort of feel there is no one with whom to discuss it.

      Have you written anything on the structures uncovered by the tsunami on the east coast? Any major upsets in thinking brought on by that?

      peace, David

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    3. Hi David, thanks for your comments. It is interesting to know that you are so well read on Indian philosophy. The names that you mentioned are some of the most well-respected thinkers and philosophers of India. Personally, I try to learn from the primary texts, though - The Gita, Upanishads, Puranas, Mahabharata etc. although I do read interpretations and commentaries as well.

      I had first come across the Jungian concepts when I was reading Joseph Cambell's book "The Mythic Image". Cambell was obviously greatly influenced by Jungian thoughts, but I always found the concepts of "archetypes" or "collective unconscious" as unconvincing. They simply do not account for the extremely detailed cosmological information contained in the ancient texts, art and architecture, nor can they explain how such a huge body of mythological stories came to be developed. The ancient texts clearly mention these "mythic tales" as real historical events of a long forgotten past, and I find no reason to disbelieve them. Modern archeology has shown that stories like the Great Flood (which Jung considered to be an archetype) may be based on global flooding scenarios at the end of the ice age. Similarly cosmic and symbolic diagrams may hide within them very specific details of our universe, which we are yet to find out.

      This knowledge was dispersed throughout the ancient world through trade contacts, migrations, as well as knowledge-exchange programs where-in sages and initiates from different countries visited each other. These pratices are well-documented since the time of the Greeks, and must have existed for thousands of years before that.

      The Romani migration is very interesting. What I understand is that these migrations started around the 10th century AD, possibly in response to the Muslim invasions, and subsequently conquest, of India. The Romani may have been traders, who fled with their caravans, along the Silk Route. I cant say if some people from Kush also moved into the Mediterranean at this time. Clearly some people in Europe considered the Romani as Egyptians (which led to the term Gypsy), but that may be because the Indians and Egyptians look alike.

      If you are asking if some people from Kush started moving to the Mediterranean region at around 1900 BC - I think that is quite possible. I think I read somewhere that the Kushites spread out all over the Mediterranean, and even reached Spain. Maybe, some of the Kushites came to be known as the Phoenicians who appeared in the Mediterranean area at around 1500 BC?

      I am not aware of anything specific being uncovered by the tsunami, apart for some of the shore temples near Mahabalipuram, whose existence was already known. If you want to discuss anything unrelated to this article then please feel free to email me at bibhumisra@gmail.com.

      Best,
      Bibhu

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  17. The image of Jaganatha is composed of two planetry / cometary objects exchanging plasma. ( Mars & Venus )

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    1. I did not really understand your comment. A little more detail would have been helpful.

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  18. I would like to point out scientifically and genetically it would be that India was a colony of ancient Kush/Nubia. My people know our history. The science of the black body is very well known to this day. Ancient Nubian texts are not widely known. The work you've done is commendable, but Africa is the source of this ages civilization. Everyone except the African has Neanderthal DNA. Melanin is the key indicator of the original people of Kush/Nubia and Egypt/Kemet. The highest concentration of melanin is found within Africans in Uganda, East Africa.

    The spirals of the African act and symbolize the spirals of the universe and keep us connected to the creator. Hence why the civilizations we built were the least damaging to Mother Earth. DNA does not lie, neither does history, nor does my ancestral memory.

    Good work nonetheless.

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    1. DNA or melanin does not tell us much about when the different populations arose, or mixed or diverged. There are many speculations about the origins of mankind and civilizations, and no fixed theory yet. My article talks of a very specific instance of a migration that took place from the Indus Valley to Ethiopia some 3500 years back, and this is supported by historical, archaeological, social, religious and symbolic evidence. This has nothing to do with the origins of civilization or of mankind or of African influence in the world, which are quite separate topics.

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