Origin of Horse Race and Chariot Race

Hyksos invading Egypt

Research paper written by London Swaminathan
Post. No.1251; Dated 25th August 2014.

“Keep the horses happy and you will win the stake. Make your chariot into the vehicle of good fortune. Drink at the fountain that has Soma- vats for buckets, a pressing stone for its vehicle, a consecrated goblet for its casting; this is the fountain where men drink” (Rig Veda 10-101-7)

Rig Veda, the oldest religious book in the world, has lots of references to Horses. But the surprising thing is that we don’t have horse pictures in the Indus valley civilization. Nearby countries in the Mesopotamia region and Egypt had horses and chariots at the same time. Some people interpret unicorn seals of Indus valley as horses. But the evidence for Indus horse is inconclusive.

The oldest horse training manual has Sanskrit words for numbers!
The MItannian (Syria/Turkey) rulers’ names were in Sanskrit:
Biridaswa=Brhat Asva= possessing great horses
Sattawaza = Sapta Asva= Prize Winner in Seven horse races
Kikkuli (1400 BCE) trained people on horses. His manual used Sanskrit words:
royal lion hunt
Royal Lion hunt in the Middle East

Wartanna Vartana a turn
Aika Eka One turn
Tera Tri Three turns
Panza Panca Five turns

Satta Sapta Seven turns
Na (artanna) Nava Nine turns

Those who studied Tamil grammar wouldn’t be surprised to see Satta becoming Sapta. In Tamil also we follow the same rules to change Sanskrit sounds in to Tamil sounds. Raja becomes Arasan in Tamil. Rajaraja becomes Iraasa rasan in Tamil. Damayanthy in Sanskrit is written as Tamayanti, YogaRaja becoming Yokarasa in Tamil, Shakespeare changing to Sekappiriyar or seksupiyar, Homer changing to Omar and Harrypotter changing to Karipaattar!! There is no S or H or J or Sh or Ksha in pure Tami!!
In the same way Kikuli changed Sanskrit words to suit his students in the Hittite empire!
Maryannu is a word for warrior used by Kiikuli. This comes from the Sanskrit word Marya. Egyptians borrowed this Sanskrit word and Egyptianized like Tamils and wrote M(a)-ar-ya-na in 1470 BCE in Papyrus Anastasi I. They used this for Chariot warrior.

P= V
Asva in Sanskritis written as Aspa by the Persians.
By 1500 BCE Sanskrit words were used from the Plains of River Ganges to the Plains of the River Nile and in between Mesopotamia!!!

Zend Avesta of Zoroastrians had Old Sanskrit or Persian words
Dravaspa =Devi Asva = Goddess for horses
Vist aspa (a king of Bactri) Visva Asva? = All powerful Horse?
Pourus Aspa = father of Zarathustra = one who possess many horses
Arbataspa =Master of war like horses
Huaspa =Su Asva= having good horses
Bactria’s capital was known as Zariaspa= land of golden horses! This is because they used gold coloured bronze coat.

meso chariot horse, British-Museum-161
Mesopotamian Chariot Horse

Encyclopedias give wrong information about horse racing by saying that it originated in Greece. There is very clear proof to show that horse racing was a big sport in ancient India during Vedic times. When one looks at the innumerable references to horses and technical terms regarding horse races, one would conclude it originated in India. Horses appear in Egypt only after Egyptian kings marrying princesses of Indian origin from Turkey/Syria or coming into contact with the mainland Indians. The Asiatic Hyksos ( Hindu Yakshas?) seized control of Nile delta in 1750 BCE. Yakshas were ruling a vast territory from the Himalayan Tibet to Sri Lanka according to the Hindu Epics.

There were two types of races in the ancient world: 1)Horse Race 2) Chariot Race (driven by horses)

Sixty Parts of a Chariot!!
Vedic Index of names and subjects by AA MacDonnell and A B Keith has listed more than sixty terms for chariot and its parts alone. This shows that horse and chariot were part of Ancient Indian life. They might have done both horse race and chariot race. But gambling in such races was unknown. Prizes were given to the winners.

The racecourse called Kaasthaa (RV 8-80-8; AV 2-14-6) or Aaji (RV4-24-8;AV13-2-4) itself appears from the Atharvaveda to have been a quasi circular one to mark and back again. In the Rig-Veda the course is described as broad and the distance as measured out. Prizes were offered and eagerly competed for. Other words for victory and the prize are kaara (RV 5-29-8; 9-14-1)and bhara (RV 5-29-8; 10-16-5) and to run a race is described by the expressions aajim, dhaav. The person who instituted a race is referred to as aajisrt and Indra is called aaji krt and aajipati (RV 8-53-6 & 8-53-14).

horse meso
Use of Horse in Mesopotamia in 2400 BCE

Highly developed Veterinary Science!

The swift steeds (vaajin, atya) used for the races were often washed and adorned. According to Pischel the name of one swift mare is preserved – Vispalaa, whose broken leg was replaced by the Asvins in a race.

Geldner has also found a comic picture of a horse chariot race in the Mudgala hymn in the Rig-Veda. Pischel also seeks to show that races were run in honour of gods.
A former race, however, is a feature of the ritual of Rajasuya or royal consecration. Tamil Chozas also did Rajasuya Yajna, says Sangam Tamil literature.

Oldest Horse Training Manual
A few texts survive about horse training. The earliest comes from the Mitannian Kikkuli, who was employed by the Hittite empire. One thousand years after this, we had another book by the Greek author Xenophon (4th century BCE). Then came the Sanskrit work Arthasastra from the Hindu Brahmin author Chanakya alias Kautilya (324 BCE). This book is a political and military text with a large section on the training of war horses.
tutankhamun's fan with chariot 1
Tutakhamun’s Ostrich feather fan

In the early Hittite empire (modern Turkey), a city rebelling against King Anittas (1750 BCE) had fielded forty chariots; Hattulis I (1650- 1620 BCE) fielded eighty chariots at the siege of Urshu and by the Battle of Kadesh (1285 BCE), Hattusas fielded 2500 chariots under Muwatallis II (1306- 1282 BCE).
Anitta = Anirudh?
Hattuli = Sathyasila
Hattusas=Sathyaputra ( In Tamil it changed to Athiyaman)

A plaque from the reign of Tuthmose III (1479- 1425 BCE) show an Egyptian mounted warrior armed with mace and bow, his horse trampling a fallen foe. Before using the horses in war, Sumerian civilization used it for pulling the wagons. The artefacts date from 2800- 2500 BCE. Sumerian texts dated 2100 BCE talk about horses.

The earliest evidence for using horse meat come from the Dereivka remains in Ukraine, where 2412 horse bones were recovered. At Botai in Kazakhstan, ten tons of horse bones were recovered.

If one looks at the references to Horses, Chariots, Races, Prizes and Parts of Chariots, Veterinary Science of Asvini Devas in the Rig Veda, Hykso’s (Yaksha) Victory over Egypt (1780 BCE) and Mitannian Kikkuli’s (1400 BCE) horse manual, one can boldly say the science of horses and chariot races was the contribution of the Hindus to the world. If the Rig Veda is dated to 6000 BCE as proposed by Bala Gangadhara Tilak and the German scholar Jacobi, then the History of horse would turn topsy turvy. If we take Shrikant G.Talageri seriously who propose Rig Vedic hymns cover 2000 years of composition, history of horse would turn ‘ulta’!
Hyksos, who invaded Egypt, may be the Yakshas of India. We read about Kubera’s Yaksha army fighting with Ravana and Bhima (read my story about Saugandika lotus flower for Draupadi in my post “ARE WOMEN ALWAYS DEMANDNG?”)

Long Live Horses who took our culture to Egypt and Greece!!
Nimrud, northern iraq 880 BCE
Nimrud in Northern Iraq 880 BCE.

Books Used:
The Rig Veda (English Translation by Griffith)
Vedic Index by MacDonald and Keith
The Horse in the Ancient World (Ann Hyland)

northern iraq 850 BCE
Horse in Northern Iraq, 880 BCE

pictures are used from various sites fro non commercial use;thanks.
contact swami_48@yahoo.com

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