700 Temples for ‘Hindu Mitra’ in Rome!

vatican mithra
Mithra in Vatican Museum

Compiled by London Swaminathan
Post No 1308; Dated 24 September 2014.

Mitra is a Vedic god. He is associated with the Sun. Mitra is another name of Sun as well. This Vedic god was worshipped throughout the Roman empire 2000 years ago. At one time there were 700 temples for Mitra in Rome. The worship reached Rome from Iran in a degenerated form. Wherever the rule of the Romans was extended there the cult of Mitra was also practised. Even in London they have excavated one Mitra temple sixty years ago. Because of construction of big companies were involved when they dug out the heart of London, they could not install the temple in its original place. Some of the statues were removed from its original site. Now there is a plan to build the temple in the same place as it was during the Roman rule of Britain.

London’s name came from the Roman Londinium. Places of Mithra worship were called Mithraeums. A third century structure was discovered in London. Following this discovery, some Roman artefacts are discovered in London every year. Last year a delicately carved stone sculpture of a Roman eagle with a snake in its beak was discovered in the Tower of London area. Last year alone they dug out 10,000 Roman objects including 250 leather shoes, hundreds of plates and timber writing tablets near the London Mitra temple. Romans ruled Britain in the first four centuries of the Common Era. Roman soldiers worshipped Mithra and accorded high status like an emperor.

In London an inscription dated to 310 CE was discovered. It said, “For the salvation of our Lords, the four emperors and the Caesar, and to the God Mithras the invincible sun from the east to the west”. Most of the British Christian churches were built in the model of Mithraeums.

Mithras in bath
Mitra coming out of rocks

Historians have discovered scores of human skeletons badly injured and mutilated. They were gladiators who were fighting wild animals such as lions bears and tigers. Thousands of Romans enjoyed watching people torn to pieces by wild animals. They even watched people fighting one another till one of them was killed. Huge crowd cheered them to kill one another. Most of the victims were prisoners of war or slaves. They were all young and under 30!

God Mitra in Vedas (1380 BCE Inscription of Turkey)

Even today Mitra is worshipped as Sun by millions of Brahmins in their daily ritual called ‘Sandhyavandhanam’ and by the practisers of ‘Surya Namaskara’. The first mantra is Om Mitraya Nama:.

The archaeological evidence for Mitra goes back to 1380 BCE. He was invoked in a contact between two kings. Mitannian king swore in the name of Mitra, Varuna, Indra and Nasatyas. Mitannians ruled over an area covering Syria and Turkey. The clay tablet inscription with a peace treaty was discovered in Bogazkoy in Turkey.
Mithra in museums

Mitra and Varuna are the sons of Aditi or Adityas. They are called kings/ Rajas and they possess power/Kshatram. This is the reason for worship by the roman soldiers. Both Mitra and Varuna were endowed with universal power/ Samraj. They maintain universal order/ Rita=rhythm. Mitra presides over friendship and ratifies contracts. This is the reason for Mitannian king to invoke him in the contract. Sanskrit word Mitra means sun and a friend. One of the Pancha Tantras of Vishnu Sarman in ‘Mitrabedham. Zoroaster who went from Saurashtra area of Gujarat to Iran around 800 BCE also used this name Mitra who is considered very close to Asura Mazda.

In the Vedas, Mitra is the ruler of the day and Varuna the ruler of the night like sun and moon. Both maintain the order in the world and this is the reason for Vedas always pairing them as Mitra-Varuna. People with a scientific bent of mind see them as the positive and negative nodes in an electric battery. They together uphold and rule the earth and the sky, guard the world, encourage religion and punish the sinners
Mithraemple under San clemente Church

Mithra Cult of the Romans
Mithra in Persia was a god of war, justice and the sun. As a god of war he rode in a golden chariot drawn by four horses to combat the demons.

Under the Roman empire, Persian Mithra became the focus of a mystery cult particularly popular among the roman soldiers. Mithraic shrines were characterised by an image of Mithras slaying a bull. The slaying of bull was an ancient Persian rite said to have been established by the first man Yima. For the followers of Mithraism this rite symbolised the renewal of creation. In killing the bull it was believed that Mithras brought back Yima’s rule over a world where hunger and death were yet unknown. Romans sacrificed bulls, but to different mother goddess.

Note how the spelling changes from Vedic India to Iran to Rome. Mitra becomes Mithra and then to Mithras.

(In Hindu mythology, Yama was the man said to have died as the first person. Hindu mythology is distorted in Persian and Greek mythologies).

mithraeum in Rome hidden
Mysterious Mithra temples are always in under ground locations.

Sources for the article:
Daily Telegraph (London),
Encyclopaedia of Gods by Michel Jordan,
Dictionary of World Myth by Roy Willis and
New Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology

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