Mata and Pita in Egyptian Religion!


Research paper written by London Swaminathan
Research article No.1417; Dated 17th November 2014.

Hindus see Matha/mother and Pitha/father as Gods. The Sanskrit saying goes Matha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam. There are two interpretations for this adage:

1.Mother, Father and Guru must be respected as Gods
2.Mother, Father, Teacher and God must be respected in the order of the words in the adage. Mother, being the first in the saying, she is greater than the other three.

Whatever may be the interpretation; there are two similar sounding deities in Egypt. Egyptian civilization had a 3000 year long history. At every stage of the history there were drastic changes in the customs and Gods and beliefs. Apart from the ancient Gods, new gods were introduced into Egypt from the places with which it maintained trade relationship. So the number of gods increased slowly in course of time. Maat and Ptah are two ancient Gods. It is very interesting to compare them with the Hindu Gods with similar names.

Image of Maat

Hindu mantras in Sanskrit and other regional languages say that goddess is mother, in Sanskrit Jagan Maathaa (universal mother). If it is not a long sound like Maathaa, but just a short sound Matha, as in Egyptian, then the meaning is ‘’a way, a way of worship’’. Hindu religion is called Hindu Matham in Tamil.
Egyptian Goddess Ma’at is similar to this matha. Her name would easily fit in with ‘matha’. And her image will fit in with Maathaa.

In Sanskrit the meaning of the word Matha is ‘’a way, creed, sect, path, opinion, or Dharma’’. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna uses the word ‘’matham’’ in at least five places.

The key to the Egyptian world was represented by the concept Ma’at, a term which is elusive and resists precise translation. Ma’at represents order, balance, justice, the harmony of the universe, a disciplined weighing of many elements in a coherent whole. Ma’at is represented in the hieroglyphic dictionary by the most charming of all glyphs, a delicate, adolescent girl, with a single feather in her hair.

This fits in with Hindus’ matham and Maathaa in concept and image respectively.

She is associated with the sun god like Hindu goddess Gayatri. In later times she was called the daughter of sun god. The rulers of Egypt believed that they governed under her aegis and frequently had themselves described as beloved of Ma’at.

In the underworld, the heart of a dead persons is weighed against the feather of Maat. If the heart was burdened with sin and heavier than the feather, the deceased was devoured a monster. If the heart is lighter, the deceased became a spirit among the gods. This is again is in Hindu mythology. We say that if the heart is pure then the soul goes to heaven to be among gods. If the ‘Papa/sin’ is more than the ‘Punya/good merits’, then the person suffers in the hell.


P’tah, Creator god and god of craftsmen

The greatest of the Egyptian creator gods was P’tah of Memphis. He was hailed as Lord of Destiny, Lord of Truth and Lord of Fate. All Egypt’s gods were actually manifestations of P’tah. He is invariably represented in human form, though mummified. The meaning of his name is unknown; opener, sculptor and engraver have been suggested. This fits very well with the creator god of Hindus– Brahma. Hindus believe that he writes our fate on our heads. His main task is the creation. So opener, engraver and sculptor will very well fit into him.

P(i)tah was also identified with an immensely ancient divinity associated with the very beginning of the world and his name was Tanon. He is known as the Lord of years. In Hinduism Brahma’s life span is one era called Param (1000 Chatur Yugas is one night and another 1000 Chatur Yugas is one day; in this way Brahma’s life span is 100 years! An incredible number!) So Ptah is Prajapati or Brahma. Like Brahma, Ptah is also associated with lotus flower.

All life and matter was generated by the heart and tongue of P’tah – thought and word. He created deities by thinking of them in his heart and speaking aloud their names.
As the years went by and Egypt grew old, the nature of gods also changed. Foreign divinities were brought into the pantheon and the Egyptian gods began to take on the common nature.


Information about Egyptian gods is culled out from the following books:
Egypt’s Making by Michael Rice
Who is Who in Ancient Egypt by Michael Rice
Encyclopaedia a of Gods by Michael Jordan.

some pictures are taken from wikipedia;thanks.

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