Post No. 9021

Date uploaded in London – –11 DECEMBER 2020      

Contact –

Pictures are taken from various sources for spreading knowledge;

this is a non- commercial blog. Thanks for your great pictures.,

What is Guggulu?

It is a resin extracted from a plant.

What is the name of the plant?

It is a tree called Commiphora wightii or mukul

Where does this grow?

India, Arabia and Africa (Somalia)

What is it used for?

In Ayurveda, it is used to cure several diseases; it reduces cholesterol and cures arthritis. Indeed, it is a panacea to various ailments.

It is also used in incense and perfumes

It is similar to other incenses like myrrh and frankincense.

Where do we find the references?

The oldest reference to Guggulu comes from the Atharvaveda and the world uses this word until today.

What are the names in Indian languages?

It is called Kungiliam in Tamil. Other languages have words similar to Guggul.

Other plants belonging to different plant families also have similar resins which can be used as incense. Sal, Deodar are some of them. One should not confuse them.

What is the mystery?

2000 year old Greek book Periplus of Erythraean Sea says that it is exported from Barbaricae, an Indus River port, which is located near  Karachi of modern Pakistan. New Testament also says that the three Magis from the EAST took Myrrh as gifts to Baby Jesus.

It shows India as the origin of this plant. From India it spread to East Africa and Arabian Peninsula.

At least 1000 years before the Greek book, is dated the Atharva Veda, the Fourth Veda of the Hindus. Atharva Veda also says what Periplus said- It is produced by the Sindhu and by the sea. It confirms that it was exported from India from the Indus port. This shows the sea borne trade existed between India and Babylonia around 1000 BCE.

AV.19-38-2; 2-36-7

Later it occurs in old Ayurvedic books from 600 BCE. 



Though another word bdellium from Hebrew literature is used to similar substance, scholars couldn’t agree whether it meant a precious stone or incense

The word frankincense is of Sanskrit origin. Frankin came from old French which meant PARAM in Sanskrit meaning supremely pure , super. ‘Incense’ came from ‘to be burn’t, found in ‘incen’diary bombs etc. it is derived from AGNI in Sanskrit meaning fire (compare words like ignite, igneous etc)

If we think deeper and analyse why three Magis went to Bethlehem to see baby Jesus and why they took Myrrh(Incense) as a gift, we will come to the conclusion that it was exported from India to Babylonia and they valued it much.






The history of Holy Servants of Lord Siva , popularly known as Periya Puranam in Tamil , has 63 stories of Saivite Tamil saints. One of them is called Guggulu Pot Nayanar. Two miracles happened in his life.

KATAVUR in the Choza country has a famous shrine where lord Siva killed  Yama with a kick to save his devotee Markanteyar from the jaws of death.

In the prosperous town there lived a brahmin by name Kalayar, literally Mr Pot. He used to worship the feet of Siva everyday and he burnt fragrant Guggulu, Kungilyam in Tamil, in the temple. As the days went by Kalayar was known by the name Guggulu Pot man. He fell into poverty at one time had no money to buy the basic provisions for his family. When they had nothing to eat for two whole days his wife gave him her Thali, golden sacred trinket of married Hindu women, to sell and get some provisions.

He got the golden Thali and on his way saw a merchant with Guggulu. He became very happy and bought all the Guggulu by giving him the golden  thali. He went to the temple and offered his service to the lord and slept in the temple out of tiredness. His wife and children were eagerly waiting at home for him to return with lot of money. But he didnt come home.

In the meantime, lord Siva appeared in his dream and asked him to go home. Before he went home Lord Siva did transform  the entire house by providing them enormous wealth. When Mr Pot returned home, he saw incredible treasure and lived happily ever after.

Once the big Siva Linga statue at Tiruppanantal temple , which is near Tiru Katavur, started leaning down. The Choza monarch sent an army of elephants to pull the statue and make it straight. But nothing worked and the king felt sad. Hearing the plight of the king, our hero Mr Gugguu Pot Nayanar (Kungiliya Kalaya Nayanar) went and tried, but in vain. At last he  tied a rope around the statue and put the other end around his neck like a garland and pulled the statue. It stood upright because Lord Siva obey his loving servant. What an army of elephants couldn’t do he did it with the bond of love. Choza monarch thanked him and showered him with lot of gold coins.

Kungiliya Kalayanar was a contemporary of another great saint Jnana Sambandar who lived 1400 years ago. So from the day of Atharva Veda (1000 BCE) we have the history of Guggulu in India, from the Indus river to Kaveri river. No wonder India exported it to Babylonia and got references in Greek and Roman works.

India’s relationship with Iran and Iraq goes back to thousands of years and Guggulu and camels are some of the proofs.

Tags- guggulu, kungiliyam, frankinsense,  Babylonia, Somalia, Kungilia Kalaya Nayanar



clay tablet with auspicious days

WRITTEN BY  London Swaminathan

Date: 10 DECEMBER 2019

 Time in London – 18-52

Post No. 7326

Pictures are taken from various sources; beware of copyright rules; don’t use them without permission; this is a non- commercial, educational blog; posted in and simultaneously. Average hits per day for both the blogs 12,000

constellation maps

‘Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks’ is a latest book (year 2019) on Babylonia. It is published by Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University. The Yale Babylonian collection with more than 40,000 clay tablets and seals is one of the most important repositories of Mesopotamian artefacts in the world.

The Mesopotamian writing system, known as Cuneiform, was invented in southern Iraq around 3500 BCE and remained in use for 3500 years. Scholars in the Western world believe that everything we have today came to us via Greece. Greeks took it from Babylonia and spread it to other parts of the world. Early Indian scholars also wrote that astronomy and astrology came to  Hindus from the Greeks. The blunder that they made was that they thought Vedic civilization came after Babylonian. But Hindus strongly believe that Vedas and other texts were from Pre Kaliyuga period. According to them Kaliyuga began in 3102 BCE. And this belief has been there for at least 1500 years according to archaeological evidence. According to Aihole inscription and Parthivasekara pura Tamil inscription Hindu dating of Kaliyuga and Vedas was correct.

Very interesting similarities are seen between the Hindus and Babylonians with regard to Time, Calendar and Almanac. I have found the following similarities in the book:

 horoscope of Aristocrates

1.Following Luni-Solar calendar for celebrating festivals; for instance Hindus celebrate some festivals on the basis of cycle of moon and others on the cycle of Sun. Babylonians did the same.

2.Because of the 11+ days of difference between the two cycles, an Intercalary Months was inserted every third year as the unlucky 13th month. Vedic scholars also did this and called it impure/dirty month (Mala Maatha). That is why 13 is considered impure, un lucky.

3.Horoscope writing was followed by both the cultures

4. Marking favourable and unfavourable days i.e. Auspicious and Inauspicious (Subha and Asubha Dinas)

5.Good days to make medicines and to take medicines. What part of the body is controlled by which zodiac sign. Though we have lots of things about these in Sanskrit scriptures, scholars believe that we borrowed them from the Babylonians through Greeks.

6.Movement of Venus and its effects on us. Hindu astrology linked movement of Venus and Jupiter with drought and harvest.

7.Even 2000 year old Tamil Sangam literature has hundreds of astrological and astronomical remarks in Tamil verses.

Following statements in the book are interesting: –

“Babylonians had astronomical diaries marking the movements of celestial things on day today basis. Akkadian language mentioned them as ‘regular watching’.

lunar eclipse rituals 

Celestial divination is known to have been practised in Mesopotamia already in early second millennium BCE . The late first millennium BCE saw many significant developments in astrology, including schemes linking astronomical phenomena to the rise and fall of business. They applied astrology to medicine including associating signs of the zodiac to a wide range of aspects of life. In particular, we find an increasing interest in applying astrology to medicine , including associating signs of the zodiac with different parts of the body.

The most significant development within astrology, however, was casing the horoscope of a new born child. One of these horoscopes reads-

“Year 77 (of the Seleucid Era), on the fourth of the month of Simanu, in the morning of the fifth, Aristocrates was born. That day the moon was in Leo, the sun was in 12;30Gemini. (..) The place of Jupiter (his life) will be prosperous, at peace; wealth will be long lasting. Venus was in 4 degree Taurus. The place of Venus; he will find favour wherever he goes. He will have sons and daughters.”

Seleucid era began in 312 BCE.

My comments

This is how Hindu astrologers write horoscopes till this day. Seleucus Nicator was a commander in Alexander’s army and he occupied parts of Alexander’s territories after his death. When Selecus invaded India he was defeated by the mighty Hindu army of Mauryas and he made peace with Chandragupta Maurya by giving his daughter in marriage to him. So he might have taken this horoscope writing to Babylonia and not vice versa. Even the 12 zodiac sign system came to Babylonia very late. This also may be the contribution of Hindus. Before that they had some zodiac signs and not all the 12. Greeks spread it to the Western world.