Hindu Vastu God in Rome and Greece!

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Research article by London swaminathan

Article No.1917; Dated 7 June 2015.

Uploaded at London time: 17-49

Vastu god was worshipped as Vesta in Rome and Hestia in Greece. Since they lost touch with India for thousands of years after they left the Indian landmass on their migratory routes they developed the stories in their own way. We see such trends in our Puranas and Sthala (local) Puranas of every town in Tamil Nadu. Same Siva or Vishnu will have a different story in each town with interesting turns and twists. This happened with the Vedic God Vaastospati who is invoked in one short hymn in the oldest religious book in the world, the Rig Veda (7-54-1/3). Vaastospati means Lord of the House. He is invoked to bless man and beast, to remove diseases, to make cattle and horses prosper, to afford protection and to grant a favourable entry.

He is elsewhere described as the destroyer of diseases, is identified with Soma, brought into close connection with Tvastr, an artificer, and he is likened to Indra in connection with Soma pressers.

Origin of Grhapravesa (Entering New House) Ceremony

In the Tenth book of Rig Veda (10-61-7) he appears as an observer of ordinances, who was fashioned by the gods. His character is made clearer by the fact that the Grhyasutras prescribed that offerings are to be made to him upon entering new house. In later literature (TS 3-4-10-3) Rudra bears the style in one passage. The god is clearly the god of the house, who when a new house is built, comes and abides in it. Later in the Sutras, we hear more generally of deities in the house.

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Goddess in Rome Vesta

Vesta was the Goddess of Rome. Vesta sounds like Vastu. She was the goddess of the hearth/fireplace, regarded as the centre of the home, so that in effect she had an altar in every house besides the great sanctuary in the Forum attended by the Vestal Virgins. In contrast to other temples, it was circular in shape. It was served only by virgins who had been selected in their childhood from among the most perfect girls of the city. They were placed under the authority of the great pontiff and received many honours. If they failed to remain chaste, they were whipped or walled up alive at the Collins Gate in Rome.

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Now here is the comparison with Vedic deities:

Vasstospati is a male deity but Vesa is a female deity. But the fire place is part of every Brahmin’s house in ancient India. Every Brahmin had three different fire places in his house and one of them is circular like Vesta’s. Another point is the girls were given to temples in India also who remained chaste till their death. But they were not punished for violating the rules of celibacy. Romans thought Vesta was the guardian of the city. In India every city has a guardian goddess like Vesta of Rome.

In Rome, the fire was kept lit all year long and its flame was solemnly stirred up during the festival in March – Vestalia. This flame had to be obtained solely by rubbing two pieces of wood together. This is also a Vedic custom. For all the Vedic fire ceremonies they produce fire by rubbing two woods and there is special mantras for it. Moreover from birth to death, the same fire in the Brahmin’s house is used. So it was never allowed to stop burning. In the temples the flame was kept alive in Nunda Vilakku (Eternal Flame), special type of lamps which will burn for years continuously. Only thing is oil has to be filled now and then in the pot like bottom of the lamp.

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Vedic Fire Altars in Indus valley Site in Kalibangan

Her name derives – like the name of Hestia — from a Sanskrit root, vas, which expresses the idea of shining. The Romans made Vesta a goddess who personified earth and fire – the fire required for domestic use or in religious ceremonies. As goddess of fire she received both a private and public cult. Hindu’s Fire god is also treated the same way in the Vedas. Vesta received daily offerings from each family, at the hearth/fire place. In Brahmin families everyday offerings were given to fire god. It was called Aupasanam or Agni Hotram. On 9th of June every year was the Vestalia when barefoot Roman matrons offered food baked on their hearths. In Indian temples women give offerings on barefoot on certain days in a year.

As with the Balts and Slavs, a woman had to bring fire from her mother’s house when she married. The goddess of fire celestial and earthly naturally suggests Agni, the god of fire, lightning and the sun: all forms of fire. The rounded temple echoed the form of the sun: the hearth as the earthly counterpart of the heavenly fire.

In the Rig Veda, every male head of a family was obliged to perform, every day, Purvas. For this purpose he had to set up in his house three kinds of fire, protecting his house and the fires by placing  altars of special design. The fires were known as Dakshinagniyam (Semi Circular altar), Garhapatyam (Circular altar) and Ahavaneeyam (Square altar). The altars, intended to shield the fires, had to be built to design plans which related them to each other in the shape and area. To calculate the correct dimensions, sound knowledge of geometry was required. This is quite a complex calculation, requiring an accurate value of pi and a knowledge of the formula for the areas of a circle and rectangle. In such ways as this, the religious concerns of Hindu heads of families had the effect of raising the arithmetical standards of everyone involved. Advanced Geometry originated in India during the Vedic period.

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Source

The Sun Goddess, Myth, Legend and History by Sheena Mc Grath

New Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology

The Rig Veda, Translation by Griifith

Karikal Choza and Eagle shaped Fire Altar

–S Swaminathan

Fire altar, Kerala, April 2004

Ancient Tamil kings followed Vedic customs in their daily life. They respected the Vedas and performed Yagnas/fire ceremonies like the Rajasuya and the Aswamedha. The oldest Tamil book available today is Tolkappiyam, a grammatical treatise. The book says that the Vedic Gods Indra, Varuna, Vishnu were worshipped along with Durga and Skanda. Vedic deities were the gods assigned to three of the four Tamil land divisions. For Marutham-Indra, Neithal-Varuna and Mullai- Vishnu. Skanda and Durga were the deities for Kurinji and Palai respectively.

Mudukudumi Peruvazuthi, one of the earliest Pandya kings had the epithet of “The King Who Performed Several Yagas”. In fact that was his greatest achievement. He probably even performed the Aswamedha Yagna. His country was full of Yupa posts. (Purananuru verses 6, 9, 16 ).They treated Vedic culture as their own culture. The Pandya king was praised for holding his head high except in two situations: one is in the temple and second, before Brahmins. He would bow to only these two in the whole world! Another Pandya king of Madurai was praised for awaking to the Vedic chants of the Brahmins where as other kings wake up to the cry of fowl. (Mankudi Maruthn in Madurai Kanchi). Another king Nalliakodan says that his palace doors were always open to Brahmins (Ref. Sirupan Atruppadai).

Kalidasa, one of the world’s greatest playwrights and the most celebrated Indian poet for his 1000+ beautiful similes mentioned the Pandya king and Agastya in consecutive slokas in his Raguvamsa, which indicates a close relationship that ran for thousands of years. The commentators mention Avabruda Snanam which is done during the Aswamedha Yagna.

The grand old lady of Tamil Sangam period poetess Avvaiyar praised the unity of the three great kings Chera, Choza and Pandyas on the occasion of Rajasuya Yagnam of Perunar Killi (Puram verse 367)

Why did he walk SEVEN STEPS?

The most interesting reference is about the greatest of the ancient Cholas Karikalan by Mudathama Kanniyar. Karikal Peruvalathan is dated 1st century BC. (Please read my article Why British Judges follow Karikalan?).  There are two interesting references to show that Karikalan followed the Vedic customs. He was praised as the one who walks with his guest SEVEN STEPS before seeing them off (Line 166 ,Porunar Atrupadai). Rig Veda says that a friend must be seen off after walking seven steps. Walking Seven Steps (Saptapadi) is an important ceremony in Hindu marriages as well. If both any two friends or a couple walk the seven steps together, their bond last for a lifetime.

This is the meaning of the Sanskrit Saptapadi mantra in marriage:

“Now let us make a vow together. We shall share love, share the same food, share our strengths, share the same tastes. We shall be of one mind, we shall observe the vows together. I shall be the Samaveda, you the Rigveda, I shall be the Upper World, you the Earth; I shall be the Sukhilam, you the Holder – together we shall live and beget children, and other riches; come thou, O sweet-worded girl

We have taken the Seven Steps. You have become mine forever. Yes, we have become partners. I have become yours. Hereafter, I cannot live without you. Do not live without me. Let us share the joys. We are word and meaning, united. You are thought and I am sound. May the night be honey-sweet for us. May the morning be honey-sweet for us. May the earth be honey-sweet for us. May the heavens be honey-sweet for us. May the plants be honey-sweet for us. May the sun be all honey for us. May the cows yield us honey-sweet milk. As the heavens are stable, as the earth is stable, as the mountains are stable, as the whole universe is stable, so may our union be permanently settled.

Eagle Shaped Altar

The second reference is that Karikalan did a Yagna with an EAGLE-SHAPED FIRE ALTAR (Yaga Kunda). Poet Karunkuzalahanar praised Karikalan for setting up eagle shaped fire altar and a Yupa post in Puram verse 224. When he did this he consulted the Brahmins in his court and all his wives were with him during the Yagna, the poet added.

For important fire ceremonies such as the Soma Yaga, the Athirathra and the Aswamedha the fire altar is set up with 10,008 bricks or 1,008 bricks (Please read my article Hindu’s Magic Numbers). Each brick is cleaned ritually and mantras are chanted while the eagle shape fire pit is constructed. The altar is sprinkled with gold chips. If it is an Aswamedha Yagna the altar that is constructed is three times bigger.

In the Valmiki Ramayana we get more details about the Aswamedha performed by King Dasaratha. Gupta Kings issued gold coins after they performed the Aswamedha. Pandya coins were excavated featuring a horse on its side. This proves that they performed the Aswamedha. All credit for this goes to Mudukudumi Peruvazuthi.

The Eagle is the King of Birds. Lord Krishna says in Vibhuti Yoga of Bhagavad Gita that among the birds, he was the eagle. Garuda/eagle was his vehicle as well. The Eagle is used as an emblem throughout Western countries, including the USA. It is Thailand’s national emblem. Though Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world, it has named its national airlines after Vishnu’s vehicle Garuda.

The symbol of the national airline of Indonesia

Mankudi Kizar in Puram 29 praised Thalaialangkanathu Neduncheziyan for performing a fire ceremony .Dr R Nagaswamy, famous historian and archaeologist has given a long list of all the Yagas done by the Tamil kings and the Pallava kings in his book (Yavarum Kelir page 78 to 82). Almost all the Chera kings listed in Pathitru Pathu performed several yagnas. It gives a lot of detail, such as the fasting done by the kings before the ceremonies. Cheran Chenguttuvan even released all the prisoners in his jails to mark this occasion.

Velirs claim that they were born in Fire pits. They belonged to the Agni clan. Several clans in Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan also claimed themselves as fire-born. One famous Maya King’s name was Fire-Born.

Pallavas were powerful and they performed the famous Aswamedha (Horse Sacrifice) to establish their political superiority. If we look at the epigraphs and copper plates of that time, they give a long list of the Yagas they performed and the donations they gave on such occasions. Rajathi Rajan I performed an Aswamedha according to his epigraphs. Foreign scholars, with their mischievous propaganda of Aryan Dravidian divide distorted Indian history beyond recognition. They made us believe that there were two different cultures existing in India during ancient times. Anyone who studies our ancient literature without the Aryan Dravidian prejudice will find one culture and unity of thought throughout its 5,000 year history from the northernmost Himalayas to the southernmost oceans. The minute our scholars realise this truth, they will find the key to the Indus script as well.

Finally, a twelve day Athirathram Yagna was recently performed in Kerala (April 2011) in Panjal near Thrissur. The eagle-shaped fire altar was set up with 1,110 specially designed bricks. Frits-Staal, Indologist and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Berkley attended the ceremony with a group of scholars and scientists to study the effects on the environment and biosphere.

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