Ganges in Greek Geographer’s Writings! (Post No.4090)

Written by London Swaminathan

Date: 17 July 2017

Time uploaded in London-21-37

Post No. 4090

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.


India is the land of mighty rivers, and Ganga is the holiest of all those rivers. Ganga’s sister stream Yamuna is also worshipped because of Lord Krishna’s association with the river. Their banks are dotted with temples and shrines and thousands upon thousands worship daily the sacred streams. The principal centres of worship on the Ganges are Gangotri, the source of the Ganges in the mountain; Haridwar, where she forsakes her mountain home; Triveni Sangam (Allahabad) where she joins water with Yamuna (Jumna) and the mythical stream, the Sarasvati; Benares (Varanasi), the holiest city for the Hindus; and Sagar Island, where she mingles with the ocean.


According to the Greek geographer Strabo (64 BCE to 24 CE), Hindus worshipped Jupiter Pluvius, the River Ganges, and the gods of the country. This Jupiter Pluvius was Indra (Strabo 15-1-69). This shows Ganges was worshipped by the Hindus 2000 years ago which was noted by a Greek writer.


The day of Ganga’s supposed descent on earth, the tenth of the light half of Jeshth (June), and the day of the full moon or Kartik (October) are observed as festivals in her honour by all Hindus.


Water Power!

“Take away, O Waters, whatsoever is wicked in me, what I have done by violence or curse, and untruth” is a Vedic prayer repeated often today (Rig Veda 1-22-3)

So strong is the popular belief in the sanctity of the river that both in private life as well as in the law-courts people often give up cherished claims if their opponents deny them when holding Ganges water in their hands or swearing by the Ganges.

In the Mahabharata it is said that the “Gita comprises all the Sastras, i.e.sacred writings, Hari (Vishnu) all the gods and the Ganges all the Sacred places”.

In addition to the Ganges there are many others which are regarded as sacred by the Hindus. River Narmada also considered sacred for burning dead bodies on its banks.


Hindu River Marathon!


To follow the course of any river on foot is considered a highly meritorious act. A pilgrim, for example, sets out from the source of Ganges at Gangotri and walks by the left bank of the river to its mouth, at Ganga sagara; then turning round, he proceeds by the right side back to Gangotri, when he departed. This takes six years to accomplish. In the same way a pilgrim starts from the source of Narmada, a peak on the Vindhya Mountains, and walks to the mouth near Broach and back. This takes three years. The rivers Godavari and Krishna require only two years for the same process. Of course, the merit accumulated is in proportion to the time occupied in pilgrimage and the sacredness of the ground traversed.


Romans and Persians

Romans and Persians did something like a river worship in the olden days.

Gen.Sleeman points out that among the Romans and ancient Persians rivers were propiated  by sacrifices. When Vitellius crossed the Euphrates with the Roman legions to put Tiridates on the throne of Armenia, he propiated the river by the scrfice of a hog, a ram and a bull. Tiridates himself sacrificed a horse. Tacitus does not praise the river god, but the stream itself.


Plato makes Socrates condemn Homer for making Achilles behave disrespectfully towards the river Xanthus in offering to fight him (illiad 20-73); and towards the river Spercheus, another acknowledged god, in presenting to the dead body of Patroclus the locks of his hair which he had promised to the river (Iliad 23-14—53)

Hindu customs such as worshipping a river and giving hair to god, prevailed in those places 2000 years ago. But the beauty of Hinduism is that these customs prevail in India with the same fervour, but in other countries it has gone into the history books.




River Ganges in Sumerian Culture (Post No.3731)

Written by London swaminathan


Date: 17 March 2017


Time uploaded in London:- 8-05 am


Post No. 3731


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.






Enki – River Ganges in Sumerian Culture


Holy River Ganga (Ganges) is so famous and so holy that wherever Hindus went they named at least one river after Ganga. We see Ganga in River Mekong (Ma Ganga) in South East Asia, Maveli Ganga in Sri Lanka, Congo in Central Africa etc. Sumerians also named God Enki after River Ganga.


Enki is the Sumerian god of the waters and wisdom. Akkadians called it Ea.


Both Enki and Ea are corrupted Sanskrit words:

Enki= Ganga

Ea – Toyam/water


But Enki is a male god in Sumerian; His abode was subterranean sweet water ocean Apsu.

Apsu is also a Sanskrit word for water (Apa= Apsu).


In Mesopotamian flood myths, Enki appears as the protector of humanity. Lot of stories are linked to Enki in course of time. This is because the local gods got mixed up with Enki. More over various cultures layered one over the other and people thought all are same.


Enki was worshipped in Iraq (Mesopotamia) between 3500 BCE and 1750 BCE. Hindu migration started towards Europe and West Asia 8000 years ago according to the latest Genetic research. Cave paintings in Bhimbetka and other parts of India proved that human occupation was there as early as 50,000 years ago in the heart of India (Madhya Pradesh etc).

Sumerians believed that Enki fills the Iraq rivers Tigris and Euphrates. Enki is perceived to fill the two rivers with sacred sweet water. This Sumerian belief is a typical Hindu belief. Hindus believe that all the rivers in India gets Ganga water on holy days. On Deepavali (Diwali) day, all the waters in any part of India is considered Ganga water. Tamils exchange greetings in the morning “have you had Ganges bathing today?” This is a traditional greeting for Deepavali.


When Kumbamela is celebrated every four years, Ganges visits different rivers in India. Mahakumbamela is celebrated every 12 years at Prayag (also known as Allahabad).


Whenever they dip in any water they recite the Punya Nadhi (River Hymn) sloka. Ganga Sindhusca Kaveri, Yamuna ca Saraswati……… The meaning is seven rivers are sacred and Ganga stands first. Hindus always keep Ganges water at home and mix it with other waters. Just by adding a drop of Ganga water they consider the whole water is from the Ganges. Sumerians also believed that Enki floods the rivers in Iraq (old Mesopotamia).



Enki is associated with Creation myth in Sumerian Civilization. Though the special meaning was Ganga , the common meaning was water for Enki. No wonder water is associated with creation. All the major cultures have the Flood Myth.


He is usually represented as a figure in typical horned head dress and tiered skirt with two streams of water springing from his shoulders or a vase and including leaping fish. This is again a Hindu story. Ganges is coming from the head of Lord Shiva and is depicted in all the pictures. Since Hindus migrated to Sumerian lands thousands of years ago, they had only vague memories. Fish stands for the Fish Avatar (Matsyaavatar) of Lord Vishnu.


The water coming from a vase is also a typical Hindu story. Hindus believe that the South Indian River Kaveri came from the vase of a great sage named Agastya. Ganges is also represented in a vase in every Hindu house.


Some of the images in Sumerian would remind any Hindu the penance done by the King Bhageeratha to bring the celestial Ganges to earth. This is a story about geology and a great engineering marvel. Around 1800 or 2000 BCE, big natural catastrophes happened in the Himalayan region. As a result of this great Saraswati river disappeared; Ganges changed its course; Indus valley civilization disappeared because of drought and floods. At that time Bhageeratha,who was a great engineer diverted the Ganges towards bay of Bengal via the modern Gangetic plain.


Like the Egyptians relocated Abu symbol  from the course of Nile river, Bhageertha removed a big blockage in the course of Ganges which was considered a big Engineering marvel. This is depicted in Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu Pallva Monuments) and other sculptures. Puranas say that Ganges comes from the head of Lord Shiva. Sumerians also has depicted this scene.

Enki and Egypt

Michael Rice, in his book Egypt’s making, writes,

“In Egypt the hieroglyphic symbol – ‘foot with a jar’ from which water is pouring, meant PURE, CLEAN.

The Pyramid text Utterance 513says,

“Be pure; occupy your seat in the bark of Re; row over the sky and mount up to the distant ones; row with the imperishable stars, navigate with the Unwearyingly Stars.”

(my comments: Hindus also place Ganges at two levels; one is Ganges on earth/Himalayas

and the second is Aakasa Ganga (Sky Ganga). The Milky Way galaxy that contains solar system is called Akasa Ganga in Sanskrit literature)


“One of Enki’s shrines is described as ‘the clean place’ and ‘pure’ and the idea of distant journeying is compelling, at least in the context of a review which started out on this voyage through the Egyptian perceptions of their island connections. The association with purity and water is also notable”.

(My comments: The words clean, pure etc show that they meant only Ganga; this confirms Enki is Ganga; Hindus sprinkle Ganges water on the day of Purity Ceremony known as Punyaaha Vachana)


Dictionary of Ancient Near East adds,

“Enki’s most important cult centre was the E-abzu at Eridu. As a provider of fresh water and a Creator God and determiner of destinies, Enki was always seen as favourable to mankind. In the Sumerian poem ‘Inana and Enki’, he controls the ‘me’ concerned with every aspect of human life and in ‘Enki and the World Order’, he has the role of organising in detail every feature of the civilized world. He also appears as a powerful and cunning deity in several Hittite Myths”.


New Larousse Encyclopaedia of Mythology adds:

“Enki or Ea, god of the Apsu, was the principal divinity of the liquid elements. But he had a daughter, the goddess NANSHE who shared his functions. She was the goddess of springs and canals. Like her father she ws particularly honoured in Eridu, the holy city, which was situated at the mouth of Apsu. She was also worshipped at Lagash each year, on a canal near the city, there was a procession of boats to escort the sacred barge in which the Goddess rode”.

(My comments: In addition to Sanskrit words used in the above (enki=Ganga, Ea=Toyam, Apsu=apa), note that Eridu is considered Gangotri of Sumerians. Lagash is Kailash. Sumerians vaguely remembered all the Indian place names and they changed or got corrupted in course of time. even today famous city Madurai in Tamil Nadu is called Marudai; no wonder Kailsh became Lagash! The boat festival is the Ganaga mata festival with Goddess Ganga on the boat.)

“Nanshe’s emblem was a vase in which a fish swam. Finally the rivers were deified. They were invoked not only as the creators of all things but also the instruments of the Gods’ justice”.

(My comments: India is the only country in the world where all the rivers are deified; even today they worship the rivers. There are even statues for all the River Goddesses and festivals around the year. They considered famines, droughts and floods are God’s punishments for their evil deeds; now environmental scientists agree with the Hindus: if we abuse Nature it punishes us!)


Ganges is praised in the Rig Veda. When Saraswati River existed Ganges occupied a secondary place. When Saraswati river disappeared, Ganga came to first place. So Ganges and Enki can be used to find out the periods of civilization. My guess is that Sumerian, Babylonian and Mesopotamian civilizations came when Ganga was considered most sacred. That means Rig Veda is earlier than all these civilizations. Nicholas Kazanas, greek scholar, proved that Rig Veda was composed before 3300 BCE through linguistic research. Herman Jacobi of Germany and BG Tilak of India have dated Rig Veda before 4500 BCE through astronomical data.

Now  the samples of underground Saraswati River proved scientifically that  the Vedic civilization was older than the previous conjectures.






Prayag, the meeting place of Ganga and Jumna; A H Hallam Murray (Post No.2712)


Sketch by Murray

Compiled by london swaminathan

Date: 10 April, 2016


Post No. 2712


Time uploaded in London :–  13-56


( Thanks for the Pictures  ) 




(for old articles go to OR


Centuries before Akbar’s day, however, a stronghold, called Prayag, or the place of sacrifice, existed at the meeting of the Ganges and the Jumna, which, since the earliest days, had been most popular place of pilgrimage with the Hindu race.  The first authentic historical information about it is on the tapering shaft of the Lath of the Buddhist king Asoka, in the garden entrance of the fort; it dates from about BC 258 and its 49 feet of height is covered with inscriptions; it, no doubt, very curious, but it is one of the things about which I find it difficult to screw up much enthusiasm.

(Prayag is known as Allahabad now)


In the native town, with its low brown houses, there were of course picturesque corners, but what struck our eyes chiefly – as we drove, through it, to the tomb of Khusru – was the absence of colour, after the vivid blues and reds and yellows of Bombay, and the number of clothes worn.


We drove, under a tall archway, overgrown with creepers, into the Khusru Bagh, one of the most beautiful and shady gardens of India, and there under a fine spreading the tamarind tree, we saw the last resting place of Akbar’s ill-fated grandson, prince Khusru, the rebellious and popular heir of Jahangir. Akbar had a great affection of Khusru, whom Jahangir treated with jealous animosity that caused the Rajput Princess Khusru’s mother to commit suicide. Khusru was imprisoned and at last poisoned to death by Shah Jehan.


The Fort, which passed to the English in 1801 must have been originally a splendid and intensely interesting place, and it still forms a striking object above the sandy spit at the meeting of the rivers. But perhaps military exigencies obliged us to obliterate and destroy every vestige of originality in it; it has been ruthlessly shorn of any architectural beauty or archaeological interest.


It contains the arsenal. But the military authorities have been more respectful to the Hindu remains inside the Fort and not interfered with the well-known  Akshai Bar, or ever living banyan tree- – a forked stump with the bark on—which, though the tree appears to be  replaced every few months , yet stands in the midst of what is, probably identical the Hindu temple of Shiva, described by the Chinese pilgrims in the seventh century it is now in a pillared crypt, reached by an underground passage  beneath the walls of Akbar’s Fort; this seems to show that Akbar’s well known religious liberality led him to allow the priests  and pilgrims free access to the  ancient Hindu shrine, though he was obliged to incorporate it in his building.


In the passage leading to the ancient temple are some curious idols, and, in the centre, a stone rudely tapered to a cone, which the devout venerate and reverence with lustrations.  Beyond is a square aperture probably leading to the river, though the Hindus say it leads straight to Benares; whilst the natural moister, exuding from the walls, is supposed to prove the truth of the legend that the sacred river Saraswati, which disappears in the Bikaneer desert, many miles away north, finds it way to this holy spot. The tree was probably worshipped here by the rude aboriginal tribes, with its ostrich like capacity for assimilating alien religious practices, has sanctioned its continued worship. Hiouen Thsang gives a description of the wide-spreading tree in front of the principal shrine of the temple, which recalls description of the blood stained grove at Kumasi. The tree was supposed to be the abode of a man eating demon, and was surrounded by the bones of the human sacrifices, with which from the “old unhappy far off days” of earliest tradition it had been propitiated.
Extract from AHH Murray’s book The High-Road of Empire

To be continued……………………


G for Ganga….. Gayatri…… Gita…. Govinda…

G for Ganga….. Gayatri…… Gita…. Govinda…

If  you are on the telephone and the person at the other end could not understand your name , you use the phonetic alphabet spelling A for Alpha, B for Bravo, C for Charlie etc; when it comes to G for,  you use G for Golf in NATO phonetic alphabet or G for George in Western Union’s phonetic alphabet. Actually Hindus were the first to use it, but for a different purpose. Around 800 BC, the Vedic seers of Upanishads used it for the first time. There is a beautiful story in the oldest Upanishad — Brihat Aranyaka (Big Forest) Upanishad (5-2). This story was used by T.S. Eliot in his poem ‘The Wasteland’.


D for Damyata (self control),Datta (charity’ Giving ),Dayadhvam (compassion)

When Devas (demi gods), men and demons approached Prajapati for a message, he said ‘Da’. When he asked the Devas whether they understood it, the devas said D for Damyata (self control). That is what they lacked in the heaven enjoying all sorts of luxuries. When he asked men what they understood by the sound ‘Da’,  they told him,  “Yes, We knew  D meant Datta ( donating)’’. Men were selfish and they lacked the spirit of charity. Prajapati said to them they got it right. The demons came last. They said D stands for Dayadhvam. That is what the demons needed. They were cruel and killed everything that came their way. So they got the message of compassion. The same story has a different version. The thunder made the noise ‘’Da, Da, Da’’.


G for Ganga

Ai Shankara, who lived before Christ, (please see my earlier post about his age or read Kanchi Paramacharya’s lecture) in his beautiful hymn Bhaja Govindam, says:

Bhagavadgita kincid adita

Ganga jalalakanika pita

Sacrd api yena murari samarca

Kriyate tasya yamena na carca

For him who has studied GITA even a little, who has drunk a drop of GANGA water and who has performed the worship of Murari (GOVINDA) at least once, there is no tiff with Yama (god of death)— Bhajagovindam, Sloka 20.

A popular Sanskrit Subahsitha (golden saying) runs like this:

Gita Ganga cha Gayatri Govindho hrdhi samsthitha:I

Chathurr gakara samyogad punarjanma na vidyate II


Words starting with the syllable GITA, GANGA, GAYATRI, GOVINDA are so holy that the recitation of these will liberate one form the cycle of birth and death.

Krishna also says in Bhagavad Gita that he is Gayatri among Chandas (Vedic metres).

Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says that Ganges water in not to be regarded as water; nor the dust of Brindavan as dust; nor the Maha Prasada of Sri Jagannatha Deva as rice. These three are objective manifestations of the Supreme Being.

About Gita, he says, “Utter the word GITA in quick succession, a number of times Gi Ta Gi Ta Gi Ta gi…. It is then virtually pronounced as Tagi, Tagi (Thyagi), which means one who has renounced the world for the sake of God. Thus in one word the Gita teaches, “Renounce Ye world bound men! Renounce everything, and fix the mind on the Lord”.


Adi Shankara’s Bhaja Govinda sloka (couplet) and the popular Sanskrit couplet clearly said G ( Gakaram)  stands for what. Upanishad ‘s ‘ Da,Da,Da’  did the same with ‘D’ letter 2800 years ago!

(Please read my earlier posts ‘One minute Bhagavad Gita’ and ‘Gangajal Medicine’).