Vedic Hindu women, Greek women and Parsi women (Post No.7559)

Compiled by London Swaminathan

Post No.7559

Date uploaded in London – 10 February 2020

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Ramesh Chandra Majumdhar, Former Vice Chancellor of Dacca University compares the status of women in different countries in his article in the ‘Great Women of India’ volume , published in 1953 by the Advaita Ashrama . It is very interesting that Vedic Hindu women enjoyed more freedom whereas other women were under strict control. But we must remember Rig Vedic society existed before 1500 BCE, where as  Homer’s Greek , Avesta of Parsis belong to 8th century  BCE. But he shows how the status of women in Vedic society also deteriorated after the Upanishadic age.

Here is what he says,

“The high ideal of a married life— involving life long faith, devotion and love between the husband and wife — is nobly expressed in the marriage hymn 10-85 of the Rig Veda.  Casual references thorough out the Samhita, indicate that the society was really inspired by such an ideal, and we already see before us a picture of insoluble partnership, in life and death, which has ever characterised the relation between husband and wife in Hindu society, and has almost become proverbial.

Nevertheless, without distracting from this high ideal in the least, it must be confessed that, the weakness of human nature must have occasionally led to moral lapses even in those days, as also in later days. Indeed, there are ample references to such a state of things not only in the Rig Veda Samhita but also in later Vedic literature. It would be a miracle if it were not so. There are certain hymns which seem to look upon the existence of a paramour as nothing abnormal than a common occurrence or an ordinary event. But the hymns of the Rig Veda make it clear that moral lapses on the part of women were not treated so severely as in later days and more or less the same standard was applied in this respect to both men and women.

As all this might be quite shocking to our moral sensibilities and ideas of female virtues, it is necessary to point out the prevalence of a similar state of things in the Hellenistic world of Homeric days. The compulsory infidelity of a wife as a prisoner of war was openly recognised, and in no way reprehended. The noblest and fairest women, whether married or not, of a captured town normally became the concubines of the victors, but such a fate was in no sense a dishonour to the Greek lady of which she need afterwards be ashamed. This callous attitude might have been reflected its influence upon cases of voluntary sin, and so they came to be regarded with much indulgence. So also the open concubines allowed to married men often allowed a plea for retaliation and a justification in the case of crime.

The same reasons might also have operated in ancient India. In any case, ideas in ancient India, as in ancient Greece, were very different from those of modern times, when we rate personal purity of a woman so highly that the loss of it by misfortune is hardly less excused by society than its abandonment through passion.

A widow marrying husband‘s brother is also in the Vedas. The remarriage of a widow to husband’s brother was a very common practice among the Jews and other ancient nations .

The Vedic word ‘Dampati’ used to denote jointly the husband and wife, etymologically means the joint owners of the house. The same idea is also contained in the Avesta (Of Parsis), but whereas the Avesta enjoins upon the wife strict obedience to her husband, the marriage ritual in the Rig Veda , and also in its fully developed form in the Grihya sutras, does not enjoin obedience upon the wife. This position of dignity was upheld by her participation in religious practices and sacrifices, which was regarded as the highest right and privilege in the society of those days.

The Samhita of the Rig Veda has fortunately preserved one particular hymn 10-85 which proves that not only the institution of  marriage but also the ideals which characterised it in India in later days were deeply rooted in the minds of men. Its interest, however, transcends the narrow bounds of India, as it is perhaps the oldest written document in the world which gives an ideal picture of the marriage system with all that it involves in a civilized society.

Hindu Gods and other Ancient Gods

roman-gods-and-goddesses-source
Roman Gods

Compiled by London swaminathan
Post No 1275; Dated 8th September 2014.

No two clocks agree, they say. And no two Gods agree in full. But we can see similarities between two cultures in the comparative mythology. This shows that the thinking of human beings works in the same way. It may also reveal another fact that we all lived under one roof long ago. The third point is that Hindu gods were there in the beginning, what they call as pagan gods and slowly other cultures absorbed them. When new Semitic religions were founded those gods were sent to museums. Hindu Gods alone survived this onslaught.

For some Hindu gods and goddesses we see two names and this is because the Greek Gods were slowly absorbed in to Roman religion and got new names. But these foreign gods are not worshiped anymore and found their place in the museums around the world.

Ancient-Greek-Gods
Greek Gods

Hindu – Slav
Varun – Perun
Haridasva Hors / sun
Surya Hors / sun
Moksha Mukosh / death

Roman or Greek Gods & Hindu Gods
Zeus – Indra (Taranis, Thor)
Jupiter – Indra
Saturnus – Brahma
Minas – Yama
Neptune – Varuna
Sol -Surya
Lunus – Chandra
Hercules – Krishna (Hari kula esa)
Janus – Ganapathy
Hephaestus/ Vulcan – Visvakarma /Tarkhan/Takshan
Plutarch – Kubera
Apollo – Krishna (also Hercules)
Mercury – Narada
Burgos – Rama
Mars – Skanda
Juno – Durga (also Diana & Artemis)
Minerva – Sarasvati (Also Athena)
Venus – Rambha
Aurora -Usha
Cybele -Prithvi
Ceres – Sree /Lakshmi
Cronos – Kashyap (Father of Asuras and Devas)
Zeus, Poseidon, Hades -Trimurti
Hera – Lakshmi
Hades -Yama
Poseidon – Varuna
Ares – Skanda
Kronos -Shiva
Pleiades – Kritika stars
Hera, Hestia, Demeter- Durga, Lakshmi, Sarasvati
Demeter – Devamata (same as Tiamath in Sumer)
Bacchus –Shiva
Hermes – Sarama
Cybele – Sribali
Gaiya – Jaya
Uranus – Varuna
Hestia – Vastu
Diana /Artemis – Durga

old gods

Other cultures:
Gilgamesh – Sri kamesa
River Congo/River Mekong – River (Ma) Ganga

hindu-gods

Hindu Gods and Foreign Gods
Indo European gods –page 13—the sun goddess Sheena Mc Grath

India -Ireland -Iceland -Italy
First -Mitra -Nuada -Tyr -Jupiter
Varuna – Lugh -Odin -Dius Fidus*

Second -Indra -Ogma -Thor -Mars

Third -Asvins -Bres -Freyr -Quirinus

Goddess -Sarasvati -Macha -Freya -Juno

*My comments: Dius Fidus is Dyaus Pita in the Vedas, Zeus in Greek and Ptah in Egypt.
From page 178 table 2

roman-gods-source

Some suggested correspondences for the deities who appear in the rituals

Deities -herbs -colours -runes -trees
Sun -juniper – red -siegel -bay
Moon -mugwort – white -lagu -willow
Sky -basil -blue -tyr -ash
Twins -vevain -orange -ehwaz – hazel
Thunder -leek -brown -thorn -oak
Maiden -mint -rose -gyfu -plane
Earth -crocus – green -odal -linden

Table 3 – page 179

norsegods

The relations of sun and moon
Sun– moon
Red– white
Female– male
Hot — cold
Blood– semen
Fire– water
Summer –winter

celtic gods

sky– thunder– fire
dievas– perkumas– ugunsmate
nuada — taranis– aine

tyr — thor– loki
svarog — perun– istie

zeus — zeus– Hestia
dsius — teshub– –?

armazd — vagahn– -sister fire
dyaus — parjanya– agni

roman,greek chart

Sun — dawn — moon — twins
Saule — auszrine– menuo — dieva deli
Grian — der greine — manannan– emain macha

Sol — svanhild– mani — alcis

Solnste — zorya — myesyats– cosmas and
Damien

Heliosa — Helen — mene — dioscouroi
Arinitti– hulla and kushukh — sheri and hurri
Mezulla

Arev– arevhat — amins — ?

Surya – suryaa– soma — Asvins

From the sun goddess page178

Hope these charts will help future researchers.

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Stars are Gods! We are Stars!!

Life-on-Other-Planets-Orion

Research paper written by London Swaminathan
Post No 1241; Dated 18th August 2014.

Hindus worship Seven Stars in the Ursa Major constellation every day. They are considered Sapta Rsis (seven sages). Brahmins worship them every day in their Sandhya ritual three times a day. Of the seven stars, the Vasishtha and his wife Arundhati are worshipped by everyone. Arundhati ( Star Alcor) is seen by all the newly married couple just before entering the first night room. Tamil Sangam literature also praised the seven stars as ‘Kai thozu Ezuvar’. Agastya star on the southern sky (Canopus), Tri Shanku (Southern Star constellation) and Druva (Pole Star) on the northern sky are all worshipped by the Hindus. Arudra (in Orion) and Onam are identified with Lord Shiva and Vishnu.

When I was a school student, I read Vanaparva in Mahabaharata where Matali told Arjuna that the stars, he saw during his space travel, were holy souls. As a science student I was trying to find some symbolic meaning instead of literal meaning. But when I started watching Night at Sky in the BBC, the Royal astronomer of Britain Patrick Moor told one day that we were all star dust billions of years ago. After the Big Bang, the universe came into being including the Solar System where the life emerged during billions of years. I became more curious. Later I watched a documentary “The Orion Mystery” on the BBC on 6th of February 1994, and I collected some notes. I wanted to share those notes with you to pave way for further research.

orion hunter

Hindus, Egyptians and Mayas believed that the stars in the heavens are gods. Science does not support this. According to science “stars are luminous globe of gas, mainly hydrogen and helium, which produces its own heat and light by nuclear reactions. Although stars shine for very long time – billions of years — they are not eternal.” But science was not able to explain why did Big Bang happen and why the universe is still expanding and why billions of hydrogen bombs explode every second inside sun etc. Religion says that there is one all powerful force behind everything in the universe and that is God.
We may be made up of star dust, that is only our body, but not the soul. Science does not believe in souls, only religion believes in it.

Space Travel in Mahabharata
There is a fascinating account of Arjuna’s Space Travel in the Vanaparva of Mahabharata. Without going much into it, I will quote only the relevant portion today:

“Arjuna ascended the divine chariot, brilliant like the sun. And on this sun like, divine, wonder working chariot the wise scion of Kuru flew joyously upward. While becoming invisible to the mortals who walk on earth, he saw wondrous air borne chariots by thousands. No sun shone there or moon or fire, but they shone with a light of their own acquired by merits. Those lights that are seen as the stars look tiny like oil flames because of the distance, but they are very large.”
Page 308, Mahabharata, The Book of the Forest (Vana Parva), Translated by A B Van Buitenen

orion january

The amazing thing about this space travel of Arjuna in Mahabaharata is that it coincides with the latest discovery of science. Vyasa wrote it 5000 years ago! If any scientist does not want to give credit to Vyasa, at least they must accept he was the first science fiction writer in the World!! ( I will reproduce the entire chapter one day with my comments). Arjuna spent five years in space, says Mahabharata.

Egyptian Belief

In Egypt, the state religion revolved around the belief that the deceased pharaoh was reborn as a star. Ritual incantations (mantras) were chanted, the purpose of which was to facilitate the dead monarch’s rapid rebirth in the heavens:

“Oh king, you are this great star, the companion of Orion, who traverses the sky with Orion…. You ascend from the east of the sky, being renewed in your due season and rejuvenated in your due time”.

(My comments: This is similar to Vedic Mantra. Vedas also talk about Orion constellation as a hunter. Greeks copied it from Hindus and said a similar story about Orion stars).

pyramids stars

Mayan Belief
The Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Quiche Maya of Mexico and Guatemala, contains several passages which clearly indicate a belief in stellar rebirth – the reincarnation of the dead as stars.
Page 141 of Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock

Researchers have found out some connection with the pyramids and Orion constellation. The three pyramids of Giza plotted against the three belt stars of the Orion constellation. Of the 90 pyramids Cheops – Kufu pyramid is one of the big pyramids. It has lot of drawings on stars. The holes (for air circulation) in the pyramids align with the three stars.

The Orion Constellation and the Hindus
“Mrga Vyadha, the hunter, is the name of Sirius in the legend of Pajapati’s daughter in the Aitareya Brahmana. Prajapati (Orion) pursues his daughter(Rohini) and is shot by the archer Sirius. The transference of the legend to the sky is no doubt secondary, caused by the obvious similarity of the constellation in question to the idea of an archer.”
Page 174, Volume 2 of Vedic Index by A A MacDonnell and A B Keith.

stars

My comments: The Vedic Index authors quoted the above reference from Hildebrandt. I think the hunter idea is copied by the Greeks from the Hindus. Vedic literature is older than Greek literature is an accepted fact. Shiva who is identified with Arudra (Betelgeuse) in the Orion constellation is praised as a hunter in all the Vedic literature (Rudra Mantra and later mythologies). Mrga Shirsa Nakshatra in the constellation is seen as a deer head. Atharva Veda gives all the 27 star names.

Orion is described as a giant hunter by the Greeks. Greeks say that the hunter was blinded but recovered his eye sight by exposing his eye balls to the rising sun (My comments: This is Surya Namaskara). Eos the conceived a passion for him and carried him off, but Artemis shot him with her arrow. He was placed among the stars.
Page 160, An Illustrated Dictionary of Classical Mythology by Gilbert Meadows

When we look at all the stories here, we see a common thread connecting them. The story went to all the civilizations from Ancient India.

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