Egypt and The Vedic Civilzation
Posted by ABO RASHAD | Thursday, October 22, 2015 | Ancient Egyptian Facts
In one of my earlier article, which I wrote probably a year back, I have mentioned about the similarities, that I came across, between the Vedic Civilization and that of the Egyptian Civilization. Even then I would like to enumerate a few of the striking similarities to keep my readers informed and hence it will be easier for them to understand the context of this article.
I was reading a book by Bob Bryer, a renowned Egyptologist, titled -œThe Murder OF Tutankhamun-?. While reading the book I found that there were some very fundamental similarities between the then Egyptian civilization and that of the present Vedic civilization i.e. the Hindus living wherever they are. The similarities can be enumerated as follows:
1. When Tutankhamen’s Father Akhenaten, the pharaoh, shifted his capital to a place called Amarna and erected a temple dedicated to the Sun god and naming the temple as The Karnak Temple. The sun god in the Hindu pantheon is an important deity and a temple dedicated to the Sun God is situated in the state of Orissa build in 1278 CE by Narasimha Deva. This temple is called KARNAK TEMPLE. We do see a similarity don’t we?
2. When the Pharaoh dies he is first mummified and then taken on a last journey along with all his belongings. All along the route through which his body passes, paid mourners stand lined on both sides of the route and they wail beating their chest . This is exactly what the rudalis of Tribal Purilia in west Bengal does. Beating their chest and crying loudly is a means of livelihood. It is done to express the grief when a person of wealthy means dies.
3 In the Egyptian phonetics the word -œWadi-? prounced as waadi means beautiful valley, lush and green . In the devnagri phonetics of which the language Hindi is a derivative the word -œWadi-? also means the same thing. Seeing these similarities I had a mind to do a more or less detailed study of these two civilization with an eye to the antiquity of the vedic civilization. The two most important epics of the vedic civilization is the -œMahabharata-? and -œThe Ramayana-?. These two epics are not just a figment of somebody’s imagination but are in fact, FACTS that has been chronicled. The Ramayana is dated some 8000 years BC and The Mahabharata is dated to 5000 years BC. ( refer my articles on Ramayana and Mahabharata ).
These dates do indicate that the Vedic civilization was a reality and a civilization that was thriving with all its majesty and grandeur all along the banks of Saraswati River, Indus River, and the Ganges. This civilization was technically very advanced. The vedic literature including the four Vedas and the Upanishads have volumes of scientific treatise known as -œKala-?. There are in fact thirteen such Kalas written by various sages. The first that needs to be mentioned is the encyclopedic Shastra which was called Akshara-Laksha. This was written by sage Valmiki. All kinds of mathematics including modern geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry, Physics, Applied mathematics, mineralogy, Hydels, the methods of measuring air heat and even electricity, and geography are said to have been treated in this treaties.
The next science of importance is the Sabda -Shastra written by Kandika Rishi which deals with sounds, echoes of moving and non moving objects in creation.It also deals with mechanically reproducing sound, measuring their pitch and velocity. Sage Sakatayana is the author of Lakshana Shastra which deals with the science of determinig the Gender in animate and inanimate creation. Sage Kashyapa is the author of Shilpa Shastra and it comprises of 22 chapters.307 varieties of shilpas including 11 types of construction like Temples, Palaces, Hall, etc. Earlier writers on this subject were Vishwakarma, Maya, Maruti and Chayapurusha their thoughts have been incorporated in the above Shastra. The science of Metal called the dhatuvada was written by ashwini kumaras.
In it are 7 chapters which deals with dhatus or the primary substances their combinations and transmutation. Alchemy or converting copper into gold etc has been described in this work. Ashwini Kumar was a great rishi who also authored the Visha Shastra. This is also an exhaustive work where 32 different types of poison their properties, their preparation and their antidotes. The next in line is the science of fine arts which was composed by sage Bhima and this treatise is called chitra karma shastra. The uniqueness of this science was that students were taught to recreate a person after seeing a single strand of hair or nail.
Highly advanced form of forensic science? Then there is the Mala Shastra which deals with gymnastics and sports necessary for preservation of health . Sage Vatsyana has composed a work on Ratna Pariksha which means testing of gems. Sage Vyasa is said to have composed a work on artha shastra which had three chapters on ways of earning money legitimately. Sage agastya[agastya muni] is the originator of Shakti Shastra. Atomic fission and nuclear science formed a part of this science. Yantra Shastra by Sage Bharadwaj explains 339 types of terrestrial vehicle,783 types of boats and ships and 101 types of airships by use of mantras Tantras and artificial means. I have just mentioned a few of the Kalas only to impress upon my readers that this civilization was far more superior than any other inhabitation during that period.
AND somewhere during this period there was a global catastrophe that compelled this civilization to shift base and somewhere during this period Egypt emerged. When we talk of Vedic civilization’s geographical distribution we do not put them in the political boundary of India as it is today. Vedic civilization extended from Iran in the west through Afghanistan Pakistan, India, Tibet, Nepal all the way to Burma and Java Borneo Sumatra archipelago in the East. Therefore it would not have been difficult for the large group of people to shift to Egypt from, let’s say, Iran. Now when the large group shifts to a new place and starts to settle what will change in them is their material culture as that is determined by the environment and the prevalent conditions.
What will not change is the social organization, the rituals, the religious process, and the language. The name Egypt comes from the word -œAjap-? which in Sanskrit is Ajapati which signifies Lord Ram as the most illustrious forbearer of the Aja clan. Aja was the grandfather of lord Ram. The word Ram means God and like the Vedic tradition where the rulers were considered as being representatives or descendants of God, the Egyptians also considered their Pharaoh as God or their descendants and their Pharaoh was also named as Ramesis I or II. Here I would like to mention one of the interesting fact about the sphinx. The pyramids have been dated as 3000 years BC and the Sphinx is dated to be 6000 Years BC. This means that when the pyramids were being made, the sphinx stood in front of them as a reminder of a civilization which was antique to them and full of intrigue.
Dr.S.K.Balasubramaniam in his book -œHindu Mythology as prehistory-? says that the history of Egypt goes back to thousands of year in time to the period of Yayati who had two wives namely devayani and Sharmishtha. Yayati,by some forces of nature became prematurely old and was thus very depressed. He asked his Eldest son Yadu who was from Devayani to relieve him from his predicament by exchanging his youth with the old age. Yadu refused to do the needful and so did all other sons. It was Puru the youngest and the son from Sharmishtha who agreed to help his father.
Henve he was crowned the sovereign of the world superceding his elder brothers. Purus decendants were the Puravas later became known as the Pharaohs of Egypt who ruled over his father’s domain with the elder brothers as subject to him. According to Count Biornsttierna in his book -œThe theogony of the Hindus-? has lot of information on the Vedic culture in ancient Egypt. It says that the temples of upper Egypt are of greater antiquity than those of the lower Egypt and consequently the religion of Egypt, according to the testimony of those monument, came from India. The chronicles found in the temple of Abydos and Sias testify that the religion of Egypt proceeded from India. Professor Brugsh agrees with this view and in his book -œThe History Of Egypt-? mentions, -œWe have a right to more than suspect that India, in 8000 Years BC, sent a colony of emigrants who carried with them their art and advanced civilization into what is known as Egypt.
The Egyptians came according to their records from a mysterious land now known to lie on the shores of Indian ocean-? In this context it will not be prudish on my part to say that 8000 years BC was the period when Lord ram ruled over the Indian subcontinent and that is why Egypt got its name from Lord Ram’s grandfather -œAja-?. In Nav Bharat Times ( A reputed news paper in India ) dated 18th April 1967 reported that in one of the excavation that was being conducted in the Egyptian Pyramid date 3000 years BC and engraved verse from Bhagawad Gita was found. The verse was -œvasami jirnani yatha vhiaya-? This means -œas a person puts on new garment, giving up the old ones, the soul similarly accepts a new material body giving up the old and the useless ones-?.
This actually explains the ritual of the mummy making and the elaborate burial system in the Egyptian civilization where efforts are made to make the soul comfortable with all necessary things because they believed that the soul will need all these till it finds a material body. Reincarnation in short. Among the vedic people,The Hindus of today, each and every one believes in this concept. This find certainly boost the idea that Egypt was either a part of Vedic culture or was formed by the emigrants from India. Professor P.N.Oak in his world famous book -œworld vedic Heritage-? says that the Egyptians called India as the land of Punt or rather Pankht and regarded it as their divine land peopled by Punts meaning Pundits, sages, seers, and Gods.
Further evidence of the Vedic roots of the Egyptian area, as mentioned in the book -œ Proof of Vedic Cultures Global Existence-? by Stephan Knapp, is noticed when we understand that Rama was spelled as Rham in the west. Later the -œR-? was dropped and consequently the African school text books asserting that Africans are Kushites ( Subject of Kush son of Ram ) mention Ham as the father of Kush. The twin brother of Kush was Luv and the region named after him was known in Sanskrit as Laviya, now pronounced as Libya. Count Biornsttierna again says ,in the same book, -œ on comparing the religious system between the Egyptian civilization and the Vedic civilization we are struck by theie resemblance to each other.The principal of trinity with that of unity, the pre-existence of the soul,its transmigration, the division of caste into priest, warriors, traders, and agriculturists are the cardinal points of both system. Even the symbols are same on the shores of The Ganges and The Nile.
Thus we find the Lingam of the shiva temples of India in the Phallus of the Ammon temples of Egypt. We find the lotus as a symbol of the sun both in India and in Egypt, and we find symbols of immortality of the soul both in India and Egypt. The power of rendering barren women fruitful is ascribed to the Temple of Shiva in India is also ascribed to the temple of Ammon in Egypt.-? Indian contacts with the Western world date back to prehistoric times. Trade relations, preceded by the migration of peoples, inevitably developed into cultural relations. Evidence of Indian contact with the ancient civilizations to her west, however is certain. Knobbed pottery vases came to Sumer from India and so did cotton. In the Akkadian tongue, Indian cotton was expressed by ideographs meaning “vegetable cloth.” Assurbanipal (668-626 B.C) cultivated Indian plants including the “wool-bearing trees” of India. According to the Skandha Purana, Egypt (Africa) was known as Sancha-dvipa continent mentioned in Sir Willliams Jones’ dissertation on Egypt.
At Alexandria, in Egypt, Indian scholars were a common sight: they are mentioned both by Dio Chrysostom (c. 100 A.D.) and by Clement (c. 200 A.D.) Indirect contact between ancient India and Egypt through Mesopotamia is generally admitted, but evidence of a direct relationship between the two is at best fragmentary. Peter Von Bohlen (1796-1840) German Indologist, compared India with ancient Egypt. He thought there was a cultural connection between the two in ancient times. There are elements of folk art, language, and rural culture of Bengal which have an affinity with their Egyptian counterparts and which have not been explained satisfactorily in terms of Aryan, Mongolian, or Dravidian influences.
There are similarities between place names in Bengal and Egypt and recently an Egyptian scholar, El Mansouri, has pointed out that in both Egypt and India the worship of cow, sun, snake, and river are common. Recently, more definitive evidence suggesting contact between India and Egypt has become available. A terracotta mummy from Lothal vaguely resembles an Egyptian mummy and a similar terracotta mummy is found also at Mohenjodaro. In this context it is of interest to note that the Egyptian mummies are said to have been wrapped in Indian muslin. Characters similar to those on the Indus seals have also been found on tablets excavated from Easter Island. Of all the Egyptian objects and motifs indicating some contact between India and Egypt during the Indus Valley period, “the cord pattern occurring in a copper tablet in the Indus Valley and on three Egyptian seals is the most striking link between the two countries.
Gordon Childe has said, “In other words, in the third millennium B.C. India was already in a position to contribute to the building up of the cultural tradition that constitutes our spiritual heritage as she notoriously has done since the time of Alexander.” Neither historical events nor cross-cultural currents can explain the unique parallels in the myths and imagery of ancient Egypt and India. Walafrid Strabo (c. 809-849) German scholar has said: “The lotus flower, sacred to Buddha and to Osiris, has five petals which symbolizes the four limbs and the head; the five senses; the five digits; and like the pyramid, the four parts of the compass and the zenith. Other esoteric meanings abound: for myths are seldom simple, and never irresponsible.” In fact, Hinduism’s pervading influence seems to go much earlier than Christianity.
American mathematician, A. Seindenberg, has, for example, shown that the Shulbasutras, the ancient Vedic science of mathematics, constitute the source of mathematics in the antique world of Babylon to Greece: “The arithmetic equations of the Shulbasutras were used in the observation of the triangle by the Babylonians as well as in the edification of Egyptian pyramids, in particular the funeral altar in the form of pyramid known in the Vedic world as smasana-cit.”The flower so prolific in the imagery of both India and Egypt, grows out of the waters and opens its petals to be warmed by the sun: to be fertilized. From the earliest imagery in stone at Sanchi, of the first century BC in India, the lotus is associated with Sri, the goddess of fertility, who is later invoked as Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and abundance – being worshipped by Buddhists, Jains, and Hindus alike.
The lotus is held in each hand by Surya, signifying the fertilizing powers of the sun as he travels through the universe. In Egypt, the blue lotus appears in the earliest wall paintings of the VI Dynasty at the pyramids of Saqqara and in all funerary stelae. They are offered to the deceased, and held in the hand as thought they possess the power to revitalize them: to bring the deceased back to life. Carved out of blue lapis, along with the golden falcon and the sun that are the symbols of the god Horus, the lotus appears among the funerary treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamen. The lotus then, becomes a leitmotiv, a symbol most apt since its links the waters with the sun, the earth to sky – signifying fertility and regeneration in both Egypt and India.
For, it is the seed of the plant which spells out the cycle of birth-decay-death and rebirth that forms the essential pattern of belief in these two riverine and agricultural societies. In India and Egypt, the rivers Saraswati and Ganga and the Nile have brought sustenance to the land and nourished these civilizations which have survived five millennia. Both these rivers, the Ganga and the Nile, are personified and worshipped. They provide the dramatic backdrop against which myths and indeed created, to explain the topographic conditions of the land. From its source in the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, the Ganga flows some two thousand five hundred kilometers, through the rich deltaic region which is known as Aryavarta, in the most densely populated area of India. Puranic myths recount the divine origins of Ganga, as she fell from heaven to earth in response to penance performed by the sage Bhagiratha: to bring the powers of water to an earth parched for over a thousand years.
At the seventh century seaport of Mahabalipuram in south India, this epic theme is entirely carved out of a granite rock spanning almost fifty feet. A natural cleft in the rock allows the rain water to pour down in great torrents – as though this were the descent of a mighty river. Besides this cleft are carved the serpentine forms of the naga devatas (snake divinities), the sun and the moon, the gandharvas and kinnaras (celestial beings), the hunters and animals of the forest – all of them rejoicing in this great event where the divine rive is celebrated as the savior of all mankind. Here is a spectacular instance of the way in which myth is used to relate man to the environment.
In this myth one senses an acute awareness of the ecological balance which needs to be maintained: of the vapors of the sea rising to the sky through heat, described in the myth as tapas, and then falling back to earth as the divine river, to flow down through the matted locks of Lord Shiva, on to the Himalayas, to flow back into the ocean. As in India, so in Egypt, the river is personified in human form. A sandstone relief from the temple of Rameses II at Abydos depicts Hapi, god of the Nile, holding a pair of blue lotus stalks in his hands; suspended from the god’s right arm is the ankh, the symbol of life. Unlike the Ganga, the blue god of the Nile is male, but with one female breast to symbolize his role as nourisher – releasing the waters each year to provide sustenance to mankind.
The main presiding deity of the Egyptian pantheon is Osiris, like Yama, god of the dead, whose story of life, death and regeneration has been transmitted to us in great detail by Plutarch. Some extraordinary parallels with the Osirian myth are found among the myths and images of India. Lord Vishnu lied recumbent on the bed of the ocean asleep, as indeed Osiris lied prostate and dead on a bier. The Hindi word for cow means also “ray of illumination,” and in Egyptian lore a cow is sometimes depicted as the source of light in the sky. Significant also is the fact that Lieutenant Speake, when planning his discovery of the source of the Nile, secured his best information from a map reconstructed out of Puranas. (Journal, pp. 27, 77, 216; Wilford, in Asiatic Researches, III).
It traced the course of the river, the “Great Krishna,” through Cusha-dvipa, from a great lake in Chandristhan, “Country of the Moon,” which it gave the correct position in relation to the Zanzibar islands. The name was from the native Unya-muezi, having the same meaning; and the map correctly mentioned another native name, Amara, applied to the district bordering Lake Victoria Nyanza. “All our previous information,” says Speake, “concerning the hydrography of these regions, originated with the ancient Hindus, who told it to the priests of the Nile; and all these busy Egyptian geographers, who disseminated their knowledge with a view to be famous for their long-sightedness, in solving the mystery which enshrouded the source of their holy river, were so many hypothetical humbugs.
The Hindu traders had a firm basis to stand upon through their intercourse with the Abyssinians.” (source: Periplus of the Erythrean Sea – W.H. Schoff p. 229-230). Modern scholars claim that Akhenaton was the worlds first known monotheist. However, the fact is, he was actually reviving an ancient monotheistic religious tradition. Unknown to most is the true nature of this religion. This religion was not only vedic, but was actually an indiginous Egyptian form of Vaisnavaism. Research has proven Akhenaton’s vedic roots through his familial connections to the Hurrian/Mitanni peoples. Everyone agrees that the Mitanni were a Sanskrit speaking and writing people and they worshipped the vedic gods. What is forgotten is the fact that Akhenaton’s father, his mother, and wife were all related to the vedic Mitanni.
Thus, it is no surprise that Akhenaton’s religion has so many vedic similarities. The research of BhaktiAnanda Goswami has proven the Vaishnava nature of his religion. In ancient Egyptian religion, creation began from the form of NHRYN (Narayan) lying on the primordial waters. A lotus grows from His navel, and on this lotus appears the four armed and four headed Heliosphanes (Brahma) who speaks creation. Ancient Mediterranean Vaishnavism can be properly understood when we compare it to the authentic Vaishnava scriptural sources especially Bhagavad-Gita, and Srimad Bhagavatam, where the viratarupa (Universal Form) conception of the Supreme Lord is revealed. For example, Krishna’s self revelation in the “I Am” verses of the Bhagavad-Gita directly parallels the great hymns of HR-Heri of ancient Egypt.
Therefore, ancient Egyptian religion considered HR-Heri the origin of all gods and deities. That is why they used the name HR-Heri or Asu (Vasu) along with deities considered to be aspects of Heri. Thus, the god of wealth was called KPHR/Kepe-Heri because in the Gita Krishna says “·I am Kubera”.At the age of eighteen years, he came into complete power of the Kingdom. It was at this time that he proclaimed his faith in One God-The Sun, which he designated by the name of Aton, ie. The Disk or Fiery Orb. He publicly proclaimed his faith in Aton, as the God of Gods. Some have claimed that as a Sun worshipper, Akhnaton was more of an Animist Nature worshiper rather than a devotee of a Supreme Godhead. However Akhnaton’s own words confirm that this is not the case. Akhnaton spoke of the Sun disk as being the Eye of Aton and a representative of Aton’s Power.
In the Bhagavad Gita, the Sun is described as one of the unlimited eyes of God’s Universal Form. In the Brahma-Samhita the Sun is also described as the Eye of God. Akhnaton’s reverance of the Sun is properly understood in this context. The symbol of Aton, as presented by Akhnaton, was an image of the Sun Disc with many sunrays extending out, ending in hands, in a kind of triangle shape. Some scholars have also pointed out that the shape of the Pyramids represents the Sun’s beams shining down to Earth, in a triangle shape, with the top being the Source and spreading out ever wider as it reaches the Earth. The similarity between Akhnaton’s Aton and Surya is indeed striking. The Sanskrit description of the Divine source of light corresponds perfectly with the picture of Aton given in the Egyptian King’s hymns.
The Puranas have a remarkable connection with one of the most important discoveries of the 19th century. In 1858, John Hanning Speke (1827-1864) – Speke was commissioned in the British Indian Army in 1844 – made the discovery that Lake Victoria was the source of the River Nile in Africa. Speke wrote that to some Indian Pundits (Hindu scholars) the Nile was known as Nila, and also as Kaali. Nila means blue and Kaali means dark – both apt descriptions for the Nile near its source. These are mentioned in several Puranas including the Bhavishaya. This went against the conventional wisdom, for Lake Victoria was unknown at the time. Sir Richard Burton, the leader of the Nile expedition, had identified Lake Tangyanika as the source.
Speke, however, following upon the advice of a Benares (Varansi) Pundit, insisted that the real source was a much large lake that lay to the north. Following this advice Speke went on to discover Victoria. The Pundit had also told him that the real source were twin peaks as Somagiri, -?Soma’ in Sanskrit stands for moon and -?giri’ means peak, and Somagiri therefore are none other than the fabled Mountains of the Moon in Central Africa! The Pundit must have known all this. He published his book Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile in 1863. The similarities of Egyptian civilization’s, science and religion with the Vedic knowledge are even more amazing than the ones mentioned about the Jews. Specifically,in the philosophical and religious field.
The details of the temple worship practiced in Egypt are strikingly similar to Vedic temple worship, including the three sandhya meditations on the sun (Ammon-Ra, the main Deity in Egypt), the form of God as both male and female (Osiris/Isis, assimilated with the Sun and the Moon), the bathing, dressing and decoration of the Deity (with red cloth, still considered in India as the traditional color of cloth to be offered to Deities), arati with the offerings of food and incense, etc. The Egyptian Book of the Dead is an almost exact replica of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which is coming to us through the Yaksa Saivite Tantric tradition of Himalayas, which strongly influenced the Vajrayana Buddhism or Lamaism. Egyptian priests had a complicated knowledge about the various subtle bodies and astral traveling (as Tantric Buddhists do), and some bits of knowledge about yoga, too.
Egyptian priests were strictly vegetarian (not even eating eggs), followed brahmacarya vows and abstained from intoxicants, and went through several initiations in order to practice their service. Meat was only consumed by them in later periods, and exclusively coming from fire sacrifices. (It is therefore very misguiding to say that Brahmins “became vegetarian” in a later period, after detaching themselves from their “origins” as Jews). They were also in charge of medicine and astrology, and had an immense knowledge about both. Even the temple decorations used the lotus flower as a symbol of purity and beauty. The list could go on and on. Many ancient Greek scholars (including Plato, Pythagoras, etc.) traveled both to Egypt and to India to get their knowledge. While reading Plato’s and Pythagoras’ teachings, we find exactly the same Vedic knowledge explained in Greek language.
Now we know from the Puranas that at the times of Parasurama avatara, the ksatriya kings of Bharata varsa were scattered all over the planet while fleeing the avatara’s killing wrath. We know that a group of such ksatriyas, followed by their family priests and retinue, reached ancient Egypt and established a kingdom there. Other groups settled in South America, Mesopotamia, Northern Europe, and in the lost continent of Atlantis mentioned by Plato and others. Striking similarities can be observed, for example the pyramids that can be found almost exactly identical in South America, Mesopotamia and Egypt. And which also resemble the large and high domes of the most ancient Vedic temples.
There are evidences galore that Vedic civilization was the precursor of all major civilization in the world. Similarities between the Egyptian civilization and the Vedic civilization and the evidence of the later being the progenitor of the earlier is but one example. There are plenty of similarities between Vedic and Celtic civilization, between Vedic and Anatolian civilization, between Vedic and Mayan civilization etc. The question is the similarities between one and many.