Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Sanskrit

Fact check: India wasn’t the first place Sanskrit was recorded – it was Syria

As the Narendra Modi government celebrates Sanskrit, a look at the oldest known speakers of the language: the Mitanni people of Syria.

How an ancient language, which no one speaks, writes or reads, will help promote India’s affairs abroad remains to be seen.

After yoga, Narendra Modi has turned his soft power focus to Sanskrit.  The Indian government is enthusiastically participating in the 16th World Sanskrit Conference in Bangkok.

Not only is it sending 250 Sanskrit scholars and partly funding the event, the conference will see the participation of two senior cabinet ministers: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who inaugurated the conference on Sunday, and Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, who will attend its closing ceremony on July 2.

Inexplicably, Swaraj also announced the creation of the post of Joint Secretary for Sanskrit in the Ministry of External Affairs.

How an ancient language, which no one speaks, writes or reads, will help promote India’s affairs abroad remains to be seen.

On the domestic front, though, the uses of Sanskrit are clear: it is a signal of the cultural nationalism of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Sanskrit is the liturgical language of Hinduism, so sacred that lower castes (more than 75% of modern Hindus) weren’t even allowed to listen to it being recited.

Celebrating Sanskrit does little to add to India’s linguistic skills – far from teaching an ancient language, India is still to get all its people educated in their modern mother tongues. But it does help the BJP push its own brand of hyper-nationalism.

Unfortunately, reality is often a lot more complex than simplistic nationalist myths. While Sanskrit is a marker of Hindu nationalism for the BJP, it might be surprised, even shocked, to know that the first people to leave behind evidence of having spoken Sanskrit aren’t Hindus or Indians – they were Syrians.

The Syrian speakers of Sanskrit

The earliest form of Sanskrit is that used in the Rig Veda (called Old Indic or Rigvedic Sanskrit). Amazingly, Rigvedic Sanskrit was first recorded in inscriptions found not on the plains of India but in in what is now northern Syria.

Between 1500 and 1350 BC, a dynasty called the Mitanni ruled over the upper Euphrates-Tigris basin, land that corresponds to what are now the countries of Syria, Iraq, and Turkey.

The Mitannis spoke a language called Hurrian, unrelated to Sanskrit. However, each and every Mitanni king had a Sanskrit name and so did many of the local elites. Names include Purusa (meaning “man”), Tusratta (“having an attacking chariot”), Suvardata (“given by the heavens”), Indrota (“helped by Indra”) and Subandhu, a name that exists till today in India.

Imagine that: the irritating, snot-nosed Subandhu from school shares his name with an ancient Middle Eastern prince. Goosebumps. (Sorry, Subandhu).

The Mitanni had a culture, which, like the Vedic people, highly revered chariot warfare.

A Mitanni horse-training manual, the oldest such document in the world, uses a number of Sanskrit words: aika (one), tera (three), satta (seven) and asua (ashva, meaning “horse”). Moreover, the Mitanni military aristocracy was composed of chariot warriors called “maryanna”, from the Sanskrit word “marya”, meaning “young man”.

The Mitanni worshipped the same gods as those in the Rig Veda (but also had their own local ones).

They signed a treaty with a rival king in 1380 BC which names Indra, Varuna, Mitra and the Nasatyas (Ashvins) as divine witnesses for the Mitannis.

While modern-day Hindus have mostly stopped the worship of these deities, these Mitanni gods were also the most important gods in the Rig Veda.

This is a striking fact.

As David Anthony points out in his bookThe Horse, the Wheel, and Language, this means that not only did Rigvedic Sanskrit predate the compilation of the Rig Veda in northwestern India but even the “central religious pantheon and moral beliefs enshrined in the Rig Veda existed equally early”.

How did Sanskrit reach Syria before India?

What explains this amazing fact? Were PN Oak and his kooky Hindutva histories right? Was the whole world Hindu once upon a time? Was the Kaaba in Mecca once a Shivling?

Unfortunately, the history behind this is far more prosaic.

The founding language of the family from which Sanskrit is from is called Proto-Indo-European. Its daughter is a language called Proto-Indo-Iranian, so called because it is the origin of the languages of North India and Iran (linguists aren’t that good with catchy language names).

The encyclopedic, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, edited by JP Mallory and DQ Adams, writes of the earliest speakers of Proto-Indo-Iranian emerging in the southern Urals and Kazakhstan. These steppe people, representing what is called the Andronovo culture, first appear just before 2000 BC.

From this Central Asian homeland diverged a group of people who had now stopped speaking Proto-Indo-Iranian and were now conversing in the earliest forms of Sanskrit. Some of these people moved west towards what is now Syria and some east towards the region of the Punjab in India.

David Anthony writes that the people who moved west were possibly employed as mercenary charioteers by the Hurrian kings of Syria. These charioteers spoke the same language and recited the same hymns that would later on be complied into the Rig Veda by their comrades who had ventured east.

These Rigvedic Sanskrit speakers usurped the throne of their employers and founded the Mitanni kingdom. While they gained a kingdom, the Mitanni soon lost their culture, adopting the local Hurrian language and religion.

However, royal names, some technical words related to chariotry and of course the gods Indra, Varuna, Mitra and the Nasatyas stayed on.

The group that went east and later on composed the Rig Veda, we know, had better luck in preserving their culture. The language and religion they bought to the subcontinent took root. So much so that 3,500 years later, modern Indians would celebrate the language of these ancient pastoral nomads all the way out in Bangkok city.

Hindutvaising Sanskrit’s rich history

Unfortunately, while their language, religion and culture is celebrated, the history of the Indo-European people who brought Sanskrit into the subcontinent is sought to be erased at the altar of cultural nationalism.

Popular national myths in India urgently paint Sanskrit as completely indigenous to India. This is critical given how the dominant Hindutva ideology treats geographical indigenousness as a prerequisite for nationality. If Sanskrit, the liturgical language of Hinduism, has a history that predates its arrival in India, that really does pull the rug from out under the feet of Hindutva.

Ironically, twin country Pakistan’s national myths go in the exact opposite direction: their of-kilter Islamists attempt to make foreign Arabs into founding fathers and completely deny their subcontinental roots.

Both national myths, whether Arab or Sanskrit, attempt to imagine a pure, pristine origin culture uncontaminated by unsavoury influences. Unfortunately the real world is very often messier than myth.

Pakistanis are not Arabs and, as the Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture rather bluntly puts it: “This theory [that Sanskrit and its ancestor Proto-Indo-European was indigenous to India], which resurrects some of the earliest speculations on the origins of the Indo-Europeans, has not a shred of supporting evidence, either linguistic or archeological”.

As the Narendra Modi government celebrates Sanskrit, a look at the oldest known speakers of the language: the Mitanni people of Syria.
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Note: It is my conjecture that 12,000 years ago, most of the current land were under water and that countries with high plateau witnessed the first new human resurgence before it transferred to lower fertile lands.

Testosterone versus Chastity: Who is Mahatma Gandhi?

Mahatma (Great Soul) Gandhi wrote: “The one to conserve his vital fluid acquires inexhaustible power.”

Maybe Gandhi experimented on his person but we have no visible records.  It is said that the Indian government, after independence and the assassination of Gandhi in 1948, destroyed or classified as top-secret Gandhi’s letters and documents.

Apparently, the controversial sex aspects of Gandhi could have destabilized India? The other advantage of this censure was to safeguard the myth of the Mahatma (Great Soul) that was worth a nation.

The Mahatma was bisexual.

At one period in his youth, he separated from his wife to cohabit with his student, a German body builder named Herman Kalinbach. They lived together for 4 years, but Herman could not join Gandhi to India in 1918 because the British did not allow Herman to leave South Africa.  The two lovers maintained correspondence.  Gandhi wrote about his love to Herman: “How I desired my body completely…This is slavery with revenge”

If you are a male with abundance of testosterone then what other alternative you got but to ejaculate, one way or the other?

Can plenty of testosterone be transformed into other kinds of hormones or protein or ATP that extend inexhaustible power? 

If   testosterone is not relieved out of the system could it be disintegrated into poisonous substances?

Would testosterone butts it heads with the thousands of other hormones and get in the way of normal functioning of the body and mind?

We certainly need badly serious experiments, very methodically designed and executed to uncover stubborn myths that would set mankind free of hundreds of by-product behaviors based on sexual falsehood.

(I am ready to volunteer to be a subject in these experiment.)  These will be complex set of experiments, involving hundreds of variables to control, that do not enjoy widespread consensus with the scientific and religious communities.

For example, at a specific age, who can be considered to be healthy and fit for the experiments?

What are the criteria that define someone eligible to be manipulated in the experiments?

What symptoms that would disqualify or discard a wretched male from further testing, sessions, or repeated mating or ejaculations?

For example, how “power” in “inexhaustible power” is defined?

What kind of tasks (physical, mental, and emotional) are to be done, before and after sex activities, in order to measure, evaluate, and quantify performances?

For how long these tasks should be monitored and carried on before we can claim that the tasks represented normal human behavior on a daily or weekly basis?

What items  in the safety documents  for permitting experiments on mankind should be considered in case things go out of hand such as sudden heart attacks and …

Gandhi changed the meaning of Brahmacharya (ascetic vows for chastity) and the term evolved in practice as Gandhi resumed his personal experimentation.

For example, Gandhi invited his grand nieces Manu and Abha to share his bed as part of individual improvement to his sex concept.  The latest definition of Brahmacharya boiled down “Brahmacharya is who has no lascivious intentions even when he sleeps with fantastic nude girls; this man is within brahmacharya as long as he is progressing toward higher states of focusing in God”

Lascivious intentions” is another term that needs to be defined by operational variables.  We need to conduct further experiments to quantifying the levels of lascivious intentions and evaluate the trend toward the qualitative focused state on God.

Intention, lascivious or not, is another bogus term that we use as scapegoat to our weaknesses and laziness to act in order to improve our behaviors.

Quick, I demand that India releases all documents related to what Gandhi meant by “inexhaustible power” and “lascivious intentions.”

I am interested in acquiring power and want to know how I can tame these turbulent testosterone into states of sleep.

Yes, the older the more chaste we become, with exceptions: sleazy old males addicted to Viagra kinds have atrophied brains and are stuck senile on a single amusing game.

In general, the more chaste the less trouble you get into, with exceptions: Your wife or girl friend might become hateful and take chastity very personal.

The remedy is never to mention “chastity” within a 100-yard radius of your wife’s ear shot.  And yes, get to business; that is excellent politics.

I can hear loud voices saying: “This post is blatant sex discrimination.”

I like to remind readers that the article is mainly about testosterone.  It is not about chastity: I am no preacher and I don’t know Sanskrit.

Recurring news are demonstrating that prolonged chastity (vowed, forced, or forced vowed) results in child molesting tendencies.

You may read Gandhi’s biography in my previous post: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/10/24/gandhis-non-violent-resistance-guidelines-february-21-2008/

Note:  Gandhi had 4 kids from his wife Kasturba; he was 13 and she 14 when they got married in 1883.  After Kasturba death, Gandhi grew wings; they grew proportionally to his zest for experimenting with sex and chastity.

My opinions on Gandhi’s sex life (or my opinions, period) cannot touch the greatness of Gandhi’s achievements (non-violence practices, India Independence, and his constant strife to eliminate the caste of the “untouchable“) and his battles for self-improvement and taming behaviors he considered unworthy of the greatness of mankind.

“Sophie’s World” on Indo-European and Semitic civilizations; (Dec. 15, 2009)

Since the 19th century, European “nations” have been trying to set up a “coherent” racist ideology, disguised as “civilization difference”, to supporting their colonial expansions.

Thus, many European “elites” of philosophers and “thinkers” fabricated the Indo-European civilization in order to have any kind of fictitious basis to distinguish themselves from the “non-European” people. Ironically, the author Jostein Gaarder seems absolutely convinced with this fictitious story.

First and obviously, as an axiom or evident proposition, the Europeans had the best civilization. Thus, the antithesis was that the Semitic and other “Chinese sort” of civilizations were lumped at the other extreme end.

Second and obviously, Semitic civilization had to be fabricated in order to satisfy Hegel theory of dialectical processes of history for human knowledge development.

Third, the European nations had no purpose to reaching any synthesis among civilizations: They were on a war path to dominate, win, and prove the superiority of their “Indo-European civilization”.

Actually, the civil wars in Europe and the USA always ended with a victor regardless of cost, trauma, and casualties such as the civil wars in the USA, Spain, England, and France. In non-European cultures, civil wars end with no clear-cut winner in the short-term.

In China, the communists and “nationalists” signed a truce to confront the occupying Japanese. India civil war between Hindus and Moslems ended after its independence with the third of the population remaining Moslems, even though Pakistan was created for repatriating Moslems to that new State.

In Lebanon, 17 years of civil war ended with all factions losing, and their leaders appointed deputies and members in the successive governments. (that is the worst ending for any nation).

The story goes that four thousand years ago, primitive people concentrated in the Caucasus region around the Black Sea (the actual States of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Chechnya…). They immigrated westward to central and north Europe and also eastward to Iran and India.

In the Arabic Peninsula, there were tribal people who immigrated to Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and North Africa and are called Semitic. (Now, why people would settle in arid desert land or in high mountain chains in order to survive? It looks like this rational question was beside the point. We know that people settle in mild weather regions rich in water resources, and they immigrate to God forsaken regions to flee persecutions. This logical question seems also beside the point to the Indo-European ideology).  Let us move on.

On religion: Indo-European civilization believed in a variety of Gods (this was true with the Semitic category, but facts had to be altered to suit the dichotomy method).

In the original Indian language of Sanskrit the celestial God Dyaus was transferred into Zeus, Jupiter (Jov-pater), and Tyr (for the Nordic people). (Can you show me any resemblance in phonetics?).  The Viking God Aser was transformed from Sanskrit Asura and Persian Ahura; (What about Ashur that was adopted in Babylon and the Near East or Ashtarut?)

Another example, in Latin we have Deus and in Old Norse Tivurr which were transformed from the Sanskrit Deva and the Persian Daevra; (should I continue with this masquerade of God’s names?)

(Consequently, Semitic civilization must believe in one God. Trinity is thus the creation of the Greco-Roman culture for altering Christianity initial dogma.  Allah or El was the supreme God, even though He didn’t generated money from the worshipers who dedicated their money to their more practical and pragmatic local business Gods.)

On myths: There are stories on immortal potions, struggle of the Gods against monsters of chaos, the subject playing a drama in which forces of Good and Evil confront one another in a relentless struggle, predicting the Good to win. For example, the Indo-European civilization, specifically the Greek, have tendencies to speculate on how to view the world (philosophy); they have “insight” into the history of the world and the concept of “cosmic vision”.

Thus, vision (the seeing sense) was the most important among the senses and images of Gods in pictures, and sculptures were predominantly used to honor the Gods. (Gaarder must have forgotten that “cosmic vision” is the realm of nomads in deserts, where stars appear close to hand reach.)  Indo-European civilization view history as cyclical, just like seasons; (what kinds of seasons they have up north? I thought there are long winters and a very short stuffy summers.)

Consequently, Semitic civilization had to rely on hearing or the auditory sense.  For example: “Hear, O Israel (Land of El)” or “Thus spake Jehovah”, or “In the beginning was the word”.  Why?

Because tribes relayed their culture verbally by repetitive story telling.  As if the Nordic people didn’t rely on the verbal (could they write a thousand years ago and had they documented their culture?). No matter, since the Greek learned to write then the ideology stands viable.

Anyway, since the Semitic must be in the auditory realm of the senses, then images of God in pictures and sculptures had to be prohibited for the western racist ideologies to take roots.

On after death: Transmission of the soul in Indo-Europe culture is cyclical, the soul is transferred to new-born and the ultimate purpose of life is for the soul to be released from this infernal cycle. .Thus, for the Semitic civilization, history must be linear and that is why they were preoccupied recording history!

God created the world and it will end with the Judgment Day. Thus, there is a distance between God and his creation so that Semitic believers were to be redeemed from their sins by prayers, and the study of the scriptures rather than by self-communion and meditation as Indo-European behave!

Can we propose that Hegel’s theory of dialectical processes of history for human knowledge development had set the stage for western superiority ideology, the re-writing of history to suit the feable minded philosophers and politicians?


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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