Sunday, August 16, 2015

Vedic Roots of China and Japan

Vedic Roots of China and Japan

The cultural relations between India and China can be traced back to very early times. There are numerous references to China in Sanskrit texts, but their chronology is sketchy. The Mahabharata refers to China several times, including a reference to presents brought by the Chinese at the Rajasuya Yajna of the Pandavas; also, the Arthasastra and the Manusmriti mention China. According to French art historian Rene Grousset, the name China comes from "an ancient" Sanskrit name for the regions to the east, and not, as often supposed, from the name of the state of Ch'in," the first dynasty established by Shih Huang Ti in 221 B.C. The Sanskrit name Cina for China could have been derived from the small state of that name in Chan-si in the northwest of China, which flourished in the fourth century B.C. Scholars have pointed out that the Chinese word for lion, shih, used long before the Chin dynasty, was derived from the Sanskrit word, simha, and that the Greek word for China, Tzinista, used by some later writers, appears to be derivative of the Sanskrit Chinasthana. According to Terence Duke, martial arts went from India to China. Fighting without weapons was a specialty of the ancient Ksatriya warriors of India. 

Until recently, India and China had coexisted peacefully for over two thousand years. This amicable relationship may have been nurtured by the close historical and religious ties of Buddhism, introduced to China by Indian monks at a very early stage of their respective histories, although there are fragmentary records of contacts anterior to the introduction of Buddhism. The Chinese literature of the third century is full of geographic and mythological elements derived from India.

Bhaarat: Teacher of China

Hinduism and Buddhism, both have had profound effect on religious and cultural life of China. Chinese early religion was based on nature and had many things in common with Vedic Hinduism, with a pantheon of deities.

The story of Sun Hou Tzu, the Monkey King, and Hsuang Tsang. It is a vicarious and humorous tale, an adventure story akin to the Hindu epic of Ramayana, and like Ramayana, a moral tale of the finer aspects of human endeavor which come to prevail over those of a less worthy nature. The book ends with a dedication to India: 'I dedicate this work to Buddha's Pure Land. May it repay the kindness of patron and preceptor, may it mitigate the sufferings of the lost and damned....' 
(source: Eastern Wisdom, Michael Jordan, p. 134-151)

Hu Shih, (1891-1962), Chinese philosopher in Republican China. He was ambassador to the U.S. (1938-42) and chancellor of Peking University (1946-48). He said:

"India conquered and dominated China culturally for two thousand years without ever having to send a single soldier across her border."
Lin Yutang, author of The Wisdom of China and India:

"The contact with poets, forest saints and the best wits of the land, the glimpse into the first awakening of Ancient India's mind as it searched, at times childishly and naively, at times with a deep intuition, but at all times earnestly and passionately, for the spiritual truths and the meaning of existence - this experience must be highly stimulating to anyone, particularly because the Hindu culture is so different and therefore so much to offer." Not until we see the richness of the Hindu mind and its essential spirituality can we understand India...."

"India was China's teacher in religion and imaginative literature, and the world's teacher in trigonometry, quadratic equations, grammar, phonetics, Arabian Nights, animal fables, chess, as well as in philosophy, and that she inspired Boccaccio, Goethe, Herder, Schopenhauer, Emerson, and probably also old Aesop."

(source: The Wisdom of China and India, Lin Yutang, p. 3-4)

"I see no reason to doubt," comments Arthur Waley in his book, The Way and its Power, "that the 'holy mountain-men' (sheng-hsien) described by Lieh Tzu are Indian rishi; and when we read in Chuang Tzu of certain Taoists who practiced movements very similar to the asanas of Hindu yoga, it is at least a possibility that some knowledge of the yoga technique which these rishi used had also drifted into China."

Both Sir L. Wooley and British historian Arnold Toynbee speak of an earlier ready-made culture coming to China. They were right. That was the Vedic Hindu culture from India with its Sanskrit language and sacred scripts. The contemporary astronomical expertise of the Chinese, as evidenced by their records of eclipses; the philosophy of the Chinese, their statecraft, all point to a Vedic origin. That is why from the earliest times we find Chinese travelers visiting India very often to renew their educational and spiritual links.

"Neo-Confucianism was stimulated in its development by a number of Buddhist ideas. Certain features of Taoism, such as its canon and pantheon, was taken over from Buddhism. Works and phrases in the Chinese language owe their origin to terms introduced by Buddhism. while in astronomical, calendrical, and medical studies the Chinese benefited from information introduced by Indian Buddhist monks. Finally, and most important of all, the religious life of the Chinese was affected profoundly by the doctrines and practices, pantheon and ceremonies brought in by the Indian religion."
(source: Buddhism in China, Kenneth Ch'en, p. 3)

How China was part of the Indian Vedic empire is explained by Professor G. Phillips on page 585 in the 1965 edition of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. He remarks,

"The maritime intercourse of India and China dates from a much earlier period, from about 680 B.C. when the sea traders of the Indian Ocean whose chiefs were Hindus founded a colony called Lang-ga, after the Indian named Lanka of Ceylon, about the present gulf of Kias-Tehoa, where they arrived in vessels having prows shaped like the heads of birds or animals after the pattern specified in the Yukti Kalpataru (an ancient Sanskrit technological text) and exemplified in the ships and boats of old Indian arts."

Chinese historian Dr. Li-Chi also discovered an astonishing resemblance between the Chinese clay pottery and the pottery discovered at Mohenjo daro on the Indian continent. Yuag Xianji, member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, speaking at the C. P. Ramaswamy Aiyar Foundation, Madras, March 27 1984 said, "Recent discoveries of ruins of Hindu temples in Southeast China provided further evidence of Hinduism in China. 
Both Buddhism and Hinduism were patronized by the rulers. In the 6th century A.D. the royal family was Hindu for two generations. The following Tang dynasty (7th to the 9th century A.D.) also patronized both Hinduism and Buddhism because the latter was but a branch of Hinduism. Religious wars were unknown in ancient China.

Through its compassionate Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and its promise of salvation to all alike, its emphasis on piety, meditation, its attractive rituals and festivals, its universality and its tolerance, "the religious life of the Chinese has been enriched, deepened, broadened, and made more meaningful in terms of human sympathy, love, and compassion for all living creatures." The doctrine of karma brought spiritual consolation to innumerable people. The concept of karma is to be found in all types of Chinese literature from poetry to popular tales.

India never imposed her ideas or culture on any nation by military force, not even on the small countries in her neighborhood, and in the case of China, it would have been virtually impossible to do so since China has been the more powerful of the two. So the expansion of Indian culture into China is a monument to human understanding and cultural co-operation - the outcome of a voluntary quest for learning. While China almost completely suppressed other foreign religions, such as Zoroastrianism, Nestorian Christianity, and to some extent Manichaeanism, she could not uproot Buddhism. At times, Buddhism was persecuted, but for two thousand years it continued to indianize Chinese life even after it had ceased to be a vital force in the homeland and long after it had lost its place as the dominant religion of China. In fact, Indianization became more powerful and effective after it was thought that Buddhism had been killed in China.

The introduction of Buddhism is one of the most important events in Chinese history, and since its inception it has been a major factor in Chinese civilization. The Chinese have freely acknowledged their debt to India, often referring to her as the "Teacher of China," and Chinese Buddhists have pictured India as a Western Paradise, Sukhavati. That Chinese philosophy blossomed afresh after the impact of Buddhism indicates both a response to and a borrowing of Indian ideas. The advent of Buddhism meant for many Chinese a new way of life, and for all Chinese, a means of reassessing their traditional beliefs. A new conception of the universe developed, and the entire Chinese way of life was slowly but surely altered. The change was so gradual and so universal that few people realized it was happening.

The Chinese Quietists practiced a form of self-hypnosis which has an indisputably close resemblance to Indian Yoga. The Chinese Taoist philosopher Liu-An (Huai-nan-tzu) who died in 122 B.C. makes use "of a cosmology in his book which is clearly of Buddhist inspiration."
The first mention of India to be found in Chinese records is in connection with the mission to Ta-hsia (Bacteriana) of a talented and courageous Chinese envoy, Chang Chien (Kien), about 138 B.C. 
Fourteen years later, having escaped after ten years as a captive of the Huns, he returned home and in his report to the Chinese Emperor he referred to the country of Shen-tu (India) to the southeast of the Yueh-chih (Jou-Chih) country. There are other traditional stories suggestive of earlier links, but Chang Chien's reference to Indian trade with the southwestern districts of China along the overland route corresponding to the modern Yunnan road indicates the existence of some sort of commercial relations well before the second century B.C. The find of Chinese coins at Mysore, dated 138 B.C. suggests maritime relations between India and China existed in the second century B.C. Passages in a Chinese text vaguely refer to Chinese trade relations with countries in the China Sea and Indian Ocean, such as Huang-che (Kanchi or a place in the Ganges delta), as well as to the exchange of diplomatic missions.

Trade & Commerce

There can be little dispute that trade was the main motivation for these early contacts. This is supported by finds of beads and pottery, in addition to specific references in historical texts. By the early centuries of the Christian era, Sino-Indian trade appears to have assumed considerable proportions. Chinese silk, Chinamsuka, and later porcelain were highly prized in India, and Indian textiles were sold in southwest China. The similarity between the Chinese and Indian words for vermilion and bamboo, ch'in-tung and ki-chok, and sindura and kichaka, also indicates commercial links. At least by the fifth century, India was exporting to China wootz steel (wootz from the Indian Kanarese word ukku), which was produced by fusing magnetic iron by carbonaceous matter.

With goods came ideas. It has often been contended that merchants were not likely to have been interested in philosophy or capable of the exchange of ideas. This is an erroneous belief which disregards historical evidence and, as Arthur Waley points out, is "derived from a false analogy between East and West. It is quite true that Marco Polo 'songeait surtout a son negoce'. But the same can hardly be said of Indian or Chinese merchants. Buddhist legend, for example, teems with merchants reputedly capable of discussing metaphysical questions; and in China Lu Puwei, compiler of philosophical encyclopedia Lu Shih Ch'un Chiu, was himself a merchant. Legend even makes a merchant of Kuan Chung; which at any rate shows that philosophy and trade were not currently supposed to be incompatible."
Land and Sea Routes

The art of shipbuilding and navigation in India and China at the time was sufficiently advanced for oceanic crossings. Indian ships operating between Indian and South-east Asian ports were large and well equipped to sail cross the Bay of Bengal. When the Chinese Buddhist scholar, Fa-hsien, returned from India, his ship carried a crew of more than two hundred persons and did not sail along the coasts but directly across the ocean. Such ships were larger than those Columbus used to negotiate the Atlantic a thousand years later. Uttaraptha was the Sanskrit name of the ancient highway which connected India with China, Russia and Persia (Iran). The trade routes between China and India, by both land and sea, were long and perilous, often requiring considerably more than two years to negotiate. The overland routes were much older and more often used, but the sea routes gained popularity with progress in shipbuilding and seamanship. Formidable and frightening as the physiography of the land routes was, the traffic through the passes and along the circuitous routes around the mountains was fairly vigorous.

According to the work of medieval times, Yukti Kalpataru, which gives a fund of information about shipbuilding, India built large vessels from 200 B.C. to the close of the sixteenth century. A Chinese chronicler mentions ships of Southern Asia that could carry as many as one thousand persons, and were manned mainly by Malayan crews.
Long before the northwestern routes were opened about the second century B.C. and long before the development of these indianized states, there were two other routes from India to China. One of these began at Pataliputra (modern Patna), passed through Assam (Kamarupa of old) and Upper Burma near Bhamo, and proceeded over the mountains and across the river valleys to Yunnanfu (Kunming), the main city of the southern province of China. The other route lay through Nepal and Tibet, was developed much later in the middle of the seventh century when Tibet had accepted Buddhism.
In addition to land routes, there was an important sea link between India and China through Southeast Asia. During the course of the first few centuries of the Christian era, a number of Indianized states had been founded all over Southeast Asia. Both cultures met in this region, and the Indianized states served as an intermediary stave for the further transmission of Indian culture and Buddhism to China.

Ancient Greek geographers knew of Southeast Asia and China (Thinae) were accessible by sea. Ptolemy mentions an important but unidentified Chinese port on the Tonkinese coast. Ports on the western coast of India were Bharukaccha (Broach); Surparka (Sopara); Kalyana; on the Bay of Bengal at the mouth of the Kaveripattam (Puhar); and at the mouth of the Ganges, Tamaralipti (Tamluk). At least two of these ports on the Bay of Bengal - Kaveripattam and Tamaralipti - were known to the Greek sailors as Khaberos and Tamalitis. At first Indian ships sailed to Tonkin (Kiao-Che) which was the principal port of China, Tonkin being a Chinese protectorate. Later all foreign ships were required to sail to Canton in China proper. Canton became a prosperous port and from the seventh century onward the most important landing place for Buddhist monks arriving from India. Generally Chinese monks set out for the famous centers of learning in India, like the University of Taxila, and Nalanda.

India had census enumeration earlier than China, since such enumeration is mentioned in Kautilya's Arthasastra (see studyCoates-Caton10.doc). China had its first census in 2 A.D.


Mathematics: "The Chinese were familiar with Indian mathematics, and, in fact, continued to study it long after the period of intellectual intercourse between India and China had ceased." (source: Cited in Sarkar, Hindu Achievements in Exact Science, p. 14)

Literature: The great literary activity of the Buddhist scholars naturally had a permanent influence on Chinese literature, one of the oldest in the world. In a recent study a Chinese scholar Lai Ming, says that a significant feature in the development of Chinese literature has been the "the immense influence of Buddhist literature on the development of every sphere of Chinese literature since the Eastern Chin period (317 A.D.)." The Buddhist sutras were written in combined prose and rhymed verse, a literary form unknown in China at the time. The Chinese language when pronounced in the Sanskrit polyphonic manner was likely to sound hurried and abrupt, and to chant the Sanskrit verses in monophthongal Chinese prolonged the verse so much the rhymes were lost. Hence, to make the Chinese sutras pleasant to listen to, the Chinese language had to be modified to accommodate Sanskrit sounds. Consequently, in 489, Yung Ming, Prince of Ching Ling, convened a conference of Buddhist monks at his capital to differentiate between, and define the tones of, the Chinese language for reading Buddhist sutras and for changing the verses. A new theory emerged called the Theory of Four Tones.

Mythology: The Chinese sense of realism was so intense that there was hardly any mythology in ancient China, and they have produced few fairy tales of their own. Most of their finest fairy tales were originally brought to China by Indian monks in the first millennium. The Buddhists used them to make their sermons more agreeable and lucid. The tales eventually spread throughout the country, assuming a Chinese appearance conformable to their new environment. For example, the stories of Chinese plays such as A Play of Thunder-Peak, A Dream of Butterfly, and A Record of Southern Trees were of Buddhist origin.

Drama: Chinese drama assimilated Indian features in three stages. First, the story, characters, and technique were all borrowed from India; later, Indian technique gave way to Chinese; and finally, the story was modified and the characters became Chinese also. There are many dimensions to Chinese drama, and it is not easy to place them accurately in history. However, the twelfth century provides the first-known record of the performance of a play, a Buddhist miracle- play called Mu-lien Rescues his Mother based on an episode in the Indian epic, the Mahabharata. The subject matter of the Buddhist adaptation of the story, in which Maudgalyayana (Mu-lien in Chinese) rescues the mother from hell, occurs in a Tun-huang pien wen. Significantly, the play was first performed at the Northern Sung capital by professionals before a religious festival.

Grammar: Phrases and words coined by Buddhist scholars enriched the Chinese vocabulary by more than thirty-five thousand words. As the assimilation was spread over a long period of time, the Chinese accepted these words as a matter of course without even suspecting their foreign origin. Even today words of Buddhist origin are widely used in China from the folklore of peasants to the formal language of the intelligentsia. For example, poli for glass in the name of many precious and semi-precious stones is of Sanskrit origin. Cha-na, an instant, from kshana; t'a, pagoda, from stupa; mo-li, jasmine, from mallika, and terms for many trees and plants are amongst the many thousands of Chinese words of Indian origin. Indian grammar also undoubtedly stimulated Chinese philological study. Chinese script consists of numerous symbols, which in their earliest stage were chiefly pictographic and ideographic.

The word used in the old Sanskrit for the Chinese Emperor is deva- putra, which is an exact translation of 'Son of Heaven.' I-tsing, a famous pilgrim, himself a fine scholar of Sanskrit, praises the language and says it is respected in far countries in the north and south. ..'How much more then should people of the divine land (China), as well as the celestial store house (India), teach the real rules of the language.'

Jawaharlal Nehru has commented:

"Sanskrit scholarship must have been fairly widespread in China. It is interesting to find that some Chinese scholars tried to introduce Sanskrit phonetics into the Chinese language. A well-known example of this is that of the monk Shon Wen, who lived at the time of the Tang dynasty. He tried to develop an alphabetical system along these lines in Chinese."

(source: The Discovery of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, p. 197-198)

Art: Indian art also reached China, mainly through Central Asia, although some works of Buddhist art came by sea. Monks and their retinues, and traders brought Buddha statues, models of Hindu temples, and other objects of art to China. Fa-hsien made drawings of images whilst at Tamaralipti. Hsuang Tsang returned with several golden and sandalwood figures of the Buddha; and Hui-lun with a model of the Nalanda Mahavihara. Wang Huan-ts'e, who went to India several times, collected many drawings of Buddhist images, including a copy of the Buddha image at Bodhgaya; this was deposited at the Imperial palace and served as a model of the image in Ko-ngai-see temple. The most famous icon of East Asian Buddhism know as the "Udayana" image was reported to have been brought by the first Indian missionaries in 67, although there are various legends associated with this image and many scholars believe it was brought by Kumarajiva. However, this influx of Indian art was incidental and intermittent, and was destined to be absorbed by Chinese art. This combination resulted in a Buddhist art of exceptional beauty.

One of the most famous caves - Ch'ien-fo-tung, "Caves of the Thousand Buddhas," because there are supposed to be more than a thousand caves. So far, about five hundred caves have been discovered. These caves were painted throughout with murals, and were frequently furnished with numerous Buddha statues and sculptured scenes from the Jatakas. Many other caves were initiated in the reign of Toba Wei Emperor, T'ai Wu. Some also contain images of Hindu deities, such as Shiva on Nandi and Vishnu on Garuda.
Images coming from India were considered holy, as suggested by Omura, in his History of Chinese Sculpture. This significantly underlines the depth of Chinese acceptance of Indian thought.
Music: The Chinese did not regard music as an art to be cultivated outside the temples and theatres. Buddhist monks who reached China brought the practice of chanting sacred texts during religious rites. Hence, Indian melody was introduced into Chinese music which had hitherto been rather static and restrained. Indian music was so popular in China, that Emperor Kao-tsu (581-595) tried unsuccessfully to proscribe it by an Imperial decree. His successor Yang-ti was also very fond of Indian music. In Chinese annals, references are found to visiting Indian musicians, who reached China from India, Kucha, Kashgar, Bokhara and Cambodia. Even Joseph Needham, the well-known advocate of Chinese cultural and scientific priority admits, "Indian music came through Kucha to China just before the Sui period and had a great vogue there in the hands of exponents such as Ts'ao Miao-ta of Brahminical origin." By the end of the sixth century, Indian music had been given state recognition. During the T'ang period, Indian music was quite popular, especially the famous Rainbow Garment Dance melody.

A contemporary Chinese poet, Po Chu-yi, wrote a poem in praise of Indian music. "It is little wonder," an official publication of the Chinese Republic says, "that when a Chinese audience today hears Indian music, they feel that while possessing a piquant Indian flavor it has a remarkable affinity with Chinese music."

Science: A major Buddhist influence on Chinese science was in scientific thought itself. Buddhist concepts, such as the infinity of space and time, and the plurality of worlds and of time-cycles or Hindu Kalpas (chieh) had a stimulating effect on Chinese inquiry, broadening the Chinese outlook and better equipping it to investigate scientific problems. For example, the Hindu doctrine of pralayas, or recurrent world catastrophes in which sea and land were turned upside down before another world was recreated to go through the four cycles- differentiation (ch'eng), stagnation (chu), destruction (juai), and emptiness (kung) - which was later adopted by Neoconfucianists, was responsible for the Chinese recognition of the true nature of fossils long before they were understood in Europe. Again, the Indian doctrine of Karma (tso-yeh), or metempsychosis, influenced Chinese scientific thought on the process of biological change involving both phylogeny and ontogeny. Buddhist iconography contained a biological element. Buddhism introduced a highly developed theory of logic, both formal and dialectical, and of epistemology.

Tantric Buddhism reached China in the eighth century and the greatest Chinese astronomer and mathematician of his time, I-hsing (682-727), was a Tantric Buddhist monk. While the work of Indian mathematicians was carried westward by the Arabs and transmitted to Europe, it was taken eastward by Indian Buddhist monks and professional mathematicians.

Astronomy: There is also some evidence that works on Indian astronomy were in circulation in China well before the T'ang period. In the annuals of the Sui dynasty, numerous Chinese translations of Indian mathematical and astronomical works are mentioned, such as Po-lo-men Suan fa (The Hindu Arithmetical rules) and Po-lo-men Suan King. These works have vanished, and it is impossible to assess the degree of their influence on Chinese sciences. However, there is definite evidence of Indian influence on Chinese astronomy and calendar studies during the T'ang dynasty. During this period, Indian astronomers were working at the Imperial Bureau of Astronomy which was charged with preparing accurate calendars. Yang Ching-fang, a pupil of Amoghavajra (Pu-k'ung), wrote in 764 that those who wished to know the positions of the five planets and predict what Hsiu (heavenly mansion) a planet would be traversing, should adopt the Indian calendrical methods. Five years earlier, Amoghavajra had translated an Indian astrological work, the Hsiu Yao Ching (Hsiu and Planet Sutra), into Chinese.

At the time there were three astronomical schools at Chang-an: Gautama (Chhuthan), Kasyapa (Chiayeh), and Kumara (Chumolo). In 684 one of the members of the Gautama school, Lo presented a calendar, Kuang-tse-li, which has been in use for three years, to the Empress Wu. Later, in 718, another member of the school, Hsi-ta (Siddhartha), presented to the Emperor a calendar, Chiu-che-li, which was almost a direct translation of an Indian calendar, Navagraha Siddhanta of Varahamihira, and which is still preserved in the T'ang period collection. It was in use for four years. In 729 Siddhartha compiled a treatise based on this calendar which is the greatest known collection of ancient Chinese astronomical writings. This was the first time that a zero symbol appeared in a Chinese text, but, even more important, this work also contained a table of sines, which were typically Indian. I-hsing (682-727) was associated with the Kumara school and was much influenced by Indian astronomy. Indian influence can also be seen in the nine planets he introduced into his calendar, Ta-yen-li. The nine planets included the sun, moon, five known planets, and two new planets, Rahu and Ketu, by which the Indian astronomers represented the ascending and descending nodes of the moon.

Medicine: According to Terence Duke, "Many Buddhists were familiar with the extensive knowledge of surgery common to Indian medicine and this aided them both in spreading the teachings and in their practice of diagnosis and therapy. Surgical technique was almost unknown within China prior to the arrival of Buddhism." The renowned Buddhist teacher Nagarjuna is said to have translated at least two traditional works dealing with healing and medicines in the first centuries of our era. A section of his Maha-Prajnaparamita Sutra is quoted by the Chinese monk I-tsing in his commentary upon the five winds (Chinese: Wu Fung; Japanese: Gofu)."
(source: The Boddhisattva Warriors: The Origin, Inner Philosophy, 
History and Symbolism of the Buddhist Martial Art Within India and China, p. 139-145)

Evidence of Indian influence on Chinese medicine is even more definite. A number of Indian medical treatises are found in Chinese Buddhist collections: for example, the Ravanakumaratantra and Kasyapasamhita. From its very inception, Buddhism stressed the importance of health and the prevention and cure of mental and physical ailments. Indian medical texts were widely known in Central Asia, where parts of the original texts on Ayur Veda have been found as well as numerous translations.

The T'ang emperors patronized Indian thaumaturges (Tantric Yogis) who were believed to possess secret methods of rejuvenation. Wang Hsuan- chao, who returned to India after the death of King Harsha had been charged by the Chinese Emperor in 664 to bring back Indian medicines and physicians.

Considering that Indian medicine, especially operative surgery, was highly developed for the time, it is not surprising that the Chinese, like the Arabs, were captivated by Indian medical skills and drugs. Castration was performed by Chinese methods but other surgical techniques, such as laparotomy, trepanation, and removal of cataracts, as well as inoculation for smallpox, were influenced by Indian practices.

Acupuncture: In modern day acupuncture lore, there is recounted a legend that the discovery of the vital bodily points began within India as a result of combative research studies undertaken by the Indian ksatriya warriors in order to discover the vital (and deadly) points of the body which could be struck during hand-to-hand encounters. It is said that they experimented upon prisoners by piercing their bodies with the iron and stone "needles' daggers called Suci daggers common to their infantry and foot soldiers, in order to determine these points.

This Chinese legend reflects and complements the traditional Indian account of its origins, where it is said that in the aftermath of battles it was noticed that sometimes therapeutic effects arose from superficial arrow or dagger wounds incurred by the ksatriya in battle.
(source: The Boddhisattva Warriors: The Origin, Inner Philosophy, History and Symbolism of the Buddhist Martial Art Within India and China, p. 139-145)

The alternative form of medicine known as acupuncture is believed to have originated in China. In Korean academics, students are correctly told that acupuncture originated in India. An ancient Sanskrit text on acupuncture is preserved in the Ceylonese National Museum at Columbo in Sri Lanka.
Martial Arts/Games
Related: From Vedic martial arts to Aikido 

According to author Terence Duke:

"Fighting without weapons was a specialty of the Ksatriya (caste of ancient India) and foot soldier alike. For the Ksatriya it was simply part and parcel of their all around training, but for the lowly peasant it was essential. We read in the Vedas of men unable to afford armor who bound their heads with turbans called Usnisa to protect themselves from sword and axe blows. Fighting on foot for a Ksatriya was necessary in case he was unseated from his chariot or horse and found himself without weapons. Although the high ethical code of the Ksatriya forbid anyone but another Ksatriya from attacking him, doubtless such morals were not always observed, and when faced with an unscrupulous opponent, the Ksatriya needed to be able to defend himself, and developed, therefore, a very effective form of hand-to-hand combat that combined techniques of wrestling, throws, and hand strikes. Tactics and evasion were formulated that were later passed on to successive generations. This skill was called Vajramukti, a name meaning "thunderbolt closed - or clasped - hands." The tile Vajramukti referred to the usage of the hands in a manner as powerful as the vajra maces of traditional warfare. Vajramukti was practiced in peacetime by means of regular physical training sessions and these utilized sequences of attack and defense technically termed in Sanskrit nata.

"Prior to and during the life of the Buddha various principles were embodied within the warrior caste known as the Ksatriya (Japanese: Setsuri). This title - stemming from Sanskrit root Ksat meaning "to harm," described an elite force of usually royal or noble-born warriors who were trained from infancy in a wide variety of military and martial arts, both armed and unarmed.

"In China, the Ksatriya were considered to have descended from the deity Ping Wang (Japanese: Byo O), the "Lord of those who keep things calm." Ksatriyas were like the peace force - to keep kings and people in order. Military commanders were called Senani - a name reminiscent of the Japanese term Sensei which describes a similar status. The Japanese samurai also had similar traits to the Ksatriya. Their battle practices and techniques are often so close to that of the Ksatriya that we must assume the former came from India perhaps via China. The traditions of sacred swords, of honorable self-sacrifice, and service to one's lord are all found first in India.

"In ancient Hinduism, nata was acknowledged as a spiritual study and conferred as a ruling deity, Nataraja, representing the awakening of wisdom through physical and mental concentration. However, after the Muslim invasion of India and its brutal destruction of Buddhist and Hindu culture and religion, the Ksatriya art of nata was dispersed and many of its teachers slain. This indigenous martial arts, under the name of Kalari or Kalaripayit exists only in South India today. Originating at least 1,300 years ago, India's Kalaripayit is the oldest martial art taught today. It is also the most potentially violent, because students advance from unarmed combat to the use of swords, sharpened flexible metal lashes, and peculiar three-bladed daggers.
"When Buddhism came to influence India (circa 500 BC), the Deity Nataraja was converted to become one of the four protectors of Buddhism, and was renamed Nar(y)ayana Deva (Chinese: Na Lo Yen Tien). He is said to be a protector of the Eastern Hemisphere of the mandala."

  • Ksatriya Vajramukti
  • Simhanta
  • Bodhisattva Vajramukti
  • Trisatyabhumi
  • Trican Nata
  • Dharmapala
  • Mahabhuta Pratima
  • Seng Cha
  • Pu Sa Chin Kang Chuan (Bodhisattva Vajramukti)
  • (Po Fu) (Huo Ming) (Pa She) (Pai Chin)
  • Seng Ping
  • Chuan Fa or Kung Fu
  • (Karate) (Tae Kwon Do) (Thai Boxing) (Ju Jitsu) (Judo) (Aikido)
(source: The Boddhisattva Warriors: The Origin, Inner Philosophy, 
History and Symbolism of the Buddhist Martial Art Within India and China, p. 3, 158-174 and 242)

The famous Shao-lin style of boxing is also attributed to Indian influence. Bodhidharma (5-6th century AD) who believed in a sound mind, in a sound body, taught the monks in the Shao-lin temple this style of boxing for self-defense for rejuvenating the body after exacting meditation and mental concentration.

According to the History Channel martial arts were introduced in China by an Indian named Bodhidharma, who taught it to the monks so that they could defend their monasteries. He was also said to have introduced the concept of vital energy or chi ("prana" probably corresponds to this). This concept is the basis of acupuncture.
Chuan Fa, the Buddhist martial arts, preserved many Ksatriya techniques in their original forms. The monks who practiced Chuan Fa were often the sole preservers of the Ksatriya art of Avasavidya, called in Chinese Huo Ming or Hua Fa.

During the first millennium, Indian racing games reached China. The well-known expert on the history of Chinese games, Karl Himly, on the authority of a passage from the Jun Tsun Su, a work of the Sung period (960-1279), suggests that the Chinese game t'shu-p'u was invented in western India and spread to China in the time of the Wei dynasty (220-265). T'shu'p'u is, in fact, the Chinese adaptation of the Indian chatus-pada (modern chupur). Chess was introduced from India, ca. 700. through the ancient trade route from Kashmir. The oldest and best of the native Chinese games, wei-ch'i, did not appear until 1000. Cubical dice (chu-p or yu-p'i), although found in ancient India and Egypt, are generally believed to have reached China from India, possibly quite early. Arthur Waley is of the opinion that the prominence of the number six in the Book of Changes was derived from the six sides of cubical dice.

Bhaarat's influence on Japan

Hinduism and Buddhism went from India to China and Korea to Japan. Images of Ganesha and Vishnu have been found throughout Japan. Numerous Buddhist deities were introduced into Japan and many of these are still very popular.

According to D. P. Singhal, "...some Hindu gods, who had been incorporated into the Buddhist pantheon, were amongst them. For example, Indra, originally, the god of thunder but now also the king of gods, is popular in Japan as Taishaku (literally the great King Sakra); Ganesha is worshiped as Sho-ten or Shoden (literally holy god) in many Buddhist temples, and is believed to confer happiness upon his devotees. A sea-serpent worshiped by sailors is called Ryujin, a Chinese equivalent of the Indian naga. Hariti and Dakini are also worshiped, the former as Kishimo-jin, and the latter by her original name. Bishamon is a Japanese equivalent of the Indian Vaisravana (Kubera), the god of wealth.

Even Shinto adopted Indian gods, despite its desperate efforts after the Meiji Revolution to disengage itself from Buddhism. The Indian sea god Varuna, is worshiped in Tokyo as Sui-ten (water-god); the Indian goddess of learning, Sarasvati, has become Benten (literally goddess of speech), with many shrines dedicated to her along sea coasts and beside lakes and ponds. Shiva is well known to the Japanese as Daikoku (literally god of darkness), which is a Chinese and Japanese equivalent of the Indian Mahakala, another name of Shiva. Daikoku is a popular god in Japan. At the Kotohira shrine on the island of Shikoku, sailors worship a god called Kompera, which is a corruption of the Sanskrit word for crocodile, Kumbhira. The divine architect mentioned in the Rig Veda, Vishvakarma, who designed and constructed the world, was regarded in ancient Japan as the god of carpenters, Bishukatsuma. The Indian Yama, the god of death, is the most dreaded god of Japan, under the name of Emma-o, the king of hell.

The climbers wearing traditional white dress, who scale the sacred Mount Ontake as a religious observance, sometimes have inscribed on their robe Sanskrit Siddham characters of an ancient type. Sometimes they put on white Japanese scarfs (tenugui) which carry the Sanskrit character OM, the sacred syllable of the Hindus.

According to Terence Duke, "The Gagaku dances of Japan contain many movements derived from the Indian Nata and the Chinese Chuan Fa."
(source: The Boddhisattva Warriors: The Origin, Inner Philosophy, History and Symbolism of the Buddhist Martial Art Within India and China, p. 206)

The cultivation of cotton in Japan is traced to an Indian who had drifted to the shore of Aichi Prefecture in 799. To commemorate the event, the Japanese named the village where the shipwrecked Indian had landed Tenjiku; Tenjiku was the Japanese name for India, and means Heaven.

The popular Japanese game of sunoroku or sugoroku (backgammon) played at the royal of the Nara rulers and still popular in Japan is of Indian origin. In Japan the game is played as nard. Nard is generally regarded as an Iranian game, but the ninth century Arab scholar, Al Yaqubi, considered nard an Indian invention used to illustrate man's dependence on chance and destiny. According to Wei-Shu, sugoroku was brought to China in ancient times from Hu country, which at that time meant a country somewhere in the vicinity of India. Again, as Karl Himly has pointed out, the Hun Tsun, Sii, written during the Sung period (960-1279), states that t'shu-pu, another Chinese name for sugoroku, was invented in western India, that it was known in its original form as chatus-pada, and that it reached China during the Wei period (220-265).

There is some Indian influence on Japanese art. A similarity between Shinto rituals and Hindu rituals (for example ringing the bell as one enters the temple). Narushima (Narasimha) Bishamondo is a famous temple in Japan. (Source: India and World Civilization - Dr. D. P. Singhal)


In conclusion, it can be said that China was more influenced by India than India by China. Whilst Chinese monks came to acquire knowledge and take it back, the Indian monks went to China on specific religious missions to impart knowledge. There is hardly any evidence that the Chinese monks brought with them any work which was translated into an Indian language. It seems that during this period of Sino-Indian contact, the psychological atmosphere was one in which India was naturally accepted as the giver and China as the taker. Whilst the best in Indian thought was carefully studied and carried back to China, Chinese ideas filtered through India whether they represented the best of their culture or not.

According to Jawaharlal Nehru in his book "The Discovery of India":
"The most famous of the Chinese travelers to India was Hsuang Tsang who came in the seventh century when the great T'sang dynasty flourished in China and King Harshavardhana ruled over in North India. Hsuang Tsang took a degree of Master of the Law at Nalanda University and finally became vice-principal of the university.

His book, the Si-Yu-Ki or the Record of the Western Kingdom (meaning India), makes fascinating reading. He tells us of the system of the university where the five branches of knowledge were taught. 1. Grammar 2. Science of Arts and Crafts 3. Medicine 4. Logic and 5. Philosophy. Hsuang Tsang was particularly struck by the love of learning of the Indian people. Many Indian classics have been preserved in Chinese translation relating not only to Buddhism but also to Hinduism, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, etc. There are supposed to be 800 such works in the Sung-pao collection in China. Tibet is also full of them. There used to be frequent co-operation between Indian, Chinese and Tibetan scholars. A notable instance of this co-operation, still extant, is a Sanskrit-Tibetan-Chinese dictionary of Buddhist technical terms. This dates from the ninth century and is named the 'Mahavyutpatti.'

Soon after Hsuang Tsang's death in China, yet another famous pilgrim made the journey to India - I-tsing (or Yi-tsing). He also studied at Nalanda University for a long time and carried back several hundred Sanskrit texts. He refers to India as the West (Si-fang), but he tells us that it was known as Aryadesha - Arya means noble, and desha region - the noble region. It is so called because men of noble character appear there successively, and people all praise the land by that name. It is also called the Madhyadesha - the middle land, for it is in the center of a hundred myriads of countries. (source: The Discovery of India - Jawaharlal Nehru, p. 193-194)

Yet Chinese culture had some influence on India. The gabled roofs of houses on the western coast of India show a Chinese influence, as do the temples and houses in the Himalayan regions. Some Chinese influence is noted on Gupta coins. The use of a certain kind of silk (chinamsuka) in India, different kinds of fruits including pears (cinaraja-putra), peaches (cinani), and lichis, the technique of fishing in the backwaters, and the porcelain industry all owe something to Chinese influence. Indians also learned the art of papermaking from China.

India and China

By V. B. Metta
source (expired):

It is a curious fact that Chinese culture, though so distinctive, all- pervasive and compulsive, could not come to India, or if it did come, it could not leave any lasting marks behind it.

Archaeologists and scholars tell us that Chinese ideas and ideals came to India with the Kushan Kings of the North, who were Tartars, but the influence that that dynasty has left on India is almost negligible. We are also told that there is influence of Chinese art on the Ajanta paintings. But that is only a theory, since there is nothing characteristically Chinese about these frescoes. The influence of India on China however is undeniable. It is not merely in religion that India influenced China, but in most subjects that go to make up national culture.

The Chinese, always proud of their civilization, looked upon the outside world with contempt. They called the tribes living to their North "Hun slaves," and the tribes living to the North-West "barbarians," while the Japanese were denominated by them "Dwarf Pirates." But their attitude towards India was different. India was known to them by a number of names, not one of which was contemptuous. She was called Hsin Tu, the Kingdom of the Hindus, or Ti Yu, the Western Land; to Buddhists she was Fu Kuo, the Land of the Buddhas.

Pre-Buddhistic Influence

It is probable that there was contact between India and China even before the birth of Buddha; certain similarities of thought and belief between pre-Buddhist Indians and pre-Confucian Chinese go to strengthen that theory. According to Hindus, the world sprang from the union of Purusha and Prakriti, the Male and Female Principles; the ancient Chinese writers thought the same - the Purusha and Prakriti of Indians being called Yang and Yin in China. There is also the worship of mountains in both countries; what the Himalayas have been to Hindus that Mount Tai has been to the Celestials. I do not think that these are mere coincidences due to the similarity of all early beliefs. There was a good deal of action and reaction of early Asiatic civilizations upon each other of which a proper history has yet to be written.

With the rise of Buddhism we are, historically speaking, on firmer ground. It is said that Asoka's missionaries had gone to China. There are however no records left of it. But we do know as a matter of historical fact that in 67 A.D., the Emperor Ming Ti received Kashyapamadanya from India, who bore with him presents of images and sculptures for the Chinese emperor. Since then the intercourse between the two countries continued uninterrupted till at least the eighth century. During that time it is estimated that between thirty to forty Indian scholars went to China, and some two hundred Chinese scholars came to India, who took back with them to their country Indian books, paintings, and statues.

The influence of India on China can be traced on Music, Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, Literature, Mythology, Philosophy and Science.
Influence of Hindu Music

We learn from Chinese writers that Indian music had displaced Chinese music in the seventh century in northern China; records of this music are said to be preserved in Japan. Although Chinese architecture is mainly wooden, still Indian architecture has succeeded in influencing it. There were certain temples built during the Tang Period in China which were the offspring of Indian and Chinese styles of architecture. Those temples are however in ruins now, and so they cannot be studied properly. But the Chinese pagoda fortunately still exists. It is called Chinese, though the country of its origin was Nepal. 

The Newars, a people living in the Valley of Nepal, evolved it by making certain alterations in the Hindu temple. Those alterations were: (1) They built the pagoda on a platform and not on the ground direct like the Hindu temple; (2) They tilted up the roof of their building, mainly because the rainfall in the country is very heavy. Mr. Ernest Havell is of opinion that the pagoda was a modification of the stupa, while Mr. Sylvain Levi thinks that it represents an Indian style of architecture which has now disappeared. When the pagoda went from Nepal to Tibet and from thence to China is not definitely known yet. The oldest pagoda in China is, I think, of the sixth century.

In painting, India influenced China considerably. From the East Chin dynasty to the Tang dynasty there was continuous intercourse between the two countries, and Indian paintings went to China in great numbers and influenced, if not actually displaced for a time Chinese painting in the North. This Indian School of Painting flourished in China till the rise to power of the Southern Sungs who favored the purely Chinese style of painting. I shall never forget the exquisite, ethereally delicate pictures painted on silk of this period which I saw at an exhibition at Messrs. Yamanaka's art galleries in New York in 1923. The manager of the galleries on seeing that I was an Indian, approached me, and pointing at the pictures in front of us, remarked with his inimitable Japanese smile, "They are all Indian really!" Then there are the wall paintings of the Tun Huang Caves (the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas) which Sir Aurel Stein and others have recently excavated in Chinese Turkestan.

A Chinese writer tells us that before the introduction of Buddhism there was no sculpture in three dimensions in China. But most of the early Chinese Buddhist sculpture was destroyed by an Emperor who was anti-Buddhist. There are, however, the rock sculptures and reliefs at Lo Yang and Lung Men of that period still left intact which show the influence of Indian sculpture on them. There are also sculptures to be found at Yung Kwang which closely resemble the Indo-Greek sculptures of Gandhara.

The Sanskrit language and literature have influenced China to a certain extent, since the Buddhist scriptures had to be translated into Chinese. On account of the study of Sanskrit - which, by the way, is the language of the Mahayana Buddhism and not Pali as some people imagine - the Chinese were inspired to invent an alphabetical system. This alphabetical system which has now disappeared, was called Ba-lamen Shu or Brahminical writing. Sakuntala, the masterpiece of the great Indian dramatist Kalidasa, was translated into Chinese, and is said to have influenced the Chinese drama. In mythology, many Buddhist deities of India were adopted by the Chinese; for example, Kwan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, was the Indian Tara. It has been suggested that Lao Tze got his idea of Tao - the Way - from the Hindu Brahman, Universal Soul. It is likely that the Indian sciences of Astronomy and Medicine influenced the astronomical and medical sciences of the Chinese. There is very good scope for a competent scholar to make a full study of Indian influence on China and other Far-Eastern countries, and write a book on the subject.

Vedic connection of Ancient Europe

  • The Lion Man (Der Löwenmensch) Narasimha worshiped in Germany 30,000 years ago?
  • The Celtic-Vedic Connection
  • Irish Scholars: Irish and Indian the Same People
  • Norse Universe
  • The Story of Knowledge
  • New Proof Of Ancient India's Flourishing Trade With Rome
  • Roman Settlement of Kaveripattinam
  • The Sanskrit Dialect Known as English
  • Lakshmi-Hari Worship in Ancient Denmark
  • Vedic Bulgaria
  • Vedic Croatia
  • Vedic Macedonia
  • Veda Slovena
  • Veda Slovena - a historical comment
  • Vedic evidence in Russia
  • Vaishnavas in Russia
  • Roman-Indian trade
  • Turoe stone, Ireland
  • Delphi Omphalos
The Celtic-Vedic Connection
Source: Hinduism Today

1) Celtic cosmology cognizes four interrelating worlds of existence: netherworld, earth realm; heavenly realm of dead and demi-gods; white realm of supreme Deities and energy source of stars. [a comment from a Celtic reconstructionist: latter two unsubstantiated]
Vedic cosmology perceives three interrelating worlds-physical; astral world of dead and demi-gods; causal universe of Deities, Supreme Being and primal energy; plus a fourth netherworld.

2) These worlds further divided into lands and cities occupied by spirits and disincarnate people of similar character. Time is slower in these realms.
The three worlds divide into loka habitats of existence, occupied by spirits and like-minded disincarnate people. Time is dilated in the lokas.

3) Celtic earth realm is called bitus. Celtic Gods are called deuos, meaning "shining one."
Vedic earth world is called bhu. Gods of Vedas are invoked as deva, meaning "shining one."

4) Departed souls dwelled in refined or hellish lands until their next reincarnation as a human or animal. [a comment from a Celtic reconstructionist: hell unsubstantiated]
At death, souls continue existence in subtle or hellish realms until entry into the next human or animal body.

5) Celtic priests taught that human souls were indestructible, but the universe ends and rebuilds through fire and water in a repeating cycle.
The universe existence span-called kalpa-ends in a repeating creation/destruction cycle through fire and water, symbolic of primal light and sound.

6) Celtic deities included Gods who actualized nature forces, promulgated ethics, justice, knowledge, speech, arts, crafts, medicine, harvests, gave war courage and battled forces of darkness, and Goddesses of land, rivers and motherhood. Gods often did multiple functions.

The early Vedic pantheon included deities of fire, solar, atmospheric and nature forces, ritual stimulants, speech, crafts, arts, harvests, medicine, justice, ethical/ecological order, war, battlers of malevolent beings, river Goddesses. Gods often had overlapping functions.

7) Celtic God of thunder was Taranus who carried thunderbolts. God of fire is Aedh (pronounced uh-ee), meaning fire. The sun Deity is Sulios. The Celtic word for invocation is gutuater. [a comment from a Celtic reconstructionist: Taranus exact function is unknown, he is known through statuary and inscriptions, and is Gaulish. Aedh is an epithet held by many mythological figures in medieval Irish literature, but was not a deity onto itself (and also not found among the Gauls). Sulios as a solar deity is spurious at best, would only be Gaulish, as in Gaelic the sun and moon are referred to as female.]

Vedic God of rain and thunder was Indra who carried thunderbolts. Vedic God of fire is Agni, meaning fire. The solar Being is Surya. The Sanskrit term for invocation is hotar.

8) Celtic cosmology conceived of cosmic creation as a primal Person sacrifice. The Celt term for breath is anal. For soul, the Celt word is anam.

Vedic cosmology describes cosmic creation as the sacrifice of Primal Being. The Vedic word for breath is prana. The soul in the Vedas is atman.

9) The central Celtic ritual was the fire sacrifice, conducted in geometric pits with offerings of herbs, mead and flour cakes, conducted by chanting druids, the Celtic priests.

The central Vedic ritual was the fire sacrifice, performed in geometric pits with offerings of ghee, spices, rice-conducted by hymn- and-mantra-chanting brahmins.

10) Celtic priests were called druids, meaning "knowers of the tree, or truth." They memorized the entire knowledge of the Celts and passed it on orally, forbidding written transmission. They were divided into several classes: seers, judges, royal advisors, hymn chanters, poet bards, sacrificers. They were also astronomers, healers and magicians.
The Vedic priesthood-the brahmins-memorized the scriptural and societal law knowledge of the Hindus, passing it on orally, forbidding writing. Brahmins formed several divisions associated with the fire ritual duties. Enlightened brahmins became rishi seers. Others advised kings and some specialized in medicine and astronomy/astrology.

11) Druids studied for 20 years in strict discipleship to master their oral, ritual, law, science and psychic arts.

Brahmins studied for 12 years in a gurukulam to master oral, ritual, mathematical, astronomical knowledge.

12) Druids memorized extremely lengthy poetic sagas that communicated spiritual metaphysics and civic laws. The poetic metre was a fixed syllable line, free form, with 3-part cadence at end.

Bards of the Vedic literature memorized lengthy poetic sagas conveying spiritual knowledge and dharmic duty. The poetic metre was a fixed syllable line, free form, with 3-part cadence at end.

13) Druids practiced breathing, posture and meditation techniques that gave degrees of ecstasy, often accompanied by intense heat in the body.

Vedic ascetics practiced breathing, posture and meditation skills in a spiritual unfoldment process called tapas (heat), generating high body heat.

14) Celtic society was divided into three hierarchical stratas of life: priests, warriors and producers (inclusive of merchants). Druids advised warrior-kings known as rix. Upward progression through classes was possible.

Vedic society divided into four hierarchical castes: priests, warriors, merchants, workers. Brahmins counseled warrior-kings (rajas). Upward mobility was sanctioned in Vedas, but later frozen in societal law books.

15) Celts prized the magical power of telling truth, honor/piety among men and eloquence in conversation and oration.
Vedic society prized the supernatural power of truth-saying, piety and honor, and eloquence in gatherings.

16) Celts honored women, guarded their virtue, and allowed by law daughters of sonless fathers to inherit property or to marry kinsmen to bear male heirs to the father. Seeresses were sanctioned, and priestesses for Goddesses favored.

Vedic Hindus prized womanly virtues, and by law sonless fathers could bequeath property to daughters or arrange her marriage to relatives for male heirs. Female seers were countenanced, and female ascetics tended Goddess rites.

17) Celts recognized 8 forms of marriage from arranged to love to abduction. A bride gift was given by the groom.

Vedic Hindus followed 8 forms of marriage from arranged to love to abduction. The groom paid a bride price.

18) Celts defined life stages, columns of age: infancy (0-1), boyhood (2-11), adolescence (12-18), young adult (19-45), old age (46-65), decrepitude (65+) in which enlightening inspiration is sought.

Vedic society taught four ashrama stages of life: studentship (12- 24); family life (25-48); elder advisor (49-72); religious solitaire (72+), in which the individual seeks enlightenment.

19) The Celtic ideal measure of life was to live 100 years.
The Vedic ideal of a fulfilled life was to live 100 autumns.

20) Celt family unit was a group of four generations from a great- grandfather.

The ancient Hindu family unit is four generations from a great- grandfather.

21) One Celt calendar was based on 62 lunar months (5 years +) intercalated to a 3-year solar cycle for solstice correction. Druids studied stellar motion, navigation and contemplated such abstracts as the size and nature of the universe.

Vedic astronomy is based on lunar months daily aligned to star positions and related to 3-year and 5-year solar cycles. Vedic astronomy was applied to astrology, and the rishi seers contemplated the universe's nature and genesis.

22) By Celt law a man owed money could fast at the door of the debtor- who must join the fast-forcing the debtor to pay or enter an arbitration.

By Hindu law, a creditor could fast at the door of the past due debtor, who then was obligated to protect the health of the creditor and pay the debt.


  • The Celtic-Vedic connection
  • The relation of Hindu and Celtic Culture by Druuis Belenios Ategnatos
  • Our Druid Cousins
    Irish Scholars: Irish and Indian the Same PeopleSource: THE CELTS By Gerhard Herm

    Bryan Mcmahon, historian, scholar of folklore, teacher, a well known poet and much else besides, likes to test his favorite theories in practice and to retail them with all the skill and timing of a seasoned performer. He told me: Whenever I meet an Indian I take him to one side and hum the first lines of an Irish folk-song. Then I ask him to continue the melody as he likes; and, believe it or not, almost every time he will sing it to the end as if he already knew the song. Isn't that astonishing?

    For me it is an indication that Indians and Irishmen have a common past; that, as I put it in one of my plays, "We Celts came from the Mysterious East."

    The late Myles Dillon, formerly Prof of Celtic at U of Dublin cites a whole series of further astonishing parallels between the culture of the Aryan Indians and the Irish Druids. (Druid from Dru = Oak, Wid or Ved = Wisdom) His main contention is that in both cases there was a distinct class of scholars; the Brahmins in India, the highest reps in the Varna system; while in Ireland there were the 'wise men of the oak'. Dillon reckons that the Brahmins and the Druids should be equated because they carried out their profession-teaching and study, poetry and law-in a similar way.

    There is evidence that this is so.

    The principles by which justice was administered were similar, indeed identical with those in India. There a father with daughters but no sons could order one of them to take a man of his choice and produce a legal heir. Beyond the Hindu Kush mountains, such a girl was called putrika (she who takes the son's place) and in old Ireland ban-chomarba (female-heir). But who if not the Continental Celts can have told the Irish what was going on in the far east? Dillon further notes similarities: in both cultures there were 8 different forms of marriage, from arranged marriages, marriage by purchase and love- matches to kidnapping. In both cultures there was a strict distinction between inherited and earned property and when contracts were drawn up there was an exact statement as to who was to provide what guarantees before obtaining what he wanted. In one case it was the Brahmins and in the other the Druids who administered these principles.

    All this, Dillon says, suggests that the Celtic Druids indeed represented the same tradition as the Hindu Brahmins... If we continue to feel our way along the parallels between India and Gaul, sooner or later we sense that the Druids were also political leaders, just as the Brahmins clearly stood above generals and warriors.

    The Druids, Caesar says, taught that "souls do not disappear but wander from one body to another". Lucan in his Pharsalia - a verse epic about the Roman civil war - addressed them with the words: "If we understand you aright, death is only a pause in a long life." Does the fact that according to Scythian custom, crests depicted eagles, wolves, bears as ancestors reflect the conviction of these people that the spirit of the dead goes through many life-forms, human and animal, as the Hindus believe?

    ...Ancient author Diodorus's own most adventurous suggestion - "they still hold Pythagoras's belief in the immortality of the soul and rebirth." ...But since Pythagoras, with his strong influences from the east, was among the few great Hellenic philosophers who believed in the possibility of life after death, they could only conclude that his belief was related to the blonde barbarians (the Celts) or that they had taken theirs from him.


  • A Celtic Orient?
  • Celts and Karma
    Norse Universe
    Yggdrasil as a cosmic tree is sometimes called an ash and sometimes a yew. Yggdrasil, otherwise known as the World tree, grows out of the past, lives in the present and reaches toward the future. It nourishes all spiritual life and physical life. Its roots reach into all the worlds; its boughs hang above Asgard. Yggdrasil has three main roots which hold everything together. One root reaches into the well of Urd in Asgard, another into the Mimir of Midgard, and the third into the Spring of Hvelgelmir in Hel. ...

    The World Tree is constantly under attack by evil creatures. ...
    Of the nine worlds in the Norse Mythology, Asgard is on the highest level, with Alfheim to the east and Vanaheim to the west. The Prose Edda states that Midgard is in the center of Ginnungagap, an area of 11 rivers and frozen wasteland. It is Midgard that ties together all the other worlds. On the same level as Midgard is Svartalfheim to the south, Nidavellir to the east, and Jotunheim to the west. Below Midgard lie Hel and Nilfheim. The Aesir gods live in Asgard, the Vanir in Vanaheim, and the Light Elves in Alfheim or Ljossalfheim. ...
    Niflheim is the world of the dead, ruled by the goddess Hel, while the kingdom Hel is realm of the dead, ruled by Urd. ...
    Niflheim or Niflhel lies south of Midgard. It is an immense land of darkness and great cold, an area of torture for evil souls. To reach Niflheim, one has to travel downwards for nine days from Midgard on the Helway. This road goes through great forests and deep dark valleys, over high mountains. There is a deep black cave between the two levels of Midgard and Hel. Near the end of the Helway, the maiden Modgud guards the Gjallarbru or Gjoll. Beyond the bridge are the Hel gates (Helgrind) and behind them the Hall of Death. The Goddess Hel s palace is called Sleetcold or Sleet-Den. ...

    Hel is the lower world Thingstead of the Gods. There the souls of the dead are judged by Odhinn, and rewards or punishments handed out. Even the Valkyries must first bring their chosen warriors to this Thingstead where they are accepted or rejected as unworthy.

    At the lower world Thingstead, the Hamingjur (individual guarding spirits) can speak for an individual during judgement. If the person is evil he or she is deserted by his/her Hamingjur. Those souls judged good go to Hel where they live in eternal joy. Those condemned as evil are shackled and driven to Niflhel by the Dark Elves. They must drink burning venom and are subjected to the nine realms of torture.
    Out of Norse Magick; By Rev. D.J. Conway. Llewllyn, ISBN 0-87542-137-7

    New Proof Of Ancient India's Flourishing Trade With Rome

    By Anand Parthasarathy, KOCHI 6-14-2

     A gruelling nine-year-long international archaeological expedition in Egypt, has unearthed the most extensive evidence so far, of vigorous trade between India and the Roman Empire " 2000 years ago.

    The project funded by Dutch and American agencies, at Berenike, on the Sudan-Egypt border along the shores of the Red Sea, has revealed that the location was the southern-most, military sea port of the Roman Empire in the first century A.D. and the key transfer point for a flourishing trade with India, whose magnitude was hitherto not known.

    In major findings to be published in the July issue of the monthly scientific journal Sahara and announced today at the archaeological database website of the expedition, researchers report having unearthed the largest single cache of black pepper "about 8 kg" ever excavated from a Roman dig. They were able to establish that this variety was only grown in antiquity in South India.

    Because of the drier weather of Egypt, the Berenike site preserved organic substances from India, like sail cloth, matting and baskets dating to AD 30-AD 70, all traces of which were destroyed in the more humid climate of the subcontinent.

    In one of the surprise findings, the archaeologists also report stumbling on a Roman "trash dump" containing well-preserved evidence of Indian `batik' work and ancient printed textiles as well as ceramics.

    All this leads archaeologists, Willeke Wendrich of the University of California, and Steven Sidebotham of the Delaware University to conclude in next month's paper that a "Spice Route" from India to Rome, existed long before the better known "Silk Route" to China.

    They suggest that the goods traveled from the west coast Indian ports to Berenike by ships in the monsoon months, and were then transported by camel and Nile river boats, to the Mediterranean port of Alexandria, from where ships conveyed the cargo to Rome by sea.

    This route was preferred for almost 50 years because the alternative land route through what is today Pakistan and Iran, passed through countries hostile to the Roman Empire.

    "We talk about globalism as if it were the latest thing", Wendrich is quoted by the Associated Press as saying, but trade was going on in antiquity on a scale that is truly impressive".

    The Berenike route was finally abandoned in AD 500 probably after a plague epidemic.

    The new findings are said to establish what was long suspected - the central role that India played in the maritime trade 2000 years ago.
    Roman Settlement of Kaveripattinam

    Alexander the Great, born in 256 BC in Pella, Macedonia. At the age of thirteen he became a pupil of Aristotle. Alexander routed Darius and forced his entire army east. After this the city of Babylon surrendered, which allowed Alexander to easily capture Susa and Persepolis.

    Darius was soon killed by one of his generals which made Alexander King of Asia. He did not rest for long, as he had set his sights on India. In 326 BC Alexander defeated Porus, the prince of India. Alexander was now at the height of his power. His empire stretched from the Ionian Sea to northern india. Alexander had greater plans. He wanted to combine Asia and Europe into one country, and named Babylon the new capital. The most profitable overseas trade was the Roman trade with South India. Yavana merchants (i.e. merchants from western Asia and the Mediterranean) had trading establishments both in the Satavahana kingdoms and in those of the far south. Early South Indian literature describes Yavan ships arriving with their cargoes at the city of Kaveripattinam. Excavations in 1945 uncovered a sizable Roman settlement which was a trading station, it would seem that the Roman were using Arikamedu from the first century BC to the early second century AD.

    The frequency of hoards of Roman coins found in the Deccan and south India indicate the volume of this trade. Most of the urban centers of the south were ports which prospered on this trade. Western culture had its early birth in Greece and Rome. India came into contact with Greece politically in the days of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC. But the cultural contact of the Greek as well as the Greece-Roman world with India was in all probability far earlier and lasted quite longer so far as South India was concerned. The Great Greek dramatists of the 4th century BC., particularly Euripides and Aristophanes, appear to have been familiar with the Kannada country and the Kannada language, and had actually used Kannada phrases and expressions in the dialogues of their characters. This shows a far more intimate contact of the Greeks with Kannada India culture than with Indian Culture elsewhere. Kannada and Tamil are two of the most ancient literature's not only of South India, but of all India as well. The antiquity of Kannada literature as at present back to the 9th century of the Christian era.

    A study of Roman coins in south India forms a fascinating but little known chapter in the history of south India. A large number of Roman coins of gold and silver found in south India and Karnataka testify to a highly flourishing trade between India and Rome during the early part of the first century AD. In addition to these hoards of Roman coins, many antiquities and pottery having connections with Roman culture have been unearthed at many sites in this area. Further, there are a large number of references to Rome in Indian and Greek literary texts. All these point to an era of brilliant maritime contact between India and Rome in the early centuries of the Christian era.

    Large number of Roman coins found in Karnataka were made of gold, silver and copper. From the beginning of the Christian era to the third century AD., Roman silver and gold coins were brought into this region for the purchase of Indian commodities which were in great demand in Rome. These coins have been found at various places in the Chera, Pandya and Chola countries in large numbers. These coins were often converted into Indian coins by a simple method.

    REFERENCES: 1. Coins and Currency system N. Karnataka Dr. A.V. Narasimha Murthy.

    The Sanskrit Dialect Known as English
    By Neil Kalia Robinson

    (Abstract of Paper to be Presented at WAVES 2002 Conference Being held at U of Mass. in Dartmouth, Mass.)

    In western curriculum there is a tendency to exclude Sanskrit as a root to the English language. Numbers and alphabet are categorized as Roman or Arabic. There is however recognition of the Indo-Aryan or Indo European language group which Sanskrit is admittedly an elder member.

    How important is the role of Sanskrit in regards to world languages and in this case English, possibly the most dominant language in the modern world?

    It is imperative to note that the English language, except for the current written alphabet, is as close to ancient Sanskrit as Hindi, Bengali or any other dialect from India. And yes, English numerals are Sanskrit not Arabic or Roman.

    It is helpful to understand that many English words have no intrinsic denominator without application or aid of Sanskrit.

    The compound word San-Skrit, San; meaning whole, equal, complete, total or amount and Skrit; meaning script, scribe etc. Thus reveals the common basis and subtle collusion of English words to be non different than Sanskrit i.e. San; Sum, some, syn, same, sane, saint etc. all these English words meaning either whole, total, equal or even.
    To opine that in time Sanskrit developed its refined status from a earlier more crude form of the Indo-European or other language family is herein questionable due to the vivid, concise depth of Sanskrit Syllabary and antiquated references

    An example is given that the Name for the human race "Man" has come from "Manu" (Manoah, Noah, Nuh), the "Manvantara" descendant from the Vivasvan, the solar deity.

    The word "Man" has no sufficient origins given in English. According to Vedic chronology the story of Manu stretches so far into antiquity that it no longer finds cohesive analogy in English literature, except perhaps in form of the Biblical story of Noah.

    In United States of America we have no monarchy so the title "King" can only refer to periods and places where where it actually did or currently exist, such as The "Queen" of England. Yet we still use the word "King and Queen" in North America, because in the past it was used frequently in reference to actual monarchy.

    Even though there are no lions in England the Kings where still known as lion hearted. Coats of arms often portrayed lions attributing the qualities of the lions to the kings such as courage, strength, chivalry, generosity and resourcefulness.

    The old English spelling of King is "Cing" As in ancient Sanskrit appellation King, Cing, Singh, Simha or Simba (Swahili) for lion meaning powerful chief or leader.

    The English language, full of such descendants perceived directly in relation to its sister dialects, Hindi and Bengali is no further remote from Sanskrit. Apparently Sanskrit similarly supplies integral structure and identifying roots of English.

    Could the very word "Sanskrit" claim what it may well be a "Samskrit" or "complete alphabet" of a universal language originating from the subtlemost realm of consciousness?

    Even Professor Max Mueller had to acknowledge the greatness of the Devanagari script admitting its very perfection and realizing its antecedent superiority. Vedic Sanskrit of Ancient India very possibly may contain the "perfect" contributing factor providing spiritual and metaphysical roots and reason to many branches of global languages.
    N Kalia

    Lakshmi-Hari Worship in Ancient Denmark
    Dr Subhash Kak

    One of the things you have mentioned is the Gundestrup Cauldron (Scientific American, March 1992), something that was unearthed in a peat bog in Denmark. Apparently it shows strong evidence -- including goddess-images similar to Lakshmi and Hariti and a god-image similar to Vishnu -- of cross-cultural connections between Indic civilizations and those of far northern Europe. You have also noted the apparent connections between Celtic/Druidic pre-Christian cultures of Europe and Hindu practices. Is this merely circumstantial evidence or does it prove conclusively that there was a migration of peoples westward from India, rather than eastwards into India (the Aryan Invasion Theory)?

    There is whole host of evidence that proves that Indian ideas, if not people (that is apart from the gypsies), traveled from India to Europe. Indic people were apparently present in Palestine, Turkey, Babylon in the 2nd millennium BCE. The names of the ruling dynasties of these places and some Sanskritic inscriptions tell us this. The father of the beautiful Nefertiti, Queen of Egypt, was a king of the Near East named Tusharatha or Dasharatha.

    The Puranas also say an Indian tribe called the Druhyus emigrated West. Whether they emigrated all the way to Europe, we cannot say. What is likely to have happened is that an Indic element became the political and religious aristocracy in many countries, all the way up to Europe. This may also explain the parallels between Indian and European mythology.

    What are the parallels between Indian and European mythology?
    We have these parallels at many levels: in names and in the grammar of the myths. Let's begin with names. There are two Rigvedic skygods, Varuna and Dyaus; the corresponding Greek skygods are Ouranos and Zeus. Similar to Agni and Bhaga we have the Slavic Ogun and Bogu. For Aryaman and Indra we have the Celtic Eremon and Andrasta; Ribhu and Ushas are the Greek Orpheus and Eos. The list goes on and on, and the most interesting thing is that the Vedic list is comprehensive and we see parts of it remembered in different parts of Europe suggesting that the Vedic is the original.

    The Vedic gods belong to three categories: the terrestrial, the atmospheric, and the celestial, if we see them superficially, as the Indologists of the 19th century saw them. In reality, they represent categories in the spiritual firmament: they are shadows of the One. The Europeans also saw their mythology in similar terms which is why when the Greeks came to India they declared that Shiva and Krishna were like their own Dionysius and Herakles.

    There are still deeper connections, and these have been examined by the scholar Georges Dumezil in a series of fascinating books. In Rome, the raj-brahmin dichotomy of India was paralleled by the rex-flamen division. The injunctions to the flamen -- the keeper of the flame -- are very similar to those to the brahmin. The gandharvas in India had a shadowy role related to music and fecundity; in Rome this was assigned to centaurs. Dumezil found enough parallels to fill five or six books. Joseph Campbell also wrote about these connections in his books, as have many others.

    After the Old Religion of Europe was extinguished, Indian myths continued to influence Europe. From the lives of Krishna and Buddha a nascent Christianity adopted the stories of miraculous conception and birth, the star over the birthplace, the twelve disciples, and the various miracles. Parables such as that of the pious disciple whose faith makes it possible to walk on water, or the story where the master feeds his numerous disciples with a single cake or bread were borrowed. Medieval Christianity took some Indian Jataka tales and transformed them into accounts of Christian saints. The most famous of such instances is how a Buddha legend from the Lalitavistara became the story of Barlaam and Josaphat!

    If there were was no Aryan Invasion, then what exactly happened to the Indus-Sarasvati civilization? A major civilization that spread some thousands of square miles and was apparently quite sophisticated cannot simply vanish.

    It never vanished. There was a shift of population after the economy around the Sarasvati river collapsed due to the drying up of the river. People moved to the east and to the northwest and to the south. There was no break in the cultural tradition. The same ceramic styles continued. Only the level of prosperity went down. The Vedic books also speak of a period when the rishis went to the forests, the age of the Aranyakas. The Puranic books speak of a catastrophe in 1924 BCE.

    Your work in archaeo-astronomy suggests unambiguously that the Max Mueller chronology of the Vedas must be rejected and that the Rig Veda must be dated not to ca. 1500 BCE, but to ca. 3000 BCE. What is the impact of this?

    Well if not 3000 BCE, certainly prior to 2000 BCE. Max Mueller was absolutely wrong. What is the impact of the new dates? It changes the history of ancient India and that of the rest of the ancient world. It gives a centrality to India in world history.

    Your recent book with Georg Feuerstein and David Frawley, In Search of the Cradle of Civilization (Quest Books, Indian edition to be published by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi), suggests that in fact India was the site of the very first civilization, not Sumer in Iraq. If this is true, then India has not only the oldest continuous and surviving civilization, but in fact it is the birthplace of civilization. Could you elaborate on this?

    Look, India has had cultural continuity for at least 10,000 years. Before that we had a rock-art tradition which, according to some estimates, goes back to 40,000 BCE. Not only are we one of the most ancient civilizations, we have found in India the record of the earliest astronomy, geometry, mathematics, and medicine. Artistic, philosophical and religious impulses, central to the history of mankind, arose first in India.

    You have done considerable research on the structure of the fire altars in Scriptural ritual (The Astronomical Code of the Rigveda, Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi), and you have demonstrated that there was a very formal and mathematical basis to the construction of these. Could you explain?

    Vedic Indians were scientific. They believed in laws of nature. They represented their astronomy in terms of the altar constructions. One problem they considered was that of the synchronization of the lunar and the solar years: the lunar year is about 11 days shorter than the solar year and if we add a round number of days every few years to make up for the discrepancy, we find we cannot do it elegantly unless we have a correction cycle of 95 years or its multiples. This 95-year cycle is described in the earliest Vedic prose books.

    The altars were to be built to slightly larger dimensions each year of the cycle to represent the corrections. There were other symbolic constructions. Like building a square altar (representing the sky) with the same area as a circular altar (representing the earth), which is the problem of squaring the circle. This led to the discovery of the earliest geometry. They were aware that the sun and the moon were at 108 times their own diameters from the earth.

    These fire altars are at this time obsolete, right? Nobody uses them any more, or is that not so? The only time I have heard of them before reading your work was when I read of an impoverished Nambudiri (Kerala brahmin) family whose illam or house was being sold, and they had fire altars in the shape of a falcon, and the old head of the household said this 5,000-year-old tradition was dying because they couldn't afford the rituals any more.

    It is a great pity that we are letting our cultural and civilizational treasures die right before our eyes. We must do whatever we can to preserve and celebrate this heritage.

    You have mentioned a connection, apparently evident in the Vedas, between internal and external things -- for instance between the rhythms in the human body and astronomical cycles. Could you elaborate?

    A central Vedic belief was that there are connections between the outer and the inner. The rishis declared that it was due to these connections that we are enabled to know the world. One dramatic aspect of these connections are the biological cycles which run the same periods as various astronomical cycles. For example, the Purusha Hymn of the Rigveda says that the mind is born of the moon. Just recently, by research on volunteers, who stayed in underground caves for months without any watches or other cues about time, it was found that the natural cycle for the mind is 24 hours and 50 minutes. The period of the moon is also 24 hours and 50 minutes. Our clock is reset every day by daylight!

    The connections between the outer and the inner were also represented by other symbols. The 108 sun diameters from the earth of the sun were paralleled by the 108 beads of the rosary for a symbolic spiritual journey from the normal state to one of illumination.

    I have read the book edited by you and Dr TRN Rao (Computing Science in Ancient India, University of Southwestern Louisiana Press) on some surprising mathematics: pi to many decimal places, Sayana's accurate calculation of the speed of light, hashing algorithms, the binary number system of Sanskrit meters -- are these mere coincidences or is there conclusive evidence of advanced mathematics?

    The binary number system, hashing, various codes, mathematical logic (Navya Nyaya), or a formal framework that is equivalent to programming all arose in ancient India. This is all well known and it is acknowledged by scholars all over the world. I shouldn't forget to tell you that a most advanced calculus, math and astronomy arose in Kerala several centuries before Newton.

    In particular, I am amazed, as a layman, by the evidence that Sayana, circa 1300 CE, who was prime minister at the court of the Vijayanagar Emperor Bukka I, calculated the speed of light to be 2,202 yojanas in half a nimesha, which does come to 186,536 miles per second. (Kak1, Kak2)

    Truly mind-boggling! The speed of light was first measured in the West only in the late 17th century. So how could the Indians have known it? If you are a sceptic, then you will say it is a coincidence that somehow dropped out of the assumptions regarding the solar system. If you are a believer in the powers of the mind, you would say that it is possible to intuit (in terms of categories that you have experienced before) outer knowledge. This latter view is the old Indian knowledge paradigm. If it were generally accepted it would mean an evolution in science much greater than the revolution of modern physics.

    It is also well-known that the Vedic or Puranic idea of the age of the universe is some 8 billion years, which is of the order of magnitude of what has been estimated by modern astrophysicists. Is this also a mere coincidence?

    Again, either a coincidence, or the rishis were capable of supernormal wisdom. Don't forget that the Indian texts also speak about things that no other civilization thought of until this century. I am speaking of air and space travel, embryo transplantation, multiple births from the same embryo, weapons of mass destruction (all in the Mahabharata), travel through domains where time is slowed, other galaxies and universes, potentials very much like quantum potential (Puranas). If nothing else, we must salute the rishis for the most astonishing and uncanny imagination.

    You also suggest that that the modern computer science term for context-free languages, the Backus-Naur Form, should more accurately be called the Panini-Backus Form, since Sanskrit grammarian Panini invented the notion of completely and unambiguously defined grammars (and devised one such for Sanskrit) as early as about 500 BCE.

    Oh yes, all this is well established and well known, as also the Indian development of mathematical logic.

    How has the reaction been in scholarly circles to some of these discoveries and conjectures of yours, which do turn conventional wisdom on its head? In India, you are aware, some of your views would have you branded as "reactionary", "Hindu fundamentalist", etc.

    My work has been received most enthusiastically in scholarly circles both in the West and India. I have written several scores of scholarly articles and reviews and am in the process of writing major essays for leading encyclopaedias. School texts in California and other American states have been rewritten. Likewise, new college texts in the US speak of these new findings. We are talking here of hard scientific facts, they can neither be "fundamentalist" nor "reactionary". But I am aware that some ignorant ideologues in India may actually pin pejorative labels on this work. This only creates opportunities to bring facts to the attention of such people. I am ever hopeful of converting more and more people!

    How has your work in the history of science affected your research in computing science?

    Surprisingly, it has strengthened my technical work. It has provided me a focus and a perspective. It has also given me the courage to work on fundamental problems.

    What do you attribute this to? Is this because it is a matter of self- image? Indians have always been self-effacing, and perhaps not believing in themselves much?

    Self-image is a central factor in our development. We eventually become what we want to become. We need faith in ourselves. That is why a cultural focus is so crucial. I think our current self- effacement is a result of the negative stereotyping we have experienced for generations. Our school books talk about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle -- and rightly so -- but they don't mention Yajnavalkya, Panini and Patanjali, which is a grave omission. Our grand boulevards in Delhi and other cities are named after Copernicus, Kepler and Newton, but there are no memorials to Aryabhata, Bhaskara, Madhava and Nilakantha!

    Is self-image, then, sufficient reason for us to explore the past?
    It could be a sufficient reason for some. For others, it is one of the many impulses that guides them in their personal journeys.

    Is there something that your Web readers can do to take some of this research forward? Any references or other suggestions?

    There is so much to be done to spread the knowledge of Indian history. For at least 50 years, Indian intellectual life was stifled by a Stalinist attitude. And before that, for two centuries, colonialist historians appropriated Indian past for their own purposes. What they left for us was a mutilated version of our past. We are barely emerging from that hell. We need more people to actively carry forward this research. We also need institutions -- private foundations, perhaps -- that ensure that our historiography will remain vital, critical and devoted to truth.
    Any messages from you for your diasporic readers?

    Pay attention to Indian and world history, there is much to be learned from the past. Also go to the springwells of Indian tradition, you'll find great treasure. Indian ideas provided central themes to the American transcendentalists in the early 19th century which led to American culture as we know it. I believe even more vital Indian ideas will transform world culture in the coming decades, and if you choose to be the interpreters of these ideas to the modern world you would have participated in the most wondrous drama of our times!

    Vedic Croatia
    Kaivalyapati das

    There is a lot of evidence here in Croatia. I met one very famous academic Kujundjic and he showed me his book in which he gives different proofs that Croatians came originally from Iran (Aryan). I will not write about that I just put this to make connections with my following descriptions:

    1. When old Croatians came on the Adriatic coast they have sikhas on their heads. This I found on one painting of a famous Croatian painter from last century.

    2. The national symbol of Croatia is red and white chess fields. interesting I saw on Navadvip mandala parikrama Bengali painting the walls of houses with colors in the form of chess fields (I have photo). On the national symbol there is also lion with three head's like on the one rupee coin.

    3. Sanskrit word hriyate means 'passes away', in Croatian language we are writing Hrvatska for Croatia (Hrvat for Croat). Possibly because they passed away from Iran. They where known like Sun warriors because they worship Svanimira (Surya).

    4. They where cruelly killed and forced by Christians to accept christianity. Before they worshiped demigods.
    Brahma-Svetovid ( one who sees in all directions)
    Surya-Svanimir (means rising of the sun)
    I lost my long list with all names.

    5. There are legend about beautiful girls called Vilas (apsaras). The legend said that they are not from this planet earth but from heaven. They are coming regularly on one mountain, Velebit. Many people saw them, talked with them, even mixing with them. They where sometimes good or bad. There are famous Croatian song about them: "Oj, ti Vilo, Vilo Velebita ti naseg roda diko"... (Oh,you vila-apsara, apsara from mountain Velebit, you are the gift of our nation).

    6. The marriage ceremony was same like in Krishna book (Vasudeva and Devaki) as now.

    7. Language has many words same or similar like sanskrit: Ana-grain, tadiya-tulasi leaves, mati or mama for mother, tata-father, jedan-eka, dva-dva, tri-tri, chetiri-catur, pet-pancha... deset-dasha, tama-tama, baba roga-bhava roga (material disease), udariti (to beat somebody)-uddharet, Eva-eva, Tada-tada, Svi-Sarve, Ovu-etam, Tvoj-tava, ca-ca, veliki ratnik-maha-ratha, ta-tat, svuda-sarvesu, vibha-vantah, shkoljka-sankham, jaram-yukte, sjedeci-sthitau etc... Almost in every Bhagavad Gita sloka I find 1-3 same or similar words. There is more evidence but in this moment I cannot remember more then this.

    Vedic Macedonia

    Vrin Parker

    In 1977, a royal tomb was found at Vergina, near Saloniaca, in Macedonia, Greece. All the evidence proves it to be the tomb of King Philip, the father of Alexander the Great. However, Western scholars were puzzled because of the many artifacts, within the tomb of an obvious Indian/Vedic nature. Because of these artifacts, some experts dated the tomb to a time after Alexander's. This theory is no longer being accepted.

    In Michael Wood's series, In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, he presents 2 sculpted portraits of Alexander and Philip. Archeologists accept these sculpted portraits of Alexander as the only ones made during his lifetime. Philip's portrait is also recognized as being made in his lifetime.

    Where were these portraits found? They were found in the Macedonian tomb, discovered in 1977, thus confirming that the tomb is definitely from before Alexander's march to Asia.

    King Philip of Macedonia

    Because the tomb is full of Vedic/Indian style artifacts, this is solid proof that Greek culture had a strong connection to India, long before Alexander's time. The tomb in question has also been accepted as the tomb of King Philip on the series War and Civilization. The body interned in the tomb, fits every ancient description of King Philip. Without a doubt, it is the tomb of King Philip.

    The question is, "Why does King Philip's tomb have so many Indian influences? How is it possible if the Greek and Indian cultures had no direct contact until Alexander's Asian campaigns?"

    The answer is simple. Because Greek culture is an offshoot of Vedic culture, it is only logical that there would be strong Indian influences in Greek art, religion and culture. The tomb of King Philip is also more than proof of Greece's vedic past.

    It is also a smoking gun exposing the extreme prejudice involved in the cover up of the world's ancient vedic heritage. Though western scholars are now admitting the tomb to be Philip's, they are staying mute about the evidences proving Greece's Vedic heritage. On one hand, western academics are using these tomb artifacts to promote various theories, and on the other hand, they are ignoring the artifacts that prove their theories wrong. Because there is no doubt about the Vedic artifacts found in this one case, one wonders as to how much other evidence is out there that has been ignored and perhaps even destroyed. It is obvious that the current mainstream academic community, has made it's mind about world history. Any evidence that contradicts their theories, is not accepted. rather than change their pet theories, these so-called scholars are willing to change the historic record and force it to conform to their views. This is the great perversion of truth that is being perpetrated on the world at large. It is even more ironic that this is being done by the very people, i.e. the historians, who have a duty to research and present a true and accurate record of the world's ancient past.

    Vedic evidence in Russia
    Madana-mohana das

    A couple of weeks ago one devotee from Odessa (Southern Russian city) told me he personally saw in a museum over there three small dolls looking EXACTLY like Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra. They were digged from a barrow around 1000 year old and were found on human remains buried there, placed on a neck. The figures were ordered on the neck exactly in the same sequence - first yellowish Lord Balarama, than white Subhadra, than blackish Jagannath. They were made of metal and covered with enamel. Interesting enough, the deities were two-faced - there were exactly the same appearances of their faces at their flip sides. The museum attandants had not a clue as to who the images were. The devotee promised to make pictures of them.