Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Origin of Olympic Games traced to Matsya festival at Pushkar.

Common perception is that the Olympic Game is the oldest game event traced to ancient Greece of perhaps 8th century BCE. But looking at our scriptures in India, we have reasons to think that Pushkar in Rajasthan in India hosted international games from time immemorial or from a roughly datable past of 5000 years before present, though the events have got restricted to animal races at present. A research into the nature and origin of Olympic games and also the until-now known features of Ionian sports congregation reveal connections to Pushkar Gaming event which was called as “Matsya Festival” during the times of Mahabharata.  

To begin with, let me show 2 major features of the Olympic Games having strong connections to Indian Vedic practices.

1. Olympic game event was originally a religious festival of pagan Gods dedicated to the Greek God Zeus. The description of Zeus resembles that of Indra.  Zeus is regarded as the Chief of all Gods much like Indra who is the chief of all Gods (Devas). Zeus is also regarded as the God of the sky, lightning and thunder - a description that is similar to Indra. Zeus holds a weapon that signifies thunderbolt which is similar to Vajrayudha held by Indra. Infact Tamil texts speak of Indra-vil (Indra’s bow) as the weapon of Indra which is nothing but a symbol of lightning.

(Illustration of a thunderbolt and its symbolization as the Vajrayudha)

The picture below is that of Zeus holding the weapon of thunderbolt/ lightning. Note the weapon in his hand looking similar to Vajrayudha.

Vajrayudha in the hand of Indra is shown below in the 13th century statue found at Somnathpur in Karnataka.
(Pic courtesy here)

The iconographic description of Indra by Mayamatham (Vaastu text authored by Mayan) also says that Indra must be depicted with a thunderbolt in his hand. The above image from Somnathpur is exactly as given in Mayamatham.

Looking at the facial features of Zeus, his beard is a prominent feature. Indra too had a beard as per Rig Vedic verse. {“Upon the great Trikadruka days, Hero, rejoicing thee, O Indra, drink the Soma. Come with Bay Steeds to drink of libation, shaking the drops from out thy beard”  (RV 2-11-17)}

Another reason to identify Zeus in the image of Indra is that he heads the pantheon of other Gods, much like Indra. Including him the Olympic Gods are 12 in number which is somewhat similar to the depiction of a leading God along with the zodiac of 12 signs.

There is a verse in the Rig Veda that praises Indra as the Ram / Mesha whose gracious deeds are spread like heavens above. (RV – 1-51-1). It is as though Indra is leading the zodiac of 12 signs (with respective lords).  Thus there are strong reasons to believe that the imagery of Indra of the Vedic Thought has gone into Greek mythology as Zeus.

2. The Olympic fire is an important component of the Games event. During the ancient Olympic events that fire was lit at the altar of Zeus and other Gods at Olympia. Lighting lamp at the beginning of any event is basically a Hindu practice. Lighting a torch in front of the deities and during processions is also a Hindu practice that continues even today. Lighting a torch on top of a Deepa- sthambha as is done in Hindu temples is what was done in ancient Olympia before the start of the game.

Today the Olympic flame is brought from Greece and lit on a pillar (deepa- sthambha) at the stadium as shown in the picture below.


In ancient Olympia, the flame that was kept burning in front of the temple of Zeus was somewhat like how it is shown in the picture below.

(For source picture and details read http://www.webcitation.org/5gKmh3MNF)

The above picture is an artist’s construction. The altars at Olympia have been destroyed, but based on corroboratory inputs, it is found that a fire was permanently lit at the altars of Zeus and other Gods in Olympia. This is not a fire altar of the type of a Homa kunda and it is not even a pillar (Deepa sthambha). This is clearly a structure that holds fire on top as a torch light. The shape is strikingly that of a hill or a mountain.

Interestingly this fire altar resembles the fire lit of Annamalai deepam – the lamp-fire lit on top of the Thirvannamalai hills.


Another striking similarity is that Olympic flame is obtained from Sun’s rays. The Thiruvannamali deepam is symbolic of the fire of the Sun as Shiva, as the hill itself has got its name from Sun God as Aruna-malai (Hill of Aruna, the Sun ) which corrupted to Anna-malai.

The occasion of lighting this lamp of fire on the hill-top occurs in the month of Karthikai on the day of Full Moon (Nov-Dec) every year. Further interesting connection is that the day of Full Moon Karthikai is an important day at Pushkar in Rajasthan of the annual 5 day Pushkar Fair or Pushkar Festival. At present no sporting events are held here, but the Fair is well known for animal races especially camel races. Many weird types of competitions are held such as the longest “Moustache” and the longest “nail” competitions.  The kind of draw that the Fair attracts and the kind of competitions that are being held do indicate that there must have been a time in the past when sporting events were also held. The proof of this comes from Mahabharata.   

Matsya Festival at Pushkar.

In Mahabharata, the Pandava brothers spent 12 years in exile and entered the Matsya Desa to spend the 13th year incognito. The 13th chapter of the Virata parva says that on the 4th month of Pandava’s stay (in the 13th year), a grand festival was held in honour of Brahma known as Matsya festival in which competitions were held for athletes who came from other countries.

(Location of Matsya country – Pushkar is within the territory inside the circle).

To quote from Mahabharata, the athletes were “endued with huge bodies and great prowess, like the demons called KalakhanjasAnd elated with their prowess and proud of their strength, they were highly honoured by the king. And their shoulders and waists and necks were like those of lions, and their bodies were very clean, and their hearts were quite at ease. And they had many a time won success in the lists in the presence of kings.”

The description further goes on about a particular wrestler called Jimuta who remained unbeaten. It was then the king of Virata (under whom the Panadavas were working in disguised names) challenged him to fight with his cook who was none other than Bheema working as a cook in the king’s kitchen in the disguised name, Vallava. Needless to say that Bheema- Vallava won the duel in which Jimuta was killed. Pleased with his prowess, the king made him enter into combats with many other athletes. Not being satiated with those powerful combats, the king even made Bheema fight with lions, tigers and elephants.

The strange similarity here again with ancient Greek Olympics is that the first ever champion in the first ever Olympics was a cook by name Coroebus. He won the running race which was the only race conducted in the first Olympics. Is this a real one or a mythically constructed one taking cue from the Pushkar-Matsya festival dominated by Vallava, the cook and was adapted to Olympian Games after a couple of millennia?

Another reason to back up this thought is about the way Greek names of places and myths are derived from Sanskrit and from pre-existing sources of history or myth that were not of Greek origin. It is as though on one fine morning the long history of Greek gods and their escapades were discovered and narrated as belonging to a place that did not know them before! The Greeks also claim that those mythical Gods were real and once lived as kings and warriors on the earth. On the one hand they considered them as historical figures and on the other they added mythical elements. In both cases they ended up fantasising with the characters of Vedic lands and Vedic Gods. One example is Zeus who is an adaptation of Indra, the Lord of Devas. Greek etymologists consider Zeus to have been derived from  Deva -> Deus -> Dzeus. Most of pronouns of Greek myths and geography can be traced like this to Sanskrit.

Applying such rules of derivation of Greek sounds from Sanskrit, it appears that the names Olympia and Palaestra, the ancient wrestling ground of Olympia are related to Bheema’s name Vallava / Vallabha and wrestling respectively.

Origin of the name Olympia

There exists no proper etymology for the word Olympia in Greek or any other language of Europe. They say that Olympia means ‘from Olympus’. But what is Olympus?  The reply is that it is the dwelling place of Olympian Gods starting with Zeus! But when we apply the rules (deduced) of how letters of Sanskrit are found to undergo changes in Greek language, we can find a connection between Vallava (or Vallabha) and  Olympia.

 Using the rules given in page 396 of the book “India in Greece” authored by E.Pococke, ‘v’ in Sanskrit becomes ‘o’ in Greek. The name of Bheema was Vallava or could have been Vallabha. Changing the first letter ‘v’ of Vallava, it becomes Ollava. The letters V,B,P are  interchangeable in this transition. The last letter ‘va’ or ‘bha’ becomes ‘pa’ or ‘p’. So Vallava first loses va and becomes Ollava. The last letter ‘va changes to ‘pa’ to become ‘ollapa’. The ‘ll’ became ‘l’ or ‘lum’. Thus the transition is Vallava -> Ollava -> Ollapa ->  Olumpa -> Olympa ->  Olympia.

An important structure of ancient Olympia has a similar etymological connection to the Sanskrit word for wrestling.

This is Palaestra,  the wrestling ground of Olympia.
The above is what remains of Palaestra of the 3rd or 2nd century BCE in Olympia. It is a 66 metre square building that was covered with sand for use in boxing or wrestling events. The orientation and design of the structure is as per Vaastu rules.

Palaestra traces its origin to the Greek word ‘palaiein’ which means ‘wrestle’. In Sanskrit a wrester is a ‘malla’ and wrestling is ‘mal-yuddha’. The root word is ‘mal’ which means to hold. Substituting ‘ma’ with ‘pa’, malla became palla -> palay -> palaiein in Greek. Both mean wrestling. And wrestling was the main event at Matsya festival of Pushkar.

Timing of Olympics

The timing of Olympic Games once in four years also has an ominous connection with Pandavas. According to the earliest myth narrated by the Greek Historian Pausanias of the 2nd century CE, there were 5 brothers who went on a race at Olympia to entertain the newborn Zeus. Of them one won the race which left the four out of race. So after four years the next race was held and this is how the tradition of conducting the Olympic Games once in four years began!

The number 5 for the brothers and number 4 for the intervening period have a connection to the Pandavas and the Mastya Games. Like the 5 brothers of Olympia, the Pandavas were 5 in number. 4 was the month number during their stay in Virata’s Matsya Desa when the Matsya festival was held.
Mahabharata says that “after three months had passed away, in the fourth, the grand festival in honour of the divine Brahma which was celebrated with pomp in the country of the Matsyas, came off”. (Mahabharata – Virata parva – 13th section). The Pushkar festival culminates on the Full Moon of karthika. If this happened to be the 4th month of their stay, the Pandavas must have begun the 13th year in Solar month of Aadi (cancer). As per research in Mahabharata this is identified with lunar Shravana month. Part of it comes in Solar month of Aadi. Counting from Aadi, Karthika month comes as the 4th month (after Aavani, Purattasi and Aippasi). The Pandavas witnessed the Gaming events on the 4th month after their stay. Was this taken by myth writers of Greece as the events in the 4th year and built up their mythology upon that?

These connections apart, the question needs to be answered how and by whom the Pandava connections were carried over to Greece. Based on the available inputs we have today, Ionians, one of the ancient tribes of Greece were the carriers of Vedic culture and life and characters of Mahabharata.
Ionia is a Greek word transformed from Sanskrit word Yavana. Y in Sanskrit becomes ‘i’ in Greek. ‘V’ becomes ‘’O’ in Greek and therefore Ya-va-na became I-O-na ->Ionia. The Yavanas occupied North West part of India for a long time and their predecessors were a branch of Yayati’s sons. Yayati was Rama’s grandfather’s grandfather. Yayati ruled the region that is regarded as Matsya or Madhya desa where river Saraswathi flowed. This is the North West part of India that included Rajasthan.

Yayati had 5 sons (Pancha Manava) who were engaged in a fight to among themselves after the death of Yayati, to wrest the control of the kingdom. After the war the 5 sons separated with 2 of them, Anu and Druhyu leaving the Indian sub continent. It is not an exaggeration to say that from then onwards the history of India and Europe came to be determined by these Pancha Manavas with Anu and Druhyu spreading the Vedic culture in Europe that underwent many a transformation as Time progressed.

Of the 5 sons, Yadu and Turvasu were the sons of Yayati born to Devayani, daughter of Shukracharya.  From Yadu sprang the Yaduvamsha in which Krishna was born. The descendants of Turvasu came to be called as Yavanas. So there is a blood relation between Yavanas and Yadavas of Yadu vamsha. Their origins happening in a distant past, say 7000 years ago (before Rama’s times), their population has increased over time and spread to different places within and outside India while undergoing changes in their character and life style. But with all that the underlying faith in Veda Dharma and its Gods had remained with them in some form.

Games of Ionians.

By the time a group of Yavanas migrated to the west of India in the millennium before the start of the Common Era, lot of changes have happened in the way they spoke and behaved. But they retained their memory of ancient ties with Veda Dharma and life style. The Ionians (Yavana)  were in groups and founded 12 cities and formed a league among themselves. They were the early Greeks. They carried the memory of the Games of Matsya desa and conducted annual sports called Panonia. It must be remembered here that the Matsya games also was an annual affair.

The Panonian Games can be characterised as the precursor to Olympic Games. A major purpose of the ancient Olympic Games was to buy peace among the warring countries. On the year of the Games, a truce was called and the countrymen geared up to participate in the gaming events. 

Similarly the Ionions spread over 12 cities were constantly under threat of war. They formed a league among themselves to strengthen their position. The Panonian festival of religious affairs and gaming events strengthened their unity and also helped them to be physically fit that aided them in war-preparedness.  This must have been the aim of the gaming events at Pushkar also, as the countries of India at that time were living under the threat of war from neighbours and had to be vigilant. The Gaming events such as wrestling and boxing kept the kshatriyas fit throughout the year during peace times.  Even during war times, the religious nature of the Festival helped the athletes from other countries to participate in the events.

The Ionians worshiped Poseidon  before the start of the games. There is no etymology for the word Poseidon. The syllables are  po-se-da. The se-da is an adaptation from Siva, the lord of the Hindu pantheon. Po is the prefix. The identity with Lord Siva is reinforced by the trident carried by Poseidon just like Siva.


But in the Olympic games, Zeus was given precedence. Even there we can quote a connection to Vedic Thought. Rig Vedic verse 1-174-9 says that Indra helped Yadu and Turvasu to sail safely in stormy weathers. (“A Stormer thou hast made the stormy waters flow down, O Indra, like the running rivers. When o’er the flood thou broughtest them, O Hero, thou keptest Turvaśa and Yadu safely”.)

Though Poseidon was the Sea God (perhaps in having helped the Ionians cross the seas safely when they prayed to him / Siva), later Indra was brought in to lead the Gods in the form of Zeus. Perhaps the above quoted Rig Vedic idea had existed among the Yavanas, the descendants of Turvasu and after weighing the options, they settled down to Zeus as the supreme protector during the earliest part of their history.  

From Ionion Panonium, the games got a new birth at Olympia. New myths were woven from the available pool of stories that were remembered and transferred down the generations.

Games promoted by Celts.

Another source of Olympic kind of games can be attributed to Celts. Celts, pronounced as Kelts had Druids among them whose ancestors could be related to Druhu, a son of Yayati who went westward after losing the war of Pancha Manavas.

To give a brief connection of Celts / Druids with Vedic people, they followed Vedic practices like idol worship, worship of multiple gods, food offerings in worship, philosophy of non destruction of soul, belief in rebirth after death, worship of ancestors, etc. Julius Caesar, while describing them, mentions that they were experts in Religion, Philosophy and Astronomy, and they were doing research in, debating and interpreting, those fields. This is similar to the way Upanishads were formed through debates, discussions and interpretation of Vedas. The Druids chanted something similar to Vedas. Vedas were not written, but orally transmitted. Similarly the Druids did not keep a written record of the chanting. They did not read out from books. Those who chanted Vedas were under strict regulations and disciplines; the Druids also followed strict codes of conduct. Like this, the Druids can be compared to Brahmins in Vedic tradition in many ways.

When Greeks and Romans brought Celts under their rule, they changed the Celtic names. They changed the names of places and people to Greek and Latin and gave new interpretations. Part of Greek myths and practices can be traced to these changes carried over from Celts.

What is of importance to this article is that the very name Celts (Kelts) can be related to Kelati or Khela in Sanskrit which refer to playing or sports. The Celts were fond of sports. Celts were interested in water sports and in other sports of might. They played War games too, which is unfamiliar to Europeans till this day. Historical researchers say that there was a wooden board in this game in which wooden figures were used for playing. The figures would disappear in the game. This resembles the ancient game of India called as chathuranga. Its modern version is the chess game.

This game originated in India. The Pandavas, in Mahabharata, lost a kingdom, by merely playing this game, without actually engaging in a battle. Thus it is appropriate to call Chathuranga or chess as a War game! If Celts had played this game, it is easy to trace the origin of Celts to the place of origin of the game – which is India. If it is argued that Celts came to India and spread that game, then Celts and their names must have been remembered in India. But we find Celtic names in Central Europe and in Ireland, not in India! 

The Celts conducted sports events in a grand way at the time of harvest in August. Known as Lughnasadh, it was considered as an Assembly of Lugh much similar to the Panionia of the Ionian League where sports events were conducted to show bravery and skills. 'Lúghnasadh was the occasion of major assemblies where legal matters were settled, political problems were discussed, craftsmen, artists and entertainers got a chance to show off their talents, and sporting events brought scattered communities together.' (Details here)  Interestingly, the Celtic God Lugh who is said to have begun this festival has 3 faces that resemble the Tri-Muthy – the Trinity of Hindu Thought and also Brahma, the Creator God of the Hindu Thought.

Celtic God Lugh

The above image of Lugh has three faces on three sides. It is possible to interpret it in 2 ways as having three faces like Trimurthy – a combination of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva or as 4-faced Brahma whose 4th face is behind and therefore hidden from our vision.

Trimurthy (combination of Brahma,Vishnu and Shiva)


Four faced Brahma with the 4th face hidden from sight.

The four faced concept of Lugh makes it strikingly similar to Matsya festival of Pushkar where Brahma was the Chief God.

Conclusion

The Celtic and Ionian influence on ancient Greece and its mythology is something that cannot be ignored. Only these two groups have held sports events at grand scale inviting wider participation. The 3 or 4 faced Lugh as the presiding deity of Celtic Games and the trident holding Poseidon as the presiding deity of Ionian Games bear influence from Pushkar games presided by the 4 faced Brahma.

(Pushkar lake in 1850. Brooklyn Museum)


The Pushkar Fair continues till date without break for all times since Mahabharata. Perhaps with the fall of kingdoms after Muslim invasions, promotion, patronisation and participation of martial art games such as wrestling and boxing could have subsided at the Pushkar Fair. But the fact that this Festival continues even today without fail can be attributed to one figure that is Brahma! The religious fervour behind this Fair / festival had kept up the event alive despite down slides. So it is not without reason, our ancestors have brought in a connection to deities to any event – even if it is sporting event.

The Celts and Ionians and Greeks followed the same, but Christianity made sure that all historical foot prints are erased. Without giving room for any more erosion to happen in the Vedic soil of Bharat, it is pertinent that archaeologists explore Pushkar and its surroundings to re-establish what Mahabharata has written on the gaming events. On parallel lines, the gaming events must be revived at Pushkar Fair to regain the glory it once enjoyed as a venue for international games.

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20 comments:

R.Ramanathan said...

Great article madam. Was intrigued especially with the derivation of Olympia from Vallala. Also great a comparison of the various iconography's of Greek and Indian gods. Also as a side note, the Kalakanjas are mentioned in the Taittriya Brahmana, 1st Ashataka, 1st prashna. This prashna deals with the lighting of the sacrificial fires or agni aadhana. The story there is that they try to reach the heaven of Indra with their bodies, but Indra pushes them down and some of them become spiders and some dogs. Since you say that the Olympics could have been an ancient festival to celebrate Indra in Matsya and the Kalakanjas participated in that festival, is there any link or does it provide any further ideas?

Garvo Gujarati said...

Fascinating read! Thanks.

I write a blog in Hindi and Gujarati to be able to reach masses. Can I use the essential detail from this article for my blog on the same subject? I am ready to give credit with link.

Thanks,
Kapil.

jayasree said...

Mr Kapil,

You may use this article by giving the link to this source page.

mythra81 said...

actually the derivation of olympics is far simpler .......oli in tamil is light or flame ....i think its lighting of the fire with the torch to signal the start of the games

jayasree said...

Dear Mr Ramanathan,

Thanks for the inputs you have given on Kalakanjas. I am able to connect them with whatever I know of Kalakanjas. I take this opportunity to write on Kalakanjas as I originally thought of writing about that in the article but left it out later thinking that it would be a deviation from the subject.

I have already done a research on Kalakanjas and Nivata Kavachas and also Pushkar - the olden and original Pushkar that was situated somewhere near the equator in the land of Indonesia (Sundaland) and was submerged subsequently. A former civilization of Daityas (Hiranya kashipu and Hiranyakshan including) who lived there must have been engaged in gaming events at that part of the world in the remotest past before Vaivasvatha Manu and Rig Vedic Rishis entered the Indian main land via Saraswathi river that joined Arabian sea at Dwaraka. Manu brought with him the memory of Somnath, Pushkar and the Karthik Poornima related festivals which are famous in these two regions till today. Whereas the Karthik Poornima is a famous festival of Sangam age times in Tamil lands is another link in the story which I have written here and there in this blog and in detail in my Tamil blog. Sometime I will write them in detail here. For the time being you may read my Tamil article on Pushkar, Kalakanjas etc in my Tamil blog in the link:- http://thamizhan-thiravidana.blogspot.in/2012/10/112-1.html

Coming to Kalakanjas:-
In chapter 172 of Vana parva of Mahabharata, there comes the story of Kalakanjas. Arjuna goes to Hiranyapura in a car driven by Matali. His target was to fight and finish Nivata Kavachas, the Daityas. In that context Matali tells Arjuna the genesis of Kalakanjas as follows. There lived 2 Daitya girls by name Pulama and Kalaka. They did severe penance and got boons to get powerful sons who could never be overpowered by gods or anyone. The sons of Pulama were Paulamas and the sons of Kalaka were Kalakanjas. They lived in the aerial city of Hiranyapura, powerful and enjoying all riches.

At this point let me quote a verse from Vishnu Purana 1-21 which also says the same thing about the origin of Kalakanjas. It gives an additional detail that Pulama and Kalaka were daughters of Visvanara and they were married to Kashyapa through whom they bore 60,000 children called as Paulomas and Kalakanjas who were powerful, ferocious and cruel.

Though this looks like a mythical story, the inner meaning is that this refers to 2 female races of mtDNA married to a single race of men of Y chromosome. Always Kashyapa comes as a progenitor of a race. The off springs here are Kalakanjas who are equated with Asuras which indicate their location to the south of the equator.

One branch of them is Nivata Kavachas whom Arjuna wanted to fight with. By the name, the Nivata Kavachas have always concealed their looks and looked differently to deceive the opponents. I read this as the first ever time kavachas or armours were discovered / manufactured by human race.

The Kalakanjas on the other hand were known for their physical strength. They must have worked on it through physical fitness games like wrestling, boxing etc. There must have existed gaming events in their times to test and improve their physical fitness. That is why Mahabharata passage I quoted in the article, makes a mention of Kalakanjas as a comparison to the athletes who participated in the Matsya festival.

(continued)

jayasree said...

Now on the reference to Indra and Kalakanjas in Taittriya Brahmana you have mentioned. It is a valuable input that helps me to connect the available inputs. There is a reference to Kalakanjas in Atharva Veda Book 6- verse 80 which is a prayer for help and protection. It says,

"The three, the Kalakanjas, set aloft in heaven as they were Gods All these I call to be our help and keep this man secure from harm.

In waters is thy birth, in heaven thy station, thy majesty on earth and in the ocean.
We with this offering will adore the greatness of the Heavenly Hound."

The three here must refer to the three levels - ocean (under earth), earth and heaven (higher than earth). The Kalakanjas as per Matali's description lived in higher realms like Amaravathi. That means they must have lived on hill tops. Infact Arjuna races to the hill tops to fight with Nivata Kavachas and quickly returned after killing them, says Mahabharata.

Coming to the Atharva veda verse, it implies that Kalakanjas had birth in the ocean, lived on top of the hill/ mountain and ruled the earth. Therefore invoking them would give one protection at all the three levels.

The regions of Sundaland (Indonesian archipelago which was a huge raised landmass about 20,000 years ago was the location of Kalakanjas as per Mahabharata description of the landmass. The Kalakanjas must have initially sprung near seashore and migrated to interior high lands / hills. Due to their physical power they protected people and ruled them.

Now coming to Mahabharata description, Matali makes a statement that makes sense when read along with the quote you have given from Taittriya Brahmana. It says,

"O hero, celebrated under the name of Hiranyapura, this mighty city is inhabited by the Paulamas and the Kalakanjas; and it is also guarded by those mighty Asuras. And, O king, unslayed by any of the gods, there they dwell cheerfully, free from anxiety and having all their desires gratified, O foremost of kings. Formerly, Brahma had destined destruction at the hands of mortals. Do thou, O Partha, in fight, compass with that weapon, the thunder-bolt, the destruction of the mighty and irrepressible Kalakanjas'. Arjuna continued, O lord of men, learning that they were incapable of being destroyed by the celestials and the Asuras, I cheerfully said unto Matali, Do thou speedily repair into yonder city."

This says that Kalakanjas could not be destroyed by celestials. They can be killed by mortals. So Arjuna was asked by Matali to use "thunderbolt" the weapon of Indra to kill Kalakanjas (Nivata kavachas who are a sub clan of Kalakanjas). Combining this with Taittriya Brahmana inputs, it appears Indra had tried to overpower Kalakanjas by means of thunderbolt but was unsuccessful. What finally happened was that some of them (Kalakanjas) became spiders and dogs.

Most myths have a hidden meaning. I interpret this as follows: Kalakanjas who lived on high ranges of mountains were often hit by thunderbolts as mountain ranges attract convection rains accompanied with thunder. This is more common in the equatorial region where I place them as per Mahabharata (and even Valmiki Ramayana) account of the geography. But the Kalakanjas continued to endure those disturbances by living like spiders (within web like protection) and like dogs that live in the wild.

Perhaps it is because of the immunity to natural hazards, particularly thunder-rains, the Kalakanjas are invoked in the prayer for protection.


(continued)

jayasree said...

Coming to the other issue on Agni found in that Brahmana, the first agni that man had seen and worshiped as God with fear and awe must have been the fires seen atop the volcanoes. Sundaland continues to be a region of volcanoes. The Asuras, Danavas, daityas including Bali lived in that part of the world dominated by volcanoes and constantly threatened by volcanic eruptions which was personified as Rudra Dandava. The fire on top of the volcanic hill must have been worshiped as Shiva - the auspicious agni that does not threaten but shine as a light.

The proof of this is Annamalai deepam. Thiruvannamalai is basically a dormant volcano which was spewing agni sometime in the remote past. That is remembered by way of worship of lighting fire on top of it on every Karthika poornima. BY this it also means Karthikai Poornima must have had a memorable event happening on that day. The location is Southern hemisphere where it is summer time. So Karthika poornima is roughly equal to Chitra poornima in northern hemisphere. The way this day is celebrated at Somnath (first ever Jyothir linga was consecrated here by the incoming Manu and his people) and at Pushkar give a different story of the beginnings of Indian population in the past.

On the topic of Annamalai deepam, wherever and whenever people see agni or agni on top of the hill, they have celebrated it as a manifestation of Shiva. Recall my article on Tripura samhara ( http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.in/2011/11/sundaland-was-location-of-tripura.html),
which was the first ever concept of God concept developed by our ancients. The location was not in India but in Sundaland. The first ever deity so recognized was dancing Shiva with volcanic ashes smeared on him - known as Pandaranga - This was the first dance form of Sangam Tamil age. There is a volcano called "Pangarango in west Java, in Indonesia. I am collecting info on this and many other places in Sundaland as they are all having Puranic names and attributes.

jayasree said...

Dear Mr Ramanathan,

Do you remember that I once wrote that Athava Vedas are the oldest of all Vedas and perhaps originated 40,000 years ago? The fear of natural calamities and fear of the unknown for the ancient man made him look for ways to ward off those fears. That is how Atharva Vedas can be termed as the oldest as they deal with tackling / removing these fears. The prayers to Kalakanjas make this true. It also shows that a people called Kalakanjas lived once braving the natural calamities.

Sharmalan Thevar said...

Good Morning madam
Do you have Facebook account?

straw bery said...

Madam,thanks for your detailed exposition on the Kalakanjas.

Siva said...

Excellent and an interesting Read. All these are very valuable information and analysis. Madam, are you recording or archiving these things or consolidating as a book? To read the entire article and understand one needs to enough knowledge and time.

Great read, thanks for the same.

Regards
Siva

R.Ramanathan said...

Btw "straw bery" was me. It was another email id, somebody who had logged onto from my system :-)

jayasree said...

Mr Sharmalan Thevar, I dont have FB account.

jayasree said...

Thanks Mr Siva. I have not yet compiled them into a book. But sometime I intend to do.

Satchitananda said...

Jayashreeji. Pranams to your insights and you. Was curious if you have any plans to revive http://thamizhan-thiravidana.blogspot.in.

Venkat said...

Excellent and insightful article ma'am.

jayasree said...

Pranams Mr Satchitananda. Yes I will revive the Thamizhan Dravidanaa series sometime in the middle of next year. Two reasons are there, one, I am pretty tied up right at the moment now; two, the plan of the series requires some more work.

The plan has 3 parts, (1) who is a Dravida or what is Dravida (2) Tamil roots in the Southern parts of the world that stretch till Oceania and (3) who /what is Arya. I have almost finished the 1st part. The 2nd part is too vast and needs to be supported by more evidence. For example, I am waiting for / looking for the audio / video of Australian aboriginal songs and practices which I was told by Tamils who lived in Australia resemble Tamil language. From there I will take up Lord Muruga's connection and come back to SE Asia and from there to India. I am yet to study Skanda purana on the side lines for this research. Presently many articles in this English blog would have to be incorporated in this chain of historical connection of Tamils to these areas. The ones I had written in the context of Greek astrology vs Vedic astrology would have to be suitably fitted into this. This requires concentration and single minded analysis which is a bit difficult for me at the moment as I am tied up with multiple tasks.

Moreover there is an strong passion in my heart to get into Valmiki Ramayana at the earliest to write on the controversial verses to clearly demonstrate that Rama did not eat meat anytime during his vanvas. Perhaps after doing that I will start concentrating on Thamizhan Dravidana series.

jayasree said...

Thanks Mr Venkat.

jayasree said...

Added a picture of 1850 painting of Pushkar Lake in the above article. You can notice vast stretches of raised land in the surroundings. I have visited Pushkar once and noticed the undulations in the terrain. I have noticed such mound like topography in Dwaraka and at Sethu near Thiruppulani temple. They are all potential sites for archaeological excavations.

mythra81 said...

you have to watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2v5O6oVMSkw