View Full Version : Ilavrta-varsha

Gill Harley
09 May 2006, 08:16 AM
Some of you will know that I am working on a theory that all the major world religions stemmed from, and are corrupted versions of, the Vedic teachings. However, up until now, I've not been able to establish a link with Judaism.

But anyway, in my research of tracking metaphysical thinking across Mesopotamia into Egypt, Palestine and Greece, I've recently become interested in the Canaanite Godhead 'El', known to the Amorites (who ruled Mesopotamia around 1900 BC) as 'Il' or 'Ila'.

My interest was triggered because there is a very powerful goddess called Ila in the Rig-veda, and although the Canaanite/Amorite Ila is male, we know that, around 6,000 BC, most societies were matriarchal and goddess-worshipping to the extent that the Supreme Godhead was female.

The Rig-veda can only be dated to a later date, around 3,000 BC, (this isn't the orthodox view - but is the view of anyone who can think straight! :)) so that takes us into patriarchal times. So it would make sense that a male Supreme Godhead (Indra) would be the top deity in this post-matriarchal times, with Ila and another two goddesses (Saraswati and Mahi) subsumed into a triumvirate under him.

However, I recently read in the Srimad Bhagavatham that Bharata-varsa used to be known as Ilavrta-varsha. So then I looked up 'vrta' in a Sanskrit dictionary and got two interpretations: 1) surrounded by and 2) recommended way of doing things. (I'm reading no 2. as the same as 'dharma'.) So my interpretation of Ilavrta-varsha is "the land of those who follow the spiritual rules of Ila"

Therefore this could mean that around 8-6,000 BC when the different tribes were massing in the Antatolia regions and were worshipping a female Godhead, this Godhead could have been Ila. Then, as the tribes migrated south and west, they took Ila with them and in patriarchal times, developed her into a male Ila and eventually El.

Most respected Biblical scholars agree that El is the precursor for Yahweh, in fact, many of the stories about Yahweh can be seen to be lifted straight from Canaanite hymns - meaning this could turn out to be my 'missing link'! :)

So if anyone can help me any further on this, by offering more information about Ila or Ilavrta-varsha, or any aspect at all in this area, I should be very grateful!

One thing that I'd like to know is the date that Ilavrta-varsha turned into Bharata-varsha. I know the story of how it happened, but I don't have any dates.

10 May 2006, 11:10 PM
Namaste Gill,

ilAvRta varSa was one of the nine Varshas (divisions of the known world) and it comprehended the highest and most central part of the old continent.

And ilAvRta (ilA + avRta) was a son of Āgnīdhra (who received the Ilāvrita Varsha as his kingdom).

AgnIdhra means “coming from or belonging to the Agnīdh” (i.e. to the priest who kindles the sacred fire) ~ indicating the priest who kindles the fire and the fire itself.

AgnIdhra (m.) was a son of Manu Svāyambhuva.

ilA indicates “flow, speech, or the earth”; and avRta is “unchecked”.

ilAvRta thus means “continuous flow or speech” or “unbounded earth”.

And the source of that flow is the sacred fire kindled by Svāyambhuva Manu ~ the first Manu, who is “self-existing”.

varSa indicates rain, or a shower ~ either of rain, or figuratively, of flowers, arrows, etc. ~ and it is also applied to seminal effusion.

varSAH (m. pl.) or varSA (f. sing.) is “the rains”.

As divisions of the earth (separated by certain mountain ranges) there are nine Varshas: Kuru, Hiranmaya, Ramyaka, Ilāvrita, Hari, Ketumālā, Bhadrāśiva, Kimnara, and Bhārata.

Ilāvrita is the highest and most central point of the whole world, and the source of the eternal sacred flow; and surely the region of Kailāsa, from which the Indus, Sutlej, and Brahmaputra rivers flow.

All of the permanent streams flowing from the Himalayas are more generally intended, and these are the matted locks of Rudra Shiva. Although a combination of five waters in particular was anciently important ~ the Pañcanada of the Pañjāb or “country of 5 rivers”: the Śatadru (Sutlej), Vipāśā (Beās), Irāvati (Rāvī), Candrabhāgā (Chenāb), and Vitastā (Jhelum).

ilA is closely connected with irA (cf. Irāvati), which indicates any drinkable fluid, a draught (especially of milk), water, refreshment, food, comfort, enjoyment, ardent spirits, the earth, speech, the goddess of speech or Sarasvatī.

irA is an Apsaras (“going in the waters or between the waters of the clouds”) ~ a class of Nymphs that inhabit the sky but often visit the earth. They are the wives of the Gandharvas, and they have the faculty of changing their shapes at will.

And ilA is also connected with iDA and (according to the old spelling of the Rigveda) iLA, indicating a refreshing draught, refreshment, libation offered to the gods, the flow of speech, the stream of sacred words and worship, prayer, the earth, or food.

iDas or iLas (pl.) are “the objects of devotion” (a particular form of Agni addressed in the fourth verse of the Āprī hymn).

iD is derived from iS ~ “to cause to move quickly, let fly, throw, cast, or swing”, “to send out or off, stream out, pour out, or discharge”, “to deliver (a speech), announce, or proclaim”, or “to impel, incite, animate, or promote”.

And iS is “anything drunk, a draught, refreshment, enjoyment, libation, the refreshing waters of the sky, sap, strength, freshness, comfort, increase, good condition, or affluence”.

iDa (m.) is Agni ~ who is to be addressed with prayers, or invoked with the flow of praise ~ and His consort is iDA (f.) ~ refreshing draught, refreshment, animation, recreation, comfort, vital spirit, offering, or libation (especially the sacred libation offered between the Prayāga and Anuyāga, consisting of four preparations of milk that are poured into a vessel containing water, and then partially drunk by the priest and sacrificers).

iDA (or iLA) is personified in the cow, as the symbol of feeding and nourishment ); and also (metaphorically) as the stream or flow of praise and worship, which is personified as the Goddess of sacred speech and action, who is invoked together with Aditi, but especially together with Sarasvatī and Mahī or Bhāratī (in the Āprī hymns).

She is the earth, She is food, She is a cow, She is the daughter of Manu (or of all men thinking on and worshipping the Gods.

And in another aspect She is called Maitrāvarni ~ as daughter of Mitra-Varuna (the two highest Gods of the ancient Vedas).

iDA is a name for Durgā; or for Heaven, or the Earth; and it is particular tubular vessel that is one of the principal channels of the vital spirit ~ that which is on the right side of the body.

iDa-iDA, ila-ilA, or most anciently iLa-iLA, represents the essential Twin of agni and hotR ~ the sacred fire and the priest ~ the sacrifice and the sacrificer ~ and it is the same great eternal sacrifice of Creation, which began with Daksha-Prajāpati’s original Ātma-Yajña.

vRta means “concealed, screened, hidden, enveloped, surrounded by, covered with, stopped, checked, held back, pent up, filled or endowed or provided or affected with something”.

And iLA vRta reads as “concealed Homa”.

In its most essential meaning (and most general application), iLAvRtavarSa indicates the whole world (centered around Kailāsa) and all sacrificing humanity ~ indeed, Homa (or Huma) and Human are inseparable conceptions; and Homo sapiens (as a term of Dharma, rather than modern Science) properly applies only to those who know the Veda and are thus constantly engaged in “self sacrifice”, i.e. submitting or relating the self to the Self.

That is Ātmayajña, which created the world, and which is requred for its nourishment and the continuing prosperity of humanity.

इळ ~ iLa
इल ~ ila
इड ~ iDa

11 May 2006, 12:40 AM
The vedic L is a long l, and it seems very likely that Allah is derived from the ancient ideal of iLA ~ and from the mythology it might be assumed that in Allah's Heaven there are innumerable Apsaras, or Nymphs.

These Water Nymphs are the clouds, and they descend in the rain, and all the world rejoices in their company. So the idea of enjoyment with maidens in Heaven, proposed by Islam, would in fact be rather cold and damp! It really is dangerous to assume that ancient theology can be simply read, word for word ~ letter by letter would be more appropriate.

इळा + इळ = इळेळ
iLā + iLa = iLeLa

इळ + इळा = इळेळा
iLa + iLā = iLeLā

And thus also: इलेला (ilelā) and इडेडा (iDeDā).

Gill Harley
11 May 2006, 04:18 AM
Namaste Sarabhanga!

I'm very glad that you replied to this topic - I must say, I'd hoped that you would.

So thank you so much for such informative posts. It's given me much food for thought and I shall probably need a couple of days to digest it all! :)

On the subject of the Arabs and Allah, it's quite a coincidence because I took a rather long and lovely walk in the sun yesterday and came to a similar conclusion, but for different reasons.

It was mainly as a result of reading this: [from here: http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/edge/blston2.htm ]

"Bob Trubshaw's article on the Black Stone of Mecca was of great interest to myself, as I had already seen Rufus Camphausen's original article on The Ka'bah at Mecca, and already had something of an interest in the subject.

"Camphausen, and now Bob Trubshaw, have done us all a great service by bringing this material to our attention in an accessible form, and presenting what is basically a strong and coherent case for the original pagan context of the Black Stone; but it is also apparent that there is a good deal more that could be said on the subject. Indeed, there are a number of points that really must be made, particularly with regard to the goddess Al'Lat, [A -ila - t] whose identity - and those of her old Meccan companions, Al'Uzza and Manat - is perhaps not as clear-cut as Rufus Camphausen has asserted, and as Bob Trubshaw has reported. There are more connections to be made, and these show the goddess of the Black Stone in a rather different light.

"Of especial interest is the explanation of the Beni Shaybah, the imams who attend the sacred structure, as 'Sons of the Old Woman', the old lady in question supposedly being the Queen of Sheba. Any connection with an authentic, historical Queen of Sheba is debatable, but in view of the tradition it is worth pointing out that the Hebrew sheba' can mean either 'seven' or 'oath'. The Biblical place-name Beer-sheba is literally 'the well of seven', the well in question being dug by Abraham and where he made a peace-treaty with Abimelech. Abraham gave seven ewe-lambs to seal the pact, and the place was named to commemorate the event. The well is said to have been reopened by Isaac, who renamed it Shibah, which just happens to be the feminine form of the numeral sheba'. Interestingly, the site is now said to have seven wells. The name given by Abraham thus seems to have been a play on the Hebrew words for 'seven' and 'oath'.

"The sacred complex at Mecca has the holy well Zamzam, of course.
That the Semitic tribes associated oath-taking with the number seven is confirmed by Herodotus, writing in the fifth century BCE, who reports that Arabs solemnised oaths between two men by enlisting the services of a third, who 'stands between them and with a sharp stone cuts the palms of their hands...then he takes a little tuft of wool from their clothes, dips it in the blood and smears the blood on seven stones which lie between them, invoking as he does so, the names of Dionysus and Urania'. Herodotus identifies the latter as Alilat, who is undoubtedly the same goddess formerly venerated at Mecca as Al'Lat [1].

"It seems relevant that the sanctity of treaties made at the Ka'bah is stressed in the Koran [9:6], where even covenants made with infidels are to be honoured: 'God and His apostle repose no trust in idolaters, save those with whom you have made treaties at the Sacred Mosque. So long as they keep faith with you, keep faith with them. God loves the righteous.'

"There were, in pagan times, seven priestesses at site of the Black Stone, who circled it seven times, naked. Today, the tawaf, the sevenfold counterclockwise circuit of the Ka'bah, is a memory of that ancient practice. But the older practice is itself a strong echo of the descent of the Sumerian goddess Inanna (and her Babylonian equivalent Ishtar) through the seven gates of the underworld, the gatekeepers demanding the removal of a garment at each gate until she stands naked before her elder sister Ereshkigal, 'Queen of the Great Earth', the goddess of death and the underworld. Another name for Ereshkigal is Allatu, 'the goddess', which is clearly an earlier form of Al'Lat/Alilat."

I'll also post this on the Origins of Islam thread.

Once again, many thanks indeed!