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Thread: What were the gods of the Indus Valley Civilization?

  1. #1

    Question What were the gods of the Indus Valley Civilization?

    Namaste, Readers!

    What I would like to achieve in this post is to identify and explore the gods of the Indus Civilization, as it is of the world's oldest major civilizations. I also am asking about this because the Indus valley writing has not been deciphered, and so we can't easily read their tablets to see exactly what they thought about this issue.

    Let me begin by saying a bit about this society. The Indus Civilization, also known as the Harappan Civilization, began about 3500 BC and lasted to about 1500 BC. The others comparable to it in the years 3500-2400 BC are Egypt and Sumer. The Minoan, Chinese, and Peruvian societies up to 2400 BC were small or less developed. For example, the first Chinese dynasty didn't start until 2100 BC, and findings of writing by Chinese are very rare until the Shang dynasty of 1700 BC.



    One of the uncertainties or still-disputed points in archaeology is whether the Indus civilization had a major Indo-European component at its start, or whether they arrived after the climax of this major civilization. It's an interesting question, which I think only DNA tests on many remains will answer fully. As for its language, even today, about 63% of Pakistanis are non-Indo-European, lacking R1A DNA, and there are Dravidian-speaking tribes in Pakistan. So the most common educated guess by scholars is that the Harappan culture usually spoke Dravidian. Many consider it to be a mixed pictographic-phonetic language like some major Mesopotamian languages were in that era. In those languages, a picture could mean either a sound or a whole word.

    (REFERENCE: Y-DNA haplogroups in South Asian populations, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-DNA_haplogroups_in_South_Asian_populations)

    Regardless, scholars see overlap between Hinduism and the Indus Valley religion, although they might not be exactly the same - the Indus religion could be an earlier stage of Hinduism, with some differences. Consider that one of the most commonly found figures is a figure seated in the lotus position that reminds some scholars of Shiva Pashupati (Shiva as lord of animals). They notice that he is shown with horns, unlike later Hindu depictions of Shiva, which at most show him with a moon sign on his head.

    (IMAGE SOURCE: http://www.geocities.ws/indianpagani...ti_lotus_1.gif)
    Considering these facts, what can we show basically from archaeology, but with possible secondary help from Hinduism, about the Indus Valley Civilization's gods?

    Asko Parpolo, a Finnish researcher whose work is featured on the Harappa.com website, proposed that the fish sign in Indus writing meant fish, star or god(deity) in his essay "Deciphering the Indus script".
    (https://www.harappa.com/script/parpola0.html). One of his reasons was that in Dravidian, fish and star are both "meena" and also that the star sign was used in Sumerian to refer to "deity". He gave other reasons that I find persuasive, like finding the fish sign used together with pictures depicting deities, proper names, or religion. Next he made a claim that is more doubtful to me - he claimed that the seated figure was a water god or had a major association with water. He noted that the god's picture was shown with fish signs. But this seems doubtful evidence to me, because he had just claimed that the fish sign was used linguistically to mean a deity. By extension then, it doesn't necessarily follow that the deity is a water god, although some other researchers have also proposed a connection of this figure with water, and he gives a few more reasons.

    In a chapter called Saturn and the Tortoise, he proposes that this fish sign meaning "star" was sometimes written with a "roof" on top to give it an added meaning. He proposes that the roof sign can also mean "black", because roof and black have shared Dravidian phonetics - "vey" or "mey", with the latter meaning black.
    He gives this tablet:

    REFERENCE: https://www.harappa.com/script/parpola9.html

    He writes:
    Among the diacritical marks added to the basic 'fish' sign is one that has been placed over the 'fish' sign and looks like a 'roof' (Fig. 13, b ). The most wide- spread root from which words denoting 'roof' are derived in the various Dravidian languages is *vay- : *vey- : *mey- 'to cover a house with a thatched roof', in which etymon the alternations *v- / *m- and *-ay- / *-ey- can be reconstructed for Proto-Dravidian 3. Thus in Proto-Dravidian the root *vey- / *mey- 'to roof' was partially homophonous with the root *may- 'black'. The sequence of the pictograms for 'roof' and 'fish' in the Indus script can be read in Proto-Dravidian as *mey-meen in the sense of *may-meen 'black star'. What makes this reading really significant is that the last-mentioned compound is factually attested as the name of the planet Saturn in the oldest available Dravidian texts, the poems of the Sangam literature written in Old Tamil in the early centuries of our era (Purananuru 117). Such a name is natural for Saturn, which is a dim planet, the root *may- (Tamil mai- ) meaning not only 'to be or become black' but also 'to be dim'.
    REFERENCE: https://www.harappa.com/script/parpola9.html

    So far, what he is saying is reasonable - Old Tamil writings call Saturn "black star", Saturn is in fact a dim planet, and the planets were commonly called stars by ancient societies. Next he explains his theory that this was part of Indus Valley worship:
    The oldest Sanskrit texts dealing with the worship of the planets also associate Saturn with the colour black. They further mention Yama, the Hindu god of death, as the deity presiding over this dark planet. Yama is associated with the colour black in the Brahmana texts of the Veda (cf. e.g. Maitrayane Samhita 3,14,11 yamaya krsna). In classical Hinduism, Yama's colour is black and his vehicle usually the dark water buffalo. The planet Saturn, too, is said to ride the water buffalo in some texts.
    REFERENCE: https://www.harappa.com/script/parpola9.html

    So here he makes a connection to Hindu worship of planets, its consideration of Saturn and the death god Yama as black. He also implies a connection between them since the black Saturn and black Yama are both riding a water buffalo. And by mentioning the water buffalo, he implies a close connection to the seated horned Shiva-like figure of the tablet. Maybe he is implying that the tablet's seated Shiva figure was associated with Saturn, but he doesn't say it directly.

    Next he makes a connection between Saturn's "slowness" in Hindu thought and the Tortoise, which he imagines is depicted as a fish with a roof:
    Saturn is not only a dark but also a slow planet; in fact, for this reason it is usually called sani or sanaiscara 'slowly-going' in Sanskrit. In the iconography of the Buddhists and the Jains, the planet Saturn rides the tortoise, whose slowness is proverbial. It seems quite likely to me that this association of the planet Saturn with the tortoise may go back to the Harappan times: the compounded Indus sign depicting a fish with a roof over it could, then, symbolize the deified planet Saturn even pictorially through his vehicle, for the tortoise is an aquatic animal (i.e. a kind of 'fish') covered with a shell (i.e. a kind of roof)!
    REFERENCE: https://www.harappa.com/script/parpola9.html

    By talking about the Buddhists and Jains as seeing Saturn riding the tortoise he is able to use Dharmic thought and Indian traditions as an added justification. All the connections he makes seem reasonable and educated, but still to me they do not seem fully certain unfortunately.


    Another god many scholars consider to have been part of Indus religion is Krishna. But in his next chapter "Other planets: examples of cross-checked readings" Parpola's reasoning seems weaker in connecting them to Krishna:

    Another diacritic sign is drawn either directly or obliquely across the body of the 'fish' pictogram (Fig. 14, 13c). It could denote 'halving' or 'dividing into two parts': the corresponding Proto-Dravidian root, *pacu , is homophonous with Proto-Dravidian *pacu 'green'. The resulting compound, * pacu-meen 'halved fish' & 'green star', is not known as such from Dravidian languages, but in Old Tamil the word paccai literally meaning 'greenness' is attested as the name of the planet Mercury, and simultaneously as the name of the green-hued pastoral god Krsna.
    REFERENCE: https://www.harappa.com/script/parpola10.html

    I understand that the fish symbol is divided and that the Dravidian "half" means green too (as a cognate), thus associating it with Mercury. But is Krishna really "green"?


    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...f45be354fa.jpg

    SEE ALSO THIS IMAGE:
    http://www.dgreetings.com/janmashtam...-Teachings.jpg

    I thought Krishna is commonly considered light blue, although I found those images of Krishna wearing green.

    Next, he proposes "that many of the stable combinations of Indus pictograms ending in the 'fish' sign denote Dravidian planetary names of the type 'COLOUR' + ('fish' =) 'star' ".

    So one of the examples he gives is:
    The word for 'white' that has the widest distribution among in the Dravidian languages is vel. The compound vel + meen (assimilated into vel-meen ) 'white (or bright) star' is known from Old Tamil as the name of the planet Venus, that brightest star of the morning and evening sky; and the noun vell-i , derived from the root vel , denotes 'planet Venus' in a number of Dravidian languages. The meaning of its homophone veli 'enclosed or intervening space, open space' could hardly be expressed better pictorially by any other symbol than 'two long vertical strokes'.

    In Tamil, at least, the word velli is used not only in the meaning of 'planet Venus' but in the general meaning of 'star' as well.
    REFERENCE; https://www.harappa.com/script/parpola10.html

    This is his conclusion about the sign in row D in the chart I showed above, with the fish next to "two long vertical strokes".
    Last edited by rakovsky; 25 September 2016 at 08:45 PM.

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    Re: What were the gods of the Indus Valley Civilization?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    śubhamāstu¹


    rakovsky writes,
    I thought Krishna is commonly considered light blue, although I found images like the ones above of Krishna wearing green.


    kṛṣṇa
    Kṛṣṇa कृष्ण - we know this to mean black, dark blue
    The beauty in His name (IMHO) is found in kṛṣ - to draw into one's power , become master of , overpower ; it also means to bend (a bow). As mentioned kṛṣ is to draw into one's power, drag , pull. But what does kṛṣṇa pull you into? He pulls you into his power of 'na'.
    Yet this na, is spelled/sounded ṇa (the rules of grammar dictate this due to the 'ṛ' in the word). It is said it is to be applied to nirvṛti designed for the etymology of kṛṣṇa. And what does this nirvṛti mean ? Complete satisfaction or happiness , bliss , pleasure , delight - it means emancipation. Many think of nir-vāṇa. Hence Kṛṣṇa then pulls you (kṛṣ) to complete satisfaction, to emancipation (ṇa or nirvṛti).

    There is another view of kṛṣṇa's name that is held by svāmī prakaśanand sarasvatī. He mentions kṛṣṇa's proper spelling is kṛṣṇ¹.

    Two (well known) names of
    kṛṣṇa
    govinda
    Govinda is considered a chief herdsman. This stems from go + vinda.

    • go - is anything coming from or belonging to an ox or cow + vinda which is finding , getting , or gaining. That is, the person that finds, or goes and gets ( manages) or gains from 'go' or oxen/cows.

    Another view

    If we add 'tra' to 'go' we have protection, hence we get gotra or a group ~herd~, family or race i.e. ones family name or lineage. go + inda - 'in' is rooted in 'inv' or to have in one's power , take possession of , pervade i.e. to be lord or master of anything. This is were we find the roots to Indra , 'in' and leading to 'inv' - the ruler of the the devatā.
    Yet how does 'go' fit in here? 'Go' is also rays of light (regarded as the ~herds of the sky~ from which indra fights with vṛtra. go + vid - 'vid' is knowing , understanding , a knower ; Now here 'go' is another name for speech , sarasvatī (devā ) and therefore of learning and wisdom. Kṛṣṇa as govinda is the chief herdsman of all gotra; He is the ruler of the devatā and the knower of all speech, wisdom and knowledge.

    acyuta

    • acyuta अच्युत, please place me between the two armies, so I may see who is present here (today) - Bhāgavad gītā , chapter 1 , 21st śloka, kṛṣṇa is addressed as acyuta अच्युत. This means firm , imperishable , permanent. We can look at it this way, a + cyutá - 'a' = not + 'cyuta' = moved, shaken or fallen i.e. not fallen. It suggests not fallen from Divine status ( some say into the re-birth of man). He is the imperishable, the immovable, invincible. Hence Brahman, Divine Being. It is worthy to note that 'ac' of acyuta means 'to go , move'. So in one word, we see kṛṣṇa addressed as the movable and immovable.


    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ


    terms used

    • śubha+mā+stu śubha = pleasant , happiness + mā – happiness, or measured out + stu – praise, celebration ; may there be happiness and pleasantness for you
    • From svāmī prakaśanand sarasvatī's book, The True History and the Religion of India, page 30. rādhā is a gift or favor; prosperity or success. She too is respectfully know as rādhārānī . Some say 'rādhika' yet this is a noun for 'king'
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: What were the gods of the Indus Valley Civilization?

    Namaste



    Few years ago there was a presentation video making rounds in the social mdeia. The presenter was keen to identify Indus valley writing with Dravidian languages. BTW, what is Dravidian ?. For a moment lets assume that it is not Sanskrit.

    Now let's explore the different Raashis in Vedic Astrology. मीन or Pisces is a Raashi as per Jyotish and it's considered as a part of Veda, isn't it? Likewise I can give Sanskrit equivalent of every assumption in that picture. FYI, my Sanskrit skill is between 0 and 1 (in a range of 0 and 100, with 100 being the highest).

    Then Why should I read this as something to do with Dravidian ONLY. It's good to explore things but making baseless assumption is a dangerous exercise. Are we following the foot steps of Griffith?
    Last edited by Anirudh; 26 September 2016 at 02:10 AM.
    Anirudh...

  4. #4

    Re: What were the gods of the Indus Valley Civilization?

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    śubhamāstu¹


    rakovsky writes,


    kṛṣṇa
    Kṛṣṇa कृष्ण - we know this to mean black, dark blue
    The beauty in His name (IMHO) is found in kṛṣ - to draw into one's power , become master of , overpower ; it also means to bend (a bow). As mentioned kṛṣ is to draw into one's power, drag , pull. But what does kṛṣṇa pull you into? He pulls you into his power of 'na'.
    Namaste, and thank you for sharing this information and for entering into the thread, Yajvan!

    It seems hard to agree with the writer's claim that Krishna is green, when the name means dark blue.

    I suppose that Krishna was a local deity, rather than a general Indo-European one, since he is found uniquely in Hinduism to my knowledge. And I can also understand that he was really specific to Dwarka as the legend says, since he is a local deity. And I know Dwarka is an ancient city going back to Indus Valley times, so the connection makes sense to me.

    Kahi Suni has done Episode 23 or 24 of her show on Krishna and the story about Dwarka. (I think on Netflix it's #24)


    Vladimir Chernovsky from the Roerich forum (in Russian) wrote to me that in the Mahabarata, the name "Krishna" is found one time as the name of a Dravidian princess of Panchala "the hand of which is gotten from the Pandov tribe/family". (His quote to me: http://forum.roerich.info/showthread...588#post571588)

  5. #5

    Thumbs Up Re: What were the gods of the Indus Valley Civilization?

    Namaste, Anirudh!

    I am impressed with your familiarity with the concepts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    Now let's explore the different Raashis in Vedic Astrology. मीन or Pisces is a Raashi as per Jyotish and it's considered as a part of Veda, isn't it?
    The Raashis are the identifications and constellations of stars and heavenly bodies, I think? And so Pisces is a Raashi.

    You are asking a good question:
    Likewise I can give Sanskrit equivalent of every assumption in that picture.

    Then Why should I read this as something to do with Dravidian ONLY.
    I do not have a strong opinion on when the IndoEuropeans came, before or after the height of Indus civilization in 2500 BC. I think that they were immigrants at some point into Pakistan-India, considering that R1A is shared with Russia, but the Hindustani DNA J, L, and R2 are not. I think that the only way to solve this will be to do tests for DNA on many skeletons from that time period in Gujarat and Punjab. I hope that the tests will be perfomed!

    But to answer your question more directly, I suppose that Parpola is right that Harappan script is Dravidian, because he makes an intelligent explanation to me of these mysterious letters in ways that work out. However, I also know that he is using "educated guessing" and he can be wrong.

    Parpola does rely on Sanskrit and the Vedas while making his theories though and he sees Sanskrit as having overlap with Dravidian. His next chapter is a good example of how he says this. That chapter is called The Sacred Fig Tree and the North Star, where he associates the fig tree with the North Star.

    First he proposes that the three branched writing sign refers phonetically to a fig tree:

    it seems that one of the Sanskrit names for this tree, vata, is of Dravidian origin (it is called vatam in a number of Dravidian languages), and that this name is ultimately derived from the Dravidian word vatam 'rope, cord'.
    REFERENCE: https://www.harappa.com/script/parpola11.html

    Next he says:
    In Dravidian, the word vata also means 'north', and in Old Tamil vata-meen is the name of the North star. This Dravidian homophony, linking vata 'Indian fig' and vata 'north', suggests an earlier Indian background also for the classification of trees found in Sanskrit texts which make the Indian fig the "tree of the northern direction".

    Moreover, even as early as in the Rgveda (1,24,7), mention is made of an Indian fig whose roots are kept up in the middle of the sky by the god Varuna. Later cosmological descriptions seem to associate this often mentioned heavenly fig tree with the north star; for in reply to the question why do the stars remain in the sky and not fall down, the Puranas offer an explanation that reminds us of the Indian fig's aerial roots: it is maintained that the stars and planets are fixed to the north star with invisible ropes.
    REFERENCE: https://www.harappa.com/script/parpola11.html
    He then discusses the sign's use on ceramics that clearly show fig leaves on an opposite side from writings that use the sign.

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    Re: What were the gods of the Indus Valley Civilization?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    śubhamāstu

    rakovsky writes,
    Vladimir Chernovsky from the Roerich forum (in Russian) wrote to me that in the Mahabarata, the name "Krishna" is found one time as the name of a Dravidian princess of Panchala "the hand of which is gotten from the Pandov tribe/family"
    I have a different opinion on this matter; let me offer it for one’s kind consideration.

    Frequency
    The frequency of the term kṛṣṇa ( properly spelled for nominative singular use is kṛṣṇaḥ) is of less importance. I can think of 1,000 names of kṛṣṇaḥ that is called out in the mahābhārata ; it is called the viṣṇu sahasrānam¹ ( some too say sahasrānana or ‘thousand-faced’). Why so? Because viṣṇu = kṛṣṇaḥ. To get this incorrect is missing a critical dimension not only of
    kṛṣṇaḥ but of the Supreme.

    Each chapter
    Every chapter of the the mahābhārata begins with a salutation to kṛṣṇaḥ by his other name. That is, the first words /invocation/āvāhanaṁ for each parvan (section) begin as follows:
    om̐ - having bowed down to nārāyaṇa and nara, the most exalted male being, and also to devī sarasvatī, must the word jaya! be uttered.
    nārāyaṇaṃ namaskṛtya naraṃ caiva narottamam |
    devīṃ sarasvatīṃ caiva tato jayam udīrayet |
    |

    So who is this nārāyaṇa? It is kṛṣṇaḥ. And who is naraḥ ? None other than arjuna.

    The bhāgavad gītā
    We know the bhāgavad gītā is found in the mahābhārata - it is also known as hariḥ gītā or nārāyaṇa gita ( so says the mahābhārata, śanti parvan). Just in this one song of the Lord ( the definition of the bhāgavad gītā) arjuna addresses kṛṣṇaḥ by 43 names. Each name is offered for a reason; to define kṛṣṇaḥ’s nature. I will not address each one but encourage the reader to look at these¹. He is addressed as 'kṛṣṇaḥ' by arjuna in Chapter 1, 28th verse.

    The lady
    Now on this lady your friend mentions, it is none other than draupadī , also known as kṛṣṇā draupadī. Who is she ? The wife of the pāṇḍavaḥ ( the 5 sons of pāṇḍu). Draupadī is descendant from drupada; dra + upa + dī . Dra = that which is free + upa = near to + dī = to shine bright; It is said she was fire born i.e. she arose from the yajñāya (havan or fire ceremony ) her father instituted. From there two came into being: draupadī and dhṛṣṭadyumna.
    Kṛṣṇā ( the ‘ā’ form indicates feminine gender) is of whom your friend speaks.

    The author
    Note too the author of this grand work, the mahābhārata. His name was kṛṣṇaḥ dvaipāyana – his other name that people recognize is veda-vyāsa. Vyāsa = compiler, organizer/Hence calling him veda-vyāsa = the compiler of the vedas.

    These are just a few things I think need to be considered and are relevant.

    इतिशिवं
    iti śivaṁ

    terms used

    • sahasrānam : sahasra = 1,000 + āna = face; yet note that ānam = to do homage, to bend, salute reverently. Hence the beauty of sahasrānam suggesting to give homage, to bow 1,000 times to viṣṇu.
      • The viṣṇusahasrānam is found in the anuśāsana parvan of the mahābhārata; anuśāsana = instruction, direction + parvan = section or chapter.
      • The viṣṇusahasrānam is the ‘instruction’ given by bhīṣma ; It came about by a question asked of yudhiṣṭhiraḥ (one of the 5 pāṇḍava-s). He says:
        kimekaṁ daivataṁ lōke kiṁ vāpyekaṁ parāyaṇaṁ |
        stuvaṁtaḥ kaṁ kamarcaṁtaḥ prāpnuyurmānavāḥ śubham || 8
        kō dharmaḥ sarvadharmāṇāṁ bhavataḥ paramō mataḥ |
        kiṁ japanmucyate jaṁturjanmasaṁsārabaṁdhanāt || 9

    • ​More names of kṛṣṇaḥ : http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?4475-K%E1%B9%9B%E1%B9%A3%E1%B9%87a-s-names-a-deeper-look&highlight=acyuta

    Last edited by yajvan; 28 September 2016 at 11:37 AM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: What were the gods of the Indus Valley Civilization?

    Namaste,

    Dravidian Aryan divide is a myth propagated by the preachers of "divide and rule philosophy" to spread Christianity as well as undermine the greatness of Hinduism/Indians. I understand about six Indian languages including Tamil and Sanskrit, also have read a bit of Indian history and literature. I don't claim myself to be a master, yet, I know what I am talking. I don't think I or my countrymen need the expertise of Parpola or Griffith or Max Muller etc etc to understand Hinduism or India.

    It is a sad state of affair that We Indians (thanks to our own making) have to depend on some outsider to teach us what we are and were. It will be foolish of me to find the root(s) of Sriman Naaraayan* or to bind HIM with in the vocabulary of my finite understanding. I don't think this thread make any value addition to Hindus.

    * I am attracted to Sriman Naaraayan. Neither it mean that I do not respect other schools of Hinduism nor I am trying to categorize HIM with my finite understanding. It is predestined that Yajvan will find peace in Advaita and myself in Vishishtadvaita.


    ## @ Yajvan : I have taken the liberty to use your handle name to drive home a point. Accept my apologies if my action has disturbed you.
    Anirudh...

  8. #8

    Re: What were the gods of the Indus Valley Civilization?

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    śubhamāstu

    rakovsky writes,


    I have a different opinion on this matter; let me offer it for one’s kind consideration.

    Frequency
    The frequency of the term kṛṣṇa ( properly spelled for nominative singular use is kṛṣṇaḥ) is of less importance. I can think of 1,000 names of kṛṣṇaḥ that is called out in the mahābhārata ; it is called the viṣṇu sahasrānam¹ ( some too say sahasrānana or ‘thousand-faced’). Why so? Because viṣṇu = kṛṣṇaḥ. To get this incorrect is missing a critical dimension not only of
    kṛṣṇaḥ but of the Supreme.

    Dear Yajvan!

    I understand your point and impressed with your knowledge that you are showing, and deep familiarity. Your point as I understand it is that Krishna can be called many things, including Vishnu, and so if there is not a direct use of the term "Krishna" it does not mean that Krishna is being referred to. I understand what you mean. For example, if someone who follows Krishna uses the term Ishvara, (Lord), that person may discuss Krishna when you ask what he/she is referring to.

    One reason I was interested here about Krishna for the thread was the perception in the Indus period, because perceptions can change over time. It does not mean that later perceptions are wrong. Take for example the god Brahma (Creator). I have heard that he is in the Upanishads, but not mentioned directly in the Vedas. So this raises the question of whether the people in the time of the Vedas had all the same stories and discussions that came up later in the Upanishads.

    One thing that impresses me with the discussions on Krishna is that they are focused on Dwarka and Bet Dwarka, two cities known to be major ones in the Indus civilization.

    Dev Prasad writes in his book Krishna: A Journey through the Lands & Legends of Krishna:
    DWARKADHEESH TEMPLE

    The people of Dwarka and Bet Dwarka seem to vie with each other in asserting that theirs is the real Dwarkadheesh Temple, which had earlier housed the Lord. ... When I reached the remple premises I came across a huge gate. Opposite the main gate was the temple of Lord Kusheshwar. TO the right of the main gate was a Ganesha Temple that had an orange colored idol of Lord Ganesha... This entire courtyard, with eight adjoining rooms, reminded me of the identical scene at the Dwarkadheesh Temple in Dwarka.
    Wikipedia talks about how old the city is and its long held association with Krishna:
    Dwarka is one of the foremost Chardhams, four sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites, and is one of the Sapta Puri, the seven most ancient religious cities in the country. Dwarka is often identified with the Dwarka Kingdom, the ancient kingdom of Krishna, and is believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat. ... The city's Dwarkadhish Temple dedicated to Krishna was originally built around 2,500 years ago,... The nearby Bet Dwarka island is a religious pilgrimage site and an important archaeological site of the Late Harappan period, with one thermoluminescence date of 1570 BC.

    Bet Dwarka
    Bet Dwarka, an island in the Arabian sea off the coast of Dwarka. Considered the original residence of Krishna, Bet Dwarka was the old port during the ancient times of Krishna before the Okha port was developed in Dwarka. The temple built here is credited to the religious Guru Vallabhacharya of the "Pushtimarg Sampradaya". Rice is the traditional offering here to the deity as it is believed that Sudama offered rice to his childhood friend Krishna. There are also smaller shrines on Bet Dwarka which are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, Hanuman and Devi.[40] According to a legend, Vishnu killed the demon Shankhasura on this island. There are temples of Vishnu in the incarnation of matsya, or fish. Other shrines here are of Rukmini, Trivikrama, Devaki, Radha, Lakshmi, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Lakshmi Narayan, and many other gods.[37] Hanuman Dandi temple is another notable temple located in Bet Dwarka, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) away from Dhwarkadhish Temple, Bet Dwarka. The temple is deified with many images of Hanuman and his son Makardhwaja.
    ...
    Janmashtami is the main festival that is celebrated during August and September[42] with great fervor and piety as it was in the prehistoric times the abode of Krishna.
    REFERENCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarka...gical_evidence
    The mention of Hanuman is interesting because there are monkey seals from the Indus that have been seen as references to Hanuman by scholars.

    D. Frawley writes in his essay Krishna and the Unicorn of the Indus Seals that Krishna is connected to the unicorn seals from the Indus Civilization. It's true that many such seals have been found and I am curious if you have an opinion on Frawley's claims.



    Though not easy to find, there are references to a very prominent unicorn animal in the Mahabharata, the great epic which centers on the life of Krishna. In
    fact the unicorn called Ekashringa or one (eka) horned (shringa) appears as the highest animal image of the Divine. It appears as a prime symbol of Vishnu-Krishna and the Vedic and Yogic knowledge he taught. The unicorn connected to the Varaha avatara or boar incarnation of Lord Vishnu, with which Krishna is also aligned, but which in the Mahabharata is connected to the bull as well as the boar.

    The Mahabharata Shanti Parva contains a section that seems to be quite old and which recounts the main names and forms of Vishnu-Krishna, which it connects with the ancient Nirukta or etymology of terms. It is also the main section in the epic that deals with the unicorn. It is taught by Krishna (Vasudeva) himself as a revelation of his own most important names, attributes and associations.
    REFERENCE: http://www.saptarishisastrology.com/...IndusSeals.pdf

    He then quotes some verses from the Rigveda, one of which mentions the unicorn, but it's hard for me to tell if they are referring to Vishnu and Krishna or to Krishna in particular.
    79. "I till the earth, having become like great like a mass of hard iron. From that is my black color. Thus I am Krishna."
    ...
    90-91: "The Gods and titans have never found my beginning, middle or end. Hence I am sung as the witness of the world, the Lord, the pervader, who has no beginning, middle or end."
    92. "Having previously become the Unicorn Boar (Ekashringa Varaha), who increases joy, I upheld this world. Therefore I am called the Unicorn (Ekashringa)."
    Now I understand that one might consider the question irrelevant if one equates Vishnu and Krishna, but it seems to me that some animals and items are closer associated with some gods than others, even if ultimately the gods are equated. This is why I ask whether the unicorn is really directly associated with Krishnu, or if it is only identified with Krishnu indirectly or ultimately. Do you know what I mean?

    He writes about this thesis more here:
    Govinda as the Unicorn Boar
    Govinda is one of the most important names for Krishna/Vishnu that among other things means he who finds, vinda, the Earth, go. As such, it is sometimes associated with the Varaha, who saves the Earth after a great flood. Another section of the Mahabharata lauds Govinda as the boar in the same way.
    Mahabharata Shanti Parva
    346. 12. This earth was lost previously surrounded by water. Govinda carried it up quickly, assuming the form of a boar (Varaha).
    13. Having stabilized the Earth in its own place, the Supreme Purusha, with his limbs dripping with water and mud accomplished his work for the benefit of the world.

    In the Mahabharata, the varaha is the animal most associated with Krishna. The other animal avatars of Vishnu, the fish and the tortoise are hardly mentioned, but a number of long passages connected Krishna as the Varaha. Krishna is said to be Purushottma or the supreme male. Purusha is also called Vrisha. So as Vrishottama Krishna is also the unicorn.
    http://www.saptarishisastrology.com/...IndusSeals.pdf

    This seal is a rhinocerous, rather than a typically-iimagined one horned animal:


    I should add that there is debate whether the bull in the first image above is actually a unicorn or is just a bull with two horns that is in side-profile hiding the 2nd horn.
    Also I have read a theory that the unicorn bull is being sacrificed because of the object under the neck. Even Frawley claims this, saying: "The Indus or Harappan unicorn always has a strange device like a cauldron always placed to its front, associating it with some sacrificial ritual."


    Peace.

  9. #9

    Re: What were the gods of the Indus Valley Civilization?

    Namaste Anirudh!

    I like it when you say:
    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    I understand about six Indian languages including Tamil and Sanskrit, also have read a bit of Indian history and literature. I don't claim myself to be a master, yet, I know what I am talking.
    I am impressed with your background and this is why I am interested in your opinions on this topic.

    You write:
    Dravidian Aryan divide is a myth propagated by the preachers of "divide and rule philosophy" to spread Christianity as well as undermine the greatness of Hinduism/Indians.I don't think I or my countrymen need the expertise of Parpola or Griffith or Max Muller etc etc to understand Hinduism or India.
    Please understand that I do not have a personal goal of advocating that Aryans came to India at a certain time, and solving this question is not even a goal for me in the thread. Rather, what is interesting to me in the thread is that the Indus civilization is one of the world's three oldest, and so I want to see what their beliefs about God or the gods were in that period.

    Putting aside the issue of when the Aryans arrived, it is still worth considering, because religions change over time, even within their own culture. Take for example the common seal of the Indus with Shiva Pashupati and his horns. In this tablet, he is shown with bull horns, but I have heard that this is not some way that he is described in later periods. The bearded personalized god Brahma of the Trimurti is another potential example of change - I have heard that he is not in the Vedas but only first found in the Upanishads. So it raises a question of what period Brahma was thought about.

    Now for you, perhaps there is no question about any of these things. But I on the other hand am an outsider and don't know about how the developments of Hinduism happened from the Indus period up to medieval times.

    I also understand that you have no interest in theories that Indus society used Dravidian like Parpola used in his section on fish (meena) and stars. However, Parpola also emphasizes another theory that Crocodiles had huge, central mystical importance for the ancient Indus society, which he bases on Crocodile veneration in India in the modern period. And so I would like to please ask you and Yajvan what you think of this claim about the Crocodiles.

    He writes about this in his chapters SOUTH ASIAN CROCODILE CULTS AND CONCEPTIONS and CROCODILE IN THE INDUS CIVILIZATION, where he describes how they occur in Gujarat, a region of of the former Indus civilization. He explains that a crocodile figure is made, put on a post, and installed in the ground:
    The installation ceremony ends with sindur being applied to the crocodile and the post, women singing a wedding song of the crocodile goddess, and general feasting (Fischer and Shah 1971: 30- 31).
    REFERENCE: PAGES 28-29 IN THIS DOCUMENT: https://www.harappa.com/sites/defaul...n_the_Indu.pdf

    His theory is that this crocodile worship goes back to Harappan times, and he shows a post here:


    A Mature Harappan painted pot with two gharials set on poles. from Amri III
    REFERENCE: https://www.harappa.com/sites/defaul...n_the_Indu.pdf

    He explains that the
    Harappan painted pot depicts—in addition to a fish, a small circumpunct and an indistinct (animal?) figure—two long-snouted crocodiles with pole-like extensions projecting at a ninety degree angle from their lower body to a painted border that can be interpreted as the earth... The Gujarati crocodile images installed on
    poles clarify this unique Harappan picture perfectly. Not only did Gujarat belong to the Harappan realm, but the tribal peoples living in its remote jungle villages are the most likely to have preserved stagnated prehistoric cults. In my opinion, we have clear proof here that the Harappan religion has survived even four thousand years after the collapse of the Indus Civilization.

    I fully endorse Sir John Marshall's view that "most of the elements which make up this prehistoric religion ... are perpetuated in later Hinduism," including "much of the zoolatry which characterizes Hinduism and which is demonstrably non-Aryan."
    REFERENCE: https://www.harappa.com/sites/defaul...n_the_Indu.pdf

    However, can we really say, as Parpola proposes, that Hinduism has worship of animal-like gods like Ganesh, the Crocodile figures, the bull, and Hanuman the monkey but that Indo-European religions, like Slavic, Germanic, Greek, and Iranian native religions, lack such animal veneration?


    Here he claims that the crocodile was a primary animal for Harappans:
    The crocodile is depicted four times as the main heraldic animal on Indus seals, all of which come from Mohenjo-daro.... One of the seals is broken and has nothing but the crocodile left.... Another seal, of the rectangular type, has no script but a crocodile with a fish in its mouth, drawn in the same way as the 'fish' signs of the Indus script... In addition, there is also a seal with a tiger as the main heraldic animal... that features carvings of the gharial on both sides... [the crocodile] appears to have occupied a fairly central position among the sacred animals of the Harappans.
    REFERENCE: https://www.harappa.com/sites/defaul...n_the_Indu.pdf

    Then later in his paper he goes back to the idea of Shiva-like Pashupati figure on the tablet being a water god and he associates this with the crocodile veneration that he found.

    Like I said, I am coming here to look for and respect your opinion. Perhaps he is overstating his case.

    To sum up what these articles propose, they make some theories on the gods and divine concepts of the Indus Valley Civilization period:

    *Shiva Pashupati ; and/or this seated figure being a water god,
    *the figh sign in Indus writing as meaning fish, star or deity,
    *a fish with a roof as Saturn (black star) and the mystical Tortoise; Yama the death god being associated with it, Saturn & black Yama riding the water buffalo
    *Krishna as being ; worship of planets associated with a green star, Mercury, with Krishna supposedly being called Paccai in Old Tamil;
    *white star as the name of Venus;
    *the fig tree and the North star;
    *a crocodile cult like the one today in Gujarat

  10. #10

    Re: What were the gods of the Indus Valley Civilization?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anirudh View Post
    Dravidian Aryan divide is a myth .... undermine the greatness of Hinduism/Indians. I understand about six Indian languages including Tamil and Sanskrit, also have read a bit of Indian history and literature.
    Namaste again, Anirudh!

    I wanted to add again how I am impressed with your knowledge. And I understand that Hindi, Sanskrit, and Tamil are all part of Hinduism. And this brings me to an added question: It's interesting for me: I know that "God" or "god" in Sanskrit is Ishwara (Lord), Bhagwan (The Munificent), deva ("deity"), but I am curious what the words are in Dravidian/Tamil?
    I found Pen and heard that Pennu and Kaduval are others. In case it's a bit off topic, I made a separate thread.
    http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthr...d-in-Dravidian

    PEACE.

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