Sunday 17 December 2023

Proto Durga

A clay tablet from Harappa Wiki page with a "narrative scene"...We know (kind of) what is depicted on the tablet. But we have no idea what the meaning of the depicted scene is...Maybe animal calendar markers can help us understand what the narrator wanted to say...


Tablet description:

"A person, possibly a man, with hair tied in a bun on the back of the head, impales a water buffalo with a barbed spear...In Later Hindu rituals, the water buffalo sacrifice is associated with the worship of the goddess Durga..."

"...On this tablet, the sacrifice takes place in the presence of a priest or deity seated in yogic position. The seated figure wears bangles and a horned and plumed headdress..."

"...Above the head of the hunter is a gharial, a small species of crocodile with a narrow snout that was once common in the Ravi and Indus rivers, but is now almost extinct."

The tablet pic and description are from harappa.com...

That's it...So, what can animal calendar markers add to this? To understand the meaning of this scene we need to look at the climate in India and the lifecycle of the depicted animals: 

water buffaloes


gharial crocodiles

If we look at the climate in India, we can see that the year is divided into two parts: wet part (Jun-September) and dry part (October-May).

So how do the depicted animals fit into this climatic chart? So let start with water buffalo. Remember my post about Mahishasuramardini, The killer of the monstrous Mahisha demon? 

Here's the important bit:

"In the perpetual conflict between Devas and Asuras, in the battle between the gods and the demons, the Devas led by Indra (riding on an elephant) were defeated by Mahisha, the Buffalo demon..."

"...Dejected by their defeat, the Devas assemble in the mountains where their combined divine energies coalesce into goddess Durga..."

"...The newborn Durga, riding on a lion, led a battle against Mahisha, buffalo demon, and killed him. Thereafter she is named Mahishasuramardini, the killer of Mahishasura."

Sooooo... What does all this mean?

To understand this story we need to look at the animal symbolism found in it. Namely 

Water buffalo (bad) 

Asiatic Elephant and Asiatic Lion (good) πŸ™‚


...And the local climate (did that already. phew πŸ™‚)...

Indian elephants mate during Indian monsoon season...

Which is why Indra, the thunder and rain god, rides on a white (cloud) elephant...

Articles about elephant calendar marker, India: "Musth", "Samantabhadra", "Modesty", "Ganesha"

As for lions, Asiatic lions main mating season starts in Jul/Aug, which is why this time of the year is marked with Lion, Leo...This is also the peak of the monsoon season in India...



I talked about this first in this post "Musth".  I also talked about it in my post about "Ardhanarishvara", the union of Shiva and Parvati, which produces (the tree of) life and the river Ganges. 


This is actually a complex calendar marker for the peak of the monsoon season, Jul/Aug, where bull=summer=May/Jun/Jul meets lion=autumn=Aug/Sep/Oct...

And because it is the monsoon season that supports life in India, both Elephant and Lion are positive symbols in Indian mythology, and are ridden by good Gods/Godesses...Unlike the evil buffalo...

Why evil buffalo? Water buffalos, both wild and domesticated, are seasonal breeders in most of their range, and typically mate in Oct/Nov...Which is right at the beginning of the hot/dry part of the year in India...

This is the season of drought and death. 


Hence buffalo demon as a mount of Yama, the god of death...

I talked about it in my post "The bitch of the gods"...

So the above story about Durga, translated from myth to nature using animal calendar markers goes like this: 

Water buffalo mating season starts when elephant mating season ends...Mahisha, buffalo, dry season "defeats" (succeeds) Indra, elephant, wet monsoon season...

Spring and early summer droughts start...People (and Devas, Gods) start to despair. Gods assemble on the mountain (Himalayas start to heat up in Apr/May). And the updraft this creates starts sucking the moist Indian ocean air across India towards the mountains...

The Devas, assembled in the mountains create Durga, the Invincible one, the killer of Mahisha (The monsoon starts)...Durga fights Mahisha for a long time, until finally, she kills him while "riding on a lion" (in Jul/Aug, Leo, peak of the monsoon season)...

And this happens every year which is why this is a "perpetual conflict"...

Amazing...So is this what is depicted on the Harappan tablet? 

"A person, possibly a man (!!!), with hair tied in a bun on the back of the head, impales a water buffalo with a barbed spear..."

I think that the person killing the buffalo on the Harrapan tablet is actually a woman...Durga...Why do I think this? Have you ever seen this figurine from Mohenjo-daro

It is known as "The dancing girl of Mohenjo-daro"...More about her here:

Few interesting things about this girl: She is very young, very slim and has a bun on the back of the head (!!!). Just like the person empaling the buffalo on the Harappan tablet...

So, I think that the person killing buffalo on the Harappan tablet is a girl, most likely Durga...And that the dancing girl of Mohenjo-daro is not actually a dancing girl at all, but could be a depiction of a warrior girl, possibly even Durga...

So far so amazing...What about the crocodile? Gharial is one of three types of crocodiles that live(d) in India: gharials, muggers and salt water crocodiles...






Gharals being the only Indian crocodile species that exclusively eats fish...here is a tablet from Mohenjo-daro depicting a gharial with a fish in its jaws

Now remember my post "Makara", about the mount of Varuna, "a mythical being" which was sometimes (like on this 17th century illustration) depicted as a crocodile...

During the Vedic period, Varuna was "The Man", the Sky God who controlled "The Waters": sea, rivers, rain...As one would expect from a Sky god in India, where rivers are filled with the rain that arrives with the monsoon winds from the sea...



In Vedas, Varuna was also twinned with Indra, the Storm god, and together they are referred to as Indra-Varuna. In Rg Veda 4.42, Varuna explicitly states the connection between himself and Indra:

"I, Varuna, am king...I, Varuna, am Indra [too]"

Eventually, through some political machinations, Indra became the overall ruler of the skies and rain...And Varuna was officially relieved of his "water duties"...

But, the Vedic Varuna, is being revered even now as the God of Rain...

Check Makara post for more info...

So that would indicate that maybe crocodile has something to do rain too? Well of course...In my post about Makara, I explained that crocodile egg hatching occurs during June and July in gharials and muggers and July and August in salt water crocodiles.

Considering that the crocodile eggs incubation period is between 55 and 85 days, that means that the eggs are laid from around the beginning of summer, Apr/May...And the beginning of the monsoon season...

And as the crocodile mothers stay around their nests, and guard them ferociously, the sudden appearance of all these irritable crocodile mums on river banks is the sign that "Varuna the Rain God" is on his way...

Interestingly, on the Harappan tablet, the buffalo and the crocodile are facing the opposite directions...Buffalo (dry season) is departing (being killed) and crocodile (rain season) is arriving...

Ok...What about the horned dude? I think, based on his horns, which are narrow, like bull horns, and not wide like buffalo horns, that this is Shiva, the bull man I talked about in my post "Human-Bull hybrid" about this dude depicted on this Indus Valley civilisation seal from Mohenjo-Daro, dated to 2600-1900BC, now in National Museum of Karachi (inv NMP 50,214)

So that's it...What do you think? Please share it with others if you like it. It would mean a lot to me...

To read more about ancient animal and plant calendar markers, start here…then check the rest of the blog posts related to animal calendar markers I still didn't add to this page, and finally check my twitter threads I still didn't convert to blog post...I am 9 months behind now...

Sunday 10 December 2023

Human-Bull hybrid

Human-Bull hybrid, Deity or a Priest wearing a bull skin and horns. I think animal calendar markers can help us figure out who is depicted on this Indus Valley civilisation seal from Mohenjo-Daro, dated to 2600-1900BC, now in National Museum of Karachi (inv NMP 50,214)...

I will propose that this is either Proto Shiva, or one of his priests...And here I why I think so...

Shiva's Vahana (vehicle) is a bull...

But why is Shiva riding on a bull? 

To find answer to this question, we have to look at the climate in India. 

Indian climatic year is shaped by the monsoon winds...

It is the summer monsoon winds, which blow from Apr/May to Oct/Nov that bring moisture from the sea, and cause monsoon rains, which fall from Jun to Sep...For instance, here is the annual climatic chart for Varanasi...

These monsoon rains are the main source of water in Indian rivers...For instance, this is the annual water flow chart of the river Ganga, at Varanasi...


Interestingly πŸ™‚ river Ganga is said to come out of the top of the head of Shiva...Shiva, whose symbol is lingam, penis...So out of the top of which head exactly?  πŸ™‚ The upper one or lower one? Oh, Look! Ganga is pouring out of Shiva's head on top of a lingam...So symbolic...

Now even more interestingly πŸ™‚ , this divine ejaculation (spike in water flow) of the river Ganga starts in June...The middle of summer: Apr/May, May/Jun, Jun/Jul...Summer, whose symbol is Bull...Summer which starts in Taurus...I talked about it in my post "Symbols of the seasons"... 

Why is this part of the year marked by a bull? Because Apr/May is when Eurasian wild cattle, Aurochs, started calving...Hence bull/cow and calf symbolism we find everywhere linked to summer...And water...

Like in Mesopotamia...I talked about this in my post "Shamash young and old"...

And Egypt...I talked about this in my post "Cow and calf ivory"...


And Iran...I talked about this in my post "Elamite water bull"...


And Levant...I talked about this in my post "Mystery seal"...


And India...I talked about this in several of my posts, starting with my post "Kharif and Rabi season"

Kharif (wet) season (May to November)

Rabi (dry) season (November to May)


Based on the data about Zebu cattle, I would postulate that the wild Indian cattle, Indian aurochs, the ancestors of the Indian Zebu cattle, probably had earlier mating season, which started at the beginning of summer, and peaked in Jun, at the beginning of the monsoon season...

So in India, bulls ejaculated their semen when monsoon rain (heavenly semen) started to fall and gather into swelling rivers...Hence Shiva, whose symbol is a lingam, penis, riding on a bull with Ganga pouring out of his head...

I talked about this first in my post about Ardhanarishvara where I explain the meaning of the union of Shiva and Parvati (peak of the monsoon season Jul/Aug) and their Vahanas (bull=summer=May/Jun/Jul, lion=autumn=Aug/Sep/Oct). I talked about this in my post "Ardhanarishvara"...


And in my post "Modesty" about Lajja Gauri. Lord Shiva and Lady Parvati were having sex. Just when they were reaching their orgasms, they were interrupted by other Gods...Parvati picked a lotus and covered her face. And this is why she is called "Modesty"... 

And in my post "Fig with bulls" about this Indus Valley civilisation seal depicting (the) tree (of life), flanked by two bulls, neatly arranged in such a way as to shape Shiva's trident... 

You know, bulls, rain, tree of life...

BTW the tree is The Sacred Fig... 

And so I would suggest that before Shiva became Shiva, God riding on a bull, Shiva was deified bull, and then anthropomorphised deified bull...

And his priests probably danced around every Apr/May, just before the beginning of the rain season dressed in bull skins with bull horns on their heads, pretending to be holy bulls of rain...

We have exactly the same behaviour in Arizona. Different horns though...Different climate, different (deified) horned animals, different horns...

AlΓ³saka/Muyingwa were two aspects of The Corn God of the Hopi pantheon: The God of Germination and The God of Growth (of corn). To understand why The Corn God was depicted with wild sheep horns, you need to look at animal calendar markers...I talked about this in my post "Alosaka"...

And in Europe...Article "Goat in European culture" about Ibex goat as an animal calendar marker imbedded in in European cultures and mythologies...Again, different climate, different (deified) horned animals, different horns... 


And in Iran, where rains arrive when wild Ibex goats begin to mate, in Oct/Nov...This is why Ibex was venerated in Iran, and this is why it is in Iran that we find the first Goat man...The earliest transition from Goat of rain to God of rain...I talked about this in my post "Goat petroglyphs from Iran"...


What is very interesting is that animal calendar markers prove that Hindu culture is indigenous culture of India, dating back all the way to Indus Valley civilisation. It developed around local climate, animals and agriculture...And only makes sense if viewed as such...

Of course Hinduism contains various imported bits too, but the core, the oldest part, is indigenous...

You can find all the posts talking about animal calendar markers hidden in Indian mythology if you run this query on my blog...

To read more about ancient animal and plant calendar markers, start here…then check the rest of the blog posts related to animal calendar markers I still didn't add to this page, and finally check my twitter threads I still didn't convert to blog post...I am 9 months behind now...

PS: I want to thank Gabriella Brusa-Zappellini for drawing my attention to this stamp...

Sunday 19 November 2023

Alexamenos graffito

This is so the called "Alexamenos graffito". Carved sometime between the first and the third c. into a wall of the palace complex on the Palatine Hill in Rome, this is the earliest known pictorial representation of the crucifixion of Christ and his idolization.

It depicts a roughly drawn figure of a man with the head of an ass crucified on a cross. Next to the crucified figure is a smaller figure with one arm extended towards the former. Underneath the figures is a crudely written caption that reads "Alexamenos worshipping his God".

This graffito "mocks Christianity" which Romans "found foolish". Marcus Cornelius Fronto, a 2nd c. Roman orator, explains why: "Christians worship a crucified man, and even the instrument itself of his punishment. They are even said to worship the head of an ass..."

Interestingly, 3rd c. Christian author Tertullian mentions a peculiar anecdote that occurred in Carthage, where he saw an apostate Jew carry around a picture of man dressed in toga but with the head of an ass and hooves for legs.

Rather than feeling insulted, Tertullian was amused at the joke and wrote that "we laughed at both the label and the image". And then he said "Our god is the head of an ass,” he wrote, "but you (Non Christian Romans) in fact worship the ass in its entirety, not just the head" (?)

Apparently, the reference to donkey-worship comes from a story recounted by the Roman historian Tacitus, in which a group of Jews, expelled from Egypt, wandered through the desert, exhausted and dying of thirst, until they were led to water by a herd of wild asses.

In turn, the Jews started worshipping the animal that saved them, and a "god with the head of an ass" - a notion that was apparently also carried over to Christians. Hence Alexamenos graffito" with a crucified god with ass head...

Very very interesting...Didn't know about any of this...But I am not surprised at all...Remember this article about the origin of the Hanukah (Winter Solstice) celebration? And the link between Yahweh and Shamash, the old Semitic (Akkadian) sun god...I talked about this in my post "The tree of lite/life"...

Shamash who rode on a quadriga pulled not by horses, but by "kungas", a specially bred hybrids between female domesticated donkey and a wild male Syrian wild ass...Basically fancy donkeys...I talked about this in my posts "Shamash playing with solar horse" and "Sun god from Tell Brak"...

Why was the Sun god riding on a quadriga pulled by donkeys/asses and not horses? Cause the beginning of the worship of Shamash (late 4th/early 3rd millennium BC) predates the domestication of horses...

Kungas were so highly regarded, that "they were deemed especially suitable for drawing the chariots of kings and gods"...

Kings and gods...Kings and gods...Why did Jesus have to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey/ass again? To prove what?

People say: He was't proving anything. He was fulfilling a scripture prophecy.

"Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey" Zechariah 9:9

God/King riding on the favourite ride of the old Gods/Kings...

This is very interesting. By the time the Jews built First Temple and dedicated it to Jahweh, horses were domesticated and had replaced donkeys/asses as the vehicles of the Semitic sun god...

"He (Josiah) removed from the entrance of the LORD's Temple the horse statues that the former kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun... He also burned the chariots dedicated to the sun..." Is this the god of the First Temple? I talked about this in my post "Sun god from the first temple"...

But it seems that (some) Jews, thousands of years later, still remembered the old ways, and the link between their (sun) god and donkeys/asses...

BTW, the reason why the Semitic sun god Shamash was depicted riding in chariots pulled by equids, is because the old Mesopotamian summer, the sunny half of the year, the domain of the sun god, starts in Apr/May. 




Which is when the equids (donkeys and horses) start mating...

Basically, equids, donkeys and horses, were originally animal calendar markers for the hot/dry half of the year. Animal calendar markers which were later deified and turned into sun gods riding on chariots pulled by equids...

Or sun gods with equid heads...Just like...

Once Lord Vishnu’s head was cut off accidentally by other gods. The head turned out to be the Sun. The gods then attached a horse head to Vishnu's body, which is how he assumed his Hayagriva form. 

I talked about solar horse animal calendar marker in Indian mythology in my post "Hayagriva"... 

So no wonder Tertullian didn't find it funny that the Romans depicted his god with a donkey head, and that instead he found it funny that the Romans thought this was funny...

The Jews who were saved from dying from thirst in a desert (domain of the sun god) by the wild asses (holy animals of the sun god) definitely thought that it was their (sun) god who personally intervened to save them...

And it seems that early Christians were aware of this link between their (sun) god and donkeys. The link which predates the link between the sun god(s), like Surya, Helios, Sol Invictus...and horses by almost a millennium...

So back to "Alexamenos graffito"...Knowing all this, what was Christ with donkey/ass head mockery of the Christian belief, or just a symbolic depiction of the true nature of Christ/Sun, the way early Christians might have seen it?

You live and learn...

Ahhhh I completely forgot to mention that cross is an ancient Mesopotamian symbol of the sun (god)...I talked about this in my post "The cross of Shamash"...


That's it. To read more about ancient animal and plant calendar markers, start here…then check the rest of the blog posts related to animal calendar markers I still didn't add to this page, and finally check my twitter threads I still didn't convert to blog post...I am 9 months behind now...