About Me

My photo

I am a mystic madman, a wandering wildman, scholar of esoterica, dilettante sadhu, dready-headed hippie (only have a few jata on the back of my head right now, though more be forming of this third set of knotted hair), gentle yogi, fierce foe of falsity. I was a preacher, but I renounced that. I was married, but she renounced me. I was a grad student at one of the top universities in the world on my way to becoming a professor, but I realized they taught lies there too. I am protector of souls, lover of mountains, smoker of herb, fond of hot springs, oceans and lakes and rivers and rain and sunshine, devotee of Devi.

Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What is Marriage?

A recent hot topic in this nation is whether or not same-sex couples ought to have the legal right to officially sanctioned matrimony. I have an opinion regarding this matter that is informed by a number of diverse cultural responses to differences of gendering, and also a bit by experience and personal sentiment.

First I ought to note that I have sincere sympathy for those who do not fit within the proscribed traditional norms which this society has, until fairly recently, enforced with no little tyranny. This said, I shall state that I do not believe that "marriage" between a man and a woman and "marriage" between a man and a man or a woman and a woman are interchangeable or the same thing. That said, I do believe that same-sex couples who wish to make a commitment to each other ought to have some sanctioned mode by which they might do so, and through which they might be afforded the same rights and benefits and respect as male-female married couples.

In light of the notion of reincarnation, it is clear that gender is not necessarily something that is intrinsic to a soul. A man in one lifetime might become a woman in another, or vice-verse. Thus it seems not unlikely, assuming the verity of said conception of a soul's pilgrimage through life and death and life and death, etc., that the proclivities and sexual identity from one lifetime might carry through to another. Thus it would be to whatever degree "natural" for some who are born men to maintain an identification with "female desire," or vice-verse. Perhaps some part of said person's self had yet to complete some portion of the dharma of being the gender of a former incarnation.

In regards to the question of "marriage," I am inclined to examine the practices of various cultures which maintain different categories than the dichotomy "male/female" and "man-and-wife" in terms of their constructions of gender and marital union.

Among the Bugis of South Sulawesi in Indonesia, priests known as bissu are imagined to embody both male and female genders as an ideal of balance of said energies. In addition to this third gender, there are calalai, biological females who assume the "traditional" male gender role and may take a female partner as wife, and calabai, biological males who assume the "traditional" female gender role, and may take a male partner as husband. This society finds harmony in this arrangement, and maintains the belief that each of these genders is a necessary part of the balance of their communities. They do maintain differentiations, however, and though all of these genders are considered important and respected parts of an integrated society, they are not "the same."

In Hindu mythology, the incarnation of Siva-Sakti as Ardhanarishwara, male and female united in one body, male on one side and female on the other, is represented as the original state of the genders. Indeed, there is a biological condition called tetragametic chimerism, or "true hermaphroditism," where two separate ovum are fertilized by two separate sperm, and these would-be twins meld into one organism. In such case as one zygote is male and one is female, the result can be an individual with female attributes and genetalia on one side, and male on the other, often with different pigmentation delineated directly down the center of the body, exactly as depicted in the Ardhanarishwara murti ("murti" would translate to something like "sacred representation/symbolic embodiment" or "icon." Above is a murti depicting Ardhanarishwara). Unfortunately, when such sacred children are born, the confused standards of society generally proscribe "corrective" surgery. To me this is sacrilege and a violation against nature (ब्रह्मन् brahman). Such children ought to be revered, and perhaps even have shrines built to honor them. Such beings are reminders of our true Self, both encorporating and transcending gender difference, yet without blurring important and valuable distinctions.

A recent reconstruction of traditional Native American constructions of gender differentiation recognizes the status of differently gendered individuals as of "two-spirits." The Lakota call these differently gendered persons "winkte." The Dine (Navajo) have the term "nadle" to describe such people. In Polynesian culture there is a third gender called "mahu."  In India there are physiological men who dress as women known as hijra (as well as other designations in other regions) and in some cases these live in communities with gurus. These are generally devotees of Siva.  These peoples living "alternative lifestyles" are generally revered by their culture, often granted sacred status, and are recognized as bridging the supposed dichotomy of male and female, and often as bridging the supposed gap between spiritual and material worlds.

So far as I am concerned, consensuality, lack of coersion and age appropriateness are the most important factors.  As the Divine is not bound by gender neither is it necessary for people to be bound by narrow definitions.
To return to the original discussion, it seems that in light of the variation of gendering in these other cultures, there ought to be tolerance, respect, and indeed officially sanctioned legitimacy granted to same-sex unions. My opinion, however, is that said unions ought to be understood as not less than, but not the same as, marriage between a man and a woman, as each of these other cultures acknowledge in their expressions of various deployals of gender identity and sexual partnership.

Namaste . . .

Ten Avatars of Vishnu: Evolution Personified

Just discovered (or was reminded of) something epiphanous, astounding, simple and profound. Vishnu, the second person of the Hindu Trimurti ("trinity"), has ten avatars that quite clearly express the progressive stages of human evolution.

Matsya, fish avatar
Kurma, tortoise avatar
Varaha, boar avatar
Narasingha, half-human, half-beast avatar
Vamana, dwarf avatar
Parasurama, axe-wielding avatar
Rama, warrior-king avatar
Krishna, cowherd avatar
Buddha, enlightened avatar
Kalki, coming avatar to end the current age

This quite clearly exemplifies that the debate phrased as "creationism versus evolution" is unnecessary and rather mute. Indeed, this example of a healthy amalgamation of ancient "religion" and "science" (the "religious-science" of India is known as "Ayurveda") expresses a clear understanding of the principles of human evolution thousands of years before Darwin. Once again my respect for the teachings of India are reaffirmed.

Indeed, many of the texts of the Vedas might be read as encoded scientific formulas, arguably even to the level of expressing advanced "quantum-physics" type principles (perhaps I'll get to the Vedic references to flying machines and other advanced technologies, and even potential references to and evidences of ancient nuclear war, at another time).

Link to book review of Vedic Physics: Scientific Origin of Hinduism


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Maybe Columbus Found India After All: Traces of India Amongst American "Indians"

I promised some evidences of early colonization of America by ancient Indians/
"Hindus" (i.e., people of the Indian subcontinent, south Asia). By these evidences I intend to refute the theory generally held by academia and popular culture that Native Americans all came from north Asia across the Bearing Strait land bridge (as well as the Mormon myth that Native Americans were Hebrew--not to say no Hebrews or other Europeans, Asians, Africans or others ever ventured here before Columbus, just that most early colonists of the "Americas," or as this land was named by it's earlier colonists from India, "Patala," were either Hindu or north Asian).

Indeed, India had established ties with America long before Columbus, Leif Erickson, or even early Chinese explorers set foot on American shores.

One of the above ancient temples is in the Americas, and one is in India. Can you tell which is which?

Apache's call themselves "Inde," i.e., of the Indus Valley, Hindu, "Indian."

Apache people worship Yusn, lord of wealth, one of Siva's names is Jatin, and Siva is known as Lord of Wealth.

Pima god "Siuuhu," or "Sewa." Hindu god Siva.

Viriseva and Vairubai, names of male and female deities worshipped by natives of Northen Mexico. Seem likely to translate to "Lord Siva" ("vira"--"great," "eminent man"; "seva" phonetically close to "Siva")and "Bairavi" (one of Parvati's names, i.e., Siva's consort).

Nah-big, O'Odham (Arizona native tribe) word for water-siphon.
Nag-beg, Kashmiri term for water siphons named after water-serpent deity.

Vah-Mat, O'Odham word for snake.
Veh-Mar, Sanskrit, "poinonous snake."

Baboquivari mountains in southern Arizona, traditional name given by O'Odham people, and a source of much gold.
Baba-Kubera, Sanskrit, "father"-"god of riches and treasure."

Recall that the conquistador Coronado was seeking "Quivira," fabled city of gold. Obviously very much like the name of Hindu deity, "Kubera," again, a god of riches and treasure.

"Some tribes, such as the Huicholes in Central Mexico, even remember from what Indian seaport they left for America - Aramra in Gujarat. The Huicholes revere a part of the beach at the old Mexican seaport of San Blas, Nayarit, as Aramara, "Place of Origin of the Huicholes." Millenniums ago, Gujarat was called Jukhar. Juj-Kha is an O'Odham name for "Mexicans." The Navajos call them Nakaii (Nagas). The Apaches claim to be Inde (Indus People.) They worship Shiva as Yusn. In Sanskrit, Yishan = "Shiva." Apache = "Enemy" in O'Odham. In Sanskrit, Apachnan = "Destroyer." Another name of the Zunis ("Zoonyees") is Ashiwi (Azhuva?, "Way of the Serpent," in Sanskrit). Two of their principal deities are Shivani and Shiwanikoya. Zoonya (Zuni?) and Zeenya ware epithets of ancient Kashmir. According to Indian historian K. P. Chon, the Naga Azhuvas, perhaps the forefathers of the Zunis, were India's oldest ruling dynasty. He said that they ruled for more than a thousand years." (copied from Webpage, "Journey to Baboquivari, Gene Matlock explores the paths of ancient migrations," in the article, "The O'Odham, Native Americans with Ancestors from India?" link at end of post)

Deity's names are useful for finding still extant connections linguistically and culturally, as people generally are more careful to maintain the names of gods than other words. Also, words for the sun and moon often maintain their structure better than other common words.

Cherokee "Lucky Hunter" god, sometimes called first man: Kanati.
Sanskrit for hunter, kSAnta, etymologically quite close to Kanati.

Cherokee goddess of corn, Selu.
Sanskrit "selu" means many, a term oft associated with corn/grain/abundance.

Creek god called on for strength, Hayuya.
Sanskrit for "exhibiting strength," ojAya.

Creek Supreme God was Master of Breath.
Breath, pranayam, is the source of life-energy and is central in Yoga.

Choctaw deity, "Hashtahli," "sun completing it's cycle."
Sanskrit, "asta" setting sun, "li" end.

Cheyenne for "sun," Éše'he.
Again, Sanskrit "asti," setting sun and the direction to India from the Cheyenne lands.

Cheyenne for moon, "Taa'é-eše'he."
Sanskrit for particular full moon, "taiSa."

Sanskrit, "Astika," faithful, one who believes in existence of God/another world.

"Kiva," round half-underground Hopi ceremonial houses.
Sanskrit "ki"--anthill, "va"--dwelling

Maya people.
Maya, hindu Goddess of illusion.

And of course the Swastika (not the tilted version of the Nazi's, mind you) is found from ancient Indus Valley seals to ancient Native American sights.

Most of the above examples were found by a simple comparison of Native American words with words meaning the same in Sanskrit I found in a Sanskrit lexicon, and from similar research done by others. I imagine I could go on for pages and pages with this stuff if I chose, and mind you, these etymological similarities are as strong as any touted by any PhD linguist. Indeed, there is ample evidence that people from ancient India--and very sophisticated peoples, at that--were the forebearers and ancestors of many Native American Tribes. Yet again, the official version of history and archeology is found quite wanting, if not outright in denial of obvious truths of human history.








Monday, November 17, 2008

Mind Your P's and Q's: English-Sanskrit Cognates/Obvious Derivative Words

One of these photos is of an ancient seal found in the Indus Valley depicting Pasupati, "Lord of Beasts," an ancient form of Siva. One of these is from an ancient artifact depicting Cernunnos, the "horned god" of Europe.

Below is a list of words/roots from Sanskrit that are the obvious sources of various English words (many, many other like etymological lineages are extant, if many are not so obvious):

rta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . right (though not "as opposed to left")
hari (as in, "hari krsna") . . . . . . hooray
cut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cut
aum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . amen
vidya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . idea
asti . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . is (via the German "ist")
svasar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sister
dva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . two
trayas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . three
din.gi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dinghy (small boat)
jangala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . jungle
naranga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . orange
sraman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . shaman
sarkara . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sugar
kal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . call
amb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ambient
kakh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cackle
pard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . fart, "pardon me" (maybe a stretch)
pun.d. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to pound
badh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bad
yoga/yuj . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . to yoke
rap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rap ("talk")
seva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . service
stha_ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . stand
smi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . smile
lih . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lick
dam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dam
sur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . sir
sutee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . soot
prati . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pretty (as in "pretty close")
ramb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . rumble
varn.a . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . varnish
vanta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . want
baad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bath
banda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . bond
carya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . car
dama . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . domicile
danta . . . . .. . . . . ... . . . . . dental
divya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . divine
harda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . heart
go (cow) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . god (whew!!!!! Blowing your mind yet?)
jan(to be born) . . . . . . . . . . . . genesis
kri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . create
nau/navya . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . navy
patha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . path
puuy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pee-yoo-ee (i.e., stinks)
sriiv . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . shrivel
tat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . that

And on and on the obvious connections of India and Europe, Sanskrit, the sacred language of India, and European words. Indeed, the Middle East is only and at best intermediary to the truer source of the cultures and religions of "the West."
It is a given in etymology (even in the "Western" academic tradition) that Sanskrit (or the theorized and rather dubious "Indo-European" language) is a major source of European languages, but I just thought I'd offer a few examples to get you thinking about where your culture comes from . . .

Later and more controversial: Sanskrit-Native American language cognates . . .

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Retooling America: "Green" in Ten Years

In the current debate regarding clean and renewable energy versus dirty and war-prone fossil fuel extraction, and the obviously necessary transition from the former to the latter, I have heretofore stood somewhere between the extremes of the "business as usual" approach, and the "100% transition in ten years" approach, largely because I imagined such a radical transition as the latter would cause suffering due to harms done the economy by the means such a radical approach would imply. Perhaps this was intentions of ancestors or "conservative" consciousnesses grasping on to influence in my life, or vestiges of fears having been drilled into my head in recent trialsome times. It has just occurred to me, however, that it has been exactly such radical transitions in the recent history (100 years or so) of this nation's economy that have brought the economy back to "health" after times of hardship.

It was largely due to the radical policies of the "New Deal" that the Great Depression ended . Programs now taken for granted such as Social Security as well as various other radical economic policy shifts, followed by the nation's swift "retooling" to meet the challenges of Nazi and Japanese aggression indeed brought the economic prosperity of this nation very effectively back to better standards of living for the general populace.

Similarly, a radical shift towards an environmentally sound--"Green"--economy might be exactly what is necessary both to ensure the sustainability of our existence on this planet and to spur the economy to a proper and healthy mode of growth to stave off recession. After the New Deal had begun to turn the economy around and to alleviate economic suffering of average folks, the nation-wide mobilization of citizens for the common cause of opposing Nazi oppression and Japanese aggression helped to shift the economy to a level of prosperity comparable to that of the twenties. Similarly, if this nation is spurred to decisive action to make a radical shift towards environmentally sound economy and lifestyles by both discourse (i.e., "media coverage," etc., to encourage individual action), and officially sanctioned and enforced economic and industrial policies (legislation and willful action on the part of industry), then in fact such a radical shift will accomplish both goals of a healthy economy and a healthy relationship with the environment.

Conclusion: It's time to mobilize and act. "Green" within ten years!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Analogies: Krishna and Christ

Today being Sunday, and many folks singin' ditties to Jesus, I thought to include a list of purported similarities between Jeshua ben Joseph (aka "Jesus") and Krishna. The following are from someone else's work, and I have not checked the sources for these, so understand I do not claim that all of these claims are veritable, though I do assert there are too many similarities to be denied between these two mythic figures (see also previous blog post "Hidden Origins of the West" for correlations between Judaism, Christianity and Islam and the preceding analogous figurations of the Hindu Trimurti). The following is an excerpt copied from a comparative religion website:

Author Kersey Graves (1813-1883), a Quaker from Indiana, compared Yeshua's and Krishna's life. He found what he believed were 346 elements in common within Christiana and Hindu writings. 1 That appears to be overwhelming evidence that incidents in Jesus' life were copied from Krishna's. However, many of Graves' points of similarity are a real stretch.

He did report some amazing coincidences:

#6 & 45: Yeshua and Krishna were called both a God and the Son of God.
7: Both was sent from heaven to earth in the form of a man.
8 & 46: Both were called Savior, and the second person of the Trinity.
13, 15, 16 & 23: His adoptive human father was a carpenter.
18: A spirit or ghost was their actual father.
21: Krishna and Jesus were of royal descent.
27 & 28: Both were visited at birth by wise men and shepherds, guided by a star.
30 to 34: Angels in both cases issued a warning that the local dictator planned to kill the baby and had issued a decree for his assassination. The parents fled. Mary and Joseph stayed in Muturea; Krishna's parents stayed in Mathura.
41 & 42: Both Yeshua and Krishna withdrew to the wilderness as adults, and fasted.
56: Both were identified as "the seed of the woman bruising the serpent's head."
58: Jesus was called "the lion of the tribe of Judah." Krishna was called "the lion of the tribe of Saki."
60: Both claimed: "I am the Resurrection."
64: Both referred to themselves having existed before their birth on earth.
66: Both were "without sin."
72: Both were god-men: being considered both human and divine.
76, 77, & 78: They were both considered omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
83, 84, & 85: Both performed many miracles, including the healing of disease. One of the first miracles that both performed was to make a leper whole. Each cured "all manner of diseases."
86 & 87: Both cast out indwelling demons, and raised the dead.
101: Both selected disciples to spread his teachings.
109 to 112: Both were meek, and merciful. Both were criticized for associating with sinners.
115: Both encountered a Gentile woman at a well.
121 to 127: Both celebrated a last supper. Both forgave his enemies.
128 to 131: Both descended into Hell, and were resurrected. Many people witnessed their ascensions into heaven.

And excerpts from another compilations of similarities:

Identical life experiences
(1) Krishna was miraculously conceived and born of the Virgin Devaki ("Divine One") as a divine incarnation.
(2) He was born at a time when his family had to travel to pay the yearly tax.
(3) His father was a carpenter yet Krishna was born of royal descent.
(4) His birth was attended by angels, wise men and shepherds, and he was presented with gifts.
(5) He was persecuted by a tyrant who ordered the slaughter of thousands of infants who feared that the divine child would supplant his kingdom.
(6) His father was warned by a heavenly voice to flee the tyrant who sought the death of the child. The child was then saved by friends who fled with them in the night to a distant country. When the tyrant learned that his attempt to kill the child failed, he issued a decree that all the infants in the area be put to death. Writing about Krishna in the eighteenth century, Sir William Jones stated, "In the Sanskrit dictionary, compiled more than two thousand years ago, we have the whole history of the incarnate deity, born of a virgin, and miraculously escaping in infancy from the reigning tyrant of his country." (Asiatic Researches, Vol. I, p. 273).
(7) The Bible states that Jesus and family fled to Egypt afterward to escape from King Herod. According to the Christian apocryphal text, the Gospel of the Infancy, the family traveled to Maturea, Egypt. Krishna was born in Maturea, India, hundreds of years earlier. (8) He was baptized in the River Ganges.
(9) The missions of Krishna and Jesus were the same - the salvation of humanity.
(10) Krishna worked miracles and wonders such as raising the dead and healing lepers, the deaf and the blind.
(11) Krishna used parables to teach the people about charity and love.
(12) Jesus taught his disciples about the possibility of removing a mountain by faith. According to tradition, Krishna raised Mount Goverdhen above his disciples to protect his worshipers from the wrath of Indra.
(13) "He lived poor and he loved the poor."
(14) Krishna washed the feet of the Brahmins and transfigured before his disciples.
(15) There is an extra-canonical Hindu tradition which states that Krishna was crucified. According to some traditions, Krishna died on a tree or was crucified between two thieves.
(16) He descended to hell, rose bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven which was witnessed by many.
(17) Krishna is called the "shepherd god" and "lord of lords," and was considered "the redeemer, firstborn, sin bearer, liberator, universal Word."
(18) He is the second person of the trinity, and proclaimed himself the "resurrection" and the "way to the Father."
(19) He was considered the "beginning, the middle and the end," ("alpha and omega"), as well as being omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.
(20) His disciples bestowed upon him the title "Jezeus," meaning "pure essence."
(21) Krishna is to return again riding a white horse to do battle with the "prince of evil," who will desolate the earth.

Now, what exactly to make of said similarities is uncertain. As I am not personally beholden to either Christianity (though I used to be an ordained minister, and still like many of the overt teachings of said faith) nor Vaishnaivism (though I have enjoyed chanting "Hare Krishna Hare Rama" at times, and like some of the Baghavadgita's teachings), but I do find the correlations very interesting, if not definitively indicative of a specifically delineated correlation. I do believe that the three main western religions that are of the "Abrahamic tradition" have startling precedents in the construction of the Hindu Trimurti, and this seems clearly and without doubt beyond mere "coincidence" (again, see post entitled, "The Hidden Origins of the West"). Now please understand, I don't mean to rain on anybody's Sunday tent meetings, except where the plants and trees and animals need water . . .