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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

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Who Is Ho Ho Ho, Historically Yo?!?!

"santa" according to the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon:

1 santa m. = %{saMha-tala} L. ; N. of a son of Satya MBh.
2 sAnta n. (perhaps w.r. for %{zAnta}) joy L.

One of the 1000 names of Siva . . . sAnta . . . joy to the world!!!

Among various myths about the yule tree in European traditions is that the people of the village go to a hermit's cave to drag him to town to force him to grant blessings. As the village men are dragging him out of the wilderness this scruffy ascetic grabs hold of a pine tree and uproots it and holds on tight like a good tree-hugger should. Can't recall whether Scandinavian, Germanic or Alpine in origin. Nonetheless this tradition shows at least a resonant chord to sAnta as wildman ascetic in a cave in the Himalayas, if not through a traceable dispersion of traditions from East to West amongst Eurasian cultures.

And even in modern myths of Santa Claus, the underlying implication or imprint of asceticism is clear in the extreme and austere setting of this figure's abode at the North Pole--not unlike the extreme that is Kailash in the Himalayas. The idea of the ascetic blessing others who are living as householders is age old, and rooted in conceptions some might call pagan in the context of conventional European religious history, and which are encompassed in archetypal conceptualizations of Siva in the Himalayas and thereabouts, and which represent that fertility and ascetic devotion are hand in hand in maintaining health and abundance in relationships between people living on the earth and nature and cycles of the seasons and stars.

So hereagain, the cultural artifacts of the so-called "West" are rooted in more ancient stories, and Santa Claus has roots in God of ascetics and Wildness generally, Siva, who is called sAnta amongst many other names.

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