Friday, May 27, 2011

Reverse discrimination in communal violence bill

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party has denounced the draft communal violence bill saying it will intrude into domain of states, make only Hindus culpable and create discord in inter-community relations. In an article released on Thursday, Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Arun Jaitley argued that if the ostensible object of the bill was to prevent and punish communal violence, the effect would be contrary.

"The drafting of this bill appears to be the handiwork of those social entrepreneurs who have learnt from the Gujarat experience of how to fix senior leaders even when they are not liable for an offence," Jaitley said.


Dubbing it as a law fraught with dangerous consequences, he said it was bound to be misused and will encourage minority communalism.


The BJP leader said the draft bill proceeded on the assumption that communal trouble was created only by members of the majority community and offences committed by them against the minority community were punishable. "No member of the majority community can ever be a victim. This draft law thus proceeds on an assumption which redefines the offences in a highly discriminatory manner," he said.


Jaitley argued that it could open up huge scope for abuse and incentivise members of certain communities to commit offences. "Terrorist groups may no longer indulge in terrorist violence. They will be incentivised to create communal riots due to the statutory assumption that members of a Jihadi group will not be punished under this law," he said.


The bill, under which a "group" means a religious or linguistic minority and in a given state may include Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, creates a set of new offences. "The most vital definition of the bill is of the expression group," Jaitley said.


Listing out some offences, he said the draft bill prescribed that a person is said to commit sexual assault through such an act against a person belonging to a 'group,' hate propaganda was an offence when a person through oral or written communication caused hate against a 'group' or a person belonging to a 'group' and any person acting under the influence of an association engages in unlawful activity directed against a 'group' was guilty of organised communal and targeted violence.


Further, a clause provides for punishment of a person who expends or supplies money in the furtherance or support of an offence against a 'group' and under another an offence of torture is made out where a public servant inflicts pain or a suffering on a person belonging to a 'group'.


Alleging that the bill, if passed in the present form, would damage the federal polity of the country, he said the Centre was not empowered to deal or legislate on law and order, a state subject. He pointed out that the central government's jurisdiction restricted itself to issue advisories, directions and eventually forming an opinion under Article 356 that governance of the state can be carried on in accordance with the Constitution or not.

“Draft Bill on communal violence more draconian than TADA”

Neena Vyas

NEW DELHI: The draft Bill on communal violence finalised by the National Advisory Council has been described by the Bharatiya Janata Party as “dangerous,” “draconian,” “discriminatory” and “damaging” to India's federal policy.

Senior party leader Arun Jaitley on Thursday circulated a note on the draft Bill clearly indicating that not only would the BJP not support it in Parliament but that it would fall foul of the Constitution for, if it were to become a law “the Centre would have usurped the jurisdiction of the States” on law and order, a subject clearly and entirely within their domain.

“Internal disturbance”

The note was critical of hate propaganda as an offence and also commented adversely on outbreak of communal violence to be treated as an “internal disturbance” that would attract imposition of President's rule. Above all, Mr. Jaitley said, the draft Bill was discriminatory as it exclusively dealt with violence targeted against a minority — religious, caste or linguistic. It did not deal with the possibility of minority violence against a majority community, he said.

Gujarat experience

When a campaign was carried on against TADA — Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act — the Congress and other members of the ruling alliance argued that normal laws were sufficient to deal with the menace. But now a “far more draconian law” was being proposed that would harm inter-community harmonious relations, Mr. Jaitley said.

The BJP leader argued that the NAC seemed to have kept in mind the Gujarat experience and was now trying to bring in a law that would “fix senior leaders” even when they were otherwise not liable for an offence.

He found fault with the manner of appointment of a 7-member national authority for communal harmony — and similar state authorities — under the proposed Bill although the suggested selection committee would have, besides the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and leaders of various political parties as members. Thus, Mr. Jaitley pointed out, “it is the Opposition at the Centre and in the States that would have a majority say in the composition of the Authority.”

The note made it clear the BJP would not relish the idea of such an authority in States ruled by it as the Opposition would have a major say in the composition of an authority that would have wide powers.

Draconian Law against Majority Community

NEW DELHI: Confrontation is brewing between BJP and the government over the proposed bill to check and punish communal violence with the main Opposition sharply attacking it for "presuming" such strife is always the handiwork of the majority community.

Saying the bill's provisions will damage inter-community relations and erode the federal structure, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, "The draft bill argues that communal trouble is created only by members of the majority community and never by a member of the minority community. Identical offences committed by minority groups against the majority are not deemed offences at all."

The bill if passed with directly intrude into the domain of the state, damage federal polity and create an imbalance in the inter-community relationship of India, the BJP leader said.

Jaitley targeted the bill's definition of a 'group' as a religious or linguistic minority who could also be scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. This sets one community as the perpetual victim and is bound to increase tensions even in cases where a dispute can be easily resolved.

With the bill backed by the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council often viewed in the context of "state complicity" in the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, BJP returned to a Hindutva issue after a gap. Not mincing words, Jaitley said, "The drafting of this bill appears to be a handiwork of those social entrepreneurs who have learnt from the Gujarat experience of how to fix senior leaders even when they are not liable for an offence."

By stating that these offences are in addition to those under the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, Jaitley asked if a person can be punished twice for the same offence. The clauses prescribe defining crimes like sexual assault, 'hate propaganda' and targeted communal violence on the basis of the victim's "group" identity as a minority.

Similarly, a public servant is liable for actions or lack of supervision in dealing with a communal situation on the "principle of vicarious liability", the BJP leader said. "Clause 16 renders orders of superiors as no defence for an alleged offence committed under this section," he said.

Jaitley has argued that offences committed during communal trouble are a law and order problem that is squarely the domain of state governments. In the division of powers, the Centre does not have direct authority to deal with law and order issues. Under the bill, the Centre will usurp jurisdiction of the states.

Further, the bill provides for a seven-member national authority for communal harmony, justice and reparations of which at least four including the chairman and vice-chair shall only belong to a 'group' or minority community, Jaitley said.

"It is a law that is bound to be misused. Perhaps, that appears to be the real purpose behind its drafting. It will encourage minority communalism," said Jaitley.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hindu Australia

Australia and Oceania

Ancient Australian Ganesha and Hanuman Artifacts
Vedic Maori of Aotearoa

Ancient Australian Ganesha and Hanuman Artifacts found in the Gympie District, Queensland, Australia

The Gympie Times 30/10/75

At Dogun, schoolboy Cliff Brown, 13, found an elephant about 100mm high carved from beige granite. It is thought to be the Hindu God Ganesha.


The Gympie Ape - A stone ape statue possibility 3000 years old. The statue was unearthed in 1966 on Mr Dal K. Berry's Wolvi Rd property. The ape is made of conglomerate iron stone and shows a squatting ape figure.





Note: Although obvious to most, it should be noted that elephants and apes are not native to Australia

Hindu Australia - Once We Were Brothers : Evidence Connects Native New Zealanders to India

by Jaya Tirtha Charan dasan

In 1990 we (my wife and three children) had the great good fortune to come to Aotearoa (The Land of the Long White Cloud). When I came here I knew practically nothing of the cultural attributes that pervaded New Zealand (Aotearoa) other than that I'd heard from my education, that New Zealand was colonised primarily by the British to provide a food supply for the struggling and expanding cities of Europe just prior to, and during the time of the industrial revolution.

We'd had the good fortune to also live and travel extensively in India on several occasions, and so were familiar with the look, physiognomy of what is generally termed the Indo-Aryan physiognomy of peoples. We had learned to distinguish the darker wiry haired Tamils, from the light skinned residents of Uttar Pradesh, the rounded faces of the Bengalis from the slender faces of the Nepalese, or the heavy features of the Punjabis, etc. It becomes quite natural after living in India for a number of years to assess like this. So when we came to New Zealand I was amazed at how much the mass of Maori people looked like those of the Indian subcontinent. When we first came to New Zealand I think the first thing I noticed was that the Deities of Sri Sri Radha Giridhari were very beautiful, Radharani in particular. Actually to confirm my thoughts, one day I was coming back to the temple by public transport and I saw a young Maori girl who looked almost identical to the exquisitely beautiful features of Srimati Radharani - everyone at the bus stop noticed too, I observed.

At the temple at that time there were a number of devotees who had come from the local indigenous Maori peoples, and I was impressed with speaking with them. In particular, one devotee Madhu Pandit prabhu who told me of an oral tradition that his grandfather had told him of, when he was a small boy, before getting involved in Krishna consciousness, that the Maori peoples originated in India. He impressed me, in that he told of the social structure of the Maori having a learned priestly class, a warrior class, as well as those set up for trade, and the workers. In discussing with other devotees with links to the Maori culture it came to the fore that among the people, or at least the elders, this was pretty much common knowledge. Somehow, they had struggled to keep their culture alive in an oral tradition, even against the strong onslaught of the preaching of the missionaries who came to teach Christianity.

These devotee told me of a struggle that had ensued much like that of the devotees in India, who had fought the British Raj to maintain their Vedic culture amid the torrid waves of being called savages, uncivilised, etc. The devotees told me of books that had be written by sympathisers of the Maori, written from a Maori perspective, although written by Pakeha (Europeans).

Today in New Zealand there's a revival of the Maori culture, with bilingual classes in schools, TV programs and government grants for Maori land owners, and book publications, etc. Things never dreamed of before.

Over the past year I've been doing a great deal of research into a subject which although has been around for some time hasn't been exposed to the masses of people in general. Some suggest that suppression of information has been one of the colonialist's and especially the Crowns' major weapons in circumventing indigenous cultures all over the world. Especially in regard to the similarities found throughout the Old World, in favour of what they like to call 'the developed world' of Europe. A few years ago when I did a degree on Social Anthropology, Sociology, Social Policy, Systems of Healing, Social Work Practice, Theory and Ethics, and Counselling, etc., I found myself in a situation where I had to learn about the Maori culture. Having read numerous views on how the various cultures conducted themselves, their beliefs, objects of worship, and practical application through art and symbology, has further endorsed the notion that there is throughout the world a common Vedic heritage.

With so few people on this planet, together, it's not that difficult to appreciate how continents have become populated by travellers venturing out to 'new" or 'unknown places'. In the religious cultures and traditions of the world there are so many historical quests, banishments, and even gifts of tracts of land to sages, kings, and peoples. Unfortunately for us, over spans of time some of the details become obscured for one reason or another. From the view of the Vedantist, truths never stay hidden for long, despite the plans of materialistic man to control what he sees around him.

Some are of the opinion that the Maori originated in South America, while others suggest that they were one of the lost tribes of Israel. Many of the reasoning's for this are based on the looks of the peoples of those areas today, the physiognomy; facial features, lip structure, shape of the fore head, shape of head, cheek bones, chin, nose, - all of which like most races are distinct unto themselves, with obvious influences of inter-breading from other cultures giving variations of the distinctness as in that of the Maori of New Zealand.

However, when we start looking at other indigenous peoples around the world, along with suggested expeditions of discovery that are known to be part of the Maori migration throughout the Pacific region, especially, a slightly stronger case begins to develop for the Maori originating in Northern Asia, and more specifically, what is known as modern day India.

Supporting that theory, recently scientists from Victoria University in Wellington (New Zealand) began to take samples of DNA from women from all areas of the earth. The idea behind this, as suggested in the Srimad Bhagavatam too, is that it is the mother who provides the body for the jivas who are born, while the father (bijaman) is the one who provided the seed. In that way genealogical trees develop and grow.

Origins: "Genes link Maori to Asia" (From TVNZ Six o'clock Newscast)

Research by biological scientists at Victoria University points to Maori ancestors originally migrating from North Asia thousands of years ago.

The research team from the university's biology department has just finished a detailed analysis of earlier studies of the gene patterns of different ethnic groups.

They have found levels of a gene in Maori are similar to those found in many Asian populations and bear a strong resemblance to the gene patterns of indigenous groups such native Malays.

Steven Marshall from the research team says the work also links Maori with a genetic group who migrated from North Asia around 8,000 years ago.



He says this group filtered itself amongst islands in Melanesia, West Polynesia over a period of time before a smaller group travelled to New Zealand. (TVONE Network News. Tue Aug 11th 18:22hrs 1998.)

To me this is a brilliant finding. On the live newscast the reporter mentioned that after examining mothers from all the major continents, i.e. South America, Europe, Africa, and Northern Asia, as well as South East Asia there were distinct similarities in the DNA found in the Northern Asian countries that were totally absent in all the other continents. In some cases where they did find similar DNA it was realised that this DNA structure had developed secondary (through possible inter breading), and not as a primary base through migratory family lineages.

For some time theories were supported by some members of the Maori peoples that their origins was possibly in the South Americas, or possibly even in Europe. However, with today's findings, and the support of conclusive DNA testing there is no doubt to support our theory as being true, and that the origins of the Maori peoples was definitely from the Northern Region of Asian mainland mass. Some speculation is that the origins may be China or that region, but cultural differences, genealogical differences, physical differences, and psychological differences seem to discount this theory entirely. If there is any trace in those regions, then we would say that they are not original, but secondary, through tribes passing through the areas in question.

The strongest similarities are to be found when tracing back the origins of tribes throughout the Northern Indian region. Many of the tribes, like those who the modern day Punjabis descend from, and those of the Assamese resemble the Maori features. While examining the basis of the Maori and Vedic cultures, we find that philosophically and culturally, many similar concepts and views between the two cultures remain. In tracing back cultural links and the obvious distinct similarities, brings us to the only logical and feasible conclusion, that such origins were indeed in that tract of land what we now call the Indian Subcontinent. In this regard, on examining the Maori culture, and its origins we have found some truly amazing comparisons in social structure, physiological (Indo-Aryan) appearance, and standards of sacridity.

When on the newscast some local Maori were approached and asked about what they thought, they were obviously not overtly phased by the finding, and even lightly joked as that being why so many Indians were still coming here.

In any culture, it is apparent where the roots lie when one starts to look at the infrastructure of the way people govern their lives, who is in the centre, the emphasis on religion, the positions taken by the priesthood, the elders, and social and familial structures, as well as the rites of passage, and festivals, etc., that reflect the inner most rhyme and reasoning

It is often not until we start to cross compare, and look for common roots that we find just how intrinsically seamless we are as common sons of the same Universal Father, God. Hopefully these findings will take away much if not all it has been so easy for the past to reveal of the "differences" of man, mostly for political purposes.

The Maori worship a multi-faceted "God", who has numerous names according to the function that He performs. The core of the esoteric theology of the Maori was the concept of the Supreme Io which remained wholly unrevealed to foreign inquirers for many decades after the first contact of Europeans and Maori. The Tohunga (Maori priesthood) protected the worship of Io from the religiously ignorant, and from those who may have blasphemed Him, very much like the Brahmins of Vedic times did by writing in codes, etc. If one enquired about God in a challenging way or obviously ignorant fashion, one would be politely re-directed to another priest way across town, who for his part would in turn re-direct the enquirant on to another priest who too could competently handle the situation, by referral.

"In speaking of the gods of the Maori the first matter calling for attention is that of classification. If we include in our purview all beings termed atua by the Maori, and on whom they relied for help in the crisis of life, then it will, I believe, be necessary to form our atua maori into four classes.

In the first grade, and standing alone in His majesty, comes Io, He who is termed Io the Parent, Io the Parentless, Io the Great, and Io of the Hidden Face. The second class is composed of what may be called departmental gods, as those who preside over war, peace, the forest, winds, ocean, agriculture, etc. Then we come to a third class, whom I term tribal gods, not so widely known as those of the second class, and of a somewhat lower grade. Lastly we come to such as are spirits of the dead forebears, and knowledge of whom is confined to a small area."(Elsdon Best [1856-1931]. R.A. Falla. 1954. Some Aspects of Maori Myth & Religion. page 23.)

In Maori thought there was an esoteric as well as a popular version of creation and God. The one was in the keeping of the tohunga (priests); the other was kept alive as fireside stories of the common peoples. Neither contradicted the other; rather they supplemented and enriched each others presentation with practical faith as well as philosophical and allegorical depiction. This is very much similar to the Sruti (Vedas) and Smrti (Puranas, etc.) of Vedic culture.

"In the beginning, Io existed alone in the realm of Te Korekaore, in His passive sate as Io-matamoe, Io-mata-ane, Io-kore-te-whiwhia (Io of the slumbering countenance, Io of the calm and tranquil countenance, Io the unchanging and unadulterated in whom there is no confusion and inconsistency). Nothing existed before Io, for He alone was the pre-existent as Io-matua-kore the parentless, as Io-matua the first parent, as Io-mau the precursor, as Io-pukenga the first cause, as Io-taketake the foundation of all things."(Michael King. 1992. Te Ao Hurihuri - Aspects of Maoritanga. page 130.)

Similarities in the Hindu / Indo-Aryan / Vedic understanding of God are found with the Creative Lord of the Universe Maha Vishnu rests in Divine sleep - slumbering countenance; tranquil transcendence; who is eternal / unchanging, ever existent; all pure / never adulterated or contaminated; Who is never bewildered; the first primeval Being; is never "Born" as we are, and does not have any actual birth parents - being unborn, although for His loving pastimes selects His devotees to act as His parents to enjoy parental love; He is the original cause of all causes; the strength of the strong, and the thread upon which everything (as pearls) rests.

"'We know', writes J.E. Carpenter in his Comparative Religion, "....that both India and Greece reached the conception of a unity of energy in diversity of operation; 'the One with many names' was the theme of Hindu seers long before AEschylus in almost identical words proclaimed 'one form with many names'."(Elsdon Best [1856-1931]. R.A. Falla. 1954. Some Aspects of Maori Myth & Religion. page 26.)

'The number of men initiated into the cult of Io was but small; only members of the higher grade of priestly experts and men of high-class families, were allowed to learn the ritual pertaining to it. The common folk apparently had no part in it and it is doubtful if they were even allowed to know the name of the Supreme Being. The cult of Io was an esoteric one; that of the lower tribal gods may be termed exoteric. All ritual and ceremonial pertaining to Io was retaining in the hands of the superior priesthood, by no means a numerous body. It may be described as an aristocratic cultus, known only to such experts and the more important chiefs. It is quite probable, indeed, that this superior creed may have been too exalted for ordinary minds, that such would prefer to depend on more accessible and less moral deities.(E.S. Craighill Handy, Polynesian Religion, Bernice P. Bishop Museum Bulletin 34 (Honolulu1927), pp. 95-6; quoting Edward Treagear, The Maori Race (Wanganui, 1904) pp. 450-2 and Elsdon Best, Some Aspects of Maori Myth and Religion, p.20) From this we can see that they had a strong sense of taratamya (hierarchal worship) and Varna and Ashram too.

"The universe of Io is a well ordered creation. The supreme God has His home in Te-Toi-o-nga-rangi, the uppermost heaven. It is unapproachable by the messengers of the lesser gods, except by special permission, and the only door to it lies through Tawhiri-rangi.

"Only the messengers of Io, who have been purified, can survive the holiness of that heaven. At that place the whatu-kura and mareikura, the attendant of Io, have control over the other denizens of the over worlds, and on His behalf supervise the growth and order of the world. The mana-ariki (overlordship, the power of the highest chiefs) is theirs, and they go to and fro through all the heavens, the world and the underworld's. They are in effect the members of the spiritual body of Io.(A.W. Reed. 1974. Treasury of Maori Folklore - The Maori Pantheon, page 58.)

The similarities here also, with their being a uppermost heaven, reflects the Vedic Vaikuntha or Goloka Dham, where the worshippers of the demigods or unpurified souls cannot approach. There is also a clear indication that the lesser gods (demigods) rule departmental affairs, controlling the worlds on the Supreme Gods behalf, and order. As well as the strong inference that those purified messengers of Io / God are part and parcel of the spiritual body of the Lord / Io. Also the idea of one performing action that is not in line with the desire of the Lord being sinful or bringing about a bad reaction shows the concept of karma, teleological Free Will of the jiva (individual spirit soul), and Dukhalayam asasvatam - that the material world is the source of all suffering, but absorption in the Lord and His spiritual artefacts brings about liberation or release from such suffering.

On the cosmography of the universe and beginning of creation of the material world again there are strong similarities. When we read Sri Brahma Samhita we find lord Brahma, the secondary creator of this material world seated upon a lotus flower, surrounded by waters, alone in the darkness, then he heard a mystical sound Tapah Tapah...(giving direction and inspiration)....! When we look at the Maori cultural understanding of similar events we find that Tane was in a very similar situation, in the waters, surrounded by darkness when he too heard a mystic sound Tapa Tapa!!!

"In the night regions of soft light, Io established the several Hawaiki: Hawaiki Nui (great Hawaiki), Hawaiki-Roa (extensive Hawaiki), Hawaiki-Pamamao (far distance Hawaiki), Hawaiki Tapu (sacred Hawaiki) in which Io chose to dwell with His divine assistants. The Hawaiki became the abode of gods and heroes. But no one, other gods included, could enter Hawaiki Tapu for it was sacred to Io. The other Hawaiki were also sacred and in ancient times were not even mentioned in common talk except by oblique reference as Tawhiti Nui, Tawhiti Roa, Tawhiti Pamamao.

Having created the nights and the Hawaiki, Io brought into being the first gods, Rangi-awatea and Papa-tua-nuku, the male and female principles out of which all things derived. Awatea was the god of 'space and light' (atea and awatea) and the first heaven was created by him on the foundations established by Io. It was known as the heaven of Watea (Te Rangi-a-Watea). But having completed the first heaven, he looked below him and saw the spirit of Papa-tua-nuku (Mother Earth) and descended to cohabit with her. Out of this union sprang their first born, Tane and the other gods after him: Tangaroa, Rongo, Tumatauenga, Haumia-tike-tike, Ru-ai-moko, and Tawahiri-ma-tea.

But Rangi continued to cling to Papa-tua-nuku and gave up his task of completing the heavens. By this act, he doomed his offspring to dwell in perpetual darkness. Io the omniscient stirred his activity and sent the spirit of rebellion to stir the children to revolt. After consultation among the brothers they decided, with the exception of Tawhiri-ma-tea, to separate their parents and allow light into their world. After several abortive attempts, Tane conceived the idea of standing on his hands on Papa and thrusting against Rangi with his feet. His manoeuvre succeeded and Rangi was flung into the skies.

Tane was summoned by Io and after elaborate purificatory rites, he descended to the borders of Hawaiki Tapu where the sacred winds, the mouth-piece of Io, commissioned him to continue with the talks of completing the heavens. So the heavens were completed and became known as the great heavens of Tane (Rangi-nui-a-Tane). At the same time as Tane received the mana (potency) to complete the heavens, Io delegated through Tane various tasks for his brothers. So they became the regents of Io to continue creation in the departments of nature. Thus Tangaroa became the god of the sea, Rongo the god of vegetation, Ru-ai-moko divided the lands asunder, Tawhiri took over the meteorological department and Tu took over the war office. Tane reserved two departments for himself on earth, the forest and the birds, and the creation of man. The first human created was Hine-ahu-one (the maid that emerged out of dust). Tane took clay, moistened it with water and sculptured the form of the female. He then infused the breath of his nostrils (hongi) into her and she came alive. Meanwhile, Awatea had been summoned by Io (prior to Tane's commission), deprived of his mana and banished into the Night Realm. It was the mana from Awatea that was given to Tane."(Michael King. 1992. Te Ao Hurihuri - Aspects of Maoritanga. page 131-132.)

I'm not professing that all of this in every way is the same as the Vedic understandings of creation, etc., but some distinct aspects are very similar. Even when we look through various Puranas, or Ramayanas (Kumba Ramayan, Ananda Ramayan, Valmiki Ramayan, Adyatmika Ramayan) we find different perspective's, according to the vision and the participants there. In the similar way I'm suggesting that the similarities be noted, rather than the differences.

Tane and Brahma were designated as secondary creators, both heard Tapa Tapa, and took it to mean much the same thing; that there is one Supreme Being, who has numerous names; The Supreme God created a male and female principle - much like Shambu and Ramaa mentioned in Brahma Samhita; that various departmental 'demigods' were created to look after the functions of rainfall, vegetation, the sea, mankind, etc.; the infusing of the life air into a form is distinctly Vedic, as in the Pran-pratishta (installation - avahan) of an icon or Deity; the concept of mother earth; the hierarchal accessibility to the higher realms of the universe through (taratamya), gradation of purity in Vedantic theology.

One could argue that these are prominent in other cultures too, to which I would answer, "Yes, it is my proposal that Vedic culture was indeed at one time all over the world!" Those cultures that profess to have no contact with Vedic culture are either in denial, or are simply most unfortunate!!!!

As we mentioned earlier, there are also oral legends going back to claim that the original Hawaiki (home land) was actually referring to the sub-continent of what today we call northern India. The Melanesians talk of an original Hawaiki, and so do the Polynesians, so neither of them are original in themselves. There are several authoritative books that present this, (The Aryan Maori by Edward Tregear 1896; Who Are The Maori by AK Newman 1846.), showing similarities in language, custom, etc., and showing maps of transmigration, with numerous other books including the possibility (some we have cited herein). Other sources show, not only the possibility, but direct reference to names of tribes which are present in both Maoridom and indigenous tribes of India today.

The strength of Maori culture was transmitted orally, through the telling of stories/legends, song (waiata) and the reciting of whakapapa (genealogies). It was also represented in stylised form in carvings and woven panels that adorned whare (meeting houses). When one visits India, and parts of South East Asia some of the most prominent things to catch one are the graphic depictions of the ancient pastimes of the Lord, Sri Krishna, Lord Vishnu, and their pastime expansions, or cultural displays of the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, etc., etc., through similar culture symbology.

As far as practical day to day sacred rites, as in the Vedic samskaras, the Maori also have a system of daily rites of passage that mark the maturational development of individuals as they grow, create offspring and pass on. The practical role of the priesthood (Tohungas) are also almost identical in function with those of the Purohits (domestic priests) of India. The Tohunga would be employed to consecrate new buildings, to bless warriors going into battle, to bless new structures or buildings (Marae), performing birth ceremonies, name giving, and last rites, etc. Much of the rhyme and reasoning was the same as ours, the practical application according to linguistics and family tradition is mostly all that differs in the ritual symbolism. The Tohunga's function, like that of the Brahmin's is to serve, support and knit together the conditional stages of the people to directional development towards their constitutional positions as sons and daughters, or servants of the Supreme God - Io and Krishna, through which Varna (social functionality - teacher, administrator/warrior, commerce and labourers work) and Ashram (passage of spiritual shelter - student of te culure, joint family member - householder, retired, and elder/teacher) works.

As with so many other aspects of these two great cultures, likened to distant cousins, the concept of the joint family, whereby grand parents, aunts and uncles enhance the depth of family integrity, identity, moral strength and support looks after the destiny and direction of the people in general under its care. That is very prominent.

The Maori ran their communities in the same way as the Daivi Varnashram system, with the Tohunga giving cultural and philosophical direction, the warriors protecting, and the growing of crops, tending the fields being done by those who were unskilled in trade or priesthood. When the Maori went to war the women folk would also assist their men, sometimes taking up arms to defend their Pa (fortress or village). But as soon as the battle was over, they were again mothers and wives.

I'm not expecting miracles to happen, although certainly they could. But I would like to see that the Maori people, who are in general soft hearted and friendly, understand a little more of what the teachings of, and devotees of the International Society for Krishna consciousness have to offer in making accessible the highest knowledge of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and Bhagavad Gita, the kind of knowledge that formerly only the Tohunga had access to.

As with many of the indigenous cultures that were picked to pieces over the past century or so all over the world by the colonialists, now there is an awakening. The opportunity that Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad has made available to all of us, without exception, and that is now being delivered by his disciples and grand disciples is unprecedented to the disjointed youth of the world today. We have hope that through presenting these multi-cultural view-points of Krishna consciousness, that not only will this affect the plight of individuals by giving them, to the level that they accept it, love of Godhead. It will also affect, on a practical basis; the crime rate, the alcohol and drug use, youth suicides especially among young Maori, but also challenges that face middle aged Maori could be set back, and the cultural legacy be again replenished by their adopting something of the knowledge Krishna consciousness movement has to offer. Let us see what the Lord arranges!!!

In research, as well as presenting, the hardest thing has been to penetrate the wall of propaganda established by the Crowns' missionary arm of the last century's historians, who re-wrote the history of the world and obscured many ancient truths. On a broader scale, this is becoming common accepted knowledge. With the assistance of such favourable winds of change we are well on the way to producing a very informative book that will hopefully enhance empathy and mutual respect for both Maori culture and Krishna Conscious Vedic culture. (A slightly re-edited version of this article appeared in the January/April 1999 edition, Vol 17., No. 4. of Hare Krishna World Newspaper. page 28.)

If anyone has any evidence to support our research I would be very pleased to receive it. In due course of time there will be a book published in this regard - to date we have over 100pages of interesting nectar written down. If your iwi or whenu or friends have some oral history I'm keen to hear it. Please send an e-mail to me informing me of your finds. Kiaora

Hindu America - Links Between Ancient India and Mayans

From the Deccan Chronicle

HYDERABAD, INDIA, April 29, 2002: Recent studies suggest a link between Indus Valley and Mayans of Central America. The studies focused on the calendars of the two advanced civilizations. The Indus Valley inhabitants followed a calendar based on the movements of Jupiter and the Mayans followed one based on the Venus. In the Puranas, a secondary Hindu scripture, Jupiter, Brihaspati, was acknowledged to be the leader of the gods, while Venus, Shukra, was the leader of the asuras. The texts further state that the devas and asuras lived on opposite sides of the Earth. Mexico and India are at opposite sides in longitude. The correspondences were pointed out by B. G. Siddarth, director of the B. M. Birla Science Centre in Hyderabad. He also said the Hindu story of the churning of the ocean has been found in carvings in Mexico, as well Mayan representations of a tortoise carrying twelve pillars similar to Indian illustrations. Dr. Ganapati Sthapati of Chennai, a foremost expert on Vastu Shastra, the ancient Hindu architecture, has visited the Mayan structures in Central America and found many similarities between the design and construction methods of the Mayans and that of the ancient Hindus.

More: Were the Mayas’ Pyramids Built By the Vedic Architect Maya?

Hindu America - Ancient Heritage of Tamils

V.G. Ramachandran

Have we not evidence that the ancient Cholas discovered South America long before Columbus and that the Inca Sun Worshipers of Peru are none but the descendants of "our Chola ancestors" (vide Neelakanta Sastri "History of S. India" and M. Monohan's "Chola's in America 1976", p. 11-20). The Incas had their Temple of the Sun God (Peru) much like the one in Konark in Orissa built by the Cholas. The Chola chieftains (Incas) of America styled themselves as "Raghuvamsa Manickam". This shows that they belonged to the Raghuvamsa of Sri Rama whose ancestor Sibi Chakravarti is well described in ancient Tamil literature as the Chola king Sembian. This takes us to a very relevant inference that the ancestors of Dasaratha are as much the ancestors of the Tamils. One other ancestor of Sri Rama, Musu Kunthan, is none other than the Musu Kuntha Chola in ancient Tamil history. This Musu Kunthan's reign was during the second Tamil Sangam age 4800-2800 BC.

Hindu America - Vedic Culture in Peru

Guru-vrata Das

In 1994 I saw a newspaper article that showed a photograph of a "huaco" (ancient pot usually made of clay, from the Inca culture or older). The sign that appeared on this "huaco" was a big svastika with four dots inside. This is a Vedic sign that you can see on the top of the gates of ancient temples. (Of course, the archeologists did not know what that symbol meant and maybe they still don't know it).

Also a devotee-scholar told me that he had seen another "huaco" that he described in this way: A monkey supposingly running or flying, holding a small mountain in one hand and a club in the other. The monkey had some kind of helmet. Sounds familiar doesn't it? Jaya Sri Hanumanji!

I've heard that some stories from Ramayana tell that Sri Ramacandra came to the American continent when he was fighting with Ravana & Kumbhakarna. This is very interesting point. When you go to Bolivia and to the south of Peru, you can see a very famous festival called "La Diablada" ("Demoniac Dance"). This festival depicts a very ancient story: two angel-like warriors fight against a ten-headed demon. This demon has a army and the angelical warriors are being helped by animal armies, especially by a society of well organized monkeys. Jaya Sri Ramayana!

I have also heard that the word "Dinka" means "Children of the Sun" or "Worshipers of the Sun" in Sanskrit or some other Indian language. The word "Inka" in Quechua (language spoken by the Inca culture) means "Children of the Sun". And worshiping the Sun gives the worshiper intelligence and gold, a very notorious feature of the Inca empire. Their society was very similar to varnasrama.

http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/connections/Americas.php#1


HIndu America - American Indian Karna

Vrin Parker

There are many similarities between Vedic culture and the American Indian traditions. In the Pueblo (Indians of the SW USA) traditions there is an amazing tale which parallels the story of Karna from the Mahabharata. There are some variations but the similarities are striking. Here is the story as retold by Gerald McDermott. He published it in a children story book form and thus many of the details have been simplified. More research will surely find the parallels an even better match.

"Long ago the Sun God sent the spark of life to Earth. It traveled down the rays of the sun, through the heavens, and it came to the Pueblo. There it entered the house of a Young Maiden. In due course, the Boy came into the world of men. He lived and grew and played in the Pueblo (village).

However the other boys would not let him join in their games. "Where is your father?" they asked. "You have no father!" they mocked him and chased him away. The Boy and his Mother were sad.

One day he said, "Mother, I must look for my father. No matter where he is I must find him." So the boy left home.

He traveled through the world of men and came to the Corn Planter. "Can you lead me to my father?" he asked. Corn planter said nothing, but continued to tend his crops.

The boy went to the Pot Maker. "Can you lead me to my father?" Pot Maker said nothing, but continued making his pots.

Then the boy went to the Arrow Maker, who was a wise man. "Can you lead me to my father?" Arrow Maker did not answer, but, because he was wise, he saw that the Boy had come from the Sun God. So he created a special arrow. The Boy became the Arrow.

Arrow Maker fitted the Boy to his bow and drew it. The Boy flew into the Heavens. In this way the Boy traveled to the Sun.

After meeting the Sun God, and passing his tests, father and son rejoiced. The Boy was transformed and filled with the power of the Sun. "Now you must return to Earth, my son, and bring my spirit to the world of men." Said the Sun God.

Once again the Boy became the Arrow. When the arrow reached the Earth, the Boy emerged and went to the Pueblo.

The People celebrated his return in the Dance of Life."

Anyone familiar with the story of Karna can see the similarities. I will point out the obvious ones.

The Sun God is Suryadeva. The Maiden who received the spark of life through his rays is the Maiden Princess, Kunti. The Boy is Karna. The other boys who would not let him join in their games are the Pandavas who mocked Karna for not knowing who his father was.

The Corn Planter and Pot Maker represent the teachers Drona and Kripa. The Arrow Maker represents Parashurama, who accepted Karna as his disciple and made him the greatest archer on earth.

Of course there are many points in the Mahabharata story that don't seem represented here but since the source is a modern retelling of an ancient Pueblo Indian tale, thousands of years of separation from the original version will always create variations. This phenomenon can be found in Vedic culture itself. Example: Hanuman is a well known Brahmacari yet in Thailand he is married.

It is hoped more research and cultural exchanges can be done in the ongoing search for Humanities Ancient World Vedic Heritage.

Voodoo and Vedic tradition

Tannhaus

from http://iskcon.livejournal.com/85071.html

It might surprise you that Voodoo is not about casting spells and sticking pins into dolls. You might find it even more surprising that Voodoo is a legitimate religion that is, in many ways, very similar to Vedic religion. In order to promote greater understanding and respect, I have decided to show some similarities as well as differences between Voodoo and Vedic religion.

First, let us start with where Voodoo came from: During the sixteenth century, slave traders began taking people from the West Coast of Africa (also known as the Slave Coast), the area comprising Benin (formerly Dahomey) and Togo, and selling them to French owned plantations in the Caribbean. The French Catholics tried to forcibly convert the slaves to Catholicism. What instead happened was an integration of the Yoruba and Fon traditions of Africa with Catholicism, thus creating Vodou. The later movement of these slaves also brought Vodou to New Orleans and the Carolina coast.

The word Vodou means "Spirit" or "Deity" in the Fon language of Dahomey. Like Vedic religion, Vodou is monotheistic. They believe in one God, called Bondye (from French Bon Dieu, "Good God") who is unfathomable. In Vedic religion, guru provides a link between God and man. In Vodou, that link is accomplished by spirits very similar to the demigods: the loa (also spelled lwa). It is also accomplished by the Mambo (priestess) or Houngan (priest).

There is no difference between Houngans and Mambos other than gender. They are equals in respect and power. But, they complete the link between man and God by helping us connect to the loa. In many ways, the Houngan and Mambo are like our spiritual parents. They provide spiritual guidance, emotional support, and they even provide herbs when we are ill. Whereas any person can pray to the loa and feel them in their lives, the mambo or houngan has the ability to bridge the gap between our plane of existence and theirs and actually call them into our realm of experience.

As far as the loa themselves, who are they? They are archetypical and ancestral spirits, bridging the gap between man and God. Their similarity to the demigods is surprising. For instance, the loa Ghede corresponds to Yama and the loa Papa Legba corresponds to Ganesh. In Vodou they realize that the demigods are below God and so they serve God _through_them.

A major theme in Vodou is service, just like in Vedic religion. As Sallie Ann Glassman (my old Mambo and author of Vodou Visions, a book where you can find this information on Vodou as well as a lot more) says, "The core focus of a Vodou Sosyete (society or congregation) is on service. Be true to yourself and make your life the most beautiful offering that you can give. Service to the Lwa is service to the community. Service to the community is service to the Lwa."

The lwa are honored in much the same way as Krishna and the demigods. They are offered incense, water, food (they even have favorite foods), etc. A difference is that the loa are also offered liquor and cigarettes or cigars (which signifies lower gunas of the worshiper). But the idea is the same. The offering is made, the loa accept the offering, and then the now sacred food can be consumed by the congregation (as prasadam).

In Vodou, respect and honor are paramount. It is not some empty respect for a God that you cannot see, but it is respect for all life. Each individual is a creation of God and is thus sacred. Every item, when used in the service of the Lwa, becomes sacred. Whereas many people go to a church which they consider holy ground, Vodou makes the ground they live on holy. Vodou makes the things of your everyday life sacred. Vodou makes the here and now an act of worship, and not just the "there and on Sunday".

Like in the Vaisnava tradition, song and dance is an integral part of the Vodou ceremony. When you dance in Vodou, you offer your energy and body to the lwa. You feel the drumbeat pulse through you like the heartbeat of the loa and you immerse yourself in their caress. The trappings of everyday life bleed from you and you become spirit, dancing in honor and ecstasy. You commune with the lwa.

No article on Vodou would be complete without also touching on three often misunderstood subjects: magic, possession, and sacrifice:

In Vodou, like in the Vedas, animal sacrifice is a reality. But also, like the Vedas, Judaism, etc., animal sacrifice is done with a sense of compassion and respect. The idea is not to torture or harm the poor animal, but instead to offer it up to the lwa, life and body. Afterwards, the animal is cooked and eaten by the congregation. This is not a barbaric rite, but one that affirms life. Whereas in the West we eat meat that comes wrapped in plastic and anonymous, these animals are cared for, respected, and eventually offered to the lwa. All life is sacred. Their gift does not go unnoticed.

There is often a difference in Vodou in the United States and Vodou in Haiti in that regard. In Haiti it is believed that without the life force the lwa cannot manifest in our realm of experience. It is also worth noting that the Haitians don't enjoy the luxury of buying anonymous animals wrapped in plastic. They have to kill their own animals. So, it can be argued, if they have to kill their own food, why should they not be able to kill the food for the loa?

That brings up another issue: How do the loa "manifest" in our realm of experience? Some people see them in their dreams or visions but the primary way of manifestation is that of possession. In the West, when you mention possession immediately you think of a setting something like that from the movie Exorcist. The thought of losing control over our own bodies terrifies us. In the context of Vodou, however, possession is a beautiful thing.

When someone is possessed by a lwa in Vodou, the lwa essentially borrows that body for a time. Then they can interact with the congregation directly. This is an amazing experience, being able to talk, dance, and laugh with a being that is, for all intents and purposes, identical to the demigods. For the person who is possessed, they do not remember the incident. They have given the ultimate sacrifice: their own body for the good of the congregation even though they weren't around to enjoy! However, they're later told what has happened and can take comfort in knowing that _they_ were inhabited by the lwa... and they are transformed by the knowledge that they themselves were chosen by the lwa and shared their bodies with such a powerful and beautiful spirit.

As far as the value to the people around a possessed person... they actually get more value than the possessed person. The loa acts through that body. They will talk... eat the offerings... dance... It's like having them there as a flesh and blood person. The person possessed won't remember this... but the people in the congregation will actually get to spend time _with_ the loa... in a very real sense.

The last thing I want to touch on is the issue of magic. For those familiar with Vedic traditions it comes as no surprise that other religions acknowledge magic to be possible. However, in the context of Vodou, there is a difference between a sorcerer (bokor, "one who offers with a left hand", which suggest a left-hand tantra connection) and the priest or priestess. The priest and priestess deal with spiritual transformation and the bokor deals with magic. Magic is temporary whereas spiritual transformation follows you for all your life.

It is not simply a case of good and evil, because the bokor can do spells for good _or_ bad. But, like Gandhi said, "As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world - that is the myth of the atomic age - as in being able to remake ourselves." Anything the bokor does is necessarily temporary because it works on the material plane, which is in a constant state of change. However, when we enact real spiritual change with the help of the Mambo or Houngan and the loa, that change follows us all the days of our lives. I would like to end this article with a quote from Gandhi as well: "The essence of all religions is one. Only their approaches are different.


http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/connections/Americas.php#1

Hindu America - Vedic Americans

Vrin Parker

The fact that a highly civilized race inhabited America long before the modern civilization of Europe made its appearance there, is quite clear from the striking remains of ancient and his refinement existing in the country. Extensive remains of cities which must have been once in a most flourishing condition, of strong and well-built fortresses, as well as the ruins of very ancient and magnificent buildings, roads, tanks and canals that meet the eye over a very wide area of the southern continent of America, irresistibly force us to the conclusion that the country must have been inhabited at one time by a very highly civilized nation. But whence did this civilization spring?

The researches of European antiquarians trace it to India. Mr. Coleman says: "Baron Humboldt, the great German traveler and scientist, describes the existence of Hindu remains still found in America."

Speaking of the social usages of the inhabitants of Peru, Mr. Pococke says: "The Peruvians and their ancestors, the Indians, are in this point of view at once seen to be the same people." The architecture of ancient America resembles the Hindu style of architecture. Mr. Hardy says: "The ancient edifices of Chichen in Central America bear a striking resemblance to the tops of India." Mr. Squire also says: "The Buddhist temples of Southern India and of the islands of the Indian archipelago, as described to us by the learned members of the Asiatic Society and the numerous writers on the religion and antiquities of the Hindus, correspond with great exactness in all their essential and in many of their minor features with those of Central America." Dr. Zerfii remarks: "We find the remarkable temples, fortresses and viaducts, aqueducts of the Aryan group."

A still more significant fact proves the Hindu origin of the civilization of ancient America. The mythology of ancient America furnishes sufficient grounds for the inference that it was a child of Hindu mythology. The following facts will elucidate the matter:

Americans worshiped Mother Earth as a mythological deity, as the Hindus still do - Dhatri mata and Prithvi mata are well known as familiar phrases in Hindustan.

Footprints of heroes and deities on rocks and hills were worshiped by the Americans as devoutly as they are done in India even at the present day. Mexicans are said to have worshiped the footprints of Quetzal Coatl and the Indians worship the footprints of Buddha in Ceylon and of Krishna in Gokula near Mathura.

The Solar and Lunar eclipses were looked upon in ancient America in the same light as in modern India. The Hindus beat drums and make noises by beating tin pots and other things. The Americans, too, raise a frightful howl and sound musical instruments. The Carecles (Americans) think that the demon Maleoyo, the hater of light, swallows the moon and sun in the same way as the Hindus think that the demons Rahu and Ketu devour the sun and the moon.

The priests were represented in America with serpents round their heads, as Siva, Kali and others are represented by the Hindus.

Native Indian stories and traces of Vedic civilization

Notes by JanM, November 2000

General Vedic traces:

  • universe originally dark and empty except for water,
    then a god creates earth, sun, stars, animals and people
    [cf. Brahma]
  • earth and sky originally as one, later separated
    [cf. Dyaus & Prthvi]
  • in the beginning there is often no sun, moon, stars or water; sometimes they are held captured by some envious beings. They must be tricked, usually by the Raven
    [cf. Rg Veda story of Indra fighting Vrtra demon]
  • natural phenomena have personal forms
    (e.g. Lightning and Thunder man)
  • devas on higher planets, personifying the planets, sometimes relating to humans, teaching them
  • existence of underworld [cf. Bila-svarga], human origin there according to Apache lore
  • shapeshifting of men and animals
  • animals originally man-like (talking etc.), later they changed into their present forms
  • flood of the world as G/god's punishment for evil behavior of people, few good people saved by warning, being instructed to build a kind of makeshift watercraft or to escape on mountains or other safe places, they also took onboard various animals and plants and later became ancestors of present humans
    [cf. Manu]

Stories:

BearAndIndianWife: (Haida, British Columbia)
bears previously people-like [cf. rkshas - ape/bears, yetti], crossbreeding possible

BirdSerpent: (Powhatan, Virginia)
birds as visible spirits of the deceased [cf. Pitas fed through pinda offerings left on the ground for birds]

BlessingWay: (Navajo/Dine, southwestern U.S.)
chants and rituals revealed by higher beings, the mantra is a holy being satisfying devas

BuffaloWife: (Blackfoot, Alberta and Montana)
revival of a man from a bone (cloning?)

ChangingWoman: (Navajo/Dine, southwestern U.S.)
children of devas grow up within a few days, deva is a planet's inner form [cf. Surya etc.]

CloudCatcher: (Ojibwa, Great Lakes)
devas eat sacrificed animals, time scale difference between the heaven and earth

Creation: (Tlingit, southern Alaska coast)
flood of the world, Raven in the role of savior, giant animals on earth (dinosaurs?), darkness in the beginning

DanceDead: (Luiseno, southern California)
dead people turned into birds [cf. sraddha offering to birds; reincarnation mentioned]

EarthMaking: (Cherokee, Great Lakes, eastern Tennessee)
flat earth, as an island on water, animals originally living on higher planets (see also SolitudeWalker)

Emergence: (Jicarilla Apache, northeastern New Mexico)
darkness and winds at the beginning; earth - mother, sky - father; underworld origin of people

EveningStar: (Karasha, South America)
a deva taught people to grow crops

FirstManFirstWoman: (Navajo/Dine, southwestern U.S.)
magic number 4

FishMonster: (Menomini, Wisconsin-Michigan)
biblical Job & leviathan analogy

Flood: (Zuni, southwestern U.S.)
sins punished by the flood

FloodOnSuperstitionMountain: (Pima, southwestern Arizona)
sinful people killed by flood, only a virtuous shaman and his wife survived in an "ark"

GirlMarriedDog: (Cheyenne, Minnesota)
sexual relations between humans and Pleiadeans

GreatFlood: (Salish/Cowichan, Pacific Northwest)
flood of the world

GreatSerpent&Flood: (Chippewa, Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin)
flood, people saved on a raft

GustOfWind: (Ojibwa, Great Lakes)
earth as a woman [cf. Bhumi] (see also MotherOfAllPeople), crossbreeding of devas and humans

HowCornCameToEarth: (Kansas state?)
in old times there were giants on earth, they stopped smoke sacrifice so God killed them by flood; people were told to hide in a large cave with all the animals, the cave was sealed from the floodwater, the people were lead out by a devi, taught various skills and wisdom and populated the earth

HowHopisReachedTheirWorld: (Hopi, southwestern U.S.)
underworld [cf. Bila-svarga] origin of people, degradation of dharma makes things go worse (first appearance of death, plant cultivation progressively more difficult)

IntheBeginning: (Yuchi, southeastern U.S.)
lower, middle and upper world [cf. Bila-svarga, Bhur-loka, Svarga-loka], extraordinary people and animals from the upper world visited the middle world but later returned home where they lived more comfortably

InvisibleOne: (Micmac, eastern Maritime Canada)
Cinderella version

LandOfDead: (Serrano)
time on death planet [cf. Yamaloka] moves slowlier than on earth (one day as one year)

Manabush: (Menomini, Wisconsin-Michigan)
a deva took a human wife and became a mediator between devas and humans

ManWhoActedAsSun: (Bellacoola)
devas' children grow very fast

MarriedRattlesnake: (Pomo, north central California)
crossbreed between humans and snakes

MedicineMan: (Passamaquoddy, northwestern U.S.)
who desires to live very long will become a tree [reincarnation mentioned]

MenVisitSky: (Seminole, Florida)
earth has an edge (see also SolitudeWalker)

MeteorLegends: (Ojibwa, Great Lakes)
Native Americans lived together with giant animals (dinos?)
who were destroyed by a comet

MicMacCreation: (Micmac, eastern Maritime Canada)
sacrificed animals brought back to life by the Great Spirit

MonsterSlayer: (Navajo/Dine, southwestern U.S.)
a deva keeping his heart, nerves, breath and blood in different places outside of his body [cf. Mahiravana, brother of Ravana]

Moon: (?)
sun is a being like ourselves

MorningStar: (Great Plains)
humans joining devas in marriage in heaven, planets as persons

Nisqually: (Nisqually, Puget Sound, Washington)
sinful people punished by the flood, a deva determined the women to be subservient to men, Pandora's box analogy

NorthStar: (Paiute, southwestern U.S.)
high central mountain in the universe [cf. Sumeru]

OldWomanSpring: (Cheyenne, Minnesota)
parallel dimension behind the waterfall as the original place of buffalo and corn

Opossum: (Cherokee, Great Lakes, eastern Tennessee)
previously the deer had sharp teeth [cf. ferocious deer of Ramayana]

OriginAnimals: (Apache, southwestern U.S.)
Apache origins in underworld [cf. Bila-svarga]

OriginOfCuring: (White Mountain Apache, southwestern U.S.)
healing songs [cf. mantras] revealed to people by the Creator

OriginOfSweatLodge: (Blackfeet/Piegan, Montana)
a man taken to higher planets to learn

ReleaseOfAnimals: (Comanche, southwestern U.S.)
buffalo were kept from the people by an evil being [cf. demon Vrtra of Rg Veda keeping heavenly cows in a cave], they were released by Coyote's trick (see also EmpoundedWater)

ScabbyOne: (Toltec, Mexico)
world destroyed because of people's sins (karma)

SeekYourFather: (Seneca, northwestern U.S.)
Sun living on a high mountain [cf. Sumeru] in the east

Shonto: (Anasazi-Navajo/Dine, southwestern U.S.)
punishment for adharma by the devas

SnakeBrothers: (Sioux/Dakota, South Dakota)
men turned into snakes, living underground, friendly relationship with people

SpiritLand: (general info)
astral travel of shamans, exorcism

SunMoonStars: (Navajo/Dine, southwestern U.S.)
people originating from the lower world [cf. Bila-svarga]; sun - male, moon - female; Milky Way as the path for the spirits between earth and heaven [cf. devayana] (see also OwlHusband, StoneMother)

TheFaster: (Winnebago, Wisconsin-Michigan)
the devas and spirits can't grant immortality (see also HuntingMedicine)

TheftOfLight: (Tsimshian, British Columbia)
analogy of Garuda stealing nectar from heaven and Prometheus stealing fire

ThunderBird: (northwestern Coast)
thunderbird analogous to Garuda

ThunderGods: (Dakota)
analogies of Jupiter/Indra

TotemAnimals: (general info)
totem animals in both Siberia and North America

TwinsAlterBook: (Winnebago, Wisconsin-Michigan)
a deva in charge of dead keeps a book of life [cf. Yama/Citragupta]

TwoGhostlyLovers: (Dakota, South Dakota)
a violent death indicates a man will turn into ghost [cf. Garuda Purana, Preta-khanda]

TwoJeebiUg: (Chippewa, Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin)
hospitality rewarded

WellBakedMan: (Pima, southwest Arizona)
Creator made humans according to his own form, breathing life into their bodies [cf. prana]

WhiteBuffalo: (Lakota, Great Plains)
a devi teaches a prayer

WhiteBuffaloWoman: (Lakota, Dakota, Great Plains)
a sacred buffalo [cf. Dharma bull] losing a leg in each age [cf. yuga], when he loses all four the Earth will be inundated

WhiteDeer: (Chickasaw, middlewestern U.S.)
a ferocious deer [cf. deer of Ramayana]

WhoIsStrongest: (Zuni, southwestern U.S.)
similar to a Vedic story

WhyStars: (Eskimo/Inuit)
stars are living beings, world has an edge, planet Jupiter wards off an evil

WomanFell: (Seneca, northwestern U.S.)
people came from the higher planets; original water in the universe [cf. Garbhodaka], Earth is made from the soil of its bottom; animals were originally bigger and later made small

FloodStories: in old times an old man came to Muysca tribe (Colombia)
and taught them agriculture, crafts, religion, and government [cf. dharmas of the four varnas]

Shuar (Andes)
tribe legend analogous to Arjuna & Ulupi story

Sources:

Mythology and Folklore
www.pibburns.com/mythfolk.htm

Native American Lore Index
www.ilhawaii.net:80/~stony/loreindx.html

Native American Traditional Storytelling
www.hanksville.org/storytellers/

Native American Wisdom
www.angelfire.com/ca/Indian/stories.html

Raven: Pacific Northwest Tales
www.eldrbarry.net/rabb/rvn/rvn.htm

Stonee's Buffalo Part I
www.ilhawaii.net:80/~stony/buffalo.html


http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/connections/Americas.php#1

Hindu America - Vedic Roots of Ancient America

Sushama Lodhe

Baffling Links to Ancient India:

History is full of misnomers; one such term is the New World, as applied to the Americas. The landing of Columbus in 1492 undoubtedly created a new life on the continents, but it neither created nor discovered a new world. Many centuries ago Asian migrants had come to the western shore in substantial numbers. What if the popular idea that Tibetans and American Indians have much in common in terms of their spiritual culture is largely a result of another historical scenario?

What if Hindus and Hopis, Advaitins and Aztecs, Tibetan Monks and Mayans were part of one world culture - a spiritual one?

Baron Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), an eminent European scholar and anthropologist, was one of the first to postulate the Asiatic origin of the Indian civilizations of the Americas. Swami B.V. Tripurari asks, " What mysterious psychological law would have caused Asians and Americans to both use the umbrella as a sign of royalty, to invent the same games, imagine similar cosmologies and attribute the same colors to the different directions?"

The first Maya Empire had been founded in Guatemala at about the beginning of the Christian era. Before the fall of Rome the Mayas were charting accurately the synodical revolutions of Venus and whilst Europe was still lingering in the Dark Ages the Maya civilization had reached a peak of greatness.

It is significant that the zenith of Maya civilization was reached at a time when India had also attained an unparalleled cultural peak during the Gupta period. Indian cultural intercourse with Southeast Asia, the Gupta period, had begun more than a century before the Mayan classical age in 320 and Buddhism and Hinduism had been well known in neighboring countries for centuries. If there was contact between Mayan America and Indianized Southeast Asia, the simultaneous cultural advance would not appear surprising. In marked contrast, this was the darkest period in Europe's history between the sack of Rome and the rise of Charlemagne.

The most important development of the ancient American or Asiomerican culture took place in the south of the United States, in Mexico, in central America and in Peru. The early history of Asiomericans is shrouded in mystery and controversy due to the absence of definitive documentary evidence, which was destroyed by the European conquerors in their misguided religious zeal.

However, it appears that after the discovery of introduction of maize into Mexico, Asiomericans no longer had to wander about in search of food. Men in America, as in other parts of the world, settled down to cultivate food and culture, a by-product of agricultural life, inevitably followed.

Of the Asiomerican civilizations, the best known are the Maya, the Toltec, the Aztec, and the Inca. The Mayas were possibly the earliest people to found a civilization there; they moved from the Mexican plateau into Guatemala. They were later pushed out, presumably by the Toltecs, who, in turn were dislodged by the Aztecs.

Similarities:

Astrology

Baron Alexander Von Humboldt, whilst visiting Mexico, found similarities between Asian and Mexican astrology. He founded systematic study of ancient American cultures and was convinced of the Asian origin of the American-Indian high civilization. He said:

"If languages supply but feeble evidence of ancient communication between the two worlds, their communication is fully proved by the cosmogonies, the monuments, the hieroglyphical characters and the institutions of the people of America and Asia."

In 1866, the French architect, Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, also noted striking resemblances between ancient Mexican structures and those of South India.

Hindu-Mexican Trinity:

Scholars were also greatly impressed by the similarity between the Hindu Trinity - Brahma-Visnu-Shiva and the Mexican Trinity Ho-Huitzilopochtli-Tlaloc as well as the likeness between Indian temples and American pyramids. The parallels between the Hindu Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva Trinity and the Mexican Ho-Huitzilopochtli-Tlaloc Trinity and the resemblances between the attributes of certain Hindu deities and those of the Mayan pantheon are impressive. Discussing the diffusion of Indian religions to Mexico, a recent scholar Paul Kirchhoff has even suggested that it is not simply a question of miscellaneous influences wandering from one country to the other, but that China, India, Java and Mexico actually share a common system."

Kirchhoff has sought "to demonstrate that a calendaric classification of 28 Hindu gods and their animals into twelve groups, subdivided into four blocks, within each of which we find a sequence of gods and animals representing Creation, Destruction and Renovation, and which can be shown to have existed both in India and Java, must have been carried from the Old World to the New, since in Mexico we find calendaric lists of gods and animals that follow each other without interruption in the same order and with attributes and functions or meanings strikingly similar to those of the 12 Indian and Javanese groups of gods, showing the same four subdivisions."

E. B. Taylor also found the counterparts of the tortoise myth of India in ancient America.

Donald A. Mackenzie and other scholars, however, are of definite opinion that the ancient Mexicans and Peruvians were familiar with Indian mythology and cite in support close parallels in details. For instance, the history of the Mayan elephant symbol cannot be traced in the local tradition, whereas it was a prominent religious symbol in India. The African elephant has larger ears. It is the profile of the Indian elephant, its tusk and lower lip, the form of its ear, as well as its turbaned rider with his ankus, which is found in Meso-American models. Whilst the African elephant was of little religious significance, it had been tamed in India and associated with religious practices since the early days.

The Mexican doctrine of the World's Ages - the universe was destroyed four consecutive times - is reminiscent of the Indian Yugas. Even the reputed colors of these mythical four ages, white, yellow, red and black are identical with and in the same order as one of the two versions of the Indian Yugas. In both myths the duration of the First Age is exactly the same, 4,800 divine years. The Mexican Trinity is associated with this doctrine as in the Hindu Trinity with the Yugas in India.

Later, two English scholars Channing Arnold and Frederick J. Tabor Frost, in their The American Egypt, made a detailed examination of the transpacific contacts, reinforcing the view of Buddhist influences on Central America. The most recent and by far the most systematic well-reasoned, and effective case has been advanced by the eminent archaeologist, R. Heine-Geldern and Gordon Ekholm, who favor Indian and Southeast Asian cultural influences on ancient America through migration across the Pacific.

According to the Mayan calendar, which is extant, the time record of the Mayas began on 6 August 613 B.C. It is an exact date based upon intricated astronomical calculations and prolonged observations. To work out this kind of elaborate calendar must have taken well over two thousand years of studying stars and the Asiomericans must have been remarkably shrewd observers.

Use of Zero

The Mayas of Yucatan were the first people besides the Indians to use a zero sign and represent number values by the position of basic symbols. The similarity between the Indian zero and the Mayan zero is indeed striking. So far as the logical principle is concerned, the two are identical, but the expressions of the principle are dissimilar. Again, whilst the Indian system of notation was decimal, as was the European, the Mayan was vigesimal. Consequently, their 100 stood for 400, 1000 stood for 8000, 1234 for 8864. While the place of zero in the respective systems of the Indians and Mayans is different, the underlying principle and method are the same and the common origin of the Mayan and Indian zeros appears to be undoubted. Disputes continue amongst scholars in the absence of conclusive evidence. As chronological evidence stands today, the Mayan zero appears to be anterior by several centuries to its Hindu counterpart.

Other similarities

In 1949, two scholars, Gordon Ekholm and Chaman Lal, systematically compared the Mayan, Aztec, Incan, and the North American Indian civilizations with the Hindu-oriented countries of Southeast Asia and with India herself. According to them the emigrant cultures of India took with them India's system of time measurement, local gods and customs. Ekholm and Lal found signs of Aryan civilization throughout the Americas in art (lotus flowers with knotted stems and half dragon/half fish motifs found commonly in paintings and carvings), architecture, calendars, astronomy, religious symbols and even games such as our Parchessi and Mexican Patilli, which have their origins in India's pachisi.

Both the Hindus and Americans used similar items in their worship rituals. They both maintained the concept of four Yuga cycles, or cosmological seasons, extending over thousands of years, and conceived of twelve constellations with reference to the sun as indicated by the Incan sun calendar. Royal insignias, systems of government and practice of religious dance and temple worship all showed remarkable similarities, pointing strongly to the idea that the Americas were strongly influenced by the Aryans. The theory is found in the Vedic literature of India. The ancient Puranas (literally "histories") and the Mahabharata make mention of the Americas as lands rich with gold and silver. Argentina, which means "related to silver", is thought to have been named after Arjuna (of silver hue).

Another scholar, Ramon Mena, author of Mexican Archaelogy, called the Nahuatl, Zapoteca, and Mayan languages "of Hindu origin." He went to say, "A deep mystery enfolds the tribes that inhabited the state of Chiapas in the district named Palenque... their writing, and the anthropological type, as well as their personal adornments... their system and style of construction clearly indicate the remotest antiquity... (they) all speak of India and the Orient."

Still another scholar, Ambassador Miles Poindexter, a former ambassador of the United States to Mexico, in his two-volume 1930s treatise The Arya-Incas, called the Mayan civilization "unquestionably Hindu." He proposed that primitive Aryan words and people came to America by the island chains of Polynesia. The Mexican name for boat is a South Indian Tamil word, Catamaran, and Poindexter gives a long list of words of the Quichua languages and their analogous forms in Sanskrit. Similarities between the hymns of the Inca rulers of Peru and Vedic hymns have been pointed out. A. L. Krober has also found striking similarities between the structure of Indo-European and the Penutian language of some of the tribes along the northwestern coast of California. Recently, an Indian scholar, B. C. Chhabra, in his "Vestiges of Indian Culture in Hawaii", has noticed certain resemblances between the symbols found in the petroglyphs from the Hawaiian Islands and those on the Harappan seals. Some of the symbols in the petroglyphs are described as akin to early Brahmi script.

Indeed, the parallels between the arts and culture of India and those of ancient America are too numerous and close to be attributed to independent growth. A variety of art forms are common to Mexico, India, Java, and Indochina, the most striking of which are the Teocallis, the pyramids with receding stages, faced with cut stone, and with stairways leading to a stone sanctuary on top. Many share surprisingly common features such as serpent columns and banisters, vaulted galleries and corbeled arches, attached columns, stone cut-out lattices and Atlantean figures; these are typical of the Puuc style of Yucatan. Heine-Geldern and Ekholm point out that temple pyramids in Cambodia did not become important until the ninth and tenth centuries, a time coinciding with the beginning of the Puuc period.

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Hindu America - India's Cultural Link with Ancient America



Arun Chinchmalatpure



American Swastika


Right from the period of first Spanish historian Mr. Fray Shahaun (1515 AD) till today a number of scholars have worked over the life of native Americans and some of them came to the conclusion that in ancient times people from India and the Indian archipelago migrated to America and developed a great civilization there. In his book 'A Compact History of Mexico' Mr. Ignacio Bernall states that people from Asia entered America some thirty-five thousand years before, whereas Mr. Arcio Nuns, a Brazilian nuclear scientist, mentions about the Dravidians of Asia with America as old as eleven thousand years.

An article published in the 'Hindu' of 27th Sept. 1985 about the discovery made by Dr. Harry Fell, renowned epigraphist of USA goes to suggest that the early merchant settlers of South-East Asia had sailed to far off lands in pursuit of their profession, whose presence in Mexico is available in the form of inscriptions. Dr. Fell has deciphered the Indic inscription from Tihosuco which reads that merchant Vusaluna, the captain of the ship, sailing along the coast line, had got the inscription engraved on the stone slab in the month of July of the year 845. It is assumed that year mentioned is of Saka era.

Cultural Links:

Worship - The archaeologists found many Hindu deities like Shiva, Shiva linga, Ganesh, Kali, Sun, Buddha etc. (in similar or slightly different forms) which were worshiped in ancient America. The Hindu God of luck, Ganesh, was worshiped in Central-South America. Images of Ganesh have been excavated in plenty in Mexico. This god with the elephant's trunk is frequently depicted in Mexican manuscripts and in the temple ruins in Central America as the god with a proboscis-like horn, whence water is squirting and his head is most frequently portrayed on the corners of temple walls, which are always built with reference to the original points. And image of 'Ekadant Ganesh' was noticed in the temple at Kopan by great Indologist late Dr. W.S. Wakankar.

An image of Hanuman called by the name 'Wilka Huemana' and measuring 50 feet in height and 12 feet in breadth was found in Guatemala. Similar one was found during an excavation of an Aztec temple in Mexico City and was known as 'Euhectal', a wind God, a monkey God.

Buddhism also had a vast influence on pre-Colombian America. Professor F.W. Putnam found in the jungles of Honduras a sculpture which greatly resembles Buddha. According to the July, 1901 issue of American Harper's Magazine, it has been proved with evidence that five Buddhist monks had reached Mexico in ancient times, via Alaska.



Mexican Buddha

Ceremonies, Beliefs and Customs:

Hindu culture, civilization, custom and belief also dominated ancient America to some extent. Ancient Americans believed in legendary cataclysm, rebirth, four yugas and the concept of two planets like Rahu and Ketu causing solar eclipse. The Hindu doctrine of the ages is preserved in a stone monolith popularly known as the Aztec calendar. This remarkable piece of stone carving is in the form of an immense disc 12 feet in diameter and weights over 20 tons. A festival called Sita-Ram (Situa-Raimi) was celebrated in Mexico during Nav-Ratri or Dussehra period which has been described on page 5867 in the book 'Hamsworth History of the World'. Both in Central and South America, there are found Sati cremation, priesthood, gurukul system, yajna, birth, marriage and death ceremonies to some extent similar to the Hindus.

Social life:

The ancient American's dresses (male and female) were simple and similar to those of Hindu dresses. Mexican face types were found to be similar to those of Assam, Naga, Nepal and Haryana people. Even their reddish brown skin complexion bears distinct similarity with those of Nepalis and Nagas. If an Indian is shown a Maya lady of Yucatan province from Mexico, he will recognize her as a Jat Lady of Haryana. Ayar Inoa King used to wear a turban, earring and a trishul type trident in his hand.

Today native Indians of America live in the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico who number only few lacs (lac = 100,000). These tribes are still vegetarians. Similarly, only two lacs natives are survived in Canada who are still called as 'Indians'. Their lifestyle, customs, and beliefs are similar to Bharatiya people.

Trade:

Goldsmiths from Peru and Mexico prevailed working style similar to Indian traditional goldsmiths. Mr. Michael Long of the National Geographic Society was surprised to see the back strap weaving method in handloom at Santa Rosa of Peru. This is used to separate thread. It is very well known that cotton is a gift given by Indians to the whole world.

Language:

Professor Raman Mena, curator of the National Museum of Mexico, said that the general appearance of Maya's writing is considered of oriental origin. According to scholar Orozco V. Berra, Maya and other languages are of Sanskrit origin. A few Sanskrit and Quichua words are given here to show their similarity and origin.

Quichua Sanskrit

A hina (also) ena (also) Killa (moon) Kil (shining) Illapi (chant) lap (to speak) Paksa (fortnight) Paksha (fortnight)

The word 'Wara', a unit of measurement, was also used by Maya people. They used to call Antyas as Antis. Professor Hug Fox of Michigan State University found a strange mix of Tamil and local American languages in use some millennia ago. For example, shasta, Indiana, Arevada, Utah, Guyana etc. Mr. Arcio Nuns from the Federal University of Brazil found evidence of our Gorani language in the form of Bruhi language during his long research work conducted in South America. 'Gorani' language was practiced thousands of years before in Tamilnadu as per Arcio Nuns. This language is still used in the Adi-Chandlur tribal area of Tamilnadu and shows similarity to the Bruhi language being practiced in South America.

It is also believed that Quichua's (language of Peruvians) characteristic of mouth transmission is derived from Indians. Writing mathematical figures by using vertical and horizontal straight lines was a system commonly practiced by Indians and Mayas.

Shilpa:

Southern and Central American excavations revealed ancient cities, forts, bridges, tanks, canals, houses and pyramids which indicated the high state of civilization and what is found that some sculptures of those archaeological remnants are similar in form and design to that found in Indian sculptural monuments. 'Supporting the buildings over the arms of Yaksha' is an Indian art. Similar types of construction was found in ancient Mexico. Similarly, sculptures of human figures with headgear similar to Tamils, sculptures of Indian style ornamentation of elephants were found in Kopan (Honduras) and Palenque. Thousands of ancient baked-clay bricks were found in Comalcalco in Mexico over which Pali scripts were engraved and these were used in the construction of pyramid temples which were similar to the pyramid temple in the Chidambaram village situated on the Coromandel coast in Southern India. In an article written by scholar Ronald Shiller named 'Unsolved Mysteries of the Incas' (published in Reader's Digest of August 1982) he claims to have seen the imprints of South-East Asian culture over the sculptures found in Peru dating to the second century BC.

I hope my findings will help the scholars to study the influence of Indian culture over the Meso-American culture, so as to bring before the world the universality of great Vedic culture in the past.


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