The third-oldest civilization in the world, according to the official theory, is the one in the Indus River Valley, an area located today in northwest Pakistan and India and northeast Afghanistan. Initially, the people living in those places worshiped a mother goddess who gave birth to all the beings on Earth from her immense belly. There are numerous clay statues, adorned with a huge hood, bead necklaces covering her naked body, swollen milk-filled breasts and wide hips. Through the sacrifices made for her, the goddess, named Devi, protected the common people from spirits and demons, also ensuring them bountiful harvests.
At some point, the peaceful life of farmers and hunters in the Indus Valley was disrupted by the Aryans, a people from afar, armed to the teeth. The Indians, seeing the invaders in chariots drawn by two or four horses, thought they were being attacked by white-skinned demons. Having no means of defense, the inhabitants of the Indus Valley had no choice but to submit to the much more advanced conquerors. These conquerors not only built great cities, such as Mohenjo-daro or Harappa, but also brought the Indians a complex religion with a multitude of gods and legends. Thus Hinduism was born, whose name comes from „Sindhu„, the name given by the Aryans to the Indus River. The first form of Hinduism was called Brahmanism, Vedism, Vedic Hinduism or ancient Hinduism. The teachings of Brahmanism were contained in sacred texts such as the four Vedas (written in Sanskrit), complemented by 13 Upanishads (explanatory commentaries). The Vedas venerated Asura, 33 great gods who were in a constant battle with the malevolent deities Deva and the demons Rakshasa or Naga. When Vedic religion could no longer satisfy the believers’ needs, the priests resorted to a change, thus giving rise to a new form of Hinduism. Deva were considered positive deities and Asura, the former occupants of heaven, were transformed into negative characters, demons or anti-gods, with the two sides still in a perpetual conflict. The 330 million Deva are led by Trimurti, a trinity consisting of the creator Brahma, Vishnu, the guardian of creation, and the destroyer Shiva. Hinduism continued to evolve and to split into different branches, such as Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism or Smartism, in addition to many sects. Buddhism and Jainism also appeared in India (called also Bharat), religions formed from the mixture of Hinduism and Chinese philosophy.
In order to know and understand the gods of the Indians, we cannot ignore the most important part of their religions, namely spirituality, a concept that is not exclusively Eastern and can be found in philosophy and in occult or religious systems from all times and all over the world. Therefore, it is necessary to become familiar with some important concepts, without which the lives of the Indians would be engulfed in complete chaos:
– In Hinduism, „Brahman” is the name given to the spirit who made the ultimate sacrifice, giving birth to the material Universe and the gods. „Brahman” is the absolute reality behind the changing appearances, the universal substrate from which everything material was born and to which it will return after dissolution.
– „Atman” represents the inner self or soul, the true self of an individual. In order to achieve liberation from the cycle of reincarnations, Hindu philosophy claims that people must obtain „Atma Jnana„, the realizations that the true self of each individual (Atman) is identical to the supreme self (Brahman). The six orthodox schools of Hinduism consider that there is an „Atman” (soul or self) in every being, unlike Buddhism, which rejects the existence of souls.
– Although „maya” usually means „illusion” and „magic”, it has multiple meanings depending in which context it is used. Initially, in Sanskrit, it designated extraordinary power and wisdom. In Vedic texts, „maya” represents „a magical spectacle, an illusion where things appear to be present, but they are not what they seem„. In Hindu philosophy it is also a concept „that exists but is constantly changing, thus being unreal from a spiritual point of view” or „the power or principle that hides the true character of spiritual reality„. Maya became the name of Buddha’s mother in Buddhism, and in Hinduism it is a manifestation of the goddess Lakshmi, being a very common name among Indians.
– In Vedic Hinduism, „rta” represents the principle of natural order that coordinates the functioning of the Universe. In the Vedic hymns, „rta” is responsible for the proper functioning of natural, moral and sacrificial order. Scholar Maurice Bloomfield called it „one of the most important religious concepts of the Rigveda„, adding that „from the point of view of the history of religious ideas we can, in fact we must begin the history of Hindu religion at least with the history of this concept„. The „rta” of Brahmanism is closely related to „dharma” and „karma„, two concepts that have overshadowed it over time, referring to natural, religious and moral order. In other words, „rta” is the universal law that without it nothing could function.
– In Hinduism, „dharma” represents behaviors considered to be in accordance with „rta„, the order of the Universe, and includes laws, duties, rights, conduct and virtues. In Buddhism, „dharma” means „the universal law and order„, but also refers to the teachings of Buddha. In Jainism it refers to the teachings of the enlightened Thirtankara, being at the same time the main part of the doctrine concerning the moral purification and transformation of people. In Sikhism (a monotheistic religion that emerged in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia), „dharm” means „the path of righteousness”. „Dharma„, respecting the universal order, seems to describe what the Egyptians called „being in Ma’at„.
– The antonym of „dharma” is „adharma„, meaning all that is not in accordance with the law, referring to both human and divine or natural laws. This category includes evil, mistakes, immorality, vices, injustices or what goes beyond the realm of the natural. According to the Eastern conception, the path of „adharma” impoverishes the soul. „Adharma” also represents an unnatural state of the Universe, of imbalance.
– „Karma„, which means „action” or „deed,” is a concept referring to the principle of causality, which influences the future of each individual based on their intentions and actions. Good deeds and intentions create positive „karma” and a happy future, while bad intentions and deeds give rise to negative „karma„, implicitly a future full of suffering. In Asian religions, „karma” is associated with reincarnation and can affect the future of an individual in both their current existence and in future ones.
– „Samsara„, called „khor ba” in Tibet and „samgsara” in Sri Lanka, meaning „eternal cycle”, represents a repeated cycle of birth, life and death, namely of reincarnation. In Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Sikhism and the Bon tradition, it also represents the cycle of actions and consequences that take place in the past, present and future.
– In the philosophy and religions of the Indians, „moksha„, „vimoksha„, „vimukti” or „mukti„, which mean „liberation”, signify the escape from „samsara„, the cycle of reincarnations. „Moksha” is a central concept of the Hindu tradition, representing one of the four goals of human life (which form Purushartha), alongside „dharma” (a virtuous and moral life in accordance with the law of „rta„), „artha” (material prosperity that offers a fulfilled life) and „kama” (pleasure, sensuality and emotional fulfillment).
– „Nirvana” is a concept largely associated with Buddhism, representing a mental state of unwavering balance and tranquility that can be achieved through the elimination of desire, aversion and illusions. Attaining „nirvana” is equivalent to „moksha„, liberation from the cycle of reincarnation. In Hindu philosophy, „nirvana” represents union with Brahman, the divine state of existence.
– In Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, „dhyana” represents a meditative state that leads to a deep awareness of the self, including a total perception of the body, mind, senses, and surrounding environment, without identifying with them. „Dhyana” can be achieved after prolonged practice and leads to „samadhi„, self-knowledge, and the separation of the illusion of „maya” from reality, thereby helping to achieve the ultimate goal of liberation, „moksha„.
– In Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and yoga, „samadhi” or „samapatti” represents a state of meditative absorption obtained through the practice of „dhyana„. In „samadhi„, the mind becomes calm and concentrated, while individual awareness is maintained.
– „Yoga” is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline practiced in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, with the ultimate goal of „moksha„. Although its origins are believed to date back to pre-Vedic India, it seams to have emerged around the 5th century BC during the Sramana movements, which continued Indian philosophy different from the Indo-Aryan Brahmanism.
Although it may look like a standalone religion, different from others, given its spiritual foundation, Hinduism has numerous connections to other ancient religions, particularly with Sumerian religion. For example, Asura, the great Vedic gods who later became demons, have Mesopotamian roots. Their name comes from Aššur / Ašur, the name of the supreme deity of the Assyrians, which is a derivative of the Akkadian epithet of Enki, „Asar” („Prince of the Waters”), which was taken in this form by the Egyptians for Osiris or by the Babylonians as one of the 50 names of Marduk. In its Sanskrit form, „Asura” has a meaning in the Sumerian language as „Ruler of the Waters and Wisdom”, an epithet that fits Enki, the god of waters and wisdom, perfectly. These Asura, who were initially viewed as positive entities and later demonized, are the „fallen gods” led by Enki, the Igigi of the Sumerians. Their number, 33, is very significant to the followers of Enki around the world (including Freemasons, for example), symbolizing the percentages of one-third of a whole or one god from a trinity. And Enki was part of a divine trinity in most ancient cultures.
Besides Asura, the gods Dyaus Pitra, Indra, Devendra, Sakra, Rudra and Mitra have the Sumerian suffix „ra„, which signifies the function of a ruling god. In fact, the names of many Indian deities find their translation in the Sumerian language. The name of Garuda, the eagle of Vishnu, means „The Gift that Protects the House”. Durga translates to „The House of Bonding” and Kali to „The Gate that Shines”, both indicating the bond between gods and humans, an idea later adopted by many other religions (for example, in The Gospel of John, Jesus said, „I am the way and the truth and and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me„). From the Sumerian name of Marduk, Amar, the Indian word „mara” resulted through anagram, meaning „death”. In Buddhism it became the demon Mara, who tried to tempt Buddha. An obvious connection between Indian culture and those of Mesopotamia is „Ishta-deva” or „Ishta devata„, the title given by the Hindus to their favorite deities, which undoubtedly comes from the name of the Akkadian goddess Ishtar. And Agastya, one of the Seven Sages of the Indians, took his name from the Semitic goddess of war, Agasaya. In addition, the Sumerian text Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta states that the goddess Inanna moved her residence from Uruk to Aratta, this unknown city probably being Harappa in Pakistan, one of the earliest in the Indus Valley. Let’s not forget the worship of cows in India, borrowed from the cults of the Egyptian deities Isis and Hathor, who represented the same mother-goddess of the Indians. The Hatha Yoga system derives its name from the Egyptian goddess Hathor and the primordial energy in yoga, the Kundalini serpent, which yogis try to awaken to bring them knowledge, is the serpent-god Enki, who brought the knowledge of the gods to humanity, whom the Sumerians believed was „asleep” in his underground house for most of the time.
Aditi is the first Vedic deity, the mother of the gods (including Surya, the Sun), the 12 spirits of the zodiac and the gods associated with the planets of our solar system, the Adityas („Sons of Aditi”). As the first being and mother of all life forms in the Universe, she was associated with cosmic space. Aditi, the mother goddess of the Universe, can only be Namma of the Sumerians, Tiamat of the Babylonians and Neith of the Egyptians. It may be surprising that no hymn is addressed to her in the Vedas, but it was a common practice regarding her, considering that she was rarely mentioned in other cultures either, being almost completely absent from myths.
In the Vedas, the god of the sky was called Dyaus Pitar / Pita / Pitra. His wife was the goddess of the Earth, Prithivi, and their most important sons were Indra, the god of storms, and Agni, the god of fire. According to the Rig Veda, Pitar Dyaus means „Father Sky” and Mata Prithivi means „Mother Earth”. At some point, their son, Indra, took over the role of the leader of the pantheon. Since the legend of Dyaus Pitar is almost identical to that of the Sumerian An and their names means the same thing, we can assume that they are the same entity. Prthivi, his wife, was the mother of humans and gods, the personification of the Earth, but also the goddess of death. Feeding all beings with her milk, she was compared to a cow carrying her calf in her belly. Before the arrival of the Aryans and the Vedic religion she was Devi, the mother goddess. In Sumerian mythology, the consort of An was Ki / Ninhursag, also the goddess of the Earth, the mother of humans and gods, called Aset by the Egyptians and Isis by the Greeks (also considered a cow goddess).
Dyaus Pitar and Prthvi are very rarely mentioned in the Vedas, being almost completely absent from myths. It is observed that sometimes the two replaced the primordial goddess Aditi as the parents of the first gods. Thus, Indra is sometimes their son, sometimes one of the Adityas.
Indra or Sakra was the god of war, the ruler of the sky and the lord of storms. With lightning in his hand, he crossed the sky in a golden chariot pulled by 1000 red-haired horses. Very tall and bearded, he sometimes rode a white horse or a white elephant with four tusks. He possessed the qualities of all the gods, being at the same time powerful, wise, generous, exuberant and very heroic. A dancer and magician, Indra loved pleasures and drunkenness. Being a great seducer, he had numerous lovers. Because he was afraid of the wise men, he sent nymphs, called „apsaras„, to disturb their meditation. He shared the sky with Vayu, the god of wind. Among his epithets there were „the Bull” or „the Slayer of Vritra” (a dragon or giant serpent, the enemy of Indra, similar to Apophis of the Egyptians). As the guardian of the cardinal points, he represented the east (or the right side – the good). The lord of storms and the king of the gods, known as „the Bull„, who succeeded his father on the throne after killing the dragon is Enlil of the Sumerians.
Varuna ruled over the waters and the elements. It was believed that he dug the beds of rivers and streams, organized the movement of the Moon and stars, penetrated all mysteries and possessed magical powers. Governor of the night, he was depicted riding a turtle, a swan or the sea monster Makara. The god of water, governor of the night, who possesses magical powers, is none other than Enki / Ea of the Mesopotamians.
Like other ancient peoples, the Indians created multiple deities based on the various characteristics of those that already existed. Thus, if we can find the brotherly pair of Enlil – Enki in the form of Indra – Varuna, we can also recognize it in the couple Agni – Rudra.
Agni is the most well-known god, to whom more than 200 hymns in the Vedas are dedicated. Protector of humans, he put in a good word for them to other deities, to whom he brought sacrifices, being considered the priest of the gods and the god of priests. Red colored, with yellow eyes and two heads, he had seven fire colored tongues and seven arms. He held in his hands the wood that feeds the fire, an axe, bellows, a flame and a spoon to pour into the fire the fat obtained during sacrifices. The second most important god after Indra, adorned with flames and dressed in black, he was accompanied by a goat. In Mesopotamia, Enki was the protector of humans (the one who saved them from the Flood), sometimes associated with fire as the god of craftsmen and inventor of priestly rituals. The seven tongues and seven arms indicate the position of the Earth in our solar system, counting from the outside towards the Sun, Enki even meaning „Lord of the Earth”. The goat was his symbol and Agni’s two heads remind us of the two faces of Isimud, Enki’s vizier in Sumer.
Dirty, with shaggy hair, black belly and red back, Rudra was grumpy and violent. God of storms, great archer, healer and sometimes bringer of diseases, Rudra the Destroyer lived in the woods, where he used to indulge in yoga. In the Rigveda he is called „Lord or Sovereign of the Universe„, but also „the Most powerful of the powerful„. This character is strikingly similar to Seth of the Egyptians, who was also represented with red skin, meaning that Rudra represents the destructive side of Enlil. He was considered the king of the world, the god of storms and the fierce warrior who, at one point, decimated humanity with diseases before deciding to destroy it completely through a global deluge.
Mitra was the god of contracts and meetings. His name was translated as „Pact, Contract, Treaty, Oath” and later as „Friend”. In the Vedic hymns he was invoked alongside Varuna, both being protectors of oaths. In the Shatapatha Brahmana text, Mitra symbolizes the priesthood, while Varuna represents royal power. In the only hymn dedicated exclusively to him in the Rigveda, Mitra is praised as a god who strictly follows „rta” (the principle of order and truth by which the entire Universe is guided, just like Ma’at in Egypt). Mitra seems to be Nabu of the Babylonians or the second Thoth of the Egyptians, who arbitrated conflicts between the gods (such as the war between Horus and Seth), always remaining impartial. Nabu inherited many of Enki’s attributes, which would explain his association with Varuna. He also had connections with the priesthood, just like Mitra.
Aryaman, one of the earliest Vedic gods, is described in the Rigveda as the protector of the mares. His name has been translated as „Intimate friend, Companion, Escort”, but in Sanskrit it is composed of the words „arya” („noble”) and „man” („mind”), which would mean „Noble Mind”. He was invoked together with Varuna, Mitra and other Asuras. He does not seem to have had any important role in Vedic religion, so his true identity remains uncertain. He could be a minor deity, one of the ministers of the great gods, or perhaps an alter-ego of the god of wisdom, Enki.
Surya, Bhanu and Ravi was the god of the Sun. The Hindu sect Saura considers him the supreme deity, while the Smarta sect considers him one of the five aspects of Divinity. He was depicted in a chariot pulled by seven horses, seven being the number of the Earth. He had three wives and many children, including the twins Yama and Yami. He was equated with Utu of the Sumerians or Shamash of the Akkadians, hence he is Marduk, the son of Enki, the last supreme god of the Earth.
Ushas („Dawn”), the daughter of Dyaus Pitar, was depicted as a beautiful young woman who crossed the sky in a golden chariot, driving away the evil spirits of the night. In Secret of the Veda, the Indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo described her as „the first condition of Vedic realization. By her increasing illumination, the entire nature of man is clarified; through her arrives Truth„. This description resembles that of Ma’at of the Egyptians, but regarding that she was considered the daughter of Dyaus Pitar / Anu, we can assume that Ushas was actually the Sumerian Ninhursag.
Yama or Yamaraja is the god of death, whose name in Sanskrit has been interpreted as „Twin”. According to the Vishnu Purana, his parents are Surya and Sanjna, sometimes called Ushas. His sister’s name is Yami or Daya, whom the British orientalist Horace Hayman Wilson considered to be the personification of the Yamuna River. According to the Vedas it is said that Yama is the first being to have died, becoming the ruler of the deceased ancestors. Hindus consider him the guardian of the south. He has two dogs with four eyes and large nostrils, which guard the path to his underworld domain. In art he is depicted with blue skin and red clothing, riding a buffalo. In his left hand he holds a noose used to pull souls from bodies. He was matched with Osiris of the Egyptians, as well with Hades and Thanatos of the Greeks. In addition to Hinduism he is present in Buddhist, Chinese, Tibetan, Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese mythology, where he is described as a fierce deity. Being the first being to die, the god of death and the Underworld, guardian of the south (which represents the same Underworld), equated with Osiris, Yama can only be Enki.
Nirrti, the goddess of poverty and depravity, represents the absence of the universal law „rta„. According to Atharva Veda she has golden curls, but in the Taittiriya Brahmana she is depicted as brunette and dressed in black garments with iron ornaments. She is also known as Alakshmi. The consort of Adharma, the god of sin, she is usually depicted holding a sword and a broom. In the Shatapatha Brahmana she is associated with pain and the southwest region (lower and left side), although in the same text it is said that she resides in the south, which is the kingdom of the dead. She is strikingly similar to Ereshkigal of the Sumerians, which means she is the Akkadian Ishtar, daughter of Enki and Ninhursag.
When Brahmanism failed to satisfy the needs of its followers, Hinduism underwent a major transformation. Asuras, the former positive deities, became negative characters, and Devas took their place. The number of Devas skyrocketed to an exaggerated 330 million from the original 33 Asuras in Vedic religion. At the head of the Hindu pantheon the Trimurti was established, a divine trinity composed of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Brahma, the god of creation, became the father of the gods, of the anti-gods Asuras and of humans, taking the place of Dyaus Pitar. According to the Puranas, Brahma was self born from a lotus flower, like Ra of the Egyptians. Another legend says that, in the water, a seed turned into a golden egg from which Brahma emerged. His symbols are the four arms (symbolizing the four cardinal points), the four faces (the four Vedas), the crown (symbol of supreme authority), the book and the beard (symbols of wisdom), the lotus (symbol of nature) and gold (symbol of wealth). In this supreme god, father of the gods and demons, we recognize Anu of the Mesopotamians or Ra of the Egyptians. Although Brahma is one of the most important Hindu gods, very few temples are dedicated to him, just as the cult of Anu was not widespread in Assyria and Babylon. Hindus also consider that the universal supreme spirit is called Brahman, a combination of the names of Brahma and An.
Vishnu, also known as Narayana or Hari, occupies the second position in the great Trimurti trinity. As the sun god and king who maintains order in the Universe, Vishnu is also called „The Supreme Spirit„. Other epithets of him are „The Soul of the Vedas” and „The Vedic Truth„. He is always presented in contrast to Shiva, the destroyer god. His animal is the Garuda eagle, which he rides through the skies. His body is black or blue. In his four hands he holds a conch, a chakram (a six-spoked disc), a mace, a bow, a lotus, a fly-whisk, a fan to revive the fire and the sword of knowledge. His name, of unknown origin, has been interpreted by Indians to mean „The One Who is Everywhere”. This sun god, who has the title of king and is in contrast to the destructive deity, can only be Enlil. Enlil’s symbols are the fire and the eagle, while the color blue represents the sky or air, with Enlil himself translating to „Lord of the air”. In the Rigveda, Vishnu is the one who separated the sky from the Earth, just like Enlil in Sumer.
The destroyer Shiva („The Pure One”), also known as Mahadeva („The Great God”) or Devendra („The Chief of the Gods”), who has 1008 names, is the favorite god of yogis and ascetics. A handsome, benevolent and peaceful man, always surrounded by demons, he is often depicted meditating, sitting on a tiger or lion skin. In one hand he holds a trident, in other a hatchet, while the other two make gestures to produce and remove fear. He wears a crescent moon on his head, his body is adorned with five serpents and several skulls and he has a third eye on his forehead, which burns everything in its path. An ascetic, he does not like to be disturbed, the serpents being his only friends. He is considered the beginning and end of all things, existing everywhere and nowhere, in the most diverse forms. His wife is Parvati, the goddess of procreation, with whom he has two sons, Skanda and Ganesha. The trident, crescent moon and serpent are Enki’s symbols. Shiva is the god of arts, wisdom and fertility, just like Enki in Mesopotamia. During a battle, Shiva destroyed one of the five heads of the creator god Brahma, just as Kumarbi castrated Anu in battle and Apophis tore off the beard of Ra. Shiva is part of a holy trinity along with Brahma and Vishnu, while Enki is also part of a trinity in Sumer with An and Enlil, which we have already identified with the other two characters of the Trimurti. In Mesopotamia, Shiva’s wife was also considered the goddess of fertility and childbirth. Shiva’s trident represents his third position in the great divine trinity and his third eye is taken from the Sumerian Anzu / Enzu („Wisdom of the Sky” or „Lord of Wisdom”), therefore Shiva and Enki are one and the same deity.
Hindu priests knew the trinity of An – Enlil – Enki is the same as the Trimurti Brahma – Vishnu – Shiva and they hid it right in the names of their supreme deities. The name Shiva is composed of the particle „shiv” and the letter „a„. Vishnu contains the reverse of „shiv„, namely „vish”, along with the letters „nu„. Although the exact meaning of the words „shiv” and „vish” is not known, the fact that one is the reverse of the other indicates the opposition between the two deities. And the remaining letters in their names, „a” and „nu„, form the name Anu, the father of the two brothers in Mesopotamia. One letter in these three, found in Shiva’s name, suggests that he was the first of the sons, while the presence of two letters in Vishnu’s name suggests that he was the second son of the supreme god.
In addition to Trimurti, Hindus have another trinity composed of the consorts of the three great gods, who help their husbands create, maintain, and regenerate the Universe in an infinite cycle. Sarasvati, the wife of Brahma, is the goddess of the arts, knowledge, music and word. She has remained in the Hindu pantheon since Vedic times. She is represented as a beautiful woman, dressed in white, often seated on a white lotus flower, which symbolizes light, knowledge and truth. She is accompanied by a swan, the symbol of spiritual perfection, and sometimes by a peacock. Lakshmi or Sri, the consort of Vishnu, is the goddess of wealth, love, luck, material and spiritual prosperity, and also the embodiment of beauty. According to Indian scriptures, all women are her incarnations. It is believed that she was born with a wide range of powers and talents, inherited by the other great gods from her. In iconography she is depicted either sitting on a lotus flower or with a lotus in her hand. Sometimes she is accompanied by one or two elephants and more rarely an owl. She wears a red dress embroidered with gold thread. In the Sri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam she is called „Jaganmaatha„, meaning „Mother of the Universe”. In Eastern India she is seen as a form of the mother goddess Devi, the supreme power. Parvati, the wife of Shiva, is the goddess of love, fertility and devotion. She is often depicted wearing a red dress and holding various objects in her hands, such as a conch shell, lotus flower, crown, mirror or bell. She is considered a mother goddess, as well as the incarnation of Shakti, the primordial feminine energy that created the Cosmos. Although they are viewed as different entities, all three seems to be one, resembling either the primordial goddess Tiamat / Namma / Neith / Devi / Shakti, or Ninhursag of the Sumerians. Indeed, some Hindus recognize that all three are only manifestations of the mother goddess, especially in states like West Bengal or Odisha.
Ganesha, Ganapati or Vinayaka, the most beloved of the Hindu gods, the son of Shiva and Parvati, has a corpulent body of a man and an elephant head. Celebrated for his wisdom, he is the god of knowledge, intelligence and the arts. He enjoys refined foods, dance and pranks, being the embodiment of controlled strength and wisdom, but also cunning and mischievous. He is revered by all Hindu sects as well as Buddhism and Jainism. The Ganesha Purana states that he has a crescent moon on his forehead. Although he appears to resemble Nabu, the son of Marduk, Ganesha is, in fact, Marduk himself. His popularity in Mesopotamia and Egypt is reflected in India, which is why Ganesha is the most beloved of the Hindu gods. The crescent moon is the symbol of Enki’s family and the cunning and wickedness of the elephant god are two of Marduk’s characteristics.
Kartikeya, Skanda, Kumaran („Prince” or „Child”), Murugan, Dandapani („God with a Stick”), Karuna or Subramaniyan is the god of war, often represented with six faces and a spear in his hand. In Sangam literature he is the „red god, seated on a blue peacock, who remains forever young and radiant„. In Thirumurukkarrupatai he is described as a god of eternal youth, and „his face shines with countless rays of light and removes darkness from this world„. Although in modern Hinduism he is considered the son of Shiva and Parvati, the Satapatha Brahmana calls him the son of Rudra / Enlil. As far as we know, the god of war in Mesopotamia was Ninurta, the son of Enlil. Hindus considered him the son of the destroyer god Shiva because destruction was associated with war.
In Hinduism, Durga („Inaccessible” or „Invincible”) is the goddess of victory of good over evil. In Sumerian, her name means „House of Bonding”. At the Durga Puja festival she is the mother of the gods Ganesha, Kartikeya, Lakshmi and Saraswati. She is depicted with eight arms holding weapons and a lotus flower, riding a lion or a tiger. As the consort of Shiva, Durga is considered the warrior aspect of the Divine Mother. Durga is equivalent to Ninhursag of the Sumerians or Isis of the Egyptians. Our ancestors matched the gods with planets and stars; therefore, a god with eight arms represents a star with eight rays. Venus was represented as an eight-ray star or as a circle surrounded by eight dots because it is the eighth planet in our solar system, counting from the outside towards the Sun. Venus was also the symbol of Ninhursag, often called Inanna or Ishtar. Durga is also considered one of the aspects of the primordial mother goddess, Devi.
The dark aspect of Durga is represented by Kali („The Black One”) or Kalika, the violent goddess of time and change. In many sources, Kali is called „the greatest of the gods„. Clad in a tiger skin, girdled with cobras and adorned with skulls, she dances on corpses. Her eyes spit fire and her mouth, with her tongue hanging out, surrounded by fangs, rages and snarls. To calm her and protect the stability of the world, Shiva is often sent to the battlefield in the form of a child. Kali takes care of him and breastfeeds him, thus revealing her maternal side. In this warrior goddess we recognize the daughter of Enki and Ninhursag. The confusion between mother and daughter, present in almost all ancient religions, is also found here: Kali is an aspect of Durga, not a different entity from her, resembling Sekhmet, the destructive aspect of the goddess Hathor in Egypt. Kali is directly related to the practice of love, often depicted together with Shiva, reminiscent of the same deities Ishtar, Inanna or Hathor, goddesses of love and sexuality. The dark aspect of Enki’s family, though carefully masked by their followers, is more than evident in Hinduism. The Kalika Purana states that goddess „Kali is the Night from which the secret energy of time springs„. In the book Kali, the author Nivedita asserts that „in earthly existence, natural calamities – such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, tornadoes, floods, plagues, epidemics and so on, are the actions of the Great Cosmic Power Kali„. Nivedita also reveals the way the goddess behaves with her followers: „if the beginner yogi or the aspirant for Liberation remains impure and selfish, enjoying remaining ignorant, Mother Kali will destroy him, because he is not yet ready to evolve„. Nivedita said about these followers that they are „worshipers of death and destruction, of uprooting and unleashing„. The goddess herself declared in the most arrogant way through the same author’s words: „neither human feelings of love, friendship, stability and security, nor home or family should make themselves heard when I speak„, arrogance often found in Ishtar in Mesopotamian texts.
Another connection between Hinduism and Mesopotamian religions is found in the classic poem Ramayana, whose main characters are Prince Rama and his wife, Sita. This prince, who went through countless trials to save his wife, capable of superhuman feats, was not an ordinary man. Ramayana claims that he ruled for 100 years in Ayodhya after several decades of exile, while Drona Parva notes 11,000 years of Rama’s reign, during the time when the wise Rishis, the gods and humans lived together on Earth. Although Ramayana claims the prince was born due to a magical drink sent by Vishnu to Earth, Hindus consider him the reincarnation of the god. The identity of the main characters is revealed by anagramming their names. Rama, read backwards, becomes Amar, one of Marduk’s Sumerian names (more precisely, Amar Utu). The reverse of Amar / Marduk is his opposite deity, Enlil, applying the same secret technique as in the case of the Vishnu – Shiva pair, where the particle at the beginning of each name is reversed in the name of the other. By reversing the letters of the first syllable, Sita, Rama’s wife, becomes Ista, a name that comes from Ishtar (the consort of Enlil in the case of the goddess Ninhursag). Another element that remind us of these two deities is the deliberate presence of number 40 in the Ramayana, the number of Enki in Mesopotamia: Rama was exiled for 40 years, Bharata became the guardian of the crown for 40 years, Rama killed the demoness Shurpanakha’s brothers and also 40,000 demons. Even the name of the demoness leads us to Mesopotamia, as Shurpanakha means „She of Shuruppak”, one of the most important Sumerian cities. Therefore, the love story between Rama and Sita is nothing more than the „Bollywood” version of the one inherited from the Sumerians, which the Greeks also took, attaching it to the story of the Trojan War.
The first half of the first millennium BC found India in a period of social and religious upheaval, when dissatisfaction with the animal sacrifices and rituals practiced in Hinduism had greatly increased. It was the moment new religious and philosophical groups emerged, which rejected the authority of the Vedas and the Brahmans. This religious movement, which continued Indian philosophy in a different way from Indo-Aryan Brahmanism, was called Sramana. Influenced by the representatives of Chinese Hundred Schools of Thought, Buddhism was born from Sramana, a religion devoted to Siddhartha Gautama or Buddha („The Awakened” or „The Enlightened One”). „Buddha” is also a title for the first enlightened being of each era. In most Buddhist traditions, Siddhartha Gautama is the Supreme Buddha of our era. It is said that Queen Maya dreamed of a white elephant with six tusks that entered her right side, and Siddhartha was born ten months later in 563 BC. For Hindus, the god Vishnu entered Maya in the form of a ray with five colors, getting her pregnant. Until the age of 29, Siddhartha lived as a prince in Kapilavastu, far from the evil in the world, during which time he married and had a child. After seeing an old man, a sick man and a dead man, which made him realize the suffering in the world, Siddhartha left his family and home for a life of asceticism. Through meditation he achieved enlightenment, becoming Buddha. Reportedly, he was able to develop certain superhuman abilities, not needing sleep, food or medicine. He traveled the world with disciples, performed numerous miracles and even killed a dragon. At the age of 80 he left his mortal body to return to his kingdom in heaven. As people say, all beings on Earth wept at his death, except for the snake and the cat. Brahmin Sonanda described him as „beautiful, handsome and pleasing to the eye, with the most beautiful complexion. He has a divine form and appearance, being attractive in every way„. It is also said that he had blue eyes. His physical appearance, as well as his superhuman qualities, indicate a deity, not a mere mortal. If Buddha was the ninth avatar (or reincarnation) of Vishnu, then he is undoubtedly Enlil. Vishnu entered Maya in the form of a ray of five colors, a number that also represents Enlil (the fifth planet in our solar system is Jupiter, the planet associated with the god of storms). Supposedly Buddha killed a dragon, just as Seth did in Egypt with the Great Serpent Apophis, Indra with Vritra or Enlil with Enki. At the death of Buddha, the snake and the cat are the only beings that did not weep, and we remember that these two animals symbolized Enki and his consort, Ninhursag, the enemies of Enlil. Also, Vajrapani, Buddha’s protector, was matched by the Greeks with the demigod Herakles, who bears many similarities to Ninurta, Enlil’s son.
Jainism was also part of the sramana movement, a religion with obscure roots that propagates non-violence, centered around 24 tirthankaras, wise men who have managed to interrupt their cycle of reincarnations. According to tradition, the first tirthankara is Rishabha, the eighth reincarnation of the god Vishnu. Parsvanatha or Parsva, the twenty-third tirthankara and the first who can be considered a historical figure, lived between 877 and 777 BC. Until the age of 30 he was a prince of Varanasi, then he left the world for a life of asceticism, managing to free himself from the cycle of reincarnations at the age of 100. Gobind Singh, the last of the ten gurus of Sikhism, considered Parsva to be the reincarnation of Rudra, a god who, like Vishnu, is nothing else but an alter-ego of Enlil. The last tirthankara was the twenty-fourth, Mahavira, unofficially considered the true founder of Jainism. Like his predecessor, Parsva, Mahavira was a prince who left his home at the age of 30 to obtain spiritual enlightenment. His parents were followers of Parshva. After 12 years of intense meditation and penance he traveled through India for 30 years to share his philosophy. During those 12 years he endured severe humiliations, even being stoned in eastern Bengal. He attained nirvana or moksha at the age of 72, after which his spirit left the material world. Mahavira („Great Warrior”), whose real name was Vardhamana, is believed to have been born in 599 BC, making him a contemporary of Buddha. Surprisingly, there are more than coincidental similarities between them, although according to Buddhism and Jainism they never met. Buddha’s real name was Siddhartha Gautama and Mahavira’s father was named Siddhartha. Both were princes, both left home to seek enlightenment at about the same age (one at 29 and the other at 30), both spent many years as ascetics and both traveled through India with disciples to preach their philosophies. Their philosophies were also extremely similar. They both found their end at similar ages (one at 72 and the other at 80), in both cases being considered to have attained nirvana / moksha, thereby being released from the cycle of reincarnations. Given the enormous similarities between Buddha and Mahavira, it is possible they represent the same person, and Buddhism and Jainism are just one religion divided by small differences, similar to Christianity divided into Catholicism and Orthodoxy.
Threatened by the Shramana movement and especially by Buddhism, Hinduism invented Krishna. Although the Hindu tradition claims the god left Earth in 3102 BC, the oldest traces of his worship date back to the fourth century BC. It was not until the first centuries of the Common Era that Krishnaism or Bhagavatism, a sect developed within Vaishnavism (one of the main branches of Hinduism, devoted to the god Vishnu), emerged. Krishna, portrayed as an infant, a young man or an old man, is considered the avatar of Vishnu and therefore one of the supreme gods. His personality is complex, the god being portrayed in legends as a child, a trickster, a hero, a lover or a supreme being. In Sanskrit, as an adjective, his name means „black” or „dark”, a remnant from the Vedic period when he was considered the black sun or the sun of the night. As a noun, „krishna” means „night” or „darkness”. In the original iconography he was depicted with black skin, only in modern depictions his color being changed to blue. He is also considered the incarnation of Vishnu, just like Buddha, and there are a series of similarities between the two. However, we cannot ignore the differences between them, which in certain aspects place them at opposite poles. How is it possible for these differences to exist if we are talking about the same deity in different aspects? The answer is simple: here, as in other cultures, we are dealing with two deities with the same name. One is the avatar of Vishnu / Enlil, similar to Buddha, with blue skin, appearing in Hinduism shortly after the birth of Buddhism. The other, with black skin, who lived in the 4th millennium BC, is an illusionist god who deceives his enemies, disorienting them with the phantasms he creates. In a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, the Romanian Indologist Sergiu Al-George presents Krishna as „a warrior prince, daring, monster-slayer, punisher of lawless kings, also capable of cunning and cowardice; open to bacchic raptures and protagonist of the supreme erotic experiences in the paroxysm of which the absolute Eros itself is deciphered – that of communion with ultimate reality – Krishna remains a somewhat cruel and gloomy character with the smile with which he greets the great dramas„. In the Bhagavad Gita, he does everything to continue the war between the Pandava and Kaurava clans. In the fourth book of the collection of sacred hymns Rigveda, Krishna is considered a demon or a spirit of darkness. In the Lalitavistara Sutra he is the leader of the black demons, enemies of Buddha. Among his numerous epithets there are „Shyamasundara” („The Beautiful Dark One”), „Patitapavana” („The One Who Purifies the Fallen”) and „Kaladeva” („The Black Deity”). Starting in the 19th century, Krishna was adopted by several new religious movements. In Theosophy he is considered the reincarnation of Maitreya, the most important spiritual teacher of humanity. Krishna was canonized by the famous Satanist magician Aleister Crowley and is recognized as a saint by the Gnostic Freemasons of the Ordo Templi Orientis. But let’s allow him to describe himself. In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna says the following: „The mindless believe me to be the Unmanifested One in the state of manifestation, not knowing my higher, immutable and supreme nature. Veiled by my divine power, I am not revealed to all; this deluded world knows me not, the Unborn and Immutable. But I, O Arjuna, know all beings that have been, that are and that are yet to be, while no one knows me” (7:24-26). We dare to contradict the one who has proclaimed himself „The Great Divine Lord of the Universe„. Despite all the illusions produced by his magic, we still recognize his „higher, immutable and supreme” nature. This black god, deceitful, illusion-creating, unparalleled magician, manipulator and cruel being, with a terrifying appearance, who leads humanity to destruction, demon or spirit of darkness, leader of demons, enemy of Buddha, always open to erotic depravity and excessive drinking, considered holy by Freemasons, magicians and Satanists, can only be Enki of the Sumerians. This is something that Krishna indirectly acknowledges in the tenth book of the Bhagavad Gita: „Among the Rudras, I am Shankara (the destroyer Shiva)”, „Among the Yakshas and Rakshasas, I am the lord of wealth (the god Kubera, who commanded the demon army)”, „Among the priests, I am the foremost, Brhaspati (the god of eloquence and wisdom)”, „Among the military leaders, I am Skanda (the god of war)”, „Among the serpents, I am Vasuki (mythical serpent, king of the Naga)”, „Among the Nagas, I am Ananta (the primordial serpent)”, „I am Prahlada (the leader of the Asura demons) among the Daityas„, „I am the all-powerful Time, the destroyer of worlds„.
While the missionaries of the Chinese Hundred Schools of Thought were traveling much of Asia and India was undergoing an important religious change, with the Sramana movement breaking away from Hinduism, leading to the emergence of new religions such as Buddhism, Jainism and the cult of Krishna, in 6th century BC Persia, Zoroastrianism was born. At the age of 30 (like Parshva and Mahavira), the prophet Zarathushtra, called Zoroastris by the Greeks and Zoroaster in English, received a vision from the gods. He spent the next 12 years trying to convince his compatriots to accept the reformation of the ancient Persian religion. At the age of 42 (the age at which Mahavira began his mission to preach Jainism) he left his home, arriving at the court of King Vishtaspa, who elevated the cult of Zoroaster to the rank of the official religion of the Persian kingdom. For the prophet, the gods were called yazatas. The most important yazata worthy of veneration was Ahura Mazda or Spenta Mainyu (also known as Ormuzd, Hourmazd, Hormazd or Hurmuz), the beginning and the end, the creator of the seen and unseen, the only, pure and eternal truth. Ahura Mazda was accompanied by Amesha Spenta, six emanations of himself or „divine sparks„, all seven of whom, along with other less important yazatas, formed the group of Ahura deities. Ahura Mazda’s enemy, Angra Mainyu or Ahriman, was the destructive and chaotic spirit which the good god was in conflict with since the beginning of the world. Along with Ahriman were the Daeva, malevolent entities or false gods. According to Zoroaster, Ahura Mazda will ultimately defeat Ahriman, at which point the Universe will undergo a renewal. Time will end and all creation, including the spirits cast into darkness, will be reunited with Ahura Mazda, thus returning to life. At the end of time, a saoshyant or savior will bring the final restoration of the world, when the dead will be resurrected.
Ahura Mazda is believed to mean „Wisdom that Illuminates”, being composed of „ahura” („light”) and „mazda” („wisdom”). However, the origin of the name is found where researchers do not even dare to imagine: in Egypt. On a stone inscription made by Pharaoh Khufu (called Cheops by the Greeks) around 2600 BC, one can read: „Ankh Hor Mezdau Sten-bat Khufu tu ankh” („Long live Hor Mezdau, King Khufu is given life!”). The „mezdau” of the Egyptians is very similar to the „mazda” of the Persians, which means „wise”, and „ahura” is strikingly similar to „ankh Hor„. Therefore, Ahura Mazda is correctly translated as „Long live Horus the Wise”. The Egyptian Horus was Marduk of the Babylonians, who was the supreme god of Zoroastrianism.
Researchers have concluded that Persian Zoroastrianism has its origins in Indian Hinduism. A natural thing, both peoples considering that they were civilized by Aryans. The Persian deities Ahura and Daeva are just Asura and Deva from Hinduism with reversed roles (Ahura represents the positive deities, just like in Vedic Brahmanism, while Asura are the malevolent ones in Hinduism). Ahriman of the Persians took his name from the Indian Aryaman. „Daena„, the concept in Zoroastrianism that represents revelation or consciousness, comes from „dhyana„, the meditative state of the Indians through which one achieves a profound awareness of the self. „Amertat„, which means „immortality” in Persian, comes from „amrita„, a Sanskrit word with the same meaning. Mithra in Zoroastrianism is Mitra in Vedic religion. Vayu-Vata, the god of wind and atmosphere for Persians, is simply Vayu, the god of wind in Brahmanism. The Hindu god of death, Yama, became Yima for Persians. To sum up, the reform brought by Zarathustra to the old Persian religion is nothing but the old Indian religion reformed, mixed with religious and philosophical elements of other peoples.
Hinduism, in all its forms and branches, represents the oldest current religion. Unlike the Sumerian and Egyptian religions that emerged shortly before it, Hinduism has the advantage of being almost completely preserved, even though many elements of ancient Hinduism from the Vedic period have been lost. Considering this religion is also devoted to divinities encountered all over the world, Hinduism can help us complete the lost parts of ancient religions, of which only fragments have remained. And the most important part that has been lost, but which abounds in the religions of the Indians, is spirituality. To understand the spirituality inherited by the ancients from the gods, which is a necessary condition for understanding the hidden history of our planet as accurately as possible, Indian religions must also be taken into account, as they can represent a true path to the mysteries of the past. Or a key that unlocks the gate to the secrets of the gods.