Tuesday, May 25, 2010

African Religion Predates Hinduism

Alice C. Linsley

The Afro-Asiatic binary worldview appears to have been spread by peoples who originated in the Nile Valley and the Horn of Africa. The Bible calls many of these peoples "Kushites."  The Kushites spread across Arabia, the Levant, Mesopotamia and into Central Asia, going as far as Nepal and Aghor Wat in Cambodia. In southern India and Pakistan they built great monuments.  In India these are identified as Dravidians Sudroids. Sudra means "black" but it can also designate place of origin - Sudan.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Stone relief of a solar boat with the falcon image of Horus flying above the flames of the Sun.

Sudroid refers to the aboriginal populations of India who were later displaced from most of Hindustan (North India) and all of the Deccan by invading Aryans. Linguistically the Sudanese, Egyptians and Beja peoples are related. They are also genetically related. Their skin tone is black to dark reddish brown.
Václav Blažek suggests that Elamite is related to the Afro-Asiatic languages whereas David McAlpin finds a genetic relation between Elamite and Dravidian languages. Both are correct. All are languages of the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion which extended from the Nile to the Ganges.  There are numerous linguistics connections between the people of Africa and the Sudroid. As ancient Afro-Asiatic peoples used base 6 in counting and as the basis for their binary calendars, the number six is a significant indicator of related languages. Consider the following: The number six in Proto-Dravidian is ‘caru’. This correlates to ‘koro’ in South Africa; to ‘karkia’ in some Chadic Languages; and to ‘korci’ in Meidob (eastern Sudan). The most striking similarity is between the Kanembu (Sudan) ‘araku’ and the Tamil ‘aarru’.

Here are other examples of the linguistic connectedness of these languages. The Hebrew word for salvation - yasuah - corresponds to the Sanskrit words asvah, asuah and yasuah, all meaning salvation. The Sanskrit word for heaven - svah - corresponds to the Semitic svam and to the Proto-Dravidian van. The Hebrew root thr, to be pure, corresponds to the Hausa/Hahm toro, meaning clean, and to the Tamil tiru, meaning holy. All are related to tor, the Proto-Dravidian word for blood. The Elamite word for king is sunki, a cognate of the Hahm/Hamitic sarki, meaning king. The Sumerian word for king is sar. Sar-gon conquered Nippur in 2340 B.C. and established his capital in Akkad. His name probably means King of Kings. He is said to be the ruler of Kish, which may mean that he was Kushite. This is suggested by the Chadic word for king - gon lere.

Dravidians mined gold in the mountains of southern Africa 2000 years ago. These same people populated southern India. The oldest Dravidian traditions speak of ancient prehistoric kingdoms in southern India, extending further south into land that is now under the seas. The Sudra didn’t establish cities in the north, but their priests traveled as far as Nepal where they are called "Harwa", the ancient Egyptian word for priest. These ruler-priests are largely responsible for the diffusion of the Afro-Asiatic religious life that took root around the large water systems from west central Africa to the Indus River Valley. It is a religious life that shares eight features, all of which are found in the Bible and constitute the biblical worldview. Many of these featrues are found in Hinduism also.

The connection between the ancient Sudanese/Sudra and India is evidenced by objects and motifs common to both the Upper Nile during the Indus Valley period. These motifs include fire altars for animal sacrifice, the Lingam of the temples of India and the Phallus found in Egyptian temples, the lotus symbol, serpentine borders on stone reliefs and seals, the dwarf deity (exhibit A); and the solar boat (exhibit B), reed boats (exhibit C), serpent symbolism (exhibit D) and the Tree of Life (exhibit E).

Exhibit A: Dwarf Deities

Shown left: African dwarf Bes, patron of wealth in African folklore.  His statute appears at the Dendera Temple on the Nile. His name is related to a Nubian word besa, meaning cat, and  his appearance somteimes suggests a cat, perhaps Re's cat who is said to have killed the great water serpent.

Dwarfs were often people of high status in ancient Egypt. They even served as priests, although by the time of the Jerusalem Temple, it was forbidden for dwarfs to be priests (Lev. 21:17-20). The incidence of dwarfism appears to be due to the fact that the nobles of ancient Egypt and Sudan tended to marry close relatives.

A team of Georgetown University Hospital studied biological remains that showed that dwarfism in ancient Egypt was not seen as a handicap. Instead dwarfs were regarded as respected individuals.

Shown left:  Statue of Indian yakshah, a deity said to protect wealth. They are shown with rounded bellies.

Yaksha, the dwarf, was also venerated in the area where remains of giant men were found in 1936 in central Africa at Lake El-yasi. The Sanskrit word "yaksha" is related to the Kushite word "yashi". In ancient Egypt the dwarf Bes (above) was venerated as a semi-divine ruler.

The dwarf Bes was an earthly character.

Exhibit B: Solar Boats

Egypt – a solar boat over the head of a bull and Horus. The horns of the bull form the image of the sun’s base resting in the celestial boat. The bull is venerated as a sacred symbol in both Africa and India. Horus, who was called the "son of God", is often shown with upraised arms or falcon wings with a sun on his head (see image below).

India – a solar boat with the seven deities representing the seven visible planets. The earliest known observations of the planets were those of the people living in the region of the Lebombo Mountains of southern Africa.

Exhibit C: Reed Boats like this are found from Africa to India

Reed boats are used in a Hindu religious festival which takes place every year on the banks of the Ganges where thousands of people burn incense and candles on small reed boats and float them down the river at night.  The boats carrying their wishes and prayers.
Shown right:  Reed boat in East Africa. Boats like this were used by the Sudra in Pakistan and on the Bay of Bengal.

Exhibit D: Serpent Symbolism

Shown below: 70,000 year old python stone venerated in southern Africa.

This carving was found inside a cave in remote hills in the Kalahari Desert of Botswana, It is as tall as a man and 20 feet long. The area is known to San (or Bushmen) who live there as the "Mountains of the Gods."

The Python Stone is about the same age as the oldest known counting device (the Lebombo Bone) and the mining operations in the Lebombo Mountains which involved thousands of miners. All of these finds date to between 80,000 and 70,000 years. India has no serpent images as old as this although the serpent has been venerated in India for many millennia.

Shown below: Indian serpent goddess. Note the resemblance to the Minoan snake goddess who also holds a snake in each hand.

Exhibit E: The Tree of Life from which water flows

Shown right:  Egyptian Tree of Life

The motif of a Tree of Life is very old as is evident from the wide diffusion of the motif from Africa to Asia, Australia and South America. (In Anthropology, the principle of diffusion states that the oldest culture traits, beliefs or practices are those that are most widely diffused across the earth.) The Tree of Life archetype is as old as the serpent archetype and the two are often portrayed together, as in the image of Re's cat killing Apophis, the giant water serpent (below).

Shown below: Tree of Life relief from India. Here are many of the motifs original to African religion: a tree of life, sacred water, a lotus blossom and a serpent.

Related reading:  False CorrelationsThe Christ in Nilotic Mythology; Giants in the Land (and Dwarfs Too); Serpent Symbolism; Trees in Genesis


Dharmashaiva said...

Hi Alice,

Interesting post. There are some intriguing connections between India and Africa. The fifth Avatar of Vishnu is Vamana, a dwarf. There is a Tree mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita, a tree whose roots reach to the Heavens and whose branches go down into the Earth. Seven Rishis, or holy men, are mentioned in the Vedas, and are connected in some way (married?) to the six sisters of the Pleiades. And genetic studies indicate that one of the first migrations out of Africa went up through Arabia into southern India.

One could, then, argue that Hinduism, insofar as it is a descendant of Dravidian/Sudroid tradition, is thereby African.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Greetings, Dharmashaiva. Thanks for the interesting information. The tree of life in Kaballah is also said to have roots in the Earth and reach to the Heavens. I've come to believe that both Judaism and Hinduism are offshoots of a more ancient African religion. This explains the points of contact between those two religions.

Tha Rabbis have worked hard to distance Judaism from the religion of Abraham's people. In India Aryan prejudice against the blacks has worked to bury the Sudroid influence.

Georgia said...

Looks like the snake goddess has eleven snakes surrounding her. But would the whole picture show more, such as a serpent under her feet?

Alice C. Linsley said...

This Hindu goddess is regarded as a daughter of the wise Kashyapa and Kadru, the mother of all snakes or Nāgas. The goddesss is covered with snakes, and often shown sitting on a lotus or standing upon a snake. She is sometimes depicted with a child on her lap.

The Virgin Mary is sometimes shown in Christian iconography as standing on the serpent and holding the Christ Child.

What I find interesting is that the snake goddess is often called "the one-eyed goddess" because one of her eyes was burnt by her stepmother Chandi. This seems to be the female counterpart to the Egyptian Horus-Set conflict which resulted in Horus losing one eye.

Anonymous said...

Of course, there are clear connection between Africa and many world cultures since human life began in Africa. There are connection in the Torah to Africa, Arabia, and India. There many references to the Torah in the cultures and religions of India, Africa, Arabia, and ancient Egypt. For example, Vishnu<=Bishnu<=Bishun<=Pishun=Pison
Teman<=Timnah, Yaman

The Torah predates all ancient religions.

Alice C. Linsley said...

Anonymous, I usually do not allow anonymous comments. In the future, please give your name at the end of the post. Thanks.

The evidence doesn't support your assertion that the Hebrew Torah predates all ancient religions. The oldest known moral law code was the Egyptian Law of Te-hut.

Further, Torah wasn't originally a book or a group of scrolls, but the words given by the prophet or moreh. The root of Torah means "what is thrown by the Moreh."

Additionally, there is the fact that Hebrew is a relatively recent development. Arabic, for example, is much older.

There is considerable evidence that the oldest organized religion involved water on many levels, ruler-priests and the conception that the patterns observed in nature reveal God's eternal power and divine nature. Paul speaks of this in Romans 1:20.

Best wishes,
Alice C. Linsley

Michael Healy said...

I find this blog fascinating, but I'm not entirely convinced. In this case, I had to add a comment:

"The Virgin Mary is sometimes shown in Christian iconography as standing on the serpent and holding the Christ Child."

Pardon me, but doesn't this argument miss the point? The Virgin Mary is depicted as having [i]conquered[/i] the serpent, a symbol of evil. It is not in any way [i]venerated[/i] by Christians.

Alice C. Linsley said...

The Theotokos was certainly instrumental in the plan to defeat the cosmic serpent/dragon/devil, but she is not the one who crushed the serpent's head. Gen. 3:15 speaks of her "Seed" as doing that. The image of Mary standing on the serpent is from the Latin Church (Roman) and is not found in Eastern Orthodox icons, probably for this reason.

janani vivek said...

Hi Alice,

Greetings from India.

I am currently researching the ancient alien theories and eventually trying to find the African-south-indan religious connections.. i dont know if this is useful to you,.. but i found the sphinx statues found in the south indian temples are also found in Mesopotamian and african temples?

Alice C. Linsley said...

Welcome, Janani. Your research sound very interesting. You may find other material of help at this blog. Search using the INDEX.

When you write of "alien" do you mean foreigners to India or visitors from outer space?

I would love to see images of the sphinx statues that you found in south India. This is where the ancient Sudra (Sudanese) established kingdoms long ago. The Kushite migration out of the Nile Valley into India, Nepal and even ancient Siam has been fairly well established, though there are gaps in the picture. Perhaps you will fill some of those gaps. Best wishes to you!

janani vivek said...


When i wrote 'Alien' i meant the beings from 'outer space'.

You can have a look at this website :http://www.sphinxofindia.rajadeekshithar.com/.. where you can find images of indian sphinxes.. and yes i am reading most of your posts from your blog and thank you very much for your informative posts and hard work.

if i can be of any help, you can email me to imjananivivek@gmail.com.

Thanks & Good luck!

Alice C. Linsley said...

Thanks, Janani. This is fascinating reading and the images are of excellent quality.

Best wishes to you also. I'll be in touch when I have more to share with you. At the moment, all I have that might be of interest to you is this:

DJ King said...

Hi Alice
I'm not sure if you got my first email asking the question of the relationship between your findings and the traditional Christian belief. Which confirms that Africa and its defendants had no pivotal role with biblical genealogy. Your presentation is remarkable and noteworthy, it should be presented in visual format. Please let me know if you're willing to do it.