The Spread of Hinduism

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Revision as of 18:18, 8 December 2016 by Krishna Maheshwari (Talk | contribs) (Introduction)

With the spread of British Colonialism in the modern era, Indians started regularly traveling to other British colonies outside of India. Resulting from this diffusion and establishment of communities abroad, Indian Hindus have gone on to democratically achieve becoming leaders of countries such as Guyana, Suriname, Fiji, and Mauritius. From colonialism, Europeans also received the opportunities to travel to India and share spiritual ideas with Western nations. As such, the establishment of the Theosophical Society by Helena Blavatsky, and Agni Yoga by Nicholas Roerich.

The modern age, has given a boost to Hinduism through organizations such as the Hare Krishnas, Ananda Margis, Brahma Kumaris and others. Yoga has spread now and is practiced by many non-Hindus for improving and maintaining both physical and mental health.

Middle East

The process of Hinduism spreading in the Middle East is whereby Hindus left India and had traveled to regions within the ancient Neat East and had preached the doctrine and customs. Hindus of Mitanni were Hurrians, while those of Anatolia were Hittites, those of Levant the Hurus and those of Egypt the Hyksos.

Iranian Plateau

See also: Zoroastrianism and Hinduism

Statue of Vishnu sitting cross-legged while holding conch and lotus (underneath peacock) at mosque in Mashad, Khorasan, Iran.
Ancient Greek historian Aelianus in De natura animalium (16.16), also mentions that there were "Indian Arianians" and there is some suggestion that control of Ariana fluctuated between Indian and Arian Arianians.
One of Greco-Bactrian Empire's coins from King Agathocles Dikaios issued around 190-180 B.C.E., featuring Balarama (left) and Krishna (right) holding Dharmachakra.[1]
Four of Kushan Empire's coins from King Vima Katphisa issued around 166-230 C.E., featuring Shiva with his bull attendant. They read, "[Coin] of the great King Vima Kathphisa, the king of kings, lord of all the world, the Mahavesvara."[2]
Hunnic Empire's coin of Bactria in Brahmi from 400-500 C.E. displaying Lakshmi holding a lotus in one hand and a cornucopia in the other.

Ancient Iranian lands had a diversity of spiritual beliefs and the religions included Zoroastrianism, Manicheism, Yazdanism, Mandeanism and others.

As the original Indo-Iranian homeland was eastwards in the Himalayas, the nations of those areas spread westwards and found existing non-Indo-European peoples there, such as Kasodians in Gilan, Taporians in Mazandaran, Urartians in the Caucuas Mountains Range, Turukkus, Kassites and Lolobites in the Zagros Mountain Range, and Elamites on the southern shoreline. The Turkic groups were known collectively to the natives as the 'Turani',[3] and they were associated with Danu, just as the Turukshas coming into India were too. Overtime, the Indo-Iranian cultural significance in the society led to the formation of Indo-Iranian nations that were native to the region (i.e., Hurrians, Baluchis, Armenians.) A Turani monarch had however opposed the Indo-Iranian influence on the plateau and invaded Balkh[4] and after its conquest both its king and the king's close friend Zarathustra were executed by invading Turanis.[5]

Sir William Jones notes:

Thus it has been proved by clear evidence and plain reasoning that a powerful monarch was established in Iran long before the Assyrian or Pishadi government. That it was in fact, a Hindu monarchy, though any may choose to call it Cusian, Casdean or Scythian..."[6]

Zoroastrianism, which is also known as Mazdayasna (Sacrifice to Ahura Mazda) and as Vehdin (Good Religion), resembles Hinduism in many ways, such as in its origin, beliefs (i.e., common deities) and iconography. Dr. Mills says, "The Avesta is nearer the Veda than the Veda to its own epic Sanskrit." Major gods or yazatas (venerable ones) included Varuna and Mitra. Zarathustra (Greek: Zoroaster) Spitama was an Athravan priest, a descendant of the Vedic Atharvans. The swastika has been a popular symbol throughout the history of Iran and it has been called by Persians, "The four horses of Mitra."

Amongst followers of Zoroastrianism, while the scriptures do not mention the idea of reincarnation, it is not denied either[7] and some Zoroastrians of India[8] believe in reincarnation.[9] Some esoteric Parsi mystics such as Beaman adhered to the belief in reincarnation.[10] The belief in karma and reincarnation are perpetuated in the Desatir, wherein it declares that those who are happy now have done good deeds in a previous life, while those who suffer now have done bad deeds prior.[11] It is therefore discredited as a Mazdaean work.

Of Mandeans, Chevalier Emerys writes, "Modern Johannite Mandean Christians of Iraq, also known as Nazoreans, still believe in the doctrine of reincarnation, and also teach that Jesus was the reincarnation of the prophet Melchizedek."[12] The Mandeans also believe in reincarnation of the human, if a human does not marry within his or her lifetime.[13] Islamic Druzism believes in reincarnation, and is named after Persian Batinite missionary named Muhammad bin Ismail Nashtakin ad-Darazi. Muslim Shah Ismail the Persian Sultan was one of the founders of Alevism or the "People of Fire" and this Islamic sect believes in reincarnation. The Islamic sects of Shabak, Bajalan, Sarli, and Kakais are also very closely affiliated with Iranians and also believe in reincarnation.

Ancient Persians called the regions stretching from Hormuz to Baluchistan as 'Hind'[14] because those areas had more in common with India than with the other Iranian cultures located west to them. King Dhrishataketu of Kaikeya Kingdom married Srutakirtti and had by her Santarddana, and four other sons, known together as the five Kaikeyas. The Kaikeyas were a major dynasty in India and it was on both sides of the Indus River. The Anava Kingdom of Usinara Sibi, extended from Baluchistan to the Punjab. Even modern times Sibi is a district within Baluchistan.

Further, the Helmand region of Afghanistan was called by Persians as 'White India'. Siestan was also referred by Greek philosophers to as White India. Referring to the peoples of this region, Alexander called them, "the Indians on this side of the river Indus."[15]

Overtime, the natives of this region stayed and many became Buddhist in modern-day Afghanistan and the Afghans turned Kandahar into a Buddhist pilgrimage centre which was visited by devout Buddhists from China and Indonesia. While Takshshila was a city east of the Indian river, on the Iranian side there were important centres. The two great Indian grammarians Panini and Patanjali have mentioned a number of north-western cities like Balkh or Vahika, Kapisa, Pushkalavati, Masakavati, Takshashila and Sakala. Takshashila was the greatest and most flourishing city.[16]

After the Islamization of the Iranian Plateau, some intellectuals resisted and established their own new religions, which contained some Hindu ideas and some other themes that they were familiar with. This includes, Yarsanism (Ahl-e Haqq) established in the 14th century by Sultan Sahak as a Yazdan sect and Baha'ism by Bahá'u'lláh in the 19th century.

Whereas both traditional Hinduism and Buddhism were popular in the eastern part of the Iranian Plateau, Mithraism became popular within Zoroastrianism particularly in the western part. From here the popularity of the god Mitra spread to Assyria, Anatola and into Europe. The Avesta declares, "This Mitra, the lord of the wide pastures, I have created as worthy of sacrifice, as I, Ahura Mazda, am myself."[17]

Hare Krishna's founder A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada traveled to Tehran in 1976. Since 1977, ISKCON runs a vegetarian restaurant in Tehran.

Assyria

Assyrian was known as Asuristan.[18] Much like how the Indus River Civilization had a priest-king, Assyria had a priest-prince ruler. Name of the country came from the term Assyria, which the natives of the country also pronounce 'Surya', which is the name of the Hindu god that was originally called "Asurya" in the Rig Veda.

In the 6th century C.E. the Lower Euphrates was known as 'India within land' or just 'Hind' (India) in general.[19] Oderic in 1320 C.E. also speaks of the Lower Euphrates as 'India within land'. The patriarchal god of the Assyrians was Assur, who is always portrayed on a winged chakkra-sun or sundisk, just as the frahavars[20] of Iranian spirituality are shown. The Assyrians, like the Hindus in scriptures, referred to a chakkra as a wheel. The cultural and political capital of the Assyrians was Assur, named after the god. Assur was also known as Asara Mazas (which some scholars believe is from the proto-Indo-Iranian form Asura Mazdas.)[21]

Parshurama is also believed to have been worshiped in the region. In the ancient Sumerian social structure as well, there was a leader of the Baramas (i.e., Brahmanas) named Bur-Sin and the belief by some scholars is that he is Parshurama. God Assur had later been identified within Judeo-Christian Biblical mythology as Ashur, the son of Shem.

It is believed that Europe had borrowed the planetary names for the week's days that the Babylonians used. Babylon was a part of the Assyrian Empire. When Hindus had spread to Assyria, they had brought this system of the week with them.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Planet Sun Moon Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturn
Hindu deity Ravi Soma Mangala Buddha Guru Shukra Shani
Mazdaen deity[22][23] Mitra Vrarayna Tiriya Ahura Mazda Ardvi Anahita Sura Kayvanu
Assyrian deity[24] Nergal Nabu Marduk Ishtar Kajamanu
Greco-Roman deity Helios-Sol Selene-Luna Ares-Mars Hermes-Mercury Zeus-Jupiter Aphrodite-Venus Cronus-Saturn

The Assyrians had come to India as Melluhha. This comes from the name Mallhu and Malla, which many kings in India, particularly western India and Baluchistan have been called. There was even a Mount Malleus that Sindh[25] was known for. Even the coast of Kerala is known as Malankara.

Mitanni

Today this region is known as Kurdistan. In the ancient times, the inhabitants of Mitanni were known as Hurrians. In the Judeo-Christian Bible, they are known as the Horites.[26]

Sanskritic interpretations of Mitanni names render the following:

  • Artashumara (artaššumara) as Arta-smara "who thinks of Arta/Ṛta"[27]
  • Biridashva (biridašṷa, biriiašṷa) as Prītāśva "whose horse is dear"[28]
  • Priyamazda (priiamazda) as Priyamedha "whose wisdom is dear"[29]
  • Citrarata as citraratha "whose chariot is shining"[30]
  • Indaruda/Endaruta as Indrota "helped by Indra"[31]
  • Shativaza (šattiṷaza) as Sātivāja "winning the race price"[32]
  • Šubandhu as Subandhu 'having good relatives"[33][34]
  • Tushratta (tṷišeratta, tušratta, etc.) as tṷaišaratha, Vedic Tveṣaratha "whose chariot is vehement"[35]

Hatti

The Hittites or Nesili, whose Empire was known as 'Hatti' and 'Kanesh', had believed in reincarnation, as is attested by their writings. Their worship of the Devas of the time include Indra, Nasatyas (Ashvins), Mitra, and Varuna. This is confirmed by the Suppiluliuma-Shattiwaza Treaty between the Hittites and Hurrians.

The beleaguered Tusratta was then murdered by his son in a palace coup. Tusratta's other son, Prince Shattiwaza, fled Mitanni and was eventually given sanctuary by the Hittite King Suppiluliuma with whom he concluded a treaty c. 1380 B.C.E., which we know as the Suppiluliuma-Shattiwaza Treaty discovered in 1907 CE in Hattusa, near present-day Bogazkale (Boğazkale, formerly Bogazköy) in north-central Turkey. In the treaty, the Hittite King Suppiluliuma agreed to assist Shattiwaza gain the Mitanni throne and invaded Mitanni. The Hittites captured the Mitanni capital Wassukanni after a second attempt and installed Shattiwaza as a vassal king.

The Suppiluliuma-Shattiwaza Treaty is a source of considerable information about the Mitanni. In addition, it gives us some astonishing information about the religious practices of the Mitanni for it invokes the Indo-Iranian pantheon of asuras and devas Mitras(il) (Mitra), Uruvanass(il) (Varuna), Indara (Indra) and the Nasatianna (Nasatyas) (Ashwins). In the Judeo-Christian Bible, the Hitties are assimilated to have been descended from Heth, the son of Ham.

Levant

The Levant region includes countries of the Mediterranean coast which are located at the southwest Asian area. The Hindus here were an Indo-Aryan speaking population named the Huru.

Egypt

"One of the oldest colonies founded by the Hindus was in Egypt"- G. R. Josyer[36]

The Hyksos were an Indo-Aryan dynasty, according to scholars such as Sam Kerr[37] and M. Chahin[38]. They had come to Egypt and settled within its Delta region in about 1674-1547 B.C.E.,[39] and within a few centuries dominated the country. Much cultural exchange happened during the period of their rule.

Excavations in El-Amarna in Egypt have yielded the fact that around the 14th-15th centuries BCE, kings and princes with Vedic-like names were ruling in the region of modern day Syria. Some of the names are Artamanya, Aryavirya, Yashodatta, Suttarna and Dushratta. Thutmose IV had married a daughter of Artatma, the King of the Mitanni Kingdom. A letter addressed by Dushratta, Artatama's grandson, written to Akhnaton, says that it was not until Thutmose asked seven times that King Artatma agreed to his marriage proposal. Amenhotep III married Tiy, daughter of Yuaa (a foreigner "from North Syria") and of Tuau. During this time in Egyptian history, the ruling aristocracy of Egypt, were of mixed Egyptian and Mitanni ancestry. According to Akhnaton, Aton was both the male and female. He says to Aton, "Father and Mother of all that You have made." This parallels with the Hindu terms for the sun-god, Savita (male) and Savitri (female) or the sun and the sun's energy (Purusha and Prakriti.)

Arabian Peninsula

This region was historically known to Indians as Arabaka or Arvasthan (Land of Horses.)

Before the Islamization of the region beginning with Islam's prophet Mohammed, peoples here more freely practices their spirituality. Mohammed's own uncle, Umar-Bin-E-Hassham had died for his devotion to Shiva. From his writings, at least one poem of him depicting his faith in Shiva has been found. It has come to be known as the "Shiva Sthuthi." The poem reads as follows:

English Arabic
The man who may spend his life in sin
and irreligion or waste it in lechery and wrath
If at least he relent and return to
righteousness can he be saved?
If but once he worship Mahadeva with a pure
heart, he will attain the ultimate in spirituality.
Oh Lord Shiva exchange my entire life for but
a day’s sojourn in India where one attains salvation.
But one pilgrimage there secures for one all
merit and company of the truly great.
Kafavomal fikra min ulumin Tab asayru
Kaluwan amataul Hawa was Tajakhru
We Tajakhayroba udan Kalalwade-E Liboawa
Walukayanay jatally, hay Yauma Tab asayru
Wa Abalolha ajabu armeeman Mahadeva
Manojail ilamuddin minhum wa sayattaru
Wa Sahabi Kay-yam feema-Kamil MINDAY Yauman
Wa Yakulum no latabahan foeennak Tawjjaru
Massayaray akhalakan hasanan Kullahum
Najumum aja- at Summa gabul Hindu

Umar-Bin-E-Hassham had the title of 'Abul Kaham', which in Arabic means doctor.[40]

It is a fact that the Kaba was worshiped in by non-Muslims. It is believed by some that before the Kaba was Islamicized and made a pilgrimage for only Muslims, that it was a Shiva temple. Umar-Bin-E-Hassham is known to have been a priest at Kaba. Besides the Arabian Umar-Bin-E-Hassham having been a priest at the temple, another point that some people make is that the black stone at the Kaba is actually a Shivlinga.

Krishna was also worshiped in Arabia, and of him is written is a Hadith. The text titled, The History of Hamadan Dailmi (Chapter Al-Kaaf) declares, “There was a prophet of God in India who is dark in color and his name was Kahan [Krishna].”[41]

East Asia

China

Buddhism was originally spread here by many missionaries from India. Later, missionaries within the country spread the dharma.

It is noteworthy that the sun-god was known to the Saka Khotan Kingdom of the Tarim Basin as Urmaysde (which scholars link to the term Ahura Mazda[42].)

Japan

From left to right, Benzaiten (Saraswati), Kangiten (Ganesh) and Bishamonten (Vaishravana) in the 1200 year-old Daishō-in Temple Complex, Hatsukaichi, Japan.
Shivlinga in the Toganji Temple at Nayoga, Japan.

Due to the cultural exchange between India and Japan, mainstream Hindu gods were adopted by Japanese. Ganesh is known as Kangi-ten and as Bināyaka-ten (which comes from the Sanskrit name Vinayaka.)

South East Asia

This whole region has been known in Hindu scriptures as Suvarnabhumi (The Golden Land.) Hinduism has been the dominant religion amongst several nations for a long time here. Indonesia (Javadwipa) was dominantly Hindu until Islamization by missionaries and Islamists within the islands.

Indonesia

Many Indians had migrated to Indonesia, some of them being Gujaratis. It is said that King Aji Saka who came to Java in Indonesia in year 1 of the Saka calender and he is believed by some to be a king of Gujarat.[43] It is also believed that the first Indian settlements in Java Island of Indonesia was established with the coming of Prince Dhruvavijaya of Gujarat with 5000 traders.[43] Some stories propose that a sage named Tritresta was the first to bring Gujarati migrants with him to Java and so some scholars equate him with Aji Saka.[44]

Cambodia

Angkot Wat Temple, Cambodia.

The name Cambodia comes from the founder of the first Khmer Dynasty, from India, who was Kambhoja. From him Cambodia is usually called by its natives as either 'Kambuja' or 'Kampuchea'. Its national flag displays the world-famous Angkor Wat Temple within the country.

Burma

In Hindu scriptures, Burma is known as Brahmadesh.

Greek philosopher Pliny had said that on the river called Ava, or Pumas or Puman, many nations along it are in general called Bracmanae or Brahmane.[45] Hence, there is also the Brahmaputra River near Burma which crosses North-East India.

Thailand

In Hindu scriptures, Burma is known as Shyamdesh. Hence, the other name of the country, 'Siam'.

Malaysia

Europe

See also: Hindu Temples in Europe

At the time that the Indo-Iranians came into Europe, the natives of Europe were Palesgians in the Balkan Peninsula, Basques in Iberian Peninsula, Fins and Sami in Northern Europe, and the Magyars (to later become Hungarins), Estonians, and Kami in Eastern Europe, and several other non-Indo-European linguistic families within the Caucasus. With the influence on the Indo-Iranian comers, the Indo-European nations of Europe were born.

Some identified groups that had come into Europe were Druyus (becoming Druids and Druvis), Parthians (Thracians from Parthenope, and some Irish from Partholonians), and Medians.

The Sanskrit word Deva took on vernacular forms amongst European nations wherein it became Theo in Greece, Dio in Latin and Italian, Deos in Portuguese, Dios in Spanish, Déu in Catalan, Dieu in French, Dievs in Latvian, and Dievas in Lithuanian, and the words Deity and Divinity in English. Also, the word 'devil' means slanderer ('il') of god ('dev'), and its Latin version is 'deofel' wherein 'deo' means god and 'fel' means slanderer. Further, the Sanskrit word 'Asura' became Æsir for Scandinavia's worshipers of the Norse gods.

Greece

Mosaic of Krishna in his iconic cross-legged pose playing the flute by cows, from 2nd century CE, now found at Corinth, Greece.
Coin with Swastika issued at Corinth, Greece.

The natives of Greece were Palesgians. From the academic influence of the Indo-Iranians in the region, the ancient Greek and Latin languages were established, from which all the other Indo-European languages of Europe were created. This can be seen in the wars between the Olympian gods and the Titans. Scholar Ignatius Donnelly believes the conflict between the Olympians and Titans represented a war between the Olympians and Titans.[46] Lewis Spence too mentions that the conflict between the Olympians and the Titans was of Aryans with non-Aryans, with the Titans being projected as the latter.[47]

"We find that it (India) was visited for the purpose of acquiring knowledge by Pythagoras, Anaxarches, Pyrrho, and others who afterwards became eminent philosophers in Greece." - Dr. William Enfield[48]

Overtime, a link was established between Greece and India, wherein Greek scholars would visit India and learn from Hindu clergy. Count Bjornstjerna says that Greek philosophy was indebted almost wholly to Hindu philosophy for its cardinal doctrines.[49] From this cultural phenomena, Pythogarus founded Pythagorism, Orpheus founded Orphism, and Plato founded Platoism. Orphism from 6th century BCE believed in reincarnation[50], a Supreme God.[51] Pythagoreanism from 5th century BCE believed in reincarnation[52], a Supreme God[53], promoted asceticism[54] and vegetarianism.[55] Platonism from 5th century BCE believed in reincarnation[56] and a Supreme God.[57] Although Orphism, Pythagoreanism, and Platoism spirituality are all Hindu, Western scholars note that non-Hindu spiritualities of Greek thought also demonstrate Hindu influence, such as Stoicism[58] which advocated asceticism.

"The Hindus were, in this respect, the teachers and not the learners." - Mr. Henry Colebrooke [59]

When Greek scholars had spoken of philosophies of wisdom, they regarded amongst the highest as Orphism, Pythagoreanism, and Platonism. Early Christian sects not only regarded Pythagorus as a prophet of God, but drew on Orphic, Pythagorean, and Platonic, as well as Neo-Platonic Mystery schools.[60] Plaethon not only stated that he preferred Indian Brahmans and Magi amongst the non-Greeks, but that "inspired men" like Pythagorus, Plato and other philosophers belonging to their school, notably Parmenides, Timaeus, Plutarch, Plotinus, Porphyry, and Iamblichus were great people.[61]

Astrology was also a science that Hindus spread with them in Greece. Philostratus tells how Iarbas the Brachman (Brahman) gave Apolloneus of Tyans a set of rings for days of the week to maintain good health.[62]

The Grecianized version of 'Brahman' is Brachman and Bragmanni. The ancient Greeks mention them in many instances when discussing spirituality, philosophy, astrology, geopolitics, and other steams of study. In about 270-303 CE, makes distinguishing statements amongst the gymnosophists wherein he describes differences amongst them.[63] Purchas had written that all things obserued by Nsturall Philosophers in Greece had been handled before, partly by the Brachmancs amongst the Indians.[64] A type of incombustable cloth made from stone was also said to have been used by the Brachmancs.[65] It later became used by some in Europe.

There were also Hindu monks that had visited Greece for the purpose of discussing philosophy. Zarmanochegas is the most known of these. In Greece he had self-immolated himself to protest Alexander's invasion of India. His tomb in Greece reads, "Here lies Zarmanochegas an Indian, a native of Bargose, having immortalized himself according to the custom of his country."[1]

Thrace

Goddess Hekate's depictions look similar to those of a Hindu goddess.

The Thracians called their country 'Aria'[66] (noble), a word which has much significance in Hinduism, including within Buddhism and Jainism.

In Hellenist mythology, Thrace was the offspring of Parthenope, the daughter of Olympian god Ares. The 'Parth' in the name Parthenope indicates Parthian, and hence, an Indo-Iranian origin.

Goddess Hecate was portrayed as a multi-headed and multi-handed deity.

British Isles

The Druids were the chief priests of the isles, and their religion is known as Druidism. Godfrey Higgins wrote a book supporting that the Druids had come from India. They were a priestly hereditary group and are said to have been descended of the Brahman Druyus. Being from India, they would've been Indo-European speakers, and they likely would have been the first ones in the British Isles. They had also worshiped the Thracian Hecate. Another Indo-European group that emigrated were the Partholonians (from Parthia.)[67]

The very name Druid is composed of two Celtic word roots which have parallels in Sanskrit. Indeed, the root vid for knowledge, which also emerges in the Sanskrit word Veda, demonstrates the similarity. The Celtic root dru which means 'immersion' also appears in Sanskrit. So a Druid was one 'immersed in knowledge.' - Peter Beresford-Ellis[68]

In history, the Druids were later pushed into Ireland and Scotland. "In Britain the Kelts pushed the Albans into northern Ireland and northern Scotland.”[69] Druidism still survived today in the isles and revivalist efforts have been put forth by its followers.

"The island [Britain] has long been predisposed of it [Christianity] through the doctrines of the Druids and Buddhists, who already inculcated the doctrine of the Godhead." - Christian cleric Origen, 3rd century CE

It is notable that there is a Druid named Arias, which even further strengthens the relationship between the Druids and Brahmans, as Aria/Arya meant noble and was used in the ethical and spiritual sense, even by the Buddha who referred to his creed as the Arya Astanga Dharma (Noble Eight-fold Religion.) Peter Berresford Ellis writes, "Moreover, we learn that in these four cities were 'four Druids who taught the Children of Danu skill and knowledge and perfect wisdom'. Morias dwelt in Falias ; Urias 'of the noble nature' lived in Gorias; Arias the poet resided in Finias and Senias had his abode in Murias."[70]

Scandinavia

Statue of Buddha dated from 5th Century C.E.[71] found on a Viking tombstone in Helgö, Sweden.

The worshipers of the Norse gods referred to a god as 'Æsir'.

The name of thunderer Thor comes from 'Thortian' of the Zoroastrian Vendiad, and that name derives from of Vedic Trita, who was known as Trita in the Avesta, and then later as Traitana, then 'Thraetaona' and finally as 'Thortian' to the Zoroastrians.

In Sweden's Helgö, a small Buddha statuette from North India dating from 6th century AD; found in Viking's grave.[72]

Eastern Europe

The names of deities of Eastern Europe indicate a strong Hindu influence.

Azerbaijan

Currently the Fire Temple of Baku is a site revered for its historic uniqueness and it was established by Hindu priests from India in the 19th century. It was nominated by the Azerbaijani government for being recognized as a UNESCO Hindu Site.

Currently there is a ISKCON temple in Baku[2].

Poland
Shivā is the name of a female deity in Poland, just as Shivā is the name of Kali Mata of Hinduism. Further on Poland,
"Vogt in his lectures of Man assumes the Polish to be descended from Hindu sources..."[73]
Lithuania
Table of gods worshiped in pre-Christian Lithuania:
Deity Vedic equivalent About god
Praamžius Dievas Prajapati The supreme or leader of the gods.
Dievas Senelis ("Good Old Man") Yama He is a teacher of people and judge of their morality. He looks like an old traveling beggar. Dievas Senelis is proficient at magic and medicine. Epithet of Dievas.
Perkūnas Prajanya Thunder, a son of Dievas ("dievaitis.")
Saulė Surya The Sun Goddess.
Ašvieniai Ashvins The divine twins who pulled the chariot of the Sun.

There is a Lithuanian folk song reminiscent of a Vedic tale.[74][3]

Russia

In Russia's Volga region during excavation, a 7th century AD Varaha statue was found in Staraya Maina village within the Ulyanovsk region[75] (this ancient area was highly populated city 1700 years ago.) Ulyanovsk State University's archaeology department Dr. Alexander Kozhevin's team had made the discovery after having excavated the area. A famous Russian historian had written that thousands of years before the 'Kiev-Rus' culture (from which Russian nation originated) there was a 'Vedic-Rus' which was characterized by an international Vedic culture.[76] During the 14th century CE Indian gold coins were found in the Volga region near the village of Tenishevo, indicating a flourishing trade between India and Russia.

Americas

Africa

South Africa
The first Hindu Temple in South Africa (above) was a very simple design. It was built in 1869, and is now a Protected Site by South African government.

The first Hindu temple in South Africa was constructed in 1869.

Ghana
Hindus celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi in Ghana.[77]
Hare Krishnas chanting in Ghana.[78]

See also

References

  1. P. 330 The Serpent The Eagle The Lion & The Disk By Brannon Parke
  2. P. 370 Studies in Indian Coins By D.C. Sircar
  3. They were called 'Turiya' in the Avesta.
  4. It is in northern Afghanistan.
  5. P. 62 Mute Dreams, Blind Owls, and Dispersed Knowledges: Persian Poesis in the Transnational Circuitry By Michael M. J. Fischer
  6. P. 133 The works of Sir William Jones: with the life of the author by Lord Teignmouth in Thirteen Volumes Volume 3 By Sir William Jones
  7. Textual Sources for the Study of Zoroastrianism edited by Mary Boyce
  8. It is particularly members of the Parsi Theosophy.
  9. P. 264 The Parsis of India: Preservation of Identity in Bombay City By Jesse S. Palsetia
  10. P. 178 Parsis in India and the Diaspora edited by John Hinnells, Alan Williams
  11. P. 522 The British Critic: A New Review, Volume 20
  12. P. 49 Revelation of the Holy Grail By Chevalier Emerys
  13. P. 41 Gnostic Ethics and Mandaean Origins By Edwin M. Yamauchi
  14. It is the original name of India.
  15. P. 128 Handbuch der Orientalistik. Abt. 1, Der Nahe und der Mittlere Osten, Bd 8, Religion, Abschnitt 1, Religionsgeschichte des Alten Orients, Lief. 2. H. 2, A history of Zoroastrianism, Vol. 3, Zoroastrianism under Macedonian and Roman rule By Mary Boyce; Frantz Grenet
  16. P. viii A History of Indian Civilization: Ancient and classical traditions By Radhakamal Mukerjee, Gurmukh Ram Madan, Viśvaprakāśa Gupta
  17. P. 1xi The Zend-Avesta: The Sîrôzahs, Yasts, and Nyâyis edited by James Darmesteter, Lawrence Heyworth Mills
  18. P. 10 The Sound System of Modern Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic) By Edward Y. Odisho
  19. P. 421 Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency: Tha'na (2 pts.) Volume XIII, Part II By Government Central Press
  20. Frahavars means angels.
  21. History of Civilizations of Central Asia: The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizations: 700 B.C. to A.D. 250 By Ahmad Hasan Dani
  22. P. 253 The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism By Michael Stausberg, Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina, Anna Tessmann
  23. P. 37 Persian Architectural Heritage: Architecture, Structure and Conservation By Mehrdad Hejazi, Fatemeh Mehdizadeh Saradj
  24. P. 253 The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Zoroastrianism By Michael Stausberg, Yuhan Sohrab-Dinshaw Vevaina, Anna Tessmann
  25. Studia Orientalia, Volume 64
  26. P. 64 The Hebrew Pharaohs of Egypt: The Secret Lineage of the Patriarch Joseph By Ahmed Osman
  27. Mayrhofer II 780
  28. Mayrhofer II 182
  29. Mayrhofer II 189, II378
  30. Mayrhofer I 553
  31. Mayrhofer I 134
  32. Mayrhofer II 540, 696
  33. It is a name in Palestine.
  34. Mayrhofer II 209, 735
  35. Mayrhofer I 686, I 736
  36. P. 104 Astrological Magazine, Volume 73, Issues 1-6 1984
  37. P. 15 Cyrus the Great - Celestial Sovereign By Sam Kerr
  38. P. 28 The Kingdom of Armenia: A History By M. Chahin
  39. P. 28 The Kingdom of Armenia: A History By M. Chahin
  40. P. 705 World Vedic heritage: a history of histories : presenting a unique unified field theory of history that from the beginning of time the world practised Vedic culture and spoke Sanskrit, Volume 1 By Purushottam Nagesh Oak
  41. P. 181 Green Leaves: Harish S. Booch Memorial Volume By Harish S. Booch
  42. P. 132 The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran: Rural Revolt and Local Zoroastrianism By Patricia Crone
  43. 43.0 43.1 P. 67 An era of peace By Krishna Chandra Sagar
  44. P. 158 Foreign Influence on Ancient India By Krishna Chandra Sagar
  45. P. 443 Asiatick Researches, Or, Transactions of the Society Instituted ..., Volume 14
  46. P. 320 Atlantis: The Antediluvian World By Ignatius Donnelly
  47. P. 59 The Magic Arts in Celtic Britain By Lewis Spence
  48. P. 41 Bharātīya Vidyā, Volume 51 By Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
  49. P. 974 Indian Law Quarterly Review, Volume 5 By Arora Law House
  50. P. xviii The Orphic Hymns By Apostolos N Athanassakis and Benjamin M Wolkow
  51. P. xiv: 'The Orphic Hymns' By Apostolos N Athanassakis and Benjamin M Wolkow.
  52. P. 2 Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: A Brief History By Charles H. Kahn
  53. P. 97 Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: A Brief History By Charles H. Kahn
  54. P. 9 Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: A Brief History By Charles H. Kahn
  55. P. 9 Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: A Brief History By Charles H. Kahn
  56. P. 377 The Middle Platonists, 80 B.C. to A.D. 220 By John M. Dillon
  57. P. 199 The Middle Platonists, 80 B.C. to A.D. 220 By John M. Dillon
  58. ,'Experiencing World History By Paul Vauthier Adams, Erick Detlef Langer, Lily Hwa, Peter N. Stearns, Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks
  59. P. 974 Indian Law Quarterly Review, Volume 5 By Arora Law House
  60. P. 77 Jesus: The Explosive Story of the 30 Lost Years and the Ancient Mystery By Tricia McCannon
  61. P. 39 Hermes in the Academy: Ten Years' Study of Western Esotericism at the ... edited by Wouter J. Hanegraaff, Joyce Pijnenburg
  62. Page 147 The Archaeological Journal - Volume 33 By The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
  63. P. 133 The Bhilsa Topes; Or, Buddhist Monuments of Central India, Etc By Sir Alexander Cunningham
  64. P. 2705 The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language, Volume 4 edited by William Dwight Whitney, Benjamin Eli Smith
  65. P. 686 The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Review, Volume 202 By Sylvania Urban
  66. (P. 277 Encyclopædia britannica; or, A dictionary of arts, sciences, and miscellaneous literature by Colin Macfarquhar; George Gleig
  67. P. 7 The Book of Finglas By Seán Ó Broin; Other groups were Nemedians from Black Sea, Milesians are descendants of Milead (from his 3 sons Ir, Heremon, Heber, sent westward in search of Island of Destiny), Gailiuns, Liogarne, and later arrivals to Moynalta were described as big, blond, fair-haired men of Teutonic origin, who came to Moynalta about the time of Alexander the Great
  68. Druidism and the ancient Religions of India
  69. P. 28 Footprints of the Welsh Indians and Sailors of the Past By William L. Traxel
  70. P. 124 The Druids By Peter Berresford Ellis
  71. How did a Buddha statue land in Viking hands? BY SAM LITTLEFAIR| MARCH 24, 2016
  72. "The Helgo Treasure: A Viking Age Buddha" by Colm
  73. P. 386 The Races of Europe: A Sociological Study (Lowell Institute Lectures) By William Zebina Ripley
  74. P. 323 The Religion of the Ṛigveda By Hervey De Witt Griswold
  75. "Ancient Vishnu idol found in Russian town"
  76. India’s Emerging Partnerships in Eurasia: Strategies of New Regionalism By Dr. Nivedita Das Kundu
  77. Hinduism growing in Africa without Proselytizing by Desh Kapoor
  78. Hinduism growing in Africa without Proselytizing by Desh Kapoor