The Mitanni Empire (1500-1300 BC) was a loosely organized Hurrian speaking state in what is today the northern part of Syria and South East Turkey. During the Amarna Period, around 1350 BC, Mitanni was a major international power.

By about 1480 BC Mitanni had been unified under Parrattarna, the Hurrian overlord of king Idrimi. The name Parattarna means ‘Superior Sun’ or ‘Great Sun’ in Sanskrit [Para (पर) meaning ”superior’ or ‘great’. Tarna or Tarni (तर्णि) meaning Sun].

Tarna (तरण) means ‘heaven’ or ‘crossing over’ in Sanskrit and points to ‘crossing over to heaven’ or attaining moksha. Nevertheless, the word ‘tarna’ emerges repeatedly in the names of Mittani royalty. names include Shuttarna (शत-तरण), Parratarna (पर-तरण) and Artatarna (अर्थ-तरण).

The word ‘ratha’ (रथ) meaning chariot also occurs repeatedly, example – Tushratta and Chittaratta, akin to the Dasharatha of Ramayana. Or the name ‘ratta’ may be used in the sense of  रत, which means joyful. Tusha and Chitta mean ‘splendid’ and ‘mind or thought’.

The Vedic Gods such as Mitra, Varuna and Indra were also invoked in many of the treaties that the Mittani signed with other kingdoms.

Egyptian sources refer to the Mittani as Egyptian ‘nhrn’, the Assyro-Akkadian word for ‘river’. ‘Nhrn’ itself may have had Sanskrit roots either in ‘nira’ (नीर) that is ‘water’ or ‘nihar (नीहार), which means ‘heavy dew’, ‘snow’, ‘fog’, or ‘mist’.

Indian scholars have long argued that  there was a major Vedic influence on Egypt. Here is a photograph from the book ‘Egyptian Myths and Legends’ which has caught the attention of some Indologists. The attire is akin to what was the dress code of ancient Indians and the person seems to be wearing a Vedic Tilak – though that cannot be verified.

Suggested Links: 1. Indo European Sanskrit Decipherment of the Indus Valley Script

                           2. A Thousand Miles up the Nile


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