SWEDEN – THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

The name Sweden is derived from Old English ‘Sweooeod’, which meant ‘People of the Swedes’. The etymology of the word ‘Swedes’, and thus of ‘Sweden’, is derived from Proto-Germanic ‘Swihoniz’ which means ‘one’s own’. Herein lies the Sanskrit connect.

In Sanskrit, ‘sva’ (स्व) means ‘ones’s own’, ‘their own’, ‘relative’, ‘kinsmen’, ‘human soul’ or ‘self’. ‘Svadha’ (स्वधा) means ‘own place’, ‘own portion’ or ‘home’. 

There is a Vedic connect as well to the mythology of the Nordic countries (Scandinavia, Greenland,Iceland). Here is an example:


In the Nordic prose ‘Edda’, which it has been argued by some have their origins in the Vedas, the beginning of the world out of a ‘gaping nothingness’, is referred to as ‘Ginnungagap’. ‘Ginnungagap’ is initiated by a great cow known as ‘Audhumla’. The similarity to Vedic texts is striking.

According to the Vedas, the world originates from ‘Hiranyagarbha’ (हिरण्यगर्भ) which translates as the ‘Golden Fetus’ and is also the name of God Brahma, the Creator. Nordic ‘Ginnungagap’ – the gaping nothingness from which the world starts – is nothing but a distortion of the Sanskrit ‘Hiranyagarbha’. The name of the cow in the Eddas is equally fascinating- ‘Audhumla’. In Sanskrit ‘Audhamula’ means ‘the root at the beginning of origin’ – ‘aadau’ (आदौ) – ‘at the beginning’, ‘mula’ ( मूल) ‘root’ or ‘origin’.

The ‘Eddas’ are about 1500 years old, the Vedas of course are much older. That there is a similarity between the Eddas and the Vedas is unquestionable. What is curious is that the similarities exist even though the Vedas and Eddas originated among people who geographically were 4000 miles and chronologically at least 2000 years apart. 

For more on the subject here are a couple of suggested Links:

1. Keeping up with the Joneses

2. Eddas and Vedas: Comparative Mythologies

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