In Greek history, Pelasgus was the ancestor of the Pelasgians, a population that were the ancestors of the Greeks – that is they preceded the Greeks and were the source of all knowledge that one sees later in the so called Greek civilization.
Where did the Pelasgians come from and what does the name ‘Pelasgus’ mean in Greek? There is no translation for the name ‘Pelasgus’ in Greek which is not surprising because the Pelasgians spoke a language that pre-dated Greek.
Much later, in around 700 B.C., Asius one of the poets of Greek civilization had this to say about the Pelasgusian race:
“Godlike Pelasgus, on the mountain chase,
The sable (black) earth gave forth her mortal race.“
The couplet is originally in Greek, and Asius uses the Greek word ‘gaia’ in the couplet which later interpreters translated as ‘earth’. But Edward Pococke in his book ‘India in Greece’ written in 1851 AD clarifies. He says that it was the word ‘Gaya’ that was tweaked by interpreters into ‘gaia’ in Asius’s work – it was Gaya (in Bihar in India) that ‘gave forth Pelasgus its race’. And there are reasons which lead credence to Edward Pococke’s claim.
For one, the etymological origin or the source of the Greek word ‘gaia’ is unknown – which is strange because even Proto Indo European which was reconstructed by reverse engineering has not been able to find or fabricate a source word for ‘gaia’!
Not only did the Greeks, intentionally or for want of an explanation, misinterpret the words ‘gaia’; they also invented legends and myths to support their contention. Edward Pococke, in his book, ‘India in Greece’ published in 1851 wrote, “It is entertaining to view the process by which the Greeks first misunderstood a Pelasgic term, then fitted out a tale upon on their own translation of what they imagined to be Greek….”
For example the word ‘gaia’ was not only misinterpreted to mean ‘earth’, it was then put forth as the ‘personification of Mother Earth’ and in time Gaia became Goddess Gaia.
Unlike the Hindu Goddesses where each of the names has a meaning in Sanskrit (for example Durga from Sanskrit ‘durg’ (दुर्ग) meaning ‘difficult’ – she is the goddess who give strength against difficulties, Parvati from Sanskrit ‘parvat’ (पर्वत) meaning ‘mountain’ – she is the daughter of the Himalayas, or ‘Lakshmi’ (लक्ष्मी) – meaning ‘good fortune’- Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, the Greeks have been unable to decode any of the names of their Goddesses in their language. And they also fail to explain the source words for either Pelasagus or Gaia.
In his book, “Mysteries of Ancient Greece, Coen Vonk writes,”The history and origin of ancient Greece were not clearly written down by the Greeks themselves, but ancient Indian writings such as the Puranas, the Mahabharata, and the Rajput genealogies may hold keys to solving some of these questions.”
Which brings us back to Pelasagus and Gaia. In his research work, Edward Pococke had traced the movement of tribes from India in years far before when the Greek civilization had begun to take roots.
The ancient Sanskrit texts Mahabharata, YoginiTantra, and the Vayu Purana mention the city of ‘Gaya’ in Bihar, then called ‘Pelasa’. According to the Vayu Purana the city of Gaya was named after an asura by the name ‘Gayasura’ – who practiced asceticism by praying to God Vishnu. He chanted and sang praises in the name of Vishnu, hence ‘geya’ (गेय) or ‘song’ – from Sanskrit ‘gai’ (गै), to ‘sing’, ‘chant’, or ‘sing praises’.
And if indeed there was a race that in its slow migration towards the West took along with itself the glories of ancient Gaya, they have left their footprints on way. For en-route in their journey is the temple of Rekim-Gaya! The original Aramaic texts (Aramaic was the language that Jesus Christ spoke) say that the name of Petra, the ancient temple of Jordan, was Rekem-Gaya. ‘Rechin’ Gaya translates as Red-Gaya from Sanskrit – ‘rechin’ (रेचिन्) means ‘red’ as against the ‘black’ Gaia that Asius, the Greek poet wrote about in his verses on Pelasgus. Click here to read more about the Sanskrit connection to the name ‘Petra’ and ‘Rekem-Gaya’.
|The Petra Temple in Jordan has also been
identified as Rekem-Gaya
which means ‘Red-Gaya’.
As for the name Pelasgus, Edward Pococke writes, “Pelasa, the ancient name for the province of Bahara (Bihar) is so denominated from the Pelasa, or ‘Butea Frondosa’. Pelasha is a derivative form of Pelasa, hence the Greek ‘Pelasgos'”. ‘Butea Frondosa’ is the botanical name for what is known in Sanskrit as ‘Palasha’ (पलाश) tree, commonly called ‘the Flame of the Forest’ in English. Pococke traces the exodus of a huge number of people from Bihar (then called by various names including Pelasa and Magadh) towards the Western reaches of the world. In fact, he traces the name Macedonia to Magadha via Makadonia.
The Sanskrit name for ‘Butea Frondosa’
The Greek name ‘Pelasagus’ originates
from Sanskrit ‘Palasha.
Edward Pococke, who did extensive research on the Pelasgus tribe and their language which lead to the development of Greek language, had this to say, ” The Greek language is a derivation from Sanskrit, therefore Sanskrit speaking people, i.e Indians must have dwelt in Greece, and the dwelling must have preceded the settlement of those tribes which helped to produce the corruption of the old language; or in other words, the people who spoke that language – i.e., the Indians, must have been the primitive settlers, or at least, they must have colonized the country so early, and dwelt their so long, as to have effaced all dialectic traces of any other inhabitants…“.