“In Mathura, we became convinced of the fact that the inhabitants of the Greek Olympus were born nearer to the Himalayas than to the country of Homer, that Parnassus must be sought near the Bamian, and that Apollo, Hercules, Bacchus and Orpheus are Avataras of Krishna, Baladeva, Vagisa and Arjuna, the friend of Krishna, one of the Pandavas.” (From ‘Caves and Jungles of Hindustan’ by Helena Petrova Blavatsky – (1831-1891).
The ancient name of Bamiyan (in present day Afghanistan) was ‘Varnmaya’ (वर्णमय), Sanskrit for ‘that which consists of symbolic letters, colours and sound’.
Mount Parnassus is a mountain of limestone in central Greece that towers above the Delphi Oracle, north of the Gulf of Corinth, According to Greek mythology, this mountain was sacred to Apollo, the same Apollo that Blavatsky says was the Greek avatar of Sri Krishna. (See passage above).
|Mount Parnassus, Greece
The name ‘Parnassus’ has Sanskrit origins.
Blavatsky traced the origins of the name ‘Parnassus’ in Greece, to the Old Persian (Avestan) name of Hindu Kush which was ‘Paropanisus’. Blavatsky was of the opinion that Paropanisus was a distortion of Old Persian ‘Paru’ which means ‘mountain’. But the old Persian ‘paru’ itself has Sanskrit origins, where ‘paru’ (परु) also means ‘mountain’.
An even more ancient name of the Hindukush was ‘Paariyatra’ (पारियात्रा) and is first mentioned in the Kishkinda Kand, Chapter 42, of the ancient Sanskrit epic, the Valmiki Ramayana.
Edward Pococke, in his ‘India in Greece’ put forth the view that the Hindukush, that is the ‘Paariyatra’ of the Ramayana, came to be known as ‘Devanika’ because of the many ‘deva’ (देव) or ‘gods’ that dwelt there. According to Pococke one of the peaks of the Devanika range was the ‘Parnassus’, which later came to be known as ‘the hill of Bamiyan’. It was called Parnassus because of the many ‘parnasi’ (पर्णसि) that adorned its slopes. The ‘paranasi’ were the ‘leaf and branch’ huts, the dwelling places of the Hindu ascetics who inhabited the Parnassus. The root of the word ‘parnasi’ is ‘parna’ (पर्ण) which means ‘leaf’.
Mainstream theorist do not venture as far as Sanskrit in their quest to trace the phonology of Parnassus. They limit themselves to Luwian (an ancient Indo-European language) and say that Parnassus gets its name from Luwian ‘parna’ meaning ‘house’. But then in ancient times if huts were predominantly made of leaves and branches, it may just be that the ‘Luwian ‘parna’ is the equivalent of both house and leaves. In ancient India, leaf huts were also called ‘parna-kuti’ (पर्णकुटी).
Adjacent to the Paranassus Peak in Greece is the Oracle of Delphi. The second largest Oracle in Greece is the Oracle of Dodoni, which gets its name from the Sanskrit ‘Devi-deva’. The Oracle of Dodoni lies close to Mt. Tomaros in the southwestern Ioannina region in the Pindus mountain range of Greece. Edward Pococke traces the name ‘Pindus’ to the ‘Pandava‘ clan of the other great Sanskrit epic of ancient India, the Mahabharata. For more about the India connect to the Oracle of Dodoni click here.
|Mt Tomaros and the Oracle of Dodoni
The name Tomaros stems from the
Sanskrit ‘Sumeru‘ and Dodona
from Sanskrit ‘Devi-Deva‘
Referring to the Greek God Bacchus, Blavatsky wrote that the legend of the Greek Bacchus emerges from the Vedic God Vagisha* who it is said first appeared on mount Su-Meru. Blavatsky places Sumeru near Bamiyan in the Hindukush and traces the name Tomoras to Sumeru.
The historians of Alexander the Great, who had traversed to this part of the world, called the Su-Meru mountain ‘Su-Meros’, and insisted even in those days that it was the abode of Bacchus.
According to the mythology of the Greeks, Bacchus was born from the thigh of ‘Jupiter’. In Greek the word for thigh is ‘meros’ – hence the confusion. Bacchus was not born from the ‘meros’ or thigh of Jupiter, his legend appeared from the Hindu legend of Vagisha and his abode at Mt. Sumeru. The ‘s’ often changes to ‘t’ in Greek, hence the Sanskrit ‘Sumeru’ that corrupted into ‘Sumeros’ ultimately changed to Tomaros’.
*Vagisha (वागीश) is one of the manifestations of both Shiva and Vishnu.
The Matsaya Purana names two rivers by the names of ‘Parnasa’ and ‘Tamasa’. And it is likely that ascetics who travelled to different regions of the Devanika Range of Greater India named their new habitation places, as they travelled westwards, from the names in the scriptures of India.