Delphi is an ancient archaeological site  on the south-western slope of  Mount Parnassus and has known to be in existence since 1400 BC. It is the site of the Oracles and the famous ‘Omphalos’.

The ‘Omphalos’ at the
Oracle of Delphi in Greece

In Greek, Omfi (ομφη signifies ‘divina vox’, or the ‘divine voice’. However, neither Greek nor even Hebrew explains the meaning of this word. The ‘φη‘ (fi) in the word ‘ομφη‘ (Omfi) is a paragog, that is, an addition of a sound or a syllable to the end of a word, (for example st in amongst). The sound is added to the ordinary form of a word to express additional emphasis or to just lengthen the word. The actual word, in this case remains ‘Om‘ rather than ‘Omfi’. But then again ‘Om’ itself has no meaning in Greek.

The Greeks often call the oracles, or places where the oracles were delivered, the ομφαλοι, οr ‘Omphalos‘, and these places were interpreted as the ‘navels of the world’. But since the Greeks did not consider Delphi, as the ‘navel of the world’, and also because there were many places of Oracles and ‘Ompahalos’, it is evident that the Greeks did not know the true meaning of the word.

The earliest name of Delphi was ‘Pytho’. Click here to read about the Sanskrit connection and the origin of the name ‘Pytho’. 

Regarding Delphi, Godfrey Higgins, the author of the book Anacalypsis, which was published in 1834, had this to say, ” … Delphi has the meaning of the female organ of generation, called in India ‘Yoni‘….I find the Oracle or Divina vox at Delphi called Omphalos, and the word Delphi means the female generative power; and in front of the temple at Delphi, in fact constituting a part of the religious edifice, was a large Phallus or Linga, anointed every day with oil. This, all taken together, shows very clearly that Omphale means the oracle of the generative (androgynous) power of Om. But it might also come from the sacred word Ομ (Om) and φαλος (falos) – the benignant Om.”

The following update on this post is contributed by Vinay Vaidya

“The word ‘Delphi’ itself is the Sanskrit ‘DeviH’ that took this form with the passage of time.”
He adds, “In Mathematics the ‘null-set’ is represented by
 φ- or ‘orifice’ which means a ‘hole’, ‘mouth’, or an ‘aperture’. 

“The word ‘yoni’ is used in Vedic texts such as devi -atharvashIrSha . In this text the ‘devi’ tells the deva(s) “I am shunyA‘ and ‘ashunyA“. The principle of the Supreme is accepted and expressed as the ‘womb’ and ‘mother principle’. On the other hand It is also represented by the ‘phallus’ that is derived from cephalus / kapAla, and atharvashIrSha talks about this as the Head of the Father principle…. Shiva is also ‘kAmAri‘ the enemy of lust and passion at the same time”. 


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