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Footprints of Vedic Culture in the World

By Professor Lata Dani

Abstract

Creador y Formador, del corazon del
God and the Creator of
Cielo, del corazón de la tierra.
The heavens and of the earth.
………………………………
Que amanezca, que llegue la aurora!
May we wake up to the dawn and in thy light
Danos muchos buenos caminos,caminos planos!
Lead us on to the right and the blessed path
Que los pueblos tengan paz, mucha paz, y sean felices:
So, all the people may have peace, great peace, and happiness
y danos buena vida y útil existencia
Bless us with good life and a meaningful existence.

Maya Calendar

Thus the Mayas pray to the heart of the Earth, the sky, to the creator and the protector to grant them the essential strength, which comes only to an enlightened soul to show the way to work for universal peace. They pray for divine guidance for adopting the path of peace for humanity, peace for the universe and human welfare.

Like the Hindus they pray:

Tamaso ma jyotirgamya – lead us from darkness to light.

The Hindus seek God’s blessings not for themselves only but for the entire universe.            “Sarvepi Sukhinah santu, Sarve santu niramaya            Sarve bhadrani pashyantu,ma kashit dukhamapunuyat.”

And pray for Peace:            Om shantih, shantih, shantih.

Most of the Indigenous cultures of the world have similar prayers that shows their world view and they seem to propagate the concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. This world belongs to the almighty who assumes different names in different cultures yet remains the same. Their vision of life is holistic and it includes everything not just humans but all living beings visible and invisible and they pray for peace for all. Though many indigenous cultures grew independently, they remained broadly similar in their –
Conceptualization of Nature
Nature Worship
Idolatry
Forms of Worship
Rituals Customs and Festivals

Many Indigenous cultures bear remarkable similarity to the ancient Indian Vedic culture they are tracing their roots to India. For them Dharma is a way of life adopted by the society for general good. The sanatana dharma (something which is forever) is known as Hinduism. It is not founded by any person or persons it rests on universal and eternal spiritual principles and not on beliefs and dogmas. Hinduism is a science it rests on impersonal universal truth. Thus it grows faster and gets richer. It continues to explore divine reality. It is not a closed system. Hence we find many similarities between World’s ancient indigenous cultures.
The purpose of this paper is to trace existence of the ancient Vedic Cultures in other remote parts of the world. Some of these cultures which bare great similarities with the Vedic culture are:
1. Latin American Cultures : Maya and the Aztecs
2. Maoris of New Zealand
3. Druids of Ireland
4. The Asatru
5. Roma Gypsies
6. African Tribes
7. Zulu.
It is not possible to deal with all of the above cultures in the short compass of this article, hence this paper deals with only the first four cultures mentioned above.

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Article

“There are many ways to get to the mountain summit,
But there is only one summit. There are many religions,
But only one creator”.
There are many deities but there is only one God and we are all His creations. The ancient Indian sages gave us the precept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakum-which means that the world is one family. Mankind whether the Aztecs, the Incas, the Mayas of yore, or whether the Druids of Ireland, the Romuas, or the Maoris, whether the tribal people the world over or the people of India who represent the biggest indigenous culture, all have a similar way of life, allowing, of course, variations caused by geography. They have the same attitude to Divinity Nature and to life. The have the same conceptualization of nature, the tendency to see divinity reflected in natural forms and worship. They have deities which are symbolic of different aspects of nature. The indigenous people have always worshipped and still continue to worship the incarnations of three forces of Nature: Creator (known to the Hindus as Brahma), the Preserver (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Mahesh or Shiva). They have broadly similar mythology, similar creation story, and similar way of life, customs, traditions and social structure which allows a stratification of society, and so on. A study of these ancient indigenous cultures reveals this similarity.

This article is an attempt to bring out the similarity between the ancient Indian Vedic culture of The Hindus and the Mayas of Guatemala and the Latin American countries, The Aztecs of Mexico, the Maoris of New Zealand, the Druids of Ireland and the Asatrus of Europe
Hinduism is known as the sanatana dharma. It is not founded by any person or persons it rests on universal and eternal spiritual principles and not on beliefs and dogmas.
Hinduism is a science .It continues to explore divine reality. It is not a closed system it rests on impersonal universal truth. Thus it grows faster and gets richer.
1. Satya-brahma/atman- The ultimate spiritual truth or reality.
2. The brahamanda (the cosmic universe).
3. The nature of brahmanda and its cyclic duration
4. Karma-sansar mukti
5. Para-brahman and apara-brahamn
6. Ishwara-deva devata avatara (deities)
7. Worship of ishwara-upasana
8. yoga-paths to divine reality

A study of various indigenous cultures shows that those societies and their beliefs are based on principles similar to those mentioned above. These similarities lead us to believe that they all have a common origin i.e. the Vedic culture which is the Sanatana (forever) and the oldest culture.

The Aztecs of Mexico

My Study of the Aztecs is based on Florentine Codex: 12 Book history of New Spain, by Fray Bernardino de Shahagun; Bancroft’s History of Mexico; Five Letters written by the
Spanish conquistador Cortez to the King of Spain; William Prescott’s History of the Conquest of Mexico; Works of Scholars like Wissler Clarke, George C Vaillant , Victor Von Hogan down to the present.

Who were the Aztecs ? The traditional history of the Aztecs begins with their coming out of their mythic land ‘Aztalan’ in the year of the Aztec calendar I tecpatl (one stone knife) which probably is II68 of the Christian era. This event is depicted in one of their picture manuscript known as Borurini Codex.Pre-Columbian America was the home of the so-called ‘Red Indian Tribes’ like the Aztecs, the Mayas, the Cherokees, the Iroquois and others. Anthropologists are widely agreed that the human race originated in the eastern hemisphere, in Africa and Asia but they do not agree on when and how humanity came to occupy the two major continents of the Western hemisphere, North and South America and their connecting link Central America. Physical anthropologists have found that all Amerindians have similar body characteristics such as sharply limited blood types, skin colour, stocky build, dark eyes, coarse and straight head hair, rare baldness and graying and certain anomalies of fingerprints and teeth which are markedly similar to the Asians.

The Aztecs had made magnificent achievements in Astronomy, Mathematics, Architecture, Medicine and arts They were known for Architecture Jewelry ( Gold, Jade, and Turquoise Sculpture and textiles. Hernando Cortes set foot on the Mexican shores in 1514; by 1522 the Aztec nation had lost its identity and was named New Spain. Cortes sent five letters to the Spanish emperor Charles V these letters he gave descriptions of the Aztec kingdom, its wealth and his conquest of this nation. As early as 1580 Bernardino de Shahagun a Franciscan friar had written the true history of the Aztec in his book called The History of Things.

The European scholars obviously looked at the Aztecs from their own of view. However these scholars agreed that the Aztec culture is not autochthonous and that these people had an eastern origin. William Prescott has hinted at the similarity between the Aztecs and the ‘Hindus of India beyond the Ganges’. He has noted the mythological and religious similarities between the Indians i.e. the people of Bharat (India) in Asia. In 1940 Chamanlal published a book Hindu America which traces the similarities between Pre-Columbian American culture and that of the Hindus. The analogies in the forms of worship, social customs and usages are quite impressive. He has supported his thesis by quoting competent authorities.

In modern times, archaeological excavations, readings of Mayan hieroglyphics and artifacts have vastly added to our knowledge of these Amerindian societies, the Aztecs, being one of them. Scholars in recent times have again hinted at the similarities between the Amerindian way of life, worship and religion and that of the Hindus. This, again, calls for the study of the Aztec culture from the Indian (Hindu) point of view.

Today, known as Mestizo, the modern Aztecs live in absolute poverty. They are industrious people and earn their livelihood by the practice of their native art. Aztec ceremonies ranging from pre-birth to post-death form an interesting subject matter for comparative research. Aztec festivals too bear similarity with Hindu festivals.

To an Indian, the study of the Aztec society is an interesting experience. An Indian can easily understand the Aztec way of life, their religion, customs and traditions simply because they are so similar to his own. He can comprehend things Cortes and Shahagun failed to understand. What they dumped as meaningless is intelligible to the Indians. It is a pity Cortes destroyed valuable records and books. These could have thrown light on Indo Aztec relationship. Our study is now confined only to secondary and tertiary sources.

The study of the Aztec culture started with Fray Bernardino de Shahagun, a Franciscan friar and a scholar from Spain. In modern times the real study of the Aztec culture started with William Prescott’s History of the Conquest of Mexico published in 1934. Earlier Bancroft’s History of Mexico gave an account of Aztec history and people. Prescott’s study was carried forward by Wissler Clarke, George C Vaillant and Victor Von Hogan. Prescott has hinted at the similarities between the Aztecs and the Hindus. He has noted the religious and mythological similarities between the two. As the Aztecs continued to attract scholars, more and more studies came forward. Archaeological excavations have thrown new light on the Aztec Empire and the Aztec people. Scholars now agree that the Aztecs had an Indian or more precisely Vedic connection with India and they (and all Pagan cultures for that matter) had their origin in the Vedic Indian Culture. Thus the role of India as the donor culture is generally accepted.

A study of Aztec Mythology points to the Indo Aztec links especially Quetzalcoatl. However, some questions continue to torment us. The identity of Quetzalcoatl remains an enigma. It is possible that Quetzalcoatl the arch preceptor of the Aztecs was the Indian sage Astik who built the civilization at Tula for the Naga people who were estranged from their original homeland- India. Astika gave political asylum to the Nagas in Patala and it is generally believed that Patala was the American continent. Their protector and guide, Astika guarded the Nagas against the wrath of Janmejaya the king from the Pandava dynasty, who had vowed to destroy the entire race of the Nagas. The last survivor of the Naga clan Taxaca escaped and hid himself under the seat of Indra, (Tlaloc being the Mexican counterpart of Indra). Significantly Mexico has a place bearing the name Texcoco.

Who was this Quetzalcoatl? Where exactly was his original home in the East? Where did he go after he was compelled to leave Tula? What is the meaning of his promised return? Did he have any connection with one of the heroes of the Mahabharata, or the sage Astika? All these questions demand intensive research.

Similarly, the story of the chili pepper man who later became the son-in-law of the king of Tula and a hero after he returned from the battle is similar to the story of Arjuna the Pandava prince’s visit to Patala and his marriage to the Naga princess Ulupi. We need to probe the identity of this chili pepper man and needs further probing.

There is also a remarkable similarity between the attitude to divinity and life held by the Aztecs and the Indians. As regards the religious philosophy, for both the Aztecs and the Indians, the cosmic order depended on a reciprocal relationship between humans and the gods, maintained through elaborate ceremonies. Since humans needed favorable treatment from the gods in order to survive, rituals solicited, for example, the help of agricultural
deities in order to secure good harvests. For both the Aztecs and the Indians, the cosmic order depended on a reciprocal relationship between humans and the gods, maintained through elaborate ceremonies, rituals solicited, for example, help of agricultural deities in order to secure good harvests. Thus both practiced Idolatry and were similar in their conceptualization of nature in the form of gods and goddesses whom they worshipped with utmost reverence.
The Aztec (and the Maya) concept of creation is similar to that of the Indians. Both believed in the cycle of creation. Both believed that it took four attempts at creating the earth and mankind before the gods finally got everything right with the fifth attempt. Moreover, Hymn 121 of Book 10 in the Rig-Veda is similar to the description of creation as found in the Popol Vuh. In fact there are many similarities between the Vedic creation legend and that described in the Popol Vuh. These have been described in the book ‘How the Universe Was Created and Our Purpose In it’ by Stephen Knapp.

The Aztecs and the Indians had a similar attitude to life and death. Both held that man owes his existence to the Supreme Being and were willing to surrender it to its source. They had similar concept of Heaven and Hell and had similar belief in Reincarnation of the soul. Aztec religion and mythology sanctified human sacrifice. The myth of the creation of man tells us that the creator Quetzalcoatl poured his own blood over them. Consequently, according to the Aztecs mankind must pay back this primal sacrifice. The justification was that they were only returning to god what belonged to god in the first place. There are references to young men willingly offering themselves for the sacrificial altar. In the Aztec society, human sacrifice had social and religious sanction and this ritual was carried out amid great ceremony. The Bharatiya Sanskriti Kosh (Encyclopedia of Indian Culture in Marathi language) also tells us that in India human sacrifices were prevalent since the Vedic period. Later, the section of society, which insisted on following the cruel practice, was expelled from the land. This section must have gone and settled in America. Apparently, in India too, human sacrifices were offered to retrieve hidden treasures, to ensure the longevity of a residential building, or a fortress. Such practices are prevalent even now in the remote countryside. Scholars feel that it is unfair to dismiss Aztecs as cannibals and to justify the cruelties they were made to suffer at the hands of Cortez who took upon himself the task of saving the Aztec souls from going to hell by either converting them to Christianity or just killing them.
Absolute faith in God and insistence on idol worship is the hallmark of both the Aztec and the Indian Dharma. Indo Aztec attitude to divinity also found reflection in their rituals, religious practices ceremonies and festivals. All festivals were necessarily religious in nature. This attitude also served as the basis for their calendar beautifully synchronized with the time cycle and the agricultural operations, for agriculture formed the basis of life. Many Aztec festivals bear similarity with Indian festivals as, for example, Baisakhi, Ugadi, Dashahara and Charakpuja. Ritualistic forms of worship are common to both these cultures. Rituals accompanied by fire worship, tying of the Tilmantli are very similar to the Indian marriage rituals.

Chaturvarnya Vyawastha

Both the Aztec and the Indian Dharma made provision for fourfold stratification of
the society or the Chaturvarnya Vyawastha as it is called in India. Both had a wider and an
all-comprehensive vision of life, which enabled them to have the all-pervasive concept of
the Four Yugas. They were able to look beyond mundane human existence bound in the
parentheses of life and death as the beginning and end of life. No, life did not end in death.
Death was perceived as the break between lives. Life was seen as a cycle, reaching its fullest
expression in the four Yugas-a wider cycle of existence. The belief in this wider cycle of life
formed the bedrock of their faith and it also formed the basis of their attitude to life and
death as it also shaped the nature of the different religious ceremonies associated with
birth and death.

Likewise the similarities between the deities worshipped by the Aztecs and the gods
of the Indian pantheon, their methods of worship and consequent customs and traditions
are very much similar.

The Mayas

The Hindu and the Maya civilizations date back to thousands of years and have many
similarities in their customs, traditions, philosophy of life and even religious practices and
rituals. Consequently even today, if you go to Guatemala, you feel as if you are in India i.e.
Bharat.this is because one thing that is most common between the two cultures is their
inherent spirituality.

The Spirituality of the Mayas:

Like the Hindu way of life, Spirituality is the basic characteristic of the Maya identity.
Their essential spirituality finds maximum expression in the Mayan ceremonies. Their
Spirituality can be seen in their beliefs, values, ideas, and mystical thoughts, which
determine their destiny. In other words they determine human existence in the cosmic
universe.

The Spirituality of the Maya has at its basis the principle that the existence of
Divinity is in the heart of the sky and the earth and it is present in each of the elements of
nature. Therefore, all that exists in nature and in the Universe is considered sacred as it is
only a part of the divinity or the Supreme Being -Ser Supremo. The Mayas consider human
existence as part of this nature and the Cosmic Universe. In their cosmic vision, the Mayas
see the mutual relationship between human life and the elements of Nature. Naturally, to them, nothing and no one is superior to the Supreme Being. The Spirituality of the Maya has ingrained in them the belief that all the things, all that exists in nature and in the Universe have to live in harmony with each of these elements, maintain an equilibrium, a balance with them. This permits the human beings to ensure their health and long life.

The Mayas have a concept of the Supreme Power which rules over the Universe and which pervades over the entire Universe. The Hindus call it The Paramatma symbolised by the sound OM. It is beyond form and which manifests itself in different shapes and sounds .The Hindu deity symbolizing this Paramatma is Lord Brahma the creator of this Universe. The Aztecs call it Omteotl and the Mayas call it Aho.

To the Hindus, Brahma, is the infinite, the source of all space, time, causation, names and forms. Theologically, he is the single letter (eka-aksharam) Om and the uncreated creator (svayambhu), the self-born first person. Philosophically, he is the first manifestation of one’s existence (ahankara). Cosmologically, he is hiranyagarbha (golden embryo), the ball of fire, from which the universe develops. The Kathopanishad gives us the concept of the universe as a Tree which has its roots upwards into the sky, branches downwards in the world. The roots are the pure Brahma. The Brahma is the creator and everything in the universe owes its existence to him. The five elements are set into action by Brahma. A pure mind is like a mirror where the Brahma is reflected clearly. Brahma’s icon has four heads (chaturmukha brahma) facing the four quarter. They represent the four Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama, Atharva), the four yugas (krita, treta, dwapara, kali) (epochs of time), the four varnas (brahmana, kshatriya, vaisya, sudra). The faces have beards with eyes closed in meditation.

The Maya Concept of Creation:

Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Mayas says:
“All moons, all years, all days, all winds, Reach their completion and pass away, Measured is the time in which we can praise the splendor of the Trinity. Measured is the time in which We can know the benevolence of the Sun. Measured is the time in which the grid of the Stars looks down upon us. And through it, keeping watch over their safety, The Spirits, abiding within the Stars measures their fate.”
(from the Popol Vuh, or The Book of Council-Ancient Maya scripture)
“This we shall write now within the law of God and Christianity; we shall bring it to light because now the Popol Vuh as it is called cannot be seen any more, in which was clearly seen the coming from the other side of the sea, and the narration of our obscurity,
and our life was clearly seen. The original book, written long ago existed, but its sight is hidden from the searcher and the thinker.” (From the first page of the Popol Vuh)
The concept of Creation in the Hindu and Maya books is thus similar. In both there is also a reference to the Great Flood.

Gods of Nature:

Like the Hindus, the Mayas worship the gods of nature every day. Worshiping their gods was and is a huge part of their daily life. Some of their gods include the God of Rain, Lady Rainbow, the God of Maize (corn), and of course, the God of Sun. Without the help of these important gods, there would be no crops and everyone would starve.

The Underworld:

Maya religion was far more complicated than the simple worship of gods of nature. The Maya world was composed of 3 layers – the Heavens, the Earth, and the Underworld, sometimes called the Otherworld or the Place of Awe. The Mayas conducted many ceremonies to keep the demons, creatures and gods in the Underworld.

Ceremonies:

The ceremonies are in fact the practice of the religiosity and the spirituality of the Mayas as well as the Hindus. Through this ceremony a man seeks to establish contact with the Supreme Being, the creator of the Sky and the earth. In both the Maya and the Hindu cultures, a religious ceremony is a sacred ritual performed as a celebration of important dates under the guidance of the priests and in consultation with the sacred Alamanacs. The ceremonies are performed for the concrete objectives, offerings are made for the benefit of all and general wellbeing, health, and for gaining wisdom and positive energy during difficult times of the human existence. These religious activities are performed in ceremonial centers like the Hindu temples or Maya Altars which are built like places of sacred activities for the entire community and which as per both Hindu and Maya provision can also be used for household ceremonies. The Hindu and the Mayan ceremonies constitute at the fundamental element of their cultural identity.

The Concept of the Four Yugas

The Mayas believe that the world had been created five times and destroyed four times; this eschatology became the fundamental basis of Mesoamerican religion from 900 AD onwards when it was adopted by the Toltecs. This is similar to the Concept of the Four Yugas as expounded in the Hindu scriptures.

Belief in Rebirth: Like the Hindus the Mayas too believed in an afterlife. Commoners buried their dead inside their homes, under the floor. That way, they could live with their ancestors and keep their ancestors easily posted on their daily life. The Mayas believed they would be compensated. If they had a rough time or a rough life, this would be made up to them in their afterlife. Nobles were buried in tombs.

The Spirituality of the Maya strikes the chord of familiarity in a Hindu mind. There are many similarities between the Hindus and the Mayas in their physical features, in the social organization, food habits, in customs and so on.. These similarities and the similarities in the religious rituals were revealed during the Hindu Maya Conference in May 2005 in the city of Antigua Guatemala organized by International Center For Cultural Studies(ICCS).

Maoris of New Zealand

It was in 1865 that Tregear brought out the similarities between the Indian and Maori culture. He also traced the roots of the Maoris to Iria-India. Scholars of Language studies have noted and recorded the similarities in Sanskrit and Maori language.

Anthropologists are still seeking answers, to the question of the origin of the Maoris. It seems, studying their oral traditions that they came from Uru. According to James Siers from Uru followed a migration to Irihia. Irihia in ancient Sanskrit was Vrina…. India and the word ari, which Maoris records show as a very important food of India – the Dravidian word for rice” Accepting or assuming that the Maori came to New Zealand through India traveling towards the rising sun, they stayed in Sumatra for an indefinite period of time, moving towards Borneo, and on to the islands which they named as Ahu, Maui and Hawaiki; it is strange that these names still exist as the Ahu, Maui and Hawaii of the Hawaiin group. Far from the land of their origin they still maintained a mental and spiritual ink with the land of their origin through the customs traditions, festivals, rituals religious beliefs and above all their spirituality. Here are some examples:

 Both the Vedic Hindu culture and Maori culture attach great importance to the institution of marriage and hence adultery involving a married woman is considered a great offence. Marriage is considered essential to give legitimacy to children. The most striking similarity in the marriage customs is the practice of polygamy. More wives mean more working hands, more children born and more wealth to show off.
 The moon is a measure of time & its personified form is the God of Agriculture for Maori as well as for Indians.
 Maori occasionally employed a thirteenth month in order to regulate the year and so covered the lost time. This is quite similar to the Indian way.

As among the Hindus,The TAPU The period of childbirth is ‘Tapu’ for outsiders and contact with the child and mother is done only by specified attendants. It is a system, which
ensures that a certain amount of cleanliness and untouchability is maintained to avoid contamination of food, and protection against infection for the new mother. The place of family worship and Deities are also ‘Tapu’, The little Idols of worship of the family are not playthings, hence it is assured that they do not leave the place where they are installed. In India the system of segregating the tapu is practiced to this day in temples where no one is allowed to go into the Sanctum Sanctorum

Rituals

Marriages, deaths and births were conducted with absolute ritual as in India’s ‘SHASHTROKTA’ way. In religious education, learning by rote was practiced as in India. The Priestly class chanted the Mantras. But as the mantras were passed down from one to another often got lost when the younger generation went the modern way; a lot of these rituals and knowledge were lost to civilization.
 According to Maoris, the soul leaves the body after death and this released soul gradually moves from gross elements of the body and this process leaves a refined, unattached and immortal essence of soul that passes on further. This is the etherized form of soul after it leaves gross elements of the body gradually. Maoris have the custom of performing certain rites to dispatch the soul of the dead person to the spirit world. It is called ‘Wehe” which is the process of detaching or separating the soul from the body through the charm recited over the corpse before the burial in order to dispatch the soul of the dead person to spirit world to prevent it remaining on earth and frighten the living persons. After the burial of the body, in the evening, the mourning relatives cut their hair short leaving a long lock on the left side of the head. It is a belief that soul will not depart to spirit-land until this ceremony is performed. The word used for final departing stage of the soul as ‘awe’ in Maori, which means extreme lightness.
 Indians also believe that the soul remains in the material world for ten days and departs to its ethereal state by thirteenth day after certain rites/rituals are performed on the dead body. This ritual is called “Shradha” ceremony after the dead body is burned on pyre which is performed by the eldest son of the deceased or any son of the dead.

Polytheism.

“Traditional Maori religion can be seen as a means whereby the people perceived and came to terms with the varied environment of seacoast, forest, swamp, tussock flat and mountain that they encountered in New Zealand. They believed in a pantheon of numerous gods, which some scholars have divided into four groups. It is still sometimes claimed that at the head was a Supreme Being, ‘Io’ but the evidence is not very convincing. On the other hand there were a number of less esoteric gods, the children of Rangi (sky) and Papa (earth) the original parents. These were the gods of the forests, peace and agriculture, war, the
ocean, wind and storm, uncultivated food, earthquakes, and also the god of evil. Through myth they provided the ultimate sanctions for human behaviour and attitudes. There were also lesser gods known only in a limited area, and usually restricted to one tribe, such as Maru a wargod. Finally there were tribal ancestral spirits, who were believed to have a great influence over the affairs of their living descendants. (Man, Myth and Magic: Pp 1730,2771,1713,1730.. Marshal Cavendish, N.Y., London, Toronto)
Maoris believe that everything possesses a sacred side of the mana called Mauri such as the sky, moon, sun, rain, wind, trees, night, day and all other things. The Hindus call it Paramatma. According to native Maoris the material Mauri is an abiding place of god i.e. God is present in all the objects. They are the personified forms of natural objects. It means there will be God of trees, mountains, rivers etc. The concept of Mauri can be summed as a mental outlook of Maori towards the physical life principle for the welfare of man by reposing faith in the sacred and the gods and their power represented in some material object. In order to keep up the power of the object for the welfare of man, Maori lay emphasis on preserving the sanctity of the object and not allowing it to be defiled.
Essence of Maori Philosophy
Based on the above basic conceptual framework of Maori philosophy and subtle meanings of these concepts, the essence of Maori philosophy can be stated as the belief that the Maori is the descendent of supernatural beings and owes supernormal life to the Divinity. His soul originally comes from the supernatural being. This belief further led to the conviction that this spark of Divine is very sacred and represents true vitality of man, his physical, mental, moral and spiritual welfare. Maoris have not only endowed man with these principles but to animals and inanimate objects were also assigned those principles.
The essence of the philosophy as mentioned above shows the highest level of cultural refinement of the Maoris.
Pre. Christian cultures all over the world have tremendous similarities amongst their faiths, beliefs, traditions and their worship for Nature – The mother earth, the water, the fire, the sky and the wind. Their lives were the continuous worship for everything existing around them. From the very blade of grass to the peak of the mountain, everything was the object of their adoration, love and regard. The nature was a big awe for them. Their feelings for nature were mixed with two diametrically opposed views. On the one hand the emotions were loaded with fear and threat from nature and at the same time Nature was a big blessing for them. Their very existence was dependent upon nature. Maories in New Zealand actually present an environmental philosophy in which it is possible to live a rich and rewarding life without plundering the planet. A Maori world view shows that we can care for the land rather than harm it and still live a good life. It presents an image of mutual harmony and understanding in which all creatures are inter-related.
Exactly the same view is adopted on Indian soil by our ancient Rishis, Munies and seers. The term ‘Darshan’ has a special significance in Indian context. ‘Darshan’ is not a mere perception. It has got a deep connotation of actual insight into the things. The seers have actually ‘seen’ the ultimate reality of this universe. They developed a very
sophisticated philosophy about the ‘Jiva’ (the living individual), the ‘Jagat’ (the world in which they live) and the ‘Jagadishwara’ (the God). The God is supposed to be the ultimate foundation for the very existence of this world and for the existence of the creatures, the animals, the birds, the insects and along with these all the inanimate, static, material, physical world.
According to maori-tribal belief ‘Tangata Whenua’ is the central theme, meaning thereby the personal relationship between the mother-earth and papa-taunuku. ‘Taunuku’ is the ancestor of the maories. This image is strengthened by the fact that ‘Whenua’ refers also to plancenta and the land both. This implies the personal relationship between humans and the earth. This peculiar relationship features in the philosophies of many cultures of the world and finds a powerful distinctive expression in maori thought.
From Indian point of view God is supposed to be the father of everything, he creates everything animate and in-animate in this world. He is the creator, protector, maintainer and also responsible for the annihilation and destruction of this world. In maori tribe the concept papa Ancestor takes the place of God. The mother earth is the mother of all human beings in true sense of the word. As the mother earth cares for her children, the children in turn should also care for her. Here we find a typical modern concept of protecting the environment around us. The earth produces food for her children, grass for animals. If we take the proper care of the land, she will be in good condition and will produce abundantly for her children. The mother-earth being the ancestor of all creatures implies that all the other human beings and creatures are the cousines amongst themselves.
The basic maori beliefs and faiths are reflected in many maori narratives. These narratives are still significant and meaningful in many maori traditions. In maori society, traditions are not just things of the past gone and dead. They are still living in the ideas, actions and lives of the human beings.One of the prime maori belief is The Mother Earth and papa-sky are in each other’s fold and the inevitable outcome of this loving embrace is the down-fall of the rain on the soil. This is supposed to be the process of liberating their children from the close embrace of their parents and allow them to flourish and they in turn flourish the whole environment.
The Indian view goes exactly on the same line. The Lord Brahman and its inseparable vital energy (maya) are responsible for creating the various objects. The five vital elements-namely-earth, water, fire, wind and the sky (They are called ‘gross elements’ in technical expression). They take care of maintaining the nature of everything that is existent on this earth. Similar to the typical maori concept of mother earth and papa-sky, the parallel concept of purusha ‘Prakrih’ can be seen in ‘Samkhya Darsan’ of Indian philosophy. The Intellect, the ego, the manas and the five cognitive element, the five motor elements are supposed to be necessary for the production of human beings and the ‘Shabda’, the ‘Sparsh’, ‘Rupa’, the ‘Rasa’ and the ‘Gandha’ is inevitably connected with ‘Akash’ (the sky), the ‘Vayu’ (the wind) the ‘Agni’ (The Teja) the ‘Rasa’ (the water) an the ‘Gandha’ (the earth) accordingly. The technical name ‘Sarga’ is given to this whole process of creation in Samkhya philosophy.
 The traditional moral values and the religious philosophy of a particular community are handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth and the folklore and it forms the bedrock of faith in the gods and goddesses worshipped by a particular community. Implicit faith in the existence of the Supreme Reality led all indigenous cultures to create their own pantheon, which was intricately woven into respective mythology. The Maoris, like all other indigenous communities, saw divinity reflected in every aspect of nature and symbolically worshipped its tangible form –idols of gods and goddesses.
 The Maori Dharma is closely related to nature and to the ancestors. Nature itself is considered a living being and thus the interaction between man and nature is bound by prescripts and rituals. The Maoris, like other indigenous cultures, linked nature with creation. The creation myth has one male and a female- our primal parents. Usually the Sky is the father and the Earth is the mother. It is similar to the Indian concept of Prakriti and Purusha in unison, who have given birth to this world and all that goes with it. Among the Maoris it is Rangi and Papa. Rangi is the father of eight major gods. He represents the sky and according to Maori mythology, is the founding father of mankind. Ancient Maori legend recounts how Te Ao Maori (The Maori World) came into being.
The Maori myth of creation comes very close to the story of creation in Indian mythology where the story is told of Lord Brahma creating a woman and falling in love with her thus producing children.
The Maori view of creation in which all nature was seen as a great kinship tracing its origins back to a single pair, the Sky Father and the Earth Mother, was a conception which they brought with them when they came from Central Polynesia about 1,000 A.D. Furthermore this belief in a primal pair, as well as the metaphysical idea of an original Void or Darkness, seems to be part of the idea which the ancestors of the Polynesians brought with them from the west, from the Asian mainland. In both the Indian and the Maori mythology, Creation of the universe is attributed to the force and spirit of nature. The implication is that the universe was not created in an instant, but that it is a slow process of evolution allowing Nature to take different forms and shapes.
 In NewZealand the Maori kept record of the way of life prescribed by the ancestors, who worshipped and obeyed gods. The Maori believed in deities and personifications of nature, including Tane-mahuta, lord of the forest, Tawhirimatea, Rongo-ma-tane, Uenuku and Tangaroa, a Polynesian ocean god. Tribal high priests and the chief also believed in and understood the existence of the supreme God, Io, whose existence was not generally revealed to the community.
 Maori may have started as hunters and fishermen as is generally believed but over time they evolved a culture sustained by agriculture and hunting. They had a complex social structure of tribes, sub-tribes and clans, and a stratified society made up of nobility, priestly and slave classes. This comes close to the Indian system of Chaturvarnya Vyawastha , a stratified social system divided in four classes each
assigned a definite social obligation . They were the brahmanas i.e. priests who were responsible for correct interpretation of the scriptures, performed religious rites, and were teachers. the kshatriyas whose duty was to fight and protect the motherland, the vaishyas who engaged themselves in agriculture, and the Shudras who performed the menial tasks. Both among the Maoris and the Indians the priests had great importance as they were assigned duties of intellectual nature. The Maori Ariki can be compared to the Indian Brahmana.
 The work of memorizing record of Maori ancestry called Whakapapa was entrusted to the best retentive minds of each whanau who, like the Indian Brahman, were encouraged to develop abilities from their childhood and from their numbers keenest minds capable of maintaining word perfect dialogues were chosen to preserve the sacred traditional records they received. (Fowler-A Consideration of New Zealand Race Relations). This systems is similar to the Indian social systems of entrusting valuable records to the priestly class- the Brahmanas who preserved the Vedas, the Upanishadas and the Puranas and handed them down from generation to generation orally. The priestly families were divided according to the work entrusted to them. It is because of these brahmanas that we have most of the ancient records still with us. The onslaught of Islam and the advent of Christianity could not destroy these valuable records. Elsewhere as in Mexico the libraries were burnt and records were destroyed.
 In Maori NewZealand the traditional History was confined to Ariki and tohunga keeping and it was largely their domain of responsibility to administer it. Throughout Polynesia as Fowler observes, Ariki have generally been firstborn of the firstborn, who, it is believed by them, descended originally from celestial deities. They were the rishis who the Indians considered to be the offspring of the celestial deities or heavenly bodies. Maoris of old, like their cousins throughout the pacific, believed in the concept of heaven consisting of twelve houses occupied by the Kahui-o-te-rangi, the heavenly host served by Apas their celestial messengers. These gods were responsible for order within human society by requiring strict observance of community rules and precepts of living the laws of the tapu which were ingrained from birth into the minds of all, that nobody dared to break. The notion tapu (sacred), from which the word tabu is deduced, is still a central notion in contemporary Maori society. This is exactly what Dharma implies, a strict adherence to the code of conduct as envisaged by the ancient Indians thinkers-Munis. This Dharma was laid down by the sages-the Akiri.
 “The Lore of the Whare Wananga” which was the Maori’s first attempt to write down and preserve their beliefs. Although this was not translated and published until this century, it was formulated during the 1860’s from the teachings of two Maori priests Te Matorohanga and Nepia Pohuhu. Not only was it written down by Maori “scribes”, but the finer doctrinal points were thrashed out by a committee by Maori priests and elders. The lore explicitly stated that “.the priests alone had
complete knowledge of Io and that ordinary people knew nothing”. In India too, priests-the Brahmans were entrusted with the task of preserving knowledge. The Brahman was one who had the knowledge of the ultimate reality-the Brahman
 As regards the Deities worshipped by these ancient people, The Creator, like the Indian Brahma is Io-nui. In Aotearoa his name was Tangaroa. His seventy children included Tane, Rongo, Tu, whiti and Hina. Tregear has brought out the similarities between the Maori and Indian Mythology, especially the story of creation, the serpent worship, the Fish Incarnation of Lord Vishnu called the Matsya-Avatara and so on. Even more notable are the philological connection between Sanskrit and Maori language. The roots of the Maoris have been traced to India. Almost every religious and social belief as is pointed out in different studies are reminiscent of the Indian roots of the Maoris. For instance both believe that a person lives in harmony with the natural physical and spiritual world, and that this delicate balance is maintained through systems of customary practices and in case of the Maori –the laws of the Tapu. The Indians and the Maoris alike believed that the transgression of the laws of the Tapu-spiritual piety –incurred the wrath of gods and the punishment is disease and illness. All Maori believed in ‘atua’ (Indian Atma), or spirits.
 The coming of Christianity replaced these earlier beliefs and destroyed the power of Tapu. Life in Aotearoa before the European occupation was steeped in native religion. As in India, no part of normal daily life was proceeded without dedication to Gods and tohungas (Tohunga is the Maori priest or a gifted and very knowledgeable person. –like the Brahmans in India-) officiating. From birth to death they controlled all the ceremonies-as the Indian priests do even today. No rite can be performed without them.
 Unlike Islam and Christianity, Indigenous Dharma did not have a political agenda. Islam set about conquering the world and had obvious contempt of idolatry and considered ritualistic religion as impure. Christianity took upon itself the task of saving the souls of the idolaters from going to hell. The sword was used preach the gospel. The result is that today indigenous Dharma is only in reminiscent state in all the colonised nations. The population is mostly Europeanized and modernized. Old ritualistic religion has been replaced by the Church.
 Yet Despite the western influences a good part of the Maori religion remained intact. Many rituals are still carried out and are often associated with traditional visual arts and traditional music. The Maraee and the Tangihanga ceremony are the two Maori institutions have survived the impact of western civilization. Maoridom has compromised with the changing times and political influences, but the desire to control their own lives and the will to determine their own future has made them assertive in order to preserve and protect their own Dharma.

Druids –The Ancient Celts

Amiarigen, the first Druid sang:
I am the god who creates in the head of man the fire of thought
Who is it that enlightens the assembly upon the mountain, if not I? who tells ages of the moon if not I?

Who shows the place where the sun goes to rest, if not I?
Who is the God that fashions enchantments?
The enchantment of battle and the wind of change?
This seems to be coming straight from The Bhagwadgita
Scholars have found out that the Druids and the Vedic Brahmins are the two branches of the Vedic culture of 5000 years before. Peter Berresford Ellis, one of Europe’s foremost experts of the Celts, t(he living authorities on the Celts and author of many books on the subject, including “Celt and Roman,” “Celt and Greek,” “Dictionary of Celtic Mythology” and “Celtic Women.”) has brought out the amazing similarity between the two. Both emerged from the common Indo-European cultural root which began to branch out probably five thousand years ago. According to Ellis the Celts spread from their homeland in what is now Germany across Europe in the first millennium bce. Iron tools and weapons rendered them superior to their neighbors. They were also skilled farmers, road builders, traders and inventors of a fast two-wheeled chariot. Due to the ethnic cleansing of the Romans the Celtic civilization declined. Today it is represented only by the modern Irish, Manx and Scots, and the Welsh, Cornish and Bretons.

The Druids were the Celtic priestly class. The scholars of the Greek Alexandrian school clearly described them as a parallel caste to the brahmins of Vedic society. The name Druid is composed of two Celtic word roots which have parallels in Sanskrit. Indeed, the root vid for knowledge, which also emerges in the Sanskrit word Veda, demonstrates the similarity. The Celtic root dru which means “immersion” also appears in Sanskrit. So a Druid was one “immersed in knowledge. According to the famous linguist Prof Professor Calvert Watkins (Harvard), ‘The structure of Old Irish can be compared only with that of Vedic Sanskrit or Hittite of the Old Kingdom.’ The vocabulary is amazingly similar.
The following are the examples of the similarity between these two languages:
 Old Irish – aire (freeman),Sanskrit – arya (noble)
 Old Irish – naib (good), Sanskrit – noeib (holy)
 Old Irish – bodhar (deaf), Sanskrit – badhira (deaf)
 Old Irish – names (respect), Sanskrit – nemed (respect)
 Old Irish – righ (king), Sanskrit – raja (king)
The same is the case with law and social custom, in mythology, in folk custom and in traditional musical form. The ancient Irish law system, the Laws of the Fénechus, is closely parallel to the Laws of Manu. Many surviving Irish myths, and some Welsh ones, show remarkable resemblances to the themes, stories and even names in the sagas of the Indian Vedas.
Among the ancient Celts, Danu was regarded as the “Mother Goddess.” The waters of the river Danuvius is today called the Danube. Many European rivers bear the name of Danu–the Rhône (ro- Dhanu, “Great Danu”) and several rivers called Don. Rivers were sacred in the Celtic world, and places where votive offerings were deposited and burials often conducted. The Thames, which flows through London, still bears its Celtic name, from Tamesis, the dark river, which is the same name as Tamasa, a tributary of the Ganges. Not only is the story of Danu and the Danube a parallel to that of Ganga and the Ganges but a Hindu Danu appears in the Vedic story “The Churning of the Oceans,” a story with parallels in Irish and Welsh mytholgy. Danu in Sanskrit also means “divine waters” and “moisture.”
Celtic cosmology is a parallel to Vedic cosmology. Ancient Celtic astrologers used a similar system based on twenty-seven lunar mansions, called nakshatras in Vedic Sanskrit. Like the Hindu Soma, King Ailill of Connacht, Ireland, had a circular palace constructed with twenty-seven windows through which he could gaze on his twenty-seven “star wives.”
There survives the famous first century bce Celtic calendar (the Coligny Calendar) which, as soon as it was first discovered in 1897, was seen to have parallels to Vedic calendrical computations. In the most recent study of it, Dr. Garret Olmsted, an astronomer as well as Celtic scholar, points out the startling fact that while the surviving calendar was manufactured in the first century bce, astronomical calculus shows that it must have been computed in 1100 BCE.
One fascinating parallel is that the ancient Irish and Hindus used the name Budh for the planet Mercury. The stem budh appears in all the Celtic languages, as it does in Sanskrit, as meaning “all victorious,” “gift of teaching,” “accomplished,” “enlightened,” “exalted” and so on. The names of the famous Celtic queen Boudicca, of ancient Britain (1st century ce), and of Jim Bowie (1796-1836), of the Texas Alamo fame, contain the same root. Buddha is the past participle of the same Sanskrit word–“one who is enlightened.”
Ref: (Meet the Brahmins of ancient Europe, the high caste of Celtic society By Peter Berresford Ellis
http://www.hinduvoice.net/cgi-bin/maillist/mojo.cgi?flavor=archive&id=20030115010923&list=HV)
The Druids have organized themselves. They assert their separate identity.they participate in the International conferences of World Council of elders of Ancient Traditions and Culture , a forum of International Center For cultural Studies (ICCS)
In the Jaipur conference in 2006, Philip Car Gomm of Ireland, Jakez Connan, Alain Escabasse, Catherine Dréau from France represented the Druid ethnicity which claims similarity with the Hindu ways of life and thought. They said in unison

“We are Druids, Druids of Brittany.
We are from the land in front of the sea.
From Mother Earth our bodies were born, and from the fire father on the hills our souls were breathed into us
From the Ether, the Spirit is around us and within us.
Through the Water of Life we swim in the existence of the Worlds.
By the Harp of the Air we play our music, we have brought with us a part of the wisdom of our world.
We were brought here by the North West Winds, the Winds from the Isles to the North of the world.
We are Druids, Druids of Brittany”.

The Druids claim ancient ties with India. They quote the works of Bal Gangadhar Tilak in support of their argument.
According to these Druids, since 2200 BCE, successive waves of Celtic peoples (Aryani ethnicity) were reported in numerous ancient texts and in a large number of traditional tales similar to those of Vedic India. In the ‘ancient celtic’ language, the word aryan is well attested – arios – who means ‘free man’, this term is seen as aire in Gaelic and Irish languages. Numerous tribes arriving from Central Europe, and perhaps further to the East, finished by settling little by little in Western Europe. There already existed in those lands, however, a much older tradition – that of the ancient megaliths – This megalith tradition appears to be universal, as important traces are found in Asia, India, North Africa and America.
Interestingly, the greater part of the symbols used by the Celts already existed in these lands three thousand years BCE. Druidism is monist, which means that the world is not shared between good and evil, but that all is both good and worth: only Truth does matter.
There is no proselytizing: admission to Druidism is by co-optation. All future members are initiated. There is a great tolerance within Druidism, and an absence of monolithic way: the belief in one or several divinities is neither a central point nor an obligation for us. Yet, in our liturgies numerous invocations are made to our Celtic gods.
For the Celt, the divine act is not central and is thus not subject to the obsession with submission that one may observe in the monotheist religions : a Druid may be a pantheist, a henotheist, a polytheist and even atheist, or, eventually, monotheist.
Who are the divinities? The Celt may believe – or not – in the Gods, but nonetheless these constitute a basis for meditation. The Gods are entities used to represent the directing forces of each aspect of the visible and invisible worlds, and from which it would appear all is issued. A divinity is thought of as a causal and transcendent energy which manifests itself in a particular variable of the perceptible universe.
Unlike the monotheistic Muslim and Christian faiths and very much like the Hindus, the Druids accept the world as it is and do not try to change or to modify its natural order. The Gods, who can thus be the mental representations of certain states of being, of certain virtues too, as well as the incarnation of the natural forces in a concrete object. The forces of Nature are numerous, so the Gods are numerous too.
According to them their deity is the actual incarnation of Shiva.Shiva et Dionysos – Alain Daniélou – 1979 (reprint 1999), p. 152: in India, Kali appears covered with snakes. Shiva himself also appears with snakes coiled around his neck and his arms. The primordial energy, the Shakti, is the power created by Shiva, the principle unfolding from the demonstration. As with the origins of the time cycles, this is depicted as a snake. As the Universe expands, so does the snake, and as the Universe contracts, so too does the snake, thereby becoming the bed for a sleeping Vishnou (representing the forces of cohesion).
The Dedma (The Eternal Law) or the ‘Path of Life’ is the Celtic equivalent of the Dharma in India.ii

Rituals:

The ceremonies are held in Nature, and not in a built temple. They are based on the annual cycles of the sun and the moon, corresponding thereby to the seasons and thus to pastoral and agricultural activity.
Importance of Nature
Druidic philosophy is based in Nature, and is therefore particularly concerned with the role of man as a link between the Earth and the Sky, as a guardian of the Equilibrium. Druids work hard for Opposing outrage to Mother Earth
Almost all the old Catholic churches were built over the ancient sacred Druidic sites. Sometimes the remains which we hold to be sacred are still present within the foundations of these monuments. From this situation the Druids wish to re-dedicate old sacred Celtic sites which have been christianised, and even, sometimes, abandoned by the Catholic Church. According the to the Druid Activists ,the Breton Pardons are Christian religious festivals which are in reality of pagan origin, consisting of a procession and a ceremony around a spring or an ancient stone. In previous days, these were followed by a fair and by local games. They claim that, the Breton ‘Pardons’ bear a strong resemblance to the ‘Melas’ in India.
The Druids wish, also, to recuperate the sacred rites by participating in the Troménies (the procession around the sacred enclosure). These were ancient pagan
processions taken over by the church. They take place at the same frequency as the Kumba Mela in India.
Defence of Druid culture and language:
Now the Druids are in a survival mode, at the opposing end of diverse discouragements and interferences from the dominant culture (in this case, French) which is leading their culture towards annihilation through eroding our Breton language.
This too may be said of the other Celtic languages: Welsh, Gaelic, Manx and Cornish.
Before, the Roman invasion of the 1st century BC, followed by the arrival of a religion from ‘outside’ – Christianity, from the 4th century, managed to destroy the foundations of our religion, taught orally by the druids.
The Druidic Assembly is working for the following objectives
Priority is given to the thorough study of the spiritual sources via the origins of the Druid languages, of ancient literature, of symbolism and of comparative religions, etc.

The Swedish Asatru

Asatru is one branch of the Teutonic family of beliefs, which includes the pre-Christian faiths not only of the Scandinavian peoples, but also the Anglo-Saxons who founded England, and the ancient German tribes such as the Goths, Franks, and Alemanni. Before they were converted to the Roman Church between the years 450 and 1100, all of these nations worshipped the same two families of Gods and Goddesses, known to the Norse as the Æsir and Vanir. Koenraad Logghe speaking of the Asatrú – The Low Countries / Europe says.
“Since the old Norse religion was reinstituted in the Low Countries, it has taken some time to reintroduce traditional spirituality. This had no chance to succeed if we hadn’t been conscious of the close relationship between the Norse, Celtic, Baltic, Ossetian, Roman, Greek, Parse and Indian traditions. Only by comparing the spiritual ruins of our culture with the more complete Indo-European religions, such as Hinduism and the Greek tradition, we were able to return to the true essence of our customs and doctrines. Especially the Mahâbhârata, the Rg-Veda, the Upanishads and the works of Emperor Julian, Porphyrius, Jamblichos and even Plotinos have opened for us a brand new world of metaphysical explanations combined with physical impressions. The parallels were striking! We were able to restore the importance of Orlögr or – as it is called in India – Dharma; we were able to reconsider the notion of love of Fate –amor fati -that aspect of the old tradition that leads
heroes towards their tragical but heroic death as a mors triumphalis, a level that transcends death, that overcomes death, a glorious victory over death, and a participation in the universal battle that transcends every local egoism.”1
Asatru is a way of a religious life based in the old pre Christian spiritual traditions in Northern Europe or Scandinavia that are often called Asatru. Forn Sed or sometimes it is just referred to as Sed. The designation Sed can be translated as “custom”. Sed refers to the old spiritual customs, traditions and pracitices that our ancestors lived by for thousands of years before Christianity came. Even after Christianity became dominant, the old traditions and beliefs continued to live under the surface in folk traditions and folklore up untill the present day. We have many traces of the old religion left in Sweden; in place-names, old burials areas and other ceremonial grounds, in popular public holidays that celebrate the turning of the seasons, or in feasts such as Jultid (also called Yuletide in English or Christmas as most may know it), when we give offerings to local spirits or to specific gods. The days of the week also hold memories of our faith; every day gets its name from the old Gods. Wednesday or Onsdag comes from the God Odin. Thursday or Torsdag is from the God Tor, Friday from the Goddess Frigga, and so on. The fact that these names of the week were incorporated in Britain and in the English language has led to the situation that the old Scandinavian Gods are called by their names every day, all over the world, also in India.
The Swedish Asatru Assembly has only existed for eleven years, and so there is much they have to learn and much to develop. In many cases the traditions of spiritual heritage are broken and they are forced to fill in the empty spaces themselves.( 1 In the ‘ancient celtic’ language, the word aryan is well attested – arios – who means ‘free man’, this term gave aire in Gaelic and Irish languages2.
One thing, however is certain: They have ties with the Vedic culture as revealed in their prayer:

Prayer of Asatru

Hell er Asar
Hell er Asynjor
Hell dig du givmilda Jord
Hell dig Sunna, du värmande sol
Hell dig Måne, du ljus i natten
Må vi utöva Seden
till glädje och gagn

1 Sanskriti Sangam-II Proceedings of International Conference & Gathering of Elders,Jaipur Feb 5 2006.Pub: International Center for Cultural Studies USA
2 See the article by Alain le Goff

för alla Gudar
för markens bördighet
och bygdernas väl
Må vi utöva Seden
till glädje och gagn
för alla jordens barn
för livets släktband
och Yggdrasils växt
Må vi vandra
i vördnad och värdighet
Må vi vandra må vi vandra i Sed och Alver nära
på denna heliga Jord på detta heliga land som ligger Asar i mod och givmildhet

Prayer of Asatru
Translation to English:
Hail to thee, Asar (Gods)
Hail to thee, Asynjor (Goddesses)
Hail to thee, abundant Earth
Hail to thee Sunna, warming sun
Hail to thee Måne, moon that shines in the night
May we practise the old ways
to the joy and service
of all the Gods
for the fertility of the land
and the well-being of the communities
May we practise the old ways
to the joy and service
of all the children of the Earth
for the interconnectedness of all Beings
and the growth of Yggdrasil, the Tree of life.
May we all walk
in reverence and dignity
May we all walk
in courage and generosity
May we all
walk in a good way
on this sacred Earth
on this sacred land
near the Gods
near the Spirits

References

Indi Aztec Cultural Affinity ISBN No.81-874 20-03-0, Pub: International Center for cultural Studies 1998

 Bancraft: history of Mexico, A. L. Bancraft & Co. Sans Francisco 1833. * Barnes F. A. & Pendleton Michadene, Pre Historic Indians. * Brandon William (ed) The Magic World : William Morrow & Co. New York 1971. * Bierhorst John (ed) In the Trail of the Wind : Farrar Strauss & Giroux, New York 1971. * Bierhorst John (ed) four Master works of America,,. Indian Literature, Farrar Strauss & Giroux, New York 197 1. * Brotherson Gordon: Book of the Fourth World, Cambridge University Press 1992. * Chamanlal: Hindu America, New Book Co. Bombay 1940. * Cortes Hernando : Five Letters : Trans Bayard Morris George Routledge & Sons 1928. * Disseihoff Hans Dietrich : Ancient American, Sigvald Linne, Methuen London 1961. * Dowd George Evans : A spirited Resistance, John Hopkins, University Press Baltimore and London 1992. * Farb Peter : The Cultural Ascent of the Indians of North America, E. P. Dutton New York 1968. * Gibson Charles: The Aztec Under Spanish Rule : A History of the Indians of the Valley of Mexico (15 19-1.810) Stanford University Press California 1964. * Greenblatt Stephen (ed) New World Encoun/ers, T.Tniversity of Cn1firni:i Pnt: L I ‘.193
Hanke Lewis : The fir Social Experiment in America A Study of the Development of Spanish Indian Policy the 1.6th Century : Gloucesternass Peter Smith 1964. * Hultkrantz Ake : The Religion of the American Indians Trans Monica Setterwell, Univerthty of California Press 1979. * Hewett Edgar : Ancient Life in Mexico and Central America : Biblo Tanneh Newyork 1964. * Prescott William : The History of the Conquest of Mexico, Crossup & Sterling Newyork 1898. * Prescott William : History of the Conquest of Mexico with a Preliminary View of the Life of the Conqueror Hernando Cones, London Routledge 1857. * Rothenberg Jerome (ed), Shaking the Pumpkin, Doubleday & Co. Garden City New York.
* Shahagun Barnandino de : Florentine Codex : General History of the Thing of New Spain Santa Fe, New Mexico, The School of American Research and the University of Utah 1962 Trans – J. 0. Anderson. * Und.erhill Ruth : Red Man‘s Religion ,University of Chicago Press, Chicago & London 1965. * Vailant George C : The Aztec of Mexico, Penguin Books 1944. * Von Hogan Victor : The Aztec:Man and the Tribe New American Library 1958. * Waters Frank : The Mexico Mystique, Swallow Press Inc. Chicago 1975. * Weatherford Jack : Indian Givers, Fawcett Columbine, Newyork 1988.
* Wright Ronald : Stolen Continents : Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston, Network London. 1992
*Indo Aztec Dharma, ISBN No:81-87420-15-4 Pub: International Center for cultural Studies2002
*Maya Hindu Hermanos ISBN No:81-87420-9 Pub: International Center for cultural Studies2006
*H.C. Raichaudhary – `Political History of ancient India’
*R.C. Mujumdar – `Hindu Colonies in the Far East’
*Nilkantha Shastri – A History of South India.
*National Geographic – Vol. 173 No. 2 Feb. 1988
People of the Land and Pacific philosophy
*History of Tearawan
ICCS WCEATC Journal Sanskriti Sangam Vol II, Pub: International Center for cultural Studies

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