Irish Tales and Indian Vedas

Surviving Irish tales – resemblances – themes, stories, names in sagas of Indian Vedas [Sanskrit – start of 1st millennium BC]. Being – emerges as Mother Goddess of Celts = Danu (Anu in Old Irish) cognate with Don (Old Welsh). Emerges in literature of Vedas, Persia, Hittites.

Danu = ‘divine waters’. European rivers acknowledge her. Story associated with Danuvius = first great Celtic river. Thus >myths about Boyne (from goddess Boann). and Shannon (from the goddess Sionan). Hindu goddess Ganga – Ganges.

Celts plus Hindus – worshipped in sacred rivers + votive offerings. Vedic myth = Danu – appears in deluge story = The Churning of the Ocean.

Resemblances – Irish culture and Hindu culture. Language – Old Irish law texts (the Fenechus or Brehon Laws) and the Vedic Laws of Manu. The Vedas = 4 books 1000-500 BC. Sanskrit root – vid + ‘knowledge’. Old Irish = vid = ‘0bservation’, ‘perception’, ‘knowledge’. Therefore roots of – compared Celtic druid = dru-vid – ‘thorough knowledge’.

Similarities – Old Irish and Sanskrit. Arya (freeman) = Sanskrit, and aire (a noble) in Old Irish. Naib (good) in Sanskrit, and noeib (holy) in Old Irish. Therefore – naomh = saint. Minda (physical defect) – Sanskrit > menda (one who stammers) – Old Irish.  Namas (respect) – Sanskrit > nemed (respect, priviledge) – Old Irish. Badhura (deaf) – Sanskrit > bodhar (deaf) – Old Irish. Borrowed by 18th century English = ‘bother’.

Raj (king) > Irish ri > continental rix > Latin rex.

Germanic group – developed another word – i.e., cyning, Koenig, king. But – retained in English as reach = Indo-European cconcept of king as one who – reaches or stretches out his hand to protect his people. This concept = found in many Indo-European myths.

Rig Vedas – sky god Dyaus = stretches forth his long hand. Cognate – Latin deus, Irish dia, Slavonic devos.  Means – ‘the bright one’. A sun-deity significance. Dyaus = Dyaus-Pitir = Father Dyaus. In Greek > Zeus. In Latin > Jovis-Pater (Father Jove). Julius Caesar observed Celts had a Dis–Pater (a father god). Irish reference = Ollathair = the All Father. Ollathair = sky god, the role given to Lugh.

Lugh – in Welsh myth = Lleu (Bright One). Lugh Lamhfada = Irish (Lugh of the Long Hand) = stretching and reaching. Llew Llaw Gyffes = Welsh (Lleu of the Skilfull Hand).

Boann – goddess = ‘cow-white’ > River Boyne. Mother to Aonghus Og – love god = guou-vinda (cow finder). Vedic name – Govinda = epithet for Krishna. Hindu name today. Motifs – sacred cow/bull = easily found in Celtic (particularly Irish) + Vedic/Hindu myths. Gualish god – Esus > equates with Asura (the powerful) and as Asvopati = epithet for Indra. Gualish – Ariomanus > cognate with Vedic Aryaman.

Horse rituals – once common with Indo-Europeans > Irish myth and ritual + Vedic sources. “The kingship ritual of symbolic union of horse and ruler survives in both.” Dates – when Indo-Europeans domesticated horses – thus helped commence expansions. Horses = power. Therefore proficient – agriculture, pastoralism, warriors.

Ireland – ritual of symbolic union of mare and king – mentioned by Geraldus Cambrensis [Typographica Hibernia]. = 11th century. India – similar symbolic ritual of stallion and queen = myth of Saranyn in Rig Veda.

The ‘Act of Truth’. Ancient Irish text Auraicept Moraind – could be mistaken for a passage in the Upanishad. [See: Dillon, M. ‘The Hindu Act of Truth in Celtic Tradition’, Modern Philology, Feb 1947].

Symbolism  – Irish myth = Mochta’s Axe (when heated in a fire of blackthorn, would burn a liar but not the opposite), or – Luchta’s iron (= same quality), or Cormac mac Art’s cup (= 3 lies and it fell apart) – 3 truths > whole again. All = counterparts in the Chandagya Upanishad.

Cosmological terms =comparisons – Celtic, Vedic culture. Similarities – Hindu, Celtic calendar, e.g., Coligny Calendar. Original computation + astronomical observations + calculation, therefore put at 1100 BC.

Celts = astrology – based on 27 lunar mansions = nakshatras (modern Hindus). Thus – Celtic linguistics/mythology > cultural origins of Celts > Indo-Europan culture. Thus – common Indo-European roots > Europe, Asia Minor, India.

In many ways – Leabhar Gabhala = equivalent of the Hindu Maharabharata. The pre-Christian themes – evident – Leabhar Gabhala and the Dindsenchas (collection of sagas explaining meanings of place names).






Leave a comment

Filed under Notes

Discussion & Comment Welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s