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BHAARATIYAS IN

EGYPT
Alapan Roy Chowdhury

It was around 2 years ago when I had seen an ancient Egyptian depiction of what
seemed like a child drinking milk from a cows udder. At the very sight, it reminded
me of Gopala (little Krishna). I had asked myself: Might it be the Hindu deity, or is it
my imagination which is making wild associations? Also, I came across the Fayyum
mummy portraits of ancient Egypt (Roman era) at that time- paintings of men and
women, mostly with brown eyes and hairs. Something that caught my attention was
a very living portrait (found in 1911) of a bearded man with something that looked
like a tilak on his forehead.[1] A tilak! A Vaishnava tilak? A Vaishnava in Egypt! Is
that possible? Or, am I making arbitary connections once again?
Subsequently, I realized that my guesses were not that mad, when I stumbled upon independent
researcher Bibhu Dev Misras sister-articles on Bhaarat -Egypt connections (Krishna worship and
Rathyatra Festival in Ancient Egypt? and, The journey of Jagannath from India to Egypt: The
Untold Saga of the Kushites.") in the first half of 2013.

PUNT:"Since 1985, Dr. Dreyer and his


team have unearthed about 300
pieces of written material on clay
tablets (from over 5,000 years ago)
barely bigger than postage
stamps." in Egypt. In this
connection, Sindhologist Wim
Borsboom writes, I'm coming
closer to the conclusion that "Early
Proto-Sinaitic", the earliest "PreAshokan Brahmi" and perhaps a
dozen of Indus Script signs have a
connection with Upper Egypt...
Whether an early script (which may
have given rise to the above three)
came from there or was introduced
there is actually hard to say as
there are rock- engravings close to
that part of Egypt [Drawings of
Figure 1: Boat people into North Africa (Page
Petroglyphs found in Wadi Hammamat
9 of David Rohl's "Legend"). Picture courtesy:
Wim Borsboom.
after illustrations in the book "Legend"
by
David Rohl] that appear to indicate a migration of seafarers from the Red Sea into Egypt. (They
even carried their vessels through the desert via the wadis ["...The wadi contains many carvings
and inscriptions dating from before the earliest Egyptian Dynasties to the modern era, including
the only painted petroglyph known from the Eastern Desert and drawings of Egyptian reed boats
dated to 4000 BCE.[2]). Who these people were is hard to say, but their hairdo and horned
headdresses are suggestive of their origin - which for now I will leave unidentified."[3] NonJonesian indologist, Dr. Ranajit Pal, and others also think that the south semitic script had
actually evolved from the Harappan script.
According to Bibhu Dev Mishra, the ancestral homeland of the ancient Egyptians, which they
referred to as Punt (also called Pwenet) might have been Bhaarat. He writes: Punt was also
considered as a personal pleasure garden of the god Amun, whom we have already identified
with Krishna (or Jagannath)... Queen Hatshepsut [belonging to the 18th dynasty] was an ardent
devote of Amun and had actively developed the Opet festival [which has been equated with the
Ratha-yatra festival of Bhaarat by him] into a grand ceremony.[4] Mishra has identified the
Trinity of Ethiopia, Amen, Mut and Khonsu, with Krishna, Balaram and Subhadra of Bhaarat. He

refers to the ancient Egyptian expeditions to Punt. Apart from the above, he also gives other
reasons to support his claims.

OTHER SIMILARITIES:Other gods of ancient Egypt share similarities with the different Hindu gods of Bhaarat too.
Ptah (Pitah) reminds one of Brahma; Horus could be equated with the Vedic Dyaus Pitra; Ras
Vedic counterpart is Mitra (Surya); Osiris might be identified with Yama; Sekhmet has attributes
similar to Durga; Wadjet is reminiscent of Naga-devi; Khnum and Nejamesha are both depicted
as being ram-headed; Apis and Nandi have similar purposes(?), and so on.
However, I found that my initial guess about little Krishna and the cow in Egypt was wrong.
The depiction was that of Tuthmosis III, and not that of Gopala.[5] Hathors most famous
manifestation is as a cow. Even when she appeared as a woman, she often wore cows horns,
or a pair of cows ears. Hathor is frequently depicted suckling the pharaoh, whether in the guise
of the cow or as a sycamore fig, a tree that exudes a white milky substance. At the Shrine of
Hathor; Hatshepsut (Venus), a queen who would rule as pharaoh and Tuthmosis III (Moon) are
depicted bringing offerings to Hathor. Hatshepsut (Venus) is also seen nursing from the divine
cow as seen in fig 11 and drawing 11a."[6] Goddess Hathor was originally the personification of
the milky way, and is equivalent to the Vedic goddess Aditi, I think. The bovine-form of Hathor
also brings goddess Kamadhenu to my mind. Horned head-dresses seem to have been in
fashion in the Sapta Sindhu (Indus valley) of Harappan times.
By the way, something that had caught my attention: the trefoil-designs made on the cows
body in [4] are eerily reminiscent of the trefoils made on the body of the statue of the priest-king
from Mohen-jo daro (circa 2600 BCE).[7] Dr. Ranajit Pal believes that trefoil could have either
had astral significance, or could have been an ancient form of trinity. Ive noticed similar trefoils
on the figure of a recumbent calf from Uruk (3300-2900 BCE.)[8] and, on a bowl of steatite with
two bulls from Ur (dates back to 2250 BCE), both in Mesopotamia. We know about the extensive
Harappan trade-networks. But, some scholars have also seen the Harappans and the
Sumerians as sister-tribes.

BENGAL AND EGYPT:Bibhu Dev Misra writes: Some scholars have, however, pointed out the similarity between the
culture of Egypt and Eastern India. Peter Von Bohlen, a German Indologist, mentioned that
there are elements of folk art, language, place names and rural culture of Bengal (the state
adjacent to Orissa and included in it in ancient times) which have an affinity with their Egyptian
counterparts.[9] Dr. Ranajit Pal believes that the original homeland of the people of Bengal and
Orissa was in what is now Pakistan and south-east Iran, from where they had migrated to
present-day eastern India and Bangladesh in post-Mauryan times.[10]
Interestingly, my first inspiration in the alternative Bhaaratiya historical research, Vedic
researcher Vrndavan Brannon Parker, has recently published an article on the Ratha-yatra
festival in Babylon, Mesopotamia. So, does this suggest a westward movement of the same
people, or, are the Bengal-Egypt cultural similarities a result of later trade-contacts? Let us see.

KUSH AND KASSITES:Misra thinks that it was the Kushites (or Kassites) who had migrated from the Sapta Sindhu to
Egypt in around 17-1600 BCE after the fall of Harappa, or even earlier. The Wikipedia states:
modern scholars have often suggested that certain uses of the name Cush in the Bible might
refer instead to the Kassites of the Zagros Mountains region (within modern Iran).[11] Note that
the Wikipedia says, Mentuhotep II (21st century BC founder of the Middle Kingdom) is recorded
to have undertaken campaigns against Kush in the 29th and 31st years of his reign. This is the
earliest Egyptian reference to Kush; the Nubian region had gone by other names in the Old
Kingdom.[6][12] Kassites became prominent in western Iran in circa 1800 BCE, and captured
Babylon in the 16th century BCE. Misra writtes that many Sumerian inscriptions refer to them as
Meluhha-Kasi, Meluhha possibly being the other name for the Sapta Sindhu. Misra refers to
the book, History ofcivilizations of Central Asia, which was commissioned by the UNESCO, in
support of his views.

Figure 2: Africa in 400 BCE:


Ethiopia, Kush and Egypt. Picture
source: Wikipedia (Kingdom of

ETHIOPIA AND EGYPT:As testimonials, Misra also


mentions the earliest Ethiopian
traditions, the double race of
Ethiopians, and St. Isidores 7th
century work Etymologiarium
(IX.2.128) (which includes the
earlier testimonys of Eusebius
and Philostratus). Misra refers to
the 1st century philosopher,
Apollonius of Tyana;
Egyptologist, A.H.W. Heeren, who
has opined that Banian families
from Bhaarat might have had
colonized ancient Egypt &
Ethiopia; David Gibson, who
thinks that one branch of the Kushites
had migrated to Africa (Ethiopia),
while the other remained in Asia;
Orientalist Edward Pococke, who also
seems to hint at the journey of the
Sapta Sindhu sea-farers to Egypt; Lt.
Wilford, who had reconstructed a map
of the Nile based on the Bhaaratiya
Puranic texts (note: the Nile was referred to as the Great Krishna, because of its deep blue
waters); and Speke who, while referring to the map, writes in his book Journal of the Discovery
of the Source of the Nile (1863):It is remarkable that the Hindus have christened the source of the Nile Amara, which is the
name of a country at the north-east corner of the Victoria N'yanza. This, I think, shows
clearly, that the ancient Hindus must have had some kind of communication with both the
northern and southern ends of the Victoria N'yanza.[13]
Misra notes how the name Amun is reminiscent of Yamuna, the river connected with Krishna. Amun
was the principal deity in Kushite (Kush/ Kash) Ethiopia, whose cult, according to him, was introduced in

Egypt by the pharaohs of the 18th dynasty (New kingdom). He also refers to the possible traces of
Vedic temple architecture and the Vastu Shastra in the architectural achievements of the 18th
dynasty pharaohs.
He writes: a team of British and Egyptian conservators under the aegis of the British
Museum, working on the tomb of Elkab's 17th dynasty (c.1600-1550 BC) governor Sobeknakht.
They stumbled upon an inscription
Figure 3: Red sea. Wadi Hammamat, Nile,
believed to be the first evidence of a
Upper Egypt and Kush. Picture source: webhuge attack from the south on Elkab and article "Min, god of Egypt."
Egypt by the Kingdom of Kush and its
allies from the land of Punt, during the 17th dynasty[xxiv]. This is during the same time that the
pharaohs Kamose and Ahmose were in exile in Kush, preparing to launch an attack on the
Hyskos. If Punt is India, then the allies from the land of Punt must be a reference to the
Kussites who had migrated to Kush around this time from the banks of the Indus, as discussed
earlier.[14] The pharaohs of the 18th dynasty had strong matrimonial connections with the
Kushites, and Kushite priests were influential at Karnak.
The Egyptian Pharaohs called themselves Ramesses of the solar dynasty [19 th &
20th dynasty; New kingdom]. It seems to be a derivative of the name Rama & the
Surya-vamsa dynasty. [15]

AMORITES AND HYKSOS:The Amorites from Mesopotamia and Canaan had moved onto Egypt. Abraham was one of
them; his name has been interpreted as Brahma (his consort Sarai has been identified with
Saraswati), and according to Dr. Ranajit Pal, the Amorites were most probably Indo-Aryans
from Bhaarat- the authors of the Vedas. Dr. Pal thinks that the Amorite king Hammurabi of
Babylon might have either been Raavan, or his half-brother, Vibhishana (we know that their
father was an Aarya Brahman) of the Hindu epic, Ramayana.
The Amorites in Egypt were known as Habiru (or Hapiru). As their numbers increased in
northern Egypt, they established an independent region over there. These men of obscure birth
from the east were called the Hyksos- foreign kings (heqa-khaset), or shepherd kings, who
introduced the chariot, the composite bow, and bronze weapons to Egypt.

The 15th dynasty Hyksos king Khyan (or Khian)s name has been interpreted as Amorite
Hayanu, a name which also appears in the Assyrian (Assur) king-lists of Mesopotamia. Dr.
Ranajit Pal has opined that the Assyrians were half-Indians, and their ancestors belonged to the
Gandhara region of ancient Bhaarat.

HURRIANS:The Horites of the Old Testament, who had invaded Canaan, were possibly the Hurrians
from the kingdom of Mitanni. They were ruled by the Indo-Aryans who had established this
super-state in western Asia. If Im not wrong, it was alternative researcher Subhash Kak, who
had pointed out the 18th dynasty pharaoh, Akhenaten (aka Amenhotep IV) s familial connections
with the Hurrians- his parents and wife were related to the Mitanni. It is a well-known fact that he
was a monotheist who worshipped the sun-god, Aten (or Aton). And, sun (Mitra/ Surya)-worship
was popular among the Indo-Aryans and/or the Indo-Iranians of Bhaarat in the antiquity. On the
other hand, religious scholar, Bhakti Ananda Goswami has shown the Vaishnava nature of
Akhenatens religion through his research.
The name of Akhenatens new capital city (Amarna) does sound like Amarnath (Hindu cavetemple in Kashmir dedicated to Lord Shiva). There is another Amarna (Tell Amarna) in Syria.
The Wikipedia says: Contemporary with the Hyksos, there was a widespread Indo-Aryan
expansion in central and south Asia. The Hyksos used the same horsedrawn chariot as the
Indo-Aryans, and Egyptian sources mention a rapid conquest. The German Egyptologist
Wolfgang Helck once argued that the Hyksos were part of massive Hurrian and Indo-Aryan
migrations into the Near East. According to Helck, the Hyksos were Hurrians and part of a
Hurrian empire that, he claimed, extended over much of Western Asia during that period.[16]

ISRAELITES:The Amorite captive shepherds (or the Hyksos) have been identified by Flavius Josephus (1st
century AD) with the Hebrews of the Bible. It is possible that the Canaanites, the Aramaeans,

and the Israelites were different branches of the Amorites only. However, it is also possible that
the Israelites or the Jews (Yahdus) developed out of a combination of new immigrants who
joined up with indigenous people of Canaan. I wonder who the giants of the Bible might have
been! But they do remind me of people like Great Khali, Satnam Singh Bhamara, and Md. Irfan.
Dr. Ranajit Pal and other scholars have identified the first Jews with the Bhaaratiya Yadus of
the Rig-Veda. Dr. Pal has done extensive research on ancient near-east, and he says that the
Yadus and the Phoenicians had most probably migrated to Canaan after the Mahabharata war.
Wim Borsboom too thinks that the early Hebrews (or their ancestors) were immigrants from the
Sapta Sindhu region.
A connection between the Sanskrit & the Hebrew languages has also been detected.
Moreover, it has been suggested that Kashmir might have been the promised land of Moses,
and of the lost tribes of Israel.
The story of Moses and the Israelites in Egypt, which has been documented in the Old
Testament, is well-known. The idea of Akhenaten as the pioneer of a monotheistic religion that
later became Judaism was promoted by Sigmund Freud in his book Moses and Monotheism
and thereby entered popular consciousness. Freud argued that Moses had been an Atenist
priest forced to leave Egypt with his followers after Akhenaten's death. Freud argued that
Akhenaten was striving to promote monotheism, something that the biblical Moses was able to
achieve.[17]

PHOENICIANS AND TRADE:Austin Cline writes about the Phoenicians (and the Canaanites) and the Hebrews:If the languages and scripts were that similar, they probably shared quite a bit in
culture, art, and perhaps even religion It is likely that the Phoenicians of the Iron
Age (1200-333 BCE) came from the Canaanites of the Bronze Age (3000-1200 BCE)
The name 'Canaan' may come from the Hurrian word, kinahhu, for the same color
(red or purple dye, laboriously produced by the Kassite rulers of Babylon from murex shells as
early as 1600 BC, and on the Mediterranean coast by the Phoenicians.[18] ) This would make
Phoenicia and Canaan the same word for the same people, but in different
languages and at different points in time.[19]

Was there a connection between the Kassites and the Phoenicians? Were the Phoenicians a
branch (traders?) of the Kassites only? A.H.W. Heeren does mention the possibility of the
colonization of Ethiopia/ Egypt by Bhaaratiya banias/ merchants. The Phoenician
(Pani/ Pania/ Bania?)s are believed to have been maritime traders from Bhaarat.
However, it is also possible that they were outcasts from ancient Afghanistan
(Gandhara), who had turned into merchants after migrating to coastal Canaan.
Dr. Ranajit Pal thinks that the presence of many Ram-named cities in the near-east might be
due to the presence of peoples like the Yadus and the Phoenicians, who had migrated from
Bhaarat to the Levant in post-Mahabharata times. Might that explain the Ram in the prefix of
the name Ramesses? Anyway, according to Dr. Pal, the Phoenicians might have had carried
the Harappan alphabets to Syria. The Phoenician and Aramaic scripts have notable similarities
with the Kharosthi and Brahmi scripts of Bhaarat, which might have evolved from the earlier
Harappan script.
Legend has it that an Egyptian pharoah had hired a band of Phoenicians to map and
circumnavigate Africa. The Phoenicians might have had considerable influence on Egypt in the
first millennium. Phoenicia had trade-links with the 22nd dynasty (during the Third Intermediate
Period) of Egypt. By the way, the name of the Libyan king who had founded the 22nd dynasty is
Sheshonk or Sheshonq I, whose name sounds similar to the Bhaaratiya name Shashaank.
Thor Heyerdahl believed that Sapta Sindhu had cultural and trade-relations with Egypt. Dr.
Geoffrey E. Ludvik's research concluded that ancient Bhaaratiya goods might have made their
way to Greece through Egypt. This echoes what Rajeswar Gupta had written in his 1902 essay
on the Phoenicians.
(My next article is going to be on the Phoenicians and their connection with ancient Bhaarat).

Bhaaratiya trade with Egypt flourished even during the Roman era, & perhaps even
afterwards, in the Christian era.

Figure 4: Picture source: web-article "Ancient Trade: South Indians in Egypt." (Blog:
GODDESSCHESS).

THE OTHERS:It has been suggested that the Hittites (Hebrew: Kheti) were Indo-Iranian Kshatriyas (warriorpeople). The Hatti (Khatti) kingdom of Anatolia had hostile relationship with Egypt; the mutual
hostilities ended after the battle of Kadesh.
The origins of the Philistines of Canaan (mentioned in the Bible) and, the so-called seapeoples (9 groups of ancient Mediterranean seafaring raiders) are also debated. The Hittite and
Philistine languages are believed to have been Indo-European.
The so-called Persians (Indo-Iranian Achaemenid and Sassanid conquests) and the
Assyrians had invaded Egypt too.

GENETIC STUDIES:In Wim Borsbooms opinion, the berber people of north Africa are the descendants of
immigrants from the Sapta Sindhu. He has based his Meso/Neolithic* Migration Route by Sea
from Sindh to North European Coastal Regions hypothesis on the available genetic data. In

todays Egypt, the berbers are present in the western part of the country. There is an ancient
temple of Amun in that region too.

MULTIPLE WAVES OF MIGRATIONS:-.


Ancient out-of-Sapta Sindhu migrations might have taken place in multiple waves, possibly
both by sea, and by land. The purposes might have been different in each case: war, exile,
colonization, trade, religious purposes, simple migration; or some of these, or all. It seems that
the drying up of the Saraswati signaled the beginning of the calamities. It is important to know
exactly when the Saraswati had started drying up critically. It might have been as early as 4000
BCE. That should have triggered the first wave of migrations. However, migrations could have
taken place even before 4000 BCE; there are a number of pre-Harappan sites in the Sapta
Sindhu which are 9-10,000 years old.[20] The submerged Sapta Sindhu sites of Gujarat might
be older. Also, certain geneticists claim that they have been able to trace the footprints of very
ancient out-of-Bhaarat immigrants, from long before the Sapta Sindhu age. (Im not going into
details right now).
The eastward and westward movement of Bhaaratiyas in late or post-Harappan times was due
to large-scale climatic and ecological changes in the Sapta Sindhu. The displaced populations
dispersed in different directions, and gradually got diffused. They had possibly reached Africa at
some point. Moreover, there might have been earlier migrations too (especially the Puntmigrations). Trade-relations might have resulted in some diffusion too.

MORE QUESTIONS:Perhaps, a large population of ancient near-east had become half-Bhaaratiyas after the fall of
the Sapta Sindhu. But, did large-scale migrations result in conflicts for living space? Were the
Bhaaratiyas (or half-Bhaaratiyas) fighting for supremacy in their new home? Or, was it due to
differences in socio-cultural practices? Were they the different branches of the same peoples, or,
did they belong to different clans/ tribes/ communities even before migrating? Were the clans

formed in Bhaarat only, or, were new clans formed later in the new home? Did they share
enmity and rivalry even while in Bhaarat? More questions! The search for answers begins
(I would like to deal with the various peoples like the Elamites, the Mesopotamians, the
Canaanites, the Celts, the Graeco-Romans, and the others, and their connections with ancient
Bhaarat, in separate articles).

References:[1]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hawara_MoS_1911.210.1.JPG.
[2]. Wikipedia: Wadi Hammamat.
[3]. From Wim Borsbooms comments in Harappa.com.
[4]. The journey of Jagannath from India to Egypt: The Untold Saga of the Kushites, Bibhu Dev Mishra.
[5]. A detail of a painted sandstone statue from the chapel of Tuthmosis III. Hathor in the form of a cow
suckles a royal infant. Country of Origin: Egypt. Culture: Ancient Egyptian. Date/Period: 18th dynasty c.14791425 BC. Place of Origin: Deir el-Bahri, West Thebes: https://www.google.co.in/url?
sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F
%2Fwww.alamy.com%2Fstock-photo-A-detail-of-a-painted-sandstone-statue-from-the-chapel-of-Tuthmosis60325933.html&ei=iS83VKLvL8WGuATQgYLYBA&usg=AFQjCNHI2DPDCWUjhAlyzrhhsO0hAiPINQ&bvm=
bv.77161500,d.c2E.
[6]. The SACRED WHITE COW in Egypt: The Goddess HATHOR, Myriel RAouine.
[7]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mohenjo-daro_Priesterk%C3%B6nig.jpeg.
[8]. https://www.google.co.in/url?
sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCQQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F
%2Fwww.abualsoof.com%2Falbum%2Fdisplayimage.php%3Fpid
%3D1064&ei=VT43VL2oKMzbuQTSk4GYAQ&usg=AFQjCNH4P6L61RohitGUOoWTAwyvmCutmw&bvm=bv
.77161500,d.c2E.
[9]. Krishna worship and Rathyatra Festival in Ancient Egypt?, Bibhu Dev Mishra.
[10]. From Dr. Ranajit Pals website (http://www.ranajitpal.com/) : Early Vanga, Kalinga and Magadha were
near Cape Maceta: http://www.ranajitpal.com/jones-1.jpg.
[11] & [12]. Wikipedia: Kingdom of Kush.

[13] & [14]. The journey of Jagannath from India to Egypt: The Untold Saga of the Kushites, Bibhu Dev
Mishra.
[15]. Historical

Rama- documentary by Bharath Gyan- Experience the


knowledge of India.
[16]. Wikipedia: Origins of the Hyksos.
[17]. Web-article: Pharaoh Akhenaten (on www.crystalinks.com)
[18]. Wikipedia: Canaan.
[19]. Who Were the Canaanites? Canaanites in the Old Testament & History, Austin Cline.
[20]. The 8th Millennium BC in the Lost River Valley, Dr B. R. Mani.

*THE END*