Mythos 26 – Rama and Dionysus

 

As Hanuman was in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, it seems likely that both these epics were Dravidian works in the old Indus civilization, that were later translated into Sanskrit after the Aryans had migrated into the region. This Indus civilization seems to have existed in Pakistan and northern India from at least 9,000 years ago at Mehrgarh, Balochistan (Pakistan),(1)A. Coppa et al. (2006) “Early Neolithic tradition of dentistry: Flint tips were surprisingly effective for drilling tooth enamel in a prehistoric population” Nature, Volume 440 and 9,300 years ago in Bhirrana, Haryana (India).(2)Nivedita Khandekar (Nov 04, 2012) “Indus Valley 2,000 years older than thought” Hindustan Times This age does match with ancient Greek and Roman historians that traveled India in ancient times, and recorded that the Indians had continuous histories that went back to approximately 8,800 years ago.

The 9,000 years old Ruins of Mehrgarh

The 9,000 years old Ruins of Mehrgarh

The Greek historian Pliny the Elder recorded the chronology of Indian Kings before the time of Alexander the Great as going back 6,451 years, through the rule of 154 kings.(3)Pliny the Elder (79 A.D.) Naturalis Historia, 6.59-60 The first of these Kings was said to be Father Liber, also known as Dionysus, which translated as the ‘god of Nysa’. The ancient Greeks weren’t sure where Nysa was, as its location had been lost in obscurity, however several major Greco-Roman historians including Pliny and Arrian(4)Arrian of Nicomedia (circa 150 A.D.) Indica, 9.9 placed Nysa in India, and considered the God of Nysa (Dionysus) to be Rama. During the Greco-Roman era, many similarities were documented between the worship and stories of Rama and Dionysus. Whether Nysa was originally India or not, Pliny believed it was, and was clearly referring to Rama as the oldest recorded King of India known during his time. Based on the chronology recorded by Pliny the Kingdom of Rama would have existed approximately 8,800 years ago.

This correlation between Rama and Dionysus has been well documented throughout the centuries. In his essay On the Gods of Greece, Italy and India in 1784, Sir William Jones stated:

…deems Rama to be the same as the Grecian Dionysos, who is said to have conquered India with an army of satyrs, commanded by Pan; and Rama was also a mighty conqueror, and had an army of large monkeys or satyrs, commanded by Maruty (Hanumān), son of Pavan. Rama is also found, in other points, to resemble the Indian Bacchus.- Sir William Jones (5)Sir William Jones (1784) On the Gods of Greece, Italy and India

Sir William Jones also pointed out that:

Meros is said by the Greeks to have been a mountain of India, on which their Dionysus was born, and that Meru is also a mountain near the city of Naishada, or Nysa, called by the Grecian geographers Dionysopolis, and universally celebrated in the Sanskrit poems.- Sir William Jones (6)Sir William Jones (1784) On the Gods of Greece, Italy and India

References   [ + ]

1. A. Coppa et al. (2006) “Early Neolithic tradition of dentistry: Flint tips were surprisingly effective for drilling tooth enamel in a prehistoric population” Nature, Volume 440
2. Nivedita Khandekar (Nov 04, 2012) “Indus Valley 2,000 years older than thought” Hindustan Times
3. Pliny the Elder (79 A.D.) Naturalis Historia, 6.59-60
4. Arrian of Nicomedia (circa 150 A.D.) Indica, 9.9
5, 6. Sir William Jones (1784) On the Gods of Greece, Italy and India