Babylonian Astronomy – The Indo-Assyrian Roots

Posted in History, language by Anuraag Sanghi on June 7, 2009

Indian themes in Assyrian history

Some 175-146 years after Hammurabi, the Assyrian throne passed onto his grandson, who ascended the throne of Babylon – and took a very Buddhist name. This is apparently a 1000 years before Gautama Buddha – as per Western dating fix! Known in history as Ammisaduqua /Ammisaduqa (1646-1626) – अमिष, amish in Sanskrit means truth and honesty + duqa = suffering, pain. Was Ammisaduqua one of the earliest Bodhisattvas, or one of the earliest followers of Buddha.

Western dating gone completely awry?

In the heavens …

Apart from commissioning an authoritative study on planet Venus (‘probably the earliest example’ of astronomy), Ammisaduqua /Ammisaduqa /Ammizaduga is known for cancelling debts. Was he named Ammisaduqua /Ammisaduqa because he understood the ‘true suffering’ of the people.

The discovery of clay tablets at the Kuyunjik mound in mid 19th century, at Sippar, in modern Iraq, (ancient Niniveh), in the palace of Ashurbanipal (668-635 BC), in the 19th century, was the most complete set of tablets recovered, of the study first commissioned by Ammisaduqua. The name of the scribe of these tablets has been variously deciphered as Ku-Aya, Nur-Aya, Ipiq-Aya – and most interestingly, ‘in all probablity, the scribe was called’ Kasap-Aya, the same as the famous Indian rishi Kashyapa, ऋषि कश्यप.

Enuma Anu Enlil

Enuma Anu Enlil

Enuma Anu Enlil, the 70 clay tablet series, by astronomer-astrologers in Mesopotamia, recovered from the ruins of Ashurbanipal’s Library, at Niniveh, containscareful records of celestial events for centuries’ – with an inventory of 7000 omens.

Enuma-Anu, could also be spelt as Anumaanu. And अनुमान anumana, which in Sanskrit is, estimate, infer, deduce, close (not exact) calculation. Enlil is the Assyrian God of Winds and Skies. Anil अनिल is also the modern Sanskrit word for air, wind.

What Enuma Anu Enlil, then means is Calculation of the Winds and Skies – which is what it is. It has been noticed that there is “evidence that the earliest layers of this vast collection go back to lunar eclipse omens from the Dynasty of Akkad and Ur III late in the third millennium.”

Cuneiform tablet with the Atrahasis Epic - The British Museum

Cuneiform tablet with the Atrahasis Epic - The British Museum

To the seas …

The earliest extant account we get of the Flood, (pralaya प्रलय in Indian texts) Atra-hasis is also ascribed to the Ammisaduqua reign – which can be gauged by the scribal colophon marks. The Atra-hasis is the world’s first account of the Flood (as per Western history) – which is recounted also in the Bible. This account of the Flood, the Atra-hasis, written by Atra, possibly by a scribe named after Rishi Atri, ऋषि अत्रि, one of the writers of the Rig Veda. The scribe writes, “at-ra-am-ha-si”, which in Sanskrit will read as अत्री अम्हसी “Atri am I”.

Since (deciphered) Akkadian language, in which these tablets were composed, works on presumptive vowels, (deciphered) vowels are a matter of guesswork, opinion and such. To give the benefit of doubt, most Assyriologists have little or poor knowledge of Indian texts and Sanskrit, which comes in the way of making some of these connections.

Eye in the sky …

But wonder turns to puzzlement, when one comes to a Babylonian king called Kandalanu (647-627 BC) – or alternatively, Kundalin(i). Kundali कुण्डली in Sanskrit means circle – of seasons, life, fortune, etc – and janam kundali is made. The measurements of Saturn during Kandalanu’s reign of 20-odd years are important to understanding Mesopotamian astronomy. Saturn in Indian astronomy is Shani शनि. In Indian astrology, Shani casts a dark and baleful shadow on which ever zodiac sign it moves into.



It is speculated that the Kandalanu was the throne name for Ashur-bani-pal – at whose library the above clay tablets were found. Historians have have mixed opinions about Kandalanu and Ashurbanipal being the same person.

Its gotta be the Greeks …

Oh no! Not again!!

Babylonian astronomy (encompassing Assyrian, Mesopotamian, Sumerian, Akkadian) is closely allied with Indian developments in direction, purpose and history. This challenges modern history, caught between the ‘Greek Miracle’ as history school, which has stuck to the Egypt->Greece->Rome->Europe–>West-Is-The-Greatest Axis. For long, the West has systematically suppressed Indian achievements in various spheres – largely for reasons of colonial propaganda.

Western historians trace Indian own significant achievements in astronomy to ‘import’ from Babylon – via Greece! David Brown, an ‘expert’, on Mesopotamian astronomy and astrology, goes further and asserts that the “evidence for transmission to Greece and thence to India in the Hellenistic period was overwhelming.” (from Learned antiquity By Alasdair A. MacDonald, Michael W. Twomey, G. J. Reinink).

What is this ‘overwhelming’ evidence that he presents? Nothing, but the usual dating mix ups. Considering “it unlikely that it was the work of one person’ , analysts are surprised, ‘considering its internal consistency”.

Worried, Mr.Brown? There is more, where this from, Mr.Brown.

Surely, if Indians needed to learn, would it not have been easier and simpler, Mr.Brown, for Indians to have learnt this directly, from the Babylonians – instead of getting of it second hand from the Greeks.

Namaskaarah World …

Posted in Business, Current Affairs, History, India by Anuraag Sanghi on June 7, 2009

Greeting forms underline the mode of social interaction. ‘Hidden’ hand in the shalom /salaam /handshake signify ‘preparedness’ for ‘treachery’, ‘betrayal’ or ‘perfidy’. ‘Namaskaar’ and ‘dandavat’ signify clean and empty hands – signifying openness and trust.

Buddha is namaskar pose
Buddha in namaskaar pose

 We are how we greet

Behind how people greet each other, is the story of how cultures and people view each other. The two most common forms of greeting people in India are namaskaar नमस्कार and touching feet, दंडवत, dandavat.

Namaskaar is done from a distance, by joining both hands and a slight inclination of the head. Touching feet, दंडवत, dandavat, is the other greeting, reserved for elders and seniors, by juniors. This form of greeting is done by bending down from the waist and touching the feet of the opposite person. Sometimes as a mark of greater respect, the bending is done at the knees also, with the knees touching the ground.   An extreme form of this greeting is lying on the ground, chest down and touching the feet – with both hands and head.

13 September 1993, Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat shake hands with Clinton brokering the peac accord. Look at the hands ... Hidden hands .. hidden intentions ...? Click for larger image.

13 September 1993, Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat shake hands with Clinton brokering the peac accord. Look at the hands ... Hidden hands .. hidden intentions ...? Click for larger image.

Joining hands at chest level is also prevalent in the West as a form of prayer – but not as greeting. Both these Indian styles are unique in the culture of the world – for two reasons.

But before that let us examine the other two forms of greetings that are popular and prevalent in the world.

From the Desert Bloc – shalom, salaam and the handshake

Done at close quarters, within touching distance, in a handshake, one hand is always kept free and disengaged. What if the ‘enemy’ attacks?

Shivajis hidden armour and concealed weapons
Shivaji’s hidden armour and concealed weapons

The other form of greeting is the common Islamic form of greeting – touching one’s own forehead with the fingertips of the right hand. This greeting is also done from distance.

Hidden hands … hidden intentions

These greeting forms underline the mode of social interaction. The ‘hidden’ hand in the shalom /salaam /handshake signify the ‘preparedness’ for ‘treachery’, ‘betrayal’ or ‘perfidy’. ‘Namaskaar and ‘dandavat’ signify clean and empty hands – signifying openness and trust.

Empty hands vs. ‘hidden’ hands

This difference in values requires a drastic re-interpretation of ‘negotiation’ and ‘transaction’ methodology – in business, diplomacy and at an international levels.

Desert Twins - Westernization and Jihad (Cartoon by Miro Stefanovic). Click for larger image.

Desert Twins - Westernization and Jihad (Cartoon by Miro Stefanovic). Click for larger image.

At one end of the spectrum, the response is best illustrated by Shivaji in his ‘negotiation’ with Afzal Khan. Using a concealed weapon, he used the meeting to kill Afzal Khan.

In more modern and relevant context, are the WTO and trade ‘negotiations’ and ‘disputes’, where at stage after stage, the West has come with ‘hidden’ agendas and weapons.

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