Sunday, January 21, 2007

I am a Haratushtrava!

Nitin at "The Acorn" blogged about divergence of Vedic and Avestan cultural/religious values. That is Persians preferring the morals of "Asuras" and Indians going for the might of "Devas". The passage he quoted (from Rajesh Kochhar's book on Vedic people) talks about Zaratushtra emphasising on ethical conducts(that of Asuras) and rejecting Devas.

I am not clear if schism in Aryan society can be exactly pinned to that point. In my opinion, the only change brought about by Zaratushtra was monotheism. I still have my doubts if Asuras were not the supreme even before that in Persian society.

Consider Norse mythology. Even Norse had two sets of gods. Aesir and Vanir. While Aesir cognates with Asura of Indo-Iranian society; the Deva equivalent can't be found in Norse myths. There Deva is generally a single god or God. I am not sure about Vanir equivalent in Indo-Iranian society. If we observe Aesir were supreme and Thor, one of the Aesir (equivalent of Asura), whose 'might' finds an echo in Indra of Devas.

And, of course, many Indians will have problem if somebody makes a statement like we choose Devas because of their warlike, materialistic and amoral nature. Aren't we the nation of peace loving and not-so greedy people with overflowing morals?

Asuras and Tulu tribes:
Anyway, that is not main point of this post. What I found interesting was that Zoroastrians had Asuras as their supreme God/gods. The most important mythical emperor of Tulu tribes , Bali, was an Asura.

Note: The myth of Bali precedes b->v changes in standard Malayalam language. Also, Bali is hailed as a Tulu emperor in Tulu region. The biggest Malayali celebration of Onam in his honour was a later development in Kerala society but that has given an impression that Bali is relevent only for Malayalis. But the fact is Malayali identification with Bali reaffirms they being part of Tulu tribes.
The myth of Bali probably gives an indication of an Aryan group where Asuras held in high esteem inhabiting Tulu regions. Probably, the religion and culture of this group was overwhelmed by the later aboriginal Indians(Hgs H and R2) mainly from Central and East and then by Dravidians(J2b and L) and in the end by Semitised Vedic people . But more than these the greatest impact was the of the first maternal clan of India(mtDNA M). However, some of the cultural things like that story of Bali survived of the Asura worshipping Aryan group.

My uniparental lineages and my cultural identity:
Considering my paternal lineage is Haplogroup R2 which has a greater presence in the Eastern regions of India; the worship originated in that region, that is phallic worship, is one of my cultural identities. I have not tested my maternal lineage. However, it is most likely mtDNA M. So, spirit worship and goddess worship are other two cultural identities. Being a Malayali more than phallic (or later Shiva), spirit worship and goddess worship are my dominating identities. However, being also part of culture of Tulu tribes, the identification with Asuras is also of utmost importance to my cultural identity.

However, in the present day Hinduism with a stronger Semitic influence, the greatest king of Tulu tribes is a tragic hero. And Vishnu and other Devas(now just demi gods) , responsible for his tragic end, are the mainstream gods. This probably tells Indians are morally neutral. Anyway, I cannot accept this. So I have decided to join a religion where Asuras were the highest and the religion which has ethical values( I like it when Parsees following non-materiliastic Asuras are very rich).

But conversion...
I really don't understand why I have to convert. What is the problem in declaring yourself as a follower somebody or some religion? You can study without teachers. Can't you? Initiation from somebody is alright if converts are children (which I don't agree) as they may not understand the things. However, an adult can inititate himself to a new religion.

I am a Haratushtrava!
So here I declare that I am a follower of Zaratushtra and initiate myself to his religion and teachings.

Now, I need some Indianization since I am not a Parsi(or Persian). I think 'h' replaces 'z' in India. Therefore, the name of Zaratushtra must be Haratushtra. Now, the follower of Haratushtra in Kannada;
Haratushtra + avanu -> Haratushtra + he -> he follows Haratushtra -> Haratushtravanu(masc); Haratushtravalu(fem) or

Haratushtrava (unisex)

5 comments:

Irenesson said...

Now you mention Norse mythology, I would like to add the info, that we believe that the Aesir are the forceful, nomadic Gods, while the Vanir are the agricultural, fertility Gods.

As for Zarathustra, didn't he introduce pantheism rather than monotheism ? As I've read it, his belief was that all deities was one, Ahura Mazda.

Monotheism includes intolerance towards other Gods, towards worship of any other God. To believe all is one deity isn't monotheistic as such.

--
Ireness√łn
Asatruar from Denmark

Manjunatha said...

Irenesson:
Now you mention Norse mythology, I would like to add the info, that we believe that the Aesir are the forceful, nomadic Gods, while the Vanir are the agricultural, fertility Gods.

In that respect Aesir are close to Devas and not to Asuras of Hindu mythology.

As for Zarathustra, didn't he introduce pantheism rather than monotheism ? As I've read it, his belief was that all deities was one, Ahura Mazda.

Monotheism includes intolerance towards other Gods, towards worship of any other God. To believe all is one deity isn't monotheistic as such.


Applying that defintion of monotheism to Iranians society I would say Zaratushtra continued with pantheism rather than introducing that aspect into his society. Probably, as a prophet he gave a single/unified identity to that religion.

I think monotheism as practiced in old Indian(medieval?) was slightly different from your definiton. There were two monotheistic sects (Saiva and Vaisnava) who believed in single supreme God. While Saivas were intolerant towards Visnu and Vaisnavas were intolerant towards Siva I believe they considered all other (demi)gods as subordinated to their supreme God. Probably, they were not strictly monotheistic however intolerance was indeed part of their belief.

jhangora_ki_baal said...

Congratulations on becoming a follower of Zaratushtra Manju.

I have been taking a look at your blog and must say the previous name "Incoherent Theories" was a much better one.Bcoz your blog seems like a Khichdi {Hodge-Podge}.

IIRC you are a Cancerian and it's difficult at times for us to maintain our focus.

Manjunath said...

Pasota:
your blog seems like a Khichdi {Hodge-Podge}.

I do not agree with that observation! You just failed to find the link between various entries.

jhangora_ki_baal said...

What's the link?All the entries are related to past events?