The Symbols & Emblems of Vishnu and their Significance

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HARE KRISHNA ! SRI RADHA-LAKSMI-PADME KI JAYA ! DEAR FRIENDS, BELOW IS A DEVOTEE’S QUESTION ABOUT SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT RADHA-KRISHNA AND SHAKTI-VISHNU SYMBOLS.

QUESTION

The dieties are often seen holding various items; conch, lotus, chakra, club. I understand that the chakra is Krishnas divine weapon but what are the others for?

Thank you for your time, Hari Bol

 

ANSWER

DURING MY MASTER’S DEGREE WORK (IN THE EARLY 1980S), I SPENT SOME TIME DOCUMENTING MY FINDINGS ON THESE ALL-IMPORTANT KRISHNA , HARI, VISHNU, VASUDEVA, AND NARAYANA SYMBOLS.

IN INDIA THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT THEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATIONS OF THEM, EVEN AMONG VAISHNAVAS IN THE SAME LINEAGE. IN ADDITION TO THEIR THEOLOGICAL IMPORT, THESE SYMBOLS (WHICH ARE ALL ACTUALLY FORMS OF LORD BALADEVA….WHO IS KRISHNA’S ASTRAS AND OTHER PARAPHENALIA), HAVE PROFOUND HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE CONNECTING THE WESTERLY VAISHNAVA PROTO CATHOLIC MEDITERRANEAN ASYLA FEDERATIONS TO EASTERN VAISHNAVISM, AND VAISHNAVA-RELATED TRADITIONS, LIKE SATTVIC THEISTIC SHAIVISM, SHAKTI WORSHIP AND PURE LAND BUDDHISM. BELOW WANT TO INTRODUCE SOME OF THE IMPORTANT HISTORICAL CONNECTIONS.

SYMBOLIC ASSOCIATIONS IN MEDITERRANEAN REGIONAL VAISHNAVISM ‘DISCUS’ CYCLE / KYKLOS / CHAKRA / CIRCLE = HARI … THE CIRCLE GLYPH IS ACTUALLY THE HIEROGLYPH FOR THE SO-CALLED ‘SOLAR’ NAME HARI (EGYPTIAN HERI, JEWISH ELI, GREEK HELI, LATIN SOLE, SURA ETC. ), IN THE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN REGION AND ELSEWHERE.

CLUB = BALU or YAHU…. ONE OF BALA DEVA or VASU DEVA’S PRINCIPLE ASTRAS IS SO COMMONLY FOUND ON VERY ANCIENT SEMITIC ARTIFACTS, THAT IT IS USED TO IDENTIFY THE DEITY BALU (YAHU) HIMSELF. THE JEWISH DEITY YAHU WAS PREVIOUSLY COMMONLY CALLED BALU OR BAAL. BALU WAS CONSIDERED AN ALTER-FORM OF THE SUPREME SEMITIC DEITY EL OR ELI.

CONCH = MARITIME WORSHIP OF THE GREAT SEA FORMS OF NARAYANA AND ASHAYANA….THESE WERE ASSOCIATED WITH NEPTUNE OR TRITONUS / OCEANUS AND RELATED ‘SEA’ FORMS OF MARIMUS / NEREUS AND NARAYANA. THE GARBODHAK, MILK OCEAN AND MAHAMAYA (HEBREW MAYIM PRIMAL WATERS OF CHAOS) FORMS OF VISHNU WERE ALL ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONCH. THE SHANKU / CONCH ALSO HAD ‘TRANSCENDENTAL SOUND’ VIBRATION ASSOCIATIONS.

LOTUS = PADMA AND PADMAPATI OR NYMPHIA AND NYMPHOS. THE SACRED RHODE ISLE OF RHODA AND KOUROS HERI-ASU / HELIOS / ELI-YAHU IN THE NORTH EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN SEA WAS ALSO CALLED NYMPIA ‘LOTUS’. RHODA- KOUROS / RADHA-KRISHNA WERE NYMPHIA-NYMPHOS THE SUPREME ‘LOTUS’ PAIR, WHOSE LOTUS SO-CALLED ‘SOLAR SYMBOL’ WAS FOUND THROUGHOUT THE ANCIENT WORLD…SIGNIFICANTLY ON HELIOPOLITAN GREEK, ON EGYPTIAN AND ON JEWISH ROYAL ARTIFACTS !

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LOTUS OR ROSE AS A UNIVERSAL SYMBOL OF GOD AND GOD-ESS

NOW I WILL TRY TO TELL YOU A LITTLE ABOUT THE AMAZING OCCURANCE OF SRI SRI KRISHNA-VISHNU’S LOTUS OR RHODON IN THE WORLD’S ‘GREAT RELIGIONS’. VOLUMES COULD BE WRITTEN ON THIS SUBJECT, BUT I WILL JUST WRITE AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PROTO CATHOLIC MEDITERRANEAN REGIONAL ASSOCIATIONS WITH THE LOTUS SYMBOL.

AT THE DAWN OF HISTORY IN THE MEDITERRANEAN, HELIOS KOUROS (KRISHNA) AND RHODA (RADHA) WERE WORSHIPED AS THE SUPREME CAUSE AND ORIGIN OF ALL OF THE GODS AND GODDESSES ON THEIR LITTLE SACRED ISLE OF RHODES. THEY HAD BEEN WORSHIPED THERE, ACCORDING TO VARIOUS LEGENDS, FROM THE DAWN OF CREATION, OR THE END OF THE GREAT FLOOD. IN LEGENDARY (ORAL PRE-HISTORIC [PRE-WRITING]TIMES), AFRICANS, EUROPEANS AND SEMITIES ALL LIVED TOGETHER IN HARMONY ON RHODES, WHICH WAS AN INTER RACIAL SANCTUARY, AND ASYLA FOR MAN AND BEAST. AT THE DAWN OF THE HISTORIC PERIOD, RHODES WAS THE HELIOPOLITAN RELIGIOUS CENTER OF THE GREAT MINOAN MARITIME TRADING CIVILIZATION THAT EXTENDED FROM EUROPE AROUND THE MEDITERRANEAN INTO THE NEAR EAST AND AFRICA ALONG THE NILE VALLEY.

THE NHR / NHL / NARA CULTURE OF NARAYANA AND NARAYANI IN THE NEAR EAST, THE NAHR RIVER CULTURE WAS DEVOTED TO THE SAME HELIOPOLITAN DEITY. NHL (HTE ‘NILE’ DEITY) IN EGYPT (MIZRYM) WAS NHR IN THE LEVANT AND MESOPOTAMIA. THUS THE LEVANT AND THE CULTURE OF THE JORDAN RIVER BASIN WAS THE LAND OF NHRYN AND THE LAND OF THE TWO RIVERS, THE TIGRIS AND EUPHRATES, WAS ALSO NHRYN (TODAY USUALLY TRANSLITERATED FROM HEBREW AS NAHARAIM). IN ROME, JUPITER , ASSOCIATED WITH THE PRIMORDIAL WATERS OF LIFE AND THE TIBER RIVER, WAS CALLED MARIMUS. ALL OF THESE NAMES / WORDS ARE RELATED TO NARA AND NARAYANA.

SANSKRIT NARA, NARAYANA

MESOPOTAMIAN NAHR, NHRYN

JORDANIAN NAHR, NHRYN

EGYPTIAN MZR, MZRYM

EGYPTIAN NHL, NILUS / NHLYN

GREEK AND ROMAN NER, MAR AND NEREUS OR MARIMUS (SEE ‘FATHER TIBER’ AS NILUS)

THE MOST IMPORTANT ‘FRESH WATER’ SYMBOL OF NARAYANA AND NARAYANI (JUPITER MARIMUS AND JUNO MARINA ETC.), OR HELIOS KOUROS (ALSO CALLED RHODOS) AND RHODA ON RHODES WAS THE LOTUS OR WATER LILLY. THE LOTUS OR LILLY WAS ASSOCIATED WITH BOTH THEIR GREAT RIVER-BASIN CIVILIZATIONS AND THE ISLE OF RHODES ITSELF. IN FACT RHODA AND RHODOS WERE BY-NAMED NYMPHIA AND NYMPHOS, WHICH (IN THE FEMININE AND MASCULINE) MEAN ‘LOTUS’ ! ! ! THUS THROUGHOUT THE ANCIENT WORLD, WHENEVER THE RHODON (ROSE) OR LOTUS WAS SEEN AS A RELIGIOUS SYMBOL, IT IMMEDIATELY INVOKED RADHA-KRISHNA AS THE SUPREME NYMPHIA AND NYMPHOS, OR DIVINE LOTUS-PAIR OF RHODES AND THE RIVER POLIS (POLIEUS AND TYCHE)CIVILIZATIONS!

OF COURSE PADME / PADMA ‘LOTUS’ IS A NAME OF SRI LAKSHMI OR NARAYANI, AND THROUGHOUT THE EAST, IN ALL ‘HINDU’ RELATED ICONOGRAPY ( INCLUDING PURE-LAND BUDDHIST ICONOGRAPHY), THE MASCULINE FORM OF THE LORD IS ALWAYS DEPICTED ON OR IN THE LOTUS OF HIS SHAKTI. “AUM MANI PADME HUM” IS THE INVOCATION OF SRI KRISHNA IN THE BRAHMA-SAMHITA RELATED ‘JEWEL IN THE LOTUS’ PURE LAND BUDDHIST PRAYER. EVEN TODAY ON VISHNU ALTARS THE FORM OF GOD STANDS OR SITS ON A LOTUS PEDESTAL. ON ANCIENT MAPS, THE COLUSSUS OF RHODES WOULD HAVE BEEN DRAWN AS STANDING ON A ROSE OR LOTUS, THE SYMBOL OF HIS SACRED ROSE OR LOTUS ISLAND. RHODIAN COINS AND SEALS HAD THE FACE OF HELIOS KOUROS, OR THE ROSE OR LOTUS ON THEM. FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS IN THE REGION, THE ROSE OR LOTUS WAS SYNONYMOUS WITH KOUROS HELIOS AND RHODA AND THEIR ROSE OR LOTUS ISLAND.

IN WESTERN ART HISTORY AND THE STUDY OF RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS, THE LOTUS IS ALWAYS CONSIDERED A ‘SOLAR’ SYMBOL AND IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE WORSHIP OF HELIOS ON RHODES, HORUS IN EGYPT AND THE SEMITIC ‘SOLAR’ SUPREME DEITY ELI IN THE NEAR EAST. IN THE FAR EAST, HIS LOTUS IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SUPREME ‘SOLAR’ DEITY HRIH (AMITABHA) OF PURE LAND BUDDHISM. UNFORTUNATELY BECAUSE OF HIS SOLAR-GAYATRI RELATED FORM OF HARI AS SURYA-NARAYANA, SRI KRISHNA HAS BEEN GENERALLY MISUNDERSTOOD AS MERELY THE SUPREME GOD OF SO-CALLED ‘SOLAR MONOTHEISM’. VAISHNAVAS KNOW THAT SRI KRISHNA IS LIMITLESS BY REVELATION / DEFINITION, SO HIS LOCAL ‘SOLAR’ ASPECT IN OUR PLANETARY SYSTEM IS JUST ONE TINY ASPECT OF HIS INFINITE MANIFESTATION. IN FACT, THIS IS MADE CLEAR BY THE ‘SOLAR’ CHAKRA IN SRI KRISHNA’S OR SRI VISHNU’S HAND. ELSEWHERE THE SUN IS DESCRIBED AS ONE EYE OF THE VISHVA RUPA / PURUSHA JAGGANATHA ( MACRO-COSMIC FORM OF THE LORD). SO WE CAN SEE THAT THE COSMIC SOLAR POWER WHICH LIGHTS AND GIVES LIFE TO A WHOLE UNIVERSE, IS JUST ONE OF SRI KRISHNA’S ASTRAS ,WEAPONS , POWERS OR ATTRIBUTES ! THE TRANSCENDENT BRAHMAN ITSELF IS THE CORONA / KARINA-MALIN OR ‘GARLAND OF RAYS’ OF HIS PERSONAL BODILY EFFULGENCE !

KRISHNA OR HELIOS KOUROS / HORUS / ELI-JAHU MISUNDERSTOOD AS THE SUPREME ‘SOLAR’ DEITY

GREEK HELI

ROMAN SOLE

AFRO-EGYPTIAN (NILO-SAHARAN) HERI, HERU, HOR

AFRO-NIGERIAN OLU

WEST SEMITIC ELI or ALI (ROOT OF ALLAH)

EAST SEMITIC AND SUMERIAN IL (BABYLON MEANS ‘GATE’ [BAB] OF GOD’ [IL])

HURRIAN HURRI

AVESTAN HVARE (ZERVANISM, ZOROASTRIANISM, MITHRAISM AND PARSEEISM )

VAISHVAVA SANSKRIT HARI

SHAIVITE SANSKRIT HARA

PURE LAND BUDDHIST HRIH

HELIOPOLITAN HIGH CIVILIZATION DEVOTED TO RHODA AND KOUROS

IN EGYPTIAN TRADITION, THE ENTIRE HELIOPOLITAN CIVILIZATION WAS FOUNDED (ACCORDING TO LEGEND) BY A SON OF RHODA AND KOUROS NAMED ‘ACTIS’, FROM THEIR PRIMORDIAL PARADISE ISLAND OF RHODES. SO WHEN THE SACRED LOTUS IS SEEN IN EGYPTIAN ICONOGRAPHY, IT HAS TWO HELIOPOLITAN ASSOCIATIONS. ONE IS WITH HELIOS KOUROS AND RHODA ON RHODA’S SACRED ISLE. THE OTHER ASSOCIATION IS WITH THE WORSHIP OF RHODA AND KOUROS AS THE SACRED RIVER LOTUS CIVILIZATION-RELATED NARAYANA (MIZRYM) AND NARAYANI.

GODDESSES FROM RHODA- SHAKTI / SHEKINAH

IN THEIR SACRED CITIES NHRYNA AND NHRYNI WERE OFTEN CALLED POLIEUS AND TYCHE BY THE GREEKS. HOWEVER THE ROMANS CALLED TYCHE ‘FORTUNA’ (FORTUNE), AND ASSOCIATED HER WITH JUNO’S FORM MONETA (MONEY, LUCRE), BECAUSE COINS WERE FIRST MENTED AT HER TEMPLES. EVEN TODAY COINS ARE SACRED TO LAKSHMI IN INDIA ! JUNO-MONETA HAD VERY STRONG ASSOCIATIONS WITH MARY, AS DID THE OTHER PRIMARY FORMS OF RHODA’S EXPANSIONS IN THE PROTO CATHOLIC MEDITERRANEAN TRADITION. AS FORTUNE, SHE WAS LADY ‘LUCK’ THE CONSORT OF GOD AS PROVIDENCE. SHE DISPENCED GOD’S UNFATHOMABLE JUDGEMENT (KRIMA) , GRACING / GIFTING SOME AND DEPRIVING OTHERS ACCORDING TO HIS INSCRUTIBLE WILL (KRIMA IN GREEK IS KARMA IN SANSKRIT). THUS WE CAN CLEARLY SEE EASTERN- RELATED CONNECTIONS BETWEEN RADHA, PADMA, SRI LAKSHMI, AND NARAYANI IN THE ANCIENT PROTO CATHOLIC HELIOPOLITAN TRADITION. IN THE PROTO CATHOLIC TRADITION, RADHA IS RHODA ‘THE MYSTICAL ROSE’ (MARY ROSA MYSTICA), HARE IS KORE, HARINI IS KORONIS, PADMA / SRI IS NYMPHIA, NARAYANI IS MARIAM / MARINA, SHAKTI IS SHEKINAH, LAKSHMI IS FORTUNA AND MONETA, ETC.

WHAT IS THE JEWISH CONNECTION ?

PROOF OF THE JEWISH CONNECTION IS ASTOUNDING IN THAT ALL RHODONS AND LOTUSES IN THE REGION WERE ASSOCIATED WITH RHODOS-RHODA AND NYMPHOS- NYMPHIA WORSHIP, AND APPEARED ON RHODON COINS, IN RELIGIOUS ICONOGRAPHY AND WRITING, ON TEMPLE DECORATIONS AND ON OFFICIAL ROYAL STATE SEALS AND TEMPLE FOUNDATION DEPOSITS. SINCE THESE RHODONS AND LOTUSES APPEARED ON JEWISH RELIGIOUS AND ROYAL ARTIFACTS, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE JEWS ALSO BELONGED TO THE ANCIENT INTER RACIAL RHODA AND KOUROS WORSHIPING HELIOPOLITAN RELIGIOUS ALLIANCES (HELIOPOLITAN ASYLA FEDERATIONS).

IN FACT, IF ‘HINDU’ ARYANIST ADVERSARIES TO THE SO-CALLED ‘SEMITIC’ RELIGIONS WANT TO CLAIM THAT THE WORSHIP OF RHODOS AND RHODA WAS AN ABBERATION IN JUDAISM, THEN THEY MUST EXPLAIN WHY IT IS AT THE HEART OF JEWISH BRIDAL MYSTICISM IN THE ‘SONG OF SONGS’ TRADITION. IN THE SONG ITSELF, THE ‘DODA’ ROOT WORDS FOR THE DIVINE LOVER, BELOVED AND LOVE ARE ASSOCIATED WITH THE RHODIAN CONJUGAL MYSTICISM OF RHODA AND RHODOS. WE CAN UNDERSTAND THAT THE VARIOUS FORMS OF THE HEBREW WORD DODA IN THE ‘SONG’ ARE RELATED TO THE GREEK ‘RHODA’ BECAUSE THE RHODANIM / RHODIANS WERE ALSO BIBLICALLY CALLED THE ‘DODANIM’. IF ONE COMPARES THE HEBREW CHARACTERS FOR THE LETTERS DALETH AND ROSH (D AND R) THESE ARE ALMOST IDENTICAL, AND CAN BE VERY EASILY MISTAKEN FOR EACH OTHER. SO, THE QUESTION ARISES AS TO WHETHER THERE WAS, IN FACT, A SOUND-SHIFT BETWEEN DODA AND RHODA, OR IF INSTEAD THE DIFFERENCE IS MERELY A LATER ONE DUE TO TEXTUAL ERRORS.

ADVERSARIES TO MY DISCOVERIES WOULD ALSO HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHY THE ZEALOUS JEWISH REFORMER, KING JOSIAH, CHOSE THE HELIOPOLITAN RHODIAN RHODON / ROSETTE FOR THE SYMBOL OF HIS REIGN ! AS THE FAMILIAR REGIONAL SYMBOL FOR THE WORSHIP OF RHODOS AND RHODA ON RHODES, IT IS UNTHINKABLE THAT HE SHOULD DO THIS, UNLESS BY DOING SO HE WAS PURPOSEFULLY IDENTIFYING HIS STRICT JEWISH KINGDOM AS A REVIVER OF THE ANCIENT RELIGION OF RHODES. PREVIOUS USE OF THE LOTUS AND ROSETTE IN JEWISH AND SEMITIC LANDS WAS DEFINITELY CONNECTED TO GRECO- EGYPTIAN HELIOPOLITAN MONOTHEISM.

IN THE LANDMARK ACADEMIC WORK ON ANCIENT JEWISH MINIATURE ARTIFACTS, “GODS, GODDESSES, AND IMAGES OF GOD IN ANCIENT ISREAL” (KEEL AND UEHLINGER, ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY T.H. TRAPP, 1998 COPYRIGHT AUGSBURG FORTRESS ), THE USE OF BOTH THE LOTUS AND ROSETTE AS JEWISH SYMBOLS IS MENTIONED, AND DRAWINGS OF EXAMPLES ARE SHOWN FROM THE WORLD’S MOST COMPREHENSIVE UNIVERSITY COLLECTION OF THESE ARTIFACTS. I HAD PERMISSION FROM THE COPYRIGHT OWNERS OF THIS TEXT TO USE THESE SYMBOLS AND ASSOCIATED PASSAGES OF TEXT IN MY 2000 “PHAROAHS OF THE SUN” RELATED LECTURE TOUR ON THIS SUBJECT.

IN CONCLUSION, THE LOTUS (AND RELATED ROSE OR RHODON) AS A UNIVERSAL SYMBOL OF SRI KRISHNA, HARI OR NARAYANA AND THEIR SHAKTIS, RADHA, HARE (HARINI) OR SRI (PADMA) NARAYANI, IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO THE HISTORY AND THE FUTURE OF HUMAN UNITY. IN ANY CASE, FOR MORE THAN 50 YEARS, JEWISH SCHOLARS HAVE SPECULATED ABOUT THE POSSIBLE RELATIONSHIP OF THE BRIDAL MYSTICISM OF THEIR ‘SONG’ TO SOME GRECO- EGYPTIAN MYSTERY SCHOOL IN THE MEDITERRANEAN. NOW I HAVE POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED THAT SCHOOL AS THE WORSHIP OF KOUROS HELIOS (HORUS, ELI- JAHU) AND RHODA ON THE SACRED ROSE OR LOTUS ISLE OF RHODES. UNFORTUNATELY ‘HINDU’ PREJUDICE AGAINST THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN TRADITION HAS IMPEDED MY COMMUNICATION OF THIS DISCOVERY, SINCE I FIRST BEGAN TRYING TO TELL THE AMERICAN VAISHNAVA COMMUNITY ABOUT THIS IN THE EARLY 1970S.

THUS I REMAIN PROFOUNDLY GRATEFUL TO THE EDITORS AND OWNERS OF “HARE KRISHNA WORLD” FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO ANSWER GOOD QUESTIONS LIKE YOURS ABOUT THESE IMPORTANT SUBJECTS. ALL GLORIES TO SRI SRI RADHA-KRISHNA , THE ORIGINAL PADMA AND PADMAPATI, THE LOTUS-LIKE BEAUTIFUL PAIR, ORIGIN OF ALL THE GODS AND GODDESSES IN EVERY WORLD !

WISHING ALL HUMANITY THEIR PAX AND PREMA !

YOUR ASPIRING SERVANT, BHAKTI ANANDA GOSWAMI

 

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About Collected Works of Sri Bhakti Ananda Goswami

This site is a repository of the written work of Bhakti Ananda Goswami managed by one of his students, Vrndavan Brannon Parker. Bhakti Ananda Goswami is a practicing Catholic Hermit under private vows, and a Vedic Monk in the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya-Vaishnava Lineage Tridanda Sannyasi and Siksha (Instructing) Master. His research provides the evidence proving that at the ultimate source there is only One Religion and Divinity yet there are multiple expressions of that religion and Divinity. Read the various collected articles on this site revealing that ancient Humanity was highly evolved and motivated by transcendent and life affirming impulses leading to High Civilization. (Please Note that this site is not maintained and updated by Bhakti Ananda Goswami himself but is managed by one of his students. Though he does scan the site he is not always able to respond to messages or comments.)

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