Regardless of the age of the assembled Bhagavatam, a significant number of its pieces can be found in the Mediterranean region at the dawn of the historic period there. By 3000 bc Heliopolitan Monotheism was emerging into history as the dominant religion of the region. While the City of Heliopolis in Egypt was associated with the royal worship of Helios and Sekhet and their empowered Heliopolitan Pharohs and Queens, the cult center of the original form of Helios as the pastoral Kouros was on the Isle of Rhodes.
According to legend, after the Great Flood, the Island of Rhodes appeared from her father, Oceanos. She was the origin and most beautiful of all the Nymphs. Nymph means both ‘lotus’ and ‘maiden’ or ‘bride’. Helios chose Rhoda’s island form for his home (Hladini Shakti), and took her as his beloved. Helios, who was always worshiped as the Meghistos Kouros (the greatest ideal of youthful beauty), was not a mundane solar demigod, but was worshiped as the supreme transcendant Deity by ascetic monotheists throughout the region for thousands of years. Rhodes was already sacred to Helios in the Minoan Era. It is mentioned as part of the Minoan leagues.
Prehistoric evidence shows a cultural continuum, and Rhodian connections to both Crete and the large prehistoric settlements in the Nile Delta. Semites were also traveling the Eastern Mediterranean, leaving evidence of their presence on Rhodes. In fact, a number of stories attempt to explain how it came to be that Semites, Africans and Europeans all worshiped Rhoda and Kouros Helios together on their Sacred Isle of Rhodes.
Rhode was also called Nymphia (lotus = Padma) and Asteria (star = Tara). Radha, Padma and Tara are Names of Krishna-Vishnu’s feminine Shakti. In Egypt the ‘consort’ of Helios was called Sekhet. Among the Semites ELI or Yahu’s ‘consort’ was called Chokmah or Shekinah. Sekhet and Shekinah / Chokmah appear to be related to Rhoda’s by-name Hekate. The symbol of Hekate was a Hexad (‘six’ and ‘sex’ are from this same root.) Thus there is a complex connection between the hexad (Sri Yantra) as a rose, lotus or star symbol associated with the unity of Helios and Rhoda-Hekate etc.
On their sacred giant lotus – rose isle (dwipa) Helios and Rhoda and their expansions, (origins of all the gods and goddesses) danced their sacred circle / kyklos (cakra) dance named for him (Kouros = chorus). He was choreagos (see ‘choreographer’ ) and choruales (see ‘carol’ ), the flute-playing leader of the dance. Rhoda’s expansions the Nymphs, Horae, Muses etc. served the divine hierogamos love affair of Rhoda and Kouros Helios. Their isle was the ‘bucolic’ boukolion (gokula) cow-paradise (paradesha) and sanctuary. It was a bousaala (goshalla) where it was forbidden to kill the sacred white cows that Helios tended with his expansions the cow-herd boy kouroi. In the famous HYMN TO MEGHISTOS KOUROS found on Crete, Kouros is described as leading the Kouroi in their dancing revelry. Kouros is the origin of all the gods. A number of Greek scholars wrote on the discovery of this hymn in the beginning of the last century. Jane Harrison’s “THEMIS…” gives her analysis of the HYMN.
According to legend, Heliopolitan Monotheism in Egypt was established at Heliopolis by a ‘ray’ (actis) or ‘son’ of Rhoda and Helios. The basic elements of the above can be found in most good texts on Greek Mythology and early Agean Civilization. Below are a few of the many Bhagavatam related traditions found in the early Heliopolitan complex. Standard works on Mediterranean Region mythology and religion contain references for the following. Does anyone know of other scholars who have specifically compared these or other specific elements of Heliopolitan Monotheism with Krishna Vaishnavism ? I don’t mean superficial late Bactrian Era observations of connections between Apollo and Krishna, and Dionysos and Balarama (although these would be useful as well).
Helios Delphinos (Dolphin) saves Deucalion (Manu, Noah) or the colonizers of Crete = Matsya Avatara (Semitic ELI DAGON)
Helios Kelemos (tortoise) holds the world on his back = Kurma Avatara (see also Amerindian traditions)
Helios Phanes appears before creation, seated on a lotus from NHRYN / MZRYM as the primal waters. Phanes has multiple heads and arms (often 4) and he speaks creation into existance = Brahma from Narayana
His cultis is associated with the navel of the universe at Delphi = Garba (delpha) dakshayi Vishnu.
Cadmus versus the Spartoi, and the double-axe as the symbol of Minoan civilization = the tradition of Parasurama Avatara.
Helios-Hyperion’s three steps = Uparyana Vamana Deva Avatara.
Helios driving his quadriga = Krishna as Partha Sarathi.
Helios as Leontocephalous Time = Nara Hari as Kalah.
Helios as ATUM = Atman v Helios as AHMN = Brahman.
Helios as Polieus / PR ASU = Purusha.
There are hundreds of detailed connections between Heliopolitan Monotheism and the Bhagavatam Tradition.
The hierogamos worship of Rhoda (Kore) and Kouros continued in the Mediterranean ‘Mysteries’, coming through to the present in the ‘Bridal Mysticism’ Traditions of Judaism, Catholicism and Islam.
Bhakti Ananda Goswami