Bhagavat Purana’s Imprint Upon Ancient Mediterranean Religion


Ancient Roman Mosaic of Apollo

Esteemed Scholars,
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.

Ancient Rhodian Church

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.

Detail of a painting of Jane Ellen Harrison. Photograph: James Austin. Courtesy of Newnham College, Cambridge

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).


Some Connections

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

My hero: Jane Ellen Harrison



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.)

6 responses »

  1. Pingback: yantras painting - kali yantra - yantra art - yantras - yantra

  2. Are you sure J E Harrison is your hero ? Themis is an atheistic treatise. Harrison explains in great detail how the Kouros hymn and dance is a just a social ritual. She basically says that while the dance is real, the Kouros for whom it is performed, is nothing but a psychological construct.

    • Greetings James
      I manage this site for Bh.AG. From my understanding its the translation of the hymn identifying Kouros as the Maha (Meghisto) Divinity and the youthful Zeus by Jane Harrison that is significant. To this day many still id Kouros as an ideal youth and not as the God of Gods. The many other characteristics of Kouros, be it his peacock symbol, eagle connections, sacred cows, frequently accompanied by both male and female youthful companions, born in a cave, hidden at birth from a marauding mass murdering male relative and raised by an alternate Mother, there are many key arcehtypical elements that are found in both Krsna and Kouros. So Jane Harrison’s work provided the evidence confirming the identity of Kouros and that his worship was very ancient and predates classical Hellenic Greece by thousands of years.

      • Thanks very much for your kind reply. I was particularly interested in this sentence……

        The many other characteristics of Kouros, be it his peacock symbol, eagle connections, sacred cows, frequently accompanied by both male and female youthful companions, born in a cave, hidden at birth from a marauding mass murdering male relative and raised by an alternate Mother, there are many key arcehtypical elements that are found in both Krsna and Kouros.

        Is there a reputable source for this information ? If so could you kindly direct me to it.



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