THEME 18 – Aryans of Bharat Varsha and the Kings of Assyria – 5,005 BCE
Selected extracts from Return of the Aryans by Bhagwan S. Gidwani, published by Penguin Books, India, ISBN 0-14- 024053 – 5
(Main Reference: Main Reference: page 753 to page 759 from Return of the Aryans)
“Maybe it is all to the good that you call yourself noble Aryan for sometimes men will try to live up to their name and title. But remember! To be called noble is not a personal honor. . . . . It demands that we act nobly. It imposes a duty, an obligation . . . . . it is a title not of arrogance but humility . . . . . for we ventured out to seek God’s glory . . . . . not our own. . . . .”
– (Reminder to Aryans of Bharat Varsha from the Aryan leader Sumaran – 5004 BCE – See page 754, Return of the Aryans by Bhagwan S. Gidwani) –
Soon, the word ‘Aryan’ lost its original meaning and acquired a new shine. In its origin, no doubt, Aryan meant non-people or exiles. But no more. The title Aryan itself became a badge of honor, a status of quality, for to be an Aryan meant to be noble – for such was their aim and quest.
– ( From a later commentator of events of 5004 BCE -See page 753, Return of the Aryans by Bhagwan S. Gidwani) –
‘Nothing on earth, nothing in the sky, nothing in the great beyond, nothing now or ever, nothing here and hereafter, can compensate for man’s loneliness in life. Go, find a wife for yourself!’
– (Advice form the recluse astronomer to Hermit-King Lugal in 5000 BCE – – See page 757, Return of the Aryans by Bhagwan S. Gidwani) –
“God is a kind soul. He allows the Devil to make laws!”
– (Attributed to King Lugal’s mother – date unknown but around 5,000 BCE – See page 757, Return of the Aryans by Bhagwan S. Gidwani) –
“It is not good to kill anyone but if one is fated to kill, it is better to kill a priest than anyone else.”
– (observation of the recluse astronomer to Lugal 5004 BCE- see page 755, Return of the Aryans by Bhagwan S. Gidwani) –
The Aryans were still in Hari Haran Aryan (Iran) and Sumer (Iraq and adjoining regions). Many stayed back but many more would leave for other lands.
Yet for every single Aryan from Bharat Varsha that moved from there to new lands, there were at least five locals from Sumer and Iran who joined them. Why? Nobody explains fully. Maybe, as a poet says, the locals too came to accept the strange belief of these Aryans that surely there has to be, somehow, somewhere, a land that is good and pure.
To the locals also it then began to appear inconceivable that every land in this God’s earth should be full of fear, hate, turmoil and injustice – ‘God hides his land of glory. But why?’
Why! So that we accept the challenge of faith to go out in search . . . . . . .
And locals from Hari Haran Aryan and Sumer, who far outnumbered the Aryans from Bharat Varsha, marched to the tune of the same song,
‘Onward, Noble Aryan, onward in joy,
Onward to the land where waits He;
Onward to the land, pure and free.’
There were many such songs – and each one proclaimed the noble aim of the Aryans, their noble quest and pursuit, to seek a land that was noble, pure and free. It was not just faith and fervour that these songs voiced. They led to new horizons – an Aryan must strive for noble ends and be noble in all his actions and deeds. And in turn, these horizons would lead to a new identity altogether.
Soon, the word ‘Aryan’ lost its original meaning and acquired a new shine. In its origin, no doubt, Aryan meant non-people or exiles. But no more. The title Aryan itself became a badge of honour, a status of quality, for to be an Aryan meant to be noble – for such was their aim and quest. No longer did it indicate the degradation of the uprooted and dispossessed. Instead, it became a mark of nobility for these valiant men, who with ‘an upright heat of faith,’ were ready to face howling winds and the heat of deserts and the numbing cold and deep snows of the mountains, in their noble quest.
It did not, then, take too long for the word Aryan to be considered synonymous with noble. Yet its limitations were also explained by the Aryan Leader, Sumaran at Sumer, when an Aryan group was parting from him; and he said, ‘Maybe it is all to the good that you call yourself noble Aryan, for sometimes, men will try to live up to their name and title. But remember! To be called noble is not a personal honour . . . . . It demands that we act nobly. It imposes a duty, an obligation . . . . . it is a title not of arrogance but of humility . . . . For we ventured out to seek God’s glory . . . . . not our own. . . . .’
From Iran, some moved along the Zagros range into Armenia. Others from Sumer and Iran would converge in many lands, including those which are now known as Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Israel and parts of Africa.
It was Aryan Nilakantha of Bharat Varsha who led the Aryan groups consisting largely of locals from Iran and Sumer into Egypt.
Nilakantha had a powerful singing voice and a powerful physique, but he was as gentle as a lamb. Though he was popular, the most respected member in the entire group was the one who was known as Hermit-King Lugal of Assyria.
Lugal was originally from Sumer. His father was a builder but Lugal himself aspired to be a great architect and in his younger days he built the first Ziggurat in Sumer which was as high as sixty feet. Earlier Ziggurats had been no more than twenty-four feet high – with a single temple-room on a stepped-up flat platform.
But young Lugal was ambitious and careless. It almost proved to be his undoing. He had made his tall Ziggurat with mud, mixed with straw and wood-rafters. During a heavy rain-storm, the Ziggurat fell, while the priest and his ‘virgin’ were there. Two dead bodies were found under the debris of the priest and of the dead man who had been taken up on the platform for the ritual of ‘viewing the selection by gods of his star of after-life.’ Miraculously, the ‘virgin’ was unhurt.
The penalty for causing a priest’s death – intentionally or otherwise – was terrible and a culprit had to die ‘little by little’ and be finally tied up as a live meal for rats, whose numbers were kept small, so that the ordeal lasted longer. It was perhaps the only instance in which cruelty would be added to a punishment.
Lugal fled to a distant forest. As he went deeper, he found he was not the lone human there. A recluse was living under a crumbling mud shelter which no doubt had seen better days.
Lugal kept his distance. He feared that his death penalty would apply equally to anyone who harboured him. Also, if the recluse ever had visitors, his own whereabouts would become known to the priests.
Far away, Lugal built his own shelter, but his desire for human company remained. Often, he followed the recluse, who every morning would go to a treeless, rocky terrain, which rose beyond the forest. But the recluse did nothing there except watch the sky and shifts the position of stones.
When the rainy season came, the recluse did not emerge for days. Lugal feared that the man was sick and went to his shelter. ‘Why did you take so long to come?’ the recluse asked and Lugal was surprised that he knew of his proximity.
The recluse was not curious to know but Lugal told him that he was under death penalty for killing a priest.
The old man simply said, ‘It is not good to kill anyone but if one is fated to kill, it is better to kill a priest than anyone else.’
Kill a priest! – Strange words from someone who was the only son of a priest and could have succeeded as a priest! – For that is what this recluse was. Yet, not so strange from a man whose priest-father selected his loving son’s wife as the ‘virgin’ to take up on the Ziggurat.
In disgust, the son had abandoned his home and disappeared before his father and wife descended from the Ziggurat. For some time, the son became a raving lunatic. Later, he found peace in a forest, as a recluse, watching the sun by day and the stars by night.
What the poets call a ‘father and son friendship’ developed between the recluse and Lugal. Lugal wanted the recluse to move to his own shelter which kept the rains away. The recluse showed him opening, holes, cavities and cuts in his shelter, made so that he could watch the stars at night from various angles as also the play of sunlight during the day. Lugal studied them all. Four months later, he took the recluse again for a visit to his shelter. Lugal had duplicated every opening in his shelter to view the skies and had added some more, with shutters to close them fully or partly, and some even in angles, triangles and circles.
From then on the recluse stayed in Lugal’s shelter and Lugal too got caught up in the fever of watching the skies, day and night.
With age, the recluse got weaker and half-blind. Lugal acted as his eyes and told him of the observation of the sky. But often the recluse knew without being told and would even correct Lugal’s inaccurate observations.
The recluse started sinking into depression. The forty years in the forest were taking their toll. He thought of his father and his wife, no longer with bitterness. He thought of his people and wanted to die in their midst. He loved Lugal like a son. Yet he alone could not fill the recluse’s void of loneliness.
But then many refugees, escaping from various priests, found sanctuary in the forest. Lugal assisted them in building shelters and they, in turn, gathered food for the recluse and Lugal. The recluse forgot about the sky, except to tell its stories to the children of the refugees around him. Lugal continued ‘sky-watching’.
A nearby priest entered the forest to claim it as his own – with all the residents as his subjects. None of them could have stopped the priest, but the recluse did, with the claim that he, as a priest, had already occupied the forest.
He, a priest! Impossible! More probably a madman! Yet the occupying priest wavered and detailed inquiries began.
Indeed the recluse had the claim to priesthood.
Being the only son of a priest was entitled to that office on the day his father died. That entitlement could not be denied. In his absence, it was the son of the recluse who officiated as a priest. But that did not extinguish the right of the recluse to demand that his priesthood be recognized and respected.
It was the son of the recluse – the reigning priest, in absence of the recluse – who came. He brought the ‘Seal of the Priest’ to surrender to his father. They embraced joyfully and in tears. Was the recluse really the father of this priest? The recluse and his ‘son’ had never seen each other. The son was born eight months after his wife had ascended the Ziggurat with his father; and he would never know if he was his brother or his son.
But it no longer mattered. He was happy to see his ‘son’, his son’s children and grandchildren, and even said a soulful prayer for his wife who, he learnt, had died in childbirth.
His son insisted, but the recluse declined to accept his priesthood. The only request that the recluse made was that his priest-son assume personal jurisdiction over the forest so that no other priest claimed it and let the ‘forest be free under my other son, Lugal.’
The son agreed but begged that the father go back with him immediately.
‘Give me a few more days and be with me till then,’ the father requested. He died on the third day with a smile, ‘I made the gods wait! How beautiful is the end!’ Many heard him but none understood. Maybe, he was referring to his wish to die among his people.
The son kept his promise – and more. Lugal was now in command of the forest, with no interference from any priest and with even the right to extend his area, so long as such new lands were unoccupied by a priest.
The son gave many ‘indemnities’ to several priests to have this ‘impossible situation’ accepted. From this arose the myth that Lugal of Sumer valiantly vanquished the priests of Sumeria to establish his undisputed reign in Assyria. Actually, he was no ruler in the traditional sense, he was simply a Sumerian architect who fled to the forest of Assyria and became a sky-watcher (astronomer); and there he welcomed everyone who was in trouble with priests.
There were quite a few refugees around Lugal. They were under his protection and affectionately called him ‘King Lugal.’ But he joked, ‘I can only be King of Kings here, as all of you here are Kings.’
Yet Lugal felt terribly lonely without the recluse who was no more.
A messenger came from the priest-son of the recluse – ‘Brother mine, it was my father’s wish that you be married. With care I have chose three wives for you. Should they not suit you, use them as you will and I will send you more.’
With the messenger came three girls who were sisters.
Lugal remembered the recluse’s words in his dying days, ‘Nothing on earth, nothing in the sky, nothing in the great beyond, nothing now or ever, nothing here or hereafter, can compensate for man’s loneliness in life. Find a wife for yourself, Lugal!’
Lugal had humoured the recluse and said, ‘How do I find a wife in this wilderness!’
After deep thought, the recluse had said, ‘Then I must ask the gods to find a wife for you.’
Nothing more was said but later, the recluse certainly spoke to a god, his own son – for a priest was no less.
Now came these three women, eager to share Lugal’s lonely bed. His first reaction was to protest but the messenger said, ‘The Lord Priest has performed the marriage ceremony. But you have freedom.’
Lugal knew what that ‘freedom’ meant. They were his wives. There was no system of divorce, as such. He could put them to work as his slaves or sell them. If he kept them, they could remarry 666 days after his death. If he sold them, he could buy them back at any time by paying double the price he received. A man could marry any number of wives. A woman could have only a single husband, but she could have sex with others with her husband’s permission, provided nobody received direct or indirect payment for such sex . . . . . Lugal remembered what his mother had once said – ‘God is a kind soul. He allows the Devil to make laws!’
Lugal saw the silent appeal in the eyes of his three ‘brides’ and the eldest said, ‘do not deny us.’
Lugal kept the three wives. In the beginning, he made a feeble protest – ‘Be with me but you are like sisters to me.’ Happily, they responded, ‘Yes, sisters and wives.’
In a year, Lugal was the proud father of three infants.
Later, the Aryans from Bharat Varsha congregated in his forest to set up a major camp. From there, acting upon Lugal’s advice, they branched out to other areas in Assyria, unoccupied by priests. In each such area, new settlements arose, attracting locals.
For himself, Lugal wanted nothing. He had almost given up sky-watching. His three wives and three children were his pride and joy. If he sometimes looked up at the sky, it was as if he expected his own father and mother to be there, smiling at their grandchildren.
How much his mother had wanted him to marry when he was young! Not only she, but his father too had wanted to have grandchildren. But no, his was the single-minded ambition to be the greatest architect in the land – everything else had to wait!
Now, it was the other way round. Three wives and three children later, he was now supervising a vast variety of activities, including the building of houses, cattle sheds, granaries and water-reservoirs. Though some of the ideas came from the Aryans of Bharat Varsha, even they had to acknowledge that he was a superior builder.
Yet Lugal did request a part of the produce from these settlements – but only to ‘gift’ them to nearby priests. He knew of the growing anger of the priests; and even though the ‘new people’ were settling in virgin areas, unoccupied by priests, their hostility was on the rise. He placated priests with gifts but wondered – how long can one ‘buy’ friend! How long will this friendship last!
Lugal prayed for the long life of the recluse’s priest-son who was his protection. What about those that would follow him! He was not worried about his own future. But of his children and their children! His mind dismissed the wishful hope expressed by some that a day would soon dawn when the priests would be powerless against their settlements. What a foolish hope – he thought – despite their effort to learn all these new ways of self-defence taught by the Aryans.
And Lugal knew that the Aryans themselves were constantly on the move; but even if the Aryans were to remain, the fact was that the priests controlled vast territories and massive number of men. Why, even in these settlements around him, not many would dare oppose a priest’s direct order! Old beliefs die slowly and priests, after all were regarded as gods in human garb.
Maybe – thought Lugal – the Aryan hope that somewhere there is land that is pure and free is also a foolish delusion; but who knows, he wondered, and he prayed, “God, if there is such a land, lead me to it.”
Lugal had not met Purus, the Aryan leader in Iran. But the Aryans spoke of his view – that there was no land that was pure, unless we make it so, by our own will and effort. Purus was right – thought Lugal. But these lands of Sumer and Assyria were far too corrupt; it would require a superhuman effort to release them from the vicious stranglehold of the priests; but surely then, the aim should be to find land that is relatively free from the control of men of evil.
It was then that Lugal felt that for the sake of the future – for the sake of his children – he should join the Aryan quest for land elsewhere.
Yet his heart was heavy. The locals in these settlements admired the Aryans; but Lugal was the one to whom they looked up as their leader – emotionally and even materially. He was the one to whom they came with their problems, concerns and hopes.
Lugal remained silent but not for long. He spoke to the locals and was amazed to find them receptive to the idea of his leaving, ‘so long as you take us along with you.’ Actually, in the end, many had to be persuaded to remain and Lugal said – ‘If we fail, we return here, if we succeed, you come there. Both ways, we lose nothing.’
Thus left King Lugal, though not a King really, except in the hearts and imagination of the Assyrian settlers, on his quest of new lands with the Aryans.
For every Aryan from Bharat Varsha, there were twenty-four locals – and they too called themselves Aryan, the noble.
‘Hermit-King Lugal, you be in command!’ begged Nilakantha, the Aryan leader from Bharat Varsha.
‘No,’ said Lugal. ‘Your faith is greater. You lead.’