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Open letter to science editors





Copyright (C) 1982 by Dwardu Cardona

1. Mars

If Shiva was not Jupiter, and Vishnu, Agni, and Surabhi were not Venus, who was it in the Hindu pantheon that personified these two terrible planets of old?

The above question was asked at the end of a recent paper in which I argued against the acceptance of Velikovsky's planetary identification of these deities.(1) In abrogating these identities, I left Worlds In Collision bereft of any Indic candidates which might have stood for these two planets.

The correct identification of Venus among the Hindu deities was, however, argued separately in "Child of Saturn", Part III.(2) The conclusion was there reached that, with some reservations, Artur Isenberg had presented the best case when he equated the Mahadevi with the planet in question. But because "Child of Saturn" is devoted to Venus and Saturn, the proper identity of the Hindu Jupiter was left unaccounted for.

In order to fill this void, I must rob Worlds In Collision of yet another identification. In that work, Indra is presented as the Hindu Mars.(3) Velikovsky based this identification on Indra's association with the host of minor deities known as the Maruts.(4) The connection of the Maruts with Mars was reached through a philological comparison. As Muller had earlier shown, the name Maruts (Marut, Maruta) shares a common etymological root with Mars (Martis).(5) This evidence has recently been strengthened by Sean Mewhinney who called attention to the fact that even in Hebrew the name of Mars (Kesil) has a plural form (Kesilim), thus resulting in the added equation Mars:Maruts-Kesil:Kesilim.(6) It should not, however, be automatically assumed that just because Indra was associated with the Maruts, he has to be a personification of Mars.

The Maruts were closely related to other deities. Agni was one of them and, in fact, the Maruts were said to be his children.(7) More than that, Agni was himself a Marut.(8) The Maruts were also said to have been the sons of Rudra(9) and, indeed, another name for them was simply Rudras.(10) Should we therefore assume that Agni and Rudra were also personifications of Mars?

Velikovsky understood the Maruts to have been "a brood of comets" born of the encounters(s) between Venus and Mars. According to him, these comets then accompanied Mars as it supposedly swooped close to Earth in a series of near-collisions during the 8th and 7th centuries B.C.(11)

The mythological origin of the Maruts, as indicated above, does not bear this out. Although they eventually became Indra's companions, the Maruts owed their origin, not to Venus and/or Mars, but directly to Saturn/Agni-Rudra/Shiva(12) who fathered them.

I am well aware of Bob Forrest's recent critique of Velikovsky as I am of his acceptance of the uniformitarian interpretation of the Maruts as mere storm gods.(13) Forrest's judgement, like Velikovsky's own, is however based on the laudatory hymns of the Rig Veda. There is more to the Maruts than that. Forrest, like Velikovsky, whom he criticizes for being selective, failed to take the origin, history, and evolution of the Maruts into consideration. Some of this follows below.

Originally the Maruts numbered seven.(14) As the seven children of Saturn, they may be compared with the sevenfold ring which surrounded the Saturnian Sun of Night in primeval times.(15) These seven rings were also the original Pleiades.(16)

In Hindu mythology, the god of the planet Mars (Kartikeya/Skanda/ Kumara)(17) was, like the Maruts, said to have been a child of Agni(18) or, as some have it, of Rudra/Shiva(19) - both now recognized as deities of the planet Saturn. But although the son of Saturn, Kartikeya/ Mars was fostered by the Krittika who were the Pleiades.(20) Thus our equation can now be expanded to Mars:Maruts-Kesil:Kesilim-Kartikeya:Krittika - and the chips start falling neatly into place.

The detailed significance of all this will have to await a future work but, for our present purpose, a rough synopsis may be allowed. It is here hypothesized that the time which saw the formation of Saturn's sevenfold ring-system also witnessed the first appearance of the planet Mars. From Earth, Mars seems either to have been seen in the very midst of the rings or in close conjunction with them. Thus Mars was believed to have been fostered by the Saturnian rings. For this reason Mars (Kesil, Kartikeya) and the Saturnian bands (Maruts, Kesilim, Krittika) received similar names. It is also for the same reason that in both Babylonian and Hindu astronomy, Mars became the planetary representation of the Pleiades.(21)

At the close of the Golden Age, the Saturnian configuration was fragmented. The collective memory of the nations holds both Mars and Jupiter as having been responsible for this calamity.(22) But although Mars was definitely involved, the Hindus did not blame Kartikeya/Skanda/Kumara for the actual dispersal of the rings. On the contrary, the event seems to be attributed to Indra in a myth which states that, in his anger at their continuous howling, the god flung a thunderbolt in the midst of the Maruts and smashed each of the seven into seven more parts.(23) Thus the number of the Maruts increased to forty-nine,(24) although other sources specify twenty-seven and even one hundred and eighty.(25) In any case, the rings were shattered and their remains, in the form of watery filaments, were attracted to, and followed, the retreating Indra. It is therefore not difficult to see that this god should be identified as Jupiter, the mightier of the two perpetrators that slew the Saturnian god and succeeded in tearing him to pieces.

We shall now test this identification.

2. Jupiter

David Talbott related Indra to Saturn.(26) The little evidence he presented is not inconsistent with a Saturnian interpretation. This, however, can be accounted for by the fact that Jupiter is known to have "stolen" many of the attributes which originally belonged to Saturn(27) - a state of affairs with which Talbott himself is quite familiar.(28)

In actuality, a comparison between the mythological histories of Indra and the Greek Zeus easily resolves the identity of the former without leaving any room for doubt. That Indra was the Hindu Jupiter I have already indicated in print.(29) Earlier, Harold Tresman and Brendan O'Gheoghan had also presented Indra as the prototype of Jupiter.(30) The evidence which follows was actually presented to Velikovsky by the present writer as early as December of 1975.(31) To my knowledge, Velikovsky did not reject it. Based on both comparative mythology and direct identification, the evidence is this:

Indra was the son of Varuna(32) and/or Dyaus.(33) That Varuna was one of the Vedic names of Saturn has already been intimated.(34) Dyaus was regarded by the ancients themselves as the personification of the sky or heaven.(35) Like Varuna, this makes Dyaus one with Uranus, Anus, Anu, and An - all of whom were misconceived Saturnian " Sky"-gods.(36) Like Zeus, therefore, Indra was a veritable son of Saturn.(37) Consider further:

Indra is said to have been mothered by Prithivi. At the time of his birth, it is said, earth and mountains began to shake and all the gods were afraid. Prithivi herself became fearful and so she hid her son. Immediately, Indra set up a din and began to display the energy and impulsiveness that was later to characterize him.(38) One of Indra's first acts was the slaying of his own father. Seizing him by the ankle, Indra dashed him to the ground and killed him. Through these acts, Indra became king at the head of the gods.(39)

Is this not a replica of the Greek tale which describes the birth and first acts of Zeus? In Greek mythology, Zeus is mothered by Rhea. She, too, was fearful for the safety of her son and, like Prithivi, she also hid him. The infant Zeus turned out to be as noisome a brat as baby Indra. The Curetes had to shout and clash their spears against their shields in an effort to drown or disguise the sound of his wailing lest Kronos, his father, should hear him. Finally, like Indra, Zeus also dethroned his father and it was then that Zeus became the new king of the gods (40)

Nor does the historical similarity of these two gods end there. In Greek mythology we see how, in revenge for the destruction of the Giants, Gaea gave birth to the monster Typhon whom she then sent to destroy Zeus. During their first clash, Typhon put Zeus to flight and only later was Zeus able to regain his courage and vanquish Typhon.(41)

In Hindu mythology we also see Tvashtri, in revenge for the death of Trisiras, bring to life the serpent-monster Vritra. Like Typhon, Vritra challenged Indra to combat and, as in the tale of Zeus, we see the monster putting Indra to flight. Only later was Indra, exactly like Zeus, able to triumph over Vritra.(42)

At this point I could close my case. The early histories of Indra and Zeus are so close to being identical that only the blind, or the stubborn, would contest their homogeneity - so that if Zeus really personified the planet Jupiter, as the Greeks themselves attested, then so did Indra. And the matter should end there.

Actually, this entire paper has been nothing more than an exercise in comparative mythology. In truth, I could easily have dispensed with all the evidence presented above and gone straight to the heart of the matter. Besides which, I did promise a direct identification one that is nothing but the restatement of an age-old fact:

One of Indra's epithets is Brihaspati(43) - and Brihaspati is the actual Hindu name of the planet Jupiter. (44)


1. D. Cardona, "Child of Saturn," Part II, KRONOS VII:2(Winter 1982), pp. 29-33, 36-38.
2. Elsewhere in this issue of KRONOS, pp. 3-14.
3. I. Velikovsky, Worlds In Collision (N.Y., 1950), pp. 269, 282.
4. Ibid., pp. 282-289.
5. F. M. Muller, Vedic Hymns (1891), Vol. I, p. xxv.
6. S. Mewhinney, "Maruts and Kesilim," KRONOS V:4 (Summer 1980), p. 94.
7. V. Ions, Indian Mythology (London, 1967), p. 79.
8. Ibid.
9. Ibid., pp. 17, 96.
10. Ibid., p. 23.
11. I. Velikovsky,op. cit., pp. 281-282 ff.
12. For Agni and Shiva as Saturn see D. Cardona, op. cit., Part II (see note No. 1), pp. 29-33, 36-37; idem, "Vishnu Born of Shiva," elsewhere in this issue, pp. 15-18.
13. B. Forrest, Velikovsky's Sources, Part 2 (Manchester, 1981), pp. 129-139.
14. V. Ions,op. cit., p.96; W. D.O'Flaherty, Hindu Myths (Harmondsworth, 1975-76), p. 348. (NOTE: It would actually have been more correct to say that originally there was only one Marut (see V. Ions, loc. cit.). This fits in with the author's hypothesis and, to an extent, that of David Talbott - to wit, that initially, Saturn seems to have been encircled by a single ring which was later catastrophically split into three, and almost immediately after into seven. See the author's forthcoming article 'The Rings of Saturn".)
15. D. Cardona, 'The Mystery of the Pleiades," KRONOS III:4 (Summer 1978), p. 38.
16. Ibid. (NOTE: The author acknowledges Frederic B. Jueneman as the discoverer of this particular datum. More will be said on this subject in 'The Rings of Saturn".)
17. For this identification see Ibid., p. 31; also idem, "Child of Saturn," Part II (see note No. 1), p. 34.
18. V. Ions, op. cit., p. 84.
19. J. Herbert, "Hindu Mythology," in "India: The Eternal Cycle," Larousse World Mythology (London, 1972), p. 237.
20. V. Ions, op. cit., p. 87; G. de Santillana and H. von Dechend, Hamlet's Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time (Boston, 1969), p. 157.
21. Ibid. (NOTE: For more on the connection of the Pleiades with Saturn see "Child of Saturn," Part III, p. 8 elsewhere in this issue.)
22. References here would be too numerous to cite but see D. N. Talbott, "Saturn: Universal Monarch and Dying God," Research Communications Network (1977), pp. 9-12.
23. V. Ions, op. cit., p. 96.
24. bid.
25. bid., p. 17.
26. D. N. Talbott, The Saturn Myth (N.Y., 1980), p. 208.
27. D. Cardona, "Jupiter - God of Abraham," Part I, KRONOS VII:1, p. 74; idem, "Child of Saturn," Part II (see note No. 1), p. 33.
28. D. N. Talbott, "Saturn: Universal Monarch and Dying God" (see note No. 22), p. 9.
29. D. Cardona, "Jupiter - God of Abraham," Part I (see note No. 27), p. 74. (NOTE: Ibid., p. 82, note No. 55, promised the evidence for Indra as Jupiter in the author's forthcoming article "The Cause of Saturn's Flare-Up". The evidence has now been presented in the present article, a portion of which was actually lifted from "Cause".)
30. H. Tresman and B. O'Gheoghan, "The Primordial Light?" SISR II:2 (December 1977), pp. 38, 39.
31. D. Cardona, "Cows, Caste, and Comets" (Velikovsky Archives and the files of Cosmos and Chronos, unpublished).
32. V. Ions, op. cit., p. 16.
33. Ibid., p. 15.
34. D. Cardona, "Child of Saturn," Part I, KRONOS VII:1 (Fall 1981), pp. 61-63; G. de Santillana and H. von Dechend, op. cit., p. 265.
35. V. Ions, loc. cit.
36. D. Cardona, op. cit., p. 63.
37. That Zeus was the son of Kronos/Saturn is well known.
38. V. Ions, loc. cit.
39. Ibid., p. 16.
40. R. Graves, The Greek Myths, Vol. I (Harmondsworth, 1964), pp. 39-40.
41. Ibid., pp. 133-134. (NOTE: That this Typhonian battle had anything to do with the Venerian catastrophe during the time of the Exodus - see Worlds In Collision, pp. 79 ff. is also contested by this writer.)
42. J. Herbert, op. cit., pp. 228-229.
43. W. D. O'Flaherty, op. cit., p. 74.
44. Ibid., p. 341; V. S. Apte, The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary (Delhi, 1965), p. 704; Cf. R. Ashton, "Brhaspati," next in this issue, in toto.

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