There is a theory by some authors and researchers that most of the Royals, some of the Pharaohs, in particular Rameses II, and even Jesus & Mary Magdalene were Blue Eyed, Red heads with freckles… and thus they claim that they had to have been Caucasian Blue Eyed Red Heads.. but I gotta remind all that you can have red hair, freckles, blue, green or hazel eyes and still be Black, and even the Waka Blondes of New Zealand & Hawaii (Ehu) and the Blondes of Fiji & Solomon Islands can all still be dark or light skinned.
There are various sources online which propose this theory that all the Royals had Red or Blonde Hair and Blue Eyes.. and you can also search RH- Blood and Royals.. but my issue with some of these claims is that they almost always conclude that these Royals had to have been Caucasian then.. but through a simple google search you can see that Red Hair, Blonde Hair, Freckles, Blue, Green and Hazel Eyes can happen in Black and Brown people too.. so while rare… the rarity doesn’t conclusively mean all these royals must’ve been White. If indeed Red/Blonde Hair and Blue eyes was a signifying trait of the Royals.. it could’ve just as easily been that.. rare family of Black red heads with Blue/Green eyes… especially those that lived in Egypt, Africa or the Middle East.
Saint Sarah aka Santa Sara La Kali aka Sarah the Egyptian aka Sarasvati Lakshmi Kali, daughter of Jesus & Mary Magdalene, known by Catholics as Egyptian servant to the Three Mary’s as they fled from Roman persecution in Jerusalem to France to a place now known as Saintes Maries de la Mer in Camarque, France.
To the Romani Gypsies, she is Santa Sara la Kali, the Patron Saint of the Gypsies. To Gnostics, Essenes & Nazoreans she was actually the daughter of Jesus & Mary Magdalene, disguised as a servant to hide her true identity. It is said that, every year since their arrival the people have been celebrating the day of their arrival to France at the coast with a large pilgrimage festival. The day of the pilgrimage honouring Sarah is May 24; her statue is carried down to the sea on this day to re-enact her arrival in France.
Some authors have drawn parallels between the ceremonies of the pilgrimage and the worship of the Hindu goddess Kali (a form of Durga), subsequently identifying the two. Ronald Lee states:
“If we compare the ceremonies with those performed in France at the shrine of Sainte Sara (called Sara e Kali in Romani), we become aware that the worship of Kali/Durga/Sara has been transferred to a Christian figure… in France, to a non-existent “sainte” called Sara, who is actually part of the Kali/Durga/Sara worship among certain groups in India.”
The name “Sara” itself is seen in the appellation of Durga as Kali in the famed text Durgasaptashati.
In The Rozabal Line, author Ashwin Sanghi puts forward that Sara-la-Kali refers to the three Hindu goddesses – Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Kali – the goddesses of Knowledge, Wealth and Power – symbolizing the trinity of female power.
We are already aware… based on recent scientific studies of DNA, that modern humanity originated in Africa, that African people are the world’s aboriginal people and that all modern humans can ultimately trace their ancestral roots back to Africa. If not for the primordial migrations of early African people, humanity would have remained physically Africoid, and the rest of the world outside of the African continent absent of human life. This is our starting point.
Since the first modern humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) were of African birth, the African presence globally can be demonstrated through the history of the Black populations that have inhabited the world within the span of recent humanity. Not only are African people the aboriginal people of the planet, however, there is abundant evidence to show that Black people created and sustained many of the world’s earliest and most enduring civilizations. Such was the case in India.
The questions we pose here are simply these: Who are the African people of India? What is their significance in the annals of history? Precisely what have they done and what are they doing now? These are extremely serious questions that warrant serious and fundamental answers.
ANCIENT AFRICA AND EARLY INDIA
Exceptionally valuable writings reflecting close relationships between Africa and early India have existed for more than two thousand years. In the first century B.C.E., for example, the famous Greek historian Diodorus Siculus penned that,
“From Ethiopia he (Osiris) passed through Arabia, bordering upon the Red Sea as far as India…. He built many cities in India, one of which he called Nysa, willing to have remembrance of that (Nysa) in Egypt, where he was brought up.”
INDIA’S EARLIEST CIVILIZATION
In Greater India, more than a thousand years before the foundations of Greece and Rome, proud and industrious Black men and women known as Dravidians erected a powerful civilization. We are referring here to the Indus Valley civilization- -India’s earliest high-culture, with major cities spread out along the course of the Indus River. The Indus Valley civilization was at its height from about 2200 B.C.E. to 1700 B.C.E. This phase of its history is called the Harappan, the name being derived from Harappa, one of the earliest known Indus Valley cities.
In 1922, about 350 miles northeast of Harappa, another large Indus city, Mohenjo-daro (the Mound of the Dead) was identified. Mohenjo-daro and Harappa were apparently the chief administrative centers of the Indus Valley complex, and since their identification, several additional cities, including Chanhu-daro, Kalibangan, Quetta and Lothal have been excavated.
The Indus cities possessed multiple level houses enhanced by sophisticated wells, drainage systems and bathrooms with flushing toilets. A recognized scholar on the Indus Valley civilization, Dr. Walter Fairservis, states that the “Harappans cultivated cotton and perhaps rice, domesticated the chicken and may have invented the game of chess and one of the two great early sources of nonmuscle power: the windmill.”
The decline and fall of the Indus Valley civilization has been linked to several factors, the most important of which were the increasingly frequent incursions of the White people known in history as Aryans–violent Indo-European tribes initially from central Eurasia and later Iran. Indeed, the name Iran means the “land of the Aryan.”
APARTHEID IN INDIA
The White tribes that invaded India and disrupted Black civilization there are known as Aryans. The Aryans were not necessarily superior warriors to the Blacks but they were aggressive, developed sophisticated military technologies and glorified military virtues. After hundreds of years of intense martial conflict the Aryans succeeded in subjugating most of northern India. Throughout the vanquished territories a rigid, caste-segmented social order was established with the masses of conquered Blacks (called Shudras) essentially reduced to slaves to the Whites and imposed upon for service in any capacity required by their White conquerors. This vicious new world order was cold-bloodily racist, with the Whites on top, the mixed races in the middle, and the overwhelming majority of Black people on the very bottom. In fact, the Aryan term varna, denoting one’s societal status and used interchangeably with caste, literally means color or complexion and reflects a prevalent racial hierarchy. Truly, India is still a racist country. White supremacist David Duke claimed “that his 1970′s visit to India was a turning point in his views on the superiority of the White race.”
Caste law in India, based originally on race, regulated all aspects of life, including marriage, diet, education, place of residence and occupation. This is not to deny that there were certain elements of the Black aristocracy that managed to gain prominence in the dominant White social structure. The masses of conquered Black people, however, were regarded by the Whites as Untruth itself. The Whites claimed to have emerged from the mouth of God; the Blacks, on the other hand, were said to have emerged from the feet of God. This was the ugly reality for the Black masses in conquered India. It was written that:
“A Sudra [Black] who intentionally reviles twice-born men [Whites] by criminal abuse, or criminally assaults them with blows, shall be deprived of the limb with which he offends. If he has criminal intercourse with an Aryan woman, his organ shall be cut off, and all his property confiscated. If the woman has a protector, the Sudra shall be executed. If he listens intentionally to a recitation of the Veda [a traditional Hindu religious text], his tongue shall be cut out. If he commits them to memory his body shall be split in half.”
Servitude to Whites became the basis of the lives of the Black people of India for generation after generation after generation. With the passage of time, this brutally harsh, color-oriented, racially-based caste system became the foundation of the religion that is now practiced throughout all India. This is the religion known as Hinduism.
THE BUDDHA AND BUDDHISM IN INDIA
Buddhism appeared in India during the sixth century B.C.E. and came in the form of a protest against Hinduism. Buddhism opposed the arrogance of caste, and preached tolerance. It should not be surprising, then, that it developed a large and rapid following in the regions of India where the Blacks had survived in substantial numbers. On the emergence of Buddhism in India, Diop has suggested that:
“It would seem that Buddha was an Egyptian priest, chased from Memphis by the persecution of Cambyses. This tradition would justify the portrayal of Buddha with woolly hair. Historical documents do not invalidate this tradition…There is general agreement today on placing in the sixth century not only Buddha but the whole religious and philosophical movement in Asia with Confucius in China, Zoroaster in Iran. This would confirm the hypothesis of a dispersion of Egyptian priests at that time spreading their doctrine in Asia.”
Dr. Vulindlela Wobogo, another African-centric scholar, has observed that:
“Manifestations of the Buddha in Asia are Black with woolly hair. They all appear to be Egypto-Nubian priests who fled Egypt…The priests carried their spiritual knowledge but lost much of the scientific knowledge for obvious reasons. The well-known aspects of Buddhism and its companion, yoga, are all simply Egypto-Nubian priesthood practices, meditation, and…the belief that one could attain a god-like state if the soul was liberated from the body through knowledge and denial.”
In a monumental two volume work entitled A Book of the Beginnings, originally published in 1881, Gerald Massey recorded that:
“It is not necessary to show that the first colonisers of India were Black, but it is certain that the Black Buddha of India was imaged in the Africoid type. In the Black [African] god, whether called Buddha or Sut-Nahsi, we have a datum. they carry in their color the proof of their origin. The people who first fashioned and worshipped the divine image in the Africoid mold of humanity must, according to all knowledge of human nature, have been Africans themselves. For the Blackness is not merely mystical, the features and the hair of Buddha belong to the Black race.”
In the first volume of his massive text Anacalypsis, Godfrey Higgins wrote that:
“The religion of Buddha, of India, is well known to have been very ancient. In the most ancient temples scattered through Asia, where his worship is yet continued, he is found black as jet, with the flat face, thick lips and curly hair of the African.”
DALIT: THE BLACK UNTOUCHABLES OF INDIA
Possibly the most substantial percentage of Asia’s Blacks can be identified among India’s 160 million “Untouchables” or “Dalits.” Frequently they are called “Outcasts.” Indian nationalist leader and devout Hindu Mohandas K. Gandhi called them “Harijans,” meaning “children of god.” The official name given them in India’s constitution (1951) is “Scheduled Castes.” “Dalit,” meaning “crushed and broken,” is a name that has come into prominence only within the last four decades. “Dalit” reflects a radically different response to oppression.
The Dalit are demonstrating a rapidly expanding awareness of their African ancestry and their relationship to the struggle of Black people throughout the world. They seem particularly enamored of African-Americans. African-Americans, in general, seem almost idolized by the Dalit, and the Black Panther Party, in particular, is virtually revered. In April 1972, for example, the Dalit Panther Party was formed in Bombay, India. This organization takes its pride and inspiration directly from the Black Panther Party of the United States. This is a highly important development due to the fact that the Untouchables have historically been so systematically terrorized that many of them, even today, live in a perpetual state of extreme fear of their upper caste oppressors. This is especially evident in the villages. The formation of the Dalit Panthers and the corresponding philosophy that accompanies it signals a fundamental change in the annals of resistance, and Dalit Panther organizations have subsequently spread to other parts of India. In August 1972, the Dalit Panthers announced that the 25th anniversary of Indian independence would be celebrated as a day of mourning. In 1981, in Bangalore, India Dravidian journalist V.T. Rajshekar published the first issue of Dalit Voice–the major English journal of the Black Untouchables. In a 1987 publication entitled the African Presence in Early Asia, Rajshekar stated that:
“The African-Americans also must know that their liberation struggle cannot be complete as long as their own blood-brothers and sisters living in far off Asia are suffering. It is true that African-Americans are also suffering, but our people here today are where African-Americans were two hundred years ago.
African-American leaders can give our struggle tremendous support by bringing forth knowledge of the existence of such a huge chunk of Asian Blacks to the notice of both the American Black masses and the Black masses who dwell within the African continent itself.”
HABSHIS AND SIDDIS: AFRICAN DYNASTIES IN INDIA
India also received its share of African bondsmen, of whom the most famous was the celebrated Malik Ambar (1550-1626). Ambar, like a number of Africans in medieval India, elevated himself to a position of great authority. Malik Ambar, whose original name was Shambu, was born around 1550 in Harar, Ethiopia. After his arrival in India Ambar was able to raise a formidable army and achieve great power in the west Indian realm of Ahmadnagar. Ambar was a brilliant diplomat and administrator. He encouraged manufactures and built canals and mosques. He gave pensions to poets and scholars, established a postal service, and ultimately became one of the most famous men in India.
In a collective form, however, and in respect to long term influence, the African sailors known as Siddis stand out. Certainly, Siddi kingdoms were established in western India in Janjira and Jaffrabad as early as 1100 AD. After their conversion to Islam, the African freedmen of India, originally called Habshi from the Arabic, called themselves Sayyad (descendants of Muhammad) and were consequently called Siddis. Indeed, the island Janjira was formerly called Habshan, meaning Habshan’s or African’s land. Siddi signifies lord or prince. It is further said that Siddi is an expression of respectful address commonly used in North Africa, like Sahib in India. Specifically, it is said to be an honorific title given to the descendants of African natives in the west of India, some of whom were distinguished military officers and administrators of the Muslim princes of the Deccan.
In the second decade of the sixteenth century a European traveler named Armando Cortesao noted that:
“The people who govern the kingdom [Bengal] are Abyssinians [Ethiopians]. These men are looked upon as knights; they are greatly esteemed; they wait on the kings in their apartments. The chief among them are eunuchs and these come to be kings and great lords in the kingdom. Those who are not eunuchs are the fighting men. After the king, it is to this people that the kingdom is obedient from fear.”
The Siddis were a tightly knit group, highly aggressive, and even ferocious in battle. They were employed largely as security forces for Muslim fleets in the Indian Ocean, a position they maintained for centuries. The Siddi commanders were titled Admirals of the Mughal Empire, and received an annual salary of 300,000 rupees. According to Ibn Battuta (1304-1377), the noted Muslim writer who journeyed through both Africa and Asia, the Siddis “are the guarantors of safety on the Indian Ocean; let there be but one of them on a ship and it will be avoided by the Indian pirates and idolaters.”
Leonard Howell, known as the founder of the Rastafari movement, was born in Clarendon, Jamaica. On November 2, 1930, Haile Selassie I was crowned by the emperor of Ethiopia. Howell interpreted this as a fulfillment of the words of Marcus Garvey when he said in the 1920’s, “Look to Africa for the crowning of a black king, He shall be the Redeemer!”
In 1933, Howell founded Rastafari movement in Jamaica with Joseph -, Arch Bold Dunk and others. Howell was accused of sedition due to this activity, and was captured by police authorities for 2 years, but even after prison, he fought with the power of Jamaica and developed Rastafari movement.
Howell was born on June 16, 1898 in May Crawle village in the Bull Head mountain district of upper Clarendon in Jamaica. He was the eldest of a family of ten children. Charles Theophilus Howell, his father, worked as peasant cultivator and tailor. Clementina Bennett, his mother, worked as an agricultural laborer.
During the First World War, Howell worked as a seaman and served as part of a Jamaican contingent sent to Panama. Before temporarily settling in Panama in 1918, he travelled back and forth between New York City and Panama several times. While in New York he became a member of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) after being confronted with his identity as a black man in Harlem for the first time and meeting Garvey, the revolutionary UNIA leader, in person.
Howell lived abroad for a total of some twenty years in his early life, during which time he was arrested and jailed for his involvement with the UNIA because the organization’s pro-black messages were viewed as threatening. After migrating to Panama and the United States, he eventually returned home in December 1932 at the age of 34 after being deported from the US. He was deported because of his involvement with the UNIA, which was perceived as threatening by the US government, due to the organization’s messages of black power and anti-colonialism. Upon returning to his homeland, he decided to leave his family home and spread the word about Rastafarianism. This decision to break away from his home was due to a conflict between Howell and his family, presumably because of his controversial belief in the divine nature of Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia.
Howell’s first public articulation of the divinity of Haile Selassie occurred in January 1933. This first open deification, which proclaimed the Emperor of Ethiopia to be the incarnation of God, took place at “Redemption Ground” in Kingston but was not successful in gaining converts.
In February 1933, Howell relocated his meeting to a southeastern parish of St. Thomas and two months later, on April 18, he addressed about two hundred people at a meeting in Trinity Ville, St. Thomas. During this meeting, police were present to monitor and control the event, which they deemed to be of a “seditious nature.” Despite concerns, authorities chose not to press charges against Howell so as not to draw extra attention to his movement and decided instead to closely monitor him.
According to Howell and his followers, Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia was the “Black Messiah” – an incarnation of God predicted by biblical prophecy. Howell believed that the grand coronation of Haile Selassie (who was widely traditionally claimed to be the descendant of King David, King Solomon, and the Queen of Sheba, in part due to the medieval Ethiopian text Kebra Nagast), was the realization of a prophecy. The grandness of the emperor’s ascension to power appeared to validate Howell’s imperative claim.
Howell’s teachings often began with background information about the people, land, and sovereignty of Ethiopia as an unchanged land populated by original, primitive Christian people who were under direct rule of a king who was a direct descendant of King David. He idealized Ethiopia in his preaching, calling the country a land with unmatched people and a perfect language, the sole uncorrupted language on Earth. Howell emphasized the coming of a new civilization based upon and founded in the glory and power of Haile Selassie, the “Supreme Black King.” He instructed his followers to adore the Ethiopian emperor as the supreme God over all of humanity. In Howell’s view, it was through Ethiopia that the truths of good character, social order, manhood and womanhood were preserved and were unfolding for all to see. Howell preached that Ethiopian culture was re-emerging to overtake hegemonic Anglo-Saxon forces that had kept Africans enslaved.
[Core values, leadership, and social network]
Among his followers, Howell preferred being called Gangunguru Maragh or G.G. Maragh to distinguish his ritual, mystical personality from his secular identity. Howell’s ritual name is thought to be a combination of three Hindi words – gyan (wisdom), gun (virtue or talent), and guru (teacher). In Hindi, Maragh means “great kings” or “king of kings.” Howell used this name as a pseudonym when he published The Promised Key.
In a meeting at Port Mortant, St. Thomas, on September 1933, it is recorded that Howell held a meeting that began with the singing of hymns. Then, Howell reportedly taunted clergymen of other religious denominations at the gathering and discouraged people from attending church because “ministers were liars.” He also spoke critically of slavery, claiming that “the White man stole Africa from the Africans, and that Black people should think that Africa is their home, not Jamaica”.
Howell’s message of praise for Emperor Haile Selassie also came with an open call for black supremacy as a way to combat colonialism and reject oppression by whites. At times, Howell would ask his congregants to join together and sing “God Save the King” – the king being Haile Selassie. Howell’s central doctrine acted as a force against white colonial ideology due to his placement of blackness as morally superior to whiteness, as is explained in his widely read publication, The Promised Key.
Howell is remembered as being a charismatic and authoritarian leader who sincerely cared about the wellbeing of his followers. In 1937, Howell founded the Ethiopian Salvation Society (ESS) whose objective was to use collective savings to better its members. A secondary purpose of the ESS was to help spread the good news about salvation and Christianity and underscore the value of self-help and good citizenship. These secondary purposes were expressly stated so as to shield the organization from suspicion that it was promoting sedition. Nevertheless, in 1940 the Jamaican governor responded to pressure from the colonial secretary and the labor leadership by officially banning a meeting of the ESS due to the resentment the organization was creating as well as its internationalization.
In addition to his leadership role in the ESS, Howell served as a role model and father figure for the growing Rastafarian community. His audacious, generous personality, combined with his well-travelled background, made early Rastafarians particularly receptive to his messages. Howell brought “the hope of a new generation, one which was inspired by the magnificence of the new Ethiopian emperor.”
To expand Howell’s Rastafarian network, he formed relationships with other black groups such as the Afro-Athlican Constructive Gaathly and the UNIA. Additionally he collaborated closely with other icons of the Rastafarian movement such as Marcus Garvey and George Padmore, a Trinidadian journalist.
Howell’s appeal for identification with Africa was in opposition to concurrent movements in Jamaica promoting a Jamaican creole nationalism. Howell positioned himself as an opponent of the labor nationalists Bustamante and Manley who had gained a substantial following among the working class. Howell preached to both the working class and the peasantry in Jamaica, attempting to unite disenfranchised black people to overcome colonial oppression. Jamaica’s independence in 1962 (which nevertheless maintained social, political and economic ties between Jamaica and Great Britain) was largely a disappointment for Howell, who had called for the complete severance of relations with imperial Britain.
[Trials and punishments]
In January 1934, Howell and Robert Hinds, another pioneer of the Rastafarian movement, were arrested and charged with sedition due to their gatherings and speeches at a meeting of 300 people at Seaforth, St Thomas, on December 10, 1933.
Howell was put on trial for sedition on March 13, 1934, and pleaded not guilty to openly expressing hatred and contempt for the Jamaican government and the King in addition to disturbing public peace on the island. Howell defended himself in court, using a photograph of Haile Selassie as evidence. During this historic trial, Howell is remembered as being the first person to declare that Haile Selassie was “the Messiah returned to earth.” Ultimately he was sentenced to two years in jail for sedition by the Jamaican chief justice, Robert William Lyall-Grant.
Later, in 1938, Howell was sent to a mental asylum in Kingston called the Bellevue Aslyum after being certified as insane for the inflammatory statements he published in his book The Promised Key. In this publication, which was released while Howell was still incarcerated, he labeled the Roman Catholic Pope as “Satan the Devil” and created the impression that war was being declared against colonialism and white supremacy – which Howell asserted should be replaced with “Black supremacy.” Furthermore, he openly objected to locally created religious systems like Revivalism and Obeah, a Jamaican folk practice. Although small, the book was powerful and very popular to the dismay of the Jamaican government.
As one of the most charismatic and outspoken of Rastafarian leaders, Howell was incarcerated at notably higher rates than other pioneers of the Rastafarian movement, such as Joseph Nathaniel Hibbert and Hinds. Described as “the most persecuted Rastafarian to date,” Howell suffered considerably under constant state surveillance because of his Rastafarian teachings. Due to his repeated imprisonment and persecution, he suffered the blow of being absent during Haile Selassie’s 1966 visit to Jamaica.
Especially threatening to the powers that be was his prophetic call for people to destroy the legitimacy and might of the British empire and international white supremacy, a message that caused people to reconsider their for identity, agency, and socio-political mobilization in Jamaica and elsewhere.
[Creation of Pinnacle Community]
Following his release from prison for his teachings of black power and denunciation of colonial rule, Howell created the first Rastafarian village in Jamaica at Sligoville, St. Catherine in 1940. The settlement was called “Pinnacle” due to its high hilltop elevation and was symbolically located in the first free village established to house former slaves in Jamaica. Pinnacle was one of the country’s first self-sustaining communities, its community members were able to meet their needs without dependence on outside resources. Some refer to Pinnacle as a commune, in which Howell’s form of socialism was practiced. Soon after its foundation, other similar Rastafarian communities were established across the country. Pinnacle was especially known for the cultivation of ganja (marijuana) that has religious significance for Rastafarians.
In efforts to shut down Howell and his followers, police raided Howell’s community of Pinnacle multiple times and labeled the community a “communist experiment” in 1941. Just one year after the creation of the settlement, government forces infiltrated and arrested many of Howell’s followers. After escaping immediate arrest, Howell was eventually arrested and tried once again for sedition and consequently was faced with two more years behind bars. Upon his release in 1943, he returned to Pinnacle once again. Howell hired guards and brought in watch dogs to protect Pinnacle from future attacks.
The police raided Pinnacle several more times in the 1950s. In 1954, militia invaded the community and almost completely destroyed the village. Even after this mass destruction, settlers returned, though the settlement was never restored to its previous thriving state. During a final raid in 1958, the police cleared out the remaining residents completely. Despite its ultimate destruction, the impact of the settlement made it legendary among other settlements around the country, who were observed to have been “miniature Pinnacles.”
[Alleged disappearance and ongoing legacy]
Some claim that Howell disappeared from public sight between 1958 and 1960, completely dropping out of his role as a Rastafarian leader. Accounts that he was neither heard from nor interacted with between this period and his death in 1981 have been challenged by historians who examined his life, however. Even after the final major raid of Pinnacle and Howell’s confinement in a mental asylum, he reportedly continued in his leadership of the Pinnacle community and as a Rastafari foundational role model, as evidenced by his role as a defendant in several cases at the Home Circuit Court, Kingston, regarding disputes about his ownership of Pinnacle.
Today Howell is remembered as a pioneer of the Rastafarian movement. Additionally, in honor of his values and persistent fight against colonial authority, he is seen as a leader of Pan-Africanism. To fight for his remembrance, the Leonard P Howell Foundation was created to “perpetuate and honor the memory of Leonard P Howell.” The Foundation calls for the restoration of a portion of the Pinnacle Property so that it can become a UNESCO world heritage site, an international Rastafarian worship and research center, and a monument in tribute to the vision and leadership of Leonard Percival Howell.
History has talked about the Mer-Ka-Ba mostly as the vehicle that allows a person to ascend or descend into the higher or lower worlds. But actually the Mer-Ka-Ba is much more than just a vehicle of ascension. It can be, really, anything — since it is the primal pattern that created all things and all universes, both visible and invisible (see The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life, volumes I & II).
In the Bible there is reference to Ezekiel and the wheels by which Ezekiel ascended into heaven. This was the Mer-ka-Ba.
In the Torah, there is reference to the Merkavah (as it is spelled in Hebrew) which has two different meanings: One meaning is ”chariot,” which is a vehicle; the other is the ”Throne of God.” When the two definitions are combined, the true meaning comes to life.
In Ancient Egypt, this primal pattern was called the Mer-Ka-Ba. It was actually three words, not one. Mer meant a kind of light that rotated within itself. Ka meant spirit, in this case referring to the human spirit. And Ba meant the human body — though it also could mean the concept of Reality that spirit holds. And so the entire word in ancient Egypt referred to a rotating light that would take the spirit and the body from one world into another.
I once spent a couple of hours with Credo Mutwa, the spiritual leader of the Zulu tribe in Africa. He explained to me that Merkaba (one word) was a Zulu word meaning a space/time/dimension vehicle. He told me that according to Zulu legend his entire tribe had come from another dimension here to Earth using the Merkaba.
In the modern world there are teachers worldwide — and I am one of them — who are helping people remember the Mer-Ka-Ba. Thus begin a process in consciousness that will eventually translate us from the third-dimensional world into the next higher one through what is being called ”ascension.”
Ascension involves a process where the human body is transformed into light and translated by an incredible birth into a new world. It is achieved through a meditation that requires the mind, heart, body, and spirit to completely integrate in one pattern of light and transcend the human limitations of this reality.
This concept of the Mer-Ka-Ba as an ascension vehicle is not new. It is very, very old.
What actually is the Mer-Ka-Ba? Technically, it is an electro-magnetic field sitting at about four degrees Kelvin, found primarily within the microwave range — at least in the third dimension — that is entirely geometric in nature. Specifically, the geometry used is called ”Sacred Geometry,” as this particular geometry is found in the creation patterns of all things in Creation.
The Mer-Ka-Ba field is extremely complex, involving the five Platonic solids and other sacred polyhedrons. It is believed to extend through all possible dimensional and parallel universes, and can possibly change its nature from electro-magnetic to whatever is appropriate.
The blueprint of the Mer-Ka-Ba is found throughout nature, such as in this photo of a galaxy.
One of the functions of the Mer-Ka-Ba, as we said, is to act as the vehicle to take the spirit and the body into the next world. However, this function — and most of the other possibilities — is impossible to obtain until something changes within the person. Sombrero galaxyThe Mer-Ka-Ba is situated around the human body like a three-dimensional geometric web that is dormant and nonfunctional, waiting for the right moment. When the spirit that inhabits the body remembers that it is there and begins to change certain aspects of itself, an incredible transformation begins to grow.
It was believed in ancient times, and even written about by the Hebrews, that the Merkavah could be turned on by certain principles in meditation. This involves breathing changes, and mind, heart, and body changes that alter the way a person perceives the Reality. From my perspective, it is the beginning of ”Enlightenment.”
And yet it is clear that the Mer-Ka-Ba can also be ”activated,” as the New Agers say, by other methods beside the male-style instructions using the breathing changes mentioned above. It can also become functional through methods that are purely female. Through the true living of qualities such as love, faith, trust, truth, and compassion, the Mer-Ka-Ba can spontaneously become alive. In other words, very pure human character can translate into a living Mer-Ka-Ba field around the person, even if that person doesn’t initially know it is there.
And yes, absolutely, the Mer-Ka-Ba is alive. It is a living field, not a purely mechanical field of energy. Because it is a living field, it responds to human thought and feeling, which is the way to connect to the field. So the ”computer” that guides the Mer-Ka-Ba is the human mind and heart. The possibilities are endless.
At a certain and specific moment (not necessarily in this lifetime), a person’s Mer-Ka-Ba field can become alive. When this happens, an electro-magnetic change occurs which results in a disc of energy that comes out from a tiny place near the base of the spine and quickly expands to about 27 to 30 feet in radius around the body. This disc can easily be perceived by scientific means, and if the United States Airforce is correct it can be put up on their computer screens via satellite. In other words, the military can see people who activate their Mer-Ka-Bas, and watch as they move around the surface of the Earth.
Since the number of people who have done this is now in the millions, it is a fairly common sight now. It is the enormous magnetic burst that results from the disc expanding that brings attention to itself. This can easily be made invisible by people who activate their Mer-ka-Bas, if they so desire.
The knowledge of the Mer-Ka-Ba is well known by most of the more powerful governments of the world. I am certain that our government used the Mer-Ka-Ba in the 1943 Philadelphia Experiment and the 1983 Montoc Experiments — in their mind-control experiments and dimensional explorations, and in controlling weather. And I am equally certain that Russia is using the Mer-Ka-Ba in their spy programs and defense systems.
But regardless of government experimentation, Mother Earth, the human race, and we as individuals can profit from this understanding and knowledge. The remembering of the Mer-Ka-Ba is unfolding all over the world. From my point of view, this unfoldment is all part of the evolving cosmic DNA. The Mer-Ka-Ba will be remembered now because this is the time to remember.
Yes, I believe, as did almost all the ancient civilizations, that there are specific moments in the history of mankind where great jumps in human understanding take place, as in the ancient Sumerian, Egyptian, and Indus Valley civilizations.
I truly feel that we have arrived at another one of these grand moments of human history where brilliant light expands around the world, and another huge leap in human consciousness appears. And, my friends, I truly believe, from my own personal experience, that the Mer-Ka-Ba is a doorway or a dimensional window into a higher level of consciousness that could be the catalyst for this great change called ascension.
So, to close, I will say again: Your character is the key to your ascension. Regardless of who you are at this moment, good or bad, you can change your character. Like losing weight, it is completely within your control if you focus.
In changing yourself, your Mer-Ka-Ba can become alive. And once it is alive, everything is possible.
“According to Thoth, because of the placement of the Great Pyramid on the Earth connecting into the Earth’s huge geometrical field – specifically the octahedral field of the Earth, which is equivalent to our own fields – and because of the pyramid’s mass and the geometries used in it, the white-light energy field spirals upward and becomes extremely strong, stretching all the way out to the center of the galaxy. The dark-light energy comes in from above, spirals through zero point and connects with the center of the Earth. In this way the Great Pyramid connects the center of the Earth to the center of our galaxy.”
~Drunvalo Melchizedek, (The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life: Volume 2)
In the Critias, Plato describes in detail the divine foundation of the Atlantean Empire, originally known as Poseidonis. The goldenage preserved in myth and legend, when gods walked with men, depicts the zenith of the Atlantean civilization.
The demigods of the ancient world were the Atlanteans, to whom every civilized nation owes an incalculable debt of gratitude. In the British Museum there is a remarkable document – known as the Troano manuscript – which was written over 3,500 years ago by the Mayas of Yucatan, containing an authentic account of the cataclysm which sank the continent of Atlantis.
This priceless document contains the following statement according to the translation by Le Plongeon: “In the year 6 Kan, on the 11th Mulac in the month Zac, there occurred terrible earthquakes, which continued without interruption until the 13th Chuen. The country of the hills of Mud, the land of Mu, was sacrificed; being twice upheaved it suddenly disappeared during one night, the basin being continually shaken by volcanic forces. Being confined, these caused the land to sink and to rise several times and in various places. At last the surface gave away and ten countries were torn asunder and scattered; unable to stand the force of the convulsions, they sank with their 64,000,000 inhabitants.”
Before the Atlantean continent was submerged, the initiates of the Atlantean Mysteries, carrying with them the secret doctrines entrusted to their keeping, immigrated into Egypt and other parts of the Earth where they would be safe from the impending catastrophe. Thus their secret teaching – with its priceless value to subsequent ages – was preserved. They established centers of learning and promulgated the code, clothed in language of symbolism, to such as they deemed worthy to receive it.
(from The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P Hall)
Recently, I came across a theory that has been blowing my mind and keeping me up at night. The implications of this theory, if true, could mean so much to the history of our planet and how we think about the historic person, Jesus Christ.
The theory is that Jesus could be the historic Egyptian Pharaoh Caesarion, the only son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra.
I’m trying to figure out all the possible reasons.. if true, that this story would be covered up… as such a important historic couple having a son (heir to the throne of Caesar & Cleopatra) would most definitely be a threat the leaders of Rome & Judea of the time.
Here’s what I got so far :
1) Caesarion (Jesus) is the only son of Julius Caesar (who was deified after his death as a God)
2) As son of Cleopatra, which indicates African/Egyptian, Greek and Hebrew blood..
3) He would be a mixed child of African/Egyptian descent which the ruling class didn’t want to portray him as dark skin (hence the “White Jesus”)
4) There is no actual historic evidence of Jesus in the historic records besides the 4 Gospels… which isn’t necessarily considered historic proof but Caesarion and his brothers and sister are in the historic record connecting them to Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, half Brother’s James and Thomas and half sister Cleopatra Selene (Magdalene), their history disappears in the Egyptian Record right when their story begins in the 4 Gospels. Also, Caesarion and Jesus were both associated with Joseph of Aramithea also know as Joesph of Judea…
5) If true, it makes Jesus a man that reached enlightenment or the Christhood like Gnostics believed and not “God” in the way Roman Catholics and mainline Christianity believes him to be..
6) The stories of Caesarian going to India and Nepal line up during the same years as the lost years of Jesus. Roman Catholics and mainline Christians don’t want Jesus associated with and learning from Hindus and Buddhists…
7) Jesus marrying his half sister would be problematic for multiple reason to mainline Christianity because he has sex and children as “a man” and not the celibate “God” as he is portrayed, and it would be likely taboo to promote a God/King/Savior who had kids with his half sister…
8) The ruling Roman Emperors and Jewish elite didn’t want their power stripped by the true Christ…
9) Caesarion was also know as Issa or Esau which in Egyptian meant “son of Isis”. In India, he was known as St. Issa. When he returned to Egypt after traveling through-out India and Nepal, which was now very much Hellenized by Roman and Greek influence, he was known by the Greek version of his name Jesus the Christ (the Christ being a title of enlightenment and translates literally as “the anointed one”. As Jesus the Christ, he now carried the same initials as his father J.C. Julius Caesar.
10) Cleopatra was known at the time as the reincarnation of the Goddess Isis, connecting Caesarion and Jesus the savior god Horus (many scholars believe Jesus is based on the legends of Horus). Cleopatra was versed in the healing arts, as were the ancient Essenes she associated with. It would make sense that Caesarion/Jesus would’ve learned some of his healing abilities from his mother Cleopatra and the Essenes.
11) All the Masonic Orders, Secret Societies, and most Mystery Schools trace their lineages back to Ancient Egypt.
That’s all I got for now… but it seems there are many other implications to this theory. According to this theory, Cleopatra feared for the life of Caesarion and had him sent to India to hide from the existing tyrant Roman Emperor Octavian who would’ve wanted his death. She sent him away with 2 adopted parents supposedly named Joseph and Mary, who were Essenes.
In the New Testament, we have the story of Jesus fleeing through Egypt with his parents Jospeh and Mary and him amazing the elders in the temple in Egypt with his profound knowledge.
According to legends, Jesus and Caesarion both were educated in the historic library/school in Alexandria, which was later burned to the ground by the Roman Catholics. This ancient school was believed to be one of many Essene schools around the ancient world, others were in places such as India, Ethiopia, Persia and Greece. If this theory is true, it could make sense that Cleopatra sent Caesarion with her trusted Essene friends to hide out and continue his learning amongst the Essene Schools in India, and also Jesus’ association with a father and mother named Joseph and Mary. This could also help support the theory that Jesus was a Gnostic Essene, associated with the Essenes of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
This theory also implies a possible bloodline connection to the world’s elite, the British Royal Family and Illuminati bloodlines.
Another theory is that Jesus survived the crucifixion. That’s where he was covered in linen cloth, aloe and myrrh, a possible Ayurvedic cure, by none other than Jospeh of Aramithea, then after being revived, he supposedly flees from Judea to live out the rest of his life in India. Also, according to the Koran and Islamic legend, Jesus survived the crucifixion.
Then there is the DaVinci Code theory which ties into this whole thing, which the bloodline being continued by Jesus and Mary Magdalene having children. According to this theory, Mary Magdalene flees Egypt with their daughter “Sarah the Egyptian” to the southern coasts of France with none other than Joseph of Aramithea. Even today, once a year in the south of France, a big celebration with a mock-boat and figurines depicting Mary Magdalene, Jospeh of Aramithea and the child, Sarah the Egyptian, arriving in France to mark its historic significance. And you can find several small churches devoted to these characters in France and even the supposed burial tomb of Mary Magdalene. This whole story supposedly is the basis of the Merovingian Dynasty tracing their bloodline to the children of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
My theory is that this bloodline has several branches and that while it is possible that the Royal Family of England can trace their bloodline to this union, it is also possible that others, far less deviant than the Global Elites, can trace their bloodlines to this union as well. The idea is that there are 12 tribes of Israel and the Merovingian Dynasty being the 13th, hidden tribe.
What do you think? Does any of this make sense to you?
Please share if you have any more relevant info.
The main source for this theory is from the documentary movie called “Ring of Power”
Ford, Arnold Josiah (23 Apr. 1877-16 Sept. 1935), rabbi, black nationalist, and emigrationist, was born in Bridgetown, Barbados, the son of Edward Ford and Elizabeth Augusta Braithwaite. Rabbi Ford asserted that his father’s ancestry could be traced to the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria and his mother’s to the Mendi tribe of Sierra Leone. According to his family‟s oral history, their heritage extended back to one of the priestly families of the ancient Israelites, and in Barbados his family maintained customs and traditions that identified them with Judaism (Kobre, 27). His father was a policeman who also had a reputation as a “fiery preacher‟ at the Wesleyan Methodist Church where Arnold was baptized; yet, it is not known whether Edward’s teaching espoused traditional Methodist beliefs or embodied the radical reconsiderations of Christianity and the embrace of Judaism that his son would later advocate.
Ford’s parents intended for him to become a musician. They provided him with private tutors who instructed him in several instruments—particularly the harp, violin, and bass. As a young adult, he studied music theory with the Edmestone Barnes of London and in 1899 joined the musical corps of the British Royal Navy, where he served on the HMS Alert. According to some reports, Ford was stationed on the island of Bermuda, where he secured a position as a clerk at the Court of Federal Assize, and he claimed that before coming to America he was a minister of Public Works in the Republic of Liberia, where many ex-slaves and then early black nationalists attempted to settle.
When Ford arrived in Harlem around 1910, he gravitated to its musical centers rather than to political or religious institutions—although within black culture, all three are interrelated. He was a member of the Clef Club Orchestra, under the direction of JAMES REESE EUROPE, which first brought jazz to Carnegie Hall in 1912. Other musicians who were black and Jewish, such as Willie “the Lion” Smith, an innovator of stride piano, also congregated at the Clef Club. Shortly after the orchestra’s Carnegie Hall engagement, Ford became the director of the New Amsterdam Musical Association. His interest in mystics, esoteric knowledge, and secrete societies is evidenced by his membership in the Scottish Rite Masons, where he served as Master of the Memmon Lodge. It was during this period of activities in Harlem that he married Olive Nurse, with whom he had two children before they divorced in 1924.
In 1917 MARCUS GARVEY founded the New York chapter of the Universal Negro Improvement Association [UNIA]. Within a few years it had become the largest mass movement in African American history. Arnold Ford became the musical director of the UNIA choir, Samuel Valentine was the president, and Nancy Paris its lead singer. These three became the core of an active group of black Jews within the UNIA who studied Hebrew, religion, and history, and held services at Liberty Hall, the headquarters of the UNIA. As a paid officer, Rabbi Ford, as he was then called, was responsible for orchestrating much of the pageantry of Garvey’s highly attractive ceremonies. Ford and Benjamin E. Burrell composed a song called “Ethiopia,” the lyrics of which spoke of a halcyon past before slavery and stressed pride in their African heritage—two themes that were becoming immensely popular. Ford’s efforts in the movement place him in the category of GEORGE ALEXANDER MCGUIRE, Chaplain-General of the UNIA, and various Islamic and Christian clergy who were each trying to influence the religious direction of the organization.
Ford’s contributions to the UNIA, however, were not limited to musical matters. He and E.L. Gaines wrote the handbook of rules and regulation for the African Legion (which was modeled after the Zionist Jewish Legion) and developed guidelines for the Black Cross Nurses. He served on committees, spoke at rallies, and was elected one of the delegates representing the 35,000 members of the New York chapter to the “First International Convention of Negro Peoples of the World,” held in 1920 at Madison Square Garden. There the governing body adopted the red, black, and green flag as its national ensign and Ford‟s song “Ethiopia” became the “Universal Ethiopian Anthem,” which the UNIA constitution required be sung at every gathering. During that same year, Ford published the Universal Ethiopian Hymnal. Ford was a proponent of replacing the disparaging term “Negro” with the term “Ethiopian,” as a general reference to people of African descent. This gave the line in Psalm 68 that “Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hand to God,” a new significance and it became popular slogan of the organization. At the 1922 convention, Ford opened the proceedings for the session devoted to “The Politics and Future of the West Indian Negro,” and he represented the advocates of Judaism on a five-person ad hoc committee formed to investigate “the Future Religion of the Negro.” Following Garvey’s arrest in 1923, the UNIA loss much of its internal cohesion. Since Ford and his small band of followers were motivated by principals that were independent of Garvey’s charismatic appeal, they were repeatedly approached by government agents and asked to testify against Garvey at trial, which they all refused to do. However, in 1925, Ford brought separate law suits against Garvey and the UNIA for failing to pay him royalties from the sale of recordings and sheet music, and in 1926 the judge ruled in Ford’s favor. Yet, despite his personal and business differences with the organization, Ford remained active in the UNIA as a rabbi, giving invocations and benedictions.
Several black religious leaders experimented with various degrees of Judaism between the two world wars. Rabbi Ford formed intermittent partnerships with some of these leaders. He and Valentine started a short lived congregation called Beth B’nai Israel. Ford then worked with Mordecai Herman and the Moorish Zionist Temple, until they had an altercation over theological and financial issues. Finally, he established Beth B’nai Abraham in 1924. A Jewish scholar who visited the congregation described their services as “a mixture of Reform and Orthodox Judaism, but when they practice the old customs they are seriously orthodox” (Kobre, 25). Harlem chronicler JAMES VANDERZEE photographed the congregation with the Star of David and bold Hebrew lettering identifying their presence on 135th Street and showing Rabbi Ford standing in front of the synagogue with his arms around his string bass, and with members of his choir arrayed at his side, the women wearing the black dresses and long white head coverings that became their distinctive habit and the men donned in white turbans.
In 1928, Rabbi Ford created a business adjunct to the congregation called the B’nai Abraham Progressive Corporation. Reminiscent of many of Garvey’s ventures, this corporation issued 100 shares of stock and purchased two buildings from which it operated a religious and vocational school in one and an apartment house in the other. However, the resources to sustain this enterprise dwindled as the Depression became more pronounced, and the corporation went bankrupt in 1930. Once again it seemed that Ford’s dream of building a black community with cultural integrity, economic viability, and political virility was dashed, but out of the ashes of this disappointment he mustered the resolve to make a final attempt in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government had been encouraging black people with skills and education to immigrate to Ethiopia for almost a decade, and Ford knew that there were over 40,000 indigenous black Jews already in Ethiopia who called themselves Beta Israel, but who were commonly referred to as Falasha. The announced coronation of Haile Selassie in 1930 as the first black ruler of an African nation in modern times raised the hopes of black people all over the world and led Ford to believe that the timing of his Ethiopian colony was providential.
Ford arrived in Ethiopia with a small musical contingent in time to perform during the coronation festivities. They then sustained themselves in Addis Abba by performing at local hotels and relying on assistance from supporters in the United Sates who were members of the Aurienoth Club, a civic group of black Jews and black nationalists, and members of the Commandment Keepers Congregation, led by RABBI W. A. MATTHEW, Ford‟s most loyal protégé. Mignon Innis arrived with a second delegation in 1931 to work as Ford’s private secretary. She soon became Ford’s wife, and they had two children in Ethiopia. Mrs. Ford established a school for boys and girls that specialized in English and music. Ford managed to secure 800 acres of land on which to begin his colony and approximately 100 individuals came to help him develop it. Unbeknownst to Ford, the U.S. State Department was monitoring their efforts with irrational alarm, dispatching reports with such headings as “American Negroes in Ethiopia—Inspiration Back of Their Coming Here—”Rabbi Josiah A. Ford,” and instituting discriminatory policies to curtail the travel of black citizens to Ethiopia. [Explain why briefly]
Ford had no intention of ever leaving Ethiopia, so he drew up a certificate of ordination (shmecha) for Rabbi Matthew that was sanctioned by the Ethiopian government with the hope that this document would give Matthew the necessary credentials to continue the work that Ford had begun in the United States. By 1935 the black Jewish experiment with Ethiopian Zionism was on the verge of collapse. Those who did not leave because of the hard agricultural work, joined the stampede of foreign nationals who sensed that war with Italy was imminent and defeat for Ethiopia certain. Ford, it was said, died of exhaustion and heartbreak in September, a few weeks before the Italian invasion.
The papers of Rabbi Ford are held largely in private collections; however, correspondence between Ford and Matthew is contained in the Rabbi Matthew Collection at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, along with other collections relating to Harlem’s black Jews. Detailed records of Ford‟s efforts in Ethiopia are available at the National Archives, State Department Records for Ethiopia.
King, Kenneth J. “Some Notes on Arnold J. Ford and New World Black Attitudes to Ethiopia,” in Black Apostles: Afro-American Clergy Confront the Twentieth Century, Randall Burkett and Richard Newman, eds. (1978).
Kobre, Sidney. “Rabbi Ford,” The Reflex 4, no. 1 (1929): 25-29. Scott, William R. “Rabbi Arnold Ford‟s Back-to-Ethiopia Movement: A Study of Black Emigration, 1930-1935,” Pan-African Journal 8, no. 2 (1975):191-201. and Richard Newman (1978) and William R. Scott. “Rabbi Arnold Ford‟s Back-to- Ethiopia Movement: A Study of Black Emigration, 1930-1935,” Pan-African Journal 8, no. 2 (1975): 191-201.
*This article was published by Rabbi Sholomo Levy in African American Lives (2004) and the African American National Biography (2008). Both volumes were edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham and printed by Oxford University Press.
Krishna is one of the most popular deities of the Puranic pantheon. A warrior, a child god of a pastoral tribe, a preacher, and a love deity, his saga is an amalgamation of many disparate elements in one harmonious and coherent whole.
Krishna’s story, which developed over more than 800 years, was worked backwards. One first encounters the adult Krishna, a friend of the Pandavas and founder of the city of Dwarka, and then meets Krishna Gopala, the cowherd child and the lover of rasas, or dances.
Krishna’s journey begins as a hero of the Vrishni tribe, part of the Yadava clan, and ends with him being hailed as the Vishnu incarnate.
Krishna and Vasudeva
As Freda Matchett notes in her book Krsna, Lord Or Avatara? The Relationship Between Krsna and Visnu, both Krishna and Vasudeva were originally heroes of the Satvatta and Vrishni tribes of the Yadava clan who were eventually deified and with time, became synonymous with each other.
The first mention of Krishna, as early as sixth century BCE, in the Chhandogya Upanishad, refers to him as a sage and a preacher. He is also mentioned as Devakiputra (son of Devaki).
By the fourth century BCE, Panini’s Ashtadhyayi, a treatise on grammar, not only presents a deified Krishna but also gives details about the tribe to which he originally belonged – the Vrishnis.
Indica byMegasthenes, a Greek envoy to the court of a Maurya King, talks about how the Surasenoi (Surasens, a branch of the Yadava-Vrishni tribe) worshipped Heracles (Krishna) in Mathura. Thus, by fourth century BCE, not only is Krishna-Vasudeva transformed from a hero to a deity but he has also become fairly popular.
Krishna as a Vishnu incarnate
By the second century BCE, Vedic worship had become rigid and Vedic sacrifices expensive. Alongside this, Buddhism was gaining ground, fuelled by King Ashoka’s propaganda. The large-scale entry of foreign invaders, (such as the Shakas) who were favourably inclined towards Buddhism and other popular cults, weakened the authority of the priestly class.
Moreover, improved economic conditions of the lower varnas challenged caste rules. Hence, as Suvira Jaiswal argues in her book The Origin and Development of the Vaisnavism, “Brahmins seized upon the devotional cult of Vasudeva-Krishna and recognised it as a form of Narayana-Vishnu to infuse Brahmanical social ethics into this popular cult and re-establish their authority.”
Narayana and Vishnu were initially perceived as separate deities and later unified.
Thus, in this period, Krishna-Vasudeva was fused with Narayana-Vishnu and came to feature in the Mahabharata as a war hero and in the Bhagvada Gita as a preacher. Yet, the Mahabharata, in several places, reveals a hesitancy to accept a non-Aryan tribal deity as a higher god. This is why Krishna-Vasudeva is initially described as the incarnation of only a fraction of Narayana-Vishnu.
Till the first century BCE, Krishna was only worshipped in his adult form – as a preacher, a friend of the Pandavas, a Yadava-Vrishni hero and a Vishnu incarnate. What was missing from his grand narrative was a childhood.
Krishna-Gopala (or Krishna the cowherd) surfaced when Krishna was fused with another god of the Abhira (Ahir) tribe. Even though it has not been established whether the Abhiras were native to the Indian subcontinent or were immigrants, it is quite clear that in the first-century CE, the tribe was living in the lower Indus Valley and eventually migrated to Saurashtra. They became politically active under the rule of the Shakas and the Satavahanas.
The Krishna-Vasudeva of the Vrishnis was identified with the cowherd deity of the Abhiras because of the similarities between the two tribes, especially in the way they perceived women.
Krishna in the Mahabharata counsels Arjuna to acquire Subhadra, Krishna’s sister, by force and says that would be in keeping his Dharma, or religious law. He thereby hints that this must have been a common practice among Vrishnis.
Similarly, when Arjuna is escorting Vrishni women, his entourage is attacked by Abhiras, who take the women away. The identification of Krishna-Vasudeva with the Abhira deity also introduced the amorous dalliances of Krishna with the milkmaids (gopis).
The Abhiras, being a nomadic tribe, allowed for a greater freedom of the sexes. Hence, their god came to acquire the erotic elements that were, in time, identified with Krishna.
Krishna as Supreme
We know that Krishna-Gopala is a later addition to the Krishna saga because the original story of the Mahabharata makes no mention of Krishna’s childhood. It is in the Harivamsa (dated fourth century CE), a later appendage to the Mahabharata, that the Krishna-Abhira identification was given concrete shape.
From the first to fifth centuries CE, Puranic epics such as the Vishnu Purana, and the Harivamsa weaved the fragmentary connections of Krishna-Vasudeva-Narayana-Vishnu into a coherent whole.
Krishna was now born as a Kshatriya (or warrior caste) of the Yadava clan and his second name, Vasudeva, was explained away as a patronym (the name “Vasudeva” was given to his father). Fearing the wrath of his uncle, Kamsa, Krishna was eventually smuggled into the cowherd tribe of the Abhiras.
In time, the lover of gopis and the pastoral god matured into Arjuna’s sarthi (charioteer) and preacher advocating the principles of Dharma. The narrative was finally complete when the initial hesitancy of accepting a tribal deity as an incarnation of a higher god was also removed when the Bhagvata Purana, dated to the sixth century CE, hailed him as the Supreme One.
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