Sunday, January 31, 2010

The meaning of "Yahweh"

Bible believers often claim that the god-name YHWH or Yahweh means "He Who Is". As someone has just argued it once more on a forum in which I participate, please allow me to state my view on the matter. The claim is a mistake.

As Julius Wellhausen first theorized, YHWH is from the Arabic root HYW, "to blow/storm". It is an ordinary Arabic root, attested in the Quran. The form Yahweh would amount to "He blows", a normal format for names and particularly god names in ancient Semitic. The root is not attested in the closely related Hebrew language, and this narrows the origin of the name down to an Arabic or at any rate non-Hebrew setting.

This tallies neatly with the Biblical account of Yahweh's first appearance. Indeed, the book of Exodus relates that Moses, who till then had always lived in the Nile valley with its stable ever-sunny climate, finds the new deity YHWH while staying with the Midianite Beduins, who live in the desert with its unpredictable sand storms. Remember that Moses had been found out after murdering an Egyptian, then fled and took refuge among the desert dwellers, whose priest was called Jethro. He stayed there for quite some time, even marrying Jethro's daughter. (That Midian resembles Medina, the name of Mohammed's headquarter city, and Jethro resembles that town's original name Yathrib, is considered by some to tally nicely with Kamal Salibi's theory that the Biblical scenes were not set in Palestine but in Arabia; but we'll put it down to a cute coincidence.) It is in the desert that Moses finds Yahweh, addressing him through the Burning Bush, a typical desert phenomenon of ethereal oil from a plant catching fire under the immense heat from the midday sun.

YHWH is thus a typical weather-god, comparable to Indra, god of the thunderstorms breaking the monsoon rain. That may well be why He is deemed to control atmospheric phenomena, including the natural causes of some of the Ten Plagues of Egypt as well as the Parting of the Sea.

When YHWH appears in the Burning Bush and replies to Moses: "I am what I am" (Ehyeh asher ehyeh, Exodus 3:14), it seems to be an affirmation of total sovereignty, meaning that he is under no obligation to inform Moses about Himself. This is confirmed by parallel sentences like: "I do what I do", clearly intending the speaker's absolute sovereignty and independence. The word asher is a relative pronoun, meaning "(he) who" or "(that) which)". But it has often been rendered wrongly as a subordinative conjunction, "that" as in "I can see that it's raining", so that the Biblical sentence comes to mean: "I am that I am", e.g. in the King James version. In contrast with the perfectly normal sentence, "I am what I am", you get a bizarre sentence that nobody ever utters, "I am that I am". Its intended meaning, thus explicitated by numerous interpreters from Antiquity till the present, is something like: "I am the One Who Is", "I am the One Whose Being or Existence is necessarily the case".

Given this theological reading, it comes in handy if the name YHWH itself could be analyzed in a similar or related sense. And so, the four-letter word has come to be explained (no doubt in good faith, for the Bible editors were not schooled in etymology) as an unusual and contrived form of the Hebrew verb HYY, "to be", viz. "He is". That would also make it into a proof of God from etymology: God must exist, for His sacred Name says so.

Seductive and imaginative as this explanation may be, it must nonetheless be dismissed as a typical example of folk etymology. There is nothing particularly shameful about this: before the birth of modern comparative-historical linguistics, the only etymology available (e.g. in Plato's Cratylus) was of this fanciful prescientific kind. But repeating such explanations today, when linguistics offers a more accurate though less heady explanation, would have to be considered as sophomoric cleverness.

Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918) abandoned his professorship in Theology when he realized that his uncompromisingly secularist reading of the Bible was incompatible with the job of preparing students for a career as Christian ministers. He shifted to Oriental Philology in order to have the freedom to go where his scholarly insights into scripture took him. His great legacy is a candid demythologizing approach to the Bible as a piece of human literature rather than the Word of God. Among other things, his contribution was decisive in establishing the distinction between four editorial traditions that together constitute the Biblical text.

Though he was opposed mostly by traditional Christians, later detractors have tried to overrule the German professor's findings with the imputation of anti-Jewish motives. I have not seen any evidence for that all too predictable allegation. It would in any case make no difference: the truth of a scholarly hypothesis is not dependent on the motives of its proponents. Sometimes people say the truth for the wrong reasons, just as untruths are sometimes believed and propagated by people with the nicest of motives. So, I salute Wellhausen as a pioneering Orientalist, an explorer and map-maker of religion as a human construct rather than a divine revelation.


LV said...
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LV said...

Oh well, but I always thought that Thomas Mann did a better job with the OT than any of its writers or the theologians using it. I will say that at least it has far more cultural and historical interest than that preposterous concoction called the New Testament.

vamanan sight said...

Sir...I was curiously struck by the fact that as a Hindu, I too read parts of the Bible as human literature only. I think of Jesus as a great rishi with extraordinary spiritual energy. But human knowledge is such, and understanding so fragmented I am not able to take any fixed dogma or belief, even of Hindu systems, as final. What else can we be sure of sir, than our humanity. But somehow I am sure of another thing...the compassion and love of great mahatmas...I think Jesus too was one such...and provided we do not put dogma on every word of his we can draw meaning from his life. I go back to reading your article again.

Balaji Ramasubramanian said...

It is very nice and openminded of you to believe that Jesus was a rishi and draw meaning from his life without reading dogma in his words. However, it must be remembered that you are applying Hindu principles to reading the Bible. It is heretic in the orthodox views to disregard the words and just draw inspiration from his life, for his words were an essential part of his life. In other words therefore, the Bible does not expect you to accept just the inspirational messages drawn from his life, but also the words he spoke - no matter how dogmatic.

You can in Hinduism disregard the belief that the Buddha was an incarnation of Vishnu or that Sankara was an incarnation of Siva or that Ramanuja was the incarnation of Garuda, and read their teachings. And indeed, you can believe that all of them were mere rishis, and you would be right. But you cannot disregard the view the Jesus is the son of God and just draw inspiration from his life. This is exactly where Christianity differs from Hinduism. Therefore as a Hindu, you may read the Bible with the openness you cite, but it is not the accepted opinion of the Bible editors themselves or of those that propagate the belief.

LV said...

"I think of Jesus as a great rishi with extraordinary spiritual energy."

Wise up Vamanan. Don't fall victim to these revisionist New
Age beliefs about Jesus (I often find it curious that so many Indians believe in the myth that Jesus visited India).

The man was just one of many deranged, apocalyptic preachers wandering around Palestine. We can sympathize somewhat given that the man lived in an area that was victim to brutal Roman oppression, but that still doesn't change the fact that he was a lunatic. Read Bart Ehrman's book:

Apuleius Platonicus said...

Fascinating post! And I really like the way you slipped in Plato's Cratylus.

As far as Jesus' "rishi" status goes, I believe that Sita Ram Goel has the last word on that:

"We appeal to the Christian missionaries in the name of Jesus, and ask them not to do what they have been doing. We appeal to the Muslims in the name of Muhammad, and ask them to stop doing what they have been doing. In the process, we have invented a "real" Jesus and a "true" Christianity. We have also invented a "real" Muhammad and a "true" Islam. The missionary and the mullah smiles at our inventions but goes ahead and makes good use of our soft- headedness .... Flattering the bully may become necessary when the bully is powerful and there remains no other way of softening him except by extolling his heroes or his cult. Hindus have experienced such emergencies vis-à-vis both Islam and Christianity. But there is no reason for their continuing with the same psychology. Hindus should not convert an apaddharma into Sanatana Dharma."

That is taken from the preface to his "Jesus Christ: Artifice of Agression":

Pagan said...

"He blows"!! Doesn't shankara (conch blower) connote the same meaning?

To all those here talking of Rishi and such, only one guy exists. You Are That. You are already that. You don't have to become someone else. The 'I' in you and the 'I' in everyone else is same. brahma vid brahmaiva bhavati - realize brahma and know that you are That.

Balaji Ramasubramanian said...

No. In fact, quite the opposite!

The word shankara does not connote blowing a conch. A conch is shankha. The word shankara is composed of the roots sham. + kara where sham. is the same as peace, shaanti, goodwill etc., and kara implies doing or causing. So the word shankara means one who causes peace, quiet etc.

Finally, the last point on the quote from Chandogya Upanishad, please do not forget that this pronouncement can have a liberating effect only for those that are devoid of greed and aversion. The mere statement of that phrase will not make you enlightened or even close.

Pagan said...

Which part of my comment suggests that "mere statement of that phrase will make one enlightened"?

"..this pronouncement can have a liberating effect only for those that are devoid of greed and aversion.."

Isn't this obvious? I noticed that Iyers and Iyengars put a thousand conditions on Advaita probably because they themselves cannot accept it completely. It doesn't give them exclusivity. Their record of treating fellow humans hasn't been great. Nothing in their traditions suggests 'eesvara sarva bhootanam' - even today.

Advaita doesn't even give a damn to scholastic abilities. nahi nahi rakshati dukruN karaNe. What is the point in finding technical or grammatical faults while missing the import of the great texts. The Truth is beyond intellect - vedaahamaetam.

The story of Ganapati Sastri in Ramana Maharshi's time is a good real life example.

Balaji Ramasubramanian said...

There are three sentences, not just phrases, in your comment that imply this:

"You Are That. You are already that. You don't have to become someone else."

There is no exclusivity in anything here. Even if you had quoted the Buddha saying "There is no self neither here, nor there, nor anywhere in between. This, just this, is the end of stress." I'd have said the same: "This pronouncement can have a liberating effect only for those that are already devoid of greed and aversion."

What I am pointing out is neither a "mere" technical fault nor just a grammatical error. Given that such statements are beyond the scope of our understanding (I'll make the safe error of assuming that everyone reading this, whether Iyer or not, is not devoid of greed or aversion), it is pointless to state these like facts.

Pagan said...

I stand by those statements.

‘After long searches here and there, in temples and in churches, in earths and in heavens, at last you come back, completing the circle from where you started, to your own soul and find that He for whom you have been seeking all over the world, is nearest of the near, is your own Self, the reality of your life, body, and soul. That is your own nature. Assert it, manifest it. Not to become pure, you are pure already. You are not to be perfect, you are that already.’ - Swami Vivekananda

Balaji Ramasubramanian said...

First, we are talking of Yahweh and the need to judge him as a rishi etc., We are not in some mystic world where one has no sense organs or possessions or even passions and freedom. But perhaps what you mean to say is that everything and Christ too for that matter was "the same as God". This semi-secular belief is apologetic and flattering to Christians perhaps, but there is a grave error in understanding the Upanishads when you say this - not merely technical or grammatical.

When you no longer perceive the self as a possessor or agent of objects of experience and no longer cling to it, you have a sense of deep spiritual freedom. Just like when a man in debt having paid off his debts feels lighthearted, there is a complete relief born from mentally renouncing objects of experience. This relief is vimukti or moksha. In declaring that You are That the Upanishads simply say that this spiritual liberation born from complete detachment is characteristic of our wise nature. That is all.

The Upanishads do not tell you to suppose a separate God, supreme or divine and then imagine that you are identical to that figment of your imagination. This would indeed be a grave mistake, for if that is what the Upanishads say, then any mad man can imagine himself to be something and claim to be enlightened. And given the unique nature of the behavior of a mad man that separates him from us, beguile people would even believe it!

So interpreting the Upanishadic statement to mean that it is talking of an identity between us and some "supreme God" is itself fantastic. Asserting further that we are already that and we need to do nothing further, is even more escapist and lazy. Even graver is to misunderstand that this indeed is the philosophy of Christianity!

That is why I said that Upanishadic statements have a liberating value only for those already devoid of greed and aversion. It is the praise of the peace born from inward renunciation. There is nothing fantastic about That in You are That.

Pagan said...

na karmaNa na prajaya dhanaena tyaagaenaika amritatva maanasu:

Actions cannot make us immortal. Just sacrifice the false identity. You don't have to become someone else.

There is no Moral Science in Upanishads. We Hindus don't call ourselves sinners. There is just one sloka that says so. It seems Sai Baba said it is the work of a misguided Brahmin that needs to be junked immediately. He got paapOham changed to praaptOham. Makes sense to me.

Unknown said...

Who is LV to be lecturing anyone on Indian culture and ideals? He's the same poster who said WHITE PEOPLE such as Brits and Germans are the ones who taught Indians about Hinduism. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whites are just as alien to Bharat as are the Muslims. Anyone who says otherwise is a plain old traito.

LV said...

"He's the same poster who said WHITE PEOPLE such as Brits and Germans are the ones who taught Indians about Hinduism. Nothing could be further from the truth."

You have misrepresented me. My point is that the secular mode of scholarship injected Dharmic culture into the global stream(no doubt, imperfectly)and ultimately put "it" (an imperfect word given that Indian thought is hardly monolithic) on a more secure foundation. It can't be erased from the historical record now.

The racist nationalism that you promote is the wrong strategy for India as it moves into modernity. The key is to learn from the strengths of the US in building a successful pluralistic, hetergeneous society while discarding the weaknesses.

By the way, I don't entirely dismiss your fear and paranoia. Evangelical Xtians are taking over Asia (i.e. South Korea) and, no doubt, have their sights set on India. Indians should be wary of this situation, but should avoid the bankrupt strategy of fundamentalism in the attempt to subvert this threat.

Unknown said...
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Sarvesh Tiwari said...

Among the Arabian sufis, as a pre-mahommedan continuation, YA-HU or YA-HUA was (and is) the rootword used for zikra (jApa or repeated spiritual recitation). HU they considered to be the primordial vibration sound of creation, similar to OM among the Hindus. HAWA is the blowing wind making a sound.

LV said...

"He's the same poster who said WHITE PEOPLE such as Brits and Germans are the ones who taught Indians about Hinduism. Nothing could be further from the truth."

I will say one thing. None of the modern Indian scholar/mystics are worth a damn. Schopenhauer, working within the Kantian tradition, did a better job of interpreting the Upanishads without even trying or even having adequate translations. The clarity and logical coherence of his thought stands in sharp contrast to the esoteric/mystical clap trap vomited up by the likes of Aurobindo.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Racist nationalism? Are you kidding me?!?? I am no racist and certainly no racist nationalist. I have nothing against westerners who want to embrace Hindu culture and in fact I welcome them with open arms. If an Englishmen,German,whoever wants to adopt Hindu culture, then that's great thing and they should follow their goals and path. The only foreigners I oppose are the ones who want to impose their ideals and religion on us without any consideration for what we value. Hinduism like you obviously know is not an exclusive faith but can be embraced by all man.

In particular, the English and German people of Europe have my utmost admiration. Their contributions to shaping the modern world is immense. I always looked to them as good role models for India to follow (minus their negative elements of course)

Anonymous said...
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Unknown said...

Actually, who am I kidding? None of the Europeans should be role models for the Hindu people. We are our own culture, our own people etc...and LV, i can tell you any Hindu guru knows more about Hinduism than why white scholar.

I don't have a problem with the Germans, but lets not get carried away allying ourselves with the west. Westernism, Christianity, the white man and his degenerate customs and attitudes are all far more alien to us than Islam. End of story.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I don't know what guys like Dr. Elst are thinking? The bottom line is, no proud Hindu feels any kinship with the west anymore than we do with Orientals or Africans. You can speak of the Hindu notion of universal peace and brotherhood all you want, at the end of the day no Brit or American let alone a Chinaman is on the same level as a fellow Hindu.

LV said...

Hehehe...thanks for falling for the bait and revealing your true colors. I trust Hindus' to give me an accurate representation of Hinduism as much as I trust a Christian fundamentalist to give me an accurate representation of Biblical scholarship...which is to say, not at all. You're lucky that people like Elst feel some pity for most Hindus and try to apologize for their stupidity:

"As an old hand at discussions with Hindu revisionists, with whom I agree on some
points but disagree on others, please let me explain the "relevant issue". It is
that most of these Hindus have no sense of historicity. They look at the past
the way a prescientific eye looks at the sky: no sense of depth, all phenomena
above seem to be part of a single flat depthless panorama: clouds, lightning,
"falling stars", comets, moon, planets, constellations, the Andromeda nebula
etc. Thus, in their understanding of Hinduism, they fail to see evolution and
change, projecting all the actual or recent beliefs onto the ancientmost
scriptures, e.g. back-projecting the Puranic notion of reincarnation and karma
onto the Rg-Veda where it is absent.

They don't understand that their scriptures have a *history*, e.g. that the
Mahabharata describes in embellished version events from probably the mid-2nd
millennium BC (or from the 32nd century BC, accoridng to the prevalent
tradition) that was elaborated over centuries and in which newer elements kept
getting integrated until the final editing ca. the time of Christ. Hence funny
inter-Hindu debates on e.g. the inclusion of elements like the "Yavanas", who
had appeared on India's horizon centuries after the core events of the epic but
also a few centuries before its final editing. Or on the inclusion of the
Babylonian-Hellenistic Zodiac, which reached India ca. 3rd century BC, but whose
mention in the epic is used as proof that "astrology already existed in India in
the 32nd century BC", indeed, "it originates in India".

They interpret their own self-description Sanatana Dharma, "eternal system"
(endonym for "Hinduism") as meaning that nothing has ever changed and that
consequently the present state of affairs must have been in existence
identically since eternity. This attitude goes pretty deep: even the
19th-century reformer Swami Dayananda Saraswati who attacked the Puranas (1st
mill. CE) as degenerate and advocated a return to the Vedas, nonetheless read
the Vedas with Puranic eyes, projected plenty of Puranic beliefs onto them (e.g.
that the Vedas are God-given, in conflict with the Veda's own testimony that
they were composed in a historical setting by human poets) and then preached
that as pure Vedic.

Likewise with words: they refuse to consider the semantic history of words (and
a fortiori the evolution of languages out of older languages, e.g. Sanskrit out
of PIE). Both the Alexandrine Greeks and the Moghuls were called Yavanas, and
you and I understand that this is because a change of meaning in the word has
occurred. Yavana meant Greek, and was subsequently extended to all the
foreigners coming from the NW. This is a pretty common phenomenon in history,
but many Hindus have a Platonic understanding of words as having eternal
God-given meanings. I have noticed many times that even after you've explained
it all to even those among them who are willing to learn, they still don't get

In this case, I'm afraid that ShivKhokra sincerely doesn't realize what an
embarrassment his interventions are among trained philologists.

Kind regards,


Unknown said...

lol, whats next....the westerners invented Hinduism? "hehehhee". Laugh all you want, no white man can ever teach us Hindus about our OWN culture, language, etc.. As the poster above stated, they've been worshipping a corpse on a stick for the past two thousand years.

Unknown said...

what's next, Punjabi Sikhs also invented Hinduism? hahahahha. By the way, the closest any white man would have ever came to creating Hinduis is Sikhism itself. End of story.

LV said...

You should stop posting and revealing more and more of your stupidity.

"As the poster above stated, they've been worshipping a corpse on a stick for the past two thousand years."

Hindus' should be the last people making fun of this since they worship (even the Hindus who have a modern education) elephant man, monkey man, and engage in all sorts of animistic beliefs (don't give me the bullsh#t sermon about how these characters function as metaphors for something more recondite).

LV said...

"...the westerners invented Hinduism?"

Umm...actually, they did. "Hinduism" was invented by Western scholars through the influence of their conscious and unconscious Protestantism.

Unknown said...

bullshit the aliens (i.e. white man) had nothing to do with the creation of Indian culture, and that included HINDUISM. They are aliens just like the Muslims end of story. You're just a self hating Indian, or a Punjabi lol.

Unknown said...

lets not forget we Hindus view the west along with everyone else who is non-Hindu as culturally INFERIOR, plain and simple. Any Hindu who says otherwise is just trying to appease the white people.

Unknown said...

in particular, we view the Germanic people the same way we view Sikhs....USELESS for the Hindu cause and not worthy to embrace Hindu culture.

Unknown said...

--------Forwarded Message--------

Parents of mixed-race children are often estranged. And yes Indians are a different race. Cavalli-Sforza labeled them a "distinct genetic cluster."

--------Forwarded Message--------

--------Forwarded Message--------

--------Forwarded Message--------

English Woman Talks of Troubles of having Baby with Indian

Lowri Turner

"She's getting very dark, isn't she?" This is what one of my friends recently said about my much adored - 12-week-old daughter.

She didn't mean to be rude. But it was a comment that struck me with the force of a jab to the stomach.

Immediately, I was overwhelmed by a confusion of emotions. I felt protective, insulted, worried, ashamed, guilty, all at once. The reason? My lovely, wriggly, smiley baby is mixed race.


I am white and I have two sons from my first marriage who are both milky complexioned and golden haired. My twin sister, who I spend a lot of time with, has a Danish partner. As a consequence, she has two boys who are also pale skinned and flaxen haired.

Into this positively Scandinavian next generation, I have now injected a tiny, dark-skinned, dark-haired girl. To say she stands out is an understatement.

My colouring and that of my children has never really been an issue before. However, three years ago I met the man who became my second husband and who is the father of my daughter.

Although born in the UK, his parents came from India in the Sixties. This makes him British-Asian and our daughter mixed race.


The truth is, whatever the label, the fact there is a label proves that my daughter's conflicting parentage matters.


On a less benevolent level, mixed-race children can receive a hostile welcome from both white and black communities. Being neither one thing nor another may get you on the cover of Vogue, but it isn't an easy way to make friends.


One reason for my fear is my own mixed reactions to my daughter. Don't get me wrong, I love her. She is the child I didn't think I'd have after my first marriage broke up. She is the only granddaughter in our family and we all dote on her.

But when I turn to the mirror in my bedroom to admire us together, I am shocked. She seems so alien. With her long, dark eyelashes and shiny, dark brown hair, she doesn't look anything like me.

I know that concentrating on how my daughter looks is shallow. She is a person in her own right, not an accessory to me. But still, I can't shake off the feeling of unease.

I didn't realise how much her looking different would matter and, on a rational level, I know it shouldn't. But it does.

Evolution demands that we have children to pass on our genes, hence the sense of pride and validation we get when we see our features reappearing in the next generation.

With my daughter, I don't have that.


I worry that, as my daughter doesn't look like me, people will assume she is adopted. After all, it's all the rage in showbiz circles.


Even admitting to having mixed feelings about her not being blonde and blue eyed, I feel disloyal and incredibly guilty.


I didn't think about any of this before I got pregnant. I wanted to have a baby. Her colour and culture were immaterial then.

But self-flagellation is not useful. I have more pressing concerns. I am now the mother of a 'black' child, even if she is more the hue of weak tea than espresso.


When she was born, pale but with lots of dark hair, I asked the midwife if her eyes would stay blue. 'Asian genes are very strong,' she said in what I took to be an ominous tone.

No more Brady Bunch kids for me. The midwife has been proved right and every day my baby's eyes get a little darker.


Unknown said...

ha! two words buddy....VICE VERSA. If only more of you whiteys would consider us aliens it would make us very happy as we could care less about mixing with you aliens. Western Europeans, Germanics, Americans, Latin're all foreigners to Bharat whether you like it or not.

Unknown said...

non-Indians whether they be white, American, Oriental, Black, whatever = unclean and FILTHY and most of all UNTOUCHABLE.

non-Indians are considered more untouchable than untouchables themselves.

Unknown said...

Joy for a Hindu is seeing India rise, and fuck the rest. We could care less about the west whether its the U.S. or Europe, France or Germany, Belgium or England, Canada or Italy. Our first concern is India and its rise. And we will not ally with the west to defend ourselves against the Muslims. India needs to rely on herself instead of aliens.

Julian said...

LV you are a self hating clown.

Fantasy lives in a world of useless 19th century territorial nationalism.

Both of you are two sides of the same coin, sorry to be blunt.

And very ignorant about issues too.

Check my reply to your idiotic claims in the other post about Jyoti Basu.

Fantasy you might want to look beyond your myopia of India and realize that there are Hindus in Srilanka, Bali, Nepal etc.

You might also look up the parallels between Neoplatonism and Vedanta along with parallels between Pythagoras and bAdarAyaNa, Euclid and pANini, Democritus and kaNAda, Empedocles and vasiShTha if you even know who those are.

aronite said...

Dear Koenrad,

Have you ever wondered, that this pivotal line identifying the Godhead of the Jews from then on should be left to be translated so lightly and in variable ways- from 'Iam Whatever (I shall Choose) be' to King James very unrelated to the intricaies of Hebrew, as "Iam that Iam" and your own.

A people who have lost their entire Priest calss with the Ark, their Temples-
It is better we take a look into the people who havent got so nearly wiped out-
if they have a living and continous tradition-

Aham brahmasmi sits more deeper and meaningfully with that Yahweh.

Other wise, it is rediculous as an answer-
Moses asks who and what is your name-
He says Iam - what? according to you guys?

Sir what is your name, what or who are you?
And God says- according to you what ?

Mystic Cryptic may fit the scheme.

The mystic element got lost and the Literal alone remains.

Considering the fact that the First Temple was a Stone Temple complete with chanting Priests in the Araonite line of descent-
Considering also that the Rituals are overtly Brahmanical- the tonsuring, the footwear, the sacred belt and heriditary lineage and priveleges-
The Moses' staff which actually should be his brother's-
a Trident-2 snakes being Kundalini.

And also when we look at the Laws-
the division of Moses' society in the desert into 3 Classes not any different from the Sumerian-Akkadian or Harrapan-and Gangetic phase Hindu-
the 3rd class of Vaishyas probably not needed as a functional group in exodus in mid-desert-
(ironically jews later become victimised for usury)

Considering also that Jethro was a Gentile Guru-
Yithri in aramaic-Hebrew closer to that Desert wandering vedic Rishi Athri-

(refer Athri's boon from Krishna in Mahabharata where he tells him if Krishna insists to give a boon, he can give him the boon of water to appear at his request-since he roams the desert.)

Also that Yahweh is a sacred name not be profaned -more like a mantra-

Shiwayah- the reverse would be just that with Shiva for manana japa- uttered within among initiates-

Not Indra but Shiva-Yo-Shiva rendered again by multi-translation into Joshua.

The God of the Bible is Shiva!

I have more on this and writing a book on that.
By the way, I was an acquaintance of Sita Ram Goel and Ram Swarup in my student days.
I actually want to some day meet you.

iam a great fan of yours.

I write books in Scribd-
visit Aronite thinking-
thru google search.


Balaji Ramasubramanian said...

Aron, even if you're writing such a book, has it occurred to you that phonetic similarities in names need not imply any cultural connections? I am not saying that there was no cultural connection at all, but in my opinion, if any cultural connection was there, it must have been first with the Greek Macedonians and the Parsis. The Hindus being east of the Indus were largely unconnected.

Further, a lot of what you claim needs a great deal of evidence to show that this indeed is the way in which things have to be interpreted.

Btw, there is no word called "Shivayah" in the phrase "Om Namah Shivaya". The word is "Shivaya", not "Shivayah". It is the singular dative formation of the noun "Shiva". There is no grammatical construct that allows for "Shivayah". This is the popular mistake you'll make in reading Sanskrit from Northern Indian temples. Therefore, your Shivayo-Shiva (and your conclusion of the origin of Joshua) is baseless.

The concept of Kundalini yoga with trident snakes was unfamiliar to the ancient Indians. This came about only after 600 CE.

The division of classes, does not show that the cultures are similar. You'll see a similar division of classes among the Inca and Mayans. And also among the west Africans, the Chinese also had classes and so did the Japanese. Division of society into classes for labor is a natural division that takes place due to economic necessities. There is no need for a Hindu influence/stipulation for that.

In fact the US has politicians, businessmen and intellectuals (professors, professionals like doctors, lawyers etc.). You'll also find the uneducated, unruly ones, and those that are forced to do menial jobs for low pay. You'll also find the monks, survivalists and people like Henry David Thoreau. None of this proves that this "division" is borrowed from Hinduism.

In fact, a doctor does not like his/her daughter marrying a man that wants to open a convenience store or even work for Papa Del's Pizza and make petty penny. Professors are unhappy that their children refuse to study and become like them. And we all see in every country - even if they are democratic, that the politician's offspring grows up to become a politician too.

India's ancient caste system was not very different from the modern way in which we live - with our own names for the economic divisions of the society. But that does not mean we've borrowed it. It only shows that economic division of society is a natural phenomenon.

aronite said...

Let me answer in parts-
Part 1

It seems all you have to say is Let me be a comprehensive Nay sayer
And in return you give us what ?
The problem is the Jews don’t pretend to have the name right.
They are quite candid in their admission there. We had the knowledge of the name of Godhead but ist lost. Lets move on. But you have objections !
Then what else could it be-? If you can hypothesise at all ! and why shouldn’t any ? or that be any less better ?
When someone admits we have no real idea of who he is, and the historians have established that the Pre-exodus Israelis , as well of the non-jewish semites like cananites and related tribes minted coins to this same Yahweh-
And the Mittanis were worshippers of Mithro-Varuna, and belong to syncretic Hindusim.
Also consider the Eliphenstine Jewish Temple.
Yahweh’s temple is shared by the adjacent sanctuary to the ‘Shiva’ and Uma of Egyptians.
It clearly shows by that time, the Jews nor Yahweh had any objection to a pagan god and goddess sharing his precincts.
Kindly refer more on Elephenstine temple before you start on ‘how can you is Egyptian shiva and Uma ...etc
All the above points to what ?
Either Yahweh was an amicable gentlemanly coexistent God of Jews who had no quarrels neither with idolatry or other gods and goddesses.
And that his cult infact existed as if a sister sect of the same analogous androgynous and fertility cult- a peculiar term that you might prefer.
But we don’t have it now. Refer Yahweh in Jewish encyclopedia first and then attempt to tell us if you can give the name right.
All I have suggested is that- the Indians have a concept of an aniconic Godhead, who is at once masculine, terrible, a Bull-rider and Sky God. If it shouldn’t fit Rudra who else ?
If you do that there will be meaningless attempts to deny Rudra connection with shiva- a problem of invention- because Shaivites nor the Yajur samhita has that problem.
You say- Northern Indian- Okay, how about Yahweh delivered-
Nathan Namam Namashivayahweh ?
Please don’t tickle me by expecting Jews to take verbatim instead of the sound.
Aramaic is a script that is proto-Tamil.
Here-You have a mantra- Om nama Shivayah
Written backwards in Aramaic.
Mind you, the Jews dont know the pronounciation but only the written word of it.

Om Nama Shivawaya- Iam excluding your h deliberately for you.

see now-

Now go to Jewsish Encyclopedia for the Word Yahweh-
Only 2 words roots- YhWh- the h is irrelevant even for them.
Now you base all your agitation on just that dispute- h !

The yah is (h), without that it cannot be spelt.

aronite said...

When the Jews were so particular to confine the very mention of that name to their priests- don’t come in and say it is not...etc
All they admit is 1 it is a name not spelt out so not be profaned, 2 a secret to be uttered by initiate priests inside the Holy of Holies, never outside, 3 the priestly class was heriditary like Brahmins and ran along Aroan’s family line, - doesn’t suggest a mantra tradition to you ? in a Stone temple setting ?
Have you seen a blueprint scholars have aconstructed of Solomon’s temple ? Can you explain how it is not different from say a South Indian Chola Shiv Temple ?
Namashivayahweh – is not a mantra-
mandiramavathu neeru ? is North Indian for you ?
And let me list all the fair points that you list that could make an improvement on jewish understanding of the Yahweh –
Zippo ?
It is not important you seize the trivial differences and dismiss a hypothesis. You must give us the basis of something that can appeal as a better plausible explanation with such quotes.
Otherwise you bring no light, just stuff out the lamp before it attains its full flame.
Your observation about classes etc proceed on demolition sqad approach-
When did Moses divide the Classes ? who asked him to do that ? Was he a Jew or a Gentile priest ?
You said nothing about Jethro-
Jethro gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses on condition that their first son should be brought up in the worship of idols, and that Moses swore to respect this condition (Mek. l.c.; Yalḳ., Ex. 169).

You don’t read much to this ? You have here the Arch Iconoclast Moses promising to honor his promise to raise up his progeny as idolators !
We also find neither the fierce Monotheistic God who is ever jealous frown upon this Gentile worshipper of idols, having the audacity to ask of Moses this-
Some say that even the Shekinah itself went out to meet him ( Jethro )(Mek. l.c.; Tan., Yitro, 6).
So who was that amicable God of this episode of Jews ?
Also take a look at the Omphalos in the Church of the Holy Sephulcre- in Jerusalem if you go there.
Chained to the wall, is the Omphalos that Christian crusaders obtained at the Temple, and still preserved. Can you say it is any different from Linga ?
Om and Phalos don’t suggest anything Shaivite to you ?
That object was inside solomon’s temple- don’t at once go on irrelevant point that Omphalos was not confined to Jews , the Greeks had it etc.....
Ennatin Irava Potri- is the Thennadudaya Shiva

aronite said...

For brevity I quote short-on LV’s “esoteric and mystical clap trap vomited by the likes of Sri Aurobindo-....

What is the Upanishads- but an esoteric and mystical school.

Philosophy of what Aurobindo calls the ‘Higher Mind’ is just a gymnasium of school boys.
Upanishads themselves sought the ‘solar planes’, not a cosy armchair stuffed with cigar smoke like your philosphers and University professorial rooms, pursuing journals.

So why should they be even attempting that ?- to wrap it nicely.

You seem to think that India’s Rishis had the same mindset and purpose as your Boston Pundits.

They had more important things to do, and achieve- like immortality for instance ?

Who needs an intellectual shag, when you can just get the gist of the message in a you few hints and hymns and keep ‘climbing ‘the stairs of consciousness’ to ‘uncover the golden lid that covers the Truth’- and Immortality ?

Lets glance at your philosopher genius -

A definite action inevitably results when a particular motive influences a person's given, unchangeable character. If there is no free will, should crimes be punished?

In other words Karma ? and Gunas ?
Many unpretensious souls have got that clearer from scriptures straight, had no need for your supposed luminosity and lucidity of Schopenhauers and Kants etc

According to Schopenhauer, whenever we make a choice, "we assume as necessary that that decision was preceded by something from which it ensued, and which we call the ground or reason, or more accurately the motive, of the resultant action." [17] Choices are not made freely. Our actions are necessary and determined because "every human being, even every animal, after the motive has appeared, must carry out the action which alone is in accordance with his inborn and immutable character." [18] A definite action inevitably results when a particular motive influences a person's given, unchangeable character. If there is no free will, should crimes be punished?

In other words Karma ? and Gunas ?-and you haven’t come across a better exposition by Vivekananda ? leave alone Aurobindo ?

He gave a name to a force within man which he felt had invariably precedence over reason: the Will to Live or Will to Life (Wille zum Leben), defined as an inherent drive within human beings, and indeed all creatures, to stay alive and to reproduce.
Schopenhauer refused to conceive of love as either trifling or accidental, but rather

That rings a bell of Ojas ? the Veerya? Kundalini ?– no Indian guru could put that better ?

The highest civilization and culture, apart from the ancient Hindus and Egyptians, are found exclusively among the white races; and even with many dark peoples, the ruling caste or race is fairer in colour than the rest and has, therefore, evidently immigrated, for example, the Brahmans, the Incas, and the rulers of the South Sea Islands-

Doesnt smack of racism and anti-Semitism, inspite of all the rehashed Upanishads ?

Who would sit at the feet of these masters, and fancy Aurobindo had a need to a half baked cusine or else had thrown out that except you ?