Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sol Invictus, Mithras, The Great Eastern Sun

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"Modern religions tend to dismiss the ancient Sun Gods as semi-theistic anthropomorphic Nature Spirits which was somewhat true in the Quasi-popular level of worship.....The deeper levels of meaning saw the 'Sun God' as representative of direct or primordial light (Ösel (tib. hod-gsal; 'od gsal), the Yoga of the Clear Light (often translated as 'Radiant Light' (Sanskrit: prabhasvara), referring to the 'intrinsic purity' (Tibetan: ka-dag))......and the 'Moon God' as representative of reflected light or the mirror.("...the quality of the cosmic mirror is that it is unconditioned, vast open space'....)....The Sumerians originally practiced a polytheistic religion, with anthropomorphic deities representing cosmic and terrestrial forces in their world. During the middle of the third millennium BCE, Sumerian deities became more anthropocentric and were "...nature gods transformed into city gods.".......http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumerian_mythology

"At the pleasant bank of the Candrabhaga, a city named for Sambha is situated...There lies the abode of the Sun God (Arka) who is standing there in the form of Mitra with the Mitra eye." (Humbach: 1978..pg 236)....

"In the Mahabharata, the 108 names of the Sun, include Mithra as one of the 12 Adityas or forms of the sun."...(Humbach: 1978...pg 243)

108 names of Lord Shiva, which are collectively known as Ashtottara Shatanamavali of Lord Shiva.........http://www.drikpanchang.com/hindu-names/gods/lord-shiva/108-shiva-names.html

"When Mithraism became the chief religion in the late Roman Empire, Mithras was called Sol Invictus, or the invincible sun. The eye of Mithras was the sun itself (Mithras, the Soldier's God)."......http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/c/christ_constantine_sol_invictus.html

Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") ......The official recognition of sun worship in the Roman Empire began during the time of Aurelian when he instituted the cult of "Sol invictus". The cult of Sol Invictus and that of Mithra are virtually the same....The last inscription referring to Sol Invictus dates to 387 AD and there were enough devotees in the 5th century that Augustine found it necessary to preach against them.....Scholars disagree whether the new deity was a refoundation of the ancient Latin cult of Sol, a revival of the cult of Elagabalus or completely new.......http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Invictus

"Sacred World is connected with East, because there are always possibilities of vision in the world. East represents the dawn of wakefulness." "...the sacred world is lighted by the sun, which is the principle of never-ending brilliance and radiance...[and] with seeing self-existing possibilities of virtue and richness in the world." If you in the sky, the sun is there. By looking at it, you don't produce a new sun. ... When you discover the sun in the sky, you begin to communicate with it. Your eyes begin to relate with the light of the sun.".......http://www.glossary.shambhala.org/

"Winter Solstice: The Unconquered Sun.......At the Winter Solstice, we celebrate Children's Day to honour our children and to bring warmth, light and cheerfulness into the dark time of the year. Holidays such as this have their origin as "holy days". They are the way human beings mark the sacred times in the yearly cycle of life. In the northern latitudes, midwinter's day has been an important time for celebration throughout the ages. On this shortest day of the year, the sun is at its lowest and weakest, a pivot point from which the light will grow stronger and brighter. This is the turning point of the year. The romans called it Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.....Our sangha is our village, our clan, our family. Our children belong to all of us, and are bright reminders of the future of Buddhism. We celebrate them and the Great Eastern Sun together at the darkest time of the year, with open-hearth parties and cheerful festivities..".....http://www.shambhala.org/arts/fest/unconquered.html

"In the year 307 A.D. Emperor Diocletian, a sun worshipper, was involved in the dedication of a temple to Mithra and was responsible for the burning of scripture which made it possible for later emperors to formulate their own version of "Christianity.".......Emperor Constantine, while claiming to be a Christian maintained the title "Pontifus Maximus" the high priest of paganism. His coins were inscribed: "SOL INVICTO COMITI" (COMMITTED TO THE INVINCIBLE SUN)........Sunday (Deis Solis), the day of the sun, was considered by Mithraist a sacred day of rest.......December 25th was celebrated as the birth of the sun, (Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, or "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun")...... birth by the "Queen of Heaven" - "Mother of god.".....The Mithraists celebrated a mithraic love feast........Mithra was considered mediator between god and man.....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sol_Invictus

"The last state pagan religion in Europe was Mithraism. The worship of Mithras, the Invincible Sun god was practised all over the Roman Empire, including the British Isles. The Temples in London and along Hadrian Wall can still be seen today as well some remains in Wales and York. There is no written formal documentation of the Western style of Mithraic Mysteries, the Roman 'Cult of Mithras'. The underground Temples and their paintings, statues and few anti-pagan documents by early Christian are all that remain.

"Elagabalus or Heliogabalus is a Syro-Roman sun god.....Elagabalus was initially venerated at Emesa in Syria. The name is the Latinized form of the Syrian Ilāh hag-Gabal, which derives from Ilāh "god" and gabal "mountain" (compare Arabic: جبل‎ jabal), resulting in "the God of the Mountain" the Emesene manifestation of the deity..... The Syrian deity was assimilated with the Roman sun god known as Sol Invictus ("the Undefeated Sun").....A temple called the Elagabalium was built on the east face of the Palatine Hill, to house the holy stone of the Emesa temple, a black conical meteorite..... Herodian writes of that stone: This stone is worshipped as though it were sent from heaven; on it there are some small projecting pieces and markings that are pointed out, which the people would like to believe are a rough picture of the sun, because this is how they see them."......

"Malakbêl was a sun deity of the city of Palmyra in pre-Islamic Syria. The meaning, in Aramaic, is “Messenger of Baal" or "Messenger, or Angel, of the Lord". The Greek identified Malakbel with Hermes, and the Romans with Sol. He was also similar to the Babylonian sun god Shamash. Malakbel is usually accompanied by the Moon god Aglibol, and sometimes the goddess Allat.".....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malakbel

"Mithra/Mitra is the prototype to Roman Mithras to whom there are several hymns in Hindu and Zoroastrian holy texts. This gives us some insight into the energy of this deity before it became fused with the great mass of Graeco-Roman magical ideas. The evolution of this deity from god of the green land, wild pastures and the solar light to one of that Invincible Sun god, who moves the cosmos by slaying constellation Taurus, has been the subject of much interest to historians and magicians.

"Roman Mithras was perhaps the greatest rival to early Christianity for many reasons. As well as being a popular pagan religion practised by the Roman Army, Mithraism had many similarities to Christianity. Mithras was born of a virgin, remained celibate, his worship involving baptism, the partaking of bread marked with a cross and wine as sacrificial blood, held Sundays sacred and Mithras was born on 25th of December. Mithraist called themselves 'brother' and were led by a priest called 'father' (Pater). The symbol of the father were a staff, a hooked sword, a ring and hat.

"These similarities frightened the early Christian leaders - that almost 500 years before arrival of Christ all of the Christian mysteries were already known. To combat this, Christian witters said that the Devil knew of the coming of Christ in advance and had imitated them before they existed in order to denigrate them. As Christianity gained strength and became the formal religion of the Roman Empire, the 'Cult of Mithras' was one of the first pagan cults to come under attack in the fifth century; Temples of Mithras, like most other pagan Temples, were destroyed and Churches build on them.

"The Mysteries of Mithras remained in Britain for sometime after the Christianisation of Rome, and in his 'Song of the Macrocosm' (Canu y byd mawr) the Bard Taliesin (6th century A.D.) demonstrates his initiatory knowledge of the 'Cult of Mithras'.

"Sir James Frazer proposed that indeed Taliesin the Bard (6th century AD) was a Mithraic initiate. The 'Song of the Macrocosm' certainly contains some Mithraic Lore and Taliesin the historical figure was versed in many of the magical lores of the British Isles. Therefore its not surprising that he was also familiar with Mithraic Mysteries. Another interesting connection between the Invincible Sun god and Celtic lore is proposed by John Matthews in 'Taliesin: Shamanism and the Bardic Mysteries in Britain and Ireland'.

"In the Language of trees, the Ogham alphabet could be accreditated to god Ogma Cermait (Honey-Mouthed), Grain-aineach (Sun faced), or Trenfher (Strongman, Champion), a son of the great god Dagda and Goddess Danu. In Gaul he was called Ogmios and was worshipped as a god of light and learning. "In an inscription found at Richborough, Ogmios is depicted with rays of light coming from his head and holding the whip of Sol Invictus". All three titles of Ogma certainly do link in with the rites of Mithras and the inscription in Richborough also supports a link. However what is not clear is if the link derives from the original Mithra, that is with the spread of Indo-European people or from the introduction of Mithras with the Roman Empire, that is Ogma possiblygained some Mithraic characteristic during the Roman Empire as he already showed some parallels with Mithras.

"A special grade was created as the movement went underground at the end of 4th century AD. The grade of 'Chryfii' meaning "hidden ones" is inscribed in a Mithraeum in Rome. This was to insure the lore was not totally lost, and it is during this time we see the Mithraic lore return to the Middle East with all of its new Greeco-Roman based knowledge. The spread amazingly went all the way to Korea and finally reached Japan in 612AD. By modifying it to fit local customs and adapting to each new culture, the lore survived and Mithras was worshiped from Hadrian's Wall in England in the West all the way to Japan in the East. The Invincible Sun God lived up to its title and survived all ihis adversaries. ....The possibility of Taliesin the Bard (6th century) being a Mithraic initiate also adds weight to the way lore was preserved by fusion with local customs and remained hidden by being one with the masses.

"Findings of local Goddess statues and other Celtic religious artifactsin the Mithraic Temples (Mithraeums) along Hadrian's Wall suggest the male-only imagery of the cult had shifted and was again fusing with local custom and deities. It is perhaps a romantic notion to think that as Christianity overcome paganism within Britain, the remaining pagans of different traditions gathered in the well -rotected walls of the underground Mithraeums to pull together - Druids (or proto-druids) alongside Mithraists invoking their gods of solar lights to stop the destructions. .....One way of unlocking the mysteries that have been lost is perhaps by looking at the where it started, the old land of Persia. In the same way Christianity overcame Mithraic mysteries and all paganism in the west, what was left of the original Mithra was dissolved by rise of Islam in the East. However the magical current of the Invincible Sun god survived despite the rise of Christianity and Islam. In the East Mithra was fused with Islamic lore and became part of mystical branch of Islam, Sufisim.

Birth of the Invincible Sun God: "According to Persian traditions, the god Mithras was actually incarnated into the human form of the Saviour expected by Zarathustra. Mithras was born of Anahita, an immaculate virgin mother once worshipped as a fertility goddess before the hierarchical reformation. Anahita was said to have conceived the Saviour from the seed of Zarathustra preserved in the waters of Lake Hamun in the Persian province of Sistan. Mithra's ascension to heaven was said to have occurred in 208 B.C., 64 years after his birth. This birth took place in a cave or grotto, where shepherds attended him and regaled him with gifts, at the winter solstice. This is based on a older myth about birth of Mithra, that his magical birth at the dawn of time was from a rock from which he formed himself using his Will. He holds in his hand a dagger and a torch. A statue from Housesteads shows Mithras being born from the rock while the twelve signs of the zodiac surround him, showing his image as a stellar god who rules the cosmos even at his birth. A serpent sometimes shown to be coiled around of the Mithras or birth stone/egg.

After his birth he challenged other forces when the world was young. His battle with the Sun resulted in the formation of a friendship and Mithras was bestowed with rays/crown of the Sun. Christians adopted this date as Christ's birthday in the Fourth century of the common era, according to Sir J.G. Frazer in his work The Golden Bough: "the festival of Christmas, which the church seems to have borrowed directly from its heathen rival. In the Julian Calendar, the 25th of December was reckoned as the winter solstice, and was regarded as the nativity of the Sun, because the day begins to lengthen and the power of the Sun increases from that turning point of the year. ... Mithras was regularly identified by his worshippers with the Sun... The [Christian] Gospels say nothing of the day of Christ's birth, and accordingly the early church did not celebrate it."

The New Catholic Encyclopaedia records: "The birth of Christ was assigned the date of the winter solstice (December 25 in the Julian calendar, January 6 in the Egyptian), because on this day, as the Sun began its return to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithras celebrated the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birthday of the Invincible Sun). On December 25, 274, [Roman Emperor] Aurelian had proclaimed the Sun God the principal patron of the Empire and dedicated a temple to Him in the Campus Martius. Christmas originated at a time when the cult of the Sun was particularly strong at Rome." (Vol. III, p.656, 1967 ed.).

Some images survive with Mithras on horseback with bow and arrow in hand hunting a stag whose horn is the crescent moon. Mithras is accompanied by a lion, snake and a dog. This too might be a star map, however no one has been able to interpret it yet.

"When the Rigveda was compiled, the priestly caste had already been separated. Among the priests, however, two of the warrior clans had forced their way. The AAgirasas, the Va&shjhas, the Agastyas, and the Bhargavas are stated to have been of divine origin, but the ViSvamitras and the Kanvas belonged to the warrior ^e A6g* rasas are called the sons of heaven, or of the Fire. The Bhargavas claim descent from Varu^ia, the god of the Sky. The Vagishfhas are called the descendants of Mitra or the Sun-god. But the Ku&kas or the V&vami- tras belonged to the Bharata group of the warrior caste.".....http://archive.org/stream/prehistoricancie035069mbp/prehistoricancie035069mbp_djvu.txt

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….March 2013

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