Saturday, January 25, 2014

Kingdom of Zunbil & the Temple of Zun (653 AD)

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"…."In 624 AD, a Moslem invasion weakened the Kingdom of Shambhala."……..(The Blue Annals …George Roerich: 1974..pg 753)

"In 653-4 AD, an army of around 6,000 Arabs were led by General Abdur Rahman bin Samara arrived at the shrine of Zun in Zamindawar."

"...Huen Tsang has mentioned this famous temple twice, once in the year 630 while he was on his way from Kapisa to India"…..The Temple of Zoor or Zoon in Zamindawar….by Abdul Hai Habibi

"….in the old tradition of the 84 Mahasiddhas, the Kingdom of Uddiyana was divided between two countries…to the North, it bordered on the land of Shambhala (i.e., the Kingdom of Kapisa)…… ….http://www.dharmafellowship.org/biographies/historicalsaints/pramodavajra.htm"….

"Zunbil, also written as Zhunbil, was a dynasty south of the Hindu Kush in southern Afghanistan. They ruled from the early 7th century until the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan in 870 AD. The Zunbils are believed to be an offspring of the southern-Hephthalite rulers of Zabulistan and culturally connected to Greater India. The dynasty was related to the Kabul Shahis of the northeast in Kabul. "It follows from Huei-ch'ao's report that Barhatakin had two sons: one who ruled from after him in Kapisa-Gandhara and another who became king of Zabul"."…History of Civilizations of central Asia, B A Litivinsky Zhang Guang-Da, R Shabani Samghabadi, p.376

Click on the map to enlarge

"The Zunbils worshipped a god named Zun (Zoon) from which they derived their name. Their territory included between what is now the city of Zaranj in southwestern Afghanistan and Kabulistan in the northeast, with Zamindawar and Ghazni serving as their capitals. Although the rulers of the Zunbil dynasty were worshippers of the sun, many inhabitants south of the Hindu Kush practiced Buddhism and other ancient religions before the Islamization of the region. The title Zunbil can be traced back to the Middle-Persian original Zūn-dātbar, 'Zun the Justice-giver'. The geographical name Zamindawar would also reflect this, from Middle Persian 'Zamin-i dātbar' (Land of the Justice-giver)."…..Bosworth, Clifford Edmund. 2002. The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden: Brill. Zamindawar. p.439.

"…Zamindawar is a historical district of Afghanistan, situated on the right bank of the Helmand River to the northwest of Kandahar….Zunbils ruled Zamindawar before Islamization of the area. The title Zunbil can be traced back to the Middle-Persian original Zūn-dātbar, 'Zun the Justice-giver'. The geographical name Zamindawar would also reflect this, from Middle-Persian 'Zamin-i dātbar' (Land of the Justice-giver)…..Bosworth, Clifford Edmund. 2002. The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Leiden: Brill. Zamindawar. p.439.

"According to Anthony McNicoll, "the Zunbils ruled in the Kandahar area for nearly 250 years until the late 9th century AD".Their main capital Zamindawar was located in the present-day Helmand Province of Afghanistan. The shrine of Zoon (sun god) was located about three miles south of Musa Qala in Helmand, which may still be traced today. Some believe that the Sunagir temple mentioned by the famous Chinese traveller Xuanzang in 640 AD pertains to this exact house of worship……In 653-4 AD, an army of around 6,000 Arabs were led by General Abdur Rahman bin Samara and they arrived to the shrine of Zoon in Zamindawar. It is reported that General Abdur Rahman "broke of a hand of the idol and plucked out the rubies which were its eyes…."….

C.E. Bosworth….."One of the most important aspects of early Saffarids policy of significance for the spread of Islam in Afghanistan and on the borders of India long after their empire had collapsed was that of expansion into east Afghanistan. The early Arab governors of Sistan had at times penetrated as far as Ghazna and Kabul, but these had been little more than slave and plunder raids. There was a fierce resistance from the local rulers of these regions, above all from the line of Zunbils who ruled in Zamindavar and Zabulistan and who were probably epigoni of the southern Hepthalite or Chionite kingdom of Zabul; on more than one occasion, these Zunbils inflicted sharp defeats on the Muslims. The Zunbils were linked with the Kabul-Shahs of the Turk Shahi dynasty; the whole river valley was at this time culturally and religiously an outpost of the Indian world, as of course it had been in the earlier centuries during the heyday of the Buddhist Gandhara civillization."…..The Tahirids and Saffarids, C.E.Bosworth,The Cambridge History of Iran:From the Arab Invasion to the Saljuqs

"Zamindawar is a historical district of Afghanistan, situated on the right bank of the Helmand River to the northwest of Kandahar, bordering the road which leads from Kandahar to Herat via Farah. The historic region of Zamindawar is located in the greater territory of northern Helmand and encompasses the approximate area of modern day Baghran, Musa Qala, Naw Zad, Kajaki and Sangin districts. It was a district of hills, and of wide, well populated, and fertile valleys watered by important tributaries of the Helmand. The principal town was Musa Qala, which stands on the banks of a river of the same name, about 60 m, north of Girishk……This region was headquarters to the Durrani Pashtun tribe of the Alizai. The region is also home to Nurzai, Barakzai and Alakozai tribes, as well as other Durrani tribes and Kuchis. It was from Zamindawar that much of the strength of the force which besieged Kandahar under Mohammad Ayub Khan in 1880 was derived; and it was the Zamindawar contingent of tribesmen who so nearly defeated Sir Donald Stewart's force at the Battle of Ahmed Khel previously. The control of Zamindawar was regarded by the British-Indian forces as the key to the position for safeguarding the route between Herat and Kandahar during the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Zunbils ruled Zamindawar before Islamization of the area. The title Zunbil can be traced back to the Middle-Persian original Zūn-dātbar, 'Zun the Justice-giver'. The geographical name Zamindawar would also reflect this, from Middle-Persian 'Zamin-i dātbar' (Land of the Justice-giver)."….http://جلیل-زندی.wrd.ir/Zamindawar

"In southern and eastern Afghanistan, the regions of Zamindawar (Zamin I Datbar or land of the justice giver, the classical Archosia) and Zabulistan or Zabul (Jabala, Kapisha, Kia pi shi) and Kabul, the Arabs were effectively opposed for more than two centuries, from 643 to 870 AD, by the indigenous rulers the Zunbils and the related Kabul-Shahs of the dynasty which became known as the Buddhist-Shahi. With Makran and Baluchistan and much of Sindh this area can be reckoned to belong to the cultural and political frontier zone between India and Persia. It is clear however that in the seventh to the ninth centuries the Zunbils and their kinsmen the Kabulshahs ruled over a predominantly Indian rather than a Persian realm. The Arab geographers, in effect commonly speak of that king of "Al Hind" ...(who) bore the title of Zunbil."…..http://جلیل-زندی.wrd.ir/Zamindawar

"Andre Wink Professor of History at University of Madison, Wisconsin writes: “…Qandahar [modern Kandahar]…. was the religious center of the kingdom where the cult of the Shaivite god Zun was performed on a hilltop…” “…the god Zun or Zhun ... shrine lay in Zamindawar before the arrival of Islam, set on a sacred mountain, and still existing in the later ninth century …. [The region was]… famous as a pilgrimage center devoted to Zun. In China the god's temple became known as the temple of Su-na. …[T]he worship of Zun might be related to that of the old shrine of the sun-god Aditya at Multan. In any case, the cult of Zun was primarily Hindu, not Buddhist or Zoroastrian. “[A] connection of Gandhara with the polymorphic male god Shiva and the Durga Devi is now well-established. The pre-eminent character of Zun or Sun was that of a mountain god. And a connection with mountains also predominates in the composite religious configuration of Shiva, the lord of the mountain, the cosmic pivot and the ruler of time… Gandhara and the neighboring countries in fact represent a prominent background to classical Shaivism.”……(source: How 'Gandhara' became 'Kandahar' - By Rajiv Malhotra and The Making of the Indo-Islamic World. Volume I – Early Medieval India and the Expansion of Islam 7th-11th Centuries - By Andre Wink. Oxford University Press, New Delhi 1999. p.112 -193).

Pre-Islamic Hindu and Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan……."Before the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan communities of various religious and ethnic background lived in the land. South of the Hindu Kush was ruled by the Zunbil and Kabul Shahi rulers. When the Chinese travellers (Faxian, Song Yun, Xuanzang, Wang-hiuon-tso, Huan-Tchao, and Wou-Kong) visited Afghanistan between 399 and 751 AD, they mentioned that Buddhism was practiced in different areas between the Amu Darya (Oxus River) in the north and the Indus River in the south. The land was ruled by the Kushans followed by the Hephthalites during these visits. It is reported that the Hephthalites were fervent followers of medieval Hinduism, and that they worshipped Hindu gods known as Shiva and Vishnu as well as a sun god of their own. The invading (often pillaging) Muslim Arabs introduced Islam to a Zunbil king of Zamindawar (Helmand Province) in 653-4 AD, then they took the same message to Kabul before returning to their already Islamized city of Zaranj in the west. It is unknown how many accepted the new religion but the Shahi rulers remained non-Muslim until they lost Kabul in 870 AD to the Saffarid Muslims of Zaranj. Later, the Samanids from Bukhara in the north extended their Islamic influence into the area. It is reported that Muslims and non-Muslims still lived side by side in Kabul before the arrival of Ghaznavids from Ghazni.....Hindu (or Hindustani) has been historically used as a geographical term to describe someone who was native from the region known as India, and Afghan as someone who was native from a region called Bactria."….Chinese Travelers in Afghanistan". Abdul Hai Habibi. alamahabibi.com. 1969.

"The Temple of Zoor or Zoon in Zamindawar…………..The temple of Zoor or Zoon is a remnant of the pre-Islamic period and represented the sun worshipping faith which was destroyed after the conquest of Islam during the 7th century. …..the actual location of the temple was not known until recently….. In historical books the name has been changed and written as dawoon and zooz. …In Al Kamel, published in 1869 (vol. 3, p. 129) dawar and zoor have been erroneously written as Balad-al-dawoon and Jabel-al-zoor. In hand written manuscripts it has also been written as Jebel-al-rooz, al-roor, and al-rood…. the area laying in the western part of the Helmand river, which is adjacent to the southern Ghor mountains, is called Zamindawar and it contains extensive archeological sites. The agricultural lands in this area are irrigated by the rivers flowing through the land and it is inhabited by the Pashto speaking Ghalzai tribes. The present administrative center of this area is Musa Qala. Two to three miles to the south of Musa Qala there are two locations by the names of Deh Zoor Awlia and Deh Zoor Sufla (the large and small Deh Zoor). The ancient and dilapidated ruins found at this location have been named Kafir Qala by the people of the area…..Musa Qala ('Fortress of Moses') sits at 32.4433°N 64.7444°E and at 1043 m altitude in the valley of Musa Qala River in the central western part of the district. Its population has been reported in the British press to be both 2,000 and is in a desolate area."….From this appellation and location we can say with confidence that the correct form of the two words is dawar and zoor and through archeological digging this old temple can be excavated.…..Afghanistan After Islam…by Abdul Hai Habibi….. (Kabul 1966, pages 11-15)

" For all practical purposes Greek polytheism was entirely dead by the time Islam came onto the scene. Indeed, even Arabian polytheism, though still vigorous when Muhammad began his prophetic career, died out within three decades of the proclamation of Islam. Pious Muslims might be offended by the icons in Christian churches, but the temples of the Greek gods were gone these three centuries or more, their statues broken up and their stones stolen to build churches. The other forms of polytheism with which Islam came into contact -- Zoroastrianism (the most important), Buddhism, Hinduism, and gnostic religions like Manichaeism and Harranian Sabianism -- could rightly be understood as forms of monotheism (or dualism). Only the occasional idol temple in some out-of-the-way place -- the shrine of the god Zun or Zur in Zamindawar in Afghanistan, for example -- might illustrate pure idol worship, but such institutions were soon destroyed and posed little intellectual challenge. Thus, by the time highly intellectual forms of Islam came into being in the eighth and ninth centuries, there was no real idol-worshipping paganism to oppose. Despite the uncompromising monotheism of Islam, polytheism aroused little emotion for the generations of Muslims born after the passing of the Prophet's companions."…..Explaining Away the Greek Gods in Islam by John Tuthill Walbridge…..From: Journal of the History of Ideas …..Volume 59, Number 3, July 1998

"Zunbil, also written as Zhunbil, was a dynasty south of the Hindu Kush in southern Afghanistan. They ruled from the early 7th century until the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan in 870 AD. The Zunbils are believed to be an offspring of the southern-Hephthalite rulers of Zabulistan and culturally connected to Greater India. The dynasty was related to the Kabul Shahis of the northeast in Kabul. "It follows from Huei-ch'ao's report that Barhatakin had two sons: one who ruled from after him in Kapisa-Gandhara and another who became king of Zabul"….. Andre Wink, Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World, Vol.1, (Brill, 1996), 115;""The Zunbils of the early Islamic period and the Kabulshahs were almost certainly epigoni of the southern-Hephthalite rulers of Zabul."

"The “sun chariot” of the Rishis…..Shambhala….there is an event which shows that this country was not entirely free of historical conflict. This concerns the protest of a group of no less than 35 million (!) Rishis (seers) led by the sage Suryaratha ("sun chariot”)…..As the first Kulika king, Manjushrikirti, preached the Kalachakra Tantra to his subjects, Suryaratha distanced himself from it, and his followers, the Rishis, joined him. They preferred to choose banishment from Shambhala than to follow the “diamond path” (Vajrayana). Nonetheless, after they had set out in the direction of India and had already crossed the border of the kingdom, Manjushrikirti sank in to a deep meditation, stunned the emigrants by magic and ordered demon birds to bring them back…..This event probably concerns a confrontation between two religious schools. The Rishis worshipped only the sun. For this reason they also called their guru the “sun chariot” (suryaratha). But the Kulika king had as Kalachakra master and cosmic androgyne united both heavenly orbs in himself. He was the master of sun and moon."…..http://www.trimondi.de/SDLE/Part-1-10.htm

History of civilizations of Central Asia…… Boris Abramovich Litvinovskiĭ

Al-Hind: Early medieval India and the expansion of Islam, 7th-11th centuries By André Wink……..Published by BRILL, 2002

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….January 2014

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