Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Gods of the Kushan Empire & Shambhala Vision (127 AD)


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"Shambhala vision applies to people of any faith, not just people who believe in Buddhism. The Shambhala vision does not distinguish a Buddhist from a Catholic, a Protestant, a Jew, a Moslem, a Hindu. That's why we call it the Shambhala Kingdom. A kingdom should have lots of spiritual disciplines in it.".... Trungpa, Chogyam. (2001). Great Eastern Sun: The wisdom of Shambhala. Shambhala Publications. p. 133.

Chogyam Trungpa: His Life and Vision...Page 230...By Fabrice Midal

Kushan deities...Kanishka was emperor of the Kushan dynasty (127–151 AD)

The Kushan Empire (Bactrian: κυϸανο; Sanskrit: कुषाण राजवंश Kuṣāṇ Rājavaṃśa; BHS: Guṣāṇa-vaṃśa; Parthian: Kušan-xšaθr) was an empire in originally formed in the early 1st century CE under Kujula Kadphises in the territories of the former Greco-Bactrian Kingdom around the Oxus River (Amu Darya), and later based near Kabul, Afghanistan. The Kushans spread from the Kabul River Valley to also encompass much of the Indo-Greek Kingdom, from which they took their first official language (Greek),Bactrian alphabet, Greco-Buddhist religion, coinage system, and art. They absorbed the Central Asian tribes that had previously conquered parts of the northern central Iranian Plateau once ruled by the Parthians, and reached their peak under the Buddhist emperor Kanishka (127–151), whose realm stretched from Turfan in the Tarim Basin to Pataliputra on the Gangetic Plain."

"The Kushan religious pantheon varies widely as revealed by their coins and their seals, on which more than 30 different gods appear, belonging to the Hellenistic, the Iranian, and to a lesser extent the Indian world. Greek deities, with Greek names appear on early coins. During Kanishka's reign, the language of the coinage changes to Bactrian though it remained in Greek script for all kings. After Huvishka, only two divinities appear on the coins: Ardoxsho and Oesho.

"Kanishka was a Kushan of probable Yuezhi ethnicity. He used an Eastern Iranian, Indo-European language known as Bactrian (called "αρια," i. e. "Aryan" in the Rabatak inscription), which appears in Greek script in his inscriptions, though it is not certain what language the Kushans originally spoke; possibly some form of Tocharian – a "centum" Indo-European language. The "Aryan" language of the inscription was a "satem" Middle Iranian language, possibly the one spoken in "Arya" or "Ariana" (the region around modern Herat) and was, therefore, quite possibly unrelated to the original language of the Kushans (or the Yuezhi), but adopted by them to facilitate communication with local people."


Representation from Greek mythology and Hellenistic syncretism include:

Ηλιος (Helios), Ηφαηστος (Hephaistos), Σαληνη (Selene), Ανημος (Anemos).... the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology.....and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn.

Further, the coins of Huvishka also portray two demi-gods: erakilo Heracles, and sarapo Sarapis.


The Indic entities represented on coinage include:

Βοδδο (boddo, Buddha)...The word Buddha means "awakened one" or "the enlightened one".

Μετραγο Βοδδο (metrago boddo, bodhisattava Maitreya).....Maitreya may have come from the ancient Indo-Iranian deity Mithra.

Mαασηνo (maaseno, Mahasena)...

Σκανδo koμαρo (skando komaro, Skanda Kumara).....Skanda is the Hindu god of war. He is the commander-in-chief of the army of the devas (gods) and the son of Shiva and Parvati.

Ϸακαμανο Βοδδο (shakamano boddho, Shakyamuni Buddha).....Siddhārtha Gautama was a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded....He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BC.


The Iranic entities depicted on coinage include:

Αρδοχϸο (ardoxsho, Ashi Vanghuhi.....Ashi (aši) is the Avestan language word for the Zoroastrian concept of "that which is attained." ....Although conceptually older than Zoroastrianism, Ashi has no attested equivalent in Vedic Sanskrit.....On Kushan coins, Ashi appears as Ardoxšo with a cornucopia in hand.

A?αειχ?o (ashaeixsho, Asha Vahishta)... the proper name of the divinity Asha, the Amesha Spenta that is the hypostasis or "genius" of "Truth" or "Righteousness"

Αθϸο (athsho, Atar)...Atar (Avestan ātar) is the Zoroastrian concept of holy fire, sometimes described in abstract terms as "burning and unburning fire" or "visible and invisible fire" ....

Φαρρο (pharro, Khwarenah)....Khvarenah or khwarenah (xᵛarənah) is an Avestan language word for a Zoroastrian concept literally denoting "glory" or "splendour" but understood as a divine mystical force or power projected upon and aiding the appointed. The neuter noun thus also connotes "(divine) royal glory," reflecting the perceived divine empowerment of kings. The term also carries a secondary meaning of "(good) fortune".

Λροοασπο (lrooaspa, Drvaspa)....Drvaspa is the Avestan language name of an "enigmatic" and "strangely discreet" Zoroastrian divinity, whose name literally means "with solid horses" and which she is then nominally the hypostasis of.....The word drvaspa is grammatically feminine. Proceeding from an observation in James Darmesteter's Avesta (1875), "it has been customary to compare her to the Celtic Epona."...Drvaspa appears on Kushan coins as 'Drooaspo' (ΛΡΟΟΑΣΠΟ), which is however a masculine form of the name, and Drvaspa is depicted as a male figure. "

Μαναοβαγο, (manaobago, Vohu Manah)....Vohu Manah is the Avestan language term for a concept generally translated as "Good Purpose" or "Good Mind"

Μαο (mao, Mah)....Mah or Maonghah is the Avestan language word for both the moon and for the Zoroastrian divinity that presides over and is the hypostasis of the moon.....The names 'Maonghah' and Mah derive from an Indo-European root that is also the origin of the English language word "moon." .....Herodotus states that the moon was the tutelary divinity of the Iranian expatriates residing in Asia Minor....The divinity Mah appears together with Mithra on Kushan coins.

Μιθρο, Μιιρο, Μιορο, Μιυρο (mithro and variants, Mithra)....Mithra (Avestan: Miθra, Old Persian: Miça) is the Zoroastrian angelic Divinity (yazata) of Covenant and Oath. In addition to being the Divinity of Contracts, Mithra is also a judicial figure, an all-seeing Protector of Truth, and the Guardian of Cattle, the Harvest and of The Waters.....In Middle Iranian languages (Middle Persian, Parthian etc.), Mithra became Mihr.... in Zoroastrian/Iranian tradition, Mithra became the Divinity of the Sun.....In the Hellenistic era (i.e., in Seleucid and Parthian times), Mithra also seems to have been conflated with Apollo, who – like Mithra – is an all-seeing Divinity of the Truth.

Μοζδοοανο (mozdooano, Mazda *vana "Mazda the victorious?")....Mazda is wisdom.

Νανα, Ναναια, Ναναϸαο (variations of pan-Asiatic nana, Sogdian nny, in a Zoroastrian context Aredvi Sura Anahita)....Anahita is the Old Persian form of the name of an Iranian goddess and appears in complete and earlier form as Aredvi Sura Anahita (Arədvī Sūrā Anāhitā); the Avestan language name of an Indo-Iranian cosmological figure venerated as the divinity of 'the Waters' (Aban) and hence associated with fertility, healing and wisdom....of Indo-Iranian origin,...related to Sanskrit Sarasvatī ...Hara Berezaiti, "High Hara", the mythical mountain that is the origin of the *Harahvatī river.....Oxus, identified as the world river that descends from the mythological High Hara.

Οαδο (oado Vata)....Vāyu-Vāta or Vāta-Vāyu is the Avestan language name of the divinity of the wind (Vayu) and of the atmosphere (Vata).

Oαxϸo (oaxsho, "Oxus")

Ooρoμoζδο (ooromozdo, Ahura Mazda).....Ahura Mazda , (also known as Ohrmazd, Ahuramazda, Hourmazd, Hormazd, and Hurmuz, Lord or simply as spirit) is the Avestan name for a higher divine spirit of the old Iranian religion (predating Islam) who was proclaimed as the uncreated spirit by Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism. Ahura Mazda is described as the highest spirit of worship in Zoroastrianism, along with being the first and most frequently invoked spirit in the Yasna. The literal meaning of the word Ahura is light and Mazda is wisdom.

Οραλαγνο (orlagno, Verethragna).....Verethragna (vərəθraγna) is Avestan literally meaning "smiting of resistance" .....related to Avestan verethra, 'obstacle' and verethragnan, 'victorious'. (Gnoli, 1989:510) In Zoroastrian Middle Persian, Verethragna became Warahran, from which Vahram, Vehram, Bahram, Behram and other variants derive....the deity has correspondences in Buddhist Sogdian Wshn, Manichaen Parthian Wryhrm, Kushan Bactrian Orlagno....parallels have also been drawn between it and Vedic Indra, Puranic Vishnu, Manichaean Adamas, Chaldean/Babylonian Nergal, Egyptian Horus, Hellenic Ares and Heracles.

Τιερο (tiero, Tir)



Οηϸο (oesho), long considered to represent Indic Shiva, but more recently identified as Avestan Vayu conflated with Shiva....ΟΗϷΟ (oesho, Shiva). ...Sanskrit: Śiva..... the Supreme God within Shaivism.... limitless, transcendent, unchanging and formles....he is depicted as an omniscient Yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash, as well as a householder with wife Parvati and his two children, Ganesha and Kartikeya......Shiva is usually worshiped in the aniconic form of Lingam....Temples of Lord Shiva are called shivalayam.

Two copper coins of Huvishka bear a 'Ganesa' legend, but instead of depicting the typical theriomorphic figure of Ganesha, have a figure of an archer holding a full-length bow with string inwards and an arrow. Typically a depiction of Rudra, in the case of those two coins Shiva has been represented.....Shiva is depicted as an omniscient Yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash, as well as a householder with wife Parvati and his two children, Ganesha and Kartikeya.


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


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