Is the Indus Valley a Buddhist civilization

Mouches volantes structures in the Indus Valley culture By Floco Tausin

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1 Mouches floaters structures in the Indus Valley culture By Floco Tausin In our culture, the phenomenon of floaters is primarily understood in accordance with the modern medical view, where it is considered to be vitreous opacity. However, looking at pictorial material from earlier and non-European cultures repeatedly reveals abstract symbols that resemble the typical structures of the floaters. Mouches floaters could have been interpreted as a mythological and spiritual phenomenon. This suggests that the visual perception of points and threads has dimensions that are hardly known to this day (Tausin 2010, 2006b). This article introduces the shapes of floaters in the imagery of the Indus valley cultures in Pakistan and India. This article is based on the assumption that a shamanic ritual practice or ecstasy technique that already existed in the Upper Palaeolithic (approx. BC) led to increased perception and interpretation of entoptic phenomena, including so-called floaters. As a result, these visual phenomena found their way into the earliest Stone Age paintings (cf. Dowson / Lewis-Williams 1988; Tausin 2010b, 2006a). As conventions handed down through time, or observed and interpreted anew by shamans and mystics, floaters and other phenomena could also have inspired the art of the first advanced cultures. This article aims at the early cultures and civilization in the Indus Valley (Pakistan,

2 Northwest India), which very likely exerted an influence on the later Vedic religion and Hinduism. Because the few written documents have not yet been deciphered, the interpretation of patterns on ceramics and jewelry, seal images and other archaeological finds is particularly vague. However, the following pictures speak for the possibility of a shamanic-static influence including the perception of floaters. Early cultures in the Indus valley near Harappa The Pakistani area of ​​the Indus rivers and the parallel flowing, now dried up Ghaggar-Hakra stretches from the highlands of Baluchistan to the Cholistan and Thar deserts in the border area between India and Pakistan, and from the foothills of the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea . From 7000 BC The earliest village cultures in South Asia emerged here and developed into complex civilizations. Mehrgarh in West Baluchistan was one of these cultures, the development of which can be observed over a long period of time. Their earliest finds date from around 7000 BC. This Neolithic settlements in houses made of mud bricks went hand in hand with the cultivation of grain, storage of grain and animal husbandry. Early forms of metalworking and craftsmanship with precious stones such as turquoise, lapis lazuli and seashells were also noted. The production of pottery and female terracotta figures, evidence of a possible worship of goddesses, began in the 6th millennium BC. Instead of. Mehrgarh was a center for craftsmanship whose products were about

3 regional trade routes found distribution (Kenoyer 2008; Ray et al. 2000; Sharif / Thapar 1996). Image 1: Vessel of the Mehrgarh culture, millennium BC Chr. Oduct_id = 1919 () Village cultures were also found in other places in the Indus Valley, today mostly named after the place where they were found: Sarai Khola, Harappa, Jalilpur, Siswal, Kot Diji, Amri-Nal, Damb Sadaat and others. These cultures flourished from the 6th to the middle of the 3rd millennium. They produced pottery with their own figurative, but also geometric representations. Image 2: Game pieces of the Nal culture, approx. Source: lleynalculturemarblegamingpieces.htm ()

4 Fig. 3: Dots and dotted circles on pottery in the Quetta Valley, Baluchistan / Pakistan. Source: Fairservis As the pictures show, dots, empty and dotted circles as well as concentric circles with a central point (Kenoyer 2008) belonged to the repertoire of the early Indus valley village cultures. These points and circles are mostly arranged to an orderly whole, often they are connected in rows or are connected in some other way with elongated structures. These structures, which are very similar to the balls and threads of the floaters, can also be found in the subsequent high culture, for which the Indus Valley village cultures formed the basis (Wheeler, 1953; Fairservis 1956, 1973; Kenoyer 2008).

5 Indus valley civilization (approx. V.) From the middle of the 3rd millennium onwards, an urban civilization arose in the Indus valley from the previous agricultural and village cultures, which, alongside pharaonic Egypt and the Mesopotamian kingdoms, is considered to be the oldest advanced civilization in the world. Over 1500 places belonged to this Harappa culture or Indus valley civilization. Dozens of urban centers such as Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, Chanhu-Daro, Lothal and Dholavira were distributed in the area of ​​the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra rivers, as well as in the northwestern states of what is now India. For the first time, the Indus cities were built according to a uniform plan: a higher citadel in the west stood out from a lower, walled living area in the east; both were aligned with the eight cardinal points. Sophisticated irrigation systems supplied households, agriculture and sewage systems with water and regulated the annual flooding of the rivers. Houses and castles were built from evenly shaped bricks. The craft achieved industrial quality with the finest processing of precious stones and precious metals, probably also wood and textiles, as well as the production of fine ceramics. Colonies were established in Baluchistan and Afghanistan for the supply of minerals and precious stones. The Indus Valley residents exported their products across the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula to Mesopotamia. Since the Industal script has not yet been deciphered, little is known about the internal administration of the cities. It is presumed to be a class

6 Social order with leadership elites, bureaucracy and a distinctive priesthood (Chilvers 2001, Walsh 2006, Higham 2004). Shamanism, cosmic tree, ecstasy, peacock The ideological and religious orientation of the Indus inhabitants also remains vague. The many female terracotta figures could refer to fertility cults and mother goddesses that were handed down from previous farming cultures (Clothey 2006). The water basins on the raised platforms indicate purification rituals with and in the water, as they are peculiar to later Hinduism. The numerous seals made of clay and steatite (soapstone), some of which were probably used for ritual purposes, show short inscriptions as well as depictions of plants, animals, people as well as mixed and mythical creatures. Some human figures are horned. Horns symbolize strength and fertility in many cultures and are worn by deities. Researchers therefore assume that the Harappa culture knew one or more goddesses who exercised power over people, animals and plants (Kenoyer 2008; Clothey, 2006; Hopkins / Hiltebeitel 2005; Michaels 1999).

7 Fig. 4: Seal of the Indus Valley civilization: Ecstatic deity in the world tree, worshiped in an ecstatic ritual? (6.3.12) Shamanic practices of the Indus valley inhabitants can hardly be proven in the current research. However, some finds contain representations that correspond to shamanic symbols, e.g. the cosmic tree, certain animal representations and the meaning of ecstasy (Eliade 1957): the figures shown on the seal, understood as a deity, are sometimes shown in connection with a plant. The figure in picture 4 is in a plant. Due to its characteristic heart-shaped leaves, it is interpreted as the poplar fig (ficus religiosa, Bodhi tree), a tree that has played an important religious role for later Hindus, Jains and Buddhists to this day. It is possible that the poplar fig was already worshiped as a sacred or cosmic tree in the Indus Valley civilization. The figure on the famous Proto-Shiva seal (Fig. 5) appears to be wearing a plant as a headdress, or the plant is growing out of her head. This could mean equating the deity with the cosmic tree, or in recourse to later Indian ones

8 teachings be a symbol for the outflow of cosmic energy from the top of the skull. Image 5: Seal of the Indus Valley civilization Ecstatic with horns / plant headgear and with ruffled body hair? (6.3.12) The above seals could also provide information about the ecstasy. In picture 5 a person can be seen in a sitting position that is reminiscent of the later ascetic and yogic posture. Some researchers see it as early forms of yoga and Shaivism, since the ascetic god Shiva also wears a crown of horns (Hopkins / Hiltebeitel 2005). Eliade (1957) has already pointed out the shamanic roots of yoga; here, only one more, so far hardly considered phenomenon should be mentioned: The figures on the two seals are characterized by a kind of prickly skin. This could be a representation of bristling body hairs, a phenomenon that is often associated with altered ecstatic states of consciousness and plays an important role in the later Indian tradition (Tausin 2011c, 2011d).

9 Animals, especially birds, have an important function in shamanism as sources of strength and healing, as mediators between humans and gods, and as guides for the soul (Eliade 1957). The animals shown on the Indus Valley finds are associated with horned human beings and are also represented as mixed and mythical creatures. The locations of the objects give further clues: In the late phase (Cemetery H culture) in particular, depictions of the peacock were repeatedly found on pottery that was made for burial (Figs. 6 and 7). The peacock could have had the shamanic function of escorting the dead (Eliade 1957, Higham 2004: 137f.). Image 6: Painted vase from Chanhu-Daro (Fairservis 1973). Peacock and dotted circles with halo (above). Dotted circles as a row (middle) and in the spaces between the foliage (below).

10 Fig. 7: Harappa bowl. Peacock and rows of dotted structures. Two dotted circles in the middle, one with a double membrane. (6.3.12) Dotted circles floaters? If the association of the late Harappa pottery shown here (pictures 6 and 7) with death, burial and journey to the hereafter is correct, not only the peacock can be seen in this light, but also the dotted circles and elongated structures shown. The interpretation as entoptic phenomena is obvious, because such phenomena can be seen very clearly by the dying on entering death, as reported by people with near-death experiences (Tausin 2011e). Outside of the symbolism of death, the references to shamanic practices also give a good reason, the numerous geometric patterns on pottery, figures and seals (cf. Walsh 2006; Clothey 2006; Hopkins / Hiltebeitel 2005; Grimes et al. 2006) as entoptic light phenomena produced by ecstatic practices to understand. Isolated or

11 rows of dotted or concentric circles indicate that floaters could also have belonged to the perceived phenomena. Image 8: Round platforms in Harappa. They are made up of concentric circles made of bricks. In the center depressions have been found with remains of wheat and barley, which may have been ground with a mortar. Fashion (1959). () Round and elongated beads made of steatite and other materials often refer to floaters in several ways: They are pierced so that they can be strung on a string. Viewed in cross-section (see Fig. 9), the central hole forms the core of the pearl, the pearl material the perimeter; the cord is the connecting element that creates a three-dimensional, movable flounce structure (Fig. 10). In addition, the pearls are often painted, often again with circle symbols (pictures 9 and 11). Pearls inlaid in circles emphasize the contrast between the core and the periphery, which is typical for floaters

12 protrudes strongly (Fig. 12). A frequent circle symbol is the clover-leaf pattern, a pattern consisting of three circles stacked together, the individual circles of which are often dotted (see Figs. 9, 13, 17) perhaps also anticipating the symbolic three-figure of later Hinduism (trimurti). Image 9: Round and elongated painted and unpainted jewelry pearls from Harappa (Kenoyer 2008). In addition to individual points, the patterns of the painted pearls also show possible agglomerations, as can occur in floaters: two-pack (duality), three-pack (trinity, clover-leaf figure), as well as the mandala formation aligned to the four cardinal points. Photo 10: A collection of jewelry made from round steatite beads and elongated carnelian tubes. Harappa and

13 Mohenjodaro. (6.3.12) (Fig. 123) Fig. 11: Carnelian beads like these were made in Lothal and Chanhu-Daro. (6.3.12) Fig. 12: Steatite pearl inserted into a gold ring. Harappa. (6.3.12) (Figure 121)

14 Fig. 13: Circle symbolism on a steatite bust of a man from Mohenjo-Daro (Walsh 2006): He wears a ribbon with a circle on his forehead and on his arm. A small point is engraved in the middle of each of these circles, which may indicate an inlaid ornamentation (see Fig. 12). His robe is decorated with clover-leaf patterns, isolated circles also appear. Possibly the forehead circle refers to the later forehead chakra (Ajna Cakra) or the third eye. Seals, too, often contain patterns of circles with and without a central point (Figs. 14 and 15). In combination with figurative representations, they can be interpreted as subtle light phenomena or as material celestial bodies such as the sun and other stars (cf. Tausin 2011a, 2011b). Points that are arranged in four or five constellations according to the cardinal points could be forerunners of the later mandalas.

15 Fig. 14: Harappa seal in the museum of Dholavira. () Fig. 15: Circular ornamentation of the Harappa culture (fashion 1944). Mouches floaters in the mandala arrangement? Seals, sculptures, and pottery also contain other geometric designs. These include, for example the swastika (swastika) and elongated knot patterns or infinite knots (Fig. 16). The swastika is a widely used religious symbol in India to this day. The knot patterns are similar to the Kolam and Rangoli patterns that Indians paint on the floor in front of or in their home to ward off evil forces and invite good ones. Such patterns could in principle go back to shape constants (Dowson / Levis-Williams 1988); but we could also be dealing with artificial representations of flounce threads.

16 Fig. 16: Endless knots and a swastika (fashion 1944). The end of the Harappa culture from 1900 BC. The cities of the Harappa culture were gradually abandoned or occupied by people from other regional cultures, which can be seen from the changed burial methods and pottery: In late Harappa, graves with vessels for the remains of burned corpses were found. Since the earlier Indus valley inhabitants buried their dead in the earth, this find indicates changes in religious beliefs that may be related to important political and economic upheavals. This new late culture is called the Cemetery H culture and is based on v. Dated. It expanded east into the area between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers.

17 Fig. 17: Presumably a vessel lid associated with the funeral pottery of the Cemetery H phase of Harappa. It shows an antelope surrounded by dotted circles (clover leaf pattern) and a zigzag line. (6.3.12)

18 Fig. 18: Painted gray ware from Abhichatra, Panipat and Hastinapura in the Ganges plain (Wheeler 1971). The interplay of elongated structures and dotted circles is reminiscent of floaters. It is unclear what led to the collapse of the Indus Valley civilization. Climate changes, epidemics, and floods come into question. According to an earlier theory, the Indus Valley was conquered and settled by the Indo-Aryans, a semi-nomadic horsemen from Central Asia. In the meantime it has been shown that the Aryans immigrated to South Asia in large numbers only centuries later (Walsh 2006). The Aryans who shaped Vedic Brahmin India brought their own culture to Pakistan and India. But a number of parallels suggest that the Aryans have something of the Indus Valley civilization or the regional post-Harappa cultures in Pakistan and northwestern India Cemetery H, Ghandara Grave, Copper Hoards, Ocher Colored Pottery, Black and Red Ware, Painted Gray Goods (Fig. 18) have taken over. E.g. the system of weighing, the general styles and technology of pottery, the standardized floor plan of residential areas, the production of uniform bricks, etc. (Kenoyer 2008). But ideological continuities are also likely, because shamanically and religiously relevant symbols and phenomena such as the ecstatically bristling hair, the poplar fig, the peacock, the horned crown, the swastika, the yantra and mandala-like shapes, etc. can be found in later India. A closer look at the mouchesvolantes-like structures in the Indo-Aryan and Vedic cultures follows in another article.

19 Literature The images come from image databases on the Internet, from scientific publications or from my own collection (FT).They are either subject to a Creative Commons license, are no longer subject to copyright due to the statute of limitations or are used in the sense of the right to quote from scientific publications. I own the copyright for the images from my collection or have obtained the artist's kind permission. The Indus the Masters of the River (Civilizations 3) by Simon Chilvers (2001) Clark, Matthew (2005): Sadhus and Sadhvis. In: Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. By Mircea Eliade (first ed. 1987). Macmillan Reference: Clothey, Fred W. (2006): Religion in India. A Historical Introduction. London / New York: Routledge Clottes, Jean (2011): The Rock Art of Central India. () Dowson, John (1998). A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology and Religion. Geography, History and Literature. New Delhi: D.K. Printworld Dowson, T. A .; Lewis-Williams, J.D. (1988). The Signs of All Times. Current Anthropology 29, no. 2: Eliade, Mircea. (1957). Shamanism and archaic ecstasy technique. Zurich: Rascher & Cie Fairservis, Walter A. (1973): The Roots of Ancient India. The Archeology of Early Indian Civilization. London: George Allen & Unwin, LTD. Fairservis, Walter A (1956): Excavations in the Quetta Valley, West Pakistan (Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 45, part 2): New York Frasca, Richard A. (2004): Ancient South Indian Shamanism. In: Shamanism An Encyclopedia of World Beliefs, Practices, and Culture, ed. By Mariko Namba Walter and Eva Jane Neumann Fridman. Santa Barbara et al .: ABC Clio: Grimes, John; Mittal, Sushil; Thursby, Gene (2006): Hindu Dharma. In: Religions of South Asia. An Introduction, ed. By Sushil Mittal and Gene Thursby. London / New York: Routledge: Harvey, Graham; Wallis, Robert J. (2007): Historical Dictionary of Shamanism (Historical dictionaries of Religions, Philosophies, and Movements, 77). Lanha et al .: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.

20 Higham, Charles F. (2004): Encyclopedia of Ancient Asian Civilizations. Facts On File, Inc. Hopkins, Thomas J. / Hiltebeitel, Alf (2005): Indus Valley Religion. In: Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. By Mircea Eliade (first ed. 1987). Macmillan Reference: Kenoyer, Jonathan Mark (2008): Indus Civilization. In: Encyclopedia of Archeology, Vol. 2, ed. By Deborah M. Pearsall. Academic Press Kenoyer, Jonathan Mark (2000): Early Developments of Art, Symbol and Technology in the Indus Valley Tradition. In: Indo- Koko-Kenkyu, Indian Araeological Studies, Vol () Kent, Eliza F. (2004): Hinduism and Ecstatic Indian Religions. In: Shamanism An Encyclopedia of World Beliefs, Practices, and Culture, ed. By Mariko Namba Walter and Eva Jane Neumann Fridman. Santa Barbara et al .: ABC Clio: Knipe, David M. (2005): Tapas. In: Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. By Mircea Eliade (first ed. 1987). Macmillan Reference: Mahlstedt, Ina (2010): Enigmatic Religions of Ancient Times. Theiss Michaels, Axel (1998). Hinduism. History and present. Munich: C.H. Beck Ray, Niharranjan, et al. (2000): A Sourcebook of Indian Civilization. Kolkata: Orient Longman Private Ltd. Sharif, M .; Thapar, B. K. (1996, 1st ed. 1992): Food-producing Communities in Pakistan and Northern India. In: History of Civilizations of Central Asia, Vol 1. Paris: UNESCO Publishing, Snodgrass, Jeffrey G. (2004): Spirit Possession in Rajasthan (India) In: Shamanism An Encyclopedia of World Beliefs, Practices, and Culture, ed. By Mariko Namba Walter and Eva Jane Neumann Fridman. Santa Barbara et al .: ABC Clio: Stutley, Margaret (2003): Shamanism. An Introduction. London / New York: Routledge Tausin, Floco (2011a): Schamasch, Ishtar and Igigi. Mouchesvolantes structures in ancient Mesopotamia. Tausin, Floco (2011b): In the eye of Re. Mouches floaters structures in the symbolism of ancient Egypt. In: Virtual magazine () Tausin, Floco (2011c): Hair-raising. Kinki 34: Tausin, Floco (2011d): The yogi's tingling. The importance of goosebumps in Indian tradition. Yoga and Holistic Health 63 Tausin, Floco (2011e): The light ball at the end of the tunnel. Mouches floaters and near-death experience. Collective. (5.3.12)

21 Tausin, Floco. (2010a). Mouches flounces. The luminous structure of consciousness. Bern: Leuchtstruktur Verlag Tausin, Floco (2010b): Lights in the other world. Mouches floaters in the performing arts of modern shamans. In: Galaxy Health Council. -in-der-anderswelt () Tausin, Floco (2008). Mouches volantes Vitreous opacity or nervous system? Flying mosquitoes as a perceptible aspect of the visual nervous system. Holistic vision. () Tausin, Floco. (2006a). Mouches floaters and trance. A universal phenomenon in expanded states of consciousness then and now. Beyond the earthly 3 Tausin, Floco (2006b): Mouches volantes. Movable spheres and threads from the perspective of a seer. In: Q phase. Reality different! 4 Thurston, Linda (1991): Entoptic Imagery in People and their Art. MA thesis, faculty of the Gallatin Division, New York University. () From Petzinger, Genevieve (2011). Geometric Signs. A new understanding. gns.php () Walsh, Judith E. (2006): A Brief History of India. New York: Facts on File Wheeler, Mortimer (1953): The Indus Civilization (The Cambridge History of India). Cambridge: University Press Witzel, Michael (2003): Vedas and Upanishads. In: The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism, ed. By Gavin Flood. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing: Floco Tausin

22 The name Floco Tausin is a pseudonym. The author studied at the humanities faculty of the University of Bern and deals in theory and practice with the research of subjective visual phenomena in connection with changed states of consciousness and the development of consciousness.He published the mystical story Mouches Volantes about the teaching of the seer Nestor, who lives in the Swiss Emmental, and the spiritual Meaning of the floaters. Information on the book: Mouches Volantes The light structure of consciousness, Leuchtstruktur Verlag (Bern) 2010, paperback, 376 pages, / CHF, genre: fiction / mystical narrative. Already known to the ancient Greeks, regarded by today's ophthalmologists as a harmless vitreous clouding and annoying for many affected: floaters, points and threads that float in our field of vision and become visible in bright light conditions. The realization of a seer living in the Swiss Emmental radically questions today's view: floaters are the first parts of a light structure formed by our consciousness. Entering into this allows the seer to remain conscious beyond death. Eye floaters: vitreous cloudiness or structure of consciousness? A mystical story about the closest thing in the world.