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Vedic Bulgaria


For a very long time the oldest cradle of the Bulgarian tribe remained hidden for the scrutiny of science. Some looked for it in Altai and Mongolia, others, like D. Susulov, N. Stanishev, in Tarim, to the East of Pamir. There were others who looked to the North, in the Caucasus,and still others considered Bulgarians to be Europeans, akin to the Thracians. It is only in the last years that we found some guiding lights in thiscomplex mazeway of hypotheses. The most important one relates to the newly found inscriptions, written in the language of the Bulgarian rulers KUBRAT and ASPARUH. In their form those inscriptions remind very much of the East Pamir languages (Vakhan (Vahi), Ishkashim , Mundjan , Sarikoli and Darvaz), which is an indicating that the landof origin of the ancient Bulgarians was not Europe, neither was it Mongolia or Turkestan It was somewhere in PAMIR and HINDUKUSH . We get the same evidence from the peculiar words KAVHAN, TARKAN, ZHOPAN, ZERA, KALU, SETIT, and others, which can be found in the old Bulgarian inscription in Greek. Such concepts are unknown to the Mongols and the Turkic people, but they are well known to the people of Pamir. Anthropological research also shows that ancient Bulgarians have lived some time in the past in Pamir. In their physical appearance the old Bulgarians resembled very much the Pamir-Fergan racial type, that originated in the southern and the most civilized part of Central Asia. According to the oldest Armenian geography "the Bulgarians were among the 15 peoples "who inhabited once the land between Turkestan and the Areans in the foots of the mountain Imai" (today Pamir and Hindukush).Since the name Turkestan was used before 6-7th century for the land beyond Sur-Darya, and the word "areans" was the name for the people in the Persian region of Area, this description indicates that the Bulgarians have lived at some period to the East of Persia and to the West of Sur-Darya - the mountains of Pamir and Hindukush. On the geographic map, appended to "Ashharatsuits", recently published by academician S. Eremyan, the name of the Bulgarians is located exactly at the point where the western ranges of the Imeon mountains meet it snorthern ranges - the Zervansh crest of Pamir. In the well known Latin anonymous Chronograph of 345, the name of the ancient Bulgarians is used as a replacement of the old Baktrinians, who inhabited the lands near the Pamir and the Hindukush. This is to show that for the compilers of this early historical source the Bulgarians were a part of the peoples inhabiting the region between Persia and Turkestan. Two more facts deserve attention. In the northern parts of the Pamir there was a state, called by the Sogdinians BLGAR, by the Arabs -BURGAR, and by the Tadziks - FALGAR. And to the West of the Pamir Indian sources (MAHABHARATA and the PURANAS) mention people of the name of BOLHI , BAHLIKA or BOLHIKI, ruled by the ancient king KARDAMA, and the Arab sources mention the ancient land of BALHARA. Some more details, suggested about a century ago by Prof. Vassil Zlatarski, are also of importance: round the mountain of Imeon there were, according to the Byzantine historian Agatius, the lands of the Kutrigurs, Utigurs and Vurugunds (presumably the Unogondurs). In the same region was situated the Onogur town of Bakat, according to Simokata. And lastly, the same region is the land of origin of the tribe of Kozagirs in whom Zlatarski, reasonably, sees the predecessors of the well known Bulgarian division "Kuchi-bulgar" like today's Afghan Kuchis. All scholarly evidence of the lands of origin of ancient Bulgarians focuses on one and the same geographic region - the Pamir and the Hindukush. Attempts to look for the oldest lands of the Bulgarians fareast - in Turkestan and Mongolia, where lived the tribes PU-KU and BAIEGU, mentioned in Chinese sources, or near the Mongolian river Tolaand the lake Balhash, have failed. For behind the Chinese words Pu-Kuand Baiegu are hidden the Kirgiz tribes BUGU and MAIIRKU, who have nothing in common with the ancient Bulgarians. The name Tola in the eastern Altai languages means deep-water river , and Balhash in Tuvinian means literally "swamp, moor". Fortunately there is a chronicle that has survived and it describes directly the land of origin of the Bulgarians in Europe. It was left by Mikhail the Syrian - Patriarch of Antiohia, called for his scholarly distinctionand erudition Mar Mikhail the Great. Here is what he says: "At those times there came from internal Skitia (Central Asia) three brothers,wholead with them 30 000 Skitians, and took the road of 60 days to the gorges of Imeon (Pamir and Hindukush) to the river Tanais (the Don),which flows into the lake of Meotida. Those people were named by the Romans Bulgars." This short description, discovered by Vassil Zlatarski, shows that the lands of ancient Bulgarians were in the valleys of the Pamir and the Hindukush. Starting from there, in about 60 days they reached the river Don and the Azov sea. If we start in the opposite direction from the Don to the east, we can easily confirm the correctness of this short story. For it is true that in about 60 days one can reach on foot from the Don to the northern foots of the Pamir, where the old lands of BALGAR were, called even today by the local Tadziks PALGAR. After almost two centuries of research and the endeavors of many scholars the sacred fatherland of the Bulgarians was discovered. This land, so dear to us, was situated in the foots of the Pamir and the Hindukush, where since ancient times existed the states of BALGAR and BALHARA.


Prior to Christianity Bulgarians had a different religion. We can learn about it from a direct historical source the dispute of Khan Omurtag with Cinamon of Byzantium. If you praise the Sun and the Moon [as gods] says Cinamon to Omurtag and make me wonder at their magnificence, and I do wonder, I still find them creations and servants not only to God but also to us, the human beings.To which Khan Omurtag answers: Do not abase our gods! Their power is great and you can judge about it from the fact that we, who pay homage to them, conquered the whole land of the Romans. (Cf. 1931, p. 256-259) The Bulgars had the right to pay homage to their gods and to be proud of them. In an old manuscript we find the names of Bulgarian gods side by side with those of well-known ancient peoples. The author of this manuscript, unknown in Bulgaria until recently and kept in the greatest French and English libraries, is the famous Arab scholar El-Balhi (cir. 850). Here is what he says: It is interesting that all peoples have their own names for the Creator. The Arabs call Him Allah in the singular, and the other deities they call Illah; the Persians call Him Hormuz, Ized, Yazdan. In Zaratustra he is called Hormuz, but I have also heard the names Khod- Eht and Khod-Boreht, which means He-Himself. The Indians and the people of Sind (Pakistan) call him Shita Vabit and Mahadeva. The Turkic people say Bir Tengri*, which means, There is one God. The Christians of Syria say Laha Raba Kuadussa. The Jews say in their Jewish language: Elohim Adonai or Ehie Asher Ehie. Elohim means god in their language. I heard the Bulgarians call the Creator with the name Edfu and when I asked them how they call their idol, they answered Fa. I also asked the Copts what is their name for the Creator. They answered Ahad Shanak. (M. Tahir, Le livre de la creation de el-Balhi. Paris, 1899, v. IV, p. 56). [*There is a peak in the Tien Shan mountains, named Khan-Tengri - 22,949 feet/6,995 m, - and it was long regarded as the highest peak of the Tien Shan system.] Religious data offered by El-Balhi astound the reader with their precision and broadness. He gives the accurate names of God used by well-known peoples and also by some specific ethnic communities like the Sinds from Eastern Pakistan and the Copts, almost forgotten successors of the ancient Egyptians. It is then hardly possible that the scholar is wrong about the Bulgarians. What is more, his text contains the expression I heard the Bulgarians.., which indicates that he had the data directly from the Bulgarians. Judging by this text, our ancestors believed not only in the celestial bodies but also in a supreme God-Creator. As different from the Persians however, who called him Hormuz, and the Turkic people who called him Tengri, the Bulgarians used the strange and unknown word EDFU. The two new sources discussed here broaden and enrich our notions of the religion of the old Bulgarians. So far scholars had only one real fact to rely on the name TANGRA, discovered in the form of TANGRAN by Prof. V. Beshevliev in an early Bulgarian inscription of the 9th c. It turns out that, like the Persians, who called God with three parallel names, the Bulgarians called him Tangra, but also Edfu a fact completely unknown to this day. An interesting question arises: what are the regions in which the Creator was called with the two names of Tangra and Edfu? Something similar, as I was able to discover, existed in one single region of the East Pamir and Hindukush [see the maps above], where, according to historical sources, the Bulgarians lived before they migrated to Europe. The notion of TANDRA - lightening- is very popular there and is connected with the supreme God of thunder. Parallel to it a second name of God is also commonly used Hudo-ETH. Not very far from Pamir, in the Fergan valley, we still have the word FA idol, fetish, included in Assadis dictionary of modern Persian and referred to in the commentaries to El-Balhis works. The use of these notions in the region of Pamir is not accidental there was in these parts, following the Arab scholar Massudi, an enormous temple of the Sun, classified among the seven largest temples in the world. And the Sun itself, in its zenith, was called with names like Adhu and Edh, cognate with the Sanskrit notion Aditya (Sun), and especially the epithet EDDH burning, blazing. Such data indicate that the roots of the religion of the Bulgarians can be found in the region of Pamir and Hidukush where they lived before moving to Europe. Two relics of this forgotten religion were discovered quite recently: - a bronze rosette from Pliska, dedicated to the seven celestial bodies and marked by the typical Bulgar symbol IYI, and two stone slabs with the same symbol and - drawings of the Sun and the Moon, found not far from the Bulgarska Morava river. To the same religion we can attribute also three newly deciphered runic inscriptions from Murfatlar, two of which are dedicated to the Sun and Jupiter. The third one consists of the single word EFE, which could be a term of address to the god Edfu of the type EDFE or some parallel name of the same god. (Cf. P. Dobrev. Universum Protobulgaricum. New York, 1996). Very interesting in this connection is the history of the religious cult of the seven celestial bodies. It appears for the first time in the Shumer-Accadian civilization where the names of the Sun, the Moon and the five planets, known to the Ancient world, are always accompanied by the word DINGIR god, akin to the Elam word TANRU. The Sun is called Dingir-UTU (Sun God) by the Shumerians, the Moon is called Dingir-sin (Moon God), etc. From this very part of the world the cult of the celestial bodies spread radially to the East and the West among the ancient peoples Assyrians, Indo-Iranians, Hittites, Celts, Romans, etc. Widely spread are also words like DINGIR and TANRU or the like: the Assyrian word TANRA heavenly body, the Indian TARA star, the Hittite TARA heavenly light, the Celtic TARAN god of thunder, the Anglo-Saxon THUNDER, the Pamir word TANDRA lightening, and the remotest cognate the Turkic word TENGRI (god of the bright blue sky). Old Bulgarian religion, with its devotion to the seven celestial bodies and the Supreme God, called Tangra and Edfu, is part of this religious system. What is more, it does not represent the most simplified Turkic variant but the initial well developed system. This is not primitive Asiatic shamanism, as interpreted by some authors, but one of the oldest religions of humanity. It is high time to acknowledge this fact.

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Stefan Krustew

The Ramayan localizes the UttaraKurus in Bahlika country [Ethnic Settlements in Ancient India, p 110]. According to it, Ila, son of Parjapati Karddama, king of Bahli (Bahlika) country, gave up Bahli in favor of his son Sasabindu and and founded a city of Pratisthana in Madhydesa The princes of Aila dynasty [which is also the dyanasty of Kurus], have been called Karddameya [Ramayana (Lahore Edition) Uttarakanda, 89-3-2, pp 299-300, 309, cf Ethnic Settlements in Ancient India, p 110]. The Karddameya obtained their names from river Kardama in Persia and therefore their homeland is identified with Bahlika or Bacteria and not with any other territory in India proper [Studies in Indian Antiquaries, p 234]. It is thus clear that Kurus were originally a people of Bahlika or Bacteria. Also it be noted that Satapatha Brahamana knows of a king named Bahlika Pratipeya who is called KAURAVYA. [Satapatha Brahamana XII 9.3.3] and is identical with Bahlika Pratipeya of Mahabharata [MBH V, 23.9; 149.27; Journal o Royal Asiatic Society, 1910, p 52]. Vatsyana in his Kamasutra records a peculiar custom prevalent among the Bahlikas i.e several young men marry a single woman in Bahlika country and in Strirajya....[Kamasutra of Vatsyayana, p 385]. and we know that Pandavas (=Kurus) were married to one women, Draupadi. Hence it appears very likely that the Kurus were originally a people of of Balkh and later was identical with Uttarakurus. The Bahlika or Bacteria is evidently beyond HinduKush (Himalaya range). That the Madras were originally a people of Balkh is suggested by the Vamsa Brahmana (1/18) of the Samaveda, which refers to a Madragara Shaungayani as a teacher of Aupmanyava Kamboja. [Vedic Index II, p 61]. "Dr Zimmer has rightly thought that these two names point to a CONNECTION OF THE KAMBOJAS and the MADRAS [Vedic Index, II, p 123, Dr Keith & Mcdonnell; Some Kshatrya Tribes, 1924, p 231, Dr Law]. "In aitreya Brahmana, the Uttarakurus and Uttaramadras are described as living beyond Himalaya (VIII.14); and the Vamsa Brahamana Kamboja Aupamanya is spoken of as a pupil of of Madaragara; from which the Vedic Index postulates a possible connection of the Uttaramadras with the Kambojas, who probably had Iranain as well as Indian affinities....[Vedic Index, I.84, 138 cf: Also Jean Przyluski, An Ancient People of Panjab; the Udumbras, Journal Asiatique, 1926, p 11]" [India as Known to Panini, p 50, Dr V. S. Aggarwala; Ancient Kamboja, People & the Country, 1981, p 231, Dr Kamboj]. Since we know that the Kambojas were originally a people of Badakshan and Pamir, [see Chapter V, The Kambojas by Dr M. R. Singh, Jaipur University, Geographical data in Early Puranas, 1978, p pp 163-168]. The Madras might have dwelt in Bahlikas. King Salya of Mahabharata who was Madra king and was maternal Uncle of Nakula & Sehdeva has been called Bahlika Pungava...foremost among the Bahlikas...[MBH I.67.6;112.3]. and Madri, a princess of the Madra Royal Family, has been called Bahliki [MBH I.124.21]. According to Samangalavilasini, the wife of a chakaravarti king comes either from Uttarakurus or from the race ogf the king of Madda [Madra]. According to Puranas, in the Parava line, there happened to be a king of Hastina, who founded the city of Hastinapura. Hastina had two sons. Ajamidha and DVimidha. Ajamidha is said to have continued the main Paurava line at Hastina pura. Dvimidha founded a seperate dynasty. Ajamidha had three sons...Rksa, Nila & Brhadisu. Rksa continued the main paurva line at Hastinapura and the two other sons founded the dynasties of North and South Panchala respectively. [ Ancient Indian Historical Traditions, pp 111-113, Dr Pargiter]. According to the Ramayana, the river Bhagirathi seperated the Panchalas from the Kurus. [Ramayana II.54.13].

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