Aligi

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Aligi (अलिगी) was a Nagavanshi ruler who gave name to Legha clan of Jats.[1] Aligi and Viligi were father and son who were Assyrian kings of 3000 BC.

Origin of naga race in western Asia from Aligi and Viligi

Dr Naval Viyogi writes that according to ancient myths of Iran, the tradition of Naga worship was taken to India from Iran. [2]Whenever we look for the earliest centre of origin of serpent or naga worship it is found in western Asia. Dr Bhagwatsharan Upadhyay [3] has mentioned some hymns of Atharva-Veda (V-13-6 to 10). These verses are as under: Atharv-Veda (V-13-6 to 10) [4]

asitasya tēmātasya babhrapod kasya cha ।
sātrā sānasyāhan manyo khājyomiv dhanvno vimunchāti rathoiva ।। (6)
aligī cha viligī ya pitā cha mātā cha. ।
vidma vah: sarvto banohva raṣāh: kim kariṇyatha. ।। (7)
urugulāyāduhitājātā dāsya sikanyā ।
prataṅ ke vatruso ṇām sarvāsāmaram viśama ।। (8)
tābu vam natābuvam vetva masi tābu yam tābuvenaraśām viśaṃ. ।। (10)

These verses are translated by an Indian scholar B.G. Tilak on the basis of research work of Bloomfield. This is as under:[5]


You are released from the most powerful upodak poison and black brown coloured snake Taimāt, like wise a chariot is released from the horse and bow-string from the bow. (6)
I know Aligi and Viligi (Alai and Valai) who are your father and mother and all your relatives. You are poison less and you can not put to harm. (7)
This daughter of Urugulā is born from karet (black). The poison of them all has become devoid of power, and they have run away to their shelters. (8)
Tābubam (or) and no Tabubam (0, serpent!) you are not Tabubam. Your poison has been made devoid of power with the help of Tabubam. (10)

B. G. Tilak has thrown light on the origin of the words like Taimāta, Aligi, [[[Viligi]]], Urugula and Tabubam and informs us, "These words are non-Vedic and Akkadian (Khandi)". He has again tried to compare the word 'Taimāt' with the Timāyat and 'Tābubam' with the Tobā. But he could not trace the meaning of the words Aligi, Viligi and Urugula in Sanskrit language. He thinks these words are not Indian. But English scholars like Macdonell, Keith and Grifth are also connecting the words Taimata, Upodak, Aligi, Viligi and Urugula with some unknown species of snakes. Viligi is a deity of Assyrian myths. [6] [7]


But endeavour of Dr. Upadhyaya to trace out the origin of these words is highly appreciable. He has traced out the names of Aligi (Alalu) and Viligi (Balalu) in the genealogical table of Assyrian kings, belonging to the period of 3000 B. C. in the guide book composed by Dr. Burnette, department of Assyria and Sumeria. Alalu and Balalu are shown to be the names of father and son.[8] This genealogy is also given in the Cambridge Ancient History-Vol-I.

The study of above verses of Atharv- Veda and veiw-point of different scholars on them, brings out the following conclusions: [9]


(1) The ojhas (priests) of Atharv-Veda age had knowledge of above serpent kings.

(2) According to Yaska these are the words with no meaning.

(3) Macdonell, Kerth and Grifth connect them with some unknown species or snakes.

(4) Aligi and Viligi were father and son who were Assyrian kings of 3000 BC

(5) Above genealogical table has been traced out from excavation of Ur, an ancient city of Sumer.

(6) These names are non-Indian and "Akkadian" or semitics.

We can draw a final conclusion from the above study that certain serpent worshipper tribes of Assyria or Sumer came to India along with the above names of their kings in a period after 3000 B. C. or roughly Indus Valley period (2700-1600 B C ). Either the knowledge of above names and words was transferred to ojhas or priests or they were themselves among the immigrants. Although it is a farfetched idea, yet I think this will be the most acceptable view-point, because verses were composed at a very later period, the composer would have belonged to the institution of immigrant priest class. It is equally possible that Atharv-Veda would have been related to the black section of Rishi of Assyrian immigrants like wise a section of Yajurveda or Kanva as suggested by some scholars[10]. There are clear evidences of Indus seals or seal Impressions with figures of Nagas or serpents depicted on them. Similarly there is another supporting evidence of Rigvedic description (lV-28-l) of Nagas also. [11]

To understand this important secret we have to study the available evidences of Naga worship in Babylonia, Sumer and Assyria. (see Illustration Naga Seals from Indus Valley) James Fergusson [12] produces detail of such evidences as under,

"In addition to the Tyrian coins and other monuments which in themselves would suffice to prove the prevalence of serpent worship on the seaboard of Syria, we have a direct testimony in a quotation from Sanchoniathon, an author who is supposed to have lived before the Trojan War. This passage is in itself sufficient to throw light on the feelings of the ancients on this subject. It may be worthwhile to quote it fully. Taautus attributed a certain divine nature to dragons and serpents, an opinion which was afterwards adopted both by the phoenicians and Egyptians. He teaches that this genus of animals abounds in force and spirit more than any other reptiles; that there is something fiery in their nature, and though possessing neither feet nor any external members for motion common to other animals, they are yet more rapid in their motion than any other. Not only has it the power of renewing its youth, but in doing so receives an increase of size and strength, so that after having run through a certain term of years it is again absorbed within itself. For these reasons this class of animals was admitted into temples, and used in sacred mysteries. By the Phoenicians they were called the good demon, which was the term also applied by the Egyptians to Cneph. who added to him the head of a hawk to symbolize the vivacity of that bird. [13]


After this, Eusebius or Philo goes on to quote several other authors to the same effect, among others the Magian Zoroasters, who describes the hawk-headed deity as "the chief, the best, and the most learned of the gods;" but from the context it appears that there is here some confusion between the serpent god and the eagle- headed deity of the Assyrians, who is generally supposed to represent Nisroch [14] and whose image so frequently occurs in the sculptures. It scarcely admits of a doubt but that this eagle-headed deity of the Assyrians became the Garuda of the Hindu mytholooy, who before the time when Eusebius wrote, had taken so important a position in the serpent worship of the Hindus, but it is still not clear how the confusion between the two objects, crept into the passage as we now find it. Eusebius certainly understood the quotations as applying to the serpent ................ The coins of Tyre represent in some instances a tree with a serpent coiled round its trunk, and on either hand two rude stone pillars (Petrae Ambrosiae... ?) or an altar with two serpents rising from the angles of its base. Others represent the serpent coiled around a rude stone obelisk, with Tyrian Hercules contending with serpent. Taken in conjunction with the above quotation, these, with others that might be quoted, suffice to show that the serpent was honoured, perhaps worshipped in Tyre from an early period down to the time of Alexander." [15]


It is crystal clear from the description of Sanchoniathon that, as a result of above thoughts of Taautus, the tradition of serpent worship came-into being in Western Asia and Egypt, which caused origin of a serpent worshipper Naga race. Not only it did become popular among the masses even the Assyrian Kings like Aligi (Alalu), Viligi (Balalu) adopted it as a part of their religion. This tradition was not only in practice in Babylonia, Sumer, Akkad and Assyria but also in Egypt, Crete and Greece. [16]

Reference

  1. Mahendra Singh Arya et al.: Ādhunik Jat Itihas, Agra 1998,
  2. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p.9
  3. Bharatiya Samaj Ka Etihasik Vishleshan, p.44
  4. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p.9
  5. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p.10
  6. Aggarwal VS:"Some foreign words in Ancient Sanskrit Literature" I H Q Vol 27 91951) P-2
  7. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p.10
  8. Carleton R. "Buried Empires" P-90, Asthana Shashi "History of Archeology of India's contact with other countries" P-130
  9. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p.11
  10. Chanda RP "Ibid" IC 25
  11. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p.11
  12. James Fergusson:Tree and Serpent Worship, P-10
  13. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p.12
  14. Layard, Nineveh and its remains, abridged edition P-46
  15. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p.12
  16. Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p.12

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