Divine Covenants of Common Origin
This research will confirm that Abraham (of Muslim and Judeo-Christian faiths) was influenced by the Vedic understanding of Brahma (as Creator, Supreme Soul of the Universe, Sacred Knowledge or High Priest) and visa-versa. The research will offer the Hindu a saintly example in Abraham of Vedic principles of Brahma and the Muslim, Judea-Christian believers an understanding of the spiritual background and inner prayer life of Abraham through his contemporary reflection in Vedic texts and commentaries (Vedas, Upanishads, et al). The reader from any background will come to gain insight into the spiritual history of the world and how reformers, saints and prophets always looked out for the poor in their efforts to relate with the Divine.
Introduction – Is Abraham Brahma? Is Brahma Abraham?
Have you ever noticed that Abraham and his wife Sarah of the monotheistic Judeo-Christian and Moslem religions are nearly identical in name to Brahma and his wife Saraswati of the Hindu religion?
Gerhardt W. von Reutem, Abraham Sacrificing Isaac, Germany, 1849.
Nurpur (likely), Brahma on Swan/Goose/Hamsa), India, 18th Century.
Regarding the link between Abraham and Brahma, Steven Rosen writes:
The similarities between the names of Abraham and Brahma have not gone unnoticed. Abraham is said to be the father of the Jews, and Brahma, as the first created being, is often seen as the father of mankind...’ We might also note that the name of Brahma’s consort Sarasvati seems to resonate with that of Abraham’s wife, Sarah [… each one’s identity as a wife and/or sister]. Also, in India, the Sarasvati River includes a tributary known as the Ghaggar…. According to Jewish tradition, Hagar was Sarah’s maidservant…. Both Brahmins … and Jews see themselves as the ‘chosen people of God.’ The Hebrews began their sojourn through history as a ‘kingdom of priests’ (Exodus 19:6). Likewise, Brahmins are also a community of priests. — Rosen in Essential Hinduism, p. 12.
Donald M. Craig points to ancient sources regarding a history of Abraham from India:
…Flavius Josephus …(in the) Antiquities of the Jews … quotes Aristotle (384 b.c.e.–322 b.c.e.) as saying that Jews are derived from the Indian philosophers and are known as the Calani. Clearchus of Soli was a student in Aristotle’s school. In his book, De Somno, he elaborates on the story of how Aristotle discovered this information, but the basic concept remained the same. Megasthenes was … an ambassador of Seleucus I of Syria to … India, before the latter’s death in 288 b.c.e. … Megasthenes wrote that the Jews were an Indian tribe or sect called Kalani. Except for the spelling he agreed with Aristotle and Clearchus. Higgins also claims that Ur of the Chaldees, the home of Abraham mentioned in the Bible, was actually Ur of the Chaldeans. “Chaldean,” he continues, is actually “Kaul-Deva” or the Holy Kauls, a Brahmanical caste of India. … He writes that the tribe of the Brahmin Abraham was expelled from or left India and settled in Goshen in Egypt. Finally, he states, “The Arabian historians contend that Brahma and Abraham, their ancestor, are the same person” [emphasis added]. — www.ModernMagick.com; dmkraig.net
The Hebrew Bible adds another possibility regarding the relationship between India and Israel:
To the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, while he was still alive, and he sent them away from his son Isaac eastward, to the land of the east. — Genesis 25:6
Perhaps to highlight this relationship in comparison the son of King David, the Hebrew Bible later reads:
Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of the children of the East. — 1 Kings 5:10
Abraham/Sarah and Brahma/Saraswati are not the only overlapping figures between Hindu and Hebrew traditions. Ajit Vadakayil points out that there is also Adam/Eve and Adhama/ Havyavati, along with Noah and Nyuha or Manu (Blogspot.com). As well, the Hebrew religion is one among a group of traditions (including Islam and Christianity) that believe that Abraham is their father. As well, since Brahma has will-born sons, Brahmanaspati (Lord of the Brahman Priests) and Brihaspati (Lord of the Burden Carriers), their relationship with Abraham cannot be answered so simply as the introductory title is asking. That is, the good qualities exemplified in Abraham are immortally deified in Brahma, while Brahma’s wish born sons live out these qualities on earth, much like Abraham. These qualities of Brahmanaspati/Brihaspati, the sons of Angiras, (the Fire Clan wish-born of Brahma) reflect remarkably with those of Abraham.
The Ten Common Themes between Brahma (with his wish born sons) and Abraham
This research is not about rewriting the history of Judaism or Hinduism. The purpose is to develop a greater understanding of Abraham by way of his identity as Brahma and/or Brahma by way of his identity as Abraham. This possibility would be advantageous to both the Hebrew and Hindu readers. Keeping this advantage in mind, consider the following chart reviewing the similarities of Abraham and Brahma from the Hebrew Bible and the sacred Hindu texts:
1.) Divine Eternal Lineage of Brahma and Abraham (also see Supplements and Vocabulary: Brahma; )
Note: Brahma in the Rig Veda (RV), Sama Veda (SV), Atharva Veda (AV), Upanishads (-U); Abraham in the Hebrew Bible and Christian New Testament).
i. Brahma as Father of All (RV7.97b), while Abraham as Father of many nations (Gen 17:5)
ii. Brahma is Creator of Universe (BG14.1-4, AV18.1.47, AV19.22.21), while Abraham’s descendants number as the stars of the sky.
iii. Brahman Milky Way is the Celestial Cow/Dolphin; with 14 Constellations on right side of Milky Way (AV20.90.1,CU3.2.4-5) and 14 Constellations on the left, while Abraham’s star-like descendants number 14 generation from Abraham to King David; 14 from David to the Babylonian exile and 14 from Babylon to Jesus (Matt1:17).
iv. Brahma bore all Gods (CU8.15.1), Celestial Beings and Enlightened Ones out of his body (RV1.40.5,7; MunU1.1.1-2), while God makes Abraham fruitful and the Genesis text literally reads: ‘kings come out from him’ (Gen 17:6).
v. Brahma’s son, Daksha, was born from his right thumb, while a grandson of Abraham is called Benjamin (lit. Son of the Right Hand).
vi. Brahma and Sarasvati dwelt 100 years together then bore their first son, while Abraham was 100 when Sarah, at 90, bore Isaac (Gen 21.5).
vii. One who is named, Brahmanaspati (RV3.25.5b) is also named Brihaspati (RV2.23.1-2), while Abram is given a new name, Abraham, in the Divine Covenant (Gen 17:5).
viii. Brahma and Vishnu argued as to who was the Creator, then Shiva appeared in a flaming Lingam and they decided to make it the sacrificial symbol of fertility, while Abraham’s covenant with God is signed by circumcision (Gen 17:10-11).
Other Vedic sources: Creation hymn and meditation AU1.1-4; 3; 4; 5; other sources RV3.23.2.; RV3.23.17; RV3.23.19.; RV3.25.2b.; RV7.97.2b; Sama Veda 7.4.7; Atharva Veda 4.1-7; AV18.1.47.
The moving of the stars of the Celestial Cow (the Milky Way) represents the passing of the generations of humanity. The 100 Brahma years, toward the birth of the first man of the Divine Covenant, represent an ancestral promise that lasts until the end of the world by way of divine relationship and fruitfulness. The Covenant of Abraham is confirmed by the miraculous sign of a son born on his 100th year and Sarah’s 90th.
2.) The Priestly Offering of the Son of Brahma and Abraham
i. Brahma’s son (or grandson), Daksha, is killed at the offering sacrifice before all the gods, while Abraham almost offers his son Isaac.
ii. At the pleading of his father, Brihaspati (born from Brahma’s body, RV3.23.1) Daksha is resurrected with the head of a ram, while Abraham finds a ram caught in a bush to sacrifice in place of his son Isaac (Gen 22:1-13).
iii. Brahma’s hidden offering (AV19.42.1-2), relates to Abraham’s offering of a ram caught in a bush.
iv. Nachiketas is offered by his father Vagasravasa (Gautama) who was offering gifts (daksina) to Yama, the Underworld god of death (KatU1-3; cf. Gen22.1-13)
v. Brahma’s son Manu’s offspring witness the sacrifice (CU4.17.9-10; CU8.14.1; 8.15.1), which confirms the offering of Abraham as reflective of a generational priesthood (Brahma’s will-born son, Brahmanaspati is also invoked to aid the patron of the sacrifice and his offspring, AV19.63.1).
vi. Brahma, Chief of the priestly sacrifice, is the personification of Brahman (AV19.72.1; RV1.18.7-11), while Abraham is a true personified High Priest if he would go so far as to offer his own dear son.
vii. The Priesthood of Brihaspati (AV20.90.1), will-born son of Brahma, mingles with Indra (Storm God), Agni (God of Fire, AV19.43.1) and the traveling sage (Vratya, AV15.10), confirming the traveling of Abraham seasoned with the making of altars for burnt offerings and the digging of wells for storm water and ritual cleansing.
Related Vedic Sources:
RigVeda3.23.1; RV3.24.1; RV1.40.4; RV3.23.1-3; RV2.190.1-2; RV3.24.12-13; RV3.62.4-6; RV4.49. 1-6; RV4.50.8b; RV10.182; RV10.183
Sama Veda 18.104.22.168-3; SV7.4.1; SV7.4.12; SV7.4.18.
Atharva Veda 15.10.1-11; AV19.42.1; AV19.43.1.-8; AV19.72.1.
The earthly priest’s offering to the heavenly recipient requires a complete and perfect sacrifice of the priest, since the priest was born on earth by the intervention of heaven. An animal (a ram) cut and/or plant (a tree) pressed for the Soma drink is given as a replacement for the man by divine intervention. It appears that heaven expects and enables the sacrifice to last forever even if all one has to sacrifice is mere grass, or as meditation reminds, the first Breathing In at birth and the final Breathing Out at death (like Yoga). The grass is the sign of the generous and bountiful sacred cow, since the grass as the cow’s food is easy to find and the cow does not eat the roots as does the horse and sheep. Therefore the grass offering and the sacred cow become signs of immortality, since the cow continuously provides milk and blood as food for humanity without itself dying.
3.) The Wife and Sister of Brahma and Abraham: Sarasvati and Sarah
i. Brahma’s wife and sister is Sarasvati (SV7.96.2), Her beauty is so great that Brahma grew 4 faces to view her from the every direction (AV19.17; KenU3), while Abraham’s wife, Sarah, is also called his sister (Gen 20:12) and is beautiful (Gen 12:14).
ii. Compared to Brahma with faces of the four directions is Abraham who when called by God was to look North, East, West and South to the promised land, the 4 directions (Gen 13:14).
iii. The River Sarasvati (PraU1.6) has a tributary named Ghaggar, reflective of the name of Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar.
iv. Brahma’s sister Tara is husband of Brhaspati (born of Brahma’s body or earthly aspect of Brahma), while Abraham’s father is named Terah (Gen 11:31)
v. Soma, God of the Immortal Drink Of the Gods, takes Tara away and She is returned to Brhaspati by Brahma. Then Tara gives birth to Budha, while her husband, Brhaspati (Brahmanaspati), worries the child is son of the God Soma and he is (AV20.125.4-5). In the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Genesis Apocryphon tells of Lamech’s concern over the beauty of Noah, believing he must be a child of the Celestial Being Angels. Manu, Brahma and Sarasvati’s son, first man and deluge survivor of Indian mythology is equated with the Hebrew Adam, Isaac and Noah.
vi. Brahma is Lord of medicine and healing (RV1.18.2), while Abraham heals Abimalech and his wife of barrenness (Gen 20:17, Genesis Apocryphon). The purpose for the barrenness of Abimalech was that he abducted the wife of Abraham, Sarah, similar to the abduction of Tara, the wife of Brahmanaspati. The Atharva Veda contains a prayer for protection from the abduction of a Brahman’s wife (AV5.17).
vi. Sarasvati is Goddess of Speech, named Vac, (AV5.10.8c; RV1.40.3; CU7.2.1-2), while Abram harkens to the voice of Sarai/Sarah (Gen 16:2; Gen 21:6,12). Sarasvati in her role as Vac, Goddess of Speech, communes with Brahma and the 7 Rsis who are represented in the Big Dipper (BU2.2.3). Brahma’s wish born sons, Brihaspati and Brahmanaspati are Lords of Speech in the Upanishads (BU1.3.20-21; CU1.2.11.;1.3.5-6).
vii. Sarasvati is called upon with all the attributes of Brahma: bright, wealthy, prayerful with sacrifice (SV22.214.171.124) and heroine of offspring (RV1.164.49; BU6.4.27-28), just as the Divine Covenant with Abraham invested with similar attributes (enlightenment, wealth, offering and offspring) was only made possible by with Sarah by his side.
Further Vedic Sources: RV2.30.8; RV2.41.16-21; RV10.184.1-3; RV2.32.6-8; RV7.97.8a; See Rig Veda Hymns to the River Sarasvati; RV1.40.3; RV7.97.5b; Sama Veda 126.96.36.199-5.; SV188.8.131.52; Atharva Veda 18.1.41-47, 60-61
Sarasvati is born out of the body of Brahma, much like Eve by Adam’s rib. Such brother and sister becoming husband and wife does not contradict morality in the mystical landscape. ‘From the side’ expresses the value of equality in the covenantal relationship. The man, Abraham, harkens the voice of the woman, Sarah, who requests justice and peace for her and her son Isaac. Sarasvati becomes the Guardian of Speech, the voice for her children to be sung in the hymns of the divine sacrifice for all time. Brhaspati and Tara (aspects of Brahma and Sarasvati) with child, Daksha, is resurrected with the Ram’s head, perhaps renamed as the enlightened Budha. This Hindu lore provides a bridge of communion between the Hindu and Buddhist spiritualities. In the Hindu lore, the Ram means sacrifice, therefore Budha is offered completely as a newborn child of Soma. Together the family of Brhaspati, Tara and Budha offer drink from the pressed man-shaped stem of the Soma plant from the mountains. Perhaps it was the very plant that caught the ram by the horns to spare the life of Isaac, another spiritual bridge toward the Hebrew faith.
This birthing from the side offers a view from paradise of the beauty and the offering of the woman, Sarah, as an essential sign of the Divine life. She is so essential that she carries with herself the miraculous sign of offspring, the Divine mandate of transferring enlightened wisdom by her speech (Sarasvati as Vac) and the nourishment required for the spiritual covenant to carry on to the end of time, even to the Immortal.
4.) Brahma and Abraham as Patron of Travelers
i. Brahma is lord of paths and friend of travelers (RV2.190.6), while Abraham journeys from Ur to Canaan and Egypt (Gen 11-14 and the circumference of the Middle East in the Genesis Apocryphon).
ii. Priestly hymn for Brihaspati regards traveling sage (Vratya) as high guest of the King to enlighten the kingdom (AV15.10), while Abraham honors the 3 divine beings as guests and they enlighten him of his eternal offspring.
iii. Brihaspati guides the contestants of a race AV20.16.2b
Other Vedic Sources: RV3.23.6-7.; RV3.26.4a.; RV7.97.8b
In the Genesis Apocryphon of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Abraham takes a journey around the entire Middle-East along the bodies of water of the Mediterranean, the Euphrates, the Red Sea, the Sea of Reeds and back to the Oak of Mamre.
And I, Abram, departed to travel …' I began my journey at the river Gihon and traveled along the coast of the sea until I came to the Mountain of the Bull [Taurus]. Then I traveled from the coast of the Great Salt Sea and journeyed towards the east… until I came to the river Euphrates. I journeyed along the Euphrates until I came to the Red Sea in the east…. Then I pursued my way in the south until I came to the river Gihon, and returning, I came to my house in peace and found all things prosperous there. I went to dwell at the Oaks of Mamre, which is at Hebron… I built an altar there, and laid on it a sacrifice… to the Most High God. I ate and drank there… all the men of my household, and I sent for Mamre, Ornam, and Eshkol, the three Amorite brothers, my friends, and they ate and drank with me. — from the Genesis Apocryphon of the Dead Sea Scrolls
The Hindu call this great circular journey the Pradaksina (Daksina – gift for Brahma priest of the Soma Sacrifice; Daksha – Brahma’s child with head of the Ram). At the Gihon River, Abraham started and finished his journey. This is one of the four rivers flowing out of the Garden of Eden. Therefore, our meditation begins and ends in paradise. It is as easy as Jacob falling asleep with nothing more to offer but a rock used for a pillow. Paradise came down to him in his sleep and rose back up to paradise with angels using a ladder. Gihon means to Spring Forth, which is the promise given to Abraham in the last line of the Genesis Apocryphon regarding the miraculous birth of Isaac:
And he (the Lord) said to him, "… one who shall spring from your body shall inherit from you." — from the Genesis Apocryphon
Abraham’s ability to embrace the world on his sacred journey not only encircles the earth, but reaches to the ends of time as well by the springing forth of his children. Brahma’s children are not the only ones to practice the Pradaksina like Abraham. One profound example is the Islamic Hajj, the journey of Abraham restored by Mohammad, which culminates in the circular journey around Abraham’s Temple in Mecca.
5.) Brahma as Lord of the Light and Abraham from Ur, City of Light
i. Brihaspati gives the daily light of wisdom (RV2.190.3), dwells in the light (AV20.90.1) and becomes Sukra (Bright, pure, seed, Venus) Brihaspati created all (MU7.9; See Lotus Sutra 8: the Apparitional City, where Brahma’s abode lights up at the birth of a Buddha), while Abraham is from the Ur, meaning City of Light (Gen 11:31).
ii. Brahma increases the Brahman’s luster (the brightness of the priest; KatU5.8; KauU1.6; AV19.71.1), which is the same cleansing light Abraham manifested in the potential offering up of his own dear son, Isaac.
Further Vedic Sources: RV3.23.2; RV6.73.1.
Brihaspati (will born son/aspect of Brahma) dwells in the light like Abraham in the City of Light, Ur. There is a path away from the City of Light that leads into the darkness of the unknown. This journey is itself an offering. A continuation of that sacrifice is encouraged by the single vow requested, in breathing in and breathing out the life given to the children of Brahma/Abraham. How does one follow in the footsteps of Brahma or Abraham? Follow them from the City of Light in the Golden Age of Enlightened Ones, from Paradise to earth and back. This is the essential journey of the human heart to bring light to the world in an ever new dawn of enlightenment.
6.) The Generous and Bountiful Brahma and Abraham
i. Give gifts to the Brahman priest for fame that will never decay (RV1.40.4) and serve Brahmanaspati with gifts and sacrifices, the Father and Steer of all the Gods (RV4.50.6), much like Abraham gives a tithe to Melchizedek (Gen 14:20) and Melchizedek brings Abraham bread and wine (Gen 14:18).
ii. Brahma offers cattle (KenU3) horses, holy food and bountiful refreshments (RV20.88.; RV1.40.1), and his will-born son, Brihaspati, gives fullness of life, cattle, horses, men and heroes (AV20.16.12), while Abraham offers heifer, goat, lamb, dove and pigeon (Gen 15:9).
iii. Brahma is Lord of prosperity and cattle (RV1.18.2), Brihaspati is equated with the holy power of Brahma (SV5.6.2), Brihaspati, with Indra, Soma and others, are Lord’s of wealth invoked for prosperity in vital breath, the senses, food, etc. (AV19.58, AV20.87.7 AV20.17.12), while Abraham is wealthy in cattle, gold, flocks, herds and tents (Gen 13:2-5) and Abraham is generous with that wealth.
iv. Brihaspati wins food for the priest to eat from the offering by the holy power of the gods and Brihaspati (named as Brahmanaspati) increases priest with life, breath, off-spring, cattle, and fame (AV19.63.1), while Abraham offers the 3 divine beings water, feet washing, shade, cakes, dressed calf, curds and milk, and he waits on them. Gen 18:1-8. In an almost identical verse as AV 19.63.1,
Brahma increases priest with life, breath, children, cattle, fame, wealth and Brahman’s luster (AV19.71.1). This is another confirmation that the will-born sons of Brahma (such as Brihaspati, Budha, Manu, etc) are either aspects of him or imitators of him in an unbroken lineage.
v. Brihaspati with Indra of great wealth, drink Soma, seated on the wide grass to delight in pleasant food (AV20.13.1-2), while Abraham honors the three sons of Canaan with a great feast at Mamre (Genesis Apocryphon).
More Vedic Sources: RV1.40.4; RV3.24.9; RV3.24.12; RV1.40.7a; RV2.190.8; RV3.23.7; RV3.24.9-10; RV3.25.2b; RV4.50.1,3; RV4.50.8; RV7.97.7; RV2.190.5; RV3.23.9-10; RV3.24.15-16; RV4.50.6b,10-11a; RV7.97.9-10; Atharva Veda 19.58.1-6; AV19.63.1; AV19.71.1; AV20.13.1-2; AV20.88.1-6
Abraham is aware that having a divine covenant leads to an unlimited Source. The result is an overwhelming generosity, surrounding Abraham with friendship. The greatest gift of Brihaspati (will born son/ aspect of Brahma) is the release of the cows of the Underworld giving humanity the bounty of a sacrifice that never dies (see 10 Champion of the Underworld below). That is, the cow offers milk, like the Soma offering, allowing the cow, the priest and the people to be nourished. No one has to die. This generosity is requested from the livelihood of the individual which becomes a holy offering before the sacrificial fire or hearth of the home. In a covenant like Abraham’s, Brahma or God is an eternally generous Father, ever present and always pleased in giving and receiving of gifts, meals and life accessible to all.
7.) Brahma and Abraham as Mighty Defender
i. Brahma is Lord of warfare (RV1.18.3-5; AV20.90.3), with prayer for protection against wicked men to Brahmanaspati (AV6.6.1-3), a hymn for protection in battle (AV19.13) and with Brihaspati like a fort of refuge (AV19.17.10) while Abraham defeats 4 Kings (Gen 14:8-15).
ii. Brihaspati won the captives (cows: sign of spirits of the dead) down from the mountains (AV20.16.3), while Abraham rescued his nephew, Lot, kidnapped by the 4 kings (Gen 14:8-15).
iii. Brihaspati protects us from offenders in all directions (AV20.17.11), while Abraham is called to a Divine Covenant where his ancestors would inherit the land he viewed in every direction (Gen13:14).
More Vedic Sources: RV1.40.2,8; RV3.24.11; RV.25.1-4; RV4.50.9-11; RV2.190.5-6,8; RV3.23.4-17; RV3.24.9; RV3.24.14; RV3.25.1-2a; RV3.26.1-4; RV3.30.9b-11; RV4.50.9b; RV6.73.2-3;
Sama Veda 184.108.40.206; SV2.4.13; Atharva Veda 6.6.1; AV8.8.19; AV19.13.8-9; AV19.17.10.
Abraham trusted in a Brahma-like God, knowing the battle belongs to the Lord. Even if he was afraid, he did not hesitate and so trusted fully in God his Shield and Strength. His head was always in paradise viewing circumstances on the earth from the Divine perspective. Where there was no life, Abraham brought life by digging wells; where there was humans acting unkindly to the poor, Abraham rescued them, not even plundering his enemy; where God’s own justice was raining down on Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham tempered the wrath like the Deluge forming rivers off of Siva’s hair.
8.) Brahma and Abraham as Righteous Plunderer
i. Brahma is Lord of boon of war (RV1.40.2-3) and offerings of boons are sent to Brahma’s world (AV19.71.1), while Abraham defeats the four kings and retrieves the war boon, but then refuses it, allowing the spoils to be returned to the five kings of which it belonged and Abraham put his trust in God alone as shield and reward (Gen 14:16, 22).
ii. The 5 fold gift of Brahmanaspati (RV1.40.2-3; RV3.23.13; RV3.23.15), is likened to Abraham retrieving the spoils of five kings; Manu3. 67-70... Teaching (and studying) is the sacrifice (offered) to Brahman, the (offerings of water and food called) Tarpana the sacrifice to the manes, the burnt oblation the sacrifice offered to the gods, the Bali offering that offered to the Bhutas, and the hospitable reception of guests the offering to men. (See five gifts of Abraham, Gen21.12 and/or 14.20; 18.1-8; 22.1-13; 21.14; Gen25.6).
The correlation between Brahma and Abraham in the five-fold sacrifice in the later book of Manu is telling of a longstanding shared tradition in India beyond the Vedas and Upanishads. It is not a question of whether Abraham’s spirituality was transferred to the Hindu or visa-versa, but rather of the spiritual value at work. It is valuable enough to share, much like the five-fold offerings themselves and it is bearing fruit among not only the Hindu and Buddhists, but the Muslims, Hebrews and Christians as well. It is about celebrating a common treasure, since, like a vast flowing river, it is an eternal vow there is no need to hoard it.
9.) Brahma and Abraham as Intercessor for the Poor
i. Brahma mediates between heaven and earth (RV2.190.4), while Abraham intercedes for Sodom and Gomorrah Gen 18:20-32
ii. Brahma is divine Friend of humanity (RV1.18.6), while Abraham’s seed is ‘friend’ of God Is 41:8. Brihaspati is friend of marriages (AV20.16.2b).
More Vedic Sources: RV2.190.6; RV.25.1-5; RV3.23.1; RV3.23.4; RV3.23.8
The generosity of the Divine (Brahma for the Hindu; El for the Hebrew) is eternal. Abraham, in all humility and trust, knew this about his God. Therefore, why not intercede for those who are damned before the Seat of Divine Justice. Why not ask Brahma or El to step down from the throne and be a friend. If the sacrifice of breathing in and breathing out, of giving and receiving life’s bounty is eternal, then there are no restrictions and by way of mercy are accessible to all.
10.) Brahma and Abraham as Champion of the Underworld
i. Brahma digs into the underworld (RV4.50.3b), to retrieve the sacred cows, slay demons and finds again the light, bringing peace between heaven and earth (Hymn of Brihaspati retrieving the cows from the Underworld: AV20.91.1-3), while Abraham dug a well contested by Abimalech in which they made a covenant by offering up sheep and oxen to bring peace between their nations (Gen 21:25-34).
ii. The Vedic rivers of the underworld are unleashed on earth (RV3.23.3), as in the Great Deluge of Noah, Abraham’s ancestor. In another Hindu account, Brahma and Sarasvati’s first son and first human being, named Manu, is Noah figure of the Hindu Flood. ‘He from the depth hath been reborn forever, Brihaspati, the world's sole Lord and Ruler’ (AV4.1.5). Abraham purchased a cave for the burial of his family. Abraham’s father, Terah, is the 10th generation from relation to Noah.
More Vedic Sources: RV3.23.18; RV3.24.2-8, 14b; RV3.25.3-5; RV4.50.4.
According to Brahma, this digging of wells on earth, is a heavenly project. The sacred cow’s flowing milk represents these eternal springs for their nourishing, purifying and ever moving qualities. Like Soma, the sacred offering of the Celestial Cow flowing in the Milky Way, the stars of its belly are the ancestors flowing as the deluge waters falling from the heavenly river, Sarasvati (Indus, Ganges, etc.). The earthly meeting between Abraham and Abimalech concerning the digging of wells and bringing up of water calls for a peace offering of sheep and oxen. The covenant between God and Abraham overflows into a relationship with all other peoples (and the animals, plants and land). When the water bursts forth with the cows of the Underworld (equated with the rising of the stars of the Milky Way at night), the first human being to be recreated in Hindu lore is the son of Brahma and Sarasvati named Manu (the Hindu version of Adam and Noah stories combined).
To equate Manu with Isaac focuses the Hindu flood on the celestial purification sacrifice applied from generation to generation. To equate Isaac with Manu points the salvific Ram caught in the tree on the mount toward the purification of the earth.
Brahma and his will born son or sacrificial aspect, Brahmanaspati (Brihaspati), have met somehow with Abraham at a certain crossroads in spiritual history. The commonalities between Rig Veda worship of Brahma and Sarasvati are strikingly similar to the experiences of Abraham and Sarah in the Hebrew Bible. Abraham was at least a model for the true Brahman in the heart of the people of early India. The development of Judaism appeared to be captivated by a true Brahman listening to the heart of his Divine Pati, or Lord who made a covenant that filled the world with his will born children.
The Relationship of the Ten Brahma/Abraham Themes to World Religions
The ten themes from the life of Abraham are listed in order of importance in the Vedas based on their relationship to Brahma (or his will born son Brahmanaspati, also called Brihaspati):
High Veda Occurrence
Priestly Offering (A, J, B, M, K); Generous and Bountiful (K); Mighty Defender (M); Underworld Champion (J)
Moderate Veda Occurrence
Wife and Sister Intercedes for Poor (A, J, B, M, K); Eternal Lineage (A); Righteous Plunderer
Light Veda Occurrence
Lord of the Light (B); Patron of Travelers (M)
A: Abraham; J: Jesus; B: Buddha; M: Mohammad; K: Krishna.
Given the parallels between Abraham and Brahma presented above it stands to reason that Abraham was likely influenced by Vedic forms of spirituality, while Abraham was also likely upheld by these Vedic authors as a saint, prophet, deified ancestor or son of God (Abraham may in fact be Brahma’s will born son, Brahmanaspati/Brihaspati).
The emphasis of these early authors of Hindu writing remains the desire to feed the ancestors, particularly with the Soma sacrifice (Priestly Offering), toward immortality with gods in the afterlife. The lavishing meal of the Soma sacrifice (Generous and Bountiful) empowered the mortals and the gods to defeat underworld enemies and join Brahmanaspati (Mighty Defender and Champion of the Underworld) in releasing from the sacred cows of the Underworld. Given that the cows offer milk and eat grass without destroying the roots, they were considered generous and bountiful signs and witnesses of the soul’s immortality.
The spirituality of today benefits from a broader understanding of the history of our ancestral heroes and foundation of our religious beliefs. In essence, Abraham and Brahma take us from our separate paths down a long road of history to a dwelling like Ur, City of Lights, where the shadows, fears, doubts and mistakes fade into a newer fuller circle of Enlightenment.
Ballou, R. O. (Ed.), 1972. The Viking Portable Library World Bible. New York: The Viking Press.