World Vedic Heritage: A History of Histories by P.N. Oak
Home | About | Events | World Sankirtan Party | Inside Nam Hatta | eBooks | Site Map | Submit | Contact | Store          

World Sankirtan Party
Inside Nam Hatta
View Site Map

The Bhaktivedantas
Krishna Books
What is Hare Krishna?
The Founder-Acharya
Hare Krishna Mantra
Sankirtan Movement
Personality of Godhead
Lord Chaitanya
A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Hansadutta das
Events: Kirtan Festival
World Sankirtan Party

Submit News


© 2004 - Hansadutta das
Home > VEDIC > Reclining Vishnu Statues

[Posted 13 September 2006]

Reclining Vishnu Statues

P.N. Oak

Comment Send this story to a friend Printer Friendly Page

Lord Vishnu reclining on Sesha NagaSince according to Vedic tradition Lord Vishnu reclining on the coils of the eternal cobra created the cosmos, it is but natural that statues depicting Lord Vishnu as the creator and sustainer of the universe should have been erected at important locations throughout the world just as every household likes to nostalgically preserve and consecrate a picture of its remotest known ancestor. Conversely, the existence of Lord Vishnu's statues at a number of locations is strong evidence of the universality of Vedic culture from the beginning of the world.

For those who find it difficult to believe in such a ready-made creation, we would like to quote the words of a renowned scholar and an ex-Assistant Director General of Archaeology under the British administration in India, Mr. B.C. Chhabra. He writes,

"I do not want to go deep into the larger question of the theory of evolution, which is today at the base of archaeological interpretations, but I must need say that the history of Indian civilization begins with knowledge and not with barbarism. The kind of knowledge which has been preserved therein has stood the test of time and is still unsurpassed in certain respects. It believes in an evolution of limited extent only and that for a definite period of time in the history of man's life, as also in that of a nation. To base the entire history of mankind, down to the present day, on the ape-man and the archaeological age of Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron is a travesty of facts. Even in the present age of great scientific achievements the ape-man cannot produce the homosapiens, obviously because they are two different species. Recent archaeological excavations by Soviet archaeologists have proved abundantly that these ages have no meaning because different cultural ages are found in different regions and that sometimes they co-existed in the same region, which cannot be explained on the basis of the theory of evolution. Most of the objects discovered in these excavations belong to periods of less than 2000 B.C. Then what about the great civilizations of Crete, Egypt and Sumeria, whose findings are still a wonder of the world? Indians believe in the cycle theory (Meghdut 2/46): birth, rise, climax, decline and death, which is nature's law."

Those are wise words. They rightly question the very basic assumptions of modern archaeologists and imply that the Vedic concept of creation as a going concern is more cogent. The entire ancient world believed it to be so, and therefore statues of the reclining Vishnu used to be erected all over.

The Vishnu Statue in Delhi

In India itself a gigantic statue of the reclining Vishnu lay under the so-called Qutub Tower in Delhi, amidst a lake. The statue was so huge that the Tower appeared to be a slender lotus stem rising from Vishnu's navel. The tower was seven-storied to symbolize the concept of the 7th heaven. At its top was a dome. Seated under the dome on a lotus seat was the four-faced Brahma, holding the Vedas. Brahma was shown as presiding over and supervising the creation from his heavenly perch. Around the tower on the ground was the zodiacal ecliptic delineated by temples symbolizing the 27 constellations. The stately gateway leading to that Nakshatralaya (i.e. Constellation Enclave) known as Alai Gateway still stands there. The Vishnu statue was erected in Delhi (meaning "threshold" in Sanskrit), because Indraprastha, the capital of Mahabharat times, was the hub of the Vedic world.

Below, from left: Qutub Tower and surrounding ruins; Remnants of Vedic pillars remaining in the Qutub complex
Vedic sculptures, reliefs, remnants remaining at Qutub complexQutub Minar and surrounding ruins

The Vishnu Statue in Britain

In the opening part of the introduction to the volume titled A Complete History of the Druids [1], it is stated, "It will be necessary to give an explanation of the pillars, the Circle and Serpent."

On page 9 of the same book it is observed, "This Serpent was the symbol of light and wisdom. Its name Seraph, particularly is so expressive."

The term Seraph is a malpronunciation of the Sanskrit term Serp (i.e. Serpent), which indicates that the ancientmost language of the British Isles, as also of other parts of the world, was Sanskrit.

On page 15 of the same book, it is asserted, "It may rationally be concluded from the various opinions of the best historians that thi island received its first inhabitants form the eastern parts of the world."

Since people from the East (i.e. India) were the earliest inhabitants of Britain, they naturally erected a statue of Lord Vishnu, the progenitor of the world.

The name "Isle of Angelsey" in Britain derives from the Sanskrit name of Lord Vishnu as Angulesh, i.e. the Lord of the Angul country. The British Isles were designated Angulsthan, i.e. a finger-size, finger-length country. If the European continent is likened to a palm, then the British Isles appear to be an extended finger. Therefore, Sanskrit-speaking explorers named it Angulsthan. It is that same term which later came to be pronounced as Angul and i.e. England.

The book on Druids mentioned above states on page 36 that "Many temples of the Druids are said to be yet in part remaining in this island (i.e. the Isle of Man) and that of Angelsey ... many of them were made of extraordinary large stones as at Abiry and Stonehenge."

Page 54 describes,

"Abiry [now known as Avebury] is founded on the more elevated part of a plain ... the entire figure of it (the ruins) is a Seraph or winged serpent transmitted through a circle. ... The outer part of the grand circle is a vast and lofty Vallum, with a very deep ditch on the inside of it near 80 ft or 45 cubits broad. Its diameter 750 cubits, its circumference 225 cubits, the enclosed area about 22 acres. Within the ditch was formed a circle of 100 enormous stones set upright, which were generally 15, 16 or 17 ft high, and near as much in breadth. ... Out of these 100 stones, 44 were still visible when Dr. Stukeley was there in the year 1722, whereof 17 were standing and 27 thrown down or reclining. Ten of remaining had been demolished by Tom Robinson in the year 1700, the vestigia of the rest were still discernible. With this mighty colonnade of 100 such stones in perfection, there must have been a most agreeable walk between them and the ditch. It is scarcely possible for us to form a notion of the grand and beautiful appearance it must then have made."
Avebury aka Abiry or Abury
The postulated original layout of the circles at Avebury [Abiry aka Abury] Henge

(On pages 56 to 59 is added:)

"Most of the houses, walls and outhouses of this town are built with the materials of these stones that have been fired and broken. ... Let us walk out now by the southern entrance of the town, passing the Vallum. This is Via Sacra ... the summit of the Overtone Hills is the hak-pen (a compound oriental word signifying the Serpent's head), which is 4000 cubits from the Vallum of Abiry. The people have a high notion of it and still call it the Sanctuary... which when in perfection was without question the most glorious temple of the kind which the world has ever heard of. That it was really a temple sacred to the ever-blessed and undivided Trinity, every circumstance, every consideration tends to persuade us... The name itself of Abiry (ABIRY, Potentates), signifying in the language of its founders "The Mighty Ones".
Below, from left: entrance to West Kennett Long Barrow, Avebury;  aerial view of The Sanctuary, Avebury; Stone Circle, Avebury
stone circle at Avebury The Sanctuary, AveburyWest Kennett Long Barrow, Avebury

The ditch mentioned above was for the lake, since Lord Vishnu is always depicted as reclining on the coils of a cobra amidst a lake. The opening sentences of the chapter of Genesis of the Old Testament of the Bible actually refer to the scene, when it says that at the time of creation, the spirit of God was floating on water.

The temple was a gigantic and glorious sanctuary of world fame, and the Vedic trinity of the three Mighty Ones, via Brahma the creator, Vishnu the sustainer and Shiva the destroyer were all there in the form of gigantic statues. The Druids supervised the temple. The above description makes it clear that the Isle of Angelsey was famous in the ancient world for its majestic an massive temple depicting the Vedic Trinity in gigantic stone-statuary as the divine governors of the world.

Reclining Vishnu in the Kaba

The Kaba in Mecca is a huge temple complex built in the hoary past to a Vedic Tantric design with the pattern of a square set askew over another square to form the ubiquitous Vedic octagonal design.

An ancient Sanskrit scripture known as Harihareshwar Mahatmya has the following couplet:

which mentions Lord Vishnu's holy footprint consecrated at three main centres in the world, namely one in Gaya (in India), the other in Mecca, and the third near Shukla Teertha, i.e. Abiry.

This information, when coupled with the information from Muslim sources that there were 360 idols in the temple, indicates that Lord Vishnu was surrounded by an entourage of other deities, of which Lord Shiva was one. But the Muslims being iconoclasts, they destroyed the idols of other deities, while Shiva's emblem, a round, cylindrical, dark, black-red stone, they retained as a central, featureless object of reverence.

The Muslim Palestinian name Yasser Arafat is in fact Sri Haripad, i.e. the Holy feet of Lord (God) Hari. This name and others commemorate the idol of Vishnu that was enshrined in the centre of the octagonal Kaba shrine.

ground plan of the Kaba at Mecca
Ground plan of the Kaba at Mecca
(click on image to magnify)

Above is the ground-plan of the hoary Kaba (Vishnu) temple constructed on the esoteric, Tantric, octagonal Vedic pattern in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The eight corners occupied the images of the sentinel Vedic deities Indra, Varun, Yama, Agni, Vayu, Juber, Ishan and Nirut.

The central square represents the present truncated Kaba, the central sanctum housing the image of the Reclining Vishnu "in labour". Therefore this shrine is remembered even in convert, Islamic tradition as the Navel of the World.

Its other name "Haram" is the Sanskrit term "Hariyam", i.e. the shrine of Lord Vishnu alias Hari.

Note the rectangular dent near the upper left corner of the central square. That marks the spot where the cylindrical Shivling stone is vertically partially embedded on the exterior of the southeast corner of the Kaba wall. Therefore perambulation of the Shivling involves circling the entire Kaba building. Even after conversion, Muslims feel compelled to observe the seven-fold ancient Vedic perambulation. The Kaba sanctum itself is always kept secretively shut to hide its Vedic interior.

The seven-stories-high Kaba building is covered perpetually by a ghilaf, i.e. a black burqa, hiding its Vedic saffron-colour stone surface, lotus designs and what are believed to be Sanskrit inscriptions on the inner side of the sanctum walls. International pressure on the Saudi government should continue to be exerted by all countries until the Kaba is thrown open to all people as in pre-Muslim times.

Reclining Vishnu in Rome

The name Vishnu is pronounced as Vistu even in India, and so it used to be pronounced in Europe. Therefore Vestal Virgins in Rome were girls dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

The entire terminology associated with ancient historic Rome will be found to be Vedic, Sanskrit. The Ventine hill unde the monastery of St. Saba derives its name from Avanti, a famous ancient city in India. The monstery of Saba is an ancient Shiva temple. The Paletine Hill in Rome is the counterpart of Palitana, a city in the Saurashtra region of India noted for its hill covered with numerous temples.

At Rome, the vault of the old well-house of the capitol is called the Tullianum. Such well-houses are a common feature of ancient Hindu temples and palaces. They may still be seen in Lucknow, in the Tejo Mahalaya (alias Taj Mahal) temple palace in Agra, and in Ashoka's palace (wrongly called Ferozshah Kotla) in Delhi and in several other princely capitols. Such well-houses are known as Baoli-Mahals in Hindu parlance.

"The gates of Roma Quadrata on the Palatine were not bare openings in the line of wall but consisted of a square chamber with two dors, one opening inwards an the other outwards. The temple of Janus was a modification of such a gateway chamber."

That description is taken from page XXIV of the Introduction to the volume titled Rome and the Campagna by R. Burn (Deighton, Bell & Co., London, 1871).

Those square gateways are a Hindu feature. They may be seen in almost every historic mansion in India. In fact, we would like to suggest a slight amendment. It may probably have escaped the notice of the above-mentioned author Robert Burn (Fellow and Tutor at Trinity College, Cambridge, U.K.) that the gateways have a subtle octagonal feature about them. In the interior, every corner usually has some kind of a joint, which gives it the appearance of a twin, turning the square into an octagon.


Ganesh receives homage at the entrance before one enters the sanctum to worship the main deity.

The western side of the Tiber Valley in Rome is bounded by Vatican hill and the long ridge of the Janiculum.

The Vatican is the Sanskrit name Vatica, i.e. Vedic hermitage. The term Janiculum is the Sanskrit term Ganesalayam, i.e. a temple of Lord Ganesh.

The Capitoline Hill and the Janiculum Hill are opposite to each other. In between them flows the Tiber. On both those hills were temples of Vedic deities. On the Capitoline was the temple of Saturn, and on the Janiculum was that of Ganesh.

Thus, as in the Kaba (Mecca), in Rome too, Lord Vishnu was surrounded by a number of other deities.

"...Historians and poets of Imperial Rome give us a description of the solemn ceremony observed on the occasion of marking out the limits of a new settlement.... a bull and a cow were yoked together, the cow being placed on the inner side, a furrow was made with a plough round the proposed site. This was done on a lucky day to satisfy religious scruples...." [2]

This procedure of choosing an auspicious day with reference to astrology and braeking the ground for a new city with a plough drawn by kine is Vedic practice. As late as the early 17th century, Shivaji, a Maratha ruler of India, adopted the same procedure when he first arrived in Pune city to look after his fief. He had the land furrowed with a gold-tipped plough.

The Arch of Constantine in Rome is a triple archway with a tall arch in the centre, flanked by two smaller arches. This also is a common sight in India.

"The temple of Hercules Victor was pulled down under Sixtus IV. The statue of Hercules in bronze now in the capitol was found there," records R. Burn.

Hercules is the Sanskrit term Heri-cul-eesh, meaning the Lord of the clan of Hari, i.e. Vishnu alias Krishna. The term Hercules Victor is the Sanskrit term Hari-Vijay.

Forum Romanum is the ancientmost part of Rome. Romanum is Ramayanam, obviously because that was the central point around which the city of Rama was erected.

"The longer side of this piazza measured about 200 yards. ... Round this confined space were grouped the most important buildings of Republican Rome, the temples of the most ancient and venerated gods, the senate hose, the Comitium and the Rostra. ... The House of the Pontifex Maximus was a little further along the sacred way (Summae Sacra Via) and was called the Regia, the Atrium Regium or the Atrium Vestae. This Regia was the house of the Pontifex... The sacred spears of the God Mars were kept there...." [3]

The above is a very important passage. It pinpoints the sacred Vedic core of the ancient city of Rome. The city itself was named after Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu, alias Vishtu. Therefore the highway leading from it to the temple was known as the Regia, i.e. "royal way" i.e. Raja Marg in Sanskrit. It was also known as Vestae from Vishnu and Atrium from sage Atri. Ancient Italy was known as Etruria and its civilization was known as Etruscan civilization, and the sea to its east is known as the Adriatic Sea—all from the Vedic sage Atri, who had his Vedic establishment in Rome in remote antiquity. The office of the Pontifex Maximus, that is the chief priest of the Vishnu temple complex in Rome, originates from sage Atri. The Sanskrit term Pantah Mahan has been corrupted to Pontifex Maximus in Latin. His house was naturally a part of this great temple complex, presided over by Lord Vishnu. And as at the Kaba in Mecca, in Rome too Vishnu was surrounded by the other deities such as His incarnations Rama and Krishna and planetary deities such as Saturn and Mars.

The Italian word "Via" for highway is a truncated form of the Sanskrit term Veethi.

The chief priest (the Pontifex Maximus) was from the time of Constantine forced to call himself a Christian priest. Maximus is the Sanskrit term Mahattamas, i.e. "the topmost".

1. — p.1, Preface to A Complete History of the Druids, Their Origins, Manners, Customs, Powers, Temples, Rites and Superstitions, with an Inquiry into Their Religion and Its Coincidence with the Patriarch by Lichfield, printer T.G. Lomax, marketed by Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orms, London Back to text
2. — p.31, Rome and the Campagna by R. Burn Back to text
3. — p.41 ibid. Back to text

Reclining Vishnu Statues/ WORLD SANKIRTAN PARTY
© 2004 - Hansadutta dasa
Home | About | Events | World Sankirtan Party | Inside Nam Hatta
KRSNA WORLD blog | eBooks | View Site Map | Store
P.N. Oak
P. N. Oak (1917 - )

Related Articles

Cities and Regions Since
The Unified Field Theory of History
The 5000-Year Barrier
The Vedas
Religious Scriptures
The historical perspective...
The Evolution of Spiritual Science

Related Topics

History - Human Civilization
Vedas - Vedic Authority

Back to Top

Back to Top

Back to Top

Back to Top

Back to Top

Back to Top

Back to Top

Back to Top

Back to Top