Black as Evil

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 27 10:54:33 EST 2000

Mr. V. Sundaresan writes:
>In case it needs to be mentioned, "Mazdaism" itself represents
>one person's thoroughly dualistic reformulation of old Iranian
>religion. There is little connection with Rgvedic or post-Vedic
>India here.

I am not so sure. RV has portions that mention iron,
and being a conservative text it will take some time
for iron to get into the RV. How much time is
hard to say. Decades? A century? Prof. Witzel indicated
that RV could be around 1000-900 BCE. (Different from
"mainstream" authors Klostermaier, ... date RV to 4 or 5 thousand
years before Christ.)

Vedicists write that there are good indications that
Iranians and Vedic Aryans interacted well. There are
Iranian presence in the RV. Note that the Avestan
material is now dated back to the RV times or even
earlier. According to a Zoroastrian tradition, the prophet
lived 258 years before Alexander, which would place him
in the middle of the sixth century BC. However, this
tradition has been shown to derive from a late
calculation based on a purely Greek fiction.
P. Kingsley, The Greek origin of the Sixth century dating
of Zoroaster, BSOAS, 53, 1990, p. 245-64

>And perhaps I should also quote from the reference
>that you yourself quoted earlier. Please think about what the
>following underlined sentence from Russell implies for his own
>theory of Persian influence on Judaism and Christianity.

NG>Barnabas' use of the terms "black" and "blackness" are
NG>Jewish, Ebionite, and Greek. Behind these is teh *Mazdaist*
NG>idea of the darkness of Ahriman, and behind Ahriman is
NG>the worldwide, almost universal, use of blackness as a
NG>symbol of evil [26].

I quoted Russell with a reason. Later in the same mail,
Russell quotes classical Greek authors to "prove" that
Black as Evil is universal. Also, this Greek quotes could
derive from Persia's (Orientalizing) influence. Hence my question
posed to the Scholars in this forum: With Seth, the Egyptian
god of disorder painted white, and Hindus and ancient Tamil
texts worshipping black gods like Vishnu, is the claim
of Russell universal?! And the black/dark vs. white/light
dualism gets into the Judeo-Christian myths after their
contacts with Indo-Iranians.

With "kRSNa tvac"(=black skin) in RV 1.130.8 and 6.40.1
and Avestan White vs. Black themes, this Persian influence
in Hebrew texts will be under academic scrutiny. There are 100s
of academic publications where Sons of Light versus
Sons of Darkness led by "the Black one" originating
in Iran. Will read them in the months ahead,
updates about this Indo-Iranian heritage will take time.

N. Ganesan

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