In accordance with traditional historiography the first historical ties (mostly economical) between ancient Georgia (Kolha-Kolheti) and India are fixed in antique period: for example Plavius Ariene notes that on the left bank of the river Phazisi (the present river Rioni in the west of Georgia) is located the town of Phazisi (the name of the present seaport Poti, at the West Georgian Black Sea shore) where could be heard the speeches in sixty different languages, among them Indian languages too. ne French Georgianologist. Mari Brosse in his work "The Life of Kartli (Georgia)" (Tbilisi, 1849, p. 129) outlines that the direct or indirect commercial, political and cultural type ties between Georgia and India might have been taking place from times immemorial.
Later this idea was accepted and developed in different ways by many other Georgian scholars dedicating several significant works, but the problem fundamentally never had been explored. So in this direction the present article (published in Georgian language, in the journal Tsiskari, in December 1993) may be considered as the first attempt of fundamental research of the Indian phenomenon's reflection in different Georgian sources, describing the historical and cultural intercommunications between ancient Georgia and the Indian subcontinent.
Taking into consideration and comparing the publications of the last decades in linguistics, archaeology, ethnography, anthropology etc. we can logically conclude that hypothetically the historical and cultural elements of communication between ancient Georgia (Caucasus) and Sindhu Valley civilization are observed even from 4-1 millenium B.C., that is while intensive migration periods in the Near East (including Caucasus), towards Iran and from the Indian sub-continent until the invasion of Greeks (Alexander) on India.
Naturally, the statement of the question in this way again is reminding that none of the civilizations of the world was formed in complete isolation other than Vedic Cicilization without intercommunication with other civilizations of nearer or remote regions. In this respect Georgia is no exception, namely, the Near East should be considered as a "connecting bridge" between the Caucasian (including ancient Georgian) and the Indian sub-continent settlements in the period of formation of the cultures of the Proto-Georgian and Mesopotamian Sindhu-Valley civilizations (Dravidian), Sumers, Akhadians, which in historiography commonly is considered as an integral part of the history of the spiritual and cultural life of ancient Georgia. (See works of Kipert, Homel, S. Kramer, F. Bop, Fogt, M. Brosse, A. Snanidze, M. Tsereteli, N. Berdzenishviii, 1. Javakhishviii, J. Sharashenidze, Z. Kiknadze, Z. Gamsakhurdia, etc.)
T Gamkrelidze and Ivanov (see Indo-European Languages and Indo- Europeans, Tbilisi, 1984, p. 890) suppose that namely South of Georgia up to Mesopotamia are those regions (territories) where the linguistic and cultural intercommunications were accomplished in the 4th millenium B.C. that is the most intensive tribe migration period from India. So Proto-Dravidians Georgia (Caucasus), could not avoid communications with the relative civilization of ancient Arya/Dasuyas civilization resulting in mutual linguistic, cultural or any other type of ties, borrowing and dispersing of common words, mythology, symbols, etc.
Namely this was the reason that T. Emanow and Burrow made an attempt to compare Georgian and Sanskrit languages, or some other scholars to compare the ancient Persian alphabet (Zaden) with the Georgian. However, there are certain linguistic resemblances between Indo-Iranian and Georgian.
For example, the Sanskrit wist (= mosti) in Georgian is mustu; the Sanskrit kudi (= brush) in Georgian is kudi (= tale); the Sanskrit mala garland) in Georgian is mala (= spinal, like garland); the Sanskrit noun bandha tie) in Georgian is used as a verb bandva (=to tie); but the Sanskrit verb mil(na) to meet, to connect) in Georgian is used as a noun mili (= connecting pipe). The Sanskrit root mar(= to kill, to hit) in Georgian is carrying the same sense, to kill, grave or the sense of eternity in the words sa-mar-e (= grave), dasa-mar- eba (= to kill), mar-adi (= eternal).
The Indo-Aryan words tanu (=body), ena (=tongue), nav (=boat) in Georgian are the same: navi (=boat), tani (=body), ena (=tongue, language). According to R. Mukherji Tantra (in Tantrism) means the extension (like growing body) of process of inner consciouness of self. These three words tan, en, nav are met in Dravidian and Sumerian languages too (I. Javakhishvili and A.Lipin). The German Georgianologist Heinz Fanrich considers the resemblance of lber-Cau- casian (Proto-Georgian) and Dravidian languages to have a system character (lbero-Caucasian and Dravidian Languages, Tbilisi, 1972 (in Georgian) and Kartwelisch und Dravidianische spachparalleteit, Berlin, 1991 (in German)). It is interesting to note the following proto-Georgian and proto-Dravidian lexical parallels: tsitel (=red) in Georgian and tsitai (=red) in Tamil; tsuri (=udders) in Georgian and tsuro (=udder) in Tamil; karri (=wind) in Georgian and karri (=wind) in Tamil; etc.
The Georgian anthropologist M. Abdushelishvili (working several years in India) supposes that the Dasauys were in communication with ancient Mesopotamians (Sumerians) and Iranians too. So the builders of Sindhu Valley civilization, being bearers of a semitic culture at the first stage of migration to the valley of river (nadi) Sindhu could lay the base of "Brahmi language" (Brahmi Lipi) which is considered to be of Phoenician origin. Perhaps R. Pataridze is also right in proving that the ancient Georgian alphabet "Asomtavruli" is also of Phoenician origin. While comparing "Sohgaura's" copy plate scripts with the ancient Georgian alphabet "asomtavruli"
The resemblance between them can be easily noticed. D. Struve in the preface of D. Makey's book Aticient Culture of Sindhu Valley (Moscow, 1951) notes that the Dravidian slave-keeping society was very close to that of Sumerian one and indicates to the similarity of iconography and mythology, proving the religious closeness to Sumerian (that is, proto-Georgian) and Sindhu Nadi. A. Kondratev, in his research Proto-Indiati Script (Moscow, 1976, p. 484) outlines that I.A. Uodel made the first attempt (experiment) to read proto-Indian script-Brahmi Lipi-through the Sumerian language.
The Sumero-Akhadian king's name "Naramsin" in Indian scriptures is known as "Narasimha" and the Khatian king's name "Ganish" in India is known as "Ganesh." Perhaps it is not by chance that S.C. Chatterjee considers that the significant portion of Indian civilization is of non-Aryan origin. But the historian R.C. Majumdar considers that Dravidians of Mediterranean origin were more civilized than those proto-Australoids that came to the Indian subcontinent much earlier. All the above mentioned enables us to presume that the word "Sumer" can be interpreted in the following way in the ancient Indian language Sanskrit: su (Surya) = sun, mer (Meru) = mountain full of sunshine that is the place of Sumerians, that is, sumeru (golden coloured mountain or lotus filled up with sunshine). So we may think hypothetically that by the inhabitants of Sindhu Valley sumera had been called Mesol)otamians (Sumerians, Arkhadians, etc.).
As another source of proto-Indo-Georgian ties may be considered the period of influence of Indo-Aryans in ancient Iran and India through the Caucasus-namely through Georgia, resulting not only in linguistic inter-borrowing, but in inter-influencing and interchanging of cultural phenomena too. In Khetian texts a lot of horse-breeding Aryan terminologies are met (see I Klizarenkova, Rigveda: Selected Fkymns, Moscow, 1072, p. 7, Preface).
The Georgian ethnologist S. Makalatia considers that the Indo-Iranian deity "Mitra" in the ancient Georgian paganic calendar is known as the month of Mirsoba (March). With the name of "Mitra" (god of Sun) are connected also the ancient Georgian theoporistic names as "Mitridatte," "Mihraan," later transfor- med in the modern Georgian name "Mirian.
The existence of erotic dancers (like "devadasis") in the North mountain regions of ancient Georgia, S. Makalatia prescribes to the worshipping of the cult of the phallus (Shiva-Lingam) in Caucasus in the paganic epoch. M. Vodbolski outlines that on the "Phiala" excavated in Armazi (ancient Georgian monument in the center of Georgia) the horse is expressed, which is the animal used to be sacrificed by idol-worshippers. In the first chapter of Brihadaranyakopanisad with Comnietitaries of Sankai-acharya (1965, sixth edition), we read: "On the head of the sacrificial horse is the dawn, its eye the sun,. .. ." (p. 6).
Some of these common cultural phenomena penetrated into ancient Georgia, not only during the influence of Aryan culture through Georgia (Caucasus), but later too, suppose through ancient Greece or Anatolia, or through any other way of the Near East, in some way towards India too.
While exploring the sources of Indo-Georgian historical or cultural ties, we meet with certain other aspects to which no attention has been paid by modern scholars, e.g., the French ethnographist of the last century, Abbe J.A. Dubois, who spent nearly twenty years in South India and was greatly appreciated by Max Muller, presumes: "At the time when the Hindus began to regard the waters of the Ganges, Indus and Godavari as peculiarly sacred, and to attribute to them those cleansing properties which could purify both soul and body, the inhabitants of Colchis (that is, ancient West Georgians, N.K.) and other peoples living near the Phasisi (the author means river Phasisi-the present river Rioni, N.K.) credited the waters of that river with the same efficacy amongst the Egyptians."
Accordingly, the habit of cremation in ancient India amongst the Hindus was widely spread in ancient Georgia too (in the second millenium B.C.). At that time--considers the well-known Georgian historian I.Javakhishvili-the chiefs of ancient Georgian tribes, after their death, were burnt and the ashes, together with their chariots, rifles and other belongings, were put in a large, deep burial mound.
It is of great interest that Abbe J.A. Dubois had the following opinion on the origin of Brahmanism (Brahmins): "I don't trace the origin of the Brahmins either to Egypt or to Arabia, and I believe them to be descendents not of Shem, as many argue, but Japhoth. According to my theory they reached India from the north, and I should place the first abode of their ancestors in the neighbourhood of the. Caucasus." "Mago's name and Gaudama's, commonly called Gotama, Ma or Mahu, signifies "great," so that Gotama must mean the Great God or Magog."
"Furthermore, pagan history adds weight to these conjectures of mine on the origin and antiquity of Brahmanism. Learned men allude to more than one Prometheus. According to the Greeks the most celebrated of them all is a son of Japeth." "Why should not Brahma and Prometheus be one and the same person? The Hindu divinity is known also under the names of Brama and Prume in some of their tongues. All these names bear resemblance to Prometheus (chained in Georgia on the Caucasus mountains, N.K.) or the god Preme of the Greeks."
"But admitting that Tartary or neighbourhood of the Caucasus was the birthplace of the Brahmins, it is not easy to decide the precise date of their arrival in India. It appears certain, however, that they were already established there in a flourishing condition more than nine centuries before the Christian era (see Di-., 1, 2)."
These considerations of Abbe J.A. Dubois seem rather truthful as in the history of Georgia of this time and later, Brahman-type saints were called "Shishvelmartalni" (half-dressed true men) or later as "Gimnosophist" (Brahmans) which probably should have looked like contemporaries of the Jain Digambhars (dressed with heaven).
Abbe J.A. Dubois' hypothesis, in a particular sense, at least from the point of chronology of formation of Vedic ideas or creation of Vedas itself, proves the 129th Sukta of the fourth book concerning the creation of the world by Brahma. In this portion of the Vedas we easily can note a certain resemblance of connotation with the creation of the world in the Old Testament.
1.2. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. .." In Veda (in the above mentioned portion) we read: UNAKE ATIRIKTA SABA SHUNYA THAA|2|SRISHTI-RACHANAA SE PURVA ANDHAKAARA NE ANDHAKAARA KO AAVRTA KIYAA HU-AA THAA|SABA KUCHA AGYAATA THAA|SABA AORA JALA HII JALA THAA|
Of course these judgements, in particular sense, are the subject of a separate discussion, and are going outside the frame of the main problems raised in the present article, but it is beyond doubt also that all the above given arguments cannot solve the problem of the sources of historical, cultural or any other type of ties between ancient Georgia (Caucasus) and India. But, anyway,there is no doubt that all these problems are tightly bound with the historical processes that had taken place in the Near East and the Indian subcontinent and are an integral part of the history of ancient Georgia and Sarasvati-Sindhu-Valley Civilization as well.