Two areas I have long intended to direct more effort towards extolling – are Indo-European Cosmology and Ritual. Both are fascinating, and as it happens, quite fundamentally coterminous much of the time. However, they’re also both huge – and so instead of a series of five-to-fifty-thousand wor(l)d plus megaliths, I thought I’d try something a little different: relatively brief excursions through a concept or concepts that trace a path across the Worlds and help to provide a more accessible window ‘in’ on the cosmos of our ancestors.
To begin – the Immanency of Oaths.
Now, there is a lesser-known yet vitally cool concept inherent in Vedic religion for the ritual space to provide a ‘mesocosm’ for the universe all up. I say ‘mesocosm’ because it’s more accurate than ‘microcosm’ – a ‘microcosm’ is but a miniature-scale representation of a cosm, like a map or a diagram: the ‘mesocosm’, meanwhile, is something far grander – it is the working model simultaneously part of the macrocosm and a representation thereof, which may in some way influence, or at least ‘resonate with’ said macrocosm, the Cosmos at large.
We shan’t (for now) go into the grand eloquent depth with which these principles are described and instructed in the Vedic canon – nor many of the precise cosmological correspondences to be found for the Vedic ritual space with our understanding of the Indo-European universal world(s)-view. I have future pieces in mind for that – touching in particular, upon the extra-territoriality of the demesne of ‘devouring’ demons (Rakshasas, Jotunn), for instance; the Waters as liminal space and surrounds for both this world and the worlds at large (a sense recalled with the Greek Oceanus as well); and other such things.
Instead, we shall start at the Center. Where we find the semi-literal apex of the ritual space: the focal of Fire (as upon a fire-altar – the Living Flame, ‘Agni’) or the summit of Stone or Sthambha (sacrificial pillar/post – akin to the later Germanic ‘Irminsul’ ; and closely coterminous to the Hindu ShivLing).
Now, what this represents and is correlate-coterminous to, is the Axis Mundi. The Axial about which the Worlds Turn (and it is intriguing to note that this is literally the terms of referencing used in an archaic Vedic cosmological perspective which blurs the lines between this and a Tree: the Spokes of the Wheel being as akin to tree branches, etc.; thus showing that the ‘World-Tree’ is a quite archaic Indo-European concept indeed … and fundamentally coterminous with the World Mountain perspective – as this is also used non-exclusively in the same layer of Vedic text to refer to the same element).
But what is this really, and what does it represent? Well, two – or, we should perhaps say, one and one-in-two-parts; and really ‘one’ all up and thence down again.
The Axis Mundi, as we have previously elocuted, is The Law. Rta, Orlog. It is the immanency of Cosmic Order into and through our Universe. Hence, of course, why we find such mention for the Trunk of the World-Tree having to be nurtured through sacral conduct – and its wood being gnawed upon by demon-dragons in Nordic scriptural verse. In Hindu terms, with Rta as Brahman (Cosmic Order quite literally Uber Alles), this intersection is represented by just exactly that – a shining pillar of light we might say (recall the Jyotirlingam, the Lingodbhava); and it is the axle of a wheel because all turns according to its sacred rhythm and regulation (in the manner we might perhaps consider a ..dance, or a cosmic drama under direction).
Except this Axle, in addition to being represented as a Mountain or a Tree or a Sacral Post … is also personified. It is spoken of as being the Great Goddess and/or the Great God – the Indo-European Sky Father and His Consort. Sometimes One, sometimes the Other, sometimes Both.
Although it should be noted that it is only really within the Vedic and later Hindu scriptural materials wherein this relationship is made quite explicit. In other Indo-European mythoreligious canons, we more occasionally find the Goddess as Tree (or Mountain), Sky Father as Sovereign Living Law and perhaps hailing from Tree (consider the example of Dionysus – as we did at some length earlier this year); perhaps because the notion of the same Beings as somehow simultaneously being semi-anthropomorphic (for mythological purposes) AND a Tree AND a Mountain AND a rather abstract concept of cosmic ordering via an Axis at the heart of everything … may have been a bit unwieldy in practice for the poets.
(As a brief addendum, the co-occurrence of the relevant Goddess as Sovereign Queen of Law in both Vedic Aditi / Vak Saraswati as well as likely Scythian Tabiti, and with further support in Roman theological discussion around Cybele – helps to addeuce its fundamental and foundational Indo-European nature as a concept; even if various other IE traditions have instead chosen a more direct and occasionally somewhat more exclusive emphasis upon the Sky Father in this role) [Although as a further corollary to that – we should ALSO pointedly note that an affinity with Oaths and bindings, does not necessarily make a particular God or Goddess representation in this or that subsequent Indo-European mythological perspective into those Deities, the Sky Father and His Consort : occasionally, such a figure is if anything, an associate or assistant or even a descendent – consider the association of Indra and the Asvin Horse-Twins with Oaths likewise … none of Whom are Sky Fathers, all of Whom are His Sons]
Now why this matters, for our purposes of looking but briefly at Oaths … is due to one of the literally central roles of this focal-point in our Cosmos and in our ‘mesocosmic’ ritualine space.
You see, the point correlated to this Axis Mundi of Cosmic Law’s immanency into our universe, and to the Sovereign Rulers of same … is also where the Oaths are sworn, hallowed, witnessed.
Partially, this is because it is literally ‘where’ the Witness(es) in question are to be found – as with the Agni (‘Living Flame’ as Conduit to the Heavens , but also as loka-lized facing of the Sky Father Himself) of the Vedic Fire Altar (hence why the key cornerstone of the Hindu marriage rite even to this day entails circumambulating seven times about the flame together); as with the Caelestial First Altar constructed by the Ouranian Cyclopes and upon which the Greek Gods swore Their oaths of mutual alliance; and as with the Iuppiter Lapis (‘Jupiter Stone’ – understood not only to mean the Stone of Jupiter, but also Jupiter in the Stone form) found at the heart of the Temple of Jupiter in Rome and upon which incredibly important public oaths and treaties were sworn.
Partially, we may fairly surmise with a view to modern comparative conceptry – it is due to the incredible sacredness of that which is being sworn upon. It is almost akin to the idiom “I swear on my Mother’s Life”. Both due to the personhood of the Progenitorial Deities immanent in the space, the spike, the stone, the sparking spigot of flame : yet also due to Their Lives being, in effect, the Law (hence, perhaps, why certain of the They Die – albeit temporarily – when the immanency of Cosmic Law fails at the end of the cycle of Creation).
Which is NOT to implicate that a sworn oath, dishonoured, causes the death of the Deity or Deities in question – although it can, I think, be fairly argued that the unhallowing of oaths as with the sacred in general sphere, contributes to the overarching decline of virtue and the immanency of Cosmic Order in our universe (rather than necessarily being merely, simply a ‘symptom’ of same – although that it also, unquestionably, is too). Certainly, the converse is true – we have direct RigVedic support for the notion that performing virtuous, Orderly acts strengthens the side of Law in the ongoing Chaoskampf [RV IX 63 5 – also the source of our motto: Krinvanto Vishvam Aryam].
Although it is to note that the Deities involved appear to take this sort of effrontery rather personally, thus explicating why we tend to find either or both the Sky Father and His Consort having a fearsome, formidable ‘Avenger Form’ Who manifests in order to hound the oath-breaker into oblivion or otherwise to act to uphold the oaths thusly sanctified upon Them. Pluto as Orcus is an example of the latter; the Erinyes as Agents of this quite literally Furious Goddess, are emblematic instances related to the former (and Demeter Erinyes would be the Goddess Herself in this role, perhaps); and DiesPater or Jupiter (that is to say Dyaus Pitar as known to the ancient Italian Indo-Europeans) acting as Feretrius (an obscure theonym either referring to the fact that offerings are brought to Him … or to His competency to strike down the transgressor) would be likewise, as would Zeus Asbamaios, and for that matter Varuna wielding His Noose.
This incredibly strong correlate of the Oath to , well , Religion and the essence-tial Piety of the Worlds in the ancient Indo-European world-view is demonstrated via the fact that Zeus is not just known as ‘Horkios’ in this capacity (directly – ‘Oaths’; and likely etymologically related to ‘Orcus’, Whom we have just met in passing), but also per Classical sources – as Zeus Pistios, the Keeper of the Faith, linked to Jupiter as Dius Fidius (‘Fidelity’ is from the same root – Fidius would pertain to ‘Honour’, ‘Loyalty’, ‘Dependableness’, and of course, ‘Oath’). We occasionally think of promises – whether personal or public (albeit rarely political – “campaign promises are – by long democratic tradition – the least binding form of human commitment” as former US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once pithily observed) – as being somehow separate from our values and our performative conduct in other spheres. And yet, for our Ancestors, to be a man of integrity was a much more totalitarian exercise – to be an oath-breaker meant to have one’s reputation irrevocably damaged, and one’s ability to participate in ‘civilized’ society, the ritual sphere that went along with that (the literal meaning of ‘Arya’ in some senses, as it happens), went out the window. Or perhaps came down through the window – the Temples to the Oath God in Rome was pointedly not (completely) covered by roofing … ostensibly because the Sky and particular elements therein were integral to the Oath (this is, after all, the Indo-European Sky Father that is involved! And the Sun as His Eye, frequently, likewise), although I like to think that it is to facilitate the aiming of Thunderbolts down towards the dishonourable faithless man lacking in integrity who would swear falsely.
That notion of the Sky as being intrinsically connected to these swearings of Oaths turns up not only amidst the earlier aforementioned positioning of the First Fire Altar amidst the Stars, per both the actions of the Ouranian Cyclopes as well as the Vedic Rhbus … but also in relation to Great Varuna – the wielder of the Noose used to apprehend and to sanction those who would seek to contravene the Cosmic Law.
The point around Varuna is an interesting one, as the term in question for ‘Noose’ appears to have developed from the earlier ‘Spasa’ – as in ‘Spy’ – used to refer to the Stars (and/or Sunbeams .. and/or Crows, I should suspect) as His Hidden Watchers (hence, again, the importance of . The phenomenon encountered in YV 1 I 3 11 wherein not only Varuna, but also The Waters are sworn by – presumably mirrors the Underworld River being utilized for such a purpose in Greek mythology – the Oath Upon The Styx as the most terrible oath one can swear; Varuna, after all, is closely linked not only to The Waters as the liminal sphere, but also to Paramevyoman – the High Heaven He co-overseas with Yama in the RigVeda as the Realm of the Glorious/Ancestral Dead; when taken in concert with the commentary around Pluto, and most especially Yama as DharmaRaja as well as Vedic Aditi as both Queen of Order and the Ruler of the Pitrs (linking to the Indo-European Solar Goddess as Afterlife Presider we find attested elsewhere), it should appear that the Afterlife is a veer-y Lawful place indeed to the Indo-European! After all, in a not entirely dissimilar manner to the invocation of Parents in our modern form of solemn declarations of our promissorial ardour – we might also suggest that the Honour of one’s Forebears, one’s Ancestors, is also intimately involved and bound up somewhat with one’s own. And, if nothing else, we should not wish to embarrass ourselves in front of our ancestors Who Dwell Up therein.
A further Sky Father correlate of relevancy here is, of course, Lugh – with an etymology that is either derived from Proto-Indo-European ‘Lewk’ (the same root, as it happens, of both modern English ‘Look’, as well as Sanskrit ‘Loka’ – meaning ‘Realm’) which refers to both Sight and the Light (again, same root) that makes it possible; or from PIE ‘Legh’ (whence modern English ‘Law’, Old Norse ‘Log’, which we have met earlier in ‘Orlog’ [‘Supernal Law’, Cosmic Law/Order]) which as it happens means to ‘lie’ [as in, ‘to lay things down’], and should probably not be confused with PIE ‘Lewgh’, which means to ‘lie’ in the other sense [and is at the root of, amidst other things, the modern English ‘Lie’ ; and terms for ‘swearing falsely’]. As applies the Indo-European Sky Father Deific, I see no reason why – theologically speaking – the meaning cannot, in effect, be both. Certainly, the notion of the Brightness of the Sky, the veer-y root of life and light in our world, as something incredibly sacred to swear upon, as well as the Eye witnessing the Oath, is well attested in other portions of the Indo-European sphere.
And, of course, that concept – of the Brightness of the Sky being both Agni and the Eye and therefore correlate quite specifically to Law and its radiating out into our world as well as beholding the results .. is dramatically well-attested in the Vedas. Albeit with an interesting seeming contradiction – a paradox (a contradiction which, upon closer inspection, turns out art not so); insofar as the Sun is, of course, depicted as coursing across the Sky (that is to say, being in motion rather the fixed and ‘stablished pillar or axial about which all else turns), yet the Altar Fire (also Agni), is held in place at the center of the ritualine space – indeed it is the central point about which we walk in worship and in reverence and in the course of hallowing our Oaths. So how can the same sphere , the same concept , simultaneously be ‘in motion’ and yet also the opposite of that … standing still and about which we orbit in circuit instead? Well, as we can see, that is quite literally how to regard the Sun Itself – as from our perspective down here ‘pon this wide Earth of ours, the Sun moves through the Heavens; and yet we know that actually it is us on this ‘planet’ (literally – ‘a wanderer’) moving about it instead. Both perspectives are mythically valid – as the fact that the Sun does not change where She is relative to our orbit, does not vitiate the fact that the Bright Sky changes relative to where we are thereupon with the onrushing darkness of the Night’s Sky. We just tend to find more immediate use, more of the time, for material which is more directly relevant to our mortal situation, and therefore emphasize the transitions that we see … rather than the strictly speaking more ‘correct’ view that it is we who are transit(ion)ing.
And speaking of the Solar conceptry at the heart of Creation, there is one final figure deserving of a more expansive mention: that of the Indo-European Radiant Queen of the Heavens, of Whom I am writing rather a lot these days. For you see, Scythian Tabiti, too, is correlated with the swearing of Oaths (as well as, unsurprisingly, the occurrence of dire consequences for those who would swear falsely or seek to break them); and is identified by Herodotus with the Greek figure of Hestia (Who has an Oath association, as well as being) Goddess of the Hearth (another structure to which Oaths are sometime sworn in Greek mythology). I have previously explored in some depth why that particular Interpretatio Graeca identification is … not ‘incorrect’ so much as ‘incomplete’, and is both complicated as well as compromised by the significant reduction of Hestia’s character and saliency or potency from the Queen of the Gods we find hailed as Tabiti and as Aditi – Vak Saraswati to a more ‘domesticated’ Goddess of the Home Fire.
However, even – perhaps especially – here, we can see that our cosmological modelling is of considerable use and utility. For just as the ritual space is the cosmos in miniature, so too are the Household and the State (and it is often forgotten that Hestia also presides over the sacral fire at the heart and hearth of the latter as well as the former) similarly representations, resonations, reifications of our perception of the Cosmos immanentized out into the world most immediately relevant to and around us. Hence, it has its heart, its sovereign, its Seat of Law, its Flame as source of heat, nourishment, and light; and its borders, too, its boundaries beyond which the ‘foreigner’, the literally ‘unfamiliar’ the unakin ‘stranger’ or even adversary seeking ill-gotten share of our wealth is to be found (mal)lingering.
So, while it is indeed something of a ‘step down’ to go from Aditi as Queen of Law and Order [AV VII 6 2, etc.], linked to the massive thermonuclear fusion pyre in the Sky (a solar flame which, interestingly, also creates as it consumes – both in terms of our existence, indeed virtually all existence upon this planet of ours being, in effect, ‘solar powered’; but also in terms of anything heavier than hydrogen having ultimately become forged therein – perhaps also helping to explicate the ‘Solar Smith’ Indo-European mythic typology of Svarog, and in a somewhat different sense, the Ouranian Cyclopes and the Vedic Ribhus) … through to Hestia as the Goddess of some certain terrestrial sacred-fires also of domestic (or public) utility – it is nevertheless still ‘resonant’ conceptry. But upon a smaller and more immediately ‘human’ relevant scale – and, to be sure, with the Sovereignty role held if not ‘elsewhere’ then by another. In either case, this would logically imply that the Hearth , the Home , the Homa – is at the heart of creation and the cosmos; the Divine one , particularly. Even if, as with the nomadic Steppe tribes, this entails the hearth moving along with the home on the seasonal migratory journeys – perhaps helping to explicate that intriguing feature of Vedic cosmological models in altar form … wherein they are built out of bricks, and can thus be assembled and disassembled as needed.
However, this also sets up a further point of saliency – insofar as the Brahmana commentaries make a point of declaring that important points of the ritual oblation are to be dedicated to Aditi ; both as She is the Bright Heaven, and also as She is the Wide Earth. Ritual performance is carried out upon the latter, and infused via the former – so after a sense, I suppose, ‘wherever you go, there you are’. You are almost always under sky, over earth. And, related to our earlier annotation around the Mountain and the Fire occupying the same space within the Ritual mesocosm – here, we evidently have a figure correlated with and presiding over, through, under, both. Which, going the other way, also underpins at least some of the figurative mentions for Parvata (Mountain, male) in Vedic usage to refer to the Sky Father in Axis Mundi form at the heart of the ritual space – that same Sky Father Who, as we have earlier seen, is also Agni. Later Hindu texts then run this also in the other direction – with the Speech Goddess , the Sky Father’s Consort , appearing as a Mountain of Flame when She is Called Upon, Invoked, to re-‘stablish piety within the bounds of our world whilst it is under demonic assault.
And that, of course, leads us to another core concept for all of this: the notion of the Universe as comprised of Words. Spoken, Sung, by that Song-Smith and Radiant Queen at the heart of creation – and re-enacted to a certain degree by those inside the ritual space as part of the ‘attuning’ , ‘attenuating’ of the latter to the former and the ‘stablishment of the mesocosmic convection, convention zone.
To quote from one of my earlier works touching upon the subject:
“And as applies why both Varuna and Ouranos would be in possession of a “Binding” notion … I take a somewhat different approach to that commonly cited (wherein it is simply a notion of both deities “binding” foes; and which is also linked by these academic inclinations to Tyr playing His role in the binding of Fenrir). Rather, I look to something else. Namely, what we might perhaps term ‘Mythopolitics’.
What is Varuna in various RigVedic sources? King of the Gods, King of the Heavens and Earth, a Supreme Ruler of the DevaRajya, and thence of the Realm(s) of Men, as well [and it is a grand thing indeed the way in which some of the Varuna prayerful entreaties enjoin Him as our “Kinsman” to come take His place amidst His Chosen Folk – where such sacrificial, votive offerings are being made to Him].
What is He, as Sovereign? He is “Ours” [the ultimate root for this, back through Nordic “Varr”, is PIE ‘Wey’, which develops into a succession of “Va-” terms in Indo-Iranian languages for the first person plural pronoun]; and He is also, as Law, an effective linchpin of the Divine Realm, the Cosmos, and the Kingdom(s) of Mortal Man. This being expressed through the concept of the “Word” – not merely in the linguistic sense (although also, the incredibly important functional role of the Divine Speech, Vak and also Brihaspati veer-y much in mind, that too), but in the sense that “Word” usedto carry far more often within the bounds of our own language. That of an Oath, an Affirmation, a Declaration, a Binding. To give somebody your Word meant your sacred and solemn Vow. Which turns up in Old Norse as “Var”, a term referring not only to this concept itself, but also to the Deific guardian and sanctifier thereof; and, intriguingly, in its Proto-Germanic predecessor, Weraz, as the Truth, and as a term for the liberality of giving and for Friendship. All of which are strongly associated qualities of the RigVedic Varuna; Who is also invoked, as I have written about previously, in the context of international treaty making via the Mitanni.
The idea is that what makes up a Kingdom is both the Words that are the Law (and, for that matter, the Lore – a great thing to be Knowing, not least as a communicator and enshriner for the Law, but also on its own terms and for art and artistry’s sake), and also the Words that are the conscious forms of Fealty by the Citizenry (particularly the Armed Men) wherein we affirm our strong bonds of loyalty to the Sovereign. In that way, the Binding of the “Word” is both ‘Top-Down’ but also ‘Bottom-Up’.
Of course, there is much which could be said about this notion of Words making up not only Reality, but also the Sacro-Polity located (conveniently for us) therein. But suffice to say that whether we are going with the above derivation-chain back to PIE ‘Weh’ [‘True’], or the other one underpinning Sanskrit ‘Vrata’ [‘Oath’] and English ‘Word’ (PIE: ‘Werh’ – ‘Speak/Say’; through PIE ‘Werdhom’ – ‘Word’], the concepts retain a strong degree of coterminity. “
The notion of words – symbols, we would usually think of them as, perhaps patterns – as somehow being a-priori to the reality which contains and embodies them, is an intriguing one; and would seemingly suggest that it is rather reality itself which is the ‘symbol’ or the ‘holographic projection’ of something deepa and more underlying. Although this is not necessarily a broadly attested Indo-European world(s)-view – except insofar as the universe is dependent upon, contingent upon, the ‘above’, the ‘supernal’ Divine Law (Rta, Orlog, etc.). ‘Dharma’ in the sense of ‘dependent’, ‘duty’, is highly relevant for this as an in-universe expression – indeed, the universe as expression; and that concept of the universe as a field of laws (and therefore, the Chaotic as anti-universe, in a sense anti-existence, and most definitely anti-reality).
Perhaps, then, the most apt means to visually conceptualize the subject under discussion – is the Hindu concept of a Mandala, a Yantra. Not quite a ‘representation’, really more of a ‘Mechanism’ – and this is a term which has some broader saliency when it comes to the ‘World-Mill’ metaphor occasionally encountered in some reconstructive perspectives upon the Indo-European mythology and cosmology.
At the center of the mechanism, we find the Bindu point – a center, an origin, a ‘root’ of empowerment ; which thence radiates out , in a manner described akin to ‘sound’ (‘Nada’); with the corresponding implication that that ‘sound’, is not only the ‘fabric’ of the cosmos – but also the ‘beat of the drum’ which regulates the happenings occasiant and occurrent therein. The Two Together (the Bindu as Shakti , with Shiva as origin and comptroller for the Nada) are the Beej – the Seed; a concept we may figuratively connect to the HiranyaGarbha [‘Golden Egg’ or ‘Golden Womb’] of Vedic creational myth, and which is again also visually linked to the Sun (which is, itself, in much the same patterning: a male Sun (‘Surya’), and a female ‘Power of the Sun’ (‘Kushmanda’) as the essential origin and root of the empowerment and guidance of its Direction). This is also, therefore, the essential core point wherein the Mandala – the radiating fabric of creation – is affixed to the Sthambha , the Axis Mundi and Sacrificial (Hitching) Post. Just as we had saw earlier with regard to the immanency of Cosmic Law in Axle format, about which all else does Turn.
This conceptry recurs over and over, again and again, when it comes to the Hindu sacred sphere – for instance, the towering ‘mountain’ (Shikhara) spire above the heart of many Hindu Temples, is directly intended to recall the Cosmic Mt Meru standing at the central apex point of the universe : an axis mundi which is also correlate with the dwelling-place of particular Gods (both in macrocosm, where Gods are found upon the Mountain – such as Olympus; as well as in the mesocosm – where the Gods are housed directly under this exterior, external Peak within the Mandir’s sanctum); but also the frequent occurrence of the ShivLing, the stone Shaivite altar (although representative, with its Base, of both Shiva and His Divine Consort in just the manner earlier described – that is to say, also ‘generatively’ and ‘(re-)unified’) at the very center of a Hindu temple, directly underneath that same Mountain – as seen, for instance, at the world’s largest Hindu temple-complex, Angkor Wat.
In Hindu political conceptry, too, the same motif is repeated – the King upon His Throne is keyed to this central space, the empowerment and expression of regality, the kingdom, radiating outwards therefrom to the limits, the borders, the boundaries, beyond which lies the lawless voids of threatening others; a central pillar to the state which must be protected and looked after, lest it weaken and fray, decay, bringing it all tumbling down and collapsing inwards as the void ‘devours’ (Rakshasa, Jotunn, again) it from without. This is referred to in the literature both relatively ancient and decidedly modern as the Rajamandala – the Mandala (‘Circle’) of the King; and finds additional conceptual resonancy when we speak of the Chakravartin – the ultimate sovereign ‘Whose Wheel Is (Ever) In Motion”, a title more appropriately reserved for the heavenly, mythic figure of the God-Emperor (and with the Horse-Sacrifice of Daksha spoiled, in my view, due to the latter attempting to ‘muscle in’ upon th title held by the former – Lord Shiva , Ishvara), yet which is also aspired to by extra-ordinary mortal rulers in the terrestrial sphere, as wel, as if in mimickry of Him.
The Khmers took this incipient symbolism further – and more directly identified the ShivLing with their (human) Ruler; expanding upon the already pre-existing mythic resonancy between human sovereign and God-Emperor which we tend to find elsewhere across the Indo-European expanse (see, for example, my work around the iconographic occurrence of Oesho upon the coinage of the Kushans, Kushano-Sassanians and others in Central Asia) ; with a custom of ‘regal’ ShivLings being installed and consecrated as and towards (also) this human king, and bearing his name in addition to the ‘Ishvara’ [‘God-Emperor’, a theonym and title of Shiva] nomenclaturial element.
There are further elements that can and must be said upon all of the above, and much which has sadly had to be left out for the moment (including an extended examination of the astrological & astronomical symbolism of the fixed and constant star or stellar pole – which, perhaps ironically, does actually change from year to year down the onflowing waves of the millennia) ; yet I think that we are off to a relatively good start. Understanding something more about the center of the Cosmos – and also about how we can interrelate thereto, are bound by it, can be bound by it, should be bound by it, must be bound by it : and also to each other, in turn.
The Indo-European Universe is one of Laws – just as is the modern physicist’s one. And above all, there is the Divine, Over-Law that is its – and our – inceptive cause, in both senses of that last word. Something that causes us to be, and something to be for.
It therefore seemed a most excellent, most apt(ya) area to begin our chartered course, mapping out the rest of the Cosmos therefrom as well as in eternally returning relationship thereto. And thence also – helping to understand the world around us and our place therein.
As Banabhatta put it at the outset to his 7th century biography of the emperor Harsha (immediately following, I note, a Saraswati dedication in at least one version) –
“Namas Tunga Siras Chumbi Chandra Chamara Charave
Trailokya Nagar Arambha Mula Sthambhaya Sambhave”
Or, phrased another way – Hail to the Sky Father As Foundational Pillar To The Habitable Enclosure Of The (Three) Worlds; His Mountainous Brow Adorned With The Moon As Ensign Of Victory; His Role, To Support And Bestow To The Cosmos For Which HE Stands!
Jai Ishvara ! And Hail Also To The Limitless Mother Who Supports The Worlds !