Perseus , Krishna , Karna – Three Perspectives Upon The Origin Myth Of The Indo-European Striker/Thunderer


I have been meaning for some time to take a look at the Indo-European underpinnings of Krishna – in part because it helps to dispel this lingering and insistent misapprehension about post-Vedic / ‘Puranic’ era Hinduism being somehow ‘non-Indo-European’ mythology or religion. 

Now, a full-scale writeup of all the observed concordancies for this figure is a bit beyond the scope of what we’re going to do here in this piece. Instead, I just want to take a look at one very specific element of the Krishna mythology, which appears also to be shared with the prominent figure of the Mahabharat, Karna. And which, in both cases, bears significant resemblance to what we know of the Greek demigod and hero, Perseus. This is utterly uncoincidental – it is because these myths and these figures are all running off the same Proto-Indo-European typology. They quite plausibly descend from the same original, ancestral myth. 

But what is this mythic concordancy that I am speaking of? Well, it concerns the circumstances of the conception and the birth of the illustrious demigod-hero in question. 

We’ll start by taking a look at that of Perseus. 

The Parodos of Perseus

To put it briefly: Perseus’s grandfather was the king of Argos, Acrisius. This ruler was somewhat insecure in his power – at first, due to a lack of sons, but then because of a prophecy handed down by the Oracle at Delphi that the son of his daughter (Danae) would bring his ruin. Reasoning that this could not transpire if his daughter was unable to conceive such a son, Acrisius incarcerated his daughter in a seemingly impenetrable cell open only to the sky. Which, predictably, meant that Zeus could see her. And, perhaps more predictably, that Zeus soon appeared to the princess in the form of a radiant shower of gold – leaving Danae pregnant with His Son, soon to be called Perseus [plausibly derived from PIE ‘Per’, referring to the action of ‘Striking’, and seen also in Perun, Perkwunos etc. – the Indo-European Striker/Thunderer Deific]. 

Acrisius was rather displeased by this development, and terrified of the prospects of losing his kingdom and his life he resolved to do something about it. Although instead of putting the mother and child to death (which would have invited the at-least-as-terrifying sanction of the Erinyes – see our previous works on the serpentine ‘avenger’/’enforcer’ of Cosmic Law in the Indo-European world view) directly, he put them both into a chest and set them adrift upon the waters; where, instead of being lost to the waves of the stormy sea, through the grace of the Sky Father’s intervention [Poseidon calming the waters at the request of Zeus] they are eventually rescued by a kindly fisherman, Dictys. 

And there ends our cursory recounting of the relevant portion of the myth of Perseus. Which, as you can see, features a fearful ruler seeking to imprison a female closely related to him so as to avoid the prospects of her conceiving a son fated to bring about the end of his life and regency … only for this plan to be undone via the Sky Father [Zeus Pater] appearing with (or as) radiancy, and begetting the son in question – which prompts the immoral king to then seek to resolve the situation in his favour by setting the child (and his mother) adrift upon the waters in a floating containment; a situation that does not bring about the death of the child thanks to divine aid in navigating (or calming outright) the churning waters. Keep all of that in mind as we review this next portion.

Krishna Jayanti – Krishna Born/Victorious

The Birth of Krishna is unmistakably the same series of events, told in slightly different form. It features, again, a villainous king desperate to cling to power in the form of Kamsa – and, again, a prophecy handed down that he shall be undone by the male child of a female relative: in this case the son of his sister, Devaki, by her husband Vasudeva. So Kamsa does as Acrisius does – and imprisons Devaki to attempt to prevent her from seeing Vasudeva, and also takes matters rather further by killing each one of her sons that he can lay his hands upon (six, out of a total of eight, in all). When the eighth son is to be born, various miraculous occurrences conspire to facilitate His Father, Vasudeva, managing to get the infant Krishna out of the place where His Mother is incarcerated, in a basket, and thence across the Yamuna river (which is in flood amidst a stormy darkened sky; thus rendering the passage perilous except for the divine assistance that is provided to the infant’s crossing, particularly via the Great Serpent, Vasuki and also the Yamuna Herself parting to allow them to cross) to the relative safety of a neighbouring clan who bring Him up as one of their own. 

Now, if you’re wondering why I say that this is an ‘unmistakable’ different perspective upon the same series of events advanced in the birth of Perseus, despite what on the surface seem some pointed differences … allow me to elucidate, via the assistance of linguistics. 

The Father of Krishna is Vasudeva. Vasudeva, whilst presented as a human in the major tellings of this Hindu form of the legend, is bearing a meaningful name. Vasu-Deva. Deva, as we know, means ‘God’ [cognate with ‘Deus’, ‘-Tyr’, etc.]; whilst ‘Vasu’ is a term with a meaning-field effectively predicated upon ‘Light’. It is most commonly encountered in reference to *the* Vasus, a group of deific facings that are encountered in the celestial sphere and generally have similar ‘light’ associations. Most of the major 8 Vasus are, in fact, as we have previously demonstrated, ‘Facings’ or ‘Masques’ of the Sky Father (e.g. Agni, Varuna, Soma / Chandra, Vayu … and, of course, Dyaus Himself as a directly stated member of the clade per the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad’s recounting). So, in other words, Krishna being fathered by Vasu-Deva … is quite closely cognate to Perseus being fathered by Zeus – right down to the inclusion of ‘Light’ in proceedings. 

And while it might seem a rather ‘loose’ interpretation to attempt to equate the daughter of one villainous king [Danae relative to Acrisius] to the sister of another [Devaki relative to Kamsa / Kansa] … this, too, is a problem reconcilable via linguistics. You see, the Proto-Indo-European ‘Nepots’ has several meanings – generally it means ‘descendant’, although it *also* has specific shades around “Grandson” and “Nephew” (and it is not at all hard to see how “Nepots” has turned into “Nephew” via millennia of subsequent usage and derivation). Who is Perseus relative to Acrisius? Why, his Grandson. Who is Krishna relative to Kamsa? His Nephew. In both cases, these figures are the ‘Nepots’ of the prophecy-fearing ruler in question. 

Meanwhile, the situation of the Basket in which Vasudeva carries His Son across the waters of a roiling River, relative to the Chest in which Perseus (and Danae, His Mother) are borne across the churning waters of the Ocean by Poseidon & Zeus’s Divine Grace, is again not difficult to reconcile. 

However, there is another Indian recounting of the occurrence that we should also take into consideration afore we endeavour to produce what may perhaps be a PIE reconstructive view of the myth in light of several other potentially non-exclusive understanding renditions. 

The Hidden Prince In Exile – Karna, Son of the Sun 

The main appearance for Karna within the Hindu legendarium is, of course, the same as that for Krishna – within the Mahabharat, one of the great epics of the post-Vedic Age. It is therefore perhaps rather curious that we should find a pair of figures with such clear coterminities of origin-stories and additional elements of resonancy between them. However, with a view to the Greek mythology, there are many instances of what appear to be the same figure, held by different names, co-occurrent and even directly encountering one another in spite of this with seemingly little difficulty. This is because the various localized recollections of the given Indo-European mythemes and figures in question had been preserved and developed by their bearer-folk somewhat independently … and during the height of the Classical age, the tales came back into contact with one another and were ‘re-integrated’ by poets and mythologers and historians. Who were often left scratching their heads if not outright throwing up their hands as to how to ‘reconcile’ situations wherein the same God or Goddess was clearly doing the same thing at the same time as another such ‘Facing’, yet was not (necessarily) regarded as being the same deific in their own more localized context. A good example of this is provided via the generalized confusion as to which of Demeter, Rhea, Persephone, Cybele, or others besides is the Mother (or acted as a Mother) to the young Dionysus (another ‘Son’ to the Sky Father – although also the Sky Father Himself, as we have previously detailed in works upon this veer-y specific subject); something that may harbour additional relevancy for our reconstructive account of this other Son of the Sky Father, given the more usually cited Semele that gives birth to Dionysus (a situation that was *also* brought about via Zeus appearing as shining divine light), Who was Herself condemned to be locked in a chest and set adrift in the accounting of Pausanias of the matter. 

As applies Karna, what happens is that His Mother, Pritha [curiously enough, an Aunt of Krishna and Sister of Vasudeva, Herself], is provided with a mantra by a visiting sage that would enable Her to summon any God of Her choosing to provide Her with a son. Pritha, perhaps not quite thinking it is a real and genuine mantra, decides to test it out one morning – and inspired by the rising Sun, She chooses to call upon Lord Surya via the mantra. She is quite taken aback when Surya appears and with the glowing radiancy one should expect superna(tura)lly impregnates Her. 

Pritha being an unwed teenager at this point in the tale, panics for reasons that ought be obvious – and abandons the newborn infant in a basket which She floats down the river. This basket bearing the child is subsequently found by other parents in another kingdom who adopt the infant … and also name the child Vasusena. An epithet which, entirely unsurprisingly, is also one shared with Lord Krishna. And which would mean something along the lines of ‘Whose Lord [‘Father’] Is Vasu’ or ‘Army/Warrior(s)/Weapon of Vasu’. 

There is much more that can and should be said upon Karna in His proper Indo-European context, but I think that the above is sufficient for now to demonstrate the underlying concordancy with those accounts aforementioned of Krishna and Perseus. Although it should be noted that Surya in the Hindu reckoning is a broad term that may refer to a number of figures (most prominently the Sky Father as the Sun, or the Sun as the Son of the Sky Father). In this instance, the ‘Surya’ in question would be the Sky Father; the Solar Radiancy of the Sun being also what is linguistically referenced in the ‘Dyaus’ or ‘Zeus’ (or, for that matter, ‘Vasu’) of the other accountings we have earlier explicated. That is literally what Dyaus / Zeus / Ju- (as in Jupiter) etc. means – the bright sky of day, the Heavens. 

The Proto-Indo-European Parsing Of Perseus, Krishna, Karna – A Promising Partial Reconstruction Of The Myth

Now the intriguing thing for our purposes is that Perseus, Krishna, and Karna all bear hallmarks associated with the Indo-European Striker/Thunderer deific. I have already made note of one of the more obvious ones in connexion with the plausible etymology of Perseus’ name – PIE ‘Per’, meaning ‘To Strike’; and also found with other expressions of this veer-y same figure such as Perun, Perkunas, etc. Other points of useful coterminity would include both Perseus and Krishna triumphing over a water-connected and potentially somewhat draconic monster; and, of course, the Weapon(s) associated with each. Perseus is depicted prominently as armed with the Harpe (a sword, also utilized by Herakles in various depictions in Classical antiquity; and often made of Adamantium in the mythology – the unbreakable metal and therefore a rather irresistible force in much the same manner as the Vajra: which can also mean ‘Unbreakable’, ‘Invincible’, etc., and even in later usage, ‘Diamond’); Krishna is most famous for wielding a bow and arrow, but also the Club / Mace / Gada (and one of the most frequent forms of the Weapon of the Striker/Thunderer is quite closely coterminous with this general design – a haft with a heavy and implacably hard head which is swung in a per-cussive manner; consider Hanuman’s Gada, Herakles’ Club, the depictions of Indra’s Vajra as a Mace, or Thor’s Mjolnir Hammer, or the Axe (which, admittedly, is not ‘purely’ percussive as it is also sharpened and cutting) wielded by Perun); Karna, meanwhile, in addition to the bow and arrow is also depicted wielding a Sword or a Mace.

Except there are some – seeming – difficulties to be encountered with the fulsome application of the Indo-European Striker/Thunderer typology to these Three, based around the maternities involved. As frequently, what we see is that the Mother of the Striker/Thunderer is the Wife of the Sky Father – the Earth Mother deific, in particular. Prithvi as Mother to Indra and Jord as Mother to Thor are perhaps the most prominent of exemplars in this regard. So therefore, this suite of incidences wherein an ostensibly human woman is involved ought throw something of a spanner (or, perhaps, a vajra) into the works. 

However, it is also the case that various Striker/Thunderer deifics are indeed begotten with women that are not, strictly speaking, the Sky Father’s wife or consort in the various Indo-European mythologies. Herakles, for example, is rather famously born to such a union (much to the consternation – hence His Name – of Hera, so it is said; a similar situation per some tellings to that encountered by Dionysus). Hanuman, likewise, is mothered by Anjani – a Vanara woman (the Fathers including both the Vanara Kesari as the mortal parent .. but also Vayu / Shiva as the divine bestower of the requisite essence; as we have previously explored in a recent article upon the subject in relation also to Volsung, Alexander the Great, etc.). So evidently, such a thing is not impossible. 

Except I am not convinced that this is actually quite what has happened with each of these three parentages. Instead, I am of the suspicion that the more ‘orthodox’ scenario – wherein the Parents of the Striker/Thunderer Deific are, in fact, the Sky Father and His Wife (frequently, although not exclusively, in the form of the Earth Mother – the Radiant Queen of the Heavens deific facing is also very definitely relevant and salient here as we shall soon see) – are actually what has been presented here. With the fact that the myths that we have available to us for these three figures incorporating mortal women being the result of euhemerization and localization of the tales, perhaps. Whatever the causation, as is so frequently the case in our field, the *names* (and other theological associations) remain the tantalizing clue to Their true nature. 

So, in the case of Perseus – the Mother is Danae. Danae would plausibly connect to ‘Danu’, ‘Danann’, etc. As we know from my recent works upon this subject, the Sky Father’s Wife also has a ‘watery’ (or, indeed, serpentine – or both) form Who often bears just such a name. This is the same ‘Earth Mother’ / ‘Radiant Queen of the Heavens’ Goddess (and we have Vedic scriptural elements to further buttress our co-identification here, in addition to the nexus of obvious theological supports as detailed in my previous articles), but in another form and with a slightly differing suite of immediately salient associations – as one should, perhaps, expect. 

Karna’s Mother is Pritha – and it is immediately obvious how this connects to Prithvi in a phonetic sense, even despite ‘Pritha’ more ostensibly referring to the ‘hand’ in Sanskrit.

Krishna’s Mother is Devaki, feminine form for ‘Devaka’ – which would mean ‘Celestial’ or ‘Divine’; and which would connect to the aforementioned Radiant Queen of the Heavens deific, the Shining Heavenly female counterpart to the Sky Father [consider Juno relative to Jupiter, the ‘Ju-‘ sound shared between them that is from the same root as ‘Dyaus’; or the Dione Goddess in relation to Zeus (mentioned in some tellings as Mother to Dionysus); or Aditi and Dyaus, as we have previously explored elsewhere]. Something that is also quite directly preserved in the Hindu tradition identifying Devaki as an incarnation or a resonancy of Aditi (‘Limitless’) – the Divine Mother of Indra. 

As applies the Dionysus partial-match for the typology that we have aforementioned (wherein Dionysus is, properly speaking, the Sky Father; but appears to have picked up various of the features of this origin-myth for the Striker/Thunderer as part of the general confusion that seems to have taken place at various stages of the development of the Greek mythologies), we again see this pattern – Semele is, once again, ‘Earth’ [compare the Russian ‘Zemlya’, as in ‘Nova Zemlya’]; and Demeter, Rhea, Persephone, Cybele, etc. are also all, again, Earth Mother(s) (inter alia); whilst Dione, as we have noted above, is the Shining Counterpart to the Sky Father (that same ‘Dio-‘ particle also being found in the name of Dionysus, as you may have noted). 

It is therefore quite evident – at least from my perspective – that the core elements to the paternity of the Indo-European Striker/Thunderer are satisfied via these mythic genesis accounts for Perseus, Krishna, and Karna. With the additional possibility that the somewhat curious suggestion we find in a RigVedic hymnal [RV IV 18] that Indra may in fact have had a foster mother (who unfortunately is killed via the process of His delivery), perhaps helping to explicate the transferrence of the bearing of the Sky Father’s Seed to a mortal woman (and, in the case of Semele, one that dies in the major accountings as the fairly direct result; something shared by Volsung’s mother as well – albeit via caesarean section in that particular case rather than immolation through divine radiancy). 

Except while it would be tempting to leave it all there and conclude our work by saying that these are all three of them simply differing derivations of the same underlying myth as that we find more familiarly in the begetting of Indra, Thor, Herakles, etc. … that would leave unremarked upon another potential set of intriguing coterminities to these myths which also point toward a shared and ancestral (Proto-)Indo-European accounting. And that just simply won’t do. 

For you see – in addition to the major trio of Divinities at the heart of these recountings, there are also several other points shared between several of them. The first of which being this notion of the Sky Father ‘appearing’ to a mortal woman as part of the investiture of essence incorporated into the pregnancy resulting. In the case of Karna, Pritha makes use of a mantra that summons Him in His shining, solar glory. In the case of Semele, She makes use of a boon that Zeus has agreed to grant to Her – a request She can make of Him that He must fulfil … which She uses, upon the advice of a disguised Hera, to demand that He appear before Her in His full suite of Divine Radiancy. Danae also has Zeus appear in such a solar-radiance manner, and we have previously parsed the ‘Vasu’ understanding as well – however those two myths are of a slightly different flavour, as there is no invocation of the Great God to call Him down to this mortal plane of ours. 

It therefore seems quite likely that this element to the tales of both Semele and Pritha is a shared Indo-European understanding. And, I would go so far as to suggest, it may have something to do with the rite carried out via which Rama (but also Hanuman, in various tellings) is begotten – which plausibly appears to be the same ritual (connected to the Asvamedha Horse-Sacrifice; and the Solar Horse – and its member – involved therein) that we have also found in the Volsung Saga in relation to the conception of the eponymous Volsung. I took a broader look at this in my recent work ‘The Apple of Odin to Rerir, The Fire-Seed of Agni, The Egg of Nemesis, The Paternity of Alexander, And The Asvamedha of Dasharatha – On The Equine Investiture Of The Divine Essence In A King’s Heir-To-Be In The Indo-European Mytho-Religious Sacro-Political Tradition’, and shall not seek to repeat that here. For now, it is enough to summarize that various Indo-European peoples carried forward a ritual wherein the queen of a realm would be invested with divine essence from the Sky Father so as to produce a suitably mighty Son. Hanuman’s connexion to this involves part of the offering thusly produced (and to be consumed by the King’s wife or wives) being ‘redistributed’ via interventions of divinity, to the Vanara woman Anjani, who eats same and thus becomes the mother to Hanuman as the result of the impartment of Shiva / Vayu essence to her. 

The Semele and Pritha situations appear to have somewhat ‘decontextualized’ this – and taken the occurrence from something that is part of a rather elaborate and proper ritual which asks for the Sky Father to invest the essence in question, through to a private and personal prayer invocation that results in a rather more intimate arrival. Perhaps it is not the same ritual that has been referenced here – but instead a close relative that has not entirely dissimilar metaphysics involved. A princess or a queen carrying out her own plea unbeknowest to the general kingdom at large, and potentially against the wishes of her king or family. Whatever it is, the elements seem too closely in accord for them to have developed separately. I have little doubt that further examination of this topic would reveal additional elements to further flesh out the constellation around it – but that is for another time. 

The other major element that is fairly consistent in many of these myths is that the progeny in question goes in a basket or a chest across water (whether a raging river or the unquiet deeps of the sea), and only makes it to safe harbour and a more positive home-life thanks to the divine intercedence of the Sky Father deific (et co). There are a number of potential interpretations for this that may link it to other Indo-European myths (including the Kusava that may be a (foster-)mother for Indra, contingent upon how one reads the relevant RigVedic hymnal – as this is also a hydronym); including, at the risk of indulging the lurid and luridly ridiculous fantasies of a certain musician’s wife, the possibility that the vessel in question is actually a placenta or amniotic sack which bears the baby within it and does come out via tribulation and ‘waters’. If true, that would make the situation of Danae and Perseus something of the odd story out – as there, both mother and child make it to safety within the chest; whereas with Semele and Dionysus, only the child is found contained therein when it is opened (the mother having died during the birth, in the more symbolic interpretation of the tale), and with Krishna and Karna, it is only the child that goes forth in the basket. Another possibility is simply that the vessel in question represents a conveyance of the divine essence in question, ready to be hosted and to be born into this world – and there is some support for this when we consider that in the relevant Vedic rite that I have aforementioned, the ‘investiture’ in question is of ‘Gharma’ [a term that means not only ‘juice’ but also ‘sunlight’ – a liquid radiance akin to that which falls upon Danae, with Zeus’ ‘Shower of Gold’, perhaps] in a clay pot. There are other potential explanations beyond this, including the sending of the seed in question across the water that is the liminal space between worlds (i.e. to the world of mankind from the Heavens; which might also link this with the situation of Romulus & Remus appearing down the Tiber to one day rule amongst Man following Their Birth to Rhea Silvia (note the name) – another situation involving a tyrannical king that endeavours to render his sister unable to produce a son that may cast him down), but that exploration should, perhaps, be left for another time. The only further point that I shall make here concerns Vasuki’s assistance to Vasudeva in fording the Yamuna amidst the fierce Storm – as this may be an instance of the Serpentine Form of the Sky Father that I have meant to write more upon (Rudra, after all, also being hailed as Ahir Budnya – the ‘Dragon of the Deep’, in the water at the base of the world where we also find Vasuki; and the Slavic form of the Sky Father appearing also as Veles is increasingly well known) – but, again, more upon that in some future (A)Arti-cle. 

Now, both the stories of Danae & Perseus, as well as Devaki & Krishna, feature a villainous king affeared of a prophecy which foretells his doom at the hand of his female relative’s progeny. And his rather drastic, incarceration-including and even implicitly infanticidal moves in order to desperately prevent this prognostication’s ultimate occurrence. I again don’t think it all coincidental that both the Greek and Hindu versions of this myth make such a point of mentioning these elements, especially given the shared ‘Nepots’ relationship which underscores the relative situation of the Striker/Thunderer Son to the king in question. Further research is most definitely needed to examine potential co-ordinates and cognate understandings found in other Indo-European myths and mythoi for this situation; as there is an inherent complication to be found in the fact that the Goddess that plausibly underlies both Danae and Devaki … does not really have a Father, as She is the First (indeed, a-priori to all). A brother would certainly be another possibility – although this, too, presents some obvious complications in terms of the reconstruction of the underlain Proto-Indo-European myth. Another potentiality is that the king that is slain by the Striker/Thunderer is, in point of fact, the well-known adversary of the Striker-Thunderer – the Demon Dragon that imprisons the Waters. This would most certainly fit with the presentation that we have of a villainous figure of power and might endeavouring to wrongfully incarcerate a female figure (as The Waters often are in the Vedic conceptual syllabry) – a situation rectified via a turbulent liberation as the Waters flow free from  Their captivity, and ultimately resolved via the Striker/Thunderer slaying the would-be captor.

However, this is – as with various of my Proto-Indo-European postulations found in the last section of this piece – a rather incomplete investigation that does not satisfactorily (to my satisfaction, at any rate) account for various elements within the myths that *have* come down to us; and would also require a careful re-examination of the conventional translational rendering of at least one RigVedic Hymnal [RV I 32] in order to be genuinely acceptable (as in, the mythic situation of Perseus’ Mother Danae may provide a ‘corrective’ to the more usual understanding of those two lines of the RigVedic hymnal in question; which had for some time now stood out at me as ‘odd’ and inconsistent with what we know about the figure involved from the broader Vedic and of course comparative Indo-European mythology). And in any case, there are quite a glittering diversity of other potential cognate occurrences within the Indo-European legendarium (such as the situation of Illuyanka’s Daughter from the Hittite mythology) that I have not yet looked at in any great detail. 

For now, it is enough to state that the observed patterning of these three (and a half) mythic accounts – two from post-Vedic era India, and one (and a half, if we are counting Pausanias’ presentation of the situation of Semele & Dionysus; potentially another half, or at least a quarter if we are also incorporating the situation of Rhea Silvia & Romulus & Remus; although each of these is, properly speaking, another myth or figure – rather than the Striker/Thunderer, They are the Sky Father, and the Progenitor Twins, respectively) of the Classical world – would appear to strongly suggest that a shared and archaic Indo-European understanding lies at the root of each. 

A situation of the Solar-Radiant Sky Father begetting the Striker/Thunderer Son with His (Watery / Celestial / Earth – and the Goddess is all three, per the relevant Vedic scriptural citations) Consort; with the potential ‘operationalization’ (or, if you like, ‘immanentization’) of this understanding via an invocation carried out by a woman seeking to place herself in the position of the Divine Consort in question; the safe passage across water that must be required for the infant to thrive; and, of course, the overthrowing of an illegitimate or perhaps merely villainous ruler as the direct outcome of this most especial birth. 

And, in elucidating this underlying Indo-European typology – we have once more demonstrated that contrary to what you may hear on some corners of the internet, the post-Vedic Hindu mythology remains fundamentally, foundationally Indo-European in its essence-tial attributes and character. People occasionally point to Krishna for a number of reasons as being ‘proof’ of the ‘non-Indo-European’ or ‘de-Indo-European-ization’ of the Epic and Puranic era mythology (and often on the most literally skin-deep of reasons – the ‘Black’ meaning to Krishna, for example); but as we can quite clearly see here, even outside of and after the Vedas, the Indo-European mythology is most definitely and most firmly the roots, the trunk, and the tree both for it and for us.

Some might endeavour to suggest that simply because some of the names – and, indeed, some of the positions in the ‘order of being’ – have shifted that this represents a particularly Indian distortion of things. Art not so. As we have also seen, the Greek presentation of the same mythic occurrence goes even further in some regards in ‘reducing’ the Goddess(es) likely involved down to the status of a human woman or other such changes. At least the Hindu theology pointedly preserved the explicitly stated connexion of Devaki to Goddess Aditi, for instance. 

All efforts at more properly parsing the ancient and ancestral Indo-European heritage are, by necessity, efforts at skillful inquiry and careful reconstruction. It is only, perhaps, with significant effort and ardour-fuelled experience that we are more fully able to truly perceive just how significantly pervasive and pervadingly salient these underlying Indo-European mythemes truly are to the subsequent cultures that have grown up and preserved same. And it is that intriguing – if complex – scenario wherein for one culture to advance in understanding itself, it almost inexorably requires the knowledge and assistance of other Indo-European cultures to do so. And that may, of course, necessitate looking past some surface-level seeming-differences to perceive the true endogenous essences shared within. 

So let it be with this – a shared story, a shared understanding, as to the regal origins of even figures who may seem to have become the dispossessed and disinherited in the eyes of scornful others via comparison. 

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