Thursday, September 27, 2012

Suns of God, The God Sun (pt 2)

The God Sun

I left off at page 78 after a longish detour into the wonderful world of linguistics. In this chapter, we will see Acharya implicitly accept the science given in the previous post. We will later see her reject this same science when it suits her theory, a wonderful example of her inconsistent mix-and-match approach. As I try to keep the main text fairly scholarly at times (although I have failed to keep that distance at times, simply due to the staggering misrepresentation of facts), I have decided to partition the text in two: small-sized font indicates personal observations and opinions, normal-size indicates the more scholarly criticism. I have to do this, or the commentary would end up being excessively sarcastic and downright angry at the sheer levels of falsehood and misunderstanding present in the text. I hope this provides me with a pressure valve for to vent annoyance and frustration out of the main text. Also, turns out the chapter reached its end sooner than I remembered it would. Well, they all feel very much like one huge shapeless blob of the same stuff, so ...

An important thing, that cannot be ignored, is the sheer amount of assertion - often, asserting that "as has been shown" or "as we have seen", when the showing or seeing has been based on fabrication or very wishful thinking when it comes to interpreting sources. Repeating an assertion does not make it so. Showing is different from asserting. Since mentioning every such assertion would break up the review and make it highly unstructured - something along the line of [actual argument], oh hey, an unsubstantiated assertion, [actual ...] oh, hey, unsubstantiated assertion, [... argument] ...from now on, a compilation of unsubstantiated assertions will be posted once the major points of the book have been dealt with.

[1, pp.81-82] she claims Peruvian Inca nuns were in a jealously guarded state of virginity, which if violated was punished by death and effacement even of the burial spot. This claim seems to be based on a rather non-credible source - other sources seem to claim that virginity was not valued in any comparable way in Peru as it was in Europe.

The Slavonic or Slavic culture is Indo-european, as illustrated by the linguistical connection to Sanskrit: For example, the Slavonic sky god is "Svarog," the root of which, svar, meaning "bright,clear," is "related to the Sanskrit." A Slavic name for the sun god is "Dazhbog," wherein "bog" means "god" and "Dazh" is apparently related to the Sanskrit "Dyaus," referring to the sky-god father-figure, who is Zeus in Greek, Deus in Latin, Dieu in French and Dios in Spanish. Dazhbog, the Sun, is the "son of Svarog," the sky god, a classical astrotheological relationship. Another Slavic son of the sky is "ogon which can be compared to the Sanskrit agni..." As can be seen, sun worship was not only common around the globe, but it weaves together many of the world's cultures. Astrotheology is thus a very important area of study not to be dismissed or ignored, as it unites the world's cultures beyond their superficial and perilous divisiveness"
Огонь, ogon' is a (Russian) word for fire, shared in relatively similar form in other Slavic languages, related to the Sanskrit word for fire (agni, अग्नि) and the Latin word ignis. What is difficult to understand here is why Acharya mystifies this fact. A tribe back in the mists of pre-history had a word for fire that was something along those lines, it went through changes, and they end up as ogon', ignis and agni. These may have been associated with the sun already during proto-Indo-European times - it is a rather natural association to do. Since the ancients did not know how the sun worked (nor how fire worked), and did not use very technical definitions for their words - as we often don't need to either - the actual 'fire' of the sun and the fire in a pyre would probably actually seem more similar to them than fire and some acid dissolving some solid. (Yet, to modern science, the two latter are more similar.) 

But this doesn't require weird claims about the significance of the mistaken beliefs of people 3000+ years ago. 

French dieu and Spanish dios derive from the Latin, and hence are not really evidence of how widespread this name was among distinct people - this is like counting Latin thrice. Svarog being a sky-god requires some backing up in addition to Acharya's say-so. 

Regarding the significance of "astrotheology" we would notice that those who discovered these regular correspondences between Latin, Greek, Slavic, Germanic, Armenian, ..., Sanskrit and so on did not just look at haphazard theological terms from the different languages. They did in fact look at terminology from most walks of life: technology (the wheel, fire, equine terminology), flora and fauna, relations, social hierarchies, natural phenomena, verbs that are likely to be part of every social function. Had they restricted themselves to theological words, they would not know why ignis, agni and ogon' are related, they would just have a sneaking suspicion that, indeed, they are related. But that methodology lends itself to false cognates.

It seems Acharya wants the reader to think these facts are somehow kept secret and that they indicate much more than they actually do.

The conclusion of the chapter is essentially correct: sun-worship is ancient and widespread, God and the Sun probably were often understood to be the same. "There is simply no escaping that fact, no matter how sophistic and casuistic become the arguments ..." [1, p. 84], well, luckily, I doubt any serious scholar actually is claiming this to be in error. Why there has to be such an amounts of fabrication, misrepresentation, quotemining and tendentious reading of things to arrive at such an obvious conclusion is a question every reader should ask themselves.


  1. Interesting- is the source for the claim regarding the Inca "nuns" given? I wonder if it would be impossible for a culture otherwise indifferent to virginity to maintain superstitions about certain taboo women. I think (correct me if I'm mistaken) the Japanese had (have?) temple virgins in some shrines while others were dedicated to phallic gods and orgiastic rituals, so, it would be interesting to get more info about this.

    1. It is from Thomas Inman's Ancient Faiths and Modern, available at

      Pp 57-59. In which it is made clear that this is not anything Thomas Inman himself has researched - it is but a summary of

      Of Prescott's work, Inman says "The reader of Prescott will find that he has not adopted this account without carefully estimating the value of his authorities, and I believe that he may be fairly trusted." (pages 56 and 57, just at the end of the former and beginning of the latter).

      This means that in Acharya's book we're dealing with a summary of a summary of a summary. This from an author who boasts about reading sources in the original languages.

      A cursory glance at Inman's book shows that he is just an armchair thinker, who has read things in order to come up with a theory - see, e.g. page 23, where he talks about how the natives of North America do not have a religion, etc. Very much a child of his times, then.

      After flipping through the pages of's edition of Inman's book for a while, I can conclude that:
      He did not mention what work of Prescott's he was using as his source, except that there was a corrected edition in 1866. This is strange, as he does give chapters and page numbers. Well, maybe I just missed it. I presume this refers to William H. Prescott, though, and his collected works come in more than a dozen volumes (available at

      I suspect reading the Prescott source would provide either some sign of quote-mining or just bad data.

  2. I found this post to be rather weak. After more generalised adjectives about how extremely bad Acharya is, Miekko concludes "It seems Acharya wants the reader to think these facts are somehow kept secret and that they indicate much more than they actually do. The conclusion of the chapter is essentially correct: sun-worship is ancient and widespread, God and the Sun probably were often understood to be the same."

    It is not sun worship that is secret, but how Christianity displays continuity with sun worship, displacing the sun with its anthropomorphic myth of Christ.

    I think you might be surprised at how little known the history of sun worship actually is, leading you to skate over important information presented by Acharya.

    1. "Generalized adjectives about how bad Acharya is"? NO. Rather specific things pointed out about how bad _HER REASONING_ is, there's quite a difference between an ad hominem argument and an argument that looks into the quality of arguments. If you want to obfuscate that difference, shame on you. Care to stop misrepresenting what I write in your responses to it?

      Regarding this bit: "It seems Acharya wants the reader to think these facts are somehow kept secret and that they indicate much more than they actually do", I basically referred to the facts regarding how Indo-European languages are related, and the fact that many names of gods and everyday things such as fire, the wheel, ... are a heritage common to the indo-european languages in general. Acharya tries to make this seem mystical and surprising and secret.