Ancient Persian Inscriptions Link a Babylonian King to the Man Who Became Buddha
Dramatic evidence has revealed the presence of Siddhartha Gautama, the man who became Buddha, as far west as Persia. Family seals and records found at Persepolis, the ancient capital of the fourth Persian Emperor, Darius the Great, have been identified and associated with the names of Siddhartha Gautama and his father, Suddhodana Gautama.
The Persepolis Seals identified royals and other important personages within the Persian ruling sphere. Guatama was the name of the royal family of the Saka kingdom.
Analysis of Seals PFS 79, PFS 796 and PF 250 found among the collection of important seals in Persepolis, the Persian capital of Emperor Darius I, are purported to be the Gautama family according to an interpretation by Dr. Ranajit Pal ( The Dawn of Religions in Afghanistan-Seistan-Gandhara and the Personal Seals of Gotama Buddha and Zoroaster, published in Mithras Reader: An Academic and Religious Journal of Greek, Roman and Persian Studies. Vol. III, London, 2010, pg. 62).
The family crest bore the etching of a crown-headed king flanked by two totems, each a standing bird-headed winged lion. The Seal of Sedda depiction of a Sramana (Persepolis Seal PFS 79), a Lion-Sun shaman, is based on information gathered from a number of other seals the name refers to Sedda Arta (Siddhartha), i.e., Siddha (Liberator of) and Arta (Universal Truth).
Persepolis Seal PFS 79 and outline. Seal of Seddha, standing ruler flanked by bird-headed Arya-Sramana priests of Indus-Vedic tradition, linked to Saka tribe (Scythians) royal family of King Suddhodana Gautama, and his son-prince Siddhartha. Seal art courtesy of Oriental Institute, Chicago.
The twin guardians each had the body of lion and the head and wings of a mythic sunbird (i.e., Egyptian Sun-bearing falcon). The lion and falcon-gryphon motifs represented a pair of Sramana shamans. Therefore, the family seal associated with Gautama, described a royal person of the Arya-Vedic tradition.
A similar image of Buddhist iconography shows a Buddha seated on a “lion-throne” under a bejeweled tree with cosmic aides at his side. The Buddhist montage declares his enlightenment under the cosmic Sacred Tree of Illumination.
Possibly a modification of his family seal designed to reflect his new teachings, once Siddhartha Gautama achieves enlightenment this Buddhist emblem comes to represent him seated on the lion-throne under the sacred cosmic tree flanked by two celestial Bodhisattva.
What would the family crest of the Gautama family be doing in Persia? Was Siddhartha Gautama connected to the Persian Empire?
The inscriptions of Darius the Great (Per. Darayavaush), the Persian emperor for thirty-five years, boast that the Zoroastrian God Assura Mazda (Per. Ahura Mazda ) chose him to take the throne (in 522 BCE) from a usurper named “Gaumâta.” Darius shrouds the short-lived reign of his predecessor in a power struggle involving deceit, conspiracy, murder, and the prize of the Persian throne. He characterizes “Gaumâta” as an opportunist who illegally grabbed the throne in Babylon while the sitting Persian Emperor Kambujiya was away in Egypt.
Relief carving of Darius the Great ( Iran Chamber )
Written in Cuneiform Script on tablets at Mount Bisutun (aka Behistun) in three different languages: Old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian (a form of Akkadian), the Bisutun Inscriptions may have echoed the name of Siddhartha Gautama, the man who became the Buddha, in the name of a little known King of Babylon.
The inscriptions refer to a religious figure named “Gaumâta,” from whom the Achaemenid Persian Emperor, Darius the Great, seized the throne in Babylon. Darius painted “Gaumâta” an imposter and illegal ruler, although the description does not seem to fit the highly educated and beloved leader. Darius identified him as a Magi (practitioner of esoteric knowledge), and sardonically labeled him as a “stargazer.” If the name “Gaumâta” referred to Siddhartha Gautama, this reference would mean that he held a key leadership position in the Magi Order. Moreover, as the headquarters of the Magi was in the temple complex of Esagila, home of the ziggurat tower dubbed “House of the Raised Head,” the designation of “stargazer” suggests that Gautama was involved with Babylon’s star observatory.
Could it be that Siddhartha Gautama was the mysterious King “Gaumâta”?
During lifetime of Buddha (b. 563 - d. 483 BCE) when the Persian Empire stretched from Egypt to the Indus, Darius the Great comes to power by overthrowing the stargazer-Magus "Gaumata" in Babylon about whom his Bisutun Inscriptions claim: "he seized the kingdom on July 1, 522 BCE. Then I prayed to Ahuramazda and slew him." Image of Darius reasserting Persian domination stomps on "rebels" with inscriptions etched below.
The name “Gaumâta” appears to be a variant of Gautama, the Buddha’s family name. In the ancient multilingual land of Babylonia, multiple names and titles with spelling variations referring to the same person were common.
Does evidence of the Babylonian Magi Order’s influences appear in Buddhist literature? Could we discover Mesopotamian references in the Buddhist scriptures?
The earliest mathematical systems, astronomical measurements, and mythological literature were initiated in the ziggurat tower-temples of the Fertile Crescent by the cultures of Sumer/Akkad and Amorite Babylonia. Both Magi and Vedic seers furthered knowledge of a cosmic infrastructure, well known in the Buddha’s time from the Tigris to the Ganges. Discovering this connection in the Buddhist sutras would challenge the prevailing view that Buddhism was born and developed in isolation exclusively in India. Although the oral legacy of the sutras were assembled and recorded later in India, a Babylonian finding would have major implications regarding the origin, influences, and intentions of the Buddha.
Byzantine depiction of the Three Magi in a 7th-century mosaic at Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo. ( Wikimedia Commons )
Described as a compassionate philosopher-cosmologist “Gaumâta” decreed freedom for slaves, lowered oppressive taxes across the board, and inspired neighbors to respect one another in a city known for its diverse ethnic groups and many languages. His espousal of liberty, human rights, and generosity supports the thesis that “Gaumâta” and Gautama were one and the same person.
Prince Siddharta Gautama shaves the hair off his head as the sign to decline his status as ksatriya (warrior class) and becomes an ascetic hermit, his servants hold his sword, crown, and princely jewelry while his horse Kanthaka stands on right. Bas-relief panel at Borobudur, Java, Indonesia. ( Wikimedia Commons )
Darius, a military strongman, and a member of the Achaemenid family, prepared for his coup with a propaganda campaign designed to legitimize his overthrow of “Gaumâta.” In his public inscription he referred to his cohorts as witnesses who would confirm the killing of the usurper.
While his story appears to be full of cunning deceptions, the real behind the scenes story of this episode has remained elusive to history. Certainly as Darius had good reason to write history in his own self-interest, what happened has gone undetected for thousands of years because historians know little to nothing about “Gaumâta.”
Of course, if “Gaumâta” was really Siddhartha Gautama, this assassination had to be a lie, because he did go on to become the Buddha. Either someone else was murdered in the name of “Gaumâta,” or Darius shrewdly produced a disinformation campaign designed to cover up what really happened. With the “death of the imposter” the new emperor wanted to send a message to supporters of “Gaumâta” that he would not tolerate rebellions and suppressed any hope for the return of this popular leader. But in the wake of the coup nineteen rebellions arose throughout the empire. It would take Darius more than a year of brutal military action to crush the liberation-minded communities inspired by “Gaumâta.”
The above article is an extract from ‘ The Buddha from Babylon: The Lost History and Cosmic Vision of Siddhartha Gautama ’ by Harvey Kraft and has been republished with permission.
Featured image: ‘Buddha offers fruit to the devil’ from 14 th century Persian manuscript ‘The Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh’ (Compendium of Chronicles). ( Image source )
By Harvey Kraft
Gomata was not killed as he was a descendent of Zoroaster whole or part of the tribe was transplanted family was sent to India Shadodan was Indian born
"Buddha" is not a name, it is a title meaning "awakened". In Buddhist sutras there are countless Buddhas throughout the infinite worlds of the cosmos that arise in time to guide sentient beings away from ignorance and suffering, towards enlightenment and liberation. There are specific past and future Buddhas of this world mentioned by name in many sutras. It is also Buddhist doctrine that all beings are truly Buddhas, and that all things abide in Buddha Nature (Dharma), but that they must realize it themselves in order to be liberated from suffering and the wheel of birth and death (Samsara).
A glimpse into the 'history' of Lord Buddha, via the Vedas.
"In the following material, we will look at the evidence that seems to indicate that there was first the Avatara Buddha, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu who appeared near 1800 BCE, and then there was another person who became known as Gautama called Buddha, born around 560 BCE." (-Stephen Knapp)
<a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=w... rel="nofollow">Were There Two Buddhas?</a>
Gee Chill out and read the first paragraph of the article. No one is trying to take anything away from anyone. Would you have liked it better is the Seals were never transcribed?
That would be the equivalent of digging a hole in the ground and inserting your head. Grow up.
Buddha was not Indian in order to prove what sir, that everything came from white people, for your information I want to tell you that indus valley civilization was so big that it could encompas 4 babylon it stretched from Afghanistan to kanyakumari. Do you known how much big civilization that is. your saying that a civilization that big has no linguistics of its own, culture of its own and religion. isn't that funny a small civilization like Babylonian can have it and a big civilization like Indus doesn't have anything of its own. You white people neglect history or contribution of people other than yours. Today Buddha is not ours and tomorrow you would say their isn't a civilization called Indus valley civilization that Europeans moved there. We are not idiots to believe in everything. After many hundreds years of cruelty you people done to others. You white people are doing the same till now. You people will never change and distort other people's history to suit yours at least change now.