DRUIDISM AND VEDISM COMPARED
by Ariaxs Druuis Boutios
Many have heard about druidism but few have a true picture of what druidism was, and is in truth. The many misconceptions entertained by the general public have blurred the picture to the point where it is unrecognisable as a western brand of Vedism. Most people confuse it with witchcraft and wizardry. This is mainly due to the fact that it was denigrated and fakirised by the dominating faith introduced into Europe by the Romans around the third century of the Common Era. Christianism, not unlike the other monolithic monotheistic religions does not tolerate competition. The following are my views gained from inside the tradition.
What it is not
Ě Druidism isn't a form of shamanism.
Ě It isn't wizardry either; although the name drui (magician) came to be taken for such in modern Irish.
Ě It is in no way connected with witchcraft or other forms of modern occult lores.
Ě It isn't an offshoot of Freemasonry, although many associations proclaiming to be Neo-druidical are Masonic lodges.
Ě It isn't an isolated cult practised only by the Celts of the Celtic fringe (Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brittany).
What it is
The ministry of the Druids was called Druidiaxto in the ancient sacred language (Celtica). "The Druids were the Brahmans of the West", more than an aphorism this is a statement of fact. First, the etymology; Druid stems from the Celtic root Dru-Uides (pl. of Dru-Uis) for "firm knowers".
Same as Celtic Uidta||Uidtu = Science, Knowledge, a cognate of the Sanskrit Veda.
A cognate of the theonym Visnu is also found in Celtic as Uisunos/-a/-on = 'worthy', 'dignified'. Visnu is said to derive ultimately from "Vi-", with a general meaning of separation or of distance.
This is expanded into Visnu, which means "all-pervading". The Celtic cognate Uisunos relates to a Vedic Sanskrit word, Visune. Druuos, "the firm" also has a Sanskrit cognate in the name Dhruva, the Pole Star. Druides were the keepers and maintainers of the Dru-Uidiia (Dhru-VidyÓ in Skt form), a body of lore which has unfortunately disappeared with the last Druids around the Vth c. CE., but which was revived, in part, during the Medieval Ages until it was restored in 1717 CE. Therefore, Dru-Uidiia (Firm Knowledge) was comparable to Trayi-VidyÓ with its three main Vedas: Rigveda, SÓmaveda, and Yajurveda. Here we find the same propensity for word-play, šlesha, on Trii-Uidiia and Dru-Uidiia. Good for the etymology. How about the theological content?
Druidism, like Vedism was articulated on the concepts of Monism and Relativism, of Monism and Dualism, that is, of Impersonalism and Personalism. Same dialectic as with Advaita-vedanta (Nondualistic) and Suddha-dvaita (Pure dualism). With the Druids these two philosophies were incorporated into a unified concept, that individual souls partook of the same nature as the Uxellimon, the Brahman, but were also different in that they were endowed with individual personalities and therefore different but similar (Relativism).
The Original teachings of the Druids emanated from the Seven Sages or Sextendiriones, the Stars of Ursa Major also called Eburoi, the Boars. They were the mind sons of the God Dagodeuos called Uesos (Knower), Uocomarcos (Research), Sulacsus (Wisdom), Uirionos (Truth), Ueros (True), Andiatis (Superior), and Uindonos (Whitely).
These teachings in relation to Uidiia were then given to the ancient Druid Master Tundos, the Salmon of Knowledge keeper of the fountainhead, who lived before the First Age, Aes Nemeti (Krita Yuga), Age of the Holy. His lineage was revived by Tundos Carrillos in the second Age. Along with the lineage of Tundos in the second Age (Aes Uironi, the Age of Truth or Treta Yuga) was that of Uindonos another great avatar whose line was carried into the Christian Era.
First and foremost were the prime Druids of the Prime Age, Uesos, the Knower, Uocomarcos, the Research, and Sulacsus, the Wisdom, who initiated the Four Masters' lineage. The Four Masters were the ever youthful mind-born sons of Dits Ater (or Brannos /Dagodeuos, the Celtic Brahma) identical to the Four Kumaras.
Arios, the Noble, or Uisciatis (Waterlord) North;
Semiatis, the Subtle, if not Uoros (Underly), East;
Marouesos, of Great Knowledge, if not Andiatis (Superior) or Morios, (the Sea) South;
and Uros (the Pure/Fire), if not Uindonos or Esdratis, the Lord who has the Way, West.
Other ancient seers were Matugenos, son of the Bear, Meneuos, of the three Mantric sounds, Tasgos, a Druid of Nodons, Dallanos, a great theologian-seer in the Aes Danuos (DvÓpara Yuga) or Age of Boons. Amarogenos, "of Sorrow", a prime Druid of the Aes Miletonens (Age of Havoc) at the start of this Age of Kali, and, Catubatuos, the Fighter of Death, Magus Retas, Servant of the Wheel, a great theologian and politician.
Amarogenos, who in later traditions was hailed as the first Druid, seer to have set foot in the western land (Ireland via Iberia) cried out an extraordinary incantation resounding with the same intensity as those of the Bhagavad Gita.
It is remarkable that both poetic boasts be separated more by space than by time! Compare for yourselves :
On the druidic side:
The Song of Amarogenos the Druid
I am a wind on the sea
I am a wave of the ocean
I am the roar of the sea,
I am a powerful ox,
I am a hawk on a cliff,
I am a dewdrop in the sunshine,
I am a boar for valor,
I am a salmon in pools,
I am a lake in a plain,
I am the strength of art,
I am a spear with spoils that wages battle,
I am a man that shapes fire for a head.
Who clears the stone-place of the mountain?
What the place in which the setting of the sun lies?
Who has sought peace without fear seven times?
Who names the waterfalls?
Who brings his cattle from the house of Tethra?
What person, what god Forms weapons in a fort?
In a fort that nourishes satirists,
Chants a petition, divides the Ogam letters,
Separates a fleet, has sung praises?
A wise satirist.
He sang afterwards to increase fish in the creeks:
Burst of fish-
Fish under wave-
With courses of birds--
A white wall--
With hundreds of salmon-
A port song-
A burst of fish.
And on the Vedic side :
Knowledge of the Absolute
O son of Kunti, I am the taste of water,
the light of the sun and the moon,
the syllable ˘m in the Vedic mantras;
I am the sound in ether and ability in man.
I am the original fragrance of the earth,
and I am the heat in fire.
I am the life of all that lives,
and I am the penances of all ascetics.
O son of PrthÓ, know that
I am the original seed
of all existences,
the intelligence of the intelligent,
and prowess of all powerful men.
I am the strength of the strong,
devoid of passion and desire.
I am kÓma-rÓga which is not contrary to dharma,
O lord of the BhÓratas (Arjuna).
Know that all states of being
be they of goodness,
passion or ignorance
are manifested by my energy.
Iam , in one sense,
I am independent.
I am not under the modes of material nature,
for they, on the contrary, are within Me.
Deluded by the three modes,
the whole world does not know Me,
who am above the modes
(BG chapt. 10. v. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
The Yoga of the Supreme Person
I am the fire of digestion in the bodies of all living entities,
and I join with the air of life, out going and incoming,
to digest the four kinds of foodstuff.
I am seated in everyone's heart,
and from Me come remembrance,
knowledge and forgetfulness.
By all the Vedas,
I am to be known.
I am the compiler of VedÓnta,
and I am the Knower of Vedas.
(BG chapt 15;. v.14, 15)
Then again, the similarities in liturgical vocabulary are much too alike to be coincidental. Here are just a few examples:
Sanskrit: angiras (messenger, a great sage); Celtic agetos (messenger, godly messenger, angel/cf. Greek: aggelos)
Sanskrit arya (freeman), - Celtic :arios (nobleman)
Sanskrit artha (living); Celtic: uritus (profit, gain)
Sanskrit: avidya (ignorance); Celtic: anuidiia (ignorance)
Sanskrit: Buddhi (planet Mercury); Celtic: Boudios (planet Mercury)
Sanskrit: deva (god); Celtic deuos (god)
Sanscrit: dharma (ritual law); Celtic : dedma (ritual law)
Sanskrit: dhruva (firm, Pole Star); Celtic druuos (firm, Pole Star)
Sanskrit gunas (literally rope, a yoke); Celtic: ganna || ganno (contenance, fatality, as a yoke)
Sanskrit: manu (man , mankind); Celtic: manos (man, human/cf. manus: Germanic)
Sanskrit: namas (bow , obeisance , reverential salutation , adoration); Celtic namos||nemos (sky vault, heaven, ether)
Sanskrit kÓma, the mode of kÔma (goodness); Celtic: coima (softness, lovingness)
Sanskrit - raja (king); Celtic rixs (king),
Sanskrit: Surya (Sun); Celtic: Sauelios (Sun)
Sanskrit: veda (science knowledge, insight, vision); Celtic: uidta || uidtu (science knowledge, insight, vision.
Sanskrit: Vidya (science, knowledge, conception); Uidia || Uidiia (science, knowledge, conception).
The Celtic divinity Esus, word which expresses lordship, deity,and goodness (from Aesus||Aisus = "Breath", "Deity", and punning with Uesos = "Knowing", "Good by excellence") is identical to the etruccan Ais (SIA) "an idea of divinity" and Hittite Ishas (+Ósu > asura by coalescing).
It finds its parallels in the Germanic Asar (+ ansuz by coalescing), and is similar to the Avestic ahu > ahura and Vedic Asa > Ash. The Celtic goddesses Ana and Danua are analogues of the Vedic goddesses Anahita and Danu. Maya also finds her counterpart in the Celtic Maiia and Italic Maea, goddess of Homes.
The Celtic Adido is close to the Vedic Aditi, and Ander could be the true name of Lugus, the Celtic Indra. Following the trimurti deities, Rudra finds his match in the Celtic Roudios, while Ogmios can be compared to Vohumanah.
It is still debated as to whether Medros or Meduris is to be closened to Mitra, but nevertheless, both participate of the same respective divine order in that Medros is Mitraesque. Varuna is Ueranos (when not To-Ueranos > Taranos), comparable to the Greek Ouranos and Latin Uranus.
Interestingly, the Celtic Taranos seems to be the product of the same semantic shift as the Sanskrit Taranih. Likewise, there are Italic, Hellenic or Germanic deities comparable to the Vedic ones but not found with Celtic cognates. For example: IdaspÔti for Nrayan corresponds to Poseidon in Greek, Fosites in Germanic while he is called Nectanos (Washed) in Celtic. As for Narayan, he is Nereus in Greek, Nereius in Latin, and Lero (Flow) in Celtic (J. Monard 2001).
Conversely, the sunrise divinity Ushas finds its cognates in the Celtic Uasris and Uara, while it is Aurora in Latin or Eos in Greek. Other interesting matches are the gods Uisuna||Uesuna and Uisunos (Dignified, Worthy) and Vishnu.
The other parallels are much too great to enumerate in such a short notice so we will just give some of the examples that first come to mind:
TABLE OF COMPARISONS
VEDIC / DRU-UIDIC
1. The term Vedic derives from the Sanskrit Vidya meaning knowledge, science , learning , scholarship , and philosophy.
The term Druidic derives from Uidiia (cf. Uidia) meaning knowledge, science, learning, scholarship, and philosophy with Dru- (same as Sanskrit dhru-) as an adjectival prefix meaning firm, and hard; thus firm knowledge or science. In Vedic terms, it is Dhru-Vidya.
2. There are four classifications in the Vedas : Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, and Yajur Veda.
There are four classifications in the canonical druidic texts: Marocastus, the Great Story, Barna Nemeti, the Judgements of Nemetos, Uidtu Garmianom the Science of Invocations (Garman), and Uidto Cantlonos the Science of Song (Cano),the fourth. "Cantalones" is the name of that division,
3. The gods of the Vedas are referred to as deva, meaning "shining one."
The gods of the Celts are called deuoi, meaning "shining ones."
4. The soul in the Vedas is atman.
The Celtic word for soul is anamu punning with anatia, the Celtic term for breath.
5. The early Vedic pantheon included deities of fire, solar, atmospheric and nature forces, ritual stimulants, speech, crafts, arts, harvests, medicine, justice, ethical/ecological order, war, battles of malevolent beings. River Goddesses represented sovereignty, arts and fertility.
Gods often had overlapping functions.
Celtic deities included Gods who actualised nature forces, promulgated ethics, justice, knowledge, speech, arts, crafts, medicine, harvests, gave war courage and battled forces of
darkness, also including Goddesses of rivers, land, sovereignty, arts, fertility and motherhood. Gods were often polyvalent and tri-functioned.
6. Vedic God of rain and thunder was Indra who carried thunderbolts. Vedic God of fire is Agni, meaning fire. The solar Being is Surya.
Celtic God of thunder was Taranus who carried thunderbolts. God of fire is Aedus, also meaning fire. The sun Deity is Grannos, Oinogustios or Belenos when not simply Sauelios.
7. The Goddess Danu appears in the Vedic story "The Churning of the Oceans," a story with parallels Celtic mythology. Danu in Sanskrit means "divine waters" and "moisture."
The Celtic stories of the goddess Danua (< Danu) a and the Danube (Danubia) is a parallel to that of Ganga and the Ganges. Danua in Celtic means "high rushing waters" and impetuous".
Celtic cosmology is an exact parallel of Vedic cosmology:
8. Vedic cosmology describes cosmic creation as the sacrifice of Purusha, the Primal Being.
The Vedic word for breath is Prana.
Celtic cosmology conceived of cosmic creation as the dismembering of Bitus (World), the Cosmic Giant, when not Ancu = "Fatality"; or Ailm, the primal sound) as primal sacrifice victim. The Celtic word for breath is Aesus.
9. The universe existence span-called kalpa-ends in a repeatingcreation/destruction cycle through fire and water, symbolic of primal light and sound. The Brahmins count four Ages: Krta or Satya Yuga (Golden Age, "the Age of Truth"), Treta Yuga (Third Age), DvÓpara Yuga (Second Age), and Kali Yuga (Dark Age)
The Druids taught that the universe is destroyed in the disbalance of elements and is re-constructed through fire and water in a repeating cycle called Aeii˘n. The Reconstruction termed Areudengto (> Erdathe gdl) initiates the new cycle.The Druids counted four Ages: Aiuestu Nemeti (Age of Holy/Golden Age), Aiuestu Uirionas (Age of Truth/Silver Age), Aiuestu Danuion (Age of Boons/Bronze Age), and Aiuestu Miletonion (Age of Havoc/Iron Age)
10. Vedic cosmology perceives three interrelating worlds-a physical world, an astral world of the ancestors, the souls of the dead and demi-gods, and a causal universe of deities, of Supreme Being and primal energy; plus a fourth netherworld.
Druidic cosmology also perceives three interrelating worlds: an underworld called uodumnon, an earthly realm called bitu or dumnon, a heavenly realm of dead heroes and gods called rigosedon; and a white realm of supreme deities and energy source of stars called uindobitu. plus a forth netherworld termed andumnon.
11. The Vedic macrocosm is divided into four lands and cities occupied by celestial beings and spirit entities of similar character. On these planes called lokas, time is abnormally expanded.
The druidic three or four worlds are in turn described as planes (Magoi) called fields of existence, occupied by spirit beings and similar disincarnate souls. Time is also expanded in the Magoi.
12. In Vedic thought, departed souls dwelled in refined or otherworldly places until their next reincarnation in human or animal form.
In druidic thought, souls of the deceased continue existence in subtle or underworldly realms called Sidoi until entry into the next human or animal body.
13. The Vedic earth world is called bhu for "relm of the living".
The Celtic earth world is called bitu also for "relm of the living".
14. The Vedic calendar is based on 12 lunar months with an embolismic month added every 3-year and 5-years to harmonise with solar cycles.
The Druidical calendar is based on 12 lunar months with an embolismic month added every 3 and 5-years to harmonise with solar cycles. The Coligny calendar was based on 62 lunar months (5 years +) intercalated to a 3-year solar cycle for solstice correction.
15. In the Vedic calendar, the sixth day of the moon called Mahatithi (Great Day) was held in great reverence.
As reported by Pliny the Elder, the Druids held the sixth day of the moon as highly sacred. This sixth day, Nemetolatis, marks the eve of the novena called Noiolates in Celtic. Likewise, in the Roman calendar, the sixth day called Pridie Nonas marks the end of Kalendae days initiating the month while Nonae, the seventh day, initiates the novena (nine days).
16. Brahmans studied the stars an made astronomical calculations, speculated on their movements and measured their distances. Vedic astronomy was applied to astrology, and the Brahmin astrologers closely observed the skies.
Likewise Druids studied the stars, stellar motion, as applied to navigation and speculated on the size and nature of the universe. Druidic astronomy was applied to astrology, and the druid astrologers closely observed the skies.
17. Vedic astrologers use a system called nakshatras in Sanskrit..
Ancient Celtic astrologers used a similar system based on twenty-seven lunar mansions called Lettoi Luxnas. Like the Hindu Soma, the god Alpillis, husband of Medua "drunkenness", had a circular palace constructed with twenty-seven windows through which he could gaze on his twenty-seven "star wives."
18. One fascinating parallel is that the ancient Irish and Hindus used the name Budh for the planet Mercury. The stem budh appears in all the Celtic languages, as it does in Sanskrit, as meaning "all victorious," "gift of teaching," "accomplished," "enlightened," "exalted" and so on. Boudios was the Celtic name for Mercury!
19. The Vedic priestly caste was that of the Brahmans.
The Druids were not simply a priesthood. They were the intellectual caste of ancient Celtic society, incorporating all the professions: judges, lawyers, medical doctors, ambassadors, historians and so forth, just as does the Brahman caste.
20. The Sanskrit term for invocation is hotar and the oblation carrier was called a Brahman.
The Celtic word for invocation is gutuater and the oblation carrier was called a Beromen.
21. Celtic priests, as did the Vedic priests, taught that human souls were indestructible, but that the universe ends and returns through fire and water in a repeating cycle.
22. The central Vedic ritual was the fire sacrifice, performed in geometric pits with offerings of ghee, spices, rice-conducted by hymn-and-mantra-chanting brahmins.
The central Celtic ritual was the fire sacrifice, conducted in geometric pits with offerings of clarified butter (embmen), herbs, mead and flour cakes, conducted by chanting druids.
23. The Vedic priesthood-the brahmins-memorised the scriptural and societal law knowledge of the Hindus, passing it on orally, forbidding writing. Brahmins formed several divisions associated with the fire ritual duties. Enlightened brahmins became rishi seers. Others advised kings and some specialised in medicine and astronomy/astrology.
Enlightened Celtic seers were called druuides, meaning "Firm knowers." and were part of a class of priests called nemetes (from nemetos = "sacred" and nemos "sky", "ether" . They memorised the entire knowledge of the Celts and passed it on orally, forbidding written transmission. They were divided into several classes: seers, judges, royal advisors, hymn chanters, poet bards, sacrificers. They were also astronomers, healers and magicians.
24. Brahmins studied for 12 years in a gurukulam to
master oral, ritual, mathematical, astronomical knowledge.
Druids studied for 20 years in strict discipleship to master their oral, ritual, law, science and psychic arts.
25. Poet seers of the Vedic literature memorised lengthy poetic sagas conveying spiritual knowledge and dharmic duty. The poetic metre was a fixed syllable line, free form, with 3-part cadence at end.
Poet seers of Celtic literature memorised extremely lengthy poetic sagas that communicated spiritual metaphysics and civic laws. The poetic metre was a fixed syllable line, free form, with 3-part cadence at end.
In ancient Celtic society as in ancient Vedic society, there was a class of poets who acted as charioteers to the warriors They were also their intimates and friends. In Vedic and Celtic sagas these charioteers extolled the prowess of the warriors.
26. Vedic ascetics practised Yoga a breathing technique of postures and meditation skills in a spiritual process called tapas (heat), generating high body heat.
Druid ascetics practised Iugon a breathing technique of postures and meditation techniques that gave degrees of ecstasy, often accompanied by Aedon intense heat in the body.
27. Vedic society divided into four hierarchical castes: priests, warriors, merchants, workers. Brahmins counselled warrior-kings (rajas). Upward mobility was sanctioned in Vedas, but later frozen in societal law books.
Celtic society was divided into three or four hierarchical stratas of life: priests, warriors, producers and craftsmen (including merchants), and captives. Druids advised warrior-kings known as rixs. The dharmic classes were never frozen into a caste system.
28. Vedic society prized the supernatural power of truth-saying, piety and honour, and eloquence in gatherings.
Celts prized the magical power of telling truth, honour/piety among men and eloquence in conversation and oration.
29. Vedic Hindus prized womanly virtues, and by law sonless fathers could bequeath property to daughters or arrange her marriage to relatives for male heirs. Female seers were countenanced, and female ascetics tended Goddess rites.
Celts honoured women, guarded their virtue, and allowed by law daughters of sonless fathers to inherit property or to marry kinsmen to bear male heirs to the father. Pythonesses were sanctioned, and priestesses for Goddesses favoured.
30. Vedic Hindus followed 8 forms of marriage from arranged to love to abduction. The groom paid a bride price.
Celts recognised 8 forms of marriage from arranged to love to abduction. A bride gift was given by the groom.
31. Vedic society taught four ashrama stages of life: studentship (7-21); family life (21-49); elder advisor (50-57/60); vanaprasha, the person becomes a religious seaker 57/60+), in which the individual seeks enlightenment. The Vedic ideal of a fulfilled life was to live 100 autumns. The Vedas defined the maturing of the physical self in cycles of seven years.
Celts defined life stages, "Columns of Age": infancy (0-7), boyhood starts at 7 ( "Age of Reason"), adolescence at 14 (2x7), majority at 21 (7x3), plus two others, to finally come to the mature age of 63 (9x7), in which enlightening inspiration is sought. The Celtic ideal measure for a man's life was 81 years ("Thrice the age of a horse (27) is the age of a man (81), a short existence").
32. The ancient Hindu family unit is four generations from a great-grandfather.
The Celtic family unit was a group of four generations from a great-grandfather.
33. By Hindu law, a creditor could fast at the door of the past due debtor, who then was obligated to protect the health of the creditor and pay the debt.
By Celtic law a man owed money could fast at the door of the debtor-who must join the fast-forcing the debtor to pay or enter an arbitration.
On Druids and Brahmans
Many were the scholars who were struck by the great similarities of the Celtic Druids and Vedic Brahmans. Despite all the similarities, a cognate of the name Brahman is not found in the neo-Celtic languages. However, it is found in the sister languages of Gaulish, Latin in particular. The linguist Julius Porkony was the first to propose a common etymon for the Latin Flamen and Sanskrit Brahman. The Old Aryan language, qualified as proto-Indo-european by modern linguistic standards had *Blagmen as the root word of both Flamen and Brahman.
Porkorny saw in it a primitive meaning of 'Opferhandlung', which means the handling of offerings, that is, 'treatment of offerings' in sacrificial liturgy.
And the Tibetan Buddhist term Lama, from the root Blama, is probably from the Sanskrit Brahma. Blama had the meaning of 'master', 'teacher', and has nothing to do with the humble monk. The Blama was more like a spiritual guide, of exceptional merits . In light of this, the Slavic derived term blago-, connotes 'salutary bringing'. From the Russian language we have Blago, 'the Good', 'the Salvation'; Blagoj, 'good', 'salutary'. This bringing us closer to the brahmanic concepts of 'sacrifice/offering/salvation' held as an indispensable trio for world preservation and balance.
For it to be operative, it had to be ensured by the Brahman through his ministers the Brahmana. The Brahmans were not unknown to Ancient Europe, the Greeks transcribed the name as Braxmanis, and the Romans, as Brachmanus.
In medieval Europe, the name evolved into Bragman from the late Latin Bragmannus of the XIIIth century CE.
In this situation, Pokorny had no trouble comparing the Vedic BrÔhman with the Messapian Blamin and Latin Flamen: these two words transcribed as jlamin in Old Greek. Please bear in mind that Messapian was an Illyric idiom from the Adriatic side of southern Italy. The Celtic equivalent of this term was Beromen for 'Offering-bearer. Why it was dropped for the terms Nemetos (Holyman), Druuis (True-seer), no one can tell. We are just lost in conjectures. One thing sure, at a certain stage in the evolution of Northern Aryan (Uttara Kuru) thought, Offering-bearers became called True Seers. This probably because the Uidiia (Vidya) were the structuring hymns of the Proto-Cimmerian priestly class.
In time, through separation, each Aryan culture developed its own class of ministers. The Celts had synonymous terms for their Dru-Uides and Su-Uides for "very knowledged" and "well knowledged" (from uidtu = knowing/knowledge - same family as the Sanskrit word Veda).
These two names indicate bodies of lore comparable to the Four Vedas of the Indo-Aryans. The Druids could have maintained two sets of hymns referred to as the Dru Uidiia (similar to the Rig Vedas) and the Su Uidiia. One of the duties of the class of Brahmans was the maintenance of the Vedas. So it would come as no surprise if the Druuis Suuis was a high level priest responsible for the maintenance of the Uidiia.
- First specialisation, the Bardoi:
the bards, who practised as minstrel musicians.
1. Bardouassoi, junior bards;
2. Suarioi Bardoi, free bards;
3. Bardoi, full bards who practised as Toutiobardoi (tribal or city bards), Duarioibardoi (service bards working for high-ranking officials or Tigernobardoi (in service to lords) and Rigobardoi (in service to kings).
- Second specialisation, the Uates:
Clerics with many functions: cultural (teachers and tutors), arts (fine craftsman, Deuoi cerdoi), administrators (Clerks, scribes, notaries);
Druid substitutes: annalists (Uacies), in religious duties as assistants in liturgy and ritual; in court duties as cupbearers (Dedgobarai) and ushers, doorkeepers, announcers or attendants (Duorocustoi or Duorosaiiadoi); in medical duties as first degree doctors (Uates Leagioi); and finally, in parapsychological duties as auguries vaticinators (Coiliacoi), and incantators (Cantlioi).
- Third specialisation, the Ueletes:
Superior Vates: acting as Ueledos, "the vate who sees (F. Le Roux)". The vates are practical and the veletes are clear sighted.
The Ueledoi are qualified in the areas of:
Culture: in various teaching duties as in Druidical Celtic (Druuidica Celtica), art of poetry, and professional training.
Training: as story-tellers and narrators (Scetlouacies);
as poets composing works to be recited by the bards;
as traditionalists (Senacaticoi), knowers of the ancient arts;
in politics as ambassadors sent on missions;
in medicine as formulators (Leagioi), paramedics, toxicologists, herbalists and physicians;
in legal work as arbitrators (Edrinioi) in formation;
and, in parapsychological acts as seers (Ueletes proper).
-other specialisations: the Bretimones, "noble judges" issued from Nobility and Gutuatres "invocators":
It is not known how these officials were ranked. Whether they were high ranking Ueletes, Druids proper, or in a class of their own. From what we know, or at least perceive about the antique Druidical thought, there is some evidence of a lack of monolithic dogmatism. There was a dialectical common trunk based on a monist and relativist concept, but no frozen dogma. The Druidical mind was oriented toward self-improvement through individual quest. This is the reason why within a same collegial community there could take place several options. This is indicated by some allusions in antique Greek and Latin quotations. The main split was probably the belief, or non belief, in polytheistic deities and as an intermediate compromise in the notion of "hypostases" of the "Un-named", "Supreme" One: Uxellimon (neutral periphrasis = "the supreme highest). A key definition was "Druids, the ones to whom it was given to know about the deities and heavenly powers, and those to whom it was given to ignore them".
1) Common thought: A cosmic supreme deity - yes, most certainly;
2) Area for free thinking: Subordinate deities, "Hypostases" as expansions of the higher cosmic being; options: yes, maybe, or not sure.
- Final degree, the Druuides:
After having completed the three previous specialisations, the Ueles (or Ueledoi/Ueletes) entered the final studies curricula in which any or many of the previous studies were intensified and specialised. Druid training was versatile and multi-purposed.
The Druid's versatility gave him access to many duties in matters of:
Culture: philosophy, ethics, sciences, (medicine, astronomy, and mathematics when not sacred geometry), and maintenance of social order and Celtic identity;
Politics: the high council, major arbitrations, futurology;
Justice: setting-up of laws, legislation, training of judges, court of appeal;
Religion: theology, presiding over major cults and ceremonies;
Teaching: control over teaching activities since the pedagogical arts and sciences constituted their major field of activity.
Also members of the craft were the:
Deiuiciacoi: "men of the elite" who acted primarily as philosophers and advisor-administrators.
The Lineages, trends within Druidry:
Much as we would argue on the homogeniousness of Druidry, we can also speculate on the various options within Celtic society, a common belief in a supreme deity and an area for free speculation in Hypostases of a cosmic being. Oriental influences were certainly frequent in as much as trade communications were maintained with the Greek colonies of Massalia (now Marseilles) or in the Celtic colonies in the Balkans and Galatia in Asia Minor. Not unlike the Brahmans, it seems that the Druids distinguished three superior qualities in the Godhead. These were: Brennos or Dagodeuos, Brahma "the Creator"; Iuocatus or Esus (Sucellos = "good striker"), Vishnu "the preserver", and Taranis, Dits Ater , or Roudios Rouesos, Rudra´´Shiva "the destroyer". The Druids speculated much on which of these three was most worthy of worship. But then, these three aspects were but one of the personalities of Dagodeuos. An exegesis of the texts by Le Roux and Guyonvarc'h shows that the Celts were by far much more conservative than the Indians. In short, they maintained the ancient Aryanic conception with Lugus as Indra, the Dagodeuos (Dagda) as Mitra (Law, order and contract) and Ogmios (Ogma) as Varuna, who later in the Vedic system was replaced by Vishnu and Shiva (Binding, Magic, and Transcendence). The Sanskrit term Műrti hints on two notions: one, the ▓face▓, the ▓aspect▓ and two, of ▓manifestation▓ as divine manifestation. Hence the concept of Triműrti as the trinity. Celtic terminology yields Ambiluceto (Ambiluc-/Ambilug-) for ▓manifestation▓ without the notion of subordination, and, Lunos for ▓aspect▓ or TRILUNos/-a/-on as ▓triple aspect▓ for triműrti. There is also of course, the notion of subordinate manifestation in the druidic theologoligical jargon as Uostos which has the meaning of expansion of the Deity. hence the Gaulish theonym Uasso = ▓The Hypostasis▓ with the notion of Subordinate, Servant .
"The Gauls claim, on the authority of the Druids, that their whole race is descended from Dis, lord of the underworld." Ceasar, De Bello Gallico, Book VI)
Ceasar's ranking: Masculine Deities: Mercury (Lugus), Apollo (Belenus), Mars (Ogmios), Jupiter (Brannos/Dagodeuos), and Feminine Deity: Minerva (Belisama/Brigantia).
Monism is a theological concept found in the speculations of both Vedic and Classical commentators. And this, pre-dates by far anything Christian.
Monism is from the Greek monismus, a view that there is only one kind of ultimate substance, or that reality is one unitary organic whole with no independent parts. The debate between the tenants of pure monism and relative monism went on during centuries in the pre-Christian world and it is still going on in India. Around the Vth century B.C.E., Sankarara's interpretation of Vedic literature is known as advaita-vedÓnta, that is, monistic Vedism, also called non-dualist. Advaita maintains that the jiva (eternally fragmentary souls)is identical with the Godhead. Sankara taught that the jivas were themselves the Absolute Truth, the Parabrahman, and that there were ultimately no individual variants or personality in spiritual being. This is what is known as the monist non-personalist school of Vedic theology. The opposing school is the visitÓdvaita, or nondualist school, expounded by the sage Ramanuja. Ramanuja taught that there is a difference between Parabrahman (Supreme Brahman) and the jivas. Through an exegesis of everything pertaining to Dru-uidical theology, it seemed that the Druids maintained relative monism in that both the Supreme Being (Godhead) and individual souls partook of the same nature but were different in personality.
DEVI, is the essential Vedic goddess, that is the essential form of Maya, Draupati, Sarasvati, Aditi, Durga, Parvati, Uma, Gauri, etc.
The Goddess (Maya||Morigena) is the essential Fate Goddess in that she represents materiality, material reality, called illusion. The Brahmanic or Druidic student must become transcendentally situated in the distinction between matter (Jada||Damniio) and spirit(Brahman||Menmen), and the nature both of illusion or appearance (Maya||Touerouia) and the supreme Controller-master (Isuara||Aesus).
The main characteristic of the Great Celtic Feminine Deity is that she is UNIQUE in regard of the four main Masculine Deities. The opposition is the same as with the Vedic Pandavas who share the same Goddess, Draupati. This is the reason why the Celts did not keep the godly equivalents of the Classical Juno, Diana and Venus.
Brigit (Sarasvati||Brigantia), the Celtic Minerva, is the spouse, mother and daughter of Dagda the Dis all at once, and this for the other masculine deities also. This divine genealogy, transposed or translated into accessible terms is evidently absurd. Bear in mind that godly being is subjected to other laws existence than those of the living. Being immortal, this genealogy only helps to situate them in their relationships and interactions.
In this light, the Goddess is the Mater of Matter, the Mother of materiality, the Fate Goddess. She is interiority, UNIQUE and SOVEREIGN.
THE MAIN *N┬STEITORATONES - DISCIPLIC LINEAGES OR SAMPRADAYAS
I- ACA UECO-UINDION, The Sacred Lineage of The Whitely, also called Fege-Finn or Fionn's Circle:
1) The Yogic practice known in India as the Shaivist Rudra-Sampradaya. The practitioners of this cult were much involved in yogic practice, astrology and asceticism. Or...
2) Uigion Uindi (Fionn's divine Circle), The White Cult, not specifically Druidical but mostly tribal devotion.
Was constituted of the main body of devotees within Celtic faith. These were known as the Toutai Deuas Danonos, the Tuatha DÚ Danann or "people of the Goddess Anu´´Danu". This term should not be confused with Wicca. In Celtic, the words Uica (sturdiness) or Ueco (to compel folding), whence Uig˘ (to braid, to weave), punned with Feige Fionn (Uica/Uigos Uindi = Fionn's circle/braid), an euphemism for the World Tree and Tree constellations (Prinnioi). This cult was therefore Shivaist-like in worship. Accent on Dagodeuos and his brother Medros´´Midir (both "Mitra" aspects) and Brigantia/Brigindo (Devi).
II- ACA TOUTAI DEUAS DANUNAS, Lineage of the People of the Goddess Danua, was similar to the Shakti lineage of India.
Many of the fertility rites of prosperity and well-being were carried on for the Goddess and her consort Dagodeuos by her priests and priestesses. The main focus was on Matrona, Boenda or Sequana as Mother and dispenser or wealth and health.
III- ACA COUALA-CELTI, The Plenary Lineage of the Highly; also called Aca Petruesues, the Order of the Four Masters:
1) Known in India as Vaisnavas, especially as the Sanat-Kumara Sampradaya. From around the sixth century BCE., was an order of Celtic mystics and philosophers who went along the same lines as the Brahmanic orders of the Kumara lineage (Vaishnavism). This tradition seems to have imposed itself over most of the ancient disciplic affiliations of ancient celticity. Their philosophy was based on beliefs comparable to those found in the Vedas. These were the four prime Druid-poets, the ever eternal sons of the Dagodeuos who were responsible for enlightening humankind. The prime gods of this disciplic affiliation were: Brennos Dagodeuos (Jupiter/Brahma), Nodons (Mars/Varuna), Lugus (Mercury/Indra), Brigantia (Venus/Devi), with the devotional accent on Dagodeuos as Aesus Aecuos (Mitra) with Ogmios, an aspect of Nodons (Varuna = Vishnu + Shiva). At the Old Celtic level, for Sampradaya (= affiliation/allegiance), allegiance to a traditional custom, we have the terms torato = obedience, and nÔsta = custom; thus the coined word *NÔsteitorato. For Parampara = supreme distance, we have: Uxisamon toadmalnon, and/or Uxellima exsamia. Another coined word analogous to the Sanskrit Acarya = founder punning with AhÓra = fosterer, is *Seraltrauos.
2) Suuidiacto, the Apollonians:
The Greek cult of Apollo seems to have been borrowed from the earliest Celts. The Celts had a strong devotion for this God (of light, poetry, music, healing, love and prophecy) who was called Belenos, or by many other names such as Maponos, Grannos, Oinogustios, Ogios Mapos and many others when not just plainly Sonnos or Sauelios the Sun. The practice focused on the devotional mode (Vaishnavist) for Belenos, who was the god of love and healing, was an expansion of Belios, the Brilliant. The followers of Apollonios of Thyana, the philosopher with paranormal know how of Greek Antiquity, and the Krishnaite vaishnavas of Medieval India, were good examples of this mode of worship. Accent on Ogmios (an aspect of Varuna).
3) Croba Lugduion (the Bough of the Lugians)/Argantocroba; the Lugouatic cult or Silver Branch:
The Lougouatic cult resumes and combines all the other cults. In Gaul, the mercurial cults were far more important than any other. In fact, Lugh's power was believed to contain and exceed all other godly powers. He had all qualities in one, he was of all classes and assumed all functions. As Manauionos/Manauitanos, he was at the centre of all activities and as Lugus, he was the "multiple artisan". In this light, Lugus had not only Odinic qualities and mercurial qualities, but Krishnaic Indra qualities as well, in that he transcended the entire pantheon. Accent on Lugus (Indra).
III- CROCNOCROBA or ROUDIO CROBA, The Red Bough:
This was the warrior's cult as separate from the cults of the first holy class. Special attention was given to Setantios Cu-Culantios (< Setanta Cu Chulaind) and other demi-god avataras of Esus. Accent on Ogmios (HeraklŔs/Mars/Varuna) and other aspects of the deity as Camulos and Cocidios Toutatis.
IIII- GREEK LINEAGES:
From around 500 BCE, a fellowship following the teachings of Pythagoras a Greek ascetic, philosopher and scientist-mathematician, revisionist and revivalist, found much favour with the Druids of Gaul whom he visited in Massilia. It is also maintained that he had been an auditor of the Druids (Gaul and Galatia), Magi (Persia), Brahmans (India) and Shamans (Bactria). The Druids belonging to this order were most likely of monistic philosophy, focusing on the aspects of belief rather than on the charismatic thaumaturgical Apollonian aspects (Guyonvarc'h and Le Roux 1986).
From around 300 BCE, was a syncretism of Egyptian and Greek astrological lore. Ptolemy I or Ptolemy Soter was a general of Alexander the Great who obtained Egypt after Alexander's death and who founded the Ptolemaic dynasty. His capital Alexandria became the cultural capital of the Hellenic world. The Irish manuscripts refer to a Partholon (Bar Ptolemy) who was Ptolemy the II, "son of Ptolemy". Another Ptolemy, Claudus Ptolemaeus, was a romanised Greek astronomer of the second century CE., and who was responsible for the Ptolemaic system, a theory of planetary motion developed from the hypotheses of earlier philosophers. An astrological sect within Aegiptiacto (Egyptian cult) developed around the Greek Ptolemaists of Iberia and Southern Gaul (Robert Turcan 1989).
In light of the many parallels given here, it would be too easy to conclude that Druidism was a form of Vedism exported from out of India into Europe during the Bronze Age or vice-versa. If both traditions seem to have a mythic nordic origin, far from us the notion of it being taken from Europe by some legendary seer called Ram into India either. From what we can infer by comparing both traditions, it becomes clear that they evolved from a common source (Lokamanya BÔl GangÔdhar Tilak), or common sources, stratified in time and in space over vast periods and distances. What we discover is a very ancient coherent system of beliefs from the Indus to the Danube. This says much about the power and radiance of these ancient peoples, who, from the end of the last Ice Age spread aryanic civilisation from the foot of the Himalayas to the foot of the Alps. Indeed as Dr. David Frawley likes to remind us, Vedism, as "Dhru-Vedism", was maintained by priestly wandering sages and seers who knew no boundaries and no limits to their inquisitive science in the quest for Truth!.
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Berresford Ellis, Peter. HISTORY, Our Druid Cousins, Meet the brahmins of ancient Europe, the high caste of Celtic society. Hinduism Today, February 2000.
Doniger, Wendy. The Laws of Manu. London, Penguin Classics, 1991.
Guyonvarc'h, Christian-J. et Le Roux, Franšoise. Les Druides. Rennes, ╔ditions Ouest-France universitÚ, 1986.
Guyonvarc'h, Christian-J. et Le Roux, Franšoise. La sociÚtÚ celtique. Rennes, ╔ditions Ouest-France universitÚ, 1991.
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Acknowledgements to Joseph Monard, Alain LeGoff and David Frawley