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0-e) Tilak and Sacrifice symbol


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                    This U symbol with central  middle line is looking like the present day "Tilak" symbol of Hindus. Most probably it represents "flame" which in turns means the the God Agni.

                    Further if you you refer to Jyotisha Vedanga Table  god Agni coincides with Pleiades constellation. The other explanation is that this Pleiades constellation  represents lord Karthikeya also.


                           Daniel Salas
is another person interested in Indus symbols. In his web site, he had given lot of interpretations linking Indus symbols to star constellations. This particular symbol of "Tilak" , Daniel Salas links with Draco constellation pointing towards North Star

Decent into the under world
                   The consultation with dead was wide spread practice at Homeric time and even before that, they were called as oracles in later day classical Greece. This cult of consulting dead reminds of similar events as recorded by Homer in the epic of Odyssey.  

                   Ulysses enters under world to consult his dead mother; the narration given by Homer describes in a lively fashion the religious ritual of consulting the dead. Similarly, Hercules also descends into underworld to bring back his friend Iolaus into the living world and succeeds in his efforts. All these stories of heroes visit to underworld bring forth to the mind the nature of religion and custom of the ancient time.

(Second Explanation for "Tilak" Symbol)

The second possible explanation is that it could have meant pestle and mortar  as per explanations of I.Mahadevan. There is a small doubt about this interpretation of "pestle and mortar", generally mortars are flat bottomed to withstand the impact of pounding. Here this symbol is not flat bottomed, it is curved and sharp edged, it can not with stand the pressure of pounding. Generally Indus priests were very accurate in their depiction of objects, hence there is little chance that this symbol could be "Pestle and Mortar". Because of the above said analysis, the earlier interpretation that it is "Tilak symbol" still stands valid.

Explanation of Shri.I.Mahadevan


The inscriptions on the seal should be read from left to right:
                    This above  given  symbol looks like a lamp along with three stripes.This particular symbol combination is occurring many times in Indus seals. This lamp symbol may be indicating the act of lighting a lamp in memory of a person after his death ceremony. In fact all the Hindu religious ceremonies starts with lighting a lamp. 

                   On special occasions in Tamil Nadu, people used to make a big lamp out of sweetened rice powder, which is called as "Mavoo-Vilaku" ( Mavoo=rice powder mixed with jaggery made into a semi-solid form, ---and Vilakku  means "Lamp"----that is ---lamp made out of rice powder).

                  (This particular concept of  "Mavoo-Vilakku"--may be there in other states also, but that fact has to be verified with persons from other states)  This used to be the special kind sweet made as an offering to village gods. The point is that the shape of that lamp will be looking some thing similar to the "U" shaped lamp shown here.

                 Further, logically analyzing this symbol, it likely that it can not be a lamp. Because, generally the lamp has a flat bottom, it this present case it is not having a flat bottom. There is less chance that it is a symbol of lamp.

               This above given conclusion leads us to the last possibility that it could be the "Tilak" mark worn by present day Hindus in their fore head.





This second symbol in this combination looks some thing like "three stripes". It looks like a symbol which indicates an act of sacrifice. Even now in  Hindu homes-during-pooja ceremonies----the worshiper will make three lines out of coconut water ---before the gods statue.

           I have a feeling that in ancient times they used to make three line out of blood of the sacrificed animal. See the description of  Ulysses making a blood offering at the time of his visit to under world  during his return journey to Ithaca. (Odyssey)

                Let me describe to you, the sacrifice scene of Ulysses for your information sake:  Ulysses enters the under world through a narrow passage way and reaches the realm of the dead. After reaching the place of ghosts, he slaughters a bull and collects the blood in a vessel. Mean time, Ulysses makes a small trench between him and ghosts. Later pours down the blood into trench and places a sword  in a vertical position, near to that blood filled trench, not allowing all the ghosts to drink the blood.

                   He allows only known person's ghost to drink blood. He waits for his mother's ghost to arrive and allow his mother's ghost to drink blood first. Then his mother narrates all the events that happened in his native island "Ithaca". Ulysses patiently listens to her stories. Then, after some time, Ulysses asks his mother, "What lies in future for him".

                This story of Homer has really preserved an important religious activity of ancient people. The first important information is the art consulting dead for Oracle type of prediction of future. Second important information is that procedures of sacrifice followed during such activities.

                In my opinion, it is likely that--such cult activity of consulting dead could have been carried out in Indus sites. The priests in such sites would have been specialists in carrying out such --future prediction activities.

                      The second possible explanation for this three stripe is that it could have indicated Aquila constellation. Generally the Aquila constellation is symbolized by three stripes indicating the three steps taken by "Vishnu" in "Vaman" avatar. Vishnu was considered lame, hence he take three steps instead of normal two steps.(Reference ---see the Jyotisha vedanga details given by Barbara Pijan  lama.
                            The third possible explanation is that this symbol could be indicating the "Perseus" constellation. See the picture under  under the heading sign of "double Axe"

                        The fourth possible explanation is that this symbol could have indicated the third day of a month/ (or) third day ceremony after death of a person.


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