Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

The Armenian pagan center of Bagavan

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 12, 2015

The origin of Baghdad

Bagmashtu (also known as Bagparti, Bagvarti, Bagbartu) is an Araratian (Urartian) goddess, and the consort or wife of the chief Urartian god Haldi (also known as Khaldi or Hayk), one of the three chief deities of Ararat (Urartu). The other two chief deities were the weather-god, notably the god of storms and thunder, Theispas of Kummanni, and the solar god Shivini or Artinis of Tushpa.

Kummanni was the name of the main center the Anatolian kingdom of Kizzuwatna, the name of an ancient Anatolian kingdom in the 2nd millennium BC. Its location is uncertain, but is believed to be near the classical settlement of Comana in Cappadocia. Its Hurrian name Kummeni simply translates as “The Shrine.”

Of all the gods of Araratian pantheon, the most inscriptions are dedicated to him. His wife was the goddess Arubani, the Urartian’s goddess of fertility and art. He is portrayed as a man with or without a beard, standing on a lion.

Khaldi was a warrior god whom the kings of Urartu would pray to for victories in battle. The temples dedicated to Khaldi were adorned with weapons, such as swords, spears, bow and arrows, and shields hung off the walls and were sometimes known as ‘the house of weapons’.

His shrine was at Ardini (the present form of the name is Artin, meaning “sun rising” or to “awake”, and it persists in Armenian names to this day), an ancient city of Urartu. In Assyrian the city bore the name Mu-ṣa-ṣir and variants, including Mutsatsir, Akkadian for Exit of the Serpent/Snake.

Hayk also known as Haik Nahapet (Hayk the Tribal Chief) is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation, and is  connected to hay (the self-designation of the Armenians) and hayer (the nominative plural in Modern Armenian). The Armenian word haykakan or haigagan (meaning “that which pertains to Armenians”) finds its stem in this progenitor. A connection has been made with Hayasa mentioned in Hittite inscriptions.

Although throughout most of Urartu Arubani is known as Khaldi’s wife, at the excavation of Musasir references to “Khaldi and his wife, Bagmashtu” were found inscribed on some of the items. It is assumed that when Urartu expanded its territories to include the area Musasir, local gods were incorporated and a new pantheon was created for that region. The locality and addition of Bagmashtu are supported by the fact that her name is of Armenian origin.

The name Bagavan consists of the words Bagi meaning: idol and avan meaning: city. Bagavan, situated in the south east of Bagrevand province of the Historical Armenia’s Ayrarat region, was an ancient Armenian church-city complex situated in the south-east of what is now Ağrı Province, in eastern Turkey. It was a well known settlement in the pagan and later medieval Armenia times because of a huge monastic complex in it known as St. Hovhannes Mkrtich (St. John the Baptist) Monastery of Bagavan.

Founded in the pagan Armenia as a religious center, it was the site of tombs of the pre-Christian rulers of Armenia. Here, in the waters of Aratsani (Eastern Euphrates) river in 314, the baptism of King Tiridates III of Armenia by Gregory Illuminator took place, becoming the first Christian King of Armenia, which marked the start of a Christian medieval Kingdom of Armenia. The Armenian Apostolic Church as a separate independent Christian denomination emerged later.

The church is 46 meters in length, 27 meters in width and 20 meters in height (with dimensions comparable to the Armenian Apostolic churches of Dvin, Zvartnots and Talin). The outward appearance of the temple is made of strict shaped masonries and ornaments, a contrast to the well brightened interior. People of 19th century associated the monastery’s appearance with the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (now Istanbul). The monastery had 5 doors and 51 windows.

During Russo-Persian wars from 1877–78 it was damaged, but after a period of repairs, it remained functioning until Armenian Genocide in 1915. In the late 1940s the monastery was also known in “Turkish: Üç Kilise” “Three Churches” was completely destroyed by the Turkish Army, along with 4,000 other Armenian monasteries in eastern half of today’s Turkey.

This monastery was destroyed to foundation by Turks in the late 1940s. Part of its stones were used in the construction of houses in Taşteker village that was founded around the monastery, but most of them were removed to the town of Ağrı, where they were laid in the lower stonework of the principal mosque erected in 1950.

The Bagratuni or Bagratid royal dynasty was a royal family of Armenia that formerly ruled many regional polities of the medieval Kingdom of Armenia, such as Syunik, Lori, Vaspurakan, Vanand, Taron, and Tayk up until the 8th century.

The medieval Kingdom of Armenia, also known as Bagratid Armenia, an independent state established by Ashot I Bagratuni in 885 following nearly two centuries of foreign domination of Greater Armenia under Arab Umayyad and Abbasid rule.

The Bagratid family first emerged as nakharars, members of the hereditary nobility of Armenia. Their holdings were in the region of Sper, in the Chorokhi valley. As early as 288-301, the Bagratid prince Smbat held the hereditary Armenian titles of Aspet, which means Master of the Horse, and T’agatir, which means Coronant of the King.

Nakharar (Armenian: naxarar, from Parthian naxvadār “holder of the primacy”) was a hereditary title of the highest order given to houses of the ancient and medieval Armenian nobility.

Armenian tradition says that Nakhchivan was founded by Noah. The oldest material culture artifacts found in the region date back to the Neolithic Age. The region was part of the states of Mannae, Urartu and Media.

According to the 19th-century language scholar, Johann Heinrich Hübschmann, the name “Nakhichavan” in Armenian literally means “the place of descent”, a Biblical reference to the descent of Noah’s Ark on the adjacent Mount Ararat.

First century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus also writes about Nakhichevan, saying that its original name “Place of Descent, is the proper rendering of the Armenian name of this very city”. Nakhchivan was also mentioned in Ptolemy’s Geography and by other classical writers as Naxuana.

Modern historian Suren Yeremyan disputes this assertion, arguing that ancient Armenian tradition placed Nakhichevan’s founding to the year 3669 BC and, in ascribing its establishment to Noah, that it took its present name after the Armenian phrase “Nakhnakan Ichevan”, or “first landing.”

Baghdad is the capital of the Republic of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Province. The name Baghdad is pre-Islamic and its origins are under some dispute. The site where the city of Baghdad came to stand has been populated for millennia and by the 8th century AD several Aramaic Christian villages had developed there, one of which was called Baghdad, the name which would come to be used for the Abbasid metropolis.

The name has been used as Baghdadu on Assyrian cuneiform and Babylonian records going back to at least 2000 BC. An inscription by Nebuchadnezzar (600 BC) describes how he rebuilt the old Babylonian town of Bagh-dadu. There used to be another Babylonian settlement called Baghdad, in upper Mesopotamia, near the ancient city of Edessa. The name has not been attested outside of Mesopotamia.

When the Abbasid caliph, al-Mansur, founded a completely new city for his capital, he chose the name Madinat al-Salaam or City of Peace. This was the official name on coins, weights, and other official usage, although the common people continued to use the old name. By the 11th century, “Baghdad” became almost the exclusive name for the world-renowned metropolis.

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Bhagavān (“fortunate, blessed”) is from the noun bhaga (“fortune, wealth”), cognate to Slavic bog (“god”), Russian bogatyj (“wealthy”), and hence “illustrious, divine, venerable, holy” etc.

Bhagavan is related to the root Bhaj (“to revere, adore”), and implies someone “glorious, illustrious, revered, venerable, divine, holy (an epithet applied to gods, holy or respectable personages)”.

The root Bhaj also means “share with, partake of, aportion”. Clooney and Stewart state that this root, in Vaishnava traditions, implies Bhagavan as one perfect creator that a devotee seeks to partake from, share his place with, by living in god, in the way of god, the loving participation between the two being its own reward.

Buddha is referred to as Bhagavan in ancient and medieval Theravada, Mahayana and Tantra Buddhist texts, where it connotes, “Lord, Blessed One, Fortunate One”.

In Tamil, Bhagavān can find its roots in Pagu, meaning – ‘skim’, Pagir, meaning ‘share’, and hence one skims and clears ultimate, one who shares his own with creation is Bhagavān. Oldest available philosophic text roughly dated 2000 years begins with ādi bhagavn.

Bhagavān is an epithet for God, particularly for Krishna and other avatars of Vishnu (“the Preserver or the Protector”), also known as Narayana and Hari, in Vaishnavism, as well as for Shiva (“The Auspicious One”), also known as Mahadeva (“Great God”), in Shaivism tradition of Hinduism. In north India, Bhagavān also represents the concept of abstract God to Hindus who are religious but do not worship a specific deity.

The term Bhagavān does not appear in Vedas, nor in early or middle Upanishads. The oldest Sanskrit texts use the term Brahman to represent an abstract Supreme Soul, Absolute Reality, while using names of deities like Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva to represent gods and goddesses.

The term Ishvara appears in later Vedas and middle Upanishads where it is used to discuss spiritual concepts. The word Bhagavān is found in later era literature, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Puranas.

In Bhakti school literature, the term is typically used for any deity to whom prayers are offered; for example, Rama, Ganesha, Kartikeya, Krishna, Shiva or Vishnu. Often the deity is the devotee’s one and only Bhagavan.

Bhagavan is male in Bhakti traditions, and female equivalent of Bhagavān is Bhagavatī, which can be used to refer any of the Hindu goddesses like Durga, Kannaki, Parvati, Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Kali. To some Hindus the word Bhagavan is an abstract, genderless God concept.

In Buddhism’s Pali scriptures, the term is used with Gautama Buddha, referring to him as Bhagavān Buddha (translated with the phrase ‘Lord Buddha’ or ‘The Blessed One’) and Bhagavān Shakyamuni. The term Bhagavān is also found in other Theravada, Mahayana and Tantra Buddhist texts.

Bhagavān is generally translated as Lord or God. In modern usage, Bhagavān is synonymous with Ishvara, Devatā, Hari or Prabhu, in some schools of Hinduism. Bhagavan is alternatively spelled as Bhagvān, Bhagwan or Bhagawan. The word is, in some sects, used as an honorific title for a spiritual leader considered fully enlightened by the sect. The word is also a proper noun and used as a first name for boys.

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