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Nagpur Diary 4 – Jainism & Druidism: Resonances & Connections

March 1st, 2009

Here is the paper I submitted to the Third International Conference & Gathering of the Elders: ‘Renaissance of the Ancient Traditions: Challenges and Solutions’ in Nagpur India in February. I find it rather hard to read long texts in this blog format, so if you find that too you might prefer to read it on The Order of Bards Ovates & Druids website. I’ve created a page to explore the connections between Druidism and the Dharmic Religions, and this essay will be added as a link at the end of that. The way that site works makes long text easier to read.

Jainism & Druidism – Resonances & Connections

Ever since scholars in the 17th century began to explore resemblances between European and Indian languages, the similarities between Celtic and Indian cultures, and Druidic and Vedic cultures has been noted. These theories were developed in the 1940s by scholars such as Georges Dumezil who accumulated a considerable body of evidence to support the theory that Indo-Europeans, originating in the Caucausus region, had migrated west and east, taking with them the same tripartite social structure and use of iron and the horse. Here we take another approach which explores parallels between the Celtic culture of the Druids and the earlier pre-Vedic civilisation of the Indus Valley and with the religion of Jainism.

The following essay should be treated as a tentative exploratory document, as notes from the beginning of a study of the resonances and connections between two of the world’s oldest religions. The word ‘resonance’ is used because we are dealing with two systems that are so far apart geographically, and whose origins are now both so far away in time, it is difficult to determine facts with the degree of accuracy demanded by the historian. And so, although we will be exploring this subject partly from a historical viewpoint, I hope we can also approach the relationship between the two systems from the point of view of the artist, the bard and mythographer who, like the mystic, senses connections which transcend time and space. Read more