Note: In 2010 vedicempire.com published this article positing prehistoric links between India, SE Asia and Australia. Commonalities in both language and place names, along with several Vedic artifacts, indicated ancient contacts between these cultures. Then in 2013, DNA studies confirmed this theory to be a historical fact. Ancient Indians did indeed reach Australia many centuries ago. Time and again the Vedic conclusions are validated as accurate. The Veracity of the Vedic Conclusions are Verifiable and provide the final Verdict in the investigation of Truth. BP
By John Welch
South-East Asian Hindu Ship-Voyages to East Australia
The Aboriginal legends and languages of central-east Australia suggest contact with Hindus and Hindu Civilization. For 2000 years, many historic Indian settlements spread throughout South East Asia. Hindu culture and religion was preeminent from the borders of modern Iran to the isles of the Philippines. From that time, the increasing wealth, population and thus prestige of Sanskrit-brahmin guided Hindu kingdoms motivated the usage of gold for coins, sculptures and decoration of temples and palaces. Sumatra, in modern Indonesia, was known as an “island of gold” and an 11th century hoard of royal Javanese gold bullion is preserved in Indonesia, and was exhibited in Brisbane 10 years ago. In the 14th century, Hindu Javanese gold-miners sailed to Philippines to prospect and mine, and a gold sculpture from that era is now in the USA. The nagara “royal city” of Angkor Wat consumed artworks of many types, and logically this would include gold in great quantities. The evidence shows that the Hindu Kingdoms’ search for gold led them to the shores of Eastern Australia. There they found the mother lode.
In 1858 at Gympie north of Brisbane, a legend about foreigners who came to dig for yellow stones was recorded by early British settlers. Gympie was “Meru’ndai” according to the Australian “ng’tja guru” elders. In Indonesia, “Meru’ndai” means “beautiful Meru”, and Bali language “ngajahin guru” means “training. teacher”. In the 1860s a hill at Meru’ndai had a circle of pillars with a wheel shaped stone in the centre, and 7 levels with stone-lined terraces. Indra sends floods to the world which is shaped as a wheel. Early Tamil temples had a wheel shape and the work that was involved in building this one indicates the size of the population at the gold-mine. Aboriginals were fearful of the temple spirits, which shows that they were not the builders. It is near the river at Gympie and the bay south of Fraser Island. In 1867 gold was found by Europeans and the cut stones of the temple were removed by European gold-miners , to build houses. They collected 4 tons of gold by hand in the 1800s as well as from the deep mine, and today Gympie near Brisbane is the 8th biggest gold-mine in Australia and gold is still collected in the creeks.The temple pillars today are in the river to protect the river-bank, and a bulldozer was used to dig holes searching for gold in the hill. Only some terrace stone-walls remain, and a few photos of carved animals. (1). Click here for an exquisite sample of Gympie Gold inlaid Quartz.
The country of Meru’ndai at Gympie also included Fraser Island, where the Batjala people called the island Gurree. In that legend,Gurree was a beautiful white sky-spirit princess who created mountains in south Queensland and the island named Gurree, where she looks at the sky reflected in the pure lakes of rain-water in white sand.(2).The legend reminds me of Gauri, the shining white spirit wife of Shiva who washed her in Himalayan snow. She was a creator to balance the destructive power of Shiva, who is also named Indra.
At Brisbane, south of Meru’ndai, the word Indooroopilly means “running waters”. Indra sends rain and liberates rivers, as he did by killing the snake Vritra who held back rivers. Indra is carved at Angkor Wat with a rainbow snake. In Tamil, “piili” means tap-water, and in Malay he is named “Inderah”. Kings in Sri Lanka used to float in a river to represent Indra sending rain, and “Indra floating” is “Indra pilavana”.
Indonesian pilek means “running nose from a cold”, and pilu means “moved”. Examples of words which combine Indra are : Indriya “belonging to Indra” ; Indrasita “sent by Indra”; Indragopa “insects that come after rain”. Indrapura is a city of Indra in Sumatra, as is Bangkok in Thailand, and Indratataka is the great irrigation lake of Indra at Angkor Wat. Indra made Tirta Empul “sacred spring” in Bali, a major temple for Hindus today. “Indradhanus” is the rainbow of Indra, which fits with Indooroopilly as the rain-water, the running water at Brisbane. The word is derived from “Nyindooroopilly”, and in Bali language the prefix “nya” means an impulse going out, such as “desire, watch, join”. Sanskrit “nya” means “led along by”, so Nyindooroopilly would mean “running water from the impulse of Indra”. This is correct Hindu teaching.
The Sanskrit word “dhan” meaning “flowing gift” in “Indra/dhan/us”, appears in the name Dandahra creek at Coombadjha sacred site west of Grafton, north NSW, and may be Sanskrit dhandhara “bountiful flowing stream”. Coombadjha is on a mountaintop with beautiful forest and lyre-birds, and has many sacred sites of the countries of Bundjalung and Gambaingirr which border on it. Kumbhaja is a title of Agastya who was a Hindu author of Vedic texts and is honoured by Tamils as their champion. He subdued or broke down mountains and is today identified with Agastya national park in mountains of Tamil Nadu in India. Aga means “mountains”, astya means “suddued”,and Agastya was connected with mountains in Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia. The star Canopus which was used as a south polar star for ship navigation in the southern hemisphere, was named for Agastya Kumbhaja. That Kumbhaja star rises in March near the Southern Cross as the Indian Ocean becomes calm before the monsoon trade winds begin blowing from India towards Asia. Agastya also means “from the mind of Indra and Shiva”. 2500 years ago, Agastya Kumbhaja was the uncle of Kaundinya in Tamil Nadu, and a Kaundinya prince ruled the first Hindu kingdom in Cambodia, 2000 years ago. Australia has names and legends of the Southern Cross, and Gamilari language has a word meaning “meeting place under the Southern Cross’. The South Pole is on the axis of Meru. Coombadjha is sacred to Bundjalung and Gambaingirr people.
Gambaingirr teach that “miira” the moon gives the balance in nature and gives energy to people.Sanskrit “mihira” is the moon, a form of Surya the sun, and means to lift up waters for rain. Bali language omits the /h/ in words so that the Aboriginal reflects the Bali pronunciation.Vaharamihira, or Mihira, was a famed astronomer 1500 years ago and is honoured by a wall-mural in India’s parliament. Gidgeon Miiral is the island in Coff’s Harbour of Gambaingirr, and the moon causes rip-tides and floods against those who ignore the laws. (3).Boats can enter the river there only at hightides. The astronomy of Kumbhaja and Mihira would be vital for ships navigating past the Queensland Barrier Reef and locating rivermouths for landing. Possibly the ships were exploring for gold and sailed south from Meru’ndai in Queensland. “Meru daksina” means the South Pole.
Bundjalung is the country between Coombadjha and Brisbane and west to the mountains. Bundjalung people remember that a ship arrived from Ngareenbeil, meaning “overseas islands”. (4).In Old Bali language, “negarinbeli” means “your beloved countryman”, a high status word used by a princess to a prince, and fits the idea of Ngareenbeil as referring to Bali. (5).”Negara” means the ritual Hindu government in Java-Bali, and means the state in Malaysia. In a similar way, Bundjalung “ngari” means “ritual dance”, and “borroon” is the dance ring of Meru’ndai. Bara in Thailand is the dance-room of the king, and Cambodian borei is the royal temple. Sanskrit “nagara” became the word nekhor, or “Angkor” Wat, in Cambodia.
Thus, Cambodia had “nagara borei”, and east Australia had “ngari borroon”. At the boorroon, elders sat on a raised platform, a “dhur”. Sanskrit “dhur” means “title, summit”. Bundjalung “budar budarum” means to speak of ancient knowledge. Bundjalung legend says the 3 men on the ship spread out to other Aboriginal countries and gave them language and laws and in this way people kept in contact with overseas laws. Mahaji as great conqueror is a title of Shiva in Thailand, as in majji meaning “he conquered”. Mahhji is the strong god of Bundjalung at Grafton, where the ship from Bali landed.
The ngatja elders of Meru’ndai resemble the “nkata” elders of Bundjalung, and “ngajahin” guru of Bali. 500 years ago, the Sanskrit Hindu kingdoms of Angkor Wat and Java were defeated and brahmins and craftsmen escaped to Bali by ship, and Macassan fishermen were sailing to Cape York in north Australia. They gave about 600 words to north Australian languages, such as ruppiah for “money”. (6).
2000 years ago, India had ships 50 metres long weighing 600 tons for trade with east Asia. The ship which arrived in Bundjalung at Yamba near Grafton had 3 men, named : Mamoon which is a Sanskrit and Bali name meaning “maternal uncle”; Ya Birrein meaning “the one who begins” and Birrung “the end”, in Old Bali language. The woman with them was Gaminya, in Sanskrit “the one who walks”. She became known as a goanna lizard, and was also named Dirrangan and had power to make a storm when she became angry at being left behind by the ship. Dirrangan was the angry woman who
blocked the river by moving mountains, until Balugaan the hunter liberated the river. Her name “Dirrangan” may be seen in Sanskrit dhira meaning “the mind”, and the Indonesian expression diri anggota meaning “personal election” in political voting for government. In Bali, diri means an individual person. In the language on the west of Bundjalung, dhirrin means “personal escape “. Bali angga means “one-self”, and angen means “thinking”. Dirrangan seems to mean “personal thoughts”.
Dirrawong was also a goanna lizard,and may be seen in Bali language “wong” which means “person”. He fought against the Rainbow Serpent named Waugal, which may be from Bali warni meaning “colour”, and warna which means “appearance”. In Bali language, galih is “bone” and galang means “evident”, so “Waugal” then has the sense of “coloured appearance evident”, which fits the Rainbow Snake.
Dirrawong chased the offending Rainbow Snake named Kurrea down the Clarence River. West of Brisbane the snake is Gurriya, at Goondiwindi, in Gamilaroi country. The Bundjalung legend about a blocked river is connected with a similar legend at Dirranbandi near Goondiwindi. Sanskrit bhandi means “to bind. block rivers”, so the word Dirranbandi resembles Dirrangen Dirrawong. Gurriya the Rainbow Snake is seen in the local word goori “pink-yellow lizard”, goora “flowers”, possibly red-yellow. Gora was a name of Indra sun-god and means “yellow-red”, thus the Rainbow Snake colours. The word “ya” is the pronoun in both Sanskrit and Bundjalung, so that “goora ya” may mean “the one who is yellow-red”. Gauri and Indra and Agastya Kumbhaja are named together in some Hindu texts.
In Gamilaroi language, “kamil” means a man’s spirit, as in Indonesian language. At Goondiwindi, the Gamilaroi title for a local elder is Ngurampaa, guardian of sacred teachings. (7). In Bali, ngurah is a royal title, as in Ngurah Rai Airport, and Mpu means a semi-divine ruler, which would combine as Ngurah Mpu. A similar term in India is parampara “respected line of teachers”. In legend, a hunter at Goondiwindi used all his weapons to try to kill the Rainbow Serpent who was preventing people catching fish and ducks there. Along the Brisbane river, the snake is also named Goondah Dani Bulu. Goondah in India are thugs and criminals. Like Indra, the Rainbow snake is both good and bad. Danu is the river-goddess in Bali who has a temple on a lake, which is “danau” in Bali.
In Bundjalung, the word booloo means “to plunge into water”. “Goondah” appears as Gundah creek at Coombadjha near Dandahra, which suggests that the rainbow snake Goondah Dani Bulu was fighting there also, and its name may mean “the criminal who plunges into lakes”. In Sanskrit and Bundjalung “windi” means “whistle; hissing”, like a snake. At Goondiwindi, the hunter resembles Indra who used all his weapons against the rainbow snake Vritra.
In Wenaruah country near Newcastle, is a rock-painting of a deity, 1 metre high and with arms 5 metres wide, with bird feet, and with 2 boomerangs .(9) Indra has very long arms and carries a weapon in each hand, and can assume any shape he chooses. “Wenaruah” means “hills and plains” , and in Bali “wena” means “forests” and “ruah” is “countless”, with adjectives following nouns. Wenaruah had treeless plains, but densely rain-forested hills near Barrington Tops mountains.
The Bundjalung word punya means “well-being” and in Bali means “to possess”. Punyah in Cambodia means “pure ,sacred” and Punya Bharata is “blessed land of India”. Punya is an ideal and purpose of the College of Aboriginal Studies at Southern Cross University,Lismore in Bundjalung country – as is “ganna” the Bundjalung word meaning “understanding, the use of knowledge”.(8). Sanskrit gan means “think”, and in Bali ganti is “change, renew”. Agastya Kumbhaja’s knowledge of science and astronomy was “ganita” and in Bali language, guna means “the use, applying knowledge”, just as Bundjalung “ganna”.
Further south, in Victoria there is a rock chamber with a painting that is not in usual Aboriginal style. (9).He may have a third eye. The left shoulder has something folded on it, in Hindu style. The actual body colour is red. His name is Bunjil and the painting is in the mountains west of Bendigo gold-field, where gold nuggets are today found on the surface. In Victoria, bora means the tribal dance ground, like Thailand bara meaning “royal dance-room” and Cambodian borei, dance temple.
The ship of Bundjalung legend was shipwrecked, and so Mamoon and Gaminya became part of the population as ancestors. It seems that Hindu faith influenced east Australia, with the strongest impact in a triangle of 500 km. extent between Fraser Island, Coffs Harbour and Goondiwindi. Today, Brisbane City Council is at Indooroopilly, the Hindu running waters of Brisbane.
1. B Green, from historical notes of J Green, 1863.
2. “Written in Sand” F Williams, Jacaranda. 1982.
3. Coffs Harbour Tourism, Gydgeon Miiral island.
4. “Australian Dreaming” Dr J Isaacs, Cam. 1996.
“Papers of Marjorie Oakes”. Australian Institute Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Studies. Canberra.
“Dictionary of Bundjalung” Dr M Sharpe, UNE Armidale.
5. Dr Darma Putra, School of Languages, UQld Brisbane.
6. Dr McC Taylor, Asian Studies, ANU Canberra.
7. Michael Anderson, Ngurampaa elder of Euahlayi of Gamilaroi.
8. Dr J Atkinson, College of Aboriginal Studies, SCU Lismore.
9. “Riches of Ancient Australia” Dr J Flood, UQld Brisbane, 1990.There appears to be evidence that ships from Indonesia sailed to east Australia, between Fraser Island and Yamba NSW, before British settlement. Aboriginal legends of Bundjalung (North coast NSW) and Kabi Kabi (Sunshine coast Qld) seem to corroborate that ships arrived, evidently from Java-Bali at 500-1000 BP. Many mythic-hero words in the languages of central east Aust. are appropriate names in Indonesian Hindu culture, as are the names in these 2 legends. (Dr Darma Putra. School of Languages. U Qld). Indonesia has exhibited gold artefacts of Javan Hindu kingdoms from 800 BP. .The Qld legend describes foreigners digging yellow stones at Gympie, from 10 years before British discovered gold there which is today the 8th largest Aust. gold-mine. There are about 600 Sanskrit-Indonesian words in north Australia (Dr McComas Taylor. ANU), and Macassan fishing boats reached Cape York. Maori voyages in the Coral Sea indicate the possibility of Indian-built trading ships reaching NSW from Bali.