Note: Originally compiled and written in 1999, the article has been updated with relevant data and images.
Around 4,000 years ago,the Hurrians (The Hari) controlled an important empire called Mitanni. Known as the ‘nhrn’ (Naharin) by the ancient Egyptians, it is principally among the Mitanni that Vedic Aryan names and words occur. The Mitanni Capital City was known as Wasukanni or Vasukanni, a Sanskrit word translated as ‘mine of wealth’, but is in fact related to a Sanskrit name of God Vasudeva.
In a famous treaty between the Hittite ruler Suppiluliuma and the Mitanni king, Mattiwaza,(Mattiraja) about 1370 BC, the Aryan gods Mithra, Varuna, Indra and the twin Nasatyas are mentioned. Thus in the Mitanni kingdom Aryan gods were worshipped as well as Mesopotamian deities, which indicates an “Aryan Vedic element.”
In this particular treaty, between the Hittite King Shuppilulima and Mattiwaza (Mattiraja), king of the Hurrian (Hari)kingdom of Mitanni circa 1350 BC, listed among the divine witnesses “Mitra-ash, Uruwana, Indra, and the Nashatiyanu gods, the very Mithra, Varuna, Indra, and the Nasatya gods of the Vedic/Hindu pantheon”
Another treatise from the State Archives of the Hittite Empire was discovered in Boghaz-keui in modern Turkey. It is a treatise on chariot racing and it uses Sanskrit words such as “Aikavartana=One Turn, Teravartana=Three Turns, Panzavartana=Five Turns, Sattavartana=Seven Turns.”
“The Hittite archives of Hattusa, near present-day Bogazkale contained what is the oldest surviving horse training manual in the world. The elaborate work was written c. 1345 BCE on four tablets and contains 1080 lines by a Mitanni horse trainer named Kikkuli. It begins with the words, “Thus speaks Kikkuli, master horse trainer of the land of Mitanni” and uses various Indo-Iranian words for horse colours, numbers and names. Examples: Assussanni a form of Sanskrit asva-sani meaning ‘horse trainer’, aika wartanna meaning one turn (cf. Vedic Sanskrit ek vartanam),
tera wartanna meaning three turns (cf. Vedic Sanskrit tri vartanam),
panza wartanna meaning five turns (cf. Vedic Sanskrit panca vartanam),
satta wartanna meaning seven turns (cf. Vedic Sanskrit sapta vartanam), and navartanna meaning nine turns (cf. Vedic Sanskrit nava vartanam).” Source
Excavations in El-Amarna, Egypt have revealed that during the middle of the 2nd millennium BC, Kings and Princes with typical Vedic names were ruling in the region of modern day Syria. Some of these names are Artamanya, Aryavirya, Yashodatta, Barattarna, Dushrata and Suttarna.
From Mitannian proper names such as Shuwardatta one can also infer the presence of the Vedic Sun God Surya in the Mitanni pantheon. Surya was also worshiped by the Vedic Aryan Kings of Babylon, the Kassites, by the name of Suryash.
The so-called Sun worshipping ‘heresy’ of Pharaoh Akhnaton was in fact a revival movement. It was an attempt to return to Egypt’s original religious tradition. This tradition was centered upon the worship of God through the Sun. As an obvious visual manifestation, the Sun was recognized as an ‘Auspicious Vision’ or Su Darshan of God. Thus rather than the sole object of devotion, the Sun served as a via medium between the worshipper and God.
Akhnaton was born in the beautiful Charuk palace, in Thebes, in or shortly after 1395 B.C., (some scholars place his birth a few years later.) At the young age of 12, Akhnaton was crowned King of Egypt. Records show that in the beginning, he merely reigned, while his Mitanni Mother, Queen Tiy, actually governed.
The King of the Mitanni, King Dashratha (Dushratta),writing to congratulate him on his accession, addresses himself to Queen Tiy, not to Akhnaton directly. Even in later letters of this period, Dashratha writes to Akhnaton advising him to “refer to his mother” about important matters.
At the age of eighteen years, he came into complete power of the Kingdom. It was at this time that he proclaimed his faith in One God-The Sun, which he designated by the name of Aton, ie. The Disk or Fiery Orb. He publicly proclaimed his faith in Aton, as the God of Gods.
Some have claimed that as a Sun worshipper, Akhnaton was more of an Animist Nature worshiper rather than a devotee of A Supreme Godhead. However Akhnaton’s own words confirm that this is not the case. Akhnaton spoke of the Sun disk as being the Eye of Aton and a representative of Aton’s Power.
In the Bhagavad Gita, the Sun is also described as one of the unlimited eyes of God’s Universal form. In the Brahma-Samhita the Sun is also described as the Eye of God. Akhnaton’s reverance of the Sun is properly understood in this context.
Great Source of Mittani related Artifacts and Information from the University of Pennsylvania