Friday, April 19, 2013

ancient astronauts

Ancient astronauts

      |      H O M E
Ancient Astronauts

In the Vedic literature of India, there are many descriptions of flying machines that are generally called vimanas. These fall into two cate- gories: (l) manmade craft that resemble airplanes and fly with the aid of birdlike wings, and (2) unstreamlined structures that fly in a mysterious manner and are generally not made by human beings. The machines in category (l) are described mainly in medieval, secular Sanskrit works dealing with architecture, automata, military siege engines, and other mechanical contrivances. Those in category (2) are described in ancient works such as the Rg Veda, the Maha-bha-rata, the Rama-yana, and the Pura-nas, and they have many features reminis- cent of UFOs.

<<< A close-up of the upper left section of the painting shows an object in the sky, and below, a man and dog looking at the object
Further enlargement shows an oval or discoid craft with radiating gold spikes of light painted around its perimeter. In other words, what today would be called a UFO. >>>
From UFO Briefing Document, Don Berliner
Painting of the Madonna and Saint Giovannino, in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, attrbuted to the 15th Century school of filippo Lippi. Photographs courtesy of CUFOS

In the painting below (upper-left area), there is an hat-shaped object floating in the air.  Date and source not available.

"Several specialists now claim they have found the long-sought "final evidence" of visits made to earth by ancient astronauts. The myths of the Dogon tribesmen of Mall, West Africa, contain astronomical knowledge which the native people could have neither learned by themselves nor guessed. Obviously, the researchers say, some more advanced civilization told them.  These fascinating Dogon legends speak of Jupiter's four moons and Saturn's rings, which were not seen by human beings until the invention of the telescope. They speak of the star Sirius and of a pair of invisible companions. One of them circles Sirius every fifty years, the legends declare, and is made of a metal that is the heaviest thing in the universe. Astronomers have discovered that such an object (called "Sirius-B") does exist but only the most sophisticated and sensitive instruments -- unavailable, of course, to the Dogons -- can detect it."
from The Sirius Mystery, by James Oberg 
The Sirius Mysteryby James Oberg
"But here's the rub: there is no archaeological evidence that the specific references to the twin hidden companions of Sirius are anywhere near that old. Furthermore, most Dogon symbology already has multiple levels of meaning; the sketches used to illustrate the Sirius secrets are also used in puberty ceremonies. Clearly the Dogons (in common with many other cultures) were fascinated by Sirius, probably because its position in the sky was crucial to successful agriculture (it's the only star they have a name for.) Inevitably one must ask, if the Dogons had heard good stories about Sirius from other sources, would they ignore them or would they quickly adopt them into their own cultural myths?"
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"Chi Pu Tei, a professor of archaeology at Beijing University, was leading some his students on an expedition to survey a series of interlinking caves in the Himalyan mountains. According to one account, the caves may have been artificially carved, and were more like a complex system of tunnels and underground storerooms. The walls were squared and glazed, as if cut into the mountain with a source of extreme heat. Inside the caves were several ancient, but neatly arranged burial sites, and in them the skeletal remains of a strange people. The skeletons, measuring a little more than four feet tall, were frail and spindly with disproportionately large skulls."

Zecharia Sitchin was born in Russia and raised in Palestine, where he acquired a profound knowledge of modern and ancient Hebrew, other Semitic and European languages, the Old Testament, and the history and archeology of the Near East. He is one of the few scholars who is able to read and understand Sumerian.
The Earth Chronicles series of books is based on the premise that mythology is not fanciful but the repository of ancient memories.  The first book, The Twelfth Planet, refers to the probability that there is one more planet in our solar system. That there are twelve members, counting sun, moon and ten planets, not the nine we know of. That people from that planet came to earth almost half a million years ago and did many of the things about which we read in the Bible, in the book of Genesis.

For over 30 years, Erich von Däniken has pursued the theory which postulates that Earth might have been visited by extraterrestrials in the remote past.
Erich von Daniken's "Chariots of the Gods?":
Science or Charlatanism?
by Robert Sheaffer, first published in the "NICAP UFO Investigator", October/November, 1974
"the popularity of such a sensational theory should not be surprising. Immanuel Velikovsky created a similar stir almost twenty-five years ago with the publication of his "Worlds in Collision", suggesting that the present state of the solar system can be explained by a series of spectacular cataclysms among the planets. It has been over twenty-seven years since "flying saucers" burst into the public's awareness, and UFOs still continue to generate excitement and controversy. Sensational hypotheses such as these generate such levels of interest that they tend to become self-sustaining, quite apart from the question of whether they are true."
The Nasca Lines are one of humanity's mysteries. They are located in the Pampa region of Peru.  They are the most outstanding group of geoglyphs in the world.  Etched in the surface of the desert pampa sand about 300 hundred figures made of straight lines, geometric shapes and pictures of animals and birds - and their patterns are only clearly visible from the air. They were built by a people called the Nasca- but why and how they created these wonders of the world has defied explanation.  In 1969, Erich von Daniken floated the idea that airborne extraterrestrials might have laid out the lines as runways for their aircraft.

Ancient Australian rock paintings of "Vondjina", the mouthless god of creation.  From 3000 B.C.

caveufo.jpg (10129 bytes)
This photo comes from a still shot off the recent History Channel special entitled "UFOs: Then and Now". It is an ancient cave drawing.
This picture details the events of August 7, 1566, in Basel, Switzerland. The spheres appeared at sunrise, 'Many became red and fiery, ending by being consumed and vanishing', wrote Samuel Coccius in the local newspaper on this date. A 16th century woodcutting depicts a scene in which dark spheres were witnessed hovering over the town of Basel, Switzerland in 1566.

This 14th century Fresco painting entitled 'The Crucifixion' depicts a man in some kind of craft looking back over his shoulder.  From Kosovo / Yugoslavia.


"Baptism of Jesus" by Aert De Gelder in about 1710 AD. These are craft seen by many thousands of people today all around the world.
"Baptism of Jesus" by Aert De Gelder, 1710 A.D.


This one is from about 1486 AD by Carlo Crivelli called "The Annunciation" on display at the the National Gallery in London. An intense beam of light is going right through the building and onto the head of what we believe is Mary.

"The Annunciation" by Carlo Crivelli, 1486 A.D.


A plate from Nepal, the decoration show a saucer-like shape and a large headed humanoid.  From 3000 B.C.


AlgeriaIn Jabbaren, in the Tassili mountains, Algeria, south of the Hoggar. A 6m high character with a large round decorated head. The massive body, the strange dressing, the folds around the neck and on the chest suggest some ancient time astronaut. A similar character is painted at Sfar in the Tassili, in the Cabro caves in France and in several other places. Some of them are much smaller and raise their hands towards a giant being, of non human appearance, sometimes these "round heads" being seem to hover in the air.   From 6000 B.C.


Riddle of 'Baghdad's batteries'

Arran Frood investigates what could have been the very first batteries and how these important archaeological and technological artefacts are now at risk from the impending war in Iraq.
Battery, P and R Museum Hildesheim
 I don't think anyone can say for sure what they were used for, but they may have been batteries because they do work 
Dr Marjorie Senechal
War can destroy more than a people, an army or a leader. Culture, tradition and history also lie in the firing line.
Iraq has a rich national heritage. The Garden of Eden and the Tower of Babel are said to have been sited in this ancient land.
In any war, there is a chance that priceless treasures will be lost forever, articles such as the "ancient battery" that resides defenceless in the museum of Baghdad.
For this object suggests that the region, whose civilizations gave us writing and the wheel, may also have invented electric cells - two thousand years before such devices were well known.
Biblical clues
It was in 1938, while working in Khujut Rabu, just outside Baghdad in modern day Iraq, that German archaeologist Wilhelm Konig unearthed a five-inch-long (13 cm) clay jar containing a copper cylinder that encased an iron rod.
Batteries dated to around 200 BC
Could have been used in gilding
The vessel showed signs of corrosion, and early tests revealed that an acidic agent, such as vinegar or wine had been present.
In the early 1900s, many European archaeologists were excavating ancient Mesopotamian sites, looking for evidence of Biblical tales like the Tree of Knowledge and Noah's flood.
Konig did not waste his time finding alternative explanations for his discovery. To him, it had to have been a battery.
Though this was hard to explain, and did not sit comfortably with the religious ideology of the time, he published his conclusions. But soon the world was at war, and his discovery was forgotten.
Scientific awareness
More than 60 years after their discovery, the batteries of Baghdad - as there are perhaps a dozen of them - are shrouded in myth.
"The batteries have always attracted interest as curios," says Dr Paul Craddock, a metallurgy expert of the ancient Near East from the British Museum.
"They are a one-off. As far as we know, nobody else has found anything like these. They are odd things; they are one of life's enigmas."
No two accounts of them are the same. Some say the batteries were excavated, others that Konig found them in the basement of the Baghdad Museum when he took over as director. There is no definite figure on how many have been found, and their age is disputed.
Most sources date the batteries to around 200 BC - in the Parthian era, circa 250 BC to AD 225. Skilled warriors, the Parthians were not noted for their scientific achievements.
"Although this collection of objects is usually dated as Parthian, the grounds for this are unclear," says Dr St John Simpson, also from the department of the ancient Near East at the British Museum.
"The pot itself is Sassanian. This discrepancy presumably lies either in a misidentification of the age of the ceramic vessel, or the site at which they were found."
Underlying principles
In the history of the Middle East, the Sassanian period (circa AD 225 - 640) marks the end of the ancient and the beginning of the more scientific medieval era.
Though most archaeologists agree the devices were batteries, there is much conjecture as to how they could have been discovered, and what they were used for.
How could ancient Persian science have grasped the principles of electricity and arrived at this knowledge?
Perhaps they did not. Many inventions are conceived before the underlying principles are properly understood.
The Chinese invented gunpowder long before the principles of combustion were deduced, and the rediscovery of old herbal medicines is now a common occurrence.
You do not always have to understand why something works - just that it does.

Enough zap
It is certain the Baghdad batteries could conduct an electric current because many replicas have been made, including by students of ancient history under the direction of Dr Marjorie Senechal, professor of the history of science and technology, Smith College, US.
"I don't think anyone can say for sure what they were used for, but they may have been batteries because they do work," she says. Replicas can produce voltages from 0.8 to nearly two volts.
Battery, Stephanie Yong
Could the batteries have been placed inside idols?
(Image by Stephanie Yong)
Making an electric current requires two metals with different electro potentials and an ion carrying solution, known as an electrolyte, to ferry the electrons between them.
Connected in series, a set of batteries could theoretically produce a much higher voltage, though no wires have ever been found that would prove this had been the case.
"It's a pity we have not found any wires," says Dr Craddock. "It means our interpretation of them could be completely wrong."
But he is sure the objects are batteries and that there could be more of them to discover. "Other examples may exist that lie in museums elsewhere unrecognised".
He says this is especially possible if any items are missing, as the objects only look like batteries when all the pieces are in place.
Possible uses
Some have suggested the batteries may have been used medicinally.
The ancient Greeks wrote of the pain killing effect of electric fish when applied to the soles of the feet.
The Chinese had developed acupuncture by this time, and still use acupuncture combined with an electric current. This may explain the presence of needle-like objects found with some of the batteries.
But this tiny voltage would surely have been ineffective against real pain, considering the well-recorded use of other painkillers in the ancient world like cannabis, opium and wine.
Other scientists believe the batteries were used for electroplating - transferring a thin layer of metal on to another metal surface - a technique still used today and a common classroom experiment.
This idea is appealing because at its core lies the mother of many inventions: money.
In the making of jewellery, for example, a layer of gold or silver is often applied to enhance its beauty in a process called gilding.
Grape electrolyte
Two main techniques of gilding were used at the time and are still in use today: hammering the precious metal into thin strips using brute force, or mixing it with a mercury base which is then pasted over the article.
These techniques are effective, but wasteful compared with the addition of a small but consistent layer of metal by electro-deposition. The ability to mysteriously electroplate gold or silver on to such objects would not only save precious resources and money, but could also win you important friends at court.
 Let's hope the world manages to resolve its present problems so people can go and see them 
Dr Paul Craddock
A palace, kingdom, or even the sultan's daughter may have been the reward for such knowledge - and motivation to keep it secret.
Testing this idea in the late seventies, Dr Arne Eggebrecht, then director of Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum in Hildesheim, connected many replica Baghdad batteries together using grape juice as an electrolyte, and claimed to have deposited a thin layer of silver on to another surface, just one ten thousandth of a millimetre thick.
Other researchers though, have disputed these results and have been unable to replicate them.
"There does not exist any written documentation of the experiments which took place here in 1978," says Dr Bettina Schmitz, currently a researcher based at the same Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum.
"The experiments weren't even documented by photos, which really is a pity," she says. "I have searched through the archives of this museum and I talked to everyone involved in 1978 with no results."
Tingling idols
Although a larger voltage can be obtained by connecting more than one battery together, it is the ampage which is the real limiting factor, and many doubt whether a high enough power could ever have been obtained, even from tens of Baghdad batteries.
One serious flaw with the electroplating hypothesis is the lack of items from this place and time that have been treated in this way.
"The examples we see from this region and era are conventional gild plating and mercury gilding," says Dr Craddock. "There's never been any untouchable evidence to support the electroplating theory."
He suggests a cluster of the batteries, connected in parallel, may have been hidden inside a metal statue or idol.
He thinks that anyone touching this statue may have received a tiny but noticeable electric shock, something akin to the static discharge that can infect offices, equipment and children's parties.
"I have always suspected you would get tricks done in the temple," says Dr Craddock. "The statue of a god could be wired up and then the priest would ask you questions.
"If you gave the wrong answer, you'd touch the statue and would get a minor shock along with perhaps a small mysterious blue flash of light. Get the answer right, and the trickster or priest could disconnect the batteries and no shock would arrive - the person would then be convinced of the power of the statue, priest and the religion."
Magical rituals
It is said that to the uninitiated, science cannot be distinguished from magic. "In Egypt we know this sort of thing happened with Hero's engine," Dr Craddock says.
Hero's engine was a primitive steam-driven machine, and like the battery of Baghdad, no one is quite sure what it was used for, but are convinced it could work.
If this idol could be found, it would be strong evidence to support the new theory. With the batteries inside, was this object once revered, like the Oracle of Delphi in Greece, and "charged" with godly powers?
Even if the current were insufficient to provide a genuine shock, it may have felt warm, a bizarre tingle to the touch of the unsuspecting finger.
At the very least, it could have just been the container of these articles, to keep their secret safe.
Perhaps it is too early to say the battery has been convincingly demonstrated to be part of a magical ritual. Further examination, including accurate dating, of the batteries' components are needed to really answer this mystery.
No one knows if such an idol or statue that could have hidden the batteries really exists, but perhaps the opportunity to look is not too far away - if the items survive the looming war in the Middle East.
"These objects belong to the successors of the people who made them," says Dr Craddock. "Let's hope the world manages to resolve its present problems so people can go and see them."


ALIEN CRASHESDropas Crash: 10,000 BC.Dropas Crash: 10,000 BC - Sino-Tibetan BorderA STRANGE RACE OF HUMAN BEINGS
Burlington UFO and Paranormal Research and Educational Center

High in the mountains of BayanKara-Ula, on the boarders of China and Tibet - a team of archeologists were 
conducting a very detailed routine survey of a series of interlinked caves. Their interests had been excited by the 
discovery of lines of neatly arranged graves which contained the skeletons of what must have been a strange race of 
human beings; strange because they had unnaturally spindly bodies and large, over-developed heads.
At first, it had been thought that the caves had been the home of a hitherto unkown species of ape.
But as the leader of the team - the Chinese archeologist, Professor Chi Pu Tei - pointed out, "Who ever heard of 
 burying each other?"

It was while studying the skeletons that one of the team stumbled on a large, round stone disk, half buried in the dust 
on the floor of the cave. The team gathered round the discovery, turning it this way and that. It looked, absurdly, 
like a kind of 'Stone Age Gramophone record'. There was a hole in the center and a fine, spiral groove radiated to 
the rim. Closer inspection, however, showed that the groove was, in fact, a continous spiralling line of closely written 
characters. The object was a 'record' ... in more ways then one. Only nobody at the time - the year was 1938 - 
possessed the key to its incredible message.

The disc was labeled and filed away among other finds in the area. Even those who knew of its existence knew 
nothing of its meaning. Many experts tried to translate the hieroglyphs in the 20 years the disc languished in Peking. 
They all failed. It was not until another professor -Dr. Tsum Um Nui - broke the code and started to decipher the 
'speaking grooves' that the extraordinary implications of the disc were realized. Realized, that is, only by only a 
select few. The outside world remained in ignorance. For the professor's conclusions on the neaning of the disc 
were so shattering that they were offically suppressed. The Peking Academy of Pre-History forbade him to publish 
his findings.

Two years later, in 1965, the professor and four of his colleagues were finally given permission to reveal their 
theory. It appeared under the long-winded but intriguing title, "The Grooved Script concerning Space-ships which, 
as recorded on the Discs, landed on Earth 12,000 years ago".

The 'records' - 716 of the grooved discs were later uncovered in the same caves - told an astonishing story of a 
'space probe' by the inhabitants of another planet which came to grief in the Bayan-Kara-Ula mountain range. The 
strange, spiral script told how the peaceful intentions of the 'aliens' had been misunderstood and how many of them 
were hunted down and killed by members of the Ham tribe, who lived in the neighboring caves.

According to Tsum Um Nui, one of the lines of the hieroglyphs read, "The Dropas came down from the clouds in 
their aircraft. Our men, women and children hid in the caves ten times before sunrise. When at last they understood 
the sign language of the Dropas, they realized that the newcomers had peaceful intentions... Another section 
expressed 'regret' by the Ham tribe that the aliens' spaceship had crash-landed in such a remote and inaccessible 
mountains and that there had been no way to building a new one to enable Dropas to return to their own planet.

In the years since the discovery of the first disc, archeologists and anthropologists had learned more about the 
isolated Bayan-Kara-Ula area. And much of the information seemed to corroborate the bizarre story recorded on 
the discs.
Legend still preserved in the area spoke of small, gaunt, yellow faced men who 'came from the clouds, long, long 
ago'. The men had huge, bulging heads and puny bodies and were so ugly and repellent that they were hounded 
down by local tribesmen on horseback. Strangely, the description of the 'invaders' tallied with the skeletons orginally 
discovered in the caves by Professor Chi Pu Tei. On the walls of the caves themselves archeologists had uncovered 
crude pictures of the rising Sun, the Moon, unidentifiable stars and the Earth... all joined together by lines of 
pea-sized dots. Along with the discs, the cave drawings had been dated around 12,000 years old.

The cave area was still inhabited by two semi-troglodyte tribes known as the Hams and the Dropas, themselves 
extremely odd in appearance. The frail and stunted tribesmen averaged only about five feet in height and were 
neither typically Chinese nor Tibetan. "Their racial ack-ground," said one expert, "is a mystery."But even with the 
publications of Professor Tsum Um Nui's amazing translation, the story of the 'space discs' was not over. Russian 
scientists asked to see the discs and several were sent to Moscow for examination. They were scraped free of rock 
particles which had stuck to them and then put through chemical analysis. To the suprise of the scientists, they we 
found to contain large amounts of cobalt and other metallic substances. That was not all. When placed on a special 
turntable - according to Dr. Vyatcheslav Saizev, who described the experiments in the Soviet magazine Sputnik - 
they vibrated or 'hummed' in an unusual rhythm as though an electic charge was passing through them. Or as one 
scientist suggested, "as if they formed some part of an electrical circuit." At some time, they had clearly been 
exposed to extraordinarily high votages.

Did the discs actually record an abortive space mission by alien astronauts 12,000 years ago?
Nearly all the leading 'space speculators' - theorists like Erich von Daniken and Peter Kolosimo - believe so.
For once one accepts the proposition that aliens may have already have visted earth, then it follows that some of 
their space-probes must have failed and the astronauts must have been destroyed.
Posted by John Winston


Date & Location: 10,000 BC Byan-Kara-Ula mountains China

Vallee Classification:CR3-333

Tangibile Evidence: Multi-Witness, Physical Evidence (The skeletons, and the discs), Local legend of a tribe called 
the dropas who "fell from the sky", Living tribe found matching the Dropas description and history.

Tangibilty index: 3.20 (64%)

It's been called "The Chinese Roswell". A story of a crashed spacecraft over 12,000 years ago in a remote 
mountain area of China. An expedition led by archeologist Chi Pu-Tei found a number of strange skeletons, 
entombed. The skeletons had abnormally large heads, and proportionally small frail frames for bodies. Also found 
were 716 stone discs with a spiral groove in each starting at the rim and leading to a hole in the center.

The grooves accompanied a series of heiroglyphics which could not be deciphered at the time they were found.

In 1963 a professor at the Beijing Academy of Sciences was succesful in translating some of the heiroglyphics on 
the stone discs. When he submitted his report to the Academy they forbid him to publish the results. He had 
determined the discs told the story of an alien ship which crashed over 12,000 years ago.

Two years later in 1965 the professor and his collegues were given permission to publish their findings. The story 
was of an alien race called the Dropas who after a long space flight, crashed in the mountains. A great number of 
them died in and after the crash, the survivors could not repair the ship.

Tales from the Qinghai province supported the findings of the report. They told of small, skinny, ugly beings, with 
oversized heads and small thin bodies and limbs. The beings had "come from the sky" long ago.

A report from China in 1995 also seems to support the tale of the Dropas. A new tribe had been found near the 
eastern border of the Byan-Kara-Ula mountains. The most interesting fact about this new group of people? Their 
size..... averaging 3 ft in height.

Chi Pu Tei, a professor of archaeology at Beijing University, was leading some his students on an expedition to 
survey a series of interlinking caves in the Himalyan mountains. According to one account, the caves may have been 
artificially carved, and were more like a complex system of tunnels and underground storerooms. The walls were 
squared and glazed, as if cut into the mountain with a source of extreme heat. Inside the caves were several ancient, 
but neatly arranged burial sites, and in them the skeletal remains of a strange people. The skeletons, measuring a 
little more than four feet tall, were frail and spindly with disproportionately large skulls.

At first. it was suggested by a member of the team that these might be the remains of an unknown species of 
mountain gorilla. Professor Chi Pu Tei is reputed to have responded, "Who ever heard of apes burying one 
another?" Yet, what kind of human was this?

More discoveries made further in the caves all but ruled out the idea that these were apes. On the walls were carved 
pictograms of the heavens: the sun, the moon, the stars, and the Earth with lines of dots connecting them. Then the 
team made the most incredible discovery of all. Half-buried in the dirt floor of the cave was an odd stone disk, 
obviously fashioned by the hand of an intelligent creature.

The disk was approximately nine inches in diameter and three-quarters of an inch thick. In the exact center was a 
perfectly round, 3/4" hole, and etched in its face was a fine groove spiraling out from the center to the rim, making 
the disk look for all the world like some kind of primitive phonograph record.

This one plate, dated to be between 10,000 and 12,000 years old -- older by far than the great pyramids of Egypt 
-- was fantastic enough, but the wonder was multiplied manyfold. In all, 716 such plates were found. And each held 
an incredible secret. The groove, upon further inspection, was not a groove at all, but a continuous line of strange 
carved hieroglyphics -- writing!

The tiny, almost microscopic characters were in a language never encountered before. It wasn't until 1962 that 
another Chinese scientist was able to decode the message of the stone plates.

The Message of the Dropas:

Dr. Tsum Um Nui felt the smooth face of the disk with the palm of his hand.

"What could this disk possibly be?" he wondered.

He knew of its recent history; how it was discovered in 1938 by a Chinese archaeologist in a cave high in the 
Himalayans, along with 715 similar disks; how buried nearby were skeletons of a strange tribe of people averaging 
only a little over four feet high; how it was found that each disk was inscribed with a tiny groove that spiraled around 
its face, and that the groove turned out to be an unknown hieroglyphic.

He also knew how the disks, as remarkable as they were, had been simply labeled along with other finds of the 
expedition and stored away at Beijing University for 20 years.

During that time, others had attempted to decipher the strange inscriptions, but without success. Perhaps now, in 
1962, he could.

The professor painstakingly transcribed the characters from the disk to paper.

The writing was so small he had to use a magnifying glass to see it clearly. But the stones were old -- perhaps 
12,000 years old, it was estimated -- and much of the hieroglyphics were difficult to make out or had been worn 
away by time and the elements.

As he worked, many questions nagged the professor.

How did these primitive people fashion these precise stones?

How did they manage the almost microscopic writing?

Who were they and what was the purpose of these hundreds of stones?

Once the characters were transcribed, Dr. Tsum Um Nui began the arduous task of trying to decode its message.

Eventually, he began to make progress.

A word emerged. Then another. A phrase became understandable, then an entire sentence. He had broken the 

He discerned that the messages on the stones were written by a people who called themselves the Dropa.

But what they were saying to him 12,000 years later made no sense.

What the Dropa had written must have been one of their cultural myths, or was part of some prehistoric religious 
ceremony. Or was it?

When he had completed the translation as much as he could, the professor sat back in his chair in disbelief.

The story the Dropa related was nothing short of astounding.

How would his colleagues react?

How might the world react if this story was true? The professor wrote up a paper on his findings and presented it to 
the university for publication.

Their reaction was swift and emphatic: the paper would not be published.

The Academy of Prehistory expressly forbade him to publish or even speak of his findings.

The world, the academy decided, should not know about the Dropa and their fateful journey to Earth.

Dr. Tsum Um Nui's findings were eventually published, however.

Just two years later, he published the paper entitled, "The Grooved Script Concerning Spaceships Which, as 
Recorded on the Discs, Landed on Earth 12,000 Years Ago."

By some accounts, the academy relented and gave permission to the professor to publish the paper, and by other 
accounts he published it despite the official ban.

In either case, his translation and his theory were met with ridicule by the archaeology establishment.

The translation was just too shattering to be taken at face value or as an historical account. It just could not be true. 
It would change everything we know about our history and humankind's place in the universe.

What the Stones Reveal

The Dropa disks tell the story of a space probe from a distant planet that crash-landed in the Baian-Kara-Ula 
mountains of the Himalayas.

The occupants of the spacecraft - the Dropa - found refuge in the caves of the mountains. Despite their peaceful 
intentions, the Dropa were misunderstood by members of the Ham tribe who were occupying neighboring caves 
and who hunted down the aliens and even killed some of them.

A translation of one of the passages says: "The Dropa came down from the clouds in their aircraft. Our men, 
women, and children hid in the caves ten times before sunrise.

When at last they understood the sign language of the Dropa, they realized that the newcomers had peaceful 

The stones go on to say how the Dropa were unable to repair their disabled spacecraft and could not return to their 
home planet, and so were stranded on Earth. If that's true, have their descendents survived?

Today, the isolated area is inhabited by two tribes of people who, in fact, call themselves the Dropa and the Han.

Anthropologists have been unable to categorize either tribe into any other known race; they are neither Chinese nor 

Both tribes are of pygmy stature, adults measuring between 3-foot-6 and 4-foot-7 with an average height of 
4-foot-2, and body weights of 38 to 52 pounds.

They are yellow-skinned with thin bodies and disproportionately large heads, corresponding to the skeletal remains 
found in the caves in 1938.

They have sparse hair on their bodies and have large eyes that are not Asian in aspect, but have pale blue irises.

Supposedly, there also is an ancient Chinese tale that might bear-out the Dropa's claims.

The tale relates the story of a small, slender, yellow-skinned people who descended to the Earth from the clouds, 
and who were shunned by everyone because of their ugliness.

Strange Properties

In 1968, the Dropa stones came to the attention of W. Saitsew, a Russian scientist who re-published the findings of 
Tsum Um Nui and conducted tests on the disks that revealed some very peculiar properties.

Physically, the granite stones contained high concentrations of cobalt and other metals -- a very hard stone indeed 
that would have made it difficult for the primitive people to carve the lettering, especially with such minute characters.

When testing a disk with an oscillograph, a surprising oscillation rhythm was recorded as if, the scientists said, they 
had once been electrically charged or had functioned as electrical conductors.

Whatever their true nature, origin, or meaning, the Dropa stones present an intriguing puzzle for archaeologists and 

Were the Dropa truly visitors from some distant planet, or is their story merely a creation myth imagined by a 
primitive culture?

If the latter is true, it adds one more such "myth" to the large number of stories from ancient cultures that claim their 
descendents came to Earth from the heavens.

And if the former is true, the Dropa stones could represent the first recorded visit of an alien civilization to our 
planet. For now, the Dropa stones remain unexplained.
ANCIENT TEXTS MAY BE DESCRIBING  ANCIENT DROPA AND HUMAN INTERACTIONThe Dropas:Ancient texts from the Vedas might be about the Dropas crash and related events.
From: Srimad Bhaghavatam, Sixth Canto, Part 3:One time while King Citaketu was travelling in outer space on a brilliantly effulgent aeroplane given to him by Lord 
Vishnu, he saw Lord Shiva..." "The arrows released by Lord Shiva appeared like fiery beams emanating from the 
sun globe and covered the three residential aeroplanes, which could then no longer be seen.

From: Bhaktivedanta, Swami Prabhupada."The aeroplane occupied by Salva was very mysterious. It was so extraordinary that sometimes many aeroplanes 
would appear to be in the sky, and sometimes there were apparently none. Sometimes the plane was visible and 
sometimes not visible, and the warriors of the Yadu dynasty were puzzled about the whereabouts of the peculiar 
aeroplane. Sometimes they would see the aeroplane on the ground, sometimes flying in the sky, sometimes resting on 
the peak of a hill and sometimes floating on the water. The wonderful aeroplane flew in the sky like a whirling 
firebrand, it was not steady even for a moment."
Dzopas/Dropas Rulers:
Phot taken by Dr. Karyl Robin-Evans during his 1947 expedition
Shows the Dzopa ruling couple Hueypah-La (4 ft. tall) and Veez-La (3 ft. 4 in. tall).




Gandhi cremation
 There are about 3.14 million deaths a year. Most people are cremated. For the part most cremations are still done the way they have been done for centuries, by following the final life ritual called antyesti, outlined in the Grihya Sutras. The average cost of a funeral is $12 to $71.
 Cremation is an extremely important ritual for Hindus. They believe it releases an individual’s spiritual essence from its transitory physical body so it can be reborn. If it is not done or not done properly, it is thought, the soul will be disturbed and not find its way to its proper place in the afterlife and come back and haunt living relatives. Fire is the chosen method to dispose of the dead because of its association with purity and its power to scare away harmful ghosts, demons and spirits. The fire god Agni is asked to consume the physical body and create its essence in heaven in preparation for transmigration. Cremations are still associated with sacrifices. The god Pushan is asked to accept the sacrifice and guide the soul to its proper place in the afterlife.
 Not everyone is cremated. Holy men, lepers and people with small pox have traditionally been buried, with holy men traditionally buried in a vertical position preserved with salt. Small children under two are not cremated because their soul does not need purifying. In many cases today they are not buried but are taken to the middle of the Ganges or another sacred river and dropped to the river bottom with a weighed stone. Families who can not afford the wood for cremation sometimes throw unburned corpses in the Ganges. In some cases an effigy is burned to symbolize cremation. Few people are buried. These are victims of suicide, murder, or some other kind of violence who, it is believed, have souls that will not rest, no matter what is done to the corpse.
 Cremation has remained common, possibly because cemeteries are a waste of space. New electric crematoriums are becoming more popular. They are more efficient and cleaner, and save precious fuel and forests.
 Hindus often have little interest in the afterlife.
 Websites and Resources on Hinduism: heart of Hinduism ; India Divine ; Hinduism ; ; Religious Tolerance Hindu Page ; Hinduism Index ; Hindu Universe ; Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Oxford center of Hindu Studies ; Hinduism Home ; Hindu Website ; Hindu Gallery ; Hindusim Today Image Gallery ; India Divine Pictures of Hinduism

Early Cremations in India

Balinese widow burning in 1597
 It is not clear how and why the custom of cremation evolved. By the time the earliest Hindu texts were written around 1,200 B.C. it was already an established custom. There is some archeological evidence that in the distant past burial was the norm and later cremation with a secondary burial became common place and this gave way to cremation, the dominant custom today.
 From the time of the Rig Veda, which contains passages possibly written as far aback as 2000 B.C., Hindus have cremated the dead although small children and ascetic were sometimes buried and low caste members sometimes buried their own. One passage from the Rig Veda addressed to Jataedas!, the fire that burns that corpse, goes. O Jataedas! When you thoroughly burn this [departed person], Then may you hand him over to the pitris [i.e. heavenly fathers]! When he [the deceased] follows thus [path] that leads to a new life, May he become on that carries out the wishes of the gods
 Sometimes animals were sacrificed at the funerals. Another passage from the Rig Veda reads: O Jatavedas! May you burn by your heat the goat that is youre share! May your flame, may your bright light burn that goat; Carry this [departed soul] to the world if this who do good deeds By means of youre beneficent bodies [flames]!
 It is not known why the custom of cremation was adopted, Some have suggested 1) it is a method of purification, of releasing the soul from a polluted body; 2) it symbolizes the transitory nature of life, of destruction and rebirth; or 3) it eliminated the body as a health risk and doesn’t take up valuable land.

The Soul, Death and Afterlife in Hinduism

  There is little mourning when a Hindu dies because they believe that once a person is born he or she never dies. Krishna said in the Bhagavad-Gita that "Worn-out garments are shed by the body: worn-out bodies are shed by the dweller within...New bodies are donned by the dweller, like garments.” Death is often viewed in a positive light: as an escape from one life on the road to a better an ultimate moksha (nirvana), shanti (peace) and paramapada (the ultimate place).
 Atman (the self or spiritual soul) is seen as a kernel that lies at the center of a large onion and is only revealed after the layers around it—associated with the body, passions and mental powers—are removed in a step by step fashion. The Taittiriya Upanishad defines five layers or sheaths (from the outer to the kernel): 1) the body 2) bio-energy, the equivalent of Chinese qi; 3) mental energy; 4) intuition and wisdom; 5) pure bliss achieved mainly through meditation. These layers can be removed through self actualization and the kernel of eternal bliss can ultimately be realized.
 On the subject of death one passage in the Rig Veda reads: 

When he goes on the path that lead away the breath of life. 
Then he will be led by the will of the gods 
May your eye go to the sun, you life’s breath to the wind 
Go to the sky or the earth, as is your nature. 
 The Vedas refer to two paths taken after death: 1) the path of the ancestors, where the deceased travels to a heaven occupied by ancestors and is ultimately reborn; 2) the path of gods, where the deceased enters a realm at the sun and never returns. The latter is the equivalent of reaching nirvana and escaping reincarnation. There is also a reference to a hell-like “pit” where sinners are punished.
 At death the sheaths break apart one by one, and go their separate ways revealing the atman, which departs the body and goes on a path defined by an individual’s karma. In most cases the individual goes to a niche in the cosmos occupied by his ancestors or to one of the 21 heavens and hells of Hindu cosmology and remains there for duration defined by their karma until he or she is ready to be reborn.

Hindu Beliefs About Reincarnation

 Reincarnation is viewed as a never-ending set of cycles ( yugas and kalpas ). One may be reincarnated millions of times. The doctrine that the soul repeatedly dies and is reborn is called samsara (Sanskrit for migration). Karma determines what a person is reincarnated as. Escape from the weary cycle of reincarnation can be achieved through escape into “an unchanging anonymous Absolute" and attaining moksha , the Hindu equivalent or nirvana . For More on These Ideas See Below.
Hindu funeral
 According to Hindu theology an atman (an internal self or soul) dwells in each person as a kind of cosmic energy that exists beyond worldly reality and karma and doesn’t require good deeds or prayers to improve on itself. The problem is that few creatures can tune into their atman and thus require deeds and prayer to help them establish their place in the world Reincarnation helps them do this and evolve to reach closer to their atman.
 The cycles of birth and death are perceived a continuations of the disintegrating force of Creation while transmigration of the soul from one life to another is viewed a perpetuation of the separation of the individual from the unifying force of existence. The aim of the individual is to "get off the wheel," to escape the cycle and merge finally with the Oneness that was there before Creation began. into the original One. Methods used on the path of escaping reincarnation include yoga, meditation, and charity. Since the chances of escaping it are quite low people are encouraged to work to achieve a better position in their next life by doing good deeds, living simply and praying a lot.
 Behavior at the end of one’s life and last thought before dying are believed to be very important in determining how an individual will be reincarnated. Thus a great deal of care goes into making sure a person is well cared before they die and after. This is achieved by creating a calm atmosphere and reading Vedic scriptures and reciting mantras so the soon-to-be-dead can earn as much merit as possible.
sati, Hindu widow burning herself

Hindu Funeral Customs

 In keeping with the Hindu custom of swift cremation, bodies are cremated within 24 hours after death, if at all possible, even if close relatives can not attend the funeral. Ideally cremation is done within 12 hours after death, or at the very latest before sundown on the next day if death occurs late in the afternoon. The first person families of the dead usually call is the "ice wallah" in the nearby market.
 Normally the eldest son carries out the funerary rites. He lights the funeral pyre after first placing a burning stick in the mouth of the deceased. One of the primary reasons that Hindus wish for a son is that only sons can carry out funeral rites. It is possible to substitute another relative for a son but this is generally regarded as much less effective.
 There is little mourning when a Hindu dies because they believe that once a person is born he or she never dies. Often there is little crying. Some Indians have said this is because the point of a funeral is to show respect not sadness. Other say it is because Hindu believe the dead are off to a world far better than the one they left behind.
 Traditionally women have not been allowed at cremations because they might cry. Their tears like all bodily fluids are regard as pollutants. Women are not supposed to enter the cremation area or even watch what goes on inside it. This includes close relatives and family members. They may help lay out the body at home but carrying the body, gathering the wood and lighting the fire are all considered man's work.
Manikarnika Cremation Ghat in Varanasi

Hindu Preparations for Dying

 When death is imminent the dying person is taken from his bed and laid on the ground, facing south, on a layer of sacred grass. Then a series rites is carried out, presided over by the oldest son or another male relative. These include: 1) the vratodyapana (“completion of the vows”), in which all the vows that the dying has not yet complected are magically completed and ten gifts are made in the name of the dying in one last effort to earn merit ; 2) savraprayascitta (“atonement for everything”), in which is a cow is donated to Brahma to absolve the dying of all his sins and guarantee he or she is carried over the river into heaven; and 3) a ritual bath in holy water from the Ganges.
 When death occurs verses from the Vedas should be recited in the ear of the dying. Behavior at the end of one’s life and last thought before dying are believed to be very important in determining how an individual will be reincarnated. Thus a great deal of care goes into making sure a person is well cared before they die and after. This is achieved by creating a calm atmosphere and reading Vedic scriptures and reciting mantras so the soon-to-be-dead can earn as much merit as possible. It is believed that if a person’s final thoughts are angry or disturbed he may end up in hell.

Preparations Before a Cremation

Preparation for cremation of Brahmin corpse
 Family members have traditionally prepared the body of the deceased. Before cremation, the body is wrapped and washed, with jewelry and sacred objects intact, in a plain sheet. A red cloth is used for holy people. Married women are buried in their wedding dress and an orange shroud. Men and widows have a white shroud.
 Later the body is dressed in fine clothes and the nail are trimmed and thumbs are tied together while scriptures are read. Often some leaves of the Tulasi tree and few drops of sacred water are placed in the mouth of the deceased. In ancient times the funeral bed was made from rare wood and antelope skin. These days it is made from bamboo or common kinds of wood and no animal skins are used.
 While the corpse is in the house no family member or neighbor can eat, drink ir work. Hindus don’t like it when non-Hindus touch the corpse so an effort is made make sure that any non-Hindus who touch a copse at a hospital are wearing rubber gloves. In the old days the body was disemboweled, fecal matter was removed and the abdominal cavity was filled with ghee or some other pure substance. But this is no longer done. Autopsies are regarded as extremely offensive. Some customs vary according to caste, cultural background and region from which the funeral participants are from.
 After the body has been prepared it is carried by male relatives on a flower-draped bamboo bier to the cremation ghats. There is no coffin. Sometimes if the deceased died on an inauspicious day the body is taken out of the house through a hole in a wall rather than the doorway. Male relatives that carry the shrouded body chant “Rama nama satya hai,” the name of the God of Truth. The eldest son is in the lead. He has been purified in a special ritual and carries a fire kindled in the home of the deceased. The fire is carried in a black earthen pot. If the procession is near the Ganges the body is immersed in the river before being placed on the funeral pyre.

Hindu Cremation

Common fire for poor
 Cremations take place at special cremation grounds. The body is anointed with ghee (clarified butter). Men are sometimes cremated face up while women are cremated face down. The funeral pyre is often made of corkwood and offerings of camphor, sandalwood and mango leaves. A typical pyre is made of 300 kilograms or so of wood. Rich families sometimes pay for the entire pyre to be made up of sandalwood. In Kerala mango wood is often used. because wood is scarce and expensive. Some poor families use cow dung instead of wood. In any case, wood is usually piled on the pyre until only the head is visible. Mantras are recited to purify the cremation grounds and scare away ghosts. Offerings are made to Agni, the fire god, at an altar.
 Possessions of the deceased are often placed on the pyre. Death is believed to be contagious and it is thought that contact with these possessions could cause death. Sometimes a wife climbs on the pyre and climbs off before the fire is lit, an acknowledgment of suttee (wife-burning) custom without actually carrying it out. Sometimes goats is circled around the pyre three times and given to Brahmins. This symbolizes an ancient cow sacrifice.
 The eldest son or youngest son— often with his head shaved and wearing a white robe out of respect— usually lights the fire. Before this is done the shroud of the deceased is cut and the body smeared with ghee and a brief disposal ceremony is led by a priest. The son lights a torch with the fire from the black earthen pot and takes the torch and a matka (clay pot with water) and walks around the pyre seven times. Afterwards the matka is smashed, symbolizing the break with earth. The torch is used to light the funeral pyre: at the foot of a deceased woman or at the head of a deceased man. The Brahmin priest reads sacred verses from the Garuda Purana, speeding the dead person’ soul to the next life.

Burning of the Body During Hindu Cremation

  As the pyre burns the mourners jog around the fire without looking at it, chanting "ram nam sit hair: ("God's name is truth") in the inauspicious clockwise direction. The priest intones; “Fire, you were lighted by him, so may he be lighted from you that he may in the regions of celestial bliss.” It takes about three or four hours for a body to burn.
 The fire is left to burn itself out. In that time the body is transformed to ashes, and it is hoped the skull explodes to release the soul to heaven. When the fire has cooled, if the skull has not cracked open spontaneously, the oldest son splits it in two. If the cremation is done near the Ganges the bones and ashes are thrown into the Ganges.
 Few tears are shed. The cremation of Indira Gandhi was broadcast around the world. After witnessing her cremation presided over by her son Rajiv, one visiting dignitary asked him , "Could you really do that to your mother?" On the third day after the funeral the cremation bones are thrown into a river, preferably the Ganges, and for ten days rice balls and vessels of milk and libations of water are offered to the deceased.

Hindu Cremations in Varanasi

Bodies waiting for cremation
 Varanasi (Banaras, or Benares) is the place every Hindu hopes to be when he or she dies so they can escape the cycle of rebirth and death. If a person dies in the Ganges or has Ganges water sprinkled on them as they breath their last breath it is believed they achieve absolute salvation, escaping the toil of reincarnation to be transported to Shiva's Himalayan version of heaven.
 Cremations have been taking place in the Ganges for thousands of years. Perhaps a 100,000 cremated bodies are thrown in the Ganges every year. In Varanasi, funeral parties wait for their turns on the steps of the ghats (cremation grounds). Bundles carried through the streets are often corpses. On the roads leading to Varanasi you will often see shrouded corpses placed on the roofs of vehicles like surfboards or kayaks. There is even a caste that specializes in sifting through the ashes and mud at the bottom of Ganges for rings and jewelry.
 The processions with the corpse to the ghat are often accompanied by singing, dancing and drumming. They often have a festive atmosphere. Relatives chant “Rama nama satya hai.” The body is immersed once in the Ganges and then anointed with ghee (clarified butter), lashed to a platform and wrapped in bright yellow fabric. The pyre is lit with a flame from a temple. Periodically the embers of the fire pyre are poked by boys with six foot poles to keep the fire burning.

Description of Cremation in Varanasi

wood for cremation
 Describing the burning ghats at Varanasi in 1933, Patrick Balfour wrote: "Through stagnant water, thick with scum and rotting flowers, we drifted towards the burning ghats, where a coil of smoke rose into the air from a mass of ashes no longer recognizable as a body. One pyre, neatly stacked in a rectangular pile, had just been lit, and the corpse swathed in white, protruded from the middle." [Source: Eyewitness to History, edited by John Carey, Avon, 1987]
 "An old man surrounded with marigolds, sat cross-legged on the step above. Men were supporting him and rubbing him with oil and sand, he submitted limply to their ministrations, staring, wide-eyed, towards the sun...'Why are they massaging him like that?' I asked the guide...'Because he is dead.'"
 "And then I saw them unfold him from his limp position and carry him towards the stack of wood. Yet he looked no more dead than many of the living around him. They put him face downwards on the pyre, turned his shaved head towards the river, piled wood on top of him and set it alight with brands of straw, pouring on him butter and flour and rice and sandalwood."
 "The ceremony was performed with detatchment and a good deal of chat, while uninterested onlookers talked among themselves. When I drifted back, some ten minutes later, the head was a charred bone and a cow was placidly munching the marigold wreathes...The body takes about three hours to burn. Sometime less if more wood is added. The richer a family is the more wood they can afford. While its burning Dom teenager poke at the logs as if it were a campfire. Sometimes cows stand around the fire to get warm.”
 “When the wood is burned to ashes, the breastbone f the deceased is often still intact. It is given to the eldest son who tosses it in the Ganges. After the family of the deceased leaves Dom children descend on the on the ashes looking for coins, nose studs or gold teeth.”

Doms and Hindu Cremation

busy Ghat
 The cremations in Varanasi and other places are preformed by the Doms, a subcaste that makes their living burning bodies for cremations for a fee that ranges considerably depending on the wealth of the family. The Doms are a caste of Untouchables. Touching a corpse after death is viewed as polluting and thus only Untouchables are designated to do this kind of work. So terrible is this work supposed to be the Doms are expected to weep when their children are born and party when death releases them from macabre responsibilities.
 In addition to charging money for performing the cremations the Doms also take a cut from the exorbitantly-priced wood sold near the ghats. The Doms in Varanasi have become very wealthy from their trade and some Indians have accused them of "extortion" over the high prices they charge and the fact they often take money from poor families that struggle to come up with the money for the cremations. Because they are the only ones allowed to perform the cremations, the Doms have established a monopoly and are allowed to charge exorbitant prices because they have no competition. When customers can't pay the full price the Doms are hold back the supply of wood and bodies end up half-burned.
 In the 1980s the Dom Raja controled the ghats and the supply of wood used to burn the 35,000 or so bodies brought to Ganges in Varanasi for cremations. The Raja did not perform a cremation unless he paid in advance the $45 or so for the wood, and often he demanded an extra payment to guarantee the soul would be liberated. These payments, some claimed, made him the richest man in Varanasi. [Source:Geoffrey Ward, Smithsonian magazine, September 1985]
 Describing an encounter with the Dom Raja, Geoffrey Ward wrote in Smithsonian magazine: "The Dom Raja himself sat cross-legged on a string bed inside his darkened room. Eight hangers on sat at his feet around a little table on which rests a brass tumbler and half-empty bottle of clear homemade liquor. The Dom Raja was immensely fat, nearly naked and totally bald. His thick fingers were covered with big gold rings. When he spoke she slurred his words. I had not brought him a handsome gift, he finally mumbled, so he saw no reason to speak further with me." [Source: Geoffrey Ward, Smithsonian magazine, September 1985]

Remains in the Ganges

 After the cremation the bones and ashes of the deceased are thrown into the Ganges. Even those who are not cremated near the Ganges have their ashes placed there. Rock guitarists Jerry Garcia and George Harrison are among those who had their ashes scattered in the Ganges. In the old days thousands of uncremated bodies were thrown into the Ganges during cholera epidemics, spreading the disease and producing more corpses.
 Today only bones and ashes are supposed to be scattered in the river. Even so the cremation process, especially among those who can not afford the large amount of wood needed to incinerate the entire body, leaves behind a lot of half burned body parts. To get rid of the body parts special snapping turtles are bred and released in the river that are taught to consume dead human flesh but not bother swimmers and bathers. These turtles consume about a pound of flesh a day and can reach a size of 70 pounds.
 In the early 1990s, the government built an electric crematorium on the side of the Ganges, in part to reduce the amount of half-burned bodies floating down the river. Even after the system was introduced most people still preferred the traditional method of cremation.

After the Hindu Cremation

 After the cremation fire is extinguished the focus of the funeral ritual changes to purifying the relatives of the deceased who are looked upon as ritually impure from their exposure to the corpse. If he hasn’t done so already the eldest son or presiding male relative shaves his head and wears a white robe after the cremation. On the day after pyre was lit he often pours milk over pyre.
 After the cremation family members wash themselves in water in trenches north of the pyre and pass under a cow yoke propped up by branches, and offer a prayer to the sun. They then walk off led by youngest son and don’t look back. In the first stream they encounter they bath while shouting out the name of the deceased. Afterwards they place rice and peas on the ground to confuse ghosts and then walk to a pleasant place and relate stories about the deceased. When they arrive at home they touch several objects— a stone, fire, dung, grain, a seed, oil and water—in proper order to purify themselves before they enter their houses.

Hindu Mourning Period and Departure of the Soul

  Hindus believe that the soul exists in a ghost-like state for 10 to 30 days until it is ready to move on to the next stage. For ten to 30 days after a funeral, depending on the caste, the mourners are secluded from society while daily ceremonies. with special ones on 4th, 10th and 14th days, are performed to provide the souls of the deceased with a new spiritual body needed to pass on to the next life. These rites involve offering rice balls and vessels of milk to the deceased. Mourners are expected to refrain from cutting their fingernails, combing their hair, wearing jewelry or shoes, reading sacred texts, having sex and cooking their own food. If not properly performed the soul may become a ghost that haunts its relatives.
 After the tenth day, the soul move on and the mourners are regarded as purified. The 12th day after a death has special meaning for Hindus. It is when the soul passes on to the next life. The day is marked by special prayers. A caste dinner is given on the 12th or 13th day after special “ritual of peace” is performed to mark the ending of the mourning period . The ritual involves the chanting of mantras while making a fire and placing four offerings in the fire and touching a red bull.
 The full mourning period lasts two weeks to a year depending on the age of the deceased and the closeness of the relationship to him or her. At the end of a mourning period for his mother a son shaves his head. Sometimes this is done in a river and the hair carried away is a "sign of renewal." When the morning period is complete the eldest son become the head of the family and the wife of a deceased man becomes a widow.
 There are restrictions on eating salt, lentils, oil and a number of other foods during the mourning period. Restrictions on the eldest son are even stricter. He often can eat only one meal a day consisting of rice, ghee and sugar and must shave all the hair from his body and conduct hours of rituals and take periodic ritual cold baths for a period of mourning that lasts up to one year.
 Rites with offerings known as shaddha are periodically held after a person has died to nourish the soul in the afterlife. The rites are often performed once a year and feature a feast with a plate of food of food offered to the dead. Hindu believe the living must feed the dead living in the World of the Fathers. If the ancestors are properly taken care of they will reward the living with prosperity and sons. The shaddha is thought to day back to the Aryans. It is viewed as a meeting between the living and the dead. The souls of the dead who are nor properly buried are thought live outside the World of Fathers as ghosts that torment their relatives until they are there. custom ["World Religions" edited by Geoffrey Parrinder, Facts on File Publications, New York]

Hindu Inheritance

 Inheritance was given to this who were obligated to perform shraddha. Since only males can perform the shraddha only they could receive an inheritance. Men without sons could adopt a boy or appoint a daughter, if he had one, to give birth to a boy. Since one male can only serve one the grandson or adopted son gave up the right to perform shraddha to his immediate family. ["World Religions" edited by Geoffrey Parrinder, Facts on File Publications, New York]
 The concept of shraddha was an Aryan idea supplanted by the idea of reincarnation but many of its beliefs remain.
 Village women are given their inheritance at birth because they are not a son.
Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons 
Text Sources: World Religions edited by Geoffrey Parrinder (Facts on File Publications, New York); Encyclopedia of the World’s Religionsedited by R.C. Zaehner (Barnes & Noble Books, 1959); Encyclopedia of the World Cultures: Volume 3 South Asia edited by David Levinson (G.K. Hall & Company, New York, 1994); The Creators by Daniel Boorstin; A Guide to Angkor: an Introduction to the Temples by Dawn Rooney (Asia Book) for Information on temples and architecture. National Geographic, the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Smithsonian magazine, Times of London, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.