This Month’s Feature Article

Mother Worship in the Ancient World


lThe sacred days are here. The great period in which, since ancient times, the Divine Mother has been worshipped, is here. Durgâ Pujâ has arrived. This time, it is at a difficult period of the entire earth. Mother Durgâ is called Durgati nâśinî, “the destroyer of evil.” She will protect us.


Divine Mother worship has been practised in almost all civilizations of the past. The Achemenid Kings worshipped the Divine Mother. The Achemenid  Empire was the first empire of Persia, founded by Cyrus. It is not possible to worship the feminine Divine without having the idea of the equality or superiority of women over men. Thus the scholarly opinion is that Achemenid empire was influenced by the ancient Aryans of the Saraswati river.  Sir John Marshall’s discoveries showed that in Mohenjo Daro, there was the prevalence of Divine Mother worship, as numerous feminine divinities were unearthed. Aurel Stein also found Divine Mother images in what is called Baluchistan today. Scholars have found similar representations of the Divine Mother from Egypt, Mesopotomia to Persia, Syria and Asia Minor.


Sir John Marshall wrote: “ The correspondence between these figurines and those found on the banks of the Indus is such that, it is difficult to resist the conclusion that the latter also represent a Mother or Nature Goddess. And this conclusion is strengthen by the fact that the range of figurines now extends practically without a break from the Indus to the Nile, over tracts that are not only geographically continuous, but which in the Chalcolithic age were united by common bonds of culture.”  [J. Marshall, Mohenjo Daro, p. 50].


Anâhita, the Anaitis of the Greeks, was a great goddess of worship.  Aredvi is the River goddess, like Ganga. Nanai and Artemis were the other divinities. The Etruscans worshipped Artume, who is Artemis Herself.

Cybelle was the Tiger-riding goddess of Anatolia, which is Asia Minor or Turkey. Ishtar is the Babylonian war goddess.  Gaia and Demeter of the Greeks were the other goddesses worshipped during the autumn season. The nearest form is Inanna of Mesopotomia to Durga of India. See picture from Wikipedia. Inanna has several arms and rides a lion.

Nanai is a Semitic name of the Goddess. According to a scholar: ‘The form that is attested by the cuniform texts is transcribed Nanâ, the final â used to denote ai. It is supposed that Nanâ is one of those “Lallnamen” which are used in the most diverse languages to designate mother.’ In India, we have mâtâ or ambâ for “mother”, apart from the regular names of the Divine Mother, like Durgâ, Lakshmî and so on.

Some so-called scholars add many abominable things while describing some of these divinities, like goddesses of sensuality, etc.  Fertility is one thing. For instance, we have Dhânya Lakshmi as the goddess of abundance. But the semetic and other goddesses are sometimes presented wrongly. Most of it is imagination. Divine means non –human and purity. The goddess Rhiea, the wife of Cronus, was the Greek Goddess with the lion. She is considered the goddess of fertility.

Chamundeswari Temple (Mysore)
Mother Durga, called Chamundeshwari. This image of the Divine Mother is worshipped since ages on the Chamunda Hill in Mysore.

The Bible [for example Old Testament 1: Kings 11] mentions goddesses too, of whom, Ashtareth is mentioned numerous times. Also known as Anat, Ashtareth was Ashtarte of the Phenicians. She is called the Mother Goddess.

The Mother Goddess system entered Rome and She came to be called Phrygia.  She became Magna Mater.

Aditir dyaur aditir antarikṣkam aditir mâtâ sa pitâ sa putrah
Viśve devâh aditih paňca-janâh aditir jâtam aditir janitvam

Aditi is the primordial Goddess of the space and the universe and everything. She is not anthropomorphic or monotheistic but universal Divine energy. It is this Vedic Divine Mother, the source of all the divinities, who has undergone transformations into Ashtarte, Inanna, Aridvi of the Zend Avesta, and the other mother divinities of the world.

According to Western astronomers of the 17th century, the very concept of Durga is a complex technical cosmic phenomenon. Long before the year 3102 BCE, that is, about 5000 years from now, the Hindus had conceptualized the Durga ideal.

Hindus have respected the woman as Mother since ancient times. However, since the advent of alien attackers who were filled with lust and greed, alien socialist political philosophies filled with lust for power and wealth, those influences have stayed on. While countless people were force – converted to such ideologies, many so-called “educated”, filled with the poison of self-hate and inferiority complex, proudly embraced “foreign” ideas, ideologies and culture. As a result, the nation sees shocking incidents, mostlly perpetrated by evil-minded. And the ever-greedy Indian media, fully supported by half-educated, half-baked “foreign” loving marxist Hindus, begin to insult the eternal spiritual traditions with full glee. And the fence-sitters press “Like”.

Yet, Mother comes, blesses us, and protects us always. That is Her glory.