Abru-el. An Arab equivalent for the Gabriel of Daniel, and of
the New Testament, both meaning, in Semitic speech, “ Power (or
mighty one) of God.”
Abu. An early Egyptian god of light, and a city sacred to the
ithyphallic Khnum (or Kneph), known to Greeks as Elephantis—not
from elephas “ elephant,” or elaphos “ deer,” but from Elaphas, an
Osirian god of light, or of the sun to which special libations were
offered at Abu. Ab was a name of Osiris, and his hieroglyph was the
phallus (see Kneph). [Eb was also the elephant in Egyptian ; like the
Hebrew, and Tamil, Hab.—ED.]
Arabuda. A celebrated mountain, lofty and detached
from the Araveli range, in the Sirohi state of Rajputāna, where we
lived for four summers. It has played an important part in the
religious history of India, and is still claimed by Hindus, who have
shrines on the heights, and by Buddhists and Jains, whose shrines are
in the valleys : round these still flourish more ancient non-Aryan
cults, at little white shrines (of Adhar-devi, Durga, etc.) seen on the
hill-sides. We have often seen sacrifices of goats, and cocks, to the
ancient Ambā (Sivi) called Bhavānī. The famous Jaina shrines in the
Vale of Delvada (or Dilwara), “ the place of temples,” still contain
cells for Devī-Ambā, who is always curiously associated with Nemināth,
the 21st or 22nd Jain Tirthankara; and nimi, like ambā, is an
euphemism for the mul (pudendum), and also means, “ winking one,
eye, gem, sign, or mark.” Amba’s cell occupies the S.W. corner, or
place of honor in Jaina Vastupālas; and beside it is Adi-nāth’s beautiful
shrine, where stands a colossal black image of Nemi-nātha. For
the old Turanian tribes of India (as seen also from the Euphrates to
the Seine) have always loved a black image, like those of the Madonna,
or of Osiris. It is evident that Jainas have built at Abu on the holy
sites of ancient nature worshipers.
The existing Jaina temples (elaborately sculptured) were erected
by rich merchants. The chief one was built by Vimalsa of Patan
(older Anhil-wāda) of Gujerat, about 1030 A.C. “ He could purchase
armies, and overturn kingdoms.” The second in importance is that of
Vastupāl and Tej-pāl—Jaina ministers of the Rāja Vidaval (1197-
1247 A.C.). These are carefully described by Mr James Fergusson
and others. They approach the Buddhist Vihara style. The second
is dedicated to Adi-nāth (the “ Ancient of Days ”), in his bull incarnation
as the Tirthankara named Rishāba-nātha. In the first are ten
marble elephants (his sawāri) ; and, in the entrance lobby, are statues
of Vimalsa, and of his nephew, on horseback : they are of alabaster,
and stand before a chau-mukh, or “ four-faced,” image of Paris-nāth.
Abu is one of the Tirthas or “ most holy places ” of India.
Jainas here followed the old Adi-nāth, whose shrine is probably far
older than the time of Buddhism. In a lonely cell of the Yoni godess
Bhavāni, he stands in a temple reputed to be much the oldest on the
mountain. East of the Jaina shrines we find the older sites of nature
worshipers—the Achal-Garh (“ abode of fire ”), or Achal-Gādh of
Sivaite and Vishnuva Hindus. The Sivaites say the name, Achal-isvar,
means “ stable, or immoveable god.” For, in the little attached
shrine of the Brimh-Khar (“ hot spring ”), which issues from a deep
fissure over which presides Pārvati (typifying woman), the god’s
“ Toe ” is shown in the water, as an oval whitish button; and, as long
as the “ Foot ” here rests, the mountain will remain, and the faithful
need not fear its rumbling and quaking—often very alarming. By
this thermal spring the bi-sexual creator appears as Ardanār-Isvara
(see Rivers of Life, ii, Plate XIV.), who made male and female. The
whole mountain is called “ the womb of Pārvati ” ; and the fissure is
her Yoni, whence Faith issued as a “ two months’ foetus.” No
European may pass its barred entrance; but we managed to enter the
shrine, and to look closely at the white button in the bubbling hotspring.
On an altar is a silver Pārvati, with two side figures, one
being Siva. They face the great brazen bull of Gawāla (“ the
guardian ”)—the Nandi which ikonoklasts stole or destroyed.
All round this it is holy ground. On the N.E. lies the sweet
wooded undulating vale of Agni-Kund, with a pilgrim tank (350 by
150 ft.) once warm, as the name shows, but now cold and ruined, like
the numerous surrounding shrines scattered up and down the pretty
green valley. Among them is a Jaina shrine of Santi-nāth, the 16th
Tirthankara ; but there are no Buddhist remains. In the centre of
the Kund rises a lingam rock—a shrine now dedicated to Matā the
dreaded godess of small pox. Other rural shrines—mostly Sivaite—
are falling into decay, with broken Nandis and lingams, which are
scattered about the valley ; on one mandap (“ porch ”) Vishnu was
carved as Narāyana, reclining with Lakshmi on Sesha, the Serpent of
Eternity, as when creating the world (see Vishnu).
On the high overhanging cliffs to S.E., is the ruined fort and
palace of the Rānas of Chitor, reached by a steep rocky path, fitly
named after Hanumān, the monkey god. Here are found a small
shrine, and the house of the pujāri, or priest in charge. He shows
three equestrian statues of brass, representing the founders, or
patrons, of his office in the 15th century A.C.—believed to be Kumbha,
the famous Rana of Medwada (1419-1469 A.C.), and two of his Rājas.
North of the valley is the largish village of Urya, north of which
is a path leading to the highest summit of the range, a peak 5660 feet
above sea-level, claimed by Vishnuvas as the shrine of their Gurū,
Sikār (or Sekra), an old form of Indra, who also rules on Adam’s
peak in Ceylon, where (as here also) is a Pādukā, a Prāpad, or divine
“ foot,” carved on the granite ; which Vishnu here left when
he descended from heaven incarnate as Dālā-Bhrigu, to drive away the
Nāgas, or serpent worshipers (see Nāga). A small temple is built
on the upper plateau. It is probably a natural cave, with a sacred
adytum, and a rest cell for the weary. A bell scares away demons,
and reminds the neighbours that the hungry attendants wait to be
fed. These include wild Bāwas and idiots, Sanyasis and anchorites,
who let their nails grow through their palms : also, till lately, Mard-
Khors, or “ corpse eaters,” the last of whom was walled up alive in a
cave (see Aghors).
Sivaites say that the mountain was cast down by Siva in answer
to the prayers of the great Rishi Vasishta, when his “ cow of plenty ”
(Nandini, “ the earth ”) fell into a deep pool. The mountain spirits
filled the void, and the Great Serpent, or Bud, carried up those who
could not walk. Bud became Budha and Buddha (“ the wise one ”),
whose faith here prevailed from 3rd century B.C. to the 8th or 9th
century A.C. Then came a revolution to Neo-Brāhmanism, when—it
is said—Vishnu recreated Kshatryas. Indra, Brāhma, Rudra, and
Vishnu visited Ara-Buddha (Abu), and purged away its impurities
with Ganges water, and Vedas, driving away the Daityas, “ drinking
the blood of many.” Not till the 14th or 15th century A.C. did
Buddhists however wholly disappear hence. They were probably
then absorbed by the present Jainas.
The Vedas recognise this holy hill, saying that it was thronged
with Ārbuda-Sarhas, worshipping serpents—which are still holy, and
too numerous. Abu was the Zion of the Rājas of Chandra-Vati—
their once resplendent capital on the plains to its S.S.E., now marked
only by broken carved marbles. In 1593 the tolerant Emperor
Akbar gave to the Setām-bari Jains a grant, securing them all their
lands and shrines, and adding that “ all true worshipers of God should
protect all religions. Let no animals be killed near Jaina lands ”—a
mandate that still holds good.
Abury. Avesbury. A celebrated English solar shrine (see
Rivers of Life, ii. pp. 237, 238, 290, 387).
from WIKI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avebury
Avebury is the site of a large henge and several stone circles in the English county of Wiltshire surrounding the village of Avebury. It is one of the finest and largest Neolithic monuments in Europe dating to around 5,000 years ago. It is older than the megalithic stages of Stonehenge, which is located about 32 kilometres (20 mi) to the south, although the two monuments are broadly contemporary overall. It lies approximately midway between the towns of Marlborough and Calne, just off the main A4 road on the northbound A4361 towards Wroughton. The henge is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a World Heritage Site.
Avebury is a National Trust property.
Abydos. In Egypt the Greek name of Thinis (see Thinis).
Abydos (Egyptian Abdju, 3bdw, Arabic: أبيدوس, Greek Αβυδος), one of the most ancient cities of Upper Egypt, is about 11 km (6 miles) west of the Nile at latitude 26° 10′ N. The Egyptian name of both the eighth Nome of Upper Egypt and its capital city was Abdju, technically, 3bdw as in the hieroglyphs shown to the right, the hill of the symbol or reliquary, in which the sacred head of Osiris was preserved. The Greeks named it Abydos, after their city on the Hellespont; the modern Arabic name is el-‘Araba el Madfuna (Arabic: العربة المدفونة al-ʿarabah al-madfunah).
Considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Ancient Egypt (near the town of al-Balyana), the sacred city of Abydos was the site of many ancient temples, including a Umm el-Qa’ab, a royal necropolis where early pharaohs were entombed. These tombs began to be seen as extremely significant burials and in later times it became desirable to be buried in the area, leading to the growth of the town’s importance as a cult site.
Today, Abydos is notable for the memorial temple of Seti I, which contains an inscription from the nineteenth dynasty known to the modern world as the Abydos King List. It is a chronological list showing cartouches of most dynastic pharaohs of Egypt from the first, Narmer or Menes, until Ramesses I, Seti’s father. The Great Temple and most of the ancient town are buried under the modern buildings to the north of the Seti temple. Many of the original structures and the artifacts within them are considered irretrievable and lost, many may have been destroyed by the new construction.