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Πέμπτη, 28 Ιουνίου 2018

Mantra, Yantra and Mandala

The Three Tools of Tantra
Paramahamsa Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati
Much of Tantra is concerned with worship in a ritualistic form, using the three basic tools of mantra, yantra and mandala. This ritual is not based on superstition or blind faith but has been scientifically, systematically and practically designed to direct the whole process of living, towards transcendence. All religions originally used these methods, but now the aim of ritualistic worship has been generally lost sight of and has degenerated into the performance of mere automatic and meaningless actions which are not understood by the practitioner. When this happens no benefit is derived from the ritual.

The modern scientific mind scoffs at rites and rituals as mere superstition because there is no basis for worship in modern scientific thought. However, Tantra utilises systematic ritual with awareness as a means of contacting the things with which science cannot commune, even with its most delicate and complicated instrument. The rites of Tantra do work if performed correctly, and the proof is not to be found in books or theories but in one's own personal experience.

Tantric rites are utilised for involving or tuning in with the different levels of being which are beyond normal perception. They are concerned with worship, set actions, mantras, yantras, mudras end other actions, which make the mind calm, receptive and one-pointed. This is conducive to the experience of meditation which will transform one's understanding and relationship with life, oneself, and other people. Tantra aims at transforming everything in life into a ritual so that the individual performs every action and thought with a feeling of worship and awareness. The action of bathing dressing, sitting for worship, offering various symbolic sacrifices, the union of man and woman, the stages of development from conception, birth, marriage to death, are transformed into worship.

In Tantra one has to be continually aware of every action and thought whether it is a set ceremonial worship or an everyday duty. Each act has to be performed with absolute attention, not mechanically or unconsciously, and this awareness and concentration eventually prepares one for meditation. Tantric worship is not confined to the temple. It is done from the moment one gets out of bed in the morning to the moment one returns to bed at night.


Together with yantra and mandala, mantra is the most important aspect of Tantra - its essence. Almost invariably, these three are used in conjunction with each other to form powerful combinations. The mantra is the vehicle of consciousness, while yantra, mandala or devata is the form of consciousness. The mandala, yantra or devata is the manifested form or configuration of Shakti while the mantra, which is also Shanti, is the link between consciousness and form. This applies to everything in the world around us. The form is the expression; the mantra is the vehicle of expression.

Mantra is the direct link with the 'beyond'. The world we know is materialised and shaped through mantra, through sound at all levels and degrees of subtlety. Mantra originates in the substratum of Shiva, and can be used to retrace the direction of manifestation so that one again merges with consciousness. A mantra is therefore a means to make a 'U-turn' and retrace one's path back to the source.

Man's 'inner being' is constantly in contact with something much greater than the limitations of individuality, but the average person is not aware of this. Mantra brings about a state of 'resonance' between an individual and the depths of his being. They are the tools through which we can harmonise with the inner cosmic forces.


A yantra is a specific form of mandala consisting of geometrical shapes and figures, and often diagrams of deities (especially in Buddhist Tantra). It is a particularly powerful form of mandala and deep concentration upon it can lead to the realisation of its higher nature. The word 'yantra' means 'instrument, 'machine', 'apparatus', or 'implement'. The yantra is indeed an implement (or tool) because it acts as an instrument for tuning in with consciousness, a spiritual machine for inducing states of meditation.


A mandala is a focus for cosmic powers. During tantric worship and practices the mandala becomes the symbolic centre of the universe. It is laid out according to a fixed plan and its construction is a rite in itself. Everything in the manifested world is a mandala in essence. Each and every object is a focal point of consciousness: every thing is a manifestation of Shakti, an expression of the underlying consciousness. Thus, deep concentration on any form can bring about a realisation of this consciousness.

For this reason, bhakti or devotion is an important part of tantric meditation practices as it supercharges the power of concentration, which becomes more piercing when backed up by the emotion of reverence and love.

Each one of us and our every thought forms a mandala. A man and woman in union form a closed unit or circle which can also be a perfect mandala for attaining higher states of consciousness. The guru is a most powerful mandala as he acts as a magnet to draw down cosmic consciousness. He radiates and glows with the light of this great force. It is through the guru that cosmic powers are unleashed and transmitted to the disciple. This is the grace of the guru mandala.

Παρασκευή, 11 Μαΐου 2018

Women’s Sexual Fulfilment

Women’s Sexual Fulfilment
Mahasatvaa Ma Ananda Sarita explains how women can find sexual and spiritual fulfillment.

The sexual fulfilment of women is vital for harmony in love relationships, in the family and for the well being of society as a whole. I can even go so far as to say the future of our planetary well being depends on it. It is one of my favourite topics, and I have dedicated 37 years of personal and professional research to its study.

There are five factors which are important to understand when discussing women’s sexual fulfilment.

1) Sexual anatomy
2) Cycles
3) Sensorial orientation
4) Chakra orientation
5) Spiritual potency

I have written a book called “Divine Sexuality” which goes into great detail on the subject of both women’s and men’s sexuality. This article highlights some of the key points that are essential for women. I refer to the vagina as the ‘yoni’ – the Tantric word for the female genitals, meaning ‘sacred place’ – and the penis as ‘lingam,’ meaning ‘wand of light’.

Sexual anatomy

Did you know that:

· The clitoris has 3000—5000 nerve endings, all devoted to pleasure, connected to pleasure centres all over her body.

· The hood of the clitoris is attached to the clitoral bulbs, which reside inside the body and become engorged and erect when the woman is sexually excited. The hood is also connected to the vaginal lips, both inner and outer which also become engorged and erect during excitation.

· Orgasmic contractions happen inside the yoni, but the intensity can vary, depending on the degree of excitation and arousal in the whole body, thus giving rise to the terms: ‘whole body orgasm,’ vs ‘localized clitoral orgasm.’

· In general, women require a minimum of 20 minutes of sensual and sexually stimulating ‘warm up’ to reach a threshold from where sexual orgasm becomes possible.
· After sexual orgasm, in general, a woman remains on the plateau, ready for more orgasms, for at least 20 minutes.

· Women are capable of experiencing multiple orgasms, (one orgasm feeding into the next in an unbroken river of ecstasy,) as well as chain orgasms, (one orgasm following the next with short gaps in between.)

· The yoni of a woman is not very sensitive unless she is highly aroused. This is because it is the birth canal, and if it was as sensitive as the clitoris and clitoral bulbs, it would be excruciating to give birth.

· When the woman is highly aroused, the yoni lengthens and expands, giving rise to a craving to be penetrated by her lover.

· The yoni, being versatile, forms herself to fit the size of the lingam which is penetrating her (within reason according to anatomical proportions of both partners.)

· The way a woman desires to be stimulated sexually, or to stimulate herself, stems from how she has learned to experience sexual pleasure. In most cases, her sexual empowerment is dependent on how she has trained herself to respond sexually during masturbation.

· A woman is capable of multiple orgasms into her 90’s and beyond.

I have worked with countless women in groups and individual sessions and have found that in general, women carry a great deal of misconception around the subject of orgasm. Because of this, women tend to walk around with shame and secret suffering which they may even hide from their lovers. One example of this is that 50% of women fake orgasm.

For this sorry state of affairs, there are multiple factors to blame. One important factor is that Freud made an erroneous statement, which had no basis in scientific fact. He observed that there are two types of women, the ‘infantile’ and the ‘mature.’ He stated that the ‘infantile woman’ needs clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm, while the ‘mature woman’ orgasms from penetration alone. Even today, this erroneous statement haunts the lives of millions of women with unnecessary suffering.

Masters and Johnson scientifically tested this statement in a clinical study. Electrodes were attached to women who said they reached orgasm from penetration alone, and their sexual response was carefully monitored as they were engaged in sexual intercourse. It was found in each case that the women were actively stimulating their clitoris, through the friction of the lingam rubbing on the clitoris, or by the clitoral hood stimulating the clitoris with the friction of intercourse.

It was later verified in the groundbreaking research of Masters and Johnson that the three elements – clitoral arousal, sacral nerve, and vaginal contractions – are necessary for female orgasm to take place.

Another factor which has had a great deal of influence is that a large majority of women in Western society did not even know they were capable of orgasm until the 1900s. It was thought that marriageable women did not enjoy sex, but simply put up with it as a chore in order to please their husbands or to get children. People believed that only fallen women, or prostitutes, had pleasure in sex. Therefore, many women carry the ancestral belief that they have no right to pleasure and are meant to have sex to please their partner, never daring to ask for what they want and need. The healing for this is for women to practice self-pleasuring, (masturbation) and discover what you like and how you like it sexually and then to communicate this to your partner. If you do not know and love your own body and way to pleasure, your partner will not know either.

Because women have not been aware of their own capacity for pleasure, when the women’s movement began, the direction many women took was to deny their feminine nature, to copy men and compete to ‘do it better.’ Sexually this has been disastrous. Women’s sexual response is diametrically opposite to men’s. This is why we are complementary. Just imagine the positive poles of two magnets trying to meet. They cannot. They oppose each other energetically. However, if you have a receptive pole and a positive pole of the magnets coming together, they glue together with great eagerness. Opposites attract.

Another very important factor is education and the lack of it. Because of the destructive idea propounded by some spiritual traditions, that spiritual fulfilment is only possible if one denies sex, there is a great lack of any kind of intelligent sexual education. And because our species’ survival depends on sex, of course our bodies make it a priority.

In our present so called sexually free society, there is still a great lack of sex education, and yet the internet and other media are full of pornography. I have nothing against sexually explicit media, if it remains true to men and women’s real experience and potential. Pornography, however, is for the most part simply idiotic and gives false impressions to people as to what is ‘expected’ during sex. It tends to psychologically and emotionally damage the impressionable young who are trying to learn about this most vital subject.

An exquisitely beautiful young woman came to my Tantra course. She admitted in private that she was a high-class prostitute, in great demand, but inside she felt nothing but disgust and had never known orgasm (though she was good at faking it.) I asked her about her formative years and how she found out about sex. At age nine she was introduced to pornography. The first film she saw was one in which humans were having sex with animals. She was so horrified that she went into complete shock and shutdown, and this psychological and emotional trauma, became a catalyst towards her profession as an unhappy prostitute. Luckily this story has a happy ending. I was able to offer healing to her, and subsequently, she found a Beloved and discovered the joy of orgasm.

In my groups, it gives me great joy to empower the feminine in women, helping women to become aware of their power and potential, not only in orgasm, but in many other areas of life.


Women are keepers of the tides of life, of all life cycles. This is so because we are bound to the moon, and to the ever-present facts of birth and of death inherent in our womb. When we carry a child in the womb, the gestation of this child moves through each aspect of evolution. This means we are the keepers of the whole history of evolution, of all of life. When we are not carrying a child, and are in the cycles of menstruation, each month we go through creation and de-creation. As the lining of the womb moves out with the menstrual flow, our hormone levels drop and we go through a small death. When we begin awakening to the awesome power inherent in being woman, and we link this to our natural yearning to nurture and love, we will naturally be drawn to become the custodians of life in all its aspects. When a woman is not aware of her feminine power, inherent in her womb, she simultaneously is in denial of her full potential for ecstasy.

I have met many women who believe that if they go into their full orgasmic potential, it will frighten the men they are with. And so they hold back, not wanting to rock the boat. Our full orgasmic potential is intimately connected to how we are with our womb, with our life cycles and with our monthly menstrual cycle.

Deepest ecstasy in orgasm arises when the womb is energetically open and the woman is passionately in love with being the womb of all of life. To help support this, learn to breathe and to make sounds during sexual arousal. Learn to love your belly, and to love your menstruation. Keep a diary of your cycles and note down how you feel, sexually and emotionally, during the different phases of the moon cycle. If your man is afraid of your sexual ecstasy, he would benefit from going to a men’s group, a Shamanic group, or a Tantra group, where he can experience a rite of passage into full manhood.

Sensorial orientation

To be sexually fulfilled, as women, we need to honour the fact that, in general, we need to open up through the kinesthetic sense. We need touching, cuddling, emotional security and feelings of all kinds. Of course, women also have highly developed visual, auditory or olfactory senses, but for moving into sexual contact, we need to own and be comfortable with our potential for emotional fluidity.

During sexual play, when a woman’s womb centre opens, she will have a tendency to laugh or to cry. This is a signal that her yoni is now open and ready for penetration. It is common that the woman cries as she climaxes, and unfortunately this is often at the very end of the sexual act. For the sex to be more fulfilling, she needs to open up her emotional flow before penetration. This can happen very easily by the partner placing his relaxed hands on her belly and just being present with her womb centre. Within five or 10 minutes, she will most likely find herself either laughing or crying, and this is a signal that all is flowing.

Chakra orientation

The seven main chakras are a vast subject by themselves. In brief, chakras are energetic centres in the body, which mirror cosmic principles and support each person to become a full spectrum rainbow, merging into white light. Each chakra has a masculine or positive aspect or a female, receptive aspect. In the male and female bodies, the chakras are complementary opposites. This means that, in the same way you experience orgasm at the first chakra (sex centre), you can also experience orgasm at the second chakra (lower belly), or at the third chakra (stomach area), and so on up to the seventh. The male and female chakras fit together like lock and key, as complementary opposites. In the male, the first chakra is positive and outgoing, while in the woman, it is receptive. In the second chakra, the belly, the woman is more outgoing, while the male is receptive. In the third chakra (stomach), the man is outgoing and woman is receptive. In the heart chakra, the woman is outgoing and the man is receptive. In the throat chakra, the man is outgoing and the woman receptive. In the sixth chakra (centre of brain in line with the third eye), the woman is outgoing and the man is receptive. In the seventh chakra, at the crown of the head, male and female merge beyond duality.

A very important key for the woman to be sexually fulfilled is for her to awaken to her positive polarities in the chakra system. She needs to own and celebrate her womb centre (second chakra) as described earlier. She needs to nurture her capacity for unconditional love in the fourth chakra (heart centre), and she needs to open up and use her intuition, held at the sixth chakra (third eye centre). When this happens, she will automatically become open to her lover in her receptive centres, and he will at last feel he is being fully received. When we feel disempowered, we do not open to the partner, but rather protect ourselves. When you awaken the power and potential of your positive chakras, you will shine and feel ready to absorb the gifts given by the male principle.

Spiritual potency

As the woman is the womb for all of life, she is also the birth giver and the spiritual mother for this world. If she is weak, and unaware of her own ecstasy, she will give birth to a world based on a collapsed feminine, and an over aggressive masculine, as we see today. This situation can change very rapidly if women everywhere can open up to their own divinity and power.

It has happened at least twice in history, that two warring tribes came to almost instantaneous peace when the women of both tribes joined together and refused to have sex with their men until the war was stopped and a peace treaty was agreed. The woman’s power is in her capacity to become love and to radiate that love into each and every aspect of life.

During orgasm, it has been found by scientists who put electrodes in the brain that a woman’s brain completely shuts down. No-mind is a highly prized spiritual state because it takes us beyond past or future, into the present moment. When a woman is moving into orgasmic ecstasy, she can easily use this state to access what is known as Mahamudra, meaning ‘the great gesture which arises out of the orgasm with the universe.’ A woman’s orgasm can be so powerful and full bodied that it can propel her into Samadhi (universal consciousness). Having known her capacity for ecstasy, she then wants to bless the whole world. She becomes a devotee of life.

Sarita's extraordinary childhood that takes her single-pointedly to India and then to Osho. Article first published in Paradigm Shift, 49, Nov-Dec 2010

   Statues on Khajuraho temples

Πέμπτη, 5 Απριλίου 2018

Hellenic religion of Dodecatheon

Hellenic Paganism


The Hellenic Religion is a traditional religion, as opposed to what is called monotheistic religions (or, according to Spengler, cosmopolitan religions of the late antiquity). Other traditional religions are, for instance, Hinduism, Taoism, the Northern Tradition (including Odinism, Asatru and Vanatru), Druidry, Northern Buddhism etc. These traditional religions, in our view, are not nature-religions; on the contrary, they all stem from an extremely high level civilization that ended abruptly with one major catastrophy, namely the Cataclysm, that took place around 10000 BC We identify this high level civilization as the Golden Generation (according to the poet Hesiodus). Traditional religions are, in this context, the remnants of this civilization that survived within each and every local regeneration of civilized human societies. In this sense, all traditional religions share the same truth and carry identical beliefs. Interestingly, the whole of the truth was not preserved equally in every ethnic tradition. For example Hinduism has excelent knowledge of the Genesis of the Cosmos, but did not preserve accurately the part concerning the evolution of the Psyche (Soul) in the Divine level. There are several unimportant differences among them, steming from the differences of ethnic character, mentality, language, environment, etc. We believe that each ethnic tradition suits best the specific ethnic group that preserved it through the centuries. In the Helliniki Hetaireia Archaiophilon (Societas Hellenica Antiquariorum), we observe the Hellenic religion, but we do not hesitate to borrow whatever we do not have, from other traditions. As an ethnic religion, the Hellenic religion opposes all monotheistic religions, because they tend to create their own ethnicity, and destroy traditional ethnic basis. The Hellenic religion is a true religion because it provides answers to the final and extreme questions of Man: What is the Cosmos? Where does it stem from? What is the fate of the Cosmos? What is Man? Where does he stem from? What is the fate of Man? What is a God?...........

Cosmologic Principles

The basic Cosmologic priciples of the Hellenic religion derive from Orphean theology, as preserved through the centuries in the Fragmenta Orphicorum. Other sources are the Orphean Hymns to the Gods and the living oral tradition, which was never extinguished, although it survived underground:
  • The Cosmos [viewed as the infinite multitude of Universes (conglomerates of matter), within the infinite Space and perpetual Time] has always existed, is self-motivated, self-regulated and ever-changing (evolving).
  • The Natural Law (in its broadest conception) was never created, but always existed virtually, in the pre-creative state of our Universe, the "unspeakable principium".
  • The Cosmos (either viewed as the infinite multitude of Universes, or as the World) is a value. So is Man and Life in its broadest conception.
  • Conscience and Higher Conscience are produced by the ever-evolving Cosmos; obviously, they appear later in the creation process.
  • The Cosmos is a physical system that has no place for arbitrary non-physical entities (like "evil"). The Cosmos is not opposed by any power. History is cyclic and never-ending. Every Universe in the Cosmos expands and contracts consecutively, governed by the physical laws (and only by them); there is neither an ethical meaning in these titanic phenomena, nor a cause, external to the Cosmos.

Compliance With Modern Science

To put it in a different way, the Cosmology of the Hellenic traditional religion is absolutely compliant with present-day Physics (Relativity, Quantum mechanics, Nuclear physics), Mathematics (post-Eucledian Geometries, Topology), Astronomy and Cosmology, and the theory of non-linear Dynamics (Chaos). For an excelent review of modern Cosmology and theory of creation see: Karel Velan: "The Multi-Universe Cosmos", Plenum Press, New York, 1992. On the contrary, the Hellenic traditional religion is absolutely non-compliant with, and opposed to the "Big-Bang" hypothesis of creation and all hypotheses containing "Singularity", either amended or non-amended: All these hypotheses have been constructed to suit a (monotheistic) view of the Cosmos, where a super-Natural being, external to the system, ordered the undefinable "Singularity" to explode.

Evolution of Man

The evolution of Man can be achieved only in harmony with the Rhythm of the Cosmos, and in accordance with the Divine Law of Evolution. Man becomes virtuous when he realizes the Natural Law and works to the same direction with It. With Science and Arts, and by preserving the environement, Man joins, and can be integrated to, the Rhythm of the Cosmos. From a certain level and up, Man can only evolve by serving his community, city, state and nation. The utmost service was always considered to be self-sacrifice in the battle, by which the Citizen earns transition to the first step of the higher order of evolution of the Psyche: He becomes a Hero.

Evolution of the Community

The service of Man to his community, city, state and nation has the purpose to help the community evolve as a whole. These groups of people, according to the Hellenic religion, evolve by practising freely their own customs, celebrate their own solemn festivals in public, and worship divinity in their own way. It follows that any tendency to proselytize or to impose one's customs, festivals and religion to anybody, has always been considered a blasphemy, in the context of the traditional Hellenic religion. In our time, we consider that not only as a blasphemy, but as racism too. We oppose any kind of missionary approach of other cultures, even bringing food and medicine (missions of monotheistic religions). They disturb spiritual evolution of others and are deleterious to national dignity and national economy. They prepare modern slavery.

Psyche-Mind-Brain: Theogony

The Psyche is a material entity, an essential particle, generated exactly in the same way as the rest of Matter , from the unification of the two Primordial Substances, the Continuous and the Particulate (the Finite Unit and the Indefinite Dyad of the Pythagoreans). This reaction is governed by Eros . The Psyche is imprinted with experiences, leading to expansion of its Decorations, as it evolves through inorganic, organic and living Matter. Late in this evolutionary process, Conscience appears, as an attribute of Mind. The Mind is an organ composed of subtle Matter, closely connected to the Brain, a coarsely material organ. The Mind serves the Conscience during incarnation of the Psyche. Up to a certain point in evolution of Man, incarnation of the Psyche is imperative, in order for its Decorations to be preserved. Preservation of the Decorations is an energy consuming process; this energy is provided by the living body, until the Psyche becomes able to acquire energy directly from the environment. This point of the evolutionary process corresponds to the threshold of Divinity. The evolution of the Psyche is neither a linear, nor a predetermined process, as this would violate the freedom of choice of the Psyche. Once in the Divine level, the Psyche evolves further, in a non-linear manner, and with ever increasing difficulty, and becomes a Hero, a Demon, a God, an Olympian God and further on, achieving hights of divine glory that Man cannot conceive; this level is called, by the Hellenic religion, "The Night", meaning that we cannot see in it. In the Divine level, the Psyche retains its self, personality and character. Historically, our Gods and Godesses have always been worshiped as persons with a living self. In summary, one can say that the Cosmos has an inherent tendency to produce Conscience and develop it to the infinite hights of Divinity.

Gods-Godesses-Divine Law

According to the Hellenic religion, the Gods do not create the Cosmos; on the contrary, they represent highest order products of the Cosmos. They cannot violate the Natural Law; on the contrary they observe and supervise the Law. The Natural Law has twelve divisions, six concerning the Continuous Substance, and six the Particulate. Six Olympian Gods, of the male gender, supervise the laws of the former, and six, of the female gender, supervise the laws of the latter. The two sacred Essential Substances are of equal importance to the Cosmos; so are the Gods and Godesses, Male and Female, acting in harmony.

Festivals That We Celebrate

Our religion is for the moment underground, in this country. The celebrations are not solemn and are performed in private; very seldom in public, and very cautiously; we run the risk of being accused as satanists, which will not be tolerated by our social environment. Nevertheless, we do celebrate the following:
  1. The full moon, every month. At the same occasion we worship the God of the month, as follows:
    Hera (7th) Gamelion, Moon of January
    Poseidon (8th) Anthestirion, Moon of February
    Athena (Minerva) (9th) Elaphivolion, Moon of March
    Aphrodite (Venus) (10th) Mounichion, Moon of April
    Apollon (11th) Thargilion, Moon of May
    Hermes (12th) Skirophorion, Moon of June
    Zeus (Jupiter) (1st) Hecatomvaion, Moon, of July
    Dimitra (Demeter) (2nd) Metageitnion, Moon of August
    Hestia (Vesta) (3rd) Voidromion, Moon of September
    Aris (Mars) (4th) Pyanepsion, Moon of October
    Artemis (Diana) (5th) Maimaktirion, Moon of November
    Hephestus (Vulcan) (6th) Poseideon, Moon of December
  2. The 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox: Anthesteria, the lesser Mysteries, in honour of Dionysus and the souls of the deceaced.
  3. The 1st full moon after the Summer Solstice: Olympia (Olympic Games every 4 years), in honour of Zeus & Hera.
  4. The 1st full moon after the Fall Equinox: Elefsinian (greater) Mysteries, in honour of Dimitra & Persefoni.
  5. The 1st full moon after the Winter Solstice: Pythia at Delphi, in honour of Dionysus and Apollon.
There is of course a huge number (about 400) of other known ancient festivals, that nobody celebrates (as such) for the time being. It should be noted that the totality of Greek Orthodox Christian festivals stem from ancient pagan festivals, that the Hellenic people never gave up, so the Orthodox-Christian church thought appropriate to embody, for the purpose of making the people forget the real meaning and origin of the festivals.


The Helliniki Hetaireia Archaiophilon (Societas Hellenica Antiquariorum), is a non-profit private organization, based in Athens-Greece, dedicated to the revival of the traditional Hellenic religion of the Dodecatheon (Twelve Olympian Gods and the Pantheon of Demons and Heroes). This religion has survived as an underground faith for many centuries. We think that time has come that it be resurrected at its homeland.
The organization offers activities to its members every evening, dealing with the traditional Hellenic religion, Hellenic philosophy (Pythegorean, pre-Socratic, Platonic, Stoic, neo-Platonic etc), our Holy Mythology, as well as scientific lectures, symposia, public discourses and social activities. Above all, we practice our rituals and worship the Gods, in the traditional manner.
The main problems of Hellenic Pagans are: 1. Our religion is not recognized officially by the modern Greek state. 2. The mystic tradition of our people (Eleusinian, Kaberian, Delphian etc) has been interrupted.

Πέμπτη, 22 Μαρτίου 2018


The Path of Experience

Swami Satyananda Saraswati
given at Sivanandashram, Paris on Sept. 15th 1979

There is a mysterious substance behind man's existence. The wise men have tried to define and explain it, but most people have not yet been able to understand it. In the last decades, a tremendous awakening has taken place all over the world and now people have accepted the fact that there is a very mysterious power at the core, at the basis of existence.

From where do the thoughts come and from where does the consciousness emanate? There are thousands of such questions which man has not been able to answer. We can discuss and explain them very clearly in theoretical terms, but they will never be understood in this way, because this mysterious substance is not a matter of knowledge, but of experience. We may have perfected our intellectual concepts; we may comprehend the nature of the substance in perfect mathematical terms and be able to explain it in thousands of equations, but the ultimate thing that needs to be achieved is 'the experience'.

When we realise the necessity of the experience, then we have to take a different direction altogether. The experience is not an outcome of intellect or even of scientific thinking, it is the culmination of a process of jumping over the mind. Knowledge is confined within the category of the mind; the experience is beyond mind, intellect, and emotion. Knowledge can be redefined but experience cannot. What is the way to the experience? Do we get this experience through a process of transmission? Can this experience be explained and understood, or is it an outcome of a process in which you transcend time and space barriers?

We know of two ways to achieve this experience, the vedic way and the tantric way. We have heard plenty about the vedic way in the past, but now we are talking about the tantric way of discovering this mysterious substance. Maybe you already have your own personal opinion about tantra. If so, for the time being, please forget all those concepts, otherwise it may' not be possible for you to comprehend the entire role of tantra. Tantra literally means expansion of consciousness and liberation of energy. There are books which say that tantra is occultism, magic, sexual sublimation, or an underground spiritual practice. However, this is not the grammatical, etymological, philosophical or traditional meaning of tantra.

A process by which you are able to expand your personal consciousness is one aspect of tantra. Our consciousness is confined within an area; the mind functions within a given space. The activities of the mind and its capacities are related to the senses and sense experience. For example, you can only hear as much as your auditory system allows you; you can only see as far as your optic system allows you. This is the limitation of the personal mind. There are minute forms in this universe which you are unable to see. There are resonant waves of sound which you are unable to hear. This indicates that the mind functions within a very small, confined area.

Therefore, what we have to do is to break the barriers, then the mind can flow out of its confinement and experience infinity. But mind is dependent on the information supplied. If the sensory channels are incapable of supplying the information, then the mind is paralysed. If your judgement, logic, or mathematics fail to supply the necessary information and decisions to the mind, the mind fails. This is the limitation of mind. If you want to break this behaviour pattern, then you have to adopt a new system; you have to expand the mind.

Science of mantra and yantra

Expansion of mind takes place through certain techniques in which you isolate the mind and allow it to slow down. This is the process of tantric techniques. In this system the first technique is the science of mantra. If you want to expand the mind and realise the mysterious substance behind man's existence, then mantra is the first step.

Mantra is a vehicle for awakening the deeper forces within oneself. Each mantra has certain wavelengths and frequencies that are able to penetrate the internal structure of the mind. If you practise a mantra even without trying to concentrate your mind, the sound waves that resonate during the practice permeate through and through your physical and inter-physical system. The different types of waves that you initiate while repeating the mantra, permeate a new dimension of your consciousness according to your practices. When you chant mantra, sometimes it produces standing waves, resonant waves, or rhythmic waves. When these various waves are produced, they not only influence the atmosphere outside, but the whole mental structure of your personality.

A sound is not just a noise. It is a wave that carries electrical vibrations with certain amounts of energy. When you practise mantra, the sound produced moves in a certain pattern. However, the sound recorded by your consciousness is not exactly the same as the sound heard through your ears. In the deeper mind, the sound of each mantra has its own archetype. Therefore, the sound of mantra has a totally different effect on our consciousness than other sounds which we may produce or utter.

Many people ask, 'What is Om?' Om is the dimension of your consciousness. When you chant Om, it penetrates into your consciousness and assumes a geometrical pattern. Every sound has a specific form- circular, triangular, rectangular, hexagonal, and almost any combination of so many types of geometrical patterns. These forms are not hypothetical, suppositional or imaginary. They are archetypes, and each sound has its own corresponding archetype. The archetype of mantra is known as yantra, and therefore, mantra is the subtle form of everything.

No need for concentration

The mantra you practise creates a lot of force within your inner self. Although you can concentrate with the help of a mantra, mantra is not a tool of concentration. The purpose of mantra is to permeate your whole body, mind, and spirit with resonant vibrations. Therefore, when you are practising mantra, even if your mind is not concentrated but jumping from thought to thought, you are still getting the full benefits.

Once I told my guru that the mantra he had given me was of no use because when I practised it, my mind would jump about like a monkey. What is the value of repeating a mantra if it doesn't concentrate the mind?

He gave me some very practical advice: 'You do so many things in life which apparently have no value. So why don't you continue with the mantra for an extra five minutes.' I repeated my mantra as he ordered for years together with absolute regularity. Even though I had no faith in it, the mantra had very deep and powerful effects on the whole structure of my consciousness. I practise it even today. So in tantric techniques, mantra is the first and foremost practice, which does not require concentration.

Expression rather than suppression

Everybody wants to realise and experience the mysterious substance behind man's existence, but they don't want to break the wall which separates them from it. They paint it again and again and keep the secret substance in obscurity.

When you sit for meditation and a thought comes, you suppress it. Thoughts of worry, anxiety, passion, anguish - different types of thoughts come to the mind when you practise mantra meditation. If you leave them unattended, they will crop up again. This is not the tantric way. The tantric way of dealing with the mind is to attend to each thought as it arises, and finish with it forever. That is the only way you will surpass it.

Even if you are able to isolate your mind, you cannot channelize it. You may be able to disassociate the mind from the sensory channels so that the senses cannot supply stimuli, but what about the inherent nature of the mind ? Mind is a bundle of samskaras, impressions. There are thousands of memories, of experiences. How are you going to deal with this multifarious nature of the mind? If you try to perform mental genocide, you will have to pay horribly. How many impressions in the mind are you going to decry, and who is going to do the job? This is how you create animosity within your own personality. Your religious mind says this is bad, and your free mind says it is good. So you already have two checks on one mind. This creates what we call internal conflict, which ultimately makes you schizophrenic.

You must allow the mind to think without opposing, abusing, or hating it. If there are any evil thoughts in the mind, learn to accept them; do not suppress them. Whatever thoughts arise, learn to face them with full awareness. They are your inheritance from childhood, from your parents, and from society. They are your personality, your structure. They are 'you', and you must not try to kill yourself. Therefore, when you practise mantra, please don't quarrel with yourself. If your mind is running into fantasies, let it go.

Learn to witness the mind. Sometimes it regresses into the remote past, sometimes it goes into the very distant and unclear future. If you allow your mind total independence and liberty, it will transcend itself even without your knowledge. The path of experience is not so long and tedious. The experience is here and now. It is already in you, so you don't have to develop it. It has always been in existence, but you are not able to experience it because you are bound by certain limitations. Allow your mind to flow, to break its barriers, to be anarchical, to wander freely like a vagabond, to commit crimes (inside, of course). Allow it to find itself, give it space to run, and let it experience psychic forms. Don't worry about bad thoughts, or be happy about good ones. Just see them as you see cars moving down the street. You are aware of them, but you have no personal involvement. Like this, there is endless traffic in the mind, and when you are trying to practise mantra, the rush hour begins.

The mind is constantly resonating, vibrating with all kinds of impressions, even now, but you don't see it, you don't know it, because your senses are engaged. As soon as you isolate your mind, you can see the whole beautiful game it constantly plays. The more you evolve in spiritual life, the more you become aware of the homogeneity of the mind. So therefore, in tantra, do not aim at killing any of the expressions of the mind. Mind is not your problem at all- you are the mind's problem, always wanting more experiences. So whenever you practise mantra, yantra or kriya yoga, please remember that you are not going to fight with the mind. As you practise your sadhana, you must see that you don't interfere at all with the mind and the experiences that come to you.

Bindu - the ultimate point

In tantra the way of meditation is spontaneous. In kriya yoga, for example, there comes a moment when you experience expanded consciousness even if you do not want to. Tantra is liberation of energy. This energy, called shakti, is the sum total of the creation of the universe. To be in tune with shakti is the discovery of the self. The destiny of man is to discover the absolute universal energy. This is the bindu, the point. In a circle, there is one curve which represents time, a second curve which represents space, a third curve which represents object, and a fourth curve which represents transcendental consciousness. Then there is bindu, the point or dot at the centre which represents the absolute. This is the nature of reality and of the universe- time, space, object, transcendence, and the ultimate point.

In tantra, the emphasis is on bindu. The whole universe is an expansion from that bindu; matter has exploded out of bindu. Bindu is one absolute, but it has divided itself into millions. It is endless, and every speck of creation is absolute. There is no imperfection in this great universe, in everything you see around you- past, present and future. That is the extent of bindu.

So the bindu point at the eyebrow centre is the nucleus of the universal mind. It is the tiniest of points which explodes into the whole of creativity. When you concentrate on bindu, what happens? Time and space come closer. Otherwise they are very far from each other.

Imagine what is time and what is space. They are not outside- they are within the mind. Time and space are qualities, characteristics of the mind. If there is no time and no space, there is no mind; and if there is no mind, there is no time and no space. When you say mind, you must assume time and space, and when you say time and space, you must assume mind.

When you concentrate on bindu, time and space come closer. Time is positive and space is negative. One is Shiva and the other is Shakti. In symbolic language, one is male and the other female; one is plus and the other is minus. Mind consists of time and space; if you separate them, mind drops away. Bring them together and mind is assembled.

If you bring time and space together and connect them, what happens? It is the same as when you bring two electric wires, one positive and one negative, together- there is a spark. Bring time and space together and they will start sparking. But if you bring them closer to the bindu, there is an explosion of energy, like a bomb. This explosion is the self in tantra. I use the word explosion here but actually words have no meaning in spiritual life. Only the experience has any relevance.

Bindu is the womb of matter and the two poles of universal mind are time and space. We exist in time and space, so we can't take time or space and throw them away. Only at the time of death, are time and space withdrawn into the universal mind at two different poles. Then they leave the body and enter into another body. But this is not what we mean here. We are talking about liberation of time and space, about active participation of time and space in relation to spiritual life. Therefore, when you practise concentration on bindu in the eyebrow centre, whatever experience arises, you must only feel that time and space are coming closer to each other. When this explosive awakening takes place, then what happens? Matter issues forth- the universal mind breaks into millions of fragments. It is all in the form of nebulae with each fragment a complete bindu, an absolute creator. It is like the atom splitting itself into thousands of atoms, all over.

At this time you have completed your evolution; the destiny of human life has been fulfilled. Just as when you finish university, you go out into the world and begin to work. So in spiritual life, when you have completed your evolutionary cycle, you go out and become a co-creator, a junior god. That's the ultimate goal to which tantra leads mankind.

More about Sannyasa Tantra in Greek:

Σάββατο, 17 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

DHARMA According to Mahabharata

There is a story in the Mahabharata
Paramahamsa Satyananda

During the last phase of the war, Arjuna and his unknown step-brother, Karna, who was born to Arjuna's mother, Kunti, before her marriage, were fighting on the battlefield, each one for a different army. Suddenly, Karna's chariot would not move because something was wrong with the wheels.

So, when he got down to repair it, Arjuna stopped shooting. That is the dharma; when a man has no weapons, no defences, one should not kill him. At that moment, however,
Krishna asked Arjuna, "What are you doing?"
Arjuna replied, "He has no weapon, so I cannot kill him now."
Krishna said, "What do you mean? Now is the time. Finish him." Arjuna had to obey.

Karna said, "This is not dharma. You know I have no weapon."

Then Krishna laughed and said, "Yes, now you remember dharma, when the calamity falls on your head, but when the queen was being stripped naked in a public place, at that time did you remember the dharma?
When all of you conspired to burn the five brothers in the wax house, did you remember the dharma? And now when the calamity falls on your head, you remember the dharma!" 

Karna did not know what to do. He could not repair his chariot. He got up, fought and was killed. 

Krishna said, "Practise dharma with those who practise dharma. There is no use in practising virtue with a person who does not want to practise it."

So, these are the functions of the lower mind and the higher mind.
One should know when to use the forces of the higher mind and when to use the forces of the lower mind.
When the higher mind does not know how to function, it is always taken over by the lower mind.

If the higher mind wants to exist in its own higher spheres and does not want to become subservient to the lower mind, it has to act in a certain manner.
How it has to act is a very difficult thing to understand and many people do not know this.
They are always carried away by their emotions, and the higher mind loses ground when it is under the sway of those dominant emotions.

So, with a saint you should behave like a saint; with your mother you must behave like a daughter or son; with your wife or husband you must behave like a husband or wife. When a man is coming to your house with a definite purpose to do you some harm, then you must behave with him accordingly, and protect yourself. This is the dharma.

But if a man comes to your house intending to do you some wrong, and you do not stop him, if he gives you a slap on the right cheek and you show him your left cheek also, that is not dharma.
That has never been done.

~ Sri Paramahamsa Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Κυριακή, 7 Ιανουαρίου 2018

Herodotus testimony on the ancient Macedonians

In the following text we shall present the whole Herodotean testimony on the ancient Macedonian history. FROM HERODOTUS THE FATHER OF HISTORY. But before proceeding with the presentation we must clarify the four separate components of the ancient Macedonian history. These components can be seen as distinctions between the Macedonian Royal House and the Macedonian population and between Macedonia proper and the land over which the Macedonian king’s authority extended in various periods. Not all the king’s subjects were Macedonians and not all the king’s dominion was Macedonia.

Let’s start with the Macedonian Royal House. From antiquity it is known and well accepted as the Temenid Royal house because it’s founder Perdikkas I claimed Argive descent from Temenos, the Dorian conquer of the Peloponnesian Argos. Herodotus informs us in many passages about that.
In [V.22] he states: “And that these descendants of Perdikkas are Hellenes, as they themselves say, I happen to know myself, and not only so, but I will prove in the succeeding history that they are Hellenes. Moreover the Hellanodicai, who manage the games at Olympia, decided that they were so: for when Alexander wished to contend in the games and had descended for this purpose into the arena, the Hellenes who were to run against him tried to exclude him, saying that the contest was not for Barbarians to contend in but for Hellenes: since however Alexander proved that he was of Argos, he was judged to be a Hellene, and when he entered the contest of the foot-race his lot came out with that of the first.”
Also in [VIII.137] he writes about the Macedonian tradition about the arrival of Perdikkas I and his brothers from the Peloponnesian Argos to Western Pieria, and this is a text that we shall analyse later. Finally, the other important passage is the one in [IX.45] here he quotes the words of Alexander I, saying:
“…for I should not utter them if I did not care greatly for the general safety of Hellas, seeing that I AM A HELLENE MYSELF BY ANCIENT DESCENT and I should not wish to see Hellas enslaved instead of free.”
So Herodotus, who almost certainly has visited the Macedonian palace and met in person Alexander I, states that he personally knows and the Macedonian kings themselves admit that they are of Hellenic Argive descent, and that although some Greeks have questioned their Hellenism the Hellanodicai finally have recognized them as Greeks, after Alexander I proved his Hellenism. Herodotus´s statement“I happen to know myself” – has a particular meaning here because Herodotus was himself from Halicarnassus, an Argive-Doric colony and so was familiar with the specific Doric dialect of Argos. NGL Hammond is considered “the patriarch of Macedonian history” and has always considered the Temenid-Argive descent as true. In “History of Macedonia” (volume II, “the language of the Macedonians”) he states that while the general Macedonian population spoke the distinctive and conservative Macedonian dialect of Greek, the Royal family inside the palace spoke Argive Doric. So Herodotus could easily identify by first hand a speaker of Argive Doric – the dialect of his city’s metropolis – and that is why he “happens to know himself” that the Macedonian kings were Temenids from Argos.
Now let’s consider the most specific event, that is Alexander’s I participation in the Olympics. "Alexander I" was the first KNOWN Macedonian to do that. 

The Macedonian history under the first Temenids. "Perdikkas I" became king of Macedonia around 700 BC. He found the Macedonians as transhumant pastoralists in the Greek mountainous west Pieria. With the Temenids starts the Greek Macedonian Tribes expansion. In their first expansionary phase, they drove away the Other Greek Thracians Tribes from coastal Pieria and the Bottians from south Bottia and founded the capital of their new kingdom in Aegai. In a second expansionary phase later they drove away the remaining Bottians from northern Bottia – conquering the whole central Macedonian plain – and continued by eliminating the Almopians and the Eordeans and adding the territories of Almopia and Eordea into their kingdom. In that way, they formed the so-called Old Macedonian Kingdom, who’s borders were the river Axius in the east, Mt Barnous in the north, Mt Vitsi in the West and the Penius river in the south. If to all this we add Polyaenus’ testimony (a Macedonian himself) in his “Stratagems” (IV.1) where he informs us about a Macedonian-Illyrian conflict during the times of the second Temenid king (Argaeus, around 650 BC), during which Argaeus, due to a lack of male warriors, was compelled to resort in his famous stratagem to a force consisting of young women “dressed as male warriors” (Mimallones and the cult of Dionysus Pseudanor), and we also consider that the neighbouring Paeonians were at the summit of their strength during the period 550-511 BC, when they stretched their military operations from Northern Bottia (which they took from the Macedonians) to Propontis (they sieged the city of Perinthus), then we can make a solid conclusion: From 700 BC till 511 BC the Macedonians were in constant warfare in order to expand or defend their kingdom and the male manpower for these operations was at the limits of sufficiency.

What happened immediately after? In 511 BC the Persians managed to subdue the Paeonians ending in this way their period of strength. The Macedonians capitalising on the Paeonian impotence regained northern Bottia and brought again their eastern borders to the river Axius. This is definitely the time frame of the destruction of the Paeonian city Amydon on the eastern bank of the Axius by the Argeads that Strabo refers to in [VII.20] (“Amydon a city of Paeonians. The place was destroyed by the Argeads”). After that the Macedonians offered “earth and water” to the Persians – that is, voluntarily subdued themselves to the Persian king. By doing so they solidified their new re-acquisitions and further more the Persians rewarded them by appointing Amyntas I and his son Alexander later as general supervisors of a region – for the first time – much wider than the Old Macedonian Kingdom. So for the first time, the Macedonian kings expanded their control over non-Macedonian populations, that is, Paeonians, Thracians, Pelasgian Krestonians and the Greek Epeirotan tribes (or “Molossian” tribes as Hecataeus names them back in ca. 515 BC) of the later Upper Macedonia, that is, Elimeians, Tymphaeans, Orestae, Lynkestae and Pelagonians. This new situation explains perfectly the known Herodotean testimony of Alexander I´s speech to the Persians [V.20]: “report to the king who sent you that a Hellene, ruler under him of the Macedonians”. Many use this phrase in order to prove that while the Royal family was of Greek descent the Macedonians weren’t. Note that Alexander I was hereditary king of the original Macedonians and “ruler under the Persian king” of the new dominion that the Persian king rewarded him with. That means that the “Macedonians” in the above phrase are not the original Macedonians of the Old Kingdom – who considered Alexander king (βασιλεύς) and not “ruler under a king” (ὕπαρχος) – but the whole new heterogeneous population posted under Alexander’s authority by the Persians.
So after the Macedonian vassalisation to the Persians, the two centuries long warfare of the Macedonians finally ended and FOR THE FIRST TIME the physically qualified Macedonian men could afford to participate in the Olympics. That is why Alexander I chose to compete to the Olympics immediately after the Macedonian annexation to the Persians in 511 BC. Herodotus informs us in [V.20] that in 511 BC when the Persians arrived in Macedonia and king Amyntas I offered them a welcome-meal, and when Amyntas retired from the table “Alexander took his place” as a host. This means that Alexander I back in 511 BC was at least 12 years old and this can help us calculate the date of his participation in the Olympics. Since he contested in running – a tough sport – his participation age ranged most probably between 18-30 years of age, and so the most probable Olympiads he would have participated in are the ones that occurred in either 504 BC (19 years old), 500 BC (23 years old), 496 BC (27 years old) and 492 BC (31 years old). Alexander’s age clearly excludes any participation after the Greco-Persian wars, that is, after 478 BC. In 478 BC he was around 45 years old, an improper age for Olympian competitor. So, considering only Alexander’s age, we can easily reject the theories that make him “a non-Greek that was granted permission to participate in the Olympics AFTER the Greco-Persian wars as a reward for his assistance to the Greeks during the wars”.

Shield with Star of Vergina on it
What about the Greeks that questioned his participation right? The fact that probably no Macedonian before Alexander could have participated in the Olympics only due to the constant two centuries long warfare with various non-Greek tribes, made Alexander’s participation look odd and unparalleled. After all, the Olympics were one of these events that reminded and renewed the bond between the various Greek tribes and so it is more than obvious that some Greeks were surprised when they saw a participant from a region that never before gave another Olympic athlete. After all, as the Italian Indro Montanelli brilliantly states in his book “Storia dei Greci” (page 281) about the Macedonians: “a big part of the Greeks simply ignored even the existence of their northern most kingdom named Macedonia”. 
If a Macedonian in general wanted to prove himself as a Greek around 500 BC the only thing that he had to do was remind the other Greeks of the ALREADY EXISTING two-century old Hesiodic tradition in which Macedon was “brother” of Magnes and a Deucalionid by ancient descent. Only that was enough to guarantee him equal rights to those of the Magnetes and the right to participate in the Olympics.
So Alexander I had no need to invent a Greek genealogy in order to participate in the Olympics and this only strengthens the originality of his Argive
(Greek citizen of Argos)descent.
Before closing with the Royal House and passing on to the Macedonian population there’s one thing left to clarify. Many modern scholars have rejected the Argive descent of the Temenids and considered it “Royal House propaganda”. At this point I would like to point out what the eminent British scholar Andrew Robert Burn says about the large number of examples of Royal Houses with different origin than that of the tribes that they control. In his book “A Traveller´s History of Greece” written in Oxford in 1984, in the chapter “people, idioms and the coming of the Greeks” he states:
“The expansion of the Hellenes (as the descendants of the proto-Greeks used to refer to themselves) wasn’t always the result of direct conquests. Sometimes they were invited, AS THE GREEK LEGENDS NARRATE, by the local kings in order to help them against their enemies; For Thucydides, this was the mode that the “sons of Hellen” managed to expand from Thessaly. In the legends, the hero arrives alone or followed by a few faithful companions. This is of course a poetic convention. After liberating the territory from enemies or “monsters”, the hero takes for bride the king’s daughter, “the prefixed price for the job”, to use the phrase of a modern scholar. Sometimes the hero inherits the Kingdom. IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE THAT SIMILAR THINGS OCCURED IN REALITY, BECAUSE IN THE PREHISTORICAL AEGEAN (AND IN HISTORICAL TIMES IN SOME TERRITORIES WITH ARCHAIC CUSTOMS *like Macedonia, personal note*) PARENTAGE WAS DETERMINED AND THE PROPERTY INHERITED PROBABLY THROUGH THE FEMALE LINE. IN HOMER, MENELAUS (A MYCENAEAN, BROTHER OF THE POWERFUL MYCENAEAN KING AGAMEMNON) BECOMES KING OF SPARTA AFTER TAKING FOR BRIDE HELEN, THE DAUGHTER OF THE OLD KING TYNDAREUS, ALTHOUGH TYNDAREUS HAD LIVING SONS (AS HELEN NARRATES IN THE ILIAD), THE DIOSCURIDS (KASTOR AND POLYDEYKES)”.

Ruins of ancient Pella in Greece
This pattern of a “Hero” invited to fight the old king’s enemies fits perfectly with the Temenids, because immediately after Perdiccas’ I accession to the Macedonian throne we have the Macedonian expansion through warfare. Anyway, Herodotus provides us another example of a king belonging to a different Greek tribe from the one that he controls. In [V.72] he reminds us that the Spartan king Cleomenes was an Achaean ruling over Dorians:
” …but the priestess stood up from her seat before he had passed through the door, and said, “Lacedemonian stranger, go back and enter not into the temple, for it is not lawful for Dorians to pass in hither.” He said: “WOMAN, I AM NOT A DORIAN, BUT AN ACHAEAN”.”
Other examples of the genre are the Phtiotid Aeakid Royal house of the Molossians, the Corinthean Bakkhiad Royal house of the Lynkestians, the Pylean “Nestorid” descent of the Peisistratids and Alcmeonids in Athens and the more historical examples of Gelon from Gela and the Rhegian Agathocles becoming respectively successful tyrant and chief-general of the Syracusans in Sicily. In this frame there is nothing “suspicious” in a Doric-Argive family ruling over the Macedonians. After all, Thucydides, a more “standard” historian than Herodotus who rarely concords with the later, in this particular theme is in accord with him about the Argive descent of the Temenid kings of Macedonia (II,98).
The next component of the ancient Macedonian history is the general population. We’ve already seen that we must make a distinction between the “Eteomacedonians” (that is the original Macedonians of the Old Kingdom) and the “Macedonians” who the Temenids finished up ruling under the Persian kings – that is after the submission to the Persians the Temenid dominion expanded outside the Eteomacedonians and the Old Kingdom. Intermarriages with the neighbouring Royal houses took place in order to solidify the expanded dominion and there is no doubt that non-Greek populations were eventually assimilated into the Macedonian stock. This can explain the minority of non-Greek names found in Macedonia (less than 5% of all the attested names). But if we must speak on the “origin of the ancient Macedonians”, then the focal point are the “Eteomacedonians”, just like any research on the early Roman History must be limited to the original Latins of Latium. NGL Hammond underlines this distinction clearly in his book “The Macedonian State: Origins, Institutions and History” where in chapter VI in a discussion about the earliest Macedonian institutions he states: “at this point we must focus on the real Macedonians and not on the “Molossian” tribes of Upper Macedonia and the populations east of the river Axius that the Macedonians managed to subdue”.
So what does Herodotus’ testimony has to offer for these “Eteomacedonians”? In two different and independent passages he equates the Macedonians and the Dorians:
In [I.56] he states:
“for in the reign of Deucalion this race dwelt in Pthiotis, and in the time of Doros the son of Hellen in the land lying below Ossa and Olympus, which is called Histiaiotis; and when it was driven from Histiaiotis by the sons of Cadmos, it dwelt in Pindos and was called Makednian; and thence it moved afterwards to Dryopis, and from Dryopis it came finally to Peloponnesus, and began to be called Dorian.”
It is clear that in Herodotus’ opinion – a man descended from a Doric colony in Asia minor – the Dorians used to be called Makednians when they inhabited northern Pindus. In other words, the Dorians were Makednians that migrated southwards.
Later in [VIII.43] when he’s presenting the Peloponnesian contribution to the Greek fleet opposing the Persians he states:
“From Peloponnese the Lacedemonians furnishing sixteen ships, the Corinthians furnishing the same complement as at Artemision, the Sikyonians furnishing fifteen ships, the Epidaurians ten, the Troizenians five, the men of Hermion three, THESE ALL, except the Hermionians, BEING OF THE RACE CALLED DORIC AND/OR MAKEDNIAN and having made their last migration from Erineos and Pindos and the land of Dryopis.”
Again the Macedonians and the Dorians are being equalised in Herodotus’ opinion. What does this mean? Instead of equalising the two Greek tribes it would be better if we considered them as “brother” tribes originating from the same North-Western Greek stock that used to inhabit the Boion range in northern Pindus. Boion is a focal point for all the tribes belonging to the so-called Northern Greek group. The eminent German linguists Porzig & Risch based on the various isoglosses of the various Greek dialects have proven that Mycenaean Greek was already a south Greek dialect and wasn’t the precursor of all the historical Greek dialects, but only of the Attic-Ionic and the Arkado-Cypriot ones. Aeolic and North-Western Greek on the other hand form a northern Greek group, and both derived from a common “undifferentiated” precursor. So far we know that the Dorians and Macedonians originate from the Boion range, the Aeolophon Boetians took their name from this mountain, meanwhile the Aeolophon Perrhaebians’ ethnonym literally means “from the source of the Aias/Aous” (Πέρρας ΑἴFου) situated immediately west of the Boion range.

‘Yauna Takabara’,(Greeks with sun hats) the Persian name of the Macedonians.

Furthermore we have Hesiod’s Theogony account that the Macedonians were “brother” tribes with the Aelophon Magnetes (mythological sons of Zeus and Thyia and by the last Deucalionids, that is, descendants of Deucalion, the genarch of all Greeks). Some have questioned the Macedonians´ Hellenicity because of their “co-laterality” to the mythological Hellen – that is, Thyia was Hellen’s sister and so her children were not Hellenes. This argument – at the degree that we can argue over mythology – is definitely shallow because there are other Greek-speaking tribes that do not descent from Hellen directly, but do descent from Deucalion. In the myth Deucalion had three children: Hellen, Thyia and Pandora junior. From Hellen derived Dorus, Aeolus and Xouthus, and from Xouthus Ion and Achaean. From Thyia and Zeus originated the two brothers “Magnes and Macedon rejoicing in horses and dwelling in Pieria around Olympus”, while from Zeus and Pandora originated Graecus, the genarch of the Epeirotans and the other north-western Greeks except the Dorians. Since no historian ever rejected the Greekness of the Magnetes, and since the vast majority of historians accept the Greekness of the Epeirotans, it is logical to include the Macedonians also in the bulk of the Greek-speaking population. After all, independently of the Hesiodic myth, and based on historical conclusions, the vast majority of the modern NON-GREEK scholars like Hammond, Burn, Bengtson, Brixhe, Masson – to mention some of them – accept the Greekness of the Macedonians. Furthermore, there are some important common usances specifically between Macedonians and Magnetes that seem to enhance the Hesiodic Theogony. Both (and only the Macedonians and Magnetes) had the cult of Zeus Akraeus and the festival of the Heretideia (although the Magnetes had for a very long time ceased to have a king and hetairoi), and both of them and the Aenians had a dance simulating livestock theft that the Macedonians named “Karpea”, and the Magnetes and Aenians “Karpaea”, from the Greek verb “karpeuein”, meaning “to gain”.
Now lets to return to the Boion and the bulk of the northern Greeks. It was the Phrygian descent into the region at the beginning of the Early Iron Age or the end of the Late Bronze Age that prompted the so called “Great Aegean Migration” that we know better as the “Dorian Descent”. The Phrygians pushed out this northern-Greek bulk and caused it’s dispersion and fragmentation into smaller tribes. The Dorians and Epeans ended up in the Peloponnese, the Thessalians moved to “Pelasgian Argos” and renamed it Thessaly, the majority of the Epeirotans moved south of the Aous and the Macedonians, the Magnetes and the Perrhaebians ended up around mount Olympus in Pieria and Perrhaebia.
What caused the migration of the Magnetes south of the river Penius in historical Magnesia? Herodotus gives us the answer in [VII.20.2] “…nor that of the Mysians and Teucrians, before the Trojan war, who passed over into Europe by the Bosphorus and not only subdued all the Thracians, but came down also as far as the Ionian Sea and marched southwards to the river Peneios.”
He informs us that Teucrians (Trojans) and their allies (Thracians, Paeonians, Mysians, Luwians, etc) had undertaken a vast military operation in the Balkans that reached to the Ionian Sea and the river Penius. This is definitely the best known reason for the departure of the Magnetes from Pieria southwards, for the isolation of the Macedonians in mountainous Western Pieria and for the arrival of the Thracian Cicones in coastal Pieria. Do we have any proof that this operation indeed occurred? Of course! During the Late Helladic IIIB period (ca. 1250 BC) we have massive fortifications constructed in the Mycenaean centres of Gla, Orkhomenos, Athens, Mycenae and Tiryns, but not in Messenia and Laconia. What does this mean? It means that the feared enemy of the Mycenaeans at that time was coming from the North-north East and it wasn’t only a naval force, but a terrestrial one also since Orkhomenos, far from the Aegean coast, was fortified also in this period.
Lets return now to the Macedonians gathered in western Pieria. We have a Mycenaean Greek presence archaeologically documented in this area with the necropolis near the modern village of Agios Demetrios. Being a necropolis – that is, a cemetery – one can exclude immediately influence from the south since the burial modalities of all cultures tend to remain conservative and adhering to the proper tradition. As NGL Hammond has argued many times, ALL THE TOPONYMS AND HYDRONYMS IN WESTERN PIERIA ARE OF GREEK ETYMOLOGY. IF THE MACEDONIANS DID NOT SPEAK GREEK FROM THE BEGINNING, THEN THEIR EARLY HOMELAND SHOULD HAVE CONTAINED NON-GREEK NAMES. Pieria, Leibethron, Lebaea, Aison, Aigai, Aegidion, Pimpleia, Haliakmon, Balla, Phylake, Akasamenae are examples of some of these topyonyms and hydronyms, and all have a purely Greek etymology. A classical example is that of the Thracians, who although massively Hellenized in late antiquity, kept toponyms and hydronyms indicating their early non-Greek background. Cities ending in “-bria” (Thracian word for “city”), “-diza” (Thracian word for “walls”, that is, walled city), and “-para” (Thracian word for “village”) can be found till today, while Hadrianople’s Thracian name “Uscudama” had survived until the Roman Emperor Hadrian changed it in the 2nd AD century.

Gathered in mountainous Pieria, from ca. 1200 BC until 700 BC when the Temenids arrived, the Macedonians practiced transhumant pastoralism between the southern part of the Emathian plain in the winter (another Greek word meaning “sandy place” and used many times by Homer in the form “emathoen” = sandy) and the Pierian highlands in the summer. During this period they came into strong contact with the Phrygians who were living in the central Macedonian plain and having their capital in Edessa, the town where later the Macedonians founded Aegai in modern Vergina. The name Edessa and the nearby river Ascordus are the only non-Greek toponyms in northern Pieria-South Emathia and are unquestionably of Phrygian origin (“Vedy” in Phrygian means “water”). The Phrygian presence in the area is archaeologically documented by their characteristic “Lausitz” culture that the Phrygians brought with them from the north.
Around 700 BC as we have seen, Perdikkas I becomes king and the Macedonian expansion begins. What does Herodotus have to say about the Macedonians living in Western Pieria and their contact with the Phrygians?
In [VII.127] he states that the northern limit of Macedonia was the union of the rivers Haliakmon and Ludias, north of which started Bottia:
“as far as the river Lydias and the Haliacmon, which form the boundary between the lands of Bottiaia and Macedonia, mingling their waters together in one and the same stream”.
Herodotus wrote his histories around 450 BC, and so Hammond is convinced that Herodotus has borrowed this quote from the Milesian geographer Hecataeus who wrote around 515 BC, a time when indeed – as we have seen above – Ludias was the northern limit of Macedonia.
In [7.131] he names the Pierian mountains the Macedonian mountain”, and that is in agreement with the fact that Western Pieria was the homeland of the Macedonians:
“…in the region of Pieria many days, for the road over the Macedonian mountain…”
In [VIII.137] He says that Perdikkas I found the Macedonians in Lebaea in Upper Macedonia.
“Now of this Alexander the seventh ancestor was that Perdikkas who first became despot of the Macedonians, and that in the manner which here follows: From Argos there fled to the Illyrians three brothers of the descendents of Temenos, Gauanes, Aëropos, and Perdiccas; and passing over from the Illyrians into the upper parts of Macedonia they came to the city of Lebaia”.
Where was Lebaea? Before presenting Hammond’s conclusions based on later epigraphy let’s try to find out for ourselves. Herodotus says in Upper Macedonia near Illyria, so one´s mind goes to the LATER Upper Macedonia which bordered the HISTORICAL Illyria. But Perdikkas was the first king, the one who started the expansion so it is impossible to find Macedonians in Upper Macedonia (which Greek Molossian tribes inhabited) near historical Illyria. 
Where was this Illyria and where was this “Upper Macedonia” in Pediccas’ times? Herodotus helps us find the second one, since in [VII.128] he makes reference to Xerxes’ army having passed from the pass of Petra in western mountainous Pieria “from the Macedonians who dwell in the highland”:
“because he was meaning to march by the upper road, through the land of the Macedonians who dwell in the highland, until he came to the Perraibians, passing by the city of Gonnos.”

The Star of Vergina the symbol of Greek Macedonia
So Perdikkas’ “Upper Macedonia” is nothing else but the Macedonian homeland in western Pieria. What about Illyria? When Perdikkas became king around 700 BC the central plain was still under Illyrian control. One must consider that the Illyrian expansion lasted from ca.1000 BC to 650 BC and was the basic reason that caused the Phrygian migration in Asia minor sometime around 900-800 BC. Professor Andronikos in Vergina (Aegai) has found three different and independent cemeteries: the oldest was Phrygian (Lausitz culture) dating from ca.1100 BC to 900 BC, the second one was Illyrian (Glasinac culture) dating from ca. 900 BC to 700 BC, and the last one was Macedonian, in which in historical times the inscriptions survived and the discovered graves have Greek names and patronymics dating from ca. 480 BC. If to all that we add Polyaenus’ testimony about an early Macedonian-Illyrian conflict around king Argaeus’ times (ca. 650 BC), then it becomes clear that Illyria in Herodotus’ [VIII.137] is nothing else but the Central Plain and it’s western highlands under Illyrian control. This “Illyria” is indeed bordering “Upper Macedonia” as we defined it from [VII.128], that is, Western Pieria.
So we can be pretty sure that Perdikkas had found the Macedonians grazing their stock in the highland of Pieria near the city of Lebaea. And finally, here is what Hammond has to say about Lebaea on page 5 of “The Macedonian State”:
“Where was Lebaea? An answer was provided recently by the discovery of an inscription which recorded the dedication of a liberated slave to “The autochthonous Mother of the Gods at Alebea, a village (attached) to Elimea”, a city of which we know the location. If Lebaea and Alebea are the same place, which is probable, we can put Lebaea in the western part of Pieria. This is consistent with our knowledge that the early home of the Macedonians was around Pieria and Olympus.”
It is more than obvious that Lebaea was a pre-Temenid settlement somewhere in the Pierian mountains. But where? In the archaeological site of Paleogratsiano in the southwestern slopes of the Pierian mountains, archaeologists have found an ancient settlement dating from the Early Iron Age which satisfies all the above pre-requirements and additionally explains the name Lebaea. Immediately west of the Pierian mountains today, the Haliakmon forms an artificial lake due to the presence of a dam. Immediately after the dam, the river enters Emathia and in the border between the modern provinces of Kozani and Emathia it forms a number of little natural lakes. It is more than probable that before the construction of the dam this pattern of small lakes created by the river was present in all its Pierian course. Now Lebaea in Greek literally means “water deposit”, hence both ancient and modern Greek word “Lebetas” meaning the same thing. All this indicates that the Macedonians spoke Greek long before the Temenids arrived and that is why all the Pierian toponyms and hydronyms are of Greek etymology. After all, the Temenids had nothing to do with the name of Lebaea as they had nothing to do with the Mycenaean findings near Agios Demetrios.

Returning to Herodotus, what has he to say about the relation of the Phrygians and the Macedonians? In [VII.73] he states:
“Now the Phrygians, as the Macedonians say, used to be called Brigians during the time that they were natives of Europe and dwelt with the Macedonians; but after they had changed into Asia, with their country they changed also their name and were called Phrygians”.
He reminds us that the Macedonians had lived nearby the Phrygians. This is definitely the period when the Phrygians were inhabiting the central Macedonian plain and the Macedonians the Pierian Highland. Furthermore, the fact that they had inhabited nearby helps us to verify the arrival of the Macedonians in Pieria. We know that the Phrygians had migrated to Asia Minor sometime between 900 and 800 BC due to Illyrian harassment. We also know that the Macedonians were heavily influenced by the Phrygians in both tradition, religion, and language. The eminent linguist Claude Brixhe (and an expert in the Phrygian language) in his model of “phonological osmosis” has argued that the Macedonian dialect is nothing else than a north-western Greek dialect heavily influenced phonologically by the Phrygians and that explains perfectly it’s “unorthodoxies” in respect to the other Greek dialects. The same tendencies of voicing and deaspiration of the standard Greek unvoiced aspirates are not only found in the Macedonian dialect, but also in some rare dialectic forms of the Dorian and Aeolic dialects (which descent from the same northern-Greek precursor as the Macedonian) and also in the Pamphylian Greek dialect in southern Anatolia where the Pamphylians were neighboring the Luwian speakers of Lycia and Cilicia. Even there the same unorthodoxies can be found (Aspendos and andropos instead of “standard” Greek Aspenthos and anthropos) and that means that what happened to the Macedonians is nothing more than what has happened in every Greek dialect spoken in the borders of the Greek-speaking world.
The fact that the Macedonians were heavily influenced in both culture and language by the Phrygians means that they had inhabited nearby for a very long time. The Phrygians stayed in Macedonia from ca 1150 BC to ca 850 BC and since an influence of that measure needs at least two centuries of neighbouring, this means that the Macedonians were in the Pierian mountains all the time that the Phrygians were in the plain. After all, it was the Phrygian descent in the first place around 1200 BC that prompted the whole “migrating” phenomenon that caused the dispersion of the Northern Greek tribes from the Boion range to the rest of the peninsula, bringing the Dorians in the Peloponnese and the Macedonians in Pieria. In this time frame the Mycenaean findings in Western Pieria dated around 1200 -1100 BC (that is, after the so called “Trojan Balkanian Operation” that Herodotus mentions, which caused the migration of the Magnetes south of the Penius and the massive fortifications of the south Greek Mycenaean centres around 1250 BC (LH IIIB)) must be attributed to the Macedonians, the “Highlanders” of Pieria.

After all that, the conclusion is that Herodotus is a valuable historical source when one knows what to accept and what to reject. Everything he said about the Macedonians, their kinship with the Dorians, their gathering in mountainous Pieria from where they started their expansion and their neighbouring with the Phrygians are things that linguists and archaeologists have confirmed directly or indirectly.
In a general discusion about Herodotus’ credibility in the introduction of the Italian edition of his “Histories” (the one translated by Fulvio Barberis and edited by Garzanti) , Luciano Canfora states : certainly like every mortal Herodotus wasn’t infallible , but when we must discuss about his ability to discriminate between true and false and his willingness to express the first , Herodotus speaks by himself:
In [III,124] he states : ” For Polycrates was the first of the Hellenes of whom we have any knowledge, who set his mind upon having command of the sea, excepting Minos the Cnossian (or Knossian) and any other who may have had command of the sea before his time. Of that which we call mortal race Polycrates was the first”.
And this is a proof that he can distinguish between myth (Minos the Cnossian ,a mythological figure) and reality (Polykrates of Samos , a person of the “mortal race” that is a historical person) although Thucydides -who is generally considered more standard and less “naif”- failed to make this distinction in [I.4].
About his willingness to speak the truth in [VII.139] he states: “And here I am compelled by necessity to declare an opinion which in the eyes of most men would seem to be invidious, but nevertheless I will not abstain from saying that which I see evidently to be the truth”.

For the History however, Mythology says that Macedonia (Makedonia) was named after Makedon, who was the founder of the people of the Macedonians, who, in a sense, was the son of Zeus and Thyia, while in another son of the King of Arcadia Lycaona. Herodotus says that the Macedonians are descendants of the Thomenaeans - Iraklidon from Argos, who left the princes Gavani, Aero and Perdiccas, and settled in this northern region of Greece.

Also for the history, the names Makedonia and Macedonian originate from the Doric word "makos" (meaning length) and state that Makedonia (Macedonia) is the country with the tall, long humans.

Strabo the father of Geography has describe:
“There remain of Europe, first, Macedonia and the parts of Thrace that are contiguous to it and extend as far as Byzantium; secondly, Greece; and thirdly, the islands that are close by. Macedonia, of course, is a part of Greece, yet now, since I am following the nature and shape of the places geographically, I have decided to classify it apart from the rest of Greece and to join it with that part of Thrace which borders on it and extends as far as the mouth of the Euxine and the Propontis. Then, a little further on, Strabo mentions Cypsela and the Hebrus River, and also describes a sort of parallelogram in which the whole of Macedonia lies.