The Glory of Divine Mother
(From Devi Mahatmyam)
Verily She, the Bhagavati, Mahamaya forcibly drawing the minds of even the wise, throws them into delusion. She creates this entire universe, both moving and unmoving. It is She who, when propitious, becomes a boon-giver to human beings for their final liberation, and eternal. She is the supreme knowledge, the cause of the bondage of transmigration and the sovereign over all lords.
She is eternal, embodied as the universe. By Her all this is pervaded. Nevertheless She incarnates in manifold ways; hear it from me. When She manifests herself in order to accomplish the purposes of the Devas, She is said to be born in the world, though She is eternal.
Brahma, the father of beings, was sitting in the lotus (that came out) from Vishnus navel (nabhikamale).
Brahma said: ‚You are Svaha and Swahadha. You are verily the Vasatkara and embodiment of Svara. You are the nectar O eternal and imperishable One, You are the embodiment of threefold matra. You are half a matra, though eternal. You are verily that which cannot be uttered specifically. You are Savitri and the supreme Mother of the Devas
By You this universe is borne, by You this world is created. By you it is protected, O Devi and you always consume it at the end. O You who are (always) of the form of the whole world, at the time of creation You are the creative force, at the time of sustentation You are of the form of the protective power, and at the time of destructive power.
615. Salutations to Adisakti, the primordial Energy, the first cause that created the entire universe, and who is present in everything created. (Sri Lalithambika – Sahasranama Stotram)
"Indeed, this place seems to be divine"
"Only by calling the Gods I worship
the primordial prophetess Gaia ..."
The ancient Greeks considered
Delphi as the navel of the world. Our most beloved mother Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi also visited holy places in Greece – among other things the excavated ancient sanctuary of Delphi. On the way to Delphi they showed Shri Mataji a hill and they called it the Nabhi and the Navel of the whole universe. Shri Mataji confirmed it by saying: "That is correct." All around strong vibrations could be felt and She found a statue of Shri Ganesha there (Athena-Puja Talk, April 26th 1993). Shri Mataji literally said: "But on the whole the vibrations were very, very good, no doubt, and I went to all the places in here, like I went to Delphi, I went up there to see Athena’s temple and everything. To all the places of interest, they took Me round, ... And everywhere I felt — even the sea I felt was so very beautiful. This was about — I think I came here at least about fifteen years back, maybe fourteen years back. And I find now the vibrations are coming back now through you people and the whole place is again vibrating." The global Virata map shows as the Nabhi (Divine Cool Breeze 10(1996), Vol. 9, p.15). Greece
Delphi, the old central sanctuary of the Greek tribes, is situated on a 500 meter high slate terrace on the southern hillside of the Parnass limestone mountain massif in central
. Many know it from the Pythic Oracle and the inscription "Know thyself!" According to the Hellenistic saga, the Greece of Deukalion and Pyrrha landed on this Parnaß massif. In ancient times Ark Delphi was known as Phyto and had been a sanctuary of the Goddess of the Earth Gaia and her daughter Themis (justice). Later it was called Delphoi and became the oracle centre of Apollo. According to Marja Gimbutas the name delphys ( Delphi) is deducted from (mother´s) womb.i Already in the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC inhabitants of the former seaport Krisa (today Hrisso) which was destroyed in the beginning of 1100 BC, came to the cliffs of the Phaidriades near Delphi at the gulf of Itea, where the Goddess of the Earth Gaia prophesised at the bubbling sources.
About 800 meters above
Delphi the Korykic cave was located, where an ancient place of worship with relics of the times between 4300 and 3000 BC was discoveredii. Already in Mykenic times (around 1400 BC) on the northeastern part of the Delphic sanctuary, which later was walled in, there was a small settlement. Up to the 19th century the village Kastriiii was located at this very place of the sanctuary, which, for the sake of the archaeological excavations of the years 1892 to 1903, had to be destroyed. Already Homer in his Iliade (about 800 BC) and Hesiod mentioned the rocky holy Pytho. Delphi was not only a place of oracles but also the headquarters of the Amphiktionia, an association or confederation of twelve Central and Northern Greek tribes and city-states. This could be regarded as an attempt to establish a balance between individual state interests with the help of a federal alliance in which the Apollo cult played an essential role. There were several Apollo sanctuaries but the importance of the Delphic sanctuary remained unsurpassed not only in ancient Hellas ( ) but all over the ancient world known to us. From the 8th to the 5th century BC the Delphic oracle had been "the highest agency in religious, politic, cultural and personal matters"iv. At the same time these centuries were the most glorious times of Greece Delphi.v But in spite of its high reputation and its authority three wars had to be fought in order to maintain its political and religious independence.
The Gods of
The young and brilliant God Apollon (Shri Rama) with his different epithets, was the God of Light, of Clarity and of Knowledge, later on in ancient Greece also the God of the Sun. On the Indian subcontinent he is Shri Rama. One more domain of Apollon was cultic purification. He tried to defeat arbitrariness and excessiveness and had a cultivating, educating and civilising effect. At the same time he was the leader of the Muses and the Goddesses of destiny. His priestess, the Pythia was his mouthpiece. His Delphic oracle had a lasting influence upon faith and thinking of the ancient Greeks. In the 6th century BC Theognis called him "the most beautiful among the immortals" (Greek: athanaton kallistos) and soon he was considered as the "patron of the Hellenic culture".
"I like the lyre and the arched bow and in the oracle I shall proclaim the unmistakable decision of Zeus to humanity"
(Homeric hymn 131-132)
When in the 9th/8th century BC Apollo (Shri Rama), who is also called the God of Wisdom (Roux), took over the sanctuary of the Goddess of the Earth, the elder Gods continued to have their altars and it was allowed to further worship them and to bring sacrifices to them, but they stood in the shadow of the cult of Apollon. In the neighbourhood of the Delphic temple region also Athena (Holy Ghost) had a temple district. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi said in 1993 about Athena (Minerva in ancient
Rome and Neith, Amaunet (-Amun) and Hathor in ancient ): "As it is, you know, Athena has the Kundalini in Her hand** and you can see that clearly that She was the Adi Shakti. Actually, in Sanskrit language "atha” means "primordial.” So She was the Primordial Mother. Because there was no connection left between the Greeks and the Indians, this, I mean, translation was not there and they didn't know what was meant by "Athena"... But Indians know that it is — this is the place for the manifestation of the Adi Shakti because in the "Devi Mahatmyam,” if you read, you will find out they have described Egypt as the Manipurni - means the island in the Manipura. Manipur is this Nabhi Chakra. So in the Nabhi there’s an island where it is Greece , where the Goddess resides. Manipur chakra is where She resides... And so, this Athena has been described, then when I went to Her temple I found that there was a little temple for the child of God. That was Shri Ganesha. And then, when I went to Greece Delphi, also when I went there, I was surprised to see, they showed Me a mountain, said, "This is the Nabhi, navel of the whole universe.” I said, "That’s correct.” But when I turned round there was lots of vibrations and what I find is a Ganesha statue there. When Gregoire came here he took photographs and everything and he saw that."
Likewise here in
Delphi apart of Gaia and Themis, people worshipped Poseidon (here as deity of the rivers and sources), Hestia, Demeter, Pan, Dionysos and the Nymphs and the Muses. Apollo represented all the good in a man and honesty (comparable to Rama) while Dionysos represented things like irresponsibility, laziness and was regarded a pleasure-lover. In Delphi Dionysos and his bacchanals had never been dedicated a temple of their own, this has to be stated explicitly. Melas: "Apollon and his priests tried hard to reduce vengefulness in the private life of human beings, revenge and atrocity as a political practice and intolerance in religious matters." In the cult he himself gave an example of tolerance by tolerating Dionysos, who was diametrically opposed to him, in his Delphic temple.
According to the ancient Greek tradition Apollo, the son of the God Zeus and the Goddess Leto, was born on the
and protected by Shri Athena (Adi Shakti, Holy Ghost). Zeus was the cool breeze by the Egyptologist Brugsch, identical with the Egypt God Amun (the invisibble). Earlier investigations (Wieseler, p.5) have shown that all the sanctuaries in which Athena appeared as the companion of Apollo point into the same direction from Delos to island of Delos Delphi, on that holy road on which Apollo himself is said to have walked when he went from his birth-island to establish his oracle. In this connection the cult of Athena was connected to Apollo very early." The role of Shri Athena as Holy Ghost can also be seen in the fact that before asking the oracle people offered sacrifices to Athena. Today some people even say that the cult of Athena in Delphi is older than the cult of Apollon.
temple of Apollon
Within the temple area a holy winding road lined by temples reminding of treasure houses and oblations people had set up led to the stone
towering above everything, of which only six columns can be seen today. It was located amongst a "forest" of statues. In the Pronaios (entrance hall) there was a bust of Homer and the famous inscriptions "Be conscious of yourself" and "Nothing in excess" Here also the mysterious letter E could be seen, to which Plutarch dedicated a whole book without really resolving its secrets. After the entrance hall followed the inner room with the golden statue of Apollon and his holy tools. The altar was called the "tomb of Dionysos" which is likely to be only of a symbolical meaning in the above sense. Then there was an ancient altar of Poseidon (the husband of the Goddess of the Earth). Not exactly in the middle there was a place of "the eternal flame" of Hestia which was nourished and maintained with laurel tree and pine tree wood. Women who had to be celibate at any price were entrusted with taking care of the fire. Ancient authors agreed that the laurel tree had rooted in the room of the temple. temple of Apollo
There also was an iron throne on which the poet Pindar was sitting when reciting his "Pythic Odes". Furthermore, in the closed Cella (room) there were statues of only two Moires (Goddesses of destiny) instead of three as usual. The statues of Herakles and Hydra were completely made of iron. The walls were decorated with beautiful finely woven cloths and wonderful paintings. Successful athletes were hanging their bandages of victory into the stone entablature. At the Western end of the closed inner room was the holy of holies, the Adyton, in which the consultation of the oracle of the Pythia took place and which was located at a lower level as the rest of the room. In the neighbourhood of the "crevice" or hole of the Adyton a holy stone or Omphalus (Nabel) was lying. It should also be mentioned that behind the temple a big theatre was standing. Apart from that, there were the so-called Pythic games – sporting competitions– which took place in the Delphic arena and were similar to those of
with a similar meaning. The sanctuary of the Goddess Athena stood in front of the Apollonic temple area in order to protect itvii. Olympia
The Oracle of Apollon
The Goddess of the Earth Ge, Gâ or Gaia and her daughter Themis were the predecessors at the oracle of the Delphic God and can be traced back to a pre-Hellenistic-mediterranean period –not only to the Mykenic period – that means to a time long before the Greeks. According to a legend, Apollon killed the great snake Phython (female and nameless in the Homeric Hymn), which was the protectress of the Gaia oracle. She had lived at a beautiful spring in the neighbourhood of his temple.
Pythia was not the personal name of an Apollinic prophetess but mainly a sacred title of many prophetesses and seers who in the course of 1200 years were sitting on the famous tripod and communicating the messages of Apollon to those who were seeking advice and asking questions. The idealised archetype of the prophetess was Phemonoe (who understands the voice of God), the "daughter of Apollon", for whom the Alexandrines established a statue (3rd century). It is also she, to who the launching of the epic metre of Hexametre was attributed. According to local Delphic traditions the seer herself had always spoken the verses! According to Herodot the seer had answered questions of prominent questioners in verses already before the questions were asked.
For the first time the notion of "Pythia" emerged in the scriptures of Herodot, who mentions the name of Pythia Aristonike of the Persian wars. Mostly the prophetic announcements of the Pythia were described as follows: The Pythia was sitting on her tripod at a crevice from which steam came out (as for example performed in the "Furious Pythia" of the Paris Opera). She got into an "ecstatic-mantic" mood, in which she made her announcements to the priests of Apollon who were writing down her announcements. But this is certainly a fiction of Roman and Christian times. The "furious and babbling" Pythia also stands in contradiction to the vase paintings of the 5th century. Normally she was depicted as having a sublime nature, since she was the speaker of God.
At another place it is said: "in the opinion of the elders the crevice from which emanated a cool peculiar breeze was the starting point of the whole oracle business".viii The archaeologists were not able to find a crevice. The description of Strabon which was not at all exact and imaginative runs: "The Manteion (Adytion), they say, is a vertically digged hole with a rather small gap from which emanates a breeze (Pneuma) which makes you enthusiastic. On the border stands a raised tripod. There the Pythia settles down and being pervaded by the emanating breeze announced the oracles in verses and prose"ix. Many stated that during the consultations of the oracle a wonderful fragrance showed the presence of God. Some attributed this phenomenon to the holy spring of the Goddess of the Earth Kassotis, which was dried up and the waters of which were said to have flown underneath the Adytion. According to a Delphic inscription in verses the Agrivic army king Agamemnon was in Delphi for the first time even before a journey to Troja because of an involuntary expedition to
Mysia of those wanting to go to Troja . According to Homer Agamemnon had got a piece of advice about the quarrel between Achilles and Odysseus from Appollon out of the mouth of the Pythiax. The Trojanic war is dated 12th/13th century BC, whereas we do not know anything about Homer, except that the Ilias and the Odyssey were written four centuries later. The Troja of Homer (1700 to 1200 BC) is identical to the Troja VI of the archaeologists.
Herodot, who was called the father of history, trusted the Delphic oracle and in the 5th century BC he wrote down 66 oracle pronouncements, 20 of them in verses. Thukydides wrote down only 16. Only very few of the thousands of inscriptions in
Delphi are directly related to oracle announcements of the Pythia. Lots of them are just accounts. Probably the administration of the Amphiktions at least sometimes had to document their expenditures publicly.
Melas commented the accessible oracle announcements as follows: "Nobody knows how representative the earliest announcements, which vary widely in style. Some of the early announcements are short, clear and direct– the God speaks in first person. Sometimes they are ironical and brilliant, sometimes mysterious and solemn. Philologists stress the similarities between the style and metre (Hexametre) of the announcements and the verses of writers like Hesiod and Theognis or philosophers like Heraklit, Parmenides and Empedokles. Frequently metaphors were used like in the oracle to
"xylina teiche" (Greek: the wooden wall)xi;... The oracle also could be humorous. Athens
The Christian writer Origenes even compared the prophecies of the Pythia to the pneuma of the Christian God. Why not also to the prophecies of the Old Testament? In terms of chastity and virginity the fathers of the Church Tertullian and Hieronymus (Vulgata translation) put all those bearing the title of the Pythia "on one level with the Roman priestesses of the Vesta or the priestesses of the Artemis, the Athena and the Archaic Hera". The seers exclusively lived for Apollon, their visionary task and for the cultic purity, which required an absolutely faultless life and more than that. In the first centuries they had to be and remain virgins. Their position was for a lifetime. The beauty of a virgin Pythia was the undoing of Echekrates from Thessalia. He kidnapped her (3rd century BC)! From that time on the Pythia was not allowed anymore to be a virgin and had to be over fifty years old. But it seems that in the 1st century in the times of Diodores they returned to the old tradition.
In spite of that two representatives of the Pythia were open to bribery. They were punished. The Pythia Perialla and the King Kleomenes of
were involved in an oracle scandal. When the deceit was brought to light the Pythia was of course immediately taken away. It is interesting that the oracle priests never fought their differences of opinion in public and that they practised a discrete diplomacy as a closed group. The noisy quarrels of their contemporaries stood out considerably against that silent behaviour, because critics are very happy to make use of this sore point. Sparta
Taking into consideration that these incidents happened in the course of 1200 years one is rather surprised. The Greek writer Plutarch (about 46 – 120 AD) who in his olden age himself had been a priest of Apollon in
Delphi, asserted that the oracle never was wrong. Certainly Plutarch was a great expert of ancient mysticism, science and mythology but in this case he was perhaps a bit prejudiced because the complete history about the priests and priestesses is not exactly known, neither could he himself know it as exactly as necessary.
The scientist Michael Maas said the following about the oracle announcements of the Pythia: "The undisputedly real oracles give the impression that it was improper to ask too much. Dishonest questions were put under threat of punishment of destiny; also the oracle test of the (King) Kroisos was regarded as an improper temptation of the God. From the point of view of
Delphi the real announcements are simple and clear-cut."
And: "The dignity of the Pythia, the mixture of her real and her magnificent characteristics were poetically defined by Pindar (Pyth. 4,4 f and 4,60).According to the ancient comments of Pindar the beelike purity of the Pythia was the reason of that name: in the Homeric Hermeshymn (552 to 568) we find the more poetical and original idea of the beenymphs at the Parnaß who were prophesising inebriated by sweet honeyxii."
Maas states: "There has been guessed a lot about the inspiration of the prophesising Pythia. The reports which have been understood as demonstration of an inspiring breeze from a crevice are mostly historically doubtful and sometimes were translated inaccurately. The geological condition of the ground and the architecture of the temple exclude the emanation of vapours from the earth. According to the understanding of the ancient writers who knew Delphi very well the breath was a spiritual phenomenon, emanations of divine powers comparable to the effects of the stars in astrology and nothing physical... It is likely that the Themis, immersed in thought, best correspond to the ethos of the Pythia and her announcementsxiii." The theologian Kleinknecht could object to the Delphic Pneuma (Holy Ghost) which for a long time had been considered as real, nothing but: "the profane Greek notion of Pneuma, no matter whether looked at from a physiological-cosmical, mantical-enthusiastical or spiritual point of view, differs from that of the New Testament in that the God who stands behind it is always "completely different" (ThWNT 6(1954), 357). His institution could not allow him a different explanation. Otherwise he would have known that the Divine is able to manifest itself also in different cultures and different names and not only as it suits the church and as the church wishes.
In their struggle against the Paganism the Christians unreasonably disparaged the Pythia with obscenities and also forged the oracle announcements.
Sokrates and the Pythic Oracle
Sokrates (469 to 399 BC) and his disciple Plato (427 to 347 BC) admired the Appollon of Delphi (Melas, p.69). A fanatic disciple called Chairephon asked the oracle of Appollon. The Pythia let him know about the incarnation of the Adi Guru:
"Sophokles is wise
Euripides is wiser,
the wisest of all human beings
is Sokratesxiv ".
Sokrates himself sometimes recommended the Delphic oracle to people seeking advice. Sokrates was a master in unmasking "stupid gossip and heresy." He had a subtle technique in asking questions in disputes. This also meant that at first the terms on which the convictions of the participants in a discussion were founded had to be clarified. In this manner the absurdities of the different views came to light. He clearly saw human shortcomings and so he did not always make friends. Sokrates also advised the king against an expedition to
and foresaw the destruction of the army. In fact this military adventure ended with the ruin of the Athenian power in Sicily xv. Sicily
The famous statement „Know thyself“ (Greek: gnoti soton) is attributed to one of the legendary seven sages of the antiquity. One of them was Solon (635 to 559 BC), the legislator of
. Perhaps Thales of Milet (about 620 to 543 BC) is the author of this famous statement or Cheilon of Lakedämoniaxvi. Sokrates declared in a similar manner: „A life without introspection is not worth to be lived."xvii In the writings of Heraklit (535 to 475 BC) we find similar statements: „I search for myself“ or „human beings have got all that what they need to get to know themselves.“ The maxim of the seven sages was: „To stand surety for someone is pure foolishness.“ But Apollon kept rebutting this saying and stood surety for reformers, legislators and thinkers. He confirmed foundations of cities, reforms of laws and cults. So his reputation increased more and more. This went so far that Plato demanded in his "The Ideal State" that all important laws should be submitted to God. Klearchos of Soli from Ai Khanoum on Oxus in Central Asia had the Delphic teachings of wisdom, which he had read in Delphi, chisel in stone in the gymnasium: „Be well-bred as a child, be self-controlled as a sapling, be fair in the middle of your life, be a good adviser and as an old man and in death without any distress“. Athens
About the Deities or Devas Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi says 1989: „Sahasrara is the last Chakra on has to achieve, so I thought that let Greeks grow up to the Sahastrara point, so we have to establish Sahasrara it is and thus its a very awful work we have to do in Greece because actually at the time when Athena came here it was not Sahasrara, it was Nahbi, because she was actually on the Himalayas, came from Himalayas, so now to bring Himalayas here or to bring that purity in Greece is a tremendous task and we have very few Sahaja Yogis, but you see the reaction o the gentleman who came and we have formidable job because of these orthodox, most unorthodox, they have no orthodoxy about anything, so we have a problem, big problem, how we'll establish here.
The Deva Loka was formed here and Devas were, they ruled here, no doubt but in the human awareness they were brought down to the human level, like Zeus was Purshuram, Purshurama, the one who was an incarnation to announce the advent of Shri Rama and he came before Shri Ram, died also very much before Shri Ram, but they painted Zeus as man who was a womaniser, so all gods were brought to level of human beings, bestowed with all the weaknesses you see, actually decorated with all the weaknesses, like that and that is responsible for the downfall because this part of the country is on the pattern of Deva Loka, reflection of that but this Deva Loka is now, we is has become, it is the opposite, because Deities have been brought down to such a low level to such degrading, even the mythology also in India talks about them like this, not to such an extent, that Zeus they dont talk, but about Indra they talk and like Indras' description comes like this, that the king Hiranakapashus wife was living, Hiranakapashus wife was a sainty lady and Hiranakapashus was ruling in the area of you can say Kandahar and Afghanistan and all these places and from here Indra went down and took away the wife I mean they incarnated, the Gods incarnated here...“
One must not forget, that Homer and Hesiod added human attributes to the Gods, that they sometimes depicted the Gods in a wrong and abusive manner. Similarly, later on people created works of art which hurt the Gods. Xenophanes of Kolophon (about 570 to 470 BC) a philosopher who lived before Sokrates, was the first who explicitly stated:
„All that which is disgrace among human beings, stealing, committing adultery and cheating,
Homer and Hesiod have attributed to the Gods:
Even if not lock, stock and barrel rejecting the two epic writers, Xenophanes said: „All have learnt from Homer from the very beginning ". For him there was only one God who was all-embracing, omnipresent and almighty. But at the same time he also talked about the Gods. According to him, the Divine is perfect and should not be thought of in a human way. To him human knowledge is deceitful. "Illusions are added to everything.“(Plege. p.83) Plato ( 427-347)), the great disciple of the primordial master Sokrates also appears as a critic in the tradition of Xenophanes. He declares in his „Politeia“: The ancient writers have composed wrong myths... This is perishable because from a young age everybody learns from the writers ... In reality the Gods do not run after each other, they do not wage wars and do not quarrel and God does not deceive.“ (Schäfer, Xenophanes ...) The decay of a civilisation must be put down to its behaviour towards God and to its behaviour in human relationships.
The great Greek writer Hesiod (750 to 720 BC) wrote about Uranos (heaven), the grandfather of Zeus (in the Indian Vedas Zeus is ‚dyaus pitar‘ = Father Heaven), that he swallowed down his children and after that a stone. That stone he vomited again. Hesiod said about that stone in his Theogonie:
"Zeus rammed that stone into the earth ploughed through
by big roads on the foot of the Parnássos in the holy Pytho.
It was meant to become a symbol for the
amazement of the mortal human being."xviii
Whether this stone is located underneath the hill, which was shown to Shri Mataji as the Nabhi and navel of the universe can not be said for sure here. However, it is known that in the Delphic land there is a Swayambu of Shri Ganesha. In any case, the most important cultic object of
Delphi in the inner sanctum of the Apollon temple was the Omphalus (navel), a half-oval conelike holy stone, which can now be seen in the Delphic museum. However, there existed several copies of it. Pauly characterises the Omphalus as a maternal symbol.
The End of the
There is hardly any important event of Greek history which did not somehow find its _expression in
Delphi. Many great monuments show that. Especially the great victories of the Greek city-states, which possessed their own treasury houses with oblations, were glorified. At the end the holy area of Delphi was „the hall of glory of the ancient Hellas.“
The oracle sanctuary of Apollon burnt down in 548 BC, but was re-erected by 510 B.C with foreign help. Perhaps this was a warning against abuse. From 400 BC the announcements of the Pythia did not come in verses anymore. Therefore they considered the possibility, that the Pythia might not reach the Divine anymore and that the prophetic Pneuma or Inspiration (breath) might be extinct.
In 373 BC the sanctuary was destroyed by a landslide. The whole world which was know at that time had a part in its reconstruction, which is another proof of the tremendous reputation of
Delphi. In the following centuries Delphi was plundered by the Phokers, Celts, Aelics and others. In 391 AD the oracle was forbidden by the Byzantine emperor Theodosius I. According to Melas, up to its very end the sanctuary remained „the prominent diplomatic assembly point, which preserved and promoted the consciousness of Hellenic solidarity“ (p.29).
* The information about the identity of Apollon and Artemis with Shri Rama and a part of Shri Mahakali I received from Theodore (
** On the statue of Athena Parthenos (copy in marble) of Phidias a big snake can be seen on the left hand side between the round shield and the clothing. Already in the Young Stone Age and later in the Classical Antiquity the snake was the symbol of the Kundalini and of the life force. Phidias of Athens, friend of Perikles (500 to 438) and one of the greatest artists of the Classical Antiquity, created lots of famous works of art „His glory is connected with both of the golden ivory giant monuments of the Athena in the Parthenon (in Athens) and of the Zeus in Olympia, both are creations of religious dedication, silent in their attitude, gentle in their _expression. The Athena (447 to 438 BC) was 12 m in height in full armour with helmet and Aegis, the left hand supported by a shield and in the right hand holding a small Goddess of Victory (Nike) reposing on a column - an image of „armoured peace“ (Berner 1913, p.45ff)“. Athena on the Gigantomachia-facade (525 BC) of „archaios neos“, the ancient temple of Athena, which was erected on the Mykenic palace on the Acropolis of Athens, is depicted with a snake (Kundalini) in her hand (Papathanassopolos: Die Akropolis 1978, 81). Figures of Goddesses from the Minoic
Crete have snakes in Their hands, too. D.S.