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 THE MAGEN DAVID IS FOUND FROM MONGOLIA, INDEED

 

IMG_9998.JPGWere found and have been found; anything else can be found in Mongolia. Yes, the things that are inseparably connected with the world history, and even things that are closely linked with the universe and space can be found in Mongolia. There’s nothing to wonder. Yet, it can be found only by searching as we say ‘the wandering dog finds a bone’.  By searching in mountains and rocks. The ceremonial lazuli glass cup of the Roman aristocrats was found in the proto-Mongol Hun (Xiongnu) royal tomb, ancestors of Blue Mongols. The scripts of Syria resting in the remote Mediterranean Sea were inscribed on the rock cliffs of the Sumeru Altai Mountains. The golden ‘portrayed’ coins of Turks, dating back to 6th century and made after the faraway Byzantine coins were found in the tomb in Tuul River valley. The ancient astrological map of starry sky of myriad light years found its home at the Holy Mount Javkhlant. True, the history is the thickest of the thick and the story is the longest of the long, of my Mongolia. Then one day, the Magen David, the magic seal of the King Solomon is found in a small hill to the south of the Dalain Duulga (The Ocean Helmet) Mountain in Khanbogd county of Umnogobi aimag! Should I cry happy tears, should I laugh with pride?! Some might tease me as lacking a sober mind, and laugh at me that ‘what’s to startle, it’s just a mere carving of a hexagram sign on a barren rock”. I don’t care for my head going grey and feeble, but I do care for the Mongol “heads” to brighten up! I do want to enlighten the minds of my people by letting them know how great and capacious “the golden tether” of the treasure culture of the Mongols was. For this only reason I humbly try to pen this note.

IMG_9999.JPGLast summer, when chasing after some rock carvings and inscriptions, archeologist Hatagin D. Erdenebaatar and me were laughing just between ourselves what a fame it would be if we find the seal of King Solomon on the rocks in Mongolia. And, this we found on the rocks. On rocks! Isn’t it great to predict a good omen. How true is the Mongols’ wisdom that ‘A good speech leads to a good deed’.

As I recall it now, it was mid 90s when a student named Ch.Boldbaatar, brought an article titled “Magen David is found in Genghis’s Mongolia”, which I was so astonished at and published in “Il Tovchoo” (Open Chronicle) newspaper. I forgot what the student had written about in that article.  So, I started searching for that article, browsing through the faded pages of the newspaper. Indeed, what had Boldbaatar written about? Tracing the dates of the origin of the six-pointed star, namely symbol of Magen David, Boldbaatar wrote, it came to popular knowledge as the Shield of David since the 6th century, and mentioned two interesting artifacts stored in Dundgovi province museum as well as two hand-drawn illustrations. But this I abstain to describe here.

Together with D.Garamjav, a renowned geologist who discovered Oyu Tolgoi deposit, I was travelling in a hill stretching south-east at the southern side of Dalain Duulga (trans. Ocean’s Helmet) Mountain in Khanbogd county of Umnugobi aimag, studying rock paintings and carvings. At the sight of the Ocean’s Helmet mountain magnificently resting to this north of the hill, I was compelled to accept that ages ago, when this Gobi lands was the sea bottom, the top of the mountain Dalain Duulga used to float on the ocean surface like a helmet, and that our forefathers were aware of this, therefore, gave this name of Ocean’s Helmet that the mountain still bears today. It was December, but was warm. In fact, Khanbogd county is said to be the warmest spot in Mongolia, and this, I saw, was true. Wearing a sweater, I wasn’t cold at all. So, having reached a small cliff at the ending cusp of the hill and having taken some photos of ibexes, we turned over the nib to check the other side, and …. We saw it, a clear hexagram sign. It is called Magen David, the seal of King Solomon and Star of Bethlehem. I couldn’t believe in my eyes. Wiping my eyes, I looked at it again and again. But it was true, it was there, carved on the rock. The carving can be said of Bronze Age. Garamjav wondered: ”What is this? I have travelled and wandered in these places times and times again, but have never seen this before.” I replied:”This is the Shield of King David, also called the Seal of King Solomon. This sign is now depicted on the national flag of Israel.” “I have never seen this before. It is not included in my book of ‘Javkhlant Mountain Rock Paintings’; obviously, as I never saw it, how can it be there”, he replied. Indeed, it’s obvious from Boldbaatar’s article that this sign on the flag of Israel is found in Mongolia. But who would guess that it would be carved in the rocks of Mongolian Gobi. Magen David means in Hebrew ‘the Shield of David’. David is a famous King who ruled the state of Israel-Hebron around BC 950. According to Bible, young David beheaded the giant Goliath. At that time, David was a herder boy. Goliath was a Philistine man who lived in the 12th century BC on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea. So the hexagram sign symbolizes David as the protector of the divine people. The Cabbalists[1] used this sign as a talisman to protect from evil forces. The six blue points were a symbol of Zionist movement. The white ones are the Star of Bethlehem and symbolize the birth of Jesus Christ. So and so, many different descriptions of this sign will follow if to list. Yet, let me stop here with these stories and go back to the seal on the rock found with a surprise in Mongolia.

The sign is carved on a triangular blue rock. It is not really carved, just scribbled. On this rock is depicted a huge magnificent ibex with huge long horns curved at the ends. A wolf-like beast is drawn following this ibex. This is a petroglyph of mid Bronze Age. Right beneath, two humans are depicted. Around the armpits of the two humans four dots appear, probably, depicting women’s breasts. Between the two legs down from the crotch is depicted something oval. If to look in detail, it’s probably a baby, with the head downward and two arms raised. One would assume that the drawing depicted two women in birth delivery. On the left-side of the two women, a small ibex is depicted, which obviously belongs to the same age as the drawing of the women. A big ibex buck is painted in narrow lines alongside the shoulder lines of the women. On the right-hand-side of the women is a round object, difficult to identify. This image is overlapped the ancient images of the humans. And on a side of this image is the very Magen David that attracts our interest so much. The image of the sign is not articulate, it is simply a scrawl. The lowest point is vague, but distinguishable. The rest of the sign is very clear. The whole painting belongs to the Bronze Age. I am pleased to acknowledge the assistance of the famous archeologist Hatagin D. Erdenebaatar in identifying the age of these paintings.

In Mongolian language, this sign is called Choijun (B. Boldsaikhan), Choindon (Ch. Boldbaatar), Choinjin (O. Sukhbaatar, Kh. Perlee) and Dorom (Kh. Perlee, Ch. Boldbaatar). These are all Mongolian transliterations of a Tibetan word. For instance, according to O. Sukhbaatar, Choinjin or ‘chos ‘byung’ (Tib: ཆོས་འབྱུང་ ‘chos kyi ‘byung gnas’; Sansk: धर्मदाय ‘Dharmodaya’) means ‘Dharma Origin or Source’. The original meaning of this word ‘Chos ‘byung’ is ‘Triangle’, and ‘female genital, noted B. Boldsaikhan in his article “Notes on the Correlation with the Choijun Seal at the Danzanravjaa Museum”. The word ‘Dorom’, originally ‘gtor ma’ (Tib: གཏོར་མ་ )  also means a ‘Triangle’. But as I recall from my childhood, our seniors called this compound of two triangles as the ‘Double Choindon seal’.

I also recall my writing once that a circle, a triangle and a rectangular are the bases of any kind of shape. Any shape is made up of these three forms. Let’s just recall that in Pythagorean School, a triangle made of ten points is called as ‘tetractys’, which served as a mystical symbol and secret worship of Pythagoreans. But let’s leave this topic aside; there is a splendid book “Tracing the origin of the Mongol people by seals” by Kh.Perlee. That book contains the images of a number of seals found in rock paintings in Mongolia. Hoping to find this ‘Double Choindon’ seal among those images, I browsed through the book, it (in other words, the archeological finding) yet it did not appear in the book. However, the book mentioned that the Double Choindon was found among the horse seals of Ikh Shavi county of Tsetsen Sartuul Gun banner of Zasagt Khan aimag, and included the seal’s image.

I couldn’t find out what meaning the Double Choindon bore in the symbolism of the Mongols. My common sense suggested that it could denote the Method and Wisdom. I did learn what role Double Choindon played in Buddhist rituals from scholar B. Boldsaikhan’s book. He wrote: “The compound of two triangles was used to denote the hidden meaning of the duality of male and female or the Method and Wisdom in the Great Secret Tantra.  Choinjun was used in conducting ‘Sender’, originally Sindhura (Sans: सिन्दूर ‘Vermillion’[2]) ritual to call by meditating the realm of Perfect Harmony of mind and served as a tool of Buddhist exorcism to eradicate the Mara, evil forces through wrathful Dakinis of Supreme Tantrism. Choinjun… can be considered as one of the tools of secret Tantrism”.

It is interesting that the conclusions of this scholar are quite consistent with the descriptions by western scholars. Doesn’t this unison of western and eastern ways of thinking prove that the humankind, in essence, is one whole, does it?! Though the East and the West are said to be the Method and Wisdom… To clarify one point, in the museum of the Danzanravjaa, Wrathful Saint of the Gobi located in the provincial center of Dornogobi aimag, a bronze choijun is on exhibit. The scholar above is talking about this very choijun. This, Magen David can be found in rock paintings, in the heritage of Wrathful Saint, and as a seal on horses’ hinds, it is found anywhere in Mongolia. Truly, can be found, can be found, anything else can be found in Mongolia!!!  Then to add one more. The coin mint in Tabriz by Qaidu, grandson of Ugedei Khan has that hexagram (6-pointed star). It is found on the coins of our great khans.

rawjaa muzei 1202.JPGThe next morning after this article was published in “Undesnii Shuudan” (National Post) newspaper, S. Dulam, renowned scholar rang by phone. He explained to me, on the phone, the Mongolian meaning of the Double triangles and said that his book “The Symbolism in Shapes” contained this information. Immediately, I rushed to the National Library. Looked through the book. Yet, I was genuinely enthralled by another description, quite different from what Dulam shared with me over phone. He wrote: “The only description of the unison of three bodies is the general knowledge of waist (probably ‘genital’ -G.A) worship – the movement of humans’ sexual intercourse, i.e. the unison of method and wisdom (male of female) that creates a third body, and that trio – the unity of three bodies is one kind of symbolism of primitive era – symbolism of sexual image. To explain physically, the genitals hair of a female and a male do form the triangles, pointing upward and downward; and a crossed compound of two triangles together. Thus, most of the peoples in the ancient world used the shape of triangle as a symbol and worshipped it in their rituals and ceremonies. (“Mongol Symbolism. Symbolism in shapes and signs”). So as I envision it, in humans’ sexual intercourse, the hair on the genitals of a man and a woman form the crossed triangles or the ‘double choindon’. I involuntarily thought, perhaps that ‘symbolism of primitive era’ that Dulam was describing me was depicted on the rock painting? Why? As I mentioned earlier, the rock painting depicted two women at childbirth. Right next to them, this compound of two crossed triangles or the double triangle seal as Dulam identified is depicted. Although, the women at childbirth and the ‘double choindon’ belong to different times of origin, it provokes a thought why that image would be drawn in addition next to these women. It is a mere coincidence? Probably, not! In fact, the randomness category of philosophy is interpreted today in a very different manner.  Who knows, maybe, these crossed triangles have a magic to help women deliver babies without complications?! Who…

The Bronze Age is an age that covers the period from the 4th to the early 1st millennium BC. Assuming that our Magen David was carved in late Bronze Age, then it was painted on the rocks in the Gobi before the 1st millennium BC! The oldest undisputed example is on a seal from 7th century BC found in Sidon city, belonging to Joshua ben Asayahu”.  Indeed, 7th century BC is the era of Iron Age. Thus, our symbol of Double Triangles or Crossed Triangles found in Mongolia may have appeared several centuries, maybe even a millennium before the Magen David of Europe did. That means!?…

These days, wise men and literators tend to conclude that the world is “flat”. Wasn’t the world “flat” even in ancient days?!

Hatagin Go. Akim

September 13, 2014

[1] Cabbalist (Heb: קַבָּלָה) Follower of an esoteric method, discipline, and school of thought that originated in Judaism

[2] Sindhura means Vermillion, which is used in worshipping the Tantric gods and implementing Tantric rituals of exorcism in both Hinduism and Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, as the vermillion is believed to eradicate all the evil forces and brings power.

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