Dynamics of Socio-cultural impact of Western Mythology on Kesar Epic in north of Pakistan
Author: Kazmi, Abbas
Affiliation: Freelance writer

Like other countries, the Epic of Kesar-the son of god, has been equally popular in Baltistan and Gilgit since its creation. For centuries, this epic was not written, but transmitted orally from one to the other generation like a holy gospel .

The manifestation of this Epic- Kesar -Baltistan version , is that, it is absolutely a non-religious epic It has neither any tradition of Buddhism or Hinduism nor any thing of Islam. However , it has many traditions of Shamanism. All the other versions of this Epic found in other Tibetan areas, China, Mangolia and India have been mashed and blended with lamaism to make it a Buddhist Epic, thus mutilating its originality.. This version is believed to be the longest one in western parts of the Tibetan ethnic and linguist sphere i.e. Baltistan-the Little Tibet.

Epic of King Kesar contains many subjects, events and characters similar to Scandinavian, Greek and Egyptian Mythology་ as well as ancient Mesopotamian and Persian history. This epic covers many characters, events of Golden and Silver Ages of Greek Mythology , the early time of the Pharos of Egypt Mesopotamia and the birth story of the 1st Persian Emperor Cyrus the Great . For example the three brothers in Kesar Epic i.e. Phasangkha Raskes (father of Kesar), Khrebu Khraqthung, Wamoebu Joli are exactly the same as Egyptian gods i.e; Khnum, Horus and Anubis. Braqsgo jiringmo of Kesar epic look like the Symplegades (clashing mountain) and quest for the golden fleece of Brong Xampa in Kesar Epic corresponds with the “quest for the Golden Fleece” in Greek Mythology. Moreover, Valhalla of Northern (Scandinavian) Mythology and Yashirat Katsa of Kesar Epic look very similar. Creation of the world in Northern Mythology and in Kesar epic also close to each other .

We find two abodes of Kesar in the epic. First, Yashirat Katsa a spacious cave or rock-cut house, during his youth and later his castle Shel-kar Ldem-khar during his lordship. Shel-kar Ldem-khar (which means a hanging castle of white quartz) clearly gives the idea of a dwelling place in the high mountains. It is also analogue with the rock-dwellings of the Samoud people ,whose time period has been reckoned as 2200/2000 BC (8). Similarly, it is also alike with the story regarding the first Peshdadi king of Persia/Iran i.e. Kiomers who lived with his people in mountains and caves and dress themselves with the hide of animals These dynasties belonged from 3900 to 600 BC..

Similarities of matters, events and characters in this epic with the mythology of Greece and Egypt and Persia give us a clear indication that during the prehistoric time, there was a strong relationship between the east and the west, and they used to influence each other through trade and tourism. These indications open some clear gates and avenues and challenge the scholars and researchers of this time to till the history of pre-historic era. .Prof F.M.Hasnain writes: “ From time immemorial there have existed contacts between the East and the West. Besides the sea routes, there were land routes for commercial as well as political purposes. It is a historical fact that there have been continuous migrations from West to East, during ancient and medieval period of our history. During the 6th century BC; Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and some regions of the northern India formed part of the Achaemenian dominion of Cyrus and Darius. The people living in this vast tract of land, had close links by way of trade, commerce and culture. Many centuries before the advent of Jesus Christ, the Greeks, penetrated in to North India and the Indus basin through land routes of the past.It may be pointed out that the Mediterranean people started moving and spreading towards East, in the beginning of Neolithic age”.

During the Archimedean domain the major religion of Persia and the occupied regions was Zorasterian, which give the most importance to fire as a sacred por. Still after 2500 years, in Baltistan people give great importance and respect to “fire”. Above quotations from the Fifth Gospel and Zoroastrian belief manifest the human relationship between the West and the East, the area in the North-west of Indian sub-continent which include Kashmir, Ladakh, Baltistan .

Keeping in view the similarities of names, personalities, events in western mythology and traditions, and in Kesar Epic Baltistan version, I firmly believe that during the migration and settlement of the western people in this part of the Central Asian countries in first millennium BC, the Greek and Egyptian Mythology and Persian traditions became popular among the local communities had a dynamic role in shaping the epics and traditions in this part of Central Asia.

Bibliography: & Explanations and references.