24. Floods in the Euphrates

The brothers travelled along the shore of Mediterranean sea from the Nile delta. They travelled through the cities of Sidon and Byblos. The important port city was Dire. The country was called Phoenicia. The Phoenicians were expert ship builders and promoted trade amongst Mediterranean countries. They sailed in their ships with sails and gave momentum by paddling from both sides. The phoeicians were also experienced glass makers.

Krishna and Balarama went further north east towards the river Euphrates, whose source is in the northern Pontic mountains. The river flows towards the Persian gulf of the Arabian sea. From the same mountains its tributary Tigris comes and joins. The fertile land fed by these rivers is called Sumeria. They were good agriculturists and artisans. They raised cattle.

On their way they went to the well known city of Babylon. The city looked majestic with strong fort walls towers and palaces. The Assyrian dynasty ruled the country. They were great warriors. Irrespective of the strength of the fort walls their giant Gouhar vehicles were mighty and capable of penetrating any fort.

The person who built this great city with such beautiful palaces, temples and magnificent gardens with water jets was the Emperor Hammurabi. He was not only a great warrior but also a great ruler who handled the administration with justice. His laws were engraved on clay boards and engraved on stone pillars.

Then their tour continued towards the south along the river. They came across cities like UR, and URUK. An old educated, cultured gentleman was walking along the river bank. When he came to know that they were from the country where the river Sindhu flowed, he treated them as his honoured guests and took them along to his house.

He was a learned sage. Krishna and Balarama could talk to him about many Shastras (scientific books). They exchanged thoughts on mathematics, astronomy and other subjects. To divide in sixty parts is customary for Sumerians. That is why an hour has got sixty minutes and a minute is divided into sixty seconds.

“In our country a day is divided into sixty Nazhigai (24 minutes) on that basis we calculate time”, said Krishna.

The sage continued, “We divide the circle into six segments. Then it is divided into sixty parts (minutes). We invented the decimal system in counting. Thousand years ago we invented letters to write the spoken language. The Chinese and Egyptian letters are pictorial and hence numerous. But ours is symbolic, and hence there are less letters in out alphabet!

Next day the sage took them to Ziggurat of Ur, a pyramid like structure with steps down all sides – this was the temple of the Moon God. Nanna is the name for moon in their language. The king who built the Ziggurat was UR NAMMU.

The sage also told them a story about the Sumerian King Gilgamesh. The king wanted to conquer death and live forever. A sage told him that if he consumes a medicinal plant growing in the depth of seas then he can escape death. The king proclaimed that whoever brings that plant shall be richly rewarded. Somebody brought it too, but before he could consume it, a serpent stole the plant!

“Man wishes to live eternally, conquering death! That is a human weakness. Where there is birth, death cannot be avoided. That is one of the simple rules of nature. There are many stories like that in our country also”, said Krishna. When they were talking these things standing on the top of Ziggurat, they saw the river Euphrates in floods. People were alarmed and ran towards the temple to escape. If the floods entered into the town there will be disaster for men and cattle. Krishna’s heart was merciful. He directed the Sudarsana Chakra towards the raising flood. Like the river gave way to Vasudeva when he had to carry the baby Krishna out of prison, this river too branched into two, leaving the town UR and the temple in the centre. The floods swirled on both sides. People heaved a sigh of relief. They believed that their Moon God Nanna himself had come as Krishna to save them. They sang and danced around them in the temple. Sage Naradha also appeared on the scene.