The Ancient Celts & Ramayana

By Raj Vedam

Ramayana is well-known all over India, and its impact is seen in ancient and popular culture spread across south-east Asia, including Japan, China and Mongolia. I often state the incongruity of Indian culture spreading only to its east, but not to its west — as asserted by Western historians. Several attempts have been made to associate ancient artifacts in Iraq, Europe and Americas with Ramayana, but we do not yet have validation of these associations.

In this article, I will highlight startling echoes of Ramayana in ancient Celtic stories. Celts are an ancient people who lived in Europe, and the ancestors of the Britons, with languages belonging to the so-called “Indo-European” family. Their genetics shows paternal and maternal ancestry from ancient India (R-M269 deriving via R1b, and H & U haplogroups). Given this framework, it is perhaps not surprising that their stories have echoes with Ramayana.

The Celts have a story of a hero who builds a causeway across the waters to challenge a foe, and how his wife outwits the foe. Is this beginning to sound familiar? Read on!

Giant’s Causeway in Ireland (

The hero is Fionn mac Cumhaill with a magic thumb that bestows him great wisdom, morality, fairness, just, and honesty.

Rama is revered as moral, just, wise and compassionate

We will point out several instances from the stories of Fionn mac Cumhaill and how they are echoes from Ramayana.

· Fionn is born after his father dies.

· Rama’s father Dasaratha is under a curse (due to Shravan’s old parents) that he will die when his son moves away from him. Dasaratha dies soon after Rama is exiled from Ayodhya.

Dasaratha in agony as Rama is exiled

· Fionn studies under poet Finn Eces in the forest. He also learns war and hunting in the forest of Sliabdh Bladma.

Fionn in the forest

· Rama studies under Vasistha. Later under tutelage of Vishwamitra in the forest hermitage, learns to wield weapons.

Vishvamitra leads the youthful Rama and Lakshmana to his hermitage and instructs them in warfare (from:

· When Fionn is 10 years of age, he destroys the fire-breathing man (demon) Tautha De Danann (progeny of Danu — another name for Aditi), who destroys the capital city of Tara every year on the festival of Samhain.(Samhain is the same as Pitru Paksha).

· Rama as a teenager kills the Asuras (progeny of Diti ) who were defiling the Vedic hermitages. Such a flipping of Devas and Daityas is seen outside of India. The Celt story shows Aditi’s progeny as monsters whereas in Bharat, they were revered as Devas.

Fionn kills a fire-breathing monster

· Fionn Meets his wife Sadhbh when he was hunting. She was turned into a deer by a Druid, Fear Doirich, who she had refused to marry. She was transformed into true form in Fionn’s home. After marriage to Fionn, when he was away at war, Fear Doirich again turns her into a deer. Fionn spent years searching for her.

· When Rama, Sita and Lakshmana were in exile in the forest, Ravana sends the demon Maricha in the form of a golden deer to tempt Sita and draw Rama away from her. Sita is tricked into sending her protector Lakshmana to go to Rama’s aid. Tricked outside the protective Lakshmana-Rekha, she is abducted by Rakshasa-King Ravana who wants to marry her. Rama spends years searching for her, eventually rescuing her after war with Ravana.

Sita desires the golden deer who is a shape-shifting Rakshasa

· The causeway in Ireland was supposedly built by Fionn to battle with a giant who lived on an island.

· Rama Setu was built by Rama’s army to allow them to enter Lanka for battle.

Rama Setu connecting southern India with Sri Lanka

· The Celts had 4 Major Ages in cyclical time, which is today described as follows: (1) “Mythological” Cycle, (2) Ulster Cycle, (3) Fianna Cycle, and (4) Kings Cycle. The hero Fionn belongs to the 3rd — Fianna cycle.

· Vedic Indians have 4 Ages in cyclical time, (1) Krita/Satya Yuga, (2) Treta Yuga, (3) Dwapara Yuga, (4) Kali Yuga. Rama is associated with the 2nd — Treta Yuga.

· The Celtic Gundestrop cauldron shows an iconography patterned on the famous Pasupathi seal from Mohenjo-Daro.

Celtic deity on the Gundestrup cauldron — replica of Mohenjo-Daro seal? (
The Pashupati seal from Mohenjo-Daro (

The Celts had accounts of “Echtrae”, which contained accounts of the hero’s voyages on the sea. This was usurped by the Christians upon converting Ireland in the 7th-8th centuries, and perverted the old stories into Christian themes, called “Immrama”. This corruption masks and prevents the unearthing of more shared links with ancient India.

Today’s Irish have lost sight of their past with origins in India, thanks to the erasing darkness obligatorily shrouded by Christianity, demonizing the ancients as “pagans”.

Can these Celtic accounts of their hero Fionn be held as echoes of the Ramayana, or are these just coincident parallels?

The Out-of-India theory can well explain the echoes of Ramayana in the Celtic stories, and for that matter why Vedic deities are found in ancient Europe.

Contrarily, the Linguistics-based theories propose “Indo-European” people migrations from Central Asia to Europe and India, and attributes commonality of Vedic deities to an ancestral religion, and languages to the existence of an ancestral language (PIE), based in Central Asia.

But with Ramayana geo-located in India, the Linguistics methods cannot easily explain why the Celts have echoes of the Ramayana. These paradoxes can be resolved if the homeland of the PIE ancestral language is situated in India.

This article was originally published on Medium


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