Om, Sumerians and the Sumero/Tamil Connection

Om sign with Buddhist hands.
Om sign with Buddhist hands.

If you’re a Sumerian geek you may truly get a kick out of what I found today browsing the internet:  a reference to OM/AUM in Hymn 31 of the Sumerian chants on a blog called The Spiritual Sun.


Not so surprising to me.  But first, let me clarify by reposting here some of the key concepts explored in the source blog:

Those who recite the sound Om, (activates deathless Light in the body) and becomes radiant (amar su-ti-a)”

~ Temple Hymn 31 (Source)

The mantra Om or “AUM” is typically associated with the Hindu tradition and is considered the primordial sound, one of the most ancient and sacred mantras. (You can read more about its sacred meaning here.)

With this in mind, we were surprised and excited to come across a possible reference to this mantra in a Sumerian text from c. 2300 BCE – potentially over a thousand years older than the earliest references to it in Vedic literature. If true, the implications of this discovery are enormous.

Dr. K. Loganathan, a researcher in SumeroTamil studies believes that there is a strong link between the ancient Tamil language and ancient Sumerian and that Sumerian is, in fact, Archaic Tamil. Based on this hypothesis, he has developed a method for translating Sumerian tablets by matching a phonological reading of the cuneiform script with the ancient Tamil language, which he believes leads to a more accurate translation than the currently used widespread approach.

For example, Dr. Loganathan cites the following line from Temple Hymn 31 with the conventionally-accepted translation:


[umbin]-se-ba amar su-ti-a ( Who snatches the calf with (his) [cla]ws )

However, by matching these words with ancient Tamil, a very different (and intriguing) meaning emerges:

Ta. Ombi-in isaiba amar sootiya ( Who recites this mantra sound Om (Ombi-in-isai), lights up (sutiya) deathlessness (amar) ) 

Or :

Those who recite the sound Om, (activates deathless Light in the body) and becomes radiant (amar su-ti-a)

That is very cool, but is it alone enough to indicate a Tamil/Sumerian connection?

To me, this is just one more in a sea of evidence I’ve gathered over the years.  Sumer was not an insular country.  In 3000 BC the civilization of Sumer (ancient Iraq), Elam (ancient Iran) and the Kush regions (ancient Pakistan and India) traded with each other and intermingled their cultures.  In one Sumerian-derived myth Arjuna of the Hindu Vedas makes an inexplicable appearance with gods of the Sumero-Babylonian pantheon.

Books on archeology and linguistics now claim that the ancient origin of the so-called Aryan civilization of the Tamil region of India are also the first inhabitants of ancient Iran. Guess who ruled and stomped on Iranian grounds and built temples in Iran besides the Elamite? The Sumerians.

In any case, if you needed another reason to look into the Om, now you’ve got this: it’s the oldest sound on earth.

Published by laura

I'm the author of two short story collections, a story cycle, and a collection of short memoirs. I am an educator, literary translator, journal editor, and writing coach.

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