Mitrra and Varuna, the Vedic Deities were worshiped in Mesapotamia, Turkey and Italy much before the advent of Christianity.
These Deities are mentioned in the Zend Avestha of Parsis,Iran fron where this has traveled to Europe.
The Pagan Worship ,preceding Christianity had Mitra Varuna included.
‘The origin of the cult of Mithra dates from the time that the Hindus and Persians still formed one people, for the god Mithra occurs in the religion and the sacred books of both races, i.e. in the Vedas and in the Avesta. In Vedic hymns he is frequently mentioned and is nearly always coupled with Varuna, but beyond the bare occurrence of his name, little is known of him (Rigveda, III, 59). It is conjectured (Oldenberg, “Die “Religion des Veda,” Berlin, 1894) that Mithra was the rising sun, Varuna the setting sun; or, Mithra, the sky at daytime, Varuna, the sky at night; or, the one the sun, the other the moon. In any case Mithra is a light or solar deity of some sort; but in vedic times the vague and general mention of him seems to indicate that his name was little more than a memory. In the Avesta he is much more of a living and ruling deity than in Indian piety; nevertheless, he is not only secondary to Ahura Mazda, but he does not belong to the seven Amshaspands or personified virtues which immediately surround Ahura; he is but a Yazad, a popular demigod or genius. The Avesta however gives us his position only after the Zoroastrian reformation; the inscriptions of the Achaemenidae (seventh to fourth century B.C.) assign him a much higher place, naming him immediately after Ahura Mazda and associating him with the goddess Anaitis (Anahata), whose name sometimes precedes his own. Mithra is the god of light, Anaitis the goddess of water. Independently of the Zoroastrian reform, Mithra retained his place as foremost deity in the northwest of the Iranian highlands. After the conquest of Babylon this Persian cult came into contact with Chaldean astrology and with the national worship of Marduk. For a time the two priesthoods of Mithra and Marduk (magi and chaldaei respectively) coexisted in the capital and Mithraism borrowed much from this intercourse. This modified Mithraism traveled farther northwestward and became the State cult of Armenia. Its rulers, anxious to claim descent from the glorious kings of the past, adopted Mithradates as their royal name (so five kings of Georgia, and Eupator of the Bosporus). Mithraism then entered Asia Minor, especially Pontus and Cappadocia. Here it came into contact with the Phrygian cult of Attis and Cybele from which it adopted a number of ideas and practices, though apparently not the gross obscenities of the Phrygian worship. un worship in Mesapotamia,Mittani Empire and Rome was from the Mitra Varuna of the Vedas.
‘Mithra is the god of light, Anaitis the goddess of water. Independently of the Zoroastrian reform, Mithra retained his place as foremost deity in the northwest of the Iranian highlands. After the conquest of Babylon this Persian cult came into contact with Chaldean astrology and with the national worship of Marduk. For a time the two priesthoods of Mithra and Marduk (magi and chaldaei respectively) coexisted in the capital and Mithraism borrowed much from this intercourse. This modified Mithraism traveled farther northwestward and became the State cult of Armenia. Its rulers, anxious to claim descent from the glorious kings of the past, adopted Mithradates as their royal name (so five kings of Georgia, and Eupator of the Bosporus). Mithraism then entered Asia Minor, especially Pontus and Cappadocia. Here it came into contact with the Phrygian cult of Attis and Cybele from which it adopted a number of ideas and practices, though apparently not the gross obscenities of the Phrygian worship.
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(During the Early days Ramani’s blog, I was writing about other Religions like Christianity and Islam, pointing out contradictions in them, lack of historical proof on many aspects. Then I stopped writing on them as it was not worth the time and effort. Instead I concentrated on the presence of Sanatana Dharma, Validation of the same, validating ancient Indian advanced scientific concepts.)
Now there is information from a Christian’s site that Christmas was celebrated two thousand years before Christ.
Here is the information.
Christmas Before Christ
The Surprising Truth!
If you discovered that Christmas had nothing to do with Jesus Christ’s birth and actually predates that event by centuries, would you still celebrate the holiday? And if you realized that the Bible reveals Holy Days commanded by God, would you celebrate them instead?
Years later I learned that Christmas actually predated Christianity by about 2,000 years. Many ancient nations created their own midwinter festivals and celebrations—which later morphed into Christmas—to honor the sun and other gods around the time of the winter solstice. I also learned that the origins of Christmas contradict true Christianity.
Christmas contradicts the biblical facts
It’s commonly assumed that Christmas is celebrated because it’s the birthday of Jesus Christ. But biblical scholars overwhelmingly admit that Jesus was born nowhere near Dec. 25. There are sound reasons for this conclusion. Luke’s Gospel tells us that Joseph and Mary were traveling to Bethlehem to register during a Roman census when Jesus was born, and also that shepherds still had their flocks out in the open fields at that time (Luke 2:1-8).
Jesus neither observed Christmas nor taught others to observe it. It did not originate with Him.
But the Holy Land in December is cold, rainy and sometimes snowy. No sound-minded shepherd would have been so foolhardy as to leave his flock in the fields at night at that time of year. And no intelligent ruler would compel people to travel many miles to register for a census when the likelihood of bad weather would have made such an effort self-defeating.
Why should we believe that Jesus was born on Dec. 25 when the Bible itself plainly contradicts this notion?
The birth of Christmas
So if Christmas didn’t originate with Christ’s birth being on Dec. 25, when and how did it originate?
Christmas began long before the birth of Jesus Christ. Alexander Hislop’s book The Two Babylons explores many historical sources showing that the holiday precedes Christ by at least 2,000 years, as earlier mentioned (1957, pp. 97-98).
A nativity celebration for pagan gods was observed near the winter solstice in both Syria and Egypt. Later, some 400 years before Christ, the Mithraic religion, centering on the Persian sun god Mithras, provided the foundation for the Christmas celebration. Mithraism became very popular in the Roman Empire, and many elements of its worship survive today in Roman Catholicism.
For example, the noted British anthropologist, historian and scholar Sir James Frazer, knighted for his contributions to our understanding of ancient religions, wrote in his book The Golden Bough:
“There can be no doubt that the Mithraic religion proved a formidable rival to Christianity, combining as it did a solemn ritual with aspirations after moral purity and a hope of immortality. Indeed the issue of the conflict between the two faiths appears for a time to have hung in the balance. An instructive relic of the long struggle is preserved in our festival of Christmas, which the Church seems to have borrowed directly from its heathen rival .
“In the Julian calendar the twenty-fifth of December was reckoned the winter solstice, and it was regarded as the Nativity [birthday] of the Sun, because the day begins to lengthen and the power of the sun to increase from that turning-point of the year. The ritual of the nativity, as it appears to have been celebrated in Syria and Egypt, was remarkable. The celebrants retired into certain inner shrines, from which at midnight they issued with a loud cry, ‘The Virgin has brought forth! The light is waxing [stronger]!’
“The Egyptians even represented the new-born sun by the image of an infant which on his birthday, the winter solstice, they brought forth and exhibited to his worshippers. No doubt the Virgin who thus conceived and bore a son on the twenty-fifth of December was the great Oriental [i.e., Middle Eastern] goddess whom the Semites called the Heavenly Virgin or simply the Heavenly Goddess; in Semitic lands she was a form of Astarte [Easter]” (The Golden Bough, 1993, p. 358, emphasis added throughout) .
Reference and Citation.