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Indus valley - Mohenjo-Daro - 01 Introduction



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience


Mohenjo-daro (Sindhi: موئن جو دڙو‎, Urdu: موئن جو دڑو‎,], lit. Mound of the Dead Men) is an archaeological site in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Built around 2500 BCE, it was one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, and one of the world's earliest major urban settlements, contemporaneous with the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Minoa (Crete), and Norte Chico.

Mohenjo-daro was abandoned in the 19th century BCE as the Indus Valley Civilization declined, and the site was not rediscovered until the 1920s. Significant excavation has since been conducted at the site of the city, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.


Based on his analysis of a Mohenjo-daro seal, Iravatham Mahadevan speculates that the city's ancient name could have been Kukkutarma ("the city [-rma] of the cockerel [kukkuta]").  The cock in all mystic movements is symbolic.

The cock’s importance is so great it is an almost universal symbol, being found from China and Japan to Europe.  The cock is the bird that ‘crows’ at Dawn.  And Dawn is related to the Spiritual path

In this context, it is not the start of life’s journey, but the end after one has been through the spiritual path and one is about to emerge as an enlightened being.  The cock ‘crows’ because it has become enlightened.  It throws its head back and gasps out a cry, much as people do when they have an ecstatic experience – their arms are raised and their head flies back and they cry out. 

The comb on the cock’s head is thus an extra symbol of the crown chakra and the opening of it – a red blaze of energy – the fire of flame as the Higher spirit is awakened.

So we can assume from this, if Iravatham Mahadevan is right, that this was a truly major spiritual centre.  A place to come to be enlightened – to go through the final stages of the spiritual path.

Mohenjo-daro is located west of the Indus River, in a central position between the Indus River and the Ghaggar-Hakra River.  In other words it would have been considered as an ‘island’.   It is sited on a Pleistocene ridge in the middle of the flood plain of the Indus River Valley, around 28 kilometres (17 mi) from the town of Larkana. The ridge was prominent during the time of the Indus Valley Civilization, allowing the city to stand above the surrounding flood, but subsequent flooding has since buried most of the ridge in silt deposits. The Indus still flows east of the site, but the Ghaggar-Hakra riverbed on the western side is now dry.

The raised site also means that from the point of view of sacred geography it was also a ‘mountain’ or ‘hill’, given its importance spiritually, it was probably classified as a ‘mountain’, despite the height!


The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items




Activities and commonsteps