Is there any connection between Indian mythology and Roman mythology?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:

Vatsal Kavaiya has written an excellent answer.

I’d like to add one more to it. That is the correlation of Krishna & Balarama to Romulus & Remus.

I take the liberty of copying and pasting a blog entry I wrote many years ago on this…


Romulus & Krishna…a strange case of similarity!

I came across this new term called ‘Self Fulfilling Prophecy‘ today. My best friend Wikipedia defines it thus… “A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes it to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.” This means to say that something when declared as the truth, in spite of it being false in actuality, “may sufficiently influence people, either through fear or logical confusion, so that their reactions ultimately fulfill the once-false prophecy“. (Courtesy: Wikipedia)

There are many instances of this in mythology. And two of the most famous ones are found in Indian and Roman mythologies. They are those of the brothers Remus and Romulus and of Krishna and Balarama. Now, let’s come to the point. Reading through their stories, I found similarities that were too obvious to ignore. Here, I take the liberty of making some comparisons, with lots of help from Wikipedia! 🙂

The story is about two brothers – Krishna & Balarama

The story is about two brothers – Remus & Romulus

The king Kamsa, Devaki’s brother, had ascended the throne of Mathura by imprisoning his father, King Ugrasena. Afraid of a prophecy that predicted his death at the hands of Devaki’s eighth son, Kamsa had the couple locked into a prison cell. After Kamsa killed the first six children, and Devaki’s apparent miscarriage of the seventh (which was actually a secret transfer of the infant to Rohini’s (Vasudev’s first wife) womb as Balarama), Krishna was born.

According to Bhagavata Purana it is believed that Krishna was born without a sexual union, by “mental transmission” from the mind of Vasudev into the womb of Devaki. Hindus believe that in that time, this type of union was possible for achieved beings.

So, the fatherhood of Krishna is not biological in its purest sense.

Plutarch presents Romulus and Remus’ ancient descent from prince Aeneas, fugitive from Troy after its destruction by the Greeks. Their maternal grandfather is his descendant Numitor, who inherits the kingship of Alba Longa. Numitor’s brother Amulius inherits its treasury, including the gold brought by Aeneas from Troy. Amulius uses his control of the treasury to dethrone Numitor, but fears that Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia will bear children who could overthrow him.

Amulius forces Rhea Silvia to perpetual virginity as a Vestal priestess, but she bears children anyway. In one variation of the story, Mars, god of war, seduces and impregnates her: in another, Amulius himself seduces her, and in yet another, Hercules. The fatherhood of the children is not confirmed.

The king sees his niece’s pregnancy and confines her. She gives birth to twin boys of remarkable beauty; her uncle orders her death and theirs. One account holds that he has Rhea buried alive – the standard punishment for Vestal Virgins who violated their vow of celibacy – and orders the death of the twins by exposure; both means would avoid his direct blood-guilt. In another, he has Rhea and her twins thrown into the River Tiber.

The infant Krishna was carried in a basket on the head of his father Vasudev across a raging River Yamuna (that is said to have parted in the middle to make way for the Lord to pass unharmed) on the stormy night that He was born.

In all versions of the myth, a servant is charged with the deed of killing the twins, but cannot bring himself to harm them. He places them in a basket and leaves it on the banks of the Tiber. The river rises in flood and carries the twins downstream, unharmed.

Their foster father Nanda was the Chief of a cowherd clan called the Yadavas. Their foster mother was Yashodha.

A shepherd of Amulius named Faustulus discovers them and takes them to his hut, where he and his wife Acca Larentia raise them as their own children.

The children grew up as cowherds.

The twins grew up as shepherds.

They overthrew their vile uncle the king Kamsa and restored the throne to their grandfather King Ugrasena. They also freed their parents from the dungeon where they had been imprisoned.

They came into conflict with the shepherds of Amulius, leading to battles in which Remus was captured and taken to Amulius, under the accusation of being a thief. Their identity was discovered. Romulus raised a band of shepherds to liberate his brother; Amulius was killed and Romulus and Remus were conjointly offered the crown. They refused it while their grandfather lived, and refused to live in the city as his subjects. They restored Numitor as king, paid due honours to their mother Rhea and left to found their own city, accompanied by a motley band of fugitives, runaway slaves, and any who want a second chance in a new city with new rulers.

Krishna established the city of Dwaraka

Romulus established the city of Rome

Strange…but true! 🙂


Source → Romulus & Krishna…a strange case of similarity!

Is there any connection between Indian mythology and Roman mythology?

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