sanskrit cubes
© WillRead8888/Imgur
A magnet fisherman out with his two young sons at a river in Coventry reeled in almost 60 mysterious cubes thought to show a sacred numerical inscription.

Will Read found the haul of engraved lead squares - believed to be connected to a mystical Hindu prayer ritual - while out sifting through shallow water.

The faces of the objects, small enough to hold between finger and thumb, are set into neat grids with inscriptions thought to be in Sanskrit.

At first, Will, 38, from Finham, thought the cubes were just random pieces of debris littering the bottom of the River Sowe in south Coventry.

sanskrit cubes
© WillRead8888/Imgur
But as he and sons Jackson, five, and Benjamin, seven, took a closer look on Friday (May 8), they noticed the detailed inscriptions set onto the faces of the squares.

Will said: "We were out magnet fishing as our daily activity in lockdown and we were at a relatively isolated spot. At first we found keys and pennies and other bits and bobs and then we looked down and saw what we thought were tiles.

"I was live-streaming to friends on Facebook and I bent down and started picking them up. I also thought they might be rocks. I showed them to the camera and as I looked back more and more kept appearing."

Tidying up the haul, Will posted images of the cubes on Facebook and content sharing website Reddit to try and find out more about his unusual catch.

Based on the responses, he believes the objects are connected to a Hindu prayer ritual.
sanskrit cubes
"There were all sorts of stories flying around at first, the cubes really captured people's imaginations," Will said.

"What I learned is that they are Indian in origin and they show incantations for prayers which take effect when they are thrown in running water."

Other than a different face on one side, all of the cubes are identical, possibly because they contain a numerical formula to summon the protection of Rahu, described by the Shrivinayaka Astrology website as a planet with God-like powers.

Rahu's sphere of control includes thieves, magicians, snakes, poison, jails and isolated places, according to the resource.

Responses to the pictures on social media suggest the characters are in Sanskrit, the liturgical language of Hinduism, and show 'yantra' - mystical diagrams that are used for worship.

One of most likely explanations comes from a beach combing website, where one contributor describes similar finds of "numerical planetary yantras made of solid lead."

A numerical formula contained within the cubes is said by the finder to relate to Rahu.

Worshippers who place the "so-called magic square" in running water receive his protection from "hidden enemies, wrong diagnosis of illness and deceit", according to the contributor.

However, the puzzle is from complete, as no one has been able to put a date on the objects or to explain why so many would end up being thrown into a quiet river in Coventry.

Will has returned on two more occasions to the spot, the precise location of which he does not want to disclose, and has also found a silver coin which was lying by the cubes.

He now has almost 60 of the relics.

"The more I learn the stranger it becomes," Will said. "No one can explain why there would be so many of these cubes in one place. It feels incredibly unusual to have found so many."

Will now plans to go back to the river with a shovel to remove even more of the cubes.

He said: "I will get them appraised to find out more about what they are and how much they are worth. I could be sitting on an absolute pool of cash, or they could be worth nothing. But I won't make any decision on what to do with them until I've found out more about exactly what they are."