Basic Mythology

Man has always been in awe of the natural and supernatural phenomena around him and has sought to understand them better in his own infinitesimal way. Myths are the Imaginative Traditions devised by Man in order to explain his surroundings.

Early Man most certainly would have been completely baffled by the world around him, and would have sought to make sense of different phenomena, such as Lightening & Thunder, Rain & Drought, Day & Night, Birth & Death. It was the experience of Mystery, mingled with a little Fear, than gave birth to Religion.

Through Mythology, he sought to understand his environment, the Nature of this World and even the Existence of God and it would be foolhardy to think of such tales as a product of some playwright's overactive imagination.

Indeed there is a wealth of knowledge hidden in each of these (so called) myths which can shed a great deal of light on the Beliefs of a bygone Era as well as reveal the Scientific insights and accomplishments that the ancients had achieved.



Flood myths indicate the occurrence of a deluge of global proportions



Based on its colorful mythology, different people may perceive Hinduism as Monotheistic,PolytheisticPantheistic or even Monistic and none of them may still not be wrong in their assumption!

At its core, Hinduism believes in One Supreme God Who manifests Himself as many in order to Create, Preserve and ultimately Annihilate the Creation. The Supreme Brahman is beyond concepts and images anyway and from this attitude comes great Tolerance and Inclusiveness which is the characteristic of Hinduism.

In the words of Andrew Harvey, religious author and advocate of Sacred Activism,

"In the family of religions, Hinduism is the wise old all-knowing mother. Its sacred books, theVedas, claim, 'Truth is one, but sages call it by different names.' Which other religion has its God say as Krishna does in the Bhagvad Geeta, 'All paths lead to Me'

If only the monotheistic 'book' religions had learn that lesson, all the horror of History's religious wars could have been avoided!"



Krishna enlightens Arjuna with the Geeta



Throughout its millenia-old history, Hinduism provided its followers with the freedom of worshiping God in whichever form they want. Thus, were born the Four major sects of Hinduism:
 
Vaishnavism, worship of Lord Vishnu and His Avatars 
Shaivism, worship of Lord Shiva
Shaktism, worship of the Goddess  or Devi
Smartism, nonsectarian worship of all gods as different forms of the Supreme Brahman

These sects provide different concepts, rituals and spiritual exercises for different modes of Awareness of the soul.

Lord Vishnu, the Master of the Universe


Lord Rudra, the fierce form of Shiva
Durga, the Supreme Goddess


Sometimes we find overlapping or contradictory stories pertaining to the same mythological figure and this may confound the uninitiated reader. However, these are easily explained when we realize that Hindu mythology does NOT talk of events occurring in the present time-cycle alone!!

There are legends about the SAME people inhabiting different time-frames or DIFFERENT people sharing the same TITLE in different Manvantars such as the Seven Seers orSaptarishis etc.. The biggest example is of Indra, the Protector of the Heavens and the Lord of Rain and Thunder.


Indra, the Lord of Heaven



Indra is in fact the title of the King of demigods and NOT the name of a particular individual! Therefore, we have different stories surrounding different Indras and in each the definition of the same character may differ so much that the reader might logically wonder if the stories are actually about the same person!!

It is interesting to note that in all ancient Indo-European religions, the gods worshiped were more or less the same.Michel Danino, the French proto-historian says,

"The West broke away from Nature and began regarding her as so much inanimate matter to be exploited (a polite word for plunder). The contrast with the ancient Indian attitude is stark as it regards Earth as a goddess, Bhumi Devi. 

Lord Vishnu, the Supreme Divinity, incarnates from Age to Age in order to relieve her of the burden of demonic forces. Shiva too is bound to earth through Parvati, daughter of the Himalayas. Heaven and Earth are therefore inseparable!" 

This is reflected in the Indo-European God Dyaus Pita or 'Sky-father' who married Prithvi, the 'Earth-goddess'.

The same Dyaus is worshiped as Zeus in Greek Mythology, Deus-Pater or Ju-piter in Roman Mythology, and as Ju-daea in Hebrew traditions. In Slavic Mythology, the same name appears as Div and in Norse Mythology as Ziu or Tyr.


Dyaus Pita/Zeus Pater/Jupiter


In fact, a number of gods in Indo-European civilizations have similar names as well as functions. The Roman god Uranus, Greek Ouranos & Vedic Varun are very similar in nomenclature as well as their attributes.

Likewise, the Hindu Storm-gods known as Maruts are quite similar to Mars, the God of War; and Agni, the Indian fire God, quite definitely corresponds to Ignis. Also, the Persians were majorly into the worship of Fire, Greeks worshiped Mithras and the Romans were big devotees of the Sun God Apollo.


Indo-Greek gods



Thus, Hindu mythology gives an insight about the principles and thoughts valued by our ancients from the time when they had  a COMMON Belief-system.
I have tried to cover the most interesting and informative topics in my posts such as:

{33 Devas},
{A for Astronomy},
{Creation by Brahma}, 
{Lokas or Alien Planets},
{Devi - God as a Female}, 
{Evolution in Dashavatar},
{Heaven at the North Pole} etc..
 

However, for more exhaustive knowledge, interested readers can go through the MYTHOLOGY section of the {Website on Hindu Mythology}.  

Hindu Myths take us into the times when Entire Creation was but just a Dream emerging from the Subconscious of Lord Narayanthe times when all that existed on Earth wasDanu, the Primordial Ocean and the 12 Adityas or Solar gods were still taking form!

The time when the sound of Goddess Durga's conchshell struck fear into the hearts of Asuragenerals and  when leathery wings of dragons like Vritra cast terrible shadows on the Rishisbelow.

The time when haunting songs of Apsaras echoed across emerald seas and the dark forests were inhabited by Yakshas and Gandharvs. When snow-white Unicorns galloped on gossamer clouds watched by Kinnars and Kimpurushs from Himalayan mountain-sides. Let us Re-live these times again and Begin at the Beginning.


.
Aum Shanti: Shanti: Shanti:
.
source:http://decodehindumythology.blogspot.in/p/chandravansham.html

{ 1 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. The soul is never burn nor does; nor does it become only after being born. For it is unborn,eternal, everlasting and ancient; even the body is slain, the soul is not.(CH.2 20)
    The man who knows that soul to be imperishable, eternal and free from birth and decay - how and whom will be cause to be killed, how and whom will he kill?.(21)
    As a man sheddingworn out garments,take others new one, likewise the embodied soul,casting off the worn - out bodies,enter into others which are new. (22)

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