Hindu Myths Term Paper - The Comparison of Creation Myths...

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The Comparison of Creation Myths from Different Mythologies Riti Gupta Religious Studies 165 / Professor Robert P. Goldman 11/26/08 It is not surprising to know that we all trace back to a common ancestor. No matter who we are, or where we come from, we have all originated from a mutual predecessor. Sanskrit, along with Latin, Slavic, and Celtic languages, have all been traced back to a common source: the Indo-European times, one of the oldest strata of mythological thinking. Languages and people aside, the world that we currently live in also has a common origin, a repetitive story. Although there seems to be a plethora of versions on how our world came to be, there is no doubt many parallel ideas present within each story that cannot be overlooked. Although throughout the years, the events of the creation of the world have been changed around according to different mythologies, the fundamental beginning is ultimately the same. Therefore, although the real origin of creation myths is not known, it comes as no shock that many mythologies have similar myths depicting their version on the creation of the universe. In fact, many mythologies across the world have creation myths comparable to the myths portrayed in Hindu mythology. As seen in Hindu mythology, many mythological creation myths focus on the formation of the universe from a disorderly mass and the division of Heaven and Earth to form the world. In the Hindu mythology creation myth, Lord Brahma, the Creator, was said to rise from a golden egg, which split to form heaven and earth. The egg is broken by Brahma, thus initiating the beginning of the world. “From this self-arisen egg the world is produced. And the active agency of its production is identified as the god Brahma, who effects creation by breaking open the egg in the beginning.” 1 1 Cornelia Dimmitt and J.A.B. van Buitenen, Classical Hindu Mythology (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1978), 17. t
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In Japanese mythology, a very similar story is told. “Of old, Heaven and Earth were not yet separated, and the In and Yo not yet divided. They formed a chaotic mass like an egg which was of obscurely defined limits and contained germs.” 2 The concept of a “chaotic egg” initiating the beginning of the universe is also present in Chinese mythology. “…the world began with the splitting in two of a cosmic egg. Out of the egg hatched the giant P’an Ku. Half the shell is above him as the sky and the other half below him as the earth.” 3 All three mythologies focus on the separation of an object, coincidentally an egg, where one half, usually the purer part, become the Heaven, and the grimy, infected half the Earth. In Babylonian mythology, a goddess, rather than an egg, is cut in half by the Babylonian god Marduk to form the two halves of the universe. “He sliced her in half like a fish for drying.
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This note was uploaded on 12/01/2009 for the course RELIGIOUS 165 taught by Professor Goldman during the Fall '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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Hindu Myths Term Paper - The Comparison of Creation Myths...

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