Top 10 interesting Hindu mythology
Hindu religion dates back to 5000-10000 BC. It is the oldest religion that can be traced back to prehistoric times. Its mythology has stories; beliefs can be traced back to such old times. It’s mythology has rich history, enigmatic characters, resounding stories and astonishingly associated with modern science. These mythologies must have gone through numerous storytelling at different time period. There are cyclic period that repeats itself after certain number of times and there are epic like Mahabharata and Ramayan too. Here are 10 interesting Hindu mythology.
1. Theory of Creation
Even inside Hindu mythology, there are various accounts for the creation of universe. The theories vary in explanation and complexity. The most popular among them is that the heighest of deity were unaware about their own presence because the existence of time. Before, there was just a black ocean that washed onto everything and no time, space or heaven.
In another assumption, it says that everything started with the enunciation of the sacred sound Oom or Aum. In Hindu scriptures, the ultimate reality or Brahma has three main functions. They are the characteristics of trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. That is why in the trimurti, there are three heads of three gods in a single body where Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the preserver and Shiva is the ultimate destroyer.
2. Gods and Goddess
Hindus worship multiple deities and they belong to a pantheon of divinities. Through various lines in sacred books, it is found that there are around 330 million gods in Hindu mythology. Each god has their own symbolism like Saraswati is the source of knowledge, Brahma is the creator of reality and the divine trinity is seen as the base for Hindu mythology. The Vedas state that there are 33 major gods and during the Upanishadic age came the transition into 300 million gods. Even though there are many god and goddesses, Hindu’s give have their primary devotion on one supreme god of which the other gods are avatars of. The prime divine is as old as the creation of earth itself.
3. The Hindu Epics
Written in poetic verses of Sanskrit, the Hindu epic was written for morals to learn and ideals to follow. The most popular among these verses were the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Ramayana is the narration of Rama story from his birth in Ayodhya to the end with his victory over Ravana, his nemesis. The epic gives moral of brotherhood and the sacrifices one has to make to defeat the ultimate evil.
The second is Mahabharata which is the longest epic ever written. It is seven times longer in length combining both Odyssey and Iliad. It was written between 400- 200 BCE and gives an insight on the rise of Hinduism. Apart from the the story of Kauravs and Pandavas, it also gives detail scripts Bhagwat Gita. It is in recital form to narrate the story of the end of great battle against bothers. Bhagwat Gita became the epitome of Hindu sacred scriptures.
4. Foundation of Hinduism
There isn’t a scared scripture or founder of Hinduism nor was it founded in a particular time. Unlike other traditional religions, it is amalgamation of different beliefs, traditions and philosophies. There are various theories that contradict with each other and hence, there are different theories as to the origin of this religion. The first mentioned texts were writing of ancient sages or Rishi but these sacred writing was orally recited.
The traces of Hindu culture can be traced back to ancient India where it was an unclear tradition without any nomenclature around 5500 BCE. The term Hindu became popular only after the Mughal ear in contemporary India. The term became popular only in the 19.20th century when British colony rapidly spread in India. Around the time of 300 VCE, the God named Shiva was worshipped in the Indus Valley as per evidences. The Mahabharata, that gave immense insight into Hindu Mythology in the form of Bhagvad Gita along with historical crucial text was also written in the period of 400 BCE and 200 CE.
5. The Vedas and Modern Science
The Vedas are the collections of hyms and religious texts written in Sanskrit scripture in regions of contemporary Indus civilization between 1500 to 1000 BCE. Scientists find a strong connection of it in modern science even though they were written in thousands of years ago.
Like the multiverse theory where the scientists put forward the idea of multiple universe. In Hindu Veda, this ‘modern’ concept is already mentioned as the existence of cyclic infinite worlds in the ancient Hindu cosmology. The Veda and Bhagwat Gita had perfect understanding of the universe. Even Einstein had said, “When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous”.
6. The Curses
There is a history of curses in Hindu mythology. The hindu gods did not curse much because they held the power to cause a lot of harm on others but there were some instances where they cursed and these are worth mentioning in the Hindu mythology.
In the epic Mahabharata, the Pandavas knew that Karna was their half brother only after killing him. This brought immense sorrow on them and Yudhisthir got so angry with his mother Kunti that he cursed that no woman shall be able to keep secret so forth.
Another curse is given to Pandu that if he approaches any woman he desires he will die on the spot. Then there is another curse by Gandhari to Lord Krishna after math of the Mahabharata war where all 100 sons, Kauravs are killed. Krishna after defeating the Kauravs go to their mother Gandhari to consol her but she curses him that there shall be no bloodline of Krishna. Hence, slowly, Krishna’s lineage start killing each other and he also dies untimely having no one to continue the bloodline.
7. Kali Yuga
The last age in the Maha Yuga is Kali Yuga which is the current yuga. it has the shortest span of just 432,000 human years and also referred as the iron age. The humans of Kali yuga are tempted by desires and sins. They have fickle conscience and are hypocrite hand instable.
In terms of physicality and intellect, human body is in its lowest. The life span of a person is just 100 to 120 years and is just 3.5 cubit tall. It is predicted that when Kali Yuga reaches its final years, the life span of humans will be just 20 years. It is said that 5000 years of kali yuga has already passed. In this age, humans reach the zenith of materialism and they are the contrast to previous human lives where they lose the connection with their inner self.
8. Dwapar Yuga
The third age in succession is Dwapar Yuga also known as the Bronze Age. It was 864,000 human years long. This is the age when goodness and evil are equal and the people lose purity ( satva) from their body. They gain control over their body but lose control over their intellect. When this age was at its peak, humans had lost control over their innermost knowledge and had become materialistic. Their desires were increasing but only some people could retain their intellectuality like Bhisma, Dharmaraja nd Vidhura. Those who were enormous physically had thirst for power and became obsessed with it. The life span also decreased to 1000 years.
9. Treta Yuga
Treta Youga is the second in the cycle of Maha yuga which was 1,296,000 human years long. In this age, the goodness among people during Satya Yuga had vanished and the goodness was accompanied by Tama and Rajas. Tama is the darkness in human nature and raja means passion human can conjure. They had gained intellect but lost their control over their body.
The body structure also started to shrink and was around 14 cubits tall though there were some exceptional being who had godly built structure like Rama, Laxmana, Ravana and Hanumana who were considered godlike because of their extra ordinary strength.
10. Satya Yuga
As per the Hindu mythology, the cycle of creation and destruction has four epoch or Yuga out of which, the first is Satya Yuga. Its duration was 1,728,000 years long. It was the golden age of truth and enlightenment where people attained the idea state of their mind and their actions are always reasoned with virtuous acts. There was also flow of ideas among people.
People led life that was based on truth and everyone had acquainted the answer of the ultimate question about origin of everything. People had nothing to hide and were accessed to e very thread hence, there was no verbal communication. The people’s physiology also differed as they were 31.5 feet tall and their lifespan was more than 100 years.