Hebrew, Greek, Japanese, And Hindu Creation Stories Essay, Research Paper
Each of the four creation stories had its own way of explaining creation. The gods in the stories were very unique in their own way. They all represented many different things and ideas. Each story had its own special ideas and characteristics. However, all of the stories were alike in a way, because they all told of a special time that is held sacred to all humans. The four creation stories had many similarities, as well as, differences.
First, the Hebrew creation story told of one God who created the world in six days. He made everything present on the earth, as well as, man and woman. He made man in his own image, so he himself looked like a human. God was over everything that was pure and good. However, a serpent was present in the place where God had put the man and woman. The serpent was evil and it persuaded the woman and man to disobey God’s wishes. The human’s role in the Hebrew story was to multiply, be fruitful, and rule all things on the earth. The Hebrew story consisted of only one god, unlike the other stories in which there were many gods, who had a distinct power. The human’s role in this creation story is to multiply and rule, whereas, humans in the other stories are ruled by the gods or humans are not even mentioned at all. This story is like the other creation stories because they all mention a heaven and earth in some way.
Next, the Greek creation story contained many gods. The first god was Chaos. Gaia (Earth) was next and was a place for all of the immortals who lived on Olympus. Tartarus lived in a deep hole inside Earth. Eros was the most good-looking of the immortals. Black Night and Erebus came from Chaos. Night had Aether and Day. Ouranos (Heaven) was produced by Gaia to be all around her and the other gods. She bore Pontus the seas and with Heaven she had Oceanos. Later, she bore Kronos. Gaia also had Brontes, Stereopes, and Arges, who were Cyclopes. They each had only one eye in the middle of their foreheads. They had to make and present thunder and lightning bolts to Zeus. Kotos, Gyes, and Briareos were the three sons of Heaven and Earth. They were awful and violent. Each had one hundred arms and fifty heads. They were very strong. Heaven hated them, so he threw them down into the Earth. Gaia did not like this, so she had Kronos cut off his father’s genitals and throw them into the sea. Aphrodite, the goddess of love and charm, came from the severed genitals. Eros and Desire followed her wherever she went. Ouranos condemned his sons for their terrible deed and called them Titans. The Greeks seemed to have had a god for everything. In this story, there was no mention of humans, unlike the other stories. However, like the Japanese story, Heaven and Earth, were gods in the Greek story, whereas in the Hebrew story, heaven and earth were actual places. Also, like the Japanese story, the Greek story told of gods producing other gods.
The Japanese creation story began with Heaven and Earth separating. They produced Divine Beings. Something was produced between Heaven and Earth that was transformed into a God, called Kuni-toko-tachi-no-Mikoto and seven deities, including Izanagi-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto, who were male and female. The two deities lived in Heaven and wondered if there was a country below them. They threw down a spear and found the Ocean and an island formed from the brine that dripped from their spear. They went and lived on the island of Ono-goro-jima. They wanted to become husband and wife so that they could produce more countries. So, they walked around the island separately and when they met the female spoke first. The male did not approve of this so they walked around the land once again. This time the male spoke first, and he said that he wished for the female to be his wife. They began producing islands, as well as, the sea, rivers, and mountains. Later, they got together and produced someone to be the Lord of the Universe. They produced the Sun-Goddess, Amaterasu-Mikami. The Sun-Goddess shone brightly so the two deities sent her to Heaven. They also produced the Moon God and also sent it to Heaven. Next, they had Sosa-no-wo-no-Mikoto, who was mean and ill tempered, so they sent him to the Nether-Land. This Japanese creation story had many gods unlike the Hebrew and Hindu stories. This story was similar to the Hebrew story in that it had male and female in the beginning and they produced, but they produced different things. In the Hebrew story the humans produced more humans. In the Japanese story the male and female are deities that produced things on the earth. In this story, Heaven and Earth produced a God, whereas in the Hebrew story, God created Heaven and Earth. This story was similar to the Greek story because all of the gods were produced from other gods, and many had brothers and sisters.
Last, the Hindu creation story told of Purusa. Purusa was a sacrificial god. He was the Lord of immortality and the only Lord. He had one thousand heads, one thousand eyes, and one thousand feet. Three fourths of him was immortal up in Heaven and one fourth of him was all beings. His body was divided into many different parts. From his spirit came the moon. His eyes produced the sun. Indra, the storm and war god, and Agni, the god of fire, came from his mouth. The wind came from his breath. His stomach was the sky, his head was heaven, and his feet the earth. Purusa was like the Hebrew god, because they were both considered the only Lord. However, they were different because the Hebrew god looks like a man and Purusa does not. Purusa is a sacrificial god, unlike all of the other gods in the other stories. The only mention of humans in this story was explaining how the classes of people were arranged on Purusa’s body.
Finally, all of the creation stories were similar in ways, but different in other ways. The Hebrew story told of one God who was the ruler and maker of everything. He made man and woman to multiply and rule the earth. The Greek story had many gods. Every god had his/her own special power over something. In the Japanese creation story, Heaven and Earth made a god and many deities. Last, the Hindu story told of Purusa, a sacrificial god, who’s parts were divided into all of the characteristics of heaven and earth.