Indian Creation Myth Essay, Research Paper
There are many interpretations of the Indian creation myth. They are all representations of the main principle of Brahman, which is described as being “everywhere and nowhere, everything and nothing.” (A Dictionary of Creation Myths, p.139, David Leeming and Margaret Leeming) Creation came from Brahman’s thought, or the actions of the god Brahma, who is the representation of Brahman as a man. One version is taken from fragments found in the first and tenth hymn books in the Rig Veda. Heaven reached out to his daughter Earth, and with the passion created by the god of fire Agni, Heaven’s seed spilled onto earth. From this seed came words and rituals. Angirases also emerged from the seed They were arbitrators between the gods and humans, and distributed gifts from the gods. Heaven and Earth are our parents. Another myth from the tenth book of the Rig Veda concerns the dismemberment of a being out of which the world emerges. Purusa, a primal man with a thousand heads and a thousand feet, covered earth. He was “the universe, thehere and the there, the now and the always.” (A Dictionary of Creation Myths,p.140, David Leeming and Margaret Leeming) When the primal man was dismembered, his bottom quarter became our world, his mouth spewed words and became the god Indra, his arms turned into the warrior caste, his thighs became the common people, and his feet became “the lowest of the low”. From the dismemberment came also the animals, plants, rituals, sacred words and the Vedas. The moon was born from his mind, the sun from his eye, the wind from his breath, the sky from his head, earth from his feet and the atmosphere from his belly button. One more hymn of creation is found in the tenth book of the Rig Veda. It explains that opposites are needed – without Non-Being there cannot be Being and vice versa. Wise people say Being must have come before Non-Being, because how could something come from nothing? It also says that perhaps not even the creator knows what came first in the very beginning. Other Indian creation myths are found in sacred texts called the Brahmanas which date back to 1000 BC. This myth, from the Satapatha Brahmana, explains that in the beginning there was nothing but the primeval sea. The waters wanted to reproduce and became heated through devotions. They made a golden egg that floated around for sometime. Prajapati came out of the egg, taking a year to do so, which is now theamount of time it takes for a woman or cow to give birth.Prajapati then rested on its shell for another year before trying to speak. The first sound he made became earth, the next became the sky, and others became the seasons.