Cosmic Myths of Ancient Civilizations Essay

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer

Creation Myths

Myth 1: Purusha Sukta Religion or culture of origin: Hinduism
Myth 2: Prometheus, Athena, and Epimetheus Religion or culture of origin: Ancient Greek mythology

Who created the world?

Myth 1

According to Rigveda, Purusha was everything that has ever existed. Purusha gave birth to Viraj, an egg symbolizing the unity of male and female energies. Purusha was also born from Viraj. Eventually, Purusha was sacrificed by the gods and disassembled. His body parts became various objects, creatures, and elements of life such as the sky, the air, stars and planets, animals, and people.

Myth 2

In Greek mythology, the world’s first gods appeared out of Chaos.

Who were the main characters involved? What was the process?

Myth 1

The primordial divine beings, Purusha and Prakriti, interacted and made a sacrifice, which served as the starting point of everything.

Myth 2

Gaia, Eros, Tartarus, Erebus. Uranus appeared later created by Gaia without male participation. He fertilized her and generated further creations.

What was the motivation to create the world?

Myth 1

Humans were just one of the parts of everything that appeared after the sacrifice of Purusha.

Myth 2

People were created so that the gods had someone to worship them.

How did humankind come into being?

Myth 1

Different casts of people appeared in different body parts of Purusha. Brahmins appeared from his mouth; his arms became noble warriors, his legs generated simple working people such as peasants, and his feet became the lowest cast.

Myth 2

Prometheus sculpted people out of mud, Epimetheus gave them various traits and Athena made them alive through breathing life into them.

Did the original creator maintain involvement in the newly created world?

Myth 1

After the creation of the world, the new gods and divine beings became the main figures.

Myth 2

Titans created by Gaia and Uranus started to rule the world until they were overthrown by the Olympians, who became the main rulers.

Flood Myths

Myth 1: Manu and Matsya Religion or culture of origin: Hinduism
Myth 2: Gilgamesh epic Religion or culture of origin: Assyria and Babylon

Who or what caused the flood?

Flood Myth 1

The flood appeared by itself as a natural cataclysm.

Flood Myth 2

The gods had a secret plan to start a massive flood.

Who were the main characters involved?

Flood Myth 1

Vishnu working through his Matsya avatar and Manu, the man.

Flood Myth 2

Ea, Enlil, Anu, Ninurta, and Ennui, who are the great gods and Utnapishtim, a man.

What was the motivation for causing the flood?

Flood Myth 1

The flood happened by itself as a natural disaster.

Flood Myth 2

The great gods were willing to erase the civilization of people.

Who survived the flood, and why?

Flood Myth 1

Manu survived the flood because he was warned about it by the fish avatar of the god Vishnu. Manu saved the fish, and in return, the fish saved Manu telling him to build a very big boat. The fish that Manu released into the sea dragged the ship through the waters until they reached the mountains (Manu 2014).

Flood Myth 2

The god Ea broke the secrecy of the gods’ plan about the flood and warned Utnapishtim through the reed wall in his reed house. The god instructed Utnapishtim to disassemble his house and build a big boat to survive the flood.

Did the original creator, or creators, maintain involvement after the flood?

Flood Myth 1

Vishnu and other Hindu gods remained the same important after the flood.

Flood Myth 2

The great gods continued to rule after the flood and even presented Utnapishtim with immortality.

Afterlife Myths

Myth 1: Hel and Valhalla Religion or culture of origin: Scandinavia
Myth 2: Biblical Heaven and Hell Religion or culture of origin: Christianity

What is the name of the place or places where people go when they die?

Afterlife Myth 1

According to Norse Mythology, the names of the places where people went after death were Valhalla, the kingdom for warriors that were killed in combat, and Hel or Helheim, the place where the people and other beings go after death.

Afterlife Myth 2

In Christianity, there is a strict division between Heaven and the underworld or Hell. Heaven is the place where the righteous people go and rest in eternal bliss, whereas Hell is a horrible place where the sinners are tortured forever after they die.

What are the characteristics of the place, or places? What form do people take when they go there?

Afterlife Myth 1

In Norse mythology, there was no division between the places where the dead went. In neither of these places the dead are tortured. They are described as the stages of life in the never-ending cycle of being (Death and Afterlife 2014). Only people’s immortal souls can enter these kingdoms, while their physical vessels rest in the physical world.

Afterlife Myth 2

Heaven is normally described as a beautiful place, located high in the sky; the souls of true believers come to Heaven after death and enjoy eternal happiness there. Hell is a scary place filled with fire and demons; the souls of sinners are doomed for all kinds of torture there. Hell is located under the surface of the ground.

Who goes to which location, and how do they get there?

Afterlife Myth 1

Warriors and heroes come to Valhalla through the snowy fields.

Afterlife Myth 2

According to Christian beliefs, sinners and righteous people stand before the god, and he gets to decide who goes where according to the kind of life this person lived.

Is it possible for a human to leave one location to go to another or to return to Earth?

Afterlife Myth 1

In Norse mythology the dead could be in communication with the living beings. Besides, there were occasional cases of people returning from the underworld.

Afterlife Myth 2

It is not possible to leave Heaven or Hell. Souls cannot go from one location to another, either.

Are there gods or supernatural beings in each of the locations? If so, who or what are they?

Afterlife Myth 1

Valhalla and Helheim are inhabited with Norse gods.

Afterlife Myth 2

Heaven has angels and cherubs. Hell is the place where demons are.

Apocalypse Myths

Myth 1: Buddhist Apocalypse Religion or culture of origin: Buddhism
Myth 2: Ragnarok Religion or culture of origin: Scandinavia

Who or what will cause the apocalypse?

Apocalypse Myth 1

The degeneration of the human society will make the faith in Buddha fade away and cause an apocalypse.

Apocalypse Myth 2

A massive battle will lead to the end of the world.

Who will be the main characters?

Apocalypse Myth 1

People.

Apocalypse Myth 2

Norse gods, Fenrir, the Serpent, and Ice Giants

What will be the motivation to cause the apocalypse?

Apocalypse Myth 1

The degeneration of spirituality.

Apocalypse Myth 2

A conflict between the gods.

What will happen to humankind?

Apocalypse Myth 1

Humans will be reduced to poverty, sickness, violence and sufferings

Apocalypse Myth 2

Humans will be burnt with the rest of the world and then flooded.

What role does the original creator, or creators, play in causing the apocalypse and any subsequent events?

Apocalypse Myth 1

The universe goes through an eternal cycle of death and rebirth.

Apocalypse Myth 2

Gods cause conflict and destroy the world.

Reference List

Death and Afterlife. (2014). Norse Mythology. Web.

Manu. (2014). Encyclopedia Britannica. Web.

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