Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Brahmic Creation of Hinduism

Earliest of the India's creation myths are products of Aryan beliefs who migrated around 2nf millennium BC. Prajapati is a very important deity in Indian mythology, who presides over procreation and protection of life, he is identified with Brahma.

In the beginning, the god Brahma, the lord of creation spread his light around the universe and became the essence of all things. He also embodied time, presiding over a cycle of existence on a truly cosmic timescale.  One day and night of his life was said to last 4320 million human years and when this period was over, the cycle of creation would come to end as well. It is intresting to observe that Greek mythology talks about a god equivalent of Brahma the prajapathi (etymologically progeny - potentate), called Phanes (Protogonos) who has four heads as well.

Brahma meditated, contemplating what the universe would be like, and created an image based on this vision. But he realized that since he was ignorant of what the universe would actually become once it came in to existence., what he had created was merely an image of this ignorance. He discarded it, and it became Night. Soon Night began to produce dark children of its own, who  became the first demons, and they began to multiply. Brahma concentrated and started the creation all over again.

As he meditated, he gave shape to a succession of beings, such as the sun and the stars, which began to emit light to balance the darkness of Night. According to some accounts Brahma created several thousand gods of the Hindu pantheon to balance many demons. Brahma being called the Vishwakarma, also created 10 prajapatis to help him with creation. They are Marichi, Atri, Angirasa, Pulaha, Pulasthya, Krathu, Vasistha, Prachethasa, Bhrigu and Narada.

One of the beings created by Brahma to bring light in to the world was a beautiful creature called Vak (word - identified with Saraswathi). According to some version of this creation story, Brahma and Vak coupled, and while doing so, they changed form continuously and as a result they produced every kind of animal species that populate the earth. While other accounts say that Vak, considered to be the creator's daughter, was unwilling to procreate with him. When he persisted, she turned herself in to a deer and fled. Although Brahma pursued and caught upw ith her, he was unable to impregnate her with his seed, which fell to the ground and became the first man and woman.

Legends say that Vak (Saraswathi) sprung from the forehead of her father, Brahma, as did the Greek virgin goddess Athena who was born from her father, Zeus’s head. As soon as Brahma looked at this beautiful woman, he desired her, even though she was his daughter. Saraswati disliked the amorous attentions of this old god and kept dodging him, but whichever way she moved, Brahma grew a head in that direction to see her the better. As a result he grew four faces on four sides of his neck.

1 comment:

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