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HINDUISM MYTHOLOGY
 
 

Creation of World in Hinduism

Creation World

The cosmogonic myths of the Hindus are peculiarly interesting, as we find in the Vedas and Brahmanas and Puranas. The act of creation was thought of in more than one manner. One of the oldest cosmogonic myth in the Rigveda (RV 10.121) had being come into existence as a cosmic egg, hiranyagarbha (a golden egg). The Purusha Sukta (RV 10.90) narrates that all things were made out of the mangled limbs of Purusha, a magnified non-natural man, who was sacrificed by the gods. In the Puranas, Vishnu, in the shape of a boar, plunged into the cosmic waters and brought forth the earth (Bhumi or Prithivi).
The Shatapatha Brahmana tells us that in the beginning, Prajapati, the first creator or father of all, was alone in the world. He differentiated himself into two beings, husband and wife. The wife, regarding union with her producer as incest, fled from his embraces assuming various animal disguises. The husband pursued in the form of the male of each animal, and from these unions sprang the various species of beasts (Shatapatha Brahmana, xiv. 4, 2). Prajapati was soon replaced with Brahma in the Puranas.
In the Puranas, Brahma the creator was joined in a divine triad with Vishnu and Maheshvara (Shiva), who were the preserver and destroyer, respectively. The universe was created by Brahma, preserved by Vishnu, and destroyed for the next creation by Shiva. However, the birth of Brahma was attributed to Vishnu in some myths. Brahma was often depicted as sitting on a lotus arising from the navel of Vishnu, who was resting on the cosmic serpent, Ananta (Shesha). In the very beginning Vishnu alone was there. When Vishnu thought about creation, Brahma was created from a lotus that came from his navel.

 

Hinduism is a conglomeration of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid common set of beliefs. As a result, the Hindu texts do not provide a single canonical account of the creation; they mention a range of theories of the creation of the world, some of which are contradictory. Many Hindus regard these scriptural legends as allegories or metaphors than as literal truth.

 

 

Rigveda

The Purusha sukta of the earliest Hindu text Rig Veda mentions purusha, the primeval cosmic being. The Purusha is described as all that has ever existed and will ever exist. Viraj, variously interpreted as the mundane egg (see Hiranyagarbha) or the twofold male-female energy, was born from Purusha, and the Purusha was born again from Viraj. The gods then performed a sacrifice with the Purusha, leading to the creation of the other things in the manifested world from his various body parts and his mind. These things included the animals, the Vedas, the Varnas, the celestial bodies, the air, the sky, the heavens, the earth, the directions, and even Indra and Agni. It is likely that this myth has proto-Indo-European origins, as it is similar to other myths found in the Indo-European cultures, in which the creation arises out of the dismemberment of a divine being (cf. Ymir of the Norse mythology).
The concept of Purusha is similar to the concept of Brahman described in the later texts.:318 As for the creation of the primordial beings (such as the gods who performed the sacrifice of the Purusha), the Nasadiya Sukta states:

 

Who really knows, and who can swear,
How creation came, when or where!
Even gods came after creation's day,
Who really knows, who can truly say
When and how did creation start?
Did He do it? Or did He not?
Only He, up there, knows, maybe;
Or perhaps, not even He. - RigVeda 10.129.1-7

Rigveda (10.121) also mentions the Hiranyagarbha (literally, golden embryo/womb/egg) that existed before the creation. This metaphor has been interpreted differently by the various later texts. The Samkhya texts state that Purusha and the Prakriti made the embryo, from which the world emerged. In another tradition, the creator god Brahma emerged from the egg and created the world, while in yet another tradition the Brahma himself is the Hiranyagarbha. The nature of the Purusha, the creation of the gods and other details of the embryo creation myth have been described variously by the later Hindu texts.
The early hymns of Rigveda also mention Tvastar as the first born creator of the human world.

Brahmanas

The Shatapatha Brahmana mentions a story of creation, in which the Prajapati performs tapas to reproduce himself. He releases the waters and enters them in the form of an egg that evolves into the cosmos. The Prajapati emerged from the golden egg, and created the earth, the middle regions and the sky. With further tapas, he created the devas. He also created the asuras, and the darkness came into the being.:102-103 It also contains a story similar to the other great flood stories, such as the one mentioned in the Bible. After the great flood, Manu the only surviving human, offers a sacrifice from which Ida is born. From her, the existing human race comes into the being.

Upanishads

The Aitareya Upanishad (3.4.1) mentions that only the "Atman" (the Self) existed in the beginning. The Self-created the heaven (Ambhas), the sky (Marikis), the earth (Mara) and the underworld (Ap). He then formed the Purusha from the water. He also created the speech, the fire, the prana (breath of life), the air and the various senses, the directions, the trees, the mind, the moon and other things.
The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1.4) mentions that in the beginning, only the Atman existed as the Purusha. Feeling lonely, the Purusha divided itself into two parts: male ("pati") and female ("patni"). The men were born when the male embraced the female. The female thought "how can he embrace me, after having produced me from himself? I shall hide myself." She then became a cow to hide herself, but the male became a bull and embraced her. Thus the cows were born. Similarly, everything that exists in pairs, was created. Next, the Purusha created the fire, the soma and the immortal gods (the devas) from his better part. He also created the various powers of the gods, the different classes, the dharma (law or duty) and so on. The Taittiriya Upanishad states that the being (sat) was created from the non-being. The Being later became the Atman, and then created the worlds The Chhandogya states that the Brahma creates, sustains and destroys the world.

Later texts

The Samkhya texts state that there are two distinct fundamental eternal entities: the Purusha and the Prakriti. The Prakriti has three qualities: sattva (purity or creation), rajas (preservation) and tamas (darkness or destruction). When the equilibrium between these qualties gets broken, the act of creation starts.rajas quality leads to creation.
The later texts such as the Puranas identify the Purusha with the God. In many Puranic myths, Brahma is the creator god.However, some Puranas also identify Vishnu, Shiva or Devi as the creator.
In Garuda Purana, there was nothing in the universe except the Brahman. The universe became an expanse of water, and in that Vishnu was born in the golden egg. He created Brahma with four faces. Brahma then created the devas, asuras, pitris and manushas. He also created the rakshasas, yakshas, gandharvas. Other creatures came from the various parts of his body. (e.g. snakes from his hair, sheep from his chest, goats from his mouth, cows from his stomach, others from feet) . His body hair became thev herbs, The four varnas came from his body parts and vthe four Vedas from his mouths.. He created several sons from his mind, Daksha, Daksha's wife, Manu Svaymbhuva, his wife Shatarupta and the rishi Kashypa. Kashypata married thirrteen of Daksha's daughter and all the devas and the createures were born through them. Other Puranas and the Manu Smriti mention several variations of this myth.
In Vishnu Purana, the Purusha is same as the creator deity Brahma, and is a part of Vishnu. The Shaivite texts mention the Hiranyagarbha as a creation of Shiva.According to the Devi-Bhagavata Purana Purusha and Prakriti emerged together and formed the Brahman, the supreme universal spirit that is the origin and support of the universe.
The Advaita Vedanta states that the creation arises from Brahman, but it is illusory and has no reality. (Vivarta)

Hindu cosmological view of creation

Many of the Hindu philosophies mention that the creation is cyclic. According to the Upanishads, the universe and the Earth, along with humans and other creatures undergo repeated cycles (pralaya) of creation and destruction. A variety of myths exist regarding the specifics of the process, but in general the Hindu view of the cosmos is as eternal and cyclic. The later puranic view also asserts that the universe is created, destroyed, and re-created in an eternally repetitive series of cycles. In Hindu cosmology, a universe endures for about 4,320,000,000 years (one day of Brahma, the creator or kalpa) and is then destroyed by fire or water elements. At this point, Brahma rests for one night, just as long as the day. This process, named pralaya (Cataclysm), repeats for 100 Brahma years (311 trillion, 40 billion human years) that represents Brahma's lifespan.



 
 


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