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Monday, March 23, 2015

M3 Creation Myths: Hindu

            I would say I really like the Hindu creation more than the others, but the fact is that I really enjoy all of these myths. I will say that the Hindu creation is unique in my experience.
            It begins with Brahma off by himself. And then he has a random thought. And that thought becomes reality. And so it continues. His very thoughts give birth to reality; however, what’s most interesting is that he cannot control these thoughts. Unbidden, he’ll have an evil thought, and it creates something evil, even though he does not wish for that to be created. This is a sharp contrast to other creation myths, which sought to consciously create the world and everything. Brahma, though, is at the mercies of his own random thoughts.
            Sidebar: If I had this power, I would be screwed. My brain comes up with the most random stuff all the time.
            And we’re back. So Brahma creates everything as a result of his unbidden thoughts, and when the tempest of creation ends, he realizes that he’s lonely. So he divides himself into a male half and a female half. Now that he’s no longer alone, he tries to have sex with his female half.
            I’ll let that sink in for a moment.
            Okay, his female half correctly points out that he can’t have sex with her since they’re part of the same being. But, let’s face it, he’s a guy. He wants to have sex. So she moves off and changes into the form of various animals in order to discourage pursuit. Brahma is undeterred and changes into the male of each animal in pursuit of her, which is how Hindus explain the creation of animals. This little story also serves to illustrate the disparity of the sexes, explaining how men will always pursue a woman to get sex, and how women will—sometimes coyly—run away from men.
            So with creation out of the way, we can really peel back the layers. Again, the subconscious creation of the universe makes this myth unique. In every other myth the deities use some kind of conscious action for their creation. It’s never left in the realm of pure thought. The reason this exists in the Hindu is to reflect the values of the culture. The Hindu culture was the first to be a culture of meditation. It’s no wonder that Buddhism emerged from Hindu roots, and that the control of thought is so important. The lesson is clear that uncontrolled thoughts can result in evil, and that the perfect balance of thoughts and desires result in enlightenment.
            The episode with his female half is a cute story to explain the origin of animals and to exemplify the nature of men and women. Also, the most famous book to come out of Hindu culture is not one of the Vedas, but the Kama Sutra. Don’t they list many animal-like positions in that book?

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