The Hindu Creation Story
Hinduism is perhaps one of the most interesting “religions” in the world.
I put that in parenthesis, because it’s actually not really a religion; more like a conglomeration of beliefs that the Indian culture has acquired over a period of thousands of years.
The Gist of It
If you watch the video above, the you can tell that this is a mythological story of Hinduism.
But the history of Hinduism, like I said above, is not really stagnant; it incorporated many ideas and evolved over time.
The video depicts a creation story that was established a thousand years or so after the Vedas (the original Indian religious texts) were well known and followed by most Indians. It’s rather simplistic compared to the deeper belief held by many in Hinduism.
Originally, the Vedas depicted a more subdued and subtle creation story, one that I personally find much more interesting:
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Then even nothingness was not, nor existence,
There was no air then, nor the heavens beyond it.
What covered it? Where was it? In whose keeping
Was there then cosmic water, in depths unfathomed?
Then there was neither death nor immortality
nor was there then the torch of night and day.
The One breathed windlessly and self-sustaining.
There was that One then, and there was no other.
At first there was only darkness wrapped in darkness.
All this was only unillumined water.
That One which came to be, enclosed in nothing,
arose at last, born of the power of heat.
In the beginning desire descended on it –
that was the primal seed, born of the mind.
The sages who have searched their hearts with wisdom
know that which is is kin to that which is not.
And they have stretched their cord across the void,
and know what was above, and what below.
Seminal powers made fertile mighty forces.
Below was strength, and over it was impulse.
But, after all, who knows, and who can say
Whence it all came, and how creation happened?
the gods themselves are later than creation,
so who knows truly whence it has arisen?
Whence all creation had its origin,
he, whether he fashioned it or whether he did not,
he, who surveys it all from highest heaven,
he knows – or maybe even he does not know.
— Rig Veda 10.129.1-7
A Powerful Impression
From this text, we can see that the deeper teachings of Hinduism are actually quite lofty and elegant; but that they are often glanced over when we in the West think of their religion.
Hinduism was the first religion to propose that the time scales of the universe are in the billions (something that is shared in science), not thousands or hundreds as many cultures used to think.
They also believed that the universe begins and ends again into infinity, which is another theory held by many scientists.
The beauty and depth of India’s thoughts on cosmology and creation are so interesting, that Carl Sagan even dedicated a chunk of time talking about it in his series, Cosmos.
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