Hindu mythology is mysterious, intriguing and rich with millions of riveting stories about gods and goddesses, creatures and characters that culminate to form into one foundation stone upon which Hindu religion is based and is still thriving. The Hindu religion is world’s oldest religion dating back to around 5000-10000 BC. Most of us have no idea about its little known facts and hence, we are here with our top 15 interesting facts related to Indian mythology which will enlighten you about this great religion, or should we say philosophy? Well, read on to know more.
1. Different approaches to the creation of universe as per Hindu mythology
Exactly how was the universe created? According to Hindu mythology, the universe’s foundation has various approaches dating back to different timelines. As per one approach, it was founded when the sacred word or chant OM was expressed. Before this, the universe was not in existence and also absent were the concept of time, earth, heaven and space. Only a dark vast ocean swept the shores of a space less boundary. If one has read scriptures, he or she will know that Brahma created the universe while the other two gods namely Vishnu and Shiva completed the acts of preservation and destruction.
2. A strong connection between the Vedas and modern science
Hinduism cannot function without its sacred Vedas that form the basis of its evolution and existence. The Vedas were written during the time of Indus Valley Civilization dating back to 1500 BCE. It houses a vast collection of religious texts and sacred hymns in Sanskrit. Though, these were written thousands of years ago, these are very much scientific in nature, claim modern scientists. There is a deep relation between its sacred messages and science. For example, Vedas mention about the concept of cyclical worlds in the cosmos and this theory is preached even in modern science stating that human existence thrives in a multiverse. Even sacred books like Bhagavad Gita offers us a deep understanding of the universe.
3. Indian Mythology stresses on the fact that the earth is the final destination while other worlds are merely temporary places to stay
According to our ancient mythology, out of all the worlds, its the earth that becomes the final destination for a human soul. While other worlds are merely temporary places to stay, the earth becomes the only permanent place for a soul that completes its time in those other worlds. When a human being dies, its soul, as per the judgement of Yama, the God of Death travels to either heaven or hell depending on his deeds and karma. Once the soul has finished its time in other worlds in various forms, it returns to earth when its reborn. As per Hinduism, a soul can reach nirvana or salvation only after taking birth in the form of a human.
4. The Satya Yuga is the first epoch or yuga according to Hindu Mythology
Our ancient mythology believes in the concept of a cyclic process of creation and destruction that keeps repeating itself in four different yugas or which we know as epochs. Among the first of these yugas is the Satya Yuga, also known as the Golden Age spanning a period of over 1,728,000 years. Its called Golden Age because it was in this yuga that people lived a high virtuous life that was truthful and honest. With pious thoughts, people in this yuga led a life devoid of dishonesty or evil. The life span of a normal human was thousands of years and people were tall built measuring approximately 31.5 feet.
Coming next in this cycle is the Treta Yuga spanning over 1,296,000 years. It is the stage when virtues and truthfulness in people’s lives began to reduce and slowly goodness started to cease from deeds and activities. In this yuga there were two emotions or aspects that came to be associated with all humans. These were Tamas and Rajas. Tamas represented dark emotions while Rajas represented passion. While, humans still led a virtuous life, but eventually started developing these dark emotions for leading their day to day lives. This period also saw humans gain immense knowledge and become intellectuals. The people that lived in this yuga were less taller than those that lived in the Satya Yuga. They reached 14 cubits in height. Some great intellectuals to have existed in this yuga were Hanuman, Ram, Laxman and Ravan.