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Transcript of Creation Myths
Megan Anderson, Carissa Charbonneau, Owen Placido, Luke Dascoli
Connections to the Society
Hindu Creation Myth
In the Babylonian creation story, several references are made to canals, fields, and especially the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The Babylonian society was in the region known as Mesopotamia, in present-day Iraq.
The region was very fertile for farming, and the Babylonians revolutionized irrigation crops using canals. This is reflected in their creation
myth, as the humans are instructed by the gods to continue
to tend the fields and canals. The Babylonian creation story took their name from the major city, Babylon. The people here are very agricultural and this reflects from the rivers and crops around them.
The Hindu Trinity
Hinduism contains the belief that all existence is overseen and managed by three main deities: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
Brahma is the Creator
, the being responsible for the creation of everything. He is praised for his continuous creation and recreation of earth and other planes of existence.
Vishnu is the Preserver
, maintaining all planes of existence, provides all sustenance for all creations.
Shiva is the destroyer
, who destroys and cleanses existence through his spiritual dancing. While most religious deities regarding destruction are feared and resented, Shiva is revered by Hindus, for his destruction is just part of a endless cyclical creation. His destruction is purifying, bringing out balance and oneness and is necessary to the cycle.
The Hindu Creation Myth
Key Concepts of the Hindu Creation Myth
This universe is considered to be one of many, enclosed, floating in space.
The world is not created once, but is created and destroyed repeatedly.
Within existence there are 3 main regions: the Heavenly Planets, the Earthly Realm, and the Lower Worlds.
Creation is not predominantly earth-centered, due to the enormity of existence, emphasis is dispersed between the different planes of existence.
Souls are eternal, and creation entails souls being injected into material energy, e.g. human bodies, by Brahma.
Key Concepts of the Babylonian Creation Story
The world first exists entirely of water, and there are three gods.
Apsu, the original fresh water god tries to kill his unruly descendants. but Ea the river god stops him
Tiamat, Apsu's wife, gathers an army of monsters in retaliation.
Ea's son Marduk defeats Tiamat and creates the heavens and earth from her body.
The defeated gods tend the earth until humans are created by Ea from the blood of Tiamat's lieutenant, mud, and the spit of the gods.
Humans are charged with tending the earth, and celebrating the Gods.
Hinduism Creation as a Myth Today
Hinduism, the world's oldest religious system, primarily originates from India, and a majority of Indians still possess this culture and set of beliefs today. India's Hinduism serves as an ever-present reminder of the mindset of the nation, one that maintains ancestral pride of the country, as well as respect and acknowledgment of the beliefs of older citizens . India is a nation of unity, for its common religion links the people together, bonded by a sense of perspective and acceptance.
Hinduism is a religion fueled by a cyclical oneness, that all people are part of a constant cycle of life, linked to a common energy. Hinduism's widened focus on other planes of existence in addition to an earthly realm demonstrates who the society that developed this myth is, a society that recognizes that there is more to life than just man, man is but one aspect of the entirety of existence. Hindus and Hindu societies that originated hold great respect for animals, as some demigods contain animal resemblances, as well as a widely open mind, as they accept and are willing to believe in otherworldly concepts like heavenly planets, and a god that brings about cleansing destruction through dancing.
Hinduism contains few historical influences in its conception, as it was developed so early before the occurrence of many historical events, which is why Hindu theology contains such vast elaborations of beings and planes of existence that to scientific and historical knowledge do not exist. There are slight geographical influences, such as how the demigod Ganesha has a decapitated elephant head as a replacement for his original head, since an elephant was the closest living thing near him to "supply" a replacement head, which is synonymous to that of the once common Indian elephants of the nation India, Hinduism's country of origin, yet in general include little geographic influences due to the mythology predominantly focusing on otherworldly places
While popular creation myths such as the Christian creation myth have been adapted and evolved in order to coordinate with new widely accepted theories like the Big Bang Theory or the Theory of Evolution, Hinduism has had no need to manipulate the content nor ideology of its creation myth due to its encompassing nature. Scientific theories such as these do not negate statements provided from Hindu mythology because Brahma created animals, and allowed them to evolve, encompassing all evolution, whether that be the Theory of Evolution or the evolution of society. In addition, the Hindu creation myth has had no need to evolve due to it being a religion not predominantly earth-centered. The universe and occurrences in this universe are one of many. No scientific discoveries can disprove Hinduism as a result of it's multiplicity of worldly occurrences.
The Sumerian Creation Myth
About the Sumerian Creation Myth
Sumerian Creation as a Myth Today
Main Deities of Sumerian Religion
An, god of the heavens, the firmament. An is the sky half of the split universal god, Anki.
Enlil, god of air.
Enki, god of knowledge, water, and fertility.
Before the world began, the goddess Nammu lived in darkness. She then birthed Anki, the universe. Anki was heaven and earth as one, mixed together as dirt and sky. Anki made Enlil, the god of air, which split his parents into two, An the sky, and Ki the earth. He then pushed Ki down in order to form land and An up to form the heavens. Enlil created the moon, Nanna, and the sun, Utu. Then Ki joined Enlil to make Enki, god of water, fertility, and wisdom. He was then made lord of the earthly universe. Enki took part of the Primordial Sea and made it into the rivers the Tigris and the Euphrates. He then put cattle to roam the earth, and fish to swim in the rivers. As Enki's creation occurred, the guards in heaven held a banquet where they decided to create humans. They were first made out of clay and were weak. When put on earth, they had too many problems to survive so the gods destroyed them in a flood. Enki only saw two of these humans fit to survive, a man named Ziudsura (or Ziusudra) and his wife. Enki visited them and told them of the disaster to come that would wash away the impurities of the weak humans. To protect themselves, they built an ark and stayed within it until the flood subsided. While they did this, the rest of the population was killed. When the water was gone, Enki praised them, and granted them immortality, and bestowed the responsibility of creating a new generation of people to live on the Tigris and the Euphrates unto Ziudsura and wife.
The Tigris and Euphrates rivers were major geographic features and resources for the Sumerians whose creation was explained. The Sumerians held such reliance on these rivers that they needed a way to justify their occurrences in the world. According to the creation story, the god Enki took waters from the Primordial Sea to create The Tigris River and Euphrates River, and then newly created people were left to live on these two rivers, utilizing all the diverse benefits provided by them.
Much like how Ziudsura and his wife created an ark to shield themselves from floods, the Sumerian people would build their villages on artificial mounds to protect them from floods. Clay is an important symbol of the Sumerian religion, representing a weak life energy. Corresponding with how the beings on heaven created the first people of Sumer out of clay, later generations of Sumerians would form clay effigies of gods in their house.
The Sumerian people are a race long forgotten, and the credibility of their beliefs as a nation has slowly dissolved over time. Yet their creation myth reflects their agricultural roots, as well as their primitive systems and tactics of surviving as an early nation, greatly uneducated and unequipped for the world.
The Sumer religion and its creation story have lost virtually all patrons over the span of time. It has not evolved to fit in accordance with modern day scientific discoveries, and instead was unfit to survive in today's people's beliefs. The Sumer society is extinct, and has been extinct due to their poor living conditions and limiting religious beliefs, occupying them with praying as opposed to positively progressing their once prevalent society as a whole.
Nammu, the goddess of nonexistence, who birthed the universe, and was surpassed by her deity child, Anki.
Ki, god of the earthly plane. Ki is the dirt half of the split universal god, Anki.