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Parallels in Religion

Bannanawamajama
Posts: 125
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7/8/2013 8:47:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I am a Hindu and enjoy reading up on the stories of other religions, both current and past, to see how different versions of similar ideas tend to pop up no matter where in the world you look. For example:

According to the Vedas, long ago in our nameless land, there was a massive terrible drought which threatened to wipe out humanity. The disaster was traced back to the Asura(Equal opposite of the Gods, kind of a Demon of sorts) Vrithra, a massive deity in the form of a serpent. He had taken residence at the source of the Ganges river, which flows through most of the nation, and was hoarding the water to drink himself. Knowing he was incredibly powerful, the gods went to a Rishi(Enlightened Sage), who agreed to martyr himself and give his mortal body up for the greater good. Using his sacred bones, the Devas(Gods) were able to craft a mighty weapon, the Thunderbolt. The warlord of the Gods, Indra, took up the Thunderbolt at engaged Vrithra in combat, where the two battled to a stalemate on and off for nearly a year straight. Finally, Indra gained the upper hand, and slashed Vrithra in two at the stomach, releasing the waters of the Ganges and saving the world. The other Devas were so impressed and grateful, they named Indra King of the Gods(For a time) and ruler of heaven, and the land, which owed its life to him, was named India in his honor. Or so the story goes.

Now anyone who had a mythology unit in middle school will notice the many similarities between this story and the story of Zeus overthrowing the Titans. He got the gift of lighting from an ancient powerful being, the Cyclopes, battled a might foe, Kronos, cut his stomach open to free something important, the Olympians, and for his valor was awarded supremacy among the other Gods and dominion of the heavens. You can find other stories that likewise show remarkable similarities to the myths of other civilizations. Rama and Krishna are together basically Jesus, Garuda is similar to the South American Quetzacotyl, Kalki is like Hati or Skoll of Norse myth, the harbringer of the final battle of apocalypse, Osiris became ruler of the Underworld after being killed, like Yama, and Buddha is...well he's still Buddha in Hinduism.

I think its amazing that even before we had instant telecommunication or rapid mass production of text or the ability to travel across the globe within a day, people still managed to create these stories that spread everywhere on earth, and became integrated into the local culture of areas separated by time and space. I mean, dragons are avaricious winged serpents that breath fire and are ageless, which seems rather hard to come up with, but they pop up in all sorts of civilizations, even though according to "Science" they don't exist(Except in my heart). That's loco! So what are some cool maybe little-known myths or tales that you all know of which have surprisingly similar counterparts in foreign cultures?

TL;DR: What are stories you know that have crazily similar foreign versions?
AlbinoBunny
Posts: 3,781
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7/8/2013 10:46:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/8/2013 8:47:18 PM, Bannanawamajama wrote:

That's loco!
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Bagofhammers
Posts: 84
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7/9/2013 10:01:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I always thought the characters Moses and Kronos were pretty much the same spirit. Both were clinging murderously and jealously to power and love. The biggest difference between the two is that Kronos was mostly always depicted as the bad guy, while Moses was always depicted as the good guy. Greek mythology is much more morally sound than the Bible.