collection of hauma hamiddha's scattered posts

Posts tagged ‘mythology’

Duplication, divergence and recombination in the Kaumara mythology

Myths in a long standing mythological tradition evolve pretty much
like the protein coding genes in an organism. The Kaumara mythology is
a rich source of material for studying this evolution. While
the so called ‘skandha gayatris’ have been claimed to attest presence
of Kumara in the yajurvedic maitrAyaNi saMhita and the AraNyaka of the
taittiriyins it is very clear that they have been ‘retrofitted’ into
these texts at a latter age. The evolution of kumAra from the early
Indo-Aryan deities the Maruts can be strongly argued. However here we
consider the later diversification of the kaumAra mythology. The
earliest references to kumAra come in the late ancillary texts of the
atharvan tradition namely the atharvashiras and the skanda kalpa. The
references to the deity in these two texts suggest a rather full
fledge evolution of his form by the time these text were layed down
suggesting an extended period of evolution and standardization
occuring probably around to Mahabharata period around 1300 BC down to
around 800 BC. Around this point through the focal point of the Deccan
Megalithic culture Kumara probably entered the Dravidian stream and
might have undergone some syncretic evolution with local
Dravidian deities of the Kandobha, kAttavarAyan, Ceyyon genre finally
accquiring a central position in the religion of the Aryanized
Dravidian elite.

The classic kumara mythology necessarily includes the following
elements: birth through multiple parents the kR^ittikas, Agni and
rudra; take over of commandership of the deva armies; accquisition of
a spear and other weapons and attendents; killing of a demon;
[marriage]

The mahabhArata furnishes 3 versions of the myth which can be
considered the oldest surviving forms of the kumAra myth. The oldest
of these has the important features of the slain demon being Mahisha
and the kumAra having a primitive form very close to the unified
maruts as alluded to in the vrAtya hymns of the atharva veda. In the
succeeding versions tAraka replaces mahishAsura. The next layer of
these myths is seen in the shaiva purANAs with the most classic form
seen in the kumAra kANDa of the shiva purANa. By this time GaNapati
had already emerged as a distinct deity. The next layer of the myth is
in the form of the references to kumAra in the Tamil text with the
usual name murugan- a new demon is now seen: churan- sanskritized as
surapadma. Then we have the kAvya of kAlidAsa and tirumurgAtrapaDai in
northern and southern traditions. Finally the work of kacchiappan
provided in the Tamil version of the kaumAra epic analogous to teh
sanskrit forms.

Following the earliest duplication mahisha was lost in the kumara
mythology and appropriated by the shaktas. This recombination led to
the shaktas incorportation the genesis of kumAra into their tale of
genesis of mahAlakshmi along with mahisha. This act may be linked to
the paurANic bhArgavas of the Markandeya branch. Evidently Nakkiran
and KAlidAsa similarly recombined the popular paurANic form of the
myth with local poetic devices to give rise to their master pieces.
Finally kacchiappan chose for his Tamil epic not the sanskrit
counterpart the the kampa rAmAyaNa as a template and fitted every
thing closely into that. He also borrowed from the popular
shiva-kR^ishNa yuddha of the bANasura myth. This trend of
recombination continued into later times as kArttikeyakarNAmrta used
vaishanavite sources as its template.

Indra & Thor

> IEists refer to indra’s slaying of vrtra as similar to IE myths of a
> hero who slays a dragon.

Actually there are different issues here: The dragon myths and the
demon myths- both of which in my opinion can be traced back to the
PIE period and may even have homologs in the cultures that
diverged even before PIE. The dragon myth,involved the slaying of a
serpentine dragon and is attested in the Indian stream not by the
vR^itra myth but by the ahi myth. Ahi was clearly serpentine entity
quite distinct from vR^itra. Ahi emerges in the Iranian world as Azhi
Dahaka who was slain by Thraetaona with the aid of Verethraghna. Thor
slays a similar serpent termed Jormungand in the great battle of
Ragnarok. Zeus’ battles with Typhon are the greek version of this.

The demon myth involved the slaying of more anthropic entities
: dAnu, vR^itra, namUchi, kUyava and pipru fall in that category. We
see them as the jotunar slain by Thor in Germanic lore and the great
battles of Zeus with the Titans in the yavana world. In this context
some hymns of the early Germanic folk are very reminiscent of the
mantras of shaunaka or vAmadeva:
A hymn to Thor by Vetrlidi Summarlidason:

You smashed the limbs of Leiku, You bashed Thrivaldi
You knocked down Starkad, you trod Gjalp dead under foot.

A hymn to Thor by Thorbjorn Disarskald:
Your Mjollnir rang on Keila’s skull, you crushed the body of
Kjallandi,
you had killed Lut and Leidi, you made blood flow from Buseyra
you finished Hengjankapta, Hyrrokin died before that
earlier the dusky Svivor was robbed of her life.

Here is a hymn of a Germanic priestess Steinunn to the great god Thor
in response to a Christian missionary trying to convert the pagans.
She invokes Thor (who as the thunderer) destroyed the Saxon missionary
Thangbrand’s ship. You can again see deep impress of the Indra-like
deity on the pagan mind and the clear disdain for the fake god Christ
being peddled by the missionary (“The dasas who are anindra!”). In
many ways this is sort of a tragic hymn for it represents the last
bastion of our cultural kin in western Europe. But when we look back
we have many reasons to feel pleased that we are the last upholders of
the great Indo-European traditions that has elsewhere been obliterated
by the Abrahamic maniacs. It is important that we do not lose our
ultimately Indo-European identity in the very least to our internal
negationism and Rajaramism.

He that giant’s offspring slayeth
Broke the mew-field’s bison stout,
Thus the Gods, bell’s warder grieving,
Crushed the falcon of the strand;
To the courser of the causeway
Little good was that god Christ,
When Thor shattered ships to pieces
Gylfi’s reindeer Christ could not help.
Thangbrand’s vessel from her moorings,
Sea-king’s steed, Thor wrathful tore,
Shook and shattered all her timbers,
Hurled her broadside on the beach;
Ne’er again shall Viking’s snow-shoe,
On the briny billows glide,
For a storm by Thor awakened
Dashed the bark to splinters small.

> – Thor was the popular god. (Odin, the king of the gods of the
> Norse, was not widely worshipped, but instead primarily followed by
> the upper classes.) Indra is claimed by some to have been the main
> popular god among Vedist Hindus at some time

Indra clearly was indeed a very special deity for the Indo-Aryans. It
appears that the Aryans considered most of their deities to be
equipotent, but clearly the worship Indra was pinnacle of the core
Aryan religion. The Indra Mahotsava was the most important
public festival and just as with the Greeks, romans or germans the
best of the Indic votary poetry was aimed at Indra. The basic spirit
of Indra worship is far from gone amidst the lay Hindus. Much of
Indra has been transparently transfered to the hero cult of rAma the
ikshvAku.

> – Indra wields the vajra (thunderbolt). Thor wields the mjollnir
> (thunder-hammer).

There are more tied into this comparison. Thor’s mjollnir was forged
specially for him to slay the Jotunar just as tvashTA forged Indra’s
vajra for the slaying of the dAsas and dAnavas.

The nordics used the mjollnir is a rite called the hallowing rite
where they sanctified a bride during marriage or a new born with an
image of the hammer. This was called ‘vigja’. Now this is a cognate of
Roman vegeo- to invigorate, and descends from the same root as
Sanskrit vajra.

> >Stop peddling this myth of Hindu-Norseman bhai-bhai.

You and your like-minded fellows are free to remain profoundly deluded
in your negationist fervor. The opposition that you all are raising to
the Indo-European unification is only going to consigned to the
nearest historical trash-can at end of this confused generation of
Hindus, tossing about as a boat cutoff from its moorings. However in
the mean time it may cause a serious obstruction to the flow of
understanding of the ontology of the Hindu world to its lay
practioners.

> Again, aren’t these 2000 years apart and 10000 miles apart, and so
> either you have to consider these human societies to be as
> deterministic as chemical solutions, or you have to

Context, Context, please read more about other IE cultures with an
open mind. 2000 years and 10000 miles mean nothing in this context. It
is a product of probabilities: a smaller number than the individual
probabilities.

Tag Cloud