In ancient time, when people did not have the answer to any questions they made the answers themselves and started believing as they are the real explanation to their questions. These answers were in the form of stories called as “myth” A myth is defined as a traditional story accepted as history; presenting world view of people. Hindu religion is one absolute and unending belief which is practiced in form of multiple gods mainly Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer). Hindu religion is famous for its myths. Some of them are given below.
10- Lord Ganesha has Elephant’s head
Once goddess Parvati created a boy with a dust and named him Ganesha. She ordered him to keep a watch at visitors as she was going for a bath. As Ganesha was sitting outside the door carefully, Lord Shiva came and about to enter the room when Ganesha stopped him. Lord Shiva asked him about his identity but Ganesha did not answer him and both got into dispute. As they start fighting, Lord Shiva cut Ganesha’s head and entered the room. Goddess Parvati, surprised, asked Shiva as how did he enter the room. Lord Shiva told her the whole story and that he had cut the head of Ganesha. Parvati started crying and told Shiva to bring his son back. Lord Shiva ordered his squad to get the head of the creature that comes first in their way. The squad thus saw the elephant first and got its head to lord Shiva. The head of elephant was then placed at the boy’s torso and in this way Ganesha got a new life with the head of elephant.
9- The Surya “Lord of Sun”
Surya is represented as a “god of sun”. Surya is depicted as a red man with three eyes and four arms. Two of his hands are engaged in holding water lilies and the third hand is to encourage worshippers. The fourth hand is to bless his worshippers with good health. It is believed that Surya has capability of healing sickness and it is also believed that worship to Surya will bring good fortune. This is the reason why most of the Hindus in India put the symbol of sun over the shops so that good fortune can follow them.
8- The name “Hindu and Hinduism”
The term Hindu or Hinduism is not present in the sacred book but it is invention of foreigners. When Foreigners came to visit combined India, they used to pronounce Sindhu as Hindu. So, anyone living beyond “Sindhu” (Indus River in Pakistan) was called as Hindu and their practice was called as Hinduism.
7- The Ganga “goddess of purity”
The Ganga is a sacred place in Hinduism. It is a river located in India. Ganga is also known as “Ganga ma” (Mother Ganga) or Ganges. The river runs for 1560 miles from the Himalayas all the way to Bengal. It is believed that whoever touches the pious and pure water of this river, all his sins and wrongdoings are forgiven and that person will be purified. People from all over the world come to visit the place and take ritual bath in the water with the belief of purifying themselves. The dead bodies or even the ashes of the dead are taken to the place so that the dead can have the peaceful death. On religious occasion, Hindus ford the boat in river with the shouts as “Ganga Maa Ki jai” (victory of mother Ganga). The place is never empty and plays the significant role in Hindus’ lives.
6- The story of Hiranyakaship and Prahlad
Hiranyakaship was Asura king who lived in underworld and was hostile to gods. He believed that he is the supreme power and forced people to worship him. He tortured people and hence succeeding in doing so. The king had the thought that he would not die ever in this life which made him crueler. As time passed, he was blessed with a son and named him as “Prahlad”. Prahlad was true devotee of Vishnu and consider Vishnu as only god. Hiranyakaship warned his son many times and ordered him to worship him but Prahlad denied. When all the trials seemed a waste, the king tried to kill his son. But he did not know that Prahlad was the only person who, in the avatar of lord Vishnu, would kill him. And in last, the right became victorious over the wrong and the world was saved from the brutality of evil king.
5- Buddha searching meaning of life
King Suddodana ruled the kingdom of Kapilavastu, located in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. He was blessed with a child and named him as “Siddhartha”. The king closed his son in the palace and never let him visit the real world outside his house. Siddhartha knew that he was in the world in order to find something but could not discover. As time passed, Siddhartha became more restless. He asked his ministers to take him to the out of the house for ride. He realized that he was leading a fake life. He saw sick and dying people and got to know that death is the ultimate destination of human life. He left his kingdom and took the path which was hard to follow but he did not give up. And after years passed, he finally found the world within himself; the true meaning of the universe and started preaching his experience with his followers who started calling him BUDDHA!
4- Indra the king of gods
Indra is a man with four arms who rides a white elephant. Indra is considered to be the king of gods. He has the authority of making rain at any time using his weapon thunderbolt. He accomplished different task and is considered to be the god of war. It is said that before each war, he used to empowered himself by drinking a divine drink called soma which gave him enough power to defeat the opponents. It is also believed that the land is separated from oceans is because he split the belly of serpent by his thunderbolt and generated enough water for the humanity and It was Indra who caused the sun to rise. By all means, Indra was lord of sky who served the humanity with his immense power.
3- Goddess Sati
Goddess Sati was the daughter of royal king. She was epitome of divine intelligence and beauty. She was in love with lord Shiva and devoted herself completely. She besides being a princess went to jungle in order to find lord Shiva. Lord Shiva became pleased with her devotion and they became one. Her father did not like Shiva because he was not appealing by his looks and class but sati who did not want to leave both of the important people in her life, burned herself and turned herself in to the goddess of love “Parvati”.
2- Shani Dev
Shani is believed to be one of the most popular gods. He is son of Surya and has a dark complexion. He is also considered as the lord of bad luck. He is the person who is represented as riding chariot and wearing blue clothes and blue flower. Hindus are fearful of his evil planet-Saturn. In Vedic astrology, the position of planet at the time of birth determines the future of person. Shani is the planet that Hindus fear the most for ill-luck. In order to appease Shani, Hindus light a lamp before the image of Shani and read the “Shani Mahaymyaham”.
1-Lakshmi goddess of wealth
Goddess Lakshmi is considered as goddess of wealth, beauty, purity and grace. She was wife of lord Vishnu. She is described to be a lady wearing red clothes standing on the lotus and having four arms. She used to show her love for Vishnu often by massaging his feet. Lakshmi is worshipped in order to get success but she does not remain with those who worship her only for the money. Hindus keep ritual prayers and gathering at home in order to get enough prosperity in the life.