Understanding Indian Myths

Understanding Indian Myths

by Colin Hynson
     
 

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Ancient peoples created myths to help explain the world around them-creation, death and the underworld, seasons and agriculture, natural disasters, class structure in society, and commerce. Myths Understood features important myths from different ancient cultures and describes the roles and relationships of the gods that were the foundation of their

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Overview

Ancient peoples created myths to help explain the world around them-creation, death and the underworld, seasons and agriculture, natural disasters, class structure in society, and commerce. Myths Understood features important myths from different ancient cultures and describes the roles and relationships of the gods that were the foundation of their religions.

Understanding Indian Myths explores the roles and relationships of the heroes and gods of ancient India. Several ancient myths, including "Brahma Creates the Universe," "The Story of Rama and Sita," and "The Three Cities in the Sky," are retold, describing how these stories helped people in ancient India interpret their world.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Rama and Sita—ancient Indian myths of the gods explained creation, life and death, marriage and sex. In this profusely illustrated volume of the "Myths Understood" series, a color map of India shows that Hinduism is now the predominant religion, with pockets of Sikhism, Buddhism, and Islam. Many myths originated in India's ancient epics: as long ago as 1500 BCE, the Vedic civilization's pantheon included Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the preserver, and Shiva, the destroyer; Lakshmi was the goddess of prosperity, while elephant-headed Ganesh brought good luck and wisdom. Buddhism originated in India with Siddhartha Gautama, called Buddha; a wheel of eight spokes represents his path to enlightenment. Other worshippers were Jains, sharing with Hindus and Buddhists a belief in reincarnation and the importance of karma (cause and effect) in one's next life; both believe in non-violence (practiced by Mahatma Gandhi) and demonstrated by the prohibition of killing sacred cattle. Author Hynson relates numerous myths, such as the tale of how Ganesh got his elephant head and of Prince Prahlad, rescued from a witch's fire by Vishnu (celebrated as a spring festival where people throw colored paint powders at each other). Photographs show other present-day Indian festivals: Diwali, when Hindus light candles, settle their debts, and offer gifts to Lakshmi, or the rite of bathing in the sacred Ganges River that washes away sins. Illustrations show readers antique paintings of the gods, whose images are often seen today in carvings and statues, while ancient India's legacy persists in films (Avatar was influenced by Indian myths), dance, and music—often fused with Western styles—created by composers like Ravi Shankar. A time chart and a list of books and websites will be helpful. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780778745242
Publisher:
Crabtree Publishing Company
Publication date:
12/28/2012
Series:
Myths Understood Series
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.29(w) x 10.03(h) x 0.34(d)
Lexile:
990L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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