Parallel Myths

Parallel Myths by J.F. Bierlein Read Free Book Online

Book: Parallel Myths by J.F. Bierlein Read Free Book Online
Authors: J.F. Bierlein
Fear of what? Nothing but Brahman yet existed. He was all alone, and in order to fear, there must have been something else to fear. But Brahman was lonely. Even today lonely people often have fear as their only companion, whether or not there is an object to fear.
    Brahman took the form of Brahma, the Creator. Brahma felt no delight; lonely people never do. He yearned for someone to keep him company and his thoughts split the temporary body he was using into two parts, like the halves of a clamshell coming apart. One of the two parts was male and the other female. They looked on each other as husband and wife. To this day, a happily married couple are like two parts of one being with Brahma in both of them. Now Brahma knew that these first humans would need fire to prosper. So he created fire out of his own mouth. In so doing, he singed the hairs off of the inside of his mouth. To this day, hair grows on the cheek, but not on the inside.
    The male and female looked at each other and, recognizing that they were two halves of the same being, they united, making love in the usual way. Humankind was thus conceived.
    But the female thought, “How can he make love to me if we are part of the same being?” So she now tried to elude the male by changing into a cow. But he then changed into a bull and they conceived the race of cattle. She then tried to elude him by becoming a mare; he became a stallion and horses were conceived. So it continued down to the tiniest of creatures. Why did she elude him? Women are still that way; they are often coy and will play hard to get. Men must sometimes change themselves in order to win a woman.
    And so the creatures of the earth were developed by Brahma calling them forth by name and the action of the male and female. Thus, Brahma is inside of every living thing, for they came forth from him.

THE CREATION MYTH OF IRAN
     
    NOTE : The religion of Iran before the coming of Islam was Zoroastrianism, a faith based on the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster. There are about 100,000 Zoroastrians in the world, mainly in India and in Great Britain’s Parsi community, as well as in Iran, where they have been cruelly persecuted.
    The distinguishing characteristic of Zoroastrianism is its duality: the good god Ormazd is in a constant war against the evil Ahriman. Good will eventually triumph, but only after a fierce battle, reflected in this Creation story.
     
    O rmazd is the Wise Lord, the eternal and omniscient source of all that is good. His opposite and the enemy of all creation is Ahriman, the source of all suffering, sin, and death. Ormazd, being omniscient, knew of the existence of Ahriman before the creation of the world. Yet the evil one was then unaware of the Wise Lord; evil ones are basically ignorant.
    Ormazd began his work of creation by casting some of his pure light into the vast abyss of the cosmos that separated him from Ahriman. Ahriman was so shocked that he declared war on creation at the first glimpse of this light. Ormazd told Ahriman that there was no need for conflict; if Ahriman would only bless the creation and leave it alone, all would be well. Like most evil ones, Ahriman is suspicious; he thought that the Wise Lord was negotiating out of weakness. Thus, Ahriman continued his war against creation.
    At this time Ormazd began to recite a sacred verse. Just one word of it so stunned Ahriman that he fell backward into hell, where he remained for three thousand years, allowing Ormazd to continue the act of creation unhindered—for a time.
    Ormazd began by creating his Eternal Attendants, the Immortals, the Amesha Spentas. They are the personifications of the principles of good at work in the world. They include Vohu Mana (Good Mind),Asha (Truth), Sraosha (Obedience), Armaiti (Devotion), and the twins Haurvetat (Integrity) and Ameritat (Immortality). They are collectively called “the children of God.”
    Next the Wise Lord created the beautiful worshipful ones, the Yazatas or

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