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The Diminishing Essence of Mythologies in Society

Being a teacher and keen observer of society, I feel sorry for the people, because of the way they are upbringing the children.

Description and Importance

The word mythology has been derived from the Greek word ‘mythos’. As per the Greek term, it is the study and interpretation of many sacred tales or fables of different cultures. They are known as myths.

Myths are a collection of stories dealing with specific people, cultures, religions, or shared beliefs. They are considered myths because they lack factual basis or historical validity.

These tales deal with allegorical narratives of gods, demigods, and legendary heroes of particular people and their cultures.

These mythological narratives have always been close to the hearts of the people since time immemorial.

They have brought bondings between people. Their religious beliefs and customs have helped them lead and live their lives peacefully.

It has made them frame their customs and practices. These customs and teachings have been very useful and essential in living dignified lives.

There was little known as rampant corruption and characterlessness. Wars were fought but on a religious basis only.

Relevance

Every culture has its mythologies that play an important role in people’s lives. It has become the foundation for a lot of religions and their practices.

These myths aren’t just mere stories. They have served profound purposes in shaping our ancient and modern cultures.

They narrate the sacred tales of man’s experiences and answer timeless questions. These tales even serve as compasses for the next generation.

These myths have great value in literature and offer timeless and universal themes of life. They take us to our past cultures and provide insight into those times.

We can see and compare our lives with our ancestors. They help us to visualize what humanity has in common with the past.

Modern western society has been greatly influenced by Greek and Roman mythologies. The influence of western society can be seen when we compare their progress in science, arts, literature, language, and society building with the earlier Greek and Roman periods.

The Indian society has similarly been shaped by their earlier mythologies, arts, science, and language. Though today it has even blended with the western and other cultures who came to her shores.

Types of Mythologies

There are many known mythologies in the world from very early times. But from among them, the following could be considered more important:

  • Hindu mythology
  • Chinese mythology
  • Greek mythology
  • Roman mythology
  • Egyptian mythology
  • Persian mythology

These mythologies have been the basis for the establishment of many religions and practices. They have shaped cultures and societies. The basis of their teachings is very important.

Teachings

The Greeks and the Romans, through their mythological narrations, highlighted many concepts of knowledge. They taught about the good and bad in one’s nature.

In simple words, both these characteristics can be found in every human being. Indian mythologies also adhere to this same principle. Good and bad personalities exist permanently in us.

Our actions or reactions, in a given situation, bring out that good angel or the devil inside us. It depends on the situation we are entrapped in.

Indian mythologies explain that when we point one finger at another person and call him a devil then the remaining four fingers are shooting back at us.

It’s reminding us that we are four times worse than the other. So it suggests thinking twice before giving one’s verdict on another person.

There are many similarities in concepts of knowledge highlighted by all major cultures, be it Greek, Roman, Hindu, Persian, Chinese, or Christianity.

Some of these teachings, in short, can be summed up as below:

  • You cannot escape your fate.
  • Control yourself and your emotions.
  • Respect your elders.
  • Vanity and greed will always lead to sadness and destruction.
  • Stick by your family and society.
  • Even the best and the strongest persons have weaknesses.
  • Your looks aren’t everything.

If you read any culture's mythology these topics will crop up in the form of lessons and morals to be learned.

Other main teachings should also be understood. Anger is a form of bloodthirsty war. It will be deadly, so refrain yourself and control your anger. We should make it a point to destroy the hydra in us.

Christianity, Indian, and other myths talk about the power of forgiveness. Also if we want to succeed in life, we should be careful in our choice of companions.

While interacting we must be careful in our choice of words and the importance of making correct decisions. Making emotionally aggravated decisions will be harmful in the long run.

The Hindu epic ‘ Ramayana’ teaches us what to do in life. But the other epic ‘The Mahabharata’ gives us lessons on what we must not do in life.

Decreasing Essence

When we minutely go through the scriptures of other religions and their mythologies we realize how earlier societies practiced what they learned from those stories and tales.

They followed it in toto in their daily routine. They believed in them as much as they believed in their parents and the societies they found themselves in.

They found that it was important to be united and trust each other through thick or thin. When we think of ourselves today we are nowhere near those principles.

Roman mythologies described social values. They aimed to explain social and cultural virtues through their stories. These tales revolved around a central character that served the state or nation intelligently and bravely.

The people took these stories to heart and followed the examples shown. Do we try to follow lessons from our mythologies? No sir, not at all. We don’t have time for such ‘fables’. We think of such tales as concocted.

We are imbibed with such greed that everything is only and only our jurisdiction. So we should have the major chunk of all the luxuries of life.

What about the others? Oh! but who cares. Today's human beings think of their benefit only.

The Hindu epic ‘Ramayana’ teaches what is right and how we should live a righteous life. Do we practice it today in reality? Not at all.

We don’t have time to read the lessons even. Our top priority is earning and earning; whether by hook or by crook.

We follow the opposite of what the second epic ‘Mahabharata’ teaches us. It teaches what not to do in life, else our fates will be sealed. But we do wrong deeds to win at any cost

We think that as long as we are alive we must do everything to live a life of comfort, luxury, and splendor. So who cares as after death all is over. Then our children will live comfortably.

Can we ascertain minutely our present situation? If we do, it can be realized that today our scriptures, mythologies, and their teachings are useless and obsolete for us.

Call To Action

It is quite clear that the principles of all religions are the same, and the mythologies give the same lessons through different means and stories.

Everywhere it’s stated to live in peace and harmonious brotherhood. In simple words “live and let live”.

The importance of unity has to be remembered. We should keep in mind “United we stand, divided we fall”.

This change in our perceptions can only come about if we pledge to change ourselves. Our coming generation also has to be taught the scriptures and the essence of all mythological teachings.

It must be remembered that our preachings and practice have to be the same. We shouldn’t have different sets of teeth for eating and threatening.

Remember not to put off the change for the morrow. It’s now or never. The choice is for humanity to take or face the consequences.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Bharat Sharan

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