Indian Mythology & Ethics
Mythology! A collection of beliefs perceived by any individual or any specific religion. But, is that it?
Mythology is sacred, and India has a rich history of such sacred beliefs dating back to the beginning of time. They consist of Vedic literature, epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana, the Puranas, and regional literature like the Tamil Periya Puranam and the Mangal Kavya of Bengal. All of these sacred beliefs have been passed on from generations to us. Nobody knows what the actual story is, but, belief is something you cannot change, ever. No matter how much you try, no matter how much you bend it to satisfy yourself, you have to agree at some point. It is always said Even to believe in nothing, you must believe in something.
Sacred Indian texts have always been a source of inspiration, education, ethics and culture. Many scholars and legends had belief in Indian Mythology. It helps one believe in themselves and sustain through time. The oldest known Hindu Mythology dates to the time of Vedas.
What is Ethics? And how does mythology relate to Ethics?
Ethics is any individual’s belief to do right and make certain decisions which are needed. Ethics is not always doing good, it means taking a decision which will prove to be better for all. Personal Agenda should be kept aside and take on the mantle to make the decision, whether it pleases anyone or not, it should mean good. Indian Mythology has always followed the culture of Ethics, it is embedded in all sacred texts, to make the decision which nobody else even acknowledges.
All of us knows about Ramayana, The story of Lord Rama and Ravana;
The importance of commitment and word; When King Dasratha sentenced his Son to exile for 14 Years just to keep his word to his wife. He didn’t have to but he needed to do so, to honor his word, he made the choice which nobody respected, even though the King wanted to falter his word, Lord Rama made him understand the value of a bond and promise.
Defending the needy; All of us have heard about The Demigod Jatayu, he who fought valiantly against the mighty Ravana to protect Sita who was helpless and suffering. She was being kidnapped by Ravana, and Jatayu without any second thought about his age went on to fight the mighty Ravana. Even though Jatayu failed to save her, this teaches us never to leave a needy without help, always stand up for the weak, No matter what.
Unending Humility; The Mighty Hanuman, he who is physically very powerful, a great diplomat, very articulate, and very wise, never brought his Ego and Pride in the entire story. Despite being the most powerful deity in the entire Ramayana, he never failed to renounce his humility. His humility led him to become a God. The example of Hanuman shows us whatever may happen, never let go of your beliefs, even though you are powerful, treat everyone with honor and respect.
Let’s take a page from the sacred text of The Epic Mahabharata;
Revenge means doom; The Story of Mahabharata and the war of Kurukshetra was nothing but an act of revenge, which led to demise of innumerable lives, both responsible and innocent. The Kauravas lost everything to their blinded desire to ruin their brothers, The Pandavas. The war did not even spare the children of Pandava’s, their five sons and Abhimanyu.
The Epic of Mahabharata shows us the reality of life;
- The Jealousy between the brothers, ended in bloodbath.
- The Silence of elders led to the fall of The Pandavas, ending in war of Kurukshetra.
- Unity is Strength, something we learnt from The Pandavas.
- Pride of Women is important, the anguish of Draupadi was the reason for the fall of the entire kingdom.
- Friendship is sometimes the key to success and liberation.
Ethics has been passed on to us from the beginning of time, it’s our responsibility, despite our belief, to show morality and make wise decisions. It may not benefit self, but should be for the greater good.