Final Myths

Aboriginal Creation myth

There was a time when everything was still. All the spirits of the earth were asleep - or almost all. The great Father of All Spirits was the only one awake. The Great Father Spirit gently woke her and told her to emerge from her cave and stir the universe into life. He said to the Sun Mother,
"Mother, I have work for you. Go down to the Earth and awake the sleeping spirits. Give them forms." The Sun Mother opened her eyes and darkness disappeared as her rays spread over the land; she took a breath and the atmosphere changed; the air gently vibrated as a small breeze blew.
The Sun Mother glided down to Earth, which was bare at the time and began to walk in all directions and everywhere she walked plants grew. After returning to the field where she had begun her work the Mother rested, well pleased with herself. The Father of All Spirits came and saw her work, but instructed her to go into the caves and wake the spirits.
This time she ventured into the dark caves on the mountainsides. The bright light that radiated from her awoke the spirits and after she left insects of all kinds flew out of the caves. The Sun Mother sat down and watched the glorious sight of her insects mingling with her flowers. However once again the Father urged her on.
The Mother ventured into a very deep cave, spreading her light around her. Her heat melted the ice and the rivers and streams of the world were created. Then she created fish and small snakes, lizards and frogs. Next she awoke the spirits of the birds and animals and they burst into the sunshine in a glorious array of colors. Seeing this the Father of All Spirits was pleased with the Sun Mother's work.

She called all her creatures to her and instructed them to enjoy the wealth of the earth and to live peacefully with one another. Then she rose into the sky and became the sun.
The living creatures watched the Sun in awe as she crept across the sky, towards the west. However when she finally sunk beneath the horizon they were panic-stricken, thinking she had deserted them. All night they stood frozen in their places, thinking that the end of time had come. After what seemed to them like a lifetime the Sun Mother peeked her head above the horizon in the East. The earth's children learned to expect her coming and going and were no longer afraid.
At first the children lived together peacefully, but eventually envy crept into their hearts. They began to argue. The Sun Mother was forced to come down from her home in the sky to mediate their bickering. She gave each creature the power to change their form to whatever they chose. However she was not pleased with the end result. The rats she had made had changed into bats; there were giant lizards and fish with blue tongues and feet. However the oddest of the new animals was an animal with a bill like a duck, teeth for chewing, a tail like a beavers and the ability to lay egg. It was called the platypus.
The Sun Mother looked down upon the Earth and thought to herself that she must create new creatures less the Father of All Spirits be angered by what she now saw. She gave birth to two children. The god was the Morning Star and the goddess was the moon. Two children were born to them and these she sent to Earth. They became our ancestors. She made them superior to the animals because they had part of her mind and would never want to change their shape.

The Sun Mother then went on a long journey; from north to south and from east to west she crossed the barren land. The earth held the seed potencies of all things, and wherever the Sun's gentle rays touched the earth, there grasses, shrubs and trees grew until the land was covered in vegetation. In each of the deep caverns in the earth, the Sun found living creatures which, like herself, had been slumbering for untold ages She stirred the insects into life in all their forms and told them to spread through the grasses and trees, then she woke the snakes, lizards, and other reptiles, and they slithered out of their deep hold.
As the snakes moved through and along the earth they formed rivers, and they themselves became creators, like the Sun. 

In the beginning the earth was a bare plain. All was dark. There was no life, no death. The sun, the moon, and the stars slept beneath the earth. All the eternal ancestors slept there, too, until at last they woke themselves out of their own eternity and broke through to the surface.
When the eternal ancestors arose, in the Dreamtime, they wandered the earth, sometimes in animal form -- as kangaroos, or emus, or lizards -- sometimes in human shape, sometimes part animal and human, sometimes as part human and plant.
Two such beings, self-created out of nothing, were the Ungambikula. Wandering the world, they found half-made human beings. They were made of animals and plants, but were shapeless bundles, lying higgledy-piggledy, near where water holes and salt lakes could be created. The people were all doubled over into balls, vague and unfinished, without limbs or features.
With their great stone knives, the Ungambikula carved heads, bodies, legs, and arms out of the bundles. They made the faces, and the hands and feet. At last the human beings were finished.
Thus every man and woman was transformed from nature and owes allegiance to the totem of the animal or the plant that made the bundle they were created from -- such as the plum tree, the grass seed, the large and small lizards, the parakeet, or the rat.
This work done, the ancestors went back to sleep. Some of them returned to underground homes, others became rocks and trees. The trails the ancestors walked in the Dreamtime are holy trails. Everywhere the ancestors went, they left sacred traces of their presence -- a rock, a waterhole, a tree.
For the Dreamtime does not merely lie in the distant past, the Dreamtime is the eternal Now. Between heartbeat and heartbeat, the Dreamtime can come again.

The Great Father Spirit whispered to the sleeping goddess. Yhi awoke and immediately light appeared. Yhi represents the mother goddess image so often associated with fertility and the bringing of life in many ancient Creation traditions.
The mother goddess brought vegetation to life and insects were the first to appear. Insects became an important part of Aboriginal life, both eaten and used as medicine. The witchety grub, for example, was an important insect desert food. Animals were brought to life, their spirits called out of dark caverns. According to the myth, evil spirits attempted to impede the efforts of Yhi.

The world was filled with ice. The light of the mother goddess melted the ice and she created the seasons. Significantly, at her departure, she promised the grieving animals reluctant to see her leave that their spirits, upon death, would live on with the goddess. That the afterlife extends to all living beings is a belief found in many early societies, including the Native American.
From traditional aboriginal art- looks like the modern model for the structure of the universe and indra's net righ

The Australian Aborigines speak of jiva or guruwari, a seed power deposited in the earth. In the Aboriginal world view, every meaningful activity, event, or life process that occurs at a particular place leaves behind a vibrational residue in the earth, as plants leave an image of themselves as seeds. The shape of the land - its mountains, rocks, riverbeds, and water holes - and its unseen vibrations echo the events that brought that place into creation. Everything in the natural world is a symbolic footprint of the metaphysical beings whose actions created our world. As with a seed, the potency of an earthly location is wedded to the memory of its origin.
The Aborigines called this potency the "Dreaming" of a place, and this Dreaming constitutes the sacredness of the earth. Only in extraordinary states of consciousness can one be aware of, or attuned to, the inner dreaming of the Earth.

Hindu creation myth

There was neither non-existence nor existence then; there was neither the realm of space nor the sky which is beyond. What stirred?Where? In whose protection? Was there water, bottomlessly deep?
There was neither death nor immortality then. There was no distinguishing sign of night or day.That one breathed, windless, by its own impulse. Other than that, there was nothing beyond.
Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning; with no distinguishing sign, all this was water. The life force that was covered with emptiness, that one arose through the power of heat [tapas].
Desire came upon that one in the beginning; that was the first seed of mind. Poets seeking in their heart with wisdom found the bond of existence in non-existence.
Their cord was extended across.Was there below? Was there above? There were seed-placers; there were powers. There was impulse beneath; there was giving-forth above.
Who really knows? Who will here proclaim it? Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe. Who then knows whence it has arisen?
Whence this creation has arisen – perhaps it formed itself, or perhaps it did not—the one who looks down on it, in the highest heaven, only he knows – or perhaps he does not know.

From the Rig Veda (10.129). Translated by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty

In the beginning a vast dark ocean washed upon the shores of nothingness and licked the edges of night. Vishnu was asleep on Seshnag the serpent. At the time of creation the vibrant sound of Om filled the void with energy. The night had ended and Vishnu awoke. As the dawn began to break, from Vishnu's navel grew a magnificent lotus flower. In the middle of the blossom sat Brahma. Vishnu commanded Brahma to create the world. Brahma split the lotus flower into three. He stretched one part into the heavens. He made another part into the earth. With the third part of the flower he created the skies. He filled the earth with landforms and trees and plants and animals and birds and fish.
The Creation according to Hindu mythology is not an event that happened once. Creation and Destruction follow each other without beginning and without end. Some mythologies may have only creation and then the universe continues indefinitely. Other mythologies may begin with creation and end with destruction – there would be nothing before creation and nothing after destruction.
Today even science is not certain how the universe began. Three theories predominate. The Steady State theory says the universe was always essentially as it is now and that is how it will always be. The Big Bang theory says that the universe had a specific beginning. There was nothing before that. Even time began with the birth of the universe. The Oscillating Universe theory is one in which the universe expands to a point, then contracts and collapses into a singularity which then explodes into a new universe, repeating the cycle. This has some similarity with the Hindu mythology model.

Out of the Warmth of the Supreme Being there arose Desire in the form of a “primal seed and germ of Spirit”. This seed contained the forces and energy required for the formation of the manifest Universe. Hymn LXXXII says that all the Gods were present in the primal seed. The Sanskrit word used is Devas, which has been translated as Gods, because in Hindi today Deva is used for God. In the Riga Veda Deva signifies “Giver” from its fundamental root. It stands for the forces of nature which have “given” life to mankind and are deified as demi-Gods. Hymn CXXIX specifically states that the exact mechanism of “creation” is known only to the Creator - Who verily knows and who can here declare it, whence it was born and whence comes this creation?
Hymn LXXXII says that the primal seed rested on the “Unborn’s navel”. This is perhaps the source for the Puranic versions that depict Creation starting with the emergence of a Lotus from Vishnu’s navel.

Read more at Suite101: Creation in the Riga Veda: Creation hymns in Hinduism

Popol Vuh

poetic interpretation

The Popol Vuh is the creation story of the Maya. Below is one part of this story that recounts the first attempts of the creator, Heart of Sky to make humans. The story goes on to explain that the final attempt, that resulted int the "True people" was accomplished by constructing people with maize. This is a very reasonable explanation since, in essence, it was the cultivation of maize that gave the early Maya culture the means to change from hunters gatherers to their highly advanced civilization.

Here is the story of the beginning,
when there was not one bird,
not one fish,
not one mountain.
Here is the
sky, all alone.
Here is the
sea, all alone.
There is nothing more
–no sound, no movement.
Only the sky and the sea.
Only Heart-of-Sky, alone.
And these are his names:
Maker and Modeler,
and Hurricane.
But there is no one to speak his names.
There is no one to praise his glory.
There is no one to nurture his greatness.
And so Heart-of-Sky thinks,
"Who is there to speak my name?
Who is there to praise me?
How shall I make it dawn?"
Heart-of-Sky only says the word,
and the earth rises,
like a mist from the sea.

He only thinks of it,
and there it is.
He thinks of mountains,
great mountains come.
He thinks of
and trees grow on the land.
And so Heart-of-Sky says,
"Our work is going well."
Now Heart-of-Sky plans the creatures of the
-birds, deer, jaguars and snakes.
And each is given his home.
You the deer, sleep here along the rivers.
You the birds, your nests are in the trees.

Multiply and scatter," he tells them.
Then Heart-of-Sky says to the animals,
"Speak, pray to us."
But the creatures can only squawk.
The creatures only howl.
They do not speak like humans.
They do not praise Heart-of-Sky
And so the animals are humbled.
They will serve those who will worship Heart-of-Sky.
And Heart-of-Sky tries again.
Tries to make a giver of respect.
Tries to make a giver of praise.

Here is the new creation,
made of mud and earth.
It doesn't look very good.
It keeps crumbing and softening.
It looks lopsided and twisted.
It only speaks nonsense.
It cannot multiply.
So Heart-of-Sky lets it dissolved away.
Now Heart-of-Sky plans again.
Our Grandfather and Our Grandmother are summoned.
They are the most wise spirits.
"Determine if we should carve people from wood,"
commands Heart-of-Sky.
They run their hands over the kernels of corn.
They run their hands over the coral seeds.
"What can we make that will speak and pray?
asks Our Grandfather.
What can we make that will nurture and provide?"
asks Our Grandmother.
They count the days,
the lots of four,
seeking an answer for Heart-of-Sky.
Now they give the answer,
"It is good to make your people with wood.
They will speak your name.
They will walk about and multiply."
"So it is," replies Heart-of-Sky.
And as the words are spoken, it is done.
The doll-people are made
with faces carved from wood.
But they have no blood, no sweat.
They have nothing in their minds.
They have no respect for Heart-of-Sky.
They are just walking about,
But they accomplish nothing.
"This is not what I had in mind,"
says Heart-of-Sky.
And so it is decided to destroy
these wooden people.
Hurricane makes a great rain.
It rains all day and rains all night.
There is a terrible flood
and the earth is blackened.
The creatures of the forest
come into the homes of the doll-people.
"You have chased us from our homes
so now we will take yours,"
they growl.
And their dogs and turkeys cry out,
"You have abused us
so now we shall eat you!"
Even their pots and grinding stones speak,
"We will burn you and pound on you
just as you have done to us!"
The wooden people scatter into the forest.
Their faces are crushed,
and they are turned into monkeys.
And this is why monkeys look like humans.
They are what is left of what came before,

This is the account of how all was in suspense, all calm, in silence; all motionless, still, and the expanse of the sky was empty.
This is the first account, the first narrative. There was neither man, nor animal, birds, fishes, crabs, trees, stones, caves, ravines, grasses, nor forests; there was only the sky.
The surface of the earth had not appeared. There was only the calm sea and the great expanse of the sky.
There was nothing brought together, nothing which could make a noise, nor anything which might move, or tremble, or could make noise in the sky.
There was nothing standing; only the calm water, the placid sea, alone and tranquil. Nothing existed.
There was only immobility and silence in the darkness, in the night. Only the Creator, the Maker, Tepeu, Gucumatz, the Forefathers,* were in the water surrounded with light.** They were hidden under green and blue feathers, and were therefore called Gucumatz. By nature they were great sages and great thinkers. In this manner the sky existed and also the heart of
*E Alom, literally, those who conceive and give birth, e Qaholom, those who beget the children. In order to follow the conciseness of the text here the two terms are translated as the "Forefathers."
**They were in the water because the Quiché associated the name Gucumatz with the liquid element. Bishop Núñiez de la Vega says that Gucumatz is a serpent with feathers, which moves in the water. The Cakchiquel Manuscript says that one of the primitive peoples which migrated to Guatemala was called Gucumatz because their salvation was in the water.
Heaven, which is the name of God and thus He is called.
Then came the word. Tepeu and Gucumatz came together in the darkness, in the night, and Tepeu and Gucumatz talked together. They talked then, discussing and deliberating; they agreed, they united their words and their thoughts.
Then while they meditated, it became clear to them that when dawn would break, man must appear. Then they planned the creation, and the growth of the trees and the thickets and the birth of life and the creation of man. Thus it was arranged in the darkness and in the night by the Heart of Heaven who is called Huracán.
The first is called Caculhá Huracán. The second is ChipiCaculhá. The third is Raxa-Caculhá. And these three are the Heart of Heaven.
Then Tepeu and Gucumatz came together; then they conferred about life and light, what they would do so that there would be light and dawn, who it would be who would provide food and sustenance.
Thus let it be done! Let the emptiness be filled! Let the water recede and make a void, let the earth appear and become solid; let it be done. Thus they spoke. Let there be light, let there be dawn in the sky and on the earth! There shall be neither glory nor grandeur in our creation and formation until the human being is made, man is formed. So they spoke.
Then the earth was created by them. So it was, in truth, that they created the earth. Earth! they said, and instantly it was made.
Like the mist, like a cloud, and like a cloud of dust was the creation, when the mountains appeared from the water; and instantly the mountains grew.
Only by a miracle, only by magic art were the mountains and valleys formed; and instantly the groves of cypresses and pines put forth shoots together on the surface of the earth.
And thus Gucumatz was filled with joy, and exclaimed: "Your coming has been fruitful, Heart of Heaven; and you, Huracán, and you, Chipi-Caculhá, Raxa-Caculhá!"
"Our work, our creation shall be finished," they answered.
First the earth was formed, the mountains and the valleys; the currents of water were divided, the rivulets were running freely between the hills, and the water was separated when the high mountains appeared.
Thus was the earth created, when it was formed by the Heart of Heaven, the Heart of Earth, as they are called who first made it fruitful, when the sky was in suspense, and the earth was submerged in the water.
So it was that they made perfect the work, when they did it after thinking and meditating upon it.

Chapter 2

Then they made the small wild animals, the guardians of the woods, the spirits of the mountains, the deer, the birds, pumas, jaguars, serpents, snakes, vipers, guardians of the thickets.
And the Forefathers asked: "Shall there be only silence and calm under the trees, under the vines? It is well that hereafter there be someone to guard them."
So they said when they meditated and talked. Promptly the deer and the birds were created. Immediately they gave homes to the deer and the birds. "You, deer, shall sleep in the fields by the river bank and in the ravines. Here you shall be amongst the thicket, amongst the pasture; in the woods you shall multiply, you shall walk on four feet and they will support you. Thus be it done!" So it was they spoke.
Then they also assigned homes to the birds big and small. "You shall live in the trees and in the vines. There you shall make your nests; there you shall multiply; there you shall increase in the branches of the trees and in the vines." Thus the deer and the birds were told; they did their duty at once, and all sought their homes and their nests.