Download Ancient India 2 PDF

TitleAncient India 2
File Size13.7 MB
Total Pages95
Table of Contents
                            CONTENTS
The Magic of Myths
Part 1 - MEET THE ANCIENT INDIANS
A Sacred Land
A Long and Glorious History
The Growth of Hinduism
The Hindu Gods and Goddesses
Hindu Beliefs and the Caste System
The Ideal Path
Part 2 - TIMELESS TALES OF ANCIENT INDIA
The Origins of the World: Brahma Emerges from the Lotus Flower
The Fifth Incarnation of Vishnu: Vamana and the Three Steps
The Seventh Incarnation of Vishnu: The Ramayana
Faces of the Great Goddess: Durga Slays the Buffalo Demon
The Remover of Obstacles: How Ganesha Got His Elephant Head
Stories of the Buddha: Jataka Tales
GLOSSARY
SOURCES OF THE MYTHS
TO FIND OUT MORE
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
NOTES ON QUOTATIONS
INDEX
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

title page.eps


MCC:Myths Of The World - Ancient India - 26812
CPL1108-21 / 4272

Final Myths-India interior_ 11/11/08 3:31 PM Page 3

Page 2

title page.eps


MCC:Myths Of The World - Ancient India - 26812
CPL1108-21 / 4272

Final Myths-India interior_ 11/11/08 3:31 PM Page 2

Page 47

IN DAYS OF OLD, King Dasharatha dwelled in a snow white palacein the fabled city of Ayodhya. Dasharatha was a righteous king, well
loved by his subjects and renowned for his wisdom and devotion to duty.
One thing only did he lack: a son to inherit his kingdom.

So Dasharatha summoned his priests and
advisers. “You must prepare a great sacrifice,” he
commanded them. “If the offerings please the
gods, they may send a son to brighten my autumn
years and rule the kingdom after my death.”

Soon the fragrant scent of the sacrifice rose to
the heavens. The gods looked down with pleasure.

It happened that they were already assembled, trying to decide what
to do about Ravana. The cruel demon king had drunk the blood of
many innocent humans. He had interfered with men’s holy sacrifices.
Now he was threatening to overthrow the gods and take over heaven
itself! No one dared to defy the demon, because he was protected by
a great power. Long ago, Brahma had rewarded Ravana for his tireless
prayers and fasting by granting him a special wish: no god or demon
could ever defeat him.

“It is your fault that Ravana defies the hosts of heaven,” all the gods
said to Brahma. “You must find some way to rid the world of this invin-
cible demon.”

“It is true that I granted Ravana protection from all the beings of
heaven and the underworld,” Brahma answered. “But in his arrogance,
he did not consider the threat from mere mortals. No god or demon
can take the fiend’s life, but a man could slay him. For the good of

Heroic Rama, men

proclaim the

marvels of thy

matchless fame.

-
the Ramayana

The Birth of Rama

ANCIENT INDIA48

MCC:Myths Of The World - Ancient India - 26812
CPL1108-21 / 4272

Final Myths-India interior_ 11/11/08 3:36 PM Page 48

Page 48

Myth_3c.eps


Vishnu rides on
the shining
eagle Garuda.

49

heaven and earth, let us ask Vishnu to
accept birth as that man.”

As Brahma spoke, a dazzling light
filled the universe. Vishnu drew near,
riding on his golden eagle. “I shall be
born on earth as the son of King
Dasharatha,” said the champion of
the gods. “In human form I shall
smite the fiend Ravana.”

At that very moment, the flames
of Dasharatha’s sacrifice leaped up
on earth. A giant figure robed all in
red stepped forth from the fire. In his
hands was a golden goblet filled with
the nectar of the gods. “The god of
gods has sent me,” the divine mes-
senger told the king. “Take this cup to
your queens. Let them drink the heavenly nectar, and they shall bear
you sons.”

Dasharatha took the goblet and hurried to his three queens. He
gave half the nectar to his first wife, Kausalya. The remaining por-
tion he divided between his second wife, Kaikeyi, and his youngest
wife, Sumitra.

Soon each of the king’s wives was with child. The seasons passed in
happy anticipation. Then the three queens gave birth. Sumitra deliv-
ered twin boys named Lakshmana and Shatrughna. Kaikeyi had a son
named Bharata. Kausalya gave birth to a boy with skin as blue as the
lotus that blooms in the heart of the jungle. She brought forth Rama,
the god born as a man to deliver the world from Ravana.

The Ramayana

MCC:Myths Of The World - Ancient India - 26812
CPL1108-21 / 4272

Final Myths-India interior_ 11/11/08 3:36 PM Page 49

Page 94

Prinergy Evo_175.eps


95INDEX

Sita and the Demon King,

52–55, 52

Ramayana (poem), 45–46

Rambha (father of Mahisha), 61

Ravana (demon), 28–29, 46,

53–54

reincarnation, 24

religious festivals, 27

Rig-Veda (ancient text), 35

rivers, 12, 13, 15, 15

Sanskrit, 17

Sarasvati (goddess), 21, 22

Sarasvati River, 15, 16

Sarasvati (wife of Brahma), 59

Shatrughna (son of Dasharatha), 49

Shiva (god), 20–21, 22, 50, 61

dance of, 74, 75

and Ganesha, 66, 67–73, 70

Shiva Purana, 68

Shudras, 23, 25

Shukra (teacher), 40–41, 42

Shurpanakha (demoness), 52–53

Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha),

19, 77

Sita (wife of Rama), 46, 50–51,

50, 52–55, 52

“Spring in the Desert, A”

(Buddhist myth), 79–81, 79

Sumitra (wife of Dasharatha), 49

Surya (god), 20, 22

untouchables, 23

Vaishya caste, 23

Vamana the dwarf, myth of, 36,

37–43, 41

varnas (social class system), 23

Varuna (god), 22

Vayu (god), 22

Vedas (prayers), 17

Vedic period, 17, 20

Vishnu, 20, 21, 22, 30, 61, 71

and Brahma, 32, 33–34

incarnations of, 37–38, 40–42,

43, 43, 44, 45–55, 49, 50, 52

MCC:Myths Of The World - Ancient India - 26812
CPL1108-21 / 4272

Final Myths-India interior_ 11/11/08 3:39 PM Page 95

Page 95

Prinergy Evo_175.eps


96 ANCIENT INDIA

about the author

“I can’t think of a better way to learn about the people of
ancient cultures than by reading the stories that held their
deepest hopes and fears, their most cherished values and

beliefs. While collecting these sacred tales, I looked for the
elements that set each culture apart: the special music of the

language, the differing roles of men and women, the unique ways of inter-
preting the mysteries of life. I also enjoyed discovering the many feelings
and experiences that unite all peoples around the world, both past and
present. Pueblo storyteller Harold Littlebird said it best: ‘We know we all
come from story. They may not all be the same story but there is a same-
ness. There is a oneness in it all.’ ”

VIRGINIA SCHOMP has written more than seventy titles for young
readers on topics including dinosaurs, dolphins, occupations, American
history, and ancient cultures. Ms. Schomp earned a Bachelor of Arts
degree in English Literature from Penn State University. She lives in the
Catskill Mountain region of New York with her husband, Richard, and
their son, Chip.

MCC:Myths Of The World - Ancient India - 26812
CPL1108-21 / 4272

Final Myths-India interior_ 11/11/08 3:39 PM Page 96

Similer Documents