Creation Myths from Different World Religions

For a long time, human beings have asked fundamental questions concerning the creation myths. To date, philosophers, theologians, and scientific researchers have attempted to unravel several theories regarding the origin of mankind (Freund, 2014). Since religion forms the base of human behavior and beliefs, the most accepted creation stories tend to come from religious affiliations.  Interestingly, every religion has their unique creation myth. Some are somehow the same, while others are completely different. The essay describes creation myths from different world religions.

The Buddhist religion teaches more about the world creation. According to the religion, creation takes place repeatedly throughout time. It is noted that at the beginning of each Kalpa (cycle) land is bound to form in darkness and on the surface of the water. On the other side, the spiritual beings that populated the universe in the previous Kalpha are reborn. One of the humans takes the form of human and starts the human race, which is referred to the interval that is taking place in the world today. Eventually the Universe ends up dissolving as all the living creatures return to the soul life and the cycle repeats itself.  The Lam Shenpen Hookham of Buddhism asserts that everything emanates from the Primordial expanse of Openness Clarity and Sensitivity in the form of illusion (Sproul, 2013).  Such forms are seen not to be coming to any existence rather the illusion is created by infinite intricate connections that are not anywhere and not even in time as required. Again, time and illusions are part of this kind of illusion that is emanating from that primordial expanse, thus the whole incident is very mysterious. Evidently, from the Buddhist perspective, there is no problem with life on earth having evolved somehow. Under evolution, many questions are left unanswered in a way that one argues that Buddhism is much closer to creationism as the whole world is created by awareness. The awareness evident shows that human beings who inhabit the earth are very aware of their daily happenings. Moreover, evolution, only gives a kind of history of how the given history unfolds.

In the Hindu religion, there are a variety of creation stories. One of these stories started with the sacrifice of primal man who was named as Purusa (Richardson & Leah, 2015). The body of Purusa was referred to as the entire universe while the lower parts of his body were the earth and the rest of the body became the heavens. It was noted that the various castes of human came from parts of the Purusa body as his arms became the warriors. His legs were converted to be commoners and his feet the serfs. There were the ancient Purunas Vedic books that evidenced that the universe formed from the breath of their God named as Vishnu. The last for the duration of one exhalation and inhalation with each breath also proved that countless universe emanated from Vishnu in seed like forms that expanded over a long period of time. Vishnu was noted to multiply himself in as many forms as there are universal and enters into each universe.

Consequently, the Hindu creation theory evidence that before the creation time began, there was no heaven, no earth, and there was no space between. Moreover, there was a vast dark Ocean that was washed upon the shores of nothing and additionally the edges of the whole night was licked (Richardson & Leah, 2015). There was giant cobra that floated on the waters as controlled by Lord Vishnu.  At this time of creation, the night had ended and Vishnu awoke as the dawn began to break. During this time of the day, a magnificent lotus flower was seen to grow on Vishnu’s navel. In the middle of the flowers blossom, Vishnu’s servant named Braham sat down to wait of his Lord command. It was then Vishnu commanded that it is the time to create the world that his Servant Braham vowed. A strong wind blew and swept the waters, making both Vishnu and his servant Braham to vanish. Moreover, Braham remained in the Lotus flower, floating and tossing of the sea. He was so powerful that he lifted his hands to calm both the seal and the ocean.  

The Christianity creation theory can be found in the bible, particularly the book of Genesis (Richardson & Leah, 2015). Here, God is believed to be the controller of all the creation and all the happenings of the world. The story of Christian creation describes the creation of light, darkness, and the living things. The creation of all these things took place in six days, according to the Christian creation theory and on the seventh day, God rested. By counting all the Kings of the generations of ancestors in the bible, one would approximately calculate that creation took place like 4000 years ago. Moreover, in the current world it is accepted that the creation story is more mythic and should be taken simply that a story that is used describe that God is all powerful. It is true that some Christians try their best to explain that the creation story was written by some human beings and not dictated by God Himself. However, many fundamentalists Christians argue that the universe really was created as described in Genesis and God was the main dictator of the whole process that took place.

Consequently, the difficulties linked to the Christians creation theory are more insurmountable. The evidence sought from fossil records, evolutionary biology, archeology, geology, paleontology, Physics and Human history are clear evidence that the earth was formed some years back (Richardson & Leah, 2015). There are two Genesis creation stories that are namely the first creation and the second creation story. The first Genesis creation story is found in Genesis 1: 1, 2:3 and the second creation story is found in Genesis 2:4-25.  Despite the fact that these stories are similar, they tend to contradict each other in every aspect of the whole story. Some have attempted to harmonize what is meant by a day in the creation stories to be 1000 day to link the creation stories to science that states that creation took place over billion years ago. However, there are stories that contradict reality in the sequence of events that are described and in the logic that is used in the whole creation story. Moreover, it is evident that the Genesis creation story has been used as an excuse to suppress and punish scientists who have contradicted it mostly throughout the Christian era and have also been used as instruments in documenting the human understanding of the world. The two creation stories in Genesis were written by different people each retelling the Mesopotamian myth from a slight different point of view referred to as God. Again, each feature used in the story showed different elements, different symbolisms and the use of different writing styles. In the first creation story God is seen to be much more responsible, thus the phrase Elohim is used 34 times. In the second account of creation, God is said to be specific, thus the phrase YHVH is used 20 times.  

Just like the Christians, the Sikhs believe that humans and the universe were the creation of God. Unlike the Christians who believe the creation took seven days, the Sikhs does not care of the number of days of creation . All they believe is that the humans together with all the living things on earth were the creation of God. The Sikhs also believe that the evolution on the earth is all part of God’s plan. The Sikhs also believe that the scientific developments explain the evolution as planned by God. Therefore, none of the information written in Sikh scripture concerning creation contradicts scientific explanations.

The Islamic story of creation also tends to share with the Christianity and the Judaism. Just like Christianity, Islam is of the view that the man and woman to be created were Adam and Eve. The Christians and Muslims believe that humans being faced the wrath of God due to the sins committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (El-Sabaawi, 2005). The only difference between the Bible and the Quran is that the former provides a more pronounced and detailed account of creation. The Christian and the Muslims believe that God created the humans, the earth, and the whole cosmos. The Muslims agree with the Christians that God is fully in charge of all forms of life in the universe. Therefore, the Muslim myth of creation is very close to the Christian myth of creation.

Jainism tends to hold a very divergent view concerning creation. Unlike other religions, the Jains does not believe that some superior being is responsible for the human creation nor the universe. The Jains believe that the humans and all the things that exist on the earth and the whole universe are a result of universal natural laws (Richardson & Leah, 2015). The Jains myth of creation is more scientific as they believe that it is not possible to create something out of nothing. Therefore, they believe that the souls of all the living things have always existed at all times. The Jains differ with the Christians, the Muslims, and the Sikhs who believe that God created the humans and the universe. The Jains argues that it is not logical for immaterial god to make any material in the universe.

In conclusion, religious background provides the strongest creation myths due to the strong belief in religion. However, these religious myths tend to vary from one religion to another. Hinduism and Buddhism tend to have a complex account of creation that does not resemble other religious creation myths. Despite the differences, the Christian creation myths tend to be very close with the Islamic creation myth. However, the Jainism creation myth tends to be the most extreme creation myth as it differs with most religions. Unlike other religions, the Jains does not believe that neither the earth nor the human beings were created by a superior being called god.

 

 

References

El-Sabaawi, L. (2005). “No God but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam.” The Middle East Journal 59.2 (5): 339.

Freund, P. (2014). Myths of Creation. Peter Owen Publishers

Richardson, E & Leah, M. (2015). Islam for Beginners: Basics of Islam and Muslim Customs, Amazon Digital Services

Sproul, B.C. (2013). Primal Myths: Creation Myths Around the World. HarperOne Publishers