People’s views vary as regards the existence of man and the universe. However, a number of factors influence the way an individual views the relationship between man and the universe and the association of people and their creator. Religion is one of the factors that determine a person’s believe in God and this goes a long way in influencing life. Many scholars and philosophers have developed creation theories, as well as principles that explain the possible ways on how the universe and man came into being.
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Rig Veda is one of the creation myths that talk extensively about the how the universe came into existence. In the book of Genesis, the Bible explains the way in which God developed the world and everything contained in it. This paper compares and contrasts the book of Genesis and the ideas of Rig Veda.
The first book of the Bible, Genesis, suggests God created the universe and everything found in it, including the earth, waters, fauna, and the flora. In Genesis 1:1, it is observed that, “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Based on this, the bible proposes that God is almighty and nothing is beyond his reach given the fact he has the powers to develop anything. In the first day, God made the day and the nights while the sky was created in the second day.
In the third day, God made the landmass, seas, oceans, and various types of plants. God made the sun, the moon, and the stars in the fourth day, as he wanted to provide light to the universe. The bible suggests further that God made up his mind to create a human being after realizing that someone was needed to take care of everything he had made. Genesis 1: 26 says “and God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeliness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air and over the cattle and, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creep upon the earth”. In this regard, he created Adam in his own likelihood.
Since reproduction would not be facilitated without a woman, he made Eve out of Adam’s ribs. The two are the ancestors of the world since they gave birth to the next generation and took care of various plants and animals. The holy book puts forward that Adam and Eve were the earliest creatures on earth. God took a rest in the seventh day before embarking on his mission of developing the universe further by creating other things that were deemed necessary. Genesis 2:3 says, “And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made”
In the hymn of Rig Veda, there exists a supreme god in the name of Purusu (Doniger 12). In the hymn of the Agni, line one page 1, it is noted that, “Agni is the chosen priest, God, minister of sacrifice, the hotar, lavishest of wealth.” The god is described as having several heads, various eyes, and a number of feet that separated later on to form various bodies. In Vayu, line 1 page three, Vayu is praised as the most beautiful. A section of the god’s body formed the living things in the world while three-quarters formed everlasting life in paradise. As the body of the god divided, various people with extra-ordinary qualities came into being, as those who came from the mouthpart turned out to be priests.
Since the sun is constantly dazzling and typically relied upon in screening things, it is understood that it was developed from his eyeball whereas the moon came from the brain. Rig Veda is a foundation of the Hindu religion, as it explains clearly how the world and everything contained in it were created. In the Hindu traditional culture, Rig Veda was considered very important, which explains the reason why it was passed on from one generation to the other orally. The first writings of the Rig Veda were in Vedic, which was an ancient form of Sanskirt.
Rig Veda and the holy book vary in a number of ways, but they also have several similarities. As far as sameness is concerned, the two talk about the idea of creationism extensively. First, they both underscore the fact that the earth was non-consistent before the creator took the initiative of bringing it into being. In this regard, the two theories tend to suggest that the earth was dark and it had nothing in it. In fact, Genesis 1:2 observes that, “the world was with no shape and void.”
Similarly, the conception hymn from the Rig Veda suggests the fictional was not and the existing was not at that time. The ambiance was not nor the outer space, which is outside. For instance, the hymn asks whether there was something concealed where and who was in charge of protecting it. It goes further to question whether there was water or the earth was an unfathomable abyss. Both theories propose that only the creator would form the earth and make it flourish the way it does in the current society. In both theories, the idea of creating water is captured because the idea of bringing down water from heaven through the rains is captured clearly.
In the hymn of Rig Veda, it is noted that the god of rain was very powerful since he had the powers to help people in the times of crisis, such as war. After killing the serpent that had disturbed people for centuries, the god of rain released seven rivers with an aim of providing an essential commodity to the community having gone for many years without it. In the book of Genesis 1:16, a similar view is captured whereby God sanctioned the firmament in the middle of the waters.
Although the two explanations of creation are similar in a number of ways, critics have been quick to mention that indeed a big difference exists. First, they note the time difference because Genesis was written three-hundred years later after the hymn implying no connection between the two exists. Again, some observe that the hymn was simply meant to please the various gods that existed in India at the time and it had no truth in it because only a few people believed in it.
In fact, chapter ten of the hymn suggests that some human sacrifice was needed when performing certain functions. This makes the hymn of Rig Veda very different from the book of Genesis. For some analysts, Rig Veda simply promotes caste system and apartheid, as it claims that some individuals are superior to others, which is never the case, especially in the modern society.
It is concluded that even though the postulations of the two theories vary in a number of ways, they share several similarities that explain the way the universe and everything it contains came into being. For instance, the idea that the earth was dark and without any form is supported by both, but in different contexts.
Unfortunately, critics view this as the main difference between the two theories because Rig Veda was simply praising the gods and proving to the populace that indeed the gods were powerful. The differences and similarities between the book of Genesis and Rig Veda show that creation is a highly controversial topic. Many theories vary in explaining what could have taken place before the universe came into being.
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The Bible: Authorized King James Version. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.
Doniger, Wendy.The Rig Veda: The Rise of Aryan Power. Penguin Books: Swedix, 2003. Print.