World creation stories are the mythological stories that explain the inception of the world in one way or another. The only differences we get to see in these stories are from the cultural influences where these stories are written.
The curious minds always crave for answers and what’s better than asking about our existence as whole!
The ultimate question that has been troubling the humans since the first of our kind; how we humans and our world came into being? The answer to this ultimate question came to us in the form of mythical stories.
These are some of those incredible creation stories from around the world.
Maori people have their own myths about the creation of the world just like other cultures. Ranginui and Papatūānuku are the primordial parents, the sky father and the earth mother who lie locked together in a tight embrace. They have many children all of whom are male, who are forced to live in the cramped darkness between them. These children grow and discuss among themselves what it would be like to live in the light. Tūmatauenga, the fiercest of the children, proposes that the best solution to their predicament is to kill their parents.
But his brother Tāne disagrees, suggesting that it is better to push them apart, to let Ranginui be as a stranger to them in the sky above while Papatūānuku will remain below to nurture them. The others put their plans into action - Rongo, the god of cultivated food, tries to push his parents apart, then Tangaroa, the god of the sea, and his sibling Haumia-tiketike, the god of wild food, join him.
In spite of their joint efforts Rangi and Papa remain close together in their loving embrace. After many attempts Tāne, god of forests and birds, forces his parents apart. Instead of standing upright and pushing with his hands as his brothers have done, he lies on his back and pushes with his strong legs. Stretching every sinew Tāne pushes and pushes until, with cries of grief and surprise, Ranginui and Papatūānuku were pried apart.
The different creation myths have some elements in common. They all held that the world had arisen out of the lifeless waters of chaos, called Nu. They also included a pyramid-shaped mound, called the benben, which was the first thing to emerge from the waters. These elements were likely inspired by the flooding of the Nile River each year; the receding floodwaters left fertile soil in their wake, and the Egyptians may have equated this with the emergence of life from the primeval chaos. The imagery of the pyramidal mound derived from the highest mounds of earth emerging as the river receded.
Mesoamerican creation myths are the collection of creation myths attributed to, or documented for, the various cultures and civilizations of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica and Mesoamerican literature.
The Maya gods included Kukulkán (also known by the K'iche' name Gukumatz and the Aztec name Quetzalcoatl) and Tepeu. The two were referred to as the Creators, the Forefathers or the Makers. According to the story, the two gods decided to preserve their legacy by creating an Earth-bound species looking like them. The first attempt was man made from mud, but Tepeu and Kukulkán found that the mud crumbled. The two gods summoned the other gods, and together they decided to make man from wood.
However, since these men had no soul and soon lost loyalty to the creators, the gods destroyed them by rain. Finally, man was constructed from maize, the Mayans staple and sacred food. The deity Itzamna is credited as being the creator of the calendar along with creating writing.
The (before 4th century BCE) Daodejing suggests a less mythical Chinese cosmogony and has some of the earliest allusions to creation.
There was something featureless yet complete, born before heaven and earth; Silent – amorphous – it stood alone and unchanging. We may regard it as the mother of heaven and earth. Not knowing its name, I style it the "Way."
The Way gave birth to unity, Unity gave birth to duality, Duality gave birth to trinity, Trinity gave birth to the myriad creatures. The myriad creatures bear yin on their back and embrace yang in their bosoms. They neutralize these vapors and thereby achieve harmony.
At the beginning the universe was immersed in a beaten and shapeless kind of matter (chaos), sunk in silence. Later there were sounds indicating the movement of particles. With this movement, the light and the lightest particles rose but the particles were not as fast as the light and could not go higher. Thus, the light was at the top of the Universe, and below it, the particles formed first the clouds and then Heaven, which was to be called Takamagahara ("High Plain of Heaven"). The rest of the particles that had not risen formed a huge mass, dense and dark, to be called Earth.
The Cherokee creation belief describes the earth as a great floating island surrounded by seawater. It hangs from the sky by cords attached at the four cardinal points. The story tells that the first earth came to be when Dâyuni'sï (Beaver's Grandchild), the little Water beetle came from Gälûñ'lätï, the sky realm, to see what was below the water.
He scurried over the surface of the water, but found no solid place to rest. He dived to the bottom of the water and brought up some soft mud. This mud expanded in every direction and became the earth, according to the account recorded in 1900 by the Bureau of American Ethnology.
Au Cơ was, according to the creation myth of the Vietnamese people, an immortal mountain fairy who married Lạc Long Quân (literally: "Dragon Lord of Lac"), and bore an egg sac that hatched a hundred children known collectively as Bach Viet, ancestors to the Vietnamese people. u Cơ is often honored as the mother of Vietnamese civilization.
The myth starts with the creation of the world, when the sky and the earth were one (This concept can be found in most other creation myths; see Chaos and Ginnungagap). As there were no sky nor earth, as a result, there was only an empty void. However, one day, a gap formed in the void.
All that was lighter than the gap headed upwards and formed the sky. All that was heavier than the gap fell down to become the earth. From the sky fell a clear blue drop of dew, and from the earth rose a dark black drop of dew. As these two drops mixed, all that existed, except the sun, moon, and the stars, came to be. From these two drops came humans and even the gods.
The Purusha Sukta of the earliest Hindu text Rigveda mentions Purusha, primeval cosmic being. Purusha is described as all that has ever existed and will ever exist. This being's body was the origin of four different kinds of people: the Brahmin, the Rajanya, the Vaishya, and the Shudra. Viraj, variously interpreted as the mundane egg (Hiranyagarbha) or the twofold male-female energy, was born from Purusha, and the Purusha was born again from Viraj.
The gods then performed a yajna with the Purusha, leading to the creation of the other things in the manifested world from his various body parts and his mind. These things included the animals, the Vedas, the Varnas, the celestial bodies, the air, the sky, the heavens, the earth, the directions, and the Gods Indra and Agni. It is likely that this myth has proto-Indo-European origins, as it is similar to other myths found in the Indo-European cultures, in which the creation arises out of the dismemberment of a divine being.
He begins with Chaos, a yawning nothingness. Out of the void emerged Gaia (the Earth) and some other primary divine beings: Eros (Love), the Abyss (the Tartarus), and the Erebus. Without male assistance, Gaia gave birth to Uranus (the Sky) who then fertilized her. From that union were born first the Titans—six males: Coeus, Crius, Cronus, Hyperion, Iapetus, and Oceanus; and six females: Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Rhea, Theia, Themis, and Tethys. After Cronus was born, Gaia and Uranus decreed no more Titans were to be born.
They were followed by the one-eyed Cyclopes and the Hecatonchires or Hundred-Handed Ones, who were both thrown into Tartarus by Uranus. This made Gaia furious. Cronus ("the wily, youngest and most terrible of Gaia's children"), was convinced by Gaia to castrate his father. He did this, and became the ruler of the Titans with his sister-wife Rhea as his consort, and the other Titans became his court.
The Norse poem that indicates creation starts with the völva requesting silence from "the sons of Heimdallr" (human beings) and asking Odin whether he wants her to recite ancient lore. She says she remembers giants born in antiquity who reared her.
She then goes on to relate a creation myth and mentions Ymir; the world was empty until the sons of Burr lifted the earth out of the sea. The Aesir then established order in the cosmos by finding places for the sun, the moon and the stars, thereby starting the cycle of day and night. A golden age ensued where the Aesir had plenty of gold and happily constructed temples and made tools.
But then three mighty giant maidens came from Jötunheimr and the golden age came to an end. The Aesir then created the dwarves, of whom Mótsognir and Durinn are the mightiest.
The Norse Poem also has a mention of Ragnarok which literally means the ‘fate of the gods’, the battle in which everybody dies including the major gods and the world as we know it. Followed by the recreation of the world.
Nippur is pre-existing before creation when heaven and earth separated.Nippur, he suggests is transfigured by the mythological events into both a "scene of a mythic drama" and a real place, indicating "the location becomes a metaphor."
Black details the beginning of the myth: "Those days were indeed faraway days. Those nights were indeed faraway nights. Those years were indeed faraway years. The storm roared, the lights flashed. In the sacred area of Nibru (Nippur), the storm roared, the lights flashed. Heaven talked with Earth, Earth talked with Heaven."The content of the text deals with Ninhursag, described by Bendt and Westenholz as the "older sister of Enlil."
The first part of the myth deals with the description of the sanctuary of Nippur, detailing a sacred marriage between An and Ninhursag during which heaven and earth touch. Piotr Michalowski says that in the second part of the text "we learn that someone, perhaps Enki, made love to the mother goddess, Ninhursag, the sister of Enlil and planted the seed of seven (twins of) deities in her midst."
Buddhist temporal cosmology describes how the universe comes into being and is dissolved. Like other Indian cosmologies, it assumes an infinite span of time and is cyclical. This does not mean that the same events occur in identical form with each cycle, but merely that, as with the cycles of day and night or summer and winter, certain natural events occur over and over to give some structure to time.
The basic unit of time measurement is the mahākalpa or "Great Eon". The length of this time in human years is never defined exactly, but it is meant to be very long, to be measured in billions of years if not longer.
According to the Qur'an, the skies and the earth were joined together as one "unit of creation", after which they were "cloven asunder". After the parting of both, they simultaneously came into their present shape after going through a phase when they were smoke-like.
Some parts of the Qur'an state that the process of creation took 6 days, Other parts provide detail about creation. 2 days to create the Earth, 2 days to create the mountains, to bless the Earth and to measure its sustenance, total 4 days, and then 2 more days to create the heavens and the stars. In the Quran, the word "day" is used loosely to mean era, for example Surah 70 verse 4: "The angels and spirit will ascend to Him during a day the extent of which is fifty thousand years".
At first there were only primal waters and Sky. But Sky also had a daughter named Ilmatar. One day, seeking a resting place, Ilmatar descended to the waters. There she swam and floated for 700 years until she noticed a beautiful bird also searching for a resting place. Ilmatar raised her knee towards the bird so it could land, which it did. The bird then laid six eggs made of gold and one made of iron. As the bird incubated her eggs Ilmatar's knee grew warmer and warmer.
Eventually she began to be burned by the heat and responded by moving her leg. This motion dislodged the eggs, which then fell and shattered in the waters. Land was formed from the lower part of one of the eggshells, while sky formed from the top. The egg whites turned into the moon and stars, and the yolk became the sun.
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