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You Can’t Get Here From There: The Logical Paradox Of Ancient Indian Creation Myths

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Chapter Summary

Creation myths tackle the problem of the ultimate origin of it all, of the beginning of life out of non-life, at three different basic levels: creation of the universe, of the human race, or of the individual human being, the embryo. The most explicit Vedic discussion of the origins of the human race, the "Hymn of Man" (the purusha sukta), is also the most explicitly hierarchical hymn in the whole of the Rig Veda. The idea of the cyclicity of time leads to the circle of karma and rebirth in each individual life, which carries with it from the start the idea of escaping from that very circularity. Hindu texts imagine the reincarnating soul meditating on its next life in the womb of the soul's future mother, where it not only remains fully conscious but remembers its previous lives.

Keywords: ancient Indian creation myths; embryo; human race; karma; Rig Veda; Vedic Hymn of Man



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