My friend and I were working on homework in Trojan Hall. I asked him if he knew of any Indian folklore. The first legend he gave me was “The Birth of Ganesha”, the second was “Vishnu and Nardar”, here is the third:
S: “This is perhaps the most well-known Hindu belief for the creation of the world…
There was no heaven, earth, or space in-between. The world was a large, dark vast ocean that licked the edges of Night. In the ocean, a giant cobra floats asleep in the water. In the endless coils of the cobra is Lord Vishnu. Vishnu watches over the serpent. Everything is peaceful, silent, and Lord Vishnu is undisturbed. From the depths of the sea, Vishnu begins to hear the noise ‘om’ which awakens him. As the dawn begins to break, a lotus opens releasing Vishnu and the serpent, Brahma.
Vishnu commands the snake, ‘its time to start, create the world.’
In that instant, the wind picks up the water and Vishnu vanishes. However, the serpent remained in the lotus floating and tossing in the sea. He lifts up his arms and calms the wind and sea, then Brahma splits the lotus into three pieces. One was the heavens, the second was the earth, and the third was the skies. The earth was bare, Vishnu created all vegetation. To every flower and tree he gave a way for them to feel. Then he created animals. Brahma gives every living thing the power to have sensations and feelings, and from then on that is the world.”
The creation story is a part of the Rigveda, which explains why he knows it so well. His grandfather was the first to ever tell him the creation myth. My friend said that his grandfather keeps his family grounded in Hindu traditions so it is only appropriate that his grandfather is charged with telling the creation story.
I really enjoyed hearing the creation story from my friend because his voice was full of passion and genuine interest the entire time. The Hindu way of explaining the world’s creation is so peaceful and tranquil when compared to other cultures. I find it interesting that the Christian creation myth places the snake into a negative connotation while the Hindu creation myth elevates the snake and places it on an equal level with the gods.