Mythology – an essential part of religion

Mythology – an essential part of religion

Mythology, rituals and philosophy are the three main divisions of all world religions.  Its from mythology man starts its religious journey and reaches philosophy for realisation.

Mythologies are not fanciful but portrays the philosophical contents in a lay man’s language.

Srimad Bhagavatam is peerless amongst our puranas, wherein we have the story of  Gajendramoksham.

Indradyumna. the King of the Pandya region, a staunch devotee of Vishnu and an ascetic leading a rigorous life of austerities and self-control, had to incur the curse of Sage Agastya for his discourteous behaviour and had to be born as an elephant in his next life. Indradyumna represents a spiritual aspirant.  Notwithstanding his keen pursuit of spiritual life, he erred in not giving due respect to Sage Agastya and he had to reap the result.  Here it is indicated that spiritual life is as difficult as walking over a razor’s edge and a slip, however unknowingly committed, demands the aspirant to pay a heavy price from him.  Indradyumna’s birth in next life as an elephant represents the    inexorable operation of the Law of Karma and transmigration. Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita – Svalpamapyasya dharmaya trayate mahato bhayat.  Whatever little a man pursues in the path of spirituality, nothing goes waste but helps him in his future moments of spiritual journey no matter whether in this birth or next.

The elephant, Gajendra while stepping into a river to quench its thirst gets caught by a crocodile and is saved by the Lord after its total surrender.

Man filled with egoism and ignorance lives in this world enjoying all the evanescent sense pleasures not knowing the immediate end awaiting for him at his door steps. He enjoys the pleasures of the body and the world as the camel eats thorny bushes even    thought its mouth is bleeding. But, it is not too late for him as the ever merciful God is waiting for his earnest appeal for help.  If he realises his folly and pleads for help from the Lord to let him free from the clutches of the senses and be absorbed in the thoughts of God, surely he receives the help.  God steps forward towards the aspirant and lifts him up from the quagmires of suffering, death and re-birth.

May we open our hearts and render our supplications to the Lord to rescue us from the jaws of suffering and take us to the abode of peace and everlasting bliss!

Swami Nishthatmananda, Ramakrishna Mission Sevashrama,Bela, Muzaffarpur 843 116, Bihar.


2 Responses to “Mythology – an essential part of religion”

  1. Fr. Jack, OMI Says:

    Thank you, please place me on e-mail list
    I lived almost one year at Aanmodaya Ashram, Kancheepuram with my brother, Swami Joseph Samarakone, OMI
    Blessing of light and peace during this Christmas season.
    Fr. Jack, OMI

    • nishthatmananda Says:

      Dear Fr.Jack,

      Glad to know that you were in Kancheepuram. I too have visited that temple city several times. Nice to remember those happy moments. Eager to know your present place of living.

      May the Saviour of mankind, Christ, the Lord make us worthy of receiving His grace!!


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