Guest Article #36: For the Joy of Sharing

Mythology and Evolution

By Mekhala Chakravarty
Home maker, Bangalore

Foreword by Venkat
Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor is best known for his design of our modern-day alternating current system. He confirmed his inspiration to look at force and matter as energy came after his ‘chance’ meeting with Swami Vivekananda over discussions on the Vedic cosmology. While he could not prove it, the proof came ten years later by Albert Einstein. This serves as a good example to absorb the wonderful parallel drawn by Ms. Mekhala between modern science and the ancient Vedic texts. Mekhala has a wide range of interests across various subjects including Vedic Astrology.

Find your inspiration in the lovely mapping of the modern theory of evolution and the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu in Mekhala’s simple and easy-to-read style!

Mythology and Evolution

We all study biology and evolution as a subject and so have definitely heard of Charles Darwin who is considered to be the father of evolution. His book The Origin of Species has led him to be conferred upon with this title. This happened in the mid nineteenth century. Definitely an undeniable fact, since his works were published and made available to the entire world. Basically origin of species says that first organisms were found in water. Later they developed and got adapted to land life. And at the end human beings evolved. Yes. We accept this because we were taught in our subject and it has recorded facts. What does this have to do with Indian mythology?

The Vishnu Purana which was written in the 500 BC mentions about Dashavatara, the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu. There is also a mention about the avatars in the Bhagavad Gita which is more than 5000 years old. This concept describes evolution with incredible accuracy to the extent of even the social and psychological behaviour of the evolved human beings.

  1. The first avatar is Matsya or the fish which dominated the earth. In the modern evolution theory fishes are regarded as the first largest animals which swarmed all over the planet.
  2. The second avatar is Kurma, the tortoise which shows that aquatic animals evolved into amphibians over a period of time.
  3. The third is Varaha, the wild boar. This evolution says that we are looking at animals which have started living on land completely and not in water anymore.
  4. The fourth is Narasimha, a very large lion faced man, a hybrid, a hominid like creature describing the beginnings of human beings.
  5. The fifth is Vamana, a dwarf. Modern theory says species like homo floresiensis were only three and a half feet tall.
  6. The sixth is the Parashurama. He was depicted as a man carrying an axe. This shows the evolution of mankind starting to use weapons.
  7. The seventh is Rama who always carried a bow and an arrow. This shows how the primitive man started evolving as hunters and gatherers. Rama was supposed to be a very obedient and a truthful person showing the psychology and simplicity of early human beings.
  8. The eighth is Balarama who has a plough in his hand. This shows how the hunters and gatherers started domesticating plants and became farmers,.
  9. The ninth is Krishna, a powerful and charismatic avatar. He depicts the present human being who has to be a charmer and use his cunning to survive in this world.
  10. The tenth is Kalki, showing a horse. Since we are still in the 9th phase, the 10th is beyond our imagination.

2000 years before Darwin proposed the evolution theory, Indian mythology had the facts written and we can find the evidences in the form of carvings in many ancient temples. Though modern temples depict the Dashavatara figures, in the place of Balarama, either Buddha or Mohini are depicted. The conflicts in these carvings and writings of modern age have led us to trust Darwin and discard our ancients. This makes us wonder “Were our ancestors primitive or more modern beyond our comprehension?“

By Mekhala Chakravarty
Home maker, Bangalore


Guest Article #37: My First Sea Voyage

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