Clas 3305 Flood Lecture Lec 15 One of the themes which underlies the lectures and discussions for this second term is that of man's relationship to the gods



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Indian Myth: the story of Manu

story told in the Shatapatha-Brahmana (6th C. BCE)


Manu is the first human -- found a small fish in his washwater

fish begged for protection against bigger fish



"Rear me; I will save thee"
"from what?" asks Manu
"A flood will carry away all these creatures; from that I will save thee"
"keep me in a jar while I am small"

"dig a pit for me when I am bigger"

"take me back to the sea when I am grown, for then I shall be beyond destruction"

Mayan Myth: the Popul-Vuh



Popul-Vuh is the sacred book of the Mayans
"In the very beginning, there was only the still sky and the still sea. Nothing moved and there was no sound because there were no living creatures. There was no earth and no sun or moon to give light. Only god was surrounded with His own light, and He was in the heart of the still, dark sky and in the heart of the still, dark sea. In the sky he was called hurricane, the heart of heaven; and in the depths of the water, . . . he was called the feathered serpent.”
God planned what to do:

First he said, "Let the emptiness be filled. Let the earth appear."

and the earth appeared

Not liking the silence, he created animals

assigned their places and their voices



Not finding that satisfactory either, he determined to create man from mud

his creations were soft and limp

they didn't make sense when they spoke

when they got wet, they were even more useless



God tried again:

he made men out of wood

they could walk and talk

they built houses and had children

but, they were dry and yellow

their faces had no expression because they had no souls or hearts
They beat their dogs and they burned the bottoms of their cooking pots

they had forgotten how they were made

and they could not remember any of the names of god

again god was not happy

he determined to destroy them with a flood

they had mistreated everything in their world

nothing would help them

only a few escaped the flood (later considered the descendants of the monkeys)

God tried again

he pondered and planned

he found a beautiful valley with many plants and fruits

he took ears of corn and ground them

he fermented the meal and made nine kinds of liquor

these became man's strengths and energies

he used the meal to make dough to shape man

he made four young and handsome men

while the men slept, he made four young and beautiful women

when they awoke they saw the world -- they could see everything in the world and in the sky



we can see, we can hear, we can move and think and speak, we feel and know everything, we can see everything in the earth and in the sky. Thank you for having made us, O our Father

something about this worried god

these people could see too much

they were not very different from god



he leaned down and blew mist into their eyes

man never saw clearly again





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