Popular Article

Please do read our previous post “What are the similarities between Hinduism and Greek mythology? Part 1

So lets continue……
The next Similarity is between-

Jatayu And Icarus :In Greek mythology, Daedalus was a master inventor and craftsman who designed wings that could be worn by humans so they can fly. His son Icarus was fitted with wings, and Daedalus instructed him to fly low as the wax wings would melt in proximity to the sun. After he starts flying, Icarus forgets himself in the ecstasy of flight, wanders too close to the sun and with the wings failing him, falls to his death.

Icarus And Jatayu
Icarus And Jatayu

In Hindu mythology, Sampati and Jatayu were the two sons of Garuda – represented as eagles or vultures. The two sons always competed with each other as to who can fly higher, and at one such time Jatayu flew too close to the sun. Sampati intervened, protecting his little brother from the fiery sun, but gets burnt in the process, loses his wings and falls to the earth.

Theseus And Bhima: In Greek mythology, to prevent Crete from waging war on Athens, a treaty was signed that every nine years, seven young men and seven young women from Athens would be sent to Crete, into the Labyrinth of Minos and ultimately feasted upon by the monster known as the Minotaur. Theseus volunteers as one of the sacrifices, navigates the Labyrinth successfully (with the help of Ariadne) and slays the Minotaur.

Bhima And Theseus
Bhima And Theseus

In Hindu mythology, at the outskirts of the city of Ekachakra lived the monster called Bakasura who threatened to destroy the city. As a compromise, the people agreed to send a cartload of provisions once a month to the demon, who ate not only the food, but also the bulls that pulled the cart and the man who brought it. During this time, the Pandavas were in hiding in one of the houses, and when it was the house’s turn to send the cart, Bhima volunteered to go. As you can guess, Bakasura was killed by Bhima.

Ambrosia and Amrit: The Ambrosia in Greek Mythology, and the Amrita in Hindu Mythology were the food/drink of the gods which conferred immortality on those who consume it. The words even sound alike, and it’s possible that they share an etymology.

Kamadhenu And Cornucopia: In Greek mythology, the newborn Zeus was nursed by many, one of which was the goat Amalthea who was considered sacred. Once, Zeus accidentally breaks off Amalthea’s horn, which became the Cornucopia, the horn of plenty that provided never-ending nourishment.
In Hindu mythology, cows are held sacred as they represent Kamadhenu, usually depicted as a cow with a woman’s head and containing all the deities within her. The Hindu equivalent of the cornucopia, is the Akshaya patra that was provided to the Pandavas,  producing unlimited quantities of food till they were all nourished.

Mt.Olympus and Mt.Kailash : Most major gods in Greek mythology take up residence in Mount Olympus, a real mountain in Greece, believed to be the realm of the gods. One of the different lokas in Hindu mythology where deities resided was called the Shiva loka, represented by Mount Kailash – a real mountain in Tibet with great religious significance.

Aegeus And Drona: This is somewhat of a stretch, as the common theme here is that a father is led to falsely believe that his son is dead, and as a result dies himself.

In Greek mythology, before Theseus left to kill the Minotaur, his father Aegeus asked him to raise white sails in his ship if he returns safely. After Theseus successfully slays the Minotaur in Crete, he returns to Athens but forgets to change his sails from black to white. Aegeus sees Theseus’ ship approaching with black sails, presumes him dead, and in an uncontrollable bout of grief jumps off the battlements into the sea and dies.

Dronacharya And Aegeus
Dronacharya And Aegeus

In Hindu mythology, during the Kurukshetra War, Krishna comes up with a plan to defeat Dronacharya, one of the greatest generals in the enemy camp. Bhima kills an elephant called Ashwattama, and runs around celebrating that he has killed Ashwattama. As it’s the name of his only son, Drona goes to ask Yudhistra if this was true – because he never lies. Yudhistra says that Ashwattama is dead, and as he continued saying that it’s not his son but an elephant,  Krishna blows his conch to muffle Yudhistra’s words. Stunned that his son has been killed, Drona drops his bow and using the opportunity Dhrishtadyumna beheads him.

War on Lanka And War on Troy: A thematic similarity between the War on Troy in the Iliad, and the War on Lanka in the Ramayana. One was incited when a prince abducts a king’s wife with her approval, and another when a king abducts a prince’s wife against her will. Both resulted in a major conflict where an army crossed the sea to fight a battle that destroyed the capital city and the return of the princess. Both wars have been immortalized as epic poetry singing the praises of warriors from both sides for thousands of years.

Afterlife and Rebirth: In both mythologies, the souls of the deceased are judged according to their actions and sentenced to different places. Souls judged as wicked were sent to the Fields of Punishment in Greek mythology, or Naraka in Hindu mythology where they were punished as befits their crimes. Souls judged as (exceptionally, in Greek) good were sent to the Elysian Fields in Greek mythology, or Svarga in Hindu mythology. The Greeks also had the Asphodel Meadows for those who lived ordinary lives, neither wicked nor heroic, and Tartarus as the ultimate concept of Hell. Hindu scriptures define various planes of existence as lokas among other things.

The important difference between the two afterlives is that the Greek version is eternal, but the Hindu version is transient. Both Svarga and Naraka last only till the duration of the sentence, after which the person is reborn, for either redemption or improvement. The similarity comes in that consistent attainment of Svarga will result in a soul achieving moksha, the ultimate goal. Greek souls in Elysium have the option to be reborn three times, and once they achieve Elysium all three times, they are sent to the Isles of the Blessed, the Greek version of Paradise.

Also, the entrance to the Greek underworld is guarded by Hades’ three-headed dog Cerberus, and the entrance to Svarga by Indra’s white elephant Airavata.

Demigods and Divinity: Even if the concept of gods being born, living and dying as mortal beings (avatars) is not present in Greek mythology, both sides have gods descending among men for short periods of time for various reasons. There is also the concept of children born to two deities becoming deities (like Ares or Ganesh), and also the idea of demigod children born to a god and a mortal (like Perseus or Arjuna). Instances of demigod heroes raised to the status of gods were also common (like Heracles and Hanuman).

Heracles and Shri Krishna:

Heracles and Shri Krishna
Heracles and Shri Krishna


Heracles Fighting With Serpentine Hydra and Lord Krishna Defeating Serpent Kaliya. Lord Krishna didn’t kill Kalingarayan (Serpent kaliya), instead he asked him to leave the Yamuna river and go away from Brindavan. Simialrly, Heracles did not kill Serpent hydra, he only placed a huge stone over his head.


Killing of Stymphalian And Bakasur: The Stymphalian Birds are man-eating birds with beaks of bronze, sharp metallic feathers they could launch at their victims, and poisonous dung. They were pets of Ares, the god of war. They migrated to a marsh in Arcadia to escape a pack of wolves. There they bred quickly and swarmed over the countryside, destroying crops, fruit trees, and townspeople. They were killed by Heracles.

Killing of Stymphalian And Bakasur
Killing of Bakasur And Stymphalian

Bakasura, the Crane Demon, simply got greedy.  Lured by Kamsa’s promises of rich and swanky rewards, Bakasura “tricked” Krishna to come close – only to betray the boy by swallowing him.  Krishna forced his way out of course and put an end to him.

Killing of Cretan Bull And Arishtasura : Cretan bull had been wreaking havoc on Crete by uprooting crops and leveling orchard walls. Heracles sneaked up behind the bull and then used his hands to strangle it, and then shipped it to Eurystheus in Tiryns.

Killing of Arishtasura And Cretan Bull
Killing of Arishtasura And Cretan Bull

A true bull-y in every sense of the word.  Aristasur the Bull Demon stormed into town and challenged Krishna to a bull fight that all the heavens watched.

Killing of Horses Of Diomedes and keshi : Horses Of Diomedes were four man-eating horses in Greek mythology. Magnificent, wild, and uncontrollable, they belonged to the giant Diomedes, king of Thrace who lived on the shores of the Black Sea. Bucephalus, Alexander the Great’s horse, was said to be descended from these mares. Heracles the Greek hero slays the horses of Diomedes.

Killing of Keshi the demon horse And Horses Of Diomedes
Killing of Keshi the demon horse And Horses Of Diomedes

Keshi the Horse Demon was apparently mourning the loss of so many of his fellow rakshasa friends, so he approached Kamsa to sponsor his battle against Krishna. Shri Krishna Killed him.

Please do read our previous post “What are the similarities between Hinduism and Greek mythology? Part 1

Post Credits:
Sunil Kumar Gopal
HinduFAQ’s Krishna

Image Credits:
To the owner

There are many similarities among different mythical characters of different epics. I dont know whether they are same or related to each other. Same thing is there in Mahabharata and Trojan war. I wonder if our mythology is influenced by theirs or theirs by ours! I guess we used to live in the same area and now we had different versions of same epic. Here I have compared some of the characters and I tell you this is very interesting.

The most obvious parallel is between Zeus and Indra:

Indra and Zeus
Indra and Zeus

Zeus, the God of rains and thunder is the most worshipped God in Greek Pantheon. He is the king of Gods. He carries with himself a thunderbolt.Indra is the God of rains and thunder and he too carries a thunderbolt called Vajra. He is also the king of Gods.

Yama and Hades
Yama and Hades

Hades and Yamraj : Hades is the God of the netherworld and death. A similar role is carried by Yama in the Indian Mythology.

Achilles and Lord Krishna: I think Krishna and Achilles both were the same. Both were killed by an arrow piercing their heel and both are the heroes of the two of the world’s greatest epics. Achilles heels and Krishna’s heels were the only vulnerable point on their bodies and the reason of their deaths.

Achilles and Lord Krishna
Achilles and Lord Krishna

Krishna dies when Jara’s arrow pierces his heel. Achilles death was caused by an arrow in his heel too.

Atlantis and Dwarka:
Atlantis is a legendary island. It is said that after a failed attempt to invade Athens, Atlantis sank into the ocean “in a single day and night of misfortune.” In Hindu Mythology, Dwarka, a city built by Vishwakarma on the order of Lord Krishna is supposed to have suffered a similar fate of submersion into the sea after a war among the Yadavas, the descendants of Lord Krishna.

Karna and Achilles: Karna’s kawach (armour) has been compared with that of Achilles’s Styx-coated body. He has been compared to the Greek character Achilles on various occasions as they both have powers but lack status.

Krishna and Odysseus: It is the character of Odysseus that is a lot more like Krishna. He convinces a reluctant Achilles to fight for Agamemnon – a war the Greek hero did not want to fight. Krishna did the same with Arjuna.

Duryodhana and Achilles: Achilles mother, Thetis, had dipped the infant Achilles in the river Styx, holding him by his heel and he became invincible where the waters touched him—that is, everywhere but the areas covered by her thumb and forefinger, implying that only a heel wound could have been his downfall and as anyone could have predicted he was killed when an arrow shot by Paris and guided by Apollo punctures his heel.

Duryodhan and achilles
Duryodhan and achilles

Similarly, in Mahabharata, Gandhari decides to help Duryodhana triumph. Asking him to bathe and enter her tent naked, she prepares to use the great mystic power of her eyes, blind-folded for many years out of respect for her blind husband, to make his body invincible to all attack in every portion. But when Krishna, who is returning after paying the queen a visit, runs into a naked Duryodhana coming to the pavilion, he mockingly rebukes him for his intention to emerge so before his own mother. Knowing of Gandhari’s intentions, Krishna criticizes Duryodhana, who sheepishly covers his groin before entering the tent. When Gandhari’s eyes fall upon Duryodhana, they mystically make each part of his body invincible. She is shocked to see that Duryodhana had covered his groin, which was thus not protected by her mystic power.

Helen of Troy and Draupadi:

Helen of Troy and Draupadi
Helen of Troy and Draupadi

In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy has always been projected as a seductress who eloped with young Paris, forcing her despairing husband to fight the war of Troy to get her back. This war resulted in the burning of the beautiful city. Helen was held accountable for this annihilation. We also hear of Draupadi being blamed for Mahabharata.

Brahma and Zeus: We have Brahma changing into a swan to seduce Saraswati, and Greek mythology has Zeus changing himself into many forms (including a swan) to seduce Leda.

Persephone and Sita:

Persephone and Sita
Persephone and Sita


Both were both forcibly abducted and wooed, and both (in different circumstances) disappeared under the Earth.

Arjuna and Achilees: When the war starts out, Arjuna is unwilling to fight. Similarly, when the Trojan War starts, Achilees does not want to fight. The lamentations of Achilles over the dead body of Patroclus are similar to lamentations of Arjuna over the dead body of his son Abhimanyu. Arjuna laments over the dead body of his son Abhimanyu and pledges to kill Jaydrath the following day. Achilles laments on the dead pody of his brother Patroculus, and pledges to kill Hector the following day.

Karna and Hector:

Karna and Hector:
Karna and Hector:

Draupadi, although loves Arjuna, begins to have a soft corner for Karna. Helen, although loves Paris, begins to have a soft corner for Hector, for she knows that Paris is useless and not respected while Hector is the warrior and well respected.

Please do read our Next post “What are the similarities between Hinduism and Greek mythology? Part 2” to continue reading.

Please Visit our previous post Did Ramayana Actually Happen? Ep I : Real places from Ramayana 1 – 5 Before reading this post.

Our first 5 places were :

1. Lepakshi,  Andhra Pradesh

2. Ram Sethu/ Ram Setu

3. Koneswaram Temple in Sri Lanka

4. Sita Kotua and Ashoka Vatika, Sri Lanka

5. Divurumpola in Sri Lanka

Lets start Real places from Ramayana Place no 6

6. Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu
Rameswaram is the closest point to reach Sri Lanka and geological evidence suggests that the Ram Setu or Adam’s Bridge was a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka.

Rameswaram temple
Rameswaram temple

Rameswara means “Lord of Rama” in Sanskrit, an epithet of Shiva, the presiding deity of the Ramanathaswamy Temple.According to Ramayana, Rama prayed to Shiva here to absolve any sins that he might have committed during his war against the demon-king Ravana in Sri Lanka. According to the Puranas (Hindu scriptures), upon the advice of sages, Rama along with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshmana, installed and worshipped the lingam (an iconic symbol of Shiva) here to expiate the sin of Brahmahatya incurred while killing of the Brahmin Ravana. To worship Shiva, Rama wanted to have the largest lingam and directed his monkey lieutenant Hanuman to bring it from Himalayas. Since it took longer to bring the lingam, Sita built a small lingam, which is believed to be the one in the sanctum of the temple. Support for this account is found in some of the later versions of the Ramayana, such as the one penned by Tulasidas (15th century). Sethu Karai is a place 22 km before the island of Rameswaram from where Rama built Ram Setu, the Adam’s bridge, that further continued to Dhanushkodi in Rameswaram till Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. According to another version, as quoted in Adhyatma Ramayana, Rama installed the lingam before the construction of the bridge to Lanka.

Rameshwaram temple corridor
Rameshwaram temple corridor

7. Panchavati, Nashik
Panchavati is the place in the forest of Dandakaranya (Danda Kingdom), where Rama built his home along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman during their period of exile in the wilderness. Panchavati literally means “a garden of five banyan trees”. These trees are said to have been there during the exile of Lord Rama.
There is a place called Tapovan where Lakshmana, the brother of Rama, cut off the nose of Surpanakha, the sister of Ravana, when she attempted to kill Sita. The entire Aranya Kanda (book of the forest) of Ramayana is set in Panchavati.

Tapovan where Lakshman cut off the nose of Surpanakha
Tapovan where Lakshman cut off the nose of Surpanakha

Sita Gumpha (Sita Cave) is located near the five Banyan trees in Panchavati. The cave is So narrow that only one person can enter at a time. The cave has the idol of Shree Ram, Laxman and Sita. To the left, one can enter into the cave having the Shiva Linga. It’s believe that Ravan kidnapped Sita from the same place.

Narrow Stairs of sita gupha
Narrow Stairs of sita gupha
sita gupha
sita gupha

Ramkund near panchavati called so because Lord Rama is believed to have taken bath there. It is also called Asthi Vilaya Tirtha (bone immersion tank) because bones dropped here dissolve. Lord Rama is said to have performed funeral rites in memory of His father, King Dasaratha.

Kumbha Mela takes place here every 12 years
Kumbha Mela takes place here every 12 years

Credits:
Image Credits: VasudevaKutumbakam

Here are some images that tell us Ramayana might have actually happened.

1. Lepakshi,  Andhra Pradesh

When Sita was abducted by Raavan the Mighty ten headed demon, they bumped into Jatayu, a demi-god in vulture form, who tried his best to stop Raavan.

Jatayu was a great devotee of Rama. He could not keep quiet at the Jatayu fights with Ravanaplight of Sita, although the wise bird knew that he was no match for the mighty Ravana. But he was not afraid of Ravana’s strength even though he knew that he would get killed by obstructing the path of Ravana. Jatayu decided to save Sita from the clutches of Ravana at any cost. He stopped Ravana and ordered him to leave Sita, but Ravana threatened to kill him he interfered. Chanting Rama’s name, Jatayu attacked Ravana with his sharp claws and hooked beak.

His sharp nails and the beak tore flesh from the body of Ravana. Ravana took out his diamond-studded arrow and fired at Jatayu’s wings. As the arrow hit, the frail wing tore off and fell, but the brave bird continued fighting. With his other wing he bruised Ravana’s face and tried to pull Sita from the chariot. The fight went on for quite some time. Soon, Jatayu was bleeding from the wounds all over his body.

Finally, Ravana took out one huge arrow and shot Jatayu’s other wing as well. As it hit, the bird fell on the ground, bruised and battered.

Lepakshi
Lepakshi, in Andhra Pradesh, is said to be the place where Jatayu fell.

 

2. Ram Sethu/ Ram Setu
The bridge’s unique curvature and composition by age reveals that it is man made. The legends as well as Archeological studies reveal that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka date back to the a primitive age, about 1,750,000 years ago and the bridge’s age is also almost equivalent.

Ram Setu
This information is a crucial aspect for an insight into the mysterious legend called Ramayana, which was supposed to have taken place in treta yuga (more than 1,700,000 years ago).

Ram setu2
In this epic, there is a mentioning about a bridge, which was built between Rameshwaram (India) and Srilankan coast under the supervision of a dynamic and invincible figure called Rama who is supposed to be the incarnation of the supreme.
Ram Setu 3
This information may not be of much importance to the archeologists who are interested in exploring the origins of man, but it is sure to open the spiritual gates of the people of the world to have come to know an ancient history linked to the Indian mythology.

Ram Setu
One of a rock from ram setu, its still floats on water.

3. Koneswaram Temple in Sri Lanka

Koneswaram temple of Trincomalee or Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple AKA The Temple of the Thousand Pillars and Dakshina-Then Kailasam is a classical-medieval Hindu temple complex in Trincomalee, a Hindu religious pilgrimage centre in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka.

Koneswaram temple1
According to one Hindu legend, Shiva at Koneswaram was worshipped by Indra, king of the gods.
King Ravana of the epic Ramayana and his mother are believed to have worshiped Lord Shiva in the sacred lingam form at Koneswaram circa 2000 BCE; the cleft of Swami Rock is attributed to Ravana’s great strength. According to this tradition, his father-in-law Maya built the Ketheeswaram temple in Mannar. Ravana is believed to have brought the swayambhu lingam in the temple to Koneswaram, one of 69 such lingams he carried from Mount Kailash.

Ravanas statue at Koneswaram temple
Ravana statue at Koneswaram temple
Shiva's Statue at Koneswaram
Shiva’s Statue at Koneswaram. Ravana was Shivas Greatest Devotee.

 

Kanniya hot wells near the temple. Built by Raavan
Kanniya hot wells near the temple. Built by Raavan

4. Sita Kotua and Ashoka Vatika, Sri Lanka

Sitadevi was kept in queen Mandothari’s palace until she was moved to Sita Kotua and then on to Ashoka Vatika. The remains that are found are the remnants of later civilizations. This place is now called Sita Kotuwa which means ‘Sita’s Fort’ and got its name because of Sitadevi’s stay here.

Sita Kotuwa
Sita Kotuwa

 

Ashokavanam in Sri Lanka. ' Ashok Vatika'
Ashokavanam in Sri Lanka. ‘ Ashok Vatika’
Lord Hanuman footprint at Ashok Vatika
Lord Hanuman footprint at Ashok Vatika
Lord Hanuman footprint, human for scale
Lord Hanuman footprint, human for scale

 

5. Divurumpola in Sri Lanka
Legend says This is the place where Seetha Devi underwent “Agni Pariksha” (test). It is a popular place of worship among locals in this area. Divurumpola means place of oath in Sinhala. The legal system permits and accepts the swearing done at this temple while settling disputes between parties.

Divurumpola in Sri Lanka
Divurumpola in Sri Lanka

 

Divurumpola in Sri Lanka
Divurumpola in Sri Lanka

Credits:
ramayanatours
ScoopWhoop
Image Credits: To the respective owners