by Samvita Amladi
Myths are now being doubted. People are waking up and testing their faith. Whether it be their gods or how they were created. This may explain why religion separates us so much! There is a divide between different religions, e.g. Hindus and Muslims. This essay will compare one myth from each, Hindu and Greek mythology.
The myths being studied are “The Creation Myth of Kali” & “Pandora’s Box”
The brief story of the creation of Kali: The gods were exhausted, they had fought almost all the demons but were still struggling. Meanwhile the demon, Mahishasura assembled an army of demons and declared himself “Lord of the Heavens” & “Ruler of the Universe”. This angered Vishnu terrifically, as a piercing light shot out of his forehead. Shiva too was angry, disturbed from his peaceful state of meditation the god shot out another beam of light in the same direction as Vishnu. All the gods did the same, and gradually it formed the shape of a woman. As soon as the Devi* was created the gods blessed her with powers and weapons which she would use to vanquish the evil demons. She could see the battalions of demons coming. Her enormous size is what they were drawn to, finding it extremely funny, she cackled. She took them all out without breaking a sweat. She was in a trance, angry, starving for victory. Killing everything in sight. Horses, elephants, and demons. The demon king, Mahishasura was long gone but she had not stopped. The gods were afraid of this, they didn’t know how to stop her. Finally, Shiva came up with a solution. Without a thought, he laid down in front of her, playing dead. She was angry, she put one foot on him claiming her victory when she soon realized she was standing on her husband she stretched out her tongue in shame. Anonymous says “When the demons first glimpsed the Mother they charged. The darkness sees the light and does not comprehend it. The ego attacks that which it does not understand or that which threatens it.” (http://awakeningtimes.com) Therefore, the way the demon battalion charged towards her is a metaphor for how the ego assumes, attacks and threatens what it does not understand.
This is the story of Pandora’s Box: Curiosity was personified by the Greeks as a woman named Pandora. Pandora was made by Hephaestus, God of fire. All his companions gave her qualities that were worth plenty. Finally, Zeus gave her two gifts. The trait of curiosity, and second, an ornate, intricately carved, and heavy box that was clamped shut. Zeus warned that the contents of the box were not for human eyes and she was not to open it by any means.
On Earth, Pandora and a titan named Epimetheus fell in love. His brother had been taken away from him, but he found the same companionship in Pandora. Pandora brimmed with the excitement of life on earth. Highly curious, impatient and quickly distracted. Sometimes, her mind did stray away from her life and shift to the contents of the box. It was almost as if the box was calling out to her and sometimes she heard whispering and the contents inside rattling as if they wanted to be free. She was itching to open it. Its captivation became infuriating.
Over time, her mind was consumed with the box. Soon enough, she was obsessed with it. Slipping away from Epimetheus, one day, she decided to open the box. She finally gave in to the force pulling her to it. The box burst open. Atrocious creatures and horrifying sounds came booming out of it. Screeching and cackling, not going back into their prison as Pandora desperately clawed at the air. These were all the horrendous things Zeus had created. To imprison them he kept them in a box, which was entrusted to Pandora. She knew that these events were irreversible, but with her struggle, she had set hope forth to moderate its effect. Maybe some mysteries are better left unsolved because the consequences can be unimaginable.
While these stories are from wildly different cultures both had their similarities.
Both stories had strong female characters. For example, in the kali myth, she is shown as strong feminine energy, Devi. In Pandora’s box, it suggests that Pandora had the power to set into motion a range of effects that could decide the end of the universe. You cannot say who is more powerful because the type of power they have is two different types of power. Kali has the physical power and knows she has it. Whereas, Pandora does not have physical power or mental power. Her power was only discovered once she acted upon her curiosity. This was there to make the reader decide the most powerful. It did not.
Both of them thought they were able to stop the forces of things. Pandora tried to open the box, thinking she would be able to fight the forces of curiosity and be able to take one peek and erase it off from her mind. In the Kali myth, she thought she was able to contain her anger once she set off to vanquish them. But the fumes of blood sent her onto a Killing-spree. The importance of this similarity was to make the reader understand that, some things you cannot control. People think they can control obsession, but they cannot.
Both include how evil was contained in the world. Evil in the Kali myth was shown as Demons and Asuras and in Pandora’s box, all the evil things Zeus had created. This tells us that evil can be stored in many forms, people, objects, etc. That is probably why Voodoo exists.
Both were created for a purpose. Kali was to vanquish the evil that threatened the authority of the gods and Pandora was created to guard the box that held Zeus’s evil creations. Which means everybody has a purpose in life, that they have to fulfill.
However, there are always 2 sides to a coin. These two myths did have some differences though. . These myths as I have said before are wildly different which means it is quite easy to find the differences between them. These myths are from different cultures and religions. One is Indian and a Hindu myth whereas the other is a Greek myth.
Kali and Pandora were chosen for different things. Kali was chosen to vanquish all evil where on the other hand Pandora was chosen to guard the box.
Another difference is how they treated their partners. Although Pandora and Epimetheus were in love she was constantly distracted by other things. This took away from their relationship. She was “Stealing away from Epimetheus” as Iseult Gillespie says (TED-ED). In contrast, Kali extends her tongue in shame when she puts her foot on his body. Pandora does not care about her husband, whereas, anonymous states “When she realized that she was touching her divine husband with her feet Kali stretched out her tongue in shame and the destruction came to an end” ( http://awakeningtimes.com). This means that she felt ashamed- she has a lot of respect for her husband.
The differences are important because they differentiate the myths. Without this, we would not be able to know which one is Hindu and which one is Greek. This is important because it defines religion as well. The differences also provide cultural diversity which is important in workplaces, schools, and countries. This will increase the understanding of different cultures as well as race and ethnicity, overall diminishing discrimination.
In conclusion, the myths are both very different but they have many similarities which unite them and these similarities should symbolize how we should unite ourselves.
- “Creation of Mother KALI.” Awakening Times, Satya Sai Baba, 2016, awakeningtimes.com/creation-of-mother-kali/.
- TED-Ed. “The Myth of Pandora’s Box – Iseult Gillespie.” YouTube, YouTube, 15 Jan. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMdJxVjZMRI.
- Page, Ruth E. “The Importance of Similarities.” SpringerLink, Springer, 1 Jan. 1970, link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9780230286665_4.
- Cartwright, Mark. “Kali.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History Encyclopedia, 16 Feb. 2019, www.ancient.eu/Kali/