LIFE AS MYTH

Index

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JOURNAL

Index

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JOURNAL 2006

Scheherazade Project

Telling untold stories

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SPRING 2006

A living tapestry

Index 2006

Indra's net

The churning of the milky ocean

The birth of the Buddha

Manu and the great flood

Rescuing the four vedas

Dancing in the ring of fire

A living tapestry

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LIFEWORKS

About

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ARCHIVES

Index

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SPRING 2006
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RESCUING THE FOUR VEDAS

Incarnation of Vishnu as a Fish, illustration from a devotional text. Artist unknown. nd.

 

. . . Long ago, when life first appeared on the earth, a terrible demon terrorized the earth. He prevented sages from performing their rituals and stole the Holy Vedas, taking refuge in a conch shell in the depths of the ocean. Brahma, the creator of the world approached Vishnu for help and the latter immediately assumed the form of a fish and plunged into the ocean. He killed the demon by ripping open his stomach and retrieved the Vedas. Four forms emerged from the demon's stomach representing the four Vedas: Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, and Yajur Veda.
Bhagavata Purana

In Hindu tradition, Vishnu manifested in a series of avatars. These occurred in response to a great evil or to enact a specific good upon the earth.  The half-man/half-fish avatar is Matsya.

 

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