If the sun above us could tell us tales from the past, of the ancient beliefs of many civilizations which cultivated the base for human existence and order today, it shall talk of what we call as “myths”. In the early days of mankind, when science was not explored, they still reasoned about the things around them. Such reasoning has, in every culture made stories that we tell our children today to send them off to sleep till dawn. But these stories, in those days were the only source of explanation to their existence and life. The stories bound their lives and morality.
What the oxford dictionary, which defines 187,000 words, thinks about “myth” is, “it is a traditional narrative usually involving supernatural or imaginary persons and often embodying popular ideas on natural or social phenomena etc”. We have been passing them on from the time they were first told by word of mouth or by carefully written scriptures. There is more to it than that meets the eye.
Myths give us a deep insight of the culture and literature of the civilization they originated in. They have been passed on because they greatly instil the laws of goodness, the importance of faith, the power and purity of love, the indignity of lust, betrayal and greed, the face of vengeance and such like, in the hearts of the young listening to them. They are not merely tales but pieces of wisdom which narrate the depth of the meaning of life.
As kids, we’ve heard how a girl fell in love with the Sun and sat every day on cold ground, holding back tears in her eyes and starring at it. Neither food nor water passed her lips for days. The Sun wouldn’t turn to her as it could not fail its duty, to provide warmth and light to the world. As it would rise and set each day, her face turned towards the course of its travel on the sky. One day, her legs grew roots and her face turned into Sunflower. The Sunflower still turns to the direction of the Sun waiting for it to turn to it. Thus is the story of the Sunflower from the Greeks. It has taught us the innocence of love, pricelessness of sacrifice and importance of duty.
We all know that Eve failed God’s faith and gave in to the temptation of eating the apple. Thus she fell for the treachery of Satan and brought evil into this ever beautiful world. Till the end of our lives, this story will live as a warning against treachery and temptation. Passing them on to our next generation is vital as the ideals of these myths stand true and will do so for generations to come. Thousands of myths exist in countries all around the world. They enthral us with their richness and wisdom. Sitting around our grandmother, listening to these “supernatural or imaginary persons embodying popular ideas” we grow up learning about our heritage from them. Though told ages back, they are still very much a part of our lives.