Author has written 1 story for Mythology.
"Kicks-n-Giggles"... 'cuz I do this for fun! =)
I love writing though I don't think I'm great at it, which is why I find fictionpress to be my safe-haven for publishing my not-fantastic works of literature and still getting people to read and enjoy them! ... Hopefully!
Reviews are my bread and butter... and my oxygen! So if you like my stuff, PLEASE let me know! If you don't like my stuff, let me know too! Obviously, part of "publishing" on this website is so I can get feedback and become a better writer!
Works I'm working on:
Daksh Yagna (Mythology) - Story about Shiva, the Destroyer's, first wife. http://www.fictionpress.com/s/3089216/1/Daksh-Yagna
Shakti (Mythology) - Part 2 of the above story... to be released after Daksh Yagna's complete!
1. Ramayan (story of Ram and Sita)
2. Krishna Leela (short stories about Krishna)
3. Vishnu Leela (short stories about Vishnu's 10 avatars)
Hindu Mythology 101!
I feel like Hindu Mythology is less-known in the frame of literature, which could be problematic for those of you reading my stories. First off, it's mythology, so it's already a bit unbelievable! =P Secondly, Hindu culture is so vastly different from the cultures you might be familiar with, so that makes the stories even more unbelievable! So here's a bit of an introduction that I hope will help!
3 "main" gods of Hinduism (called the "Tri-murti", which basically translates to "Divine Three"):
1. Bramha - the Creator
2. Vishnu - the Maintainer
3. Shiva - the Destroyer
3 "main" goddesses of Hinduism (called the "Tri-devi", which basically translates to "Divine Three - female version!"):
1. Saraswati - Goddess of Wisdom
2. Lakshmi - Goddess of Wealth
3. Shakti/Durga/bunch of other names - Goddess of Power
(Saraswati is Bramha's wife, Lakshmi is Vishnu's, and Shakti is Shiva's)
Yes, these guys and gals do have multiple arms (and heads), but I like to think of these as 'multiple abilities'. All of them carry something unique in each of their hands (whether it's different flowers, different instruments, different weapons, etc.) and these 'somethings' are characteristic of their individual powers. For example, Shakti is said to have a 18 or so arms, each of them holding a different kind of weapon 'cuz she is, after all, the embodiment of power and strength. So when I imagine them while reading stories about the, I tend to think of these 'multiple arms and heads' as more of man's interpretation of their multiple capabilities. Ex: Bramha has four heads that look in each direction to indicate that he sees everything. Shiva has a third eye on his forehead which is to say that he also has extra help seeing things (they didn't have glasses back then =P). I imagine that these extra limbs and heads are hidden until they need use of them. Otherwise, that many arms and heads is just ca-razy! =P
I've never heard one definitive story about the "creation" of the universe, so I can't speak to that portion of the myth. Generally, I heard (from my parents, so take it with a grain of salt) that Shakti created the Tri-murti and the rest of the universe. Let's keep it vague and hopefully no one who knows the full story will call me out on being totally ignorant. =)
Societal structure of ancient India:
I don't know too much about this topic either, but the number 1 thing I look to do when writing a story is figuring out how the characters think. I'm generally a logical person myself, so I like to look at the logic behind a person's thought and give reason to how they behave. So I did do some research about the society back then and here's what I know (I'm NOT claiming this is 100% accurate! It's just how I understand things):
Caste system: this originated as a 'classification' method in the ancient times, not so much the discrimination-tool that it sometimes is now-a-days. It was basically a way of saying, "You're a priest, you're royalty, you're a businessman, etc." So think of it as the titles we give to our professions now: "Dr., Lawyer, Professor, Housekeeper, etc."
1. Bramhins: these were the priests, widely-respected as they were considered closest to the gods. Most Bramhins grew up with other Bramhins in Bramhin-schools and were thus scholarly men who studied the ancient vedas, knew a lot about prayer, rituals, religious rules, etc.
2. Kshatriya: these were royalty; kings, queens, their children, their nieces and nephews, their uncle's granddaughter's husband's second-cousin's great-aunt, etc. They ruled the multitude of kingdoms in ancient India and often sought council from their 'gurus' who were also Bramhins.
3. Vaisyas: Businessmen. These were the sculptors, traders, silk-spinners, fishermen, etc. who kept society going by providing the basic necessities that everyone needs: food, clothing, etc.
4. Sudras: There's some controversy around this topic; I heard that Sudras were common-workers (servants, farm-hands, etc.) and that the infamous group of "Untouchables" were separate from the Sudras. I've also heard others say that Sudras = "Untouchables". On that note, I'd also like to mention something about Untouchables and please don't take this as a soap-box or anything! By no means am I making a political statement here, just explaining a facet of ancient Indian history as I understand it: assuming that Sudras were the Untouchables, I'd like to give an explanation of why they were termed Untouchable. These were the poorest folks of society, often involved in uncleanly work such as cleaning less-than-sanitary areas (ex: urinals, cemetery-work, etc.) As such, in a time when medicine was not well-known and people often thought that disease was contracted through the spread of material filth, these workers were termed "Untouchable" to say, "Hey, these guys work with stuff that could give you diseases. Be careful around them!" A present-day analogy that might make more sense: it's like giving people with coughs/fevers/etc. a flu mask to say, "Please be careful not to cough on me, and I'll be careful not to lick your face or anything crazy like that so that I don't get the flu".
From there, "Untouchables" spiraled off into a monster of political and detrimental proportions, but we won't go into that too much. =) I just wanted to mention this little tidbit because it's somewhat pertinent to Daksh Yagna, and here's how:
As a man of unknown origin, Shiva has no caste, just as Vishnu has no caste, and Bramha has no caste, and a bunch of other gods/goddesses don't have a caste. What the Trimurti do have is "gunas", which are basically "general characteristics":
1. Bramha has the "Raja-Guna" which basically translates to "Royal Character". He is the creator who made the world, created structure, appointed leaders, etc. and is therefore the "administrative" overseer, you could say. Thus, he is also the 'ruler' of all such characteristics which include pride, authority, leadership, etc.
2. Vishnu has the "Satvika-Guna" which basically translates to "Peaceful Character". He often demonstrates this 'cuz he is SUUUUUPER-difficult to piss off! He's always smiling, always kind, and just kind of does what he has to do to maintain the world!
3. Shiva has the "Tamo-Guna" which basically translates to "Chaos Character". Easily the most misunderstood, this does not mean Shiva is a man who causes Chaos, but rather one who controls it. He is the god who takes the bad and the impure in the world and either directs it to where it must go ('cuz it does need to exist to create balance) or destroys it. He is also, thus, the Destroyer who doesn't destroy people, but the waste-products of the universe.
(Note: I'm a scientist, so I like to think of Shiva as the immune response of the body: he regulates ick in the body, and if the ick starts harming the body, he destroys it).
Because he deals with the filth of the world, some of the more ignorant folks who don't understand his position in the universe equate him to Sudras. From the stories I hear, the biggest problem most folks have with Shiva is a. his appearance (more to come on that later), and b. his work with the ick of the world. Daksh, his eventual father-in-law, also uses this second reasoning as a linchpin in his political war against Shiva. As an overly-arrogant Bramhin (who really forgets that Bramhins are supposed to portray Satvika-Guna themselves and be folks of peace and acceptance), he looks at Shiva as an Untouchable. If that's the case, how can he ever be considered "God"?
Attire... LOVE this topic! =P People used to be so pwetty back then!
1. Guys: Guys usually went top-less and wore long pieces of cloth wrapped either into skirt-like contraptions or pant-like contraptions, with a shawl over their shoulders.
Bramhin men always had sacred threads that crossed over their torso from their left shoulder to their right hip (most Bramhins still wear this stuff... including all the Bramhins in the priest-business and most of the previous generation Bramhins... now-a-days (in the younger generation), no one wears them anymore).
Here's links to some pictures (which I don't own... they're just off of google images!):
Pant-like contraption: http://austenauthors.net/writing-unknown-austen-characters-by-sharon-lathan/dhoti_full_length
Modernized version of what the royal men wore (this picture is actually the typical wedding-attire for North Indian men, 'cuz that's the only part of our lives where we've retained the age-old garbs... Also, it's WAY less-fancy (I'm guessing) 'cuz the Kings would be decked out in tons more jewelry!): http://www.nihalfashions.com/men/kurta-pajama/designer-dhoti-kurta/off-white-brocade-traditional-dhoti-kurta-for-mens-nmk-385/
(P.S. I was just looking for pictures of the gods--below--and didn't look at the content on the sites... read them if you're interested, but I definitely didn't even look at the stuff! Just the pictures!):
Bramha (usually shown as an old guy, which is why I'm surprised this one's not old!): http://www.usefulcharts.com/religion/hinduism/brahma.html
Shiva (so you can see why people think he's a bit... odd-looking): http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/gods-of-hinduism/images/33227337/title/lord-shiva-wallpaper
2. Girls: They usually wore saris or half-saris (which were basically skirts with long pieces of cloth draped over them). If you had even SOME bling to show off, you'd show it off 'cuz bling shows status! So the princesses were often decked out and the commoners... not so much. There are MANY different sari styles even today--the fisher-women and villagers tied their sari in such a way that it looked 'pants-like' on the bottom. Others just wore it plain as it's usually seen so that it forms a skirt around the legs. I like to think of Sathi (from Daksh Yagna) dressed in a half-sari, but Shakti is typically shown in a blood-red sari with lots of gold bling!
Since Daksh Yagna is based off of a Hindi TV show anyways, I thought I'd show you examples of the costumes they used in the show:
Here's another of Sathi and Madanike (the dancer): http://www.india-forums.com/celebrity/468/mouni-roy/gallery/pictures/180978-rakshandha-khan-aka-madinike-and-mouni-roy-as-sati-in-devon-ke.htm#image
I hope that's a good introduction for now... I'll add more as I think of things!
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