MYTH - A TRANSCENDENT TRUTH
Winter had just begun. Grandfather with myself was returning from the usual village tour. We were the lonely riders on the desolate road, a normal phenomenon after 7 pm. About five kilometers from the village was an isolated and derelict pond, used infrequently by the washer men for their laundry work. The driver suddenly jammed on the wheels, the car jolted, screeched and stopped. There stood an old man, clad in dhoti, staring at the head lights. Within seconds he crossed the road, went to the pond, turned back at us and plunged with an audible splash.
Grandfather stepped out and shouted “help, help the man will drown.” No one turned up. He almost ran to the pond with the driver. I also followed them. The pond was placid to our dismay. A bystander shouted, “come back, don’t go near the pond, he will kill you.” We retreated and learned that it was a bad spirit of a “Dhobi”, who had died by drowning some 4 years back.
It was an incredible fact which our eyes had seen but the mind refused to believe. Was it a nightmare? How could a dead man cross the road? Why did he jump back into the pond? Scores of such brain storming questions are still waiting for a logical answer.
Similar is the story of the historical Bhangarh Fort in Rajasthan. It is famous for all its historical glory and demeanor. The famous tourist destination in Rajasthan is now declared restricted site by the Government. People call it haunted. They have stories to justify the truth but no hard facts to prove anything.
Should one stamp these as great Myths or should we go for unprecedented challenges to unravel the truth?
Myth is not all that is false and fabricated. Truth changes into myth with change of time, belief and faith.
The story of Adam and Eve can be true but is not necessarily a truth today. It simply depends on the logical perception, the belief and the understanding of an individual to stamp it truth or myth.
Russel Kirk an American political philosopher explains, “Great myths are not merely susceptible to rational interpretation: they are truth, transcendent truth.” Myth descends from the word mythology. They are not stories structured by an insane. Great men and Women framed them based on facts that came from the forces of good and evil.
This is the age where people believe only on hard facts or the facts which has a logical and scientific bearing. People have started questioning the very existence of God. The so-called messiahs of God have distorted the facts in Holy books and replaced the original verses with their own to showcase as great scholars.
We tend always to forget that myths came long before religions. The religious philosophies retell the same mythical themes to reshape our belief and personality.
Myths can be imaginative but are not necessarily imaginary. It should not be associated with false belief and superstitions. False belief and superstitions are non-constructive and damaging in nature. Myths, on the other hand, shape our culture and address some of the very fundamental and difficult questions of life. They help us to reform the thinking towards life and human relationships and generate the inspirational drive to journey through the spiritual world.
Science can’t define myth but myths can give an in-depth understanding of science. Let’s take the example of “DASAVTARA of VISHNU.” It has explained the evolution of life on earth and gave the concept of evolution of man from apes. ‘Matsya-avatar’ tells us that the life started in water; ‘kurma avatar’ shows how terrestrial life came to thrive so on and so forth. Scientific researchers proved that the facts stated in mythology were correctly justified. Our scientific Knowledge is still infantile compared to those hundreds and thousands of years ago. We still can’t fly “Pushpaka vimana” which sailed the sky without a pilot. Critics may call it all myth.
What is truth then?
The myth is the essence of truth and cannot be denied. It should not be termed bogus and imaginative. Science is still striving to define fourth dimension. But, there exists something beyond the confines of all the dimensions. The reality at present cannot be fathomed because it is not within the confines of scientific equations which we can understand. We need to rise above the limits of physics to understand the science of supernatural.