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Why Do Religious Texts Include Stories and Mythologies?

October 12, 2011  by: Paulose  Points: 20   Category: Others    Views: 506

All religious texts contain stories, mythological or imaginary, to bring out the philosophy or concepts of their religious teachings. They explain the core philosophy of their dogmas through such stories.

         

All religious texts, Christian, Islam, Hindu, Jewish or any other religion, include imaginary stories, parables, mythological stories, etc. They consist of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and and people of their times. Hindu Buddhist and Jain texts narrate mythological stories about demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography.

Why do they include stories and extend the texts to a larger size?

The religious texts do not stop with telling just the philosophy of their religions. They include stories and mythologies of various incidents and imagination, in addition to religious and philosophical concepts. Most of the stories were passed on from one generation to the next even when there was no writing.

The Holy Bible has many stories and parables. Hindu texts have mythological stories such as Purana. Buddhism is also enriched in abundance by this kind of heartening and fascinating stories of myths, parables and other stories. It is through such stories that the difficult concepts of religions become clear when they are illustrated through this kind of text imagery.

Jesus explained once why he was making use of parables and word pictures. He told his disciples that he used stories to explain the deeper meaning of his teachings.

The pan cake story

The Indian sage Chinmayandha once told why mythological stories were used in Hindu texts. A disciple asked his Guru why not the concepts of texts directly be taught instead of explaining them with stories and examples. The Guru answered him with the story of pan cake. A child was watching his mom preparing pan cake. She had to mix powder and other things with water and prepare cakes on the oven. Then she gave them to the child to eat. The child asked his mom, "Why do you take so much trouble mom, why not we eat the pan cake in the powder form? Why do you take so much trouble?" What would have been the answer of the mom? That is the reason for religious texts using stories, parables and mythology.

Stories make concepts comprehensive and memorable

Most of the religious texts were in oral form in the beginning and stories and mythologies made it easier for the people to comprehend and memorize passages. In this way it could be passed on from one generation to the next.

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Comment(s)
Author: prithiviputra        
Posted Date: 10/13/2011    Points:4    

Religious texts include mythological stories because the children would get inspired by reading them. Children should grow listening to mythological stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. It is said that the mother of Chatrapathi Shivaji told stories to young Shivaji and these stories inspired him to become a great king later. Mere religious stories may not suffice, on the other hand they have to be told along with mythological quotes to make them more interesting for people of all ages.

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