Why does Greek mythology focus more on being a hero; while Indian mythology on a leader?

By Sunil Kumar

I think the difference is in the cultural framework; and looking at things. Greece is a Western society; more individualistic, cut-throat and relies more on personal bravery and aggrandizement. So you have people like Theseus, Hercules, Perseus, Hector, Aeneas etc..

Ramayana Fresco, Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok

Visit sunil-kumar.co.in Ramayana Fresco, Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whereas the Indian mind has always been obsessed with societal mores; and collective identity. Dharma and Karma have been the basic tenets of India’s stories. Shri Rama, Krishna, Indra, Bhima, Arjuna all have some greater moral role to play.

Now I like Vaikuntha, Kailas, Amravati and Mount Olympus. Indian stories also have heroes; but in a more Dharmic role; overcome personal odds around them; and keep in mind their responsibilities to society and their families.

The mythical Mount Olympus in northern Greece....

Visit sunil-kumar.co.in The mythical Mount Olympus in northern Greece. View from the town of Litochoro, in the roots of Olympus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Protagonists in both cultures are tested by the Gods; but Indian stories always seek to impart some sort of underlying virtue. Greece is more ambiguous; and less concerned with social implications. So you also have people such as Dionysus(Bacchus); orgies etc that were practiced in Greece and its derivative; ancient Rome(source: SPQR- Mary Beard). Also if you compare Brahma to Zeus and his numerous flings; it’s more like Manmohan Singh and Donald Trump. Indra and Swarga is more akin to the Olympian Head Honcho.

There are also Indian stories that play around with the amorous concept(kama); but generally more emphasis given on renunciation and the seeking of liberation; individual and the supreme soul. Greek stories have very little emphasis on the metaphysical; and a lot more on physical prowess, smashing through opposition and slaying monsters.

Possible reason in my opinion.

 

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