An Indian account of creation: Adam thought he had troubles


9/18/1986 How much does the past affect the present? How much of what we believe today can be attributed to what our ancestors believed in the past? Is the way contemporary men and women perceive each other influenced by attitudes prevalent during the years gone by? And do other beliefs of one culture eventually impact on another?

One of the newsletters on marriage I subscribe to is published by The Association of Couples for Marriage Enrichment, or ACME, for short. In the September 1986, newsletter there is an interesting article by the founder, Dr. David Mace. Years ago, while studying marriage in other cultures, Dr. Mace found this account of the creation in Indian folklore. It gives some historical insight on what men and women in other cultures may have believed about each other in the past.

“In the beginning, when Twashtri came to the creation of woman, he found that he had exhausted his materials in the making of man, and that no solid elements were left. In this dilemma, after profound meditation, he did as follows.

“He took the rotundity of the moon, and the curves of the creepers, and the clinging of tendrils, and the trembling of grass, and the slenderness of the reed, and the bloom of flowers and the lightness of leaves, and the tapering of the elephants trunk, and the glances of deer, and the clustering of rows of bees, and the joyous gaiety of sunbeams and the weeping of clouds, and the fickleness of the winds, and the timidity of the hare and vanity of the peacock, and the softness of the parrots bosom, and the hardness of adamant, and the sweetness of honey, and the cruelty of the tiger, and the warm glow of fire, and the coldness of snow, and the chattering of jays, and the cooing of the Kokila, and the hypocrisy of the crane, and the fidelity of the chakrawaka: and the compounding of all these together he made woman, and gave her to man.

“But after one week, man came to him and said, ’Lord, this creature that you have given me makes my life miserable. She chatters incessantly, and teases beyond endurance, never leaving me alone and she requires incessant attention, and takes all my time up, and cries about nothing and is always idle and so I have come to give her back again as I cannot live with her.’

“So Twashtri said. ‘Very well.’ And he took her back. Then after another week, man came again to him and said, ‘Lord, I find that my life is very lonely since I gave you back that creature. I remember how she used to dance and sing to me, and play with me, and cling to me; and her laughter was music, and she was beautiful to look at, and soft to touch; so give her back to me again.’ But Twashtri said: ‘Out with you’ Be off’ I will have no more of this. You must manage how you can.’

“The man said: ‘But I cannot live with her.’ And Twashtri replied: ‘Neither could you live without her.’ And he turned his back on man, and went on with his work.

“Then man said: ‘What is to be done? For I cannot live with or without her.”

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