An analysis of history of Tamil religion/Part:13

Stories describing creation are prominent in many cultures of the world.In Mesopotamia,the surviving evidence from the third millennium to the end of the first millennium B.C. indicates that although many of the gods were associated with natural forces,no single myth addressed issues of initial creation.It was simply assumed that the gods existed before the world was formed.Unfortunately,very little survives of Sumerian literature from the third millennium B.C.Several fragmentary tablets contain references to a time before the pantheon of the gods,when only the Earth (Sumerian: ki) and Heavens (Sumerian: an) existed.  

Modern knowledge of Sumerian religious beliefs and creation stories comes from the tablets excavated principally from the ruins of the ancient Sumerian city of Nippur, located in present-day Iran.The Sumerians likely were the inventors of the cuneiform system of writing, and they recorded creation myth in the world sometime between 3000 and 2340 BC.The next oldest known creation stories—the Babylonian version,Rig veda version and,the Hebrew version captured in the book of Genesis in the Bible did not appear for more than a millennium after the Sumerian version.

According to the Sumerian creation myth,there once was a time
where there were no humans on earth at all.Instead,earth was inhabited by the gods.Prior to the creation of Lahar,the cattle-god,and Ashnan,the grain-goddess,cattle and grain did not exist;therefore,the other gods were not able to eat bread or wear clothes.Even after the creation of the cattle and grain deities,the gods still could not be satisfied,there was much work to be done and these gods toiled the soil,digging to make it habitable and mining its minerals.They had not minded this at first.But when the female gods were created,the male gods had to work even harder to keep them happy.Then the gods had a great deal of trouble making enough bread to eat and enough clothes to wear.They become very angry at having to work so hard.Life on earth wasn't easy for these gods as one tablet says:

"When the gods like men
Bore the work and suffered the toll
The toil of the gods was great,
The work was heavy,the distress was much."

The gods were not happy with their situation.They were prone to complaining,backstabbing,and rebellion against their leaders.They needed a solution,Gods should have servants who would take care of their every need -a new race of slaves to take over their back breaking work.

Anu,the god of gods,also agreed that their labour was too great.and the council of the gods,decided to create humankind to free the gods from the need to work for their sustenance.His son Enki,or Ea,proposed to create man to bear the labour,and so,he instructs Nammu,his mother who represents the sea,to make clay suitable for fashioning humankind.Clay is probably the natural choice since it is what a man could mould into a complex form and it is a mixture of water and other things.All Abrahamic religions [Judaism,Christianity and Islam],as well as Greek mythology,Chinese mythology,Egyptian mythology & few others,Man is said to have been made from of clay or dust of the ground or yellow earth that God fashioned into the first man.The Sumerians also explained why the form of man was the same as that of the gods.Men were supposed to relieve the gods of labour;so it makes sense that they would have the form of gods in order to perform the same tasks.Also,to shape a man from the mixed clay,some feminine assistance,some pregnancy or childbearing aspects were also needed.So,Enki and  his half-sister Ninki or Ninmah [ another name of Ninhursag,Often stated as Enlil's sister,but also as his wife.] would work together to bring this idea to life – literally.A god was put to death,and his body and blood was mixed with clay.From that material the first human being was created,in likeness to the gods.Also,the above versions of the origin of man are related to slavery,clearly reflecting the Sumerian economy in which slaves laboured for the good of the priesthood and king.

Sumerian texts,too,speak of deformed humans created by Enki and
creation of man,Enkidu
the Mother Goddess (Ninhursag) in the course of their efforts to fashion a perfect Primitive Worker ,probably unavoidably,as part of a trial-and-error process.But finally when the perfect Man was achieved,Initially human beings were unable to reproduce on their own,but were later modified with the help of Enki and Ninki.Thus,man was created as a fully functional and independent human being.Also a Sumerian tale dealing with the primordial times states:

"When Mankind was created,
They knew not the eating of bread,
Knew not the dressing in garments;
Ate plants with their mouth like sheep;
Drank water from a ditch."

Such an animal-like "human" being is also described in the "Epic of Gilgamesh" which tells what Enkidu,the one "born on the steppes," was like before he became civilised by the temple prostitute,Shamhat,

:Gods in the field
In contrast to the above sumerian creation story,this is surprised to note that,the sangam literature,Tholkapiyam was never mention that World & life were created by god as most of the other religion said,But It clearly mentioned that they were evolved from five basic elements such as earth [land],fire,water,,air[wind] & space[sky].Thus,when all of them mixed each others,World evolved gradually.Then,when all of them move within a said  limit,Life on Earth evolved.Some what similar to present day evolution theory.

"The world and all the objects there (that have been named as above) 
are all complexes generated out of the five fold Basic Elements of Earth[Land] 
Fire,Water,Wind[Air] and Space[Sky]."
"நிலம் தீ நீர் வளி விசும்போடு ஐந்தும்
கலந்த மயக்கம் உலகம் ஆதலின்-(Tolkapiyam/marapiyal 1589)

Also another the Ancient Poetry (anthology)- Paripadal” of the Sangam period reveals to us the Creation Story,which is also some what similar to present day evolution theory.

"In the sky,the first element ether,formless,
 appeared with sound in the sky with primal seed.
 After many eons the second element, air, that moves
 all elements, appeared.  That was followed by the
 third element, red fire,that appeared out of the air.
 That was followed by water
 in the form of snow and cold rain.  Then came the
 earth"[Paripadal2:5-12] 

All over the world we can find several tales on how man was created.Our origin was always a cause for controversy.But literature-wise,our collection of these stories is very rich in creativity and originality.

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