Table of contents:
- How legends about the creation of the world appeared in Russia
- Creation of the world by the Lord and the Devil
- Legends of the appearance of heavenly bodies
- Animal Creation Rivalry
Video: How the creation of the world was represented in Russia: What was created by God and what was created by the Devil
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
Our world is full of mysteries and secrets. Until now, humanity has not been able to fully explore space, planets and various celestial bodies. Yes, this, perhaps, is not at all possible! And what about people who lived hundreds and thousands of years ago? What legends and fables our ancestors did not invent, and what they did not believe. These days it’s amusing enough to read their version of the creation of the world.
How legends about the creation of the world appeared in Russia
Almost every nation had its own version of the creation of the world. Often, their echoes were observed in various rituals, conspiracies, sayings, sayings and legends. For the most part, the mythology of ideas about how everything was in this world before the origin of the earth is very similar for many peoples. Almost everyone believed that it was endless, formless chaos.
In many nations, it was imagined that everything by its nature was close to the element of water. And in all this non-being there was a divine power that could give birth to life. In the legends about the creation of the world, key roles are naturally assigned to the appearance of the earth and heavenly bodies, people, animals, plants, as well as day and night.
Unfortunately, there are practically no written sources about the legends of the ancient Slavs. The main part of the legends and representations appeared after the baptism of Rus. Naturally, this left its mark, because non-canonical spiritual books, where there were stories about the creation of our world and all living things, were prohibited by the church.
They were not accepted by the Christian religion, but they were in great demand among the common people. In the course of this, the surviving folk tales and beliefs were combined with the motives of the Christian faith, as a result of which the legends and traditions known to us about the creation of our world appeared.
Creation of the world by the Lord and the Devil
The history of the creation of the earth, and indeed of the entire outer space, from the oceans is a popular version in the mythology of different countries. But according to the legend, originating in Russia, the world was created by a divine cosmic being who created it from sand, silt and earth. The creature itself was often represented as a force from the dark worlds, a large animal, or a huge bird. According to legends, this creature got the land in small pieces right from the bottom of the world's primordial ocean.
In ancient times, there was another version, where our world was created by two warring forces, dark and light, namely the devil and the Lord. By the way, often the devil in various legends was the Lord's helper, but he did everything in his own way, not with good intentions. He, of course, at the behest of God, dived and took out the earth from the bottom, but on the sly he kept a little for himself. According to old beliefs, it was the devil who created swamps, impassable paths and thickets of forests on the earth.
In one of his books, the Russian writer and collector of folklore A. N. Afanasyev described the creation of the world, where it is said that the Lord ordered the devil to dive to the bottom of the world so that he could get him a handful of earth. He fulfilled the order, but took a part of the earth for himself, filling his mouth with it. God began to scatter the earth, everywhere it lay flat and smooth. Forgetting that Satan has earth in his mouth, he wanted to ask God something, but he choked. Frightened by God's wrath, the devil ran wherever his eyes looked. During his escape, he was struck by thunder and lightning. Where he lay down with fear - hills appeared everywhere, and where he coughed - there a whole mountain appeared out of nowhere.
The world tree played one of the key roles in ancient myths. Basically it was presented in the form of birch or oak. This world tree was divided into the crown - the sky, the earth - the trunk and the underworld - the root system. Living beings were also compared with different parts of the world tree. According to legend, birds lived in the crown, the trunk is a place for large animals, including humans, and various amphibians and reptiles, as well as various fantastic creatures, lived near the roots.
The Slavs had another version of the creation of the world, in which the Lord was a craftsman. Moreover, depending on the place of residence of the Slavs, God was represented in various guises. Somewhere he was a blacksmith, somewhere a weaver, a baker or a potter. It was believed that just as a potter creates pots and jugs, a baker bakes bread, so the Lord created our world, nature, animals and people from clay, dough, thread and metal. By the way, for hundreds and thousands of years, the Slavs believed that the work of various craftsmen, who were able to change material with the help of fire and other magical methods, were like divine strength and power.
Legends of the appearance of heavenly bodies
According to popular legends, the sky was considered God's home, and the stars were the eyes of angels watching from above. And the earth was flat as a plate and joined at the edges with the heavens, which resembled a huge ceiling in the form of a sphere or an arch. It was also believed that there were several firmaments, but people could see only one, the closest one. Depending on the region, people believed that the number of firmaments was from three to eleven. According to legend, the Lord lived on the farthest.
The sun was considered the main luminary. The people even called him "the heavenly king." The origin of this heavenly body has many different versions, but most people believed that it was formed from fire. And it appeared in heaven thanks to God, who took it out of his bosom. By the way, the peasants believed that it was possible to get this ball out of the fire at sunset, one had only to stretch out a hand to it.
The second most important celestial body was the moon. The people called her the younger sister of the sun. The moon illuminated the earth at night, giving the sun a little rest. The spots on the moon were interpreted in different ways, but the main legend was based on a plot from the Bible about the brothers Cain and Abel. The essence of the legend was this: the brothers worked in the field and quarreled, as a result, Cain killed Abel, stabbing him with a rake. Since then, neither water nor land could accept the murderer of his brother. And only the moon, daring to disobey the Lord, sheltered him. So, based on belief, the spots on the moon are precisely these brothers who have remained there forever in the position of this terrible crime.
Perhaps most of all the assumptions were about the emergence of stars. The people believed that the stars are candles that the Lord lights up every evening. There is another version of their origin. Many believed that these were the eyes of angels or the souls of the deceased righteous and babies who looked after their loved ones on earth. The third version was that the stars are the children of the "heavenly king" who walk in the sky. In Russia, by the location of the stars, they understood the time, and could also predict the weather for the coming days and, in some cases, whether there would be a harvest. In some regions, it was believed that a star appears in the sky at the birth of a person, and after his death it goes out forever or falls to the ground.
Animal Creation Rivalry
According to legend, the Lord and the devil together created most of the animals. For example, the devil blinded a wolf out of mud and clay, and only God could revive him. But the dog was blinded by the Lord himself, and from the clay left after the creation of man. According to legend, the devil created all unclean animals and those that were associated with the underworld, which was located on the root system of the world tree, for example, rats, toads, crows, moles.
In ancient legends, the devil tried to compete and even surpass God, but he did not succeed. For example, the Lord created a bee, and the devil wanted to repeat after him and create even better, but he only got bumblebees and wasps. Moreover, it was believed that the devil, in frustrated feelings, due to the fact that nothing came out of him, blinded a wasp from two halves of insects.
In some regions, frogs were believed to have evolved from humans. One of the beliefs says that the first frog is the soul of a cursed baby by its mother. According to another legend, frogs are people who drowned during the Flood. In general, many animals were considered to be former people.
So it was with the bear, which was considered a pure animal, created by God. It was strictly forbidden to eat bear meat in Russia, since it was created by the Lord Himself. It was also believed that if you remove the skin from a bear, then there will be an ordinary person inside. According to other beliefs, the angry Lord turned an entire village into bears, in which the locals once did not let a traveler into their house for the night.
There were also birds that were believed to have descended from humans. So the pigeon was considered a former tailor among people, the woodpecker was a carpenter, the stork was a mower. There were interesting stories about cuckoos. It was believed that once upon a time the cuckoo was a young girl who had a tragic fate, for example, her mother cursed her or her beloved died.
An interesting fact, when the ancient Slavs found huge bones of mammoths, they did not think that these were the remains of the oldest animals that lived earlier on earth, but believed that this is a huge elephant that lives deep in the bowels of the earth. He was constantly digging the ground like a mole. And on the surface, the elephant appeared only after death, when the earth began to slowly push out its bones in parts.
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