Sunday, November 08, 2009

Five Thousand and One Year

For the past three years, my daughter has been enrolled in an Indian Cultural/Religious program on Sundays. The organization offers instructions for 4 languages and a culture class, which covers religion and India (geography, traditions, history). I like this organization for being professional and well coordinated for a volunteer group. We never had anything like this when I grew up, and I definitely like the results I see. My daughter's language skills are still lacking, but she's got a lot of confidence about her religion and heritage. She has a lot of friends there so it's positive social experience. I've gotten to know more people and enjoy my time there on Sundays. For two years, I've helped design and compile the program brochure for the annual show. It's usually a lot of last minute changes and late nights. This year, I've decided to give more by teaching a Culture 2 class (2nd graders). There is a lead teacher who did this for two years and there is a curriculum already in place. We just have freedom to enhance it.

Our primary topics right now are the 10 incarnations of the Hindu God Vishnu. (Nutshell: Hinduism has a trinity of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Protector/Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. When the earth is in turmoil, Vishnu appears.) I've been a bit panicked because I don't know all 10 incarnations myself. So, I've been cramming before classes and researching online.

So, my research has brought me to this point - in great awe. When debates regarding Darwinism and Intelligent Design arose, I paused to think of what my religion says about this. I didn't give it much thought because there are so many myths and magical events, it didn't even make sense.

Now, looking at the Avatars of Vishnu, I see more here. If ancient Indian scientists determined that evolution of humans did exist, they needed a vehicle to carry forth their theories. Blanketing it in religion probably helped give the history its durability. We have the documented stories, but we also have oral traditions. Ram and Krishna stories are told in the cradle.

The Primordial Human Evolution
"No. Incarnation: Physical — Conscious evolution

1. Matsya-avtar or Fish: Water borne life — amoebae or primeval evolution.
2. Kurmavtar or Turtle: Water/Land borne life — amphibians.
3. Varahavtar or Boar: Land borne life — mammals.
4. Narshinghavtar or Human-lion: Semi-human — primates.
5. Vamanavtar or Dwarf: Homo erectus — primitive human.
6. Parshuram or Divine Seeker: Homo sapiens — conscious human.
7. Ram or Perfect Human: Homo sapiens — God conscious human; outer awareness.
8. Krishna or Supreme Yogi: Homo sapiens — Self-conscious human; inner awareness.
9. Buddha or Consciousness: Homo sapiens — Self-Realization; inner enlightenment.
10. Kalki (Christ) or Spirit Being: Homo spiritus — God-Realization; Resurrection (en masse spiritual evolution.)

For the actual story synopsis, here's one site. It's also fascinating how certain events seem to align with Bible stories, such as the story of the flood. I'm actually excited to learn all this because it hits one of the core points of Hinduism of tolerance. Rather than denouncing separating science from religion, it's actually bridging them. There was a reason and purpose behind every evolutionary advancement.

Five thousand years later, I'm passing the same stories down to a new generation.

3 comments:

J.Doe said...

I can't help you with the Hinduism but I think it's really cool that you are so involved in the program your daughter is in.

Indigo B. said...

J - thanks! I think this is the last year I'm doing this. It's a huge commitment and absorbs a lot of weekend time. However, we never had anything like this when I was growing up so I think we should take advantage of such great resources

Mommy dearest said...

and how do you find time to be a supermom !!