Hindu mythology

Hindu mythology are found in Hindu texts such as the Vedic literature,[1] epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana,[2] the Puranas,[3] and regional literature like the Tamil Periya Puranam and the Mangal Kavya of Bengal. Hindu mythology is also found in widely translated popular texts such as the fables of the Panchatantra and the Hitopadesha, as well as in Southeast Asian texts.[4][5]

Depictions of episodes from Hindu mythology

Hindu mythology does not often have a consistent, monolithic structure. The same myth typically appears in various versions, and can be represented differently across different regional and socio-religious traditions.[6] Many of these legends evolve across these texts, where the character names change or the story is embellished with greater details.[6][7] According to Suthren Hirst, these myths have been given a complex range of interpretations.[6] while according to Doniger O'Flaherty, the central message and moral values remain the same.[7] They have been modified by various philosophical schools over time, and are taken to have deeper, often symbolic, meaning.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Macdonell 1978, p. 1–9.
  2. ^ Washburn Hopkins 1986, pp. 1–3.
  3. ^ Bonnefoy 1993, p. 90–101.
  4. ^ Olivelle 1999, p. xii–xiii.
  5. ^ Waldau & Patton 2009, p. 186, 680.
  6. ^ a b c d Suthren Hirst 1998.
  7. ^ a b Doniger O'Flaherty 1975, p. 11, 21–22.


  • Bonnefoy, Yves (1993). Asian Mythologies. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-06456-7.
  • Doniger O'Flaherty, Wendy (1975), Hindu epics: A Sourcebook translated from the Sanskrit, Penguin, ISBN 978-0140449907
  • Washburn Hopkins, Edward (1986). Epic Mythology. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-0227-8.
  • Macdonell, Arthur Anthony (1978). Vedic Mythology ((reprint) ed.). Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-1113-3.
  • Olivelle, Patrick (1999). Pañcatantra: The Book of India's Folk Wisdom. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-283988-6.
  • Suthren Hirst, Jacqueline (1998), "Myth and history", in Bowen, Paul (ed.), Themes and Issues in Hinduism, Cassell
  • Waldau, Paul; Patton, Kimberley (2009). A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-13643-3.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

  • Clay Sanskrit Library publishes classical Indian literature, including the Mahabharata and Ramayana, with facing-page text and translation. Also offers searchable corpus and downloadable materials.
  • Sanskrit Documents Collection: Documents in ITX format of Upanishads, Stotras etc.