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By Prakhar Patidar

Myths are traditional stories that cultures weave to convey their understanding of the world especially concerning the existence, social, and world phenomenon. These tales are passed on generation after generation and are believed to be a valued asset of any culture.

It is these stories we turn to for explanations when things can't be explained by plain logic. But more than that, these stories comprise lessons on life and how to lead a righteous one. For example, the epics in Hinduism: Ramayana and Mahabharata continue to be important sources of learning for all.

Historians, mythologists, and anthropologists have pointed out that our cultures may vary, there is something similar in the way our ancestors told stories. There are common tropes that run through the myths of all cultures. These tropes are known as archetypes. An example of this is how Indian, Greek, African, Norse mythologies, etc, all have heroes, deities, gods, and goddesses that possess similar characteristics or powers.

The success of Marvel films has made Thor a household name. Very recently a tweet went viral that told the incident of a child naming Thor upon being asked about his favorite gods in a puja. Thor, the popular Marvel superhero is based on the Norse god of Thunder.

Thor - Wikipedia

We can find an Indian counterpart of Thor in Indra, the Vedic deity known to rule the heavens. He yields a thunderbolt suggesting his control over the skies, thunder, and rain. A lot similar to Zeus according to Greek mythology and Jupitar as per Roman mythology. African mythology attributes similar powers to a deity named Shango, the fourth emperor of the Oyo empire.
All these deities come from different traditions, respond to different cultural beliefs, and yet are similar at the core: powerful authoritative figures who serve the purpose of explaining a natural phenomenon that may have seemed supernatural to the earliest civilizations. This is what is understood as archetypes.


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