Matsya protecting Svayambhuva Manu and the seven sages at the time of Deluge

Startling Similarity between Hindu Flood Legend of Manu and the Biblical Account of Noah

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In 1872, the amateur Assyriologist, George Smith, made a discovery that would shock the world. Whilst studying a particular tablet from the ancient Mesopotamian city of Nineveh, he comes across a story that many would have been familiar with. When Smith succeeded in deciphering the text, he realized that the tablet contained an ancient Mesopotamian myth that paralleled the story of Noah’s Ark from the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament.

Today, we are aware that flood myths are found not only in Near Eastern societies, but also in many other ancient civilizations throughout the world. Accounts of a great deluge are seen in ancient Sumerian tablets, the Deucalion in Greek mythology, the lore of the K’iche’ and Maya peoples in Mesoamerica, the Gun-Yu myth of China, the stories of the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa tribe of North America, and the stories of the Muisca people, to name but a few. One of the oldest and most interesting accounts originates in Hindu mythology, and while there are discrepancies, it does bear fascinating similarity to the story of Noah and his ark.

‘The Deluge’ by Francis Danby, 1840.

‘The Deluge’ by Francis Danby, 1840. ( Wikimedia Commons )

The Hindu flood myth is found in several different sources. The earliest account is said to have been written in the Vedic Satapatha Brahmana , whilst later accounts can be found in the Puranas, including the Bhagavata Purana and the Matsya Purana , as well as in the Mahabharata. Regardless, all these accounts agree that the main character of the flood story is a man named Manu Vaivasvata. Like Noah, Manu is described as a virtuous individual. The Satapatha Brahmana , for instance, has this to say about Manu: “There lived in ancient time a holy man / Called Manu, who, by penances and prayers, / Had won the favour of the lord of heaven.”

Manu was said to have three sons before the flood – Charma, Sharma, and Yapeti, while Noah also had three sons – Ham, Shem, and Japheth.

Both Noah and Manu are described as virtuous men.  ‘Noah and his Ark’ by Charles Wilson Peale, 1819

Both Noah and Manu are described as virtuous men.  ‘Noah and his Ark’ by Charles Wilson Peale, 1819 ( Wikimedia Commons )

In the Book of Genesis, the cause of mankind’s destruction is given as such, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. / And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. / And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.”

Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch, Folio 1 (Genesis 7, 11-14), 1552.

Augsburger Wunderzeichenbuch, Folio 1 (Genesis 7, 11-14), 1552. ( Wikimedia Commons )

In the story of Manu, however, the destruction of the world is treated as part of the natural order of things, rather than as a divine punishment. It is written in the Matsya Purana that “Manu then went to the foothills of Mount Malaya and started to perform tapasya (meditation). Thousands and thousands of years passed. Such were the powers of Manu‘s meditation that Brahma appeared before him. “I am pleased with your prayers,” said Brahma. “Ask for a boon [favor].” “I have only one boon to ask for,” replied Manu. “Sooner or later there will be a destruction (pralaya) and the world will no longer exist. Please grant me the boon that it will be I who will save the world and its begins at the time of the destruction.” Brahma readily granted this boon.”  

In the flood myth from the Old Testament, God who saves Noah by instructing him to build an Ark. In the Hindu version of the story, it is also through divine intervention, in the form of the god Vishnu, that mankind is preserved from total destruction. In this story, the god appears to Manu in the form of a little fish whilst he was performing his ablutions in a pond. Manu kept the fish, which grew so quickly that its body occupied the entire ocean in a matter of days. It was then that Vishnu revealed his identity to Manu, told him about the impending destruction, and the way to save humanity. There is also a large boat involved in this story too. Vishnu instructed Manu to build a boat and fill it with animals and seeds to repopulate the earth:

Comments

it doesn't

Why does the story of Noah speak NOT about these seven sages/builder gods ?

There are no "Charma, Sharma, and Yapeti" in Hindu puranas.
The progeny of Manu are Ila and Ikshvaku who created the Lunar and Solar dynasty in Indian purana/epic.

Manu married Shraddha and had ten children including Ila and Ikshvaku, the progenitors of the Lunar Dynasty and Solar Dynasty respectively.

The Mahabharata states:
"And Manu was endowed with great wisdom and devoted to virtue. And he became the progenitor of a line. And in Manu's race have been born all human beings, who have, therefore, been called Manavas. And it is of Manu that all men including Brahmanas, Kshattriyas, and others have been descended, and are therefore all called Manavas. Subsequently, the Brahmanas became united with the Kshattriyas. And those sons of Manu that were Brahmanas devoted themselves to the study of the Vedas. And Manu begot ten other children named Vena, Dhrishnu, Narishyan, Nabhaga, Ikshvaku, Karusha, Saryati, the eighth, a daughter named Ila,[15] Prishadhru the ninth, and Nabhagarishta, the tenth. They all betook themselves to the practices of Kshattriyas. Besides these, Manu had fifty other sons on Earth. But we heard that they all perished, quarrelling with one another."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sraddhadeva_Manu

"Indeed the gross imposition practised on Captain Wilford and Sir William Jones in the supposed Sanscrit account of Noah and his three sons under the names of Satyavarnam Sherma Charma and Jyapeti forged in the Padma Puran and translated by Sir William Jones Asiat Research Vol iii p 67 262 octavo are abundantly sufficient to justify the charge of disingenuousness in the modern Pundits or interpreters "

Page 198
Chronology and geography William Hales - January 1, 1830
C.J.G. & F. Rivington - Publisher

free ebook
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id=iEqky3l6riQC&printsec=frontc...

Deception and forgery by Francis_Wilford (The Charma, Sharma, Yapethi forgery comes from him)

Wilford later admitted his guilt; according to Indira Ghose, that the Hindu expert who had been providing him manuscripts and who had been assisting him in his studies of sacred texts had corroborated the veracity of his religious theories. Wilford said:[7]

In order to avoid the trouble of consulting books, he conceived the idea of framing legends from what he recollected from the Puranas, and from what he had picked up in conversation with me. As he was exceedingly well read in the Puranas, and other similar books ...it was an easy task for him; and he studied to introduce as much truth as he could, to obviate the danger of immediate detection...His forgeries were of three kinds; in the first there was only a word or two altered; in the second were such legends as had undergone a more material alteration; and in the third all those which he had written from memory.(Wilford 1805:251)[8]

This deception of Wilford had become the theme of general campaign by European intellectuals to belittle Indian learning against some respect which it had before. This was followed by flurry of other claims of deceptions by Indian informants in the fields of Medicine, Astronomy, and Literature. Wilford wrote to H.H. Wilson that:

he was really disgusted with the blunders, anachronisms, contradictions, etc,. of the puranics [Pandits versed in the Puranas] and their followers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Wilford

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