A Flood myth or deluge myth is a mythical story of a great flood usually sent by a deity or deities to destroy civilization as an act of divine retribution . Flood myths are common across a wide range of cultures. [ edit ] West Asia and Europe [ edit ] Ancient Near East [ edit ] Sumerian [ edit ] Babylonian ( Epic of Gilgamesh )
This article concerns the Hindu avatar. For the ancient kingdom, see Matsya Rajya . For other uses, see Matsya (disambiguation) . Matsya ( Sanskrit : मत्स्य , literally "Fish") is the avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu in the form of a fish,preceding Kurma. Often listed as the first avatar in the lists of the ten primary avatars of Vishnu, Matsya is described to have rescued the first man, Manu , from a great deluge. Matsya may be depicted as a giant fish, or anthropomorphically with a human torso connected to the rear half of a fish.
Manabozho in the flood. (Illustration by R.C. Armour, from his book North American Indian Fairy Tales, Folklore and Legends , 1905) In Anishinaabe mythology , particularly among the Ojibwa , Nanabozho [nɐˌnɐbʊˈʒʊ] also known as Nanabush [ 1 ] is a spirit, and figures prominently in their storytelling, including the story of the world's creation. Nanabozho is the Ojibwe trickster figure and culture hero (these two archetypes are often combined into a single figure in First Nations mythologies).
Utnapishtim is a character in Gilgamesh epic and only [ citation needed ] human survivor of the great flood . Also he saved a number of animals just as was mentioned in the better known Noah's Flood story. According to the story he also brought a number of skilled craftsmen so that the arts would not be lost to the floods. In the Epic, overcome with the death of his friend Enkidu, the hero Gilgamesh sets out on a series of journeys to search for his ancestor Utnapishtim (xisouthros) who lives at the mouth of the rivers and has been given eternal life.
Deucalion from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum " In Greek mythology , Deucalion ( Ancient Greek : Δευκαλίων ) was a son of Prometheus ; ancient sources name his mother as Clymene , Hesione , or Pronoia. [ 1 ] The anger of Zeus was ignited by the hubris of the Pelasgians , and he decided to put an end to the Bronze Age . Lycaon , the king of Arcadia , had sacrificed a boy to Zeus, who was appalled by this savage offering. Zeus loosed a deluge, so that the rivers ran in torrents and the sea flooded the coastal plain, engulfed the foothills with spray, and washed everything clean. Deucalion, with the aid of his father Prometheus, was saved from this deluge by building a chest (literally “chest” like the Bible's “ark,” which means “box”) [ 2 ] Like his Biblical equivalent Noah and Mesopotamian counterpart Utnapishtim , he uses his chest to survive the deluge with his wife, Pyrrha .
Matsya protecting the Manu and the seven sages at the time of Deluge In various Hindu traditions, Manu is a title accorded to a progenitor of mankind . The current period is ruled by the seventh Manu called the Vaivasvata Manu, the son of Vivasvân and his wife Samjnâ. [ 1 ] Vaivasvata Manu, whose original name was Satyavrata, is the 7th Manu and considered the first king to rule this earth, who saved mankind from the great flood — after being warned of it by the Matsya avatar of Vishnu , [ 2 ] who had also advised him to build a giant boat. The story is mentioned in early Hindu scriptures such as the Satapatha Brahmana , and it has often been compared with the popular traditions of a Great Deluge from other cultures around the world, [ 3 ] particularly that of Noah's Ark . [ 4 ] Because Manu was believed to be absolutely honest, he was initially known as Satyavrata ("One with the oath of truth"). Vaivasvata Manu ruled as King Manu. [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] His wife was Sraddha. [ 8 ]
Noah's Ark (1846), a painting by the American folk painter Edward Hicks
"The Deluge", frontispiece to Gustave Doré 's illustrated edition of the Bible. Based on the story of Noah's Ark , this shows humans and a tiger doomed by the flood futilely attempting to save their children and cubs. A flood myth or deluge myth is a symbolic narrative in which a great flood is sent by a deity , or deities, to destroy civilization in an act of divine retribution . Parallels are often drawn between the flood waters of these myths and the primeval waters found in certain creation myths , as the flood waters are described as a measure for the cleansing of humanity, in preparation for rebirth. Most flood myths also contain a culture hero , who strives to ensure this rebirth. [ 1 ] The flood myth motif is widespread among many cultures as seen in the Mesopotamian flood stories, the Puranas , Deucalion in Greek mythology , the Genesis flood narrative , and in the lore of the K'iche' and Maya peoples of Central America , and the Muisca people in South America .