Was Hercules real?

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
4,990
New Delhi, India
In Hinduism, the divine craftsman is 'Tvashtṛi' who forges Indra's 'Vajra' (akin to hammer, but never really clearly defined) - from the bones of a Rishi (Sage), Dadhyancha or in later times Dadhichi who offered to die for the benefit of mankind. So Dadhichi took the form of a horse and Indra that of a lion and killed him. That was the only way a particular demon of darkness (Vritra) could be killed.

I suppose Indra's weapon was the femur of a horse, a story from before the copper age.

 
Last edited:
Sep 2014
694
Texas
In Hinduism, the divine craftsman is 'Tvashtṛi' who forges Indra's 'Vajra' (akin to hammer, but never really clearly defined) - from the bones of a Rishi (Sage), Dadhyancha or in later times Dadhichi who offered to die for the benefit of mankind. So Dadhichi took the form of a horse and Indra that of a lion and killed him. That was the only way a particular demon of darkness (Vritra) could be killed.

I suppose Indra's weapon was the femur of a horse, a story from before the copper age.

Thank you so much. I knew the name Indra but did not know a lot about him. This information would certainly put him in the hammer god catagory. And I am familiar with a Tvashtri story about the creation of mead, the Ashvins and horse prophesy.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
4,990
New Delhi, India
You want one Supreme or Three. In case one, it is Brahman. In case three, then Shiva, Vishnu and Mother Goddes Durga. Or any one of the many others. A Hindu is free to worship many and/or have one of his choice as the Supreme, or negate all of them and be an atheist Hindu like myself. More than Gods or Goddesses, fulfillment of one's duties and engaging in righteous action (dharma) is more important in Hinduism than belief in this God or that. If 'dharma' is not followed, no God or Goddess will be pleased.
 
Likes: bedb
Sep 2014
694
Texas
You want one Supreme or Three. In case one, it is Brahman. In case three, then Shiva, Vishnu and Mother Goddes Durga. Or any one of the many others. A Hindu is free to worship many and/or have one of his choice the Supreme, or negate all of them and be an atheist Hindu like myself. More than Gods or Goddesses, fulfillment of one's duties and engaging in righteous action (dharma) is more important in Hinduism than belief in this God or that. If 'dharma' is not followed, no God or Goddess will be pleased.
I actually know the story of how Dharma became a god. It is one of my favorite. I always tell people my belief system is complicated because I'm not exactly a Christian anymore but I believe in the human soul, and nothing Jesus said was wrong to me. It's all the crap added that turns me against it. However. one of my pleasures is studying how the IE religions are similar and different. I've never cared for isolated studies. I mean you have to know what you're talking about for certain, and Hindu is a living religion so I am very careful to comment on the Vedic Indians or Mittani.
 
Likes: Aupmanyav
Aug 2010
15,091
Welsh Marches
Not really, because heroes were honoured in cult in ancient Greece, they held a sort of intermediate grade between gods and human beings. In his mythology Heracles is a hero of semi-divine descent rather than an odinary man, and he is marked off from ordinary human beings from his infancy, he strangles snakes as a baby. In truth nothing is known about his origin, it is plain that his mythology ultimately goes back to the Mycenenaean age, but it is impossible even to tell what place or area he was originally associated with; in his myths as we have them he is very much a stock figure rather than a man of idiosyncratic character, and even if he originated as a historical figure (which I think to be unlikely), it makes little difference because nothing of that figure is preserved in the stories that are told of the Heracles of myth.

Imagine if the Tudor age were followed by an age of extreme disorder and Henry VIII were turned into 'Henry', a hard-drinking hard-fighting strongman, in the popular imagination over time, and all sorts of appropriate stories were ascribed to him over a period of several centuries, until nothing were left of the Henry who had many wives and abolished the monasteries, - could one say that this Henry was a real person? The situation was even more complicated with Heracles if he did in fact originate as a historical figure long long ago, because he would presumably have been associated with a specific place originally, but is associated all manner of different places in his fully developed mythology, and became a sort of magnet for stories not originally associated with him, and inspired bards to invent all kinds of new stories. So in the final resort I have no hesitation in saying: our Heracles is purely mythical.
 
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