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Author Topic: MYTHS OF CRETE & PRE-HELLENIC EUROPE  (Read 5694 times)
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« Reply #45 on: February 25, 2009, 11:50:12 pm »

requirements of modern geologists. Four Yugas extend over a period of "divine years" equal to 4,320,000 years of mortals, and a thousand of the combined Yugas comprise a "Day of Brahma", the individualized "World Soul". The Yugas begin with the Krita or Perfect Age, which is White, and decline from that to the Treta, which is Red, and the Dwápara, which is Yellow, to Kali Yuga, "the Black or Iron Age".

Hesiod, in his Work and Days, begins the Greek system with the perfect Golden Age, which is followed by the Silver and Bronze Ages, and the two Ages of Heroes and Iron, which may have been local subdivisions of the fourth Age, represented in India by Kali Yuga.

Both in India and Greece, man it will be noted, was believed to have relapsed from a primitive state of perfection. The system found in Ireland, which was probably imported from Gaul with the doctrine of transmigration of souls and the custom of widow-burning or slaying, follows, on the other hand, an evolutionary process. The first Irish Age, that of Partholon and his race, is an Age of folly. It is followed by Nemed's Age, which was distinguished for cruelty, and the Age of the Fir Bolgs, in which the power of evil was supreme. Then comes the Danann Age of benevolent deities and heroes, who are the reputed "ancestors of the men of learning in Erin". The last Age is the Milesian, and during it St. Patrick reached Ireland and preached Christianity.

This ancient doctrine of the World's Ages, which may be traced in Egypt and Babylonia, where certain gods lived for periods upon earth as human. kings, was adapted to suit the needs of different cults in different areas of localization. In India the four great castes were each connected with a Yuga: the Brahmans had origin in the White Age, the Kshatriyas (military aristocrats) in the

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Red Age, the Vaisyas (traders and agriculturists) in the Yellow Age, and the Sudras (Dravidians and pre-Dravidians) in the Black Age. In Greece an Age was devoted to the Trojan heroes, and in Ireland the Fir Bolgs, Dananns, and Milesians were identified with existing racial types whom St. Patrick found there.

One of the versions of the Indian legend of Mythical Ages is related by the deathless sage Markandeya, who lived through all the Yugas, and was protected during the Deluge by the child-god Narayana. The Irish account was put into the mouth of Tuan MacCarell. He had been a contemporary of Partholon, and afterwards existed for periods as a stag, a boar, a vulture or eagle, and a salmon. In the end his salmon form was devoured by the wife of King Carell, with the result that he was reborn as her son. Another sage of this class is the famous Mágus of the Icelandic Bragda Mágus saga, who renewed his youth periodically by casting his skin. He also figures in the Charlemagne romances.

If the ancient teachers, who professed to have received revelations from sages like the "Wandering Jew", had been acquainted with the scientific data which is now available, their narratives of past Ages would have described greater changes than ever they conceived of. Nor would these be lacking either in picturesqueness or imaginative appeal. The priestly sages would have no cause to lament with the poet:

       Do not all charms fly
At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
We know her woof and texture; she is given
In the dull catalogue of common things.

Even greater and more ferocious monsters than were

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