Anatomy unit 1
This assignment will discuss Hybrid animal deities in culture and religion and why animals play such an important roll in some faiths. Based upon resources from www.egyptian-gods.info , The Bible and www.bbc.co.uk/religion/hinduism. Playing close attention to genesis chapter 3 of the bible. Also Gods in ancient Egyptian times said to be half animal. Finally deities in in the Hindu religion.
Many religions often depict their deities with human characteristics spliced with animals, research into this subject shows that there is a vast number of animal Hybrids in religions such as Hinduism. Specifically the deity Garuda or the King of Birds first mentioned in the first book of the Great Epic Mahabharata ,this creature is not the most worshiped but a strong example of a Hybrid creature in religion. Garuda is the mount of a more prevalent Hindu God Vishnu, this creature is described as having a strong male body and face, red wings and an eagles beak. The eagle is strong predatory animals with pride and prowess in terms of hunting for prey. It is important to note that some countries utilize the eagle as a national symbol as it co notates to power, authority. So in many ways the ancient God Garuda reflects modern day mans lust dominants over the rest of the world.
Another symbolic animal Hybrid in the Hindu religion is the “Naga” or snake people also mentioned in the Mahabharata, this race of para human resembles the formidable snake, it is written that they are the sworn enemy of Garuda, The Bird King, who would often prey upon them. Eagles do in fact in real life hunt snakes especially the short toed eagles of India. The Naga are often depicted in the Mahabharata as a vile and pitiful race. The snake in in the Hindu religion represents not only poisoning of the body but also of the soul. This is why many Hindu worshipers wear Garuda as an amulet to protect them selves from snake bites.
The “serpent was more subtle than any beast of field”(God, bible, genesis chapter 3)in the bible god describes Satan as being very sly one of the most common accounts of this is the story of “Adam and Eve, the Devil appears in the form of a snake in front of eve and persuades her to eat the forbidden fruit.
(fig2.Michelangelo’s original sin)
Figure2. Shows Michelangelo Buonarroti’s interpretation Satan as a hybrid serpent creature seducing Eve into eating the “forbidden fruit”. upon successfully persuading Eve, God step and curses Satan “upon thy belly thou shall go” like a snake forever on the ground. This part in the bible is why many believe snakes to be a bad omen and a sign of evil.
In Greek culture and mythology another story tells the tale of gods using their powers to curse, one in particular is the story of Arachne who bragged that her skill as a weaver were second to none not even the Goddess of wisdom and crafts. Her metamorphosis was much the one described in the bible, but much more painful as this curse was placed upon a mortal. Publius Ovidius Naso aka Ovid described the transformation as though she had been “touch’d with the poisonous drug”( Ovid, Metamorphoses, 8AD)
Ovid describes Arachne’s transformation as a painful torture to emphasize the fear ancient Greek people had for the Gods.