Max Mueller said that mythology is a disease of language and that ancient
symbolism was the result of something like primitive aberration of mind.
There may be many who may subscribe to this view of Prof. Max Mueller.
But a good many may also share the view of Prof. Mircea Eliade who said
that images, symbols and myths are not irresponsible creatures of the
psyche and that they resound to a need and fulfill a function there of
bringing to light the most hidden modalities of being.
Prof. Mircea Eliade spoke both as a scholar and as a mystic while Prof.
Max Mueller spoke only as a great scholar that he was.
Mythology is a primitive mode of expressing
thoughts based on natural facts. There cannot be any aberration in this
mode of collecting thoughts. For example, the ancient Egyptians described
the mouse as an external symbol of the soul. The soul is something residing
within our body and it is compared with a mouse which lives underground
in its burrow unseen by anybody. Similarly ancient Egyptians, also considered
cat as the symbol of the moon for the reason that the eye of the cat can
see in the darkness and it reflects light that falls on just like the
moon reflects the light of the Sun.
The Hindu Puranas, the mosaic and Christian testament, ancient Sumarian
and Egyptian lore are full of myths containing symbols, emblems, allegories
and parables, which are resorted to by masterminds, as they are the best
medium to bring home to popular minds the meaning behind abstract ideas
and concepts. Revelations of St. John the divine is full of such symbols
and allegories. Song of songs of Solomon, Rasleela stories of Radha and
Krishna and the legend of Laila and Majnu are also writings of a legendary
nature depciting the yearning of the worshipper to get merged with the
worshipped. These writings are made deliberately interesting, by a down
to earth approach, with a platonic ideal underlying them. There are, in
like manner many stories about Ganehsa. Some stories are silly. Some stories
are serious. The most popular one among these stories is the one regarding
his birth, as the mind born son of the Goddess Parvathy his exploits,
decapitation and resurrection.