Why is it necessary to compare the cultures of two civilizations that are, in all actuality and all metaphor, vastly dissimilar? The existence of these parallels suggests that, despite the great diversity in human life and culture, we are still motivated by the same desires and drawn to the same conclusions, which may be the answer. We may use various words, phrases, and rituals, yet at our fundamental core, everyone is a similar person. Furthermore, book international flight tickets from US to India and come along with us as we explore cultural parallels between ancient Hindu & indigenous American civilizations.
Before we go into the specifics, it’s important to understand what these two terms mean. When we talk about ancient Hindus, we mean the Hindus who lived on the Indian peninsula before the advent of Christ. They are frequently credited with emerging from the Indus Valley civilization. Native Americans, on the other hand, refer to the people who lived on the North American continent before Christopher Columbus arrived. Both civilizations were the first to live in a region that has since been claimed by several peoples, often using genocide. Both have survived the ages, albeit narrowly.
Spiritual Beliefs and Practices
Despite having divergent histories that span a great deal of time and space, both cultures have a lot in common. Hinduism accepts a vast range of sects and rituals while functioning as one religion or way of life. It is a polytheistic religion that serves as sort of an umbrella over the entire pantheon of gods and gurus, each of whom has their own set of ideas and beliefs. You might either believe or not believe in the holiness of the Vedas. For instance, the Nyaya school, which values logic above all else, does not believe in idol worship. Also, for instance, the Shaiva tradition elevates the Shaiva agamas above the Vedas or even the concept of god; early Hinduism also included atheistic or nastic groups.
Similar to this, there are other little communities of Native Americans scattered over the continent, each with its own distinct beliefs and customs. There were hundreds of various tribes distributed across America, but as soon as Columbus arrived, they were all united as one. However, many other American Indians, including the Sioux, Appalachians, and Navajo, did not view themselves in that way.
Social Structures and Hierarchies
Ancient Hindu traditions distinguished clearly between gurus and holy men. They were recognized as village leaders and held positions of unofficial power and respect. Additionally, they played a huge daily role in people’s lives. In native American society, shamans played a similar role. Whether it was their belief in the supernatural or their belief in the souls of animals and plants, they were seen to have stronger links with the world and its spirits. One of the Hopi tribe’s mythologies, known as Honan Kopicha, is about a beaver that is worshipped to avoid its wrath during the deepest winter. Along with myths about evil spirits roaming the world, Hinduism also revered the life that all living things shared. Take into account the evil spirits Rakshasa and Chudail, whose tales are still told in children’s books.
Although native American traditions position them in a higher social status than the ancient Hindus, both civilizations share the worship of animals and elements of animism. Thus, in contrast to how people revered and feared beavers, coyotes, and eagles, we have the sacred cow, who is still viewed as a mother. In addition, there are several additional animals whose connections to gods confer special status on them. like Airavat, Indra’s white elephant, and Garud, Vishnu’s beloved bird. Additionally, if you are looking to book online flight tickets from US to Delhi, make sure to visit Airfarebooking, the best online travel website.
The next group was the women, who, despite being treated equally in native American society, were typically assigned to household chores and gatherings while the men went on hunts. On the opposite side, a similar picture is presented, where men served as the providers and women were restricted to household duties. Family responsibilities were clearly separated, with patriarchy predominating in both civilizations. The practices surrounding marriage were also quite similar; both inter-tribal and inter-caste unions were strongly discouraged.
Agriculture and Sustainability
Moving on to more tangible matters, both cultures place a high value on real estate and land. Native Americans had a strong sense of their dependency on the land and held a strong belief in its sanctity. The property was not privately owned; rather, it belonged to the tribe as a whole and was zealously guarded. Being hunters and gatherers, they were aware of the ecosystem’s fragile balance and made a commitment to protecting it. The Hindus of antiquity were not far off. There was still a shared conviction that there is a unity, a single life force that flows through us all, a Parmatma, and it was to be respected, even though they were less reliant on hunting than the Americans. Since agriculture was the primary occupation, the land was passed down through families, usually being granted to the men in the family, and since it was the primary occupation, it was accompanied by authority and prestige.
Influence and Cross-cultural Interactions
Both civilizations welcomed foreigners, often to their disadvantage. While Columbus came up with the idea of claiming the land, he also brought with him a number of diseases from the new world that would cause enormous death tolls even in the absence of overt hostilities. Both civilizations have survived, but they serve as obvious illustrations of human greed and folly.
Astronomy and Cosmology
Finally, we reach the idea of reincarnation, which is shared by both cultures, albeit in different contexts. Hindus believe that a soul must inhabit a certain number of human and animal bodies before it can finally ascend to heaven, whereas Native Americans believe that time is a circle that has no beginning or end. Their view of reincarnation is based on the idea that spirits are eternal and merely transition between bodies. They don’t understand what hell or heaven is. The only place that has ever been is on his planet.
In conclusion, the existence of these parallels suggests that, despite the great diversity in human life and culture, we are still motivated by the same desires and drawn to the same conclusions. Despite the fact that our language, phrasing, and traditions may vary, we all have a similar core. If you are curious to learn more about Hindu culture, book flight tickets from US to Mumbai with Airfarebooking and come to India to explore our very own diverse culture.