Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Flood tales; Noah, Gilgamesh and Manu

One thing leads to another - this we know. Forgotten Classics was reading Genesis, got to the story of Noah and then inserted an issue about Gilgamesh. In this way we could hear and compare the more known flood tale to its probable Mesopotamian predecessor. Host Julie Davis sat down with her daughter who has had Gilgamesh in her literature class. In her own adolescent lingo she recounts the tale and then mother and daughter discuss its meaning. (feed)

I vaguely knew there were more flood tales in ancient narratives, but frankly, I would not have been able to name one but Noah and Gilgamesh. Fortunately, and completely by chance, in the same week Forgotten Classics came with Gilgamesh, the Mahabharata Podcast came with Episode 37 - The Markandeya Sessions Pt. 1 which recounts how the Pandavas sit with the sage Markandeya and push him to tell tales of Brahmins. He tells two, the second of which is the tale of Manu, a formidable sadhu who is being foretold of a flood to come and instructed to build an ark. (feed)

So there we have it, a flood story in the Mahabharata. Manu builds the ark, takes on it a bank of seeds and other material which eventually will enable him to bring life back to the world and then, obviously, the world gets inundated. The ark drifts around for a long time until the waters slowly recede and the first mountain peaks pop up again - in this tale not the Ararat, but rather the peaks of the Himalaya of course. Go and listen for more.

With me, as said, one thing leads to another and I went on to look for more podcasts on flood tales and among others ran into an iTunes collection of Harrisburg Area Community College with a World Literature course that addresses Genesis, Gilgamesh and many other important tales.

More Forgotten Classics:
5 podcasts I listened to (Genesis),
The Riddle of the Sands,
The message of Uncle Tom's Cabin,
Cooking with Forgotten Classics,
Forgotten Classics - podcast review.

More Mahabharata Podcast:
Indian roots of the Unicorn,
Endless cloth,
The Mahabharata Podcast.
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