Draupadi, Sita and Helen of Troy


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In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy has always been projected as a seductress who eloped with young Paris, forcing her heartbroken husband to fight the war of Troy to get her back. This war resulted in the burning of the beautiful city.

Helen was held responsible for this destruction. We also hear of Draupadi being blamed for Mahabharata.

TROY, another one of my favorite movies, shows Helen’s side of the story.

Why did she run away from her husband (Menelaus) to elope with young Prince Paris? Was this a war for love, or was it wrath of a man scorned?

The movie has action, romance, suspense, intrigue and some controversy… if it was in India it would have also managed to attract some protests. Brad Pitt is just one of the attractions.

Greek Mythology and Indian Mythology have more in common:

Achilles heels and Krishna’s heels were their Achilles heel (the only vulnerable point on their bodies). Krishna dies when Jara’s arrow pierces his heel. Achilles death was caused by an arrow in his heel too.  But it is the character of Odysseus that is a lot more like Krishna. He convinces a reluctant  Achilles to fight for Agamemnon – a war the Greek hero did not want to fight.

Penelope waits for nineteen years for her husband, Odysseus, to come back from this war, and during this time many Princes, each pretending to be Odysseus, try to woo her. Although Odysseus meets many loves during these years, Penelope remains chaste.  They seem to have Indian values.

Like in the Mahabharata, a dog is the only one who loyally follows Yudhishthir up to swarg, the Greeks have the loyal Argus who waited for nineteen years and was the only one to recognize Odysseus when he returned…

Zeus is like our Indra, King of the Gods, Lord of the Clouds, and his wife Hera is always suspicious and extremely jealous, because Zeus has a roving eye.

We have Brahma changing into a swan to seduce Saraswati, and Greek mythology has Zeus changing himself into many forms (including a swan) to seduce Leda.

Persephone and Sita were both forcibly abducted and wooed, and both (in different circumstances) disappeared under the Earth.

I wonder if our mythology is influenced by theirs or theirs by ours!  Did we live in the same place sometime in history, together?

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122 thoughts on “Draupadi, Sita and Helen of Troy

  1. Hmm there may be a connection. The movie was awesome. I cried when Paris’s older brother dies in battle. 😦

    Me – I thought he was really the best of all!!

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    • you mean Hector eh…. !!

      he was a superb character and equally well played by Eric… !!

      I agree.. there are a lot of similarities… !!

      somehow I feel our history ws a lot more modern than our current generation…actually…

      Me- Hector was lovable, my favorite. And Eric did a great job, he stole the show….

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  2. 🙂 You have a good knowledge of a lot of Mythological events! There is a mythological character called ‘Kannagi’ in Tamil literature – She is quite silent when her husband goes to another woman (I guess Madhavi), but when he is killed by mistake by the king, she goes and argues with the king with facts and after the king realises that he has done a mistake, he faints and dies. Well, I guess there are both positive and negative things to grasp from such situations and many are indeed not pertaining to current era.

    Destination Infinity

    DI Yes I have heard about Kannagi. I feel Indian women are influenced by such figures, or the folk lore was created after the real women…

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  3. It is also believed that helen was abducted by paris. Before helen could see paris, she was shot by eros, otherwise known as cupid.this made her to fell in love with paris…

    Me – So that means she was innocent of falling in love with Paris?! I feel with all the mythological men there falling in and out of love all the time, she did not becomes any better or worse for eloping with Paris

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  4. Actually, it’s quite possible. Many cultures and religions share variations of the same myths, stories and legends; the best example being Manu and Noah. In fact scholars have found that Sanskrit is similar, in many ways, to European languages. These findings are important in that, while showing us our shared heritage, they go on to prove that ultimately we’re no different from any other human being. In fact even our religions are similar- so why do we fight?

    Love that thought Freespirit! I didn’t know about Manu and Noah’s Ark… but the great floods are common in all religions… something must have happened .. We have samudra-manthan…

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  5. “I wonder if our mythology is influenced by theirs or theirs by ours! Did we live in the same place sometime in history, together?”

    I am sure someone at that time mastered the art of plagiarism. 😀

    Me- Solilo Don thee smells crime !!!??

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  6. ohh nice..i didn’t know all this…so many similarities, eh?….have to dig up more on this…interesting post, as always, IHM…thanks for sharing!

    Me – Welcome Titaxy!! Do share what you dig up !

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  7. You’re right about Greeks and Indians being similar. I work with several Greek Australians and they have told me that Greek values and Indian values are similar as are some of the mythological sides. As for who came first, don’t know! But if you think about ancient history and civilisations, it’s always focused on the Greeks, Indians, Egyptians and Arabs. Just on the note of similarity, Greeks too tend to prefer male children (like Indians) and follow the version of Indian Standard time (i.e. nothing starts on time!) and they don’t believe in queues. 🙂 Not my judgement — affirmed by the Greeks themselves.

    Me – LOL didn’t know about greeks version of IST 😉 Male children, obsession with virginity (only female) and honor are also heard of in Spain – – I loved Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ‘Chronicles of a death foretold’.

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    • @Psych-Babbler: I think you and IHM have proved without a doubt that Indians and Greeks have a common ancestor – AGNI. God of Fire? Ancestral Greek North Indian? You decide. 🙂

      Quirky Indian

      LOL ha ha ha 😆 😆 QI I took a moment to get that!!!!!!!!!

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    • Preference for a male child is prevalent all over…

      We have something else in common with the Greeks – both nationalities like eating goat meat…I’m sure if I exercise my brain a bit more, I’ll come up with something else…

      Me – 😉 I am thinking too!

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  8. Heyyy, I second your thoughts on the similarities. I had asked this to so many of my friends myself. Although, I thought Zeus and Shiva had things in common. Both Zeus and Shiva carried a similar weapon, the one that looks like a trishul. Zeus and Shiva both hid their girlfriends within themselves. both of them had a son who was half human, half beast !! I guess, we were all living in the same world and when people travelled to different parts of the world, mythology took its own form.

    Me – Now I need to check up on this Vimmuuu, I didn’t know this. Yes the thunderbolt, (isn’t that Zeus’s weapon?) looks like a trishul… I feel the stories got mixed up, a characterstics mixed up too…

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  9. I think the myths are from the same kind of people, or stories that traveled across some distance … if you look at the origin myths they are pretty similar too…..

    Me – And then they became a part of our history?

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  10. really interesting IHM….

    After your post I am thinking about their similarities…

    Me – There is a lot more in common, including similar sounding words in our ancient languages..

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  11. Hi there,
    Nice Comparison.
    I believe that human emotions are a universal constant – they are same everywhere.
    Or maybe what you said is right that at some point of time we lived at the same place.

    Have a nice day! 🙂

    Me – I feel we lived in one place… we don’t have as much in common with the Chinese or the Egyptian mythology.

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  12. hmmm…Good question…Did we influence them or did they influence us…I think Greek stories first came to India with the Aryans and then with Alexander…The classical languages Greek, Latin and Sanskrit have a common source in a much older language which is extinct today…Like Sanskrit, Indian mythology was also influenced by invasion and migration, which means their culture influenced ours…

    Yes it does seem so!

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  13. I think it also has to do with the continental drift theory. Thousands of years ago it was all just one land mass which later separated out into the continents we know today. So naturally there would have been cultural assimilation based due to physical proximity. Hence the similarities. Just another theory! 🙂

    Me – I found the theory fascinating the first time we read about it… we sat with the map pondering over it… so we could have been together sometime!! The language Latin and Sanskrit have similar sounding words for Pitra, matra, non, wayam…

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  14. The mythologies got intermixed, actually our astrology system is also the gift of greeks, you know that the greeks had reached to the border of indian sub content, and there was a lot of cultural mix at that time, there had been a few marriages between the greeks and indian royalty.. u will also find similarities in egyptian stories too..

    you have given a few examples, but there are a lot many..

    Me- Yes I do realise there are more examples, please share any links or more information!! 🙂

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  15. Brad Pitt is just one of the attractions. 🙂 I like that! But yes, at least the movie shows Helen’s husband as fighting primarily out of wounded pride.

    As for the similarities in mythology, I think humans everywhere have created similar myths to explain things which could not at the time, be invented. Not sure of common ancestry etc, since a lot of the original Aryan theories have now been contested by scientists and historians.

    Me – I didn’t mean a common ancestry Apu. I meant maybe a small (but powerful) number of Greeks came and settled here, and maybe they influenced our folk lore… Some of the things are too similar to be mere coincidences, like Achilles Heel? Like turning into many forms and finally a swan to seduce Leda or Sarswati… and then there is Cronas and Kansas both were warned they were going to be killed by their 6th and 8th child…even the names sound similar! Take a look at the link Poonam has given!!

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  16. IHM,
    Thanks for the article. You’ve awakened the mythology love in me. When in school and college – history and mythology fascinated me and I read up a lot. Then somehow pursuing professional studies lost my touch with these subjects.
    You’ve got me know back to hunting and reading up on these again.
    I’ve always believed that India has rich heritage; in terms of the mythological characters and her history. I do believe there could be parallels between our and the Greek culture, after all India did have invasions and migrations from the east. Maybe it passed onto generations.

    Mythology and history fascinates me too 🙂 And also where do they mingle, how much is history and where does folk lore become history… I think we loved Greek Mythological stories and mixed them with our history, and with out folk lore… the lines blurred and the stories changed over generations, but the similarities are impossible to miss.

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  17. Interesting… I am not a big english movie fan,except a few like Armagedon,Independence day kinda movies….So,maybe i will not watch this movie anyday..

    As for similarities between different mythologies,maybe people read ours and went back home and wrote their own version,or maybe vice versa… Or maybe life was the same everywhere then..Well,except for some traditions and customs,aren’t we all the same human beings that live life from birth to death..

    Errr,what did i say now 🙄

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  18. Wow, IHM – Impressive! So you’re not only all women’s liberation 🙂

    I’m sure with what you’ve told me, there could be a lot more in common. Intriguing.

    There is a lot more in common, but he he errr… you missed Rakesh, Penelope chaste waiting v/s Odysseus’s many loves at every shore, and Helen’s misery being married to an older, arrogant man… 😉

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    • So then who’s Hercules? Mahabali Hanuman? Both their names begin with ‘H’ as well…

      Me- Not sure, but they have Athena (Sarswati), and Aphrodite for beauty, and Hades like Yama, Apollo was Sun, they also have short-tempered gods who cursed humans and didn’t like to see them becoming too powerful and hence a threat, some of the stories are cruel.
      Sun, wind and water/thunder were worshiped by many civilizations but the similarities in theri stories are most striking in these two.

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  19. So many similarities! Makes me want to do more research on this topic nw 😛
    Interesting post IHM 🙂

    Me- Please do, I would love to read more about this Swaram !!!

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  20. That is amazing I knew hardly any of these facts.

    I had no clue that Greek and Indian Mythology were so similar. I have to say I know so little about Mythology, its just not funny. People take names of all the characters, and in most probability I shall be left clueless!

    I doubt we (greek & indians) have similar origins, greek people ( men and women) are so gorgeous!

    I agree… more like maybe some of them came and settled here and influenced our folk lore which was later compiled into literary masterpieces

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  21. hmmmmm..cool stuff. And then there is another – the big fat greek wedding…our’s only gets bigger, fatter and noisier too, no?

    LOL 🙂 So true!!! And Psych Babbler says they follow Indian Standard Time 😉

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  22. I guess it shows how all paths ultimately lead to the same point. Years back, there was a retreat in college and I vaguely remember a priest talking about the similarities between Bible and Upanishads. Maybe I should do little research on this.

    Me – It would be great to read about it!!

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  23. Oh yes, Greek and Indian mythology have a lot in common. But Zeus is likened more often to Shiva than Indra. Like Shiva resides on Mt. Kailash, Zeus also resides on Mt. Olympus. The Greeks worshipped Nature and had Gods to take care of each aspect of it: earth, water, fire, air. Just like it is in Indian mythology!

    Wow!!! Fascinating isn’t it… like DI says Shiva’s trishul also looks a little like Zeus’s weapon…(Thunderbolt?) But unlike Shiva Zeus was not faithful to his wife, and he rules the clouds, thunder and rain… And like Brahma he changed himself into a swan hoping to seduce Leda. Looks like we just picked bits from their various gods.

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  24. Probably all this are same stories and we are calling it mahabaratha and homer named it as Troy, well i don’t know
    Anyways Troy is also my favourate movie.I guess I have seen it more than 3 or 4 times 🙂 ….it is a cult classic movie.
    Between never heard about this stricking similarity.Thanks for sharing here :)… will try to research about the same, when i get some time

    Me – I watch this movie whenever it is shown on the TV 🙂 Love it!! Yes Mahabharat and the Trojan War have a lot in common!!

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  25. IHM, yes the Indian civilization has many things in common with other contemporary ones. It is only the modern India which offers stark contrast to some of the western civilisations. Nice example qouted here. Well read , I must say. Thanks for sharing.

    Me – It is only the modern India which offers stark contrast to some of the western civilisations. I agree with this line!!!!!!!!! We started becoming rigid because of our inferiority complex and a wish to prove that we are ‘superior’… 😦

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  26. If i remember correctly Greek civilization is older than the Indian civilization?Is it so?

    Then whoever came earlier has the copyright, who ever came late copied it 🙂

    Me – Not sure which one is older Mustaf!!

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    • Greek civilization is contemporary with Vedic Civilization (The academically accepted version) .

      But Indian Civilization (Indus/Harappa) is older than Greek and contemporary with older Egyptian.

      Me- Did Indus valley civilization have the same mythology? I wonder what were their gods like… those would be the original Indian gods then!!?! Without any influence from the Greek mythology?!

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  27. IHM you’ve drawn some very interesting parallels between Indian and Greek Mythology.. both of these are equally fascinating.. Perhaps they believed in “inspiration ” even back then !! 😆

    Me- They had their Muses !!!

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  28. Wow IHM…didnt know of the similarities at all! Troy is one of my favourite movies. Watched it cos of Brad Pitt actually 🙂 I agree we must have lived in the same place sometime in history! They wrote in Greek and we in Sanskrit 😉

    Me- And Sanskrit and Latin have similar sounding words too…

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  29. Indians, Greeks and Egyptians traded with each other. All three mythologies have close similarity. Plagarism or inspiration????

    Mayans have some parallels too, but that is harder to explain

    Me- I had no idea about the Mayans… would love to know more.

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  30. I like the mythological links though the post appealed to me more in the message between the lines, and i.e – How often have we heard a lot of people say that almost every war in the world was fought because of women…. And, every time we forget the fact that, that was only because we treated women as mere objects of desire filled with overflowing emotions rather than treat them equally…

    10 Pints & A Curry

    Me – Thanks Kamal 🙂

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    • I like what Kamal says. There is a saying in Malayalam, ‘Kanakam moolam kamini moolam kalaham palavidham ulakil sulabham’ which translates to, ‘ You can find feuds aplenty in this world because of gold (kanakam) and woman (kamini)’ This is repeated by the aam janta with lots of wise shaking of their imho, inflated heads. But I have always held, the fault if any, lies not with the gold or the woman but in those who want to posses and fight over it. How can gold or woman cause fights?? It is the people who have the ‘moham’ (longing) for it who are at fault. Let them learn to take the blame for their own actions rather than point fingers at gold and woman for their instinct to fight! 😉

      Me – Absolutely Shail, everybody is responsible for their own actions. We have a term called TRIYACHARITRA – how women just can’t help being unpredictable, whimsical, complicated etc. 🙄

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  31. This is so interesting! I am a mythology buff, but I never knew that Brahma turned into a swan to seduce Saraswati. Well, she was his consort anyway! They always portray Brahma as an old man, so probably Saraswati was totally turned off by that. Lol.

    Neither did I know that Krishna ever died. My grandma never told me that part.

    I have always wanted to see Troy, but nobody enjoys Western cinema here and so, I never get to watch it fully.

    Saraswati was not Brahma’s consort… I think he had created her. Will have to check, my information is inaccurate so not writing…

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  32. ths is one of my fav movie…i feel bad when somebody says this that all fight are coz of women..without realising the realy story behind

    Truely said – I wonder if our mythology is influenced by theirs or theirs by ours! Did we live in the same place sometime in history, together?

    Me- Something is there for sure.. either some of us lived there (unlikely I feel, no record of Indians settling there in powerful positions – long enough to influence their folk lore/mythology etc), or they came and settled here… we have record of their settling here, but perhaps they settled here still earlier..

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  33. O wow..!! I never came across such a similarity till now..it was a very very interesting piece..

    I guess like that Anon said, roots of all ppl r same…

    Me- It’s more than that Devil. We were also together for certain amount of time, long enough to for their folk lore to be incorporated into ours… perhaps our gods were inspired by and given powers of their gods?

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  34. Wow, that was some post! Very thought provoking. Sadly, I am not just geographically challenged, but historically too. Most times, I think all these stories are the figment of somebody’s imagination. It seems to dramatic to be true!

    Me- I feel the same Butterfly, this is mythology meaning myths and folk lore… maybe exaggerated and dramatised bits of history woven into beautiful masterpieces of literary works? Homer wrote The Odyssey and The Iliad, The Iliad is the details of the Trojan war to bring Helen back from Troy… what does that make you think of?!

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  35. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for Draupadi, Sita and Helen of Troy « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker [indianhomemaker.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com

  36. Amazed at the similarities,IHM. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Troy is a favourite with my husband..I watch it for Brad Bitt 😛

    Me- He is a major attraction no doubt 😉

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  37. This is a completely new angle of mythology, IHM! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Very very interesting.

    Me- The similarities continue in the languages also, will do a post on that… it’s totally fascinating.

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  38. This is very interesting. And apparently, from what I read, there has not been much study between the Indo-Greek historical link. One difference between the ‘Gods’ in both mythologies, however, is Indian Gods are considered immortal and having different characteristics or powers than humans (like Brahma with 4 heads or Hanuman who could fly) whereas Greek Gods are anthropomorphous, meaning having bodies and feelings like humans but immortal.

    Me- I think some of their gods could fly too??!! Let me check… 🙂 But both the mythologies had gods that could change into different forms.

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    • Really? I think you have me interested in mythology now. 🙂
      Also, I find it heartening that whether there was a physical link or not, the fact that we share similar mythologies speaks to how people really are the same no matter where we come from.

      It is just too fascinating!!! What are we fighting and comparing for, then??

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  39. i remember reading about these similarities. seems it is too long time into the past to ascertain which one of these might have influenced the other and we are at loose ends 🙂

    Me- Yeah all we can do is guesstimate 🙂 But it’s fun doing that…!!

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  40. Prajnaanam Brahma

    The “I”ness within us is Brahma.

    In most of us, it is clouded by ego.

    Me- I agree, I guess one needs a very sane balance between pride, dignity and arrogance. Power and humility go very well together Maald. Ego or stubbornness these days seems to be overpowered by other vices like greed for power.

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    • Ego is not arrogance nor pride nor stubborness. Ego is ‘sense of seperation’. We all have it. The “I” in you and “I” in others is same. Ego is the delusion that prevents us from seeing this.

      Me – Sense of separation? How does it help me be a good human being? Kinder, more considerate? ‘I’ need to feel good about helping others, ‘I’ can’t be good without *me* wanting to, and liking to… Ego is a delusion?

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      • Good and Bad cannot be the basis for the Truth; the Truth is the basis of Good and Bad. And the Truth is this: “Jeevo Brahmaivana Para:” – The being is none other than Brahma. You are whole, not separate, not alone! You are life, not just the one who is living. We cannot see this – blame it on maya or ego. Yes, ego is delusion.

        Treat your neighbor as thyself. This is more than moral science, it is practical side of the first para 🙂 All fear, anger and desires stem from our sense of separation.
        Well, wanted to clarify what we call ‘Brahma’ – came a long way. Will end it here 🙂

        Me – Thanks Maald 🙂

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  41. Interesting comparison between Indian and Greek mythologies. Most of the myths arise out of human brains and this may be the reason for the similarities.Its relation with history is limited.
    IHM, you said Penelope had Indian values. In most places of the World during that time of history situation for women were similar.They all had to follow patriarichial rules and traditions.So better not to term it as not ‘Indian’.

    LOl Charakan, yes, I agree… I added and removed a smiley from there, this one => 😉

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    • Ihm, as you know there are different versions of Ramayana in different countries of the world, mainly in south east Asia. Your post here is inspiring me to make a post about it when I get time.

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  42. Awesome parallels!!! I think we all have a common source for all the stories..

    If we dig deep enough everything would be related! All the religion .. all the stories everything!

    Me – Winnie some common base is one thing, common roots, beliefs are also fine, but its the little details that are puzzling… like Achilles heel?!

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  43. Your comment moderation system is eeevulll 😦 ! Never mind…one of these days… 😛
    Also your post was amazingly well thought out and researched. Kudos IHM!
    One last thing- Please please please read The Hungry Tide! 🙂 It really is amazing as Shail says…

    Me- Decided. Buying it today 🙂 T
    Comment moderation is a pain I know… please do bear with this inconvenience Freespirit.

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  44. loved the post.
    I know mythology as ‘word of mouth’ only, never knew abt brhma.

    So if we belive in our history prepared for use by british, aren’t araya from russia, greece and some other places? If so, then it make sense – i mean ur comparison

    Me – I don’t think we are descendants of Aryans, we look too different for one thing 🙂 But perhaps a small number of them settled here, and they (like the Mughals and the British??) influences our mythology ?? We do have record of Greeks being present in some courts , perhaps the link is much older…

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  45. Wow! It’s been awhile since I went into this current of thought. Long ago, I was so interested in Greek, and Roman mythology that I used to compare somethings to Hindu mythology.

    I noticed how some gods/goddesses have similar powers.

    Like Athena and Sarawasti. Both are goddesses of wisdom/knowledge.

    Hades and Yama are gods of underworld.

    Me – You seem to know about this! I would love to learn more… just to see how much more do we have in common. It is very interesting.

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  46. Reminds me the case of a distant relative of mine.. The ‘guy’ left his wife and 3 kids, didn’t divorce though, to go and have a life with another woman. The wife was employed and worked hard in bringing up the kids. Finally when the woman and a lot of his cash was lost, he is back to the family and now it seems like a happy one.

    I have no clues about the logic here… Could be Love!

    Me – Maybe Suji, but then it would be love only from one side?! 😦

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  47. I was reading on the net that in the 50s and 60s, Indian films were very popular in Greece…Around 111 of them were exhibited there between 1954 and 1968…

    Why were they popular? They were popular because the themes in the films resonated with the Greek audiences, despite them being from a completely different cultural imagination…The economic condition of Greece was bleak in the early 1950s – it was primarily an agricultural nation with high levels of illiteracy, limited life expectancy, and a low status for women…WW II and the subsequent civil war had destroyed the countryside and its people…An atmosphere of depression and gloom prevailed; it was in that climate of desperation that Hindi movies made an indelible impression…

    The themes of the Indian movies resonated with the wounded Greek psyche…Suffering women, street children who had to drop out of school, jealous sisters-in-law, vengeful mothers-in-law etc. etc. resonated with the Greeks…For them, it was like watching their lives on celluloid…

    Also, the form of the movies were familiar to Greeks…Both cultures share similarities in the way they view movies…They both like melodrama, the role of music in melodramas, iconicity and so on…

    Thinking about it, Greek epics too have a lot of melodrama etc. …

    So, even though Greek culture invaded India (debatable) in ancient times, Indian popular culture took over Greece in the 20th. century…

    This is so interesting Sraboney! I had no idea. I only knew Russians loved Indian movies.
    I wonder if Greek culture overtook Indian culture… maybe a small population came and settled in India, they must have been powerful… and they incorporated their mythology into our folklore… just wondering.

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    • On Russians enjoying Indian movies, my cousin was telling me that they are crazy about two actors. Raj Kapoor and Mithun Chakraborthy. 😀

      Me – I knew only about Raj Kapoor and “Mera naam joker”… I thought he looked Russian with his blue eyes and all 🙂

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      • In the early 80s (when Breznev was still around), my dad was posted in Moscow (Air-India, the old one as he points out)…Raj Kapoor landed up in communist Moscow without a passport…Normally, a person trying to enter without a passport would be arrested on the spot, but Raj Kapoor was allowed in…My dad couldn’t believe it!

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    • It is true that some Bollywood fims were screened in Greece. The most popular was ” Mother India”. Nargis had many Greek fans. Even some of the songs of the film were sung with greek lyrics. The reasons referred are quite correct. As the escapism and the exotism offered by those films appealed to the Greeks, who were struggling for a better life. In the following decades, however, with financial problems solved and illiteracy disappearing fast, European and American film industries replaced Bollywood. I think, however, that now, thanks to Internet mostly, the new Bollywood is becoming familiar to the Greeks. (I personally adore Shah Rukh Khan..). Unfortunately, as the population of Greece is smaller than that of Delhi or Mumbai, Indian films are not screened in Athens. What we have seen lately are Mira Nairs ‘ “Monsoon Wedding”, G. Chadha’s “Bend it like Beckham” and “Bride and Prejudice”. And, one Chistmas night, at a time when one usually sleeps, a TV channel showed “Devdas” and that was, I think, the second death of the poor hero….alas….

      Me – Sonia, Dev D is a more realistic Devdas – real Indian girls are more like Paro and Chanda of DevD 🙂 All the movies you mention are good movies!! ‘Bend it like Beckham’ is a favorite of mine – Indian girls do go through the prejudices shown in that movie 😦 Women talk like htye do in that movie too 😆 😉

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  48. IHM, there is one thing common in most mythological stories across the world, women were given a raw deal. Sita committed suicide and it was glorified as ‘dharti main samana’, Draupdi chose Arjun as her husband but was forced to marry all the 5 Pandavas, Savitri won her husband from Yama by her intelligence but we were made to believe that her ‘satitva’ was the reason for her success. There are so many stories to prove gender bias and I can go on and on at least about Indian mythology.

    I never thought of Sita’s ‘dharti men sanamaa’ … but you are right, what else was it??

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  49. There is another similarity that of the great flood…you have it in every religion…recent research shows that it could be a fabled version of the end of Ice Age in 10000 B.C. Also there is this interesting similarity in various old temples and architecture throughout old civilisations like the pyramids, the Ang Korwat and some Mayan structures where the major points of the structure all form some or the other constellation and that too at the same angle and position as they were in 10000 B.C. Wonder what was so significant about that date. Had seen an interesting documentary about it on Discovery long ago.

    I have always wondered about the great flood Cilla! Every religion seems to find a mention…

    I have always thought Ramayan and the story of Helen were similar and at times like Solilo I have also thought that maybe someone had perfected the Bollywood art of ‘inspired’ adaptation even then 😀

    Stories of Tenali Raman and King Solomon and sometimes even Birbal are similar. Also in those days there was a system of attributing a similar set of accomplishments to all sorts of kings and queens in court poetry. If you read Kalidasa and his contemporaries, you would find that all the kings they mentioned were somehow or the other descendants of either Sri Rama’s Suryavansh or the Pandavas’ Chandravansh. The family tree always traces back to them. How much of it is true and how much of it is tracking back to establish glorious heritage is debatable. Only a time machine will tell the truth I guess 🙂

    I agree this is debatable… anything could have been said or written to please the rulers…

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  50. Although I have been reading your blog for quite a long time, I did dare to take part in your conversations, as I felt that, being Greek, I would be an intruder….Today, however, I took the big decision…and hope to be present in the future, too.Yes, Brad Pitt was very handsome as Achilles, but the the crown prince of Troy is for me the real hero…Anyway, Homer in his Iliad narrates it all..Menalaos was Helen’ s husband, Agamemnon his brother… All this love and revenge story was an excellent pretext for the Greeks to conquer the east coast of the Aegean and establish colonies, as they did in the end. .. I am glad to see that our mythology is taught(?) in India, yours unfortunately is not, in Greece, neither is modern India known to us, I must admit, not even Bollywood….

    Me – Welcome Sonia 😆 I am glad you joined!! You are not and will never be an intruder 🙂 And you are right !!! Of course it was Menelaus, not Agamemnon, how did I mix their names?! I will make the correction in the post 🙂
    Actually Mythology, Indian or Greek is not taught in schools, one reads out of curiosity and interest.
    Homer’s Odyssey/ Iliad are taught as literary works if one studies Literature. And one is always curious because there is so much in common!
    All wars are fought for reasons different from those declared… women are often blamed for being the cause… but this one I was not aware of 🙂

    We have a common background, the origins of Greek, as well as of other European languages, too, prove that. Furthermore, Alexander’s the Great army reached the Hindus Valley… Anyway, leaving behind the past, I think that we, the inhabitants of the global village called Earth, should start getting to know each other, as we are now, acknowledging our common points of view and understanding our differences , with respect of course for our past, common or not.
    By the way, KG, the big fat wedding was of American citizens of Greek origin and it was a satire , not just a romantic comedy. I do not know about the NRIs, but Greeks abroad, mostly those of the elder generations, tend to cling to traditions more than their relatives in Greece…

    Me – Lovely thoughts Sonia … 🙂

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  52. Wow! IHM! That is so amazing! I guess, all these similarities do point to the fact that we all have common origins! I have a great-uncle who works on these – I will get him to read this! It is so interesting!

    I haven’t watched the movie – will try and catch it – my movies list is increasing thanks to blogging 🙂

    Me – My list too Smitha!! TROY is a super entertained also!!! Great cast too!! Now Shail has suggested ‘The Hungry Tide’ and I am dying to lay my hands on it 🙂

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  53. This is such an interesting post!!! Honestly speaking my mythological knowledge is very very limited so have hardly anything to say…

    But if you want to read Mahabharata from Draupadi’s POV then try reading The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni..though it is fiction but still makes out for a lovely read!!!

    And Congrats for the Blogadda pick 🙂

    Me – Thanks Smita 🙂 …. Yeah, that’s a book I read and loved !!! I wrote a post about it here, https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2008/04/07/draupadis-mahabharata/

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  54. okay I will have to come back and read all comments but how come u didn’t talk abt ‘my big fat greek wedding’, it could have very well been ‘my big fat indian wedding’ 🙂 I really thought that when I watched it long back.
    And have you read penleopiad by Margaret Atwood- penelope’s story, just like our very own palace of illusions. Even the two books are so similar. And Greek culture today is very similar to ours. One of my Greek friends told me no one stops when the signal turns yellow and if you did, the guy behind you will get out and kill u 🙂

    That’s what Psyche Babbler said, that they even follow Indian Standard Time 😦

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  55. made a great read IHM! 🙂 and yes, we are quite similar to some of european counterparts! and greek mythology is as rich and colourful as ours!

    similarly italian families are very similar to ours too!

    btw, have you seen thsi movie called Sita Sings the Blues? its on M’s blog sidebar (Vidooshak). you will love it! 🙂

    cheers!

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  56. Clive Cussler’s book Trojan Odessy has a different take on destruction of Troy…. one of my all time favs….. towards an materialistic, imperialistic theory on the capture of Troy …….was mythology hopping all these days since this post was published!! thanks a bunch

    Me – Hey give us some links or write a post!!! I would like to now why is it your all time fav?

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  57. Cool…You seem to have a good appetite of History and ancient world.

    I might agree with your last point that we stayed together some place at some time… I guess there is mention of this too in Bible..I am not sure though.

    Good Blog! My first time here:)

    Me – Welcome to this space Ekta 🙂 I feel the great floods are mentioned in almost every religion, in Bible and there’s the Samudra Manthan too. How I wish there was some way to find out exactly what happened!

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  58. Anthropologically, all stories and myths are derived from one meta-text. After all, whatever our color might be, we have one common ancestor 🙂
    (PS) I recently came across your blog. You are a wonderful writer!

    Me – Welcome to my blog Tanushree 🙂 You did not fill in the url space with your blog url!

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  64. I feel Indian since Indian civilization is the oldest one on earth, our epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana pre-date those of the Greeks, Romans, etc by centuries. Hence all their stories are based on those we have read in our epics.

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  66. It was fun reading this post and the comment thread. The universality of myths is an indicator of how at the end of the day, all our questions, doubts and aspirations are similar regardless of where, when and how we are born. It is organized identities, whether it be cultural, religious or national, that cause all the conflicts between human beings. The driving force behind organized identities (i am sure there is an academic word for it) is greed, greed for power, which feeds off the greed for material possessions and the insecurity of deprivation (the battle of troy) and causes people to harbor hate in their hearts. Thanks for sharing this post, which would have been difficult to come by for newer followers otherwise.

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  67. The world History is same all over the world, but that does not mean all the mythologies are pure work of fiction and glorified tales. We can definitely see similarities between the various mythologies all over the world only because they all have a common theme of righteous warriors, evil forces and the omniscient GOD. But if we see a handful of similarities, we must also check over thousands and thousands of differences. Achiles is in no way Krishna or Arjuna Of Mahabharatha and neither are the two wars of Troy and Mahabharatha the one and same. History gets complicated after a few centuries and here we are talking about tens of thousands of years. Imagine a thousand years from now, similar discussions would take place questioning the lives of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Scholars would argue they were the same person since they both stood for same principles and were assassinated the same way. They would also also argue that World War 1 and World War 2 were the same war mixing up the events of both conflicts.

    For those saying Greeks invaded India and influenced our mythology, please check the facts. Alexander was told of India’s wealth and wisdom which prompted him to attack the great land of mythologies. It is thus clear that stories from India were already present in Greece at the time. When Alexander attacked and conquered some parts of Northern India, he decided to head back at the urge of his army and seated his allies as the rulers of his conquered territories of India. How can a number of chiefs enforce such a huge amount of influence over Indian culture and mythologies which contains thousands and thousands of tales and are recited all over the sub continent ? Alexander never won the entire continent, then how could he influence the mythology of the entire region ?

    Moreover, only a small portion the Greek mythologies are available today that include Homer’s creations while the Indian mythology contains Ramayanas, Mahabharathas, Purans,Upnishads etc. and each one of them gives a proper detail of the events which further proves that they are the original work. Mahabharata and Ramayana also provide proper dates of the timings of the events and a proper geographical details of the places where the events happened. Something which is lacking in Greek mythologies because a majority of them are lost

    In the end, Indian mythology is not a work of fiction. The more you study the more you learn. You cannot learn about mythology through Moves like Troy (which I find a disgrace ) or Television or novels. Find a good library and start reading the wealth of knowledge that is Indian epics like Ramayana and Mahabharatha.

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  68. Usha of Tezpur and Helen of Troy.

    Ares is the god of war, son of Zeus and Hera.

    According to Homer he was not in good terms with Zeus and Hera. He was shown as being in humiliating situations.

    Ares fought for Hector in Trojan war.

    His weapon is spear.

    (Bellerophon’s grandsons fought the Trojan war. Bellerophon rides Pegasus, the winged horse. Ballerophon lost the battle at Mount Olympus and his pride caused his downfall)

    Skanda/Murugan/Karthikeya is the god of war and son of Shiva/Mahadev and Parvati

    Skanda got angry at his parents and went away from home after he was humiliated in a game between him and Ganesha.

    Skanda fought for Banasura against Krishna and Balarama in the fight for Usha of Tezpur. Usha in Sanskrit means dawn. Helen means shining light.

    Weapon of Skanda is spear or Vel.

    Symbol of Skanda

    (Bali’s son was Banasura. Bali rides Uchchaihshravas the winged horse. Bali lost the battle at Mount Meru and his pride caused his downfall)

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  69. Krishna dies soon after the war with Banasura for Usha of Tezpur shot in the ankle. Achilles dies at the end of Trojan war shot in the ankle.

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