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(Editor, Compiler, Author and Translator Dr. PADMA SUDHI)
Myth, which is also considered by Western folklorists as one of the aspects of folk-literature, has been defined by some as a story, presented as having actually occurred in a previous age, explaining the cosmological and supernatural traditions of a people, their gods, heroes, cultural traits, religious beliefs, etc. The purpose of myth is to explain matters in the "science of a pre-scientific age". Man's eternal quest to know the basic truth of the natural phenomena led him to invent myths. This is universal in its core India, being an ancient country with a long and continued traditional heritage and culture, has also inherited a rich storehouse of myths in which the origin of the world and mankind is described. As example from Madhya Pradesh is:
'When the world would not remain steady, Mother Earth caused birds to be born. The first birds had fours legs. But after they were born Mother Earth took two legs from each and set them below the earth like the pillars of a house. Resting on the legs of crores of birds the world became steady.'
There are also myths about the origin of the sun, the moons, and the stars, which tell how these objects originated and were ultimately set into the sky permanently. There are animal and bird myths also in which in which the origin of various species of animals and birds has been described.
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