Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Hanuman & Spiderman -- Imaginary Superheroes

Hanuman, like Spiderman, is an imaginary superhero. The people who imagined and wrote the Hanuman stories -- as part of a larger story called Ramayana -- are ancient people, revered as sages. They lived in India many millennia ago.

The sages wrote these imaginary stories for the ethical upliftment and entertainment of the illiterate masses, and filled these stories with morals. Through such stories, many generations of sages improved the quality of life of many, many generations of Indians, and helped to regulate society. Through such stories, they propagated rules for proper living, and also gave people something to believe in.

But that does not change the fact that Hanuman is an imaginary superhero. He did not exist at any point of human history, and he does not exist today. Hanuman -- and the whole pantheon of superheroes, demigods, gods, demons and super-villains -- are imaginary.

Time to stop being senti about our dhoti-wearing gods and grow up. Ancient does not automatically mean true. Hindu belief does not automatically mean true.

The same goes for other superheroes, such as Jesus "Resurrection-Man" Christ and Prophet "God's-Spokesman" Mohammed. Even if there was some historical human being behind these imaginary superheroes, the fact remains that these hugely exaggerated characters -- and their superpowers -- are pure figments of our imagination.

Grow up, people.

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