Monday, 20 April 2015

The earliest gods of humanity

At some point in time—we do not know exactly when this happened—people in various far-flung parts of the world developed an instinct. Whenever people encountered some power beyond their control that could harm or help them, they began to worship that power. They believed that worship protected them and sought blessing of that power. All over the globe, people adopted similar methods of worship: folding hands, bowing, kneeling, floral offering, praying, sacrificing, etc.

This began in prehistoric period, when people faced several challenges, and weather was the biggest one. Climatologists have discovered that the earth witnessed the last Ice Age between 30,000 and 10,000 years ago. During that era, people had largely inadequate protection against that extreme cold weather. They spent their nights in the natural caves or huts made of bamboos, wild grasses, bones or skins. During nights, fire was the only possible source of warmth, light and protection from wild animals. Igniting fire by striking two stones was a difficult and time-consuming task; it was a game of chance. Therefore, people must have considered each ignition to be a miracle or blessing of some divine power. The utility of fire and difficulty encountered in igniting must have elevated hearths to a divine status.

Apart from fire, the Ice Age people would have eagerly waited for the sunrise to seek warmth. As soon as they saw the saffron light of dawn, they stood still for a sunbath. After prolong observations, people must have concluded that their life would be impossible without sunlight. They must have surmised that the sun was their saviour and was beyond their control. After acquiring this knowledge, humans must have initiated the practice of worshipping the sun to seek its mercy.

Many ancient scriptures have documented the flattering poems dedicated to the sun. Historians believe that people composed and chanted these poems millennia before their transcription. This indicates that solar worship must have begun in the last Ice Age.

Apart from cold, people faced wind, cloud, thunder, lightning and rain that too without clothes and houses. Therefore, storms made human life miserable in the Ice Age. After each storm, priests and others must have begun discussing the reasons behind the destruction. Consequently, the priest must have imagined some power in the sky that comes in the form of thunder and lightning. People and priests must have perceived that the wrath of the sky god could endanger their lives. At the same time, the sky god was beyond their control. After this knowledge, they must have concluded that worship was the only remedy to subside the anger of such a power. History mentions that this sky god was the most worshipped god of ancient period and ruled the world for many millennia. Prehistoric people learnt the religious activities in the same way they learnt to make tools, to ignite fire, to speak language and do many more things. In fact, people chose to worship anything that could help or harm them. The Evolution of God, The Scientific Origin of Divinity is the God Book written by Ajay Kansal.

There is enough evidence to assert that ancestors of Hindus, Jews, Christians and Muslims worshipped the sun, the sky and fire before their religions came into vogue.