Myth and The Parade of Ants

What the myth does:

Reveals time as cyclical and endless

Time also has a linear aspect

Destruction is not final: new creations continually emerge

Demonstrates that even the gods are subject to the laws of karma

Reveals secrets of the cosmos: samsara, karma, and sannyasa

Although there are many gods, they work together

Balance should prevail in the cosmos, each doing his/her part

Relationships among gods may be different at different stages of the cosmic cycles

It's important to act according to one's station and stage of life

Criteria for myth?

Characters are supernatural beings

Provides ways for people to act: a vehicle for life and action

Answers questions about life's meaning and cosmic issues

Connection with paradigmatic figures

Exemplary, sacred, true story

Sacred narrative

Does not bring past into present

Is not about beginnings

Deals with "a" rather than "the" beginning

Explains the cycle of death and rebirth

Cyclical view traditions may not necessarily have myths about beginnings

Explains social system of caste