The similarities found between the Genesis yarn and the Mesopotamian recital would be effortlessly dismissed as coincidental were the two monogamous. Yet, we encounter additional similarities between these accounts in a Vedic retelling of worldwide calamity. Currently, the oldest mention of the Hindu flood story can be found within the Shatapatha Brahmana (700 BCE), however, various iterations of the saga are repeated in a slew of alternative Indian texts, including the Mahabharata and variegated Puranas. Within Hindu lore and tradition, Manu is attributed with having been the progenitor of humanity and it is Manu who plays the champion of mankind in the Hindu flood account – a hybrid role of the biblical Adam and Noah.
The Shatapatha Brahmana recounts how Manu learns of an impending deluge from a fish to whom he had completed an act of kindness. The fish explains the gravity of the situation, as well as the severity of the forthcoming misfortune of mankind. He advises Manu to build a boat to allow for the survival of humanity. As prophesied, the torrential downpour consumes the land, forcing Manu to tie his boat to the fish’s horn, who guides the craft to a safe resting place on a mountaintop. After the receding of the flood waters, Manu performs a sacrifice by pouring oblations of butter and sour milk into the waters.
“One day, when doing his ablutions, a man named Manu discovered in the palm of his hand a little fish which begged him to let it live. Taking pity on it, Manu placed it in a vase. The next day, the fish had grown so much he had to transport it to the lake. Soon the lake became also too small. To the surprise of Manu, the fish could talk: ‘Throw me into the sea,’ said the fish [which was in reality a manifestation of the god Vishnu] ‘and I will be more comfortable there’. Then the god warned Manu that a flood would happen soon. Vishnu sent him a large ark, with orders to embark two specimens of each living species and seeds of every plant. Manu obeyed, and he boarded the ark when the ocean swelled and overwhelmed everything. We can see nothing anymore, except Vishnu in his fish body, a huge narwhal with golden scales. Manu moored his ark to the narwhal’s horn and Vishnu towed it through the waters.
Thus they came to the emerged summit of the North Mountain, Former Gods had foresee the flood and prepared shelters on mountaintop. See Les cités des cimes where they ran aground. The fish said then: ‘I saved you. Moor your ark to a tree, so that water cannot take it away while you are on the mountain. And as the waters will recede, you will get down with them.’ And Manu descended with the ebb. The flood destroyed everything.
Manu was all alone. His animals colonized the earth, his plants germinated and nurtured them, but Manu stayed alone in the world. A year later, emerged from the waters a girl who introduced herself as ‘Manu’s daughter’. He married her and they had children together, the ancestors of the present mankind.”
It is difficult to read this passage and not be reminded of the Genesis and Mesopotamian narratives. Again, we see the addition of information that is likely the influence of cultural differences, however, many of the primary plot points remain a constant variable – divine intervention with a chosen individual who has been tasked with the preservation of humanity. Regardless of the similarities, the story of Manu’s survival is attributed to that of myth and the similarities to coincidence. However, scholars will not acknowledge the obvious connection spanning great stretches of time and geographical distance between these chronicles. Are we seeing evidence of a worldwide reference to the catastrophe that Plato outlined in 355 BC in the Timaeus and Critias?
About the Author: Andrew is the founder and editor in chief of Lost Origins. He is also the host of the radio show that falls under the same moniker. Andrew has been researching ancient mysteries, alternative historical theories, and lost civilizations for over fifteen years and founded Lost Origins to provide a sounding board for authors and researchers to share their theories and concepts with the world. Andrew is currently working to complete two manuscripts that explore several ancient mysteries. He lives in Denver with his family.