Hindu cosmological myth

Hindu cosmological myth

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hindu cosmological myth. Ancient Hindu myths (from the Indian subcontinent) describe the Earth as being hemispherical and supported on the backs of elephants and a giant turtle. Versions of the myth vary, with some having a single giant elephant or turtle, and others having four elephants, one at each corner of the world. The elephants were thought to symbolise the four elements, or the four directions of the compass. The turtle, sometimes floating in a universal ocean, represented strength and eternity. These representations were known as world-elephants and the World Turtle. This artwork is from Astronomical Myths (1877).

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