Exploring the Concept of Disability as a Karmic Outcome in Greek & Hindu Mythologies: A Comparative Analysis

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Smrutisikta Mishraa , AbhiramiS


'Disability' refers to a characteristic (mental or physical) that is regarded as impairment. Associating disability with karma is nothing strange, even in contemporary society. The roots of this notion lie in the mythologies. The ancient cultures often saw disability as a divine punishment for a person's deeds, either in the present or previous births. This belief has survived even to the modern era, and it has led to the mistreatment of the disabled. This paper intends to analyse certain Hindu myths from ancient India to bring out the karmic perception of disability. The study also serves a few glimpses of Greek and Mesopotamian myths to support the statements made. It shows the archetypes of the disabilities born out of karma in the myths above can lead to an ethical society. The present work will study mainly the characters of Ashtavakra, Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Lord Ganesha, to name a few. The commonality among the characters mentioned above is that they all were disabled as a penalty for their deeds.

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