The Indo-European Myth of the Progenitor Twins is quite literally foundational for who we are and how we relate to the people, the world around us. It is therefore unsurprising that even despite occasional alterations, it has remained so recognizably pervasive amidst the descendant Indo-European peoples.
In our recent “Sons of the Sun” series, we took a look at how this myth has been preserved in the Vedic Hindu religion, how it had been deliberately distorted by the Zoroastrians, and how it was still recognizably there ‘neath the Roman legends of Romulus and Remus – albeit here, too, suffering some notable changes, depending upon version, for likely political and mythic expediency.
It is also visible in other Indo-European peoples’ origin-tales as well; and in future installments of the series I shall look in greater detail at the Tuisto & Mannus of the Germanics, as recounted by Tacitus – as well as the various Scythian and Greek-Speculation-About-Scythian parallel versions of events.
The following chart summarizes the relevant mythologies so as to better demonstrate their fundamental coterminity; although for reasons of space, I have had to leave some explanatory elements out (including why the Sky Father rather than Mars is the likely sire of Romulus & Remus; why Vivasvat should be interpreted as Dyaus Pitar – as well as how this relates to Tuisto; and just what happened with the Zoroastrians). Those can largely be found in the relevant “Sons of the Sun” articles.
We can also present this in a more narrative flow:
The Far-Shining One (Vivasvat) [Dyaus Pitar in Solar aspect] fathers the twin brothers [potentially as part of a set of triplets – the daughter Yami being the third sibling], with a Mother [Saranyu, Rhea Silvia – river and earth associations abound] Who becomes somewhat remote – kidnapped, incarcerated, “vanishing” also from the lives of Her Children at least for a time.
The male Progenitor Twins grow, and in adulthood their paths diverge. Yama goes forth to find (indeed, found) the Realm of the Dead – an act of self-sacrifice which grants Him a kingdom in the Heavens (or, in later renditions, of the Underworld).
This matches and mirrors the Kingdom His Brother is soon to build; and becomes the heaven where the spirits of the Glorious/Ancestral Dead – the Forefathers (Pitrs) shall go. And, periodically, shalt return from to be amongst Their descendants.
It is thus, at once, both the Past and also the Future.
Manu, meanwhile, becomes the progenitor of the Race of Man (more narrowly understood as the teller’s particular group of Men in subsequent ethnogenesis recollections of the Myth), and sets down pious dictates for the proper conduct of rites and of society.
Understand Your Past – Our Past – Where You, We Have Come From :
Know Your Ancestors !
And therefore move forward – properly, piously – into the Future.