Published: 17 Aug 2017

The role of gold in the creation of the world

Gold has been part of human civilisation since time immemorial. So strong is our affinity for gold that it’s made its way into mythology and religion. According to Christianity, heaven has golden streets . Indian mythology and religious texts too make numerous mentions of gold, especially in the Ramayana.

Even more fascinating, however, is that gold is believed to have played a role in the creation of the world.

Gold in Hinduism

Hindus follow the Trimurti:

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva

The creator. The protector. The destroyer.

But there’s one thread that connects all three gods with the universe: gold.

Gold in scriptures

Hindu religion has various sacred texts such as Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, the epics (The Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita) and various others: Laws of Manu, the Satapatha Brahmana, and the Grihya Sutra.

There are four vedas: Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda. The Rigveda suggests that Brahma created our world. Here’s what the scriptures say:

  • One of the verses mentions the presence of a golden egg or womb called as Hiranyagarbha.
  • In Shiva Maha Puranam, it is stated that after the fight between Vishnu and Brahma to determine who is superior, Shiva assigned the role of creation to Brahma and Vishnu. Then, Shiva gave Brahma the golden egg, which split into two halves to form heaven and Earth.
  • Some texts in Matsyapuran mention Brahma as Hiranyagarbha. As the world began to form, a supreme being was born. He was known as Swayambhu, and he created water and planted a golden seed in it. In due time, the egg hatched and gave birth to none other than Brahma!

Gold in divinity

Even Gods and Goddesses are often described as having golden hues, and of course there are the numerous golden chariots peppered in Indian mythology. Dressed in golden apparel, idols in temples have golden haloes to epitomise God’s power and knowledge, amongst the devotees.

In fact, gold has several interesting connotations in almost all major religions. Click here to know what they are.


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