Death fascinates humans, and presumably always has. The oldest extant epic, that of Gilgamesh,specifically addresses the question of why death exists. With Easter on its way, it appears timely to remember a religious figure who died and came back to life—I’m just not sure which one to pick. World mythology is full of religious figures who have experienced resurrection. Here are the list of Top 10 Resurrected Religious Figures:
Dionysus is the Ancient Greek god of wine and divine madness. One of the many names attached to him is “Twice-born.” There are a numerous of myths which could explain this, but one involves the death and rebirth of Dionysus.
When Zeus made Persephone pregnant, his wife Hera fell into a fury rage. She sent the Titans to shred the infant Dionysus apart.
They then consumed all of the corpse except the heart. This was saved and sewn into Zeus’ thigh, where he was gestated and conceived anew.Some attribute this myth of death and rebirth to viniculture. At the end of the grape season, vines are cut right back; they appear almost dead until finally springing back to life the following season. It would not be the last time in history wine was associated with a deity of resurrection.
Persephone is the daughter of Greek goddess Demeter, deity of the harvest and of growth. When Hades, King of the underworld, fell in love with her, he carried Persephone away into death to be his queen.
But as soon as Demeter began grieving for her daughter, the Earth’s plants started to wither.In order to prevent life on Earth from dying, Zeus requested Hades to release Persephone. Unfortunately,Persephone had already eaten some of the food of the dead, and so she would have to return to the underworld for one third of every year. .
So at whatever point her little girl comes back to Hades, Demeter mourns—and this is why winter descends on Earth. Growth only resumes properly when Persephone is returned to the universe of the living.
There are several versions of the myth of Osiris from Egypt, but all of those related to his early life tell of his death and resurrection. Osiris was not originally a divine in his own right, but was at least partially god—and while on his path to divinehood, Osiris would die and return to life at least twice.
On one event, jealous rivals killed Osiris and cast him into the Nile. His sister (and wife) Isis chased for the body and returned him to life with the help of a magic spell.
But Osiris soon died once again. This time his body was tore to pieces and scattered across the world. Isis gathered up the fragments and joined them together for a better burial. When the other gods saw the extent of Isis’ devotion, they rewarded Osiris by reviving him and making him the god of the dead.
Odin is the main god of Norse mythology, who gained great wisdom by undergoing several preliminaries. In order to accomplish knowledge from beyond the realm of the dead, Odin decided to sacrifice himself. He took a lance and drove it into his side.
Then he tied a noose to the world-tree Yggdrasil, and hanged himself for nine days.It was after this forfeit that Odin returned, stronger than ever. If this tale of anguish, death, and resurrection sounds familiar, it is likely because Christianity had reached northern Europe long before the composition of the Poetic Edda, and would have coexisted close to the Norse religion.
Even after the official conversion of Iceland to Christianity, it was accounted that sailors would sacrifice to Thor before a sea voyage.
Ganesha, due to his elephant head, is one of the most conspicuous of the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Because of the ancient origins of Hinduism and the large number of traditions, there are a extensive number of stories which explain how he came into the possession of his rather unorthodox head.
In one story, Ganesha was made by the goddess Parvarti and set to guard her chamber. When Shiva attempted to enter, Ganesha did as he was told and attempted to stop him, where upon Shiva cut off Ganesha’s head.
Parvarti was peeved, so Shiva decided to make up for his rash execution by returning Ganesha to life, giving him a new head in the process. Perhaps in an attempt to make Ganesha less good looking, Shiva used the head of an elephant.
In Finnish mythology, Lemminkainen is a legend who sets out on a mission to capture one of the black swans from the river of the underworld. He dies in the attempt, and his body sinks in the waters and he lost.
The body is broken on the rocks at the bottom, and his remaining part are scattered. Lemminkainen’s mother comes in search of him and gathers together all of the body parts, sewing them together. This does not return her son to life, so she sends a honey bee to fetch some of the devine’ nectar, which does the trick perfectly well.
According to the Epic of Gilgamesh, all of the beings cherished by Ishtar (a Babylonian parallel of Inanna) end up worse off for the love.Tammuz was no different: he ended up in the kingdom of the dead. Inanna probably relented, and went to rescue Tammuz and turn him into a god.
She did this not just once but many of times. Each year Tammuz dies and the world (at least in the Near East) is hit by droughts and extreme heat, and when the rains come and the crops started to grow, it is a sign that Tammuz has once again been resurrected.
Quetzalcoatl-David-DionisioQuetzalcoatl was one of the great divine of the various peoples of incarnation . In iconography he is generally shown as a feathered serpent. He was given this startling appearance in place of his formally ugly and pock-marked face.
Once, when drunk, he called for his sister to be conveyed to him and had proceeded to have sex with her. Sobering up, he was ashamed about what he had done, and had himself placed in a sarcophagus and floated down a river.
coming to rest on a river bank, he arranged his possessions into a pyre and burned himself to death. His ashes rose into the air and became birds, and his heart entered the sky as the Morning Star. After four days in the underworld, he came back to heaven.
Attis was a Phrygian god who later entered the Greek and Roman pantheons as to accomplice of the goddess Cybele. Like some of the other gods associated with death and resurrection, Attis was a vegetation god.
He was born from an almond nurtured in the body of a goddess. Attis was just about to be hitched to a princess when the goddess Cybele showed up, throwing Attis into a frenzy.Maddened, he castrated himself and bled to death.
Cybele relented and brought Attis back to life, possibly resurrected in the form of a pine tree. Each year the death of Attis was mourned as it prompted to the failure of plants to grow. Come Spring, his resurrection was celebrated with the custom dressing of a pine tree.
1. Sri Krishna
After many adventures, wars, and explorations of the nature of the galaxy, Krishna attends a festival. At this festival conflict breaks out and Krishna retires to a wood to meditate. While he is contemplating under a tree, a hunter mistakes him for a deer and lethally wounds him with an arrow.
Krishna dies and his body burned, but, being a god, he does not decay and instead ascends to heaven.