Krupa Jani Shah
I personally feel that Harry Potter and the characters in the story bear a lot of resemblance to characters from Indian Mythology. Here’s why:
1. Krishna v/s Harry
Prophecies about both of them stated that they were born to kill evil – Krishna to kill Kansa and Harry to kill Voldemort. Both escape death at young age. Krishna’s parents were tortured by Kansa while Harry’s were killed by Voldemort. Krishna and Harry both grew up without their biological parents and both grew up to show their greatness through their different feats performed during their childhood. A point comes in the story where Krishna (Harry) manages to defeat Kansa (Voldemort).
2. Story of Three brothers in Harry’s Magical World
From childhood we know stories of Trideva aka Brahma,Vishnu and Mahesh. The original story of the three brothers can be classified into the three Gunas: the eldest is of Rajas (killed by power, vengeance, anger, enmity), the middle is of Tamas (depression and loneliness leading to suicide) and the last of Saatva (welcomes death calm and poised).
3. Notion of Horcruxes
Voldemort’s life is stored in seven objects called Horcruxes. Destroy each of them to destroy Voldemort. In Ramayana Ravana stored his life in his stomach. In Jataka Tales, we have often heard story about King who used to store his life in birds.
4. Hogwarts v/s Gurukuls
Hogwarts can be equaled to any Gurukul in our ancient past like the Nalanda, Magadha, Kashi etc. Magic is taught in Hogwarts whereas the Vedic culture was taught in the schools. Remus Lupin, Minerva McGonagall, Filius Flitwick, Horace Slughorn and others can be compared to Dronacharya, Krupacharya, Ashwatthama, Vasishtha, Vishwamitra, Shukracharya, Gargi and Maitreyi who were all absolute geniuses. Some of the parallel subjects being taught in Hogwarts in comparision with those taught in Indian mythology are Herbology-Ayurveda; Astronomy- Astronomy; Divination-Astrology; Flying- horse riding; Potions-included in Ayurveda; Defence Against the Dark Arts – Archery, sword fighting; Care of magical creatures – taming wild horses and elephants; Arithmancy – Mathematics; Transfiguration- transformation mantras. Ancient Runes can be related to study of Sanskrit language. Dark arts (though never taught officially) can be compared to Mantrikas or black magic.
5. Caste system
Pure-bloods can be demigods who can actually do magic, Mud-bloods can be normal human beings who cannot do magic, Half-bloods can be given examples of those characters whose one of the parents is demigod and the other parent is a human being, eg. Shakuntala [Menaka(demigod) & Vishwamitra(Human)], Ghatodkacha [Bheema (demigod) & Hidimba (enchantress)]. We can also relate it with Indian caste system – Brahmins are pure bloods and Mudbloods are untouchables.
6. Similarity in creatures
Animaguses can be compared to Jambavanta who is actually a human in bear form, Indra who had once taken the form of a pig and honey bee or even Lord Vishnu who has taken the form of multiple animals such as fish, tortoise, pig, dog, elephant etc. Indian Mythology has many animals, we have an equivalent to all of Potter’s animals, though Potter doesn’t seem to have a white elephant (Airavata – Indra’s elephant).
7. Other characters
Giants and half giants like Hagrid can be compared to Kumbhakarna and Bheema. Grand master Dumbledore can be compared to Bhishma who choose to be killed by his favored disciple Snape and Arjuna respectively.
8. Magical potions
Changing to someone else by drinking potions can be compared to demigods and gods changing to someone else. Example: Vishnu changing into the form of an enchanting girl Mohini. Harry Potter features the mandrake root, which can reverse the effect of poison. In Ramayana, we have the Sanjeevani plant , also a cure for someone who has been poisoned. Philosopher’s stone which gives health and long life can be seen as Indian Parasmani which converts steel into gold and also gives long life.
I always find a similarity between our great Indian mythology and Potter series. In short, I like Harry Potter but also the fact that the things are similar to our great Indian Mythology, amazes me. It could be true or it couldn’t but it surely makes up for great fan-fiction. What do you think?