In the South Sea Islands, generally, the fable of the union and separation of Heaven and Earth is current; other forms will be found in Gill's Myths and Songs from the South Pacific. The cosmogonic myths of the Aryans of India are peculiarly interesting, as we find in the Vedas and Brahmanas and Puranas almost every fiction familiar to savages side by side with the most abstract metaphysical speculations.
As the ancestors of the Greeks, with the Aryans of India, the Egyptians, and others advanced in civilization, their religious thought was shocked and surprised by myths (originally dating from the period of savagery, and natural in that period) which were preserved down to the time of Pausanias by local priesthoods, or which were stereotyped in the ancient poems of Hesiod and Homer, or in the Brahmanas and Vedas of India, or were retained in the popular religion of Egypt.
As among the gods and Asuras of the Vedas, there were many wars in the divine race, and as the incantations of the Indian Brahmanas are derived from those old experiences of the Vedic gods, so are the incantations of the Maoris.
- The gods of the Vedas and Brahmanas (the ancient hymns and canonized ritual-books of Aryan India) are, on the whole, of the usual polytheistic type.
The Brahmanas, on the other hand, later compilations, canonized books for the direction of ritual and sacrifice, are rich in senseless and irrational myths.