Looking for the origin of this: a god who came to Earth and became a pig
April 20, 2021 11:20 AM   Subscribe

I think this may be part of Indian mythology, but I am not sure. It is story of a god who came down to earth, turned himself into a pig and forgot he was a god

I heard this or read this years ago and I am looking for the source. In my mind I think it may be part of Indian mythology but I am not sure at all. It could be something else.

It is story of a god who came down to earth, turned himself into a pig and forgot he was a god.
posted by Quillcards to Religion & Philosophy (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Not the same origin story, but could the story perhaps be related to that of Pigsy, who was ‘exiled from Heaven and sent to be reincarnated on Earth, where by mishap he fell into a pig well and was reborn as a man-eating pig-monster known as Zhū Gāngliè’?
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 11:54 AM on April 20


Pigsy from Journey to the West. Though his Chinese name is usually Zhu Bajie (that's after he joined the party, right? He probably had a different name before). He knew his own origin story though, not amnesiac.
posted by kschang at 12:40 PM on April 20


In my mind I think it may be part of Indian mythology but I am not sure at all.

The story I remember (which a. may not have a genuine source at all, but exist as a scurrilous by-product of, like, the American yoga movement, or b. at best, I would have read in a translation of questionable quality some 25-30 years ago), featured Indra and was a parable about earthly attachment.

Indra's missing, and his fellow gods find him in pig (hog, boar) form. (I don't recall if he was that way by choice, as in your question, or if it was some sort of punishment). They're terribly embarrassed for him, and try to convince him to return to his proper realm. Indra tells them that he's very happy, and he staunchly refuses to leave the mortal plane. So they start killing his beloved pig-family: his piglets die first, and then his pig-wife (who was described as being really, really beautiful). Nothing works for the gods until Indra's own physical form is cut in half, "awakening" him.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:44 PM on April 20


Best answer: Iris Gambol, is this what you remember? WHEN INDRA BECAME A HOG. Here's another version.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:20 PM on April 20


The adorable Puzzle and Dragons version of Zhu Bajie .
posted by freecellwizard at 3:15 PM on April 20


MonkeyToes, it's the same name (and link 1 has the same started-a-porcine-family detail), but the memorable-to-me 'kill the loved ones first' twist isn't there.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:06 PM on April 20


Best answer: The earliest I can trace it is to the Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda, here:

link

The anecdote (with the killing) is on p. 146/230 (or p. 137 of the book itself.)
posted by cgs06 at 4:38 PM on April 20


Response by poster: Thank you for the replies. Puzzle solved.
posted by Quillcards at 2:55 AM on May 11


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