Hindu Theology is the Theory of the Creation of the World and the Universe, with its Five Primary Elements, Planets/Constellations and the various forms of Life, by a Group of Superhuman Forces, with greater or lesser powers which are also concerned with its Regulation, Maintenance and Elimination of Deleterious or Worn out Matter from time to time. The information about this is contained in four main compilations known as the Vedas, viz. Rigveda, Yajurveda describing the sacrificial rituals, Samaveda, and Atharveda dealing with magic rituals through what is called Black Yajurveda, as different from the earlier Shukla Yajurveda. Besides these, there are other texts named the Upanishads, Brahmanas(Texts), Puranas, as also Smritis and Shrutis, which are verbal communications.
For the benefit of making these abstract Forces and Main Elements intelligible to simple, less-/uneducated people, the various Forces or Energies and Constellar Creations were personified as Human-like beings called Gods and Demigods, and Idols as well as pictures of them were set up to facilitate understanding and concentration for their worship, while the Negative forces or energies have been termed as Demons or Antigods, namely Asuras, Danavas or Rakshasas. That was reasonable enough.
However, in course of time, several Myths have come up out of some people’s perverse imagination attributing the passions and weaknesses of human beings to the Gods which have degraded the Gods to the level of banal and ridiculous personages; for example, the story that Brahma lusted for and married his daughter Saraswati for generating life on Earth, and that Indra impersonated as Rishi Gautam to seduce his wife Ahalya, which lower their image. Considering that Brahma-Saraswati and Indra are merely personifications of the Abstract Creative Forces of the Universe, and the Force behind Thunder, Lightning and Heavy Rain respectively, Not actual persons, what is the sense in the perverse stories fabricated around them? It only indicates the projection of personal passions onto the personified deities by the weavers of the myths. The relationship of Brahma with Saraswati(who is really the personification of the attribute of knowledge ascribed to Brahma) could have been put as Brahma having taken the Help of Saraswati(His Knowledge) for Creation of the Universe, and in the myth of Indra having impersonated as Rishi Gautam to approach Ahilya, Indra should be ascribed the motive of doing so to test the fidelity of Ahilya, who was actually a ‘Pativrata’, that is, a devoted wife, and Rishi Gautam should be said to have ‘misunderstood’and therefore cursed both Indra and Ahilya, whereby Ahilya turned to stone! Later, Ahilya was relieved of the curse by the holy touch of Sri Rama, who saw her in a stone-like state while wandering in the forest during His exile from Ayodhya and blessed her.
Likewise, Hanuman, a Forest Tribal devotee of Lord Rama, belonging to the ‘Vanara’, i.e. a Forest tribe of the kingdom of Kishkindha in Dandakaranya – said to be near Hampi of present Karnataka- has been depicted as a Monkey just because he has been mentioned in the Ramayana as a ‘Vanar’, which has been taken literally by many people. It is known that the aboriginal tribals have heavy and prognathous jaws, and the ‘tail’ is a part of the traditional attire of the tribe. Similarly, Ganapati is accorded an Elephantine head and face in the Puranas, which has led to the followers of other religions taunting Hinduism as being a primitive religion advocating Monkey and Elephant worship, when actually, some of these forms have a Symbolic meaning, like the Elephant head of Ganapati being a Symbol of His Wisdom! However, the name ‘Gan-pati’ of the deity also indicates that Ganesha is the name of the Chieftain (Pati) of the Members (Gan) of a Tribe that worships Elephants (Not the Head of an actual Elephant group), which is probably one of the Naga tribes, as the title ‘Naga’ stands not only for the Cobra, but also for the Elephant because of its serpentine trunk, whom the tribe worships in addition to the Cobra. Hence, the worship of Ganpati could be an ‘indirect form’ of Elephant worship!
Therefore, while we condemn the attempts of the nonbelievers in Hinduism to pull it down by spreading distorted and blasphemous views about its deities and their practices, and painting offensive pictures of them, those of Hindu faith should also refrain from publishing depreciatory pictures or making up unsavoury myths about their gods, even in the name of humour or joke! Do Jews, Christians, Muslims or Parsis ever depict or describe their deities, viz. Jehova/Yahweh, Jesus Christ, Allah or Ahura Mazda, in ridiculous or degrading ways?
For, if Hindus themselves do not present their gods/deities in a respectable and responsible way, how can we expect others to think well of it? All good concepts start from Home. Hence, while it may be a good mission to rewrite portions of Indian History which is felt to have been written wrongly and derogatorily by the British rulers, it is also imperative to revise the existing Hindu Mythology written by Hindus and others, and delete the above mentioned and similar disparaging myths from Hindu Mythology books!