end of the world

Hindu - Each culture has its own version of how the world will end. At the end of the present cycle, Vishnu's tenth and final avatar, Kalki, will appear as a winged white horse. He will destroy evil in a final battle, preparing the world for the next cycle of existence. -Norse In the final battle, Ragnarok, the gods were destined to be defeated by the forces of evil led by Loki. After a winter of exceptional severity that lasted three years (seven in some accounts), known as the Fimbul winter, the Midgard serpent came out of the sea breathing out poisons and causing great floods; the wolves Hati, Managarm and Skoll finally swallowed the sun and the moon; Garm, Fenris and Loki broke their bonds; the dragon Nidhogg finally ate through the roots of Yggdrasil; the cockerels crew and Heimdall blew his horn to warn the gods that the end was approaching. Loki's ship landed a force from Muspelheim and another ship brought the Frost Giants from the north. They were reinforced by Hel and Nidhogg and by Sutr and his sons who smashed the Bifrost bridge as they rode over it. In the ensuing battle on Vigrid plain the gods were defeated. Odin was eaten by the wolf Fenris; Frey was killed by Sutr, Heimdall by Loki, Tyr by Garm, and Thor drowned in the poison of the Midgard serpent after he had killed it. Vidar, arriving late, put his one large foot on the bottom jaw of Fenris and, taking the top jaw in his hands, pulled the wolf apart. Sutr then set the world on fire with his flaming sword and the earth sank beneath the waves. A man, Lif, and a woman, Lifthrasir, sheltering either under Yggdrasil or in the forest of Mimir survived ready to repopulate the world. The gods Vali and Vidar, as predicted, also survived as did Magni and Modi who recovered Thor's hammer from the ashes. Balder, reconciled with Hoder, rose again to rule a regenerated world. -North American (1) The Cheyenne say that the whole world is supported on a huge pole. A beaver is continuously gnawing at the bottom of the pole and, when he gnaws all the way through, the world will fall into an abyss and that will be the end. (2) The Sioux envisage an old woman in a cave sewing porcupine quills into a blanket. When she gets up to stir the fire, her dog chews some of the quills so that the blanket never gets finished. If she ever does manage to complete her work, the world will come to an end. -Persian The early version says that the forces of good will overcome evil and the original cosmic god, Rapithwin or Saoshyant, will supervise the world's regeneration. In the later, Zoroastrian, version the saviour Saoshyant will supervise the final triumph of good when all demons, except Ahriman and Az, who will be confined to hell, will be killed, men will be resurrected and reunited with their souls, the universe will revert to its original pure state and evil will be gone forever. -South American Many tribes say that the world will be destroyed by fire caused by demons, a spark from the sky, or by part of the moon (or even the sun) falling from the heavens. Some blame the men of fire who, having been insulted by a bird, set the world ablaze in retaliation. Others say that the blaze will occur when one of the props under the earth is removed by the creator-god. In the cold south of the country, they say that a bird will cause much snow to fall and, when the snow melts, the resulting flood will destroy the earth. On occassion, identified as end of the world, Ragnarok, Ragnarok, Doom of the Gods, Ragnarokr, Twilight of the Gods, The, German Gotterdammerung, Twilight of the Gods or Persian Armageddon.

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