Mircea Eliade - The Rainbow as a universal symbol
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy
The myth of the rainbow as road of the gods and bridge between sky and earth is also found in Japanese tradition and doubtless existed in the religious conceptions of Mesopotamia. Further, the seven colours of the rainbow have been assimilated to the seven heavens, a symbolism found not only in India and Mesopotamia but also in Judaism. In the bamiyan frescoes the Buddha is represented seated on a rainbow of seven bands; that is, he transcends the cosmos, just as in the myth of his nativity he transcends the seven heavens by taking seven strides toward the north and reaching the Centre of the World, the culminating peak of the universe.
The throne of the Supreme being is surrounded by a rainbow, and the same symbolism persists into the Christian art of the Renaissance. The Babylonian ziggurat was sometimes represented with seven colours, symbolising the seven celestial regions; he who climbed its storeys attained the summit of the cosmic world