In present use, "mythology" usually refers to the collected myths of a group of people but may also mean the study of such myths. For example, Greek mythology, Roman mythology and Hittite mythology all describe the body of myths retold among those cultures, but landscape mythology describes the study of landscape used across various totemistic peoples. Alan Dundes defined myth as a sacred narrative which explains how the world and humanity evolved into their present form, "a story that serves to define the fundamental worldview of a culture by explaining aspects of the natural world and delineating the psychological and social practices and ideals of a society". Mythology is now often sharply distinguished from didactic literature such as fables, but its relationship with other traditional stories such as legends and folktales is much more nebulous.
Man has always sought to understand the world around him better and Myths are the imaginative traditions devised in order to explain his surroundings. Early Man would have been completely in awe of the natural and supernatural phenomena around him and probably have sought to make sense of phenomena such as Lightening & Thunder, Rain & Drought, Day & Night, Birth & Death. It was the experience of their mystery, mingled with fear, that gave birth to Mythology and eventually, Religion.
Hindu mythology is a large body of traditional narratives related to Hinduism as contained in Sanskrit literature (such as the epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana, the Puranas, and the Vedas), Ancient Tamil literature (such as the Sangam literature and Periya Puranam), several other works, most notably the Bhagavata Purana, claiming the status of a Fifth Veda and other religious regional literature of South Asia. As such, it is a subset of mainstream Indian and Nepali culture. Rather than one consistent, monolithic structure, it is a range of diverse traditions, developed by different sects, people and philosophical schools, in different regions and at different times, which are not necessarily held by all Hindus to be literal accounts of historical events, but are taken to have deeper, often symbolic, meaning, and which have been given a complex range of interpretations.