This is a question I was asked eons ago :), why is all our philosophy entangled with mythology.
For too long I have been dodging this question, now no more.
The question should be seen the other way; because, it is the mythology which is based on the philosophy, really.
As we discussed (in a independent lecture on Ramayana, available in the site), the whole of Ramayana is a quest of jiva, the Rama for the attainment of the moksha / vidya, the Sita. Because of the ego or ignorance which is the Ravana, the jiva has lost the Vidya. For this we have the viveka (discrimination) and vairagya (dispassion). Lakshmana, Ramas brother is the knowledge and Hanuman, is the dispassion. The monkeys along with the bali is the shamadi shatka sampatti, the six pre-requisites of the jiva required for the moksha. Shama etc, the control of mind – shama, control of the sense-organs – dhama etc.
Mahabharata, the pandavas as a whole is the jiva with the five members as the five koshas (sheaths) – namely Annamaya, pranamaya, manomaya, vignamaya and the anandamaya (the food sheath, vital air sheath, mind sheath, intellect sheath and the bliss sheath), which wants to gain the supremacy over the demons. Duryodhana and the other kauravas are the vasanas, where the karna is one’s own mind who plays a major part on the other side. Here Bhima is the annamaya, Yudhishtira is the anandamaya, the other two nakul and sahadeva are the pranamaya and the manomaya (since the mind and the prana start from the same place), Arjuna is the vignamaya. Both karna and arjuna are the different facets of the same antakarana (inner organ), whereas arjuna is the sat-tarka (discrimination based on the scriptures) and Karna is the dus-tarka (the erroneous logic not based on the scriptures). The intellect is aided by the Guru called Sri Kirshna to gain the knowledge of victory or kingdom (svarajya).
With this the worldy knowledge of other things are sprinkled. Right from the psychology of different types, economy, politics. Romance, warfare etc. and most importantly the knowledge of the Self.
It is easy for us to show a human like or superhuman like figure to undergo all the similar troubles, for the ego of the ‘simple’ person getting satisfied
So, if I don’t believe in these myths, nothing lost, until one understands the purport for them, and the real knowledge behind them. Sanatana Dharma, is not based on these myths, but they serve the purpose as the ‘the ghost sitting atop neem tree’ :). From the standpoint of the Self knowledge, even the vedas are deemed as non-real by the mundaka upanishad. Therefore, until one beleives in the body-sense complex, one has to accept the ‘Myths’ and the related karmas, like the fire god and the fire oblation.
Smart Mouni says, “is the story of Mario Puzo’s Godfather too based on this scheme” :).