Literal or symbolic.
Literal takes us to a flood, stars, vessels etc.
But the Tree of Consciousness & Knowledge?
Where does that grow?
Seems like this is the same story found in many cultures and because of difficult to translate archaic scripts - hieroglyphics, cuneiform - the intended meaning of the author is questionable.
For me, all this stuff is symbolic.
Sanskrit is probably one of the easiest archaic language to translate.
This story seems to have been repeated over and over in many languages for thousands of years. Could it be the primordial energy (Shakti, Earth) rising up the Sushumana (stairway, ladder, Tree) through the waters (the Void, the body) to join the Lord (Shiva, the Sky, Heaven) in Cosmic Harmony?
And on the way - many inward perils (flood, deluge) requiring understanding to preserve life.