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My comment about different Hindu deities in a Sulekha blog

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My comment about different Hindu deities in a Sulekha blog Empty My comment about different Hindu deities in a Sulekha blog

Post by Seva Lamberdar Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:36 am

The following includes my comment on Oct. 26, 2019 in the blog "Kali Puja on Diwali Night by Katokatha" on Sulekha (http://creative.sulekha.com/kali-puja-by-katokatha_637683_blog).

"I had posted a number of blogs (including Refs. 1, 2 & 3 listed below) about Shakti and Shiva several years ago, including the association of dark color usually with Shiva and Shakti idols and the close religious and philosophical relation between Shiva and Shakti. Here is an example below,

'Agni, in addition to being the basis for Shiva and Shakti, probably is also the cause of a number of other dark colored gods, where their darkness symbolizes the black ash in the yajna.'
Ref. (1): Subhash C. Sharma,"Shiv-ling and Agni worship (yajna)", 2005, http://creative.sulekha.com/shiv-ling-and-agni-worship-yajna_131664_blog
Ref. (2): Subhash C. Sharma, "The doctrines of Saivism and Saktism, 2004, http://creative.sulekha.com/the-doctrines-of-saivism-and-saktism_333063_blog


"In addition,

"Regarding the names for deity (deities) in Hinduism, there are many. Agni, Indra, Savitar, Vishnu et al. are all names used for Brahman in the Vedas (Shrutis). Moreover, all these names for Brahman reflect different Brahmanical (Divine) attributes and traits (while Brahman is one and the same -- Refs. 7, 8 and 9). Smritis (Puranas etc.) on the other hand seem to emphasize a separate identity / personality (e.g. god Vishnu, god Agni, et al.) to each deity, corresponding to respective Brahaminal attribute (Vishnu or Agni et al.) in the Veda. In other words, what appear in the Vedas as the different names for Brahman (Vishnu, Agni et al.), in Smritis (Puranas etc.) they seem to reflect separate deities or gods (Vishnu and Agni et al.). Moreover, the Puranic deities / gods (Vishnu and Agni et al.) are usually backed by separate puranas dedicated to them (e.g. Vishnu Purana to Vishnu). These puranas often have stories on creation etc. in the name of the deity whose name the Purana bears (e.g. Agni in Agni Purana). The original idea behind this type of individualization of Puranic deities (based on the names for Brahman in the Vedas) probably was to personalize Brahman in the Saguna mode. This way, according to the Puranas, the deity would probably acquire an important role in creation, corresponding to his / her name for Brahman in the Vedas. Moreover, personalization of the deity seemed to suit the needs and capabilities of devotees and help them in personal and symbolic type worship.

"The individualization of deities according to the Puranas to help people in personal and symbolic worship of Brahman can sometimes be misconstrued as if various deities are unrelated and independent. This also results in the misunderstanding that there is a pantheon of independent gods and goddesses (Vishnu, Shiva,Krishna, Amba and Devi et al.) leading to polytheism in Hinduism. But that is totally wrong because all these deities, having different names and identities, represent only one God (Brahman). In other words, Hinduism is not polytheistic, but it believes in monotheistic polymorphism (one God having many names and representations). Note also that religio-philosophically (Refs. 7, 9 and 10) it is sufficient for a devotee to worship and believe in just one deity (Vishnu or Shiva or Devi, for example) because all the deities are represented in / by one Brahman.

"Sometimes there is an overlap or duplication of stories about a deity or an event in the Smritis. For example, the story of Krishna is found in both the Bhagavatam and the Mahabharata. This perhaps is due to the fact that the former, a purana (Bhagavata Purana), looks at the life of Krishna from puranic considerations (Krishna as the deity), while the latter, an epic (the Mahabharata), takes a historical view (including Krishna’s role in the battle of Kurukshetra).

"Smritis (Puranas and Epics) are sometimes also used to introduce and signify an Avtar (a new divine reincarnation or arrival). Avtar basically reflects a change in focus / perspective about the deity, mostly in Saguna mode and according to changing times and conditions (the Gita: Ch. 4 - V. 7-8 ). A new Avtar thus may be in the form of a new deity altogether or by having a previous deity undergo a kind of transformation (reincarnation) involving change in attributes. Vishnu reincarnating as Krishna according to the Bhagavatam (which contains stories and philosophy related to Krishna) is one such example of a new Avtar. Although the occurrence of a new Avtar may sound like the birth of a new religion, it is not really so. The new Avtar, involving or in the name of Saguna Brahman(e.g. Vishnu appearing in a new incarnation), basically brings changes in socio-religious beliefs as required by changing times and conditions. Moreover, the puranic text, dedicated to the new Avtar, still adheres to the essentials of Vedas and Vedic (Brahamanical) philosophies (Refs. 7, 8 and 9). In other worlds, the new Avtar (deity) remains true to basic religious and philosophical ideas of Hinduism, including the concept of monotheistic polymorphism in Hinduism (one God having many names and representations)."
Ref. (3): Subhash C. Sharma, "Farming and philosophy in India during ancient times",2011,http://creative.sulekha.com/farming-and-philosophy-in-india-during-ancient-times_527016_blog
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

Posts : 6468
Join date : 2012-11-29

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bYp0igbxHcmg1G1J-qw0VUBSn7Fu

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Post by Seva Lamberdar Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:38 am

Additional (original) related information (blog) on deities:
Subhash C. Sharma, "BRAHMAN (God) In Hinduism" (2004), http://creative.sulekha.com/brahman-god-in-hinduism_332874_blog
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

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Post by Seva Lamberdar Fri Oct 28, 2022 11:41 am

The cultural and geographical differences / distancing of people over a long time resulted in numerous names for one God (Brahman) and having different symbols, idols and rituals involving deity (god / goddess) during worship and prayer.
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

Posts : 6468
Join date : 2012-11-29

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