The Principal Gods of Hinduism
The Cosmic Being - Purusha
The Cosmic Being is made up of two parts: an inactive male component, and a female component, called nature (Prakiti). These 2 elements combine to form one entity: the macrocosm of the Universe or the microcosm of our body.
In the Cosmic Being the sum of all its physical bodies is called the "glorious" (Virat). They form the perceived universe and are governed by Brahma, the Infinite Lord. Also, the subtle bodies (beauty, positive thought, the soul) unite with the Cosmic Being to form the golden Embryo (Hiranya garbha), governed by Vishnu the Immanent. The causal body of the Cosmic Being, called Omniscient, is governed by Shiva, the Lord of Sleep.
The "TriMurti" or the Hindu Trinity
BRAHMA, VISHNU/SHIVA (who is one god with 2 faces) and SHAKTI form a triad or trinity of 3 gods, (a TRI-MURTI), who are the 3 fundamental principals of Hinduism and are comparable to the Christian trinity :
- BRAHMA is comparable to the God of Original Creation. Half masculine and half feminine, the female energy life force (which the goddess SHAKTI represents) gives energy, life, love and light which is necessary to animate the other principals of the Triad : Brahma and Vishnu/Shiva.
- A / VISHNU comes to our world in the form of many incarnations, to save human beings and just souls who are in difficulty. His second function is to teach human beings the road leading to the Kingdom beyond.
B / SHIVA, the second aspect of VISHNU, determines the destiny of human beings and judges their souls. He can take away their life or lead them to reincarnation. As the Supreme Progenitor, his symbol is the LINGUM (Phallus) or organ of procreation. SHAKTI or SATI, his consort is the YONI (the womb) .She is indispensable and accepts the sperm.
- SHAKTI, the goddess of omnipresent energy. She is also the cohesive aspect (Sattva) which is needed to quicken the inert bodies of the 3 great masculine gods. Released from BRAHMA, she is the basis of his thought, and a form of Mother-Goddess whom the men of antiquity had always worshipped.
Her energy (like that of the wind) can be as refreshing as a soft breeze or as violent as a tempest let loose by the ocean.
Like the Holy Spirit of the Christians, she can be as light as the flight of a dove, or instead like a tongue of fire she warms the hearts of people living in a cold, materialistic world.
She is the star which in the middle of the night gives a lode star in the sky to those who want to find their way in the immense ocean of life.
1. VISHNU : the IMMANENT
Vishnu in the Hindu religion is the center of the universe, the symbol of union, love, truth and light.
He also represents the positive forces of matter - the roots of life. He penetrates everything; even our most intimate thoughts. He surrounds everything, infilters everything and spreads out everywhere by dividing himself, yet remaining whole.
Just as electric current flows between 2 poles, VISHNU has two faces also: his positive face manifests itself as VISHNU and his negative face is symbolized by SHIVA, the destructive principal. Hindus believe that Brahma (existence) inhabits the heart of man, which is also the center of physical life.
VISHNU (consciousness) resides in the navel, the center of the body, which gave nourishment during the nine months of gestation. SHIVA (experience and happiness) lives in the middle of the forehead, in the center of detachment or abstraction and in sex.
The Search for the Eternal Being -
(Shvetashvatara Upanishad 4)
By the will of the eternal Being, worlds disappear and
By his power they will one day return,
He is the sun, the wind and the moon.
He is infinity and the seed that has created life,
He has no beginning.
The Eternal Being from whom the universe is born.
Besides the 10 names given to VISHNU the Immanent through the 10 AVATARS (or incarnations on earth in different forms), VISHNU has more than 1,000 names or attributes :
- Narayana - universal refuge (for the oppressed)
- Govinda - the Savior of the earth
- Trivikrama - the conqueror of the three worlds
- Hrishikesha - the Lord of the senses
- Purushottama - the best of men
- Adhokshaja - the universe, the source of existence
- Acyuta - the infallible, the king of justice and truth
- Hari - the god who destroys (and Pardons)
- Krishna - the attractive (the friend)
- The original Word manifested, the transcendent Word, enlightened consciousness, wisdom which knows and can accomplish everything...
It is strange that the names attribute to the Messiah awaited by the Jews, who is also recognized by Christians in the life and thought of Jesus the Radiant, who pronounced the Beatitudes, and affirmed that he has not come to save the good, but to comfort the sick and those who suffer and truly need a physician.
Vishvakarma - the Being of great splendor
The "Avatars or Incarnations" of VISHNU
An avatar is an aspect of god incarnated on earth at an important time in history. He establishes a new way of interpreting the LAW OF PERFECTION which must enlighten the consciousness and wisdom of the world.
VISHNU, the supreme Master, never fails to guide the destiny and evolution of the world. His incarnations are innumerable, and he manifests himself in different forms: as seers, prophets and spirit guides for every race and color, on every continent
God gives us his revelations in several ways: in writings, through biblical teachings, from the work of priests and through lay people who are virtuous and saintly. According to the events at a certain era, he can intervene by descending to earth in a living body, to protect a group of man (or even one person) by helping them realize their inner lives.
The sacred book, the Varaha-Purana, mentions 10 incarnations (either human or animal - the latter are noted by **). The Bhagavata Purana mentions 22 earthly incarnations of VISHNU :
- The Eternal adolescent (Kumara)
- The wild boar Varaha**
- The wise musician (Narada)
- The wise Saint (Nara) where Wisdom lives (Narayana)
- The philosopher (Kalpila)
- The Magician (Dattatreya)
- Sacrifice (Yajna)
- The Bull or wise king (Rishasbha)
- The First-king or farmer (Prithu)
- The fish in the flood (Matsya)**
- The tortoise (Kurma)**
- The doctor (Dhanvatari)
- The enchantress (Mohini)
- The Lion-man (Nara-simba)**
- The dwarf (Vamana)**
- Rama with an ax - the destroyer of warriers (Parashu-rama)**
- The writer of the Vedas (Veda -vyasa)
- The Charmer - the incarnation of moral virtues (Rama)**
- Rama the strong (Bama-Rama)
- The Seducer or the "Dark One" (Krishna)**
- The illuminated one, (Buddha), the incarnation of delusion**
- Accomplishment (Kalki) as a future incarnation, who will come to mark the end of the present cycle.**
|The " 10 Incarnations of VISHNU " on Earth|
The 4 incarnations at the begining of the world which was the age of truth :
1) The boar (Varaha) one of the myths of creation. VISHNU in the form of a boar brought the earth out of the waters and laid it upon a lotus flower.
2) The fish Matsya who saved Manu, (Noah) from the deluge and restored to Brahma the sacred textts stolen by the demon with a horses head: Hayagriva.
3) The tortoise Kurma who came to aid Indra, and vanquished the Asuras demons. He acted as a pivot to allow the gods to churn the ocean so that the gods Amrita (the essence of immortality) the tree of Paradise, the doctor of the gods, the goddess of wine, nymphs, the divine horse, the royal elephant could be born.
In another version he is attributed with the recovery of terrestrial objects lost in the flood.
4) The Lion-man, who killed "Draped-in-gold", the king of the wicked spirits who threatened the life of his pious child Prahlada. This was an ancient religion in which the lion, king of the animals is compared to men who believe themselves stronger and better than all other animals.
* The 3 incarnations of Vishnu in second age :
5. The dwarf Nain (Vamana) who in 3 strides restored to the gods the three worlds which had been usurped by Bali, the king of the anti-gods. VISHNU gave him the underworld, where he built his kingdom.
6. The incarnation of "Rama with an ax". 21times this hero fought the princely castes, (who had revolted against the authority of the Brahmans). He distributed the land to the priests.
7. The incarnation of Rama the Charmer, personifying Perfection and Duty. This is the solar aspect of Vishnu, which demands from everyone the realization of Cosmic Law and the search for Perfection.
During the second age of the world, Rama was the king of Ayodyha. This kingdom lived in peace, happiness and prosperity until the day the demon Ravana took his wife, queen Sita and hid her in the kingdom of Ceylon.
Rama means charming, brilliant and allegorically he represents the universe (mobile and immobile), or life contained in the verbal vibration of the universal syllable AUM.
Rama and his brother, Lakshmana, succeeded in saving SITA with the help of an army of monkeys, led by Hanuman. The demon Ravana (who had been an angel) was killed and thus delivered from his ill fate.
Before dying, Ravana declared that SITA had succumbed to his desire during her captivity. In vain SITA protested that she had remained faithful (her dharma) to her husband RAMA. However, he demanded that she (whose name etymologically means a furrow) prove her innocence by appearing before the goddess Mother-Earth, who not only declared her innocence, but engulfed her in her breast. Rama, who could not live without his wife, threw himself into a river and drowned. He met her once more in eternity.
8. The "AVATARS or INCARNATIONS" of VISHNU
The word Krish means attractive, or the incarnation of love. Krishna, was the one who destroyed evil, the inspiration of the different kinds of knowledge (represented by the daughters of the cowherd who are really former hermit monks reincarnated).
According to legend, Vishnu, (as Rama-the-charming) went one day deep into the forest to protect the old sages and hermits who conquered the demons by their asceticism.
They were so attracted by the radiance and beauty of the young god, that they asked to be reincarnated as the young daughters of cowherds. Krishna, in his next reincarnation became the seductive warrior prince, the man with a turquoise blue face.
It is coincidence that the gods Amon and Osiris of Egypt also appear blue on the walls of the temple of Abydos: all three have almost the same color of skin. Some observers have explained that this color is chosen to symbolize the blue cloudless sky from which these gods descended.
Although, Buddhism could be interpreted as a religion for the self, the Hindu Brahmans developed the cult of Krishna to minimize the great popularity of Buddha, who attracted many adepts away from Vishnu. The Brahmans integrated BUDDHA into Hinduism as an incarnation of VISHNU, instead of rejecting him as an competitor.
The life of Krishna and his borther Bala-Rama
Krishna was born at the beginning of the fourth age, that of "the conflicts". Because the holy Narada told the cruel king KAMSA that he would be killed one day by a nephew, the wicked king imprisoned his sister Devaki, so he could kill her children as they were born.
The first 6 babies were put to death. The seventh baby Bala-Rama escaped, as did Krishna the eighth child, who was exchanged in secret with a daughter of a cowherd. One cannot help comparing this with the massacre of the Hebrew babies in Egypt and the Holy Children killed by Herod the Great.
Krishna was raised among the cowherds. He played the flute and his charm attracted all the girls of the village. When he killed KAMSA, he became king and made war on the Pandavas: the 5 brothers whom he had already met in a previous incarnation of VISHNU as Rama-with-an-axe.
Krishna, the Supreme Being who resides in the seventh heaven (that of the bull) took no pleasure in solitude and manifested in a double light: black and white.
Krishna fell in love with Radha, the charming daughter of his adopted father. She became the celestial while light and was impregnated by Krishna. With this white celestial light, Krishna created the fundamental vibration of nature, the golden vision and universal intelligence, which comprise "Krishna consciousness".
As for his brother Bala-Rama, he was transferred from the stomach of Devaki to that of Rohini, to escape Kamsa's cruel massacre. He was thus brought up with his brother Krishna, by the cowherds as a son of Rohini (Bhagavad Gita 10.2).
He is represented with white skin and blue clothing, whereas Krishna has dark blue skin. The first of his exploits was to kill 2 anti-gods, one of whom was called Dhenuka.
When Samba, the son of Krishna was captured and imprisoned by Duryodhana, Bala-Rama hitched the walls of the town to his chariot, pulling them down, and thus freeing Samba.
The wife of Bala-Rama was the princess Revati who gave him 2 sons: Nishatha and Ulmuka (Kurma Purana). After many exploits, he died (several days before Krishna) whilst sitting beneath a banyan tree near Dvaraka.
The spirituality of Krishna (according the Bhagavata Purana)
There are 3 kinds of devotees :
- Those who go to the temple but have little knowledge of God. When they leave the temple adopt their materialistic attitudes again.
- Those who have developed a sincere attitude of service to God and reserve their friendship only for the devotees on the same path as themselves.
- Finally, those who see God in everything and acknowledge the relationship between God and all things." Whoever takes refuge in me with a pure and intense devotion, whether he has been a sinful man, an adulteress, or someone born in a family of unbelievers can attain spiritual perfection. (Bhagavad-gita, the words of God).
" Those who dedicate themselves to the religion of the devas (gods) will be born among the devas, those who devote themselves to the ancestors will be reborn amongst their ancestors and those who are my devotees will live with me in my realm."Those who live in sin will be reincarnated as animals, where they will suffer the discomfort of a materialistic existence. (Bhagavad-Gita IV,7).
" I appear from time to time to save my devotees, to destroy the sinful and to reestablish the principles of spirituality."
" If I did not do this, THE WHOLE UNIVERSE would vanish into desolation and man would become so wicked as to threaten the peace of all other kinds of life. " (Bhagavad-Gita III 24).
"When there is a great man, everyone follows his example ". (Bhagavad-Gita III 21)
(The wisdom of Sri-Krishna in the Srimad Bhagavatam).
" the desire of the Lord is to see all the conditioned hearts which wander in aterial creation to find their place near Him, to turn over in their original residence.
" Each time that in some place of the Universe, spirituality sees a decline and that rises irreligion, ô descendant of Bharata, I goes down in person " (Bhagavad-gitâ IV, 7)
The 9th incarnation of Vishnu : Buddha, the Illuminated One
Krishna, Buddha and Kalki were in the 4th age, the age of conflict. The incarnation of VISHNU as BUDDHA is rather different from the Buddhist concept, where Buddha is the incarnation of Illusion (Maya) and of sin of Vishnu(!)
The Hindu Brahmans accuse Buddhism of having an excess of moral values, which gives too much importance to human individualism, to the detriment of the search for knowledge and participation in the cosmic universe. By insisting on non-violence, man loses control over modern invasive technology, leading him directly to the age of destruction and the ruin of much of the human population. Thus, when one has understood the vanity of earthly life, a series of reincarnations appears to be a perpetual series of tests. However, the death of this earthly body means a return to the spiritual world.
Buddha - Museum of Sarnath
The Birth of Buddhism
Siddhartha (later Buddha) lived between 563 and 479BC. He was born the prince of a small state in North India, near the border of India and Nepal. "His mother MAYA", the queen of that state died 7 days after his birth.
Having lived his early life in the luxury of the royal palace, he abandoned his father, his right to the throne, his wife and son. He cut his hair and made a vow to live in poverty and abstinence, taking the name of Gautama. Becoming a wandering ascetic, he stopped one day at Bodh Gaya and sat beneath a fig tree known to be a tree of wisdom.
Despite the 3 temptations of the demon Mara who tried to divert him from meditation, Buddha (which means "the Illuminated One") attained illumination and understood the meaning of the suffering involved in the denial of earthly desires.
Submitting to the wishes of BRAHMA, the creation god, BUDDHA traveled throughout the world to find future followers, "the Bodhisattvas" who would continue his work after his death. They would lead men "along the path towards illumination".
As with the Persian reform we note, that the message of Buddha coincides with the period of exile of the Jews in Babylon, and perhaps those refugees who fled to the countries around to avoid the exile from Isreal and Judah, would understand his sudden enlightened consciousness.
In 273BC, the Hindu emperor ASOKA of the Mauryan dynasty took power in Pataliputra (now Patna in the state of Bihar). He increased his kingdom by stabilizing central India and pushing his empire to the frontiers of Afghanistan. He was converted to Buddhism in 268BC, and renounced all violence. He sent missionaries into Asia to establish good relations with the ancient Eastern Greek empire.
Having unified India, he went about developing the teachings of Buddhism and building temples. He worked to establish a moral code, security and peace. He died in Pakistan, and his sons succeeded him, but were not able to maintain the stability of the empire that he had built.
Tenth Avatar of Vishnu : KALKI, the fruition
" Each time kings or their subjects descend to the depths of a materialistic existence and live like animals, the LORD appears in his spiritual FORM. He shows his supreme power. He re-establishes truth, showing the right path, giving his special Grace to believers and performing great miracles. He manifests himself in various differing sublime forms according to the needs of the age " (Bhagavata Purana 25)
"At the beginning of the present age, when kings become thieves(!) the Lord of the Universe will incarnate under the name of Kalki (instead of Vishnu Yashas).
He will appear seated on a white horse, and holding a sword in his hand, he will cross the sky like a comet. He will re-establish a Golden Age, punishing the wicked and comforting the just, then he will destroy the world." After this, there will appear a "new human race."
This prophecy has not come to pass but hangs like a sword over our heads. The Avatar of Vishnu in the form of a COMET or an asteroid -should we take this in a pragmatic sense or a figurative way?
We also we find these prophesies in the writings of several saints who could travel in spirit through time(!) Moreover, this prophesy which judges the human race is also found in the 8 other PURANAS :
Kalki, Mahabharata, Brahma, Agni, Vayu, Lingua, Varaha and Bhavishya.
THE AVATARS of VISHNU and the Egyptian gods
Ancient Egypt had many gods which were half human and half animal. When we read their BOOK OF THE DEAD, we see these creatures beside the humans who were waiting for judgment at the end of life. We therefore ask : did the Egyptians (like the Hindus) believe that the wicked soul in one life on earth could (after atoning for their sin) come to their judgment by Osiris and attain eternal life? Below are references to 2 ancient books of India which show the Avatars and the other incarnations of Vishnu on earth, in different animal forms :
Avatar 02 : boar
Avatar 01 : boar
Avatar 08 : bull
In India the cow is a sacred animal
Avatar 10 : Fish (flood)
Avatar 02 : the fish in the flood
Avatar 11 : tortoise
Avatar 03 : tortoise
Avatar14 : the man lion
Avatar 04: the lion man
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