Ancient India's God and Goddesses
Similarities between Kama and Cupid, Vishwakarma and Vulcan and Indra and Zeus do lead many to hastily conclude that Hindu mythology is similar to Greek mythology. But Greek mythology is quite different from Hindu mythology; it reflects the subjective truth of the Greeks, which was radically different from the subjective truths of the Hindus. The Greeks believed in polytheism - more than one god.
The gods of Greek mythology became masters of the universe by allegedly overthrowing the Titans, an earlier race of powerful beings, who in turn had become powerful by overcoming Giants. Such a theme of repeat succession is missing in Vedic literature. Unlike Greek gods, the Devas (Hindu gods) never feared the Manavas (humans) would overthrow them.
Gods who came in chariots from the sky take us to Ancient Alien Theory. All of these gods were aliens who created realities in which they came to Earth to experience and learn.
Kali is considered the goddess of time and change.
Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, her earliest incarnation as a figure of annihilation still has some influence. Various Shakta Hindu cosmologies, as well as Shakta Tantric beliefs, worship her as the ultimate reality or Brahman. She is also revered as Bhavatarini (literally "redeemer of the universe"). Comparatively recent devotional movements largely conceive Kali as a benevolent mother goddess.
Kali is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on whose body she is often seen standing. She is associated with many other Hindu goddesses like Durga, Bhadrakali, Sati, Rudrani, Parvati and Chamunda. She is the foremost among the Dasa Mahavidyas, ten fierce Tantric goddesses.
Mayan Calendar Corroborates Hindu Prophecy About.com
Yuga in Hindu philosophy is the name of an 'epoch' or 'era' within a cycle of four ages. These are the Satya Yuga (or Krita Yuga), the Treta Yuga, the Dvapara Yuga and finally the Kali Yuga. According to Hindu cosmology, life in the universe is created, destroyed once every 4.1 to 8.2 billion years, which is one full day (day and night) for Brahma. The lifetime of a Brahma himself may be 311 trillion and 40 Billion years. The cycles are said to repeat like the seasons, waxing and waning within a greater time-cycle of the creation and destruction of the universe. Like Summer, Spring, Winter and Autumn, each yuga involves stages or gradual changes which the earth and the consciousness of mankind goes through as a whole. A complete yuga cycle from a high Golden Age of enlightenment to a Dark Age and back again is said to be caused by the solar system's motion around a central sun.
The Golden Age Could Begin in 2012
The ancient Hindus mainly used lunar calendars but also used solar calendars. If an average lunar year equals 354.36 days, then this would be about 5270 lunar years from the time when the Kali Yuga started until 21 Dec 2012. This is the same year that the Mayans predict rebirth of our planet. It is also about 5113 solar years of 365.24 days per year, and is day number 1,867,817 into the Kali Yuga. By either solar or lunar years, we are over 5,000 years into the Kali Yuga and it is time for Lord Krishna's prophecy to happen according to the ancient Hindu scriptures. Lord Krishna's Golden Age could easily begin in 2012!
Mayan Prophecy Matches Hindu Prophecy
It is amazing that both calendars began at about the same time over 5,000 years ago and both calendars predict a totally new world and/or golden age after about 5,000 years into their calendars! We are definitely on to something with these Mayan and Hindu 2012 predictions. Historically, this is an amazing fact since these two ancient cultures did not have any contact.
The end of Kali Yuga occurs "When flowers will be begot within flowers, and fruits within fruits, then will the Yuga come to an end. And the clouds will pour rain unseasonably when the end of the Yuga approaches."
According to the Puranas, Brahma is self-born (without mother) in the lotus flower which grew from the navel of Vishnu at the beginning of the universe. This explains his name Nabhija (born from the navel). Another legend says that Brahma was born in water. In this he deposited a seed that later became the golden egg. From this golden egg, Brahma the creator was born, as Hiranyagarbha. The remaining materials of this golden egg expanded into the Brahmanda or Universe. Being born in water, Brahma is also called Kanja (born in water). Brahma is said also to be the son of the Supreme Being, Brahman and the female energy known as Prakrti or Maya.
At the beginning of the process of creation, Brahma created eleven Prajapatis (used in another sense), who are believed to be the fathers of the human race. The Manusmriti enumerates them as Marichi, Atri, Angirasa, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Vasishtha, Prachetas or Daksha, Bhrigu, and Narada. He is also said to have created the seven great sages or the Saptarishi to help him create the universe. However since all these sons of his were born out of his mind rather than body, they are called Manas Putras or mind-sons.
Within Vedic and Puranic scripture Brahma is described as only occasionally interfering in the affairs of the other devas (gods), and even more rarely in mortal affairs. He did force Soma to give Tara back to her husband, Brihaspati. He is considered the father of Dharma and Atri.
The Vishnu Sahasranama declares Vishnu as Paramatma (supreme soul) and Parameshwara (supreme God). It describes Vishnu as the All-Pervading essence of all beings, the master of - and beyond - the past, present and future, the creator and destroyer of all existences, one who supports, sustains and governs the Universe and originates and develops all elements within.
In the Puranas, Vishnu is described as having the divine color of water filled clouds, four-armed, holding a lotus, mace, conch (shankha) and chakra (wheel). Vishnu is also described in the Bhagavad Gita as having a 'Universal Form' (Vishvarupa) which is beyond the ordinary limits of human perception.
The Purana also describe each of the Dasavatara of Vishnu. Among these ten principal avatara described, nine have occurred in the past and one will take place in the future, at the end of Kali Yuga. In the commentary of creator Brahma in Vishnu Sahasranamam, he refers to Vishnu as "Sahasrakoti Yuga Dharine", which means that these incarnations take place in all Yugas in cosmic scales. The Bhagavad Gita mentions their purpose as being to rejuvenate Dharma and vanquish negative forces as also to display His divine pastimes in front of the conditioned/fallen souls. In almost all Hindu denominations, Vishnu is either worshiped directly or in the form of his ten avatara, such as Rama and Krishna.
The worship of Shiva is a pan-Hindu tradition, practiced widely across all of India. Shiva is one of the five primary forms of the Divine in Smartism, a denomination of Hinduism that puts particular emphasis on five deities, the other four being Vishnu, Devi, Ganesha, and Surya. Another way of thinking about the divinities in Hinduism identifies Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva as each representing one of the three primary aspects of the Divine in Hinduism, known collectively as the Trimurti. In the Trimurti system, Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva is the destroyer or transformer.
Attributes of Shiva
- Third Eye: Shiva is often depicted with a third eye with which he burned Desire (Kama) to ashes.
- Serpents: Shiva is often shown garlanded with a snake.
- Crescent: Shiva bears on his head the crescent of the fifth day (panchami) moon. This is placed near the fiery third eye and this shows the power of Soma, the sacrificial offering, which is the representative of moon. It means that Shiva possesses the power of procreation along with the power of destruction.The moon is also a measure of time; thus the Crescent also represents his control over time. Thus Shiva is known by the names of Somasundara and Chandrashekara.
- Sacred Ganga: Ganga, the holiest of the holy rivers, flows from the matted hair of Shiva. Shiva allowed an outlet to the great river to traverse the earth and bring purifying water to human beings. The flowing water is one of the five elements which compose the whole Universe and from which earth arises. Ganga also denotes fertility one of the creative aspect of Shiva.
- Drum: A small drum shaped like an hourglass is known as a "damaru". This is one of the attributes of Shiva in his famous dancing representation known as Nataraja. A specific hand gesture (mudra) called damaru-hasta (Sanskrit for "damaru-hand") is used to hold the drum. This drum is particularly used as an emblem by members of the Kapalika sect.
- Vibhuti: Vibhuti is three lines of ashes drawn on the forehead that represents the essence of our Being, which remains after all the malas (impurities of ignorance, ego and action) and vasanas (likes and dislikes, attachments to one's body, world, worldly fame, worldly enjoyments, etc.) have been burnt in the fire of knowledge. Hence vibhuti is revered as the very form of Shiva and signifies the Immortality of the soul and manifested glory of the Lord.
- Ashes: Shiva smears his body with ashes (bhasma). Some forms of Shiva, such as Bhairava, are associated with a very old Indian tradition of cremation-ground asceticism that was practiced by some groups who were outside the fold of brahmanic orthodoxy. These practices associated with cremation grounds are also menteioned in the Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism. One epithet for Shiva is "Inhabitant of the cremation ground" referring to this connection.
- Tiger skin: He is often shown seated upon a tiger skin.
- Elephant and Deer Skin: Shiva also wears elephant skins. Similarly deer represent the jumping of minds (flickering mind). Shiva wears deer skin which indicates that he has controlled the mind perfectly.
- Trident: (Sanskrit: Trishula) Shiva's particular weapon is the trident.
- Nandi, the Bull, is his Vahana (Sanskrit for vehicle).
- Lingam:Shiva is often worshipped in the form of a lingam.These are depicted in various forms.
- Mount Kailasha in the Himalayas is his traditional abode.
- He is often represented as immersed in deep meditation.
- He is said to eradicate Kama (sexual desire), Moha (material desire) and Maya (mundane thoughts) from his devotees' minds.
Thus Indra, the chief of the gods, was regarded as the regent of the east; Agni, the fire, was in the same way associated with the southeast; Yama with the south; Surya, the sun, with the southwest; Varuna, originally the representative of the all-embracing heaven (atmosphere), now the god of the ocean, with the west; Vayu (or Pavana), the wind, with the northwest; Kubera, the god of wealth, with the north; and Soma with the northeast. (Note: In some traditions, Eesana, an aspect of Siva is regarded as the regent of the northeast and Nirrti the regent of the southwest.)
In the institutes of Manu the Loka palas are represented as standing in close relation to the ruling king, who is saki to be composed of particles of these his tutelary deities. The retinue of Indra consists chiefly of the Gandharvas, a class of genii, considered in the epics as the celestial musicians; and their wives, the Apsaras, lovely nymphs, who are frequently employed by the gods to make the pious devotee desist from carrying his austere practices to an extent that might render him dangerous to their power. Narada, an ancient sage (probably a personification of the cloud, the water-giver), is considered as the messenger between the gods and men, and as having sprung from the forehead of Brahma.
The interesting office of the god of love is held by Kamadeva, also called Ananga, the bodyless, because, as the myth relates, having once tried by the power of his mischievous arrow to make Siva fall in love with Parvati, whilst he was engaged in devotional practices, the urchin was reduced to ashes by a glance of the angry god. Two other mythological figures of some importance are considered as sons of Siva and Parvati, viz. Karttikeya or Skanda, the leader of the heavenly armies, who was supposed to have been fostered by the six Knittikas or Pleiades and Ganesha (lord of troops).
Vedic Deities - These deities represent forces of nature or devas and are not equivalent to Brahman represented as Vishnu or Shiva. The Devas hold a similar place in relation to God as angels do in Judaeo-Christian traditions.
Ancient India - Goddesses
Ananta - Indian Serpent Queen. aka Sarparajni. She enveloped all gods during their death, sleeping between incarnations.
Banka-Mundi - Hunting Goddess of the Khoud. Merely uttering Her name made one fearless against jungle beasts.
Bardaichila - Assamese Storm Goddess.
Bentakumari - Assamese Water Goddess. First fish of the season was given to Her.
Bhasundara - Tibetan Goddess of Prosperity
Bhavani - Common name for Mother Goddess of India. Bestower of Existence. Evoked by women in labor, who burned perfume to honor Her.
Bisal-Mariamna - Shakti of Sunlight in Mysore. Symbolized by a brass pot full of water called the Kunna-Kannadi or 'eye mirror'. Into this pot are put pepper leaves and coconut flowers, a small metal mirror leans against it.
Budhi Pallien - Assamese Forest Goddess, appears as a tiger roving through the Indian jungle.
Chomo-Lung-Ma - Goddess Mother of the Universe, original name of Mt. Everest. One of the oldest Indian deities.
Devi - Dearly Beloved Goddess
Durga - the Queen Mother, Warrior Goddess, rode tigers into battle defending Her children, the gods.
Hudigamma - Hindu Mother Goddess served by eunuch priests dressed in women's clothes.
Indrani - Queen of the gods.
Ista Devata - Tantric Patroness of the Self. Individual Guardian Angel of the Enlightened Sage.
Kadru - Serpent Goddess, Mother of the Nagas, or Cobra people.
Kali - Black Earth Mother, Conqueror of Time, Goddess of fertility, death and regeneration. Dark Mother, Hindu triple Goddess of creation, preservation and destruction. Birth and Death Mother. Treasure house of Compassion, Giver of Life to the World. Her mantras brought into being the very things whose names She spoke for the first time, Originator of the creative word or Logos. A triple Goddess - Maiden, Mother, Crone. Lady of the Dead. The Ocean of Blood at the beginning and end of the world. Also known as Jagadamba.
Kauri - Indo-European Swan Goddess. Cowrie shell was sacred to Her.
Khon-Ma - Mother Earth, Ruler of All Spirits emanating from the Earth element.
Kundalini - Serpent Goddess representing the inner power of the human body
Kurukulla - Dravidian Goddess of Caverns.
Lakshmi - Goddess of fortune,wealth and abundance. Portrayed as a golden skinned woman sitting or standing on a lotus, Her symbol. Hindu Goddess of Sovereignty. Source of the divine drink Soma. aka Padma, Lady Lotus. Goddess of Beauty and Good Fortune.
Manasa-Devi - Serpent Goddess of Bengal, identified with the Moon, bearing the Moons's magic name Mana.
Marici - Buddhist Diamond Sow, Great Goddess seated on a lotus surrounded by 7 pigs. Glorious One. Sun of Happiness.
Maya - Virgin aspect of the triple Hindu Goddess, symbolized by a Spider, spinner of magic, fate and earthly appearances. The spider's web was likened to the Wheel of Fate and the spider to the Goddess as a Spinner, sitting at the hub of Her Wheel. Mother of the Enlightened One, Buddha. Her colors were white, red and black. Hawthorne, Her tree.
Nanda Devi - Blessed Goddess. Mountain Mother Who gave birth to the Ganges. Nanda Devi is one of the Holiest Mountains of the Himalayan chain.
Parvati - Maiden aspect of Kali. Daughter of the Mountain. Shiva's bride. Daughter of Heaven. Also known by Maya, Sati, Durga, Shakti, Privithi. Dark and colorful, ornate and mysterious. The richness of hues in Her attire as well as Her jewels symbolize Her power. She lifts Her veil to reveal Her beauty, shining like the Sun rising over the mountain of Anapurna. The cocoon, butterfly and the karmic golden wheel reflect Her deep connection with life and death, cause and effect, and transformation.
Prajnaparamita - Personification of Wisdom
Prakriti - Nature. Sanskrit title of Kali as female Holy Trinity, commanding the Gunas, the white, red and black threads of Creation, Preservation and Destruction. She embodied past, present, future; earth, sea, sky; youth, maturity, age.
Privithi - Very ancient Earth Mother.
SaraÊ Kali - Queen Kali, Mother Goddess of the gypsies. The Mother, the Woman, the Sister, the Queen, the source of all Romany blood. Queen of Heaven and Earth.
Sarama - Vedic Bitch Goddess, Mother of the brindled Dogs of Yama. The Huntress.
Saranyu - Goddess Who gave birth to all animals, Mother of all Creatures. Vedic Mare Goddess, Mother of the Centaurs.
Sarasvati - White skinned Goddess of poetry, music, science and learning as well as all creative arts. Inventor of the Sanscrit language. She wears a crescent moon on her brow and rides a swan or a peacock, or is seated on a lotus. The Flowing One. Inventor of all the arts of civilization: music, letters, mathematics, calendars, magic, the Vedas and all other branches of learning. Ancient River Goddess. Queen of Heaven. Mother of Waters. aka Ganga. Originally a River Goddess, She originated in the Ocean. Great culinary Goddess, She invented Soma, or Amrita (drink of bliss). Independent of nature. Goddess of sensual love, creativity, beauty, art and music. Goddess of learning and teaching
Savitri - Hindu Mother of Civilization, She Who brought forth music and literature, rhythm, time, measurements, day and night, memory, conquest, victory and yoga.
Shakti - Tantric title of the Great Goddess. Cosmic Energy. The Tantras say the female principle antedates and includes the male principle and this female principle is the Supreme Divinity. Tantric doctrine says mortal women are life itself, and Goddess-like, because they embody the principle of Shakti. The series of Universes appear and disappear with the opening and shutting of her eyes. (from the Lalita Sahasranamam) Final union with Shakti occurred at the moment of Death, according to Tantric mystics.
Shasti - Bengali Feline Goddess, depicted riding a cat. Goddess of childbirth and Protectress of Children.
Shitala - Protectress against small pox. Mothers appealed to Her for help for their children.
Sita - Furrow, the Goddess Earth as the wife of Rama (Krishna).
Smashana-Kali - Kali Ma as the Goddess of cremation grounds and other places of Death. Her yantra was an 8 petaled lotus with multiple repetitions of the inverted triangle. The meaning was Rebirth following Death. Her priestesses, called dakinis, arranged funerals and tended the dying.
Tara - Pre-Vedic Savior Goddess, known from India to Ireland. Indo-European primal Goddess Earth. An extremely ancient festival held annually at Athens was named after Her, Taramata (Mother Tara) nicknamed The Rioting because of its wild orgiastic customs. The sacred grove of Tara in Ireland was the Goddess's genital shrine. In India, Tara is called The Most Revered of the old pre-vedic Goddesses. Wine is sacred to Her. Goddess of Compassion, The Diamond Sow. Diamonds are Her sacred stone. Tibetan Buddhist Great Mother. She is a Boddhisattva, an enlightened One who has vowed to incarnate until all beings have attained enlightenment. She also vowed to incarnate only as a female. She governs the Underworld, the Earth and the Heavens, birth, death and regeneration, love and war, the seasons, all that lives and grows, the Moon cycles. Green Tara is Her Nature-related aspect. Typically She is seen as a slender and beautiful woman of white complexion, long golden hair and blue eyes. She can also appear as red, black or dark blue. Her animals are the sow, mare, owl and raven. Goddess of spiritual transformation. When worshiping Tara, recognize all you see as Her body, made of green light, all you hear is Her divine speech, and all your thoughts as Her divine wisdom. Every molecule of air is Her divine energy and when you lie down, your head rests in Her lap. More on Tara
Uma - The Golden Goddess, personifying light and beauty. Daughter of the Mountains, Patroness of yogic ascetism. Kali's Crone aspect. aka Prisni, Mother of the Dark Season, Daughter of Heaven. Mother Death.
Ushas - Vedic Goddess of the Dawn.
List of Hindu Deities