Hindu Devas take a (silk) road trip to Japan!

Fascinating and well-documented article on the iconic deities of Hinduism like Ganesha, Shiva, Brahma, Lakshmi, Durga, Saraswati, Kubera, Indra and others who have been depicted in ancient Japanese literature and paintings.

Videshi Sutra

(Note: If you are only interested in pictures, skip past this and hit “Continue Reading”)

This is a historical phenomenon, which entertains and fascinates me to no end. Buddhism had a huge impact on all East Asian cultures, especially on their pantheons of deities. On first glance it might seem odd that a reform movement, which rejected many of the core tenants of Vedic religion would transmit a belief in Vedic deities. This apparent oddity is a misunderstanding of Buddhism’s “atheism,” and a misunderstanding of what a “Deva” actually is. Most forms of Buddhism, while rejecting the concept of all-powerful gods or creator deities, openly accept the existence of powerful supernatural beings. This includes yakshas (nature spirits) rakshasas (demons) gandharvas (celestial musicians) nagas (supernatural snakes) and many other beings, including Devas (deities.) In Hindu and Buddhist cosmology, Devas are created beings that roam around the universe seeking the divine, albeit…

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4 thoughts on “Hindu Devas take a (silk) road trip to Japan!

  1. Dr. G. Quiroga Goode

    I recently watched an old TV interview of SALVADOR DALI by a mexican reporter. Salvador Dali expressed that his personal views of the universe are part of his COSMOGONY …. I haven’t found any comment by Sri Aurobindo and the mother about the meaning of COSMOGONY

  2. Mike

    I’m not quite sure what you mean by ‘the meaning of COSMOGONY. Are you referring to the ‘definition’ or their ideas about origin of creation?
    I think SA has said this:

    “This creation lasts for a day of Brahma which is equal to fourteen Manus or Manvantaras.c At the close of each Manvantara, life of inferior creatures and lower worlds comes to an end, leaving the substance of the universe entire and gods and sages unharmed. After the end of the fourteenth Manvantara or when Brahma’s day closes, occurs the great dissolution called Naimittika Pratisarga in which all things come to an end by fire and water, from which only the Prakriti Creation escapes including the three qualities and Seven Rishis, etc. At the end of Brahma’s night lasting for a Kalpa, he awakes and begins his creation again. All the Prakrita Creation disappears only at the Prakrita Pralaya, occurring at the end of the life of Brahma, when not only all the gods and all other forms are annihilated, but the elements are again merged into primary substance, besides which only spiritual being exists.

    Cosmogony, thus, forms the first topic of the Puranas.a It is the common knowledge of anthropologists that primitive people all the world over think and act alike; hence, naturally enough, certain basic principles run through all ideas regarding cosmogony. But cosmogenic legends of different countries tend to harmonies only after a time. These myths generally look up for the creation of the world from the fewest possible elements. Cosmogonical speculations in the Vedic period do not present any generally accepted theory as to the origin of the world: widely differing ideas about this problem appear to have existed, which were developed and harmonised by the poet-philosophers — the seers — of the Rig Veda..”..

    The Mother has spoken about the origin of creation based on Max Theon’s cosmic tradition, which mentions the First Four Emanations etc..

  3. Mike

    Actually, The Mother uses the word in volume 2 of the Agenda, and SA uses it in His book on the ISHA UPANISHAD.

    The Mother says:

    ““In his cosmogony, Theon accounted for the successive pralayas9 of the different universes by saying that each universe was an aspect of the Supreme manifesting itself: each universe was built upon one aspect of the Supreme, and all, one after the other, were withdrawn into the Supreme. He enumerated all the successively manifested aspects, and what an extraordinarily logical sequence it was! I have kept it some place, but I no longer know where. Nor do I remember exactly what number this universe has in the sequence, but this time it was supposed to be the universe which would not be withdrawn, which would, so to speak, follow an indefinite progression of Becoming. And this universe is to manifest Equilibrium, not a static but a progressive equilibrium.10 Equilibrium, as he explains it, is each thing exactly in its place: each vibration, each movement, each… and so on down the line – each form, each activity, each element exactly in its place in relation to the whole.”

    Excerpt From: Mother, The. “Mother’s Agenda, Volume 2. 1961.

  4. Sandeep Post author

    The ancient Japanese sun goddess Amaterasu-ō-mikami hides in and re-emerges from the Iwato cave first recorded in the oldest Japanese texts. Her origin is found in the Rig Veda as the Dawn goddess Usha- in the form of a beautiful woman who heralds the rising of the sun.

    The Japanese story is an echo of Rig Vedic account that she was hidden in a cave found on an island in the middle of the stream at the end of the world. The cave is opened by Indra, accompanied by poets and singers. They recite, sing, and compose Mantras to release her.

    Like Ushas, Ameratsu represents light, awareness & activity.


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