Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Today's Gods' Biography

 Humans have worshiped some kind of a god including monsters, naked, virulent, elephant-monkey and multiple-headed- gods most of whom are dead and gone. 85% of the world population today worships some god or goddess to show their gratitude for creating this world, for surrendering their problems, to seek comfort and to attain the rewards gods have promised. Humans spend a lot of their time and money for their religious rituals. 

Some of the earlier gods like Coatlicue (multi-faced goddess of the Aztec mythology with the face of a serpent and a necklace made of human hearts and skeletons), Odin of Norse mythology,  Zeus (God of Thunder and Sky) & Apollo (God of Light and the Sun) were stronger than today’s mighty Yahweh or Allah. Hundreds of Indian Vedic gods- powerful once- have become defunct or dead too.

All cultures have anthropomorphized gods though sometimes they assume grotesque forms. Gods of today like Yahweh the original Jewish god,  Allah a variant of Yahweh, Yeshua (Jesus), the Christian god  have replaced the dead ones. The famous Hindu gods like Hanuman, Durga, Vishnu, Brahma and Siva are quite old and they go strong even today.  

As per the oldest religious books, Yahweh originated in the M.E. as a warrior and storm god. Yahweh was pictured as a man, looking remarkably like a strong bearded sage.  Asherah was his consort. Later he somehow got into the lower rungs of the Canaanite pantheon of gods headed by EI. He was assigned the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. He became the ‘divine warrior’ who lead the Israelite army  against Israel's enemies and committed atrocities beyond description.

Yahweh wanted his followers to obey the Ten Commandments and follow his covenant with Abraham (cut off the foreskin for his protection).  The prophets of Israel made him the main god and in the course of time, the royal Jewish courts and temple promoted Yahweh as the god of the entire cosmos, possessing all the positive qualities previously attributed to the other gods and goddesses. By the end of the Babylonian exile (6th century BCE), the very existence of foreign gods was denied, and Yahweh was proclaimed as the creator of the cosmos and the true god of the entire world.  
His age (since he became the Almighty) is more than 2400 years. 
Future prospects: dim as Jesus would eclipse him. 

Allah:  Allah (the Arabic word for referring to god in the Abrahamic religion-wikipedia)  surfaced with Mohammed a little over 1400 years. Mohammed accepted the OT but his theology and morality differ considerably form that of the Yahweh followers. Allah (formless god) abides by the covenant Yahweh made with Abraham, the patriarch of the Jews, that they cut off the foreskin of their manhood to get his protection.  Son of Yahweh ignored this covenant and Christians do not follow it.

The commands of Allah were different. Each Islamic follower has to have Shahada (faith) that Allah is the only god and Mohammed is His messenger. Each one should do Salat (prayer) five times each day. Muslims should fast during the month of Ramadan. They have to follow  Zakat (charity) or share their possessions.  Each one has to go to Makkah and visit the Kabah once at least in a life time. 
The followers of Allah conquered the ‘infidels’ and made the territories Islamic. Even today there are attempts to spread Allah and his version.                                                              Age: 1400 years. Future prospects: good as his followers multiply fast and they are poised to be the biggest religious group in the near future.
                                          Yeshua (Jesus) 

He is the son of Yahweh. Christians believe he was sent to redeem mankind.  But as per the gospel descriptions he could be a firebrand Jew who criticized the Jewish elite. They in turn plotted against him and forced the Roman rulers to crucify him. St. Paul invented  redemption idea and the evangelists, who came later, made him like a god of the mythical religions who were born of virgin mothers, who did many miracles and who resurrected after dying. We do not know anything about the life of such a person if at all he lived. The name Jesus was common then and Christ was a title.  
 His age: 1900 years.  Prospects: The developed society is abandoning him but the poor of Asia and Africa are embracing him.   

Vishnu, Brahma and Siva  
Hinduism, the dominant religion of the Indian subcontinent has Vishnu (Krishna and Rama are his variants) Brahma, and Siva-the trinity of Hindu gods. Hanuman, the monkey god, and Durga a powerful goddess are popular too. Vishnu, one of the principal deities of Hinduism is usually depicted as having a dark, or pale blue complexion and having four arms. He reclines on a huge serpent. He is the Lord of peace and sustainer of life. Brahma: He is the Hindu Creator god. In early Hindu sources such as the Mahabharata, Brahma is supreme in the Hindu trinity. In later Puranas Brahma is no longer worshiped and other gods are assigned his myths. Shiva: Another principal deity of Hinduism,  Shiva is the transformer and destroyer within the Trinity, that includes Brahma and Vishnu. Shiva is revered along with  Goddess Parvati. 

Their age: the exact age is not known. But they are the oldest deities going strong even now.  Some traditions calculate Brahma’s age as seven crore twenty lakh! Vishnu and Siva are much older than him. But this has no meaning as humans evolved just a few hundred thousand years back and they started inventing gods much later. Future Prospects: All these gods are going strong among Hindus. No sign of decline yet. 

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