Thursday, 26 July 2012

Hindu Deities

©Gods & Goddesses Oracle
Earlier in the week, I wrote about Poseidon and my difficulties with the male deities of the Greek Pantheon.  I thought it would be good to add, it's not all male deities that affect me that way, and against whose authority I struggle.

During my circle casting, I do call on the God, but in Hindu aspects.  At the moment I tend to call on four animal and avatar reflections of deity, to honour the four quarters.

In the East, I call on Garuda.  This eagle god is far-sighted, flying high and getting a perspective on the world.  He is known as "eater of serpents", and protects from poison.  He is the mount for Lord Vishnu, transporting him quickly wherever he needs to go.  It is also said that he can create hurricanes when he flaps his wings.  So, he seems a good match for the element of air.

©Gods & Goddesses Oracle
In the South, I call on Hanuman.  This monkey god was the faithful companion of Rama in his search for his wife Sita, who had been abducted by the demon king Ravana.  Hanuman was loyal and true, standing by his friend and by his principles despite hardships and challenges.  He had such energy that he could leap over an ocean, and make his way through various tests.  One of his feats is to control the sunrise, and I think he represents well the fiery energy of the South.

©Gods & Goddesses Oracle
In the West, I call on Krishna.  He is the deity most often associated with Bhakti yoga - the devotional, ecstatic aspect of hinduism.  As such, he is seen as a god of love, of ecstasy, of connection with the divine.  He is also considered a god of more mundane love having had 16,108 wives!  He rescued 16,100 women from a cruel king who had kept them in his harem, and so they all requested that he marry them, to cleanse them of "worldly blemish".  As an act of kindness and love, he did so.  He seems an appropriate god to call on for the element of water.

©Gods & Goddesses Oracle
In the North, I call on Ganesha. This elephant-headed god is known as the remover of obstacles and lord of beginnings.  However, he was also the scribe for Vyasa.  He is strong and practically minded, but also studious, putting in the hard work to write down the whole Mahabharata, armed only with one of his own tusks as a stylus.  He is associated with the serpent, another creature of the earth, as well as himself having an elephant's head.  In many depictions, Ganesha is seen riding a mouse, which symbolises the wish to overcome selfishness.  He is associated with prosperity, and a statue of Ganesha is considered vital to any new business venture.  For all these reasons, I associate him with the element of earth.

For me, these aspects of deity, although they are male, are not rigid or full of a sense of their own power and status.  They show insight and loyalty, a willingness to be tender, to help others, and to work hard.  They are honourable and generous, strong and courageous, sometimes playful, sometimes wise.  These are traits I am glad to call upon, to try to draw into myself.

6 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Elle. It's one of those things about eclectic paganism, we have to find what calls us - an adventure and revealing, too :)

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    2. I love your blog! I am so happy to have found you!

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    3. Hi Elle,
      I'm glad you found me, too :) Really enjoying your exploration of various crystals. Hope you feel better today!
      Love and Light,
      Kerry

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    4. What!!! I must order this deck right now!!

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    5. Glad you found the deck, Eowyn, will look forward to seeing what you make of it. One thing I like is that it's far more faithful to traditional Hindu painting styles - quite strange in places, but lovely :)

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