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Thread: angels

  1. #1
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    angels

    Do hindus believe in Angels??
    "My spiritual father is Swami Vivekananda" Canibus

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    Re: angels

    Vanakkam Sage:

    I cannot speak for others, but I most certainly do. Devas is the term I use. Most are, according to what I've heard, souls between births who like to help. There are other ones, like gurus or swamis who have reached moksha, but still hang out to help.

    I've sensed their presence many times. There are certain places I know where they hide out, so to speak. Perhaps a better way would be to say there are places where I can feel the energy created by them.

    This is beyond the intellectual realm completely, so it may lead into the age-old discussion that pits rationalism versus mysticism. From my point of view, just because you don't believe in something doesn't mean its not a reality.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: angels

    I don't believe in angels in the Christian sense of the word (just mentioning that because we're on the Christianity forum). I do, however, believe in supernatural beings. There are the Devas, i.e. the Hindu pantheon of gods, which EM mentioned. Whereas Christians believe angels are God's messengers, Hindus typically regard the Devas as manifestations of God rather than mere messengers, and we pray to/worship them as God.

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    Re: angels

    Quote Originally Posted by sanjaya View Post
    I don't believe in angels in the Christian sense of the word (just mentioning that because we're on the Christianity forum). I do, however, believe in supernatural beings. There are the Devas, i.e. the Hindu pantheon of gods, which EM mentioned. Whereas Christians believe angels are God's messengers, Hindus typically regard the Devas as manifestations of God rather than mere messengers, and we pray to/worship them as God.
    This makes for a wide disparity between devas and angels because angels do not accept worship. Angels could be considered a manifestation of God in the message they bring but perhaps that is too broad a concept. The question then becomes whether Devas fit in the broad concept or a more specific concept of the presence of God (in the sense of active will and word as opposed to second hand will and word).

    I suppose that means the beings are not natural to our presence on earth. They certainly are natural enough in their own realm. On the other hand I suppose it could mean any being human or otherwise that could do supernatural things. As such Christians could consider themselves supernatural beings.

    If Devas are gods then they are not manifestations of God. Take Greek gods for instance. One of then eats his children. This is highly unlike God and certainly not a manifestation of Him.

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    Re: angels

    Quote Originally Posted by jaggin View Post
    This makes for a wide disparity between devas and angels because angels do not accept worship. Angels could be considered a manifestation of God in the message they bring but perhaps that is too broad a concept. The question then becomes whether Devas fit in the broad concept or a more specific concept of the presence of God (in the sense of active will and word as opposed to second hand will and word).
    Hello Jaggin. Yes you are right, there is a pretty vast disparity between the Hindu devas and Christian angels. I specifically mentioned our worship of devas to highlight this, because I know that the Bible forbids worship of angels in the letter to the Colossians. I also know that your Bible says, "he makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire." In the Bible the angels are messengers of God. With the exception of the "angel of the LORD," who may possibly be the theophany of Yahweh, angels are never the recipients of worship, and only do God's will.

    Now as to your question of whether Hindu devas have an active will, or are subject to God's will, this question assumes a very Western, Christian context, however I will try to answer it as best I can. In some sense even Hindu devas are subject to some higher power. As the Sadhu said in the Sri Satyanarayana Story, "O Lord, even Brahma and other devas drowned in your Maya cannot comprehend your form completely." One might be quick to compare the devas to the seraphim in the Bible, who veil their faces so as to not look directly at God. However, elsewhere in Hinduism we see that the devas are in fact manifestations of God. For example, in the Mahabharata when Bhishma was about to die, Sri Krishna told him that by repeating the 1008 names of Vishnu, one can receive salvation. Some of our creation stories also have Vishnu and Shiva present at the beginning of the universe. Clearly the devas are manifestations of God. Perhaps in a Christian context you could compare this to the theophanies of God (such as when Joshua bowed before the Commander of the Lord's Army). Obviously this is a rough comparison at best.


    Quote Originally Posted by jaggin View Post
    I suppose that means the beings are not natural to our presence on earth. They certainly are natural enough in their own realm. On the other hand I suppose it could mean any being human or otherwise that could do supernatural things. As such Christians could consider themselves supernatural beings.
    Hinduism does say that we all have an element of divinity. But I would not be so arrogant as to say that I am God. In Hinduism God is described as "he whose wishes are always fulfilled." Obviously this does not describe most mortal people. However, we do believe that a person can gain great power by fully surrendering himself to God. In Hinduism we have many rishis and saints. Rishis are people who have devoted themselves entirely to the worship of God and who have forsaken all worldly desires. When a person attains such an enlightened state, God will grant him anything he asks, and even God cannot reverse the rishi's decrees. But again, I would not say that an ordinary man is the same as God.

    Quote Originally Posted by jaggin View Post
    If Devas are gods then they are not manifestations of God. Take Greek gods for instance. One of then eats his children. This is highly unlike God and certainly not a manifestation of Him.
    I think that here we've run into a small East-West divide. When I use the term "gods," it is natural for you to interpret this term in a Greek context, because the New Testament is written in the same Greek context. We d not think of our "gods" the same way the Greeks do. Whereas the Greek gods are individuals with competing goals and ambitions, the Hindu devas are manifestations of the same God. Indeed it was the Greek logicians (Plato, if memory serves) who identified the logical fallacy of polytheism. But Hinduism is not polytheistic. The stories about our gods don't make much sense when interpreted overly literally. Indeed, even the Vedas are written from a monotheistic perspective, and with the understanding that the gods are different manifestations of God. A person praying to Vishnu or Shiva is praying to the same God, and ideally both worshipers know this. Perhaps Sri Krishna sums it up best:
    Whosoever desires to worship whatever deity using any name, form, and method with faith, I make their faith steady in that very deity. Endowed with steady faith they worship that deity, and obtain their wishes through that deity. Those wishes are, indeed, granted only by Me. (7.21-22)
    Anyway, there's some difficulty in describing an Eastern religion with Western language, but I hope that at least some of what I said made sense.

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    Re: angels

    Quote Originally Posted by sanjaya View Post
    -------Sri Krishna told him that by repeating the 1008 names of Vishnu, one can receive salvation. Some of our creation stories also have Vishnu and Shiva present at the beginning of the universe. Clearly the devas are manifestations of God. ----
    Namaste Sanjaya,

    Vishnu/Shiva are not Devas but Saguna Brahman. Advaitins consider the Nirgunam Brahman higher but all Hindus consider Vishnu/Shiva God. Paramesvara is not a deva, -- no way equatable to angels, who are equivalent of gandharvas and apsaras.

    Devas and asuras both are children of Creator from Aditi and Diti respectively. Devas are those who stick to the truth of spirit Atman and asuras to the falsehood of I-Me-Mine ego.

    Christians commonly do not have dominant idea of the all pervading witness consciousness, which is immanent as well as transcendent, as the Lord. But dominantly they have some idea of God standing apart -- just as Sun stands apart and controls the earth and its beings. In Hinduism also we have something similar but such belief is for the starters.

    jaggin should not carry and further perpetuate this idea that Hindus worship devas and not God.

    Om Namah Shivaya
    That which is without letters (parts) is the Fourth, beyond apprehension through ordinary means, the cessation of the phenomenal world, the auspicious and the non-dual. Thus Om is certainly the Self. He who knows thus enters the Self by the Self.

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    Re: angels

    Quote Originally Posted by atanu View Post
    Namaste Sanjaya,

    Vishnu/Shiva are not Devas but Saguna Brahman. Advaitins consider the Nirgunam Brahman higher but all Hindus consider Vishnu/Shiva God. Paramesvara is not a deva, -- no way equatable to angels, who are equivalent of gandharvas and apsaras.

    Devas and asuras both are children of Creator from Aditi and Diti respectively. Devas are those who stick to the truth of spirit Atman and asuras to the falsehood of I-Me-Mine ego.

    Christians commonly do not have dominant idea of the all pervading witness consciousness, which is immanent as well as transcendent, as the Lord. But dominantly they have some idea of God standing apart -- just as Sun stands apart and controls the earth and its beings. In Hinduism also we have something similar but such belief is for the starters.

    jaggin should not carry and further perpetuate this idea that Hindus worship devas and not God.

    Om Namah Shivaya
    Sorry Atanu, I think what we have here is a difference in terminology. I have always heard of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and the other Hindu gods referred to as devas. On the other hand, I know that the terminology I'm familiar with isn't the most popular one. For example, the first time I ever heard the term "asura" used to refer to demons was when I started looking up Hindu resources on the Internet.

    Anyway, thank you.

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    Re: angels

    Vanakkam all:

    I echo the thanks to Atanu for clarifying. For myself, Siva is Mahadevan, one without a second. Ganesha, Murugan, etc. are Mahadevas. Then there are the devas. I don't worship them at all, rather recognise their existence, and in many 'forms'. There are nature devas, termed 'elementals', first world devas, the ones like strangers who come along at just the right time to offer you a battery boost, personal devas assigned to at your namakarana samskara, and, as I said before, souls between births, able to help in subtle ways. In different ways they carry messages, hover around sacred murthis, etc. its not a simple one category thing. Lord Murugan leads an army of devas to conquer the asuras. I think of them as God's little (sometimes big) helpers. In India I sensed them a lot. One time when we stopped to see an auspicious temple, I swear a Deva just happened along and more or less whispered in my ear, "Ask the driver to stop now."

    As far as Christian 'angels' go, I really have no idea whatsoever, as I've had no personal experience there at all, either first-hand or scriptural study within that religion.


    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: angels

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté

    deva is considered heavenly , divine . This word comes from div ( the 2nd derivation) to shine , be bright, also brightness , sheen , glow.And what then is diva? it is defined as heaven, or sky. Yet this word also covers the asura-s. .

    The gods (deva) as the heavenly or shining ones ; víśve-devā́s meaning all the deva-s.

    How many are 'all-deva-s' ? some say 330,000, some 33,000 others 33. This post may help those that wish to reivew this: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=815&highlight=Vidagdha

    So who is devatā ? It is godhead , divinity.

    praṇām

    शिवतुल्यो जायते॥
    __śivatulyo jāyate
    ____yajvan___
    _oṁ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ

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    Re: angels

    Pranam all

    Quote Originally Posted by sanjaya View Post
    I have always heard of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and the other Hindu gods referred to as devas. On the other hand, I know that the terminology I'm familiar with isn't the most popular one.
    You are not wrong in what you have heard in fact the terminology used in Vedas, most popular is Deva.

    In my opinion the most inappropriate definition for Deva is demigod what to speak of angels

    Thanks Yajvan
    How many are 'all-deva-s' ? some say 330,000, some 33,000 others 33. This post may help those that wish to reivew this: http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=815&highlight=Vidagdha/
    All remains for me to add,

    इन्द्रं मित्रं वरुणमग्निमाहुरथो दिव्यः स सुपर्णो गरुत्मान |
    एकं सद विप्रा बहुधा वदन्त्यग्निं यमं मातरिश्वानमाहुः ||
     
    indraṃ mitraṃ varuṇamaghnimāhuratho divyaḥ sa suparṇo gharutmān |
    ekaṃ sad viprā bahudhā vadantyaghniṃ yamaṃ mātariśvānamāhuḥ ||
     
    "They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni, and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutman.
    To what is One, sages give many a title they call it Agni, Yama, Matarisvan." RV (Book 1, Hymn 164.46)

    Jai Shree Krishna
    Rig Veda list only 33 devas, they are all propitiated, worthy off our worship, all other names of gods are derivative from this 33 originals,
    Bhagvat Gita; Shree Krishna says Chapter 3.11 devan bhavayatanena te deva bhavayantu vah parasparam bhavayantah sreyah param avapsyatha Chapter 17.4 yajante sattvika devan yaksa-raksamsi rajasah pretan bhuta-ganams canye yajante tamasa janah
    The world disappears in him. He is the peaceful, the good, the one without a second.

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