collapse

* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Benevolent Gods  (Read 1875 times)

Donal2018

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2018
  • Location: New York
  • Posts: 190
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 37
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Universalist
Re: Benevolent Gods
« Reply #45 on: December 31, 2018, 01:08:44 pm »


Hindus view the gods as extremely benevolent, when we can get their attention. It's not that they ignore us, but they have a lot to do. Shiva is often very busy destroying old stars and planets and creating new ones out of the elements they create. Vishnu has a big job in keeping things running and keeping order. And they largely leave us alone unless and until we call on them. There's a famous story of an elephant whose foot was clamped onto by a crocodile in a swamp. The elephant struggled against the crocodile for a thousand years, thinking he had the strength to free himself. Only when he was at his wit's and strength's end, he plucked a lotus flower from the swamp he was trapped in, held it up and called Vishnu to help him, offering him the flower. Instantly Vishnu appeared and freed him, delighted with the offering. Vishnu wasn't being mean, but the gods give us our space until we need them. Then they come running.

In another story a little boy is hungry and takes a banana from a street vendor. The boy feels somewhat guilty and puts half the banana in the temple hundi (a collection or donation box). Instead of beating the boy, the street vendor makes the boy circumambulate the temple 100 times before sunset, which he does.

That night the old man had a dream in which he saw the boy walking around the temple, but to his amazement and horror he saw Vishnu, the Preserver of the Universe following the boy. In the dream the old man asked Vishnu why he was participating in the boy's punishment. Vishnu smiled and said "well, he gave me half the banana, so I should share in his punishment". 

There is one story in which the god Indra threatened the people of a countryside with a deluge because they didn't worship him anymore, at Krishna's suggestion. It was past time of the Vedic gods' worship, so Krishna told his countrymen it wasn't necessary to worship the Vedic gods anymore. Indra got pissed and threatened torrential rains on the countryside. Krishna lifted a local hill with his finger and used it as an umbrella for the people. When Indra saw this he relented and realized Krishna was right. After that the rains he sent were for the benefit of the land.

Hey, Hindu stories are nothing if not colorful.

We get their help, their blessings and grace. The gods and goddesses get nothing out of it because they need nothing. They would continue to exist without us, because by and large, the are existence.

Really good post, just the sort of thing that I was looking for. Thank you for sharing some of your beliefs and stories. Getting help, blessings, and grace from extremely benevolent gods and goddesses is a comforting thought. It makes me want to learn more about Hinduism, which I will. I have some reading to do.

Zlote Jablko

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2018
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 112
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 62
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Slavic/ PIE Recon
Re: Benevolent Gods
« Reply #46 on: December 31, 2018, 09:07:47 pm »


Hindus view the gods as extremely benevolent, when we can get their attention. It's not that they ignore us, but they have a lot to do. Shiva is often very busy destroying old stars and planets and creating new ones out of the elements they create. Vishnu has a big job in keeping things running and keeping order. And they largely leave us alone unless and until we call on them. There's a famous story of an elephant whose foot was clamped onto by a crocodile in a swamp. The elephant struggled against the crocodile for a thousand years, thinking he had the strength to free himself. Only when he was at his wit's and strength's end, he plucked a lotus flower from the swamp he was trapped in, held it up and called Vishnu to help him, offering him the flower. Instantly Vishnu appeared and freed him, delighted with the offering. Vishnu wasn't being mean, but the gods give us our space until we need them. Then they come running.

In another story a little boy is hungry and takes a banana from a street vendor. The boy feels somewhat guilty and puts half the banana in the temple hundi (a collection or donation box). Instead of beating the boy, the street vendor makes the boy circumambulate the temple 100 times before sunset, which he does.

That night the old man had a dream in which he saw the boy walking around the temple, but to his amazement and horror he saw Vishnu, the Preserver of the Universe following the boy. In the dream the old man asked Vishnu why he was participating in the boy's punishment. Vishnu smiled and said "well, he gave me half the banana, so I should share in his punishment". 

There is one story in which the god Indra threatened the people of a countryside with a deluge because they didn't worship him anymore, at Krishna's suggestion. It was past time of the Vedic gods' worship, so Krishna told his countrymen it wasn't necessary to worship the Vedic gods anymore. Indra got pissed and threatened torrential rains on the countryside. Krishna lifted a local hill with his finger and used it as an umbrella for the people. When Indra saw this he relented and realized Krishna was right. After that the rains he sent were for the benefit of the land.

Hey, Hindu stories are nothing if not colorful.

We get their help, their blessings and grace. The gods and goddesses get nothing out of it because they need nothing. They would continue to exist without us, because by and large, the are existence.

Hah, that story about Indra sounds a bit like my own storm God, Perun. Except for the part where he concedes. I mentioned this on another thread, but I actually made some offerings without him on the solstice, which is unusual for me, and a storm took out the power of my building alone.

I think that polytheism and dualism both help explain evil in the universe. In his writings on the Slavs, the German missionary Helmold says they believe in a single heavenly creator who concerns himself only with “heavenly affairs” and delegates tasks to his children. So yes, the Gods are busy. It’s a bit like government in a sense; The highest powers can also be the most distant, whereas more earthly or local powers may be more accessible but less able to alter the path of fate.

Helmold also discusses the presence of a black god called “Chernobog” who causes misery, so the Gods are not unopposed.

arete

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2018
  • Posts: 313
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: gr
  • Total likes: 46
    • View Profile
  • Religion: pagan
Re: Benevolent Gods
« Reply #47 on: March 16, 2019, 06:45:39 pm »
So I was raised Catholic and the main characteristics of Christ I was taught is that He is merciful, compassionate, and benevolent. I am wondering if there are particular non-Christian/Pagan Gods and Goddesses whose main attribute is compassion and benevolence.
Yes, God Eleos.  :)

Quote
From what I have seen, some Gods and Goddesses are not so much benevolent as complex. It also brings a question to my mind which is- what do Humans get from various Gods and Goddesses? Why interact with them? How does it benefit us and what do the Gods and Goddesses get out of it?
It depends on the person, I guess. I worship the Gods because I think they created everything.  :)

EnderDragonFire

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Mar 2017
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Posts: 779
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 244
  • Ad dea gloriam
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hindu with Christian and Pop-Culture Elements
  • Preferred Pronouns: Mostly she/her
Re: Benevolent Gods
« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2019, 05:52:55 am »
So I was raised Catholic and the main characteristics of Christ I was taught is that He is merciful, compassionate, and benevolent. I am wondering if there are particular non-Christian/Pagan Gods and Goddesses whose main attribute is compassion and benevolence.

There are several Hindu gods who come close to being purely benevolent, but the closest by far is Vishnu - in particular, the Krishna incarnation of Vishnu.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

EnderDragonFire

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Mar 2017
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Posts: 779
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 244
  • Ad dea gloriam
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hindu with Christian and Pop-Culture Elements
  • Preferred Pronouns: Mostly she/her
Re: Benevolent Gods
« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2019, 05:55:18 am »
(Okay, now I'm wondering if there's something about theologies of transcendence, in which some form of overcoming, separating from, rising above, or escaping from concrete, practical reality is important, that lends itself to the concept of benevolence qua benevolence as something actually relevant, systemically.  The question "But what does this 'being nice' actually do?" can be answered with "Get you the fuck out of there.")

That sounds very much like an answer a Hindu Brahmin might give. Also, the main reason why Vishnu and other Hindu gods do push benevolence so much.
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

Zlote Jablko

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2018
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 112
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 62
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Slavic/ PIE Recon
Re: Benevolent Gods
« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2019, 06:32:52 am »
That sounds very much like an answer a Hindu Brahmin might give. Also, the main reason why Vishnu and other Hindu gods do push benevolence so much.

I’ve always had mixed feeling about anti-material or anti-corporeal dualism. The detachment from the world doesn’t appeal to me, for a variety of reasons. I prefer to view the world as flawed but divine. Hinduism seems like an odd mishmash if these different views.

The creator Belobog, probably synonymous with Svarog, is often portrayed as the good twin in Slavic creation narratives. He is benevolent, and allegedly created fire (later metalwork) for mankind. He is the opposite reflection of his brother, who sought to murder him at creation. The world was created by both.

 I think these dualist earth-diver creation stories that are strewn from Eastern Europe to Mongolia (even North America) in various forms *could* be interpreted as expressing anti-materialist duality, but I tend to see the world as framing the cosmic struggle rather than simply being a tool of the demiurge. More in line with the cosmic dualism of Zoroastrianism, which I suspect has its roots in north Eurasia where my creation myths originate.



Riothamus12

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Posts: 352
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 12
    • View Profile
  • Religion: The Nameless Path
  • Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
Re: Benevolent Gods
« Reply #51 on: Yesterday at 10:09:11 am »
I think this is key. In Christian theology, along with that endlessly benevolent deity comes its endlessly evil counterpart; pagan deities are often much more in shades of gray--that complexity to which you alluded.

As for why then interact with them/what do we get from them--

--We can see ourselves in them, our reflection writ large in a cosmic mirror, and thus get a better understanding of ourselves
--We can feel a stronger connection to the universe around us
--We can learn from their myths, negatively ("don't follow my example on this one, because boy did that turn out like crap when I did it") and positively

Personally, I have a hard time relating to perfection in either direction. The most interesting heroes are always the flawed ones, and the most interesting villains are always the ones who have some redeeming quality or whose villainy springs from something more human than Being Pure Evil.

The one thing I've observed in many legends and ancient cultures is that more-a-less the Deities ARE considered benevolent, though to ancient cultures what "benevolence" looks like is very different. I would say I have not seen a Deity who is not benevolent. As a matter of fact, there are many esoteric traditions for which the notion that good or benevolence does not always take the forms we assume they will is key. You see that in forms of Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism, and western esotericism. Humans have a way of thinking that all things must be centered through the view of mortals, but such is not the case. The world may not be utterly incomprehensible to human logic, but it does not hinge on it either. One needs to start thinking on a cosmic scale to truly begin to grasp such things. In other words, one must try to think as if they were a Deity.
https://inthespiritofconversation.wordpress.com/
I started a blog. Feel free to peruse. It's still in it's early stages and I have to write more, so do bare with me if it's all a little basic so far.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
15 Replies
3145 Views
Last post March 28, 2012, 07:24:13 am
by Aine Rayne
55 Replies
6814 Views
Last post March 12, 2013, 08:43:40 pm
by Aspiria
11 Replies
2128 Views
Last post July 01, 2015, 01:00:09 am
by Riothamus12
42 Replies
3296 Views
Last post March 22, 2016, 07:37:08 pm
by Sobekemiti
4 Replies
2180 Views
Last post November 24, 2016, 05:14:25 am
by SerpentineSorcerer

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 29
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall