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DEVAS (HINDU GODS)


Official Names: Devas
Nicknames: Hindu Gods, Indian Gods, Gods of India, Gods of the East, et al.
Former Aliases: Adityas, Danavas
Other Current Aliases: Yazatas, Asuras
First Appearance: Thor #301

==Origin==

Dimension of Origin: Nirvana
Habitat: Temperate
Gravity: Earth-like
Atmosphere: Earth-like
Population: Unknown
Other Associated Dimensions: The Devas dwell in Nirvana, the highest state of existence known to man, a cosmology of worlds consisting of but not limited to Vaikuntha, the home of Vishnu, Kailasa, the home of Shiva, Amaravati, the home of Indra, Ceylon, the home of the monkey gods and other assorted worlds; an interdimensional nexus between Nirvana and Earth exists somewhere on Mount Himavat (modern Mount Everest) in modern Tibet. In ancient times, the Himalayas were known as the Lokapalas, the mountains holding up the heavens. Worship of the Hindu gods has extended through modern Pakistan and Iran and down into Burma, Indonesia and Indonesia.

==History==

The Devas or Gods of India are a mysterious race of superhumanly powerful humanoid beings who were worshipped by the ancient Vedic and Aryan tribes of the Middle East from about 3000 BC to modern times where there are mainly recognized in modern Hinduism, one of the largest and oldest surviving religions on Earth today. The human worshippers of the Devas in modern India called these gods by different names than those by which the gods were known in ancient India: for example, the ancient Aryan tribes of India called the king of the gods Varuna, who was later replaced by the god, Vishnu. Varuna is now known as Ormazd to members of the religion of Zoroasterism whereas the Altaic tribes north of India know him as Ulgen. Today, the Hindu gods and the Persian gods are two groups of a splintered pantheon with common origins known collectively as Devas.

The precise origin of the Hindu gods, like that of all of Earth's pantheons of gods, is shrouded in legend. The earliest known Hindu gods were worshipped by the Vedic and Dravidian tribes who worshipped Aditi, the great earth-mother, also known as Ammavaru. Aditi was loved by Purusha, a great sky god, and gave birth to the Adityas, the first generation of the Vedic gods. It is believed that Aditi was actually Gaea, the primordial earth-mother who had survived the destruction of the Elder Gods of Earth by infusing her life into the life-giving essence of the Earth. Many of the Elder Gods had degenerated into demonic status and were destroyed by Atum or had fled Earth for other planes of existence. Atum had been born from Gaea by mating with the sentient biosphere of the Earth known as the Demiurge. Atum later departed the earth after shedding the excess demonic energies of the Elder Gods he had slain; some of these energies becoming demonic beings like Mephisto, Satannish and Mikaboshi, who became the eternal enemy of the Japanese gods. Although, whether the Hindu god Purusha was another form of the Demiurge or of Atum himself is unrevealed.

The Adityas, lead by the god Varuna, were eventually overthrown by the Daityas, a race of demonic beings later known as Raksashas. The Daityas were descended from Puloman, one of the Adityas. Led by Ahriman, the Daityas kept the Adityas in subservient roles until Vishnu, a minor sun-god, used mystical means to elongate his life, sending himself through several mortal avatars until he attained a state of perfect perfection. In each of his avatars, he decreased the power and control of the Rakshasas until they were exiled to the underworld, most notably as Rama and Krishna. Once he conquered the Rakshasas, he elevated the gods to greater potential under Hinduism as the Devas. Those Adityas who did not regain their former glories and were overshadowed by the Devas became known as Asuras. Vishnu shared his power with his brothers, Shiva and Brahma, replacing Varuna, Mitra and Rudra of the Vedic Gods.

Relegated to a god of the sea, Varuna did not share the same beliefs as Vishnu. He imparted a separate set of beliefs known as the Avesta to the prophet Zarathrusta, the founder of Zoroasterism, the religion of Persia (modern Iran). Under Persian belief, Varuna became known as Ormazd, and those Adityas loyal to him became known as the Yazatas, splitting the Devas into two separate but inter-linked pantheons of gods. Worship of the Persian gods, however, waned under the strength of Islam introduced through Ancient Iran by the invading Arabs. As a result, the Yazatas do not have nearly as many worshippers today as they had during the Persian Empire. Despite their common origins, the Devas and Yazatas are often at odds, even with gods like Agni  and Mitra represented in both religions. Worship of Mitra, however, was even respected as far away as the Roman Empire where it was taken by the invading Romans.

During the Third Host of the Celestials, both Vishnu and Ormazd were approached by Odin, Chieftain of the Asgardian gods, meeting with the rulers of the other gods once worshipped on Earth to discuss the threat of the Third Host of the Celestials. The Celestials had threatened to seal off the portals of each of their godly realms unless they promised to stop interfering in mortal affairs. Both Vishnu and Varuna swore to this pledge and even made a vow to Odin to donate the necessary life energies to the Asgardians slain during the Fourth Host of the Celestials. Although, when Thor came to Nirvana to petition a portion of the required life energies as part of this vow, Shiva challenged his right declaring that the Asgardian gods were in decline as gods. Thor fought Shiva to the gates of Asgard for those energies. Realizing the passion of his desire to restore the Asgardians, Shiva saw that a debt had been paid to his realm and offered Thor the necessary energies to restore the slain Asgardian gods to life. Shiva departed vowing he would encounter Thor once more, but Indra, possibly feeling kinship with his fellow thunder-god, nullified the animosity by siding with Thor against Demogorge, a threat to all the gods of Earth.

Sometime later, the Hindu gods once again faced a threat to the pantheon from Cronus, one of the Titans, ancestors of the Olympian gods. Accompanied by a brood of creatures, Cronus allied himself with Ravanna, the modern incarnation of Ahriman, in order to oust the Devas from power and claim dominance over all the pantheons of Earth. Vishnu and the surviving Hindu gods joined forces with Wonder Woman leading the Olympian gods to defeat Cronus. Vishnu has since joined the Council Elite comprised of the godheads of Earth's pantheons to consider Thor's worthiness to replace Odin among them. Shiva recommended a test of Thor's right to sit with them, a test he failed to pass.

Relations with Other Pantheons: The Devas share borders with the former Sumerian gods with whom they once antagonized in ancient times and the Slavic gods of the north, even influencing the rites of those rival gods. (The Persian fire-god, Atar, is nearly identical with the Slavic fire-god, Svarovic.) The Romans greatly respected the Persian gods during the invasions of Alexander the Great; the Olympians and Yazatas acknowledging each other at times. To the east, the Hindu gods have shared lands with both the worshippers of the Xian and the Kami of Japan.

==Characteristics==

Body Type: Humanoid
Avg. Height: 6' 0"
Eyes: Two
Hair: Normal
Skin: Unique
Limbs: Four to Six
Fingers: Five with opposable thumb
Toes: Five
Special Adaptations: The Hindu gods are virtually immortal; they age very slowly upon reaching adulthood.. They are physically more durable than human beings; their skin, bone and tissue being three times more durable and dense than similar tissue in human beings. They also have physical characteristics uncommon to most of the gods of Earth: several of the Hindu gods have four to six arms and have skin tones reflecting their natures, i.e. Agni the fire-god in his true form has red skin, while Indra the storm god has gold skin. The Yazatas or Persian gods usually appear winged, making them capable of flight without utilizing their other mystical abilities.

==Powers==

Avg. Strength Level: All Devas are superhumanly strong with the average male being able to lift (press) about 30 tons under optimal conditions and the average female being able to lift (press) about 25 tons under optimal conditions.
Known Powers: The Devas possess superhuman strength, stamina, longevity and resistance to harm. They are exceptionally long-lived, but they are not immortal like the Olympian gods. Devas do not age upon reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. They are immune to all Earthly diseases and are resistant to conventional injury. If a Deva were somehow wounded, their godly life force would enable them to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of their bodily molecules to cause them a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of significant power, such as Vishnu, Brahma or Varuna or for a number of Hindu gods of equal power working together to revive them. The Hindu gods also possesses superhuman strength; their Deva metabolism providing them with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Deva flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the superhuman strength and weight of the Hindu gods.)
Known Abilities: The Devas are inclined to tap and manipulate mystical energies for feats of magic, mostly for altering their appearance, communicating over long distances, teleporting through dimension barriers and casting spells. The scope of their powers mostly limited to one object, idea or field, usually tied into their personality. For example, as the Hindu goddess of death, Kali is well-versed in destruction and death, whereas, Indra, the Vedic god of thunder can generate lightning and command storms. The Hindu gods are generally more powerful that their older relatives. 

==Miscellaneous==

Type of Government: Monarchy (headed by a trio of deities)
Level Of Technology: Magic
Cultural Traits: The Devas or Hindu Gods have been worshipped as deities throughout the Middle East from modern Pakistan, Afghanistan and India extending down through Burma, Indonesia and even the Philippines, where they were often worshipped by mortals under a religion known other than Hinduism, such as Zoroasterism. The Devas represent possibly on the largest pantheons of gods known on Earth with their ancestors, as the Yazatas or Persian gods, worshipped through modern Iran.
Names of Representatives:

(Devas/Hindu Gods) Aditi, Agni, Aryaman, Brahma, Ganehsa, Ganga, Hanuman, Indra, Kali, Kama, Lakshmi, Mitra, Parvati, Pushan, Ratri, Ravanna, Sarasvati, Shiva, Skanda, Soma, Surya, Tvashtri, Ushas, Varuna, Vayu, Vishnu, Yama, Yamuna, et al.

(Yazatas/Persian Gods) Ameretet, Anahita, Armaiti, Asha, Haoma, Haurvatat, Ormazd, Sharevar, Sraosha, Vata, Vohu Manah, et al

(Asuras/Underworld Gods) Ahriman, Asmodeus, Dahak, Jahi, Khumbakara, Kubera, Nasu, et al.

==Trivia==

==References==

==External Links==

 

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