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Other Natural Religions
Post 2a/?

Some weeks ago now, it was the Moon Festival of the Taiwanese and Chinese heathens, when those heathen traditionalists still given to making their own moon-cakes tend to generously share even these precious ones with their friends :yay: Wanted to summarise some things I was told, but didn't get round to it.

Taoists' Moon Goddess Chang-e (known also by her various other famous names and epithets in Taoism) is the centre of the ancient native, i.e. Taoist, Chinese Moon Festival, when the Chinese traditionalists would actively stare at and contemplate their sacred and auspicious moon. The Goddess - who is understandably said to be incredibly beautiful - is regarded as the Goddess of Immortality and viewed as dwelling on the Moon, with her companion the Jade Rabbit, besides the Moon also harbouring a divine old man. Popular artwork during the Moon Festival - also called Mid-Autumn Festival - also depict the Goddess descending to earth from the moon, bearing the mooncakes and at times petting the Jade Rabbit** which makes her immortality elixir (or cakes). The shape of a rabbit on the moon in the act of making edibles is also seen by Japanese and IIRC heathen Koreans. (The Japanese also have a tradition of making "mooncakes", due to contacts between Chinese tradition and Japan.)

** Apparently, jade is not necessarily green: I've been told the Jade Rabbit is white-jade, not green-jade.

Note that wikipedia presents only select tales about Chang-e, and only those stories where it looks like she started off as human and became immortal. The more ancient narratives about the Goddess Chang-e explain that she was a divinity and part of the population of Daoist Heaven, but show how she came to earth together with her divine husband who was sent to earth on a mission (he is therefore a hero in the original narratives) and how she then went to the moon (and her husband to the sun), and that this followed the plans of Daoist Heaven.

Now I'm going to have to go off on something tangentially related, but will hopefully remember to come back to the Taoist Moon Goddess of the Chinese.

Having mentioned the Jade Rabbit who lives on the moon, it must be said that western (and sadly some Indian) writers tend to dismiss the Jade Rabbit as Indian in origin and like to pass this off as "therefore" a Buddhist influence on Daoism.

But there are a few things to be said:

1. Even if - for the sake of argument - people were to tentatively suppose that the Chinese Jade Rabbit had Indian origins, then the "image of the Hare on the moon" and the moon-and-hare association is still originally *Hindu* not Buddhist. (Note crucially that Buddhist derivation of the notion from Hindu precursors is *known* and is hence NOT independent.) Buddhism merely used the pre-existing Hindu views - on the shape of a hare being discernable on the moon (hence Chandra's famous names Shashi and Shashanka, since the hare shape is his beauty-spot) and the hare association with the Moon - to develop Buddhism's own Jataka fables. But like much of Buddhist attempts to inveigle itself into pre-existing Hindu (or, elsewhere: other native) tradition, Hindu views on a hare on the moon remain uninfluenced by Buddhism.

MW dictionary entries on the 2 aforementioned names of Chandran makes the ancientry of Hindoos' views on the matter more apparent:

Quote:zazin m. `" containing a hare "' , the moon S3vetUp. MBh. Ka1v. &c. ; N. of the number one VarBr2S. ; camphor Hcat. ; a kind of metre Col. ; N. of a man Katha1s. ; the emblem of a partic. Arhat or Jina W. ; (%{inI}) f. N. of the 8th Kala1 of the moon Cat.

Quote:zazAGka m. `" hare-marked "' , the moon MBh. Ka1v. &c. ; camphor L. ; N. of a king Hcar. Sch. ; %{-kAnta} mfn. lovely as the moon Jain. ; %{-kiraNa-prakhya} mfn. resembling a ray of the moon MBh. ; %{-kula} n. the lunar race Katha1s. ; %{ja} or %{-tanaya} m. `" the moon's son "' , the planet Mercury VarBr2S. ; %{-dhara} m. N. of a grammarian Cat. ; %{-pura} n. N. of a town (also %{-pUrvam@puram}) Katha1s. ; %{-bimba} n. n. the disk of the moon Jain. ; %{-bhAs} mfn. shining like the moon MW. ; %{-mukuTa} m. `" having the moon as diadem "'N. of S3iva Katha1s. ; %{-mUrti} m. `" having a hare-marked form "'N. of the moon MW. ; %{-lekhA} f. `" moon-streak "' , the lunar crescent S3ak. ; %{-vatI} f. N. of a princess (after whom the 12th Lambaka of the Katha1-sarit-sa1gara is called) Katha1s. ; %{-vadanA} f. a moon-faced woman Ka1vya7d. ; %{-zatru} m. `" moon's foe "'N. of Ra1hu VarYogay. ; %{-zRGga} n. a horn or point of the moon's crescent (?) MW. [1060,2] ; %{-zekhara} m. `" moon-crested "'N. of S3iva BhP. ; %{-suta} m. (= %{zazA7Gka-ja}) VarBr2. ; %{-kA7rdha} m. the half-moon ; %{-kA7rdha-mukha} mfn. having a head shaped like a half-moon (said of an arrow) Ragh. ; %{-kA7rdhazekhara} m. N. of S3iva Ra1jat. ; %{-ko7pala} m. a kind of precious stone (= %{candra-kAnta}) Sa1h.

(The abbreviations highlighted are Shvetaashvatara Upanishad I think, Mahaabharatam, and "Ka1v" is the MW abbreviation for "Kaavya".

Note also how often even the variants on both these words are related back to the moon.)

So even the so-called "Monier-Williams" dictionary offers proof that these *Hindoo* names of the Hindoo God Chandran (Moon) pre-existed in Hindu religion, as Chandran was already known as Shashanka and Shashin for being "hare-marked" or "containing a hare" in the MBh and the Shvetaashvatara Upanishad; i.e. long before the Buddhists used this pre-existing Hindu notion - of (the mark of) a Hare on the Moon - in penning their origin story for how a hare came to be on the moon into the Buddhist Jatakas. (And I suspect neither the Upanishad nor the MBh pretended to invent the names of Shashanka and Shashi for Chandran: chances are high that these texts just referred to Chandran matter-of-factly with these names, as if Hindoo readers/listeners were by then already familiar with the oral traditions of these being his personal names.)

Buddhism in time had used the long pre-existing *Hindu* notion of the shape of a hare on the moon (and the Hindu association of a hare with the moon) to make fables around it. It is true that when Buddhism went to China, eventually, the Buddhist Jataka fable was *attached* (grafted) onto the Chinese Jade Rabbit - but among Chinese Buddhists and Bauddhified laity. The Taoists held to the original, non-Bauddhified - native, Chinese - perception of the Jade Rabbit, i.e. without the late Buddhist accretions. That is, the traditional Chinese view of the Jade Rabbit does NOT have the Buddhist additions. (Buddhism created Bauddhified/subversive variants for most narratives about Chinese Gods and divine characters and heroes. Not to mention Buddhism thereby backprojecting itself onto much earlier narratives on the Chinese Gods. These Bauddhified variants usually downgraded the native heathen Gods - or made them look like villains or else converts to Buddhism - while often playing up Buddhism's "compassion" and "superiority" etc. This is also noticeable in the Buddhist variant on the Moon Goddess' narrative.)

Therefore, *if* aliens and Indians are going to claim that the Chinese Jade Rabbit "must have had" Indian origins, the specific origins would be Hindu not Buddhist. Not to mention that without the original Hindu view, Buddhists would - as always - have had nothing to create their Bauddhified spin on. So that even the Buddhist grafts onto the Jade Rabbit in China are ultimately no more to Buddhism's credit than the "Bharatanatyam" taught in China by the leela samson school is to be accredited to christianism.

The Q, then: why does Buddhism always get the credit for non-Buddhisms? Especially when these things are used to encroach on non-Indian non-Buddhist cultures?

Having said all of that:

2. The Chinese Jade Rabbit is actually based on ancient Chinese perceiving the shape of a rabbit engaged in making an immortality potion on the moon (and thereby viewing the animal as residing on the moon).

There is actually no reason to assume that this Chinese view - of the Chinese also making out the form of a rabbit from the patches on the moon - "must be" Indian (i.e. Hindu) derived. Considering that if you were to take into account the following, it seems rather reasonable to conclude that the Chinese observation is independent of the Indian one:

- the moon orbits the earth in such a fashion that only one side of the moon ever faces planet Earth, even if that one side waxes and wanes in visibility depending on the phases of the moon. The other side of the moon - which always faces away from us (the "dark side of the moon") - was therefore not visible to earthlings in the past. See for example science.howstuffworks.com/dark-side-of-moon.htm

- humans** have a tendency to look for and make out (or imagine/mentally superimpose) faces and shapes of creatures onto inanimate objects and imagery that don't actually contain real faces or creature forms.

I'm not a psychologist, but I suspect that this tendency has something to do with our ancient ancestors needing to be constantly on the lookout for lurking camouflaged predators or even hiding camouflaged potential prey. If we can detect shapes or faces of animals we are familiar with (or even creatures we don't know, but which have features recognisable as a face or a form recognisable as that of a sentient entity), we're likely to be able to take advantage of such identification: it allows us to not be caught off guard by predators that plan to attack us, and to not miss out on food sources that can hop away from us, for instance. This ability has had the side-effect that we tend to auto-detect the familiar patterns of faces or characters even in random, abstract designs. Of course, it's not always the case that everyone detects the same forms in random shapes, but sometimes entire masses do.

** Arguably, this ability is not restricted to humans. E.g. an IMO otherwise dire sci-fi movie - which was sprinkled with factoids from science to make it seem more interesting - contained the following bit of info, mouthed by a character playing a physicist:

Quote:To what extent are our fears innate? When we hatch goose eggs in an incubator and then, above the baby birds, pass a form simulating a goose in flight, the birds stretch their necks and call out.

But if we invert the direction of the silhouette, it conjures the shape of a falcon.

The response of the baby birds is immediate: they will crouch in fear, though they've never before seen a falcon.

Without any instruction, an innate fear helps them to survive.

But in humans, to what ancient dangers might our innate fears correspond?

(Ancient dangers -> fears? Don't know about humans specifically. But mammals - as a group* - seem to have an innate fear of their ancient arch-predator, the snake. * Certain individual mammal species may fear other animals including specific mammal species more.)

Note that the passing form of geese (and falcons) simulating flight - which was shown in the background of the monologue, to re-enact the experiment - were silhouettes. I.e. shapes, outlines. But this suffices for the hatchlings to discern something that they were wired to try and perceive/make sense of.

- in Taoism, the moon is very important and the practice of spending time to observe it is likewise a very important and even sacred activity. Plus the Taoist (i.e. Chinese) calendar is lunar-based, indicating that ancient Chinese would have to have done lots of moon-gazing.

It is therefore NOT unlikely that the Chinese could have looked up at the crater-marked surface of the moon and seen the outline of a rabbit on the sole side of the moon facing earthlings, just as Hindus did. In specific, the Chinese saw a shape of a rabbit in the action of making an immortality potion.

- Besides, historically, *many* populations have seen fit to identify the shape of a rabbit or hare on the moon just as Hindus did. Not just the Chinese, but - for example - some native American communities too, as can be seen recounted in folktales collated from around the world. I have not read about Europeans seeing such a shape on the moon - so not sure where they got the association from - but some Europeans also associated the hare or rabbit with the moon, at least in time. E.g. what's referred to as the "Hare moon" in English occurs during some month or other in the year.

It stands to reason then, that if native Americans can have recognised a rabbit shape on the moon's surface independent of "Indian" (i.e. Hindu) origins, then the Chinese could have equally independently come upon the same. (Taoists moreover know to sift the Buddhist tales that Buddhism merged with the Jade Rabbit, from the indigenous, original [i.e. Taoist] narratives concerning the Jade Rabbit, which signifies that Taoists are conscious of distinguishing between the non-native accretions and the original/independently-derived native narratives.)

This line at the following link seems to imply the moon is even known as a hare (in Hindoodom):


Quote:The moon is known as a hare, or rabbit in Vedic lore, as he jumps faster than any of the other grahas.

The speeding hare ~ speeding moon association is IIRC also seen in native N American communities.
Post 2b/?

As for the native Americans also seeing the shape of a *hare* on the moon, here's some supporting statements:


Quote:The Moon, the Hare, and the Feminine

Many peoples throughout the world have linked the hare with the moon. While American children are told to look for the face of "the man in the moon," storytellers from many other cultures have for centuries told tales about the "hare in the moon."

The Romans associated the hare with Diana, a goddess who presided over treaties, childbirth, and women in general, and one of whose symbols was the moon. The moon itself was seen as feminine by the Greeks and Romans. The hare shared this symbolic association with the feminine. In addition, the hare's great fertility made it a symbol of springtime in much of pre-Christian Europe.

(Hence the old tradition of the "Easter Bunny".)


Asian Folklore

The "hare in the moon" is a common theme in Asian folklore, as is the connection made between the hare, death, and immortality.

An ancient Chinese folktale explains how a hare came to reside on the surface of the moon. According to this legend the hare in the moon grinds the elixir of immortality while sitting at the foot of a cassia tree. One Chinese custom encourages children to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival by carrying hare-shaped lanterns to the tops of hills in the early evening, where they admire the moon's beauty and identify the immortal hare under the cassia tree in the light and dark shapes on the moon's surface. Indeed, in Chinese mythology hares symbolize longevity and are mystically linked to the moon. What's more, the hare is a symbol in the Chinese zodiac. Those born in the year of the hare are thought to share in its personality traits: kindness, diplomacy, good manners, a love of beauty, luck with money, and a boundless self-confidence which may turn into conceit.

Other peoples throughout Asia also see a hare rather than a man in the moon.** The Japanese see a hare pounding rice cakes in the dark and light spots on the moon.

(** Note that native Chinese tradition also has an (old, divine) man on the moon, besides Chang-e and the Jade Rabbit.)

A Buddhist folktale recounts that the Buddha, in an earlier incarnation as a hare, willingly gave his own flesh to help feed a hungry soul. He gained immortality through this good deed, rising in the shape of a hare to the moon, where he is still visible to us today. A legend from India claims that a hare once performed a great act of compassion for the god Indra. The hare spied Indra, disguised as a famished pilgrim, praying for food. The hare had nothing but his body to give so he cast himself on the fire so that the pilgrim might eat. The god rewarded the hare by granting him immortal life on the moon.

American Indian Folklore

Many American Indians also told tales about the cleverness of the hare. Several Algonquin tribes of eastern North America told mythic tales about the Great Hare which portrayed him as a trickster god and culture hero who helped to shape and enlarge the earth. A tale known among one group of the Algonquins known as the Cree Indians told of how a resourceful hare gained immortality by traveling to the moon, where he still can be seen today. Other American Indian bands also see a hare in the moon. Many southeastern tribes portray the rabbit as a clever culture hero who brought the first fire to humankind. According to one tale Rabbit stole the first flames from across the ocean. He outran his pursuers and brought fire back across the sea to America, but ended up by setting the woods ablaze. Great Basin tribes tell similar stories about how Rabbit stole the sun.


In the above, observe that not only do several native Americans identify a hare on the moon - as seen in the statement "Other American Indian bands also see a hare in the moon" - but the Cree Algonquin native N American tradition moreover contains all 3 features seen in the native Chinese tradition too: hare + going to live on the moon + immortality, as indicated in bold and blue above. Which means: Buddhism can't claim that the "immortality" or "the dwelling on the moon" parts of the Chinese (Taoist) tradition on the Jade Rabbit was gifted by Buddhism to China either.

But there's of course Taoist reasons behind why Taoism has their Jade Rabbit making the elixir of immortality and why the cassia tree is associated with this process. Also, in Taoism, the moon - associated with the feminine aspect of the Tao (while the sun is associated with the masculine aspect) - is IIRC connected with immortality. [Stating the obvious, but Taoism is very much concerned with making mortal Taoists into Immortals. Sort of like that popularised line from the Vedam which aims for the same.] Further, the Moon Goddess resides on the Moon while her Husband, the divine archer and an immortal too, went to reside on the Sun**. Both have company there, because in Taoism, the Jade Rabbit is connected with the Moon just as the Sun is connected with a Gold Raven. (They have deep esoteric meanings in Taoism: the male Jade Rabbit on the female Moon is the Yang inside the Yin, just as the Golden Raven -IIRC female- living in the male Sun is the Yin inside the Yang. And this denotes all kinds of deep things.) Writers claiming the Jade Rabbit as of "Indian" or "Buddhist" origins often - conveniently - forget the Golden Raven, despite the Jade Rabbit and the Golden Raven being two inseparable aspects of one cosmological view - that of Taoism.

[** It's easy in narratives and poetics to just work with the aesthetic notion (of symmetry) that the sun and moon are "equal" - such as in size or light-giving capacity - or "equal and opposite" such as in heat-giving vs cooling effects and day-light vs night-light. I suspect the readiness to suspend disbelief when it comes to this notion derives not only from the fact that, to the various heathen cultures, both are divinities or have divinities associated with them, but also from the fact of earth's curious position w.r.t. the sun and moon, which makes perfect solar eclipses possible: when the moon passes between the sun and the earth and the moon is able to perfectly conceal the sun such that only the edges/solar wind is visible, it is easy to conceive of the moon as equal in size to the sun. And then, one heavenly body tends to be seen at night when it's colder, the other is conspicious in that it is generally not seen at night but in the day when the world's warmer. Etc. Thus, Hindoos envision a balanced equality in the form of one earring of Amman as the moon and the other as the sun, and one eye of a Hindoo God as the moon and the other as the sun. Likewise, in Taoism, the sun and moon represent equal and opposite, being an important case of Yin and Yang. Yet a unification of the two heavenly spheres - since Yin and Yang are ultimately inseparable and in natural balance - is seen also in the husband living on the sun and his wife Chang-e living on the moon.]

Actually, here's some supporting links for some further claims I made just above:


Quote:In English-speaking lands, we see The Man in the Moon, but it is the image of a hare that is seen by many Asian cultural groups. Hare (or "Rabbit") is the guardian of medicinal herbs that he can convert into an elixir of longevity or even of immortality, which he then stores on the moon.
(Note that the above link shows that Vietnam still uses the *Taoist* Zodiac - due to Vietnam's historical relationship with Taoism - though Vietnam replaces the rabbit/hare with the cat)

Quote:The Inner Teachings of Taoism - Google Books Result


Chang Po - 2013 - Religion

The solar yang soul and the gold raven symbolize the finest part of conscious

knowledge; the jade rabbit and the lunar yin soul symbolize the light of wisdom of


b. Stating for the record (i.e. pre-emptively, as usual, 'cause you never know with oryanists): the "hare on the moon" can't be claimed for oryanism either. Since N American Native Americans ALSO have it.

This next link is also handy, not just for its mention of Aztecs also perceiving a hare on the moon, but because the first recorded *date* of the Chinese associating a Rabbit with the moon (and its activity of making the immortality potion) predates Buddhism's presence in China by about 500 years = 0.5 millennia:


Quote:The Moon rabbit in folklore is a rabbit that lives on the Moon, based on pareidolia that identifies the markings of the Moon as a rabbit. The story exists in many cultures, prominently in East Asian folklore and Aztec mythology.[1][2] In East Asia, it is seen pounding in a mortar and pestle, but the contents of the mortar differ among Chinese, Japanese, and Korean folklore. In Chinese folklore, it is often portrayed as a companion of the Moon goddess Chang'e, constantly pounding the elixir of life for her; but in Japanese and Korean versions, it is pounding the ingredients for rice cake.

(I thought it was both rice cake AND immortality elixir in China...)


An early mention that there is a rabbit on the Moon appears in the Chu Ci, a Western Han anthology of Chinese poems from the Warring States period, which notes that along with a toad, there is a rabbit on the Moon who constantly pounds herbs for the immortals. This notion is supported by later texts, including the Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era encyclopedia of the Song Dynasty. Han Dynasty poets call the rabbit on the Moon the "Jade Rabbit" (玉兔) or the "Gold Rabbit" (金兔), and these phrases were often used in place of the word for the Moon. A famous poet of the Tang Dynasty period, Li Bai, relates how: "The rabbit in the Moon pounds the medicine in vain" in his poem "The Old Dust."
(And seeing faces or shapes of characters everywhere is called "pareidolia", apparently. Useful word to know.)

The important thing is that the above provides a date - the timeframe of "The Warring States period" - for the Chinese tradition of having a rabbit (and a toad too!) on the moon - and the rabbit is already pounding the herbs for the immortality medicine.

The Warring States period is dated even by wackypedia to the range 481 - 403 BCE:


Quote:The Warring States period (simplified Chinese: 战国时代; traditional Chinese: 戰國時代; pinyin: Zhànguó Shídài) is a period in ancient China following the Spring and Autumn period and concluding with the victory of the state of Qin in 221 BC, creating a unified China under the Qin dynasty. Different scholars use dates for the beginning of the period ranging between 481 BC and 403 BC, but Sima Qian's date of 475 BC is most often cited. Most of this period coincides with the second half of the Eastern Zhou dynasty, although the Chinese sovereign (king of Zhou) was merely a figurehead.

The name of the period was derived from the Record of the Warring States, a work compiled early in the Han dynasty.

Buddhism didn't arrive in China yet back then.

While Ashoka was to have sent off emissaries to China in mid 3rd century BCE, whether Ashoka is properly dated or not is actually irrelevant (dates for the Indian Buddhist Jataka fable featuring the rabbit also become irrelevant), because we can skip considering the (mis)dating of Indian history here and just look to the Chinese end: Buddhism in China is dated to the 1st century CE. (And the earliest case of Buddhism in China is set in the latter half of the 1st century CE.) This makes the difference between China's famous "Warring States Period" and the first record of Buddhism in China about 5 centuries. At minimum. Because there is no indication that the reference during the Warring States period to the Chinese Moon Rabbit was the first Chinese instance to make the connection between the rabbit and Earth's satellite (and the immortality potion), as the ancient Chinese poem could well be re-stating a view that was already long-lived among Chinese back then.

And not that it would have mattered anyway had Buddhism magically arrived in China before or during the Warring States Period: since there is ample evidence that the Chinese traditions of seeing a Rabbit on the moon and associating it with (making the elixir of) immortality is just as independently-derived as the native N American traditions of how a "hare gained immortality by traveling to the moon, where he still can be seen today". Most of the present extent traditions concerning the Jade Rabbit have nothing to do with the Buddhist spins on pre-existing Hindu views about the Hare and the Moon. And those distinctly-Chinese traditions are obviously native, as they are the very ones that precede Buddhist entry into China. (Nor do they have any particular connection to the Hindu Hare-Moon association either, no more than -say- the Algonquin Cree Indians' view has.)

If people want to claim otherwise, then - as usual - they may *prove* otherwise.
* While vile evangelical christists parasiting in Taiwan say that it has 18,000 Taoist temples (c.f. 4,000 Buddhist ones),

* and while wackypedia admits that "Shinto has 100,000 shrines and 20,000 priests in [Japan]",

turns out that despite communism in China - that spinoff of christianism - having done its darn best to wipe out Taoism (=religion of the Chinese Gods) by closing Temples and genociding Taoist priests, Chinese communist authorities aren't able to control the undying and ever-resurgent love and devotion of the heathen Chinese masses for their Gods:

Quote:Rural China, moreover, is home to millions of temples—many of them built in just the last decade—that serve as centers for local folk religions* and their associated festivals. By no means do these temples and their liturgies represent a simple return to ancient traditions. Traditional rituals, myths, and practices are being enacted with modern technology such as video cameras and websites, and reconfigured to fit the sensibilities of villagers who are no longer farmers, but factory workers, entrepreneurs, and even professionals.7 These folk religions are more a matter of public practice than private belief, and they are not organized into institutions clearly separate from local economic and political life. Such activities have been defined by the Chinese authorities as “feudal superstition,” in contrast to real religion.
(Communist Chinese govt doesn't like public displays of religion - especially of heathenism - by the masses. And, communism being a christianism, it treats Chinese religion as a "superstition" for its insistence on multiple Gods and the worship of vigrahas. This is another reason behind the attempt to present Taoism as a "philosophy" separate from the "superstition" that is Chinese religion/worship of the Chinese Gods, when in fact the two are inseparable and one religion.)

* Note: "local folk religions" is not applied to Buddhism, Confucianism let alone christianism. It is specifically the dismissive way in which non-adherents and aliens refer to the ancient, ancestral Chinese religion now called "Taoism".** That religion is actually joined into an inseparable oneness by the pantheon (family, related community) of Chinese Gods, and hence forms one religion only. Though some of these Gods are regional Gods, and some others are regional manifestations of pan-Chinese Gods. (As also seen in Hindoo, Shinto and Hellenistic religions.)

But aliens - focused on divide-and-conquer/convert - always refer to the above as "this God's cult" or "that Goddess' cult" instead, and pretend they are entirely disparate instead of deeply interconnected. (E.g. that Chinese Goddess is married to that Chinese God and worshippers know that well.)

Aliens as usual indulge in utter nonsense. You know, the way aliens including so-called "converts" pretend that "Shaivam is distinct from Vedic religion", or that the Vedic sub-traditions of Shaivam and Vaishnavam say are "as separate religions as Buddhism or Jainism is from the Vedic religion".

** Knowledge of "Tao" among adherents, is like "Vedanta" is to Hindus, or like "Philosophy" is to Hellenes. Hindus are not all Vedantins (in a literal sense), but Vedanta is neverthless an important part of the *same* religion as that to which all Hindoos belong (plus an understanding of it sort of inevitably rubs off on all Hindoos, since the Gods teach it by their osmosis). Likewise, not all Hellenes pursued Philosophy, yet Philosophy was still an important part of Hellenismos and was a divine vision granted by the Olympic Gods. But like all Hellenes had (have) firm roots with the Olympic Gods, and Hindoos to the Hindoo [the indigenous Indian, i.e. Vedic] Gods, similarly, Chinese traditionalists follow that religion rooted in the deeply ancient, indigenous interconnected pantheon of their ancestral Chinese Gods - a religion in which the knowledge of the Tao is an important part and which is an understanding granted by the Chinese aka Taoist Gods - and which religion is usually dubbed "Taoism" in English by its native, ethnic adherents. Even though calling it "Taoism" is technically like calling Hindoo religion "Vedanta-ism" or calling the Olympic religion as "Philosophy". Even so, knowledge of the Tao is exclusively a part of that Chinese religion, as Vedanta is exclusively a part of Hindoos' religion and Philosophy is exclusively a part of Hellenismos and not other religion. Besides, the Taoist Gods teach all kinds of realisation to their loyal, adoring Chinese heathens. And the Tao is automatically cultivated by the Taoist heathens carrying out their [secret, private] ritual practices, such as their <*****> dances: the Taoist Gods immediately and directly intervene upon diligent, sincere practice, and quickly further the practitioner.)

The heathen ethnically-Chinese people of Taiwan, China, etc are attached deeply to their Gods. Hindoos - well, those of a bygone age - would have understood them very well. (Also obvious from the above fact of how even the population in highly communist-controlled China keep building millions of their temples to their Gods everywhere. Some Taoist Chinese' pooja rooms are like a Tamizh/Kannadiga Hindoos' gollu area during deepavali: have to see it to believe the number of vigrahas of Gods that even small Chinese families have in their homes.)

If the Chinese in rural China have "millions of temples" to their ancestral Gods now - even after the communist demolitions and decades of anti-religious communist rule - can only imagine how many temples Chinese would have had in the past. :envy:
Post 1/4

The videos in third and fourth posts is what's interesting.

This post is just on some loose items I remembered on religion, society and culture in some countries further east:

1. Had caught parts of a couple of episodes in the middle of some Taiwanese drama, it may have been a (romantic?) comedy. From what I could gather:

In it, the heroine's side had planned to marry off the reluctant-looking hero to her, in front of a crowd that included her family. The setting was the bride's turf/ancestral grounds. The hero was trying to avoid getting hitched to her, and argued that since there was no church* in the region, that the wedding can take place "later". (* It's a modern, temporary trend among many E Asians to marry in churches; which are usually faux churches in the case of Japanese.) The bride's side declared that a church was not at all necessary to get married at, especially since the region boasted a temple to the local God, so that the marriage could be performed in front of divine witnesses (the Taoist Gods). The next scene showed the heroine, reluctant hero and the others over at the Taoist temple - the vigraham of the God was in the background, it was definitely a real Taoist temple but perhaps Taiwanese don't film vigrahas casually at temples either. There, the bride's side invoked the God of the temple and other Taoist Gods as witness to the wedding and to safeguard the marriage contract between the hero and heroine. The humans also offered to "sacrifice a chicken" to the God for the occasion (which didn't quite seem to take place, fluttering: there was a live chicken fluttering about IIRC, when people remembered that they had promised to perform the sacrifice, and then it was used as a comic relief).

Further, every time any of the bride's side mentioned the actual name of the temple's God - who is the God of that region and hence the heroine's ancestral God since they're inhabitants of that place - they all did a namaskaram with their hands and their eyes closed, thinking of him. This includes all the occasions when they kept reminding the hero of his wedding oath in front of the Gods to look after his wife. In one scene, the bride's party was repeatedly mentioning the temple Deity's name, so they were constantly doing namaskaaras. It was meant to be both funny and cute. The hero and his sidekick also ended up doing the namaskaaras whenever they recalled their promise to the God. At one point the sidekick declared that they had moved out of the region over which that God presided/had jurisdiction, and desperately suggested that maybe they could cease to be afraid of the consequences now? (The hero and his sidekick wanted his divorce from the heroine whom the hero didn't really know well and didn't originally wish to marry.) The hero's grandma however was one of those that had accompanied him to the temple wedding and in fact one of those who had since early on insisted that all the Gods and all the ancestors/Pitrus should be invoked as witnesses for the marriage, since she took the wedding seriously: and serious weddings required the witness, recognition and blessings of the pantheon of Gods.

Despite many E Asian [live-action] dramas featuring faux-christianisms, I gather from acquaintances that Taoism features quite often and in religious sense even in modern-day Taiwanese programmes of "corporate" characters.

I know from many examples that Shinto features quite heavily in Japanese programming. An example in 4 below.

2. IIRC in some Korean dramas I had watched, the young [and heathen] protagonists did full-body namaskaras to the in-laws, which looked exactly like the way Hindoo men do full-body namaskaarams (as opposed to the manner in which Hindoo females do this).

3. A Korean drama I have not watched and only read the summary for, was specifically described as being about the "outcasts" class of Korean society during the historical Joseon period of the country (an era of IIRC Confucianist rule in Korea). I don't know more than that. Maybe I should make time to watch the drama to find out more.

4. On a side note, traditional Chinese society has a class of people who wear masks with animal motifs - at least, when in contact with the rest of Taoist society - and with whom other Taoists don't seem to interact much (and they're not expected to interact a lot together). These social interactive behaviours/phenomena still exist in rural China. Sometimes the aforementioned class of people - also ancestrally Taoist heathens - don't seem to be held in as high regard as other Taoists by some in the community.

5. A week or two back, came across a Japanese programme where a Shinto God - or more accurately, a class of Shinto special being who work as divine messengers to the Kami, but which class also have Shrines of their own [the way Hindus have Yakshas and Gandharvas and Kinnaras, etc] - again: the Shinto divine being ends up undercover at a school. At one point, it's English class and he looks over the book containing English sentences with surprise and confusion: IIRC he expressed something along the lines of how he doesn't know the language and doesn't understand why he has to learn it. Confusedcore: <- See? My point exactly. Actually, it is a running thread in E Asian live-action dramas for at least one of the leads to be totally unfamiliar with English. While this protagonist is not presented as generally clever either, their lack of English skills is never held against them. And indeed, their being challenged when it comes to studying while still being presented as admirable in other respects is held up as a character plus-point: it's why they're the protagonist you're expected to root for. In E Asian programmes, English is weighted equally with other foreign European languages like French and Spanish. In Japanese and Korean programmes, I notice that knowing Mandarin and being familiar with Chinese traditions is weighted slightly higher/more important (both for historical reasons and as an important marker of being cultured) than English or other European languages. Likewise, in Korean and Chinese programmes, some characters can often speak fluent Japanese too, and this is considered an impressive skill. At the very least, English is not given an extra-special place, and not above other E Asian languages or even some other European languages, particularly French (which used to be considered as the language of cultured Europeans by Europeans themselves: Prussian and I think Austrian and German courts used to use French, especially for prominent occasions like royal gatherings and ceremonies). Don't know when English illegally snuck up and replaced more cultured European languages that have longer and better pedigrees. Not to speak of other European languages making more logical *sense* than nonsensical English. English is a constant target of ridicule by mainland Europeans like Germans, especially among those who are fluent in English.

6. Shintos don't just mark sacred rocks/boulders as Kami parents and their divine babies, but mountains too are very sacred in Shinto religion and are embodiments of the Kami.

This next extract is another example illustrating why Shintos will understand Hindus and vice-versa: because they both think/perceive similarly.



A female kami ("goddess"). An extant fragment of the Tsukushi no kuni fudoki describes the three separate peaks of the mountain Kishimayama in the following way: "The peak to the southwest is called the hikogami (male-kami), the middle peak is called the himegami (female-kami), and the one to the northeast is called the mikogami (offspring-kami)." As this passage makes clear, the himegami was most often enshrined as a consort to a male hikogami.

In another example, the two deities worshiped at the Wakasahiko Jinja in Fukui Prefecture are Wakasahiko no kami and Wakasahime no kami, and the Samukawa Jinja in Kanagawa Prefecture enshrines the two deities Samukawahiko no mikoto and Samukawahime no mikoto. Likewise, while the himegami worshiped at Usa Jingū and Iwashimizu Hachimangū does not exist in name as half of a matched pair, the legendary shrine history Jisha engi Hachimangudōkin calls her the "dragon woman" and identifies her as the consort of Emperor Ōjin.


The bold bit is quite reminiscent of Hindoos worshipping -say- the Himalayan peaks Gauri-Shankar (as the literal embodiments of Gauri Shankar). I wonder if there is any boulder nestled between these two peaks that Hindoos have recognised as Subrahmaniam, marking the entire combination as a Somaskandam formation, since Hindoo temples to these Gods at times appear in this very configuration, so it seems like something Hindoos would typically have done.

And if not, I don't see why Hindoo pilgrims don't immediately identify 2 or 3 boulders - or even pebbles - that are comfortably and naturally nestled between the two parental peaks and declare these to be Ayyappan (aka Shaastaa*), Pillaiyar (Ganapati), and Murugan (Skanda). Hindoos recognise their Gods in shaaligraamams and natural formations regularly anyway. Not different from Shintos.

* Apparently a name already referred to in the Yajus, according to an Ayyappa-bhakta braahmaNa Hindoo quoting from the YV.
Post 2/4

The Shinto sacred dance for the Kamis.

A Japanese programme featured (cinematised but) traditional Shinto music as background to what represented a sacred Shinto ritual dance. The music is so utterly sublime in its beauty - typically Japanese, Shinto (typical traditional instrumentation too besides the mild cinematic additions) - that I've regularly got it on infinite loop here.

Called Kagura, it is a sacred Shinto dance/ritual practise that invites the Kami and enables communion between the humans and the Kami. (The dance also cleanses temple premises and drives away evil spirits/bad stuff, besides pleasing and invigorating the Kami and the other classes of divine/special Shinto beings that assemble to watch it - sort of like how saamam is said to please the Hindoo Gods - and is beneficial for the place, the gathered and the world at large. <- Like the Vedam's beneficial effects.)

The kagura I saw was one of the slow-moving ones performed by a lady. But several of the youtube videos I have found (see the following post) show more energetic kagura. Before linking to those, however, here's wacky for background:

a. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kagura

Quote:Kagura (神楽, かぐら, "god-entertainment") is a Japanese word referring to a specific type of Shinto theatrical dance—with roots arguably predating those of Noh. Once strictly a ceremonial art derived from kami'gakari (神懸, かみがかり, "oracular divination") and chinkon (鎮魂, ちんこん, "spirit pacification"), Kagura has evolved in many directions over the span of a millennium. Today it is very much a living tradition, with rituals tied to the rhythms of the agricultural calendar, as well as vibrant Kabuki-esque theatre, thriving primarily in parts of Shimane prefecture, and urban centers such as Hiroshima.[1]


1 History

2 Imperial Kagura

3 Folk Kagura

4 References

5 External links


Kagura stage

The epics Kojiki and Nihonshoki describe a folklore origin for the dances. In these texts, there is a famous legendary tale about the sun goddess Amaterasu, who retreated into a cave, bringing darkness and cold to the world. Ame-no-Uzume, kami/goddess of the dawn and of revelry, led the other gods in a wild dance, and persuaded Amaterasu to emerge to see what the ruckus was all about.[2] Kagura is one of a number of rituals and arts said to derive from this event.

Originally called kamukura or kamikura (神座), kagura began as sacred dances performed at the Imperial court by shrine maidens (miko) who were supposedly descendants of Ame-no-Uzume. Over time, however, these mikagura (御神楽), performed within the sacred and private precincts of the Imperial courts, inspired popular ritual dances, called satokagura (里神楽), which, being popular forms, practiced in villages all around the country, were adapted into various other folk traditions and developed into a number of different forms. Among these are miko kagura, shishi kagura, and Ise-style and Izumo-style kagura dances.


Kagura, in particular those forms that involve storytelling or reenactment of fables, is also one of the primary influences on the Noh theatre.
The Miko and other sacred dancers are said to channel the Gods when performing kagura. Miko are sometimes also said to be female Shinto ... "oracles" (for lack of a better word).

A very famous and thrilling Kagura that's regularly performed re-enacts heavenly Kami Susanoo-no-Mikoto defeating the Yamato-no-Orochi. And other re-enactments of sacred and epic Shinto narratives. This type of Kagura is more like Hari-Katha combined with dance, sort of like the Kathakali that Kerala Hindoos do. Actually, Shintos have lots of martial Kagura dances, including kagura defeating Oni-s and dragons, since Japanese martial arts are sacred and derived from the Kami. E.g. not just Sumo and Aikido but also Kendo/swordsmanship are deeply related to Shinto. You can even find a video on youtube mentioning the invocation Shinto rituals to the Kami that precede Kendo practice and competitions, and Kendojos are regarded as sacred grounds like Shinto temples (because the Kami are invoked and present there*), the way Kalaripayattu halls/grounds are regarded sacred for the presence of Hindu Gods there.

* Kami are known to be pleased at the sight of the divine Shinto martial arts and attracted to locations where these are carried out. This is another reason why Japanese martial arts are performed during some sacred Matsuri.

[In Taoism too, Taoist martial arts are divine skills originally taught by the Gods. In the divine narrative about the little divine son of Shengmu (sp?) who sets off to free his Goddess mother, a Taoist God famously appears to teach the heroic male baby God the skills of Tai-Chi martial arts, so that the skill may help him in his quest to liberate Goddess Shengmu.]

b. Brief diversion to Noh (traditional Japanese theatre) which is more widely-known, it's origins are in Shinto:



Okina (or Kamiuta) is a unique play which combines dance with Shinto ritual. It is considered the oldest type of Noh play, and is probably the most often performed. It will generally be the opening work at any programme or festival.


The only ornamentation on the stage is the kagami-ita, a painting of a pine tree at the back of the stage. The two most common beliefs are that it represents either a famous pine tree of significance in Shinto at the Kasuga Shrine in Nara, or that it is a token of Noh's artistic predecessors which were often performed to a natural backdrop.

c. On Megami-sama Ame-no-Uzume, the Dawn Goddess of the Shintos (not to be confused with Amaterasu Okami, who is the Sun Goddess of the Shintos) who is recorded as first performing Kagura:



Ame-no-Uzume-no-mikoto (天宇受売命, 天鈿女命?) is the goddess of dawn, mirth and revelry in the Shinto religion of Japan, and the wife of fellow-god Sarutahiko Ōkami. She famously relates to the tale of the missing sun deity, Amaterasu Omikami. Her name can also be pronounced as Ama-no-Uzume.[1][2]

Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto is still worshiped today as a Shinto kami, spirits indigenous to Japan.[6] She is also known as Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, The Great Persuader, and The Heavenly Alarming Female.[7]

(Many heathen religions have Gods associated with and/or presiding over and/or embodying the Sun, the Moon, Dawn, Dusk, Day, Night. So pre-emptively: Ame-no-Uzume has nothing to do with anything deemed IE.)

d. Wacky admits that the Divine husband of Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto presides over many Shinto martial arts:


Quote:Sarutahiko Ōkami (猿田毘古大神, 猿田彦大神), is the leader of the earthly kami, deity of the Japanese religion of Shinto. Sarutahiko Ōkami is seen as a symbol of strength and guidance, which is why he is the patron of martial arts such as aikido.[1]

[1. Gleason, William (1995). The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido. Destiny Books. p. 18. ISBN 0-89281-508-6.]

He enshrined at Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Mie Prefecture, first among the 2000 shrines of Sarutahiko ÅŒkami, Sarutahiko Jinja in Ise, Mie and ÅŒasahiko Shrine in Tokushima Prefecture.

In the Nihon Shoki, he is the one who greets Ninigi-no-Mikoto, the grandson of Amaterasu, the Sun goddess, when he descends from Takama-ga-hara.[2] He is depicted as a towering man with a large beard, jeweled spear, ruddy face, and long nose. At first he is unwilling to yield his realm until persuaded by Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto, the kami of dance and the arts, whom he later marries.[3]

(I think Sarutahiko Okami is the God who is depicted in that beautiful Japanese Shinto animation for children/all ages called "Tatsu-no-ko Taro", where Taro and animals are performing the sacred Shinto practice of sumo-wrestling when a reddish-coloured God with a uniquely long nose is attracted to their Sumo wrestling and makes himself apparent to them. (IIRC the animals in the cartoon expressly mentions that he is particularly attracted by this very sight and therefore the animals happily indulge in the jousting match.) This is the point in the cartoon where the Great God - having been entertained by watching - is pleased to challenge Taro to a Sumo match, and then becomes so excessively happy at Taro's courageous and energetic attempts against him that he blesses the brave little boy with some sips of his Divine Sake that confers on little Taro with the ability to summon the strength of 100 men when helping *others*. :clapping: Always reminded me of keerAtArjuneeyam.)


Sarutahiko has the distinction of being one of only six kami to be honored with the title Ōkami (Japanese: 大神) or "Great Kami"; the other five are Izanagi, Izanami, Michikaeshi (also known as Yomido ni sayarimasu ōkami (?) who is the kami of the great rock used by Izanagi to obstruct the way to Yomi, and thus, preventing emergence of evil spirits from the Underworld), Sashikuni, and Amaterasu. The special honor paid to Sarutahiko is particularly notable for the fact that he is the singular kunitsukami, or earthly kami, to be given the title; the other five are all amatsukami, i.e., heavenly kami.[citation needed]
Post 3/4

1. [Beautiful Japan] HIROSHIMA Kagura Dance


Short video, with calm music and voice over providing a meaningful introduction.

The subtitles to the narration - which starts half-way through - are as follows. Note that the title-casing of "God" and "Gods" are as in original subtitles:

Quote:Gods and People together in celebration: Kagura

Kagura, the traditional song and dance, comes from a word that means "seat of God", the place in which a God was supposed to become present.

When suitably entertained, the God is pleased.

The spirit is invigorated when summoned, appeased, and rocked.

It is thought that people, too, gain in vitality when they enjoy themselves together with a God.

For a thousand years and more, entertaining the Gods has meant a sharing in the joy of life.

A celebration invoking the Gods, when they and the people become one.

A celebration invoking the Gods, when they and the people enjoy themselves together.

In this dance is the unchanging joy in welcoming the Gods.

In this is the real 'beautiful Japan'.

(Even the above description shows how the Kami are very close to the human and other animal Shintos, and that this sacred communion between the ethnic Shinto Japanese and their Gods is a profound reality in Japan.)

The youtube video description is:

Quote:Published on Apr 14, 2013

Kagura Dance

A traditional art of Japan brings mortal and immortal together in a celebration of life

The traditional performance of kagura offered at shrine festivals and rites is derived from the word 'kamukura' or 'kamikura', a 'seat of God' expressing the belief that each shrine is a holy place. To the music of flutes, drums, and other ancient instruments, the dancers entice the God to this seat, and it is in these moments when one's sense of being alive is at its highest.

Kagura also traces its history back to Japanese mythology. When Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, hid herself away in a heavenly cave, the Goddess Amenouzume began to dance in front of the cave, and the laughter of the watching immortals drew the Sun Goddess back out of the darkness. This is believed to be the beginning of kagura dance. Due to its proximity to Shimane Prefecture or land of this Izumo mythology, kagura thrives in the north of Hiroshima Prefecture, where even children form kagura dance groups.

The gentle swaying of the dance entertains the Gods as mortal and immortal join in a celebration of life.

The vitality and hospitality of our ancestors lives on in this kagura dance.

2. Suwa Shrine:


Video description at youtube:

Quote:Powerful Kagura dance - Nanazumai - Culture of Japan


Powerful Kagura dance - Nakano Nanazumai

traditional art of Japan "Nanazumai"

Super dynamic Kagura dance

Iwaizumi , Iwate , Japan

I shot this Nanazumai video in Kitakami-city of Japan at Suwa shrine 1200 years festival.
Post 4/4

3. A very popular class of Kagura:


Kagura showing heavenly Kamisama Susanoo-no-Mikoto defeating the Yamato-no-Orochi in grand fight :woowoo:

and rescuing his soon to be wife Megamisama Kushi-Inada-Hime, thus bringing relief to her parents the Earth Kamis.

(Must say: despite being drunk on Sake, the fearsome 8-headed and 8-tailed Orochi put up a scary fight...)

4. Not about Kagura anymore but still on Shinto festivities

Shintos - like Taoists and Hindus - like to transport the utsavamoorties of their Gods from one shrine to another sacred site. Hindoos tend to have rathas and Shintos and Taoists tend to have palanquins and floats.

In this way, Kami can be taken to visit other Kami too (like reuniting husband and wife Kamis during sacred festivals). Kami utsavam palanquins are called "Mikoshi", while:



A float decorated with variously shaped objects (spear, mountain, human images, etc.), and carried or drawn on wheels to the accompaniment of festive music (hayashi). The name dashi is said to have originated in the fact that the upper part of the float's central "spear" (hoko) is a plaited bamboo receptacle (higeko) whose unwoven ends are tasseles or "protrusions" (dashi). Historically, the floats called dashi derive from the objects called shirushi no yama which were drawn during in the Great Festival of Enthronement (Daijōsai) during the Heian period, and served as a sign (shirushi) of the presence of the kami during the festival. With time, however, the addition of elaborate decorations and musical accompanied saw the evolution of dashi into the foci of popular entertainment. In the Kansai (Osaka) region dashi may be also called danjiri, while in the Kantō area they also go by the name yatai. See also yamahoko.

Matsuri featuring such floats:


Kawagoe Festival floats 2012 (automated translation of title reads "Kawagoe Festival faith Festival floats")



Quote:Kawagoe matsuri

A festival held in its full form every other year at the Hikawa jinja, Saitama. It features huge, richly decorated floats which clash at night in the centre of town in an exciting ceremonial contest called hikkawase ('pulling against each other'). As the floats collide noisy hayashi bands compete to make the bearers of the rival float lose their rhythm. The floats are said to be replicas of those used at the Kanda matsuri before tall floats were banned from Tokyo in the late Meiji period.

Kanda Matsuri — One of the three biggest festivals of Edo (Tokyo), celebrated from May 12 16th (or 13th 18th) at the Kanda jinja where the so chinju (overall protective deity) of the central Tokyo Nihonbashi and Kanda districts is enshrined

A Popular Dictionary of Shinto

So Shintos have a great many Gods ("Land of 8 million Kami"), countless temples ("100,000 shinto shrines in Japan"), ritual dancing, music, martial arts, and ratha yatras. Very like Hindus and Taoists, etc. (If I was an ET briefly visiting planet earth, I might not be able to tell the difference on first glance...)

Don't know why modern Hindus/vocalists always threaten that they are "the last pagans, the last pagans". Or that their religion is special for being allegedly "the only one" to have the above features. [Or for having "deep philosophy/metaphysical notions" or for being "the only religion that has the concept of monism" or more such -false- claims to uniqueness. Hindoos' heathenism is unique - but for the same reason that other heathenisms are unique: it's tied to the geography inhabited by a pantheon of Gods and their kindred/ethnic populations.]
Quote:And why does Modi have to approach Japan with *Buddhism* as "common ground" rather than approach Japan using a heathen affinity between Shinto and Hindu religion as common ground?

Japanese Shingon Buddhists aren't the only ones that do Gomas (Homas) in Japan, Shintos do it too. And some Shintos - in the past - used proper Vedic rituals (instead of the Bauddhised variations used by Buddhists).

Why couldn't Modi have stopped by ancient Shinto shrines in Japan first, especially since Japan is a Shinto nation not a Buddhist one (at most it can be described as a somewhat Bauddhicised yet nevertheless Shinto nation). And also, Shinzo Abe is IIRC Shinto. How would Hindus like it if every western delegate always visited christian churches in India and declared to christianise India so that he could attract more Indian christian tourists to European churches? Isn't that what Modi is doing with his "Buddha diplomacy"?

From your post on September 02, 2014.

In case you are unaware and you know Japanese, consult the early 1800's Shintoist Hirata Atsutane's Indo zoshi where he seemed to have explored connections between Hindu and Shinto pantheons. I have seen excerpts from it like this where he labeled Buddha a fraud who subverted the Vedic religion:


Watarai Ieyuki the Ise priest of the 14th century equated Vishnu with Kunitokotachi no Mikoto and Brahma with Ame no Minakanushi no Kami.

I raised some of these same points during Modi's visit:


Also suggested a visit to Ise.

Balagangadhar Tilak apparently wrote some essays comparing the Hindu and Shinto pantheons. I haven't found them yet but apparently they are in Part 2 of this book:


It was brought out in print for Tilak's sons by an obscure publisher named Devagirikar trust.

He also convinced the Nepal Raja to send Hindu students to Japan to learn from them and they were joined in this by a couple of his associates Vasukaka and Khadilkar. Their descendants recorded a fiery speech of Tilak's wherein he praised the uShAputra-s for defeating the chIna-s in the 1894-95 yuddha and asked what made them win? He then suggested to his associates to make a comparative study of Japan, Germany, and Ireland. He tried to get Germany to supply technical knowledge to Vasukaka & Khadilkar so they could start arms factory in Nepal to attack Brits. He thought if Nepal could be made to emulate Japan then even rest of Bharat could slowly follow with Nepal serving as the base for svarAjya. Vasukaka went to Japan with Nepali students & his descendants even started Japanese language courses in Poona but none of them had the political acumen of Tilak or wider understanding to achieve more.



More recently Prof. Lokesh Chandra has written extensively on interactions with NE Asia & Mongolia but his focus is on Bauddha transmissions.
Post 1/2

Sorry for the late response. Didn't want to obscure your post, plus -primary motive- wanted to spend my leave paw-printing (though that itself was coincidentally somewhat on topic).

Quote:I raised some of these same points during Modi's visit

Glad someone did. Did... Modi maybe get to hear them? I hear he - or his PR team - has a twitter account?

IIRC twitter no longer keeps everything indefinitely for public viewing (though I think twitter, facebook etc would be emulating Google in keeping things indefinitely for internal purposes). So your useful statements on there should be backed up somewhere permanent. Maybe in the meanwhile you could archive the actual tweets you made on the subject on IF.

2. The favourable treatment extended by Shinto (and elsewhere Taoists) to Hindu religion, and their peculiar (but perhaps not surprising) disfavour to Buddhism, is much in line with some cases - also from centuries back - that I had read about. An example was alluded to somewhere in the middle of post 122 of the Buddhism thread, and then again in a few other posts (about the case of 5 or 6 related Shinto martial sects, one of which got infiltrated and converted to Buddhism and which tried to convert the others by Bauddhicising their Shinto Gods and the Hindu Gods included in their pantheon and the associated Hindu rituals. Which last were dubbed "brahminical" rituals/texts by the Buddhists who were then complaining about the matter).

In this context it's worth adding that Buddhists also regularly tried commandeering/Bauddhicising Taoist rituals for protection and offence that were used by certain Shinto martial lineages.

3. On this:

Quote:consult the early 1800's Shintoist Hirata Atsutane's Indo zoshi where he seemed to have explored connections between Hindu and Shinto pantheons. I have seen excerpts from it like this where he labeled Buddha a fraud who subverted the Vedic religion

And even present day Taoists seem to know enough about Hindus' religion to have drawn approximately* the same observations. Alternatively, I was just slow.

* Specifically, their statements sound more like: "Buddhism is a subversion of Hinduism [Vedic religion]". Which invariably/logically implies Hirata Atsutane's statement, now I think about it...

Actually, traditional Hindus also said (say) that Buddha pretty much mangled Vedanta (and the rest of the religion), got crowned an authority for it by his followers, and then his wrong views got peddled about. I guess the persistence and popularity of his following has modern Hindus so confused they think he's teaching the same thing as Vedanta, and that Buddhism is "therefore" still Vedic to "some extent".

Ur-Shramanism* was invented specifically because the Nastika religions realised that being recognised as subverted spin-offs of Hindus' religion (called "heresies of Hinduism" by western translators) was not conducive to the image they wanted to cultivate for themselves.

BTW, in Indonesia, where Taoism isn't (wasn't) one of the officially-recognised religions, whereas Buddhism and Hindu religion are among the recognised religions alongside islam and christianism, the Indonesian Taoists chose to register their temples as *Hindu* temples and specifically not as Buddhist ones.

The two-fold reason given was that besides relating more to Hindu religion, they didn't want the inevitable Buddhist encroachment.

* Ur-Shramanism = The modern (post-IE) trend started by nastikas to back-project the nastika religions/Shramanism (capital S) - under various names - to a point in India's ur-ur-history that not only far predates the actual founding of said nastika religions, but which is made co-eval with Vedic religion in India, though usually Shramanism is even made to predate Vedic religion thereby, both in order to claim originality for the Hindu elements that Nastika religions took from Hindus' Vedic religion AND in order to eject Vedic religion as an "oryan" invasion into India, while simultaneously claiming that Shramanisms were indigenous to India and were even "dravoodian", and that Shramanisms were the very indigenous dravoodians who were oppressed, replaced/converted and inculturated on by said "invading oryan Vedic religion" (by which time the latter generally gets equated with brahmins alone, since Buddhism and Jainism want to claim every other kind of Hindu - starting especially from the kShatriyas - as having "originally" been Jain/Buddhist, in order to missionise). Vedic religion is further accused of having copied all its Tantra and contents of its Upanishads - including Vedanta, pre-classical Sankhya, Yoga etc - from Ur-Shramanism. Ur-Shramanism is Nastikas' growing and highly opportunistic attempt to commandeer the other half of the AIT story: AIT tells of Vedic religion being alien to India, while Ur-Shramanism is the myth/theory of making Jainism/Buddhism the ancient indigenous religion of the natives who were oppressed and robbed by Vedic religion, all in order to missionise on the majority of today's Hindus by telling the latter that they had been converted out of the Nastika religions and forced into Vedic religion by the alien oryans.
Post 2/2

Still to do with BV's post from a couple of posts above.

Quote:More recently Prof. Lokesh Chandra has written extensively on interactions with NE Asia & Mongolia but his focus is on Bauddha transmissions.

Did Rajiv Sreenivasan not invoke Lokesh Chandra in that article where Rajeev donated the Hindoo God Ayyappa to Buddhism on the flimsiest grounds? That was a turn off. As I recall, LC was cited there for his statements on Tibetan Buddhism.

I'm *quite* disinterested in Indian authors writing about Buddhism in Tibet and Mongolia. Because (1) both Tibet and Mongolia are the famous cases of ruthless and total Buddhist replacement of native religion (aka what is considered a Buddhist success story); and (2) Indian authors* are notorious for either skipping past this, skimming over it or else alluding to it briefly (sometimes along with apologetics) before proceeding to write their aggrandising narrative on the "wonderful" history of Buddhism there. So, pass.

* Actually western authors in love with Buddhism are the same.

See, perhaps it's not so offensive if a horrid religion had been replaced with a better one - though modern Buddhists do argue that Bon and Mongolian Shamanism were replaced by the "enlightened" religion of Buddhism. But I never saw why Bon was evil (despite the old Buddhist dawaganda on the subject) and I haven't heard much to indicate that Mongolian religion was so peculiarly vile either, plus there is little to argue that Buddhism itself is such a swell religion (let alone true) and it's not even an ethnic/ancestral religion, just an ideology. And for all Buddhism's hissing against the Bon and Mongolian Gods and desperate attempts to destroy adherence to Bon among the laity, I note that yet again Buddhism hyper-hypocritically stole Bon (and Mongolian!) Gods and rituals by the truckloads and even plagiarised the originally Bon Tibetan Book of the Dead, added the usual Buddhist flourishes to it and passed this off as yet another "original Buddhist work, everyone please applaud Buddhism for it".

There's already a linked article in the Buddhism thread somewhere where an Indian author very lightly alludes to the Buddhist total-replacement of Bon in Tibet - by persecution until near-extinction. And the title of this next journal article seems to imply it will cover the Mongolian case - though I haven't read this paper myself (and don't really need to, because I've already read other stuff about Buddhist persecution-replacement of Mongolian Shamanism):


A Mongolian Source to the Lamaist Suppression of Shamanism in the 17th Century (Concluded)

by Walter Heissig, Goettingen (spelled with umlaut) - 1953

- "Lamaism" = Tibetan Buddhism

- And the visible extract mentions "Yellow Sect of Lamaism" = the particular flavour of Tibetan Buddhism of the known Dalai Lamas

- The following statement is also visible in the preview:

Quote:Certain undercurrents of a popular Chinese Taoist mysticism, known there [in Mongolia somewhere] under the name of Bon-po, [...]

Also, I still remember Elst's footnote alluding to how things went down in Tibet and Mongolia:


[koenraadelst.voiceofdharma.com/books/acat/ch2.htm is down or maybe gone]

Quote:Contrary to Mukhopadhyaya's confident assertion, there are a few attested cases of Buddhist-Jain conflict. The Mahâvamsa says that the Buddhist king Vattagamini (2917 B. C.) in Sri Lanka destroyed a Jain vihara. In the Shravana-Belgola epitaph of Mallishena, the Jain teacher Akalanka says that after a successful debate with Buddhists, he broke a Buddha statue with his own foot.10 The same (rare, but not non-existent) phenomenon of Buddhist fanaticism can be found outside India: the introduction of Buddhism in Tibet and Mongolia is associated with a "forceful suppression" of the native Shamanism.11


11Piers Vitebsky: De sjamaan, Kosmos, Utrecht 1996 (1995), p. 135.

One never hears of such things from Indian scholars.

On this interesting bit:


"Children of the dawn"? Or specifically, "children of the Dawn Goddess"? Is this a reference to the Japanese? But why that choice of appellation? If adding a dirgham variant* to the end of Surya's name would make it female and not a grammatical faux-pas - I wouldn't know - wouldn't it then be better to call them suryAputras instead? (Or even Suryaputras would make more sense, since Japan has many solar Kamis, a number of which are male. Plus it is the sun the Japanese claimed descent from.)

* CORRECTED: not mahapranam but dirgham, obviously. My brain's not good at multi-tasking. That or the neurons are going dodo.

Unless the choice of Usha in Ushaputras was made in order to refer to Amaterasu? But then, that wouldn't make sense either. Things to consider:

1. "Land of the Rising Sun" is a mistranslation, but even so the reference would still not be to the Dawn but to the Sun.

"Nihon/Nippon" does not mean "Land of the rising sun", but means "[the land/region that is] the origin/source/home of the sun". Its meaning derives from the Japanese view that the Sun's/Sun Goddess' home is in Japan [and not elsewhere *], not merely that the Sun rises in what seemed to this E Asian population to be the eastern-most country in their part of the world.

* Because Amaterasu Okami is considered the ancient ancestor of the Japanese - and also of their ruling dynasty. Of course, the many other Sun-worshipping heathens in the world also often think that their Solar Gods are their very own and have rulers of solar dynasties (Hindus, Koreans, S and Central Americans, Emperor Julian traced his spirit to his father the GrecoRoman Sun God, etc).

2. Amaterasu is

- literally, specifically the *Sun* Goddess.
Translations of her name in English tend to render it as "Great Heaven Shining Deity" or "Heavenly Shining Great August Deity", pointing out once again that she is the Sun;

- often distinct from even Goddess Wakahirume, the Morning (rising) Sun Kami. More on Wakahirume: eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/entry.php?entryID=169

- in any case *not* the Dawn Goddess of the Shintos, who is Ame-no-Uzume. Ame-no-Uzume is that distinct Kami who coaxed Amaterasu Okami out of the cave where Amaterasu's brother Susanoo-no-Mikoto's actions had led her. (The other sibling of Amaterasu and Susanoo is the male Moon Kami of Shinto, Tsukiyomi-no-Mikoto.)

Further, their Parent Kami Izanagi produced the Sun Goddess from one eye, the Moon God from another, and Susanoo the God of Seas & Summer Storms from his nose.*

So Amaterasu can't be equated with a Vedic Goddess, for the simple reason that she is not Vedic. She is Shinto, Japanese.

But for identifications that are looser than the more demanding equals sign, Surya would be closer to Amaterasu than Usha - since it's a primary Sun deity under consideration, after all - except that the genders don't align. But that's a secondary consideration anyway, seen as how the actual narratives of Amaterasu already don't match with those of either Surya or Usha.

* Note that the Shinto narratives concerning all these and other prominent Kamis originally derive from oral traditions of the Shinto laity/masses, and are even originally regional narratives. That is, several Kami were once somewhat more localised Japanese Gods - ancestral Gods of everyday, non-aristocratic, local Shinto communities - than they are at present. Over time, these Kami became better known to all in the nation at large.

As an aside, some modern Japanese scholars had proposed that Amaterasu might perhaps have been an amalgamation of several Shinto male solar deities (both regional and ancient pan-Japanese ones), though other Japanese scholars have since shown that a key Amaterasu narrative - as a female Sun God whose brother causes her to temporarily hide in a cave (possibly signifying solar eclipse) - has also existed since ancient times in a smallish Chinese community in China. [This is not unexpected: there are close and ancient ties between E Asian and - to a significant extent - SE Asian countries. Including between "tribal" communities there.]

Further, there are other ancient Japanese Solar Kami, often male ones. Next to those Kami that have uniquely-Japanese narratives, there are again also those with narratives similar to or related to Gods in other Asian countries like China/Taiwan (which has several Solar deities including the divine archer narrative), Korea (Chumong, solar prince of IIRC founding Korean dynasty born from an egg fathered by the Korean Sun God and a Goddess mother), and several SE Asian countries. I haven't yet come across a single ancient Japanese Solar Kami with a narrative that matches an Indian case, and must say that Usha (though not exactly a *solar* deity herself) and Surya are quite far removed from the solar Kami, especially compared to the striking resemblances several of the Japanese solar deities (including Amaterasu) bear to other Asian native religions' solar Gods.

Here's an example to support some of the above. (From "Cambridge History of Japan: Early Kami Worship", Cambridge University Press, 2008Smile

Quote:Although it is undoubtedly true that the myths were revised and structured during the sixth and seventh centuries for political purposes and that the kami pantheon was arranged with the imperial ancestor kami (the Sun Goddess) at its apex, most scholars now maintain that these myths and kami originated among the people, that the kami began as nature spirits, and that the myths were originally animistic tales told by peasants and fishermen. Several factors point to this conclusion. Similar tales appear in popular folklore. Even today, we can pick out primitive elements in the shrine rituals that venerate these kami, and identify these elements with local beliefs and customs. These myths, moreover, manifest influence from other parts of Asia. For example, one Japanese myth about the marriage of the creator kami Izanagi and Izanami is similar to tales told in southeast Asian folklore.'3 The stories of how Izanami and Izanagi gave birth to the islands of Japan and how Izanami was killed and descended to the land of the dead also have their counterparts in Polynesia.1'* Folk tales of the Miao people of southern China resemble the tale of how the Sun Goddess became angry with her brother Susa no O's violence, retreating to a cave and remaining there until she was coaxed to come out.1' Korean myths contain motifs similar to that in the one about the descent to earth of the Sun Goddess's grandson (Hononinigi), whose descendants, according to the chronicles, became Japan's emperors.16 Moreover, the Kojiki tale of the marriage between a human maiden and the kami Omono Nushi is similar to Korean and Manchurian myths.'7 It thus is likely that these imported elements were transmitted through migrations and visits over a long period of time and were gradually incorporated into popular mythology.

Regarding the bold bit: if Amaterasu is related to the Vedic Dawn Goddess Usha, then - logically speaking - the Solar deity of the Southern Chinese Miao people who have a narrative similar to Amaterasu must be related to Usha too, surely. Equally related/unrelated.

3. Amaterasu is not actually identical to any male Vedic God either. But the following is the best argument for any [historical, non-modernist] attempts to make Amaterasu - the Kami under that exact name - male.* However, for such a purpose, it is both too late (i.e. not original view) and it is not canonical (not from established Shinto texts) but merely later interpretation.

* Not counting modern and admitted conjecture, though those will then put Amaterasu even further away from the definitely-female Usha.


Quote:Amaterasu is usually understood as a goddess. In an "alternate writing" quoted in Nihongi she calls herself a "woman" (taoyame), and her brother Susanoo also calls her his "elder sister" (ane). In the medieval period, however, some scholars interpreted Amaterasu as a male kami.

As per the above, only "some" scholars** interpreted her as male - and in the medieval period what's more. But what happened in such a later time becomes irrelevant, since earlier views existed and the Shinto narratives on Amaterasu (under that name and connected with the narratives/oral traditions of that named Kami) had already defined her as a female.

** It does not mention the religion of these scholars. Have to wonder: any Buddhist impetus, by any chance? Considering that Buddhism has done drastic rewrites of Others' Gods elsewhere in order to force-fit a superficially-Vedic format onto non-Vedic Asian religions to make Bauddhicisation of the population easier.

4. Again: Amaterasu is not a Goddess of dawn. This is also seen in how she is daily ritually worshipped in Shinto Shrines during both mornings and evenings (probably to do with sunrise and sunset, as these are notable bookends of the Sun's daily journey). Next to that, there are shrines to Amaterasu in the west of Japan that are specifically for worshipping the evening (~setting) Sun, which further distances her from anything that is peculiarly dawn-related.

E.g. visitshimane.com/?p=8307

Quote:Hinomisaki Shrine

This brightly coloured shrine is dedicated to the gods Amaterasu and Susano.

As it lies in the west, it was established as a shrine to protect the country after nightfall. It later became a holy site from which to worship the evening sun, and such rituals are held throughout the year.

And since even Goddess Wakahirume - who is the Morning Sun Kami - is still distinct from the dawn and the Dawn Kami, Wakahirume can't be introduced as "Usha" to Hindus either. The closest to Usha would be Ame-no-Uzume, the Dawn Kami. Though of course, her narratives again differ from that of the Hindu Amman uShA, the same way that the narratives of many other heathens' Dawn Goddesses differ. (Else these numerous other populations could be called Ushaputras too. Starting especially with Hindus, obviously.)

5. And this next is just for comparison's sake:

+ (Heathen) Koreans traced their history to at least 5000 years back. The Koreans apparently had a very ancient origin-legend for how their land was discovered by a (IIRC divine, solar-derived) hero in a more eastern region, and how it was thereafter populated by his people. Because this land lay even further east than where they were living before *, the legends have the hero referring to that early Korea as the "Land of the Morning Sun".

[* Not sure that the lands they dwelt in before Korea was China or even Mongolia, though I have heard genetics discussions mention that Koreans have Chinese origins. I do know that the very prolific and once prominent/aristocratic Korean "Han" family name does get traced to Shang dynasty origins in China. Confirmed in wackypedia.]

+ So neither the Korea="Land of the Morning Sun" nor Japan="Homeland/Source/Origin of the Sun" refer to the Dawn but to the *Sun*. And further, in Korea's case the legend literally referred to the country using "Morning Sun", yet its main native Sun deity was still not a Dawn deity but remains a (male) Sun God. In Japan's case, the country name's reference is not even to the Sun at some particular time of day - unlike with Korea - but just to the Sun in general (i.e. at all times). And Japan's most prominent Sun Kami is a female God besides, yet still not the Dawn. All in all, this makes the Korean version slightly closer to the Vedic situation of a Sun God than the Japanese case - and the legendary naming of Korea as Morning Sun makes it closer to the meaning of Dawn than Japan's "Source/Origin of the Sun" name - but the Korean Solar God is still not more Vedic. Though this Korean Sun God does drive a wagon/chariot; however, even in this there are sufficient differences - repeating post 111:

[quote name='Husky' date='10 January 2014 - 07:57 PM' timestamp='1389363598' post='116971']The PIE encroachment brigade can keep their paws off: unlike the Hindoo Soorya and his ratha of 7 ashvas or Hellenistic Helios with a chariot of 4 horses, the Korean Sun God has a chariot with 5 dragons harnessed to it :grins: (or was it a 5-headed dragon, drat, can't even remember that much). And to be even more different: [in Korean religion] the orb of the Sun goes about in its fixed movement everyday, but the [Korean] Sun God himself travels to earth in his ratha meanwhile.[/quote](IIRC he is said to come down to earth on his chariot every day, while the Sun - that he presides over - still moves in the heavens.)

Interesting is also that the main Chinese Sun God (the God of the solar orb itself **) is male but different yet again: his defining features - not to mention his backstory - are different from the Korean one and of course from Japan's Amaterasu Okami.

[** At times distinct from the divine archer God - husband of Chang'e - who lives on the Sun.]

+ The ancient Koreans also had entire ruling dynasties - such as that of Chumong - tracing descent from their solar deity, as Koreans were Sun-worshippers too.

But then, to repeat, a great many human populations in the world - including C/S American, Egyptian - have central solar deities and consequently also tend to have human dynasties tracing themselves to their Solar Deities. The Sun is a very important part of human life, so the recognition of the Sun as one or more paternal or maternal deities - as an ancestral deity of entire lineages and nations - is a very natural occurrence.
Marishiten evolved from Ushas & she was popular among Samurai in medieval period who sometimes identified her with Amaterasu.

Aizawa Seishisai was one of those who seem to have identified Amaterasu as a man as late as the 19th century.
[quote name='Bharatvarsh2' date='27 October 2014 - 03:44 AM' timestamp='1414361186' post='117415']

Marishiten evolved from Ushas & she was popular among Samurai in medieval period who sometimes identified her with Amaterasu.


Sounds like a familiar Buddhism (Bauddhicisation) to me. Because Buddhism in China deliberately tried to merge the Buddhist Marichi* with IIRC the supreme Taoist Mother Goddess of the Big Dipper. Perhaps Buddhism had few other female deities available to encroach on the Big Dipper Goddess with? Since Marichi is one of the few female deities Buddhism came up with - though not all Buddhisms have her of course, and not the older forms of Buddhism. In Chang-e's case, Buddhism resorted to simply inventing a clone (different name) for the Chinese female moon Goddess in order to have a Buddhist variant, because Buddhism provided a Bauddhicised variant for all the native Gods when the originals could not be taken over from the adherents of the native religion.

* Have here been assuming - though I'm practically sure - that Marishiten is the Japanese version of the Buddhist Marichi.

Am aware that in Hindus' religion, Marichi is the name of a (male) Prajapati. The (Mahayana) Buddhist/Bauddhified Marichi is female. And I'm guessing the Buddhist Marichi relation to Usha might have been made because the word/name Marichi meant "a ray of light", unless it turns out the Buddhist Marichi was simply created from the ground up to be the Buddhist clone of Usha - the way Manjushri is the Buddhist clone of Kamadeva with a new name, and Vajrapani is a Buddhist clone of Indra, etc. (The name may additionally already have been associated with Usha in earlier Hindu literature, for all I know. But if so, then it would fit with how the Buddhist "Vaishravana" is the Buddhist clone of the Vedic God Kubera whose famous names in ancient Hindu literature already included Vaishravana, etc. <= Buddhism often uses a secondary popular name of a Vedic God to popularise the Buddhist clone-character with.)

Q: Shintos in Japan knew a lot of Vedic Gods - with associated rituals - before Buddhism came along and Bauddhicised these. So my question is: from your mention of Usha in the context of Marichi, was (the Hindu version of) the Hindu Goddess Usha in particular already known to the native Japanese too, before Buddhism brought in Marishiten? That is, did Buddhism in Japan bauddhify/swallow Vedic Usha's presence there first, under the Buddhist Marichi (the way other Vedic Gods in Japan got Bauddhified/got converted into their Buddhist clone counterparts along predictable lines*), and did Buddhism then use that to encroach on Amaterasu?

[* Buddhism seems to have a ... table for mapping between Vedic Gods and Buddhist clones. That is, Buddhism often uses the same mappings whenever it finds the Hindu/Vedic pantheon in any Asian country and wishes to start Bauddhicising these/wishes to organise (absorb) them into Buddhism in order to absorb Hindu religion into Buddhism thereby. (Mahayana) Buddhism even has a particular procedure to Bauddhicise any Hindu ("brahminical") ritual texts in Asia. Eventually Buddhism even developed a set of standard conversion mappings for Taoism too, to do the same to Taoism whenever Buddhism found Taoist deities outside of China/Taiwan.]

The attempted merger of *Marishiten* - that name - with Amaterasu seems very much a Buddhist attempt, rather than a Shinto or Hindu choice to conflate. Considering that, if it were Hindus, they'd have simply called the Indian Goddess by the primary name Usha, and if it was Shintos, they'd still have retained the primary Hindu name - or created a Japanese variant of it - and not used a Buddhist clone deity's name as intermediary/unnecessary additional variable.

Note: The Taoist Big Dipper Goddess is NOT Marichi. Also, the Taoist Goddess of the Big Dipper is NOT Amaterasu. (<- Also apparent from the small fact that the Big Dipper is NOT the Sun... The Taoist Goddess, while visible in the skies as the Big Dipper, is actually the Mother of all the Stars in the universe. And the well-known Taoist God who is her husband/consort is the Father of all the Stars.)

It is only Buddhist opportunism that chose to merge the rare female deity in Buddhism - present in Mahayana Buddhism - with a major native Goddess of China, and then tried to merge the same female Buddhist deity with another major Goddess of Japan. Neither of which is the dawn, btw, though even Amaterasu being the Sun is at least closer to the dawn than the Taoist Big Dipper Goddess is. This sort of thing is typical of why Buddhism makes No Sense in heathen Asian lands: Buddhism just wanted converts, for which purpose it was ready to indulge in blatant nonsense.

Edited to remove the Taoist Amman's Chinese name.

[quote name='Bharatvarsh2' date='27 October 2014 - 03:44 AM' timestamp='1414361186' post='117415']

Aizawa Seishisai was one of those who seem to have identified Amaterasu as a man as late as the 19th century.


I looked him up. Aizawa is mentioned as a "Confucian scholar" at eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/entry.php?entryID=405 In China at least, Confucianists often still worshipped the Gods, though they didn't seem to bother to notice that their restructuring of the Chinese=Taoist pantheon to make it fit more with their views was problematic. (Can't change the nature of Taoist Gods.)

In any case, he is not the last to consider Amaterasu as male. Even within the last 3 decades, (non-Shinto) Japanese writers have conjectured - to use their own words - that Amaterasu may have been an amalgamation of several, old, locally-worshipped, male Solar Kami. While the Kami called Amateru, for instance, was probably a male solar Kami. His name apparently has a solar meaning as does Amaterasu's, so it does not imply that Amaterasu's name derived/evolved from his. And while, conceivably, some of Amateru's centres of worship could have got conflated with Amaterasu too (though this too was IIRC a mere supposition that had been advanced), other Japanese scholars have argued that there are indications of an earlier origin for Amaterasu as a female solar Kami, and these scholars used the existence of similar narratives in China - narratives similar to that of Amaterasu - to make the case for an independent early identity of Amaterasu, distinct from that of the male solar Kamis under consideration who were also already worshipped then. [This is separate from how Shintos and Shinto organisations in the present do not view Amaterasu as having been male or even derived.]
Yes a Bauddha appropriation of Ushas. I don't know if Ushas was known in Japan before Buddhism, there is a book by David Hall on the significance of Marishiten and her rituals to the Samurai but I haven't yet had time to read it.


Aizawa was a Confucian & follower of Shinto also, he had a very a big influence on Shinto in the modern period because his Shinron was the single most influential text in the Bakumatsu period among those who contributed to the Meiji restoration & many of his ideas were adopted by the new Meiji gov't.

Parts of it can be read here:


Also the link you provided has the wrong date for the publication of Shinron, it was written in 1825 (not 1811) in classical Chinese for the eyes of his daimyo only and not intended for general circulation. It was later that Japanese translations appeared and the ideas spread.

The full translation is available in the Bob Wakabayashi book "Anti Foreignism..."

Quote:Aizawa was a Confucian & follower of Shinto also, he had a very a big influence on Shinto in the modern period because his Shinron was the single most influential text in the Bakumatsu period among those who contributed to the Meiji restoration & many of his ideas were adopted by the new Meiji gov't.

I didn't mean to imply he wasn't a Shinto. Some of the formative Japanese nationalist thinkers of that era had origins in Confucianism alongside Shinto (and often Taoism), and some of these eventually turned their back on Confucianism. (I had familiarised myself with that much.) I think the kokugakuin site tends to mention the influences - other than Shinto - in the famous persons it covers, since their Shinto leanings tend to be implicit already.

My reason for bringing up the fact of Aizawa's Confucian background is because, in my experience of Chinese cases of nationalist people with Confucian backgrounds in earlier centuries, they were not as pedantic - as full-fledged heathens are - about the native religion/Gods. Rather, they saw the Gods and adherence to worship/tradition as a practicality. In Korea and Japan too, it seems to be the case that the more Confucian they were in their thinking, the looser their pedantry as regards their ancetral pantheons. (Sort of like the difference between Hindoos and modern Hindu nationalists in India - the former is very pedantic, the latter is the opposite except for practical purposes.)

Of course, it is a mere supposition on my part that his active Confucian background is what could have been behind Aizawa's willingness to entertain Amaterasu as male - supposition originating from contrasting him to many others of his and earlier eras who were more strict than he about her gender being female. Even today, Shinto Shrines tend to consider the deity as a Goddess and not a God. In fact, other Japanese nationalists of Shinto leanings insisted on her gender as female in arguing against her origin narrative bearing meaningful similarities to the Chinese (Taoist) Pangku God narrative, who also produced the Sun from one eye and the Moon from the other, but where the primary Chinese Solar Deity is male.

Here, found a relevant discussion on this very topic. The book is labelled "Shinto, Way of the Gods" by one Aston:

Quote:The circumstance that, according to one story, the Sun-Goddesss was produced from the left and the Moon-God from the right eye of Izanagi is suggestive of the influence of China, where the left takes precedence of the right. Compare the Chinese myth of P'anku: "P'anku came into being in the great waste; his beginning is unknown. In dying he gave birth to the material universe. His breath was transmuted into the wind and clouds, his voice into thunder, his left eye into the sun, and his right eye into the moon." Hirata endeavours to combat the obvious inference from this comparison by pointing out that the sun is masculine in China and feminine in Japan. How little weight is due to this objection appears from the fact that two so nearly allied nations as the English and the Germans differ in the sex which they attribute to the sun, as do also closely related tribes of Australian aborigines and Ainus of Yezo.
(Haven't confirmed that it is the same Hirata as the famous one, since the above isn't where I read about it, though I'm assuming it is the same person.)

Note that I don't actually disagree with the Japanese complaint raised: the Sun from the left eye and the Moon from another - in that order - is indeed seen in China, but whether or not this is especially significant depends on whether the Sun's origin or even presence in one eye, and the Moon's origin/presence in another, is at all significant too. Because at least the more general case of the Sun and Moon Gods being eyes of another God is also seen in, say, India - and also occurs in many other heathen instances besides (IIRC African examples too). And for *that* more general commonality, there is surely no need to draw a directional arrow between any of the nations involved either (though, admittedly, ancient Chinese connections with Japan have more likelihood, since there are cases of Chinese and Japanese similarities that *do* contain more obvious, direct and full parallels, such as the Chinese narrative of the Divine Archer sent to remove the extra Suns from the heavens. A very similar solar narrative exists in Japan. And there apparently exist direct parallels between the Izanagi & Izanami's narrative and several other Asian nations.) But whether Pangku's particular narrative exerted any influence over that of Izanagi can remain somewhat open-ended, IMO, since the alleged similarity is not all that striking in the comparison. In any case, it is not necessary to take any relationship between them for granted.*

Hirata's insistence that the distinctness of the Gods in question is relevant *because* the genders of the Sun deities produced don't align (Amaterasu being female and the Chinese Sun God being male) - is a very heathen objection: whether or not he submitted it in order to keep Shinto distinct (and Japan independent) from a historical Chinese influence, becomes secondary to the fact that heathens tend to insist on the reality of the identity of their Gods as revealed to them and by native tradition. So the "but, but, but Amaterasu is female" objection sounds to a heathen like "but Amaterasu is a female hence *obviously* a different God", which is a very valid argument: arguments for distinct identities to avoid conflation where it is not warranted or supported by tradition are valid. Heathens are not "world mythologists", but adherents of their Gods, after all.

* As for Gods generating the heavens or even the All from their bodies, this is a theme seen throughout heathenism. Even the puruSha sooktam has a Hindu God producing realities from every part of his body. The Gods are by nature deemed to be generative, so this tends to be a natural insight and understanding that heathens have of their Gods in various parts of their world.

IIRC, in the American movie of The Last of the Mohicans (epic!), you have the male protagonist tell the female one about his native American (Mohican) adoptive community's narrative concerning the creation of the stars: their God also mourned the loss of his Goddess wife (like the Shinto Izanagi mourning - and afterward coming to terms with - the loss of Izanami, and thereafter producing his 3 divine children). In the Mohican case, their God "drew the stars" in the night sky from the deceased yet obviously still-divine body of his wife, which stars he then strewed across said night sky as a monument to her memory. <- All the poetic wording is from the movie, only lightly paraphrased. This seems to legitimately follow a Mohican sacred narrative and is unlikely to have been invented for the movie, despite the magnificent swelling score playing in the background and playing on the viewer's feelings.

[Interesting general, top-level feature seen in the Mohican, Shinto and Taoist Panku cases: one God "dies" and this directly or indirectly results in a divine body producing several heavenly bodies. I'm not otherwise implying they're the same.]

And - repeating - there is a Norse/Germanic narrative about Gods that is also not dissimilar from the Chinese P'anku one, though the similarity is again only in general lines. (Inserting my now-usual pre-emptive statement: This too is not a PIE "trope". No more than the serpent/dragon that swallows its own tail, etc.)

On this:

[quote name='Bharatvarsh2' date='27 October 2014 - 07:47 PM' timestamp='1414418961' post='117418']

Yes a Bauddha appropriation of Ushas. I don't know if Ushas was known in Japan before Buddhism, there is a book by David Hall on the significance of Marishiten and her rituals to the Samurai but I haven't yet had time to read it.[/quote]

Yes, well, Buddhism always first insinuates their Bauddhified entity as an identity-equivalent of a native God, and then introduces the Bauddising rituals, and then does their replacement routine: replacing the native perceptions of the native heathen Gods with the novel Buddhist perception of clones=fictions.

[It is not only christianism that believes in the Jesuit adage that the Ends Justify the Means. For Buddhism, the Taoist Big Dipper and the Shinto Amaterasu - for example - were merely the means to get at the heathens attached to these Gods, and thereby Bauddhify these heathens' views of their own native Gods all down to their ritual worship, as a stepping stone to properly Bauddhifying the entire person.]

And oh yes: when some heathens didn't comply (like some martial Shinto communities, who held out too long for Buddhism's liking), Buddhism got angry and would try yet other means... Oh well, it's sink or swim: what doesn't kill you, makes you immune. And allergic. And react to expel - in several Asian cases.
Will eventually get back to the Daoist Moon Goddess Chang-e. But for now want to post something else.

The first two posts of this page of the thread referred to the Buddhist stories of a hare donating itself as sacrifice and ending up immortal on the moon as reward.

There were two Buddhist variants (detailed colonial rendering at sacred-texts.com/astro/ml/ml08.htm "Moon Lore, by Timothy Harley, [1885]", Chapter "IV. THE HARE IN THE MOON"):

- The earlier one appears to have been the Buddhist Jataka where Indra comes disguised as a pilgrim to test the 3 animals including the hare's intention. The Jataka had it that the hare was the Buddha in an earlier birth.

- A later version changes the story to the Buddha (a.o.t. Indra) testing the animals and rewarding the hare.

That change appears to be a development internal to Buddhism.

However it's hard to shake the suspicion that the first mentioned may turn out to be one of the great many Bauddhified Jataka fables, i.e. the great many "pre-Buddhist Indian" (=code for Hindu) narratives which got Bauddhicised and included into the Jatakas. Often via the "And this character was a previous incarnation of the Buddha" routine.

Because a lot of even Hindus' Pauranic accounts and those from the Itihasas got copied, Bauddhified and included into the Jatakas (and other Buddha stories) in just such a manner. E.g. the narrative of the devout and just King Shibi, a very popular Vedic King to Hindus is already mentioned and remembered - and his rightful conduct recounted - as a historical ancestor in the exclusively-Hindoo Itihaasas:


Quote:Saturday, October 26, 2013


The story of the King and the pigeon and the hawk is used to illustrate the compassion and generosity of the king. This story of Shibi appears in both the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The story of Shibi is as follows:


(For a summary of the MBh mention, see mahabharataonline.com/stories/mahabharata_story.php?id=7

Will look up the ref in Ramayanam later.)

In contrast, a Bauddhified plagiarism of the originally Hindu account exists in the Jatakas apparently, called the "Shibi/Sivi Jataka" as per en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibi_(King),

where the Bauddhified clone of the Hindu Shibi offered a totally different part of his body as sacrifice (his eyes), and to Indra undercover as a brahmin rather than a hawk. <- A few of the Buddhist "innovations"; someone get them a prize for originality. The other Buddhist novelty was of course that Sivi was then declared to be a previous life of the Buddha (since the Jatakas are about the "previous lives of the Buddha" and - like Jainism's backprojections of their teerthankaras - are all about claiming great famous Vedic Hindoos and great famous ancient Hindoo narratives of Vedic society as being "originally Buddhist" instead. <- I.e. back-projection of Buddhism and the Bauddhifying of Hindus' past for the converts to Buddhism. Like the christoconvert Deivanayakam is trying to claim all things Tamil Hindu as originally christian; or the Santa Thomas myth and backprojection of christianism into India's history to create a false sense of history among christians).

Quote:The Jataka or Stories of the Buddha's Former Births - Google Books Result


E. B. Cowell, Edward B. Cowell - ?2000 - Reference

SIVI-JATAKA 250 How a prince gave his own eyes as a gift, and his reward. ...

manners: a tale of two parrots of which one was good and one bad according to ...


Quote:Sivi Jataka, 1 Definition(s)

'Sivi Jataka' belongs in these categories: Buddhism, Pali


The Bodhisatta was once born as Sivi, king of Aritthapura, his father bearing the same name as himself. He ruled well, and daily gave alms to the amount of six hundred thousand. One day the desire came to him to give part of his body to any who might ask for it. Sakka read his thoughts, and, appearing before him as a blind brahmin, asked for his eyes. The king agreed to give them, and sent for his surgeon Sivaka. Amid the protests and lamentations of his family and his subjects, Sivi had his eyes removed and given to the brahmin. It is said that the surgeon did his work in several stages, giving Sivi chances of withdrawing his offer. When the sockets healed Sivi wished to become an ascetic, and went into the park with one attendant. Sakkas throne grew hot, and appearing before Sivi, he offered him a boon. The king wished to die, but Sakka insisted on his choosing something else. He then asked that his sight might be restored. Sakka suggested an Act of Truth (sacca kiriya), as not even Sakka could restore lost sight. The eyes reappeared, but they were neither natural eyes nor divine, but eyes called Truth, Absolute and Perfect. Sivi collected all his subjects, and, resting on a throne in a pavilion, taught them the value of gifts.

The story was related in reference to Pasenadis Asadisadana. On the seventh day of the almsgiving the king gave all kinds of requisites and asked the Buddha to preach a thanksgiving sermon, but the Buddha left without doing so. The next day, on being questioned by the king, he explained his reasons for this (For details see Asadisadana). The king, greatly pleased with the Buddhas explanation, gave him an outer robe of Siveyyaka cloth worth one thousand. When the monks started commenting on how tireless the king was in giving, the Buddha related to them the old story, in which Ananda is identified with Sivaka, the physician, and Anuruddha with Sakka (J.iv.401-12; of. CypA.52f).

The Sivirajacariya is included in the Cariyapitaka (Cyp.i.8; the story is also given with variant details in the Avadanasataka i.183-6). It forms the topic of one of the dilemmas of the Milinda Panha. Mil.p.119f.

And it gets worse: because it's not merely a case of Buddhists* plagiarising from Hindu religion and then bauddhifying it, but a case of Buddhists bauddifying what they *badly* plagiarised - aka the usual case of Bad Copying by the late, missionary Indic religions, as revealed by comparing with the mention of the Hindu Shibi and Alarka in the Ramayanam:

[*Though the Jataka itself has Buddha getting the pre-existing tradition wrong (again), since the error is placed into Buddha's mouth: he's accused of narrating it.]


Quote:Then, that fierce Kaikeyi again spoke these fiercer words to Dasaratha, who was burning with sorrow and was wailing as aforesaid, who had fallen unconscious and was tossing about as he was filled with grief, and was praying again and again for being speedily borne across the sea of grief.: "Oh, Valiant king! Having given boons, if you repent again and again how can you proclaim piety on this earth? Oh, knower of what is right! When many royal saints assemble and converse with you , what will be your reply? Can you say a wrong was done to Kaikeyi, on whose grace I am living now and who protected me earlier? Oh, King! You having granted boons indeed today, now talk in another way, creating blemish on other kings.When there was a dispute between a hawk and a pigeon (who were no other than Indra the ruler of gods ,and the god of fire respectively), the ruler of Sibis* gave away his own flesh to the bird and king Alarka** by parting with his eyes, attained to the highest destiny.

* Ruler of Sibi: We are told in our scriptures how in order to put the large -heartedness of the king to a test, Indra(the ruler of gods)and Agni (the god of fire) once appeared in his court in the disguise of a hawk and a pigeon. Being chased by the hawk, the pigeon which sought the king’s protection, descended into his lap. The hawk which closely followed it, demanded it back from the king, contending that the bird had been allotted to it as its food by providence and the king had no right to rob it of its quarry. The king, however was not prepared to forsake the fugitive on any account and agreed to part with his own flesh in order to indemnify the hawk. The hawk however out weighed the king's flesh every time he chopped it from his body till at last he ascended the scale himself and thus offered himself in exchange for the pigeon. **Alarka=The royal sage Alarka parted with his own eyes in order to implement a boon granted by him to a blind Brahmana who asked for the king's eyes in order to have his own eyesight restored.
The ocean, having given a promise, never crosses its limits. Therefore, bearing in mind the previous occurrences, do not violate the pledge given by you to me Oh, the evil-minded ! By giving up righteousness and by installing Rama in the kingdom, you want to enjoy life with Kausalya forever".
(The uses of asterisks in this blockquote are as in original and not of my insertion. My only modification is adding the blue highlighting.)

Note from the above how Buddhism (or Buddha, since he's the one whom the posthumous Jatakas have recounting the Bauddhified story) has conflated the two Hindu accounts - i.e. typical case of bad copying by the nastikas, since - see blue bit above - it was King Alarka who gave his eyes to a brahmin, and King Shibi who gave of his flesh to Indra disguised as a hawk [and then Shibi was of course rewarded by Indra and the other Gods for his altruism]. Buddhism, desperately rewriting Shibi as a Bodhisatva to Bauddhify the ancestral religion to which the account belongs, confused the two accounts into one: the Bauddhified clone king Shibi now gave his eyes to an Indra disguised as brahmin and who requested it. And thus another Jataka was born: "This is the TRUE account of Buddha's multiple past lives." Oh yeah, *sure* it was. Never mind that it is the mangled version of the traditional accounts of Hindus' Vedic ancestors who'd never heard of Buddhism because it didn't exist yet back then (and who certainly wouldn't have converted into it). And anyone who believes that Shibi (etc) got reborn as Buddha should really convert to Buddhism already. After all, Shibi et al are only former lives of the Buddha in *Buddhism*.

People will continue to lecture how "Buddha taught the Vedic religion onlee" and how "Buddha is a Vedaj~nA and Vedantaj~nA" etc etc and will point also to how he (Buddhism) retreaded so many narratives of Vedic tradition. [badly] Except he couldn't even get the Shibi narrative straight, among others. (<- And which implies...)

The thing that Buddhism has managed to preserve - sort of - was the fact that the original, Hindu Shibi became an ascetic, as retold in the MBh quoted on this page:


Quote:“Oh, charioteer! Tell me where Rama sat, slept and took food. By hearing these things, I shall survive, as Yayati survived in the company of saints.”

Comment: King Yayati, when doomed to fall from heaven requested Indra to cast his lot with saints. He was accordingly sent down to a spot on the earth, where four ascetics- Astaka Pratardana, Vasuman and King Sibi had been practicing austerities, and had discourse with them- Mahabharata, Adi Parva.
(Though Buddhism is likely to have taught a backprojected Buddhist asceticism for their Bauddhified clone Shibi instead. Like Jainism, in its late texts, backprojected an alleged Jain ascetic [teerthankara] brother onto Hindus' Vedic ancestor Sagara. Etc.)

The narratives of Shibi and the other king - Alarka - clearly must have been familiar and old in the time of Ramayana and MBh, that they just get namedropped in the first (since everyone is expected to know the details already and of why Kaikeyi invoking them for comparison is relevant) and Shibi's narrative moreover gets a revisit in the MBh.

As an aside: The early date assigned to the core part of a lot of the Jatakas starts making more sense when one realises that that early date actually refers to the Buddhist appropriation and Bauddhicisation of far more ancient, long-standing and originally (excusively) Hindu narratives.

Interestingly, unless I'm missing it, the MW dictionary doesn't even bother to list the Bauddhified character:

Quote:1 zibi m. (also written %{zivi}) N. of a R2ishi (having the patr. Aus3i1nara and supposed author of RV. x , 179) Anukr. ; of a king (renowned for his liberality and unselfishness , and said to have saved Agni transformed into a dove from Indra transformed into a hawk by offering an equal quantity of his own flesh weighed in a balance) MBh. Hariv. Pur. ; (pl.) a people descended from S3ibi MBh. Hariv. VarBr2S. ; N. of a son of Indra MBh. ; of Indra in the fourth Manv-antara (v.l. %{zikhin}) VP. ; of a son of Manu Ca1kshusha BhP. ; of a Daitya (son of Sam2hra1da) MBh. ; a king of the S3ibis VarBr2S. ; a beast of prey L. ; the birch tree (= %{bhUrja}) L. ; Typha Angustifolia L.

And now for general supportive data of what is not a claim, but a known fact:


Quote:From: Naomi Appleton <naomi.appleton@orinst.ox.ac.uk>

List Editor: H-Buddhism <h-buddhism@JJ.EM-NET.NE.JP>

Editor's Subject: Re: QUERY>Mundane Wisdom in Early Buddhism (Appleton)

Author's Subject: QUERY>Mundane Wisdom in Early Buddhism (Holba)

Date Written: Tue, 12 Feb 2008

Date Posted: Wed, 12 Feb 2008 08:00:04 -0500

Jiri Holba wrote:

> It seems to me that only the Dhammapada or some Jatakas can be called

> by "mundane wisdom" and used for some illustration of it in early

> Buddhism.

> Are there some studies or articles about the Dhammapada or some other

> Buddhist texts which can be useful for my task?

It is very difficult to tell if the _jataka_s of the _Jatakatthavannana_

qualify as sources of "Buddhist mundane wisdom" -- many scholars have

treated them as non-Buddhist (because of pre-Buddhist origins, parallels

with other folklore, and lack of clear Buddhist content),
and yet the

text itself states that _jataka_s are illustrative of the path to

buddhahood (and you can't get much less mundane than that). The

situation only gets more complicated when you start to look at other

collections. The diversity of the stories and texts has been a real

obstacle to work on the ideology of _jataka_s (including any ethical

content) [...]
Maybe part of that can be explained by the fact that in inculturating on pre-Buddhist Hindu materials, Buddhism wasn't always aiming to impart Buddhism so much as to Bauddhify all previous popular narratives known to the laity. That is, to Bauddhicise their (perceptions of their) past in order to Bauddhicise them. Appropriation (Bauddhicising) for the purpose of appropriation (missionising).

The Jatakas may be one of the 3 cornerstones of Buddhism (of Theravada at least), but that doesn't make the content originally - or even specifically - Buddhist wherever this is derived, as so much of it apparently is.

Modern new-agey Indians of Hindu origins will invariably declare that everything Hindoo immediately belongs to Buddhisms and Jainisms etc; backprojected in time too: as having "always equally belonged to them". (And that is often the beginning of the problem: as some other Hindu narratives that got included in the Bauddhified Jatakas and other texts on Buddhas have been - or should I say: are still being - used to inculturate on Hindus [and on others].)

Anyway, the point was that one wonders whether the Jataka concerning the hare was also originally a Hindu narrative, and whether Buddhism merely managed to overshadow the original. Also considering that:

- even the nature of the hare's sacrifice - giving everything to a needy visiting stranger - is in several respects reminiscent of the weasel (?) incident in the MBh, who IIRC witnessed the sacrifice of a brahmana family that all went without food in order to give theirs to a stranger, and which weasel then felt that IIRC Yudhisthira's massive yagnya compared less favourably to the family's sacrifice (i.e. danam/austerity=yagnya), since the 'leftovers' from the king's yagnya could not make the other half of the weasel's pelt match the gold of the first half which had been coloured by the family's yagnya.

- And Indran testing the magnanimity and righteousness/worthiness of characters [often incognito] is a very Vedic, Hindu recurrence/pattern. (Indra is said to have been interested in gaging/revealing the extent of the famed justness and benevolence of Shibi. Likewise, the Jataka has Shakra interested in testing/gaging the sincerity of the the animals' resolution. The Hindu God appearing incognito as the dog that accompanies Yudhisthira on the way to swarga is part of the test for his uprightness. Indra and other Hindu Gods are described as likewise having tested others in ancient Hindu narratives.)

- Plus Buddhism isn't famous for much that is original, and is rather famous for taking the stuff belonging to local heathen religions and Bauddhifying this.

This next page is taken from the description of the book "Dharma Rain" by the [western?] Buddhist "Shambhala Publications". But it does not clarify the particular case I'm wondering about:


Quote:Two Jataka tales, from a popular genre with pre-Buddhist origins, depict the Buddha-to-be in his previous lives. In one, a lowly clump of grass saves a tree from a carpenter’s axe; in the other, a rabbit sacrifices himself as food for a poor traveler, throwing his body onto a fire ‘‘as joyfully as a bird drops into a bed of lotuses. ’’ In manifesting their compassion, both the grass and the rabbit are on their way to becoming Buddha.

It would be rather meaningful research, for a change - especially compared to the ocean of delusional insipidity out there that is passed around as scholarship - to see Indians investigating in detail which prominent so-called "Buddhist" narratives are in fact pre-Buddhist, Vedic=non-Buddhist in origin. Similar for Jainism.

It is high time Hindus did such a thing. Everyone else has encroached on Hindu religio-history (and are still very much using this as a means to encroach on Hindu sacred sites and Hindus). So, in order to shut up the compulsive-inculturationists, Hindus should at least delve into the details of what is long known to be true, such as, e.g.

the fact that the Buddhist Jatakas of India are frequently just Bauddhified pre-Buddhist (i.e. Hindu) narratives.

And as a beneficial side-effect, such research could help other heathenisms against a similar strain experienced under the revived Bauddhifying onslaught.
Still on that.

Quote:The narratives of Shibi and the other king - Alarka - clearly must have been familiar and old in the time of Ramayana and MBh, that they just get namedropped in the first (since everyone is expected to know the details already and of why Kaikeyi invoking them for comparison is relevant) and Shibi moreover gets a revisit in the MBh.



Translation of Mahabharata of Vyasa by Kisari Mohan ...

Quote:then the excellent history of the hawk and the pigeon; then the examination of king Sivi by Indra, Agni, and Dharma;

Another brief allusion: MBh also expected all to already know of it by then.

(And More general mentions of King Sivi/Shibi son of Usinara in MBh.)

Searching for occurrences of Shibi in the MBh translation led me to the following interesting bit in the MBh that Bhishma narrates as a "well-known tale", one that "Bhrigu's son Rama" was already to have narrated to an earlier Vedic king, and which tale Yudhisthira already knows enough on to ask about it of Bhishma.

A hungry "fowler" (bird-hunter of sorts?) requests a pigeon for some food. As his host, the pigeon wants to do right by his guest by observing the right code of conduct. Having no food to give him, it leaps into a fire and cooks itself for him. He feels penitent and, inspired by its self-sacrificial nature, is determined to




Quote:"Yudhishthira said, 'O grandsire, O thou of great wisdom, O thou that are conversant with every kind of scripture, tell me what the merit is of one who cherishes a suppliant that craves for protection.'

"Bhishma said, 'Great is the merit, O monarch, in cherishing a suppliant. Thou art worthy, O best of the Bharatas, of asking such a question. Those

p. 323

high-souled kings of old, viz., Sivi and others, O king, attained to great bliss in heaven by having protected suppliants. It is heard that a pigeon received with respect a suppliant foe according to due rites and even fed him with his own flesh.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'How, indeed, did a pigeon in days of old feed a suppliant foe with his own flesh? What also was the end, O Bharata, that he won by such conduct?'

"Bhishma said, 'Listen, O king, to this excellent story that cleanses the hearer of every sin, the story, viz., that Bhrigu's son (Rama) had recited to king Muchukunda.


Thus addressed, the fowler said, 'So be it.' And he set himself to warm his stiffened limbs. Recovering (as it were) his life-breathes the fowler said unto his winged host, 'Hunger is afflicting me. I wish thee to give me some food.' Hearing his words the bird said, 'I have no stores by which to appease thy hunger. We, denizens of the woods, always live upon what we get every day. Like the ascetics of the forest we never hoard for the morrow.' Having said these words, the bird's face became pale (from shame). He began to reflect silently as to what he should do and mentally deprecated his own method of living. Soon, however, his mind became clear. Addressing the slaughterer of his species, the bird said, 'I shall gratify thee. Wait for a moment.' Saying these words, he ignited a fire with the help of some dry leaves, and filled with joy, said, 'I heard in former days from high-souled Rishis and gods and Pitris that there is great merit in honouring a guest. O amiable one, be kind to me. I tell thee truly that my heart is set upon honouring thee that art my guest.' Having formed this resolution, the high-souled bird with a smiling face, thrice circumambulated that fire and then entered its flames. Beholding he bird enter that fire, the fowler began to think, and asked himself, 'What have I done? Alas, dark and terrible will be my sin, without doubt in consequence of my own acts! I am exceedingly cruel and worthy of reprobation. Indeed, observing the bird lay down his life, the fowler, deprecating his own acts, began to indulge in copious lamentations like thee.'"

Section CXLVII

"Bhishma said, 'The fowler, seeing the pigeon fall into the fire, became filled with compassion and once more said, 'Alas, cruel and senseless that I am, what have I done! I ant certainly a mean wretch! Great will be my sin for everlasting years! Indulging in such self-reproaches he began to say, repeatedly, 'I am unworthy of credit. My understanding is wicked. I am ever sinful in my resolves. Alas, abandoning all kinds of honourable occupation, I have become a fowler A cruel wretch that I am, without doubt, this high-souled pigeon, by laying down his own life, has read me a grave lesson. Abandoning wives and sons, I shall certainly cast off my very life-breaths that are so dear. The high-souled pigeon has taught me that duty. From this day, denying every comfort to my body, I shall wear it out even as a shallow tank in the season of summer. Capable of bearing hunger, thirst, and penances, reduced to emaciation, and covered with visible veins all over, I shall, by diverse kinds of practise such vows as have a reference to the other world. Alas, by giving up his body, the pigeon has shown the worship that should be paid to a guest. Taught by his example. I shall henceforth practise righteousness. Righteousness is the highest refuge (of all creatures). Indeed, I shall practise such righteousness as has been seen in the righteous pigeon, that foremost of all

p. 328

winged creatures.' Having formed such a resolution and said these words, that fowler, once of fierce deeds, proceeded to make an unreturning tour of the world, 1 observing for the while the most rigid vows. He threw away his stout staff, his sharp-pointed iron-stick, his nets and springes, and his iron cage, and set at liberty the she-pigeon that he had seized and immured.'"

About the final paragraphs:

The lame ur-Shramanism peddlers will no doubt declare that Section CXLVII above magically points to ur-/Shramanism, and that the (implicitly Vedic ascetic) vows mentioned "must therefore actually be" Jain or Buddhistic monastic vows, or because there is mention of the notion of compassion that it must be Buddhist onlee, etc.

Sadly for ur-Shramanism peddlers/any desperate people trying to find proof of their later religions in the MBh and other early Hindu texts and oral traditions, the above tale too is Vedik Hindoo/it speaks of Vaidika principles onlee, and Bhishma - as he himself says - is only retreading here what other Vedic Hindoos before him* had long ago narrated to others as instruction. [* And a son of Bhrigu would be not just a Veda Brahmana but a Rishi moreover. Hence not Jain/Buddhist/whatever.]

Conclusion: the above narrative retold by Bhishma is Vedic Hindoo onlee. Plus MBh and preceding contexts do not know of Jainism/Buddhism yet (since those nouveau religions appeared much, much later) just like the MBh hasn't heard of the recently-invented, back-projected ur-Shramanisms or oryan-dravoodianisms or christianisms etc either.

Anyway, there are definite parallels between the pigeon's tale in the MBh - highlighted in blue above - and that of the hare in the Jataka. Can compare with


"Jataka Tales on Lord Buddha's life: 6 - THE HARE".

Can observe how both the MBh pigeon above and the hare at the link are determined, and insist on their action.

But still wonder if there's a more direct predecessor to the first Buddhist Hare story, the Jataka one: where Indra's still the one immortalising the hare's lesson by placing its image on the moon; whereas the later one - which sounds more properly/completely Bauddhicised - has Buddha playing Indra's role, while the hare no longer seems to be a previous incarnation of the Buddha. In any case the 2nd story doesn't appear to be a Jataka.)[/color]

Returning to the earlier posted


(Added numbering)

Quote:1. A Buddhist folktale recounts that the Buddha, in an earlier incarnation as a hare, willingly gave his own flesh to help feed a hungry soul. He gained immortality through this good deed, rising in the shape of a hare to the moon, where he is still visible to us today.

2. A legend from India claims that a hare once performed a great act of compassion for the god Indra. The hare spied Indra, disguised as a famished pilgrim, praying for food. The hare had nothing but his body to give so he cast himself on the fire so that the pilgrim might eat. The god rewarded the hare by granting him immortal life on the moon.

The above makes a distinction between "the Buddhist folktale" - with Buddha as the hare in an earlier life - and "the Indian legend" featuring Indra. Yet the former story (distinct from the Buddhist version where Buddha makes a hare immortal) already featured Indra. So does that mean that the 2nd item listed alludes to a version without Buddha/anything Buddhist? Or is it merely that the encyclopedia link confused the two Buddhist variants of the-hare-on-the-moon tale? Hm.

The 2 Buddhist variants again:


Quote:1. [...] (Indra undercover as) The brahmin at last went to the hare and begged alms of him. The hare said, 'Friend, I eat nothing but grass, which I think is of no use to you.' Then the pretended brahmin replied, 'Why, friend, if you are a true hermit, you can give me your own flesh in hope of future happiness.' The hare directly consented to it, and said to the supposed brahmin, 'I have granted your request, and you may do whatever you please with me.' The brahmin then replied, 'Since you are willing to grant my request, I will kindle a fire at the foot of the rock, from which you may jump into the fire, which will save me the trouble of killing you and dressing your flesh.' The hare readily agreed to it, and jumped from the top of the rock into the fire which the supposed brahmin had kindled; but before he reached the fire, it was extinguished; and the brahmin appearing in his natural shape of the god Sakkria, took the hare in his arms and immediately drew its figure in the moon, in order that every living thing of every part of the world might see it."

(The hare had clearly meant to plead that it wanted to stay huddled up forever in Indra's arms instead - and who could blame it. Oh wait, it's probably the Buddhist clone Sakkria/Sakka. Never mind then.)

2. Grimm says: "The people of Ceylon relate as follows: While Buddha the great god sojourned upon earth as a hermit, he one day lost his way in a wood. He had wandered long, when a hare accosted him: 'Cannot I help thee? Strike into the path on thy right. I will guide thee out of the wilderness.' Buddha replied: 'Thank thee, but I am poor and hungry, and unable to repay thy kindness.' 'If thou art hungry,' said the hare, 'light a fire, and kill, roast, and eat me.' Buddha made a fire, and the hare immediately jumped in. Then did Buddha manifest his divine power; he snatched the beast out of the flames, and set him in the moon, where he may be seen to this day." 78

The first seems to be earlier, because the 2nd one (where the hare interacts with and is rewarded by the Buddha) Bauddhises the earlier Bauddhified Jataka variant more. It fits better with later Buddhist cosmology where Buddha is more supreme than Gods.


In the hare Jataka, Indra is the one who saves the hare and immortalise its image on the moon. In that version, the hare is the Buddha in a previous life and has no special powers - it couldn't conjure food for its guest: the Buddha-as-hare only has the ability (also seen in the MBh pigeon) to sacrifice its own life - willingly, which is a great trait, but altruism/self-sacrifice is still something within the ambit of mortals and doesn't necessarily indicate a deity (or transform them into one).

And in the Jataka, only Indra (still) had the power to magically extinguish the fire and set an image of the animal on the moon to immortalise its lesson. [Though Indra/Buddhist Indra by whichever time Shibi got Bauddhified into a Jataka did not possess the power to restore regular sight.]

Anyway, the presumably earlier, Jataka version of the hare tale is then superceded by the 2nd Buddhist variant: where the Buddha is now the one who has the power to immortalise the hare. And it is not a case of history coincidentally repeating in Buddhist cosmology, with a now-enlightened Buddha having acquired divine powers and an all-new altruistic hare, but rather a retelling/new version/replacement of the original story, since the main characters are by and large the same and their actions too (plus there's only one hare on the moon in Buddhism, I think, which means they're variants on the same story): in the 2nd version, the hare is no longer the Buddha but the recipient of Buddha's divine powers, which powers were approximately that of Indra in the first version. But the summary of the story already indicates that over time Buddha was viewed as a sort of divinity in Buddhism (or at least, some Buddhisms): "While Buddha the great god sojourned upon earth as a hermit [he met the hare] ... Then did Buddha manifest his divine power".

CORRECTED: a Bhargava, but not Parashurama. Had misread.
I was wrong again. About this:

[quote name='Husky' date='28 October 2014 - 07:26 PM' timestamp='1414504106' post='117419']

IIRC, in the American movie of The Last of the Mohicans (epic!), you have the male protagonist tell the female one about his native American (Mohican) adoptive community's narrative concerning the creation of the stars: their God also mourned the loss of his Goddess wife (like the Shinto Izanagi mourning - and afterward coming to terms with - the loss of Izanami, and thereafter producing his 3 divine children). In the Mohican case, their God "drew the stars" in the night sky from the deceased yet obviously still-divine body of his wife, which stars he then strewed across said night sky as a monument to her memory. <- All the poetic wording is from the movie, only lightly paraphrased. This seems to legitimately follow a Mohican sacred narrative and is unlikely to have been invented for the movie, despite the magnificent swelling score playing in the background and playing on the viewer's feelings.


Can't believe I was wrong. I've watched this movie at least once a year since my childhood, until a few years back. I may have watched it in DE more often than in English (DE channels played it more often), but still...

Anyway, since I blundered in public, may as well admit to it.

Here's the correct version, taken from my DVD*. Starts at about the half hour mark (30:45s):

Quote:(Hawkeye to Cora, both looking up at the night skySmile

My father's people say that at the birth of the Sun and of his brother the Moon, their Mother died. So the Sun gave to the earth her body, from which was to spring all life. And he drew forth from her breast the stars. Stars he threw into the night sky to remind him of her soul.

<So there's the Cameron's monument. My folks' too, I guess. ...>
"Father's people" is a reference to Mohicans.

Anyway, that means I was wrong about my conclusion as well, since the Mother of the Sun and Moon in Mohican tradition is more like a female version of the Taoist Pangku than the Shinto Izanami+Izanagi narrative: a single divine parent who produces the Sun and Moon and life on earth around the time of passing.

* DVD is of course the Theatrical Cut. Heard the North American release is/was only of the Director's Cut, which everyone in NA was complaining about as being the inferior version by far. Descriptions certainly made it sound like the DC was bad... But the theatrical cut is brilliant, IMO, and has lost none of its charm. Or maybe you had to have grown up watching the film the way we did. But it did very well in Germany (Germans are totally in love with all things native American, or were until the 90s at least, so this is to be expected) and even on the Beeb, which both played the film every year in the early to mid 90s. (BTW, the original English audio is -for once- actually better than the DE dub, besides being more appropriate/authentic to the setting.)

And now a totally random image that will distract from my embarrassing error in favour of diverting to pointless head-scratching of "why is it here/how is this even relevant" (it's not):

[Image: ab2d11.png]

(Stolen from some Hindoo female's output. Looks vaguely like it's trying to depict some JP actors, but I could be wrong of course. My own contribution is the rescaling and bad photoshopping together of 2 distinct drawings. I'm unlikely to get sued - being but a poor innocent 4-legged one - but anyone else try it and they will.)
Post 1/3

This stuff belongs in this thread only for point 3 below (post 3). The rest of this serial spam is the impetus, and response, and other inevitabilities (and unwarranted digressions).


Quote:Heisenberg and The Tao of Physics: Heisenberg was well aware of the emphasis on interconnectedness in Eastern thought. However, he had been unaware of the dynamic aspect of the Eastern world view and was intrigued when I showed him with numerous examples from my manuscript that the principal Sanskrit terms used in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy-brahman, rta, lila, karma, samsara, etc.-had dynamic connotations. At the end of my rather long presentation of the manuscript Heisenberg said simply: "Basically, I am in complete agreement with you."

The situation's more complicated. See at end of post 2. Post 3 is about why Taoism is a good independent system for comparison.

1. But before I get to that, first the basics: why does Buddhism get equal let alone any credit for the Skt terms employed above - "brahman, rta, lila, karma, samsara" - or the conception behind them? Several of them are Hindu-specific, and those that aren't, are still borrowed from Hindu religion into Buddhism (and some of those got revised meanings, i.e. replacement theology).

Kaku was in a way correct - though for different reasons, IMO - that Buddhism cannot by itself explain cosmology in physics (and hence he ended up invoking an odd combination of both Buddhism and christianism: and even in combination it was still a very poor match for physics cosmology), whereas both Hindu religion by itself and Taoism by itself have provided parallel cosmological explanations that can find very decent matches with physics cosmology. (See post 106.) Though the ability of the former (Hindu cosmology) to match becomes suspect for another reason.

First, Hindu religion has cosmological views built-in that are particularly non-existent (even rejected) in Buddhism/Jainism.

Pre-emptively: there's no point pointing to Tibetan "Buddhist" Yab-Yum to declare that one form of Buddhism agreed to and therefore posseses the Hindu cosmological view "too": No, Buddhism doesn't. Since Yab-Yum is obviously a [poorly and badly] masked Uma-Shiva, and - what is more relevant in this instance - Buddhism was naturally forced to mask the obvious Hindu cosmological significance, since it would otherwise not only have betrayed the Hindu origins of Yab-Yum imagery and identity but also since the Hindy cosmology is at odds with Buddhism [and Jainism] at a fundamental level. Yab-Yum's meaning has been changed to just compassion and Buddhist wisdom, and hence has no real place and the "father-mother" reference loses its meaning, being just vestigial (having been pointlessly taken over from Hindu religion).

[As an aside, that Yab-Yum is to mean father and mother is intriguing. In Mandarin and I think Taiwanese too, Abba and Amma are the reference to what's Pitaa and Maataa in Sanskrit, aka Appa and Amma in Tamizh etc or Papa and Mama in NL. In Japanese, at least a Tokyo dialect uses Appa and Amma [ICHTS/OW], while in Korea the words are Appa and Omma/Amma. So Chinese is the closest to Yab-Yum then. Then again, Sino-Tibetan are supposed to be related.]

Now to backtrack: Yab-Yum [Father-Mother] imagery in Tibet is a (Bad) Masking of Uma-Shiva in divine romantic union.

It is another case of *Bad* Masking by Buddhism, because the depiction makes sense only in Hindoo religion - where it furthermore makes perfect sense - since *theistic* (i.e. the original, Vedic, pre-Classical) Sankhyam explains cosmology, whereas the later Classical, non-theistic Sankhya does *NOT* have a view of cosmology, but simply assumes the sankhyan enumeration is true (without questioning its origins) and proceeds to draw conclusions on the state of life/consciousness and what is to be done about it etc.

Look here, official quote (by a Hindoo, same source as the quoteblock here):

Quote:in classical Samkhya, the analysis of Prakriti into categories does not seem to have much of a cosmological significance. It is primarily soteriological [...]

Whereas the original, i.e. pre-Classical Samkhya starts with cosmology, and is founded on it. I.e. the Vedic sankhyam view is Da Only Indic tradition that shows proof of derivation, i.e. shows its working on how/where the understanding of the Sankhya view is derived. All other Indic traditions and religions that merely imported/inherited sankhya do NOT have the cosmological view (only the theistic, pre-Classical=Vedic Sankhya does), and instead just start from the assumption that the Classical Sankhyan view is more or less the case, with or without a few alterations.

Specifically, the non-theistic Classical Sankhya does not question how the assumed status quo came to be, it just assumes/accepts this is the case, and tries to propose solutions. Classical sankhyam dumped the cosmological part, since theism was regarded as an unnecessary extra variable and origins were too distant to prove anyway and not considered relevant to the "problem" of the situation at hand. Classicial Sankhya does not resolve the question of where its assumption derives from/why it must be. That is, no proof is given: what is thought to be the status quo in Sankhyam is simply assumed, before it largely repeats the rest of the sankhyan view derived from Vedic tradition.

(And Buddhism and Jainism consequently also never took over or accepted the Hindoo cosmological part of the original, Hindoo sankhyam perception. Besides, the Hindoo cosmological view would be militating against Buddhism and Jainism at a fundamental level, so Buddhism and Jainism simply can't encroach on that part.)

What has all this got to do with the Yab-Yum seen in Tibet? Well, in the exclusively-Hindoo, pre-Classical, theistic Sankhya, Prakriti and Purusha are 2 uh 'parts' or stages or whatever of the puruShottama/ishwara. And the origins of the universe is explained with the combination of Purusha and the Prakriti part/side of Purushottama - Ardhanareeshwara. Remember the Hindoo Gods refer to themselves as both Father and Mother, and refer to Prakriti as the Mother of all that came to be, and moreover refer to Prakriti as their own Shakti aka Yoni aka Maya aka Devaatmashakti etc. That is, Prakriti is itself of Ishwara/PuruShottama, the two are not separate and Prakriti is a part of/aspect (or whatever the word) of puruShottama.

Since the technical terms used in the Vedic (incl Upanishadic) literature on the original=theistic=pre-Classical=Vedic Sankhyam include specifically Yoni and Lingam (the latter as IIRC the join pt) and represent not just the Kosmos - all that came to be - but its origins, the image of what is specifically referred to as mAtA-pItA being joined in this romantic union (which is true at multiple levels) is a reference only to the original theistic=cosmological Hindu Sankhyan view. That is why Yab-Yum imagery logically cannot have Buddhist antecedents (let alone any independent one); but then, it's already known that it is derived from Hindoo religion. More than merely derived, it is badly masked and the imagery ultimately makes no sense in Buddhism.

[Also, some Yab-Yum Tibetan "Buddhist" imagery seem to show the Mother half almost like it's emerging from the Father and joining in divine romantic union, which only further underlines the fact that it's in origin a Hindu depiction: Shakti/Prakriti is an innate ...feature of Purushottama itself (not a separate entity) and when combined with the puruSha part of the puruShottama, the cosmos/All is created of which Shiva and Shakti have become its Parents - officially referred to as such as per SL, IIRC. This is also echoed in the carnatic song Seetamma Maayamma where the composer declares knowingly that Rama is their Father and Seetaa their Mother. Etc.]

Buddhism clearly didn't know what to do with the Yab-Yum depiction and, despite continuing the charade that this would be "Avalokiteshwara" and his Buddhist female counterpart (the Bauddhified Tara), Buddhism could not actually explain the image (forget its origination) other than excusing it away as being "Buddhist tantra". (Which is actually another thing that was in many respects just a meaningless port into Buddhism, with revised views. And let's not start on the rites Buddhism stole I mean lifted from Daoism.) Buddhism has only kept one part of the original Hindu explanation: the Father part as "compassion" and the Mother as "wisdom". While Uma was always brahmavidyA in Vedic literature - the knowledge of mukti - and Shiva is naturally karuNAnidhi and hence grants mukti (shivaanugraham, one of the five acts of Ishwara) - though in Buddhism that is not what the compassion refers to and wisdom refers to Buddhist knowledge and specifically not brahmavidyA - Buddhism just cannot explain the actual depiction and why it is. Why should compassion be in romantic union with wisdom. Buddhism fidgets at this point and declares this is a "deep tantric view" - i.e. the usual excuse Buddhism gives to mask Hindu origins.

But it *only* makes sense for 1. the *Hindu* Gods to be depicted in romantic divine union AND 2. for such depictions to thus specifically be called Father-Mother depictions, because the image actually is that Father-Mother generated the Kosmos and that its being in existence is a product of them. <= I.e. the exclusively *Hindu* cosmological view of the original theistic (Vedic) Sankhyam, a.o.t. that of the later non-theist Sankhyam* and Buddhisms and Jainisms, which Do Not Have this view.

[Classical sankhyam merely didn't care to assume the cosmological part of the fuller original pre-Classical sankhyam view of Hindoos' Vedic religion. In contrast, Buddhism and Jainism spun out with entirely different yet nevertheless derived cosmological views. E.g. even the whole "Sakala Purushas" of Jainism shows not only that its view of the post-kaivalya state remains of eternal distinction not only of individual puruShas, as with classical sankhyam, but that it was never originally joined in any one thing/a singular state (i.e. Jainism gives no cosmological origin for sankhyan views that it imported from Vedic religion) and never will be joined either, and - fundamentally - that there is no Ishwara in Jainism. Jainism and Buddhism copied a lot from Hindoos religion (and the direction of copying is obvious and demonstrable as it happened at a certain stage of sankhyam re-formulation), but nevertheless their copying was with important limitations. The most obvious being that they don't have the Hindoo cosmological view.]


It is absurd for modern Indians to conclude, as they seem to do these days, that because of superficial similarities in form - which were entirely plagiarised by Buddhism from Hindu religion - that there is any actual, true relation or connection between Shaivam/Shaktam (and Hindoo tantra) and Buddhist tantra. Choosing to draw connections for such superficial reasons makes about as much sense as declaring that Vedanta and Buddhism are saying the same thing (which is that other nonsense). Hindus don't seem to realise that the reason Tibetan Buddhism looks similar to any degree (and the extinct Indian Mahayana Buddhism looked similar to any degree) to Hindu religion is *because* these Buddhisms were doing replacement theology of Hindu religion: Buddhism took over outward forms but then gave its own novel, Buddhist cosmological and theological meanings to pre-existing Hindoo matters, replacing the proper, original views. Instead of today's Indians knowing to recognise what is important - i.e. the fundamental differences, the substance - modern Indians prefer to be taken in (e.g. as I used to be) by the outwardly similar appearance of some Buddhisms - which similarity was deliberately assumed for missionising purposes by the way - and which are entirely owing to Buddhist inculturation and plagiarism on Hindu religion (the outer form, the style). Such modern Indian tendencies to conflate or group inculturating Buddhism with Hindu religion because of these aspects is serving to both fuel further Buddhist attempts at missionising on Hindus and to further cement the modern Buddhist theory that it is all equally and originally Buddhist, no different from how christian inculturation is used to missionise and to declare that all inculturated things were equally/originally christian.
Post 2/3

2. Now to a more important point, which is only explicated near the end of this post (in blue). Sadly there's a lot of irrelevant but tangentially related spam in ths one. I can't bring myself to edit it all out since I wrote it.

But the third point in the next post is what makes this series of posts relevant to this thread.

There was a time when I was constantly noticing "amazing" match-ups/conformance between cosmology-as-revealed-by-physics and cosmology-as-revealed-by-Hindoos'-Vedic-religion. Not just the big picture matched (the two aspects of Purushottama when it's in generative mode, to the tattvas evolved), but even the tiny details (like the Shivatattva -> prathama spandana etc etc explicated in detail in Kashmiri Shaivam, which further clarified suspected connections to Quantum/Particle Physics) - everything seemed to be a perfect match. At a minimum, the Hindoo religion seemed to me to be a great means to visualise various pop-science materials on physics-cosmology that I was perusing, just like in the past I had used the latter to add to a further conceptual understanding of the former too. [Using models and analogies is a useful aid to understand other stuff, and even to try and reason about - or predict features of - said other stuff.]

However, by accident I came upon The Problem in what I had thus-far thought was this great "coincidence" of the beautiful match. Not coincidence - it implies ancient Hindus randomly guessed the right answer - I mean great confluence of independent views on cosmology. My assumption - and I eventually saw how foolish I was - had been that physics had independently confirmed the Hindoo understanding of the cosmological aspect of the universe and even of the current state and several of the possible future states of the universe.* True, physics had not confirmed - and even now just barely touched upon - that other unavoidable but intriguing phenomenon of our universe, one which Hindoo religion had dwelled upon in such detail: the nature and "origination" of consciousness, hence even of life in our universe. We're all informed that in the Hindu cosmological view (i.e. theistic, pre-classical, Vedic Sankhyam) initial *consciousness* generated matter/energy, instead of vice-versa. (And IIRC intermediate, lower-level stages of consciousness are further generative themselves, leading even to the senses - i.e. senses as products of some aspect of consciousness instead of the other way around* - while forms of matter like the 5 elements are but one of the final products "evolutes". * I personally think that consciousness leading to senses makes more sense than the inverse, but this is merely something that seems reasonable to me, not something I know proof of.) And, further, Hindoos are told about the nature of consciousness: the degree to which all individual consciousness-es are/aren't interconnected, and its (im)mortality and -uh- (im)mutability (for lack of a better term). [Specifically, that all individual/units of consciousness is connected in some way at the Purushottama-level (whether it is identical and the exact relationship to the purushottama is a question that has 3 varying views in Vedanta, but in all cases the origins are in puruShottama), that it is immortal and that it is immutable in an important sense. Immutable: in that very sense that units of consciousness are considered specifically Not immutable in Buddhism and where (i.e. in Buddhism) notions of immortality actually lose their meaning. My own conception is that immortality implies - logical implication operator - immutability (of essence), based on what I understand of established Hindoo arguments against Buddhist subversions/inversions on Atman.]

* Sagan had covered a limited view of the Hindu perception of the cosmos. I like Sagan but that bit always frustrated me because he was incomplete: he had a wealth of interconnected views in Hindu religion to mine from, but somehow only knew of the simplest interpretation of one of them. He left out the tattvas and the fact that Hindu religion does not necessarily require that it is the *same* universe that is recreated (or even one universe), but that the process of generation repeats and in fact can apply to any number of universes, not even necessarily in sequential succession. [And even the visualisation of Vishnu's bubbles and his giving life to each - once more by his being the father and his prakriti their mother, seeding them - and pervading each, lends well to a multiverse.] The Hindu cosmological view even works with the theory of the auto-merging of multiple similar universes: when any two such once-distinct temporarily-diverging strands collapse into identical futures, and hence represent one future/one universe from then on.

Even so, the limitation Sagan set on what the Hindu view must ("solely") be and have meant, is not entirely beyond possibility. E.g. Penrose (I think) is/was still seen arguing for some sort of continuation (but not involving a Big Crunch etc) in the form of a cyclical universe of sorts, using expansion a.o.t. inflation. Or something.

And alternatively, the predominant notion of a cooling death of the universe aeons from now, when the arrow of time no longer applies - and hence Time (in physics terms) ceases to exist - has counterparts in ancient Hindoo conception. The conception of Time as the ultimate destroyer of all things in the arena of manifestation - see Krishna in BG or Shiva as Mahakaala - and the notion that time itself comes to a close also, is already there in Hindoo scriptures. The end of the starry era is like the Kaalaagni (Shiva) and the end of the universe upon the gradual dissipation of all energy (practically no more light, as the stars were long since extinguished by that time) is evoked in Kaalaraatri (Uma).

Have wandered from the point. Back to The Shock/Disappointment, and why/how this all relates back to San's invocation to Heisenberg as an authority for external validation.

Where was I? Oh yes. I was always a bit disturbed by the fact that physics had threatened a limit on speed: apparently nothing in our particular universe could travel faster than the speed that light has in a vacuum (excepting, as per some other scientists, an infinite supply of energy - itself hard to come by). Or something. You know: the unforgiving law that limits our possibilities in disturbing ways. There are no laws worse than those that oppress, and this one clearly oppressed. Einstein had used this ceiling as his scary constant C in his oft-parroted formula. Since I approve of FTL in sci-fi and warp etc, it was natural to look for some scientific validation. (Absolute physical laws must be militated against and overturned when they stand in the way of good sci-fi: can't let plausible sci-fi turn into impossible fantasy, since it's a totally different genre.)

And indeed, there exist several fields of physics that run counter to a particular dominant paradigm in Physics, and one or more of which fields even propose other things about Speed. (Which actually led to another shock from which I have still not recovered.) People listed promising sounding stuff like Black-Hole Thermodynamics (don't ask me) and Loop Quantum Gravity. I think it was the latter that proposed that at the start of the universe light had a different speed in a vacuum, i.e. the value of the so-called lightspeed constant was different. In fact, this was part of a larger more earth-shattering assumption in this model of the universe: that time itself changes the laws of physics. That formulas which held true during the start of the universe need not necessarily be assumed to hold now or those that hold now need not hold in a later stage of our universe. (Blew my brain. Especially the repercussions.)

Anyway, the second-mentioned shock was that there was a lot of discord and *seriously* ugly bickering in physics, with mathematicians and some theoretical physicists huddling on String Theory's side [because it hasn't said anything to deny Quantum Mechanics], whereas other physicists - including theoretical and especially more practical ones - felt that the mathematicians (or mathematics) had hijacked physics, crowned their field the king/final arbiter, and continued physics on in a purely theoretical realm of just maths [what people have called Mathematical Platonism] as opposed to defining the physical universe we can observe (i.e. physics, *replaced* by maths). The latter's argument included that maths had led to the envisioning of all sorts of unverifiable things, such as multiple universes that we can't detect and possibly never can, while not being required to offer proof, all because the maths worked out (even if every now and then another extra variable or constant needed to be introduced into formulas to make them conform). Then mathematicians came out with more pop-science/pop-maths books - on "the beautiful mathematical universe" etc - which only reinforced the notion that "since the maths worked out", it "must therefore" be true/apply in our universe, though such a conclusion is actually founded on the assumption that the universe is made of maths, as opposed to us merely being able to model various properties/features of the universe using maths. That is, the distinction is: the universe IS mathematical from the ground up, versus that WE (us humans) can try to *understand* our universe using mathematical models. Note how the last says nothing about the objective universe itself *being* mathematical, just that our observed measurements of said universe is that its behaviour and phenomena conforms to various mathematical rules. Physics is merely the science on the *actual* nature of our universe and all things in it, and some of the physicists were pleading to go back to the good old days of experimenting and verifying, as opposed to continue to theorise often with no hope of uninfluenced verification and spin theories from theories. Such detractors from the current state of physics in the last decades were arguing that mathematicians who have runaway with their theories are increasingly coming up with maths that is internally consistent to other theoretical maths, and who then expect the *universe* to continue conforming to such increasingly-extreme maths, merely because it all makes mathematical sense to the theorists. Maybe I'm being confusing: there is the real, objective universe. And there is the mathematical modelling of the universe by humans. Mathematicians keep developing on their model - often moving past what is experimentally verifiable - and expect the objective universe to conform to what is increasingly taking place in the mathematical la-la-land of pure theory. Now I'm just repeating myself again.

Anyway, a large part of the disgruntled side's argumentation was against string theory. Physicists in other fields of physics, like Hawking (theoretical physics and cosmologist with special focus on black holes) and several famous Particle Physicists etc [I think Cox was accused], are still supporters thereof, as being a reasonable theory that at least doesn't contradict anything in other physics, even though that last in itself means nothing. While other mathematicians (like IIRC Penrose) and physicists (like that famous guy, oh dear, can't remember his name, starts with an F) are not fans of String theory. [After the Higgs-Boson results, String Theorists for some reason felt that it vindicated their field, when really, it only validated QM. Which was already validated, I thought?]

The detractors' problem is that string theory is not falsifiable, or hasn't been so far, and that it's wasted too much time that could be spent on physics that *does* show results. As those mocking String Theory explained: it ultimately also renders void Hawking's decent argument for why a god-entity is not a necessary presupposition to explain the birth of our or any universe, and hence, that gods need not exist. [Of course, this does not prove that Gods don't exist: only that the *christian* gawd has no reason to exist and that modern christian claims to the biblical gawd creating the universe is false, though really, the original christian claims were only ever about earth and visible bodies and all the "let there be light" type stuff, echoes with variation in the koran too. Besides, not all views that entertain Gods argue that Gods were to have *created* the materia of the cosmos, some merely propose that the Gods ordered this existing materia/particulate matter and were coeval with it.] So the sarcastic response was that since there was an infinite number of universes as per various String Theories, and as per the nth (4th?) stage of the mathematical development on a String Theory which argues that "anything is ultimately possible and therefore is ultimately true in some universe out there", that this would logically mean that "there must be at least one universe out there were some gods exist" (<- note, lowercased and pluralised, just as in the atheist responses to the extravagances indulged in by extreme String Theorising). They thereby showed that String Theory in a larger sense ends up undermining Hawking type arguments for no Gods, and that with the more extreme developments in String Theory all kinds of absurd things could be argued for instead and that science should guard itself against that by not getting carried away.

Of course, that's not to say that multiple universes don't exist - the supposition of multiple universes is not just a side-effect of String theory, but also of some other physics fields which do have lots of validation - just that the mathematicians have got out of hand with their theorising in purely-theoretical-La-la-land. I should really find some of those entertaining quotes that made me want to read some dissenting books for the shock-value. Those quotes were really funny and disturbing at the same time.

Back to "loop quantum gravity" which had seemed promising, since one could perhaps still argue for FTL in sci-fi that way. It led me to reading reviews for books on this or related topics by one of the dissenting (physicist) authors, in order to decide on whether I should give the work itself a go. That's when I encountered the first and primary Shock that is relevant to this post. In short: turns out that much of modern physics is "inspired" - at times directly and at other times indirectly - by Vedanta. In the former case, even the direction of inquiry and development was influenced by Vedanta. I'll track down the first quote, the rest of the matter people can look up for themselves. And so the point is that physicist Heisenbug (just kidding) Heisenberg being in total agreement or in any agreement with Hindu cosmological views and constituents does NOT make for independent proof of validity for Hindu religion. It is circular reasoning within a closed system: Vedic ideas including vedanta formatively influenced modern physics; modern physicists finding that notions from Vedic religion coincide with modern physics is therefore circular. They're not two independent systems showing independent confluence, because one is actually dependent on the other.

Here, with some context.

Quote:Unspinning the web of hubris - an honest view of theoretical physics, 16 Mar 2007

By Mr Sutapas Bhattacharya


Smolin recognises that the fact that String "theories" assume a particular Space-Time background rather than attempt to explain the emergence of Space-Time from a deeper quantum reality means that background-dependent string "theories" cannot be the final or ultimate theories.

Smolin refers to "seers" and "craftspeople" in regard to the philosophically-minded questioners and the glorified technicians of mainstream science. Smolin, now free to work on the foundations of QT at a new institute funded by a wealthy patron, lists the philosophically-minded founders of QT such as Bohr, Heisenberg and Schrodinger amongst his heroes. However, unlike them he remains a realist assuming that physical theories can actually apprehend Reality as it is. As part of the philosophical questioning necessary to re-examine near-universal assumptions, Smolin fails to recognise the errors in Galileo's notion of primary and secondary qualities. As Schrodinger and Husserl etc. recognised, primary measurable qualities actually presuppose a conscious observer to determine them. Thus Galileo began the "despiritualization" of Nature by abstraction of measurable quantities.

Whereas Smolin points to the Cartesian representation of Time as a frozen dimension as possibly the big mistaken assumption of physics, the likes of Heisenberg and Schrodinger were far more philosophically profound than would-be "seer" Smolin. So too was David Bohm whom Smolin's greatest hero Einstein befriended at Princeton. Smolin would do well to ask why Schrodinger was an advocate of Vedanta (Brahmanism), why Heisenberg said that Indian philosophy subconsciously influenced his physics ideas, why Bohm was a friend of Krishnamurti, and Pauli with Carl Jung. As Heisenberg said, it came as a great help to him to discover than an entire civilisation already subscribed to a view that resembled that of the new Quantum Mechanics which had so shocked the Western Mind (from Capra: Uncommon Wisdom). Heisenberg even checked the chapter on QM in "The Philosophy of Space and Time and the Inner Constitution of Nature" by mathematical physicist and Sanskrit-literate mystic Michael Whiteman in which Whiteman argued for a Universal Consciousness. All these mathematical theories simply explore the realm of possibilities or archetypes well known to mystics. The true Reality lies beyond such ideational realms in the distinctionless Ground of Universal Consciousness whose energetic vibrations manifest the phenomenal universe. Physics cannot even account for the most basic fact of our existence, our consciousness!

(No no. Future modern-western "philosophers" will plagiarise from Hindus' Vedic religion's explanation of the origination and nature of consciousness, and then physics will build on *that* and then everyone will declare the conclusions to be "a great western science/scientific discovery" again. Who's betting?

Actually, Sagan wasn't the only one interested in dissecting the parts of the mind to get at the origins of its working, though he didn't push the matter. And more recently, Penrose already penned (haha) an article as part of a compendium of articles on consciousness and Quantum Physics, where other contributors included physicists like Subhash Kak and other mathematicians. Physicists pondering consciousness in greater depth than just dissecting the evolutionary formation of the animal/human mind was bound to happen: I think the '(interfering) observer effect' noticed at the quantum level is what prompted deeper western scientific scrutiny into the larger matter of "consciousness".

Even now, the sensationalist New Scientist is still agog with how philosophy must rescue physics yet again, by "somehow" explaining the observer effect in a scientifically-inoffensive way.

Though IIRC Hawking has declared "philosophy" dead. And meanwhile, Penrose is IIRC famous for declaring that AI will never approach the mind. Though some AI-ists vehemently disagree, as they must. I hate uncertainty and who knew that physics and maths was permeated by it. Another shock.)

To repeat my actual point, since I drowned it in a whole lot of other stuff that no one asked for: the fact that so many uh founding fathers of modern physics (quantum physics and its spin-offs) tend to have been directly or indirectly influenced in their contemplations->formulations by Vedanta/Vedic religion makes the comparison unfair. That is, it is NOT independent confirmation of Vedanta to find that either modern physics agrees beautifully with it or that physicists upholding modern physics should find themselves in agreement with it.

It is merely that the seeds of thought behind modern physics - in the form of small to significant impetus here and there - is so obscured that, forgetting Vedanta's influence in inspiring the direction of inquiry and in formulating starting assumptions (and even desired conclusions) in modern physics, people find it all a great vindication. That's not to say that the cosmology as revealed by Vedic religion is *wrong*, or even that modern physics is wrong. Not at all. Am saying that holding up Heisenberg's tendency to agree to aspects of Hindoo religion is neither here nor there since his field has been too/unduly influenced by the same to count as any external/independent confirmation at all.

So, after this discovery, I stopped making comparisons between Hindoo cosmology and Physics-cosmology, since it wasn't a fair test. Sigh.

Tracked down the morbidly hilarious comments I'd seen in reviews (fortunately, had emailed these to a relative):

Quote:Currently, string theory is the leading paradigm in physics. But its research programme has found no grounding in experimental results or mathematical formulation. As one of its pioneers, Daniel Friedan, later wrote, "String theory cannot give any definite explanations of existing knowledge of the real world and cannot make any definite predictions. The reliability of string theory cannot be evaluated, much less established. String theory has no credibility as a candidate theory of physics." Smolin writes, "the existence of a population of other universes is a hypothesis that cannot be confirmed by direct observation; hence, it cannot be used in an explanatory fashion."

Quote:Perhaps the beginnings of trouble for particle physics began in May, 1963 when P.A.M. Dirac famously said "It is more important to have beauty in one's equations than to have them fit experiment." (p. 195) This view, shared in some respects by Einstein, is the source of the problem today.
That is just disturbing.
Post 3/3

This is the only post relevant to this thread.

3. While modern physics' alignment with Hindoos' Vedic religion does not entirely count as an independent source of verification, modelled as it is - to some extent and at the very least indirectly - on assumptions/ideas from HindOO religion, we can all however use the findings of modern physics as independent proof of a different, non-related religion. Taoism.

And indeed, traditional Taoists have found it to align so very well that they have shown how well modern physics compares to the 'Evolution of the Cosmos in stages, as revealed by Taoism' (Taoist cosmology).

Taoism has a cosmology somewhat like that of Hindu religion (but specifically unlike Buddhism or Jainism etc).

+ In Taoism, from no manifest precursor [i.e. from the unmanifest state of the Tao] comes Taoist God WJ from whom comes TJ from whom comes Yin Yang. (Names of Taoist Gods abbreviated.) In this sequence somewhere comes also the Chi. And the 5 bhootas (elements) of Taoism also are eventually evolved in the process. This is ancient Taoist religion.

Taoism is VERY MUCH concerned with the elements and its relation to the pursuit of immortality and bhukti too, etc. Taoism is of course very much concerned with Yin Yang (duh). And the First Origins mentioned above are IIRC the very Three Pure Ones of Taoism, i.e. emanating from the Tao itself, who are the very foundation of the religion.

If, in large outline, it sounds like Hindoo religion, because of similarities in general cosmological perception (like in its "evolution in stages" aspect) - just like the founding Kamis of Shinto cosmology sounded similar for these reasons - then it should be made clear that in details Taoism varies, as always. Therefore, Do Not Encroach. <- Again, that is not a request I'm making, that's a threat.

+ Somewhere in the middle of this Taoist process of the evolution of the universe from WJ all the way to the bhootas, is another God S-something, who is the ancestor of that famous Taoist Goddess who is the Mother of All the Stars - who, in combination with her husband (who is the Father of all the Stars) - brought forth all the stars. A knowledgeable traditional Taoist source explained that this occurrence was a specific cosmic event, and showed how this is indicated even in the clearly-descriptive multiple names of these Divine Parents of Stars. The last further explained that in S's lineage also follow the Gods presiding over the various realms, such as the Jade Emperor (Jade Emperor furthermore governs the Taoist Cosmic Order, and ensuring it adheres to the Taoist Cosmic Law. Sort of like what Hindoos might think of as a Taoist Rta).

Note that the Mother and Father of all the Stars - of which the 9 Emperors are specifically recalled - are naturally Divine Parents of all things living, since all life comes from (evolved from, is made possible by) the Stars, and hence the Taoist Mother and Father of the Stars are naturally recognised as the Ancestors of all life and worshipped as such in Taoism.

What does all the above have to do with [physics] cosmology?

*Everything*. Taoism is all about space/kosmos, about the origin of the universe - the Gods who gave rise to the universe in its various stages, and who are thus the Ancestors of the All - to the Gods who are embodied in the current generation of Stars and constellations, to the Gods of our planet and other planets in the solar system. I.e. Taoism describes the evolution of the universe from the beginning to the present stage. (<- I suspect this is actually what western people labelled the Taoist influence behind [some of] the formative Kamis in Shinto cosmology [Kotoamatsukami]. Also, when the Shintos say some Shinto Kami who were involved in the original stages of creation "hid" themselves thereafter - see post 119 - I think that they mean that that stage of the cosmic evolutionary process had finished, and that, from the Shinto Gods presiding over these intermediate stages, further Gods/stages of formation evolved in the process of the Shinto creation of the universe/cosmology.) Likewise with Taoism, which also anticipates further evolutionary stages to the universe, accompanied by the emergence [appearance] of further Taoist Gods.

Taoism is associated with both space and time: already seen in how the Taoist trimoorti preside over the past, present and future. The appearance of the Gods follows the stages of the evolution of the universe: from the 3 Pure Ones (who are the primordial Tao's manifestation) to the multiple generations of the stars, to the current generation of stars, to the present lives on the planet, as well as the elements, as mentioned before. Note how - similar to Hindoo-dom - both consciousness and matter are covered in Taoism too.

In fact, the sudden manifestation of WJ without visible precursor (i.e. directly from the primordial unmanifest Tao) matches with Hawking et al's sudden appearance of the electron-sized particle that expanded to become our universe.

This last is a reference to the problem with modern western arguments against Gods: much of the west isn't familiar with the various heathen cosmological views and hence think/assume that their argument against the christian-class gawd type characters will also work as an argument against all Gods, including the real Gods of heathenisms. The christian creation story is of course nonsense and easily denied. But Taoist cosmological origins of the universe follow that of physics rather closely and long predates modern physics. Hawking's explication of there being no need for a 'god' to explain our universe - which certainly negates the silly christo-class mono-moronic 'gawd' entities - therefore doesn't deny the Daoist Gods. It also doesn't deny the Hindoo Gods. Taoism and Hindu religion (and Shinto religion, etc) still hold.

I'm not criticising Hawking. I like him and approve of his argumentation: it argues sensibly for the self-sufficiency of the universe (denied by the christo-class religions, btw, since such arguments further render their gawd-character without any reason to exist).

But if Hawking is aiming to deny all kinds of Gods then his argument is at best incomplete and at worst invalid because irrelevant. (It so happens that it is also untrue, since the Gods of at least 2 religions coincidentally do exist. But SH can't know that, though it doesn't detract from the fact that his arguments are logically sound.) Again: Hawking's explanation only denies the gawd entity of biblical religion. Not that further invalidation was needed, since the mono-moronist plague - i.e. biblical religion - is so patently false that only those with the aptly phrased "blind faith" adhere to it, and Hawking's argument may not help wake them up.

Hawking argued - using his knowledge of black holes (specifically the feature that "time does not exist in black holes") combined with the fact that the universe was essentially a black hole at origin - that therefore time did not exist at the very begin of the universe, so that time only began when our universe began (approx around the time of the big bang). That is, his argument was that there was no time *before* the universe - that there was no "Before" - hence nothing could have existed "before" (=temporal phrase) our universe, including no gawd/no time for monogawd to "create" the universe/start it off etc.

But even if you ignore that in Hindu religion, Time itself is one of the tattvas produced from the evolution from primordial puruShottama/Shiva/Ishwara (e.g. IIRC Kashmiri Shaivam mentions this) - which is noticeable by its effect on the jeevatmas/pashus (i.e. the jeevatman is subject to several tattvas, including time) -

it remains a fact that in Taoism there is no *manifest* precursor to WJ, which also implies timelessness, as WJ seems to have popped into being like ... a sponteanously-appearing particle from physics, including the very kind of tiny particle that could evolve into the universe.

Ironically/embarrassingly for christianism, christians have resorted to a pathetic means of encroachment: a case of Bad Piggy-backing. Definitions: Piggy-backing is where missionary parasites use heathenisms' arguments to try and argue for themselves. Bad piggy-backing is when it actually doesn't work out the way the parasites expected/hoped, and instead makes them look stupider to onlookers in the end.

Christians have been referring to the earlier work of physicists (an Indian of at least Hindu name among them): that, contrary to Hawking's argument, time did not necessarily start with the creation of our current universe, but that a previous variant of the universe existed. While this argument is still in line with Hindoo cosmology, it specifically does Not prove christianism (and I won't even bring up the laughable 4004 BCE). Christianism does NOT have ideas about the universe let alone the origination of matter or consciousness, beyond puerile statements that "gawd did it".

The difference is that heathenisms are actually surprisingly detailed - and show surprising grasp of understanding/perception of (not to mention interest in) the real nature of the cosmos - in their cosmological descriptions. And all this was developed in a time long before there were means to verify anything. At a time when people could have come up with any answer (the way christo-class ideologies later came up with nonsensical answers), heathenisms came to very sensible conclusions which remain enlightening and significantly valid (or otherwise untested) which implies either the brilliance of heathen minds (the kind of minds that christoislamania has never produced, not counting plagiarism, so that people had to wait for the appearance of atheism to produce anything) OR which implies the validity of the heathen worldviews: the view of a reality of Gods who evolved the cosmos as per various heathenisms. After all, those brilliant heathen minds never claimed originating their ideas, they merely claimed to having grasped verities.

Mwahahaha. Even wackypedia is forced to admit this much (well, it can hardly do otherwise. The 3 Pure Ones are a well-known part of Taoism):


Quote:The Three Pure Ones (Chinese: 三清; pinyin: Sānqīng) also translated as the Three Pure Pellucid Ones, the Three Pristine Ones, the Three Divine Teachers, the Three Clarities, or the Three Purities are the Taoist Trinity, the three highest Gods in the Taoist pantheon. They are regarded as pure manifestation of the Tao and the origin of all sentient beings. From the Taoist classic Tao Te Ching, it was held that "The Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three; Three produced All things." It is generally agreed that: Tao produced One - Wuji produced Taiji; One produced Two - Taiji produced Yin and Yang [or Liangyi (兩儀) in scholastic term]. However, the subject of how Two produced Three has remained a popular debate among Taoist Scholars. Most scholars believe that it refers to the Interaction between Yin and Yang, with the presence of Chi, or life force.[1]

In religious Taoism, the theory of how Tao produces One, Two, and Three is also explained. In Tao produces One - Wuji produces Taiji, it represents the Great Tao, embodied by Hùndùn Wújí Yuánshǐ Tiānwáng (混沌無極元始天王, "Heavenly King of the Chaotic Never-ending Primordial Beginning") at a time of pre-Creation when the Universe was still null (perhaps comparable to the net-zero=neutral potential state of Prakriti) and the cosmos was in disorder; manifesting into the first of the Taoist Trinity, Yuánshǐ Tiānzūn. Yuánshǐ Tiānzūn oversees the earliest phase of Creation of the Universe, and is henceforth known as Dàobăo (道寶) "Treasure of the Tao". In One produces Two - Taiji produces Yin Yang, Yuanshi Tianzun manifests into Lingbao Tianzun who separated the Yang from the Yin, the clear from the murky, and classified the elements into their rightful groups. Therefore, he is also known as Jīngbăo (經寶) "Treasure of the Law/Scripture". While Jīng in popular understanding means "scriptures", in this context it also mean "passing through" [the phase of Creation] and the Laws of Nature of how things are meant to be. In the final phase of Creation, Daode Tianzun is manifested from Língbăo Tiānzūn to bring civilization and preach the Law to all living beings. Therefore, He is also known as Shībăo (師寶) "Treasure of the Master".

Each of the Three Pure Ones represents both a deity and a heaven. Yuanshi tianzun rules the first heaven, Yu-Qing, which is found in the Jade Mountain. The entrance to this heaven is named the Golden Door. "He is the source of all truth, as the sun is the source of all light". Lingbao Tianzun rules over the heaven of Shang-Qing. Daode Tianzun rules over the heaven of Tai-Qing. The Three Pure Ones are often depicted as throned elders.

Schools of Taoist thought developed around each of these deities. Taoist Alchemy was a large part of these schools, as each of the Three Pure Ones represented one of the three essential fields of the body: jing, qi and shen. The congregation of all three Pure Ones resulted in the return to Tao.


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