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Other Natural Religions
1/3 - [color="#0000FF"]the photos in 3/3 are all that's really important[/color], but they're posted because of something I've read in the Rajeev2004 blog:





rajeev2004.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/hindu-temple-in-china.html

Quote:Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chinese Worship at Hindu Temple

<youtube video>



Indian soft power on display

Posted by Inferno at 7/11/2012 11:53:00 PM

Uh, no. Because:


  • Hindu temples exist for the purpose of heathenism alone, not to serve as some political sales gimmick (nor as a tourist spot nor architectural marvel nor for people to gape at its "art").

  • They have nothing to do with some generic "Indianness" and everything to do with Hindu religion alone.

  • The Hindus belonging to Hindu Kovils (either as worshippers or as those who perform the poojas) aren't present there for silly Indian pseudo-nationalist objectives like "indian soft powah".

  • It's the Chinese heathens' own heathenism that makes them visit Hindu Kovils, and there's no other reason.


Anyone who imagines that Hindu Temples have in any way or to any degree to do with "Indian soft power" would be much more gratified visiting bollywho shows (="Indian soft powah") than turning up at Hindu Kovils.



However, the Chinese worshippers who're coming to - what in the video looks like a typically Tamizh - Hindu Kovil to obtain darshanam are there for very valid purposes: heathenism. This, along with the fact that Chinese traditionalists tend to be true heathens (see the pictures 2 posts down), is why they are welcome.





1. The video speaks of a Guan-Yin vigraha having being installed in the Kovil for the sake of Chinese worshippers who had started dropping by there. Again: Guan Yin used to be a Daoist Goddess who was hijacked by Buddhism and whose identity was forcibly merged with Buddhism's male Bodhisattva, all because Buddhism wanted to ride on the wave of the Daoist Goddess' immense popularity among the Chinese and among all the lay populations in E and SE Asia where Daoism has had great influence since ancient times. She remains popular, but only in her original female form (because that is the Goddess' real form, despite the mask of Buddhism).



So: just because Guan-Yin is claimed by Buddhism as a bodhisattva does not imply that the many Chinese worshippers appearing at the temple are the Bauddhified laity (they could be, but needn't be): they can very well be Daoists too (as seems to moreover be indicated by how 1. they were apparently worshipping their Gods in another Temple nearby before coming to the Hindu Kovil to pay their respects, 2. a comment mentioned this was Singapore, where there are lots of Daoists and 3. the typical use of the sticks embedded in the usual sand-coloured stuff in the beautiful large golden bowls that are placed in front of the Gods).





2. There has been a long history of contact between Hindu and Daoist religions, throughout SE Asia and into E Asia. SE Asia became quite a marriage (meeting place and gradual seguing) of Hindu and Daoist - of course alongside native - religions, and this is seen in multiple ways, including in the presence of the occasionally more Hindu-style rather than Chinese-style dwarapalakas for a few Daoist temples in those SE Asian countries that are closer to India, as well as in the keeping of vigrahas of Hindu Gods alongside the Daoist ones in some SE Asian Daoist temples. I've even seen a photo posted of a Daoist Kovil in IIRC Indonesia, whose sacred Chinese language plaque hanging over the temple was followed by a plate containing the "international" translation/import (in Roman script) of the temple's identity: "Jaya Bhakti" it says, I kid you not. Note it's still very much a Daoist Temple, not a Hindu one, despite the translated name sounding so Hindu.



In our era, Daoists can be seen taking an earnest and sincere interest in Hindus, Hindu Gods and Hindu religion *because* Daoists are actually able to relate to the Hindus: they see Hindus as sort of their likenesses elsewhere. Indeed, [color="#0000FF"]with no Hindu present and no Hindu instigation, and years before this thread came to be, Daoists have documented themselves explaining to their own kind how Hindus perceive their Hindu Gods etc: in an online Daoist agora one or more threads were created on Hindu religion. Some SE Asian Daoists had asked questions about certain remarkable similarities that they had noticed between themselves and the Hindus in their vicinity concerning festivals, festival timings and religious observances. So a Chinese-origin Daoist who knew more about Hindus' religion decided to create some threads to impart what he had learnt about the Hindus and their Gods. An entire thread was on the Goddesses of the Hindus, and the writer just proceeded to refer to these as 'Divine Mother Goddesses'*.[/color] [Just like how these Daoists referred to the vigrahas of Hindu Gods that are found in certain SE Asian Daoist temples as "Lord Ganesha" etc. Images of these were collected under their Daoist Temple moorti photo section. Note that as always these photos showed that they were the Hindu forms of the Hindu Gods and not the Bauddhafied forms of Hindu Gods.]



[color="#0000FF"]* This is particularly the terminology that the Daoists use to refer to their own Daoist Goddesses. The thing to notice is that, without external prompting, they willingly, naturally and automatically applied reverence to the Hindu Gods, because they understand Hindus, and understand that Hindus have a similar (i.e. heathen) perception of the Gods as they do. Indeed, this "the Hindus surely view their Gods like we do ours" assumption is the fundamental basis from which they proceed when they learn and teach each other about Hindu religion. It's a heathen mindset.[/color] It's something you never see in the incessant drivel about Hindu religion/Gods written by alien dabblers let alone the anti-Hindu aliens (and which I've also never seen in the English-language writings of Hindus even <- rather serious).



Cont. in next
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2/3 - [color="#0000FF"]the photos in 3/3 are all that's really important[/color]



(cont.)



3. This heathen mindset among the Daoists (even when they were writing in English too!) is the reason for their accuracy in understanding Hindus and the Hindu Gods (Hindu religion). They are naturally like this. [color="#0000FF"]So: when the Chinese heathens come to Hindu temples[/color] and also perform their heathen forms of worship for the Hindu Gods in order to show their respect (and at times it is more than respect, it is a true and sincere reverence; and more than this has existed in history), [color="#0000FF"]it is not because Hindu heathens got the Chinese heathens to do that.[/color] Hindus did nothing here except be their heathen selves, and only appear to have reciprocated with housing a GuanYin vigraham after several Chinese heathens had already started showing interest. [color="#0000FF"]Rather, this behaviour - that of Chinese (and Japanese and SE Asian) heathens' gravitation towards heathen Gods/heathenisms like their own - is due to a natural tendency among the Daoists etc (them being true heathens and all) and because they naturally like the Gods. Piety to all the [deserving] Gods is part of their nature.[/color]



This is all *very* different from the dabbling and encroachment which forms the totality of what the aliens can ever muster. By contrast, the Daoists etc are heathens of unbroken heathen lineage, not to mention unsubverted heathen perception. (Their warm interest is genuine, life-giving and welcome, like sunshine on a flower bed.) I think this would be comparable to how in GR antiquity, many non-GR heathens of the mediterranean/ME region got attached to the Olympic Gods, and how several non-GR Gods were worshipped by the Romans.



By heathen osmosis, Shintos also included Daoist and Hindu Gods (and even rituals to these Gods) in like manner since ancient times. E.g. Daoist Gods - and Longs etc - are part of the Shinto pantheon, because the Shintos know that the Daoist Gods are all real. Same reason behind why some SE Asian Daoists have long kept Hindu Gods in their temples to this day, in additional sannidhis alongside the main sannidhis housing the main (Daoist) Gods of the Temple.



There is another interesting thing to be observed among heathens, and though this is always an independent development in different heathen populations, it appears to frequently converge into becoming identical behaviour. Best illustrated with a concrete example. I'd noticed Shinto web sites explaining Shinto Gods, sacred sites and aspects of their religion by referring to similar instances among Hindus and what this means to Hindus ("how Hindu religion explains these things"). Clearly heathens all over find referencing each other (each others' religion and POV when it comes to religion) useful in "explaining", and as some sort of supporting "validation". <- That is, heathens choosing to make use of other heathenisms to explain their own heathenism to *aliens* (unheathens). The converse is the case also: heathens using their own religion to explain/teach about other heathenisms to people of their *own* heathen kind.

There is an identification going on, one that is innately-derived and not even dependent on awareness of any reciprocity.





4. Some further similarities with Hindus' own religion. These specifically show that Daoism is also a hyper-heathenism:



In Daoism, even among the *younger* generations, some are able to see their Gods. Among Hindus, I only know this to be the case with Hindoos somewhat older than myself. It seems to sadly be dying out among Hindus - for obvious reasons - but not so among Daoists (thank the Daoist Gods). Though many Hindus acquire the ability to see the Hindu Gods - through carrying out regular Ritual Practices to the Gods, but only when they have the Right View/Understanding of the Hindoo Gods, of course - some Hindus are actually born with this ..."ability". Further, some Hindus are born with certain other "special" [Hindoo] abilities, and again, others in time acquire such things, sometimes as side-effects. These are all matters that Hindus are likely to know about in their own religion, it's brought up as introduction to something far more interesting:



Some Daoists continue to be born with special abilities. The abilities they have is what is actually interesting, because I've not seen (quite) the *same* among Hindus. I've counted two such unique different abilities among the Expert Daoists (those who see the Daoist Gods): one old Daoist was born with "telepathy" [unidirectional, read-only; don't know the exact level of detail he perceives though] and the other with being able to see the future to some degree. Note that this last is different from the more familiar case, which is that among both Daoists and Hindus there exist those who are known to obtain information about the future from their Gods. Such Hindus and Daoists do not "prophesy" themselves - unlike the 2nd Daoist individual's case - but merely relay information that the Gods give them. And the "telepathic" ability of the first-mentioned Daoist is not the same as dooradRiShTi which occurs among Hindus, as far as my understanding goes.



Anyway, what all this ultimately shows is that, while the details may differ, the Daoists [etc?] are a heathen population of unbroken lineage just like the masses of Hindoos of Bharatam. I suspect it's the "unbroken heathen lineage/perception" bit that seems to cause the population itself to occasionally throw up such people with specifically heathenism-derived abilities.
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3/3



And now for the lovely stuff.



The following contains photos - which I'd collected for personal (non-dabbling, naturally) purposes - of the shreShTa-swarga-rANI [who is the] swarga-[rAja-]vallabhA for the Daoists. <- Those are some of her official titles/names, though I've translated it - very badly in all probability - into your own father tongue and stolen your Bhagavan Indra's related stuff to do so (though there's a reason I pounced on him for that). She is one of the (IIRC 2 major sets of) triple Divine Mother Goddesses of Daoism, among their many other Gods and Goddesses. In one small dvipa alone, she has over a dasha-shata (iow sahasra) Kovils dedicated to her where She is the presiding God of the Mandiram, though other Daoist Gods are often in the same Temple along with her. She is frequently acknowledged by even aliens as one of the - if not the - most worshipped Ambaa-s in the world, "far more popular than Guan-Yin", etc.



[Image: DaoistAmmanMoorties_KovilGopuras.jpg]

ConfusedundarI:



There are youtube videos of her temples in E and SE Asia. One that I saw recently showed a closeup of the Daoist Ambaa in her sannidhi, flanked by other Daoist Gods. In paintings she is at times coloured black, standing alongside her Consort, but is embodied in vigrahas of different materials, including gold coloured metal to black materia. (E Asian Gods - like the Gods of many heathen populations - also come in different colours: green, yellow, red, white, black etc.)



Her festivals are incredibly famous. While her major festival always falls during one specific period of the year, what's not known beforehand apparently is the *day* of when a certain famous Mahotsavam commences where one of her vigraha-s is carried from one major Kovil of hers to others on the long route. Turns out only the Amman herself decides - during the preceding Lantern Festival - when this particular day will be, and the Daoist poojaris therefore perform the necessary rituals to discover her Divine Will on this question. Then the day of the Mahotsavam is finally set, and the Mahayatra takes place: where a massive crowd of Daoist devotees accompanies her from one sacred Kovil site to another. During the numerous days that that quite long Mahotsavam lasts, the Daoists perform other Ritual Practices besides the Mahayatra: like sacred Daoist dancing, music, martial arts. You can see some of it in the photos below (check out the awesomely energetic performance on percussions).



[Image: CelebratingDaoistAmmanFestival.jpg]



Also note one of the photos in the first image is of a (home?) pooja moorti. I think the other golden item next to her golden mukha is possibly a Long's mukha.

Included among the images is also a photo of a heathen in Japan carrying around a small utsava moorti of the well-loved Daoist Amman. (However, during famous yatras, she is usually carried around by Daoists in a special palanquin, along with very particular Daoist Gods and beings on all sides, all arranged in a particular order.)



Also present in the collage is a photo from a 1997 news article of one particular vigraham of the Amman: the vigraham "currently touring the [Dvipa] on loan from a temple in [the Non-dvipa] is carried by devotees to a site set up in the square across from [the dvipa] city's government headquarters. Thousands of devotees are expected to visit the site to catch a glimpse of the famous statue." So even though the inhabitants of the dvipa have countless vigrahas of this same Amman in their own ancient Temples, they are - again, rather like Hindoos - thrilled to have darshanam of the divine vigrahas of their Gods from famous Daoist Kovils elsewhere. In this case they didn't go on a Yatra to the teertha, but the Amman came to see them: sort of an utsavam too, but with possibly a moolamoorty itself instead (?)



Other photos above are of details of the "gopuras" of some Daoist Kovils in E and SE Asia.



Not included in the collage is a photo I also came across of several Chinese administrative men in suits together holding their Ambaa in vigraham form in their hands. (One can similarly see suited Japanese men prostrating to the Shinto Kamis in front of Shinto temples too. Progress has a different meaning in heathen E Asia: it doesn't mean de-heathenising.)



Anyway, that's just one of the many Daoist Gods.



Further beautiful images that come to mind at this moment are of the gopura of the Vaayvagni 'Chakram' Temple (translate that into Mandarin to get the original Temple name) of little Nezha. The temple is obviously named after one of his sacred ayudhas ('the Ring which nearly fits the Universe...' <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> ). There's a statue of Him standing atop the magnificent gopuram, IIRC bearing the Vayvagni 'Chakra' in his hand. It's quite thrilling to see - doubly so because this lovely Daoist Temple exists on one of the very sites directly associated with his manifestation on earth.





Can draw some easy conclusions now:

1. Hindus can not melodramatically (and falsely) claim to be the "last pagans". Not only because "pagans" was the word that Hellenes who were ethnically Roman used for themselves (and which was not used by Greek Hellens, for instance). But also because Hindus simply are not the "last heathens" and Hindus' religion is not the "last heathenism" around.

2. Also, Hindus need not keep bragging as if we're the only heathen religion that celebrates the festivals of the Gods colourfully - with music, dancing etc. Again, clearly not true.
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X-posting this from the Judaism thread where an article declared that Hinduism was idolatry but that Daoism is acceptable because it supposedly had no deity and that "therefore" Judaism can turn Daoism into a pick-and-choose buffet.

But they're All Wrong about Daoism.



[quote name='Husky' date='02 January 2013 - 06:16 PM' timestamp='1357130294' post='116378']

1. Daoism most definitely has Gods (who are very much real) in the Hindu, Hellenistic and other such heathen sense. (Note that Hellenismos can be held up as the "western" definition for "real deity".)

The Daoist Gods are not merely real they are also central in Daoism.

Also, if "Hinduism is idolatry", as in the above article, then Daoism is JUST AS MUCH idolatry.

Traditional Daoists, not being cowards, insist they have very real Gods. They insist they have x numbers of Gods and x numbers of Goddesses (e.g. I think some 9 Divine Emperors, and over 80,000 Longs=Chinese Dragons of which 5 or so are the main ones). And just as important to Daoists as acknowledging the existence of their Gods, these loyal insubvertible heathens find it paramount to worship their Gods. Correctly. They are VERY pedantic about the correct worship (the correct times, the correct arrangement of all the moortis of the Gods with respect to each others' positions, the correct vahanas, dhootas and dvarapalakas for each, the correct body-position of each God including "mudras", the correct "mantras" and "stotras" pertaining to each God, the correct "yantras" for each God and "tantra"/ritual practices to be performed with these, and the correct arrangement of various Gods in the "yantras" in the form of "mandalas". [Many Gods are manifest in forms of beings, while what seems to me to be no more than a few Daoist Gods are merely symbolised (special sacred symbols). The Chinese written akSharas are themselves sacred so the written 'secret' names of these Gods are doubly sacred.]



* I am using Hindoo terms for what are not Hindoo but Daoist matters in the above ONLY because 1. there are no (respectable) English words that even approach the meaning and 2. because Hindoo words are what a Hindoo audience can easily understand.





Even the traditional Daoists that do not worship Hindoo Gods speak respectfully of the Hindoo Gods and Goddesses, knowing them by name and depiction and with a willingness to understand their divine nature. Even those traditional Daoists that know to make a clear distinction between where their religion ends and Hindoo religion begins (or vice-versa) speak of Hindus' religion as a very ancient religion (too). (They actually sounded like they are pre-empting any thought of encroachment on Hindu religion from their end. <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> )

Traditional Daoists (consciously) identify their religion - in terms of being able to *relate* - with Hindu religion among the various religions in the world, and far more than they ever would with Judaism which bears not even a passing resemblance to Daoism. Traditional Daoists never say they are monotheists (because they insist they know many Gods). Further, there's something quite like what Hindoos call Advaitam in Daoism (it has ever been a part of Daoism, and its intrinsic presence in Daoism is utterly independent of Hindu and all Indian religion and influence <- Indian would-be encroachers are thereby pre-emptively told to stay away). This monism of Daoism is intrinsically related to the Daoist Gods - i.e. both being inseparable elements of the same religion (actually dvaitam in Daoism seems to be inseparable from Daoism's advaitam too).



To summarise, in the paragraphs above I just gave some of the descriptions that underline how [color="#0000FF"]Daoism is a/the textbook case of heathenism, consciously recognises itself as a heathenism, and is able to recognise - and hence 'identify' (comraderie in) - other heathenisms that are "like" it in some important ways in the heathen sense (in particular, Daoists choose to make such 'identifications' with Asian heathenisms such as Hindus' religion).[/color]



Daoism is a very private religion: the Daoist heathens are VERY protective of their religion (for many reasons, including some paramount ones). Which is why non-heathens do not know it and continue to be so ignorant of it (which can only be good news). Heathens, however, upon learning about some of the basics of Daoism, will not fail to recognise direct kinship. A kinship far more potent - and more trustworthy - than any mere genetic relationship. No it's not the same religion and not the same Gods - but Daoists (etc) are so "like" Hindoos: they think about/go about their heathenism in a manner Hindoos can relate to, which is: relatable to the way Hindoos think about/go about their own heathenism. (You know what I mean.) But both of which is utterly different from non-heathenisms <- which last are in turn completely alien to what comes natural to heathen comprehension.





2. I wanted to elaborate on this next in the Buddhism thread, but in case I forget to -

Traditional Daoists - and more importantly their Gods, which is where the Daoists get this stipulation from - do NOT approve of mixing-and-matching using their religion. To be more explicit, [color="#0000FF"]as traditional Daoists explain, Daoism [color="#0000FF"]disallows[/color] applying their Ritual Practices in the context of other religions and other Gods. That is, Daoist Rituals are NOT to be applied when practising Buddhism or in the worship of Buddhist or Bauddhified characters, etc. Traditional Daoists (you know, the kind that sees/directly interacts with their Gods) state categorically that Daoist ritual practices are only for Daoist ends, and Daoist ritual practices for worship are only to be applied to Daoist Gods (and not to Buddhist characters). What to say of Judaism etc.[/color]



(Some Daoists have enabled interested lay Chinese Buddhists to continue worshipping the latter's ancestral Daoist Gods and have, to this end, intimated some Daoist rituals pertaining to/belonging with these Gods to their countrymen. But besides the above stipulations - such as ensuring a pooja area for the Daoist Gods that is entirely separate from the worship area of Buddhist characters, and the ban on transferral of rituals, mantras and stotras from Daoism to Buddhism, and the ban of Buddhist "mantras and rituals" from being applied to Daoist Gods - Daoists can even be seen further insisting that these lay Buddhists should leave some time between the worship of Buddhist characters and the worship of Daoist Gods. This is all actually the insistence of the Daoist Gods and hence Daoist religion. As a mere but very useful side-effect, such stipulations also prevent lay Buddhists from the grave error of mixing up the two utterly-unrelated religions, which thus also prevents that great crime of opportunistic and conscious Bauddhification of=inculturation on Daoism by non-lay Buddhists, as happened in the past.)





Also:

As traditional Daoists explain it - and who else should be allowed to explain it - Daoism sounds very much like an ethnic religion to me.

- Traditional Daoists do NOT recognise alien "converts" let alone dabblers and new-ageists - for a very serious reason to do with what their religion allows. They don't recognise alien pretences at "expertise" either.

- Fraudsters/charlatans and even semi-trained=half-baked religion-salesmen do exist in Daoist society too in the modern era. These are ethnic Chinese of Daoist origins/ancestry who treacherously sell I mean "train" aliens in any Daoist practices they may know - but they are specifically avoided and not recognised by traditional Daoists, and are instead seriously considered as doing great harm (on a large scale).

- Traditional Daoists are known to be willing - again, for a reason* - to destroy their religion and its practices rather than let it fall into the hands of the aliens and all others unworthy.

Fortunately, the Daoist Gods have apparently built a defence-mechanism into the Daoist ritual practices/religion <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> Further, the Daoist Gods themselves are - as they needs must be* - the guardians of their religion: it seems they also *actively* help protect the religion from dabblers, who are apparently led around the more they would dabble <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />



* It's because Daoism is a VERY powerful religion <- in the sense that I imagine Hindoos might use that word in such a context (I'm being deliberately vague in wording, read between the lines).





Anyway, it's a common theme among aliens to try and take the theism out of heathenisms prior to ingesting 'acceptable' parts of that heathenism for their own purposes and ideologies. (I'm just surprised any Jews would be into doing such things though.)[/quote]
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[color="#0000FF"]A few things HindOOs may find interesting to learn about the Daoist Gods and religion[/color]



This post is just for fun - and because this is exactly the sort of thing I like knowing about other heathens and their heathenism:



Over eighty-thousand Long (=Chinese Dragon, very sacred and part of Daoist Divine Cosmology) is just the beginning.

I've not seen the tally nor have I been counting, but I'm starting to think Daoists could also have some koTi manifest Gods the way the Hindoos do.



What's particularly interesting is the sets of Gods they have <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />



Note that all the following is IIRC/As I *understand*

- Daoism has 3 realms: Swarga, Bhu, Jalam.

It does have a Patala, but not sure which that one that fits into (maybe Bhu, since Swarga does not experience death and its Gods do not descend into the Paatalam?)

The Daoist Gods are to be found in all the realms: not just the heavens, but they are all of *heavenly* (i.e. divine) nature, whatever their bodies may be composed of and no matter what realm they reside in or preside over. (This is not unlike in Hindoos' religion.)



- Many of the classes of Gods - being in the Swarga realm - are stars.

E.g. one was called (translated) "North Star" I think. :cute:

Some are planets. E.g. one goes about being called - in translation - "Great White Planet".

Some look to be Gods presiding over years and months and the (Chinese=Daoist) Zodiac. And I could be wrong, but in my limited understanding, it seems like they have Gods for each akshara/script character. If true, that in itself would add a great number of Daoist Gods. Regardless, what I can confirm is that the Chinese language and script is very sacred to the Daoists. (As can be surmised, "translation" of their mantras and stotras is prohibited.)



- the Nava Chatrapatis of Daoism (of which the Marakata Chatrapati is one) are -I think- certain specific stars (or maybe constellations). <- I *think* it's stars and not constellations though, because IIRC about 12(?) constellations important to Daoism form a separate set of their own of specific Daoist Gods, and each has their own Goddess Consort (the way all Hindoo Gods - all the way to the Diggajas - tend to be married.)



- The ambaa of the nava chatrapati-s is a very central Amman. She is the Ambaa of all the stars, or at least all the Star Gods of Daoism, most famously the mother of the famous nava chatrapati-s. And this Great Amman is herself what sounds to me like a famous constellation*, going by one of her translated titles. (Or perhaps she is a star factory <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' /> ).

* But this would have to be separate from the 12 or so constellations mentioned above, since those were male Gods.



Now, when the Daoists say "stars" they mean stars, but they also very much mean that the ... uh Atman of each of these stars is the Atman of their Gods. I.e. the way Surya Bhagavan is the orb of the sacred Sun but is also the great sacred Atman whose mere 'body' that orb is: the orb can one day "die" (red giant, white dwarf type stuff) or like stars go supernova, but Surya Bhagavan's atman is eternal (and is also the paramatman).



You can tell that the Daoists mean that the mentioned Star Gods are more than the cosmic bodies of the stars (and hence refer to the Stars' full identities - i.e. their Atman inclusive) by the fact that in Daoist Ritual Practises concerning these Gods, the Chi of these Gods is specifically invoked even within the earthly being (e.g. human) carrying out the Practise.

What you can also make out is that Daoist Heaven is full of Cosmic Gods (heavenly bodies that are Gods). [I can't stress enough how Daoists are NOT "superimposing character" on the heavenly bodies, or merely miscontruing the stars, planets, constellations etc as "Gods". I'm saying, they *know* their Gods. In the same sense I use when I say Hindoo Experts *know* their Gods. I.e. Daoists are known to see and interact with their Gods. It is the most basic definition of heathenism and of heathen, after all.]





The Daoists have many Important and Great Ambaas. For ease of comprehension - as a point of reference - Hindoos may want to think of Aditi in order to understand the nature of the aforementioned Great Ambaa and her importance to the Daoists and in Daoist cosmology. And can for the moment think of the Adityas in order to try to "understand" the centrality to Daoism of her Great Putras, the Nava Chatrapatis. Of course the Hindus' mother Aditi has (at least?) dvaadasha x famous putras, and I think the Daoist Amman in question (whom I choose not to name here) has nava putras in important/key positions. She may well have more, and probably does, since I think she was said to be the Mother of all stars. (She is also one of the Great Divine Mother Goddesses of Daoism.)





There's a reason the Daoists depict their Gods very specifically (and why Hindus will never mistake Daoist Gods for Hindu Gods): because the Daoists have seen their Gods. It seems the Daoist Gods - when manifest in their 'human-like' forms (where they *have* human-like forms, that is) do have Chinese features. I.e. their appearance does not seem to be owing to the Daoists transferring their own Chinese features to their Gods. Their Gods *look* like that. So perhaps the Daoists, who call their Gods their "Divine Parents" in translation, have an additional reason for doing so (?)



As briefly mentioned, the Daoist Gods have specific forms, colours, etc. At times the Gods have several colours over different manifestations. (All of this is important to Daoists - including in ritual and moorti fashioning - which is why Daoists are pedantic about such details.)



In the case of the 9 Emperors, Hindus already know of the very famous Jade Emperor and Yellow Emperor. (I've seen moorties of the Jade Emperor in various colours. I could be wrong, but I can't recall seeing him in green... I think I've seen him in some sort of yellow maybe, will need to check. If indeed so, perhaps the naming of these emperors as Jade and Yellow is rather a reference to their orb-forms?)

[In any case, note that daft alien oryanists of the west imagine that the name of "Yellow Emperor" implies he must "therefore" be fair-haired and therefore be "oryan" and that therefore China and Daoism must have been influenced by oryanism. But the aliens/oryanists - who've obviously never seen the Daoists Gods, whereas traditional Daoists continue to see them - are simply morons. <- In case Hindoos didn't already know that.]





The most prominent colours of the Gods in Daoism (also for depiction) have both a literalness to them and a symbolic meaning to them - as they also do in Hindoo's own religion. They number 5 at least: Yellow, Green, Red, Black, White. Not sure of blue, but I think it may be in the extended colour set, or else perhaps they may count green and blue together. Need to make it clear from the start that there's nothing miraculous about the similarity of the prominence of these colours in both Daoism and Hinduism (BTW, such colours are also important to Polynesian religions, for instance, several being the colours of Polynesian Gods in depictions). Also, these 5 are approximately the primary colors known to man. So *everyone* tends to be familiar with them. (In NL and perhaps other "western" nations, black and white are not considered official colours - but that's a human classification scheme, sort of like whether people decide tomatoes are a fruit or a vege.)



I *think* these 5 colours are said to be the colours of/associated with the 5 directions (and also seen in the depictions of the prominent Dragons, etc).

- C.f. Hindus also have several sets of directions including 5, 8, 10 etc directions.

- Daoism has "special" numbers like Hindoos' religion does: i.e. numbers with some significance in their cosmology.



Daoism has Panchagrahas (Gods). Obviously there are more than that number making their way about in nearby/familiar space - but the Daoist set is Panchagrahas.

(They appear to me to also have Gods for the 2 nodes - perhaps these are not the nodes, and I'm merely misconstruing the translations - but in any case, these last 2 Gods are not considered grahas in Daoism, the way Hindus include the 2 nodes in the Hindus' name/set called "navagrahas").



The panchagrahas and the colours that I think I saw them depicted in in Daoist sacred imagery are as follows (which - for most obvious reasons - approximately match the colours of their counterparts in Hindus' religion) - IIRC:

Green Mercury (?), White Venus, Red Mars, Yellow (?) Jupiter*, Black Saturn.

* Can't remember what colour the Hindu God has: yellow or orange perhaps, as I think I've seen this Hindu God depicted as something warm in paintings.



The Sun and Moon are not in that list. As with the potentially-Node Gods, they're not considered in the panchagraha list.



The Panchagrahas are all Gods known to Daoism. And are *innately* known to Daoism (that is, they didn't become a part of Daoism owing to any external contact).

The Daoist Panchagrahas may very well be as different from the Hindu Gods of these grahas as the Sun Goddesses of other religions are from the Hindu Sun God(dess). This supposition also seems to be supported by the fact that all other Daoist Gods of stars and constellations that both Hindus and Daoists recognise as Gods appear to be distinct Gods between the Daoist and Hindu religions. (I.e. Daoists know their Gods, and these appear - and have characters - quite different from the Gods associated with the same heavenly bodies who are known to Hindoo experts. In such cases, I think it's best not to make assumptions of "equivalence". Also, the Daoists don't make such assumptions for these reasons.)



Another interesting aspect of Daoism is that their Gods ... can and do occasionally incarnate in the other realms. E.g. the well-known case: a certain famous Daoist Ambaa manifested in a new form of the Daoist Devi on Earth for a specific purpose and period, and is consequently widely adored and worshipped in both forms. Can compare this with how Hindoos worship Avataras of Gods as well as the earlier-known God form(s) of these Gods, and recognise the relation of one to the other. (E.g. the relation between the Hindus' Vishnu and Rama.)

1. This is obviously not apotheosis* (Daoists will tell you that from their first-hand knowledge) and

2. Incarnation of Gods outside of heavenly realms is not a notion that was "gradually developed" in Daoism (let alone imported). It is demonstrably ancient and innate to Daoism and factual.



* Can contrast the eternal-God nature of the Daoist Gods with the nearest thing to actual apotheosis that's seen in Daoism: the elevation of mortal beings to Immortals by their succesful cultivation of the Tao. The Immortals are indeed part of Daoist cosmology but are not the same as the Daoist Gods. However, even this last is not to be confused with "apotheosis". Apotheosis appears to be the process where *humans* decide to crown others as Gods, regardless of whether said others truly are Gods or not.

In contrast, the Daoist Immortals are [mortal] beings that truly *became* Daoist Immortals - with or without a human audience aware of them and the end of their evolution - and who were subsequently recognised as Immortals by Daoist Heaven itself (i.e. by all of the ranks of beings in Daoist cosmology, including the Gods themselves). Further, there are historical Daoist heroes who are not Immortals or Gods, but who are held in high esteem in the religion, remembered and have an honorary place. However, these are recognised as historical (humans) and not conflated/confused with Immortals let alone Gods. Hence not a case of apotheosis either.



Finally, another interesting feature is that the Daoist Patala(s) appear to have multiple ..."Yama-Rajas" (family of Gods, who seem to be brothers - or so I *think*)... each with very specific Yamadhootas.

The Daoists take these seriously too. It's not all quite like in Hindus' religion, as in the Daoist religion they are like ... the concept of 'policemen' in our world. They protect the world from nasty entities by implementing and preserving justice. Nasty characters are caught and held in the Daoist Patala(s) - don't know for what period. And these 'police-ing' beings track and catch any evil spirit that might 'escape'.





Daoism also has a Tiger God* <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> who is depicted in full-tiger form, as well as in part-tiger form (where he has a tiger head, but the body is more in human upright pose and dressed up, just as the sacred Dragons are sometimes depicted), etc.

He is not quite the vahanam of another God, but he does go with a certain specific God, sort of like how the God Hanuman is not exactly the vahanam of Rama/Vishnu but goes with Rama - in a "they belong together" sense, a "set". And hence they tend to be depicted together and placed together in pooja areas.

[* EDIT: this Tiger might be an Immortal rather than a God. Not sure. Moorties of him are indeed worshipped with dedicated stotras - though that's not exclusive to Daoist Gods. However, his narrative sounds like that of an Immortal to me...]





To finish off: the disclaimers.

- All Hindu terms used in this post are solely for the purpose of helping Hindoo readers "understand" (the position in Daoist cosmology of) the few Daoist Gods and aspects of Daoism mentioned here. Otherwise there's no identity-relation to Hindu religion, because Daoism is a distinct religion with distinct Gods. Indians: do NOT encroach. Don't even go there.

- Don't pass on anything about Daoism etc. to the aliens including dabblers such as oryanits-aka-aryanists/new ageists/anyone prone to "convert" to *others'* heathenisms. Alien dabblers are essentially a type of vampire. Always feasting on *others'* heathenisms, draining these of life while trying to replenish themselves with their parasiting.

- I specifically chose the sets of Daoist Gods and features of Daoism that Hindus have sorts of 'similar' sets for. There are of course also classes of Daoist Gods the likes of which I don't think Hindus have.

- What I've stated above is extremely superficial stuff. And it's at this superficial level that you see similarities. The details are different though: their Gods are different (though no less real, they are not the same as the Hindu Gods qua identity), their "mantras" etc are consequently different. Their religion is different. (What is the same is that their Gods are worthy of the piety the Daoists have for them. Meaning: the Daoists are attached to their ancestral Gods for the reasons that Hindoos are attached to theirs. Or Julian etc to his.)

- The Daoists are devout, loyal heathens: all their Gods are worshipped. Some at the right time, for a specific purpose or period (like a dedicated festival or occasion). Several Gods preside over practically Everything and can therefore be propitiated for everything (and everyday), other Gods preside over one or more specific matters and hence specifically propitiated for those things, though these Gods too can be generally and daily praised as part of Daoist Heaven I think. (And this, BTW, is another way you can tell that Daoists know that their religion does not have one 'god' entity, but has many - very real and *known* - Gods.)
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This is perhaps a bit less directly related to Other Natural Religions than the previous post, and a bit more on... more indirect - but still related - stuff.





Oh look, it's the cosmic egg. No, I don't mean the Hiranyagarbha in this case. (And certainly not any "shared IE mythos" drivel). I mean the egg located a bit more to the right on the map: the *Chinese* Cosmic Egg. The following is as relayed by a Nipponese:



Quote:In Chinese mythology, for example, in the beginning there was the cosmic egg. The infant god P’an Ku resided for almost an eternity inside the egg, which floated on a formless sea of Chaos.



When it finally hatched, P’an Ku grew enormously, over ten feet per day, so the top half of the eggshell became the sky and the bottom half the earth. After 18,000 years, he died to give birth to our world: his blood became the rivers, his eyes the sun and moon, and his voice the thunder.



While it's possible some may think science does not belong in the Natural Religions thread, I'd disagree. After all, christians screeched "sorcery! witchcraft!" at the Hellenistic mathematicians (and then killed them). Besides, science is sort of the breath of life for most heathens. Even in our free time, as is the case with all fellow sci-fi fans. E.g. if asked what I "believe" in, I'd say: I believe in the distinct possibility and likelihood of time travel (and alternative timelines, naturally), parallel universes (~"parallel dimensions") and the eventual ability to travel between them, FTL (duh) not just wormhole travel, and of course, must toss in the culmination of AI: ancestor simulation theory. That I "believe" in the very real possibility of the existence of numerous intelligent, technologically-advanced alien species simply goes without saying - as Sagan explained, even this our known universe is *way* too huge to have only spawned us as its sole sample (and aren't we a rather boring, slow and disappointing one at that) - but I guess I have to admit it's possible our species may extinct before meeting any others, especially considering the rate at which we're doing anything in space.

Those are all - and the only - things I "believe" in. They are all plausible, possible, theorised (as distinctly possible and even as our future - by bigwigs in fields from Physics to AI*), but not all fully proven (yet), hence requiring a degree of what others may call "belief" on my part. It's not real belief actually: I'm just waiting for the evidence to roll in to seal the deal...



(I basically just described everyone I know/am friends with - we're all clones of each other.)

* Half the science books that appeal to me read like sci-fi. I think of them as "sci-fi minus the bad romance subplots" <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' /> (note that if it were a good romance subplot, I'd not complain).



Anyway, the next excerpt from the book where I stole the previous quoteblock from - the book's dated somewhere in the last decade I think - sticks out as perhaps relevant to India-forum. (Maybe not, but Pretend.)

Quote:M-THEORY AND THE ELEVENTH DIMENSION

The very idea of parallel universes was once viewed with suspicion by scientists as being the province of mystics, charlatans, and cranks. Any scientist daring to work on parallel universes was subject to ridicule and was jeopardizing his or her career, since even today there is no experimental evidence proving their existence.

But recently, the tide has turned dramatically, with the finest minds on the planet working furiously on the subject. The reason for this sudden change is the arrival of a new theory, string theory, and its latest version, M-theory, which promise not only to unravel the nature of the multiverse but also to allow us to “read the Mind of God,” as Einstein once eloquently put it. If proved correct, it would represent the crowning achievement of the last two thousand years of research in physics, ever since the Greeks first began the search for a single coherent and comprehensive theory of the universe.

The number of papers published in string theory and M-theory is staggering, amounting to tens of thousands. Hundreds of international conferences have been held on the subject. Every single major university in the world either has a group working on string theory or is desperately trying to learn it. Although the theory is not testable with our feeble present-day instruments, it has sparked enormous interest among physicists, mathematicians, and even ex-perimentalists who hope to test the periphery of the theory in the future with powerful gravity wave detectors in outer space and huge atom smashers.

Ultimately, this theory may answer the question that has dogged cosmologists ever since the big bang theory was first proposed: what happened before the big bang?

This requires us to bring to bear the full force of our physical knowledge, of every physical discovery accumulated over the centuries. In other words, we need a “theory of everything,” a theory of every physical force that drives the universe. Einstein spent the last thirty years of his life chasing after this theory, but he ultimately failed.

At present, the leading (and only) theory that can explain the diversity of forces we see guiding the universe is string theory or, in its latest incarnation, M-theory. (M stands for “membrane” but can also mean “mystery,” “magic,” even “mother.” Although string theory and M-theory are essentially identical, M-theory is a more mysterious and more sophisticated framework which unifies various string theories.)

Ever since the Greeks, philosophers have speculated that the ultimate building blocks of matter might be made of tiny particles called atoms. Today, with our powerful atom smashers and particle accelerators, we can break apart the atom itself into electrons and nuclei, which in turn can be broken into even smaller subatomic particles. But instead of finding an elegant and simple framework, it was distressing to find that there were hundreds of subatomic particles streaming from our accelerators, with strange names like neutrinos, quarks, mesons, leptons, hadrons, gluons, W-bosons, and so forth. It is hard to believe that nature, at its most fundamental level, could create a confusing jungle of bizarre subatomic particles.

String theory and M-theory are based on the simple and elegant idea that the bewildering variety of subatomic particles making up the universe are similar to the notes that one can play on a violin string, or on a membrane such as a drum head. (These are no ordinary strings and membranes; they exist in ten- and eleven-dimensional hyperspace.)

Traditionally, physicists viewed electrons as being point particles, which were infinitesimally small. This meant physicists had to introduce a different point particle for each of the hundreds of subatomic particles they found, which was very confusing. But according to string theory, if we had a supermicroscope that could peer into the heart of an electron, we would see that it was not a point particle at all but a tiny vibrating string. It only appeared to be a point particle because our instruments were too crude.



This tiny string, in turn, vibrates at different frequencies and resonances. If we were to pluck this vibrating string, it would change mode and become another subatomic particle, such as a quark. Pluck it again, and it turns into a neutrino. In this way, we can explain the blizzard of subatomic particles as nothing but different musical notes of the string. We can now replace the hundreds of subatomic particles seen in the laboratory with a single object, the string.

In this new vocabulary, the laws of physics, carefully constructed after thousands of years of experimentation, are nothing but the laws of harmony one can write down for strings and membranes.

The laws of chemistry are the melodies that one can play on these strings. The universe is a symphony of strings. And the “Mind of God,” which Einstein wrote eloquently about, is cosmic music resonating throughout hyperspace. (Which raises another question: If the universe is a symphony of strings, then is there a composer? I address this question in chapter 12.)



MUSICAL ANALOGY

STRING COUNTERPART

Musical notation

Mathematics

Violin strings

Superstrings

Notes

Subatomic particles

Laws of harmony

Physics

Melodies

Chemistry

Universe

Symphony of strings

“Mind of God”

Music resonating through

hyperspace

Composer

?



THE END OF THE UNIVERSE

[...]
(Insert: heathens - Hellenistic, Hindu etc - regard music as the culmination of Maths. E.g. Julian famously vocalised this old Hellenistic view in his usual formidable way.)



In my reading of the above quoteblock: at surface level at least, it's a bit reminiscent of the decades-old explanations by Hindoos* for how the sounds of the Veda mantras are related to the nature of the Kosmos.

* To pick a popular, written example: unless I'm misremembering, the previous head Shankaracharya at KAnchi MaTham also explained the Veda mantras and their nature and relationship to the Kosmos (or "creation", to use the phrase of the Japanese author of the above quoteblock) - of their all-permeating presence - in this manner. But I'll have to leave the accuracy of my memory as to the similarity of analogies used for others to verify. Though *I think* the Shankaracharya's explanation, as that of several other Hindoos, were older than String theory. Then again, it could just be me taking similarities in analogies to imply similarities in the underlying phenomena described therewith. Still, the likenesses in choice of description/conceptualising/visualising remain interesting to note, even if the nature of things explicated were to turn out to not be the same.



The book taken as a whole is sort of like a Physics (particularly cosmology) for Dummies - quite suited to my low-brow level of understanding of ... anything really. ("Awwww, poor mathematically-inept husky" Confusedympathy-bowl: <- Hey, if I play my cards right, I could work this into my repertoire better than showing off a plastered papercut... <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />)



Anyway. Oddly enough, in the course of his trying to explain the state of cosmology in the sciences with reference to what theologies contend on the origin of the world around us, the author only knows 2 paradigms - the Buddhist and the Judaic one - to compare it all to, having only the merest snatches of info concerning Chinese (Daoist) and Hindu cosmological theories to draw parallels with the nature of the universe as revealed by science.



But personally, I was seeing a *lot* of echoes of Daoist cosmology in the revelation of the universe provided by the physics as summarised/simplified in this book. (And having a bit of familiarity of Hindu cosmology - definitely more than the author appears to - I also noticed direct parallels with this.) The author appears to require a unification of both Judaic and Buddhist cosmologies in order to find a 'completer' match with what Physics has shown of the universe, and even that is a bit stretched (especially as Genesis is particularly limited to the solar system at most and earth in particular). But I find that just Daoism on its own OR just Hinduism on its own (i.e. either one of the two) suffices: the eternally-recreated multiverse, that has a beginning, middle and end, and which is regenerated, again and again, and which is made up of dark matter and dark energy etc, all aligns rather well. Well enough to draw more cogent parallels IMO than the kind the author was able to make with his chosen sample religions. Especially if you start using the Hindoo theory of tatvas in the makeup/evolution of the universe to explicate.



But such similarities ought not to be surprising I suppose, as Daoism - even in its most fundamental building blocks - is a religion very much concerned with space (both outer and inner space, and the relationship between the two. Quite like Hindus' religion in that respect too.)
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(My inserts in purple)



kamakoti.org/kamakoti/stotra/acharyascall/bookview.php?chapnum=64

Quote:His Holiness Sri Jagadguru Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam (note, this refers to the previous head of the peeTham) granted an audience to Professor Hajime Nakamura, Professor of Indian philosophy, Faculty of Letters, University of Tokyo, on Friday night, January 22, 1960, at His Holiness’ Camp at Numbai. He was accompanied by Prof. Miyamoto, Professor of French, of the same University.



[...]

[color="#800080"](...Shankaracharya speaking about elements of Sanatana Dharma seen in Japan, i.e. Hindu Gods...)[/color]

At this stage, the Japanese Professor interrupted and said that Shintoism was the pre-Buddhist religion of Japan and that Shintoism was Brahminism.

(He means Sanatana Dharma* I think.)



And here I was thinking HindOOs' religion/HindOOs were sort of the Indian variant of Shinto. And of Daoism. (usw)

But maybe I shouldn't speak for others - we're told there's no "we", after all.

Personally, then: I identify.





* The religion concerning the Sanatana Gods. Called "Hinduism/Vedic religion" usw where Hindus are concerned.
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Quote:[...] the neo-Platonist Porphyry considered Athene in the Cave of the Nymphs to have taught Odysseus detachment from earthly goods and expounded the doctrine of transmigration.

[...]

No less than his philosophical opponents, Porphyry wrenches his author's text, presuming in him a knowledge of ancient mystery cults which is incompatible with the whole tenor of the poem. I take it that in the Homeric world some knowledge of these things had survived, but that in the poet's [color="#800080"][Homer's][/color] own environment it had almost altogether faded. The Odyssey keeps many vestiges of older traditional religion -- one would be perplexed if it did not. The Cave of the Nymphs with its human and its divine entrance is indeed a natural place for initiation; the four paradisal streams on Calypso's island belong of course to ancient cosmogony, but for Homer these things seem no more numinous than [color="#800080"]<analogy irrelevant and unfamiliar to present audience>[/color].

[...]
(The above is written by a Brit non-Hellene.)



I've left out the rest though it continues on the topic for a short space thereafter. And the bits replaced with ellipses are not relevant to the reasons for posting.



I suppose since I've chosen this particular excerpt - chosen because it was briefer than others that spoke of the ancientry of such notions in Hellenismos - some notes may be warranted, for any who may not already know.



[But before that: Quick Someone, call in the ur-Shramanism peddlers, to declare that even the *pre* Homeric Hellenistic tradition - which is where Porphyry and the rest get their views from - were influenced/shaped by (the recently-invented and backprojected) ur-Shramanism. No? Am I wrong? I mean, doesn't all renunciation - such as "detachment from earthly goods" - and all notions/doctrines of "transmigration" derive from the concocted ur-Shramanism onlee, older though the known and established heathen traditions be?

But this is the heathenism thread, so I'll leave out the silly ur-Shramanism and leave off making jibes at it, though it's actually sadly true that absurd claims by ur-Shramanism peddlers have been launched on Hellenismos too. Ugh. Yuck. Perhaps a post on that some day. Though I hope not.]



Anyway, comments worth making perhaps:



1. Porphyry (late antiquity) is following an older tradition in reading Homer as he does. At the very least, he finds an older Hellenistic tradition present in the above-described event in the [termination of the] wanderings of Odysseus, hence even as relayed by Homer.

And the above excerpt admits at least that much: that the explication of Hellenistic mysteries that Porphyry in his much later time finds in Homer (~mid 8th century BCE) were ancient Hellenistic views and indeed pre-Homer. Actually, ancient even in Homer's time.



2. Porphyry et al's *manner* of reading is very valid and goes back to an old tradition. This is how initiates into Hellenistic mysteries would read their narratives, especially narratives concerning the Gods: reading things that are not transparent/not obviously there for everyone, let alone non-Hellenistic readers. . I.e. they perceive extra dimensions to the material, things which are not written/said overtly, but which are seen as being implicitly there and as having *always* been present in the text, with that intention (e.g. the way the Daoists during ritual practice demonstrate how a famous texts of theirs - one which aliens declare makes no reference to Gods - actually makes copious reference to Gods throughout). The sacred Orphic narrative collection concerning the Hellenistic Gods, for example, was used for religious reading/ritual practise and was made full and proper sense of - was set in its proper context - only by initiates, therefore an outsider who reads it 'straightforwardly' will never get at its actual meaning. From what I can tell, the initiates read these things in the same manner as Porphyry reads Homer (although that was the *primary* way to read the particular collection): perceiving the things left unsaid based on the express motifs clearly present that are pregnant with meaning to the native Hellenistic mind - and especially to the initiates of Hellenistic mysteries - and which they alone know how to read.

(Porphyry was a what's called Platonist "neo-Platonist". IIRC this basically meant a whole range of Hellenistic practices, from theurgy and Orphic mysteries to of course having views that Plato and other Hellenistic forbears had held.)



Even in general, Hellenes had a certain set of views concerning their Gods - the right views for their religion - that the casual non-Hellenstic reader of their materials does not have and can't really acquire. It's their stuff, they understand it correctly and know how to read it. Not everything is written for straightforward/outsider WYSIWYG reading after all - certainly not a lot of heathen stuff** - contrary to how world mythologists read these things. (At best, the latter have only ever pretended - by using their tendency for bad interpolations - to know/understand the layered meanings and the implicit bits, and even invented other meanings never present, but it's amazing how often they're wrong: even everyday ancient Hellenes easily perceived things in their texts that completely bypasses the mythologists who claim great expertise. But then, the latter specifically don't *want* these materials to be read in the native heathen way, and don't accept native heathen readings of heathen materials, which is the other problem. Native heathens have insider views - impossible to be acquired by outsiders - which defeats the whole claim to expertise of the outsiders, who simply *can't* see it that way and don't understand where the natives are getting it all from and think the natives are 'simply making too much of it', or elsewhere, sometimes 'not making enough of it'.)



[** Also, in the larger context of heathenisms all over the world: some heathen materials and some heathenisms in entirety are not meant for other ethnic groups, no matter how desperate alien persons are to dabble in others' concerns.]



3. As for the particular case of whether Homer - in composing versions based off older narratives - actually *intended* what Porphyry found to be present in the work, becomes secondary at this point. Still, in defence of Porphyry, one can state some facts that at least do not provide any evidence to contradict his reading:



As per Hellenistic tradition concerning their sacred ..."bards" [and Homer as a bard is himself a product of this tradition] and concerning the origin of both their knowledge of the lays they recount and their knowledge of their craft, and since Homer describes himself as relaying what the Goddess (one of the Muses, daughters of Zeus) is showing him - at times in vision, else in transference of information/presumably words - Homer is *recounting*, no more no less. At its plainest, a non-Hellene can say he is doing no more than recounting/developing/embellishing a long-standing tradition among his contemporaries: that of the fortunes and fallout from Ilium.

The Hellenistic view - and that of the composer, which he made known even in the sacred formulaic opening/invocation - is that it was divinely instilled/obtained. (IIRC he asks the Goddess Muse to sing to him about one and to teach him the other on which he composed). Whatever else one can say, many an ancient Greek regarded the compositions of this bard of theirs (as that of their others) sacred and divinely-inspired.



Be that as it may, if there *were* embedded mysteries in the epic Homeric compositions or the 2nd one at any rate - as there certainly were in other 'mainstream' Hellenistic works and performances of the time (and some performances at temples *were* the mysteries) - it's unlikely Homer would have revealed these more openly anyway: such elements were always meant for the initiated, and it is they who would know what to make of the additional layer of meaning, whereas the rest of the audience will overlook this part but take the more general message intended for them. ** So I still think one can't actually conclude whether Homer "knew" or didn't: embedded mysteries were there to be recognised and pondered by those in the know, not to be openly explicated by the narrator/bard even were they an initiate themselves - since he is performing to a *general* public. In other words: I guess, we'll never really "know" whether Homer "knew". We only have the likes of ancient Hellenes initiated into even more ancient Hellenistic Mysteries to go on, such as Porphyry and others initiated into Hellenstic Mysteries: if they find tell-tale indicators of their Mysteries and think it is clearly present and well-defined in the texts, well then, it is *their* stuff after all, meaning: they *are* the ones to recognise this, if anyone. It's not really a matter for any alien or any other heathen to comment on.



[Also, it's not like Homer was never recognised as being one in the know of the Gods: IIRC at least some of the Homeric Hymns were ascribed to him (or thought to be), and which were used for... well, for what the word Hymn stands for in their religion. Clearly the Hellenes must have considered their composer to be an expert for them to have considered these hymns and the ritual knowledge they contained to be sacred.]



** In this context, need to remember that the Hellenes took divulging mysteries as a criminal offence. IIRC, within about 3 centuries from Homer, Aeschylus was prosecuted for allegedly blabbing about the Eleusinian Mysteries, but was then let off the hook when it transpired that he hadn't. (How refreshingly different from the modern hobby of Indian traitors/religion-salesmen inviting and teaching *aliens* to dabble...)







Long disclaimer: the opening quoteblock of this post is not put here for the purpose of "Look, what a great 'coincidence' of similarity to ideas Hindus may be familiar with." There is nothing of surprise or revelation in it - there shouldn't be. (Ur-Shramanisms and their ignorance and desperation to encroach notwithstanding, no one else needs be surprised, especially as transmigration was an early view among Hellenes and co-existed with their other ancient views on the afterlife, as is well-known.) Such views, as also monism, are terribly common (but not the sole views) among ancient established heathenisms - in general lines of course, as specifics differ.





In fact, most of the - admittedly few - heathen religions that I have a fleeting familiarity with - though not all - seem to have the notion of transmigration. That's not to say these same general features are present in each and every heathenism, as that would be an inane blanket statement to make.



What's unique about Hindu religion is that which is unique about every other similar heathenism. It's actually what is unique to ethnic populations: the characters and persons of the Gods, and specific traditions native to the religion. They're not shared and non-shareable. Also, details differ. Such as exact rituals (again, non-shareable), sacred works, views, etc. These form the individual character and identity of the individual heathenisms of the world. [It correlates with ethno-geography.] Hindu Gods are connected to ethnic Hindus, it's why they're our ancestral Gods. A rather useful example for the context: Hindu Gods are connected to Hindu families and communities and the Hindu populace as a whole, the way Athena is attached to Odysseus' line. (So even without - in the comparison - much familiarity with his son Telemachos, she jumps in whole-heartedly in his favour to help him, thereby attaching the next generation even more to her than he already was. IIRC Nestor perceives Athena when she reveals herself in Telemachos' company, and he notices how Telemachos is favoured by her just as she favours the boy's father with her constant presence and thought for him. Nestor then proceeds to eagerly worship Athena, requesting that she may love and watch over himself and his family/future generations in similar manner.) Anyway, this is how Hindu Gods are attached to Hindus: your ancestors secured that attachment for you, and your own attachment to the Gods continues their connection with you and with subsequent generations. [And when you seriously break that connection, it looks bad for more than yourself, and you leave it for those others to pick up the pieces.] Aliens have no connection to our Gods, self-delusions notwithstanding (e.g. one alien femme declared that 'she *feels* that Budhan wants her to pray to him' - typical new ageist nonsense). Aliens are people whose heathen ancestors had a two-way connection with their own ancestral Gods, but which connection the present-day aliens' christo-converted/islamised ancestors broke in a long succession. That's why any alien wanting to be a heathen has to make the effort to re-establish a connection with his/her ancestral Gods. This effort is huge - doubly so because they have to undo their ancestors' crime of abandoning the Gods and "prove their trustworthiness/loyalty" as it were - but the effort will pay dividends for themselves and their progeny in future if they secure success. But instead of that, alien dabblers terrorise *other* people's Gods/encroach on other populations' religions. Which is a double error: they perpetuate their ancestors' crime of abandoning their own Gods by yet refusing to retrieve their own Gods, but are then chasing after Gods not connected to them, i.e. others' Gods. Why do they imagine Others' Gods will look favourably on a population that remains estranged from their own? It's like some kid publicly kicking his own good parents and then pretending that sucking up to someone else's parents will lead to his own adoption by them.)



But I strayed from the point again (but hey, at least I left out examples of how old/established Hindoo readings/perceptions/views of Hindoo works get dismissed by non-Hindus, the way Porphyry's views are demoted - by a British non-Hellene writing so far removed in time and mindset - as being but 'probably projected onto Homer').



The point of this post is there in the opening blockquote.
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Trivia. On this:

Quote:Such views [as transmigration], as also monism, are terribly common (but not the sole views) among ancient established heathenisms - in general lines of course, as specifics differ.

Hardly surprising. Anyone/any human population pondering what happens post-death usually tends to conclude variations on that a. 'surely we must go on, this can't be all there is/my consciousness can't terminate/what's the meaning or purpose of the accumulation of experience otherwise, etc' which may or may not be valid musings, or b. 'we don't go on, there's only evidence of death, no afterlife, let's not make stuff up about the unknown, meaning: cessation of life ends identity/consciousness', or the more curious, heathen but less common c. 'this is the inner dream, and with death we actually keep waking into an outer/encapsulating dream, which is the truer reality, until we unpeel the final onion layer/wake into the final, true reality' type notion, basically: we're 'dreaming' and death awakens us into 'reality' (and indeed, this whole world/kosmos is also seen as the Dream of the Dreamer).



And then a is split further into: 1. we go to some permanent hereafter, at its simplest it leads to notions of 'we can bury/burn/mummify our belongings - even our bones - with us' to take into the afterlife, or 2. some indivisible essence of ourselves keeps re-appearing in new forms, in which case it makes sense not to get too attached to stuff we won't be taking with us when we die, or 3. a [simple to complex] combination of 1 and 2, and a bit of c. The latter notions then derive further, more complex notions, like on what 'essence' is guaranteeably preserved/what we *do* take with us when we die, a definition of fundamental minimum/irreducible identity of sorts. So some people concluded that transmigration is only within the community, others think it happens only within ethno-geography but within any community or species therein, the general notion of all 'living'/sentient things known to one's *own* cosmology, and - in far more modern views - that tomorrow we may born among E.T.s or at the least in foreign earthly lands never known to ancestors. And perhaps day-after-tomorrow we'll amend it to being born even as artifice or other 'unsentient' and deathless thing [and why not really, since in Shinto at least, everything has a spirit].



(More unique/unexpected/non-straightforward developments combined b with a variation on 2, but nowhere appears to have done so originally/without precursor.)



Enz.



Ancient human communities already had notions of transmigration and developed on it to various degrees and often quite in depth. That the Hellenes or Hindus or Taoists etc logically did so too is hardly remarkable or revelatory. (Also, that such might not be the *only* view concerning 'the afterlife' for (any of) these or other heathen communities, or even the primary one, or even the most common one, would also not be remarkable.)





And repeating the only bit worth reading (I didn't write it) in these last two posts:

Quote:
Quote:[...] the neo-Platonist Porphyry considered Athene in the Cave of the Nymphs to have taught Odysseus detachment from earthly goods and expounded the doctrine of transmigration.

[...]

No less than his philosophical opponents, Porphyry wrenches his author's text, presuming in him a knowledge of ancient mystery cults which is incompatible with the whole tenor of the poem. I take it that in the Homeric world some knowledge of these things had survived, but that in the poet's [color="#800080"][Homer's][/color] own environment it had almost altogether faded. The Odyssey keeps many vestiges of older traditional religion -- one would be perplexed if it did not. The Cave of the Nymphs with its human and its divine entrance is indeed a natural place for initiation; the four paradisal streams on Calypso's island belong of course to ancient cosmogony, but for Homer these things seem no more numinous than [color="#800080"]<analogy irrelevant and unfamiliar to present audience>[/color].

[...]
(The above is written by a Brit non-Hellene.)
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1. Concerning the following statement from a few posts ago (#105):



Quote:In the case of the 9 Emperors, Hindus already know of the very famous Jade Emperor.
I'm no longer sure that Jade Emperor is one of the 9. I may be wrong (or I may yet be correct), not sure, since the Jayanti for all the 9 appears to be on the same day and this seems to be a separate day from the Jayanti of the Jade Emperor. What makes me think this is that the latter is celebrated around the New Year (of the Chinese, not the Roman calendar, obviously), whereas those of the 9 was much later in the year. If separate, then Daoism has more Emperor Gods than 9. Perhaps that means he need not be a Star (?) He's still the cosmic ruler of all the lokas in Daoism.



During his Jayanti and certain other festivities involving Him, the Daoists create a special Asana (according to specific standards) for the Daoist Devaraaja to come and sit in when he is invoked. The Daoists are devoted to making his favourite foods to offer to him during these occasions and also to feed his entourage - his accompanying host - when they arrive.

As their Divine Fathers and Mothers, the Daoist Gods procure all that is good for their Daoist children and protect them and provide them with prosperity and contentment. It is for this sake that the Daoists commemorate the festivals of their Gods and remember them and adore them.



Speaking of more Gods than I thought: some matters in Daoism have many Gods presiding over it apparently. E.g. the Daoists apparently don't have just 1 Thundergod. Their Thunder-Gods number somewhere in the mid-thirties :woo: (Reminded me of how there are numerous Maruts in Hindu religion, and Agni bhagavaan is said to have several bairns (at least a couple, IIRC) as well as a great many grandchildren who are all also of agni form. This is next to Agni himself coming in numerous forms.)





2. Also, next to the specific subset of 12 Nakshatras in Daoism (separate from one of their Amman-s who still seems to be a constellation to me, going by her name - from my limited knowledge of Astronomy), the larger set of Nakshatras in Daoism is .... 28! :grins:

I think the Hindus have 27 Nakshatra Devataas - but to be honest, I imagine that I once counted our Nakshatras to 28 (it's possible I just can't count very well, but even so: the number is definitely between a minimum of 27 and a max of 28).



Anyway, in the Daoist case, it has to do with the number of Nakshatras seen in the heavens from their POV (i.e. from China) and which they named. They count 7 in each of their subset of 4 directions, each associated with one of their 4 colours/directions/Animals. (There's a sacred animal associated with each direction.)



<snip>

5. Recently found a great analogy for aliens' total and permanent inability to know or understand heathenism (let alone others' heathenism).



A main theme of Stanislaw Lem's Solaris (a science fiction classic*) is supposed to be about how totally unknowable aliens (as in extra-terrestrials) must be to humans: how they can never be understood and how even communication with them must be difficult or impossible, because they are so alien from everything we know. In Solaris, the titular planet is supposed to be an intelligent life form itself. With god-like powers/intelligence - compared to humanity. But after a long time studying it (maybe a century?), humans still have no idea about its motivations and remain unable to communicate with it. [It's not that nothing happens: from the planet's end, the planet seems to monitor the humans monitoring it. While they sleep, it seems to be aware of their subconscious (the implication is it probes their thoughts and dreams) and generates from this copies of humans they know. But the humans are flabbergasted when faced with these copies of humans from their past who are essential to them. They wonder what the "motivation" of Solaris is in sending these characters to them - are its intentions malignant? - but the underlying point is that they will never understand what its motivation is, let alone if it has any real motivation in doing so. They assume its trying to communicate with them by this means, but don't understand its means of communication.]



Solaris touches on man's difficulty in properly understanding/knowing oneself and consequently the inability to know anyone else, even those close to us - then how would we know/understand aliens so far removed from our understanding (let alone a godlike intelligent life form like Solaris, that does not communicate by any means we know/comprehend)? To get back to the analogy:



Solaris - at the end just as in the beginning of Lem's work - remains unknowable to the humans. They can only ponder its motivations, knowing nothing at all more than Mere Speculation from their side (since its own side is unknowable to them, they can only attribute stuff to it, which is in all likelihood false).

Solaris' unknowability to humanity is quite like how aliens can never understand heathens and heathenism. Despite studying these. Despite dabbling and threatening to convert. Despite setting up chairs in alien climes and declaring themselves the experts on Hinduism, on Sanskrit/Vedic studies/Indology, Asian Studies, Classical Studies, Philosophy etc. They'll forever be aliens looking on - talking at you, over you, through you. And never know anything more. Mwahahaha.
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1. There seemed to be a lot of similarities between Hellenismos and E Asian religions for which I haven't always come across similarities in Hindu religion (could just be my ignorance). I think Korean religion is called Chendogyo (sp?). I think it means Way of Heaven, IIRC I read that Chendogyo has some 18,000 Gods.



At the moment I can remember 2 instances, but had mentally recalled several points of similarity. Guess I might write them up as I remember and can be bothered.



Warning to serious animal-friends: the first item may feel a bit uncomfortable. But there's no details.



a. Oracling by means of gutting/dissecting certain animals - birds inclusive - and inspecting their guts was common in Greek religio-culture, IIRC seen even in Homer. Existed down to the Roman period. IIRC this is even documented of Marc Aurely. [Which could explain why I think I remember seeing Marcus Aurelius (played by the Obi Wan Kenobi actor oh dear how can I forget his name - Alec Guinness :woohoo:, growing forgetful) in "Fall of the Roman Empire" I think it was, standing next to some associate of his [played by the ubiquitous James Mason?] who dissected some animal to foretell something or other. The script IIRC was by Will Durant who was no doubt trying to be as historical as a technicolour epic allowed. I can't remember much else in the movie, other than that Guinness looked suitably regal. Maybe I never watched it to completion.]



Anyway, oracling by inspecting the guts of dissected animals also occurs in Korean religion. Of course, generally considered a common feature in "shamanistic" religions, but I've only seen it so heavily documented in Korean and Greek religion so far.



[Not sure if any Hindus do or did this sort of thing. It's surely possible, but I've never heard of it myself, being ignorant and all.]



I think sometimes in Greek religion the gutted animals moreover get sacrificed, or as part of the sacrifice they get gutted and inspected for oracle info. I think the same appears to be the case with Korean religion also, though I can't remember well enough to swear by this.





b. Hades grabbing Goddess Persephone and making a rush for his realm Erebus, making her His Queen, with her not being too willing at first.

(This is a prodigiously sacred Greek narrative I understand - some of the key Hellenistic Mysteries are to be explicated in it - and I'm sorry to treat it so lightly. But better lightly than pretend I "know" what it is really about by regurgitating the explanations of the experts. I often feel like I should be the last heathen to be allowed to talk about heathen narratives at all, even where it concerns Hindoo religion, not being a deep or serious person in any sense. Hence I write about it trivially, but hopefully inoffensively otherwise.)



IIRC Persephone's Mother, Goddess Demeter, makes a convincing case to the other Gods of Olympos that they must do something about it. I think Hermes (or someone else important) is dispatched to go see Hades and convince him that his brother Zeus and the other Gods are none too happy, especially as Demeter is none too happy and things are threatening to go barren.

The narrative is well-known, I leave it there. It all ends relatively happily.



In Korean religion, their Sun God I think (or was it their Thunder God?) falls in love with a planty/tree-ish type of Goddess, daughter of another great Korean God. She gets locked into his palace after being invited there. IIRC her dad complains to the other Gods, with as result that the Sun God officially marries her, but he still won't give her up.

The rest of the narrative of course differs between that of the Greek and Korean Gods concerned (since they're not the same Gods obviously and have their own life-stories): the Korean Goddess doesn't spend 50/50 with husband and rest of family like Persephone does, but she runs off and has his bairn in an ancient Korean kingdom, from what I understand. Divine Bairn is suitably miraculously born from ....an egg. Apparently many Korean Gods are born from eggs too (at least one of whom was born from a golden egg, if not this very one). Divine Bairn is very famous Korean God who IIRC was also a famous divine ruler of the land, unless I'm getting him mixed up with another Korean God.

Yes it was the Sun God after all, because I remember the Sun God warmed his son, the egg, with his delightful rays, when the king of the Korean kingdom tossed the Divine Egg out on dry land, fearing it special/abnormal/dangerous (I suppose an exo-egg for a baby to hatch from was unusual enough to be suspect).



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: the orb of the Sun goes about in its fixed movement everyday, but the Sun God himself travels to earth in his ratha meanwhile.



* Were the desperate PIE-ists ever to find out, they will descend from no-where and try to delude themselves yet again to claim this too must somehow (as in magically) be MADE/force-fit to be traced back to... the unattested PIE swindl.. I mean theory, thus negating other people's living religion. I mean, that's what PIE-ists do. That's why they're "collecting" "world" "mythology" after all. To claim all the good exciting heroic stuff as "PIE" ultimately and as being graciously donated to non-IE populations by IE - somehow. ("Make it so!") Ugh yuck.



After all, PIE-ists always think/insist/desperately believe their invented PIE religion is "original" - i.e. that all the "features" collected for the PIE religion are original/uniquely PIE. And whenever they (eventually) realise it is NOT (i.e. that things claimed for IE are often actually attested in other ancient religions and not just so-called IE religions, thus making the features so far imagined to be "exclusively" IE turn out to be not specific at all to "IE"), then the PIE-ists' beady green eyes of uncontrolled raving jealousy will fester and ooze and the last of their remaining grey cells will work overtime to the draw the inevitable conclusion, inevitably without evidence: they will declare that "somehow", the "similar" "feature" in non-IE religion "must be" traced back to PIE. Even though there's no evidence for PIE and they give no evidence for how it traces back. Soon they will insinuate Hindooism or even - less sanely - Buddhism was behind the feature in Asian religion. Or maybe ancient continental Celts. Or Something. By gawd, anything! Except that this be Someone Else's Living Religion. But then PIE-ists don't have a living religion. They famously murdered their link to their own ancestral religion, which is why they treat everyone else's religion as dead too and why they invented PIE in the first place: as a substitute religion for the one they killed in themselves. Typical unheathenism. "World mythologists" - who are a subset of western unheathens - behave similar in reducing other - specifically living heathen - populations' living heathen religions into mere "mythologies" too.

Heathens have the last laugh of course: their heathen religions are still alive and their heathen Gods are known to be real. Whereas no PIE-ist I've ever read has ever seen a reconstructed "PIE" god. Personally, I'd diagnose this as being for very obvious reasons.)





2. Anyway, speaking of multi-headed dragons. A fearsome multi-headed - and multi-tailed - dragon called Orochi (multiple tails are common to special animals in Shinto religion), was famously vanquished by a heroic Shinto Sea God using a divine sword (which became a famous Japanese emblem). I don't remember if the dragon lived in a river or whether I'm confusing myself with the Daoist God Erlang heroically vanquishing a particularly meany man-eating dragon (as opposed to the usual sacred and good Daoist dragons) that lived in a river.





3. Reminds me. In Shinto religion, Oni-s are a type of super being that can be good or dangerous. They tend to be giants (humanoid form but not human, can have non-human number of certain features). The baddies can be man-eaters (sort of like raakshasas). Not being human, they have supernatural strength and abilities. They can be invisible or take human form. The term "oni" appears to sometimes also be used for vengeful ghosts, but that last appears to describe a different class of entities than the usual Oni.

Oni imagery is very famous, I am sure Hindus have seen these.



Some Shinto Kamis can be Onis (the way Rahu and Ketu are IIRC Asuras and not Devas): e.g. at least two famous Onis are Gods. These are the Thunder(+Lightning) God and Wind God of Shintoism. I think the two are brothers.



Still on the topic of Shinto religion: a famous traditional Japanese narrative of Shintoism, which even I am familiar with, features a very heroic boy who starts off lazy and becomes quite inspiring as he progresses (after being blessed by a great Kami). His mother was a lady-turned-into-a-dragon whom he eventually rescues from her curse, as part of his quest. It features two instances of forest-dwelling Onis. The giant Red Oni, a skilled percussionist apparently, who threatens to eat the protagonist and kidnap his heroic little girl-friend (so that she can play her flute to Red Oni alone, instead of to all the forest animals who gather to hear her: another common feature of Shinto religion is that humans and animals tend to form close friendships, often protagonists are said to be very dear to animals in the nearby forest and vice-versa). Our hero chastises the Red Oni by defeating him in IIRC a sumo/wrestling match (need to re-check) and then he launches said Oni into the clouds, where the Oni lands on one, learns his lesson and dedicates himself to drumming for the [Shinto] Thunder God and even returns to help the hero defeat an incorrigibly bad Oni: the colossal Black Oni with Extra Super Strength and IIRC an even larger club than the Red Oni. This one kidnaps the flute-girl and may even be preparing to eat her (or eat the hero when he comes to rescue her), but eventually gets bested by the hero with the help of his magic flying pony (I want one!) and I think also the help of the Red Oni bringing in the good-will of the Thunder God. The Black Oni is either tossed off a promontory or gets squished/imprisoned by a humongous rock. Gosh, I have a poor memory. Anyway, something climactic happens, Black Oni is incapacitated - he may still be there for all I know - and the cute little hero continues on his quest to find his mum and overcomes more intimidating and scary situations. You can never be too old for this stuff, it's just so kewl.



Anyway, man-eating giants with superpowers that either learn or have to be dealt with the hard way.



[Maybe, rather than modern JP popculture's "Shingeki No Kyojin" being inspired by the Giants of the Norse - as western viewers claim, despite the occasional fashionably German-ish lyrics for the OPs "Seid ihr das essen? Nein, wir sind der Jaeger!" and the equally catchy "Fluegel der Freiheit/Linie der Treuheit" :grins: - let alone the Kyoujin being called "Titans" by the English-language translators (when Laestrygonians/Lestrygons would be more appropriate: Titans are a type of Gods in Greek religion. Lestrygons were the less god-like population of man-eating giants that trapped and horrificly ate the crew of 11 of King Ulysses' 12 ships in super-speed. Not the same type of creature as the Cyclops, as the Lestrygons were not one-eyed: initally described as giant human-looking people - inhabitants of a proper kingdom a.o.t. the wilder, cave-dwelling cyclops - and then explained as looking like the very Titans whom the Olympic Gods fought since they turned out so fearsomely strong/irresistable. Note: Helios - Julian's iShTadevam - and the Moon Goddess of the Hellenes are actual Titans.)

Oh no, start again: Maybe, rather than Shingeki No Kyojin being inspired by the Norse giants or the Titans or even the Laestrygonians, the Kyojin of the modern work is inspired by Oni? Why not?]
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Related to the previous post.



1. Was trying to look up Red Oni and Black Oni and of course it's deliriously being claimed (on wacky) that the appearance of Oni may have been influenced by Buddhism with some randome allusion to raakshasas. Huh? Why would raakshasas look so unique then in Japan? Do raakshasas of Buddhism (let alone Hindu religion) look that way anywhere else? (Didn't know raakshasas were so popular in Buddhism, unless Buddhism again used a relevant part of Hinduism to appeal to Shintos? I'm going to skip any argument that looking to Buddhism is unnecessary when there was already Hindu influence in Japan.)

The Oni looks very un-Indian and distinctly Japanese (distinctly Shinto, specifically).



Oni may be invisible except to Shintoists but they are well-described and ancient in Shintoism. (Even the Red and Black Oni featured in the little Hero tale are from a traditional narrative about the beginnings of the spread of rice farming in Japan, which can't be from yesterday.)



In fact, Oni look a bit like the Daoist God Pangku - sp? (of cosmic egg fame, mentioned briefly some posts up): being rather large/giant, having one or more kombu/shR^ingaaH and wearing pelts. Oni however seem to bear near-grimaces/pull faces IMO in depictions (the excited features scare away bad influences) and therefore sort of are reminiscent of the adorable wide grin on the face of the sacred Lion half of the Divine Animal pair guarding Daoist temple entrances. Oni however can also have irregular numbers of certain facial (eyes, horns) and other bodily features.



(Pangku's narrative itself is considered very similar to the Norse creation narrative: soon PIE-ists will encroach on Daoist Pangku as being "influenced" by the Norse men. Grief. Although, in defence of North-Western European heathens, I doubt they would encroach, not being PIE-ists.)



On the matter of Daoist temples too, Buddhism is typically being miscredited again: nowadays you see ludicrous claims that Daoist temples must have been influenced by Buddhist temples, by blind claimants pointing to:



* how there are two large dwaarapalakas in front of Buddhist temple entrances (which Buddhism obviously copied from Hindu religion) and declare that the common feature of a Dragon and a Lion in front of Daoist temples "must have been copied" from Buddhism. Uh, no. The layout of Daoist temples is very particular. I'd like to see Buddhist temples in other Asian zones - where they are not competing with Hindu or Shinto or Taoist religion - that have dwaarapalakas. Do Thai pagodas have them? Well, if they did that would obviously have been due to inculturation on pre-existing Hindu religion.



* even more absurd: that the famous Daoist trimoorti in Daoist temples "must have been copied" from the Buddhist trinity in Buddhist temples. What Buddhist trinity would that be? A reclining, sitting and standing Buddha? (That's a joke/guess by the way.) But is this a feature in Buddhist temples outside of Daoist-influenced regions*? (Or regions where Buddhism competed with Hindu religion's trimoorti, which also pre-dated Buddhism.) Consider that the Daoist trimoorti - Gods of Longevity, Prosperity and Good Luck who are (not sure in which order) the Gods of past, present and future of Daoism - is a core set of Daoist Gods in the Daoist Pantheon. The Dao in 3-part form consists of the Daoist trimoorti. Together they can therefore constitute the total cosmology of Daoism even by themselves. (Like the Jade Emperor can - even by himself - constitute Daoist Heaven/cosmology, at least as a summary.)



* Note by the way that even Thailand is not outside of Daoist influence: the reception of a hotel associated with the Suvarnabhoomi airport (and near to it) still had a shrine for the trimoorti of Daoism when I last visited. (Their features - everything from size and colour of their beards and their clothing and colouring - are very distinct and obvious as the Daoist Divine Trio, and only when people are not familiar with Daoism may they mistake these vigrahas as being of some random 'Buddhist' entities. Thailand does have significant Daoist influence, as does much of SE Asia.)



Why is it that whenever Buddhism blatantly copies/rips off/inculturates on pre-existing heathen Asian religion, Buddhism is credited with these things while the native religion is dismissed as having copied Buddhism? Even though Buddhism does not have the same features in most other places where Buddhism landed? (Making them actually unique features of the native religion that was inculturated upon by Buddhism.)

Gatver.





Back to the Oni of Shinto.

Here are the very famous Shinto Wind and Thunder Gods/Kamis (Fuujin & Raijin, who are Onisama-s)

[Image: fujin_raijin.jpg]





Some stills from a well-known modern classic - don't worry I won't gush, superlatives won't do it justice anyway:

us.cdn283.fansshare.com/photos/spiritedaway/zerochan-spirited-away-2101953976.jpg



The 2nd to last row, leftmost screengrab, shows a large wall-screen in the background of this Shinto Bathhouse for the Gods (Kamis), containing traditional Shinto depictions of Oni (in the img here these are in yellow, green and red).



Typically Shinto. Not Buddhist (except where Japanese Buddhism may inculturate on Shinto depictions). And not the way Hindus depict raakShasas either, be honest.



[color="#0000FF"]INSERT:[/color]

Oh and NO pointing to Tibetan (and as a consequence some Nepali) Buddhist imagery as "obvious inspiration".* The "inspiration" was the other way around. First of all, Tibet got converted to Buddhism very late. Second, it didn't just have a Hindu presence, it has had heavy Daoist influence. The type of Buddhism in Tibet, despite not being quite Mahayana, still has had influence from Chinese Buddhism, which itself more than absorbed influences in imagery and Deities from Daoism. (Also, where in the world does Buddhism have any *original* imagery? Daoist imagery is actually originally Daoist, despite Buddhism-peddlers dismissing it as Buddhist-influenced in obvious inversion.) So no need to pretend that Tibetan Buddhist paintings are "original Buddhist" when they are obviously E Asian in influence. Singaporean Chinese Daoists were discussing examples of vigrahas of Daoist Gods that were misused and mangled by unfortunately ignorant Tibetan Buddhists who imagine these Gods to have anything to do with Buddhism. One commented how these Daoist Gods were tattoed all over with Buddhist mantras (in the mantra the Daoist God is specifically named, so it's not like a mistaken identity/accident), which Daoists understandably find incredibly wrong (because it IS wrong).



* E.g. the masked Mahakala-s in Tibetan (and Nepali) Buddhist imagery are very Daoist in depiction (they directly compare to even the cute Sacred Lion at Chinese and Taiwanese Daoist temple entrances). Another tell-tale sign is the use of Longs [=Daoism's "Asian" "Dragons"] in place of Yaazhis in Tibetan and Nepali Buddhist imagery of the Bauddhified Hindu Gods. Longs are *very* distinctive, very unique to E Asia. They are NOT to be confused with "Nagas" - something someone at IF once ignorantly claimed - and although, on surface, people unfamiliar with both Longs and Yazhis may think they resemble Yazhis, Longs are so well-described (as a very *particular* amalgamation of features resembling those of other creatures - e.g. claws of one type of creature, whiskers of another, etc) that they cannot be mistaken for Yazhis.

Longs are NOT Buddhist but are exclusively Daoist - but were encroached on by Chinese, Japanese and Korean Buddhisms, since Daoism's Longs were already sacred and popular in Korean and Japanese native religions also. And either Longs had a similar pre-Buddhist presence in Tibet (not remotely impossible, considering Tibet borders both India and China and Daoism even in the more conservative estimates remains older than Buddhism and certainly much older than Tibetan Buddhism), or the Chinese Buddhist encroachment on Daoist Longs in E Asia was exported along with some other Chinese Buddhist influence into the lately-Bauddhified Tibet.



If entertaining any external influence on the traditional Shinto depiction of Shintoism's Oni, then the first obvious consideration should be Daoist (which has had some influence on what comes across to general audiences as "typical" "E Asian" imagery). But external influence is not necessary, as it's just Japanese Shinto, since Shinto Kami (and Oni) are not invisible to all.
  Reply
(Split from last, so still related to the previous posts.)





2. Was going to look up the name of Korean "shamanism" - instead of my having guessed at it (what if I was wrong) - and came across the rather alarming:



en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Superstition_Movement

(Wacky as at today.)

Quote:Anti-Superstition Movement



The anti-superstition movement (Hangul: 미신 타파 운동, Mishin Tapa Undong) was part of the Saemaeul Movement. [color="#0000FF"]In the anti-superstition movement, Korean shamanism and mythology was suppressed, leading to the destruction of shamanistic cults, which was replaced by Christianity.[/color]

[color="#800080"](Jeebus' own "secular" miracle.)[/color]



Contents

•1 Yi Seungman administration

•2 Park Jeongheui administration

•3 Legacy

•4 References



Yi Seungman administration[edit]

In the Yi Seungman administration, Protestant [color="#0000FF"]Christians[/color] living in Jeju Island had an 'anti-superstition movement', where they sought to restrain Korean shamanism and its pantheon of [color="#0000FF"]18,000 deities[/color].[1] However, the movement had little effect on the Jeju Islanders.



Park Jeongheui administration[edit]

[color="#0000FF"]Park Jeongheui[/color], the dictator of South Korea, was the leader of the Saemaeul movement, which sought to modernize Korea. Under the logo 'Along with economic wealth, we seek a psychologically healthy cultural life with degree', shamanism was suppressed as 'superstition', 'psychologically unhealthy', and 'without degree'.



Whenever a Gut, or shamanistic ritual, was held, government officials ordered that the ritual must cease. Additionally, officials destroyed holy trees, totem poles, and cairns and illegalized all forms of shamanistic rituals. Shamans were forced to vow that they had to give up their religion.



In response, many people held private Gut rituals. However, the government said that Guts were an inconvenience to the neighbours, and imprisoned shamans who had participated in private Guts.

[color="#800080"](Exactly what christianism did to the Hellenes during the twilight of Hellenismos in the Roman empire)[/color]



In many regions, shamans were imprisoned, and their holy tools (sword, bell, fan, drum, et cetera) were taken away by the police. Officials also hired teenagers to run into the midst of shamanistic rituals, forcing the ritual to be stopped.



Legacy[edit]

Shamanistic beliefs were greatly weakened. [color="#0000FF"]Among the one hundred holy places in Jeju Island, only twenty or thirty, such as the holy trees of Waheul Village, survived the anti-superstition movement.[/color]



However, the movement sometimes unified the sentiments of the villagers. In some villages, the villagers, led by the oldest man in the village, picketed around the holy places to protect them. The holy places in such villages were saved. Meanwhile, other villages restored the destroyed or damaged holy places.[2]



References[edit]

1.^ Dolhareubang, Where Do You Go

2.^ jeju.grandculture.net/Contents/Index?contents_id=GC00702586
So the 1970s - 4 decades back or so - is when native Korean religion was murdered.



The wacky page on the larger/overall Saemaeul Movement/New Community movement:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saemaeul_Movement

Quote:The New Community Movement, also known as the New Village Movement, Saemaeul Movement or Saemaul Movement, was a political initiative launched on April 22, 1970 by South Korean president Park Chung Hee (박정희, 朴正熙) to modernize the rural South Korean economy.

After declaring it was a great success and after listing its features/points of implementation (carefully not mentioning the systematic destruction of Korea's native religion) it seems the christowest has learnt and threatens to repeat the pattern:

Quote:Going international[edit]

[color="#0000FF"]The Saemaul Movement has been accepted by the United Nations as one of the efficient rural development models in the world.[/color] The Economic Commission for [color="#0000FF"]Africa[/color] (ECA) has decided to select the Saemaul Movement as a base model for the Sustainable Modernization of Agriculture and Rural Transformation (SMART) program in 2008.[5] Also, the movement has been exported to more than 70 countries, sharing the rural development experience world-wide.

I observe Africa is one of the world's fastest christianising continents (forcibly christianising, by all accounts - including missionary brainwashing against ancestral heathenism, as also happens in India).



On the page of this anti-Chendogyo dictator, Park Chung Hee, it says his religion is Buddhism.

Seems more cryptochristian to me. But if he was really Buddhist after all - though it wouldn't be the first time Buddhists forcefully suppressed in exactly this manner the native religion of E, SE and Himalayan Asian populations - again: If Park really was Buddhist after all, then perhaps the 1980s/1990s/ongoing christo-attack on Buddhism in Korea - also documented in the buddhapia site - is inevitable, considering the systematic suppression and destruction of native Korean religion in the 1970s. And after all, neither christianism nor Buddhism (nor Confucianism) are the native religions of Korea.

Still, wouldn't be surprised if Park turned out to be cryptochristo in the end.



Unfortunately, Korean native religion is still under attack from christianism - even though Korean Buddhism's plight is far more frequently highlighted. I remember seeing a Korean film on the plane a couple of years back that turned out to be a christodawaganda film at the end. I should have seen it coming perhaps, but the christianism and obvious new-age spin on Korean religion (as only non-heathens could have presented it) only dawned on me gradually, I thought it was just a bad comedy. The plot: some modern Korean twenty-somethings making a living out of the special skills they were born with such as future-forecasting* and essentially ruining other couples' happy unions by declaring that the people they were with weren't the ones they were meant to be with. Then the film ended with the main girl realising that the one that her skills had circled out for her wasn't the one she wanted and she went with the goofy guy she had had a love-hate relationship with from the start. There was also a special case of a couple that she had broken up by particularly advising they shouldn't get together because they weren't meant to be, but then they converted to christianism and had a happy church wedding and marriage (typical christian dawaganda: that conversion to christianism will save you from alleged Korean religious "fatalism". Uh please.)



* Some angry transnational abductees of Korean ancestry find they are not quite "normal" but can't explain what they are. I always thought they must have inherited/innate abilities owing to their heathen Korean ancestry. Christowest kidnapped a lot of heathen children from their parents after all.



Some of the current revival of Korean heathenisms that I've seen described some years back (but they're perhaps biased since they were described in US newspapers) tend to be a bit on the new-age side, since there are a large number of ex-christoconverts reverts - new ageism is inevitable I suppose when ex-christos revert without a properly established heathen support structure/society as base to rehabilitate them properly into their ancestral heathenism. And Korean heathenism did take a serious knock.



Anyway, in all that misery, there's also a warning for Hindus in what the anti-"superstitition" movement meant for the native Korean religion. The "anti-superstition laws" implemented against Hindus are very much a christian plan with far-reaching consequences. 1970s is not that long back. It's not like christianism can't repeat such a 'miracle of christ' in India.
  Reply
About an endangered heathen population. Not about their heathen religion/Gods, but about their views on life, which are still heathen-y.



Start and end paras included for context.



Quote:(Narrator is AR)



We [color="#800080"](humans, i.e. the species)[/color] evolved as hunter gatherers, living on similar foods as the [color="#0000FF"]Hadza[/color]. Finding food shapes their society, but it has affected all of us. It seems that the Hadza, and presumably our ancestors too, found a very efficient and effective way of surviving here. Men and women each have different and distinctive roles. So the women go digging for tubers and collecting berries, whilst the men go out hunting for meat and honey. They'll eat some of it while they're out in the bush, but they'll bring a lot of it back home to share, so it makes sense to pair up.



Having a partner to share food with is a massive advantage in this harsh environment. And many Hadza men and women marry for life.



Sharing food like this is thought to be the origin of pairing up and staying together.



[color="#800080"](Hadza gathered around the fire at night)[/color]

AR asks elderly Hadza man, who is sitting romantically beside his elderly wife: Bakoolu, how did you get married? Was there a ceremony?

Bakoolu, reminiscing happily with bright eyes about the happy day he got married to his wife: Yes, we killed zebras and bats and had a huge celebration with honey, baobab fruits. That was the tradition. We loved it. [color="#800080"](Wife also looks visibly animated and interjects a few of her own reminiscences. These don't appear to have been translated.)[/color]



AR: Do you [color="#0000FF"]Hadzabe[/color] men always just have one wife at one time?

Bakoolu: It's our custom to marry only one woman and stay together until we die.



AR asks a very young-looking newly-wed man, also sitting romantically beside his young wife: Mathulu, how long have you and Pendo been married?

Mathulu: Just one month.

AR: And people outside your family, how might they know that you are married?

Mathulu: They know because she has this bracelet that she wears all the time. We call them love beads. [color="#800080"]("Love beads"? Oh heathens and their incessant romantic cuteness. Confusedhakes headSmile[/color]

AR: Pendo, what do you think the benefits of being a married woman will be?

Gentle-spoken Pendo: To have a happy life with children. My husband will bring me meat and I'll bring in the tubers.

AR: And are you looking forward to having children together?

Pendo [color="#800080"](smiling like a young lass and moving her right-eyebrow gracefully)[/color]: Yes. [color="#800080"](She laughs)[/color]



[color="#800080"](Daytime)[/color]

Hadza women typically have around five children, which is hard work. It takes a Hadza woman around 13 million calories to raise a child from conception until it's weaned. And she can't physically do it without support. So choosing the right partner is one of the most important decisions a woman has to make.

[color="#800080"](A stunning beauty - with killer eyebrows and eyes - is seen speaking briefly, but no subtitles. Some things never change: you can always tell the cameraman is male when the camera is lingering noticeably on beautiful women. Not even the professional crew on here was immune.)[/color]



AR: So what do you think makes a good Hadzabe man? What would make you love him?

[color="#800080"](The stunning woman looks curiously on hearing the question)[/color]



Another lovely Hadza lady responds: He has to be a good hunter, able to collect honey and not greedy at home.



AR: Anything else? A nice face? Maybe a tall man?



Another attractive lady, somewhat older, maybe in her 40s: We are not interested in looks. He has to be a good hunter, a man who brings home food and loves his family.



[color="#800080"][Ah yes, that sounds good and well Miss, but uh ... I did carefully notice - with lots of rewinding - that all the Hadza men we got to see were good-looking already. Convenient. Hardly a sacrifice then to ignore looks in picking out the spouse, is it? I mean, with looks being so evenly distributed, there's clearly no point in this being the deciding factor for Hadza women. Naturally these women can then theoretically close their eyes and restrict themselves to picking out the best warrior/most skilled hunter and family man among the menfolk. (BTW, such pointed selection processes must be honing their men's abilities with the bow and in tracking etc to super-excellence over the many generations, I'm thinking.) Anyway, the point was: how convenient for Hadzabe women. Meanwhile, in christoislamania-infested India, I understand that Hindoo women are stuck with terrifyingly ugly (christo)islamaniac men trying their level-best to render native men invisible by parading about on bollywho in what seems to be live spastic attacks (?) set to 'music' and lipflap/syncing. The horror and trauma of the sight seems to have blinded some women and rendered others quite witless. I supose it could be worse, in theory: I mean, it could be Pakiland's islamic men or christomen from India's more openly rabid-christian NE that are undergoing these periodic public seizures set to lame muzak. :Eek:][/color]





AR: Hadza women work hard to bring in food for the family, and they want a partner who will do the same. I think it makes perfect sense in this environment for the women to be so choosey about the men whom they marry*, because if those men aren't good hunters - good providers - the women have a lot to lose.

[color="#800080"](* Narration over handsome Hadza men of different ages fashioning their arrows, especially one extremely good-looking man working away at his sharp arrow's stem.)[/color]

And women's preference for good hunters** is thought to have shaped the way men behave, wherever they live.

[color="#800080"](** Shows a couple of the daring Hadza men leaving for the day's hunt armed with their swift arrows. One of them takes sure aim and let's loose his arrow.)



(Cut to modern westSmile[/color] Even when there's nothing to hunt, men can still find ways to show off their prowess to women. The latest research shows that men are in some ways hard-wired to show potential partners they've got what it takes, and they do it by taking risks. And we're going to show you how with [color="#800080"]<example irrelevant for this thread or the purpose of this post>[/color]



(OOU-2)

(Now if these people's real lives made it into some romance novels, I'd read them all. But as I only read picture books - being bad at reading and comprehension - can we have them illustrated with photos of real Hadzabe/Hadza couples sitting cutely around the fire, please?)





But oh at last, some normal - down-to-earth - people (like E Asian heathens etc etc). People one doesn't need to jump through mental hoops to understand. Having said that, of course it makes sense that the Hadzabe would turn out to be endangered too: if there's some contented population out there somewhere, anywhere, minding their own business and living their life without bothering anyone else, then out of nowhere the great evil christo-class meme will descend on them to terrorise them into oblivion/conversion. Repeat:



eco-action.org/dod/no8/tribal.html

FPCN (Friends of People Close to Nature) is an NDO (Non-Developmental Organisation), IIRC.

Quote:Tribal Round-up (Do or Die)

Last Call for Freedom




[...]



Hadzabe: East Africa's Last Hunting and Gathering Tribe

A while ago two people from the Non-Development Organisation FPCN (see contact p. 276) and one from FDN Germany, visited their friends the Hadzabe, around lake Eyasi, in northern Tanzania. The following is condensed from their account.



Our trip began from Arusha and headed north-west via Karatu, from where we left the road that circumnavigates the Ngorongoro Crater National Park and headed south west to Mongola.



At the southern end of Mongola were the first Hadzabe community we stayed with. In this place the traditional lifestyle of the Hadzabe can no longer continue due to the proximity of the neighbouring settlement. The area was tradtionally a watering hole used by the Hadzabe. Now with the existence of expatriate settlers and the establishment of newly formed village councils, the Hadzabe are not even allowed to go to the watering hole, except when the village council and warden have arranged a party of tourists to watch them sing and perform. While a 20-strong tourist group pay 300,000TSh to the council for filming, only 10,000TSh would be paid to the total Hadzabe community.



The village has a 25-councillor-strong committe and not one Hadza. When asked about this, Gudo Mahiya, a respected Hadza spokesperson said "we are not interested in changing our culture to conform to the policy of the aggressors". He added that "even in Arusha there were 250 councillors, but the Hadzabe still have no representation, nor wish to have". He does want to go to Arusha to protest about the council here. When asked about the farming and cattle introduced by the settlers he said, "We do not want cattle, just wild animals to hunt and water that we can drink".



Is it right that a people should be driven to extinction just for not wanting to change and adopt the Western mentality of profit and greed-driven motives? Needless to say we continued refusing to pay the campsite fee for visiting and giving humanitarian aid to our friends. Even after the police were called by the campsite warden, the police couldn't believe why they had been called and laughed about it at the end with us. The protest was felt and noticed and FPCN International advises any visitors to the Malete spring to do likewise, until such time as the Hadzabe are allowed full access to the water.



[color="#0000FF"]Two of the occupying expatriate settlers, Ms Jeannette Hanby and David Bygott live on sacred Hadzabe ground in denial of the rights of the Hadzabe, claiming they have never inhabited the area despite it being the only spring for 20km.[/color] They can be written to at S. L. P. 161, Karatu, Tanzania. They claim to be ecologists.



There are three situations that FPCN International was asked by this Hazda community to present to the international community;



Case 1: Enslaved Prostitution

[color="#0000FF"]Through the intermediaries - European priests and "sisters" - Sabina's sister Mele Abande and Salibogo's daughter along with many women have been tricked into prostitution by being taken to Arusha with the promise of work, only to find themselves enslaved in prostitution.[/color] FPCN proposes to act on the wishes of the Hadzabe and bring all the held Hadzabe women back to their homeland.



Case 2: Enforced Schooling

There have been times when the military has searched for Hadzabe children hiding in the bush to escape the duty of being schooled. [color="#0000FF"]Hadzabe girls often complain about being raped by the teachers in the Endamaga school. This happens even with the Hadzabe mothers. Later the Hadzabe girls are compelled into prostitution.[/color] FPCN has previously been successful taking back some of these unlucky girls to their bushhomestead and families. But if caught again, these escapees have to fear severe coporal punishment. This kind of discipline is very common in these schools. When asked, all but a handful of the Hadzabe say that this schooling has a negative effect on them and is of no benefit.



Some Hadzabe have even been taken to colleges in Dar es Salaam. Currently they are all without jobs and are now even more frustrated and irritated. They have been uprooted from their own society, and the new one is unable and unwilling to fulfill its promises. One really must try and not see it from our Western educated standpoint. For these people that are not even on the bottom rung of the surrounding social hierarchy, what use is learning English or reading Swahili or even mono agriculture for that matter? They already know everything they need to know to carry on living as they want to.



Case 3: Bad Religion

[color="#0000FF"]Many times white parsons tried to baptise the Hadzabe and to destroy their traditional beliefs and lifestyle[/color]. FPCN tells the Hadzabe that these missionaries are just business men who have often accumulated quite some wealth from their job. [color="#0000FF"]The hatred against these strangers grows among the Hadzabe. FPCN stands ready to sanction and assist with the burning out of churches on Hadzaland following a similiar successful explosion that occurred at Sanola [the church there was completely destroyed by local tribespeople].[/color]

[...]



The first quoteblock is the one that's semi-relevant to this thread.
  Reply
jpost.com/Israel/Shinto-priests-come-to-Jerusalem-looking-for-common-ground#!

(Jerusalem Post)



Quote:Shinto priests come to Jerusalem, looking for common ground

By MARK REBACZ LAST UPDATED: 03/18/2010 05:32

At Hebrew University, 26 Shinto priests from Japan conduct interfaith dialogue.



[Image caption:] Shinto priests conduct interfaith dialogue at the Photo: Mark Rebacz



Though a polytheistic religion such as Shintoism, and the world’s oldest monotheistic religion – Judaism – seem worlds apart, followers of the two seem to think there is common ground. To that end, 26 Shinto priests from Nagoya, Japan, met last Thursday at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to conduct an interfaith dialogue with Israeli academics. Among the academics were Prof. Ben-Ami Shilloni and Dr. Nissim Otmazgin, both of the Department of East Asian Studies, who discussed similarities between Jewish and Shinto beliefs.



According to Shilloni, followers of Shintoism, which believes in multiple gods, seek interfaith dialogues in an effort to get past religious barriers that are, in their eyes, the basis for much of the world’s conflicts.



Shintoism, Japan’s “natural and oldest religion,” is a pacifistic faith that accepts other beliefs. The delegation comes from Nagoya’s Atsuta Shrine, traditionally believed to have been established during the reign of Emperor Keiko (71-130 CE). The 200,000 square meter shrine complex draws more than 9 million visitors a year.



At the meeting, Shilloni read the verse from Isaiah in Japanese, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”



Shilloni elaborated, “Though this was prophesized by Isaiah 2,600 years ago, Japan has been blessed with peace, while the Jews have yet to be.”



According to Shilloni, the followers of Shintoism have a very positive view of Judaism, and see it as the mother of Western religions, and thus holier than other monotheistic faiths.



Bahij Monsour, head of the Foreign Ministry’s religious department, said this trip was initiated by the Shinto priests, who approached the Israeli ambassador in Tokyo, Nissim Ben-Shitrit. Shinto priests last visited here about 10 years ago, when they met with then-Sephardic Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron. The current delegation, here for just five days, did not meet with either chief rabbi. They did, however, visit Yad Vashem.



According to Shilloni, the dialogues aid in portraying Shintoism as a less primitive religion than is believed by most of the monotheistic world, and aim to show the common ground shared by Shintoism and other faiths. Israel also has an interest in interfaith dialogues, as they contribute to Israel’s and Judaism’s image as open and accepting, he said.



“It is much easier for us to conduct interfaith discussions with the Shinto than with Christianity or Islam, since the latter two reject Judaism in favor of their own faiths, while Shintoism accepts Judaism as it is,” Shilloni said last week.

(That's 'cause E Asian heathens and heathenisms are Kewl. They're ethnic religions and don't try to missionise. They don't try to inculturate. They don't like christoislam and its adherents, but they have no problems trying to make friends with Israelis.)



Though the followers of Shinto embrace all faiths, not all faiths embrace them. This, suggests Shilloni, may be the reason priests did not meet with any Christian or Muslim representatives during their visit. While Christianity and Islam classify people as either believers or nonbelievers, the followers of Shintoism have no problem accepting other religions and practices, and one can be a perfect Shintoist while simultaneously serving other gods or participating in other types of worship. Testimony to this, said Shilloni, are the Christian wedding ceremonies most Japanese couples undergo, despite their adherence to Shintoism.

About the final statement: it's true that currently christian/western-style weddings are some of the more popular types in Japan. But they're not christian weddings. They take place in fake churches: Japanese have built 100s if not 1000s of fake wedding churches to allow couples to simulate the appearance and experience of western weddings. Often western English teachers dress up as reverends and speak the usual wedding lines of "do you take blabla" and ask the couple about their vows. Note that this flies in the face of christianism which disapproves of fake reverends. (It is far more rare to have actual reverends or actual christians hired to do the job, and when these christians offer to missionise the couple as xtians invariably do, Japanese couples make it clear they're not interested in christianism and they're just in it to have their western-style wedding.) Other couples use the fake wedding churches as a backdrop for their wedding photos.

And wearing crosses as a fashion accessory among non-christians is also common not just among western atheists but also seen in Japan, Korea and other Asians (in Korea, there are even Buddhists who wear "christian" crosses for fashion purposes). Some Japanese celebrate "christmas" just like all non-christians in the west do: with a fir tree, santa theme, decorations etc. None of it means they're actually christian. They're just doing "western" stuff for the fun of it/as part of a trend. BTW, missionaries have found that none of these help to actually christianise the Japanese.





Hindus should invite Japanese Shintos over to India and let them speak to us about their religion, and tell us about their Gods. Since Shintos are so eager to form alliances with other religionists and have their religion known and recognised, it is the perfect opportunity for HindOOs to cultivate a deep heathen friendship with Shintoists.



I thought of the above article when I came across two news items on Hindu vocalists threatening that the time was right to Bauddhise E and SE Asia again and to missionise there. Apparently, Modi has similar plans, probably to milk Japanese and SG tourist money by creating Buddhist sites in India, to peddle Buddha relics like his left tooth, his canine, his molar, etc. (Is that sanitary? But yay for the relic industry Confusedarcasm: Why is it only laughable when jeebus followers do it?)



Along the way, Modi - too busy building Buddhism up in India to rebuild the Sri Rama temple at Ayodhya - will be the new patron saint for Bauddhising India.

And Hindu analysts/vocalists have threatened not just to Bauddhise Asia again, but to export Hindu "culture" and especially new age Indian movements/cults to China as our "soft power", which shows what kind of regard such Hindus have for their religion. And how stupid they hope the Chinese will be to join modern Indian godmen cults.



Anyway, the 2 links:



1. vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3314

Quote:Modi’s Japan visit: Buddha diplomacy at work

by Ashok B Sharma on 31 Aug 2014 3 Comments



[...]

Mr Modi has found an unique opportunity to hard sell the concept of Buddhist tourism in India. To give a fillip to attracting tourists, plans are afoot to fast track development of the first phase of the Buddhist Tourist Circuit in the country. The resurrection of the ancient Nalanda University has invited participation by major Buddhist countries. The first two schools of Nalanda University - the School of Historical Studies and the School of Ecology and Environment Studies – are slated to begin programmes from the academic year September 2014. Among other Southeast Asian countries, Singapore will be contributing towards the library of the university.



The planned Buddhist Tourist Circuit encompasses and follows the footsteps of Lord Buddha from the place of his birth in Lumbini in Nepal to Piprahwa in Uttar Pradesh where he spent his childhood, Bodhgaya in Bihar where he attained enlightenment, Sarnath in Uttar Pradesh where he delivered his first sermon and Kushinagar in the same state where he attained Mahaparinirvana. In the next phase, the Buddhist Tourist Circuit will cover 17 states, including Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha.



Mr Modi’s recent visit to Nepal was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in 17 years. Here he drew parallels between Somnath, Kashi Viswanath and Pashupatinath. He offered assistance for the development of Janakpur, Baraha Chhetra and Lumbini and linking these with the Buddhist Tourist Circuit in India, on the basis of specific proposals from Nepal. Nepal has requested India to allow three additional air entry points at Janakpur, Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj.



[...]

So Modi's using Hindu money to promote Buddhism - which is a stated and long-standing competitor of Hindu religion - in India. (Again: and no Sri Rama Kovil in Ayodhya.)

He's even working to help promote Buddhism in Nepal. Yet in both countries, Buddhism has tried to replace Hindu religion - and WILL try again. Why is Modi so naive about it? What do Hindus owe Buddhists/Buddhism anyway? Wasn't it enough that Buddhists desecrated a Shiva-lingam (=longstanding practice) at the Bodh Gaya temple that Hindus had built for Buddhism? Hindus are such sticklers for punishment.



Not just the Sri Lankan Buddhist comment at the above VV article, but also the usual modern Hindus who like to mix Buddhism etc with Hinduism, expressed their happiness at the news. But of course. The last kind have a short memory.



I am *certain* that at least some of the Buddhist tourists and tourist nations that Modi hopes to attract will end up turning into missionaries trying to missionise on Hindus. Sri Lankan Buddhist and Japanese Buddhist groups already work in India to convert Hindus. How is this any different from christian missionaries?



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"?



If he wants to invite more Japanese to travel to India, then why not make Vedic marriages popular among Japanese, since Japanese are open to non-Japanese marriage styles?

Consider:

- mercenary "Hindus" in India have anyway started selling "Vedic" weddings, though to aliens from the west - i.e. modern Hindus are selling Vedic weddings to terrorist dabblers who have a history of genociding heathen religions and of betraying their own ancestral religions

- in contrast, Shinto heathens are heathens, i.e. not aliens, and moreover, some Shinto ritual groups even have a history of safeguarding the Vedam/safeguarding the (proper i.e. "Brahminical"**) homa rituals and especially Hindu Tantra rituals from Buddhists. So why not invite Japanese Shinto couples to have frugal weddings in India blessed with Vedic rituals invoking the Hindu Gods to ensure their long and happy life together?



** "brahminical" is how the Buddhists dubbed (dub) anything Hindu still unbauddhified/anything not yet taken over (inculturated upon) for Buddhism.



Better yet, Hindus can promote the idea of (the traditional, beautiful yet frugal) Shinto weddings for Japanese Shinto couples, and then invite them to top it off with a Vedic marriage ceremony. Shintos are already familiar and even fond of Hindu Gods, and have historically written in praise of our Gods (a.o.t. the Bauddhified versions of Hindu Gods), since Shintos have seen our Gods - and apparently some still do, owing to some still worshipping Hindu Gods diligently with Hindoo rituals alongside worshipping Shinto Gods.





2. rajeev2004.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/fwd-time-for-india-to-use-its-soft.html

An article on "Time for India to use its soft power" vis-a-vis China. Glanced over it.

Quote:Hence, India should be sending Sri Sri Ravishankar/Mata Amirtanandamayi / Swami Ramdev/ Pramukh Swami/Sankaracharyas/Vaishnavite Seers and other spiritual leaders, Bharatha Natyam experts, musicians, other artists in hundreds to China to " Conquer and Dominate" by our soft power. We need to print millions of copies of Ramayana and Mahabharata and our Puranas and Gita and Jataka stories in all modern Chinese languages and widely make them available. The CDs of Mahabharata and Ramayana etc. can also be given free. We should start some fifty Bharatiya Vidya Bhavans in China. Actually China needs this more than USA even though all our soft power is currently on show in the USA. We should create a fund of at least Rs.1000 crore for this effort. There is a statue of Kalidasa in the Shanghai theatre unveiled by the theater academy. I do not think of any metro in India including the so called "cultural capital" Kolkata, having a statue of Kalidasa. At Kolkata, the Theatre street became Shakespeare Sarani and not Kalidasa Marg!



As regards the first line about Sri Sri etc: Great, India can't even get rid of its own godmen cults, it has to impose them on other heathen Asian nations. So that they can all become brainlessly new age like modern angelsk-speaking Indians!

Now I understand why destiny should favour China in reducing India to nothingness: because modern Indian "Hindus" *deserve* it.



It's bad enough that India exported Buddhism historically, inundated Asia with it and wiped out many native religions there to replace them with Buddhism, and where it was less successful, Buddhism drove other Asian native religions into desperate survival mode (owing to Buddhism's repeatedly initiating aggression to convert Asia). Now Indians - not even Buddhists, but so-called Hindus - have to threaten to drown Asia once more. Not only with Buddhism but with godmen cults. And even with diluted Hindu "culture".





What do Hindus have to offer the Chinese that the Daoists do not already have? They have "similar" things for practically EVERYTHING of value in Hindu religion. A pantheon of very real Gods, religious practices and rites (that work), temples, vigraha fashioning, tai chi and qi gong whereas we have yoga, traditional Gong Fu (not to be confused with the later "Shaolin Gong Fu") and other ancient Daoist martial arts whereas Hindus had their own, the apparently-5000 year old Chinese strategy game of Go which is very popular in Japan in place of our (later) chess, sacred ancient dance styles, music styles (one particular raagam is particularly sacred in Chinese music), sacred instruments etc. Why can't Hindus encourage the Chinese to retain their heathenism? Why threaten to missionise on them with either Buddhism or even Hindu religion? How does it make such modern Indian Hindus seeking converts in Asia any better than christian/islamic missionaries?



It is true that the Chinese, the Japanese and even the Koreans (well the heathens among all 3) have an innate tendency to find affinity with Hindoos and Hindoo religion. And so did and do SE Asians.

E.g. I've watched more Japanese dramas than Korean ones, but even Korean dramas have characters learning yoga. Yet, unlike in new agey India - where even Hindu stotra albums comprising Shankaracharya stotras and Vedic recitation are tattoed incomprehensibly with a Buddha in front - yet the Koreans in a drama doing Yoga did so in front of Nataraja moorties rather than Buddha images. The same drama had the 2nd female lead visiting Thailand and promising the hero that the God Hanuman (subtitles even used a capital G, IIRC) would look after/protect him. IIRC another Korean drama had an older man joining up in yoga classes to be with his son and eagerly greet his son with "Namaste". Not surprising perhaps, since Korea is still 70% un-christianised after all. Just like India is about 70% Hindu still. [Don't want to give the impression that only Hindoo heathenism was referred to in the heathen/secular Korean dramas: the ones I saw also included references to Taoism, Confucianism and mentioned native Korean Gods like the Goddess that safeguards childbirth, the God presiding over successful lovers' meetings, the Gods of the winds and seasons, and references to "Gods" - plural - in general, etc. Clearly not everyone in Korea has converted to monotheism yet.]



More recently, I narrated a <5 min summary version of the Kumarasambhavam to yet another Chinese friend and she declared it was the most romantic thing she had ever heard. And I'm pretty much pathetic at telling kathas, so her appreciation is all owing to the innate attraction of the Kumarasambhavam. Further, despite not being religious, she had no issue with the Kumarasambhavam concerning the lives of Gods - whereas modern "Hindus" gawk at the notion of multiple Gods, unable to comprehend their own religion. Instead she found many commonalities with her own country's native religion that I had not known. So yes, E Asian heathens (and even non-religious E Asians) are entirely understanding of Hindu religion and have an automatic ability to appreciate it and respect it.



But to conspire against them and see them as our missioniary target, as a "soft power" project? Not to speak of terrorising them again by trying to re-introduce Buddhism in the rest of Asia and increase its naturally-waning power there? (In contrast, interest in Daoism among ethnically-Chinese appears to be on the rise.)



And to think that Japanese Shintos and ethnic-Chinese Daoists from TW, CN, SG, etc trust Hindus. Evidently, their trust is misplaced and they've made a Big mistake. Modern Hindus are clearly a threat to E and SE Asia. Maybe the onset of the christoislamic deluge in India is just desserts.



Why can't Hindus promote native heathenisms in each Asian nation? Then we will truly have done them good and have done ourselves good thereby. But no, modern Hindus are drunk on some delusional superiority-complex that makes them imagine that the solution to Asia's "problems" is to have Indian religions - including a severely missionary one - foisted on them. I have no issue with heathen Asians choosing to include Hindu Gods (and associated rituals for worship) in their pantheons. This is as natural an occurrence as how many Asians have included Daoist Gods and practices. But all such must be the result of a natural process, not by one set of people designing and scheming against another population, let alone for lame "soft powah" ends. Sick.





And also, why do modern Hindus never think to reciprocate, but instead consider E Asia as a Sink for their own wares? Why not listen to Chinese traditional music - it's really beautiful, and feels satisfying and reassuring to the spirit - or learn Japanese? Actually, why does our govt not encourage the learning of Japanese in schools, since it is one of the most beautiful languages ever? (At least Modi was to have greeted the Japanese in their own language. Points for that.) Look at E Asians: several of them studied to speak Japanese, Mandarin and Korean. All 3 and sometimes more. Modern Hindus will only learn western languages (usually only English and badly at that) and maybe - maybe - Indian ones.



There is something very self-centred about modern "Hindus" that they forever see E and SE Asia as a dumping ground, as people who have to learn from us, and become like us and be molded into far-Asian versions of us. There's no thought of modern "Hindus" meeting them half-way let alone appreciating them for who *they* are, what their ancestral heathen identity is.* I think it means such modern Hindus are looking down on E and SE Asians, as allegedly being people in need of us to "teach" them. As if they have no heathen civilisations and identities of their own. As if they are forever derived or "must be". <= Isn't that supposition what the oryanists have done to Hindus? Can't be a heathen AND a missionary. Heathens are defined by their ethnic-religious identity and would respect that of others. Hindus weren't always like this sudden craze for missionising/manipulating others for "soft powah" though. I think this smugness and egotism came with de-heathenisation: even as modern Hindus have become blindly proud of their religion and swagger around arrogantly threatening to create convert followings, they know far less about their religion than their ancestors did and so look doubly foolish.



* Even that Indo-Japanese friendship film witnessed the Japanese collaboration team making the Ramayanam animation along with Indians as a sign of Japanese friendship to us. I.e. they animated a sacred Hindu narrative in order to show their friendship to Hindus. Would Hindus have ever thought of animating the sacred tale of Susanowo no Mikoto Kamisama or similar? [Why not? Do the Japanese and Chinese and Koreans not have grand epics? A: they do, by the way. Like the Chinese, the Koreans also have a heavenly host of Gods governed by a King of Gods - Hindus do too. And E Asians' Gods and heroes also have had epic adventures. Why do modern Hindus readily threaten to inundate the Chinese with the MBh and Ramayanam etc without at least also threatening to copy for ourselves the sacred literature and oral traditions concerning the Shen, Kami and Shin of the E Asians?]



In contrast to the Indo-Japanese friendship animation "Ramayana", in E/SE Asian films where there is a degree of colloboration between several (south-)eastern Asian nations, the characters are always shown as learning about the host country and its traditions, instead of seeing it as an opportunity to enforce their own traditions onto the host country.



Indians these days look forever westward to find their "superiors". They look to Iran, to Europe, to America. And have respect only in that direction. If they ever remember to look east, they look down their nose as if looking at inferiors, as if needing to play the teacher role. Asians to our (south)east are not our inferiors nor did they ask to enroll as our students, they are actually Hindoos' equals. And there is much to learn from them. Humility and a non-egotistical (non-uni-directional but reciprocal, non self-aggrandising) friendship for one.
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Quote:the apparently-5000 year old Chinese strategy game of Go which is very popular in Japan in place of our (later) chess

(Go is the Japanese name for this Daoist game. Note: the date is parroted from TSCC, the episode on "Go".)





Go vs chess is almost like an allegory for China and India or for Hindu and Daoist religions. It's how many (though perhaps not all) of the civilisational products were independently derived but resulted in generating non-identical yet similar *classes* of outcomes. Go is not Chaturanga and the two can't be derived from each other, yet both are strategy games and they are both products of their contexts. Sort of like how E Asian heathenisms have their own war and strategy treatises and Hindus have their own. And how traditional Chinese music is typically native to the ethnic heathens of China, as our music is so obviously native to our heathenism and the Hindu homeland. Their music actually sounds like their landscapes and heavens: serene, introspective and contemplative.

So many fine details in Daoist religion show clear signs of native derivation. It will be a serious pain for oryanism when the time comes for the evil-eyed jealous oryanists to try to encroach on Daoism as a western (by-)product.



Go too, is stated to be intimately tied to Daoism. Like how the patterns that arise and even the infinite variety of games/configurations possible is related to ... something or other about the Dao or Daoist cosmology. (Sorry, can't remember. I think there were books on this subject.)





Some excerpts from wackypedia's page on Go:



en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_(game)

Quote:Go (simplified Chinese: 围棋; traditional Chinese: 圍棋; pinyin: wéiqí, Japanese: 囲碁 igo,[nb 2] common meaning: "encircling game", Korean: 바둑 baduk[nb 3]) is a board game and art involving two players that originated in China more than 2,500 years ago. It was considered one of the four essential arts of a cultured Chinese scholar in antiquity. The number of possible games is many orders of magnitude greater than chess (10761 vs. 10120)[2], and there is significant strategy and philosophy[3][4][5] involved in the game despite its relatively simple rules.



Quote:3. ^ "Great Quotes: Sensei's Library". "The board is a mirror of the mind of the players as the moments pass. When a master studies the record of a game he can tell at what point greed overtook the pupil, when he became tired, when he fell into stupidity, and when the maid came by with tea. ". Retrieved 31 August 2014.

4.^ "Go and Martial Arts". Sensei's Library. Retrieved 31 August 2014.

5. ^ "Harmony". Sensei's Library.



[...]

As of mid-2008, there were well over 40 million Go players worldwide, the overwhelming majority of them living in East Asia.[11] As of May 2012[update], the International Go Federation has a total of 74 member countries and four Association Members covering multiple countries.[12]



[...]

The game complexity of Go is such that describing even elementary strategy fills many introductory books. In fact, numerical estimates show that the number of possible games of Go far exceeds the number of atoms in the observable universe.[nb 16]



[...]

Go poses a daunting challenge to computer programmers. The best Go programs only manage to reach amateur dan level.[119] On the small 9×9 board, the computer fares better, and some programs now win a fraction of their 9×9 games against professional players. Many in the field of artificial intelligence consider Go to require more elements that mimic human thought than chess.[120]

Now you *know* that Victor Mair or some other oryanist will quickly swoop in (if he hasn't tried to already) to claim Go as an Oryan product that was gifted to China.

In all probability, they will say that this or that other Greek/Indian/Iranian/Germanic/Celtic/Atlantian ur-myth (or other excuse) referred to some pattern that we can see - if only we squinted and held our head at just the right angle of 31 degrees in the ninth parallel dimension that is accessible by doing a super-mario bounce off the Pleiades, though only when the sun is at its exact zenith over Numenor and before the slaying of Grendel's archtype - then it becomes immediately apparent to *anyone* who has studied side-by-side and simultaneously both the Zend Avesta and a missing Oupkenat (=the word Germans used for the Upanishads, since they apparently couldn't pronounce or spell it?), that the native Chinese Go was *clearly* derived from the oryans in the Urheimat. "Proof by induction"

[Wow, ^that^ actually sounds more convincing than any story Mair etc could cook up...]
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On this:

Quote:rajeev2004.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/fwd-time-for-india-to-use-its-soft.html

An article on "Time for India to use its soft power" vis-a-vis China. Glanced over it.

Quote:Hence, India should be sending Sri Sri Ravishankar/Mata Amirtanandamayi / Swami Ramdev/ Pramukh Swami/Sankaracharyas/Vaishnavite Seers and other spiritual leaders,

[...]



As regards the first line about Sri Sri etc: Great, India can't even get rid of its own godmen cults, it has to impose them on other heathen Asian nations. So that they can all become brainlessly new age like modern angelsk-speaking Indians!



Obviously, the godmen cults accusation was only for the LHS - for the many modern cults that are replacing traditional Hindu religion among Hindus and which kinds one VV commenter Senthil had highlighted in a Sandhya Jain article there.

And goes without saying that the accusation was not for the acharyas mentioned at the end of the listing. (Not sure I even read up to that part of the sentence.)

I could be wrong, but Swami/Yogi/Baba Ramdev also seems inoffensive - though admittedly I know little enough about him. From my limited understanding however, he seems to just be teaching yoga to Hindus and promoting ayurveda among them, not trying to be a personality cult. (Never heard of Pramukh Swami though.)





As regards traditional Hindoo Acharyas/Swamis visiting China etc. I recall that the current Senior Swamigal at Kanchi was invited by some Chinese to come speak in China. The Swami actually expressed a willingness to go, probably realising that everyday Asians to our SE/E are non-trivial and are a heathen-minded population (unlike the aliens, who are all new-agey, being christo-conditioned post-christians). IIRC the tentative visit to China fell through as it was immediately followed by christianism's infamous framing of the Kanchi matham for a murder that the Swamis/Matham have been acquitted of since. Christianism's defamation project may or may not have succeeded in getting the Chinese to back off the plan to host the Swami, but if any Chinese heathens are ever still interested in conversing with him on heathen matters, they don't need to make him travel all the way (he's older now): they can always just email the matham (or any other established/traditional matham) a list of questions they have for him and ask the mathas to provide an English-language response. Chinese translators can then translate that back into their own language. Back-and-forth exchanges in written form also work, after all.

Alternatively, any S/E Asian heathen interested in having a face-to-face conversation with Hindu acharyas can always just drop by: they'll find they actually don't need appointments to visit the Acharyas in India. I know this to be true of the Kanchi acharyas, where one can just casually drop in to see them.



It would actually be a good and meaningful thing if the Kanchi Swami etc could actually talk to traditional Daoists in China, and get to learn how Daoists are in a way similar to Hindoos, and in what ways their monism and dvaitam is similar to and in what ways these are different from Hindus' own monism and dvaitam. (Traditional Daoists will only open up about their Gods with fellow heathens who have shown signs of having Gods and of taking these seriously, so Hindu acharyas will feel like they're in the company of kindred. Also, the Kanchi Swami is not missionary, so he will appreciate being informed about similar populations and informing them in turn about Hindoos and their Hindooism.) And at the end of such conversations, Hindu Swamis would know how imperative it has become to tell modern "Hindus" to Back Off from threatening to missionise Daoist China. So I think traditional Hindu acharyas really should meet up with Shintos and Daoists to exchange information about their heathenisms as a sign of inter-heathen friendship and to realise the depth of such heathen affinity.



Of course there is the very real fear that if Hindoo acharyas were to meet with more gracious (not to mention less subverted=more heathen) populations, the acharyas might want to abandon the basketcase that is modern angelsk-speaking Hindus for being degenerate subvertible ingrates, and instead choose to reside with more deserving, more heathen-inclined Asian peoples, even though these are not Hindu and hence don't require Hindu acharyas. Yet S/E Asian heathens would nevertheless appreciate Hindu acharyas more than modern Hindus would or could, and would not screech at them like some of those "Hindu" commenters did at a recent VV article casting aspersions on the character of Swami Swaroopananda (the Shankaracharya of Dwaraka-Badrinath mathas). It's a good thing that heathen Hindoo laity still exist and that their numbers are still such that they exert a sufficient force of attraction on Hindu acharyas to retain them. Plus there's the fact that Hindoo acharyas like to reside in their native habitat/in the native habitat of their own Gods and that they can moreover always ignore the masses of undeserving entities while supporting and guiding the ever-dwindling number of deserving ones.
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1. timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Modi-narrates-story-of-Lord-Krishna-to-kids-at-Japanese-school/articleshow/41423404.cms



He should also bring traditional publications of the Japanese puranas about the Kami to India, so that Hindu children in Hindu schools back home can learn about the Shinto Gods.



INSERT: forgot to comment on the following.

The article contains:

Quote:Finding that some students were playing flute, he told them that music has the potential of attracting animals.



As the students stood amused, he narrated the story of Lord Krishna. "In India's mythology, there is Lord Krishna. He used to play flute and that used to attract cows to him," he said.



He then played the flute for the children.

At least the Shinto Japanese - just like the Daoists - are very familiar with the fact that "music has the potential of attracting animals."



As an easy-access example, this feature of Shinto religion is well-illustrated by not one but two cases demonstrating it in the (beautiful and splendid!) famous old award-winning children's animation "Tatsu no ko Taro"** that's based on traditional Shinto narratives. In it, a human girl that plays the flute, and who soon becomes a close friend of the hero, is introduced in a forest setting, where she is noticed by the hero and his animal friends because of her flute-playing, and due to which they draw near. Her music is shown to specifically attracts animals: they can be seen to enjoy it, just like the human child-hero Tatsunoko Taro. In a segment of the film that appears shortly after, the Red Oni (Oni-s are beings in Shinto cosmology) wonders why barely any animals are gathering to hear his routine drum playing as they usually would. Then he discovers that the little flute-girl has "stolen" his usual animal audience away from him with her flute music. That is, the animals had previously been gathering to hear his rhythmic percussion music, now they were even more entranced by the beautiful music emanating from her flute.



Shinto religion includes animals as an innate part of their cosmology, so animals - and their sanctity and closeness to mankind - are an inseparable part of the Shinto view of the world. (It is another of the reasons why Shintos still choose to relate to Hindoos.)



** IMO, all Hindoo heathens should view the movie if they can. And upon doing so, they should also decide when the kids in their family are ready to watch it. Personally, I think it is for all ages.





2. timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Narendra-Modi-gifts-Gita-to-Japanese-emperor-takes-a-dig-at-secular-friends/articleshow/41530900.cms

found via the Rajeev2004 blog



Quote:Narendra Modi gifts Gita to Japanese emperor, takes a dig at 'secular friends'

The author has posted comments on this article

PTI | Sep 2, 2014, 05.48PM IST





TOKYO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took a dig at his "secular friends" over his gifting a copy of the holy Hindu text 'Bhagvad Gita' to Japanese Emperor Akihito, saying they could kick up a storm and trigger TV debates back home.



Modi had an audience with Emperor Akihito at the Imperial Palace on the fourth day of his five-day visit to Japan to strengthen bilateral ties.



Addressing the members of the Indian community at a reception here, Modi spoke of him carrying a copy of the Gita during the Japan visit for gifting it to the emperor.



"For gifting I brought a Gita. I do not know what will happen in India after this. There may be a TV debate on this.



Our secular friends will create 'toofan'(storm) that what does Modi think of himself? He has taken a Gita with him that means he has made this one also communal," the Prime Minister said.



As his remarks were greeted with a round of applause, Modi hastened to add, "Anyway, they should also have their livelihood and if I am not there then how will they earn their livelihood?"



Modi said he wondered why nowadays small things create controversies.



Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Japan's Emperor Akihito during an audience at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. (Reuters photo)



"I don't know why, but people create controversies even with such trivial things nowadays, but I have my own commitment and my own conviction that if I meet some great person of the world, I will give it (Gita) and that is why I brought it," he said.



At this point he referred to his audience with the emperor and presenting a copy of the Gita.



"Today I went to the maharaja of Japan, I have given one to him," he said, adding," Because I don't think that I have anything more to give and the world also does not have anything more to get than this.". The remark triggered another round of applause from the assembled gathering.

Neither 1 nor 2 is missionising (unless 2 involves that ISKCON version of the BG - hope not). This is merely a case of a heathen sharing with another heathen a glimpse of the heathenism he values, allowing the other heathen(s) to understand him and his kind. Heathens only do this when they are comfortable with each other, as heathenism is genereally a very personal matter, therefore it is a deep sign of wanting to be friends and taking the first step is to tell other heathens about oneself. And hope eventually they will tell you about themselves and share their views of their heathenism with you in their turn.

In return for the Gita, Modi should delicately hint to the Japanese Chatrapati that he would dearly love to have an English-translated copy of the 2 famous Japanese Purana collections on the Kamis. Or oooh, ask for some Sake prasadam - sake that has been traditionally, ritually offered to the Kami - to take back to India for sprinkling on sacred patches of Hindu soil to let the land of Bharatam drink of the Kamis blessings, and to thereby also bring the Kami's blessings to Hindoos to India.
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Accidentally came upon something and a mention is also there in wackypedia.



en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto



Quote:Amenominakanushi



According to the Kojiki,[21] Amenominakanushi (天御中主 "All-Father of the Originating Hub", or 天之御中主神 "Heavenly Ancestral God of the Originating Heart of the Universe") is the first kami, and the concept of the source of the universe according to theologies.[22][23] In mythology he is described as a "god who came into being alone" (hitorigami), the first of the zōka sanshin ("three kami of creation"), and one of the five kotoamatsukami ("distinguished heavenly gods").[22]]



(1. "All-Father of the Originating Hub" "Heavenly Ancestral God of the Originating Heart of the Universe") is the first kami, and the concept of the source of the universe according to theologies. -> Reminiscent of how the origins of the Brahmandam is explained as the evolution of purushottama (also called Paramashiva Shiva and his Shakti).

2. The 3 kami of creation is not unlike the 3 Pure Ones that make up the Dao and from which evolved creation and all beings. The Dao is also the "Supreme Ultimate" which is the "Divine Parents" in Daoism, i.e. the "Male" and "Female" essence that make up the Dao.)




Amenominakanushi has been considered a concept developed under the influence of Chinese thought.[22] With the flourishing of kokugaku the concept was studied by scholars.[22] The theologian Hirata Atsutane identified Amenominakanushi as the spirit of the North Star, master of the seven stars of the Big Dipper.[22] The god was emphasised by the Daikyōin in the Meiji period, and worshiped by some Shinto sects.[22]

(IIRC, in Daoism, the Big Dipper is an Amman, not a male God.)



The god manifests in a duality, a male and a female function, respectively Takamimusubi and Kamimusubi.[23] In other mythical accounts the originating kami is called Umashiashikabihikoji ("God of the Ashi [Reed]") or Kuninotokotachi (the "God Founder of the Nation"), the latter used in the Nihon Shoki.

[24]

"The originating Kami is called Umashiashikabihikoji" -> Oh, what a coincidence :grin: Hindoos also call the originating Hindoo "Supreme Ultimate" as Umashiva for short, i.e UmaShiva, the Ardhanareeshwara (aka the complete puruShottama form), from which the cosmos originates as per the Hindoos.





"The god manifests in a duality, a male and a female function, respectively Takamimusubi and Kamimusubi."

The Supreme Ultimate as made up of the Yin and Yang parts is also there in Daoism.





Before leaping to the conclusion that Shinto must in origin be "Hindooism onlee" or "Taoism onlee", though Taoism certainly had an influence since the very formative stages, I rather think that a pre-existing similar understanding/perception of the universe by the ancient Japanese was followed in time by an acquaintance with other heathen religions that had a similar understanding of their own, and it is this acquaintance that could have led to an adoption of the other religions' terms (and some paraphernalia) for the already existing native perception. My own degree of understanding of the Taoist Supreme Ultimate is based on the Hindoos' Umashiva. And I even refer to the Hindoo Gods as the Supreme Ultimate and as the Divine Parents, borrowing these terms from the Daoists.

So why can't the Japanese have done something similar? They had Divine Parents and used - besides native names like Kuninotokotachi and Amenominakanushi - also a Hindoo-derived name for the same. Why not. They may have thought UmaShiva literally meant "Mother and Father/Ardhanaareeshwara" rather than realising that Uma and Shiva are the proper names of specific Divine Parents of Hindoos. But it's close enough. UmaShiva refers to the Mother and Father of the All in Hindoo cosmology and Shintos had recognised and understood what these meant and so applied it to the Mother and Father of the All in Shinto cosmology. Like I go about saying Divine Parents and Supreme Ultimate (which are English translations of literal Taoist epithets) and apply these to the Hindoo Gods.



In fact, the Rudra Hrudayopanishad identifies various (albeit Vedic, i.e. Hindoo) Gods with Shiva and identifies their Shaktis with Uma, so extending that to a fellow heathenism then: from the Hindoo POV too, why not Takamimusubi and Kamimusubi as UmaShiva? Hmmm.





Oh.

Quote:Creation of Japan

Main article: Japanese creation myth



Izanami-no-Mikoto and Izanagi-no-Mikoto, by Kobayashi Eitaku, late 19th century.The generation of the Japanese archipelago is expressed mythologically as the action of two gods: Izanagi ("He-who-invites") and Izanami ("She-who-is-invited").[23] The interaction of these two principles begets the islands of Japan and a further group of kami.[23]



[...] as early as the Nihon Shoki parts of the mythology were explicitly borrowed from Taoism doctrines. For example, the co-creator deities Izanami and Izanagi are explicitly compared to yin and yang.

Again, I don't see why one has to assume that the 3 originating Kami, or the 2 co-creator Deities being compared with Yin and Yang, has to imply that the view of 3 and 2 creator versions originally derive from Taoism or Hindu religions. It's true that Taoism has an equivalence of Tao=3 Pure Ones, and also the equivalence of Tao=Supreme Ultimate=Yin+Yang. And it's also true that Hindoo religion has Parabrahman=Trimoorti and Parabrahman=PuruShottama(Paramshiva)=Shiva+Shakti (i.e. UmaShiva, or else PuruSha and Prakriti, or Deva and its Devaatmashakti which can be applied to all the Gods). But then why not equally insist that Hindoo or Taoist religions must be derived one from the other, since the assumption is that for ideas to be original they must be unique? Ironically, these are some of The Oldest views in native Chinese religion. And also some of the oldest views in Hindoo religion. I've read lots of speculation donating much of Hindooism to Taoism and lots of speculation donating much Taoism to Hindooism, but I've never seen evidence that I can't argue away.



So why can't it rather be that the Japanese merely recognised/formed an identification between their own cosmological views and the Taoist Yin and Yang - and with the Hindoo Umashiva[...] - and so applied Taoist and Hindoo terminology to native Shinto views? Why not? Even logically speaking, the first natural conception for the birth of the universe would require the search for its Parents. And heathen religions tend to identify the Universe with the All (e.g. heelal means "whole all" and is the word for universe in NL), therefore the Divine Parents would be identified with the universe and consequently since the universe is not visible 2 but 1, the Divine Parents will also be "unified form"/unified version though possessed of the male and female constituents, at least for creation/origination.



Also, SO many heathen religions have Divine Parents who are regarded as the founding parents of the All. (Heathen religions all the way in Africa too. So - pre-emptively: oryanists can back down already.)



No one is denying that there has been both Taoist and Hindu presence in Japan, and significant Taoist (and some Hindu) influences on Shinto in an early period. But the essence of these views seems quite a common feature to many heathenisms. I mean, when I first read about the Magna Mater and the Paternal Intellect or Intelligence (sorry, forgot) of the Hellenes, I too thought of these two as the PuruShottama's two constituent parts. Especially as they are meant to bring forth the All and life.



Therefore why MUST the Japanese use of (the obviously Taoist, Chinese) Yin and Yang to describe the Japanese founding Divine Parents - who together constitute the originating God - necessarily imply that the very notion in Shinto "must have" come from Taoism?



This is useful:

Quote:Since Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms: rocks, trees, rivers, animals, places, and even people can be said to possess the nature of kami.[10] Kami and people are not separate; they exist within the same world and share its interrelated complexity.[6]



[...]

Shinto is the largest religion in Japan, practiced by nearly 80% of the population, yet only a small percentage of these identify themselves as "Shintoists" in surveys.[7][11] This is due to the fact that "Shinto" has different meanings in Japan: most of the Japanese attend Shinto shrines and beseech kami without belonging to an institutional "Shinto" religion,[12] and since there are no formal rituals to become a member of folk "Shinto", "Shinto membership" is often estimated counting those who join organised Shinto sects.[13] Shinto has 100,000 shrines and 20,000 priests in the country.[7]

[The irony is that any Japanese or Chinese who hold the Buddha in regard is automatically classed Buddhist, despite most of these Japanese and Chinese actually being Shinto and Taoist respectively. But by that logic, 99% to 100% of Hindus respect Buddha too and should be called Buddhists not Hindus :wah: That's another reason why Indians dubbing Taiwain, Japan and China as "Buddhist" is flawed. Shintos worship lots of Hindoo Gods. Doesn't mean Hindus should count them as Hindus in the next religion census.]



But wow, 100,000 Shinto shrines. Dreamy. (Beats even Taiwan's 18,000 Taoist temples)

That's what India would be like without christoislam. Still, Hindoos are more fortunate than the Greeks and Romans who lost countless temples to christianism=terrorism.



"Since Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms" <---> Even in a literal sense, Shintos are not monopolytheists either. Their Supreme Ultimate is everywhere.



Hmm, I think the Shinto definition is very good for Hindoos to use.





The point of this post was "Umashiashikabihikoji" mentioned in the first quoteblock.



ADDED:

1. Only noticed the following after spam. From the same wackypedia link, the section on ritual purity:



Quote:In old Japanese legends, it is often claimed that the dead go to a place called yomi (黄泉), a gloomy underground realm with a river separating the living from the dead mentioned in the legend of Izanami and Izanagi. This yomi is very close to the Greek Hades; however, later myths include notions of resurrection and even Elysium-like descriptions such as in the legend of Okuninushi and Susanoo. Shinto tends to hold negative views on death and corpses as a source of pollution called kegare.

So the Japanese independently had a Hades-like and Elysium-like afterlife. Plus the view that corpses are a source of pollution is very much like that in Hellenismos too. Yet they did not influence nor were they influenced in this by the Greeks/Romans. (Like the Taoists, the Shintos are recognised by modern Roman reconstructionists and Hellenes as having lots in common with the native GrecoRoman religion.)

Though one imagines that if at some ancient time the Hellenes and Japanese had met, perhaps the Japanese may have included Greek- or Latin terminology for these pre-existing native Japanese views if they found them sufficiently similar. The way that Taoist Yin and Yang views found inclusion.





2. Regarding my wordgame on Umashiashikabihikoji, I should be made to take it back, since there are further details elsewhere - see below - such that the similarity of Umashiva to the prefix of Umashiashikabihikoji could well be pure coincidence. Though in my own defence, it was only when taken in combination with the other descriptive features (also at the wikipedia excerpt) - such as of originating the cosmos, and having both male and female aspects - that it seemed less of a coincidence. For instance, wacky stated in the section on the Kami Amenominakanushi that 'The god manifests in a duality, a male and a female function, respectively Takamimusubi and Kamimusubi. In other mythical accounts the originating kami is called Umashiashikabihikoji ("God of the Ashi [Reed]")'. Besides, the Tao starting with the 3 Pure Ones also manifests in stages to evolve the All, and since this always seemed to me [at surface level] to be not unlike the cosmological views that Hindoos have, and because Taoist cosmogony is regarded as somewhat akin to Shinto cosmogony, my randomly connecting Umashiva with the Japanese Kami did not seem improbable. (Further, several native Japanese Shintos chose to draw comparisons between certain features of their religions and Uma-Shiva - though only to further outsiders' understanding, supposing the Indian example to be "better-known" - but this had already made me inclined to leap to just such a conclusion.)





As it turns out, Japanese sources make brief mention but describe Umashiashikabihikoji as one of 5 originating Gods:

Quote:Umashiashikabihikoji

[Umashi ashikabi hikoji no kami](Kojiki)

Oher names: Umashi ashikabi hikoji no mikoto(Nihongi)

(Split is after Umashi. See, I'm still concluding "Umachi" in typical Husky fashion.)



A kami that appeared in the process of formation of heaven and earth. Acording to Kojiki and an "alternate writing" quoted in the Nihongi, when the land was first formed, it was uncongealed like floating oil, and drifted about like a jellyfish. From within this substance an object appeared and sprouted like a reed, becoming the kami Umashiashikabihikoji.



Kojiki states that this kami was the fourth of the five separate heavenly kami (kotoamatsukami) that were produced alone (hitorigami) and then hid themselves away (i.e., died). The second and third "alternate writings" describing this episode in Nihongi, however, state that Umashiashikabihikoji was the first kami to come into being, while the sixth account describes it as the second kami produced. This kami was not known as the ancestor of any clans.



-Mori Mizue




japan-101.com/culture/kotoamatsukami.htm

Quote:Kotoamatsukami - Term Used in Japanese Shintoism



In Japanese Shintoism, Kotoamatsukami (別天神, literally means "distinguishing heavenly kami") is the collective name for the first powers which came into existence at the time of the creation of the universe. They were born in Takamagahara, the world of Heaven at the time of the creation, as Amenominakanushi 天御中主 (Sky), Takamimusubi (High Producer), Kamimusubi (Divine Producer), and a bit later Umashiashikabihikoji (Reed) and Amenotokotachi (Heaven).



These forces then became gods and goddesses, the tenzai shoshin (heavenly kami) - Ame no minakanushi no kami; Takami-musubi no �kami; Kamimusubi no �kami; Umashiashikabihikoji no kami; Ame no Tokotachi no kami; Kuni no Tokotachi no kami; Toyokumono no kami; Uhijini no mikoto; Suhijini no kami; Tsunokuhi no kami; Ikukuhi no kami; �tonoji no kami; �tonobe no kami; Omodaru no kami; Kashikone no kami; Izanagi no kami; Izanami no kami; and Amaterasu �mikami.




Since I've been drawing random comparisons at will, may as well make one more, taking into account wackypedia's statements implying that the Kamigami evolved the universe sort of in stages and that there seem to be similarities with Daoism. "The first powers which came into existence at the time of the creation of the universe" being 5 in number reminds me loosely of what were said to be the 5 Shuddhatattvas of "ShaktyaNDa" in Kashmiri Shaivam/the 5 stages in the first evolution of Paramashiva into the All. Or something. Whatever.

Be that as it may, Shintoism certainly has cosmological views. And the very fact that comparisons are made with the Taoist cosmological perception means that Shinto cosmogony is likely to be far more intricate than straightforward reading. (Which I suppose was already indicated in this statement from wacky, as it refers to how Shinto cosmogony was a matter of study for Shinto scholars: "Amenominakanushi has been considered a concept developed under the influence of Chinese thought.[22] With the flourishing of kokugaku the concept was studied by scholars.[22]") Not that I ever thought Shinto to be any more trivial than Hindoo or Taoist religion - the very fact that there exist Shintos who understood matters pertaining to Uma-Shiva (and surprisingly well) in order for them to make their deep comparisons with their own religion's views and practices, clearly meant that they had naturally had deep insight and that their ancestral religion was at least as profound. Besides, Shintoists still interact directly with the Gods, which is proof in itself.





3. On this statement from the wackypedia article again:



"Since Japanese language does not distinguish between singular and plural, kami refers to the divinity, or sacred essence, that manifests in multiple forms: rocks, trees, rivers, animals, places, and even people can be said to possess the nature of kami."



Hmmm, Kami as a general/basic terminology could be a concept somewhat like Atman, also to be described as "sacred essence". In Hindoo religion too, there are Gods in or of trees and mountains/rocks, rivers, animals, places (e.g. forests, villages) etc. And the fact that Kami refers to "the divinity or sacred essence that manifests" (in all things) is not unlike the Paramaatman being found in all things. Am not meaning to force the issue or even submitting Atman as the term for translation, nor do I think that these two terms are equivalent, but heathen religions tend to have some notion of fundamental essence(s) - which they tend to regard as sacred and ubiquitous - and I think in Shinto religion it is Kami and in Hindoos' religion it is Atman. Also, other native Shintoists had explained that "Kami" had a monist meaning too, hence akin to Parabrahman but also like the Tao. (This last also seems to be alluded to in some of the above English-language descriptions of their cosmogony.)
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Speaking of probably superficial/coincidental similarity:



There is a famous Goddess in Taoism who has 2 benign "demons" accompanying her. And, as always, positioning the attendant Beings correctly beside the primary Deity under consideration is crucial in Taoist religious practice. So these 2 "demons" - who each have their own specific colourings and physical characteristics - are also always depicted/placed alongside the Goddess in the correct configuration.



An associated narrative is that she (or specifically, the earthly avataaram of the Goddess) was wandering about, being all-round good and was so sublimely beautiful, that the aforementioned two "demons" each wanted her hand in marriage. It must be said that she was rather a capable, heroic Goddess. So they challenged her to duel against them: if one of the demons were to win, it could marry her. As it happened, she bested them both. And she invariably radiated her divine Taoist self on them despite their defeat, so that they became her fast friends and helpers, and tagged along everywhere with her. That is why the Goddess is always depicted with her famous helper "demons".



The Taoist Goddess is already (eternally-)married to a famous Taoist God. I'm not certain whether her avataaram got married, but I do know her avataaram is worshipped as the wife of the famous Taoist God (also apparent from several of her famous epithets), since in Taoism there's a 1-to-1 correspondence between an avataaram of a deity and the deity's original identity.



Parts of the above famous Taoist narrative could sound familiar to Hindus, especially during this time of year. However:



1. There are differences and these differences are important too: in the Hindoo case of a famous Hindoo Goddess faced with an asura duo, the Goddess was aiming for their destruction since the very start (bringing an end to them was her purpose for appearing). Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum fell hopelessly for her beauty and pleaded that they should be allowed to marry her if they won against her. (She was already engaged/married, but since she had no intention of losing anyway, she agreed, as a ruse.) The first difference: she put a permanent end to Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum.

Second difference: they are not her friends and not usually depicted with her (and certainly not as her accompanying friends and helpers), though another of her vanquished foes is often specifically depicted in imagery with the Hindoo Goddess, but as her defeated foe.



2. The pattern of male enemies falling in love with a beautiful heroine and challenging said female hero to a duel in order to win her hand (or date her or be her lover) as their "prize", is a common motif in lots of tales, including even recent fiction. The ending regularly varies, as also seen in the difference between the Hindu and Taoist cases.



A couple of examples in famous fictional stories that come to mind at this moment include:



- Ranma 1/2, which has all the males in a high school - including the male Kendo champion - challenging the Kendo-trained heroine every morning when she turns up at school. They all insist that if they win, they should get to date her, but she's disinterested and fights to be left out of their lives. She beats all of them every day. However the hero, when he appears, is not one of the belligerent males and does not extend the same ultimatum/"challenge" to her, despite being better at fighting than her (having moreover learnt Tai Chi martial arts in China), so they eventually strike up the inevitable romance.



- Famous 80s fantasy B movie Red Sonya (which likewise has comic origins I think?) has Brigitte Nielsen playing the "irresistible undefeatable" sword-wielding femme of the title. Many a warmonger/warlord who enters her path hopes to be her lover [but IIRC they were portrayed lecherous, so they probably just hoped to sleep with her] and, IIRC unfortunate past experiences having made her a misandrist, she issues the same famous challenge to them all, knowing they will all fail miserably and fall to her sword. Note that in this story, the heroine is the one who issues the challenge. Eventually Ahnuld - channelling his Conan the Barbarian/Destroyer type persona again - fights her in what's IIRC supposed to be a "romantic scene" (cheesiness is inevitable as it's a 1980s B movie and all); and, I think at least the movie version has her willingly losing** so that Ahnuld's character - who from memory turned out to be the High King of something or other, prancing about incognito to restore the forces of good - wins, and is allowed to become her lover. <- Uh, spoiler alert.
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