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Dion Peoples

U of Oregon
REL 399: Religions of India
Prof. Howard
2 Aug 2003

Hindu Deities: Representation Inside the Buddhist Pali Canon


There is a vastness in Sanatana Dharma that cannot be written in a small text, therefore this project is an attempt to make sense of the various Hindu Gods, through their representations
in translated and selected Pali Texts of the Theravada Buddhist Tradition. This paper will explore
interactions between the Buddha and the Gods, and sometimes the Gods with Noble Arahant
disciples of the Buddha. This paper will attempt to clarify certain points also with other texts
detailing the Hindu traditions to make things less sectarian/slanted with the hopes of presented
an accurate portrayal across the spectrum of the apparent, infinite realm of celestial beings. There
will only be a minor focus on lesser deities.
Now, one might ask why the interest to write about the Buddhist versions of the Hindu
gods? The main reason was that after spending one year studying in Thailand under the suspicion
that Thailand was a Buddhist country, how open to the Hindu deities the country is. The Hindu
deities are in almost every aspect of daily Thai life, after reflection. There is a Shrine to Shiva at
the Erawan Hotel in Bangkok. Erawan (in Thai language) is the Three Headed Elephant,
belonging to Indra. There is a Ganesha Shrine on the grounds of the World Trade Center as well
as a Shrine to Brahma, in Bangkok. There shall be the assumption that there are other shrines
throughout the city, and country of Thailand. If the assumption is that Thailand is a Buddhist
country, a shock might come onto a person to learn that Thai life is based from stories contained in
the various Hindu literature. Things, seemingly traditional Thai are actually rituals and activities
found in the various Vedas, which have been assimilated into normalcy in Thai life. When I was a
Theravada Buddhist monk in Thailand, I had three novices from India to train, who taught me a bit
about Hinduism.
The rationale to study the Hindu gods from a different perspective was largely to get a
better picture, of how the gods are today and were portrayed over 2500 years ago. There is also
the recognition that perhaps geological renditions of textual origin (Sri Lankan versus Northern
India and even over into Thailand) perhaps a certain deity is worshipped more devoutly in certain
regions. In the texts consulted for the construction of this project, a perspective can be gained,
that there has been a sort of transformation over the identities of some of these gods. This
potentially adds to the magnificence of the gods being written about. Within a tradition, the gods
are revered, naturally; but how they are perceived in a different tradition might add to a clearer
painting of the identity of these various gods classified into Hinduism. These gods, also might
have taken on local cultural ideas some gods are more powerful, more important to some, in
comparison to others.
Initially presented is a dilemma is there one god or many? For the purpose of this
paper, the assumption is that there are many, but as a collective totality there can be perceived
One as the Eternal Law, or variations on the theme, in accordance to the Hindu traditions.. In the

Mulapariyaya Sutta1, the Gods are listed as something to perceive by the ordinary person who
might not understand the root of all things. This being said, there can be an interpretation of
recognizing the Hindu gods in Buddhism, but not revered in the same light perhaps as in
Hinduism, though this analysis of material comes many centuries later.
Part of the many perceived takes place as the personal god [Saguna Brahman] named
Ishvara, the main god - the originator, the worlds formless creator, takes form with magic called
maya. Ishvara manifests as one of three aspects: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Ishvara will take
on these forms when creating, preserving, and/or destroying. 2 Ishvara is the upholder of the
universal moral order.
The three Celestial Gods: Varuna (God of Water, ousted by Indra), Mitra (the Sun God,
God of Friendship, Brother of Varuna) and Vishnu (God of War, Keeper/Upholder of Laws) in the
Buddhist texts, only references to Varuna and Vishnu were found, allowing for the assumption that
they are two different gods, or celestial beings. Varuna, is the overseer of moral action and is
represented as the ocean. Vishnu, as the Preserver, is highly revered in India. Other texts [nonBuddhist Hindu sources has Krishna as an incarnation of Vishnu (though Krishna is non-Vedic in
origin originally a tribal god] mention Vishnu, being reincarnated in the form of Krishna and later,
as the Buddha.3
The three Atmospheric Gods: Indra, [the Glorious according to Essentials of Hinduism
pp. 66] as thunder, Lord of Strength4 or the King of the Gods, and is represented as rain; Marut
(God of Wind); and Rudra (Shiva), as the father of the many Marut troops of storms and the
provider of medicine Shiva is known as the destroyer.
The three Terrestrial Gods are: Agni, the god of fire; Brahaspati, the Lord of Prayer/giver of
Wisdom; and Soma, for the sacrificial rituals. In addition, Yama is mentioned in the Buddhist texts
as the god of Death/Master of Knowledge with references to his realm and river.
BRAHMA:
Brahma, otherwise known as Prajapati [identified in Essentials of Hinduism as Lord of
Creatures pp. 66], is the Creator god and Ultimate Reality with two identities as Nirguna and
Saguna [without and with respective qualities]. Brahma created the world, but now has nothing to
do, until he creates the next world, so he comes down to earth in many manifestations. Brahma
plays a rather large role in Buddhism, as far as interactions are concerned. Brahma during the
Buddhas time was probably the most important deity worshipped. Brahma pleads to the Buddha
to teach his Dhamma to the world after he attains enlightenment. The Buddha is hesitant, claiming
1

Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the
Majjhima Nikaya (Wisdom Publications: Boston, MA 1995) pp. 83-87 [further footnoted as: MN]

Bhaskarananda, Swami, The Essentials of Hinduism: A Comprehensive Overview of the Worlds Oldest Religion,
(Sri Ramakrishna Math: Mylapore, Chennai) pp. 66-73

Embree, Ainslie T., Sources of Indian Tradition: From the Beginning to 1800 (Vol 1, 2nd Edition) (Columbia
University Press: New York, NY 1988) pp. 279

Walshe, Maurice, The Long Discourses of the Buddha A Translation of the Digha Nikaya, (Wisdom Publications:
Boston, MA 1995) pp. 473, [from here on out, this text will be footnoted as: DN for brevity] the Atanatiya Sutta,
which is chanted for protection by monks and laypeople [By reciting this chant in the time of trouble against a nonhuman, one will be protected and assisted by the remaining gods.]

no one will understand, but finally out of compassion, consents. Sometimes, in the Buddhist texts,
Brahma reappears often in the human form of an ageless youth by the name of Pancasikha.
Brahma in Buddhism is not One, and not immortal. Brahma for Buddhists is the creator as well
as a powerful and benevolent being that can bestow mundane favors. 5
The introduction to the Majjhima Nikaya says, The Buddhists themselves asserted that
Brahma was not a singular creator God but a collective name for several classes of high deities
whose chiefs, forgetting that they are still transient beings in the grip of kamma, were prone to
imagine themselves to be the omnipotent everlasting creator. 6 The Samyutta Nikaya 7 again
mentions that Brahma was the supreme deity of early Brahmanism, conceived as the Creator and
venerated with rituals and sacrifices by learned Brahmins. In the Buddhist texts, Brahma is often
criticized and is the object of satire. Brahma, after creating the world, had little to do, so often he
came to learn from the Buddha. The Samyutta Nikaya goes further to mention that the Buddha
transformed the singular form of an all-powerful Brahma into a class of exalted deities with
different names. The texts mention several manifestations of Brahma under the different aliases.
Brahma is the ruler of his realm with other brahmas as ministers and assemblies. In Buddhism,
one can be reborn into the Brahma realm/world if one masters the jhanas each jhana level
corresponds to a level in the realm. In Buddhism, because the Brahmas are long-lived and
elevated in stature, they are prone to delusion and conceit. 8
SHIVA:
Shiva, in form, is not mentioned in the Pali textsShiva was reclusive as a deity
meditating in the forests. Shiva is said, however to be one of the most ancient deities. Shiva is
also known as, The Great Lover. 9 Also stated from the Embree text is, The great ascetic, he is
also the great lover; he is the destroyer and creator; kind and beneficent, yet dark and terrible.
This many-sided nature of Shiva is celebrated in the hymns of his devotees, who see in [Him] the
seeming contradictions [and] reflections of power. 10 This is perhaps why yogis are said to have
aspects of Shiva within them.
INDRA as SAKKA:
In the Buddhist texts, there seems to be some arguments over the totality of
representation of Indra as Sakka (whose wifes name is Suja, and son is Suvira). However, notes
in texts mention Sakkas representation is slightly different, to make Indra compatible to Buddhism.
5
6

DN, pp. 43
MN, pp. 57

Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya (Wisdom
Publications: Somerville, MA 2000) pp. 81-83 (Vol. 1) [further mentioned as SN]

SN, pp. 82

Embree, Ainslie T., Sources of Indian Tradition: From the Beginning to 1800 (Vol 1, 2nd Edition) (Columbia
University Press: New York, NY 1988) pp.345

10

Ibid., pp. 345

Thus again references to Indra: Sakka [Pali form] or Sakra [Sanskrit] is considered the Buddhist
replacement name for Indra. It might be a weak argument to make, but there is no need to argue
over Sakka being the Chief of the Gods11 residing in the Buddhist Realm of Thirty-Three Gods. A
source12 identifies that Indra did not really come into his own identity until later in Indian/Hindu
literature. Sakkas identity as a deity still enjoys status in Sri Lanka.
During the time of the Buddha, Brahma was one of the most looming figures. Vasava,
Vasetthas, and Venerable Kosiya (a personal name13 meaning the owl), are all said to be other
names for Sakka/Indra. From the introduction to the Majjhima Nikaya14, Indra/Sakka is depicted as
a devotee of the Buddha, faithful, but prone to negligence. In the Samyutta Nikaya: Sakka is the
ruler of the devas, and a follower of the Buddha. The Buddha often spoke of Sakkas
deeds/conversations in discourses as a sort of moralistic fable. Sakka ruled over the devas with
righteousness, patience towards aggressors, and compassionate treatment for wrongdoers.
Sakka is also portrayed as the ideal layperson according to the Samyutta Nikaya.15 There are
several tales of Sakka,16 with his chariot going into battle with the devas against the Asuras. Many
scholastic endeavors could be taken up to analyze Sakka and the relationship to war an
identification that this author makes, but will not get into for the purpose of this paper!
Textual Renditions:
In the Tevijja Sutta,17 the Brahmins [holy men of the Sanatana Dharma] are said to call on:
Indra, Soma, Varuna, Isana, Pajapati, Brahma, Mahiddi, and Yama. It is said in the Book of
Aggregates, Khandhavagga/Khandasamyutta18, that when a Bhikkhu attains liberation, then Indra,
Brahma and Pajapati all pay homage to him from afar! This sutta also provides harsh words
towards Brahmins who have made certain attained claims, yet with a life that has nothing in
common with Brahma (explained further below!).
The Mahasamaya Sutta19 tells of all the devas (all the celestial beings, yakkas, garudas,
nagas, Asuras, Eravana, the gods of earth/wind/air/fire, Soma, and Mara 20), who have come to visit
the Buddha and five hundred Arahants. Some Arahants according to the sutta, witnesses
hundreds of devas, others, thousands, others innumerable. All the celestial beings seem to be
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19

DN, pp. 41
DN, pp. 586, note 573
MN, pp. 1230
MN, pp. 46
SN, pp 86-87
SN, pp. 489-502
DN, pp. 187-195
SN, pp. 918
DN, pp. 315-320

20

Bhikkhu Nanamoli [translator], Khuddakapatha - The Minor Readings (Pali Text Society: London, UK 1960), pp.
118. It mentions that Mara is the son of a god. The Khuddakapatha, however does not mention who the father of
Mara is. For the purpose of this paper the usage/qualities of Mara was not taken from this text. This is only added
to further the identity of Mara, his origin based on classroom discussion.

represented in the sutta, Indra with his Eravana the three headed elephant, Venhu (Pali form of
Vishnu), Sakka the ancient giver, Varuna, Maha-Brahma who ruled a thousand worlds, were all in
attendance to see, hear and be alert to the words of the Buddha.
The Bahudhatuka Sutta21 has the Buddha revealing that, the position of a Buddha, Sakka,
Brahma, Mara, and a Wheel-turning Monarch - will never be a woman; there is no such possibility.
The Sakkapanha Sutta22 has Sakka, Lord of the Gods, brings his lute and comes down to
see the Buddha. A laywoman in the text speaks in verse of Sakka, Indra, and Pajapati. Sakka
asks a series of questions pertaining to the fetters, cessation, the Patimoka, control of the sensefaculties, if all ascetics and Brahmins teach the same doctrine, with the Buddha replying as he
does, thus Sakka rejoices in what he had heard from the Buddha. After paying homage to the
Buddha, Sakka proclaims, Whatever things have an origin must come to cessation.
The Culatanhasankhaya Sutta23 has Sakka asking the Buddha a question, rejoicing in the
answer, disappearing and then summoning a highly learned/respected disciple of the Buddha to
the Realm of the Thirty-Three Gods. Here in heaven Sakka debates with Maha Moggallana (a
disciple of the Buddha), about the destruction of craving, just as the Buddha had just taught Sakka.
The Kevaddha Sutta24 has Sakka deferring to Yama, who defers to other devas who defer
to Brahma, all not knowing where the four elements cease without remainder. The Buddha
reveals that where consciousness is signless, boundless, all-luminous there, is where earth,
water, fire and air find no footingwhere name/form are wholly destroyed with the cessation of
consciousness this is all destroyed.
The Janavasabha Sutta25 has Sakka praising the Buddha for increasing the population of
the realm of the gods, by providing new devas who lived the holy life under the Buddha. The sutta
reveals how Brahma proclaims the Buddha as the most glorious Teacher.
The Lakkhana Sutta 26mentions how not even Brahma can take the life of the Buddha or
the Tathagata.
The Ariyapariyesana Sutta27 has Brahma urging the Buddha to teach his Dhamma after
becoming enlightened. The Buddha thought no one would understand the Dhamma, but after
much pleading by Brahma, and out of compassion for beings, the Buddha teaches the five
ascetics his Dhamma and even about a fight with Mara.
The Catuma Sutta28 has Brahma appearing after the Buddha dismisses a large assembly
of monks for being too noisy. Brahma appears to change the Buddhas mind with some similes.
The Buddha agrees with Brahma and teaches the arrived assembly a discourse on four fears of
those who go down to the water.
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28

MN, pp. 925-930 (on page 929)


DN, pp. 321
MN, pp. 344-348
DN, pp. 175-180
DN, pp. 291-300
DN, pp. 445, 458
MN, pp. 253-268
MN, pp. 560-565

The Sekha Sutta29 has an incarnation of Brahma who appears as a youth due to death
attaining jhana proclaiming in a stanza:
The noble clan is held to be the best of people as to lineage;
But best of gods and humans is one perfect in true knowledge and conduct.

The Buddha approved the statement from Brahma, which arose out of a discourse on the
disciple in higher training who has entered upon the way.
The Brahmasamyutta30, has both Brahma and Sakka simultaneously speaking in verse
during the final passing of the Buddha. Both Brahma and Sakka give well-spoken eulogies.

ONE PROBLEM:
Through the readings of one particular: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, he
illustrates concern - pertaining to the Bhagavad-Gita. The problem stem from sectarian
interpretations. There is a verse [7:20-24] in the Bhagavad-Gita 31:
-Robbed of knowledge by stray desires, men take refuge in other deities;
observing varied rites, they are limited by their own nature.
-I grant unwavering faith to any devoted man to worship any form with faith.
-Disciplined by that faith, he seeks the deitys favor;
This secured, he gains desires that I grant myself.
-But finite is the reward that comes to men of little wit;
Men who sacrifice to gods reach the gods; those devoted to me reach me.

When Swami Prabhupada illustrates the above passage, he is referring to Sankaracariya


(Founder of the Mayavada system, which denies the existence of gods). To quote 32 the Swami:
According to Vedic literature, Buddha was an incarnation of Krsna, who had a special power and who
appeared for a special purpose. His system of thought, or faith was accepted widely, but Buddha rejected
the authority of the Vedas. While Buddhism was spreading, the Vedic culture was stopped both in India
and on other places. Therefore, since Sankaracariyas only aim was to drive away Buddhas system of
philosophy, he introduced a system called Mayavada. Strictly speaking, Mayavada philosophy is atheism,
for it is a process in which one imagines that there is God. This Mayavada system of philosophy has been
existing since time immemorial. The present Indian system of religion or culture is based on the Mayavada
philosophy of Sankaracariya, which is a compromise with Buddhist philosophy. According to Mayavada
philosophy there is actually is no God, or if God exists, He is impersonal and all-pervading and therefore be
imagined in any form. This conclusion is not in accord with the Vedic literature. That literature names
many demigods, who are worshipped for different purposes, but in every case the Supreme Lord, the
Personality of Godhead, Vishnu, is accepted as the Supreme Controller. That is real Vedic culture.

Of the Swami mentioning of the Mayavadins: since one cannot concentrate on the
Brahman, one might imagine any of those forms meaning what is seen, is imagination. A similar
stance was uttered by the Buddha in the Tevijja Sutta (see above) that how can one be with
Brahma, if one has never seen Brahma. The Buddha33 stated:
29
30

MN, pp. 465, 1253


SN, pp. 252

31

Stoler-Miller, Barbara, The Bhagavada-Gita: Krishnas Counsel in Time of War (Bantam Classic: New York, NY
1986) pp. 73-74

32

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, The Science of Self Realization (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust: Los Angeles:
CA 1994) pp. 120

33

DN, pp. 187-195 the Tevijja Sutta

So, Vasettha, not one of these Brahmins learned in the Three Vedas has seen Brahma face to face, nor
has one of their teachers, or teachers teachers, nor even the ancestor seven generations back of one of
their teachers. Nor could any of the earlier sages say: We know and see when, how and where Brahma
appears. So what these Brahmins learned in the Three Vedas are saying is We teach this path to union
with Brahma that we do not know or see, this is the only straight pathleading to union with Brahma.
What do you think, Vasettha? Such being the case, does not what these Brahmins declare turn out to be
ill-founded?
Yes indeed, Reverend Gotama

The Buddha [in the same sutta], states further:


this cannot possibly be right. Just as a file of Blind Men go on, clinging to each other, and the first one
sees nothing, and the last one sees nothing so it is with the talk of these Brahmins learned in the Three
Vedas. The talkturns out to be laughable, mere words, empty and vain. Well now Vasettha, those
Brahmins learned in the Three Vedas who persistently neglect what a Brahmin should do, and persistently
do what a Brahmin should not do, declare: We call on Indra, Soma, Varuna, Isana, Pajapati, Brahma,
Mahiddi, Yama. But that such Brahmins who persistently neglect what a Brahmin should dowill, as a
consequence of their calling, begging, or requesting or wheedling, attain after death, at the breaking-up of
the body, to union with Brahma that is just not possible. [etc]

The implication of the sutta is that only if someone is unencumbered, disciplined, without
hate, without ill-will,etc, [as per the sutta] then only then, after the break-up of the body can
someone attain union with Brahma. What the Buddha and Mayavadins are saying is that there
cannot be reliance on deities to attain liberation, but those who are conscious of the attributes can
attain moksha if they adhere to their Dharmas whether this is caste dharma or Natural Law
Dharma.
DIVINE ANALYSIS:
In the time of the Buddha, there was only Three Vedas: the Iru [Rig], Yaju [Yajur] and
Sama [Samam]. The fourth Veda Atharva existence is only implied as well as the Itihasa. 34
The Vedas were not formulated or categorized complete as such Vedas until later times.
Brahman knowledge was: master of the Three Vedas with their vocabularies, liturgy, phonology,
and etymology, and the histories as a fifth; skilled in philology and grammar, natural
philosophy.35
Vedic renditions of the Hindu deities would be obviously widespread, but to see a deeper
penetrating existence looking at the Buddhist texts can lead one to believe that there is also a
profound existence of these same deities in Buddhism. In the Atanatiya Sutta the deities are
summoned to protect people from celestial threats. There are the constant references to Brahma,
praising the wisdom of the Buddha, as well as Brahma praising those who attain the levels of jhana
attainment. In Hinduism, jhana is used to reference knowledge, but in Buddhism jhanas are
levels of meditation attainment which can be cross-referenced to mean attained path knowledge
(towards Arahantship).
Interaction did take place between the Buddha and the various deities, even if as a
minimum, in the form of telling a story. There are several interactions between the various deities
and the Buddha, along with some of his top disciples. The ideas in Buddhism are not to focus so
much on the deities, as in comparison to Hinduism, but to explain a moral or idea.

34
35

MN, pp. 1293, note 850


MN, pp. 743 Brahmayu Sutta

In Hinduism, the individual is encouraged to try to become one with the divine which is
also an inherent portion of the Brahma nature, in accordance with divine law. While in Buddhism,
there is a shift in liberational goals. When one focuses on deities, one cannot see the true aim of
the Dhamma, which in Buddhism is the elimination of suffering and the attainment of nibbana
through the liberation of the mind, from greed, hatred and delusion [to say the least about the
goals!]. In Hinduism the path goal is moksha, yet in the various aspects of life, one is taught to
obey or conform to ones presubscribed dharma. Liberation, in Hinduism seems to lead one away
from the Dharma why wait for the end of ones life to practice? Hinduism is inclusive and joins a
person to the Divine. Through this insight, analysis of Hinduism/Buddhism would teach that to be
liberated, one must be separate from the divine, as they are bound to have faults.
The vastness of Hinduism contains Buddhism. This should be a profound statement to
make in the face of the populist Buddhist culture arising in the western world. To know and
understand the roots of a religious tradition, learning about oneself can take on a greater
significance, with a greater self-realization. Part of the self-realization processes it that not all
people seek to withdraw from the world, as a renunciate, and therefore the Sanatana Dharma
provides for the people a way of life that can lead a person to happiness, and on a larger scale
provide for the governance of the society. Dharmas for the respective separate castes all have
the same deities; all in Hindu society are not excluded from the worship of the deity of their choice.
In Hinduism, the actualization can be realized even if one negates the self, as in
Buddhism doctrinal debate will not be initiated, but the illusion was used to say that by
manifesting the deities, a person can reflect upon the aspects needed to make a life feel complete.
Hinduism does not separate the individuals life from the divine, which for the larger part attracts
more people to the Sanatana Dharma, which is key to understand how this way of Dharma is one
of the worlds oldest religion.
There is, it must be emphasized, no one right way to moksha or deliverance within the many varieties of
Hindu religious experience. There are many schools and systems of thought that analyze and describe the
process, and there have been and still are innumerable teachers, saints, and gurus who offer guidance.
The many doctrinesoften seem contradictory or at least divergent as to appear unrelated to each other,
but there is at least one common thread. All agree in some fashion , that [this life] is miserable[and
due to] his ignorance and his failure to comprehend the truth. In some fashion, within the Hindu tradition all
systems and paths to salvation or moksha are related to knowledge and the acquisition of a truth that
dispels ignorance.36

With that said, this paper reaches conclusion, and in summary, restated: deities are there
in no form/form to assist the individual in his path towards moksha, whatever his caste, or dharmas
that he is subjected to in relation to his karma.

Other Gods?

In Deuteronomy 13:16, rather the entire thirteenth chapter is concerned with


worshiping other gods, which might tie into my posed question concluding the event, about
any references denying the war-loving God. The first verse opens:
If a prophet or one who foretells by dreams appears among you and announces to you a
miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and
he says, Let us follow other gods (gods you have not known) and worship them, you must

36

Embree, Ainslie T., Sources of Indian Tradition: From the Beginning to 1800 (Vol 1, 2nd Edition) (Columbia
University Press: New York, NY 1988) pp. 275

not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord, your God is testing you to find out
whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord, your God, you
must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and
hold fast to Him. That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached
rebellion against the Lord, your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the
of slavery; He has tried to turn you from the way the Lord, your God commanded you to follow.
You must purge the evil from among you. (NIV, Deuteronomy, Ch 13, v 1-5)

So already there is the possibility of other gods, perhaps gods with different
ideologies different social guidance structures. Rebels, those against the social guidance
structure are to be put to death, shown no pity, stoned, etc. The motivation behind this is a
scare tactic and propagandized action akin towards violating modern human rights
exploitation of a dead body to promote a political agenda. People are persuaded to inquire,
probe and investigate the other deity/situation and if the situation is deemed detestable,
then the believer should destroy the evil entity/object. There is no mention of: what about
the opposition/other is correct what is one to do?
In 1 Kings 20:23-29 mentions a deity being strong in the hills, and the need to draw
enemy forces away from the hills as to diminish the deitys power [the opposing deity].
In Deuteronomy 20: v17-18, Completely destroy them[various tribes] as the Lord,
your God, has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable
things they do in worshipping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord, your God.
I find it more interesting, in concluding this brief essay, that there is usage of your
which implies an other, further supported by the statement of the god of the hills. I would
have to conclude that the Hebrew Bible acknowledges other deities besides the One that the
people of Israel are supposed to follow. Automatically the reader can assume that there are
other gods, and who is to question whose God is stronger, when realities might historically
reveal that the armies were weaker even more so, when many of the current religions from
the disputed territories are of Abrahamic traditions. What we have currently is people of the
same books warring each other, not inspired by God, but inspired by their own personal
greed, hatred and delusion. If those three unwholesome roots making up portions of
consciousness can be overturned, promoting non-greed, non-hatred, and non-delusion
instead, putting down the automatic machine weaponry for a chair at a debate table true
human progress can be made if both parties are mindful of the false pride/delusions each of
them personally possesses and faces.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, The Science of Self Realization (Bhaktivedanta Book
Trust: Los Angeles: CA 1994)
Bhaskarananda, Swami, The Essentials of Hinduism: A Comprehensive Overview of the
Worlds Oldest Religion, (Sri Ramakrishna Math: Mylapore, Chennai)
Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Samyutta
Nikaya Volume 1; (Wisdom Publications: Somerville, MA 2000)
Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A New
Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya (Wisdom Publications: Boston, MA 1995)
Bhikkhu Nanamoli [translator], Khuddakapatha - The Minor Readings (Pali Text Society:
London, UK 1960), pp. 118. It mentions that Mara is the son of a god.
Embree, Ainslie T., Sources of Indian Tradition: From the Beginning to 1800 (Vol 1, 2nd
Edition) (Columbia University Press: New York, NY 1988)
Stoler-Miller, Barbara, The Bhagavada-Gita: Krishnas Counsel in Time of War (Bantam
Classic: New York, NY 1986)
Walshe, Maurice, The Long Discourses of the Buddha A Translation of the Digha Nikaya,
(Wisdom Publications: Boston, MA 1995) the Atanatiya Sutta, which is chanted for
protection by monks and laypeople [By reciting this chant in the time of trouble against a nonhuman, one will be protected and assisted by the remaining gods.

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