13 Far East Gods & Goddesses You Should Know
One of the many ways people throughout the centuries have gained spiritual wisdom and enlightenment is through worshiping and honoring gods and goddesses. More than just myths and stories, gods and goddesses are human personifications of specific energy. It is through their stories that we understand what energies are associated with them. This can help us on our own spiritual journeys, as we can focus in on a god/goddess whose energies resonate with us.
Every culture and religion has their own versions of gods and goddesses. It can be tricky remembering them all, especially when it comes to the Buddhist and Hindu practices. Gods are reincarnated as gods, and the whole list of deities can be overwhelming. To help get you started, here are some well-known and important gods and goddesses of the Hindu and Buddhist belief systems and their symbolic meanings.
Known as the remover of obstacles, Ganesh places these challenges in our way as a form of education. We can learn and grow from these hurdles. Because of this, he is also known as the deity of intelligence and wisdom.
While her name means “dark”, Kali is a highly praised goddess in Hindu culture. She is the symbol of death and salvation, teaching us that we need to come to terms with reality, and it is only through the process of death that we can be reborn.
Tara originated as a Hindu Goddess, but she has been widely revered as a goddess of the Tibetan Buddhist faith. In Buddhist practice, she is seen as the female Buddha and stands for enlightenment and compassion. The legend goes that due to her pureness, she was granted the right to take a male form as the next Buddha, but chose instead to remain in her female body. Therefore, she is a strong symbol of feminism.
Known as the “Divine Mother”, Kuan Yin represents compassion and mercy for all living creatures. Due to her divine purity, she was destined to become a Buddha, but instead of receiving Nirvana, declined and decided to remain on earth to save and care for all children.
One of the most widely known and revered Hindu Gods, Shiva is associated with the creation of the universe and the trinity of Hinduism (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva). He is originally known as the God of Destruction. With this title, he is also associated with rebirth and is a symbol of fertility.
A famed Goddess in India, Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, prosperity, luck and love. She is here to bring love and luck into our relationship, and prosperity and success into our lives. She is sometimes seen as the Hindu version of Venus or Aphrodite.
This notable goddess is called the Mother of the Veda. She is responsible for the creative arts and remains a muse of artists throughout the world. She is also the goddess of knowledge, music, and speech.
Another one of the main principal Hindu deities, Vishnu is worshipped as the protector and preserver of the world and its moral order.
Even though he is the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Krisha’s popularity succeeds that of his former form. He is the god of compassion and tenderness, and the embodiment of love and divine joy.
Depicted as a monkey, Hanuman is known for his courage, power, faithfulness, and selfless service. As a child, he abused his power and was quite mischievous. In order to protect the world from the naughty Hanuman, Lord Brahma created a curse for Hanuman, removing his knowledge of his powers until he rediscovered them later in life. Hanuman shows us that we too have inner abilities that we must unleash and discover.
This Hindu Goddess symbolizes the divine forces, specifically the feminine energy and its power to overcome evil and wickedness. She protects those from negative forces and is seen as a warrior goddess. She represents righteousness and helps to preserve the moral order.
The third of the Hindu trinity, Brahma is known as the creator of the universe. Although he is one of the main gods in the Hindu story of creation, there are few temples remaining that worship him.
One of the most well-known and worshiped deities, Buddha is known as the “enlightened one” and is a universal symbol of compassion. Once a noble prince, the Buddha left his palace to seek the release of human suffering and fear. He became enlightened one night when sitting under a Bodhi tree during meditation.
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