Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Purānic

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Thacker, Spink & Company, 1882 - Gods, Hindu - 411 pages
Hindu mythology can easily become a bewildering subject. There are a vast number of gods, demigods and supernatural beings (some writers refer to as many as 330 million deities). More than this, the beliefs concerning them, their roles in religious practice, and their manifestations in different texts vary according to time, place, and tradition throughout India's vast territory and long history. For anyone interested in the subject, or for anyone approaching an epic such as the Mahabharata, a good guide is needed, and none has equaled Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Puranic by W.J. Wilkins for completeness and clarity.

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Page 285 - Gloom, hid in gloom, existed first — one sea, eluding view. That One, a void in chaos wrapt, by inward fervour grew. Within it first arose desire, the primal germ of mind, Which nothing with existence links, as sages searching find. " The kindling ray that shot across the dark and drear abyss — Was it beneath ? or high aloft ? What bard can answer this ? There fecundating powers were found, and mighty forces strove — A self-supporting mass beneath, and energy above.
Page 198 - He is small and weak, his flesh and his blood are dried up, his muscles stick to his skin, his head is white, his teeth chatter, his body is •wasted away ; leaning on his stick he is hardly able to walk, stumbling at every step. Is there something peculiar in his family, or is this the common lot of all created beings ? " '
Page 28 - Behold the rays of dawn, like heralds, lead on high The sun, that men may see the great all-knowing god. The stars slink off like thieves, in company with Night, Before the all-seeing eye, whose beams reveal his presence, Gleaming like brilliant flames, to nation after nation.
Page 200 - ... and thereby destroys the fear, of all the changes inherent in life. It was from the moment when he arrived at this knowledge, that he claimed the name of Buddha, the Enlightened. At that moment we may truly say that the fate of millions of millions of human beings trembled in the balance.
Page 209 - By his irresistible might he will destroy all the Mlechas (barbarians or foreigners) and thieves, and all whose minds are devoted to iniquity. He will then reestablish righteousness upon earth ; and the minds of those who live at the end of the Kali age shall be awakened and shall be as pellucid as crystal.
Page 44 - Emerges fairer from the wave) : — But closely by the amorous sun Pursued, and vanquished in the race, Thou soon art locked in his embrace, And with him blendest into one. Fair Ushas, though through years untold Thou hast lived on, yet thou art born Anew on each succeeding morn, And so thou art both young and old.
Page 35 - The mighty Lord on high, our deeds, as if at hand, espies : The gods know all men do, though men would fain their deeds disguise Whoever stands, whoever moves, or steals from place to place. Or hides him in his secret cell, — the gods his movements trace. Wherever two together plot, and deem they are alone, King Varuna is there, a third, and all their schemes are known This earth is his, to him belong those vast and boundless...
Page 10 - they are not conceived as limited by the power of others, as superior or inferior in rank. Each god is to the mind of the suppliant as good as all the gods. He is felt at the time as a real divinity, as supreme and absolute, in spite of the necessary limitations which, to our mind, a plurality of gods must entail on every single god.
Page 95 - ... acquired a divine character, it was quite natural that she should be regarded as the patroness of the ceremonies which were celebrated on the margin of her holy waters, and that her direction and blessing should be invoked as essential to their proper performance and success. The connection into which she was thus brought with sacred rites may have led to the further step of imagining her to have an influence on the composition of the hymns which formed so important a part, of the proceedings,...
Page 289 - ... the termination of the first occurs only at the end of the life of Brahma, when not only all the gods and all other forms are annihilated, but the elements are again merged into primary substance, besides which, one only spiritual being exists. The latter takes place at the end of every Kalpa or day of Brahma, and affects only the forms of inferior creatures, and lower worlds; leaving the substance of the universe entire, and sages and gods unharmed.

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