Hindus acknowledge that, at the most fundamental level, God is the One without a second — the absolute, formless, and only Reality known as Brahman, the Supreme, Universal Soul. Brahman is the universe and everything in it. Brahman has no form and no limits; it is Reality and Truth.
Thus Hinduism is a pantheistic religion: It equates God with the universe. Yet Hindu religion is also polytheistic: populated with myriad gods and goddesses who personify aspects of the one true God, allowing individuals an infinite number of ways to worship based on family tradition, community and regional practices, and other considerations.
Here are just some of the many Hindu gods and goddesses:
Brahma, the Creator
Brahma is the first member of the Hindu Trinity and is “the Creator” because he periodically creates everything in the universe. (The word periodically here refers to the Hindu belief that time is cyclical; everything in the universe — except for Brahman and certain Hindu scriptures — is created, maintained for a certain amount of time, and then destroyed in order to be renewed in ideal form again.)
Vishnu, the Preserver
Vishnu is the second member of the Hindu Trinity. He maintains the order and harmony of the universe, which is periodically created by Brahma and periodically destroyed by Shiva to prepare for the next creation.
Vishnu is worshipped in many forms and in several avatars (incarnations). Vishnu is an important, somewhat mysterious god. Less visible than nature gods that preside over elements (such as fire and rain), Vishnu is the pervader — the divine essence that pervades the universe. He is usually worshipped in the form of an avatar (see below).
Shiva, the Destroyer
Shiva is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, tasked with destroying the universe in order to prepare for its renewal at the end of each cycle of time. Shiva’s destructive power is regenerative: It’s the necessary step that makes renewal possible.
Hindus customarily invoke Shiva before the beginning of any religious or spiritual endeavor; they believe that any bad vibrations in the immediate vicinity of worship are eliminated by the mere utterance of his praise or name.
Ganapati, the Remover of Obstacles
Ganapati, also known as Ganesha, is Shiva’s first son. Lord Ganapati, who has an elephant head, occupies a very special place in the hearts of Hindus because they consider him the Remover of Obstacles. Most Hindu households have a picture or statue of this godhead, and it’s not uncommon to see small replicas of Ganapati hanging from rearview mirrors of cars and trucks!
Avatars of Vishnu
The literal meaning of the word avatar is “descent,” and it’s usually understood to mean divine descent. Avatars are savior forms of a god that descend to earth to intervene whenever help is needed to restore dharma (moral order) and peace. Two of Vishnu’s ten avatars are Rama and Krishna.
Rama is one of the most beloved Hindu gods and is the hero of the Hindu epic called the Ramayana. He is portrayed as an ideal son, brother, husband, and king and as a strict adherent to dharma. Millions of Hindus derive satisfaction from reading and recalling Rama’s trials and tribulations as a young prince who was exiled from his kingdom for 14 years.
If one Hindu god’s name is known and recognized throughout the world, it is Krishna. Hindus identify Krishna as the teacher of the sacred scripture called the Bhagavad Gita and as the friend and mentor of prince Arjuna in the epic the Mahabharata.
For his devotees, Krishna is a delight, full of playful pranks. But most of all, Lord Krishna’s promise to humanity that he will manifest himself and descend to earth whenever dharma declines has sustained Hindu belief in the Supreme Being over thousands of years.
Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning
Saraswati is the consort of Brahma the Creator and is worshipped as the goddess of learning, wisdom, speech, and music. Hindus offer prayer to Saraswati before beginning any intellectual pursuit, and Hindu students are encouraged to offer prayers to her during the school/college term and especially before and during examinations.
Lakshmi is the goddess of good fortune, wealth, and well-being. As the consort of Vishnu, she plays a role in every incarnation. (She is Sita, wife of Rama; Rukmini, wife of Krishna; and Dharani, wife of Parashu Rama, another avatar of Vishnu.)
Durga Devi is a powerful, even frightening goddess who fights fiercely in order to restore dharma (moral order). Yet, while Durga is terrifying to her adversaries, she is full of compassion and love for her devotees.
Indra, the King of Heaven and lord of the gods
Indra wields a thunderbolt and is a protector and provider of rain.
Surya, the sun
Surya (or Soorya) is a golden warrior arriving on a chariot pulled by seven white horses.
Agni, the fire god
Agni holds a special place in Hindu fire ritual to this day as the sacrificer (the priest who performs the ceremony); the sacrifice (the ritual fire and the offerings made into it); and the witness to all rites.
Hanuman, the monkey king and devoted servant
Hanuman is featured in the great Hindu epic the Ramayana. He earned his path to deification by performing feats of strength, devotion, and courage while helping Rama (an avatar of Vishnu) in countless exciting incidents.
It is often asked if there are gods in Buddhism. The short answer is no, but also yes, depending on what you mean by “gods.”
It also is often asked if it is all right for a Buddhist to believe in God, meaning the creator God as celebrated in Christianity, Judaism, Islam and other philosophies of monotheism. Again, this depends on what you mean by “God.” As most monotheists define God, the answer is probably “no.” But there are lots of ways to understand the principle of God.
Buddhism is sometimes called an “atheistic” religion, although some of us prefer “non-theistic”–meaning that believing in a God or gods really isn’t the point.
But it’s certainly the case that there are all kinds of god-like creatures and beings called devas populating the early scriptures of Buddhism. Vajrayana Buddhism still makes use of tantric deities in its esoteric practices. And there are Buddhists who believe devotion to Amitabha Buddha will bring them to rebirth in the Pure Land.
So, how to explain this apparent contradiction?
What Do We Mean by Gods?
Let’s start with polytheistic-type gods. In the world’s religions, these have been understood in many ways, Most commonly, they are supernatural beings with some kind of agency—they control the weather, for example, or they might help you win victories. The classic Roman and Greek gods and goddesses are examples.
Practice in a religion based on polytheism mostly consists of practices to cause these gods to intercede on one’s behalf. If you deleted them the various gods, there wouldn’t be a religion at all.
In traditional Buddhist folk religion, on the other hand, the devas are usually depicted as characters living in a number of other realms, separate from the human realm. They have their own problems and have no roles to play in the human realm. There is no point praying to them even if you believe in them because they’re not going to do anything for you.
Whatever sort of existence they may or may not have really doesn’t matter to Buddhist practice. Many of the stories told about the devas have allegorical points, but you can be a devoted Buddhist for your whole life and never give them any thought.
The Tantric Deities
Now, let’s move on to the tantric deities. In Buddhism, tantra is the use of rituals, symbolism and yoga practices to evoke experiences that enable the realization of enlightenment. The most common practice of Buddhist tantra is to experience oneself as a deity. In this case, then, the deities are more like archetypal symbols than supernatural creatures.
Here’s an important point: Buddhist Vajrayana is based on Mahayana Buddhist teaching. And in Mahayana Buddhism, no phenomena have objective or independent existence. Not gods, not you, not your favorite tree, not your toaster (see “Sunyata, or Emptiness”). Things exist in a kind of relative way, taking identity from their function and position relative to other phenomena. But nothing is really separate or independent from everything else.
With this in mind, one can see that the tantric deities can be understood in many different ways. Certainly, there are people who understand them as something like the classic Greek gods–supernatural beings with a separate existence who might help you if you ask. But this is a somewhat unsophisticated understanding that modern Buddhist scholars and teachers have altered in favor of a symbolic, archetypal definition.
Lama Thubten Yeshe wrote,
“Tantric meditational deities should not be confused with what different mythologies and religions might mean when they speak of gods and goddesses. Here, the deity we choose to identify with represents the essential qualities of the fully awakened experience latent within us. To use the language of psychology, such a deity is an archetype of our own deepest nature, our most profound level of consciousness. In tantra we focus our attention on such an archetypal image and identify with it in order to arouse the deepest, most profound aspects of our being and bring them into our present reality.”
Other Mahayana Godlike Beings
Although they may not practice formal tantra, there are tantric elements running through much of Mahayana Buddhism. Iconic beings such as Avalokiteshvara are evoked to bring compassion to the world, yes, but we are her eyes and hands and feet.
The same is true of Amitabha. Some may understand Amitabha as a deity who will take them to paradise (although not forever). Others may understand the Pure Land to be a state of mind and Amitabha as a projection of one’s own devotional practice. But believing in one thing or another really isn’t the point.
What About God?
Finally, we get to the Big G. What did the Buddha say about him? Well, nothing that I know of. It’s possible the Buddha was never exposed to monotheism as we know it. The concept of God as the one and only supreme being, and not just one god among many, was just coming into acceptance among Jewish scholars about the time the Buddha was born. This God concept may not have ever reached him.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the God of monotheism, as commonly understood, can be dropped seamlessly into Buddhism. Frankly, in Buddhism, God has nothing to do.
The creation of phenomena is taken care of by a kind of natural law called Dependent Origination. The consequences of our actions are accounted for by karma, which in Buddhism is also a kind of natural law that doesn’t require a supernatural cosmic judge.
And if there is a God, he is us, too. His existence would be as dependent and conditioned as ours.
Sometimes Buddhist teachers use the word “God,” but their meaning is not something that most monotheists would recognize. They may be referring to the dharmakaya, for example, which the late Chogyam Trungpa described as “the basis of the original unbornness.” The word “God” in this context has more in common with the Taoist idea of “the Tao” than with the familiar Judaic/Christian idea of God.
So, you see, the question as to whether there are or are not gods in Buddhism can’t really be answered with a yes or no. Again, though, merely believing in Buddhist deities is pointless. How do you understand them? That’s what matters.
The stories of the gods and goddesses from ancient Greek mythology are hugely popular. Their characters have been popularized and subsequently immortalized by famous ancient Greek playwrights such as Homer and Hesiod. What makes the folklore behind these ancient Greek deities stand out is the way their stories have deviated from those of other contemporary ancient religions. The Greek gods resembled humans not only in their form but also in their nature and emotions. Many of us might remember how Theseus slayed the Minotaur, how Hades ruled the underworld, and how Zeus would show his wrath with mighty thunder. We read all these exciting stories when we were kids. Since the goddesses were such important personas in their own right, it is only fair to list them separately in our next post. As for the majestic gods of ancient Greece, let’s see how many of your favorites make it onto our top 10 list:
Also known as “the messenger,” Hermes was the son of Zeus and Maia. He has been depicted in many different ways in poems, plays, and myths. Popularly, he comes across as a handsome, athletic, beardless youth and sometimes as an older bearded man. Hermes was a quick thinker and even quicker with his movements, and he was notorious among the gods for his cunning. Since he could easily move between the three main worlds in the mythological paradigm of ancient Greece: heaven, the seas, and the underworld, he often acted as a messenger for the gods. Given the cunning tricks he would play on fellow gods for his own amusement, one can find stark similarities between him and the popular Norse god Loki. Just to give an example of how elaborate his tricks could be, it is said that he jumped out of his crib when he was a baby, stole Apollo’s cattle and returned to the crib the picture of innocence. No wonder he was also known as the god of cunning and thievery.
Popular in Greek folklore, the god of fire, Hephaestus, was associated with the realm of heaven. His beginnings have been described in contradictory terms by Homer and Hesiod. Homer describes him as the crippled son of Zeus and Hera, while Hesiod takes a rather unconventional (and far more intriguing) route by stating that Hera bore him alone. He was born with a limp, which led his mother to throw him off Mount Olympus, though by different accounts he intervened in a brawl between Zeus and Hera and ended up getting dragged off Olympus by the mighty Zeus. Once he fell to earth, he went on to become a prodigious craftsman and was eventually reinstated to heaven where he made a number of marvelous items for the gods and goddesses. He also created majestic armor and shields for the gods, the most famous of them being the one donned by Achilles in the Battle of Troy.
Born of Zeus and Hera, Ares was also known as the god of war. But he reflected the violent and gory aspects of war far more than the righteous and just violence for the greater good. He was always willing to wreak havoc just to display his might in battle and rarely thought of fighting for justice or self-defense. His acts of imprudence led both his parents to despise him and look up to his sister Athena instead. Despite personifying the sheer ruthlessness of war, he also came across as a coward through his outrageous reactions to the slightest of injuries in battle. He was madly in love with Aphrodite, who was already married to Hephaestus. Their affair was not a secret among the Olympians and led to much disdain. As such, Ares was never very popular among men or gods and was not followed or worshiped by the masses.
Widely known among the ancient Titans, Cronos was the ruling god before the age of the Olympian deities. The Titans were known for their colossal bodies and equally massive brute strength, among whom Cronos proved himself to be the strongest when he became the ruler by castrating his own father, Uranus. But once he came to power, much like his despised parent, Cronos became rather suspicious of his children – the most noticeable ones being Zeus, Poseidon, and Aphrodite. In his utter paranoia, he swallowed them to keep them from ever surpassing him. But his mother Gaia and wife Rhea were able to rescue Zeus who fought him off and banished him to the dreaded Tartarus in the underworld once he had freed his siblings. The end of Cronos heralded the age of the Olympian deities who would go on to be far more popular in Greek mythology than their predecessors ever were.
The twin brother of Artemis, Apollo was a god with many facets. His father was, again, Zeus and he was born to his mother Leto on the island of Delos – the only refuge they could find from an enraged Hera (no surprises there). Leto was so overwhelmed with the care she received from the inhabitants of Delos that she promised that Apollo would always favor them and ensure their prosperity, a promise which he went on to honor. As mentioned earlier, Apollo has many facets which were rather contradictory. He was the god of serenity and music and was often depicted with a lyre. He was also a skilled archer who could often be seen with a silver bow. He was considered the god of healing and medicine but when enraged, he would bring about death and despair with his arrows. He would harness his four-horse chariot and move the sun across the sky every single day, providing light and life to the earth. Being a prophetic god, he was a celebrated figure among the oracles, and they established Delphi as a site dedicated to worshiping him.
Being the god of festivity, pleasure, and wine, he was quite a popular deity – both among gods and mortals. He is the only god who had a mortal parent in the form of his mother Semele, his father being the mighty Zeus. He was brought up under the protection of mountain nymphs since Hera, Zeus’s wife, was jealous of her husband’s romantic adventures outside their marriage. Dionysus slowly built a cult of followers who would accompany him on his journeys around the world. He was far more interactive with his followers than the other gods, feasting, drinking, and living life to the full with them. He fell irrevocably in love with Ariadne, who was despicably abandoned by Theseus when she fell asleep on the island of Naxos.
The Greeks celebrated many festivals in his honor, and it would not be an overstatement to say that he was far more popular than Zeus in many parts of ancient Greece.
One of the most popular Titan gods, Prometheus is held in high esteem among the great benefactors of mankind. His father Iapetus was also a Titan but his mother was an Oceanid. Being the god of forethought, he foresaw the defeat of the Titans at the hands of the new Olympian gods and cleverly sided with the Olympians during the battle, thus escaping imprisonment at Tartarus along with the others.
Prometheus was then assigned the task of molding mankind out of clay. Once he was done creating mankind, he became rather attached to them, always worried for their welfare. This led him to cross paths with the mighty Zeus time and again since he did not care so much about humans. So when Zeus took away fire from mankind, Prometheus stole it from the heavens and gave it back to the humans. Zeus punished him for his treachery by chaining him to a rock where an eagle would eat his liver every day (his liver regenerated every night for he was immortal). Eventually, he was freed from his agony by the powerful demigod Hercules.
When Zeus and his brothers drew straws to decide who got to be the lord of which realm, Poseidon drew the realm of the seas. In this way, he became the ruler of the seas and, along with his wife Amphitrite, led a group of lesser gods that included Triton and the Nereids. Being the lord of seas, he was widely worshiped and followed by seamen and voyagers. But his influence was even more far reaching. Historians cite him as being a major deity in several ancient Greek cities.
In terms of sheer power, he came second only to the mighty Zeus. As well as taming the power of the seas, he also carried a trident which could cause massive earthquakes with a single strike. At some point, he fell desperately for Demeter who asked him to create the most unique creature if he was to win her. It is said he made a number of animals in his quest and finally created the first majestic horse.
Following the advent of the age of the Olympian gods, Hades became the ruler of underworld – a place where only the dead could enter (though there were quite a few exceptions to that). Naturally, ruling over such a gloomy and dismal realm seldom led to a good impression, making him less prominent in Greek mythology. However, many Greeks believed him to be the personification of death itself (which he was not) and paid him regular homage because of their superstition. But his evil image is a far cry from what he was actually like, for he was not as much of a bad guy as we have been led to believe. Contrary to common belief, it was not Hades who was responsible for the redemption of souls but rather the three demigods Minos, Aiakos, and Rhadamanthys would carry out the judgment. He was also pretty fair in his dealings with Hercules who approached him with the intention of capturing his three-headed dog. However, Hades hasn’t been cut any slack for tricking his love interest Persephone into staying with him in the underworld.
Zeus was the god of the whole known universe that the Olympians won from the Titans. After conquering the Titans, Zeus also won the draw with his brothers Hades and Poseidon to see who would inherit the throne after their father Kronos, becoming the god of all skies and the acknowledged ruler of all remaining gods. Zeus was married to Hera, the queen of all gods, but he was also notorious for his romantic escapades outside his marriage. He was known as the father of the gods, and as you might have noticed by now, he fathered quite a few children from his many affairs. Being the personification of the nature of all things, he constructed the order that became the basis for the different realms. He also regulated time in the form of the changing seasons and alternating day and night. He ruled with absolute authority and command over his universe but he also had a bad temper and was very easy to provoke. He would respond by hurling thunderbolts at those who displeased him.
The ancient Greek gods listed here laid the very foundation of Greek mythology that keeps on enchanting readers, writers, and storytellers to this day. These gods were not only significant in their own realms and mythological paradigms, but they also had a noteworthy impact on the civilizations that succeeded the ancient Greeks. With his power and might, Zeus remained the undisputed leader and ruler of all Olympian gods, ruling over the realms from his throne on Mount Olympus. It is clear that the Greek system was biased towards male dominance (only the brothers got to divide the realms among themselves). Nevertheless, the ensemble of these legendary gods from ancient Greece still holds a charm over historians and common people today.
What’s the first thing you think about when thinking of any god? Immortality. Usually, gods are immortal beings with divine powers, and that’s what makes them different from humans. However, Egyptian gods are a bit different — they can be mortal, too.
In ancient Egypt, a god could die just like any human could. Well, they wouldn’t be dying from the same causes, but they couldn’t come back as gods either. What you should keep in mind is that pharaohs were sometimes considered gods, their messengers, incarnations, or vessels. That means when they die, the god they’re representing dies with them.
But if a god can die, how can they still influence the human realm? It’s all about the process of rebirth. Dying, in most cases, is simply symbolic, and gods can come back through various cycles or rituals performed by their believers. To conclude, the gods of Egypt are both mortal and immortal.
They Bleed Gold
You know all about turning blood into wine, but what about turning blood into gold bars? Sounds impossible, but not when you keep in mind that one of the many qualities of gods of Egypt is that they bleed gold. Well, it’s questionable if real gold oozes from their body or the blood simply has a golden color.
This is yet another thing that makes them similar, and yet different, to humans. Believers can find comfort in knowing that their god also bleeds when they’re hurt or dying. That’s one of the ways in which humans can identify themselves or relate to gods they’re worshiping.
We’re sure many Egyptians thought of harvesting this gold blood for the sake of becoming rich. But we also bet that killing a god of Egypt isn’t an easy feat.
Egyptian Gods Experience Continuous Birth and Death
What goes around comes around, and Egyptian gods know it best. One of the characteristics of gods of Egypt is that they die almost every day. Well, it all depends on which god we’re talking about. For example, Osiris was one of the most important gods in ancient Egypt. According to texts, Osiris was killed by his brother but reborn by Isis as a God of the Underworld.
But not all deaths and rebirths are this dramatic. The Sun god Ra drags the sun across the sky during the day and through the Underworld during the night. In this journey, Ra ages, dies, and is reborn the next morning.
Remember that pharaohs are vessels for Gods? When one dies, so does the god they represent, but finding another vessel is all but difficult for these deities. The cycle of death and rebirth is one of the most important things in ancient Egyptian religion, and all beings (mortal and immortal) must experience it.
Egyptian Gods Can Transform Into Beast-Like Creatures
Now, let’s talk about Egyptian gods as beasts. Don’t you love cats? Ancient Egyptians loved them too, but for different reasons than we do today. Back then, cats were messengers and incarnations of cat-goddess Bastet. This goddess had a human body but a cat head. Why? Because, at night, she would turn into a cat to protect Ra from his greatest enemy — the serpent Apep.
That is why people started worshiping cats. Not only that, but they would mummify them along with their prayers as offering to Bastet. This was one of the ways of getting onto a god’s good side. But Bastet isn’t the only goddess with an animal vessel. Many other gods had animal representatives, including:
They Revolve Around Monotheistic Faith
Many would argue that this was a monotheistic religion, even though there are many gods of Egypt. Why? It’s pretty simple. There are only a handful of gods people respect and celebrate across ancient Egypt. The other gods aren’t less relevant, but praising them is subjective.
For example, all Egyptians worshiped Ra, but not everyone cared about Bastet or Sobek. Every god is in charge of something, whether it’s fertility, war, love, good health, or more. With that in mind, people choose which god to worship depending on what they need.
Plus, it wasn’t unusual for people to pick favorites among gods and worship them for no reason other than simply liking them. To put this into perspective, Christians worship one God, but they also pray to many saints. Still, Christianity is a monotheistic religion. The same logic applies to ancient Egyptian religion.
How the Differences Affect Faith
The belief system and lifestyle of ancient Egyptians are unique. Since there are so many gods to worship, they dedicate a lot of their time to prayer and rituals. As we’ve mentioned, one of the most important things in ancient Egyptian religion is the cycle of rebirth and going to the afterlife.
There are many rules a person needs to abide by during their life on Earth, so they could ensure a fine life in the afterlife. However, death is not the end of one’s life. A person’s loved ones can still communicate with the deceased through rituals. Not only that, but they have to take good care of the deceased’s body. This can be done through mummification and the “Opening of the mouth” ritual.
Even though Egyptians were deeply religious and devoted their lives to worshiping gods, there were still disbelievers. Forcing people into faith wasn’t common practice in ancient Egypt, though. Why? Because everyone has their own pre-decided destiny, and some are just doomed to live without the gods favoring them. However, not even disbelievers are safe from Ra’s wrath, and that’s often enough to convert them.
Roman and Greek mythologies are rather similar. But they aren’t the same thing. Let’s take a look at some of the major differences between these two cultures and how one has inspired another.
Homer vs. Virgil
One of the first major differences between these two mythologies is in the original material. Firstly, Greek gods are older. If we take a look at two e of the most important poems from this era, we can see a couple of important things.
We are talking about The Iliad and The Odyssey. These two poems are allegedly written by Homer. The Iliad tells a story about the Trojan War and what happened during a decade-long siege of the city of Troy. It was written in the eighth century BC.
The second poem, The Odyssey, talks about the hero Odysseus (also known as Ulysses), and the aftermath of the Trojan War. The story was written between the eighth and seventh century BC.
On the other hand, we have Virgil, who wrote The Aeneid. The Aeneid is a Latin poem written between 29 and 19 BC. As we can see from the start, The Aeneid came 700 years after the two Greek poems.
The story tells us about Aeneas and his journey from Troy to Italy. Aeneas was a character from the Iliad, and he is a son of Anchises and Aphrodite.
It is obvious that Roman mythology is related to Greek mythos. For each god appearing in Roman myths, there is a Greek equivalent. But there are a couple of differences between the two mythologies.
Firstly, there was a heavy emphasis on the looks of Greek deities. We all know that Aphrodite was the most beautiful being in the world, and a similar thing can apply to the rest of the Pantheon. It is noticeable that Greeks put focus on their physical attributes, and each god has strong characteristics.
In Roman mythology, the focus was placed not on the physical appearance but on the characteristics of gods. As a result, their physical attributes were less noticeable and not nearly as strong as in Greek mythology.
Of course, if we take a look at statues and other depictions of Greek/Roman deities, we can see more than enough similarities. Just take a look at Mercury or Hermes. They look similar, and both are messengers of gods. However, there are still a couple of slight differences between the two. Mercury played a much larger role in carrying souls to Hades, while Hermes often delved in cleptomania and tricks.
Greek God Names vs. Roman God Names
The most obvious difference between the two mythologies is in names. While there are gods and goddesses with identical roles and stories, they always have different names.
Greek deities were decided by their human traits and characteristics. Since Greek myths are older, Roman used the existing Greek deities and assigned a Roman object to them. Roman counterparts were based on objects, and they had no gender.
Just looking at some of the most important Greek gods and goddesses, it is easy to notice a Roman counterpart.
For example, Greek deities like Zeus, Poseidon, and Cronus became Jupiter, Neptune, and Saturn. Furthermore, Aphrodite, Ares, Hermes, and Hephaestus also have their doubles in Roman myths, and they are Venus, Mars, Mercury, and Vulcan. Of course, Roman deities inspired the names of planets in our solar system. On the other hand, people are more familiar with Greek myths and stories about deities.
Another major difference between Roman and Greek cultures is in mortal deeds. We all know the stories about mortal heroes and the importance they had in the stories and myths of ancient Greeks.
We have already mentioned Odysseus, and everyone knows Achilles, Hector, Perseus, and many others. Yes, some of them had godlike abilities, but they were mortal in the end (as Achilles proved). Greeks put a focus on good deeds and how even mortals can change the world and affect the course of the story. They emphasized the significance of these heroes and the things they did on earth.
In Roman culture, the situation was completely different. They did not put emphasis on mortals, and physical life on earth wasn’t as significant. One of the reasons for this difference is that Romans believed in the afterlife. They believed that mortals should aspire to be more like gods, and they used Roman gods and goddesses as examples of how to have a good life.
How Mortals of Greek Mythology and Roman Mythology Live Differently
Finally, the last thing we will focus on are mortals and how they were perceived in each mythology and culture. In Greek culture, gods and goddesses were unreachable by mortals. At the same time, they were based on human personality traits, and many of them had flaws.
However, they were still an ideal that can never be reached by mortals, and they will never be able to earn their place among gods. Their goal was to continue doing good work on earth and find a way to honor gods during their lifetime.
Once again, Roman culture was different. It might be due to the fact that it was a different time period and that there were hundreds of years between these two mythologies. While Romans also believed that gods and goddesses represented ideals, it was something achievable.
Someone who is honorable and leads a good life on earth would be able to go to the afterlife once their time on earth is over. Deities weren’t just an object of fascination and worship but an ideal to strive towards.
Of course, one might say that all these differences between two cultures are insignificant, and they would have a point. There are so many connecting points between the two religions (like Hercules and Heracles), and it is obvious that Roman culture was heavily inspired by Greek myths.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t find differences no matter how small they are. All you need to do is know where to look.
You ever wonder how big God’s penis is? I’ll be honest, I do. Genesis, Chapter 1, Verse 27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him,” according to King James’ book.
That’s what the Bible says. I have a penis, so the Bible dic-tates God must, too. Which begs my question, and a couple others. We’re all in God’s image, so that’s an argument for the average human penis being about the size of God’s – proportionally speaking, anyway. I think it a bit presumptuous to claim to know God’s height and weight. But don’t we all like to think that God would be the proud owner of a porn-star magnitude johnson? The problem with this affectionate assumption is that, of course, most of us would cease to be exactly in His image, with our mere mortal manhoods.
But we’ll come back to that one. And as long as we’re in the area, I would like to know what, exactly, God needs a penis for. Those Darwinian heathens have done a thorough job of their “scientific” study and exhaustive research into the “evolution” of our species, and the inheritance of our monkey penis. I know what to do with my penis, and spend the bulk of my free time practicing, and praying for God to bless me with a pretty lady to help out. In this day and age you don’t have to pray cause you can now buy sex toys that will bring you wonders and flesh-like sensation that you though only women can give. But exactly what practical use does God have for His Wang? He didn’t even utilize his own Original Prick to impregnate the Virgin Mary! He took the lazy route. Didn’t lay the poor girl but, presumably, snapped His Godly fingers and made it so, before sending an angel to give her the news in “person”:
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” (Luke, 1:31)
At no point does God’s Holy Dangle do any diddling. So what is it there for? Hmmm… how frequently do you figure God masturbates? Call this speculation, but I’m assuming the Lord does not get erections. Coitus exists for procreation and nothing more. And if the Man upstairs wasn’t wasting a woody on Jesus, then I, for one, am comfortable labeling Him forever flaccid.
My penis is modeled after God’s. When I’m flying at half-mast I know we are talking about a fraction of my God-given potential. I am not looking to be branded a heretic, but from a reasoned and rational point of view, my verdict is that if you are blessed with a penis the size of the Almighty’s that even an yoga maniac adult star can’t resist, that is nothing to thank God about.
The title of this post (God’s Phallus) is shocking because the thought of God having a penis is shocking. Most Jews and Christians think of God the father as lacking a body and hence as beyond sexuality. Without a body, God obviously can have no sexual organ.
But from where does the idea of a disembodied God come? What if, historically speaking, it is discomfort with the idea of God’s penis that has generated the idea of an incorporeal God? What if this uneasiness flows from the contradictions inherent in men’s relationship with a God who is explicitly male? This in a nutshell is the argument of this book.
This is why the title “God’s Phallus” is a serious one that points to interesting questions about the nature of religious symbols and the way in which issues of gender, sexuality, and desire are inseparable from them. More specifically, this is a book about divine fatherhood and the ways in which the sexual body of a father God is troubling for the conception of masculinity.
It may, of course, seem counterintuitive to think of a male God as being problematic for the conception of masculinity. After all, dozens of feminist studies over the past twenty years have explored the way in which images of male deities authorize male domination in the social order. As these studies have well demonstrated, a divine male both legitimates male authority and deifies masculinity. It thus may seem paradoxical to consider that the symbol of a male God generates dilemmas for the conception of masculinity.
Nevertheless, I would argue that at the same time that such a symbol works to legitimate masculinity, which may in fact be its primary and even original function, it also renders the meaning of masculinity unstable. This book explores how tensions arising from the idea of the sexual body of the father God are expressed in the myth and ritual of one religious tradition, namely that of ancient Judaism.
So what are the dilemmas evoked by the maleness of God in ancient Judaism? The first is homoeroticism: the love of a male human for a male God. The issue of homoeroticism arises in ancient Israel because the divine‑human relationship is often described in erotic and sexual terms. Marriage and sexuality are frequent biblical metaphors for describing God’s relationship with Israel. God is imagined as the husband to Israel the wife; espousal and even sexual intercourse are metaphors for the covenant. Thus when Israel follows other gods, “she” is seen to be whoring. Israel’s relationship with God is thus conceptualized as a monogamous sexual relation, and idolatry as adultery.
But the heterosexual metaphors in the ancient texts belie the nature of the relationship in question: it is human males, not females, who are imagined to have the primary intimate relations with the deity. The Israel that is collectively imagined as a woman is actually constituted by men, men like Moses and the patriarchs. And these men love, in ways that are imagined erotically and sensually, a male deity.
This would not have posed a problem if human masculinity was not so strongly associated with procreation in ancient Judaism. Being a man in ancient Israelite culture involved marrying, having children, and carrying forward the lineage of one’s father or tribe. Thus ancient Judaism’s concept of masculinity was deeply entangled in images of what is now called heterosexuality.
Still another set of dilemmas are generated by the monotheistic image of a sexless father God. As has been pointed out by many interpreters, the God of the Jews, unlike the gods of the ancient Near East and many other religious traditions, does not have sexual intercourse or father children, at least in the literature that made its way into the Hebrew Bible. The archaeological record suggests that many Israelites may have imagined the goddess Asherah to be a partner of Yahweh, but in the Hebrew Bible, and in the variety of Judaisms that flourished subsequently, Israel imagined God as having no sexual partners.
Despite the fact that God metaphorically gets married (e.g., Hosea 1‑2; Jeremiah 2:2), and even has sexual intercourse with the entity Israel (Ezekiel 16:8), who is imagined as a woman, this metaphorical union differs from the couplings of male and female deities found in the mythology of many other religious traditions.
The sexlessness of the father God was problematic in a culture defined by patrilineal descent. A man was expected to reproduce, to carry on his line, yet he was also understood to be made in the image of a God who was essentially celibate.
Today is the world of interesting fact. All we know that people want something new and interesting topic to talk about. That’s why every individual is thinking about the illogical and philosophical question in their mind. The concept is about regarding that how people are giving time to think about philosophical questions. There are so many sites dedicated to the philosophical question: -“Does God Have Penis?” which are responsible for clearing the issues which are running on every individual’s mind.
We all know that God formed man, but somehow it is true saying that God is assumed to physical, spiritual being. God is always a concern with the different religions. There are so many doubts available on every individual mind that God has a physical body, same as a human.
God, the name given by us, is a reality or not, a major confusion in our mind. But it clearly shows that it is not male or female, good or bad, right or wrong. Generally, doubts may occur, but due to our philosophical mind, it touches our factuality aspects.
Somehow, in schools, we have generally studied and sometimes it usually be taught that God is a male and god has a penis.
Is God genderless?
Hence, we are thinking and searching on an interesting aspect that God is male or female, or it is genderless. This stuff may occur many questions as there are many sites dedicated to the philosophical question: -“Does God Have Penis?” which shows a useless question. Here is no denying the fact that everything in creation comes from the female. Some are the points which will show that what the fact behind it is:-
Creation: There is a true fact that God has created a human being as all we know that what is good and why we have such religious to god. Do creations refer from what God gives us? but somehow there are so many people who didn’t give much priority to god
Truth: believers may believe in god, but somehow the question opts in mind that is god have to gender? If we believe the truth is always alive but if we are non-believer then questions and doubt must occur.
Nature: Nature is a perfect example of beliefs in god because nature gives us the very beautiful thing in the manner of a human being and heaven.
Existence: Like all human being thinks that where God is available or where we can see god? But the fact is that God has no physical appearance as it is genderless.
Meaning of life: Life gives us many lessons about what will happen in the next stage. Means to say that God made us and gives us such a beautiful life that can help to show the fact about we always provide god priority surely, and hence god plays an important role in our life.
Hence, the story of life says that people are much religious to god and they never consider that god has the physical appearance or not. I can’t imagine being gender-less though, for me that is misery, on top that can’t enjoy the moments with my sex toys.