Difference Between Hindu Gods and Greek Gods
Home of the Gods
The basic difference is that Hindu Gods appear to inhabit some particular world that is not the Earth. Only God Shiv lives in the Himalayas with his Goddess Shakti. God Vishnu, the administrator of the created world, appears to live on a royal couch formed by the coiled body of a snake with its outstretched hood providing overhead shade, floating in space. When some calamity falls on the Gods they appear before God Brahma somewhere in space, for solution. Here the narration indicates a delegation of Gods led by one of the familiar God. Indra, the king of the Hindu Gods has his court and palace somewhere in space. In contrast Greek gods appear to live on earth itself occupying mountains.
In Hindu mythology the Gods are a separate population inhabiting some part of the Cosmos outside the earth’s atmosphere. Their total population is said to number some thirty three million. The Greek Gods in contrast are in a few hundred excluding those Gods and Goddesses responsible for specific aspects of human affairs.
Gods & Human Relations
Greek gods and goddesses appear to live on the earth and intermingle with humans. There are occasions when they physically participate in human affairs on the sides of one group or the other as narrated in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. This is not so with Hindu Gods who live away from humans and are most of the time invisible. It is only when stories of the Gods and events in their world are narrated that we hear about these Gods approaching the Chief Gods for assistance. Otherwise there is no interaction between humans and Hindu Gods. Certain Gods with responsibilities for human affairs do appear when invoked by prayer, worship and ritual. Having granted what is asked for they disappear again. .
In Hindu mythology, Gods are never evil. They always stand for the good and what is right. Particularly in relations with earthly women we never read about violence. Seduction may be but not rape. When the Indra, the King of the Hindu Gods, slept with Sage Gautama’s wife he did so by impersonating the Sage. Punishments are also embarrassingly severe. The Sage cursed Indra that his body would be covered with vagina forcing the king of the Gods to go into hiding. Similarly when Lord Shiv appeared naked in front of the wives of some sages, they cursed Shiv such that he lost his genital. Love affairs between Gods and earthly women are pleasant affairs with happy endings as in the case of Lord Shiva and Parvathi or Lord Krishna and the cow maids. In the case of Greek Gods such encounters are violent in the form of abduction, seduction and rape.
Impact on humans
The influence and impact of the Greek Gods on the Greek society was much more extensive. We have literary and archaeological evidences on the activities of the Gods. In the case of Hindu Gods such impacts and influence are confined to one particular Vishnu. Normally he is the administrator of the created world. However when evil overcomes well on earth, then God Vishnu assumes human form, a process called Avatar. As an Avatar he restores righteousness in the human world by eliminating the evil. The stories of his exploits as an Avatar are found in oral tales, literary works and archaeology. However Gods in general do not participate in human affairs and appear only briefly when called upon. In most cases blessing are obtained by mere prayer.
More research needs to be done on the Gods and their stories. It is best to keep an open mind. Perhaps they are real being much more advanced than humans, living somewhere in the Cosmos.
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