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Hinduism : The Eternal Tradition Sanatana Dharma
Index

Preface 

Perennial Wisdom 

Sanatana Dharma

Religion And Spirituality...

Religion Or Dharma

The Eternal View Of Hinduism

Idolatary And Dogmatism

Religion And Spirituality..

Religious And Spiritual Practices

Civilization And Social Issues

Hinduism And Sanatana Dharma

Hinduism And Other Religions

Appendices

       

Major Sections
Books By David Frawley
Arjuna

Awaken Bharata

From The River Of Heaven How I Became A Hindu
The Myth Of Aryan Invasion Of India

Hinduism : The Eternal Tradition, Sanatana Dharma

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HINDUISM AND SANATANA DHARMA

Why Are Hindu Deities Portrayed in Wrathful Forms?

Hindu Gods and Goddesses often have fierce forms, including possessing fangs, wearing garlands of skulls, being adorned with snakes, and other frightening appearances. Even those that are benefic may carry various weapons. This may disturb people, particularly those who do not understand symbolic language and who may be opposed to the use of images in religious worship.

The Divine transcends our ordinary sensory perception of the world. It dwarfs our mind and ego. It includes death and goes beyond it. It consumes everything. Experiencing this Infinite Reality is very humbling, even frightening to we are trapped in the world of limitation, as it takes away our ordinary identity and may make the world appear to be unreal. Spiritual realization is like death because it is the dissolution of our ego, or sense of separate self. Such apparently terrible Deities show these experiences of transcendence, in which even evil, death and suffering must be integrated into a Truth beyond all duality.

There is another way in which the Divine is frightening. It destroys all the forces of ignorance, illusion and negativity. It destroys all the demons that dwell in our minds. As such a destroyer of negativity it may appear fierce or as a warrior, but it is only something that those trapped in negativity need fear.

It is easy to see God in the beautiful and beneficent, but to enter into the Oneness we must also see God in the terrible and transformative. Without recognizing the Divine even in death we cannot go beyond death. Because of this Hindu and Buddhist traditions have always recognized the importance of wrathful Deities. They have never encouraged that we become wrathful and harm other people in the name of our God.

 

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