Creator deity

A creator deity or creator god (often called the Creator) is a deity or god responsible for the creation of the Earth, world, and universe in human religion and mythology. In monotheism, the single God is often also the creator. A number of monolatristic traditions separate a secondary creator from a primary transcendent being, identified as a primary creator.[1]

Monotheism

Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and Atenism teach that creation is the origin of the universe by the action of God.

Atenism

Initiated by Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti around 1330 BCE, during the New Kingdom period in ancient Egyptian history. They built an entirely new capital city (Akhetaten) for themselves and worshippers of their Sole Creator God on a wilderness. His father used to worship Aten alongside other gods of their polytheistic religion. Aten, for a long time before his father's time, was revered as a god among the many gods and goddesses in Egypt. Atenism faded away after the death of the pharaoh. Despite different views, Atenism is considered by some scholars to be one of the frontiers of monotheism in human history.

Judaism

The creation narrative is made up of two stories, roughly equivalent to the two first chapters of the Book of Genesis.[2] (There are no chapter divisions in the original Hebrew text.) The first account (1:1 through 2:3) employs a repetitious structure of divine fiat and fulfillment, then the statement "And there was evening and there was morning, the [xth] day," for each of the six days of creation. In each of the first three days there is an act of division: day one divides the darkness from light, day two the "waters above" from the "waters below", and day three the sea from the land. In each of the next three days these divisions are populated: day four populates the darkness and light with sun, moon, and stars; day five populates seas and skies with fish and fowl; and finally, land-based creatures and mankind populate the land.[3]

The two stories are complementary rather than overlapping, with the first (the Priestly story) concerned with the cosmic plan of creation, while the second (the Yahwist story) focuses on man as cultivator of his environment and as a moral agent.[2] There are significant parallels between the two stories, but also significant differences: the second account, in contrast to the regimented seven-day scheme of Genesis 1, uses a simple flowing narrative style that proceeds from God's forming the first man through the Garden of Eden to the creation of the first woman and the institution of marriage; in contrast to the omnipotent God of Genesis 1, creating a god-like humanity, the God of Genesis 2 can fail as well as succeed; the humanity he creates is not god-like, but is punished for acts which would lead to their becoming god-like (Genesis 3:1-24); and the order and method of creation itself differs.[4] "Together, this combination of parallel character and contrasting profile point to the different origin of materials in Genesis 1:1 and Gen 2:4, however elegantly they have now been combined."[5]

Christianity

Ancient Near Eastern mythologies and classical creation myths in Greek mythology envisioned the creation of the world as resulting from the actions of a god or gods upon the already-existing primeval matter, known as chaos.

An early conflation of Greek philosophy with the narratives in the Hebrew Bible came from Philo of Alexandria (d. AD 50), writing in the context of Hellenistic Judaism. Philo equated the Hebrew creator-deity Yahweh with Aristotle's primum movens (First Cause)[6][7] in an attempt to prove that the Jews had held monotheistic views even before the Greeks. However, this was still within the context of creation from pre-existing materials (i.e. "moving" or "changing" a material substratum.)

A similar theoretical proposition was demonstrated by Saint Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and founder of the Thomism that linked the Aristotelian philosophy with the Christian faith, followed by the statement for which God is the First Being, the Fist Moving unmoved, and is Pure Act[8].

Looking at the Bible, the Second Book of Maccabees shows two relevant passages. At chapter 7, it narrows about the mother of a Jewish proto-martyr telling to her son: "I beseech thee, my son, look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them: and consider that God made them out of nothing, and mankind also"[9][10]; at chapter 1, it refers a solemn prayer hymned by Jonathan, Nehemiah and the Priest of Israel, while making sacrifices in honour of God: "O Lord, Lord God, Creator of all things, who art fearefull, and strong, and righteous, and mercifull, and the onely, and gracious king"[11]. The Prologue to Gospel of John begins with: "In the beginning was the Word, & the Word was with God, and the Word was God. / 2 The same was in the beginning with God. / 3 All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made."[12].

Christianity affirms the Creation by God since its early time in the Apostles'Creed ("I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.", 1st century AD), that is symmetrical to the Nicene Creed (4th century AD). Traditionally the Latin expression "Factórem cæli et terræ" is read as the Creation ab initio temporis and ex nihilo[13][14].

Nowadays, theologians debate whether the Bible itself teaches if this creation by God is a creation ex nihilo. Traditional interpreters[15] argue on grammatical and syntactical grounds that this is the meaning of Genesis 1:1, which is commonly rendered: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." They further find support for this view in New Testament passages like Hebrews 11:3—"By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible"—and Revelation 4:11—"For you [God] created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." However, other interpreters[16] understand creation ex nihilo as a 2nd-century theological development. According to this view, church fathers opposed notions appearing in pre-Christian creation myths and in Gnosticism—notions of creation by a demiurge out of a primordial state of matter (known in religious studies as chaos after the Greek term used by Hesiod in his Theogony).[17] Jewish thinkers took up the idea,[18] which became important to Judaism.

Islam

According to Islam, God, known in Arabic as Allah, is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator, Sustainer, Ordainer, and Judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular (tawhid). God is unique (wahid) and inherently one (ahad), all-merciful and omnipotent. According to tradition there are 99 Names of God (al-asma al-husna lit. meaning: "The best names") each of which evoke a distinct attribute of God. All these names refer to Allah, the supreme and all-comprehensive divine name. Among the 99 names of God, the most famous and most frequent of these names are "the Compassionate" (al-rahman) and "the Merciful" (al-rahim).

Creation is seen as an act of divine choice and mercy, one with a grand purpose: "And We (Royal we) did not create the heaven and earth and that between them in play."[19] Rather, the purpose of humanity is to be tested: "Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving;"[20] Those who pass the test are rewarded with Paradise: "Verily for the Righteous there will be a fulfilment of (the heart's) desires;"[21]

According to the Islamic teachings, God exists above the heavens and the creation itself. The Qur'an mentions, "He it is Who created for you all that is on earth. Then He Istawa (rose over) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the All-Knower of everything."[22] At the same time, God is unlike anything in creation: "There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing."[23] and nobody can perceive God in totality: "Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives [all] vision; and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted."[24] God in Islam is not only majestic and sovereign, but also a personal God: "And indeed We have created man, and We know what his ownself whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge)."[25] Allah commands the believers to constantly remember Him ("O you who have believed, remember Allah with much remembrance"[26]) and to invoke Him alone ("And whoever invokes besides Allah another deity for which he has no proof - then his account is only with his Lord. Indeed, the disbelievers will not succeed."[27]).

Islam teaches that God as referenced in the Qur'an is the only god and the same God worshipped by members of other Abrahamic religions such as Christianity and Judaism.

Sikhism

One of the biggest responsibilities in the faith of Sikhism is to worship God as "The Creator", termed Waheguru who is shapeless, timeless, and sightless, i.e., Nirankar, Akal, and Alakh Niranjan. The religion only takes after the belief in "One God for All" or Ik Onkar.

Bahá'í

In the Bahá'í Faith God is the imperishable, uncreated being who is the source of all existence.[28] He is described as "a personal God, unknowable, inaccessible, the source of all Revelation, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent and almighty".[29][30] Although transcendent and inaccessible directly, his image is reflected in his creation. The purpose of creation is for the created to have the capacity to know and love its creator.[31]

Monolatrism

Monolatristic traditions would separate a secondary creator from the primary transcendent being, identified as a primary creator.[1] According to Gaudiya Vaishnavas, Brahma is the secondary creator and not the supreme.[32] Vishnu is the primary creator. According to Vaishnava belief Vishnu creates the basic universal shell and provides all the raw materials and also places the living entities within the material world, fulfilling their own independent will. Brahma works with the materials provided by Vishnu to actually create what are believed to be planets in Puranic terminology, and he supervises the population of them.[33]

Monism

Monism is the philosophy that asserts oneness as its fundamental premise, and it contradicts the dualism-based theistic premise that there is a creator God that is eternal and separate from the rest of existence. There are two types of monism, namely spiritual monism which holds that all spiritual reality is one, and material monism which holds that everything including all material reality is one and the same thing.[34]

Non-creationism

Buddhism

Buddhism denies a creator deity and posits that mundane deities such as Mahabrahma are misperceived to be a creator.[35]

Jainism

Jainism does not support belief in a creator deity. According to Jain doctrine, the universe and its constituents - soul, matter, space, time, and principles of motion have always existed (a static universe similar to that of Epicureanism and steady state cosmological model). All the constituents and actions are governed by universal natural laws. It is not possible to create matter out of nothing and hence the sum total of matter in the universe remains the same (similar to law of conservation of mass). Similarly, the soul of each living being is unique and uncreated and has existed since beginningless time.[a][36]

The Jain theory of causation holds that a cause and its effect are always identical in nature and therefore a conscious and immaterial entity like God cannot create a material entity like the universe. Furthermore, according to the Jain concept of divinity, any soul who destroys its karmas and desires, achieves liberation. A soul who destroys all its passions and desires has no desire to interfere in the working of the universe. Moral rewards and sufferings are not the work of a divine being, but a result of an innate moral order in the cosmos; a self-regulating mechanism whereby the individual reaps the fruits of his own actions through the workings of the karmas.

Through the ages, Jain philosophers have adamantly rejected and opposed the concept of creator and omnipotent God and this has resulted in Jainism being labeled as nāstika darsana or atheist philosophy by the rival religious philosophies. The theme of non-creationism and absence of omnipotent God and divine grace runs strongly in all the philosophical dimensions of Jainism, including its cosmology, karma, moksa and its moral code of conduct. Jainism asserts a religious and virtuous life is possible without the idea of a creator god.[37]

Polytheism

In polytheistic creation, the world often comes into being organically, e.g. sprouting from a primal seed, sexually, by miraculous birth (sometimes by parthenogenesis), by hieros gamos, violently, by the slaying of a primeval monster, or artificially, by a divine demiurge or "craftsman". Sometimes, a god is involved, wittingly or unwittingly, in bringing about creation. Examples include:

Platonic demiurge

Plato, in his dialogue Timaeus, describes a creation myth involving a being called the demiurge (δημιουργός "craftsman"). Neoplatonism and Gnosticism continued and developed this concept. In Neoplatonism, the demiurge represents the second cause or dyad, after the monad. In Gnostic dualism, the demiurge is an imperfect spirit and possibly an evil being, transcended by divine Fullness (Pleroma). Unlike the Abrahamic God, Plato's demiurge is unable to create ex-nihilo.

Hinduism

Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, pandeism, monism, and atheism among others;[40][41][web 1] and its concept of creator deity is complex and depends upon each individual and the tradition and philosophy followed. Hinduism is sometimes referred to as henotheistic (i.e., involving devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of others), but any such term is an overgeneralization.[42]

The Nasadiya Sukta (Creation Hymn) of the Rig Veda is one of the earliest texts[43] which "demonstrates a sense of metaphysical speculation" about what created the universe, the concept of god(s) and The One, and whether even The One knows how the universe came into being.[44][45] The Rig Veda praises various deities, none superior nor inferior, in a henotheistic manner.[46] The hymns repeatedly refer to One Truth and Reality. The "One Truth" of Vedic literature, in modern era scholarship, has been interpreted as monotheism, monism, as well as a deified Hidden Principles behind the great happenings and processes of nature.[47]

The post-Vedic texts of Hinduism offer multiple theories of cosmogony, many involving Brahma. These include Sarga (primary creation of universe) and Visarga (secondary creation), ideas related to the Indian thought that there are two levels of reality, one primary that is unchanging (metaphysical) and other secondary that is always changing (empirical), and that all observed reality of the latter is in an endless repeating cycle of existence, that cosmos and life we experience is continually created, evolved, dissolved and then re-created.[48] The primary creator is extensively discussed in Vedic cosmogonies with Brahman or Purusha or Devi among the terms used for the primary creator,[48][49] while the Vedic and post-Vedic texts name different gods and goddesses as secondary creators (often Brahma in post-Vedic texts), and in some cases a different god or goddess is the secondary creator at the start of each cosmic cycle (kalpa, aeon).[50][48]

Brahma is a "secondary creator" as described in the Mahabharata and Puranas, and among the most studied and described.[51][52][53] Born from a lotus emerging from the navel of Vishnu, Brahma creates all the forms in the universe, but not the primordial universe itself.[54] In contrast, the Shiva-focussed Puranas describe Brahma and Vishnu to have been created by Ardhanarishvara, that is half Shiva and half Parvati; or alternatively, Brahma was born from Rudra, or Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma creating each other cyclically in different aeons (kalpa).[50] Thus in most Puranic texts, Brahma's creative activity depends on the presence and power of a higher god.[55]

In other versions of creation, the creator deity is the one who is equivalent to the Brahman, the metaphysical reality in Hinduism. In Vaishnavism, Vishnu creates Brahma and orders him to order the rest of universe. In Shaivism, Shiva may be treated as the creator. In Shaktism, the Great Goddess creates the Trimurti.[50][48][56]

Other

Chinese traditional cosmology

Pangu can be interpreted as another creator deity. In the beginning there was nothing in the universe except a formless chaos. However this chaos began to coalesce into a cosmic egg for eighteen thousand years. Within it, the perfectly opposed principles of yin and yang became balanced and Pangu emerged (or woke up) from the egg. Pangu is usually depicted as a primitive, hairy giant with horns on his head (like the Greek Pan) and clad in furs. Pangu set about the task of creating the world: he separated Yin from Yang with a swing of his giant axe, creating the Earth (murky Yin) and the Sky (clear Yang). To keep them separated, Pangu stood between them and pushed up the Sky. This task took eighteen thousand years, with each day the sky grew ten feet higher, the Earth ten feet wider, and Pangu ten feet taller. In some versions of the story, Pangu is aided in this task by the four most prominent beasts, namely the Turtle, the Qilin, the Phoenix, and the Dragon.

After eighteen thousand years[57] had elapsed, Pangu was laid to rest. His breath became the wind; his voice the thunder; left eye the sun and right eye the moon; his body became the mountains and extremes of the world; his blood formed rivers; his muscles the fertile lands; his facial hair the stars and milky way; his fur the bushes and forests; his bones the valuable minerals; his bone marrows sacred diamonds; his sweat fell as rain; and the fleas on his fur carried by the wind became human beings all over the world.

The first writer to record the myth of Pangu was Xu Zheng during the Three Kingdoms period.

Shangdi is another creator deity, possibly prior to Pangu; sharing concepts similar to Abrahamic faiths.

Kazakh

According to Kazakh folk tales, Jasagnan is the creator of the world.[58]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b (2004) Sacred Books of the Hindus Volume 22 Part 2: Pt. 2, p. 67, R.B. Vidyarnava, Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vidyarnava
  2. ^ a b Alter 1981, p. 141.
  3. ^ Ruiten 2000, pp. 9-10.
  4. ^ Carr 1996, p. 62-64.
  5. ^ Carr 1996, p. 64.
  6. ^ Yonge, Charles Duke (1854). "Appendices A Treatise Concerning the World (1): But what can be worse than this, or more calculated to display the want of true nobility existing in the soul, than the notion of causes, in general, being secondary and created causes, combined with an ignorance of the one first cause, the uncreated God, the Creator of the universe, who for these and innumerable other reasons is most excellent, reasons which because of their magnitude human intellect is unable to apprehend?" The Works of Philo Judaeus: the contemporary of Josephus. London: H. G. Bohn". Cornerstonepublications.org. Archived from the original on 28 September 2015.
  7. ^ Plato Laws Book X, Public Domain-Project Gutenberg. “ATHENIAN: Then I suppose that I must repeat the singular argument of those who manufacture the soul according to their own impious notions; they affirm that which is the first cause of the generation and destruction of all things, to be not first, but last, and that which is last to be first, and hence they have fallen into error about the true nature of the Gods… Then we must say that self-motion being the origin of all motions, and the first which arises among things at rest as well as among things in motion, is the eldest and mightiest principle of change, and that which is changed by another and yet moves other is second.”
  8. ^ "On the simplicity of God, in " Summa Theologiae", Part I, Question 3". Priory of Dominican Order (in Latin and English). Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. Benziger Bros. edition. 1947. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2018. Ostensum est autem supra quod Deus est primum movens immobile. Unde manifestum est quod Deus non est corpus. Secundo, quia necesse est id quod est primum ens, esse in actu, et nullo modo in potentia. Licet enim in uno et eodem quod exit de potentia in actum, prius sit potentia quam actus tempore, simpliciter tamen actus prior est potentia, quia quod est in potentia, non reducitur in actum nisi per ens actu. Ostensum est autem supra quod Deus est primum ens. Impossibile est igitur quod in Deo sit aliquid in potential... . Now it has been already proved (Question [2], Article [3]), that God is the First Mover, and is Himself unmoved. Therefore it is clear that God is not a body. Secondly, because the first being must of necessity be in act, and in no way in potentiality. For although in any single thing that passes from potentiality to actuality, the potentiality is prior in time to the actuality; nevertheless, absolutely speaking, actuality is prior to potentiality; for whatever is in potentiality can be reduced into actuality only by some being in actuality. Now it has been already proved that God is the First Being. It is therefore impossible that in God there should be any potentiality.
  9. ^ "1611 King James Bible. Second book of Maccabees, chapter 7, verse 8". kingjamesbibleonline.org. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Greek Septuagint and Wiki English Translation. 2 Maccabees 7:58" (in English and Greek). Archived from the original on 14 September 2016.
  11. ^ "1611 King James Bible. Second book of Maccabees, chapter 1, verse 24". kingjamesbibleonline.org. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012.
  12. ^ "Greek New Testament and Wiki English Translation. Gospel of John, chapter 1, verses 1 to 3" (in English and Greek). Archived from the original on 21 August 2011.
  13. ^ Karl von Hase (1838). Lehrbuch der evangelischen Dogmatik (in Latin). Leipzig. p. 176. OCLC 187014534. Retrieved 6 October 2018. Creator ab initio temporis de nihilo condidit creaturam. C. Helv.
  14. ^ Gerald L. Bray (2009). We believe in one God. Inter-Varsity Press,US. p. 93. ISBN 978-0830825318. Retrieved 6 October 2018. with the latter word [Creator] emphasizing the origin of matter ex nihilo
  15. ^ Collins, C. John, Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary, and Theological Commentary (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2006), 50ff.
  16. ^ May, Gerhard (2004). Creatio ex nihilo [Creation from nothing]. Continuum International. p. xii. ISBN 978-0-567-08356-2. Retrieved 23 November 2009. If we look into the early Christian sources, it becomes apparent that the thesis of creatio ex nihilo in its full and proper sense, as an ontological statement, only appeared when it was intended, in opposition to the idea of world-formation from unoriginate matter, to give expression to the omnipotence, freedom and uniqueness of God.
  17. ^ May, Gerhard (1978). Schöpfung aus dem Nichts. Die Entstehung der Lehre von der creatio ex nihilo [Creation from Nothingness: the origin of the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo]. AKG 48 (in German). Berlin/New York: de Gruyter. p. 151f. ISBN 3-11-007204-1.
  18. ^ Siegfried, Francis (1908). "Creation". The Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 30 September 2008. Probably the idea of creation never entered the human mind apart from Revelation. Though some of the pagan philosophers attained to a relatively high conception of God as the supreme ruler of the world, they seem never to have drawn the next logical inference of His being the absolute cause of all finite existence. [...] The descendants of Sem and Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob, preserved the idea of creation clear and pure; and from the opening verse of Genesis to the closing book of the Old Testament the doctrine of creation runs unmistakably outlined and absolutely undefiled by any extraneous element. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." In this, the first, sentence of the Bible we see the fountain-head of the stream which is carried over to the new order by the declaration of the mother of the Machabees: "Son, look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them: and consider that God made them out of nothing" (2 Maccabees 7:28). One has only to compare the Mosaic account of the creative work with that recently discovered on the clay tablets unearthed from the ruins of Babylon to discern the immense difference between the unadulterated revealed tradition and the puerile story of the cosmogony corrupted by polytheistic myths. Between the Hebrew and the Chaldean account there is just sufficient similarity to warrant the supposition that both are versions of some antecedent record or tradition; but no one can avoid the conviction that the Biblical account represents the pure, even if incomplete, truth, while the Babylonian story is both legendary and fragmentary (Smith, "Chaldean Account of Genesis", New York, 1875).
  19. ^ Qur'an [21:16], Sahih International Translation
  20. ^ Qur'an [67:2], Muhsin Khan Translation
  21. ^ Qur'an [78:31], Yusuf Ali Translation
  22. ^ Qur'an [2:29], Muhsin Khan Translation
  23. ^ Qur'an [42:11], Sahih International Translation
  24. ^ Qur'an [6:103], Sahih International Translation
  25. ^ Qur'an [50:16], Muhsin Khan Translation
  26. ^ Qur'an [33:41], Sahih International Translation
  27. ^ Qur'an [23:117], Sahih International Translation
  28. ^ Hatcher 1985, p. 74
  29. ^ Smith 2008, p. 106
  30. ^ Effendi 1944, p. 139
  31. ^ Smith 2008, p. 111
  32. ^ Nandalal Sinha {1934} The Vedânta-sûtras of Bâdarâyaṇa, with the Commentary of Baladeva. p. 413
  33. ^ "Secondary Creation". Krishna.com. Archived from the original on 26 November 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2009.
  34. ^ Owen Anderson (2015). The Declaration of Independence and God: Self-Evident Truths in American Law. Cambridge University Press. p. 234. ISBN 978-1-316-40464-5.
  35. ^ Harvey, Peter (2013). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices (2nd ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pg. 36-8
  36. ^ Nayanar (2005b), p.190, Gāthā 10.310
  37. ^ *Soni, Jayandra (1998). E. Craig (ed.). "Jain Philosophy". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2008.
  38. ^ "The Great Hare". Community-2.webtv.net. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  39. ^ "Nanabozho, Access genealogy". Accessgenealogy.com. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  40. ^ Julius J. Lipner (2010), Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, 2nd Edition, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-45677-7, page 8; Quote: "(...) one need not be religious in the minimal sense described to be accepted as a Hindu by Hindus, or describe oneself perfectly validly as Hindu. One may be polytheistic or monotheistic, monistic or pantheistic, even an agnostic, humanist or atheist, and still be considered a Hindu."
  41. ^ Chakravarti, Sitansu (1991), Hinduism, a way of life, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., p. 71, ISBN 978-81-208-0899-7
  42. ^ See Michaels 2004, p. xiv and Gill, N.S. "Henotheism". About, Inc. Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  43. ^ Flood 1996, p. 226.
  44. ^ Flood 1996, p. 226; Kramer 1986, pp. 20–21
  45. ^
    • Original Sanskrit: Rigveda 10.129 Wikisource;
    • Translation 1: Max Muller (1859). A History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature. Williams and Norgate, London. pp. 559–565.
    • Translation 2: Kenneth Kramer (1986). World Scriptures: An Introduction to Comparative Religions. Paulist Press. p. 21. ISBN 0-8091-2781-4.
    • Translation 3: David Christian (2011). Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History. University of California Press. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-0-520-95067-2.
  46. ^ Max Muller (1878), Lectures on the Origins and Growth of Religions: As Illustrated by the Religions of India, Longmans Green & Co, pages 260-271;
    William Joseph Wilkins, Hindu Mythology: Vedic and Purānic, p. 8, at Google Books, London Missionary Society, Calcutta
  47. ^ HN Raghavendrachar (1944), Monism in the Vedas, The half-yearly journal of the Mysore University: Section A - Arts, Volume 4, Issue 2, pages 137-152;
    K Werner (1982), Men, gods and powers in the Vedic outlook, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, Volume 114, Issue 01, pages 14-24;
    H Coward (1995), Book Review:" The Limits of Scripture: Vivekananda's Reinterpretation of the Vedas", Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies, Volume 8, Issue 1, pages 45-47, Quote: "There is little doubt that the theo-monistic category is an appropriate one for viewing a wide variety of experiences in the Hindu tradition".
  48. ^ a b c d Tracy Pintchman (1994), The Rise of the Goddess in the Hindu Tradition, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791421123, pages 122-138
  49. ^ Jan Gonda (1969), The Hindu Trinity, Anthropos, Bd 63/64, H 1/2, pages 213-214
  50. ^ a b c Stella Kramrisch (1994), The Presence of Siva, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691019307, pages 205-206
  51. ^ Bryant, ed. by Edwin F. (2007). Krishna : a sourcebook. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-19-514891-6.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  52. ^ Sutton, Nicholas (2000). Religious doctrines in the Mahābhārata (1st ed.). Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. p. 182. ISBN 81-208-1700-1.
  53. ^ Asian Mythologies by Yves Bonnefoy & Wendy Doniger. Page 46
  54. ^ Bryant, ed. by Edwin F. (2007). Krishna : a sourcebook. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-19-514891-6.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  55. ^ Frazier, Jessica (2011). The Continuum companion to Hindu studies. London: Continuum. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-8264-9966-0.
  56. ^ Arvind Sharma (2000). Classical Hindu Thought: An Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 64–65. ISBN 978-0-19-564441-8.
  57. ^ (Note: In ancient China, 18,000 does not exactly mean eighteen thousand, it is meant to be "many", or "a number that could not be counted").
  58. ^ 人类起源神话:西北地区民族(04):哈萨克族2-1

Bibliography

  1. ^ Ninian Smart (2007). "Polytheism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
Ainu creation myth

The Ainu creation myths are the traditional creation accounts of the Ainu peoples of Japan. Their stories share common characteristics with Japanese creation myths and earth diver creation stories commonly found in Central Asian and Native American cultures. In one version the creator deity sends down a water wagtail to create habitable land in the watery world below. The little bird fluttered over the waters, splashing water aside and then he packed patches of the earth firm by stomping them with his feet and beating them with his tail. In this way islands where the Ainu were later to live were raised to float upon the ocean.Because Ainu tend to be somewhat hirsute, at least in comparison to other East Asian populations, many Ainu stories maintain that their first ancestor was a bear. However, an alternative version tells of Kamuy sending a heavenly couple to earth called Okikurumi and Turesh. This couple had a son, whom some consider the first Ainu, and he is believed to have given the people the necessary skills to survive.English missionary John Batchelor related a myth the Ainu told him wherein before God created the world, there was only a vast swamp in which lived a large trout, and the creator placed the world upon the trout, so that the fish sucks in and spits out water from the sea, causing the tides.

Arceus

Arceus (アルセウス, Arceus) is a Pokémon species in Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokémon franchise. First featuring in the 2009 film Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life, Arceus is a mythical Pokémon which can first be obtained in the games Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. Within the lore of the Pokémon series, Arceus is the creator deity which created the games' universe. Following its release, Arceus was received relatively favorably, with it being voted the most favorite Pokémon in a poll of Japanese fans by The Pokémon Company.

Benben

Benben was the mound that arose from the primordial waters Nu upon which the creator deity Atum settled in the creation myth of the Heliopolitan form of ancient Egyptian religion. The Benben stone (also known as a pyramidion) is the top stone of the pyramid. It is also related to the Obelisk.

Bunjil

In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Bunjil is a creator deity, culture hero and ancestral being, often depicted as a wedge-tailed eagle (or eaglehawk). In the Kulin nation in central Victoria he was regarded as one of two moiety ancestors, the other being Waa the crow. Bunjil has two wives and a son, Binbeal the rainbow. His brother is Palian the bat. He is assisted by six wirmums or shamans who represent the clans of the Eaglehawk moiety: Djart-djart the nankeen kestrel, Thara the quail hawk, Yukope the parakeet, Lar-guk the parrot, Walert the brushtail possum and Yurran the gliding possum.

Cailleach

In Gaelic mythology (Irish, Scottish and Manx) the Cailleach (Irish pronunciation: [kiˈlʲax; ˈkalʲəx], Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈkʰaʎəx]) is a divine hag, a creator deity, a weather deity, and an ancestor deity. She is also commonly known as the Cailleach Bhéara(ch) or Bheur(ach). In Scotland she is also known as Beira, Queen of Winter. The word literally means "old woman, hag", and is found with this meaning in modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic, and has been applied to numerous mythological figures in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.

Creator in Buddhism

Buddhist thought consistently rejects the notion of a creator deity. It teaches the concept of gods, heavens and rebirths in its Saṃsāra doctrine, but it considers none of these gods as a creator. Buddhism posits that mundane deities such as Mahabrahma are misconstrued to be a creator. Buddhist ontology follows the doctrine of Dependent Origination, whereby all phenomena arise in dependence on other phenomena, hence no primal unmoved mover could be acknowledged or discerned.

Divine law

Divine law is any law that is understood as deriving from a transcendent source, such as the will of God or gods, in contrast to man-made law. Divine laws are typically regarded as superior to man-made laws, sometimes due to an understanding that their source has resources beyond human knowledge and human reason. They are accorded greater authority, and cannot be changed by human authorities.Divine laws are noted for their inflexibility. Divine laws are often understood as beyond the authority of humans to change. The introduction of interpretation into divine law is a controversial issue, since believers place high significance on adhering to the law precisely. Opponents to the application of divine law typically deny that it is purely divine and point out human influences in the law. This element of human influence is understood as incorporating some degree of fallibility. These opponents characterize such laws as belonging to a particular cultural tradition. Adherents of divine law, on the other hand, are sometimes reluctant to adapt divine laws to cultural contexts.Divine law may be transmitted through several mediums. Most frequently, that are transmitted through religious texts. Medieval Christianity understood there to be three kinds of laws: divine law, natural law, and man-made law. Others, on the other hand, understand natural law as a subset of divine law delivered through general revelation from a creator deity. Theologians have substantially debated the scope of natural law, with the Enlightenment encouraging greater use of reason and expanding the scope of natural law and marginalizing divine law in a process of secularization. Some people may understand themselves as receiving guidance through prayer or conscience, although the moral authority of these methods of transmission are much lower.Since the authority of divine law is rooted in its source, the origin and transmission history of divine law are important.There are frequently conflicts between secular understandings of justice or morality and divine law.Religious law, such as canon law, includes both divine law and additional interpretations, logical extensions, and traditions.

Divinity

For the video game, go to Divinity: Original Sin

In religion, divinity or Godhead is the state of things that are believed to come from a supernatural power or deity, such as God, the supreme being, creator deity, or spirits, and are therefore regarded as sacred and holy. Such things are regarded as divine due to their transcendental origins or because their attributes or qualities are superior or supreme relative to things of the Earth. Divine things are regarded as eternal and based in truth, while material things are regarded as ephemeral and based in illusion. Such things that may qualify as divine are apparitions, visions, prophecies, miracles, and in some views also the soul, or more general things like resurrection, immortality, grace, and salvation. Otherwise what is or is not divine may be loosely defined, as it is used by different belief systems.

The root of the word "divine" is literally "godly" (from the Latin deus, cf. Dyaus, closely related to Greek zeus, div in Persian and deva in Sanskrit), but the use varies significantly depending on which deity is being discussed. This article outlines the major distinctions in the conventional use of the terms.

For specific related academic terms, see Divinity (academic discipline), or Divine (Anglican).

God as the devil

In Christian heresiology, there have been historical claims that certain Christian sects worshipped the devil. This was especially an issue in the reaction of the early Church to Gnosticism and its dualism, where the creator deity is understood as a demiurge inferior to the actual, transcendent God.

Imana

Imana, is the Creator deity in the traditional Banyarwanda religion in Rwanda. In current-day usage, the term refers to the God as found in Christianity. Ancient Banyarwanda believed in one God, the creator "Imana". In Banyarwanda mythology, Imana was the creator and the supporter of all the Banyarwanda people.The Banyarwanda people lived in the old districts of Ankole and Kigezi bordering Rwanda. Their land is very mountainous and cool and Imana was seen as almighty and gracious, intervening as in one of the legends of those people in an altercation between a man who has always borrowed beans from different people but wriggled out of repaying the debt.

Imana ruled all living things and gave them immortality by hunting an animal known as Death. Death was a savage wild animal who represented the state of death. While Imana was hunting, everybody was told to stay hidden so that Death would have nobody to kill or take refuge to. But one day while he was hunting, an old woman crept out into her vegetable garden to get vegetables. Death quickly hid under her skirt and was taken inside the house with her. She died because of Death. Three days after the funeral of the old woman, the old woman's daughter-in-law, who hated her, saw cracks where she was buried as if she would arise and live again. She filled the cracks with dirt and pounded the earth with a heavy pestle and cried, "Stay dead!" Two days later she did the same thing when she saw more cracks by the grave. Three days later there were no cracks left for her to pound dirt into. This signified the end of man's chances of coming back to life. Death had become endemic, or constantly present. Another legend says that Imana punished the woman by letting Death live with man.

Imana does not "interfere in the normal course of material nature".In Rwandan folk Christianity, many Rwandans view the Christian God as synonymous with the traditional Rwandan God Imana.

Itzamna

Itzamna (Mayan pronunciation: [it͡samˈna]) was, in Maya mythology, the name of an upper god and creator deity thought to reside in the sky. Although little is known about him, scattered references are present in early-colonial Spanish reports (relaciones) and dictionaries. Twentieth-century Lacandon lore includes tales about a creator god (Nohochakyum or Hachakyum) who may be a late successor to him. In the pre-Spanish period, Itzamna, represented by the aged god D, was often depicted in books and in ceramic scenes derived from them.

Ku'urkil

The Chukchi creator-deity, roughly analogous to Bai-Ulgan of the Turkic pantheon. The Koryak refer to him as Quikinna'qu ("Big Raven") and in Kamchadal mythology he is called Kutkhu.

List of Australian Aboriginal mythological figures

The following is a list of Australian Indigenous Australian deities and spirits.

Malagasy mythology

Malagasy mythology is rooted in oral history and has been transmitted by storytelling (angano, "story"), notably the Andriambahoaka epic, including the Ibonia cycle.

Traditional mythology in Madagascar tells of a creator deity referred to as Zanahary, and the division of Heaven and Earth between Zanahary and his son, Andrianerinerina, a rebellious hero and frequent theme of their worship as the son of God, or between Zanahary and earth deities such as Ratovantany which crafted human bodies from clay; in these myths Zanahary gave life to humans, and their souls return to him on the sky or on the sun while their bodies return to the earth deities. In contrast to Andrianerinerina, the word Andriamanitra (the Merina term for "Fragrant Lord") is used to refer to revered ancestors. Malagasy cultures were generally polytheistic, and worshiped a variety of entities that straddled the line between god and revered ancestor.Ancestors are generally viewed as a benevolent force in the life of the living, but among some Malagasy it is believed that the spirits of ancestors may become angatra (ghosts of the dead) if they are ignored or abused. Angatra are believed to haunt their own graves and bring disease and misfortune to those living who offended them. A particular type of angatra is the kinoly: beings which look like people but have red eyes and long fingernails and disembowel living people. Rituals such as the famadihana—rewrapping the bodies of the dead every 5–10 years in fresh lamba (handmade cloth)—are believed by some to prevent kinoly due to the traditional association of the lamba with hasina, the mystical and sacred life force. Beliefs relating to the powers and activities of the ancestors vary greatly from community to community within Madagascar.

The declarations or actions of ancestors are often the source of fady (taboos) that shape the social life of Malagasy communities. Across Madagascar, lemurs are often revered and protected by fady. In all of the origin myths of the Indri (in Betsimisaraka dialect: Babakoto), there is some connection of the lemur with humanity, usually through common ancestry. There are numerous accounts of the origin of the Indri in particular, but all characterize lemurs as sacred, and not to be hunted or harmed.

Malagasy mythology portrays a pygmy-like people called the Vazimba as the original inhabitants. Some Malagasy believe that these original inhabitants still live in the deepest recesses of the forest. In certain communities (and particularly in the Highlands), the practice of veneration of the dead can extend back to veneration of the Vazimba as the most ancient of ancestors. The kings of some Malagasy tribes claim a blood kinship to the Vazimba, including the Merina dynasty that eventually ruled over all of Madagascar. The Merina claim Vazimba ancestry through the royal line's founder, King Andriamanelo, whose mother, Queen Rafohy, was of the Vazimba.

Mastamho

Mastamho, sometimes also referred to as Mustamho, is the creator deity of the first Mohave people along the Colorado River in the Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert. Mastamho is the grandson of the Earth Mother (in South America referred to as Pachamama) and the Sky father.He was the son of Matavilya and had a sister, Frog Woman, and a brother, Kaatar. Mastamho is pictured on the Blythe Intaglios with stretched arms, which indicates that he protects his people from destruction.

Mwari

Mwari also known as Musikavanhu, Musiki, Tenzi and Ishe, is the Supreme Creator deity according to Shona traditional religion. It is believed that Mwari is the author of all things and all life and all is in him.The majority of this deity's followers are concentrated in Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Mwari is an omnipotent being, who rules over spirits and is the Supreme God of the religion.

The same deity is applied and also referred to as Inkhosi in Northern and Southern Ndebele, and it is this deity that is worshiped in African Traditional Religion whereby people worshiped through the ancestors via Spirit Mediums who were believed to be inspired by the spirits of truth which were believed to connect to the deity to deliver messages and divine guidance.

Mwari's reverence dates back to the age of the ancient king Monomotapa, of the Mutapa Kingdom on the Zambezi River.

Olelbis

Olelbis (meaning "he who is above") is the creator deity in Wintun mythology. The antagonist of Olelbis is Sedit.

Problem of the creator of God

The problem of the creator of God is the controversy regarding the hypothetical cause responsible for the existence of God, presuming God exists. A common challenge to theistic propositions of a creator deity as a necessary first-cause explanation for the universe is the question: "Who created God?". It contests the proposition that the universe cannot exist without a creator by asserting that the creator of the universe must have the same restrictions. This, in turn, may lead to a problem of infinite regress wherein each newly presumed creator of a creator is itself presumed to have its own creator.

Some faith traditions have such an element as part of their doctrine. Jainism posits that the universe is eternal and has always existed. In Mormonism it is believed that the God of this Earth was once a mortal human, who had a father of his own. Ismailism rejects the idea of God as the first cause, due to the doctrine of God's incomparability and source of any existence including abstract objects.

Ülgen

Bai-Ülgen or Ülgen (Old Turkic: Bey Ülgen; also spelled Bai-Ulgen, Bai-Ülgen, Bay-Ulgan, Bay-Ulgen, or Bay-Ülgen; Khakas: Ӱлген, Russian: Ульгень or Ульге́нь, Ottoman: اولگن) is a Turkic and Mongolian creator-deity, usually distinct from Tengri but sometimes identified with him in the same manner as Helios and Apollo. His name is from Old Turkic bay, "rich", and ülgen, "magnificent". Ülgen is believed to be without either beginning or end.

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