Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Sanatana Dharma Deities and Their Chinese Counterparts

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In the vast panorama of world religions, Bharat’s Sanatana Dharma and Chinese spiritual religion are two of the most ancient, diverse, and spiritually rich civilizational narratives. Both these belief systems are deeply rooted in mythology, spirituality, and a pantheon of divine beings. What makes them even more intriguing is the uncanny similarity between some of their deities. Despite the geographical, cultural, and philosophical differences that separate these two great traditions, there exist remarkable parallels between certain Sanatana gods and their Chinese counterparts. 

Brahma and Yuanshi Tianzun

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In Sanatana Dharma, Brahma is revered as the creator of the divine cosmos. Most followers believe that he sculpts the universe with his divine thoughts and hands. Similarly, the Chinese Yuanshi Tianzun reigns supreme as the orchestrator of the cosmos.

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The Yuanshi Tianzun mirrors Brahma’s role as the divine architect of creation. The similarities between Brahma and Yuanshi Tianzun go beyond their roles as creators. They are both wise, compassionate, and just.

Both deities are benevolent to their followers. They are not young and handsome, but rather old with age and wisdom.

Ma Lakshmi and Gong De Tian

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In Sanatana Dharma, Goddess Lakshmi is revered as the embodiment of Ma Shakti as worldly wealth, material prosperity, and abundance of luck. Hindu households warmly welcome her, seeking her blessings for financial success and overall well-being. She is also the revered consort of Lord Vishnu.

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In China, Gong De Tian is the deity of luck. Gong De Tian shares a striking resemblance to Lakshmi in her role as the bestower of luck and prosperity. Devotees in China, much like their Sanatani Hindu counterparts, worship Gong De Tian with fervor, beseeching her for financial success, good luck, and prosperity. 

Ma Saraswati and Benzaiten

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Ma Saraswati is the Sanatana Dharma goddess of knowledge, wisdom, and the arts. She is celebrated for her role in nurturing intellect and creativity. Her presence is invoked during academic pursuits, music recitals, and artistic endeavors.

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In China’s Buddhist religion, Benzaiten is the patroness of wisdom, culture, and the arts. Benzaiten’s influence extends to nurturing intellectual pursuits and artistic expression, much like Saraswati. 

Bhagwan Hanuman and the Monkey King

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Hanuman Ji is a revered figure in Hinduism. He is a central character of Ramayana and is one of the seven Chiranjeevi. Bhagwan Hanuman is celebrated for his extraordinary strength, unwavering devotion to Lord Ram, and his unmatched wisdom. He is the embodiment of courage and loyalty.

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In Chinese folklore, we encounter a similar character in the Monkey King, Sun Wukong. Just like Hanuman, Sun Wukong possesses incredible might, a mischievous disposition, and a sense of loyalty. Moreover, both these iconic figures are depicted as half human and half monkey. Additionally, they symbolize strength, courage, knowledge, and unwavering commitment.

The Connect Across Himalaya

The uncanny resemblance between certain Sanatana Dharma Deities and their Chinese counterparts serves as a powerful reminder of the interconnectedness of civilizational consciousness. These divine connections that transcend the geographical boundaries and cultural distinctions reveal a shared human past and traditions of these mighty ancient civilizations. These resemblances in belief systems across the Himalayas connect Bharat with its neighbor China in an unbreakable bond. However, while Bharat is struggling to revive its millennia-old traditions and rituals, the Chinese are trying to suppress theirs.

The parallels between Sanatani gods and their Chinese counterparts offer a glimpse into the timeless and transcendent nature of the collective faith in the Asian continent. The enmity between the two nations runs only as deep as the last few centuries. Maybe, in a distant time, the connection across the Himalayas was one not filled with distrust and acrimony. Maybe, once the connection across the Himalayas was filled with shared values and united aspirations. However, these similarities do prove that Sanatana Dharma is the mother of most religions. Moreover, it proves that Sanatana Dharma gave birth to religious sects across the borders of Bharat as well. Thus, the preservation of Sanatana Dharma should be essential to not just Hindus but all those whose roots lie in this path of righteousness.

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