Ugliness of God
Image of Tantric Goddess Tara
As per most of the major theistic traditions, God is an embodiment of all goodness one can think of & Devil (or Satan) just the opposite. Together the two sort of balance each other.
But the more skeptical may well ask uncomfortable questions such as: Who created Satan/ Devil? Who created Sin? Why?
Seeing God as just a positive entity with nothing negative about Him creates the basic dilemma, can God be absolved of the “Original” sin of creating Evil?
More importantly: Isn’t God – if seen as the embodiment of everything positive- simply incomplete? Shouldn’t God, the cause of all causes & source of entire creation, have a negative aspect as well? After all, death destruction, evil, crime, filth, dirt etc are very much a part of our existence. If that be the case, why do we ignore the negative aspects of God?
Negativity should thus , logically, be part of & parcel of God !
As the sole creator of the Universe, everything evil & negative is apparently God’s willful creation. So a positive God is, at the best, an incomplete picture of the Almighty or even a distorted one.
Certain pagan religions and certain religions with pagan roots have taken cognizance of this dichotomy and have, therefore, included the "negative" aspects into their pantheon.
Shiva, a prominent Hindu God is also known as God of destruction. He is supposed to dance the “dance of death”( Tandava) , bringing about mass destruction of men, women & children; of mountains, rivers, gorges& passes; of microcosm & macrocosm. This destruction is something much more than the Christian belief of apocalypse. Interestingly, He does all this only to recreate everything. Shiva’s cycle of creation & destruction continues ad infinitum. Apart from indulging in mass destruction Shiva has other negative streaks as well. He is considered as Bhootnath (the Lord of ghosts & goblins) . Interestingly, one of his attributes is Sundaram (sheer beauty). (For more on Shiva symbolism see The God of all seasons )
Similarly, Kali, another prominent Hindu Goddess is associated with death & destruction. Among other things, she’s supposed to relish blood & gore. Kali symbolism is complete with Her wearing nothing but a garland of skulls & holding a severed head in one of Her hands. Little wonder then, human & animal sacrifices are well accepted by Kali worshippers.
In addition, some of the primary Gods of Hindus include Goddesses of various "major" diseases , Goddess of filth ( analogous to Tlazolteotl of the Azetics), the ghoulish “gods” called the Bhairavas of the Tantrics etc. Similarly Yellama or Renuka is another well known Goddess worshipped in Southern India and is supposed to be goddess of the wretches, prostitutes, downtrodden etc.
Certain Tantrik practices, though uncommon, have well documented practice related to sexuality, necrophilia and other “sinful” activities etc. As per certain “secret” tantric practises, a Tantrika ( practitioner) is supposed to worship in a cremation ground amidst burning corpses, amidst death & destruction. In extreme case the practitioner is supposed to eat a rotting corpse! The philosophy behind such seemingly macabre acts is that the practitioner has to reach a state where positivity & negativity converge. In other words the practitioner sees no difference between positive & the negative, pain & pleasure, life & death, beauty & ugliness. This is supposed to be real state of “godhood”.
God , perhaps, has indeed created man ,with both positive & negative traits, in His own image.
God perhaps, is indeed incomplete without Its ugly ,dark and sinful side!
God: Good , Bad or Ugly?
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This hub explore the unique mythological Hindu God: Shiva. Apart from delving into Shiva folklore, it also touches upon the philosophical connotations of Shiva imagery