National Paranormal Society NPS FOCUS June 2016 - Page 32

As far as Demons and Satan in Hinduism, there really isn’t any to speak of, at least not in the sense westerners think of them. According to the Vedic Texts, Hinduism has a universal Brahman. This rules over all things, good as well as evil. Because the Christian God can do no “Evil”, the need for a Counter “Ego” was created, Satan. The Hindu God, on the other hand, has a Duality. It has both a “Good and Evil” side.

According to the Vedas, there are only entities that exist, Brahm (God), Jeevatma (the countless souls) and Maya (the material energy). Everything in and of the universe is made up of these three entities.

According the Mahabharata, many powers older than the gods themselves, distract men from their true path. This prevents spiritual progress, and the terms are often used are interchangeable.

Asuras Rakshasa (demon/man-eating ogre)

nagas (serpent spirits)

daityas (genii)

danavas (giants)

Hinduism is a caste-driven religion. It isn’t uncommon to find Devis and Asura fighting on the same side of a battle.

In the battle between Indra (the leader of the Devas) and Vritra (a Drought Dragon), the demon become a brahmin demon, so Indra committed the great sin of brahminicide by killing Vritra. A demon

Buddhism has the fifth largest numbers of adherents in the world. There are many supernatural beings in Buddhist literature, many are referred to as demons. Demons serve many purposes in Buddhism which gives us a different aspect of how they affected Buddha and his struggles to reach enlightenment. Demons represent everything a Buddhist wishes to transcend. Ancient artworks depict vivid and ominous images. Found in long abandoned caves in the Himalayas. Colorful paintings, sculptures and ceremonial buddhist ritual objects are found in museums. All attest to the Buddha’s confrontations with demons.

warrior who kills men is only fulfilling his particular dharma or social duty, and is not thought of as evil.

In this belief system, there is no real “Good and Evil”. There is no real concept of Demons needed. It is simple a cycle of creation and destruction.

The Wrathful Deities - ferocious demonic beings. Terrifying forms, many of them baring fangs and drinking blood or wearing garlands of severed heads. Though these hideous, hair-raising images seem contradictory to Buddhist ideals, they are not the personifications of evil or demonic forces. Rather, the Wrathful Deities are benevolent gods, symbolizing the tremendous task to vanquish evil. These beings inspire determination and destroy negativity, and use ignorance to instill fear in the enemy. These deities are embodiments of the “Demonic Divine” and serve as protectors and guardians of the Buddhist faith.

Oni - great horned demons who appear in a variety of colors. They have three fingers and three toes. Oni are represented as having enormous, thick, misshapened bodies often having the head of an oxen or horse. Sometimes they can be found with three eyes. This demon is a torturer and jailer in the Buddhist hell. Oni is responsible for illness and disease. Buddhist priests perform annual rituals in order to keep the demons at bay. The Oni are cruel and lecherous entities often said to swoop down from the sky to steal the souls of those who lay dying.

Preta - the Sanskrit word for Hungry Ghost, which means

5. Buddhism