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Jinbei
06-15-2012, 07:01 PM
I currently writing about a fantasy-philosophy-romance novel, and the universe I used is Hindu and Sanskrit (or probably I just use the names and terms because I don't really understand their mindsets and cultures)

right now I meet a confusion about the deities and myth creatures.
Basically I tried to combine RPG elements with Hindu-ish creatures, such as

as in FFX RPG, a summoner can call Ashuras
here in my novel, Ashuras are the same as Aeon or Espers in Final Fantasy universe.

but the problem after doing a little research on google, I found that Ashura actually is a God, and the other articles said that it was kind of bad-traits, another said that it was a kind of demon race, the other articles even said that it's the same concept of avatar (reincarnation)

I can't decide which one is right, and just wondering if I can just adopt the name.

if you have collections of Hindu's deities and creatures, it would be really helpful.

thx b4

padnar
06-15-2012, 07:23 PM
I am a Hindu . I cant understand what exactly you want. Ashura means demon. They are the evil forces . Devas are Gods and they stand for goodness, justice and everything noble .

Jinbei
06-16-2012, 01:55 AM
@padnar
thx, that's already help. sorry about my bad english.

can you mention any Ashura creatures?
I only know Agni.

Raventongue
06-16-2012, 03:55 AM
The thing with Hinduism is that one word can mean a lot of things. The suffix "deva" is added to the names of gods to distinguish them from the thing they're the god of sometimes, for example- Kamadeva is the god of love and sex, Kama either refers to love/sex or to Kamadeva. It can get really confusing, so I'd say your best bet is to speak to someone who has studied Hinduism rather than reading about it or asking lay Hindus. It doesn't have to be someone who's made a career out of it- if I were in your situation, I'd contact a high school Comparative Religions teacher or something.

A cautionary note- Sanskrit is the name of the liturgical language of Hinduism*, but not an adjective. Hindu deities are a thing; Sanskrit deities are not. This is another example of ways it's easy to get confused.

* That means it isn't spoken in daily life, but in religious life. Think of how Latin was used by old-time Catholics.

Rachel Udin
06-16-2012, 06:07 AM
I was there, did that. I would suggest doing a quick read of the basic texts: Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bavagita. (I like the Upanishads too.)

It won't give you current interpretation nor the various sects of Hinduism out there, but it will give you a basic rundown of gods.

If by chance you can't read such texts, you may want to look at fictionalized versions either through movies or books. (I finished the Palace of Illusions).

I think on my remembrance of basic Hinduism class, the main things you do have to remember for the general scope of Hinduism is that Hinduism is as varied as there are provinces. I purposefully chose the Vedanta sect of Hinduism, but even within that certain towns/regions uphold one god/goddess over another as their protector.

Saying Hinduism is one sect is like saying Christianity only has one form.

The other thing you probably want to look at is the trinity/central god[s]. Brahman, Vishnu, Shiva. Or loosely known as the creator, the preserver and the destroyer. They also have consorts (in order)-- Saraswati, Lakshmi, Paravati/Durga. It's usually said that all other gods come from these six. Also that all gods are both male and female, which is why many gods look feminine, or feminine gods take on masculine roles. (like destroying demons)

You'll also probably want to look at the Ganges. It is reported that a few of the gods came from river names. Saraswati, particularly comes to mind.

Other than that, I would also go with looking at dharma, karma in the Hindu sense of the word rather than the Western adaptations of them.

Hinduism is a wide subject, you'll have to narrow it down. I chose Vedanta Hinduism merely for the fact that I thought it looked more at the philosophy of Hinduism rather than getting wrapped up in gods. (Vedanta is Veda-end). I tend to like the more philosophy of religions over the deification because often there, you find overlap.

padnar
06-16-2012, 09:10 AM
@padnar
thx, that's already help. sorry about my bad english.

can you mention any Ashura creatures?
I only know Agni.
Ravana is a famous Ashura creature , of course he is killed by Rama. Agni is a Deva.He is a God of fire. Ashuras are mortal like men and not immortal like Gods.
I am a lay Hindu , but still I have read the Ramayana and Mahabaratha.I also read many philosophical books .
There is no sanskrit deities. Sanskrit is a classical language,like Latin and Greece and most of the languages are based on it.

BigWords
06-16-2012, 03:52 PM
I have no idea where you can buy them (or if you can still buy them), but there are English-language reprints of massively popular Indian comics which adapt the main religious stories, and have runs which cover each of the deities - Pete Milligan had all that stuff to hand back in the 90s, though I think he collected them from earlier. I'll try and find out where they are sold.

TheRajinski
06-16-2012, 06:42 PM
I spent a lot of time in northern India (Banaras) and Kathmandu... but still it's difficult to get a grasp on everything, especially if you aren't familiar with it already. Hinduism is a really complex religion. There's a lot going on. Lots of festivals and stories and such, some of which are only regional. I do recommend that you read some of the things that have been suggested here already. It's difficult to give you a cut and dry, this is what it is, answer. At least, I find it difficult.

One of my favorites is Bhairav, who is a manifestation of Shiva. He has a shvan (sanskrit... kutta in hindi, dog in english) as his vahana (vehicle in english). So at temples dedicated to Bhairav, there are dogs everywhere and no one bothers them.

Anyway, that's not so much helpful as it is anecdotal.

Read the Ramayana. I like that one. Got the privilege to see the Ramleela at Ramnager.

Rachel Udin
06-16-2012, 09:01 PM
Thought I should add the vedas. Rg veda, etc. You can also find that online. Probably best to go to the source when possible.

Minor note, but North India and South India are often talked about in those terms as the food is different, etc. So, as I said pick a sect and a regionality. Makes it a lot easier to tackle.

Raventongue
06-16-2012, 10:55 PM
Ya know, I just thought of this and it may be a stupid idea but bear with me.

There's this silly musician who goes by the name MC Yogi, who outlines a lot of the old Hindu stories pretty accessibly in his lyrics. Google him, he puts all of his stuff up for free online somewhere. That might be a good starting point.

TheRajinski
06-17-2012, 03:24 AM
Minor note, but North India and South India are often talked about in those terms as the food is different, etc.

Who said anything about north/south in respect to religion?

I have to say, though, it's a bit of a mix.

padnar
06-17-2012, 11:55 AM
I have no idea where you can buy them (or if you can still buy them), but there are English-language reprints of massively popular Indian comics which adapt the main religious stories, and have runs which cover each of the deities - Pete Milligan had all that stuff to hand back in the 90s, though I think he collected them from earlier. I'll try and find out where they are sold.
i think it will be Indrajaal comics and yeah they are very good . You can know a lot about Hinduism mainly our Gods from it.