Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Goddess a Day

Amber Dorrian, Seth Auberon, TEAM BHUMI DEVA, Wisdom Quarterly;

Amatheia (pronounced ah-ma-THEE-uh) is an ancient Greek devi -- a daughter of Nereus, one of the goddesses of the sea or Nereids. "God and goddesses"? In Buddhist terms these are terrestrial and celestial (space) devas. They are born of Doris, an Okeanid. Sea nymphs are water elementals who care for bodies of water, the ocean, and its inhabitants. Ancients explained water-related phenomena and its functions as the activity of these powerful entities. Amathea (“nourisher”) was thought of as the devi or mermaid who looked after the development of young fishes (various species of fish).
Goddess of Mercy (elfwood)
Are there Buddhist goddesses? There are! The most famous is the bodhisattva of compassion Kwan Yin, often shown as a sea goddess riding a sea serpent (naga). The imagery symbolizes the power of compassion to soothe and smooth out samsara, frequently depicted as a flood, deluge, or ocean to cross over. Wisdom, a goddess called Prajna Paramita ("Perfection of Wisdom") or Khema (the Buddha's chief nun disciple "foremost in wisdom"), transcends samsara. 
Other "Buddhist goddesses" may not be devas at all but simply famous women honored with the title devi (queen, ruler, or stunning beauty): Taras (Buddhist Goddesses of India), Tibetan deities, Dharma guardians, particularly those from the realm of the Four Great Sky Rulers of the quadrants, Ven. Uppalavanna Theri (a Buddhist Lakshmi/Saraswati), princesses and female warriors of non-human tribes, Bhumi (Mother Earth), who saved Siddhartha when he outdid Mara the killer and obstacle to enlightenment.

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