Sakka [Indra], chief of the deities, is a deva (divinity, celestial being) in a lower celestial world. He is often spoken of in early Buddhist texts. There is even a sutra (discourse) dedicated to explaining how he was reborn as a "god" and how anyone can do the same. If one reads of his exploits and benevolence, one recognizes JudeoChristian elements in his life. He is by no means an almighty creator. Nevertheless, he is often war with malevolent forces who seek to set fire to and overrun his heavenly mansions, in what some might call a battle between archangels and titans (devas and asuras -- refined-godlings versus coarse-demons).
While it may all strike one as only so much conspiracy theory and woo-woo speculation, that does not in itself discredit the underlying information. Either religion is wrong and humanity is just what it seems -- a random assortment of fortuitous DNA existing briefly in a lonely, cold, dead cosmos -- or there's much more to the story. If only we are willing to listen without prejudice at what so many ancient texts contain allegorically or through their own cultural lenses. They recorded what they did for a reason, and it could hardly be a coincidence that these odd tales bear so many striking similarities. What early Buddhism taught would dumbfound most readers who assume it to be a rational, soulless philosophy all about personal responsibility and meditative bliss.
The Battle in [a] Heaven
80. Thus I have heard. The Exalted One was staying at Jetavana, in Savatthi, in Anathapindika's monastery. He addressed the disciples regarding this incident.
81. "Long ago, recluses, a battle was raging between the gods and the titans. Then Sakka, ruler of the gods [devas], addressed the Gods of the Thirty-three saying, "Dear sirs, when you are gone into battle, if fear, panic, or creeping of the flesh should arise, look up at the crest of my banner. If you do so, any fear, panic, or creeping of the flesh that has arisen will be overcome.
82. If you look not up to the crest of my banner, look up at that of Pajapati, chief of the devas [of that respective celestial plane]...
83. Or at that of Varuna, chief of the devas [of that celestial plane]...
84. Or at that of Isana, chief of the devas [of that celestial plane] and any fear, panic, or creeping of the flesh that has arisen will be overcome.
85. Now, recluses, in those who look up to the crest of one or the other of these banners, any fear, panic, or creeping of the flesh that has arisen can be overcome. Or it may not.
86. And why is this? It is because Sakka, chief of the deities [in that respective celestial plane], is not purged of passions, hate, or ignorance; he is timid, given to panic, to fright, to running away. (The Book of Kindred Sayings, Chp. 11).
A lowly heavenly being (Pali, gandhabba; Sanskrit, gandharva) named Pancasikha -- whose radiance yet lit up the entire grove -- came to see the Buddha and report this from extraterrestrial planes: "Lord, I wish to report to you what I have personally seen and observed when I was in the presence of the Thirty-Three Gods [Tavatimsa celestial plane, where Sakka rules]." "Tell me then, Pancasikha," said the Buddha.
"Lord, in earler days, long ago, on the fast day of fifteenth at the end of the Rains the Thirty-Three Gods assembled and rejoiced that the devas' [numbers] were growing, the asuras' [numbers] declining...Then Sakka uttered the verse: The gods of Thirty-Three rejoice,/their leader too,/Praising the [Buddha], and the Dharma's truth,/Seeing new-come devas, fair and glorious/Who've lived the holy life, now well reborn./Outshining all the rest... (Dhajagga Sutra, DN 19)
Why do they fight? According to Maurice Walshe (The Long Discourses of the Buddha, p. 41), Sakka and the angels of the Realm of the Thirty-Three Gods is a world two planes above the human world. "Their heaven had once been the abode of the asuras [titans], who had been expelled from it. No list of the thirty-three gods exists, but their chief is Sakka (Sanskrit Sakra), who is either a reformed Indra or, as Rhys Davids considered, a Buddhist replacement for him. Many good people were reborn in this realm."
"Rebirth among the asuras or titans is sometimes omitted from the list of separate [rebirth-] destinations. In the Mahayana tradition they are often regarded more favorably than in the Pali Canon -- perhaps a reminiscence of their earlier status as gods." Walshe goes on to explain in a footnote that "the asuras suffered a decline in India, compared with the Persian ahura. They are at war with [some of] the devas, and hence are sometimes termed by Western scholars 'titans.'" He further points out that "humans can be reborn in either camp (see DN 24.1.7 for an example of one born among the asuras)."
If nagas (reptilians) and asuras (titans), as the video suggests, secretly rule and feed off of the emotional turmoil of humans, it would explain demonic-type possession and the senseless acts it can lead some individuals to. Sensational coverage of those acts are focused on by the media. The recent unprovoked beheading and cannibalism of a young man on a Greyhound bus would certainly seem to qualify.
Greyhound spokeswoman Abby Wambaugh said Wednesday a billboard and some tunnel posters near a bus terminal in Toronto are still up and would be removed later in the day. "Greyhound knows how important it is to get these removed and we are doing everything possible," Wambaugh said. "This is something that we immediately asked to be done last week, realizing that these could be offensive." Vince Weiguang Li, who immigrated to Canada from China in 2004, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old carnival worker Tim McLean. He has yet to enter a plea.
Thirty-seven passengers were aboard the Greyhound from Edmonton, Alberta, to Winnipeg, Manitoba, as it traveled at night along a desolate stretch of the TransCanada Highway about 12 miles from Portage La Prairie, Manitoba. Witnesses said Li attacked McLean unprovoked, stabbing him dozens of times.
As horrified passengers fled the bus, Li severed McLean's head, displaying it to some of the passengers outside the bus, witnesses said. A police officer at the scene reported seeing the attacker hacking off pieces of the victim's body and eating them, according to a police report. Wambaugh said the ads only appeared in Canada and that some in Ontario and western Canada have already been removed. About 20,000 inserts of the Greyhound ads were scheduled to be put into an Alberta Summer Games handbook but they stopped the presses.
Pedestrians walk past an ad for Greyhound in Toronto Aug. 6, 2008. Greyhound has scrapped the campaign that extolled the peaceful, worry-free upside of bus travel and wants the signs to be removed as quickly as possible following the beheading of a passenger near Winnipeg (AP Photo/Graeme Roy, The Canadian Press).