Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ashura And The Anti Buddhist Asuras

Ashura And The Anti Buddhist Asuras Image
Celestial" Asuras" ("Titans") falling or descending from space

One may choose to see these things as unreal, only mythological. Nevertheless, it is important to understand our histories-mythologies because they are fueling very real conflicts in the world today -- American hegemony in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran (reminiscent of the Christian crusades), irrepressible Middle East tensions, deadly Indian border disputes, and so on. Where other traditions may only give lip service to the idea, Buddhism is in fact about peace.

December 27th marks the Muslim holiday "Ashura, "a day of peace to commemorate a great injustice"." In Buddhist and Indian lore, the Asuras were a type of fallen deva, expelled from a relatively low celestial world ("Tavatimsa", "the World of the Thirty Three") by Sakka. (Interestingly, suggesting that "Asuras "could not have been too different, Sakka is said to have married an "Asuran" princess). Whereas "devas" (ETs called deities) from the three space spheres immediately above the Earth plane had established contact with various human civilizations -- bringing literacy, technology, advanced masonry, as well as laws -- the "Asuras" were latecomers.

ETYMOLOGY


The word ashura simply means "tenth" in Arabic. So the name of this remembrance day, literally translated, means "the tenth day" of Muharram. The day is indeed the tenth day of the month, although some Islamic scholars offer up different etymologies. In his book "Ghuniyatut Talibin", Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani writes that the Islamic scholars have a difference of opinion as to why this day is known as Ashura. Some scholars suggest that this day is the tenth most important day that God has blessed Muslims with.

Buddhist" thangka section "depicting "Asuras" and "devas "in a war in heaven

Assur (also Ashur, Assur; written A-sur, also As-s`ur, in Neo-Assyrian often shortened to As) was the head of the Assyrian pantheon. [Interestingly, Surya is the Sun God, a visitor from space claiming to hail from the sky or Sun, in Indian and Buddhist lore. Might "Assurya" derive from anti-Surya?]. His origins are unknown, but he is one of the Mesopotamian city gods, namely of the city Assur (pronounced Ashur), once the capital of the Old Assyrian kingdom. It might therefore be that he was a personification of the city itself or be a city named in his honor. From about 1300 BC priests attempted to replace Marduk with Ashur in Enuma Elish.

* Surya [Sun] namaskar disturbs anti-Vedic [demonic] forces
* Church refuses to acknowledge its Assyrian heritage (ChristiansofIraq.com)
* Isa (Jesus) Vasya Upanishad (wisemuslim.com)
* Wars of the City States of Sumer and Akkad (Chp. VI)
* Sacred-Texts.com (Chp. XIII)

We propose that whatever temporal meaning has been ascribed to the day of Ashura, it is actually centered on the Titans ("Asuras") being worshipped as arch angels. They have come to be regarded as "demons" from the Indian point of view (whereas the Middle East may regard "devas" as "devils"). The message they brought, indeed, does not differ radically from that of angels (Tavatimsa "devas"), except that it is the other side of the story: Before being "cast out" of heavenly Tavatimsa, "Asuras" were angels. Unlike Christian teachings, they were not tossed into perdition but onto Earth (the base of Mt. Sumeru). This might make them the Annunaki of the Sumerians, upon which advanced Middle Eastern cultures were predicated.

Buddhist cosmology is, of course, only regarded as mythological nowadays. Demons are a silly superstition, and the Annunaki is pure myth and science fiction. But doubtless these "mythologies" were based on something. The Buddha in countless sutras refers to these superordinate planes, their inhabitants, and their visits to Earth. The Buddha specified no fewer than 31 planes (categories) of existence. Most of these are "deva" (light being) and "brahma" (divinity) spheres.

But there are also beings who are less than "devas" in rank yet live in conditions superior to humans. The order of being starts at immaterial "devas", "brahmas", fine-material "devas", sensuous sphere "devas", Four Great Kings "devas, gandhabbas, garudas, suparnas, kinnaras, kumbandhas, nagas, bhumi-devas" (earthbound elementals), then "Asuras", then humans.

Egyptian hieroglyphs similarly record contact with alien visitors from space ("heaven").COUNTER ARGUMENTThe supposition that a dichotomy between "Ahuras"/"Asuras" and "Daevas"/"Devas" already existed in Indo-Iranian times is not supportable from either the Indian or Iranian perspectives. Not only is such a dichotomy not evident in the earliest texts of either culture, neither the Rig Veda's "Asuras" nor the Gathas' "Daevas" are demons. The demonization of the "Asuras" in India and the demonization of the "Daevas" in Iran both took place "so late that the associated terms cannot be considered a feature of Indo-Iranian religious dialectology."

The idea of a prehistorical opposition between the "Asuras"/"Devas", originally presented in the 19th century but popularized in the mid-20th century, had for some time already been largely rejected by Avesta scholars when a landmark publication (Hale, 1986) attracted considerable attention among Vedic scholars. Hale discussed, "as no one before him" (so Insler's review), the attestations of "asura" and its derivatives in chronological order of the Vedic texts, leading to new insights into how the "Asuras" came to be the demons that they are today and why the venerated Varuna, Mithra, Rudra, Agni, Aryaman, Pusan, and Parjanya are all Asuras without being demonic. Although Hale's work has raised further questions - such as how the later poets could have overlooked that the Rig Veda's "Asuras" are all exalted gods - the theory of a prehistoric opposition is today conclusively rejected.

Following Hale's discoveries, Thieme's earlier proposal of a single Indo-Iranian "Asura" began to gain widespread support. In general (particulars may vary), the idea runs as follows: Indo-Iranian "Asura" developed into Varuna in India and into Ahura Mazda in Iran. Those divinities closest related to that "Asura" [who] rules over the [g]ods" (AV 1.10.1, cf. RV II.27.10) inherit the epithet, for instance, Rudra as "Devam Asuram" (V 42.11).

"Iranian turmoil, of course, has little to do with traditional Middle Eastern celebrations and the true meaning of Ashura. The holiday coincides with 2009 political conflicts. But it is more than coincidental that the warlike Titans (Asuras") so influenced the cultures that commemorate it that they expelled all traces of Buddhism and established rule by force. Buddhists remain pacifists.

by Dharmachari



You also may enjoy this free books:

Franz Hartmann - Paracelsus And The Substance Of His Teachings
Jacqueline Stone - Death And The Afterlife In Japanese Buddhism

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