Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Gods and demons

Sujatha Sundar the Accidental Blogger writes about a fascinating linguistic reversal between Hinduism and Zoroastrianism: one religion's gods are the other religion's demons, and vice versa.

Hindu traditions derived from Indo-Aryan tenets, consider Suras (or Devas) to be beings of light, gods of various kinds, while Asuras ('not Suras') are darker beings, largely with dark instincts and are most commonly portrayed as the embodiments of evil (for instance demon king Ravana). In Zoroastrianism, the opposite linguistic paradigm holds true - Ahura is the being of light, all powerful and all good, while Daevas are the 'bad guys'.

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