Esoteric Encyclopedia

Esoteric Encyclopedia Entry of the Week: Deva

In Hinduism a Deva (Sanskrit: देवDevá) means “heavenly, divine, anything of excellence”. This word  is also one of the terms for a deity – with deva representing the masculine aspects of the Godhead, while the related feminine equivalent is called a devi.

In the earliest Vedic literature, all supernatural beings are called Asuras, and the concepts and legends of this beings evolve throughout ancient Indian literature. by the late Vedic period, benevolent supernatural beings are referred to as Deva-Asuras, and in post-Vedic texts, such as the Puranas and the Itihasas of Hinduism, the Devas represent the good, while the Asuras represent the bad.

Devas along with AsurasYaksha (nature spirits) and Rakshasas (ghosts, ogres) are part of Indian mythology, and Devas feature in one of many cosmological theories in Hinduism.

While Devas are looked at as benevolent in Hinduism, they are thought to be evil in Zoroastrianism.

Going deeper into esoteric studies, the devas have three classes which are further explained below in the entries referenced from

DEVAS (Skt, “the shining ones”) Evolutionary beings belonging to an evolutionary line parallel to the “human” evolution from mineral via man to 43-self. The majority of devas have never been and will never become human. Their lowest consciousness corresponds to that of man; their highest is 43-consciousness. Lower beings than devas on this evolutionary path are called nature beings. The devas lack a triad chain. Their lowest envelope is the etheric. They make up two major groups of collective beings: those who work especially with the motion aspect and are agents of the laws of life; those who particularly work with the matter aspect and supervise form-building in nature. The highest deva for an entire material world within the solar system is called a deva raja.

DEVA RAJAS (T.B.) The seven highest devas within the solar system. Each one is responsible for matter in someone of the seven solar systemic worlds. In Sanskrit they are called: Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Indra, Agni, Varuna, Kshiti.

DEVA EVOLUTION Line of evolution parallel to the “human evolution”. The deva monads pursue their own path after the mineral kingdom, which is common to all evolutionary beings, and thus they do not become humans although they reach the corresponding kinds of active self-consciousness. Branches reach the deva evolution even from the vegetable and animal kingdoms of the “human evolution”. Deva monads at evolutionary stages corresponding to the vegetable and animal kingdoms are called nature beings (or nature spirits), those at stages corresponding to the human kingdom and higher kingdoms are called devas.

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