The Greek and Hindu Gods

Greek and Hindu gods and how one is more different than the other.

Greek and Hindu gods and goddesses – probably the most popular out of any other cultures, that have their own unique set of gods and goddesses that you’ve heard about. And as you come to learn about them, you may find that the two are either quite similar or quite different from each other. So which one is it? What evidence is there that makes Greek gods and goddesses similar to or different from Hindu gods and goddesses?

Greek and Hindu gods share some similarities but in the end, they are actually very different. Here you will see that some of the gods of the two groups are the same or similar to each other in what they are both the gods of (gods of the heavens, underworld, war, nature, etc), but then are also very different in how we first come to know about them, their characters and lifestyles, which are more important than the similarities because these differences give us a more in-depth look into the Greek and Hindu gods.

The first evidence of the similarities between Greek and Hindu gods is that some of them share the similarity of what they are both the gods of. For example Zeus and Indra, the two top rulers, are both the gods of the heavens and king of all other gods, or Hades and Kali are both gods of death, or Aphrodite and Lakshmi are both gods of beauty.

These facts support the thesis because it proves that these are some of the similarities the Greek and Hindu gods have in common.

Another similarity that many of the Hindu and Greek gods have in common is that although they may be the gods of different things they are similar in what their specialty is. Like the Hindu goddess Durga and the Greek goddess Artemis for example; the three fight a lot. Durga fights and destroys demons, while Ares is the god of war so obviously he has done a lot fighting in the past. And as for Artemis; she is the goddess of the hunt, so she’s obviously killed a lot of times before just like how Durga has been destroying demons. Hanuman and Pan is another example of this. They are both very keen on nature; since Pan is the god of nature himself and Hanuman has always wandered through the jungles of India from time to time.

Because some of the gods in the two categories share a “specialty” with each other, it proves that this is one of the few similarities that Hindu and Greek gods share.

The last thing they both have in common, is that in both groups, there are gods and goddesses carrying their own unique weapons. For example the Hindu god Vishnu has the spinning disk; the Sudarshan Chakra and the divine mace; the Kaumodaki , Shiva’s divine bow called the Shiva Dhanush and the trident called the Trishula and Varuna’s water weapon; the Varunasra , which is said to take form of any weapon’s shape. As for the Greek gods, Zeus has his famous lightning bolt, Poseidon with his mighty trident, Hades has a special helmet that makes him invisible and Apollo and Artemis both have bows with special silver arrows.

Because many gods in each group have their own unique weapons, it then proves that this is one of the few similarities between Hindu and Greek gods.

Differences

One of the major differences between Hindu and Greek gods is how we know about them. We know about Hindu gods through Hindu traditional story telling. As for Greeks it was far more into history that we know about them. Today we still have the temple of Zeus, which was said to honor the god Zeus. We also have the ancient stadium by which the Olympic Games were held, which was to entertain the gods. As for the Hindu gods, there is no structure or monument or anything like that that we can say we’ve learned about the Hindu gods through history.

The evidence that we have some ancient structures and monuments that were linked as to how we know about the Greek gods and none as to how we know about the Hindu gods proves that this is one of the major differences between Hindu and Greek gods.

Another major difference is the Hindu and Greek god’s characters. Many of the Greek gods are often cruel. An example of this is Zeus’s many affairs with goddesses and even mortal women, while still being married to Hera. Also the punishments of the Greek gods are most cruel and horrible. For example Sisyphus who was punished in Tartarus by rolling up a huge boulder up a hill throughout all eternity and Tantalus, who’s punishment was to stay in a pool in the underworld surrounded by fruit trees. When he would duck to drink the water, it would recede and when he tried to eat a fruit, it would move out of reach. Another one is that of Prometheus. He would be chained to a rock a giant vulture would come and eat his liver. The next day his liver would have grown back and the vulture would come back to eat it again. This would go on for all eternity. These tales could tell us that the Greek society were possibly very realistic because like tyrants in a government, the gods probably feel superior then everybody else and thus punish anyone severely who gives them the slightest insult. The characters of Hindu gods are quite different although there are some cruelty among them, but is quite unmatched compared to the Greek gods. The characters of Hindu gods are most often heroic. Like Hanuman, who jumped over the Indian Ocean in search of Sita (this was one of his many heroic deeds) along with Rama who then defeated Ravana, the demon king, who held Sita captured and Ravana’s fellow demons. This could tell us that the Hindu society were very creative and good-hearted in the sense that good always wins over evil.

The fact of these tales also proves the characters of these gods which proves that this is one of the major differences between the two types of gods.

The last major difference is their lifestyles. All of the Greek gods live on mount Olympus, where as said in the facts has giant typical Greek-style pillars and a gate made out of clouds – all of which make the place heavenly. As for the Hindu gods, they live separate from each other, wandering the land, meditating or fighting demons. So you can say while the Greek gods stay on mount Olympus, looking down on us, the Hindu gods lead a somewhat more adventurous eternal life.

Due to their different lifestyles, the Greek gods, secluded from the mortal world, on mount Olympus and the Hindu gods scattered out in the wide open world, leading adventurous lives, makes the two groups quite different from each other.

Conclusion

So while the Greek and Hindu gods share some similarities, in the end they are very different

Some gods share similarities in what they are both gods of, like Zeus and Indra who are both the gods of the heavens and both kings of all other gods as well. Some share the same specialties, like Ares and Durga, who are both very keen on battles. And in both Hindu and Greek; some have their own unique weapons. But those are just little things. What makes something more similar in or different than each other is what their qualities are – it’s what matters on the inside. So the reason why Greek and Hindu gods are more different than each other is their difference in how we know about them – Hindu gods we know about in stories and Greek gods we know about in History – and what their characters are – Greek gods being cruel and Hindu gods being heroic – and lastly, their lifestyles – Greek gods live a somewhat safe life, secluded from the outside world, while Hindu gods live an adventurous life out in the open.

By studying gods and goddesses, whether they are Greek or Hindu or any other, we have also learned at the same time about the cultures of each god or goddess we study – perhaps, Hindu people are fascinated in stories of heroic deeds while Greeks like to display a bit of cruelty, possible also displaying a bit of realism, in their stories.