Question: We learn about the Greek gods in school and I was wondering if they exist in some realm the way the Indian gods and goddesses do? And also I was wondering if new gods and goddesses are created or if there is only just one set of them.1
Sri Chinmoy: Let us deal with the subject of Indian mythology and Greek mythology. My outer knowledge of Greek mythology is next to nothing. But Indian mythology I have studied and studied and studied. In my oneness-heart with God’s infinite Wisdom-Light, I wish to say that the Greek gods and goddesses, unfortunately or fortunately, are no match for the Indian gods and goddesses.
Indian gods and goddesses came into being from the Supreme’s supreme Height. The Supreme Himself wanted to create these cosmic gods and goddesses, in the same way that a tree needs branches, leaves, flowers and fruits.
Apart from our main cosmic gods and goddesses, for example, Maheswari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati, there are many, many minor cosmic gods and goddesses whose names we may not know and perhaps do not need to know. A tree has countless leaves. If the owner of the tree wants to give a name to each leaf, he can, because he is at once omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. But for us to remember so many names will be impossible. We will become totally confused.
So, for our sake, we know that there are four cosmic goddesses whom I have just mentioned and, in addition to our trinity — Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva — we have Indra, Vayu, Agni and so forth. All of these Indian gods and goddesses have come right from the Supreme’s Transcendental Vision. They are descended from the Supreme Himself.
In the case of the Greek gods and goddesses, it is not like that. The consciousness of Greece and also the consciousness of the countries around Greece aspired and this aspiration ascended from the physical plane to the vital plane. The mental plane it did not reach so powerfully. This aspiration wanted to get something directly from Above. This aspiration was able to come up from the physical to the vital level, but from there it was unable to come up. But there was tremendous hunger to get power from Above. They cared mostly for power. Inside power, if there was light, wonderful, but they obeyed power more. Wisdom they did not care for. They wanted to separate wisdom from power. In their minds, the power aspect predominated. But it is not possible to separate them. Wisdom and power go together. While they were invoking power from Above, they were getting some wisdom as well.
So the Greek gods and goddesses are mostly formed from the aspiring vital, but we have to know that this vital is not the lower vital, or the lower elements, far from it. These are the dynamic, not aggressive, aspects of human aspiration. It went up and it went to the vital level — the vital that is dynamic, active and progressive.
At this point, the Supreme said, “My child, since you have taken so much labour to come up to this place, let Me come down and give you what you want.” So the Supreme brought down His Grace. Here, the aspiration which reached up to the height of the vital world, received the Blessings from Above, from the Supreme, and then this sublime aspiration took the form of gods and goddesses, or the form that was made eventually by the human mind into beings, which came to be called gods and goddesses.
But I wish to tell you that the Indian gods and goddesses are infinitely more tangible. You can talk to them infinitely more affectionately and lovingly. Although goddesses like Kali and Durga have tremendous power, you can deal with them more intimately than with the Greek gods and goddesses.
To be very frank with you, the stature or height of the Greek gods and goddesses and the Indian gods and goddesses is not the same. It is like comparing a hillock and Mt. Everest. I am saying this from my own realisation. Others may realise the truth in a different way. There will be people who will refute what I am saying, they may not accept it at all, but each one has to be satisfied with his own realisation.
To come to your second question. We cannot say that new gods and goddesses are being created. I see clearly that the new ones are only the old ones being manifested in new forms, new ways and with new light. The Supreme is not bringing into the world new gods and goddesses because these gods and goddesses do not believe in evolution. They do not participate in God’s Cosmic Game the way we participate in it. Their realisation, their capacity, everything, is fixed.
The cosmic gods and goddesses are like millionaires in terms of inner wealth, but they will remain millionaires. They are not going to become billionaires. Again, if they misuse their wealth, their power disappears. It is the same with human beings. If somebody has lots of wealth, we have to see whether he is misusing it or using it properly. If he uses it properly, he will get joy and gratitude from mankind.
But in the case of human beings, if they aspire only to become one with God’s Will, to please God in God’s own Way, then they will become the choicest instruments of God, the Supreme, and their earth-transformation-power will far exceed the powers of the cosmic gods and goddesses.
SCA 1130. Question asked during a bus trip from Cardiff to London on 15 November 1991.↩