How God evolved

Posted on February 4, 2012

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Everybody has been familiar with Darwin’s theory of evolution where different species adapt and evolve. Humans evolved too and with them thus their belief of God evolved.

A disclaimer : I am not an atheist  nor a religious fanatic. I believe in god so that I can have somebody to blame for my misfortunes.Also I have limited my evolution theory to few religions and civilizations only due to my limited knowledge.

The first humans worshiped the forces of nature as God (Sun, moon, wind,rain). These were the superior gods and the secondary ones were earth and the animals which provided them with food. Then with development of civilization people started appointing authorities and experts who could perform the ceremonies and rites to these gods. But the authorities slowly promoted themselves from demi-gods to god status. Thus the humanization of gods started happening. As a part of the process from Indian culture we have Surya (sun god) , Varuna (wind god), Indra as (rain god), Pashupatinath (as the lord of animals) and for Egyptian and Greek cultures we have Ra, Zeus, Apollo. etc.

As the civilization expanded the secondary gods got promoted too and we have now gods for music,wealth,intelligence and so on.  With multiple communities existing in parallel there were wars. And the heroes emerging from those wars were promoted as gods too. Thus we have now Rama,Krishna, Amun,Hercules . All these were mortals but elevated to immortality in the later years through “History is written and exaggerated by WINNERS” phase.

Then we have the consolidation phase where different communities sit together and allot ranks to their gods maintain their supremacy through the number of followers. Thus we had Vishnu and his Avatars taking over practically all the great  heroes of past as his incarnations and becoming the supreme most. Vaishnavites have earlier tried to cash-in on Buddhism too stating that Buddha is an incarnation of Vishnu, when Buddhism started to gain importance.

The terror and tight hold grip of Brahmans and Kshatriya’s gave rise to Buddhism and Jainism in India, similarly the oppression  of Egyptians gave rise to Judaism and oppression of Romans to Christianism. This god had to be the total antithesis of the oppressing regimes, hence paganism was shown door, god was shown humble and one of the people and thus a messiah. Differences over beliefs with Jews and Christians led to creation of Islam.

So the evolution today stands where gods are all forgiving and more humane as compared to the previous war mongering and punishing super-humans. Where will the next stage take us will be interesting

 

PS: i just googled my title and found that there is book on this exact subject written by Robert Wright. Good to know my thinking is slightly like him. I guess then I am just restating similar facts but with Hindu touch

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Posted in: Opinions