Competition between cults of deities in India vs the Middle East

(This post was extracted from this FB discussion.)

  • The great sage Charles Darwin proposed the principle of natural selection. A generalization of his vision informs this narrative.
  • Every cult (or memeplex) that is more successful (ie fitter) than others (or successful at the cost of others) in the ecosystem of Indian minds, became so because of its superior adaptations. This spans not only hindu cults, but also buddhist ones – they were all in the meme pool competing against each other. You who use the term “comparative evolution” should consider these obvious parallels to biological evolution.
    • The govardhana incident is a transparent (and in hindsight successful) attempt by the kRShNa cult to supplant the ancient vaidika aindra cult. This we also see in the khANDava forest conflict, and it is in line with other paurANika cult competitions (eps. shiva vs viShNu, as in: narasimha -> sharabha -> gaNDaberuNDa chain).
  • Indian deity competitions show various successful adaptations, such as:
    • absorption (eg. Indra is but a small manifestation of kRShNa, is less powerful)
    • establishment of superior power (rAma defeats paraShurAma, sharabha humbles narasimha etc..)
  • Contrast with deity competition in other eco-systems.
    • One adaptation that was wildly successful in the middle east was one of Mosaic exclusivism. It incited violent intolerance towards adoration of other deities, and alternative forms of adoration.
    • That probably says something about how the Indian ecosystem was different from the middle eastern ecosystem –
      • there was the hoary vedic lore one could not afford to diss,
      • the competition happened in the hearts and minds of philosophers well established in their homeland, rather than a population of common ruffians stressed by an exile to Babylon.
  • Now that the Indian ecosystem has been invaded by systems with Mosaic exclusivism, how will some successful Indian deva cults adapt? Which cults will adapt?
    • One adaptation seems inevitable: Violent intolerance has to be met with violent intolerance.
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