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There's a part of a scripture I once heard a religion professor recite in which the questioner asks about God and is answered, interchangingly, "God is One" and "God is 333 million." I'm not sure why it's set at 333 million. Rough estimate? Anyway...

In Hinduism, there is one supreme God who pervades everyone and everything. The other gods portrayed are representations of different aspects of that supreme being. (To be fair, there are also Hindus who view the gods as distinct beings within the one supreme who nothing could exist without.) An analogy that seems easy for most people to grasp is that the Hindu God bears a likeness to the Force in Star Wars--a presence binding everyone and everything together.

There are three main manifestations of this supreme being: Brahma, the Creator; Vishnu, the Preserver; and Shiva, the Destroyer. The idea's that creation, preservation, and destruction are always going on in the universe. All the other gods are variations of the three, including their female counterparts and their variations. (In other words, God is neither male nor female; the consorts of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva--Sarasvati, Lakshmi, and Parvati/Durga--are not their wives but aspects of their being.)

According to the laws of karma, as people achieve enlightenment, they are also absorbed into the supreme being--that's what happened to Naima at the end of "Between the Lines." Naima's karmic path was resolved; she transcended her ego and achieved oneness with God and so was looked up to as a darshan (a word used in the episode to mean "enlightened one," although it's usually used in the context of seeing and being seen by a divine figure)...

the subversive pomegranate
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Xena: Warrior Princess is MCA/Universal and whoever else legally owns it. This page is 1999 shilpa.