The Deities of the Vedic Hymns of Brahmanism

The deities of the Vedic hymns of Brahmanism are called “devas,” or “shining ones.” Nichiren’s Great Mandala includes several of these devas. Buddhism assimilated the devas. They appear as the inhabitants of the heavens, personifications of the forces of nature, and protectors of the Buddha Dharma. They are sometimes seen as roles taken on by the various bodhisattvas or as embodiments of various aspects of enlightenment. However, though deities, they are never above the teachings of the Buddha. Rather, they are sentient beings much like humans – though more powerful and long-lived – who need the Buddha’s teachings just like every other being.

Lotus World: An Illustrated Guide to the Gohonzon