views updated May 21 2018

Deva (Skt., perhaps connected with dyaus, ‘bright sky’). ‘Shining One’. In Hinduism, a deva is a celestial power (cf. Chandogya Upaniṣad 6.3), and particularly a manifestation (not a personification) of a natural power, generally beneficent, especially if propitiated through offerings (see SACRIFICE, HINDU). In that way, it became a term for all the Vedic gods, generally reckoned as thirty-three (Ṛg Veda 1. 139. 11, 1. 45. 2). The introduction of goddesses, devīs, appears to have been secondary.

In Buddhism, devas are manifest forms of reappearance (punabbhāva) in ‘heaven’, i.e. in one of the good domains of manifestation (gati).


views updated May 29 2018

Deva (Buddhist Madhyāmaka philosopher): see ĀRYADEVA.