How to use Indian gods in fiction without offending them

The Indian culture is very flexible. India is a country where a Christian woman steps aside for a Sikh man to be the Prime Minister, who in turn takes his oath before a President who is a Muslim. But Indians are emotional. There is a very fine line between getting appreciated and offending the Indians. So we don’t find much professional fiction stories related to the Indian Gods. All of it is either folklore or stories for children.

But there are some writers who have successfully written stories about Indian mythologies without any controversies. Let us find how to slip through the Indian believes without offending them.

DO NOT

Never write about any birthchild of a Goddess.

The Indian belief is too strong about worshiping the goddesses as their mothers. And the Indian culture does not allow women to marry twice easily. So if you are writing about Indian goddesses having children, you are practically offending their mothers. Not a good idea.

Never get a God beaten or killed.

The Indian Gods are the power source of the will of the people. If you make them appear weak, you are offending the strength of people.

Never let a God stand up to the trinity. (Bramha, Vishnu & Mahesh)

The trinity is there to create, nurture, and destroy the universe. How can anyone stand up to them? Be careful to always keep them the highest authorities in the Hindu Pantheons.

Never make the Gods arrive on Earth

The Indian Gods’ power, especially the power of the trinity; is taken to be so much, that they cannot interfere in the working of the universe directly. If you make them appear on the earth, you are causing a huge power unbalance. It is also contrary to the peoples’ belief.

Try not to involve the Islam with the Hinduism.

The Muslim religion is a very strict one. You simply cannot meddle with it. An artist made a cartoon of their supreme and we know what happened. So try not to touch the Islam if you love your life.

How to bypass these problems?

Birthchild or Demigod

If you want to bring the story of Gods to the mortal realms, it will be hollow without godlings. But how to create them without offending the people?

→ There are a few Gods who specially carve for mortal women. Indra is the best choice for you.
→ You can also use Kamadev, the Indian god of love; to inflict sexual desires into other male Gods.
→ When you come to Goddesses,  the simplest option is a newborn to be blessed by her.
→ You can also put a bit of the essence of the Goddess into a baby through her will only.
→ The same can be done by Gods too.

So you will have an army of demigods at your disposal. 😉

Gods always win? Not fair.

No one is perfect. Even the great Gods have to lose sometimes. But how can you do so gracefully?

→ Make the God accept the expertise of his opponent and retreat on his honor.
→ Indian Gods never die. They are true immortals. So the best way to remove them from the story is to force them back to the heavens under the supervision of a higher God.
→ Research the Indian folklore. On More than one occasion, a god is outwitted by a person. Try to use the fact that Gods cannot be beaten with strength but by intellect.
→ Make any of the Trinity side against the God. They have a lot of authority over other Gods.

Trinity the Almighty?

The trinity is the supreme authority in the Hindus. You cannot beat them with strength or wit.

→ The only way to defeat any of the trinity is to gain a boon from them and then use it against them. It has been done several times.
→ Yoy will depict their own boon stronger than them and the faith of the people will be safe.

Gods on earth

The only god that comes on the Earth is Narada. Indian gods don’t come to visit the earth in person untill they are summoned.

→ The only way to call them is to make them happy with a devotee’s tapasya. If the devotee takes his body and soul to the brink of life just to please a God, the God appears to grant the devotee some boons.
→ Most of the gods take an avatar to come into the mortal realm.
→ Many gods come to earth in form of natural phenomena, like storm, water, wind or fire.
→ The trinity seldom come to the Earth, but when they do, their incarnations achieve great deeds.

Do not involve the Islam

Its a sensitive topic. You should better leave it alone. But there are many other pantheons to choose from.

→ The Indian subcontinent is a hub of religions. The Hindu, the Sikh, the Jain, the Buddhism; all of them have their roots in the Hinduism.
→ You can utilise the ancient pantheons like the Aaryan or the Vedic as well.
→ Then there is the option of going international. You can also include foreign Gods.

These are some most basic methods to go through the loopholes. You can improvise as much as you like.

I am open to all your thoughts.

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