Hinduism is everywhere in India. In particular, roadside shrines attract the faithful. Typically, the entrance to such shrines feature statues of a pair of roaring lions, considered sacred in the Hindu religion. (Interesting — lions, not native to India, are sacred while the tigers who live here are not.)
The lion is just one of hundreds if not thousands of gods and goddesses of this religion.
So where did all the deities come from?
Two answers emerge from conversation here in India. The first is from the “history of religions” approach: Hindu gods and goddesses are Eastern version of the deities of Greek mythology. When West met East in antiquity via trade routes and armed conflict, Hinduism is the result.
The second answer comes from Christians living in this land: the gods and goddesses are fallen angels implied in places like Jude 1:6. Under this interpretation, when the rebellious angels were exiled from heaven, they took up residence in specific places, India among them. They have enduring but limited power which explains why Hinduism and other religions have miraculous manifestations even in the 21st century.
Answer #1 is obviously the more comfortable to the Western mind, even minds belonging to evangelical Christians. Answer #2 is provocative food for thought for those of us just learning what the spiritual struggle looks like in the unseen world.
I’ll keep you posted.