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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Deity \De"i*ty\ (d[=e]"[i^]*t[y^]), n.; pl. Deities (d[=e]"[i^]*t[i^]z). [OE. deite, F. d['e]it['e], fr. L. deitas, fr. deus a god; akin to divus divine, Jupiter, gen. Jovis, Jupiter, dies day, Gr. di^os divine, Zey`s, gen. Dio`s, Zeus, Skr. d[=e]va divine, as a noun, god, daiva divine, dy[=o] sky, day, hence, the sky personified as a god, and to the first syllable of E. Tuesday, Gael. & Ir. dia God, W. duw. Cf. Divine, Journey, Journal, Tuesday.]

  1. The collection of attributes which make up the nature of a god; divinity; godhead; as, the deity of the Supreme Being is seen in his works.

    They declared with emphasis the perfect deity and the perfect manhood of Christ.

  2. A god or goddess; a heathen god.

    To worship calves, the deities Of Egypt.

    The Deity, God, the Supreme Being.

    This great poet and philosopher [Simonides], the more he contemplated the nature of the Deity, found that he waded but the more out of his depth.


n. (deity English)

Usage examples of "deities".

In the end the Tantric practices and deities may have been understood as symbols, with visionary meditation contributing new entities or variants, but at the time of their compositon the Tantras were absorbing Hindu gods and popular deities as well as practices from esoteric or mystery cults.

An unmounted skull cup, such as deities often carry, was used by yogins outside monasteries.

The latter comprise water deities, often thought of as snakes, spirits of rocks and trees and earth gods who must be propitiated when the soil is tilled.

Representations of deities so joined are found in late Indian Buddhist sculpture which served as models for similar representations in subsequent Tibetan art.

Preference might be given to one tutelary deity over another and different combinations of deities with their attendant rituals might be resorted to, but so long as the disciplinary differences were not too great such a co-existence was not unlike what was reported of Indian monastic life many centuries earlier.

The number of aboriginal deities accepted by them is much greater than with other schools and like the Bon-po they divide their scriptures into a nine-fold grouping and give the same name to their Supreme Buddha as the Bon-po to their high god of White Light.

The forms of deities differed between schools or sects and on a popular level large numbers of local gods and demons had been absorbed into a more or less Buddhist context.

Meditation on such deities and their entourage is an intense and arduous progression by which one may become identified with the Absolute.

In this function the fierce deities are manifestations of that Absolute in one of its emanatory forms.

Karttrika or chopper carried by many fierce deities and said to cut the life-roots of enemies and demons.

Works on Tibetan iconography commonly distribute deities under a greater number of headings without necessarily specifying affiliations and some of these gods may be briefly summarised here.

Among goddesses are independent deities with the rank of bodhisattva, such as Tara.

Lamaism also absorbed many Hindu gods, often shown underneath the Buddhist deities, serpent spirits from Indian and Tibetan tradition, as well as gods of wealth and the guardians of the cardinal points (30).

The deities of the bar-do, seen during the intermediate period following death, include, as well as more familiar Buddhist gods, groups of indigenous origin.

A similar principle held with the other incarnations of Buddhist deities such as the second most important abbot of Tibet, the Panchen Lama: each successive hierarch was the rebirth of his predecessor.