In Christianity, God dies. Something similar concept is there in Norse mythology. Are there any stories in Hinduism about the death of Gods?
P.S. I am not talking about avatars.
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In hinduism , everything has cycle of life and death. Universe has a life of 100 brahma years (311 trillion 40 billion human years), Devtas' 1 day equals 1 year of humans. So yes everything has age.
But for all practical reasons, Gods are immortal. Godess Parvati (incarnation of Godess Sati) became immortal only when God Shiv told her about immortality(that's what Amarnath temple is famour for). Amrit derived from samundra manthan(churning of sea) made all Devtas immortal when they drank it. One Asura also drank amrit and he also became immortal. God Vishnu cut his head, but they are still alive as Rahu(head)/Ketu(body).
Then we have seven chiranjivis immortals.
अश्वत्थामाबलिर्व्यासोहनुमांश्च विभीषण:कृपश्चपरशुरामश्च सप्तैतेचिरंजीविन:।
Ashwathama, Bali , Kripa, Parsurama, Vibhishana , Hanuman, Vyasa. Apart from the 7 mentioned there are other like Bhushundi, Saptarishi, Sage Markandeya, Jambhavan, Markandeya, Devapi, Maru and others who are immortals.
Rama and Lakshmana catch a brief glimpse of the gods in the Aranya Kanda of the Ramayana. (Indra is in a hurry to leave because it's not the right time to reveal to Rama who he really is.) Rama explains:
And oh, manly-tiger Lakshmana, those that are there in hundreds and hundreds around Indra, those youthful ones with their ear-ornaments and swords in hands, with wide and broad chests, with club shaped arms, and clad in glimmering red garments, all are like tigers, all are unapproachable, all of them are wearing ornamental chains on their chest-place that are akin to flaring fires, and in their appearance, Soumitri, they always bear a look of twenty-five-year-olds. The age factor of gods remains constant at the age that appears for these nice-looking Tigerly-men, so they say... for gods are immortals and they will be ever young
By the way, I should add that contrary to popular belief, the fundamental reason for the immortality of the gods is not the drinking of Amrita, the nectar of immortality. The gods were already inherently immortal before, but then they lost their immortality due to a curse of Durvasa. They just needed to churn the ocean and obtain Amrita to restore what they previously had.
This question is rather unclear but the answer is:
Lord Visnu is immortal, everyone else in the material world dies eventually
Brahma is the oldest living being and lives for 100 years, which calculates out to around 311 trillion years. This is calculated as one cycle of 1,000 cycles of the 4 yugas to be equal to one day of Brahma. At the end of each day of Brahma, all planets lower than Tapoloka, including Svargaloka, where all the devas live, are completely covered by water. After Brahma awakes, he again recreates the entire creation. See Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 3 Chapters 8-11 for more information.
Here is a quotation proving that the devas are created by Brahma: The creation of the demigods is of eight varieties: (1) the demigods, (2) the forefathers, (3) the asuras, or demons, (4) the Gandharvas and Apsarās, or angels, (5) the Yakṣas and Rākṣasas, (6) the Siddhas, Cāraṇas and Vidyādharas, (7) the Bhūtas, Pretas and Piśācas, and (8) the superhuman beings, celestial singers, etc. All are created by Brahmā, the creator of the universe.
Besides that, Bhagavad Gita mentions that Krishna is the Supreme Person above all other persons in both verse 10.8 and 15.17.
I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.
Besides these two, there is the greatest living personality, the Supreme Soul, the imperishable Lord Himself, who has entered the three worlds and is maintaining them.
More quotes from the Vedas about the fallibility of the devas and the Supremacy of Lord Visnu:
nārāyaṇād brahmā jāyate
nārāyaṇād prajāpatiḥ prajāyate
nārāyaṇād indro jāyate
nārāyaṇād aṣṭau vasavo jāyante
nārāyaṇād ekādaśa rudrā jāyanta
“From Nārāyaṇa, Brahmā is born, and from Nārāyaṇa the patriarchs are also born. From Nārāyaṇa, Indra is born, from Nārāyaṇa the eight Vasus are born, from Nārāyaṇa the eleven Rudras are born, from Nārāyaṇa the twelve Ādityas are born.”
eko vai nārāyaṇa
āsīn na brahmā neśāno
nāpo nāgni-somau neme
dyāv-āpṛthivī na nakṣatrāṇi na sūryaḥ
“In the beginning of the creation there was only the Supreme Personality Nārāyaṇa. There was no Brahmā, no Śiva, no water, no ﬁre, no moon, no heaven and earth, no stars in the sky, no sun.” (Maha Upanisad)
Forms of Brahman of course are immortal. All the rest and that includes Devas like Indra die.
The gods, without exception, (when their merits cease), have to take birth as mortal creatures also (when they acquire sufficient merit), succeed in attaining to the status of gods. Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CCLIX
There are four Vedic statements referred to in various articles in the web and here it is:
- Tat Tvam Asi means(That Thou Art) from Samaveda- Chandogya Upanishad
- Aham Brahmasmi means(I am Brahman). From Yajurveda- The Brhadaranyakopanisad
- Ayam Atma Brahman means (This Self is Brahman). From Atharva Veda -Mandukyopanisad
- Pragnanam Brahman means (Brahman is Consciousness). From Rgveda- Aitareyopanisad
In all these statements, the difference between you as a creation and creator is very thin. This goes back to the part of the WHOLE concept.
You as an entity in the universe is the same as a cell in your body.
Interestingly, you can reapply this logic everywhere at any scale. So, you can say,
A ENERGY SPARK is A PART, A QUARK is a WHOLE.
A QUARK is a PART, and the ATOM is the WHOLE.
An ATOM is a PART, and the CELL is the WHOLE.
CELL being a PART and HUMAN as the WHOLE.
HUMAN being a PART, and the UNIVERSE as the WHOLE.
UNIVERSE being a PART, and MULTIVERSE as the WHOLE.
As you can see, this is a self symmetrical scale model. And there is a branch of math which deals with this - CHAOS THEORY & FRACTALS.
When you create a fractal, you notice that the fractal continues to grow till infinity.
If I assume that the source of the fractal, stopped, the fractal would implode, and shutdown. A very similar way, if God were to die, all these subsequent progressions of life and material which has grown in such tremendous scale from big to tiny, will also cease to exist.
If God dies ( the fractal equation, that is spawning the universe), the universe would cease almost instantly.
So, here is my summary: I don't think there is a scenario where God will die, and we will live to see it. But, theoretically God can die, as per similar Fractal science, and its close resemblance to the statements in Upanishads.
Please note here, that due to a lack of wisdom, we have to allude to the source of the universe to be an entity called God. God may be at the end of the day, a simple fractal equation. It is very similar to how ice crystals are formed. Ice crystals form when water freezes around one tiny dust particle. And then they grow into billions of varieties of ice crystals. Universe was formed in the same way. Around one dust particle.
But whatever we explain, we simply cannot explain how the dust particle came in the first place.
That's why you can see, why the Upanishads are so tough to understand. The statements written in them are very small, but extremely difficult to comprehend, and you can see umpteen interpretations of the same.
Yes Gods die also. At the end everything has to leave mortal coil.
NOTE- die in the sense that physical form ceases to be. Atma can never die. Like even human beings die, not their Atma.
Devi Bhagawatam, Book 4, Chapter 13
शर्वो ब्रह्मा हरिश्चेति इन्द्राद्या ये सुरास्तथा ॥ २७ ॥
मुनयश्च विनिर्माणैः स्वायुषो विचरन्ति हि ।
निशावसाने सञ्जाते जगत्स्थावरजङ्गमम् ॥ २८ ॥
म्रियते नात्र सन्देहो नृप किञ्चित्कदापि च ।
स्वायुषोऽन्ते पद्मजाद्याः क्षयमृच्छन्ति पार्थिव ॥ २९ ॥
प्रभवन्ति पुनर्विष्णुहरशक्रादयः सुराः ।
तस्मात्कामादिकान्भावान्देहवान्प्रतिपद्यते ॥ ३० ॥
Vyasa tells Janamejaya-
O King! Shiva, Brahma, Narayana, Indra and other Gods, as well as the Munis and others live up to their ordained age of life. This moving and unmoving Universe then dissolves at time of Pralaya and comes into existence again, there is no doubt here, O Lord of Men. O Ruler of Earth! when the ordained age ends, then Brahma and others die, and again, Vishnu, Shiva, Indra and other all Devas take birth again. So, every embodied being(a being having a body) therefore gets all the feelings of lust, anger, avarice et cetera.
Whoever takes up body is sure to end, be it Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, or Devi. At the end everything ends even Shiva Vishnu Brahma merge in only one ParaBrahma.
NOTE- taken from user9392's answer who was me itself.
Srimad Bhagavatam (15-19):
apāḿ rasam atho tejas
tā līyante 'tha nīrasāḥ
grasate tejaso rūpaḿ
vāyus tad-rahitaḿ tadā
līyate cānile tejo
vāyoḥ khaḿ grasate guṇam
sa vai viśati khaḿ rājaḿs
tataś ca nabhaso guṇam
śabdaḿ grasati bhūtādir
nabhas tam anu līyate
taijasaś cendriyāṇy ańga
devān vaikāriko guṇaiḥ
mahān grasaty ahańkāraḿ
guṇāḥ sattvādayaś ca tam
grasate 'vyākṛtaḿ rājan
guṇān kālena coditam
na tasya kālāvayavaiḥ
anādy anantam avyaktaḿ
nityaḿ kāraṇam avyayam
The element fire then seizes the taste from the element water, which, deprived of its unique quality, taste, merges into fire. Air seizes the form inherent in fire, and then fire, deprived of form, merges into air. The element ether seizes the quality of air, namely touch, and that air enters into ether. Then, O King, false ego in ignorance seizes sound, the quality of ether, after which ether merges into false ego.
False ego in the mode of passion takes hold of the senses, and false ego in the mode of goodness absorbs the demigods.
Then the total mahat-tattva seizes false ego along with its various functions, and that mahat is seized by the three basic modes of nature - goodness, passion and ignorance. My dear King Parikshit, these modes are further overtaken by the original unmanifest form of nature, impelled by time. That unmanifest nature is not subject to the six kinds of transformation caused by the influence of time. Rather, it has no beginning and no end. It is the unmanifest, eternal and infallible cause of creation.
Demigods here refer to gods other than Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma and other liberated souls, Vidhyadharas, Narada, saints, sages, Adi Shakti - Durga and the 4 Kumaras - Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanatkumara Demigods include Surya, Chandra, Varuna, Indra, Mitra, Marut, Vayu, Ashvins, Shani, Budha, Brihaspati, Rakshasas, Gandharvas, Apsaras, etc etc.
Srimad Bhagavatam (20-21):
na yatra vāco na mano na sattvaṁ
tamo rajo vā mahad-ādayo ’mī
na prāṇa-buddhīndriya-devatā vā
na sanniveśaḥ khalu loka-kalpaḥ
na svapna-jāgran na ca tat suṣuptaṁ
na khaṁ jalaṁ bhūr anilo ’gnir arkaḥ
saṁsupta-vac chūnya-vad apratarkyaṁ
tan mūla-bhūtaṁ padam āmananti
In the unmanifest stage of material nature, called pradhāna, there is no expression of words, no mind and no manifestation of the subtle elements beginning from the mahat, nor are there the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. There is no life air or intelligence, nor any senses or demigods. There is no definite arrangement of planetary systems, nor are there present the different stages of consciousness — sleep, wakefulness and deep sleep. There is no ether, water, earth, air, fire or sun. The situation is just like that of complete sleep, or of voidness. Indeed, it is indescribable. Authorities in spiritual science explain, however, that since pradhāna is the original substance, it is the actual basis of material creation.
This is the annihilation called prākṛtika, during which the energies belonging to the Supreme Person and His unmanifest material nature, disassembled by the force of time, are deprived of their potencies and merge together totally.It is the Absolute Truth alone who manifests in the forms of intelligence, the senses and the objects of sense perception, and who is their ultimate basis. Whatever has a beginning and an end is insubstantial because of being an object perceived by limited senses and because of being non-different from its own cause.
The other Gods who don't get destroyed are the Gods which are prevalent in every timelines of the universal manifestation. Narada, the 4 Kumaras, Vidyadharas, Durga, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva etc., will be there in every universal manifestation. Gods like Varuna, Mitra, Indra, Vayu may have a different name and another conscious-tattva to rule the position. But liberated souls will forever stay in the body of Vishnu, who is the cause of all, and never dies nor dissolves into anything, as it is He who is the Absolute Reality.
The Daksha Yagna is described in many Puranas. Siva gets insulted by Daksha (in some versions Daksha's daughter (Siva's wife) immolates herself) and either he or his manifestation Veerabhadra destroys the sacrifice. The sacrifice is under the protection of Vishnu. There are many versions of how Vishnu carried out his obligation to protect the sacrifice and in the Linga Purana version Vishnu is beheaded. He is of course restored afterwards.
Vishnu also dies (this is the basis of Siva's name "Vishnukandharapaatana:") in the story of hayagriva per devi bhagavatam:
He's of course restored back to life by Devi.