Classification: Gods (Extra-Dimensionals/Immortals)

Location/Base of Operations: Nirvana

Known Members: Aditi (Gaea), Brahma (god of creation), Ganesh (god of wisdom), Indra, Kâli (god of destruction), Maya (god of illusions), Ratri (goddess of night), Shiva (god of destruction & transformation), Vishnu (god of heaven & preservation), Yama (god of death)

Affiliations: other races of Gods

Worshipped by the peoples of Hindu India.

Aliases: Vedic or Hindu Gods

First Appearance: Thor I#300 (October, 1980)

Powers/Abilities/Traits: The Daevas all possess certain superhuman physical attributes. They are true immortals who cease to age upon reaching adulthood, and they cannot die by conventional means. The Daevas are immune to all terrestrial diseases and are resistant to conventional injury. If a Daeva is wounded, his or her godly life force will enable him or her to recover at a superhuman rate. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it incinerates a Daeva or disperses a major portion of his or her bodily molecules to cause him or her to die. Even then, it may be possible for a god of greater or equal power, or several gods acting together, to revive the deceased Daeva before the god's life essence is beyond resurrection. Daeva flesh and bone are about three times denser than similar human tissue, contributing to the gods' superhuman strength and weight. An average male god can lift about 40 tons; an average goddess can lift about 35 tons. However, the upper limits of the strength possessed by the Trimurti (Brahma, Shiva & Vishnu) are unrevealed. The gods' metabolism gives them superhuman endurance in all physical activities. Many Daevas possess four or more arms, and many possess additional superhuman powers that may be magical in nature. For instance, the god Shiva possesses a third eye that projects energy capable of enthralling those in his vicinity.

History: (Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - The Daevas have been worshipped on the Indian subcontinent from as early as 2000 BC into modern times. Most of the Daevas dwell in Nirvana (also known as "Nibbana"), a "pocket" dimension adjacent to Earth that can be reached by freeing one's mind of craving, anger and suffering. Very little is known about celestial Nirvana other than it appears to be built on a small planetary object centered on Mount Meru, Mount Kailāsā, and the realm of Vaikunta. The Daevas are called different names by their human worshippers; for example, the god of creation Brahma is known as "Berahma" in Malay, while he is called "Phra Phrom" in Thai. Unlike many of their counterparts in other Earth-based pantheons, the Daevas are still actively invoked and worshipped on Earth.

The Daevas' precise origin, like that of all Earth's pantheons, is shrouded in legend. According to some schools of thought, the gods Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu emerged from Hiranyagarbha, the golden womb of Gaea (later known among the Daevas as "Aditi"). These gods became collectively known as the Trimurti and agreed to use their respective powers to maintain balance in the universe. Brahma, the creator, seeded the primordial waters with life; Vishnu, the preserver, was charged with sustaining the life that Brahma had created by maintaining the delicate balance between creation and destruction; and Shiva's responsibility was to one day destroy life so that Brahma could create it anew. As other Daevas were created, the Trimurti reigned as their pantheon's joint rulers from their native realm of Nirvana. Brahma resided on Mount Meru, Shiva resided on Mount Kailāsā, and Vishnu resided within Vaikunta; however, all three gods convened whenever important decisions needed to be made or dangers arose that threatened their pantheon.

(Thor I#300 (fb) ) - In approximately 1000 AD, Vishnu attended a meeting of the Council of Godheads to discuss the threat posed by the Third Host of the extraterrestrial Celestials.

(Amazing High Adventure#5) - In the 1870s, the Indian revolutionary known as the Mahdi sought to end the British Empire's control of his country and was granted divine weapons by the gods Agni, Kâli, Maya, Ratri, and Yama. However, after offending the gods, he discovered that his weapons were merely illusions and was defeated.

(Thor I#301) - More recently, when Shiva was preoccupied elsewhere, Indra was invited to temporarily replace him as a member of the Trimurti. Shortly after, when the life essences of all Asgardians except Thor were extinguished by the Celestials, Thor ventured to the realm of Earth's pantheons to seek a portion of their own life essences to revive his brethren. Posing as Shiva, Indra voted against donating anything and engaged Thor in battle, but soon relented and donated the requested energies after realizing Thor's conviction.

(Thor Annual#10) - Later, when Yama and an alliance of death gods from other pantheons accidentally unleashed Demogorge the God- Eater, Vishnu sent Indra to accompany Thor and defeat the God-Eater.

(War Machine#6 (fb) ) - After mercenary Saint Van Sant killed a murderous sect of Kâli worshippers known as the Phansigars (Thugees) in Varanasi, India, a pleased Kâli granted him superhuman powers and he became the assassin Deathtoll.

(Thor II#61) - After the Asgardian Sky Father Odin was killed by the demonic Surtur, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva were among the gods who determined that Thor was not yet ready to replace his father on the Council Elite.

(Marvel Universe: The End#5) - When the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) threatened reality with the vastly powerful Heart of the Infinite, Vishnu was among the gods assembled to address the threat; Thanos of Titan later used the Heart to alter the past, diverging these events into an alternate reality.

(She-Hulk II#25) - Most recently, Mali, a Ganesha devotee residing in Timbuktu, used a shard from the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak to transform industrialist Manfred Ellsworth Haller (formerly the Man- Elephant) into the monstrous Behemoth.


The main image in this profile is by Pablo Raimondi.


Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica, p19

Last updated: 02/06/11

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