In Hinduism and Buddhism, a group of exalted spiritual beings or gods. The term 'deva' is derived from the Sanskrit word for 'shining one', or god and deity.
In Hinduism there are three kinds of devas: spiritually superior mortals, those who have achieved enlightenment, and Brahman in the form of a personal God. They are called Suras, and are regularly warring with their counterparts, the Asuras.
In Buddhism devas are gods who reside in heaven as a consequence of their good deeds. In occultism, the term deva is applied in a variety of celestial and infernal beings.
Madame Helena P. Blavatsky introduced the concept of devas to the West, defining them as types of angels or gods who were progressed entities from a previous planetary period. They arrived on the earth before humans and would remain dormant until a certain stage of human evolution was reached. More recently the term has been applied to nature spirits, who may elect to help people. They usually are invisible, but may be seen by clairvoyance.
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