Mircea Eliade - On the other names of God
Type of Spiritual Experience
Without adequate definitions – and rarely are there any – it is virtually impossible to say that names such as Yahweh, the Latinate Deus, the Greek Θεός, Slavic Bog, Sanskrit Ishvara, or Arabic Allah, Hebrew El,or in Hindu Brahma or similar mean the same.
Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, the Bahá'í Faith, and Judaism all use the word "God", but as a former systems analyst I know all too well that just because a person uses the same word, they don’t necessarily mean the same thing. Computer systems have collapsed under these assumptions.
Nevertheless Mircea Eliade did an extremely good job at attempting to identify all the different names. To the ones he identified we can also add Voodou, where there is a distinct and separate Intelligence which is above the 'ordinary' spirit world that is regarded as the supreme power. Creation is one of the functions of this power. A Voudou shaman will not even attempt to communicate with this power, all communication is via 'spirits'
The Voodou name for this Intelligence is BONDYE which comes form the French 'Bon Dieu' or 'good God'.
A description of the experience
Mircea Eliade – Shamanism Archaic techniques of ecstasy
Chukchee, Tungus, Samoyed or Turko-Tatars to mention only some of the most important groups, know and revere a celestial Great God, an all powerful Creator…. Sometimes the Great God’s name even means ‘Sky’ or ‘Heaven’; such for example is the Num of the Samoyed, the Buga of the Tungus, or the Tengri of the Mongols (cf also the Tengeri of the Buryat, Tangere of the Volga Tatars, Tingir of the Beltir, Tangara of the Yakut etc).
Even when the concrete name of the ‘sky’ is lacking, we find some one of its most characteristic attributes – ‘high’, ‘lofty’, ‘luminous’, and so on. Thus among the Ostyak of the Irtysh the name of the celestial god is derived from ‘sanke’, the primitive meaning of which is ‘luminous, shining, light’.
The Yakut call him ‘Lord Father Chief of the World’, the Tatars of the Altai ‘White Light’, the Koryak ‘The One on High’, 'The Master on High’ and so on. The Turko-Tatars, among whom the celestial Great God preserves his religious currency more than among their neighbours to the north and northeast also call him ‘Chief’, ‘Master’, ‘Lord’ and often ‘Father’