Dyaus Pitar ( द्यौष्पितृ ) / Dyews Phter ( *Dyḗws ph₂tḗr )
And yes, I am absolutely serious about this.
Now, what is remarkable about this AI-generated image [not my handiwork] is … just how overt the immediate resonancies are with an array of directly scripturally attested qualities for the Indo-European deific in question.
Consider, for instance, that fine ‘feathered’ headdress.
Or, as we might like to say in Old Norse … Arnhǫfði – an attested theonymic of Odin from the Þulur of His Names. ‘Eagle-Headed’ [no doubt potentially expressing the situation in which He had brought back the Mead of Poetry – and c.f. Shyena (‘Falcon’ / ‘Hawk’) as the Form of Rudra-Agni doing likewise; although also expressing the keen-eyed King of the Sky … that being, after all, what the Eagle [dare we say – ‘Raptor Imperialis’ ?] also indubitably is]
Or that remarkable dark and seemingly braided or dreadlocked hair. Which we find expressed with reasonable directness via the Kyanokhaitis (or Kyanochaites) of Dionysus (c.f. ἔθειραι κυάνεαι / etheirai kyaneai), Hades, Poseidon, the Vyomakesha in relation to Shiva …
… and, of course, the famously ‘Jata’ etc. hair of Rudra (c.f. ‘Keshin’ (whence ‘Keshini’), inter alia) that is compared even to serpents in various scriptural sources (represented customarily as ‘braids’ or ‘the matted hair of the ascetic’).
We would additionally make mention for the Odinkar / Óðinkár , the ‘Óðinns-Locken’ (‘The Long Locks of Odin’) that we have seen spoken of and sought to link also to this broader underlying Indo-European typology ! (Perhaps, even, with the Blue-Black , Corpse-Black , Mantle of Odin being not just a Hood but also a fine head of Hair shrouding His Features as well – c.f. the aforementioned Kyanokhaitis etc.)
Perhaps the most prominent feature of this depiction is, of course, the fine Golden War-Plate.
And do we have an Indo-European attestation for such a feature of the God?
Dear Reader, at this point, must you even ask ?
OF COURSE WE DO !
Consider the ‘Hiranyakavaca’ epithet encountered in various sources (the Vayu Purana, and also the Shiva Purana’s Thousand Name Hymn, for instance – although I myself am most familiar with it from the justly famed Rudrabhishekastotra [‘Hymnal of the Consecrated Oblation unto Rudra’] sung by both Krishna and Arjuna in the presence of Mahadeva during the course of the Mahabharata as They beseech Him for His Aid in granting Them the most mighty Pashupatastra [‘Weapon of the Lord of Beasts’], that it might be utilized against Arjuna’s enemies upon the apocalyptic battlefields of the Kurukshetra War) as the characteristic of the great Rudra –
A sentiment we might easily view as directly ‘carrying forward’ the Golden (‘Hiranyaih’) exterior adornments (‘Pipeshe’) to His Limbs and Form that are attested in RV II 33 9, for example. Or, perhaps, the ‘Hiranyabaahave senaanye […] Pataye’ [‘Golden Armed Leader of Armies’] of the Sri Rudram of the Yajurveda [Anuvaka II, 1 ; and c.f. VS XVI 17] and SBr IX 1 1 18 detailing the SataRudriya Rite. [Also interprable in pointedly Solar terms]
Now, I could go on at quite some length here (including in referene to a certain Flaming Sword, not pictured herein; or the Eyes, which Are [Jewel in the Forehead viz. Third Eye, perhaps not quite notwithstanding]) … but you get the idea.
This is, of course, ostensibly some AI’s effort at rendering the Immortal God-Emperor of Mankind – [as we have frequently noted, if one wishes to translate ‘Ishvara’, ‘God-Emperor’ is a pretty good start … living in the Himalayas, as He Does]
And it might at first seem rather peculiar to suggest that there might be some overt coterminities in that particular suite of directions to explore.
Yet art not so.
AI, we have suspected for some time, may form a potential … how to say – assistance for what somebody once referred to in my direction as ‘techno-shamanism’. Reaching out into the aether of the cyber and the noosphere to come back with ‘interesting’ resonances.
Which we can ‘filter’ upon the basis of its concordance (or otherwise) with the actual authentic canonical materials of more archaic and affixed attestation.
Meanwhile, as applies the 40k figure in question – we have long observed that the writers have been both consciously and (sub/un-)consciously drawing from the Indo-European milieu in quite a range of manners.
Hence, we are utterly unsurprised to find that the Master of Mankind … grew up speaking Proto-Indo-European. I am literally not making this up. It’s right there in the eponymous novel (albeit with some … interesting considerations viz. how the PIE in question should appear to relate to the Anatolian branch of our mighty linguistic family … long story, not getting into the ‘Southern Arc’ archaeogenetic commentary of recent months herein)
Or, for that matter, when we encounter the Emperor’s … consort isn’t perhaps the right word, but ‘female counterpart’ in various respects (rather notably that of genetic contribution to the Primarch project) – being named as “Erda” [‘Earth’], and seemingly also having been going by “Cybele, Persephone, Proserpina and Prithvi”, inter alia …
An “Earth Mother”, you might say.
We do not for a moment seek to suggest that said fiction-writers get everything correct – or correctly resonant. Yet it has nevertheless been quite the source of interest to see this particular facet of the Indo-European mythic and divine essence ‘re-infuse’ itself into a part of our popular culture today.
And in similar fashion … whilst this AI rendition-set also hasn’t necessarily gotten everything either ‘correct’ or ‘correctly resonant’ …
I cannot help but feel rather remarkably moved .
And THAT, ultimately, is the purpose of art – religious, AI-or-human wrought, or otherwise.
Jai Sri Rudra !
5 thoughts on “The God-Emperor Dyaus Pitar”
This was a fascinating read. And accessible, which is saying something for one like myself who’s only tangentially aware of WH40K and such. This AI art business raises different theological questions for me.
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Now the next question is: Assuming you have one, which of the primarchs is your favorite?
complex question indeed ; and there’s various ways one might conceptualize an answer
you may get a rant on it at some point
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