Have you ever noticed some of the divine aspects in Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z or Super? How good always triumphs over evil or how Goku is quite similar to a renown spiritual Teacher. If you didn’t notice these then here is a list of 9 divine aspects appearing in the Dragon Ball Series.
Dragon Ball Series
9. Mythical Buddhist Origin’s
The Dragon Ball Series is heavily inspired by the Journey to the West, a Chinese tale of pilgrims on a holy quest for the Buddhist Sutras of India. The entire anime is ripe with spiritual references from an East Asian perspective. Son Wukong or the Monkey King is the character that Son Goku is based on.
King Enma is a Japanese deity that weighs the amount of virtue and Karma in a person’s soul and determines if they should be sent to hell or heaven, similar to the character appearing in Dragon Ball. There is a multitude of characters who are inspired by these Buddhist stories that Akira Toriyama must have definitely heard while growing up.
8. Heaven and Afterlife
The concept of Heaven and Afterlife appears in several Religions and Cultures. In Dragon Ball, it is quite similar, with characters having a pure heart reaching heaven and allowed to continue their life in the hereafter. Goku has spent a lot of time there and was even allowed to train under the guidance of King Kai.
The Z-Warriors travel all around the world and even sometimes the universe in search for the Dragon Balls. They embark on a pilgrimage to find Holy relics that can alter reality, reverse death, grant immortality and fulfill all your deepest desires. The underlying message in this journey is that it’s not about finding the relics but more about finding your true self.
6. Shugyo and Spiritual Ascension
Shugyo is the Japanese word for spiritual training, most notably the one performed by Monks who are on a path of enlightenment. The purpose of Shugyo is to physically and spiritually train oneself to overcome their internal demons. Similar to how training happens in Dragon Ball, where characters will train while experiencing failures before any success.
5. Good vs Evil
Good vs Evil plays an important role in most Shonen anime and Dragon Ball is no exception. Warriors will fight against demons in never-ending strife to eradicate evil. In the end, the Good will always prevail. Sometimes these demons can learn to shed their evil path and start on a path of righteousness, similar to how Vegeta became a good guy.
Redemption plays is a key factor in Dragon Ball, various opponents who despised Goku were able to learn of their errors, correct their ways and even go on to lead better lives. Piccolo and Vegeta are two great examples of such characters. Both of them were at one point “demons” who wanted to destroy everything. By interacting with Goku they were able to overcome their internal evil and grow soft and compassionate hearts.
Immortality is something that is closely tied to divinity and is seen several times in Dragon Ball. Various characters will try to achieve this while others may have already done so. Master Roshi is an immortal teacher who is already over 300 years old. Korin is another example.
2. Astral Travel
The idea of Astral Travel appears in multiple ancient cultures whereby a person can intentionally leave the body and travel outside the bounds of this Universe. The instant Transmission technique is similar to Astral Travel with the exception that Goku is able to do it in his physical body. Goku also places his finger on his “Third eye” to focus on the plane of projection, just as in the astral realm.
1. Kami / God
Kami is the Japanese word for God, it is the title of the guardian of Earth as he watches over the planet and ensures that everything remains in perfect balance. The analogy is similar to the Judeo-Christian God, who doesn’t really interfere in the affairs of mortals but rather just keeps an eye on things. But he is always willing to lend a celestial hand when it is necessary.