African Traditional Religion : The first God

Clyde C Coger Jr

going above and beyond
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In the Spirit of Sankofa,


The first God
Out of the many gods of ancient Egypt an inspired Pharaoh created a monotheistic faith. What was Atenism and why did it fail?

https://aeon.co/essays/why-did-an-ancient-egyptian-king-erase-all-gods-but-aten
The exclusivity of Aten and the campaign to exterminate Amen and other deities is proof positive of a movement from polytheism to monotheism. If doubt remains that Akhenaten was a monotheist, consider some elegant and touching lines in The Great Hymn to the Aten, inscribed on the wall of the tomb of the high official named Aye at Amarna: ...

James K Hoffmeier
is professor of Old Testament and ancient near Eastern history and archaeology at Trinity International University in Illinois. His latest book is Genesis: History, Fiction, Or Neither? Three Views on the Bible’s Earliest Chapters (2015), co-authored with Gordon Wenham and Kenton L Sparks.

3,700 words

Edited by Sam Dresser


A small stele, probably used as a home altar, depicts Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti with their three eldest daughters. Aten is represented as a sun-disc with the Sun’s rays ending in hands proffering Ankh signs to the royal couple. Amarna period, c1340 BCE. Courtesy the Neues Museum, Berlin

 

dattaswami1

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God, being beyond space, is unimaginable. Just after the creation of space or subtle energy, He expressed Himself as the First Energetic Incarnation, which is known as Datta, Īśvara or Father of heaven or Allah or Yehawah.

He incarnated in a form (like Krishna, Rama, Jesus etc ) so that the souls, who were to be created later, could grasp Him. The three potencies of God namely, creation, maintenance and destruction of the world are expressed in the form of the three Divine Personalities namely, God Brahmā, God Viṣṇu and God Śiva respectively.

These three Divine Forms represent the three divine qualities called rajas, sattvam and tamas respectively. The word Datta simply means ‘given’ and it stands for the unimaginable God who has ‘given’ Himself to souls in the form of the First Incarnation. Datta has no connection with any specific religion. This eternal God Datta is the First Energetic Form into which the unimaginable God has completely merged. He further merged with other Energetic Forms in the upper energetic worlds to form more Energetic Incarnations namely Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. The same God Datta also merges with selected human devotees on earth to become Human Incarnations of God.

Energetic Incarnations are relevant to souls in the energetic worlds and the Human Incarnations are relevant to human beings. There is absolutely no difference between the unimaginable God and God Datta since the energetic form of the eternal God Datta is the permanent address of the unimaginable God.

The starting point is unimaginable God, who is one only (since two unimaginable items can’t exist) and existed before the creation in isolated state. Such unimaginable God (Parabrahman or Jehovah or Allah or God indicated by silence of Buddha and Science or God negated by atheism) created some little imaginable space and the mechanism of this creation is unimaginable (Since in the world, we are aware of imaginable item creating other imaginable item through imaginable mechanism.).

The space is not absolute ‘nothing’ since it is subtle energy. The unimaginable God created an energetic body with the help of this subtle energy occupying some space (A part of that original ‘some little space’ already created is used in the preparation of this energetic body. Other remaining part of that original ‘some little space’ is used for the occupation by this energetic body created.). The unimaginable God merged with this energetic body and became the first energetic incarnation called as Datta or Eshwara or Hiranyagarbha or Narayana or Sadashiva or Father of heaven.

The word Datta does not belong to any religion since it means only ‘given’ (unimaginable God is given in imaginable form to the future souls) and hence, Datta Swami is fascinated to use this word. Shankara used the word ‘Eshwara’. Ramanuja and Madhva called this Datta as ‘Narayana’ since Narayana is the name of God in the present time in which the world is maintained by God. Other religions in the world called Datta as Father of heaven.

After this, further creation was done by Datta. Datta is the unimaginable God mediated with this first energetic form and the creation is always done by the unimaginable God viewed through this medium only. Datta has no end since the unimaginable God will never separate from Datta. Datta created the five elements (including creation of further space) from which the plants were generated and from plants the food is prepared in the form of grains, fruits etc. From this food, the soul (awareness) is generated.

The energetic beings like angels (souls in energetic bodies) exist in the upper worlds whereas human beings (souls in human bodies made of matter and energy) with materialised bodies exist on earth. God as Datta entered some energetic and human beings and identified Himself with them to become energetic or human incarnations. Even the human being on this earth becomes energetic being since the soul from human body enters energetic body after death and goes to the upper worlds. The subtle energy, originally created by unimaginable God is inert energy, called as Muulaprakruti from which matter and awareness were also generated by its modifications. Upper worlds are made of inert energy only, which along with energetic beings are invisible to human beings on the earth due to will of God having unimaginable power.

[The unimaginable God is the creator of every item of the world and knows everything even though He is not awareness. He burns everything in the end even though He is not the fire. He does everything since He is the creator of everything in this world. Such unimaginable God became Datta or God given to the souls as imaginable form by merging with the first created energetic form or Lord (after creating space or subtle energy or the root material of creation called as Mula prakruti. Hence, whenever you start with the first energetic incarnation or Lord, the Mula prakruti co-exists as the material cause of further creation. Hence, the unimaginable God before creation is in unimaginable absolute plane whereas the Lord is always in the relative plane doing further creation using Mula prakruti.

Shankara refers the unimaginable God in absolute plane before the creation of even the space or Mula prakruti. Ramanuja and Madhva always refer to the Lord, Who exists along with already created Mula prakruti.). Such Lord Datta(Father of Heaven) is eternal since the unimaginable God will never leave this first energetic incarnation called as Father of heaven or Datta or Ishwara or Hiranyagarbha or Narayana or Sadashiva.

When the human incarnation(like Rama, Krishna, Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, Shri Datta Swami etc) is formed, the unimaginable God does not enter the human form directly. He enters the human form as Datta only to merge with it so that the merged human form becomes the human incarnation. Here, the medium of Datta (inert energy) is similar to the medium of human incarnation (inert energy along with inert matter. Since the inert matter is another form of inert energy, the inert matter can be also taken as the inert energy. Not only the inert matter, but the awareness is also a special work form of inert energy only. Hence, the medium of Datta containing awareness and inert energy is similar to the medium of human incarnation, which contains awareness, inert energy and inert matter).]

The energy of the body of the first incarnation is only a part of cosmic energy and it is the same as the cosmic energy in qualitative sense and not in quantitative sense. The unimaginable God present in the first energetic incarnation created further cosmic energy, which is qualitatively the same as that of the energetic body of Datta, but, different in quantitative sense. The quantity of energy of the energetic body of Datta is very less compared to the quantity of cosmic energy. But, the little energy of the energetic body of Datta is omnipotent since the unimaginable God merged with Datta.

Adishakti is the entire cosmic energy, but, the Gopika( a female closest devotee of God) is created by the same unimaginable God representing this entire cosmic energy. Every human being is a mini-representative model of Adishakti only like Gopika since the body and the soul are modification of the cosmic energy only. The energetic body of Datta is having relative awareness (created by the modification of inert energy) with which the unimaginable awareness or unimaginable God is merged. The awareness in the body of representative model of Adishakti (Gopika or any human being) is also relative without unimaginable awareness, which is the soul.

The difference between Gopika and ordinary soul is that Gopika is the real devotee of God and has the full grace of God on her. Such a real devotee of God becomes the master of God and hence, is praised as the divine Adishakti.

The first energetic incarnation (Eshwara or Datta) is again absorbed in three energetic forms called Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to make them God Brahma, God Vishnu and God Shiva respectively.
The first energetic incarnation is called as Datta because Datta means the first energetic form through which unimaginable God is donated to the souls in energetic bodies in the upper world. Datta is also the first energetic incarnation that is introduced to humanity also because rarely for a very short time Datta appears to human devotees also.

Datta, the first energetic incarnation in human form, is also called as Divine Father by Christianity. Islam takes this first energetic incarnation in formless lump of energy called as Allah. Christianity also accepts this formless energy as Holy Spirit. In the Veda also this formless first energetic incarnation appeared to angels in the name Yaksha or Brahma, for the sake of which, the king of angels (Indra) did penance for thousand years. In view of the energy being close medium of unimaginable God, this Yaksha is also told as Uma, who is very closely associated to unimaginable God called as Shiva.

You need not doubt that the unimaginable God in this lump or human form of inert energy has inert energetic medium only without awareness since nervous system (matter) was not yet created by the time of expression of Datta (Divine Father) or Yaksha (Uma or Holy spirit). The reason is that the unimaginable God in the inert medium develops awareness by His unimaginable power.

If you analyze sharply, awareness is not an entity like house, tree etc. It is only a specific mode of work and the work itself is a specific form of energy. Other modes of work are talking, walking, looking etc. Awareness means just the process of knowing only and is not an entity to be called as God. Hence, we can say that the formless energy or energy in human form is not inert due to the presence of unimaginable God, who can do anything including the process of knowing or awareness due to His unimaginable nature.

Therefore, Datta in Hinduism or Divine Father called as Jehovah in Christianity (first energetic incarnation of unimaginable God in human form) and Uma or Yaksha in Hinduism or Holy Spirit in Christianity or Allah in Islam is inert energy with form and without form respectively, which are full of awareness due to the inner unimaginable God. Thus, the first type (Datta or Jehovah) and second type (Yaksha or Allah) are one and the same since the difference is only in having form or having no form only. This difference is only a theoretical angle because form is not as real as the material cause. In this way, you can find the unity in Trinity, which is the Unity in the Philosophies of Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.

Datta or Father of heaven is first energetic being and not human being. After merge with unimaginable God, the first energetic being became Father of heaven or Datta. Adam and Eve are the first set of human beings created by God Datta or Father of heaven, who told Adam and Eve not to touch a specific fruit. The Father of heaven tested the human couple for its faith in Him.

Adiparaashakti is the Mulaprakruti created by unimaginable God as the first item of creation, but, the unimaginable God didn’t merge with Adiparaashakti. He merged only with the first energetic being to become Datta or Father of heaven. Adi=first, Paraa=best and Shakti= power or energy. This word can be used in different items based on its applied meaning.

1)

The first created subtle energy is first and best energy and hence, can be called as Adiparaashakti.

2)

The first created energetic being before the merge of unimaginable God can be also called by this word because the first energetic being contains both awareness and inert energy. The word ‘paraa’ is fixed in awareness because awareness is the best created item. This first energetic being is first (Adi), contains awareness (paraa) and contains inert energy (Shakti) also.

3)

The first energetic being after merging with unimaginable God becomes God Datta or Father of Heaven, who is masculine form. God Datta is beyond gender and can appear as male Father, called as Eshwara and simultaneously as female Mother, called as Adiparaashakti.

4)

Adiparaashakti can even mean the unimaginable God. Adi = it is the first item before the generation of second item. Paraa= it is beyond the imaginable domain. Shakti = the unimaginable power. We should not be confused with the words provided we are clear about the concept, which is beyond the words. It is said that if you are caught in the forest of words, you will not come out (Shabdajaala mahaaranyam…).

This concept is only to show that the Father of heaven is beyond gender and also beyond any specific form. This means that the Father of Heaven (Datta) appears as Hiranyagarbha or Narayana or Sadashiva or Adiparaashakti or any form of ultimate God of any religion. The unimaginable God is beyond gender and beyond any specific form looking in the form and gender as desired by the devotees. By this, the Father of heaven gets universality of all world religions and all sub-religions in a religion (like various divine forms of sub-religions of which Shakteya is one sub-religion in Hinduism). Shankara brought unity in all the sub-religions like Shaiva, Vaishnava, Shaakteya, Gaanapatya, Skaanda and Saura having Shiva, Vishnu, Adiparaashakti, Ganapati, Skanda and Surya as the main deities in Hinduism. He brought unity in all the divine forms due to presence of same unimaginable God in all those forms. In fact, all these forms appear simultaneously as different forms of the same form, called as the first energetic incarnation, due to the unimaginable power of unimaginable God (Parabrahman) merged with the first energetic incarnation. It is just like the same photo of one form of God looking as different form of God by seeing in a different angle!

If you take Adiparaashakti as energetic being (not merged with unimaginable God), She represents also the creation as product form. If you take her in the causal form, She can be the non-mediated unimaginable God directly or God Datta looking as Divine female form, which is mediated unimaginable God. If you take her in product form, she is the creation. In this way, Vedanta-line speaking about God Datta resulting from Parabrahman (unimaginable God) and the Shakteya-line speaking about Adiparaashakti are not at all different. In both the forms, the same unimaginable God exists. Hence, whenever you use the word Adiparaashakti, you shall be cautious about your intention i.e., whether you like to mean the cause of the creation or the creation (product) itself.

1)

The first energetic incarnation, called as Datta meaning that the unimaginable God is given to the world through the expressed form, is universal satisfying all the religions in this world. Just like You see a photo (developed by a special photographic technology) with different divine forms through different angles, Datta is seen as different divine forms from the angles of various religions by the corresponding devotees due to the unimaginable power of unimaginable God existing in Datta in totally merged state.

2)

He looks as God Brahma, God Vishnu, God Shiva, Goddess Adiparaashakti and as any divine form of any specific religion in the world. Hence, not only unity in the unimaginable God exists, but also, the unity in various forms of imaginable mediated God also exists due to the unimaginable power of unimaginable God existing in the mediated God. The form, dress etc., appear as per the liking of the devotees of any religion. Universality is the main aspect of the policy of God since all the souls having different tastes are His issues only.

3)

There is no difference between unimaginable God and Datta because the merge is not only homogenous but also eternal. Datta may leave the human incarnation at any time if the human being component becomes egoistic, but, unimaginable God will never leave Datta at anytime in future. Due to this oneness, unimaginable God indicated by ‘that’ (tat) and Datta indicated by ‘He’ (Sah) are used as alternative words in wishing the creation of the world in the Veda as —‘That wished (tadaikshata)’ and ‘He wished (sa iikshaam chakre)’. The word ‘that’ means unimaginable God, who is beyond gender. The word ‘He’ means Datta in masculine gender even though He can appear in any gender due to His unimaginable power.

The unimaginable God is beyond space and time and He remains unimaginable due to this reason only. From the unimaginable God, imaginable space etc., were generated, which form this entire imaginable world. In the worldly logic, there is no single example of generation of imaginable item from unimaginable item because in the imaginable domain (world), there is no unimaginable item at all — like this, if one realizes, let him belong to Eastern religion or Western religion, such a person is omniscient. This is My logical conclusion.

The unimaginable God created subtle energy or space so that an energetic body is created from subtle energy and remaining subtle energy is in the form of space, which is occupied by the created energetic body to be called as absolute space since such first energetic body will never disappear. The unimaginable God enters this first energetic body called as first energetic incarnation or Eshwara or Lord or Father of heaven (Allah/Narayana/Yahewah etc) called as Datta meaning that the unimaginable God is ‘given’ to the world for clear vision. Such incarnation is called as descended God because the omnipotent unimaginable God can alone cross the unimaginable link between God and space to come down. This first energetic body bound by space can’t cross this link to become ascended body. This first energetic incarnation enters other energetic bodies and human bodies to become energetic and human incarnations respectively in future.

This Father of heaven merged by unimaginable God creates the five elements and souls gradually due to His unimaginable power, which form this entire world — like this, if one realizes, let him belong to Eastern religion or Western religion, such a person is omniscient. This is My logical conclusion.

Neither the energy present in this form nor this form is perishable and hence, this form is eternal like the unimaginable God. This indicates that there is no difference at all between Me and the unimaginable God (Parabrahman). You can say that I had birth (because My energetic form was created by unimaginable God) even though I am eternal like unimaginable God.

The similarity is in present and future and past (non-existence of My energetic body with leftover single unimaginable God) will never be repeated. If You think of repetition of the past time, it equals to the unimaginable God committing suicide, which is the greatest sin as told by Him in the Veda (In suicide also, the soul doesn’t destroy itself and destroys its body only.). In the case of any other human being, body may be destroyed, but not the soul. In this case, body is never destroyed like the soul. Since My divine form alone looks like all other divine forms (just like a picture in the photo looks like different pictures by special photography), You can treat every divine form as eternal.

The first energetic incarnation along with merged unimaginable God is the common item in every medium and thus, same God is common in all religions even though media differ. Hence, only one God exists in all religions. Religion is the path to please the same one God. Religions differ due to the difference in the level, language, culture, etc., of different souls in different regions. The starting point or soul and ending point or God are same in every religion. Hinduism with many sub-religions is a mini representative model of world with various religions and in both (sub-religions of Hinduism and religions of world), we find internal unity in external diversity — like this, if one realizes, let him belong to Eastern religion or Western religion, such a person is omniscient. This is My logical conclusion.

God, being beyond space, is unimaginable. Just after the creation of space or subtle energy, He expressed Himself as the First Energetic Incarnation, which is known as Datta, Īśvara or Father of heaven. He incarnated in a form so that the souls, who were to be created later, could grasp Him. The three potencies of God namely, creation, maintenance and destruction of the world are expressed in the form of the three Divine Personalities namely, God Brahmā, God Viṣṇu and God Śiva respectively. These three Divine Forms represent the three divine qualities called rajas, sattvam and tamas respectively. The word Datta simply means ‘given’ and it stands for the unimaginable God who has ‘given’ Himself to souls in the form of the First Incarnation. Datta has no connection with any specific religion. This eternal God Datta is the First Energetic Form into which the unimaginable God has completely merged. He further merged with other Energetic Forms in the upper energetic worlds to form more Energetic Incarnations namely Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. The same God Datta also merges with selected human devotees on earth to become Human Incarnations of God. Energetic Incarnations are relevant to souls in the energetic worlds and the Human Incarnations are relevant to human beings. There is absolutely no difference between the unimaginable God and God Datta since the energetic form of the eternal God Datta is the permanent address of the unimaginable God.

All the Incarnations of God are one and the same in the sense that the same God Dattātreya (Datta) has merged into them. But more specifically, the three Incarnations namely Shri Shirdi Sai Baba, Shri Satya Sai Baba, and the future Shri Prema Sai Baba are considered to be the Incarnations of God Śiva. Here, God Datta is taken to be God Śiva. Shri Shirdi Sai Baba was an Incarnation of God Śiva. Shri Satya Sai Baba was the Incarnation of God Śiva and Goddess Śakti. Śiva and Śakti together constitute the Divine Form called Ardhanārīśvara, which has the right half as God Śiva and left half as Goddess Śakti. The next Incarnation, Shri Prema Sai, will be the Incarnation of Goddess Śakti. As per the boon given by God Śiva and Goddess Śakti to sage Bharadvāja, these three Incarnations were to be born in the dynasty (gotram) of sage Bharadvāja.



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Bleu

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Actually 'Atenism' didn't fail & its veneration STILL continues 'underground' today by some indigenous Africans along the Nile Valley who by lineage carry on the ancient teachings~!!!!

Aten/Aton was a specific phase along the ancient Nile Valley. What we do know for sure is that Akhenaten did NOT invent the cult worship of Aten. We can find that cult much earlier in ancient Nile Valley history & not just in 'Egypt'. Sudan way before 'Egypt' & today has a large Aten spiritual base. Akhenaten adopted that cult from his parents because it was much in line with what he envisioned spiritually. This was not in itself a new idea: as a relatively minor aspect of the sun god Re-Harakhte, the Aten had been venerated in the Old Kingdom and a large scarab of Akhenaten's grandfather Tuthmosis IV (now in the British Museum) has a text that mentions the Aten. Akhenaten's innovation was to worship the Aten in its own right especially relating it to artistic creativity & the results are still astonishing in this era.

As far as him ONLY worshipping Aten, when one seriously studies his "Sun Cult Texts" (allowing for certain translation problems in them), one sees that they are first of all misnamed. They should be called the "Sun Text SONGS" (since he was not only a ruler, but a gifted musician/singer/song writer/poet/spiritual leader). These texts are songs written to be sung & we can find Akhenaton (AFTER HIS CONVERSION) giving offerings to Maat in certain friezes & many of his hymns refer specifically to Ra-HeruKhauty. The ritual scenes done by an elite group of female priestess' in his court, led by his Queens Nefertiti & Kiya, are the SAME ‘God's Wives' rituals that were done to Amun...…….Also, keep in mind that his main title until his disappearance was Neferkheperure Wa-n-re Akhenaten (wa-n-Ra = "1st of Ra").

In reference to the fallacy of polytheism along the ancient Nile Valley, in just about EVERY spiritual text I've come across in ancient 'Egypt', there is mention of "The One" (especially the ‘Pyramid Texts‘, the 'Book of Breathings', the ‘Book of the Am-Duat’ & the ‘Book of Gates‘). Different Netjeru were concentrated upon for a specific phase & time frames only, but all led to "The One".
 

Clyde C Coger Jr

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Thank you, it all makes sense now.


Actually 'Atenism' didn't fail & its veneration STILL continues 'underground' today by some indigenous Africans along the Nile Valley who by lineage carry on the ancient teachings~!!!!

Aten/Aton was a specific phase along the ancient Nile Valley. What we do know for sure is that Akhenaten did NOT invent the cult worship of Aten. We can find that cult much earlier in ancient Nile Valley history & not just in 'Egypt'. Sudan way before 'Egypt' & today has a large Aten spiritual base. Akhenaten adopted that cult from his parents because it was much in line with what he envisioned spiritually. This was not in itself a new idea: as a relatively minor aspect of the sun god Re-Harakhte, the Aten had been venerated in the Old Kingdom and a large scarab of Akhenaten's grandfather Tuthmosis IV (now in the British Museum) has a text that mentions the Aten. Akhenaten's innovation was to worship the Aten in its own right especially relating it to artistic creativity & the results are still astonishing in this era.

As far as him ONLY worshipping Aten, when one seriously studies his "Sun Cult Texts" (allowing for certain translation problems in them), one sees that they are first of all misnamed. They should be called the "Sun Text SONGS" (since he was not only a ruler, but a gifted musician/singer/song writer/poet/spiritual leader). These texts are songs written to be sung & we can find Akhenaton (AFTER HIS CONVERSION) giving offerings to Maat in certain friezes & many of his hymns refer specifically to Ra-HeruKhauty. The ritual scenes done by an elite group of female priestess' in his court, led by his Queens Nefertiti & Kiya, are the SAME ‘God's Wives' rituals that were done to Amun...…….Also, keep in mind that his main title until his disappearance was Neferkheperure Wa-n-re Akhenaten (wa-n-Ra = "1st of Ra").

In reference to the fallacy of polytheism along the ancient Nile Valley, in just about EVERY spiritual text I've come across in ancient 'Egypt', there is mention of "The One" (especially the ‘Pyramid Texts‘, the 'Book of Breathings', the ‘Book of the Am-Duat’ & the ‘Book of Gates‘). Different Netjeru were concentrated upon for a specific phase & time frames only, but all led to "The One".
 

imhotep06

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The word jtn.w "Aten" is actually a dialectal variant of the name ra.w "The sun-god Ra." Akhenaten belonged to a different dialect speaking group than the ones who elevated the name ra.w. What this is is a clear case of politics of one ethnic group elevating their ethnic group (and ancestors) over others. Neither Ra.w or Jtn.w were supreme beings. There is only one supreme being in Egyptian literature, and that is nw.nw "The nun." Both Ra.w and Jtn.w were created by the Nun, which is the "father of all neteru."
 

Clyde C Coger Jr

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Thank you ...


The word jtn.w "Aten" is actually a dialectal variant of the name ra.w "The sun-god Ra." Akhenaten belonged to a different dialect speaking group than the ones who elevated the name ra.w. What this is is a clear case of politics of one ethnic group elevating their ethnic group (and ancestors) over others. Neither Ra.w or Jtn.w were supreme beings. There is only one supreme being in Egyptian literature, and that is nw.nw "The nun." Both Ra.w and Jtn.w were created by the Nun, which is the "father of all neteru."
 

CulturalActivity

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In the Spirit of Sankofa,



The first God
Out of the many gods of ancient Egypt an inspired Pharaoh created a monotheistic faith. What was Atenism and why did it fail?

https://aeon.co/essays/why-did-an-ancient-egyptian-king-erase-all-gods-but-aten
The exclusivity of Aten and the campaign to exterminate Amen and other deities is proof positive of a movement from polytheism to monotheism. If doubt remains that Akhenaten was a monotheist, consider some elegant and touching lines in The Great Hymn to the Aten, inscribed on the wall of the tomb of the high official named Aye at Amarna: ...

James K Hoffmeier
is professor of Old Testament and ancient near Eastern history and archaeology at Trinity International University in Illinois. His latest book is Genesis: History, Fiction, Or Neither? Three Views on the Bible’s Earliest Chapters (2015), co-authored with Gordon Wenham and Kenton L Sparks.

3,700 words

Edited by Sam Dresser

A small stele, probably used as a home altar, depicts Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti with their three eldest daughters. Aten is represented as a sun-disc with the Sun’s rays ending in hands proffering Ankh signs to the royal couple. Amarna period, c1340 BCE. Courtesy the Neues Museum, Berlin
Actually 'Atenism' didn't fail & its veneration STILL continues 'underground' today by some indigenous Africans along the Nile Valley who by lineage carry on the ancient teachings~!!!!

Aten/Aton was a specific phase along the ancient Nile Valley. What we do know for sure is that Akhenaten did NOT invent the cult worship of Aten. We can find that cult much earlier in ancient Nile Valley history & not just in 'Egypt'. Sudan way before 'Egypt' & today has a large Aten spiritual base. Akhenaten adopted that cult from his parents because it was much in line with what he envisioned spiritually. This was not in itself a new idea: as a relatively minor aspect of the sun god Re-Harakhte, the Aten had been venerated in the Old Kingdom and a large scarab of Akhenaten's grandfather Tuthmosis IV (now in the British Museum) has a text that mentions the Aten. Akhenaten's innovation was to worship the Aten in its own right especially relating it to artistic creativity & the results are still astonishing in this era.

As far as him ONLY worshipping Aten, when one seriously studies his "Sun Cult Texts" (allowing for certain translation problems in them), one sees that they are first of all misnamed. They should be called the "Sun Text SONGS" (since he was not only a ruler, but a gifted musician/singer/song writer/poet/spiritual leader). These texts are songs written to be sung & we can find Akhenaton (AFTER HIS CONVERSION) giving offerings to Maat in certain friezes & many of his hymns refer specifically to Ra-HeruKhauty. The ritual scenes done by an elite group of female priestess' in his court, led by his Queens Nefertiti & Kiya, are the SAME ‘God's Wives' rituals that were done to Amun...…….Also, keep in mind that his main title until his disappearance was Neferkheperure Wa-n-re Akhenaten (wa-n-Ra = "1st of Ra").

In reference to the fallacy of polytheism along the ancient Nile Valley, in just about EVERY spiritual text I've come across in ancient 'Egypt', there is mention of "The One" (especially the ‘Pyramid Texts‘, the 'Book of Breathings', the ‘Book of the Am-Duat’ & the ‘Book of Gates‘). Different Netjeru were concentrated upon for a specific phase & time frames only, but all led to "The One".
The word jtn.w "Aten" is actually a dialectal variant of the name ra.w "The sun-god Ra." Akhenaten belonged to a different dialect speaking group than the ones who elevated the name ra.w. What this is is a clear case of politics of one ethnic group elevating their ethnic group (and ancestors) over others. Neither Ra.w or Jtn.w were supreme beings. There is only one supreme being in Egyptian literature, and that is nw.nw "The nun." Both Ra.w and Jtn.w were created by the Nun, which is the "father of all neteru."
WOW. I learned something new today. Thnx all.
 

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