Hindu Gods

Hindu Gods and goddesses

Hindu is practiced in Asia, especially in countries like India. The Hindus agree that there is only one God. They believe in Brahman, the formless, absolute, Supreme and Universal Soul. They believe that Braham is the Truth and Reality. Furthermore, they believe he has no limit or form. He is beloved to be the creator of the universe and every other thing present in it. This is why Hinduism is referred to as a pantheistic religion since it equates God with the universe.

Be that as it may, the Hindu religion is a polytheistic religion because it is populated with many other gods and goddesses; these gods and goddesses are known to personify several aspects of the one true God. Consequently, those practicing Hinduism are given multiple ways to worship God based on various considerations, like their regional practices, community, and family tradition. Some of the popular Hindu gods and goddesses will be discussed below.

 

Brahma, the Creator

Brahma remains the very first member of the Trinity in Hinduism.  He is referred to as the creator since Hindu worshipers believe that he created everything ever found in the universe. They also believe that the creation occurs periodically since time is cyclical, according to Hindu belief.  Hindu believes that everything in the universe is created, except for the Hindu scriptures and Brahman himself.  They also believe that everything created is maintained for a period followed by their destruction and renewal.

 

Vishnu

Vishnu is considered in Hinduism as the Preserver. He is also a member of the Hindu Trinity, like Brahma.  He is believed to maintain harmony and order in the universe after same had been created by Brahma. Furthermore, Hinduism teaches that Shiva is the one responsible for the periodical destruction of the things created by Brahma.

Vishnu is worshipped in several avatars or incarnations and many forms.  It is a very important and even mysterious god. However, he is less visible than nature gods presiding over rain, fire, and other elements.  He is a pervader, making him the divine essence that pervades the entire universe.  His worshipers usually worship him in the form of an avatar.

Avatar means “descent,” and it can also mean divine descent. Avatars are the savior forms of gods descending to the earth and intervene anytime someone needs help. They are also involved in restoring peace and dharma or moral order. Krishna and Rama are two of the most common avatars used for representing Vishnu.

 

Shiva

Shiva is called the Destroyer and is also the third member of the Trinity in Hinduism. He is saddled with the responsibility of destroying the universe to prepare it for a renewal of the creations at the end of each cycle of time.  He has a destructive regenerative power, which makes it possible for the essential renewal to occur after the periodic destruction.

Usually, Shiva is invoked by Hindu faithful before they start any spiritual or religious endeavor. The worshipers are of the belief that any bad vibration that may be present in the vicinity where worship is taking place will be eliminated once they praise or utter his name.

 

Ganapati

He is referred to as the Remover of Obstacles. Also, he is called Ganesha, and he is the first son of Shiva. His worshipers call him Lord Ganapati, and he occupies a very important place in the hearts of Hindu faithful because of his role in removing obstacles.  Many Hindu worshipers have a statue or picture of Ganapati hanging in their homes. Also, many of them have a small replica of Ganapati at the rearview mirror of their trucks and cars. It must be mentioned that Ganapati has an elephant head.

 

Saraswati

She is the goddess of learning and the consort of Brahma, who is the Creator. Aside from being involved in learning, she is also referred to as the goddess of music, speech, and wisdom. Hindus have a culture of praying to Sarawati before they start any intellectual pursuit. Hindu students are equally encouraged to pray to Saraswati during college or school terms and before they begin the examination, as well as during the examination.

 

Lakshmi

She is the goddess of well-being, wealth and good fortune. Furthermore, she is the consort of Vishnu, and she plays a very crucial role in all incarnations.

 

Durga Devi

Durga Devi is a frightening and powerful goddess, and she is known to fight fiercely to restore moral order or dharma. Be that as it may, her fury is directed to her adversaries, while she is loving and compassionate to her devotees.

 

Indra

Indra is considered as the lord of the gods and King of Heaven. He is said to wield a thunderbolt, using his power to provide rain and protect his devotees.

 

Surya

He is equally called the Sun. his name can also be spelled as Soorya. He is a golden warrior that arrives in a chariot that is pulled by seven powerful horses.

 

Agni

He is the god of fire. He holds an exceptional position in Hindu fire ritual, and he is still very relevant today in Hindu. He is referred to as the sacrifice; that is, the priest that carries out the ceremony. Some even call him the sacrifice; that is, the item being offered for sacrifice and the ritual fire used for the purpose. Furthermore, Hindus refer to him as a witness to all rites.

 

Hanuman

He is termed the devoted servant and monkey king. He is featured in Ramayana, the great Hindu epic. His involvement in courageous, devotional and strength-intensive feats earned him a place as a god. He was recorded to have helped Rama, one of the avatars of Vishnu, in innumerable exciting incidents.

 

How many gods does Hinduism have

There are almost 3 million gods in Hinduism

 

Conclusion

The above deities are the recognized gods in Hindu. Yes, there are many gods in this form of religion, but the Hindus believe that all these other gods are subject to Brahma, the Creator. As hinted earlier, all the other gods are said to represent an aspect of Brahma. Consequently, a Hindu believer can focus only on Brahma without considering any of the other gods since worshiping Brahma, the one true and supreme God, also translates to worshipping all the other gods.

 

Naksatras

Naksatra(s)


Naksatra(s) is the generic name for a group of astral goddesses. Originally they were Hindu Stars or constellations which later became personified as deities, accounted as the twenty-seven daughters of Durga and consorts of Chandra or Soma. They can evert benign or evil influence. A.G.H.


Source:

Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 176

Rudracantra

 


Rudracantra, Hindu, is a distinct form of the goddess Durga, included in the group of navadurgas, known as the “nine durgas.” A.G.H.


Source:

Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 222

Yama

 


Yama, twin–alternately the restrainer, is a Hindu god of death mentioned in Vedic texts. He is either the son of Vavasvan and Saranju, or Surya and Sanjna, and his consort is Dhumorna or Yami. Yama is also the judge of the dead and his twin sibling Yami is the goddess of death. When Krishna is perceived as the embodiment of the cosmos, his eyeteeth are Yama. He evolved into a dikpala, or guardian, of the southerly direction. The black buffalo is his animal, and his color is black.

This god is regarded as a guardian deity by the Buddhist-Lamaist (Tibet), one of a group of the dharmapala with terrible appearance and royal attire who guards the Dalai Lama. The deity stands upon a man. His colors are red, blue, white, or yellow; and his attributes are most commonly a noose and staff, but also club, net, shield, sword, trident, and two tusks. A.G.H.


Source:

Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, pp. 291-292

Vrtra

 


Vrtra is the Hindu (Vedic) god of chaos. He is believed to be a primordial being existing before the formation of the cosmos, and was slain by the goddess Sarasvati.

In Hinduism, Vrtra (Sanskrit, “storm cloud”) is a dark cloud of ignorance and sloth personified by a demon serpent that was vanquished by Indra. The story is the subject of several Vedic hymns, mentioned in the Rg VedaA.G.H.


Sources:

Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 289
Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 1030

Visvakarman

 


Visvakarman, architect of the universe, is a poorly defined Hindu creator god mentioned in the Vedas. He is similar to Dyaus Pitar, and is described as the artist of the gods who may be linked to or identified with Tvastar. He evolved, as the son of Prabhasa and Yogasiddha, into an occasional consort of SarasvatiA.G.H.


Source:

Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 284

Vishnu


Definition

Vishnu (or Visnu) is one of three great gods in Hinduism, being one of the Trimuti, the others being Brahma and Shiva. Vishnu antecedents are among the Dravidian people in the pre-Aryan past of India, and his current stature is based on the amalgamation of many traditions. Vishnu was more easily absorbed in the Vedic Aryan pantheon more easily than Shiva since there are indications of Vashnu’s various forms in the earliest Upanishads (possibly in insertion as late as 600 BC), but the fullness of this deity does not appear until the following centuries. It is in the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad-Gita, and the Puranaswhere Vishnu assumes his final form and the doctrine of the avatar is completely stated.

 

 

Meaning

Vishnu appears as a majestic figure, a Godhead at peace, propitious anthropomorphic. A solar and cosmic deity, he is god of the ocean and luminous sky, the protector and sustainer of the world. He is known as the All-Provider, being the cohesive, centripetal constructive power of the universe, as opposed to the dark, dispersive, destructive power of Shiva. The origin of Vishnu’s name is uncertain, some speculation suggests that the roots signify a pervading or entering power, others indicate or a phallic god. Whatever the source, he is seen as a universal intellect, the cosmic vision, the inner cause by which things exist, the symbol of eternal life binding the universe together.

 

Hinduism

In Hindu mythology Vishnu is usually depicted as a young handsome youth of a dark blue color, and dressed like an ancient king. He holds a conch shell in his four hands, also a discus, a club and a lotus flower. His vehicle is Garuda, the sun bird, enemy of all serpents. This antagonism is dramatically played out in Krishna’s defeat of the water serpent Kaliya. Reminded of his divine nature by Balarama, Vishnu, lying as Krishna at the bottom of a pool bestirs himself and dances upon the threatening Kaliya’s head. Sparing the exhausted serpent king, Krishna said: “You shall no longer reside in the Yamuna River, but in the vastness of the ocean. Go! Moreover, I tell you that Garuda, the golden sun bird, deadly foe of all serpents and my vehicle through infinities of space, forever shall spare you, whom I have touched.” It is suggested that this popular legend recounts the supplanting of the local nature divinity by an anthropomorphic god. A parallel may be seen in Greek myth when Apollo conquers the earthbound serpent of Delphi, who oracle he arrogated to himself after killing the python.

Vyasa, in Hindu, is thought to be a minor incarnation of Vishnu, and he is believed to be the author of the Vedas, epic, especially the Mahabharata, and Puranic texts.

Presently Krishna is considered the last chief avatar that precedes Vishnu, although there were others, half have been human and half animal. Whereas Vishnu was the exponent of loftier events, Krishna is the most popular deity in India today because human characteristics are seen in him, and also human weaknesses.

 

Why is Vishnu so important

Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva are the most important gods in Hinduism.


Sources:

Rice, Edward, Eastern Definitions: A Short Encyclopedia of Religions of the Orient, Garden City, New York, Doubleday, 1978, pp. 395-398
Cotterell, Arthur, A Dictionary of World Mythology, New York, G. P. Putman’s Sons, 1980, pp. 84-88

Vata


Vata, a god of wind, is mentioned in Hindu (Vedic) and Persian (Iran) literature. The name appears in the Rg Veda as a deity of a violent personality. According to the Asvestan tradition the god of victory, Verethragna, appeared to Zarathustra in the guise of Vata. A.G.H.


Source:

Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 279

Vasyu

 


Vasyu (or Vayu) literally means “air, wind.” In the Rig Veda this god is usually linked to Indra, whose chariot he shares. Hindu exegesis states: “Agni dwells on earth, Vasyu and Indra reside in the air, and the place of Surya is in the heavens.” Later scriptures involve Vasyu in conflict with Vishnu. When the sage Narada incited the wind to break down the summit of Mount Meru, Vishnu’s bird, Garuda, shielded the mountain with his wings and blunted the force of the mighty blasts. But when Garuda was absence Narada’s scheme was successful. The top of the mountain was torn off and cast into the sea, where it became the island of Sri Lanka. A.G.H.


Source:

Cotterell, Arthur, A Dictionary of World Mythology, New York, G. P. Putman’s Sons, 1980, p. 84

Vasus

 


Vasus, excellent, is the generic name for a group of Hindu (Vedic) gods. They are considered eight deities attendant on Indra, the weather god, comprising day, dawn, fire, moon, pole star, sun, water, and wind. Generally they are thought to carry a rosary and possess a ShaktiA.G.H.


Source:

Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 279