God in Hinduism- Introduction
God in Hinduism is an overly complex topic. People who do not know much about Hinduism may be very confused about the concept of God in Hinduism. However, if one were to do little bit research, God in Hinduism can be an amazing thing to be immersed into. God in Hinduism is polytheistic. They worship vast number of gods. As the matter of fact, the number of deity that Hinduism have, is the greatest in any religion. However, is Hinduism truly Polytheistic?
Hinduism is one of the biggest religions of the world. 15-16% of the total population of the world follow Hinduism. Hinduism is also the oldest religion in the world, as nobody truly knows the founder of this religion. The true name of Hinduism is the Sanatana dharma. The religion was followed by the people of ancient India. However today due to migration and various other factors, the religion is widespread in the world.
Nepal is the country with highest percentage of Hindu among its population followed by India. Significant number of Hindu also can be found in the countries like Thailand and SriLanka.
Hinduism is understood to depth is actually not truly Polytheistic. According to Hinduism there is only one God, but to fulfill various roles and to run the world he transformed into many forms. God in Hinduism even goes beyond this concept it even accepts atheism, henotheism, monotheism, and others also.
There was a being in the universe beyond sex, time and imagination. He/she was the only one that existed. Now he/she wanted got bored with loneliness and wanted others to exist. That eternal, omnipotent being desired to create life. Hence, divided himself into many forms to fulfill various roles that are required to run the world.
The Holy Trinity
Holy trinity is the pick hierarchy of God in Hinduism. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva make the trinity. Brahma is the creator; Vishnu is the protector and Shiva is the destroyer. They are beyond the elemental gods and the god that reside in heaven with Indra. They live in separate place with their wives and children.
Brahma is the creation God in Hinduism. Everything that exists was created by Lord Brahma. Brahma the creation God in Hinduism, is often depicted as the old man with residing in a lotus with four heads. Brahma resides in Brahma Lok with his wife Sarswati. The job of Lord Brahma is creation, every being, heavenly bodies from Sat Yug to end of Kaliyuga is created by Brahma. Even the gods beside the trinity are created by Brahma. Lord Brahma unlike the other trinity Mahadev and Vishnu is not perfectly immortal. After the completion of four Yug’s the brahma also dies, and new Brahma arises to again start the creation.
Sarswati is the Knowledge God in Hinduism. She is the female energy of Lord Brahma. For creation, the power of knowledge is required. She is also the goddess of music, art, and literature. She is depicted as woman with four hands residing in a lotus. Her one hands hold Vedas, flower and veena in two hands.
Lord Vishnu is the protector God in Hinduism. He protects all the things in the universe. Goddess Laxmi is the wife of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu is often depicted as a man with blue skin sleeping in a bed made of snake sesha with goddess Laxmi at his side. Lord Vishnu lives in Baikuntha with Mother Laxmi. He holds Kaumudiki mace in one hand, Panchajanya couch in one hand, Sudarshana charka in one hand. Garuda is the name of Bahan of Lord Vishnu.
Lord Vishnu is the protector of the people who believe in Dharma and live the life in right way. To protect the humanity, restore Dharma and free the earth from evil deeds he incarnates. In the four Yug’s Lord Vishnu will take 10 incarnations to save humanity. Altogether they are known as Dash avatars. Till now nine Avatars of Lord Vishnu have incarnated and protected Dharma in their time. In this kali Yug Lord will take his final avatar Kalki and free the world of evil people and once gain restore Dharma.
Besides Lord Vishnu his incarnations are also worshipped separately. In their time they had slayed many demons and asurs to preserve Dharma.
Goddess Laxmi is the wealth God in Hinduism. She is the wife of Lord Vishnu. In the idols and images of Lord Vishnu she is always with him. To protect and run the world wealth is needed, she is the feminine part of Lord Vishnu and is his energy. She is depicted as a woman sitting in a large flower, holding Lotus and big pot of gold coin in her hands. She also incarnates with Lord Vishnu to accompany him in his journey to restore Dharma. When Lord Visnu took the incarnation of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna. Goddess Laxmi also Incarnated as Mother Sita and Rukmini to aid and keep the Lord company.
Lord Shiva is the destroyer God in Hinduism. When the universe reaches of age and need to be destroyed Lord Shiva performs the dance of destruction to destroy the universe. The old universe in destroyed so that a new one filled with life can take its place.
Shiva or Mahadev in Hinduism is depicted as a man with long hair. He wears the skin of tiger and elephant and wear snake in neck as ornaments. He holds Damrau in one hand and carries Trishul in his other hand. He rides an old ox Nandi, and his body is covered with ashes. Half crescent moon resides in his hair. He has three eyes, the third is located at the middle of forehead. When Lord Shiva gets angry the third eye opens and catastrophe happens.
Goddess Parvati is the wife of Lord shiva. She is the feminine form and power of Lord Shiva. They both live in Mount Kailash with their children and Shiva gad. She is called as Shakti as she is the energy of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva uses that energy to destroy the universe.
The duty of Lord Shiva in not only the destruction of universe, but also the destruction of evil and negative energy. Time and time again Lord Shiva also have incarnated in many forms to destroy evil, give boons, give knowledge, and help those who are in problems.
Parvati is the energy God in Hinduism. She is the wife of Lord Shiva. She is the manifestation of all the energy present in existence. She is depicted as a woman sitting beside lord Shiva whenever both of them are imagined together. Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati have Ganesh, Kartike and Ashoksundari as their children.
Goddess Parvati have time and time incarnated as other goddess to destroy the demons. Mahakali, Nava Durga are all the various incarnations of goddess Parvati. Goddess Parvati is so ferocious and powerful in her battle form that no one can existence can stand up against her power. Being a mother defines the feminine, caring mother side of her personality. However, when Dharma is in danger and Assur hinders the balance of the world. She takes the form of Mahakali who destroys all the evil and evil doers.
The trinity with their wives is the most important God in Hinduism. When there was nothing in the universe there were there and when nothing will be there they will be there. When lord Vishnu wakes from the Yog Nidra, the universe awakens. Then from the Navi of Lord Vishnu a lotus sprouts, from which Lord Brahma is born. When a Brahma is born creation in the universe starts.
From the heavenly bodies to Sun, moon, and stars to the minute things everything is created by Brahma. Then after creating the lifeless things, Brahma creates the living beings. Now, it is the duty of Lord Vishnu to put life in the body. Without Lord Vishnu inserting life into the body, it is just a lump of bone, blood, and muscle.
When a living being is born, Lord Vishnu inserts a fragment of himself as the life into the living being. Then, when the being dies the soul (Fragment of Paramatma) is returned to Lord Vishnu.
Brahma then creates other gods and demigods to run the world. Aside from gods Brahma also creates Spata rishis, and others who will play significant role in the world.
Indra is the king of the gods and lives in swarga with other gods. He is the god of rain and lightning. He is tasked with giving rain to the world. When rain comes people in Hinduism believe that it is Lord Indra. Indra rides a giant elephant called as Airawat. While Indra may be the king of gods, he is not above the Trinity. The Trinity appointed Indra as the king of gods in swarga. He follows and completes the tasks that are given by the trinity.
Aagni is the fire God in Hinduism. God Aagni is responsible for all the fire that exists in the universe. From the small ignition to the burning stars all is due to the power of Aagni. Aagni is the first elements created by brahma to start life in Universe.
Barun is the water God in Hinduism. God Barun in responsible for all the water that exists in the world. The small drop to the masses of ocean, all is Barun dev. Water was also one of the elements that were created before the creation of life.
Pawan is the wind God in Hinduism. God Pawan is responsible for all the air that exists in the world. Air is the basic from of life in all. God Pawan is also the father of the Hanuman and demigod Bheem.
Surya is the sun God in Hinduism. Many religious worship suns as their god. Every religion realizes that sun is the source of all life that originates on earth. Sun is called as Suryaa dev in Hinduism. He is also the father of other gods such as Yama (The god of death) and Sani (Saturn).
Chandra is the moon God in Hinduism. Like some other religions Hinduism also worships moon. Moon is the god of beauty and calmness in Hinduism. God Chandra in his lunar form resides in the hair of Shiva (Mahadev) as his ornament.
Vishwakarma is the architect and craft God in Hinduism. He is the chief architect of the gods. He is responsible for the creation of palaces, weapons and everything the god’s desire. The people on earth Vishwakarma, to give strength and longevity to their instruments, vehicles etc.
There are said to be about 33 Koti gods in Hinduism. Some say that this Koti means there are total 33 crore God in Hinduism. However, some scholars also say that this 33 Koti does not mean 33 crores but says 33 types of gods. Regardless, the debate of type or crore there is no denying that there are vast number God in Hinduism.
The vast number of God is because, the universe in itself too vast and the time is also too large. Hinduism divides time in 4 Yug’s and each Yug has a peculiar nature. From the dawn of time to the end of time, various issues aroused. From the job of creation to destruction. From protection to control of the elements. That is why vast number of gods were created to fulfill the duty. Another number of reasons for this is the incarnation, same god incarnates as other gods to fulfill the duty. Basically, Lord Ram, Lord Krishna, Lord Vishnu are one and the same. Bhirav, Hanuman are the avatars of Lord Shiva himself. This also increased the number of gods.
Regardless all things, the topic of God in Hinduism is a vast and amazing study. Trying to grasp all in once may be an extraordinarily complex thing, however if one were to hold back take his/her time to be immersed in Hinduism. It makes more sense, and one will surely be enchanted by the richness of culture, originality, and authenticity of the matter.