c r o w d e d - w o r l dGODS OF INDIA ---- The Hindu Pantheon.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY GODS IN THE HINDU RELIGION? What's with all those wierd half-human half-animal deities in Hindu shrines, that god with the elephant head and that strange blue guy who plays with the milkmaids? Isn't Hinduism just a form of idolatry? And because of this, Hinduism and Hindu gods have nothing to offer us spiritual aspirants in the West, do they? I mean, we in the West gave up animal worship a long long time ago, didn't we?
Welcome to the "Hindu Gods" website and the spirutal portal "Crowded World Hinduism" (powered by Google FriendConnect). On this website I want to introduce basic Hinduism and dispel some of the myths that have developed around this religion in the West. Specifically, I want to explain that at it deepest level Hinduism is not so different from Christianity, Islam, or Judaism in its realization of the inexplicable Oneness of the Universe. In many ways I consider Hinduism to be the superior religion because it breadth is so vast, it can accommodate all other religions inside it. Sri Ramakrishna has said that there can be as many spiritual paths as there are spiritual aspirants, and that, similarly, there can be as many gods as there devotees to suit the said devotees' various moods, feelings and social backgrounds. I think this explains the bewildering variety of gods in the Hindu pantheon. All of the millions of Hindu gods are manifestations of the Supreme Being which can never manifest directly. New Agers are fond of saying that every living creature is a Spirit-Spark of the Great Central God. Hindu's realized this a long time ago. Perhaps once, a long time ago, the many gods of India were humans who became enlightened and evolved to a higher level of being. This was in fact a spiritual realization I had one afternoon in the year 2001 in the Himalaya Mountains -- that we are all gods in the making, and that once we climb high enough we will move on to the god plane and become the object of worship for other sentient beings. It could take millions of lifetimes to reach that spiritual height. But it is the destiny of all of us, to become gods and let our wisdom shine upon the world!
SUBDIVIDING THE SUPREME ---- The 330 Million Faces of God.
According to the Hindu Deities website: "A Hindu deity (god or goddess; note small g) represents a particular aspect of the Supreme Being. For example, Saraswati represents the learning and knowledge aspect of the Supreme Being. Thus, if a Hindu wants to pray for acquiring knowledge and understanding, he prays to Saraswati. Just as sunlight cannot have a separate and independent existence from the sun itself, a Hindu deity does not have a separate and independent existence from the Supreme Being. Thus, Hindu worship of deities is monotheistic polytheism and not simple polytheism (in other words, idolatry.)" The website also claims: "According to the Hindu scriptures, living beings are not apart from God, since He lives in each and every one of them in the form of atman (BG 10.39). Thus each living being is a unique manifestation of God. In ancient times it was believed that there were 330 million living beings. This gave rise to the idea of 330 million deities or gods." Which neatly explains the 330 million gods of Hinduism -- we are all gods, as is that bird flying past the window as you read this, or the plant growing in the corner of your room. In a way, the pantheon of Indian gods makes me think of the pantheon of gods which existed in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, not to mention the Vikings of northern Europe. Those civilisations were subsumed into Christianity, and converted to monotheism. In the case of India, however, the multiple god idea has been given time to ferment over the millennia. I wonder: if Christianity had never arose, would Europeans worship a multitude of gods in the way Hindu Indians do today?
On the other hand, perhaps there are too many gods in Hinduism -- perhaps, as in the case of consumerist society, endless choice leads to staggering spiritual inertia. One former Hindu told me recently: "First let me clarify some interesting points about Hindu Gods.
"They do not offer any guarantee's.
"They do not ever state they love you personally.
"They do not really care about your sins (you pay for that yourself by dying and being reborn again).
"They all belief in reincarnation.
"They all belief in liberation of the soul (Joining of your soul with the supreme God of your choice).
"Only two of the Gods believe they are supreme, Krishna and Durga. (See Gita where Krishna gives a lengthy description of him as the supreme being). Durga simply claims to be the mother of the universe...
"What is the ultimate goal of hindu gods is the real question.
"For me it was always to fill me half way and leave me dry later. To satisfy me was very hard. I could never focus on any hindu God for long because others were also appealing. (Sort of like beautiful women). Each God had his/her own beauty and personality. At the very end I fell in love with Hanuman. Only because my Guru said that he was supreme over Krishna and Durga. WOW I thought I have finally found the supreme. Then I asked my Guru support your claim. She tried her very best to the fact that she wrote another religious text called a puran Hanumat Puran. In this she described that Hanuman is formed from the masturbation of Shiva by looking upon the most beautiful form of women Mohanee (Krishna's female aspect). The sperm was given as a potion to Mata Angani, Hanumans mother, in which she concieved Hanuman. Her second reason for his supremecy was that he was the only GOD born with super powers. They need not be attained as Krishna learned and got powers from Guru's.
"What is the point of all this. Mark my words no Hindu will really never know who GOD is because he is busy trying to bribe the wrong ones. In fact that is what puja is. You offer something and you get something in return. You hope its a profit and not a loss." HINDU GODS IN A NUTSHELL ---- Who To Pray To.
As stated above, the different gods of the Hindu pantheon have different functions which you can call upon to get ahead in life. For example, Hindu's worship the elephant-headed Ganesha before beginning any religious, spiritual or worldly activity, as He is said to remove obstacles and ensures success. With her necklace of skulls and near permanently poked out tongue, Kali (the Dark Mother) is one of the more fearsome Hindu deity. This goddess, however, can provide devotees with a very loving and intimate bond, in spite of her fearful appearance. In this relationship, the worshipper becomes a child and Kali assumes the form of the ever-caring mother. I used to live with an American girl who worshipped Kali, and she faithfully wore a skull necklace wherever she went. Lord Vishwakarma is the architect's god and the presiding deity of all craftsmen. Son of Brahma, he is the divine draftsman of the whole universe, and the official builder of all the gods' palaces. Vishwakarma is also the designer of all the flying chariots of the gods, and all their weapons. If you are a craftsman perhaps you should consider praying to him every September 17 to gain some higher inspiration!
NO DEVILS OR DEMONS ---- Just Millions of Manifestations of the Truth.
While Christianity has divided Creation between a perfectly good God and an absolutely evil Satan, the Hindu universe is a little more crowded. The Pantheon of Gods cover every possible field of experience and endeavour, every natural and human process. Kuhu, for example, is the Hindu goddess of the new moon. The Krittikas, on the other hand, are a group of Hindu goddesses associated with the constellation Pleiades. If you want protection against getting smallpox, pray to Shitala. Budhi Pallien is a forest goddess in North India who roamed the jungle in the form of a tiger.
Former Indian state government advisor M.P. Bhattathiry wrote: "In Hinduism it is believed that the Gods are living, thinking, dynamic beings who live in a different world, in an inner world in the microcosm within this world in which there exists a greater macrocosm than this visible macrocosm. The Hindu believes that these beings guide our experiences on earth, actually consciously guide the evolutionary processes. Therefore, he worships these beings as greater beings than himself, and he maintains a subjective attitude toward them, wondering if he is attuned with these grand forces of the universe, if his personal will is in phase with what these great beings would have him do." He didn't say that we can become gods ourselves, but that is one of my unorthodox Hindu ideas. The first step is to learn about the many different gods and what they represent. The second step is to pray to them in some way and thus integrate some of their energies into your own life. Whether the Hindu gods are real beings or only Jungian archetypes, they can help you get more out of your own life. They are here to teach you a lesson. They have certainly taught me a lot, and I am grateful to them!
Contact the author Rob Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright August 2012.
Have Your Say
f e e d b a c k
Anshul Sehgal (email@example.com) says: "Hi. I m from india. I belong to family that is almost praying a thousand times a day. They are the most spiritual people i have ever seen. But i am begining to have doubts on my gods now. My family is getting crazzier every day. Especially my Dad. They often think that my Girl friend has done some
WitchCraft(Black Magic) Kaala jadu over me, where i simply am in love with her. They are making my life a living hell. Blaming everything on her, they are the ones not letting me study and they are blaming her for this fact as well. My family reads a whole lot of story Books(Katha's) for certain indian gods like vishnu and BALAK NATH. in order to make them happy. I want to know the truth about these Kathaa's. Are they for real? cause there are stupid things written in these books done by the gods. And if that is for reall! Then indian people are supposed to be in a lot of trouble by now. Ithink there is no god at all. No one ever saw or heard him. but every one has a different one. I think human himself is the god. I think we have the power to create and destroy at the same time and thats what gods are all about..."
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