Hindu God and Goddess
Within Hinduism a large number of personalities, or ‘forms’, are worshiped as murtis. Hindu Religion Besides a wide diverse set of beliefs, it has a set of customs and traditions that were synonymous with the people of India. Often Hindus celebrate Christmas, despite Christian origins and many people of other religions also celebrate Deepavali (Diwali), the festival of light, and Holi, the festival of colour despite their Hindu origins.
Contrary to popular belief Hindus believe in just one god, who comes to Earth in different forms (avatars), each of which represents an aspect of life, e.g. water, crops, fertility and health to name a few. According to Hindu traditions as expounded in Bhagwat Gita, the religion is timeless and was first given to the Sun god by Lord Krishna
and transmitted to the wordly beings in various steps. Most Hindus, in their daily devotional practices, worship some form of this personal aspect of God, although they believe in the more abstract concept of Brahman as well. This may mean worshiping God through an image or a picture, or simply thinking of God as a personal being.
“Bhagavān” is a word used to refer to the personal aspect of God in general; it is not specific to a particular deity. “Ishvara” is a name or title used to emphasize God’s role and function as controller of the universe. When Hindus refer to God as Ishvara, they are emphasizing a monistic idea of God as a principle of the universe, rather than a person.
“Ishwar” is the ultimate Supreme Being believed by Hindus. Ishwar had taken many forms to function the universe; Lord Brahma the creater, Lord Vishnu the preserver and Lord Shiva the destroyer.
Different names and, frequently, different images of God will be used, depending on which aspect of Bhagavā is being discussed. When God is talked about in the aspect as the creator, God is called Brahma. If one is emphasizing God’s capacity as preserver of the world, the name Vishnu is used. Krishna and Rama are considered forms of Vishnu.
When referred to in the capacity as destroyer of the world, God is called Shiva.
Contemporary Hinduism has four major divisions: Saivism, Shaktism, Smartism, and Vaishnavism. Hinduism is a very rich and complex religion. Each of its four denominations shares rituals, beliefs, traditions and personal gods with one another, but each sect has a unique philosophy on how to achieve life’s ultimate goal also called as Moksa (Liberation). But each denomination fundamentally believes in different methods of self-realization and in different aspects of the one supreme God
Each denomination respects and accepts all others, and conflict of any kind is rare. For example a person can be a devotee to Shiva and a Vishnu devotee but one can practice the Advaita Vedanta philosophy which believes there is no difference between Brahman and a person’s individual soul. Conversely, a Hindu may follow the Dvaita philosophy which stresses that Brahman and the soul are not the same.
Vaishnavism, Saivism, and Shaktism, respectively believe in a monotheistic ideal of Vishnu (often as Krishna), Shiva, or Devi. This view does not exclude other personal gods, as they are understood to be aspects of the chosen ideal. For instance, to many devotees of Krishna, Shiva is seen as having sprung from Krishna’s creative force.
Ganesha worshippers would connect themselves with Shiva as Shiva is the father of Ganesha, making him a Shaiv deity.
The concept of Mahadevi as the supreme goddess emerged in historical religious literature as a term to define the powerful and influential nature of female deities in India.
Goddesses are worshiped when God is thought of as the Universal Mother. Shaktism recognizes Shakti as the supreme goddess. Jagaddhatri and Mariamman are other significant female deities.
Shiva and Vishnu are not regarded as ordinary devas but as Mahadevas which means great Gods because of their central positions in worship and scriptures. These two along with Brahma are considered the Trimurti. These three symbolize the entire circle of samsara in Hinduism .Brahma as creator, Vishnu as preserver or protector, and Shiva as destroyer or judge.
Main Devas in the Vedas
Aditya, Agni, Antariksha, Ashwinis, Brahma, Brihaspati, Dishas, Dyaus, Indra, Ganesha
Marutas, Moordha, Prajapati, Prithvi, Pusha, Rudra, Savitr, Shiva, Soma, Varuna, Vayu Vishnu, Vishvedavas.
The Main Devis are:
Durga or Parvati
Lakshmi or Shri
Sarasvati or Vaak