A Look At Hindu Deities

There are many deities in Hinduism. If you ask one hundred Hindu devotees who the most important Hindu deities are, you will likely get one hundred different answers. Some put the number as high as 330 million. Depictions of Hindu deities often differ because each image shows different symbols of the deity’s qualities. The features, dress, posture and other attributes of the deity changes from image to image depending on the quality represented. However, these deities are all representatives or aspects of one god, the Supreme Being. The Supreme Being is represented in the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

Brahma is known as the Creator of the universe. Because creating things is the work of the mind, Brahma is worshipped by people seeking knowledge such as students and teachers. He symbolizes the mind and intellect of each individual. Because of this, Brahma is not highly popular among Hindus since all are born with a mind and intellect. Brahma is depicted with four heads and four arms which represent the four ancient sacred books of Hinduism. Brahma is often depicted with a beard.

Vishnu is known as the sustainer of life because it is believed that he preserves and sustains the entire universe. Vishnu is very popular among Hindus. His incarnations depict the evolution of human life and begin with animal incarnations, then move to half animal, half human incarnations and then finally to human incarnations. Hindu Gods And Deities These incarnations are closely related to the modern scientific theory of evolution. Vishnu is often depicted as a blue human with four arms. He represents the physical world and the spiritual world with the right side of his body representing the mind and the left side of his body representing the heart.http://www.ganeshtree.com/ganesh/

Shiva represents death and recreation. Shiva allows souls to return so they can be freed of the bondage of the physical world. He is also provides protection from evil forces and grants wisdom. Shiva is believed to control reincarnation, and both birth and death. His three primary powers are will, action and knowledge. Because Shiva provides so much and protects from so many things, he is depicted in many different ways but most often is depicted as a human body with three eyes.

The deity that is most recognizable is probably Ganesha. Ganesha is the god of knowledge, wealth and wisdom and is depicted with the head of an elephant on the body of a man. It is believed that he destroys evil and brings success. Ganesha is the symbol of the balance between everyday life and spiritual life. Hindus worship Ganesha before the start of any type of activity. He represents the wisdom, intellect and understanding that a Hindu must have to achieve perfection in life.

Krishna is another important Hindu deity. Krishna is the most important avatar, or decent of a deity to earth, of Vishnu. He is the embodiment of happiness and love and represents the call of the Divine. He is depicted as a human with dark blue skin and is usually holding or playing a flute. He is adored and respected by all Hindus. The love of Krishna symbolizes the response and the joy in the call of the Divine and the divine ecstasy of the union with the Lord.

These are only a few of the important Hindu deities, each representing an attribute or aspect of the Supreme Being, Brahma. These numerous deities allow Hindu devotees to focus their devotion or meditation on a particular aspect of the Supreme Being and allow them to visualize particular aspects of the Supreme Being much more clearly in their mind. If someone is seeking wisdom, then they would pray to the deity that represents that aspect of the Supreme Being. Though some have put the number of Hindu deities as high as 330 million, Hindu doctrine holds that there is but one God, the Supreme Being, which is to be worshipped.

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