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Deities of Hinduism
|Category||Object of worship or veneration or reverence|
||Natural forces like Agni (fire); Varuna (water); Indra (rain). Super beings and objects like huge trees, mountains, powerful animals.|
Great men, heroes, prophets, ancestors
|Mental or abstract
||We are sure all this exists, but can not be described in terms of physical laws. Life force (prana), consciousness in the individual; Mental states like happiness, anger; Satyam (truth), Laxmi (wealth), Saraswathi (Knowledge), Yama (death)|
|Unknown or beyond explanation
||Spirits (ancestors and other natural); soul (atma); creator of the universe (Paramatma);|
One will have kuladeivam (family deity), local or place deity, and Ishta devada (personal deity).
We understand the Supreme Being through Devas (natural forces and objects like mountains and rivers and super beings); Rishis (teachers, heroes, great personalities and prophets); and pithrus (ancestors).
Three topics: (1) Brahman: Source (2) Atman: Self, Consciousness
(3) Jhagat/Sakthi: Matter/Force/Energy
Trinity or Trimurti (Gods)
The trinity represents the Divine in its threefold nature and function. Each aspect of the trinity contains and includes the others. The trinity is Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer of the universe. Ultimately everything is a part of Brahman, which is the supreme being that encompases everything
Each God in the trinity has his consort. To Brahma is Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge. For Vishnu is Lakshmi, the Goddess of love, beauty and delight. For Shiva is Kali (Parvati) , the Goddess of power, destruction and transformation. Followers of Shakti or Devi, the Great Goddess, are called Shaktas.
- Brahma, the Creator periodically creates everything in the universe. (as time is cyclical)
- Vishnu, the Preserver maintains the order and harmony of the universe and is worshipped in many forms and in several avatars (incarnations). avatar is “descent,” and it’s usually understood to mean divine descent.
- Shiva, the Destroyer tasked with destroying the universe in order to prepare for its renewal at the end of each cycle of time.
yin-yang of Hinduism
(1) Everything that exists in the Universe is polarized, i.e., formed of yang-solar (+) and yin-lunar (-).
(2) The presence of these complementarily opposed counterparts creates a tension. From this tension, Life is born.
(3) Each polarity contains, in seed, its opposite. Males is predominantly Solar; his seed (the semen) is Lunar (-). Woman is predominantly Lunar (-); her seed (the ova) is Solar (+).
(4) Yang is the principle of order, structure, decrease of entropy. Yin is the principle of chaos, lack of structure, increase of entropy.
Supreme Reality (Brahman) manifests itself in both male and female form. Every major god has a goddess counterpart (or consort). In the Chinese yin-yang duality, the feminine side is dark and passive, but in Hinduism the feminine is highly active. Goddess is shakti, which also means "power" or "energy."
Other Trinity concepts
Yin, Yang, and Yung are a Triumvirate Braid of Creation. Yin is Emotional, Yang is Physical & Yung is Intellectual
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, can be God, messiah and God's spirit.
Ayyavazhi sect has a concept of a trinity:
* The Soul - The Soul of Ultimate God
* The Spirit - The Spirit (Karana Sarira) of Narayana
* The Body - The Body of Muthukutty (Living beings or Human Being)
Evolution of many Deities
These are the Devas (Divinities) mentioned in the four Vedas. The principal Vedic Gods are 33 in number i.e. These are the Devas (Divinities) mentioned in the four Vedas. The principal Vedic Gods are 33 in number: 8 Vasus; 11 Rudras; 12 Adityas; Indra; and Prajapati Brahma. These Gods belong to the three regions of Earth (Prithvi), Heaven (Dhyaasa) and the intermediate space (Antariksha).
Deities have evolved from Vedic Gods; Local Tribal Gods; Great Personalities; and from other cultures like middle east, greece/rome, China, etc
Some localized deities like goddess Kali and Manasa from Bengal, Mata Santoshi and Goddess Vaishnadevi of northern India, Srivenkatesh of Tirupati, have become universally accepted in Hinduism over a period of time.
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