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One Third of a Billion Hindu Gods

The Supreme Being of the Hindus and a Multiplicity of Gods


"One may worship Shiva or Vishnu or Rama or Krishna or some other gods and goddesses or one may believe in the 'Supreme Spirit' or the 'Indestructible Soul' within each individual and still be called a good Hindu."
(www.indiagov.org/culture/religion/hinduism.htm) - Discover India
In Hinduism the Supreme Being doesn't sit in Heaven meting out rewards and punishments, but, instead, is present in all creatures. Rather than being a pantheistic religion, Hinduism is panentheistic -- because god, as an everchanging Being, is present in everything.

Creation, protection and destruction, the chief functions/roles of the Supreme Being, are represented to Hindus by three gods, the triad of Brahma, Vishhnu, and Shiva.

Some explain these three gods as manifestations of the Supreme Being; others insist that they are independent.

Each god has a particular power associated with him which, in turn, is represented as a consort. Although talked about as though the consorts were wives, some say there are no genders to the gods. The Creator, Brahma, has as his consort, Saraswati, goddess of speech and learning. Protector Vishhnu's consort is Lakshhmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity, and Destroyer Shiva's consort is Shakti, goddess of power. These gods in turn have their own attendants, vehicles, incarnations, and even animals; hence, the large ([www.hindunet.org/god/ht_article_god1.html 11/02/99] 333,000,000) pantheon of Hindu deities, the Mahadevas. As Sivaya Subramuniyaswami says of these beings, they do not represent human psychological states, but are instead:

"Far older than the universe and are the fountainheads of its galactic energies, shining stars and sunlit planets. They are loving overseers and custodians of the cosmos, earth and mankind."
- (www.spiritweb.org/Spirit/god-and-gods.html) God and Gods of Hinduism
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