Thursday, April 01, 2010

Million Gods

Hindus have one God. They also have 330 million Gods. Male Gods, Female Gods, Family Gods, Household Gods, Personal God, Village God, Fertility God, Forest God, Sun God, Moon God and what not. You name it, there is a God for it. For Hindus, everything is divine and there is nothing that can be ignored. There is freedom to choose any form that you can relate to as God and also to reject all the forms. As a hindu progresses spiritually, there is a gradual rejection of forms to realize the Divine without form that is within.

I thought I should share this interesting framework of hierarchy of Gods in Hindu mythology that I found in a book - Myth=Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology by Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik. The book is also very interesting and deals with apparent paradoxes and unravels an inherited truth about life and death, nature and culture, perfection and possibility from Hindu Mythological perspective. It also retells numerous stories and decodes Hindu symbols and rituals, using a unique style of commentary, illustrations and diagrams.


vishesh said...

But isn't narayana/Vishnu supposed to be the ultimate!?

Shiva said...

He is for the Vishnavites :)

The Ultimate is beyond any form.

Anand said...

Shiva...this picture is amazing. It took hours for me to explain these Austrians about different Gods in India (Hindu religion). I never new this class diagram (technical terms) existed. Can you send me the orginial size photo of this, please?

Athu irukattum, namma ayyanaaru, Karuparaayan ivanga peru solli kedaa vetti saapdivomae...avanga entha category? (Veera, I guess).

Shiva said...

You are right. They come under Veera - the gaurdian gods. If you see, the bottom of the hierarchy would be different for different people and as you move up the framework, it will be common.

I've sent you the slide

Kavi said...

The ultimate is indeed without form. What do we talk of the ones that kill in the name of a God !?!

Sigh !

starry said...

Interesting.thanks for sharing.

Prem Kumar Arumugam said...

Hey Shiva,

My two cents!

I feel these are not GOD(S). Everyone gives a form for what they believe as GOD. Every one needs a symbol to relate to GOD and some have chosen human forms. May be there was a time so long ago where the human manifestation was so limited to what is listed above.

Check this out:

Meoww said...

Loved this post and the infographic! How true all this variety to pull you towards the ultimate unanimity!