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Hindu Universe > God, Sages and Gurus > God in Hindu Dharma and Representation in Temples > Concept of God in Hindu Dharma > Articles > God and Gods of Hinduism : Part 1

God and Gods of Hinduism : Part I

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This article is taken from Hinduism Today

Devotion to God and the Gods of Hinduism is known as Bhakti. It is an entire realm of knowledge and practice unto itself, ranging from the childlike wonder of the unknown and the mysterious to the deep reverence which comes with understanding of esoteric interworkings of the three worlds. Hinduism views existence as composed of three worlds. The First World is the physical universe; the Second World is the subtle astral or mental plane of existence in which the devas, angels and spirits live; and the Third World is the spiritual universe of the Mahadevas, "great shining beings," our Hindu Gods. Hinduism is the harmonious working together of these three worlds.

The most prevalent expression of worship for the Hindu comes as devotion to God and the Gods. In the Hindu pantheon there are said to be three hundred and thirty-three million Gods. Hindus believe in one Supreme Being. The plurality of Gods are perceived as divine creations of that one Being. So, Hinduism has one supreme God, but it has an extensive hierarchy of Gods. Many people look at the Gods as mere symbols, representations of forces or mind strata, or as various Personifications generated as a projection o of man's mind onto an impersonal pure Beingness. Many Hindus have been told over and over that the Gods are not really beings, but merely symbols of spiritual matters, and unfortunately many have accepted this erroneous notion about the Gods. In reality, the Mahadevas are individual soul beings, and down through the ages ordinary men and women, great saints and sages, prophets and mystics in all cultures have inwardly seen, heard, and been profoundly influenced by these super conscious inner plane beings. Lord Ganesha is such a being. He can think just as we can think. He can see and understand and make decisions - so vast in their implications and complexity that we could never comprehend them with our human faculties and understanding.

"Great indeed are the Gods who have sprung out of Brahman."
-Atharva Veda


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Concept of God in Hindu Dharma : Main Page
Pictorial Outline of Concept of God
Saguna Brahman
Nirguna Brahman
Ishta Devata
God and Gods of Hinduism
This six part article
hand.gif (968 bytes) Gods and Gods of Hinduism - Part 1
A Hierarchy of Gods Guide Hinduism
Do God and the Gods have Gender-
Communicating with God and the Gods
How God and the Gods Help Us
Toward Ultimate Communion- Yoga
God and the Gods of Hinduism was created and published by Himalayan Academy, 107 Kaholalele Road, Kapaa HI 96746.


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