Hindu deities::Deity

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Hindu deities

File:ShriMayureshwar Morgaon.jpg
Ganesha at Morgaon, aṣṭavināyaka complex

{{#invoke:main|main}} In Hinduism, the concept of God varies from one sect to another and from one book to another. Hinduism is set in a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning henotheism, monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism and monism among others.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}</ref><ref name="EBpolytheism">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=citation }}</ref> It is often aptly termed monistic theism and even open monotheism by some scholars, but is not purely polytheistic as outsiders perceive it to be.

The philosophical system of Advaita or nondualism is categorically explained in Vedas and Upanishads, and is popular among schools of Shaivism such as Kashmir Shaivism. The concept was also spread by Adi Shankara in the 9th century, within the framework of the Vedanta school of classical Hindu philosophy. This nondualism postulates the identity of the Self or Atman with the Whole or Brahman, and can be described as monism or pantheism.

Forms of explicit monotheism find mention in the canonical Bhagavad Gita. Explicit monotheism in the form of emotional or ecstatic devotion (bhakti) to a single external and personal deity (in the form of Shiva or Vishnu) became popular in South India in the early medieval period. Ecstatic devotion to Krishna, a form of Vishnu, gained popularity throughout India during the Middle Ages and gave rise to schools of Vaishnavism. Ecstatic devotion to Goddess Durga became popular in some parts of India in the later medieval and early modern ages.

Today, most Hindus are polytheistic or monotheistic but open to believing in and praying to several gods. Vaishnavism, particularly Krishnaism, Shaktism and some forms of Shaivism remain the most explicit forms of monotheistic worship of a personal God within Hinduism. Hindus who practice Shaivism tend to assume the existence of a singular God, but do not necessarily associate God with aspects of a personality. Rather they envisage God as an impersonal Absolute (Brahman), who can be worshipped only in part in a human form.

The term Ishvara may refer to any of the monotheistic or monistic conceptions within Hinduism, depending on context.


Deity sections
Intro  Etymology  Other words for the concept  Relation with humanity  Forms of theism  Ancient religions  Buddhist deities  Hindu deities  Psychological interpretations  See also  References  External links  

Hindu deities
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