human being cannot conceptualize anything without some sort
of a mental image. A Hindu tries to attribute all good qualities
to the image of God and worships them . While worshipping
he wants to concentrate his mind ,therefore he created images
of God . Thus the concept of image worship came into existence.
In Hindu religion we come across many images of Gods and
Goddesses which are worshipped by different people on various
ancient rishis discovered that there are many ways of conceiving the Supreme
reality and numerous means of approaching it. According to the Hindu view
, the Supreme reality can be viewed from two aspects: Transcendent
(impersonal) and Immanent(personal).In its transcendent aspect
, the Supreme Reality is called Nirgun Brahman that is Brahman without
It is not an object of prayer but of meditation and knowledge.It is unborn
, self existent,all pervading,the ground and the essence of all things
and beings in the universe.In its immanent aspect, the Supreme Reality
is called Saguna Brahman, that is Brahman with attributes.
Brahman is the personal God , the creator ,the preserver, the controller
of the universe.In Hinduism the immanent aspect of Brahman is worshipped
in both male and female forms.In the male form he is called by various
Sanskrit names,such as Ishvara, Praneshwara,Maheshvara and Pitrusha .
In the female form ,God is called as Divine Mother,Durga,and Kali.Here
we can say that the concept of God in Hinduism is the same as the concept
of God in Christianity. The only notable difference is that God in Hinduism
is not the creator of the individual soul. The atman is divine and eternal.In
Christianity, the God is the creator of the individual soul.
Deities: Hindus believe in the existence of one and only one Supreme
being but they worship Him in various forms known as deities or Gods.The
Hindu worship of many deities is not polytheism, but monotheistic polytheism.The
monotheistic Hindu pantheon is an affirmation that the
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Supreme Being can be known in many ways and worshipped in many forms.
The tradition of worshipping many gods or deities is based upon the
following logic: Hinduism recognizes the diversity of the human mind
and the potential for a different level of spiritual development in each
individual.Hinduism does not therefore, thrust everyone into the pigeonhole
of a single creed.
The Mahabharata declares "Just as the rain water that falls from the sky
eventually reaches the ocean, so also all the worship offered to Him ,by
whatever name you wish , or in whatever form you like ,ultimately goes
to the one , ultimate infinite, Supreme Reality."
The thought behind this is as follows: God is the creator of the
innumerable forms in this universe , so He should be able to assume any
form to please his devotees .In addition to this ,the Supreme Being cannot
be said to have only one name because that would imply putting limitations
on His infinite power.
Therefore, the Hindus worship various names and forms of the Supreme God
All names are equal because they are various manifestations of one Supreme
Being .It is like the same person wearing different outfits suitable to
various roles he performs everyday.
a person chooses to worship one form of the Supreme Being
the chosen deity is called Ishta devata or Ishta devi. It
becomes the object of the devotees love, admiration and
spiritual longings. The concept of 330 million deities is
believed to emphasise the thought that as per the fundamental
doctrine of the Hinduism,God lives in the hearts of all
of the forces are beyond the knowledge of man and he is unable to conceive
or reach them.So he must have started adoring them with humility which
became worship later.It implies the act of veneration which is applied
to the whole range of religious behaviour .
Indeed the sense of adoration and worship springs from the feeling of
dependence upon other powers, from the awe caused in man's mind by the
perception of supernatural agents,which influence his or others welfare.Thus
worship is a devotion that is called bhakti.