Do Hindus believe in one God or many Gods (Monotheism or Polytheism)
Namaste friends, how are you doing today? Bhagavan Sri Vishnu blessings to you and your family!
Just before moving forward, we should note that this question of “Do Hindus believe in one God or many Gods (Monotheism or Polytheism)” or “Why does Hinduism has many Gods – Monotheism or Polytheism” is been raised not long ago.
This question is raised only since around 200 – 300 years and not before.
Before the entry of Europeans to our country (India), there were no such questions discussed earlier.
Europeans and especially the British or English started to add this question into the Indians mind. They always wanted to cut India into religion basis, so that it will be easy for them to rule all over India.
This image clearly shows that Sri Hari is the supreme, ultimate, the real Bhagavan and all others are only followers of Sri Vishnu
But Europeans were never ever were able to succeed in this.
Earlier to the entry of Europeans, we Indians (Bharata vaasis) were always discussing about Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, etc. as per once own capability.
Now, let us move to our main question about:
Why does Hinduism has many Gods – Monotheism or Polytheism?
First let us understand who is Bhagavan / Parabrahma / God is and also let us understand what is the meaning of Bhagavan / Parabrahma / God in simple words:
Bhagavan / Parabrahma / God is the one, who is present since the aadi samaya (before grand infinite period), who is present today and who will be present until the ananta samaya (after grand infinite period).
Bhagavan is the one who don’t take birth.
Bhagavan is the one who doesn’t have parents.
Bhagavan is the one who doesn’t depends on anybody or anything.
Bhagavan is the one who don’t need anything from anybody or anything.
Bhagavan is one who is completely independent of anything or everything or everybody.
Bhagavan should be a “aatma kaama”, means he doesn’t need anybody or anything to satisfy his needs.
AND SOMEONE WHO HAS INFINITE NUMBER OF THESE TYPES OF QUALITIES.
To know about hierarchy in Hinduism, we must know what is the difference between Bhagavan and Devatas / Demigods.
Bhagavan is different and Devatas are different. Bhagavan is one, but Devatas are many. All are completely dependent on Bhagavan including Devatas.
Many people around the world think all Hindu Gods are same.
Many say that in Hindu Dharma there are koti koti Gods (Crores of Gods).
Many think that Sri Hari is same as Sri Rudra Deva.
Many think that Sri Shiva is nothing but Sri Vishnu.
Many have written that Sri Rudra Deva is same as Sri Hanuman, means Sri Hanuman is an avatar of Sri Shiva (Sri Rudra Deva).
Many think that since Sri Shiva has got the name Sri Mahadeva, he is the ultimate.
But people don’t understand the real meaning of this name Sri Mahadeva.
Here Sri Mahadeva means the demigod (Devatas) who is greatest among the other demigods.
Means Mahadeva is greatest among the demigods who are equal to Sri Indra Deva and who are below to Sri Indra Deva.
But at the same we must also be aware that svayam Sri Rudra Deva or Sri Brahma Deva are great Vaishnavas. They themselves accept that they are a great bhakta of Sri Rama / Sri Hari / Sri Krishna.
In Sri Vishnusahasranaama, Sri Rudra Deva says:
“sri raama raama raameti, rame raame manorame, sahasra naama tat-tulyam raama naama varaanane”.
This means, if anybody chants one name of Sri Raama is equal to thousand names of Sri Vishnu as given in the Sri Vishnusahasranaama.
This is the power of Sri Raama / Sri Vishnu.
If we chant just any one names of Sri Hari, we will get the real moksha / mukti. But to enter such stage we need to have a “nirmala”, “nishkaama” bhakti towards Sri Hari.
Also many might not be aware that Sri Rudra Deva had taken avatar in Dvaapara Yuga as “Sri Ashvatthaamacharya Ji” (son of Guru Sri Dronachaarya Ji) and he was a great bhakta of Sri Krishna in the Mahabharata period.
Only Sri Hari is the “antaryaami” in everybody. He is everywhere. Can we see a place, where Sri Hari is not present.
In “Naarasimha puraana” Sri Prahalaada Maharaaja says, “Sri Hari is present is my every anu/cell”.
What more proof we need to have to know that Sri Hari is the only Bhagavan / Ishvara / Parameshvara.
Many people think that Sri Durga Devi is the supreme.
Many people think that Sri Kaali Devi is the supreme.
Moreover, many people think that Sri Ganesha, Sri Kartikeya, Sri Surya Deva, etc are the greatest.
Also many say some belong to Shaiva, some belong to Shakti, some belong to something else.
If Sri Shiva himself is a great Vaishnava, if Sri Mahalakshmi Devi, Sri Sarasvati Devi and Sri Parvati Devi they themselves are great Vaishnava, then how come there are so many different beliefs.
We should remember all these are man-made.
Man is always wanted to be greedy, want to be powerful, he wants everything under the Sun.
Thus man has made so many varieties of beliefs.
Infinite numbers of Sri Brahma Deva doing namaskaara to Sri Krishna / Sri Hari again shows the supremacy of the real Bhagavan
If all are greatest, then who is the real greatest?
Who is the supreme Bhagavan?
Who is the real Bhagavan?
Who is the real Sri Mahadeva?
Who is the real Sri Aadi Deva?
Let us understand this as below:
When nothing was there Sri Hari / Sri Vishnu was there.
He is the ultimate.
He is the supreme.
He is the greatest.
He is the real Bhagavan and all others are his followers (Devatas) and only Sri Hari is the Bhagavan.
Yes, Sri Brahma Deva has the great capability of creating the universe.
But without Sri Hari’s help, even Sri Brahma Deva is nothing.
Sri Hari who is called the antaryaami, sits inside Sri Brahma Deva and does all the creation.
Yes, Sri Rudra Deva has the great capability of destroying anything and everything at the end of the Kalpa (Remember in our Sanatana Dharma, after every end, we have a fresh new start also. Means, after that particular Kalpa, again another new and fresh Kalpa will get started) but who does this.
Sri Hari who is the antaryaami, sits inside the Sri Rudra and does all the destruction.
Yes, Sri Durga Devi has the great capability of multiple things.
But who does this?
Sri Hari who is the antaryaami sits inside Sri Durga Devi and does everything as per the requirement.
Bhagavan Sri Maha Vishnu is everywhere and in everything
Similarly the varsha (rain) is brought down to earth through Sri Indra Deva, but not alone, instead with the help of the antaryaami Sri Hari.
Vaayu (air) is there due to Sri Vaayu Deva, but Sri Hari is the antaryaami of Sri Vaayu Deva.
Sri Varuna Deva (ocean God) is there, but Sri Hari is the antaryaami of Sri Varuna Deva.
Sri Agni Deva is there, but Sri Hari is the antaryaami is Sri Agni Deva.
Similarly according to Bharatiya Sanatana Dharma there are various, various number of Demigods (Devatas).
But all are only followers of Sri Krishna / Sri Raama (other names of Sri Hari).
Anything and everything is completely dependent on Sri Hari.
He is the Sri Parabrahma.
He is the Sri Paramaatma.
He is the Sri Paramamoola.
He is the Sri Bhagavan.
He is the Aadi moola
He is the Aadi Deva.
He is the Aadi Beeja.
He is the real Sri Mahadeva.
He is the real Sri Parameshvara.
He is there everywhere.
He is inside everything.
He is not the Sri Mahalakshmi Devi,
He is not the Sri Brahma Deva,
He is not Sri Mukhyapraana Deva (next Sri Brahma Deva),
He is not the Sri Sarasvati Devi,
He is not the Sri Bharati Devi (next Sri Sarasvati Devi),
He is not the Sri Rudra Deva,
He is not the Sri Tulasi Devi,
He is not the Sri Parvati Devi,
He is not the Sri Indra Deva,
He is not the Sri Surya Deva,
He is not the Sri Agni Deva,
He is not the Sri Ganesha,
He is not the Sri Kartikeya,
He is not the Sri Ashwini Kumaragan,
He is not any Devatas.
Sri Hari is the Sarvottama / Supreme / Greatest
But he is present as Sri Antaryaami in everything and everywhere.
Now let us all understand the real hierarchy of the Bharatiya Sanatana Dharma’s Bhagavan and about other Devatas (Demigod).
1. Sri Hari / Sri Vishnu / Sri Krishna / Sri Rama (Parabrahma, Aadi beeja / Aadi moola / Aadi deva / Bhagavan / Paramaatma / Parameshvara etc)
2. Sri Mahalakshmi Devi
3. Sri Brahma Deva / Sri Mukhyapraana Deva (both are at the same level)
4. Sri Sarasvati Devi / Sri Bharati Devi (Both are at the same level)
5. Sri Rudra Deva / Sri Shesha Deva / Sri Garuda Deva
6. Shanmahishis [(Jambavati – She is Sri Tulasi Devi, Nila, Bhadra, Mitravinda, Kalindi and Lakshana]
7. Souparni (Lord Garuda consort), Varuni (Lord Shesha consort), Parvati (Lord Shiva consort)
8. Indra, Kama
9. Ahankarika Prana
10. Aniruddha, Shachi, Rati, Svayambhuva Manu, Bruhaspati, Daksha Prajapati
11. Pravaha Vayu
12. Surya, Chandra, Yama, Shatharupa
15. Bhrugu, Agni, Prasuti
16. Vishvamitra, Marichi, Atri, Angirasa, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Vasishta, Vaivasvata Manu
17. Mitra, Tara, Nirruti, Pravahi
18. Vishvaksena, Aswini Devatas, Ganapati, Kubera, 7 Vasus, 10 Rudras, 6 Adityas, 47 Maruts, 10 Vishvedevatas, 1 Rubhu, 2 Dyavaprithivi, 3 Pitrus
19. Karmaja Devatas (Sanatkumaras, 7 Indras, Grahas, Gandharvas, Manus, Apsaras, etc)
20. Ganga, Parjanya, Sanjna, Rohini, Shamala, Virat
21. Anakhyata Devatas
23. Budha (planet)
24. Usha (wife of Ashvini Devatas)
27. Ajanaja Devatas
28. Chira Pirtus
29. Deva gandharvas
30. Manushya gandharvas
31. Antardarshi Kings
32. Uttama Manushyas
After this the manushyas who live on this earth come. With us also there is huge amount of hierarchy.
I am not worried about who is the real Bhagavan / Ishvara. But can anybody give me one such example that Sri Hari is not Bhagavan / Ishvara.
Or any other Devatas are the real Parabrahma? If you have one / many answers, please let me know.
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