List of Hindu deities

Hinduism is the largest religion in the Indian subcontinent and third largest religion in the world. It comprises the five major sects or denominations, Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, Ganapatism,[1] and Saurism whose followers consider Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti (Devi), Ganesha, and Surya to be the Supreme deity respectively. Smartism sect considers all the above five deities as equal. Most of the other deities were either related to them or different forms (incarnations) of these deities. Hinduism has been called the "oldest religion" in the world, and many practitioners refer to Hinduism as "the eternal law". (Sanātana Dharma).[2] Given below is a list of the chief Hindu deities followed by a list of minor Hindu deities (including demi-gods). Smartism, an older tradition and later reestablished by Jagadguru Adi Shankaracharya, invites the worship of more than one god including Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Shakti and Ganesha (the elephant faced god) among other gods and goddesses. It is not as overtly sectarian as either Vashnavism, Brahmanism or Shivaism and is based on the recognition that Brahman (god) is the highest principle in the universe and pervades all of existence.[3][4][5][6]

Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva seated on lotuses with their consorts Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati

Main deitiesEdit

The Hindu trinity, also known are tridev consists of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer and reincarnator. Their feminine counterparts are Saraswati, the wife of Brahma, Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu, and Parvati the wife of Shiva. The followers of the last two form two major sects.

BrahmaEdit

According to Hinduism, Brahma is the creator of the entire cosmic universe. Although he is the creator, he is hardly worshipped in modern Hinduism. He is identified with supreme vedic god, Prajapati. He married Saraswati, who emerged to give knowledge to create. Some alternative names for Brahma are

  • Vednatha
  • Chaturmukha
  • Prajapati
  • Hiranyagarbha
  • Vedagarbha
  • Kaushal

Devi (goddess)Edit

Communities of goddess worship are ancient in India. In the Rigveda, the most prominent goddess is Ushas, the goddess of dawn. In modern Hinduism, goddesses are widely revered. Shaktism is one of the major sects of Hinduism. Followers of Shaktism believe that the goddess (Devi) is the power (Shakti) that underlies the female principle, and that Devi is the supreme being, one and the same with Para Brahman. Shakti has many forms/manifestations like Parvati, Durga, and others but there are also goddesses that are parts of Shakti such as Lakshmi and Saraswati. Devi is believed to manifest in peaceful forms, such as Parvati the consort of Shiva and also in fierce forms, such as Kali and Durga. In Shaktism, Adi Parashakti is regarded as Ultimate Godhead or Para Brahman. She is formless i.e. Nirguna in reality, but may take many forms i.e. Saguna. Durga and Lalita Tripurasundari are regarded as the Supreme goddess in the Kalikula and Srikula systems respectively. Shaktism is closely related with Tantric Hinduism, which teaches rituals and practices for purification of the mind and body.[3][4][5][6] Some different parts of Shakti (Devi) the Mother Goddess:

ShivaEdit

Shaivism is one of the major Hindu sects. Adherents of Shaivism believe that the god Shiva is the supreme being. Shiva is the destroyer god among the Trimurti, and so is sometimes depicted as the fierce god Bhairava. Shaivists are more attracted to asceticism than adherents of other Hindu sects, and may be found wandering with ashen faces performing self-purification rituals.[3][4][5][6] Some alternative forms of Shiva (and Bhairavs) are listed below:

VishnuEdit

Vaishnavism is the sect within Hinduism that worships Vishnu, the preserver god of the Hindu Trimurti (the Trinity), and his many incarnations. Vaishnavites regard him to be eternal and the strongest and supreme God . It is a devotional sect, and followers worship many deities, including Rama and Krishna both the 7th & the 8th incarnations of Vishnu respectively. The adherents of this sect are generally non-ascetic, monastic and devoted to meditative practice and ecstatic chanting.[3][4][5][6] Some alternate names of Vishnu the Preserver:

Related deitiesEdit

  • Yamuna, the life energy, wife of Krishna,the daughter of lord Surya and the goddess of clouds Saranyu.
  • Ganesha, son of Shiva and Parvati and was also called Ganpati, the Ganapatya sectary worshipped Ganesha as their chief deity. He is the god of wisdom and remover of all obstacles. He is worshipped before any other deity.
  • Kartikeya, son of Shiva and Parvati and was also called Muruga, Karthik, Kumara or Shanmukha, the Kaumaram sectary worshipped Subramanya as their chief deity. He's also the brother of Lord Ganesha.
  • Ayyappan, son of Shiva and Mohini(Avatar of god Vishnu) and was also called Manikanta since he has mani(Rudraksha) in kanta(neck).
  • Hanuman, one of incarnation of Shiva and devotee of Rama (incarnation of Vishnu) and was also called Anjaneya, since his mother is anjana.
  • Ganga, the goddess of rivers, most holy river in Hinduism. She is considered to erase all sins and purify a person.
  • Hansa, the devoted swan who acts as the vahana (vehicle) of Lord Brahma.
  • Garuda, the devoted eagle who acts as the vahana (vehicle) of Lord Vishnu and the king of all birds. Prominent in the Garud Purana.
  • Nandi, the devoted bull who acts as the vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shiva.
  • Shani, the son of Surya and Chhaya. He is the god of justice.
  • Shesha, the king of Nagas.

Avatars (Incarnations)Edit

ShaktiEdit

MahadeviEdit

  1. Gayatri
  2. Yogamaya
  3. Sati
  4. Lalita
  5. Parvati
  6. Durga
  7. Chandika
  8. Rudrani
  9. Mhalsa
  10. Narayani
  11. Kamakhya
  12. Meenakshi
  13. Kamakshi
  14. Vishalakshi
  15. Kanya Kumari
  16. Annapurna
  17. Shakambhari
  18. Bhramari
  19. Kaushiki
  20. Akilandeswari
  21. Mariamman
  22. Bhavani
  23. Ambika
  24. Periyachi

Mahavidya’sEdit

  1. Kali
  2. Tara
  3. Shodashi
  4. Bhuvaneswari
  5. Chhinnamasta
  6. Bhairavi
  7. Dhumavati
  8. Bagalamukhi
  9. Matangi
  10. Kamalatmika

NavadurgaEdit

  1. Shailaputri
  2. Brahmacharini
  3. Chandraghanta
  4. Kushmanda
  5. Skandamata
  6. Katyayani
  7. Kalaratri
  8. Mahagauri
  9. Siddhidhatri

KaliEdit

  1. Mahakali
  2. Bhadrakali
  3. Chamunda

MatrikasEdit

  1. Brahmani
  2. Maheshwari
  3. Kaumari
  4. Vaishnavi
  5. Varahi
  6. Narasimhi
  7. Indrani
  8. Chamunda
  9. Vinayaki
  10. Shivadooti

GaneshaEdit

  1. Vakratunda (Vakratuṇḍa) ("twisting trunk"), his mount is an elephant.
  2. Ekadanta ("single tusk"), his mount is a mouse.
  3. Mahodara ("big belly"), his mount is a mouse.
  4. Gajavaktra (or Gajānana) ("elephant face"), his mount is a mouse.
  5. Lambodara ("pendulous belly"), his mount is a mouse.
  6. Vikata (Vikaṭa) ("unusual form", "misshapen"), his mount is a peacock.
  7. Vighnaraja (Vighnarāja) ("king of obstacles"), his mount is the celestial serpent Śeṣa.
  8. Dhumravarna (Dhūmravarṇa) ("grey color") corresponds to Śiva, his mount is a horse.

ShivaEdit

  1. Shankar Avatar
  2. Veerabhadra Avatar
  3. Bhairava Avatar
  4. Khandoba Avatar
  5. Durvasa Avatar
  6. Nataraja Avatar
  7. Ardhanarishvara Avatar
  8. Muneeswarar Avatar
  9. Muthappan Avatar
  10. Pashupati Avatar
  11. Gangeshwar Avatar
  12. Rudra Avatar
  13. Lingam Avatar
  14. Dakshinamurthy Avatar
  15. Ravananugraha Avatar
  16. Vaidheeswara Avatar
  17. Lingodbhava Avatar
  18. Somaskanda Avatar
  19. Bhikshatana Avatar
  20. Sri Manjunatha Avatar
  21. Jyotirlinga Forms, The 12 divine representations of Lord Shiva
  22. Bholenath Avatar
  23. Hanuman Avatar

BrahmaEdit

  1. Kashyapa Avatar
  2. Sukra Avatar
  3. Kalidasa Avatar
  4. Chandra Avatar
  5. Samudra Avatar
  6. Jamvanta Avatar
  7. Agastya Avatar

VishnuEdit

  1. Matsya, the fish
  2. Kurma, the tortoise
  3. Hayagriva, the Half Man-Half Horse
  4. Mohini, the enchantress
  5. Varaha, the boar
  6. Narasimha, the Half Man-Half Lion avatar
  7. Vamana, the Dwarf
  8. Parashurama, the cosmic Warrior Brahmin
  9. Rama, the emperor of Kosala and the hero of the epic Ramayana
  10. Krishna, central character in the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagavad Gita. Some texts mention it as Balarama, elder brother of Krishna
  11. Sugatha Buddha
  12. Kalki, expected to appear at the end of Kali Yuga

LakshmiEdit

  1. Bhargavi
  2. Sridevi
  3. Sita
  4. Radha
  5. Ashtabharya
  6. Padmavati
  7. Vedavati
  8. Tulsi
  9. Kamala
  10. Bhudevi
  11. Andal
  12. Nila Devi
  13. Revati

Ashta LakshmiEdit

  1. Adi Lakshmi, The ancient form of Lakshmi
  2. Dhana Lakshmi, The Money Lakshmi
  3. Dhanya Lakshmi, The Grain Lakshmi
  4. Gaja Lakshmi, The Elephant Lakshmi
  5. Santana Lakshmi, The Progeny Lakshmi
  6. Dhairya Lakshmi, The Valarous Lakshmi
  7. Vidya Lakshmi, The Knowledge Lakshmi
  8. Jaya Lakshmi, The Victory Lakshmi

Additional forms

In some Ashta Lakshmi lists, other forms of Lakshmi are included,

  1. Aishwarya Lakshmi, The Prosperity Lakshmi
  2. Saubhagya Lakshmi, The Giver of Good Fortune
  3. Rajya Lakshmi, The Royal Lakshmi
  4. Vara Lakshmi, The Boon Lakshmi

SaraswatiEdit

  1. Savitri
  2. Vani
  3. Brahmani
  4. Mahasaraswati
  5. Gayatri
  6. Vāc

Rigvedic deitiesEdit

The Rigveda speaks of Thirty-three gods called the Trayastrinshata ('Three plus thirty'). They consist of the 12 Adityas, the 8 Vasus, the 11 Rudras and the 2 Ashvins. Indra also called Śakra, lord of the gods, is the first of the 33 followed by Agni. Some of these brother gods were invoked in pairs such as Indra-Agni, Mitra-Varuna and Soma-Rudra.

AdityasEdit


RudrasEdit

The Ramayana tells they are eleven of the 33 children of the sage Kashyapa and his wife Aditi, along with the 12 Adityas, 8 Vasus and 2 Ashvins, constituting the Thirty-three gods.[7] The Vamana Purana describes the Rudras as the sons of Kashyapa and Aditi.[8] The Matsya Purana notes that Surabhi – the mother of all cows and the "cow of plenty" – was the consort of Brahma and their union produced the eleven Rudras. Here they are named: Nirriti, Shambhu, Aparajita Mrigavyadha, Kapardi, Dahana, Khara, Ahirabradhya, Kapali, Pingala and Senani.[9] Brahma allotted to the Rudras the eleven positions of the heart and the five sensory organs, the five organs of action and the mind.[8][10]

VasusEdit

Assistants of Indra and of Vishnu

  • Agni the "Fire" god, also called Anala or "living",
  • Varuna the "Water" god, also called Antarikṣa the "Atmosphere" or "Space" god,
  • Vāyu the "Wind", the air god, also called Anila ("wind")
  • Dyauṣ the "Sky" god, also called Dyeus and Prabhāsa or the "shining dawn"
  • Pṛthivī the "Earth" god, also called Dharā or "support"
  • Sūrya the "Sun" god, also called Pratyūsha, ("break of dawn", but often used to mean simply "light"), the Saura sectary worshipped Sūrya as their chief deity.
  • Soma the "Moon" god, also called Chandra
  • Samudra the "Sea" god, also called as "Sagar"

AshvinsEdit

The Ashvins (also called the Nāsatyas) were twin gods. Nasatya is also the name of one twin, while the other is called Dasra.

Number of deities in HinduismEdit

Most of the Hindu temples are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu (including his incarnations Krishna and Rama), Brahma, Shakti (the mother goddess, hence including the forms of Durga and Kali and Parvati, Lakshmi (including her incarnations Sita and Radha etc) [11][12][13]

The Hindu scriptures claimed that there were 33 Koti or 33 Types gods, koti, in Sanskrit, means crore and “types” (33 कोटि = प्रकार).[citation needed]The most common belief is there are 33 crore(330 Million) deities,while, according to some scholars, there are 33 types of deities, they claim ,"Koti" in Sanskrit language it means प्रकार(types) and also कोटि(crore).

As per the context it means to be 33 type (33 koti) including Eight Vasus (deities of material elements) – Dyauṣ "Sky", Pṛthivī "Earth", Vāyu "Wind", Agni "Fire", Nakṣatra "Stars", Varuṇa "Water", Sūrya "Sun", Chandra "Moon" Twelve Ādityas (personified deities) – Vishnu, Aryaman, Indra (Śakra), Tvāṣṭṛ, Varuṇa, Bhaga, Savitṛ, Vivasvat, Aṃśa, Mitra, Pūṣan, Dakṣa. [14]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Nath 2001, p. 31.
  2. ^ Knott 1998, p. 5.
  3. ^ a b c d "The Four Denominations of Hinduism". Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d "The Four Main Denominations". Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Hindu Sects". Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d Dubois (April 2007). Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies. Cosimo. p. 111. ISBN 9781602063365.
  7. ^ Mani pp. 654–5
  8. ^ a b Daniélou, Alain (1991). The myths and gods of India. Inner Traditions International. pp. 102–4, 341, 371. ISBN 0-89281-354-7.
  9. ^ A Taluqdar of Oudh (2008). The Matsya Puranam. The Sacred books of the Hindus. 2. Cosmo Publications for Genesis Publishing Pvt Ltd. pp. 74–5, 137. ISBN 978-81-307-0533-0.
  10. ^ Mani, Vettam (1975). Puranic Encyclopaedia: A Comprehensive Dictionary With Special Reference to the Epic and Puranic Literature. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 0-8426-0822-2.
  11. ^ "Hindu Gods & Goddesses". Sanatan Society. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  12. ^ "Hinduism". About.com. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  13. ^ "Hindu gods and goddesses". usefulcharts. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  14. ^ Lynn Foulston, Stuart Abbott (2009). Hindu goddesses: beliefs and practices. pp. 1–2. ISBN 9781902210438.

SourcesEdit

  • Parikshitt, Sai (2012). 33 Koti Devata ~ The Concept Of 33 Koti Devata. Speaking Tree.: ' The Vedas refer to not 33 crore Devatas but 33 koti (Koti means types in Sanskrit) of Devatas. They are explained in Shatpath Brahman and many other scriptures very clearly. (In Sanskrit 33 koti means 33 types god's ) [...] .' The number 33 comes from the number of Vedic gods explained by Yajnavalkya in Brhadaranyaka Upanishad – the eight Vasus, the eleven Rudras, the twelve Adityas, Indra and Prajapati. (Chapter I, hymn 9, verse 2) . They are: 8-Vasu, 11-Rudra, and 12-Aaditya, 1-Indra and 1-Prajaapati.
  • Brown, Joe David, ed. (1961). India. Time-Life Books. Time, Inc. popular figure.: "Though the popular figure of 330 million is not the result of an actual count but intended to suggest infinity, the Hindu pantheon in fact contains literally hundreds of different deities [...]"
  • Knott, Kim (1998). Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.
  • Nath, Vijay (2001). "From 'Brahmanism' to 'Hinduism': Negotiating the Myth of the Great Tradition". Social Scientist. 29 (3/4): 19–50. doi:10.2307/3518337. JSTOR 3518337.

External linksEdit