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Brahman is only one, then Why do we have so many gods in Hinduism?

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WhenSWAMY CHINMAYANANDA was traveling in a foreign country ,a co traveler
a foreigner asked swamiji why your religion has many number of gods as their religion
has only one namely Jesus Christ.Swamiji told him yes you are correct that your religion has only one god and we have plenty .He told him your has to go to many countries alone to attend call of his believers .But in our religion we believe god is one but worshiped with many faces and names with the believers intimacy with
god.So with many avatars as we call and believe our god with so many names.
Any believer calls him with any name ,or call him as only god he will go to his rescue.Now as per our belief in a same time lord SHIVA ,VISHNU,GANESHA,MURUGA,DEVI,LAKSHMI AND all with many names can go for the
rescue or attend the call of the believers without delay.See the network.
 
OP
OP
Govinda
If he is ALL then it can't just be the good. Its got to be the good, the bad and the ugly no?

A good reasoning.

In the example of Rose, it is just a material, in that case, there are materials that are powerful, invisible and ugly etc. So, Brahman must have been the source of such varied power/magnificience.

But we have not taken a closer analogy relating to life. Brahman is considered the highest being, then there are various living beings, that vary from creative Brahma to angry Rudra to omniscient saints to jihadists to peace-keepers to wild sharks to slimy snakes. The vedas says that 'That you are' (tat tvam asi). Then is Brahman, as poisonous as Snake, as ruthless as a bomber, as wild as sharks ?

This would have caused the dilemma in our Philosophers, tempting them to voice different interpretations:

Sankara couldn't bear the idea of Brahman having such opposite potencies and considered Brahman to be Nirguna and the World/Creation is Maya/Illusion and simply merged Jiva with former and Body with latter. 'That you are', and 'You are That'.

For Ramanuja, the variety of gunAs/qualities is the product of nature. Living beings when associated with the body, which is a product of such nature, takes up its qualities. A living being as the Knower by itself, associates such varying nature differently when their knowledge develops, which accounts for the variations in the levels of beings. Brahman, being Ominiscient, greatest Self-Knower, is not affected by those negative potencies, and remains just as the source and the granter of potencies. So, for him, 'That you are', but 'You are not that'.

Madhva simply differentiated the Brahman and the Jivas, saying Jiva can never become or one with Brahman. 'You are never that'.

Anyway, we diverted from the original topic.
 
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Then, the Vedas would have asked us to worship only one form but with various names.
whereas, each god has a different form, name, functionality [like the various cosmic entities have different purpose].

Shouldn't then mean that the various gods are individuals with different powers, and all of them originated with the powers/will of Brahman? Then why would the upanishad say, 'Sat (That Pure Being) alone existed in the beginning'.

If all are the forms of the same Brahman, then why would the creation from Brahma to Shiva to manus to prajapatis to other living beings, be hierarchical?
Hello Govinda,
Your question is right.Vedhas talked about worshiping Brahmam only. To explain Brahmam Vedhas gave different names to the only Brahmam.It is our understanding and Interpretations that we(subsequent Rishis,Scholars) gave different names.As I said earlier further Evolution of Puranas made this gap wider.I give another example in a political situation.One party was initially formed for certain cause. On further development it formed multiples and each party claims they are the Original.Brahmam is One and Original and subsequent developemets called it with various names. As our friends in this Thread have said,Rose is a Rose call it any name.
Alwan
0
 
The biggest point is spirituality and religion is the personal choice of a human being,there is no need for him/her to justify it.But that is today.In the olden days,individual existed as a family and choices were made as a family.Thats how life works in a village.

So,all this comparison is pointless,whether right or wrong everyone has a right to believe in what they want to.
 
The biggest point is spirituality and religion is the personal choice of a human being,there is no need for him/her to justify it.But that is today.In the olden days,individual existed as a family and choices were made as a family.Thats how life works in a village.

So,all this comparison is pointless,whether right or wrong everyone has a right to believe in what they want to.


This is so true. I totally agree with you. We are just debating here about the nature of Brahman. Thats all. At the end of the day everyone is still going to beleive what they want to, which is fine.
 
why did energy manifest? Where did energy come from? Where did things come from? How is it related to God?

Govinda, <br><br>Your question is like trying to know where from God came into existence. It is very big question and in tamil they say "Kandavar vindathillai, vindavar kandathillai" (those who saw never told and those who told never saw). Those who spend their whole life meditating upon that one question alone realize it. Still there is no way infinity can be expressed with mere words.
 

prasad1

Active member
Govinda, <br><br>Your question is like trying to know where from God came into existence. It is very big question and in tamil they say "Kandavar vindathillai, vindavar kandathillai" (those who saw never told and those who told never saw). Those who spend their whole life meditating upon that one question alone realize it. Still there is no way infinity can be expressed with mere words.

Beautifully said
 
Rigveda does not show the monistic (Ekadeiva - only one Godhead behind everything) concept. That seems to me to be a later adoption, most probably when knowledge about the abrahamic religions reached our brahmins in the ancient days through traders etc., from the present day Gulf countries, Turkey, etc., as also from the zoroastrians through the North-West land route across the Hindu kush. Once the idea reached us, the early Upanishads - specially Brihadaaranyaka, discussions on Brahman, the later Upanishads, etc., started and culminated in what is now vedanta. In order to suit our convenience some riks like "Ekam sad vipraah bahudhaa vadanti" etc., were extracted out of context and tomtomed to make an impression that the much later one-Reality concept was already in the earliest of the vedas, imo.

But I will like to be corrected if my impression is wrong, based on scriptural internal evidence.
 
Rigveda does not show the monistic (Ekadeiva - only one Godhead behind everything) concept. That seems to me to be a later adoption, most probably when knowledge about the abrahamic religions reached our brahmins in the ancient days through traders etc., from the present day Gulf countries, Turkey, etc., as also from the zoroastrians through the North-West land route across the Hindu kush. Once the idea reached us, the early Upanishads - specially Brihadaaranyaka, discussions on Brahman, the later Upanishads, etc., started and culminated in what is now vedanta. In order to suit our convenience some riks like "Ekam sad vipraah bahudhaa vadanti" etc., were extracted out of context and tomtomed to make an impression that the much later one-Reality concept was already in the earliest of the vedas, imo.

But I will like to be corrected if my impression is wrong, based on scriptural internal evidence.

I cant believe you are serious about the high-lighted portion of the message. For a person who had started/contributed to the thread "let us famililarise ourselves with rig veda", for a person who translated some portion of brihad-aranyaka upanishad (BU) and for a person who drew attention to Apasthamba sutras (AS), I feel you surely know the antiquity of BU vis-a-viz. abrahmic religions. AS is dated by historians to 200-600 BC and as per Mr. Michael Witzel, BU is one of the oldest upanishads. The general opinion of historians is that sutra period succeeded Brahmanam/upaniSad period (the major 10/11 upaniSads commented by vedantins and not the ever-mushrooming newer upaniSads).

As regards influence of zoroastrians through NW land route, I feel, you know more than anyone else in this forum, that the fall of "varuNa worship" indicates complete branching out of Indian and Iranian tribe/people and the waning influence of "Zend Avesta".

I suppose you mean Islam and Christianity by abrahamic religions, and if you mean some other religion, my reply is not relevant.
 
OP
OP
Govinda
Those who spend their whole life meditating upon that one question alone realize it. Still there is no way infinity can be expressed with mere words.
Post# 32

Infinity cannot be expressed in mere words! but Infinite is understood in relative terms. Infinity starts from 0,1,2.. billions to gazillion, after that we cannot reduce that larger values to our counting, thus we call that 'Irreducible Value' as Infinity. Thus, Infinity is comprehended from the basic understanding of numbers.

"Kandavar vindathillai, vindavar kandathillai" (those who saw never told and those who told never saw).

If you take that literally, they are contrary to our scriptural knowledge.

Our vedas clearly describe the nature of that Brahman, gods, Universe and the Creation. It is only true to the sense that we have not comprehended such 'Nature of Reality' ourselves.

There is an Upanishadic statement 'Those who know Him, do not know' . It should only be understood that 'Those who know Him, donot know Him WELL', meaning the Brahman/He is Infinite/Limitless to be known completely.
 
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N.R.Ranganathan

Active member
Govinda has quoted Kena upanishad and the same theme is in the statement
kandavar vindilar......

Renu's example is extracted from Adi Sankara's ' Manisha Panchakam ' , which
says the thread which runs through bibili ( ant ) to Brahma is the Brahman.

There is one logic called bimba-pratibimba vaaada. The Sun is one and it is
reflected in various water pools as several Suns. Like this, we are all one
but due to maya we see the difference. If the Truth is realised by removing
the medium of water or the maya, we will realise our ONENESS and there
will be no fight.

Devas are not Brahman.
 
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