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Hindu
Hindu
deities are the gods and goddesses in Hinduism. The terms and epithets for deity within the diverse traditions of Hinduism
Hinduism
vary, and include Deva, Devi, Ishvara, Bhagavān and Bhagavati.[1][2][note 1] The deities of Hinduism
Hinduism
have evolved from the Vedic era (2nd millennium BCE) through the medieval era (1st millennium CE), regionally within Nepal, India
India
and in southeast Asia, and across Hinduism's diverse traditions.[3][4] The Hindu
Hindu
deity concept varies from a personal god as in Yoga
Yoga
school of Hindu
Hindu
philosophy,[5][6] to 33 Vedic deities,[7] to hundreds of Puranics of Hinduism.[8] Illustrations of major deities include Vishnu, Sri (Lakshmi), Shiva, Sati, Brahma
Brahma
and Saraswati. These deities have distinct and complex personalities, yet are often viewed as aspects of the same Ultimate Reality called Brahman.[9][note 2] From ancient times, the idea of equivalence has been cherished for all Hindus, in its texts and in early 1st millennium sculpture with concepts such as [10] Ardhanārīshvara (half Shiva, half Parvati),[11] with myths and temples that feature them together, declaring they are the same.[12][13][14] Major deities have inspired their own Hindu traditions, such as Vaishnavism, Shaivism
Shaivism
and Shaktism, but with shared mythology, ritual grammar, theosophy, axiology and polycentrism.[15][16][17] Some Hindu
Hindu
traditions such as Smartism
Smartism
from mid 1st millennium CE, have included multiple major deities as henotheistic manifestations of Saguna Brahman, and as a means to realizing Nirguna Brahman.[18][19][20] Hindu
Hindu
deities are represented with various icons and anicons, in paintings and sculptures, called Murtis and Pratimas.[21][22][23] Some Hindu
Hindu
traditions, such as ancient Charvakas rejected all deities and concept of god or goddess,[24][25][26] while 19th-century British colonial era movements such as the Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj
and Brahmo Samaj rejected deities and adopted monotheistic concepts similar to Abrahamic religions.[27][28] Hindu
Hindu
deities have been adopted in other religions such as Jainism,[29] and in regions outside India
India
such as predominantly Buddhist Thailand
Thailand
and Japan
Japan
where they continue to be revered in regional temples or arts.[30][31][32] In ancient and medieval era texts of Hinduism, the human body is described as a temple,[33][34] and deities are described to be parts residing within it,[35][36] while the Brahman
Brahman
(Absolute Reality, God)[18][37] is described to be the same, or of similar nature, as the Atman (self, soul), which Hindus believe is eternal and within every living being.[38][39][40] Deities in Hinduism
Hinduism
are as diverse as its traditions, and a Hindu
Hindu
can choose to be polytheistic, pantheistic, monotheistic, monistic, agnostic, atheistic or humanist.[41][42][43]

Contents

1 Devas and devis

1.1 Characteristics of Vedic era deities 1.2 Characteristics of medieval era deities 1.3 Symbolism

2 Ishvara 3 Number of deities

3.1 Millions, one or one-ness

4 Iconography and practices

4.1 Temple and worship

5 Examples

5.1 Trimurti
Trimurti
and Tridevi 5.2 Avatars of Hindu
Hindu
deities 5.3 Major regional and pan-Indian Hindu
Hindu
deities

6 See also 7 Notes 8 References

8.1 Sources

9 Further reading 10 External links

Devas and devis[edit]

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Yoga
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Shiva
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Bhakti
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Karma
yoga Raja yoga Kundalini Yoga

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Ancient

Agastya Angiras Aruni Ashtavakra Atri Bharadwaja Gotama Jamadagni Jaimini Kanada Kapila Kashyapa Pāṇini Patanjali Raikva Satyakama Jabala Valmiki Vashistha Vishvamitra Vyasa Yajnavalkya

Medieval

Nayanars Alvars Adi Shankara Basava Akka Mahadevi Allama Prabhu Siddheshwar Jñāneśvar Chaitanya Gangesha Upadhyaya Gaudapada Gorakshanath Jayanta Bhatta Kabir Kumarila Bhatta Matsyendranath Mahavatar Babaji Madhusudana Madhva Haridasa Thakur Namdeva Nimbarka Prabhakara Raghunatha Siromani Ramanuja Sankardev Purandara Dasa Kanaka Dasa Ramprasad Sen Jagannatha Dasa Vyasaraya Sripadaraya Raghavendra Swami Gopala Dasa Śyāma Śastri Vedanta
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v t e

Main articles: Deva (Hinduism)
Deva (Hinduism)
and Devi Deities in Hinduism
Hinduism
are referred to as Deva (masculine) and Devi (feminine).[44][45][46] The root of these terms mean "heavenly, divine, anything of excellence".[47] According to Douglas Harper, the etymological roots of Deva mean "a shining one," from *div- "to shine," and it is a cognate with Greek dios "divine" and Zeus, and Latin deus (Old Latin deivos).[48] In the earliest Vedic literature, all supernatural beings are called Asuras.[49][50] By the late Vedic period (~500 BCE), benevolent supernatural beings are referred to as Deva-Asuras. In post-Vedic texts, such as the Puranas
Puranas
and the Itihasas
Itihasas
of Hinduism, the Devas represent the good, and the Asuras the bad.[3][4] In some medieval Indian literature, Devas are also referred to as Suras and contrasted with their equally powerful, but malevolent half-brothers referred to as the Asuras.[51] Hindu
Hindu
deities are part of Indian mythology, both Devas and Devis feature in one of many cosmological theories in Hinduism.[52][53] Characteristics of Vedic era deities[edit] In Vedic literature, Devas and Devis represent the forces of nature and some represent moral values (such as the Adityas, Varuna, and Mitra), each symbolizing the epitome of a specialized knowledge, creative energy, exalted and magical powers (Siddhis).[54][55]

Vedic era deities evolved over time. Rudra
Rudra
(left) is represented in Vedic literature, is shown as Shiva- Rudra
Rudra
2nd-century sculpture (middle), and as Shiva
Shiva
(meaning kind) in 13th-century art work (right). The iconography evolved, retaining some symbolic elements such as trident, axe or antelope.[56][57]

The most referred to Devas in the Rig Veda
Rig Veda
are Indra, Agni
Agni
(fire) and Soma, with "fire deity" called the friend of all humanity, it and Soma being the two celebrated in a yajna fire ritual that marks major Hindu ceremonies. Savitr, Vishnu, Rudra
Rudra
(later given the exclusive epithet of Shiva), and Prajapati
Prajapati
(later Brahma) are gods and hence Devas.[30] The Vedas
Vedas
describes a number of significant Devis such as Ushas(dawn), Saranyu(Dusk), Prithvi/Bhudevi(earth), Gayatri(Adi shakti), Aditi (cosmic moral order), Saraswati(river, knowledge), Lakshmi(wealth), Nirṛti/Dhumavati(destruction), Ratri(night), Chhaya(shadow), Aranyani(forest), and bounty goddesses such as Dinsana, Raka, Puramdhi, Parendi, Bharati, Mahi among others are mentioned in the Rigveda.[58] Sri, also called Lakshmi, appears in late Vedic texts dated to be pre-Buddhist, but verses dedicated to her do not suggest that her characteristics were fully developed in the Vedic era.[59] All gods and goddesses are distinguished in the Vedic times, but in the post-Vedic texts (~500 BCE to 200 CE), and particularly in the early medieval era literature, they are ultimately seen as aspects or manifestations of one Brahman, the Supreme power.[59][60] Ananda Coomaraswamy states that Devas and Asuras in the Vedic lore are similar to Angels-Theoi-Gods and Titans of Greek mythology, both are powerful but have different orientations and inclinations, the Devas representing the powers of Light and the Asuras representing the powers of Darkness in Hindu
Hindu
mythology.[61][62] According to Coomaraswamy's interpretation of Devas and Asuras, both these natures exist in each human being, the tyrant and the angel is within each being, the best and the worst within each person struggles before choices and one's own nature, and the Hindu
Hindu
formulation of Devas and Asuras is an eternal dance between these within each person.[63][64]

The Devas and Asuras, Angels and Titans, powers of Light and powers of Darkness in Rigveda, although distinct and opposite in operation, are in essence consubstantial, their distinction being a matter not of essence but of orientation, revolution or transformation. In this case, the Titan is potentially an Angel, the Angel still by nature a Titan; the Darkness in actu is Light, the Light in potentia Darkness; whence the designations Asura
Asura
and Deva may be applied to one and the same Person according to the mode of operation, as in Rigveda
Rigveda
1.163.3, "Trita art thou (Agni) by interior operation". — Ananda Coomaraswamy, Journal of the American Oriental Society[65]

Characteristics of medieval era deities[edit] In the Puranas
Puranas
and the Itihasas
Itihasas
with the embedded Bhagavad Gita, the Devas represent the good, and the Asuras the bad.[3][4] According to the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
(16.6-16.7), all beings in the universe have both the divine qualities (daivi sampad) and the demonic qualities (asuri sampad) within each.[4][66] The sixteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita states that pure god-like saints are rare and pure demon-like evil are rare among human beings, and the bulk of humanity is multi-charactered with a few or many faults.[4] According to Jeaneane Fowler, the Gita states that desires, aversions, greed, needs, emotions in various forms "are facets of ordinary lives", and it is only when they turn to lust, hate, cravings, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness, hypocrisy, violence, cruelty and such negativity- and destruction-inclined that natural human inclinations metamorphose into something demonic (Asura).[4][66]

Indra
Indra
is a Vedic era deity, found in south and southeast Asia. Above Indra
Indra
is part of the seal of a Thailand
Thailand
state.

The Epics and medieval era texts, particularly the Puranas, developed extensive and richly varying mythologies associated with Hindu deities, including their genealogies.[67][68][69] Several of the Purana texts are named after major Hindu
Hindu
deities such as Vishnu, Shiva and Devi.[67] Other texts and commentators such as Adi Shankara explain that Hindu
Hindu
deities live or rule over the cosmic body as well in the temple of human body.[33][70] They remark that the Sun deity is the eyes, the Vāyu the nose, the Prajapati
Prajapati
the sexual organs, the Lokapalas the ears, Chandra
Chandra
the mind, Mitra
Mitra
the inward breath, Varuna the outward breath, Indra
Indra
the arms, Bṛhaspati the speech, Vishnu, whose stride is great, is the feet, and Māyā is the smile.[70] Symbolism[edit] Edelmann states that gods and anti-gods of Hinduism
Hinduism
are symbolism for spiritual concepts. For example, god Indra
Indra
(a Deva) and the antigod Virocana (an Asura) question a sage for insights into the knowledge of the self.[71] Virocana leaves with the first given answer, believing now he can use the knowledge as a weapon. In contrast, Indra
Indra
keeps pressing the sage, churning the ideas, and learning about means to inner happiness and power. Edelmann suggests that the Deva-Asura dichotomies in Hindu
Hindu
mythology may be seen as "narrative depictions of tendencies within our selves".[71] Hindu
Hindu
deities in Vedic era, states Mahoney, are those artists with "powerfully inward transformative, effective and creative mental powers".[72] In Hindu
Hindu
mythology, everyone starts as an Asura, born of the same father. "Asuras who remain Asura" share the character of powerful beings craving for more power, more wealth, ego, anger, unprincipled nature, force and violence.[73][74] The "Asuras who become Devas" in contrast are driven by an inner voice, seek understanding and meaning, prefer moderation, principled behavior, aligned with Ṛta
Ṛta
and Dharma, knowledge and harmony.[73][74][75] The god (Deva) and antigod (Asura), states Edelmann, are also symbolically the contradictory forces that motivate each individual and people, and thus Deva- Asura
Asura
dichotomy is a spiritual concept rather than mere genealogical category or species of being.[76] In the Bhāgavata Purana, saints and gods are born in families of Asuras, such as Mahabali
Mahabali
and Prahlada, conveying the symbolism that motivations, beliefs and actions rather than one's birth and family circumstances define whether one is Deva-like or Asura-like.[76] Ishvara[edit] Main article: Ishvara

Ishvara
Ishvara
is, along with Shiva, Vishnu
Vishnu
and Brahma, one of the 17 deities commonly found in Indonesian Surya Majapahit
Surya Majapahit
Hindu
Hindu
arts and records. However, Ishvara
Ishvara
represents different concept in various Hindu philosophies.

Another Hindu
Hindu
term that is sometimes translated as deity is Ishvara, or alternatively various deities are described, state Sorajjakool et al., as "the personifications of various aspects of one and the same Ishvara".[77] The term Ishvara
Ishvara
has a wide range of meanings that depend on the era and the school of Hinduism.[78][79][80] In ancient texts of Indian philosophy, Ishvara
Ishvara
means supreme soul, Brahman (Highest Reality), ruler, king or husband depending on the context.[78] In medieval era texts, Ishvara
Ishvara
means God, Supreme Being, personal god, or special Self depending on the school of Hinduism.[2][80][81] Among the six systems of Hindu
Hindu
philosophy, Samkhya
Samkhya
and Mimamsa
Mimamsa
do not consider the concept of Ishvara, i.e., a supreme being, relevant. Yoga, Vaisheshika, Vedanta
Vedanta
and Nyaya
Nyaya
schools of Hinduism
Hinduism
discuss Ishvara, but assign different meanings. Early Nyaya
Nyaya
school scholars considered the hypothesis of a deity as a creator God with the power to grant blessings, boons and fruits; but these early Nyaya
Nyaya
scholars then rejected this hypothesis, and were non-theistic or atheists.[25][82] Later scholars of Nyaya
Nyaya
school reconsidered this question and offered counter arguments for what is Ishvara
Ishvara
and various arguments to prove the existence of omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent deity (God).[83] Vaisheshika school of Hinduism, as founded by Kanada in 1st millennium BC, neither required nor relied on creator deity.[84][85] Later Vaisheshika school adopted the concept of Ishvara, states Klaus Klostermaier, but as an eternal God who co-exists in the universe with eternal substances and atoms, but He "winds up the clock, and lets it run its course".[84] Ancient Mimamsa
Mimamsa
scholars of Hinduism
Hinduism
questioned what is Ishvara (deity, God)?[86] They considered deity concept unnecessary for a consistent philosophy and moksha (soteriology).[86][87] In Samkhya
Samkhya
school of Hindu
Hindu
philosophy, Isvara is neither a creator-God, nor a savior-God.[88] This is called one of the several major atheistic schools of Hinduism
Hinduism
by some scholars.[89][90][91] Others, such as Jacobsen, state that Samkhya
Samkhya
is more accurately described as non-theistic.[92] Deity is considered an irrelevant concept, neither defined nor denied, in Samkhya
Samkhya
school of Hindu philosophy.[93] In Yoga
Yoga
school of Hinduism, it is any "personal deity" (Ishta Deva or Ishta Devata)[94] or "spiritual inspiration", but not a creator God.[81][89] Whicher explains that while Patanjali's terse verses in the Yogasutras can be interpreted both as theistic or non-theistic, Patanjali's concept of Isvara in Yoga
Yoga
philosophy functions as a "transformative catalyst or guide for aiding the yogin on the path to spiritual emancipation".[95] The Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
school of Hinduism
Hinduism
asserted that there is no dualistic existence of deity (or deities).[96][97] There is no otherness nor distinction between Jiva and Ishvara.[98][99] God (Ishvara, Brahman) is identical with the Atman (soul) within each human being in Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
school,[100] and there is a monistic Universal Absolute Oneness that connects everyone and everything, states this school of Hinduism.[39][99][101] This school, states Anantanand Rambachan, has "perhaps exerted the most widespread influence".[102] The Dvaita
Dvaita
sub-school of Vedanta
Vedanta
Hinduism, founded in medieval era, Ishvara
Ishvara
is defined as a creator God that is distinct from Jiva (individual souls in living beings).[40] In this school, God creates individual souls, but the individual soul never was and never will become one with God; the best it can do is to experience bliss by getting infinitely close to God.[20] Number of deities[edit]

Yantra
Yantra
as aniconic deities

Sri Yantra
Sri Yantra
symbolizing the goddess Tripura Sundari

Yantras or mandalas (shown) are 3-D images.[103] In Tantra, a minority tradition in Hinduism,[104] they are considered identical with deity.[105] Similar tantric yantras are found in Jainism
Jainism
and Buddhism as well.[106]

Yāska, the earliest known language scholar of India
India
(~ 500 BCE), notes Wilkins, mentions that there are three deities (Devas) according to the Vedas, " Agni
Agni
(fire), whose place is on the earth; Vayu
Vayu
(wind), whose place is the air; and Surya
Surya
(sun), whose place is in the sky".[107] This principle of three worlds (or zones), and its multiples is found thereafter in many ancient texts. The Samhitas, which are the oldest layer of text in Vedas
Vedas
enumerate 33 devas,[note 3] either 11 each for the three worlds, or as 12 Adityas, 11 Rudras, 8 Vasus and 2 Ashvins
Ashvins
in the Brahmanas
Brahmanas
layer of Vedic texts.[7][47] The Rigveda
Rigveda
states in hymn 1.139.11,

ये देवासो दिव्येकादश स्थ पृथिव्यामध्येकादश स्थ । अप्सुक्षितो महिनैकादश स्थ ते देवासो यज्ञमिमं जुषध्वम् ॥११॥[111]

O ye eleven gods whose home is heaven, O ye eleven who make earth your dwelling, Ye who with might, eleven, live in waters, accept this sacrifice, O gods, with pleasure. – Translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith[112]

Gods who are eleven in heaven; who are eleven on earth; and who are eleven dwelling with glory in mid-air; may ye be pleased with this our sacrifice. – Translated by HH Wilson[113]

—  Rigveda
Rigveda
1.139.11

Millions, one or one-ness[edit] Thirty-three divinities are mentioned in other ancient texts, such as the Yajurveda,[114] however, there is no fixed "number of deities" in Hinduism
Hinduism
any more than a standard representation of "deity".[115] There is, however, a popular perception stating that there are 33 million(or "33 million") deities in Hinduism.[116] Most, by far, are goddesses, state Foulston and Abbott, suggesting "how important and popular goddesses are" in Hindu
Hindu
culture.[115] No one has a list of the 33 category goddesses and gods, but scholars state all deities are typically viewed in Hinduism
Hinduism
as "emanations or manifestation of genderless principle called Brahman, representing the many facets of Ultimate Reality".[115][116][117] This concept of Brahman
Brahman
is not the same as the monotheistic separate God found in Abrahamic religions, where God is considered, states Brodd, as "creator of the world, above and independent of human existence", while in Hinduism
Hinduism
"God, the universe, human beings and all else is essentially one thing" and everything is connected oneness, the same god is in every human being as Atman, the eternal Self.[117][118] Iconography and practices[edit] Main article: Murti

Proper Murti
Murti
design is described in ancient and medieval Indian texts. They describe proportions, posture, expressions among other details, often referencing to nature.[119][120][121]

A Hindu
Hindu
prayer before cutting a tree for a Murti

Oh Tree! you have been selected for the worship of a deity, Salutations to you! I worship you per rules, kindly accept it. May all who live in this tree, find residence elsewhere, May they forgive us now, we bow to them.

—Brihat Samhita
Samhita
59.10 - 59.11[122][123]

Hinduism
Hinduism
has an ancient and extensive iconography tradition, particularly in the form of Murti
Murti
(Sanskrit: मूर्ति, IAST: Mūrti), or Vigraha or Pratima.[22] A Murti
Murti
is itself not the god in Hinduism, but it is an image of god and represents emotional and religious value.[124] A literal translation of Murti
Murti
as idol is incorrect, states Jeaneane Fowler, when idol is understood as superstitious end in itself.[124] Just like the photograph of a person is not the real person, a Murti
Murti
is an image in Hinduism
Hinduism
but not the real thing, but in both cases the image reminds of something of emotional and real value to the viewer.[124] When a person worships a Murti, it is assumed to be a manifestation of the essence or spirit of the deity, the worshipper's spiritual ideas and needs are meditated through it, yet the idea of ultimate reality or Brahman
Brahman
is not confined in it.[124] A Murti
Murti
of a Hindu
Hindu
deity is typically made by carving stone, wood working, metal casting or through pottery. Medieval era texts describing their proper proportions, positions and gestures include the Puranas, Agamas and Samhitas particularly the Shilpa Shastras.[21] The expressions in a Murti
Murti
vary in diverse Hindu
Hindu
traditions, ranging from Ugra symbolism to express destruction, fear and violence (Durga, Kali), as well as Saumya symbolism to express joy, knowledge and harmony (Saraswati, Lakshmi). Saumya images are most common in Hindu temples.[125] Other Murti
Murti
forms found in Hinduism
Hinduism
include the Linga.[126] A Murti
Murti
is an embodiment of the divine, the Ultimate Reality or Brahman
Brahman
to some Hindus.[21] In religious context, they are found in Hindu
Hindu
temples or homes, where they may be treated as a beloved guest and serve as a participant of Puja rituals in Hinduism.[127] A murti is installed by priests, in Hindu
Hindu
temples, through the Prana Pratishtha ceremony,[128] whereby state Harold Coward and David Goa, the "divine vital energy of the cosmos is infused into the sculpture" and then the divine is welcomed as one would welcome a friend.[129] In other occasions, it serves as the center of attention in annual festive processions and these are called Utsava
Utsava
Murti.[130] Temple and worship[edit] Main articles: Hindu
Hindu
temple and Puja (Hinduism)

Along with Murti, Hindus use nature and aniconic symbols for deities. Linga- Yoni
Yoni
(left) symbolizes Shiva-Parvati,[131] Tulsi
Tulsi
plant in a square base (center) is symbolism for Vishnu,[132] and sunrise (or rivers) are revered as aspects of the spiritual everywhere.[133]

In Hinduism, deities and their icons may be hosted in a Hindu
Hindu
temple, within a home or as an amulet. The worship performed by Hindus is known by a number of regional names, such as Puja.[134] This practice in front of a murti may be elaborate in large temples, or be a simple song or mantra muttered in home, or offering made to sunrise or river or symbolic anicon of a deity.[135][136][137] Archaeological evidence of deity worship in Hindu
Hindu
temples trace Puja rituals to Gupta Empire era (~4th century CE).[138][139] In Hindu
Hindu
temples, various pujas may be performed daily at various times of the day; in other temples, it may be occasional.[140][141] The Puja practice is structured as an act of welcoming, hosting, honoring the deity of one's choice as one's honored guest,[142] and remembering the spiritual and emotional significance the deity represents the devotee.[124][134] Jan Gonda, as well as Diana L. Eck, states that a typical Puja involves one or more of 16 steps (Shodasha Upachara) traceable to ancient times: the deity is invited as a guest, the devotee hosts and takes care of the deity as an honored guest, praise (hymns) with Dhupa
Dhupa
or Aarti
Aarti
along with food (Naivedhya) is offered to the deity, after an expression of love and respect the host takes leave, and with affection expresses good bye to the deity.[143][144] The worship practice may also involve reflecting on spiritual questions, with image serving as support for such meditation.[145] Deity worship (Bhakti), visiting temples and Puja rites are not mandatory and is optional in Hinduism; it is the choice of a Hindu, it may be a routine daily affair for some Hindus, periodic ritual or infrequent for some.[146][147] Worship practices in Hinduism
Hinduism
are as diverse as its traditions, and a Hindu
Hindu
can choose to be polytheistic, pantheistic, monotheistic, monistic, agnostic, atheistic, or humanist.[41] Examples[edit] Main articles: List of Hindu
Hindu
deities and Rigvedic deities Major deities have inspired a vast genre of literature such as the Puranas
Puranas
and Agama texts as well their own Hindu
Hindu
traditions, but with shared mythology, ritual grammar, theosophy, axiology and polycentrism.[16][17] Vishnu
Vishnu
and his avatars are at the foundation of Vaishnavism, Shiva
Shiva
for Shaivism, Devi
Devi
for Shaktism, and some Hindu traditions such as Smarta traditions who revere multiple major deities (five) as henotheistic manifestations of Brahman
Brahman
(absolute metaphysical Reality).[116][148][149] While there are diverse deities in Hinduism, states Lawrence, "Exclusivism – which maintains that only one's own deity is real" is rare in Hinduism.[116] Julius Lipner, and other scholars, state that pluralism and "polycentrism" – where other deities are recognized and revered by members of different "denominations", has been the Hindu
Hindu
ethos and way of life.[16][150] Trimurti
Trimurti
and Tridevi[edit] Main articles: Trimurti
Trimurti
and Tridevi

A 10th century trinity – Vishnu, Shiva
Shiva
and Brahma
Brahma
– from Bihar.

The concept of Triad (or Trimurti, Trinity) makes a relatively late appearance in Hindu
Hindu
literature, or in the second half of 1st millennium BCE.[151] The idea of triad, playing three roles in the cosmic affairs, is typically associated with Brahma, Vishnu
Vishnu
and Shiva (also called Mahesh); however, this is not the only triad in Hindu literature.[152] Other triads include Tridevi, of three goddesses – Lakshmi, Saraswati
Saraswati
and Kali
Kali
in the text Devi
Devi
Mahatmya, in the Shakta tradition, who further assert that Devi
Devi
is the Brahman
Brahman
(Ultimate Reality) and it is her energy that empowers Brahma, Vishnu
Vishnu
and Shiva.[151] The other triads, formulated as deities in ancient Indian literature, include Sun (creator), Air (sustainer) and Fire (destroyer); Prana (creator), Food (sustainer) and Time (destroyer).[151] These triads, states Jan Gonda, are in some mythologies grouped together without forming a Trinity, and in other times represented as equal, a unity and manifestations of one Brahman.[151] In the Puranas, for example, this idea of threefold "hypostatization" is expressed as follows,

They [Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva] exist through each other, and uphold each other; they are parts of one another; they subsist through one another; they are not for a moment separated; they never abandon one another. —  Vayu
Vayu
Purana, 5.17, Translated by Jan Gonda[151]

The triad appears in Maitrayaniya Upanishad, for the first time in recognized roles known ever since, where they are deployed to present the concept of three Guṇa
Guṇa
– the innate nature, tendencies and inner forces found within every being and everything, whose balance transform and keeps changing the individual and the world.[152][153] It is in the medieval Puranic texts, Trimurti
Trimurti
concepts appears in various context, from rituals to spiritual concepts.[151] The Bhagavad Gita, in verses 9.18, 10.21-23 and 11.15, asserts that the triad or trinity is manifestation of one Brahman, which Krishna
Krishna
affirms himself to be.[154] However, suggests Bailey, the mythology of triad is "not the influence nor the most important one" in Hindu
Hindu
traditions, rather the ideologies and spiritual concepts develop on their own foundations.[152] Avatars of Hindu
Hindu
deities[edit]

The ten avatars of Vishnu, (Clockwise, from top left) Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Vamana, Krishna, Kalki, Buddha, Parshurama, Rama
Rama
and Narasimha, (in centre) Radha
Radha
and Krishna. Painting currently in Victoria and Albert Museum.

Main articles: Avatar
Avatar
and Dashavatara Hindu
Hindu
mythology has nurtured the concept of Avatar, which represents the descent of a deity on earth.[155][156] This concept is commonly translated as "incarnation",[155] and is an "appearance" or "manifestation".[157][158] The concept of Avatar
Avatar
is most developed in Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
tradition, and associated with Vishnu, particularly with Rama
Rama
and Krishna.[159][160] Vishnu
Vishnu
takes numerous avatars in Hindu
Hindu
mythology. He becomes female, during the Samudra manthan, in the form of Mohini, to resolve a conflict between the Devas and Asuras. His male avatars include Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki.[160] Various texts, particularly the Bhagavad Gita, discuss the idea of Avatar
Avatar
of Vishnu
Vishnu
appearing to restore the cosmic balance whenever the power of evil becomes excessive and causes persistent oppression in the world.[156] In Shaktism
Shaktism
traditions, the concept appears in its legends as the various manifestations of Devi, the Divine Mother principal in Hinduism.[161] The avatars of Devi
Devi
or Parvati
Parvati
include Durga
Durga
and Kali, who are particularly revered in eastern states of India, as well as Tantra traditions.[162][163][164] Twenty one avatars of Shiva
Shiva
are also described in Shaivism
Shaivism
texts, but unlike Vaishnava traditions, Shaiva traditions have focussed directly on Shiva
Shiva
rather than the Avatar concept.[155] Major regional and pan-Indian Hindu
Hindu
deities[edit]

Name Other Names Avatārs or Associated Deities Geography Image Early illustrative art

Vishnu Nārāyana, Venkateshwara, Jagannatha Matsya, Kurma, Varāha, Nṛsimha, Vāmana, Parashurāma, Rāma, Kṛshna, Kalki, Vithoba, Gopāl, Naraenten (那羅延天, Japan) pan-Indian, Nepal, Sri Lanka

2nd-century BCE

Shiva Mahādeva, Pashupati, Tripurantaka, Vishwanatha, Dakshinamurthy, Kālāntaka, Bhairava Achalanatha(Japan)[165][166] pan-Indian, Nepal, Sri Lanka

1st-century BCE[167]

Brahmā Prajāpati Bonten
Bonten
(Japan)[168], Phra Phrom
Phra Phrom
(Thailand) pan-Indian, Nepal, Sri Lanka

6th-century CE

Ganesha Ganapati, Vināyaka, Lambodara, Gajānana Kangiten
Kangiten
(Japan) pan-Indian, Nepal, Sri Lanka

7th-century CE

Hanuman Maruti,Pavanputra, Kesarinandan,Ananjeya

Mahavir (Bhutan),(Sri lanka), (Nepal)

Kārtikeya Skanda, Murugan

pan-India, Sri Lanka

8th-century CE

Pārvati Uma, Devi, Gauri, Durga, Kāli, Annapurna Umahi (烏摩妃, Japan) Dewi Sri (Indonesia)[169] pan-Indian, Nepal, Sri Lanka

5th-century CE

Lakshmi Sri Devi, Gajalakshmi, Kamalāsanā Sita, Rādhā, Kisshōten
Kisshōten
(Japan) Nang Kwak
Nang Kwak
(Thailand)[170] pan-Indian, Nepal, Sri Lanka

1st-century BCE

Saraswati Vāgishvari, Vīnāpāni Benzaiten
Benzaiten
(Japan), Biàncáitiān (China), Thurathadi (Myanmar), Suratsawadi (Thailand)[171] pan-Indian, Nepal, Java, Bali, Sri Lanka

10th-century CE

Durgā Pārvati, Kāli, Mahishāsuramardini Betari Durga
Durga
(Indonesia)[172] pan-Indian, Nepal, Sri Lanka

8th-century CE

Kāli Durga, Parvati

pan-Indian, Nepal, Sri Lanka

12th-century CE

Mariamman Durga, Parvati

South India, Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka

Ardhanārīshvara (Half Shiva
Shiva
- Half Parvati)

pan-Indian, Nepal, Sri Lanka

1st-century CE

See also[edit]

Hindu
Hindu
denominations Hindu
Hindu
iconography Hindu
Hindu
mythology Puranas List of Hindu
Hindu
deities Rigvedic deities

Notes[edit]

^ For translation of deva in singular noun form as "a deity, god", and in plural form as "the gods" or "the heavenly or shining ones", see: Monier-Williams 2001, p. 492 and Renou 1964, p. 55 ^ [a] Hark, Lisa; DeLisser, Horace (2011). Achieving Cultural Competency. John Wiley & Sons. Three gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, and other deities are considered manifestations of and are worshipped as incarnations of Brahman.  [b] Toropov & Buckles 2011: The members of various Hindu
Hindu
sects worship a dizzying number of specific deities and follow innumerable rites in honor of specific gods. Because this is Hinduism, however, its practitioners see the profusion of forms and practices as expressions of the same unchanging reality. The panoply of deities are understood by believers as symbols for a single transcendent reality. [d] Orlando O. Espín, James B. Nickoloff (2007). An Introductory Dictionary of Theology and Religious Studies. Liturgical Press. While Hindus believe in many devas, many are monotheistic to the extent that they will recognise only one Supreme Being, a God or Goddess who is the source and ruler of the devas.  ^ The list of Vedic Devas somewhat varies across the manuscripts found in different parts of South Asia, particularly in terms of guides (Aswins) and personified Devas. One list based on Book 2 of Aitereya Brahmana
Brahmana
is:[108][109]

Devas personified: Indra
Indra
(Śakra), Varuṇa, Mitra, Aryaman, Bhaga, Aṃśa, Vidhatr (Brahma),[110] Tvāṣṭṛ, Pūṣan, Vivasvat, Savitṛ (Dhatr), Vishnu. Devas as abstractions or inner principles: Ānanda (bliss, inner contentment), Vijñāna (knowledge), Manas (mind, thought), Prāṇa (life-force), Vāc (speech), Ātmā (soul, self within each person), and five manifestations of Rudra/ Shiva
Shiva
– Īśāna, Tatpuruṣa, Aghora, Vāmadeva, Sadyojāta Devas as forces or principles of nature – Pṛthivī (earth), Agni (fire), Antarikṣa (atmosphere, space), Jal (water), Vāyu (wind), Dyauṣ (sky), Sūrya (sun), Nakṣatra (stars), Soma (moon) Devas as guide or creative energy – Vasatkara, Prajāpati

References[edit]

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- An Indian Metaphysics of Experience, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415648875, page 39 ^ Richard Garbe (2013), Die Samkhya-Philosophie, Indische Philosophie Volume 11, ISBN 978-1484030615, pages 25-27 (in German) ^ Knut Jacobsen (2008), Theory and Practice of Yoga : 'Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832329, pages 15-16 ^ Knut Jacobsen (2008), Theory and Practice of Yoga : 'Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832329, pages 76-77 ^ Orlando Espín and James Nickoloff (2007), An Introductory Dictionary of Theology and Religious Studies, Liturgical Press, ISBN 978-0814658567, page 651 ^ Ian Whicher (1999), The Integrity of the Yoga
Yoga
Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791438152, page 86 ^ Knut Jacobsen (2008), Theory and Practice of Yoga : 'Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832329, page 77 ^ JN Mohanty (2001), Explorations in Philosophy, Vol 1 (Editor: Bina Gupta), Oxford University Press, page 107-108 ^ Paul Hacker (1978), Eigentumlichkeiten dr Lehre und Terminologie Sankara: Avidya, Namarupa, Maya, Isvara, in Kleine Schriften (Editor: L. Schmithausen), Franz Steiner Verlag, Weisbaden, pages 101-109 (in German), also pages 69-99 ^ a b William Indich (2000), Consciousness in Advaita Vedanta, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120812512, page 5 ^ William James (1985), The Varieties of Religious Experience, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0674932258, page 404 with footnote 28 ^ Lance Nelson (1996), Living liberation in Shankara and classical Advaita, in Living Liberation in Hindu
Hindu
Thought (Editors: Andrew O. Fort, Patricia Y. Mumme), State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791427064, pages 38-39, 59 (footnote 105) ^ Anantanand Rambachan (2012), Advaita Worldview, The: God, World, and Humanity, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791468524, pages 1-2 ^ Alain Daniélou
Alain Daniélou
(1991), The Myths and Gods of India, Princeton/Bollingen Paperbacks, ISBN 978-0892813544, pages 350-354 ^ Serenity Young (2001), Hinduism, Marshall Cavendish, ISBN 978-0761421160, page 73 ^ David R Kinsley (1995), Tantric Visions of the Divine Feminine: The Ten Mahāvidyās, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120800533, pages 136-140, 122-128 ^ RT Vyas and Umakant Shah, Studies in Jaina Art and Iconography and Allied Subjects, Abhinav, ISBN 978-8170173168, pages 23-26 ^ WJ Wilkins (2003), Hindu
Hindu
Gods and Goddesses, Dover, ISBN 978-0486431567, pages 9-10 ^ Hermann Oldenberg (1988), The Religion of the Veda, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120803923, pages 23-50 ^ AA MacDonell, Vedic mythology, p. PA19, at Google Books, Oxford University Press, pages 19-21 ^ Francis X Clooney (2010), Divine Mother, Blessed Mother, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199738731, page 242 ^ ऋग्वेद: सूक्तं १.१३९ Sanskrit, Wikisource ^ The Rig Veda/Mandala 1/Hymn 139 Verse 11, Ralph T. H. Griffith, Wikisource ^ The Rig Veda
Rig Veda
Samhita
Samhita
Verse 11, HH Wilson (Translator), Royal Asiatic Society, WH Allen & Co, London ^ See White Yajurveda
Yajurveda
verses 20.11 and 20.36, for example: Ralph Griffith, The texts of the white Yajurveda
Yajurveda
EJ Lazarus, pages 187, also 190, 132-135, 241 ^ a b c Lynn Foulston, Stuart Abbott (2009). Hindu
Hindu
goddesses: beliefs and practices. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 1–3, 40–41. ISBN 9781902210438.  ^ a b c d David Lawrence (2012), The Routledge Companion to Theism (Editors: Charles Taliaferro, Victoria S. Harrison and Stewart Goetz), Routledge, ISBN 978-0415881647, pages 78-79 ^ a b Jeffrey Brodd (2003), World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery, Saint Mary's Press, ISBN 978-0884897255, page 43 ^ Christopher John Fuller (2004), The Camphor
Camphor
Flame: Popular Hinduism and Society in India, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691120485, pages 30-31, Quote: "Crucial in Hindu polytheism is the relationship between the deities and humanity. Unlike Jewish, Christian and Islamic monotheism, predicated on the otherness of God and either his total separation from man and his singular incarnation, Hinduism
Hinduism
postulates no absolute distinction between deities and human beings. The idea that all deities are truly one is, moreover, easily extended to proclaim that all human beings are in reality also forms of one supreme deity - Brahman, the Absolute of philosophical Hinduism. In practice, this abstract monist doctrine rarely belongs to an ordinary Hindu's statements, but examples of permeability between the divine and human can be easily found in popular Hinduism
Hinduism
in many unremarkable contexts". ^ Abanindranth Tagore, Some notes on Indian Artistic Anatomy, pages 1-21 ^ Stella Kramrisch (1958), Traditions of the Indian Craftsman, The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 71, No. 281, pages 224-230 ^ John Cort (2011), Jains in the World, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199796649, pages 20-21, 56-58 ^ Brihat Samhita
Samhita
of Varaha
Varaha
Mihira, PVS Sastri and VMR Bhat (Translators), Reprinted by Motilal Banarsidass (ISBN 978-8120810600), page 520 ^ Sanskrit: (Source), pages 142-143 (note that the verse number in this version is 58.10-11) ^ a b c d e Jeaneane D Fowler (1996), Hinduism: Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723608, pages 41-45 ^ Gopinath Rao, Elements of Hindu
Hindu
Iconography Madras, Cornell University Archives, pages 17-39 ^ Stella Kramrisch (1994), The Presence of Siva, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691019307, pages 179-187 ^ Michael Willis (2009), The Archaeology of Hindu
Hindu
Ritual, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521518741, pages 96-112, 123-143, 168-172 ^ Heather Elgood (2000), Hinduism
Hinduism
and the Religious Arts, Bloomsbury Academic, ISBN 978-0304707393, pages 14-15, 32-36 ^ Harold Coward and David Goa (2008), Mantra : 'Hearing the Divine In India
India
and America, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832619, pages 25-30 ^ James Lochtefeld (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M, The Rosen Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-8239-3180-4, page 726 ^ Stella Kramrisch (1994), The Presence of Siva, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691019307, pages 243-249 ^ Scott Littleton (2005), Gods, Goddesses, And Mythology, Volume 11, Marshall Cavendish, ISBN 978-0761475590, page 1125 ^ Mukul Goel (2008), Devotional Hinduism: Creating Impressions for God, iUniverse, ISBN 978-0595505241, page 77 ^ a b James Lochtefeld (2002), Puja in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Volume 2, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 0-823922871, pages 529–530 ^ Flood, Gavin D. (2002). The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 6–7. ISBN 978-0-631-21535-6.  ^ Paul Courtright (1985), in Gods of Flesh/Gods of Stone (Joanne Punzo Waghorne, Norman Cutler, and Vasudha Narayanan, eds), ISBN 978-0231107778, Columbia University Press, see Chapter 2 ^ Lindsay Jones, ed. (2005). Gale Encyclopedia of Religion. 11. Thompson Gale. pp. 7493–7495. ISBN 0-02-865980-5.  ^ Willis, Michael D. (2009). "2: 6". The Archaeology of Hindu
Hindu
Ritual. Cambridge University Press.  ^ Willis, Michael D. (2008). The Formation of Temple Ritual in the Gupta Period: pūjā and pañcamahāyajña. Gerd Mevissen.  ^ Puja, Encyclopædia Britannica (2011) ^ Hiro G. Badlani (2008), Hinduism: A path of ancient wisdom, ISBN 978-0595436361, pages 315-318 ^ Paul Thieme (1984), "Indische Wörter und Sitten," in Kleine Schriften, Vol. 2, pages 343–370 ^ Fuller, C. J. (2004), The Camphor
Camphor
Flame: Popular Hinduism
Hinduism
and Society in India, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, pp. 66–73, 308, ISBN 978-069112048-5  ^ Diana L. Eck (2008), Darśan: Seeing the Divine Image in India, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832664, pages 47-49 ^ Diana L. Eck (2008), Darśan: Seeing the Divine Image in India, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832664, pages 45-46 ^ Jonathan Lee and Kathleen Nadeau (2010), Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife, Volume 1, ABC, ISBN 978-0313350665, pages 480-481 ^ Jean Holm and John Bowker (1998), Worship, Bloomsbury Academic, ISBN 978-1855671119, page 83, Quote: "Temples are the permanent residence of a deity and daily worship is performed by the priest, but the majority of Hindus visit temples only on special occasions. Worship in temples is wholly optional for them". ^ Guy Beck (2005), Alternative Krishnas: Regional and Vernacular Variations on a Hindu
Hindu
Deity, SUNY Press, ISBN 978-0791464151, pages 1-2 ^ Editors of Hinduism
Hinduism
Today, Editors of Hinduism
Hinduism
Today. "What is Hinduism?". Himalayan Academy Publications. Retrieved 16 October 2011. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) ^ Andrew J Nicholson (2013), Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231149877, pages 167-168 ^ a b c d e f Jan Gonda (1969), The Hindu
Hindu
Trinity, Anthropos, 63/64, 1/2, pages 212-226 ^ a b c GM Bailey (1979), Trifunctional Elements in the Mythology
Mythology
of the Hindu
Hindu
Trimūrti, Numen, Vol. 26, Fasc. 2, pages 152-163 ^ James G. Lochtefeld, Guna, in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M, Vol. 1, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 9780823931798, page 265 ^ Rudolf V D'Souza (1996), The Bhagavadgītā and St. John of the Cross, Gregorian University, ISBN 978-8876526992, pages 340-342 ^ a b c James Lochtefeld (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M, The Rosen Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-8239-3180-4, pages 72-73 ^ a b Sheth, Noel (Jan 2002). " Hindu
Hindu
Avatāra and Christian Incarnation: A Comparison". Philosophy East and West. University of Hawai'i Press. 52 (1 (Jan. 2002)): 98–125. doi:10.1353/pew.2002.0005. JSTOR 1400135.  ^ Matchett, Freda (2001). Krishna, Lord or Avatara?: the relationship between Krishna
Krishna
and Vishnu. 9780700712816. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7007-1281-6.  ^ Christopher Hugh Partridge, Introduction to World Religions, pg. 148 ^ Kinsley, David (2005). Lindsay Jones, ed. Gale's Encyclopedia of Religion. 2 (Second ed.). Thomson Gale. pp. 707–708. ISBN 0-02-865735-7.  ^ a b Bryant, Edwin Francis (2007). Krishna: A Sourcebook. Oxford University Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-19-514891-6.  ^ Hawley, John Stratton; Vasudha Narayanan (2006). The life of Hinduism. University of California Press. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-520-24914-1.  ^ David Kinsley (1988), Hindu
Hindu
Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu
Hindu
Religious Traditions, University of California Press, ISBN 0-520063392, pages 45-48, 96-97 ^ Sally Kempton (2013), Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga, ISBN 978-1604078916, pages 165-167 ^ Eva Rudy Jansen, The Book of Hindu
Hindu
Imagery: Gods, Manifestations and Their Meaning, Holland: Binkey Kok, ISBN 978-9074597074, pages 133-134, 41 ^ Jiro Takei and Marc P Keane (2001), SAKUTEIKI, Tuttle, ISBN 978-0804832946, page 101 ^ Miyeko Murase (1975), Japanese Art: Selections from the Mary and Jackson Burke Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), ISBN 978-0870991363, page 31 ^ M Chakravarti (1995), The concept of Rudra-Śiva through the ages, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120800533, pages 148-149 ^ Robert Paine and Alexander Soper (1992), The Art and Architecture of Japan, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0300053333, page 60 ^ Joe Cribb (1999), Magic Coins of Java, Bali and the Malay Peninsula, British Museum Press, ISBN 978-0714108810, page 77 ^ Jonathan Lee, Fumitaka Matsuoka et al (2015), Asian American Religious Cultures, ABC, ISBN 978-1598843309, page 892 ^ Kinsley, David (1988), Hindu
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Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu
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Religious Traditions, University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-06339-2, pages 94-97 ^ Francine Brinkgreve (1997), Offerings to Durga
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and Pretiwi in Bali, Asian Folklore Studies Vol. 56, No. 2, pages 227-251

Sources[edit]

Daniélou, Alain (1991) [1964]. The myths and gods of India. Inner Traditions, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-89281-354-7. Fuller, C. J. (2004). The Camphor
Camphor
Flame: Popular Hinduism
Hinduism
and Society in India. Princeton University Press, New Jersey. ISBN 0-691-12048-X. Harman, William, " Hindu
Hindu
Devotion". In: Contemporary Hinduism: Ritual, Culture, and Practice, Robin Rinehard, ed. (2004) ISBN 1-57607-905-8. Kashyap, R.L. Essentials of Krishna
Krishna
and Shukla Yajurveda; SAKSI, Bangalore, Karnataka ISBN 81-7994-032-2. Keay, John (2000). India, a History. New York, United States: Harper Collins Publishers. ISBN 0-00-638784-5.  Pattanaik, Devdutt (2009). 7 Secrets from Hindu
Hindu
Calendar Art. Westland, India. ISBN 978-81-89975-67-8. Monier-Williams, Monier (1974), Brahmanism and Hinduism: Or, Religious Thought and Life in India, as Based on the Veda and Other Sacred Books of the Hindus, Elibron Classics, Adamant Media Corporation, ISBN 1-4212-6531-1, retrieved 8 July 2007  Monier-Williams, Monier (2001) [first published 1872], English Sanskrit
Sanskrit
dictionary, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-206-1509-3, retrieved 24 July 2007  Renou, Louis (1964), The Nature of Hinduism, Walker  Toropov, Brandon; Buckles, Luke (2011), Guide to World Religions, Penguin  Swami
Swami
Bhaskarananda, (1994). Essentials of Hinduism. (Viveka Press) ISBN 1-884852-02-5. Vastu-Silpa Kosha, Encyclopedia of Hindu
Hindu
Temple architecture and Vastu. S.K.Ramachandara Rao, Delhi, Devine Books, (Lala Murari Lal Chharia Oriental series) ISBN 978-93-81218-51-8 (Set) Werner, Karel A Popular Dictionary of Hinduism. (Curzon Press 1994) ISBN 0-7007-0279-2.

Further reading[edit]

Chandra, Suresh (1998). Encyclopaedia of Hindu
Hindu
Gods and Goddesses. Sarup & Sons, New Delhi, India. ISBN 81-7625-039-2. Pattanaik, Devdutt (2003). Indian mythology: tales, symbols, and rituals from the heart of the Subcontinent. Inner Traditions / Bear & Company. ISBN 0-89281-870-0. Kinsley, David. Hindu
Hindu
Goddesses: Vision of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu
Hindu
Religious Traditions. Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi, India. ISBN 81-208-0379-5.

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