God in Hinduism

The concept of God in Hinduism varies in its diverse traditions.[1][2][3] Hinduism spans a wide range of beliefs such as henotheism, monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, pandeism, monism, atheism and nontheism.[1][4][5]

Forms of theism find mention in the Bhagavad Gita. Emotional or loving devotion (bhakti) to a primary god such as avatars of Vishnu (Krishna for example), Shiva and Devi emerged in the early medieval period, and is now known as Bhakti movement.[6][7] Other Hindus consider atman within every living being to be same as Vishnu or Shiva or Devi,[8][9][10] or alternatively identical to the eternal metaphysical Absolute called (Brahman) in Hinduism.[11][12][13] Such a philosophical system of Advaita or non-dualism as it developed in the Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy, especially as set out in the Upanishads and popularised by Adi Shankara in the 9th century has been influential on Hinduism.[14][15][16]

The Dvaita tradition founded by 13th/14th-century Madhvacharya is based on a concept similar to God in other major world religions.[17][18] His writings led some early colonial-era Indologists such as George Abraham Grierson to suggest Madhvacharya was influenced by Christianity,[19] but later scholarship has rejected this theory.[20][21] Madhva's historical influence in Hinduism, state Kulandran and Kraemer, has been salutary, but not extensive.[19]

Henotheism, kathenotheism, equitheism and non-theism

Henotheism was the term used by scholars such as Max Müller to describe the theology of Vedic religion.[24][25] Müller noted that the hymns of the Rigveda, the oldest scripture of Hinduism, mention many deities, but praises them successively as the "one ultimate, supreme God", alternatively as "one supreme Goddess",[26] thereby asserting that the essence of the deities was unitary (ekam), and the deities were nothing but pluralistic manifestations of the same concept of the divine (God).[25][27][28]

The idea that there can be and are plural perspectives for the same divine or spiritual principle repeats in the Vedic texts. For example, other than hymn 1.164 with this teaching,[22] the more ancient hymn 5.3 of the Rigveda states:

You at your birth are Varuna, O Agni.

When you are kindled, you are Mitra. In you, O son of strength, all gods are centered. You are Indra to the mortal who brings oblation. You are Aryaman, when you are regarded as having

the mysterious names of maidens, O Self-sustainer.

— Rigveda 5.3.1-2, Translator: Hermann Oldenberg[29][30]

Related terms to henotheism are monolatrism and kathenotheism.[31] The latter term is an extension of "henotheism", from καθ' ἕνα θεόν (kath' hena theon) — "one god at a time".[32] Henotheism refers to a pluralistic theology wherein different deities are viewed to be of a unitary, equivalent divine essence.[25] Some scholars prefer the term monolatry to henotheism, to discuss religions where a single god is central, but the existence or the position of other gods is not denied.[31][28] Another term related to henotheism is "equitheism", referring to the belief that all gods are equal.[33]

Who really knows?
Who will here proclaim it?
Whence was it produced? Whence is this creation?
The gods came afterwards, with the creation of this universe.
Who then knows whence it has arisen?
— Nasadiya Sukta, concerns the origin of the universe, Rig Veda, 10:129-6 [34][35][36]

The Vedic era conceptualization of the divine or the One, states Jeaneane Fowler, is more abstract than a monotheistic God, it is the Reality behind and of the phenomenal universe.[37] The Vedic hymns treat it as "limitless, indescribable, absolute principle", thus the Vedic divine is something of a panentheism rather than simple henotheism.[37] In late Vedic era, around the start of Upanishadic age (c. 800 BCE), theosophical speculations emerge that develop concepts which scholars variously call nondualism or monism, as well as forms of non-theism and pantheism.[37][38][39] An example of the questioning of the concept of God, in addition to henotheistic hymns found therein, are in later portions of the Rigveda, such as the Nasadiya Sukta.[40] Hinduism calls the metaphysical absolute concept as Brahman, incorporating within it the transcendent and immanent reality.[41][42][43] Different schools of thought interpret Brahman as either personal, impersonal or transpersonal. Ishwar Chandra Sharma describes it as "Absolute Reality, beyond all dualities of existence and non-existence, light and darkness, and of time, space and cause".[44]

Influential ancient and medieval Hindu philosophers, states philosophy professor Roy Perrett, teach their spiritual ideas with a world created ex nihilo and "effectively manage without God altogether".[45]

Brahman

In Hinduism, Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe.[46][47][48] In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists.[47][49][50] It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes.[46][51][52] Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind the diversity in all that exists in the universe.[46][53]

Brahman is a Vedic Sanskrit word, and it is conceptualized in Hinduism, states Paul Deussen, as the "creative principle which lies realized in the whole world".[54] Brahman is a key concept found in the Vedas, and it is extensively discussed in the early Upanishads.[55] The Vedas conceptualize Brahman as the Cosmic Principle.[56] In the Upanishads, it has been variously described as Sat-cit-ānanda (truth-consciousness-bliss)[57][58] and as the unchanging, permanent, highest reality.[51][59][note 1][note 2]

Brahman is discussed in Hindu texts with the concept of Atman (Soul, Self),[55][62] personal,[note 3] impersonal[note 4] or Para Brahman,[note 5] or in various combinations of these qualities depending on the philosophical school.[63] In dualistic schools of Hinduism such as the theistic Dvaita Vedanta, Brahman is different from Atman (soul) in each being, and therein it shares conceptual framework of God in major world religions.[50][64][65] In non-dual schools of Hinduism such as the monist Advaita Vedanta, Brahman is identical to the Atman, Brahman is everywhere and inside each living being, and there is connected spiritual oneness in all existence.[52][66][67]

The Upanishads contain several mahā-vākyas or "Great Sayings" on the concept of Brahman:[68]

Text Upanishad Translation Reference
अहं ब्रह्म अस्मि
aham brahmāsmi
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10 "I am Brahman" [69]
अयम् आत्मा ब्रह्म
ayam ātmā brahma
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5 "The Self is Brahman" [70]
सर्वं खल्विदं ब्रह्म
sarvam khalvidam brahma
Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1 "All this is Brahman" [71]
एकमेवाद्वितीयम्
ekam evadvitiyam
Chandogya Upanishad 6.2.1 "That [Brahman] is one, without a second" [72]
तत्त्वमसि
tat tvam asi
Chandogya Upanishad 6.8.7 et seq. "Thou art that" ("You are Brahman") [73][74]
प्रज्ञानं ब्रह्म
prajnānam brahma
Aitareya Upanishad 3.3.7 "Knowledge is Brahman" [75]

Nirguna and Saguna

While Hinduism sub-schools such as Advaita Vedanta emphasize the complete equivalence of Brahman and Atman, they also expound on Brahman as saguna Brahman—the Brahman with attributes, and nirguna Brahman—the Brahman without attributes.[76] The nirguna Brahman is the Brahman as it really is, however, the saguna Brahman is posited as a means to realizing nirguna Brahman, but the Hinduism schools declare saguna Brahman to be ultimately illusory.[77] The concept of the saguna Brahman, such as in the form of avatars, is considered in these schools of Hinduism to be a useful symbolism, path and tool for those who are still on their spiritual journey, but the concept is finally cast aside by the fully enlightened.[77]

The Bhakti movement of Hinduism built its theosophy around two concepts of Brahman—Nirguna and Saguna.[78] Nirguna Brahman was the concept of the Ultimate Reality as formless, without attributes or quality.[79] Saguna Brahman, in contrast, was envisioned and developed as with form, attributes and quality.[79] The two had parallels in the ancient pantheistic unmanifest and theistic manifest traditions, respectively, and traceable to Arjuna-Krishna dialogue in the Bhagavad Gita.[78][80] It is the same Brahman, but viewed from two perspectives: one from Nirguni knowledge-focus and other from Saguni love-focus, united as Krishna in the Gita.[80] Nirguna bhakta's poetry were Jnana-shrayi, or had roots in knowledge.[78] Saguna bhakta's poetry were Prema-shrayi, or with roots in love.[78] In Bhakti, the emphasis is reciprocal love and devotion, where the devotee loves God, and God loves the devotee.[80]

Nirguna and Saguna Brahman concepts of the Bhakti movement has been a baffling one to scholars, particularly the Nirguni tradition because it offers, states David Lorenzen, "heart-felt devotion to a God without attributes, without even any definable personality".[81] Yet given the "mountains of Nirguni bhakti literature", adds Lorenzen, bhakti for Nirguna Brahman has been a part of the reality of the Hindu tradition along with the bhakti for Saguna Brahman.[81] These were two alternate ways of imagining God during the bhakti movement.[78]

Ishvara

The Yogasutras of Patanjali use the term Ishvara in 11 verses: I.23 through I.29, II.1, II.2, II.32 and II.45. Ever since the Sutra's release, Hindu scholars have debated and commented on who or what is Isvara? These commentaries range from defining Isvara from a "personal god" to "special self" to "anything that has spiritual significance to the individual".[82][83] Whicher explains that while Patanjali's terse verses can be interpreted both as theistic or non-theistic, Patanjali's concept of Isvara in Yoga philosophy functions as a "transformative catalyst or guide for aiding the yogin on the path to spiritual emancipation".[84]

Patanjali defines Isvara (Sanskrit: ईश्वर) in verse 24 of Book 1, as "a special Self (पुरुषविशेष, puruṣa-viśeṣa)",[85]

Sanskrit: क्लेश कर्म विपाकाशयैःपरामृष्टः पुरुषविशेष ईश्वरः ॥२४॥
– Yoga Sutras I.24

This sutra of Yoga philosophy of Hinduism adds the characteristics of Isvara as that special Self which is unaffected (अपरामृष्ट, aparamrsta) by one's obstacles/hardships (क्लेश, klesha), one's circumstances created by past or one's current actions (कर्म, karma), one's life fruits (विपाक, vipâka), and one's psychological dispositions/intentions (आशय, ashaya).[86][87]

Among various Bhakti path practicing sects of Hinduism, which built upon the Yoga school of Hinduism, Isvara can also mean a specific deity such as Krishna, Rama, Shiva, Lakshmi, Parvati and others.[88]

Madhvacharya's monotheistic God

Madhvacharya (1238–1317 CE) developed the Dvaita theology wherein Vishnu was presented as a monotheistic God, similar to major world religions.[89][18] His writings led some such as George Abraham Grierson to suggest he was influenced by Christianity.[19]

Madhvacharya was misperceived and misrepresented by both Christian missionaries and Hindu writers during the colonial era scholarship.[90][91] The similarities in the primacy of one God, dualism and distinction between man and God, devotion to God, the son of God as the intermediary, predestination, the role of grace in salvation, as well as the similarities in the legends of miracles in Christianity and Madhvacharya's Dvaita tradition fed these stories.[90][91] Among Christian writers, G. A. Grierson creatively asserted that Madhva's ideas evidently were "borrowed from Christianity, quite possibly promulgated as a rival to the central doctrine of that faith".[92] Among Hindu writers, according to Sarma, S. C. Vasu creatively translated Madhvacharya's works to identify Madhvacharya with Christ, rather than compare their ideas.[93]

Modern scholarship rules out the influence of Christianity on Madhvacharya,[19][20] as there is no evidence that there ever was a Christian settlement where Madhvacharya grew up and lived, or that there was a sharing or discussion of ideas between someone with knowledge of the Bible and Christian myths, and him.[91]

Svayam Bhagavan

Radhakrishna manor
Bhagavan Krishna with Radharani

Svayam Bhagavan, a Sanskrit theological term, is the concept of absolute representation of the monotheistic God as Bhagavan himself within Hinduism.

It is most often used in Gaudiya Vaishnava Krishna-centered theology as referring to Krishna. The title Svayam Bhagavan is used exclusively to designate Krishna.[94] Certain other traditions of Hinduism consider him to be the source of all avatars, and the source of Vishnu himself, or to be the same as Narayana. As such, he is therefore regarded as Svayam Bhagavan.[95][96][97]

The term is seldom used to refer to other forms of Krishna and Vishnu within the context of certain religious texts such as the Bhagavata Purana, and also within other sects of Vaishnavism.

When Krishna is recognized to be Svayam Bhagavan, it can be understood that this is the belief of Gaudiya Vaishnavism,[98] the Vallabha Sampradaya,[99] and the Nimbarka Sampradaya, where Krishna is accepted to be the source of all other avatars, and the source of Vishnu himself. This belief is drawn primarily "from the famous statement of the Bhagavatam"(1.3.28).[100]

A different viewpoint, opposing this theological concept is the concept of Krishna as an avatar of Narayana or Vishnu. It should be however noted that although it is usual to speak of Vishnu as the source of the avataras, this is only one of the names of god of Vaishnavism, who is also known as Narayana, Vasudeva and Krishna and behind each of those names there is a divine figure with attributed supremacy in Vaishnavism.[101]

The theological interpretation of Svayam Bhagavān differs with each tradition and the literal translation of the term has been understood in several distinct ways. Translated from the Sanskrit language, the term literary means "Bhagavan Himself" or "directly Bhagavan".[102] Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition often translates it within its perspective as primeval Lord or original Personality of Godhead, but also considers the terms such as Supreme Personality of Godhead and Supreme God as an equivalent to the term Svayam Bhagavan, and may also choose to apply these terms to Vishnu, Narayana and many of their associated Avatars.[103][104]

Earlier commentators such as Madhvacharya translated the term Svayam Bhagavan as "he who has bhagavatta"; meaning "he who has the quality of possessing all good qualities".[97] Others have translated it simply as "the Lord Himself".[105] Followers of Vishnu-centered sampradayas of Vaishnavism rarely address this term, but believe that it refers to their belief that Krishna is among the highest and fullest of all Avatars and is considered to be the "paripurna Avatara", complete in all respects and the same as the original.[106] According to them Krishna is described in the Bhagavata Purana as the Purnavatara (or complete manifestation) of the Bhagavan, while other incarnations are called partial.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "not sublatable",[59] the final element in a dialectical process which cannot be eliminated or annihilated (German: "aufheben").
  2. ^ It is also defined as:
  3. ^ Saguna Brahman, with qualities
  4. ^ Nirguna Brahman, without qualities
  5. ^ Supreme

References

  1. ^ a b Julius J. Lipner (2009), Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, 2nd Edition, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-45677-7, page 8; Quote: "(...) one need not be religious in the minimal sense described to be accepted as a Hindu by Hindus, or describe oneself perfectly validly as Hindu. One may be polytheistic or monotheistic, monistic or pantheistic, even an agnostic, humanist or atheist, and still be considered a Hindu."
  2. ^ Lester Kurtz (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict, ISBN 978-0123695031, Academic Press, 2008
  3. ^ MK Gandhi, The Essence of Hinduism, Editor: VB Kher, Navajivan Publishing, see page 3; According to Gandhi, "a man may not believe in God and still call himself a Hindu."
  4. ^ Chakravarti, Sitansu (1991), Hinduism, a way of life, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., p. 71, ISBN 978-81-208-0899-7
  5. ^ "Polytheism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2007.
  6. ^ June McDaniel Hinduism, in John Corrigan, The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion, (2007) Oxford University Press, 544 pages, pp. 52-53 ISBN 0-19-517021-0
  7. ^ Karen Pechelis (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195351903, pages 3-4, 15-28
  8. ^ Mariasusai Dhavamony (1999), Hindu Spirituality, GB Press, ISBN 978-8876528187, page 129
  9. ^ Olivelle 1992, pp. 80-81, 210 with footnotes.
  10. ^ Ganesh Tagare (2002), The Pratyabhijñā Philosophy, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120818927, pages 16–19
  11. ^ William Wainwright (2012), Concepts of God, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University
  12. ^ U Murthy (1979), Samskara, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195610796, page 150
  13. ^ Wiman Dissanayake (1993), Self as Body in Asian Theory and Practice (Editors: Thomas P. Kasulis et al), State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791410806, page 39; Quote: "The Upanishads form the foundations of Hindu philosophical thought and the central theme of the Upanishads is the identity of Atman and Brahman, or the inner self and the cosmic self.";
    Michael McDowell and Nathan Brown (2009), World Religions, Penguin, ISBN 978-1592578467, pages 208-210
  14. ^ Indich 2000, p. vii.
  15. ^ Fowler 2002, pp. 240-243.
  16. ^ Brannigan 2009, p. 19, Quote: "Advaita Vedanta is the most influential philosophical system in Hindu thought.".
  17. ^ Michael Myers (2000), Brahman: A Comparative Theology, Routledge, ISBN 978-0700712571, pages 124-127
  18. ^ a b Sharma 1962, p. 7.
  19. ^ a b c d Sabapathy Kulandran and Hendrik Kraemer (2004), Grace in Christianity and Hinduism, James Clarke, ISBN 978-0227172360, pages 177-179
  20. ^ a b Jones & Ryan 2006, p. 266.
  21. ^ Sarma 2000, pp. 19-21.
  22. ^ a b Klaus K. Klostermaier (2010). A Survey of Hinduism: Third Edition. State University of New York Press. pp. 103 with footnote 10 on page 529. ISBN 978-0-7914-8011-3.
  23. ^ See also, Griffith's Rigveda translation: Wikisource
  24. ^ Sugirtharajah, Sharada, Imagining Hinduism: A Postcolonial Perspective, Routledge, 2004, p.44;
  25. ^ a b c Charles Taliaferro; Victoria S. Harrison; Stewart Goetz (2012). The Routledge Companion to Theism. Routledge. pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-1-136-33823-6.
  26. ^ William A. Graham (1993). Beyond the Written Word: Oral Aspects of Scripture in the History of Religion. Cambridge University Press. pp. 70–71. ISBN 978-0-521-44820-8.
  27. ^ Ilai Alon; Ithamar Gruenwald; Itamar Singer (1994). Concepts of the Other in Near Eastern Religions. BRILL Academic. pp. 370–371. ISBN 978-9004102200.
  28. ^ a b Christoph Elsas (1999). Erwin Fahlbusch (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Christianity. Wm. B. Eerdmans. p. 524. ISBN 978-90-04-11695-5.
  29. ^ Hermann Oldenberg (1988). The Religion of the Veda. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 51. ISBN 978-81-208-0392-3.
  30. ^ See also, Griffith's translation of this hymn: Wikisource
  31. ^ a b Monotheism and Polytheism, Encyclopædia Britannica (2014)
  32. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary: kathenotheism
  33. ^ Carl Olson (2007). The Many Colors of Hinduism: A Thematic-historical Introduction. Rutgers University Press. pp. 8–9. ISBN 978-0-8135-4068-9.
  34. ^ Kenneth Kramer (January 1986). World Scriptures: An Introduction to Comparative Religions. Paulist Press. pp. 34–. ISBN 978-0-8091-2781-8.
  35. ^ David Christian (1 September 2011). Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History. University of California Press. pp. 18–. ISBN 978-0-520-95067-2.
  36. ^ Upinder Singh (2008). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Education India. pp. 206–. ISBN 978-81-317-1120-0.
  37. ^ a b c Jeaneane D. Fowler (2002). Perspectives of Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Hinduism. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 43–44. ISBN 978-1-898723-93-6.
  38. ^ James L. Ford (2016). The Divine Quest, East and West: A Comparative Study of Ultimate Realities. State University of New York Press. pp. 308–309. ISBN 978-1-4384-6055-0.
  39. ^ Ninian Smart (2013). The Yogi and the Devotee (Routledge Revivals): The Interplay Between the Upanishads and Catholic Theology. Routledge. pp. 46–47, 117. ISBN 978-1-136-62933-4.
  40. ^ Jessica Frazier (2013). Russell Re Manning (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Natural Theology. Oxford University Press. pp. 172–173. ISBN 978-0-19-161171-1.
  41. ^ PT Raju (2006), Idealistic Thought of India, Routledge, ISBN 978-1406732627, page 426 and Conclusion chapter part XII
  42. ^ Jeffrey Brodd (2003). World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery. Saint Mary's Press. pp. 43–45. ISBN 978-0-88489-725-5.
  43. ^ Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, page 91
  44. ^ Ishwar Chandra Sharma, Ethical Philosophies of India, Harper & Row, 1970, p.75.
  45. ^ Roy W. Perrett (2013). Philosophy of Religion: Indian Philosophy. Routledge. pp. xiii–xiv. ISBN 978-1-135-70322-6.
  46. ^ a b c Lochtefeld, James G. (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism. 1. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 122. ISBN 978-0823931798.
  47. ^ a b P. T. Raju (2006), Idealistic Thought of India, Routledge, ISBN 978-1406732627, page 426 and Conclusion chapter part XII
  48. ^ Fowler 2002, pp. 49–55 (in Upanishads), 318–319 (in Vishistadvaita), 246–248 and 252–255 (in Advaita), 342–343 (in Dvaita), 175–176 (in Samkhya-Yoga).
  49. ^ Mariasusai Dhavamony (2002), Hindu-Christian Dialogue: Theological Soundings and Perspectives, Rodopi Press, ISBN 978-9042015104, pages 43–44
  50. ^ a b For dualism school of Hinduism, see: Francis X. Clooney (2010), Hindu God, Christian God: How Reason Helps Break Down the Boundaries between Religions, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199738724, pages 51–58, 111–115;
    For monist school of Hinduism, see: B. Martinez-Bedard (2006), Types of Causes in Aristotle and Sankara, Thesis – Department of Religious Studies (Advisors: Kathryn McClymond and Sandra Dwyer), Georgia State University, pages 18–35
  51. ^ a b Fowler 2002, pp. 53–55.
  52. ^ a b Brodd, Jeffrey (2009). World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery (3rd ed.). Saint Mary's Press. pp. 43–47. ISBN 978-0884899976.
  53. ^ Fowler 2002, pp. 50–53.
  54. ^ Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, page 91
  55. ^ a b Stephen Philips (1998), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Brahman to Derrida (Editor; Edward Craig), Routledge, ISBN 978-0415187077, pages 1–4
  56. ^ Goodman, Hananya (1994). Between Jerusalem and Benares: Comparative Studies in Judaism and Hinduism. State University of New York Press. p. 121. ISBN 978-0791417164.
  57. ^ Raju 1992, p. 228.
  58. ^ Eliot Deutsch (1980), Advaita Vedanta : A Philosophical Reconstruction, University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 978-0824802714, Chapter 1
  59. ^ a b Potter 2008, pp. 6–7.
  60. ^ Brodd, Jeffrey (2003). World Religions. Winona, Minnesota: Saint Mary's Press. ISBN 978-0-88489-725-5.
  61. ^ John Bowker (ed.)(2012), The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, Oxford University Press.[1]
  62. ^ Fowler 2002, pp. 49–53.
  63. ^ Klaus K. Klostermaier (2007), A Survey of Hinduism, Third Edition, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791470824, Chapter 12: Atman and Brahman – Self and All
  64. ^ Michael Myers (2000), Brahman: A Comparative Theology, Routledge, ISBN 978-0700712571, pages 124–127
  65. ^ Thomas Padiyath (2014), The Metaphysics of Becoming, De Gruyter, ISBN 978-3110342550, pages 155–157
  66. ^ Arvind Sharma (2007), Advaita Vedānta: An Introduction, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120820272, pages 19–40, 53–58, 79–86
  67. ^ John E. Welshons (2009), One Soul, One Love, One Heart, New World Library, ISBN 978-1577315889, pages 17–18
  68. ^ Jones, Constance (2007). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. New York: Infobase Publishing. p. 270. ISBN 978-0816073368.
  69. ^ Sanskrit and English Translation: S. Madhavananda, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad – Shankara Bhashya, page 145
  70. ^ Sanskrit and English Translation: S. Madhavananda, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad – Shankara Bhashya, pages 711–712
  71. ^ Sanskrit: छान्दोग्योपनिषद् १.१ ॥तृतीयॊऽध्यायः॥ Wikisource
    English Translation:Max Muller, Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1 Oxford University Press, page 48;
    Max Muller, The Upanisads at Google Books, Routledge, pages xviii–xix
  72. ^ Sanskrit: छान्दोग्योपनिषद् १.२ ॥षष्ठोऽध्यायः॥ Wikisource
    English Translation:Max Muller, Chandogya Upanishad 6.2.1 Oxford University Press, page 93;
    Max Muller, The Upanisads at Google Books, Routledge, pages xviii–xix
  73. ^ Sanskrit: छान्दोग्योपनिषद् १.२ ॥षष्ठोऽध्यायः॥ Wikisource
    English Translation:Robert Hume, Chandogya Upanishad 6.8, The Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Oxford University Press, pages 246–250
  74. ^ A. S. Gupta, The Meanings of "That Thou Art", Philosophy East and West, Vol. 12, No. 2, pages 125–134
  75. ^ Sanskrit: ऐतरेयोपनिषद् Wikisource
    English Translation:Max Muller, Aitareya Upanishad 3.3.7, also known as Aitareya Aranyaka 2.6.1.7 Oxford University Press, page 246
  76. ^ Anantanand Rambachan (2001), Heirarchies in the Nature of God? Questioning The "Saguna-Nirguna" Distinction in Advaita Vedanta, Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies, Vol. 14, No. 7, pages 1–6
  77. ^ a b William Wainwright (2012), Concepts of God, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Stanford University, (Accessed on: June 13, 2015)
  78. ^ a b c d e Karen Pechilis Prentiss (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195351903, page 21
  79. ^ a b Jeaneane D. Fowler (2012), The Bhagavad Gita, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1845193461, pages xxvii–xxxiv
  80. ^ a b c Jeaneane D. Fowler (2012), The Bhagavad Gita, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1845193461, pages 207–211
  81. ^ a b David Lorenzen (1996), Praises to a Formless God: Nirguni Texts from North India, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791428054, page 2
  82. ^ Lloyd Pflueger, Person Purity and Power in Yogasutra, in Theory and Practice of Yoga (Editor: Knut Jacobsen), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832329, pages 38-39
  83. ^ Hariharānanda Āraṇya (2007), Parabhaktisutra, Aphorisms on Sublime Devotion, (Translator: A Chatterjee), in Divine Hymns with Supreme Devotional Aphorisms, Kapil Math Press, Kolkata, pages 55-93; Hariharānanda Āraṇya (2007), Eternally Liberated Isvara and Purusa Principle, in Divine Hymns with Supreme Devotional Aphorisms, Kapil Math Press, Kolkata, pages 126-129
  84. ^ Ian Whicher (1999), The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-3815-2, page 86
  85. ^ Āgāśe, K. S. (1904). Pātañjalayogasūtrāṇi. Puṇe: Ānandāśrama. p. 102.
  86. ^ aparAmRSTa, kleza, karma, vipaka and ashaya; Sanskrit English Dictionary, Koeln University, Germany
  87. ^ Lloyd Pflueger (2008), Person Purity and Power in Yogasutra, in Theory and Practice of Yoga (Editor: Knut Jacobsen), Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120832329, pages 31-45
  88. ^ Bryant, Edwin H. (2003). Krishna: the beautiful legend of God; Śrīmad Bhāgavata Purāṇa, book X, XI. Harmondsworth [Eng.]: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-044799-7
  89. ^ Michael Myers (2000), Brahman: A Comparative Theology, Routledge, ISBN 978-0700712571, pages 124-127
  90. ^ a b Sarma 2000, pp. 19-25.
  91. ^ a b c Sharma 2000, pp. 609-611.
  92. ^ Sarma 2000, p. 20.
  93. ^ Sarma 2000, pp. 22-24.
  94. ^ (Gupta 2007, p.36 note 9)
  95. ^ Delmonico, N. (2004). The History Of Indic Monotheism And Modern Chaitanya Vaishnavism. The Hare Krishna Movement: The Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant. ISBN 978-0-231-12256-6. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  96. ^ Elkman, S.M.; Gosvami, J. (1986). Jiva Gosvamin's Tattvasandarbha: A Study on the Philosophical and Sectarian Development of the Gaudiya Vaishnava Movement. Motilal Banarsidass Pub.
  97. ^ a b Dimock Jr, E.C.; Dimock, E.C. (1989). The Place of the Hidden Moon: Erotic Mysticism in the Vaisnava-Sahajiya Cult of Bengal. University Of Chicago Press. page 132
  98. ^ Kennedy, M.T. (1925). The Chaitanya Movement: A Study of the Vaishnavism of Bengal. H. Milford, Oxford university press.
  99. ^ Flood, Gavin D. (1996). An introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 341. ISBN 978-0-521-43878-0. Retrieved 21 April 2008. "Early Vaishnava worship focuses on three deities who become fused together, namely Vasudeva-Krishna, Krishna-Gopala and Narayana, who in turn all become identified with Vishnu. Put simply, Vasudeva-Krishna and Krishna-Gopala were worshiped by groups generally referred to as Bhagavatas, while Narayana was worshipped by the Pancaratra sect."
  100. ^ Essential Hinduism S. Rosen, 2006, Greenwood Publishing Group p.124 ISBN 0-275-99006-0
  101. ^ Matchett 2000, p. 4
  102. ^ Gupta, Ravi M. (2007). Caitanya Vaisnava Vedanta of Jiva Gosvami. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-40548-5.
  103. ^ Knapp, S. (2005). The Heart of Hinduism: The Eastern Path to Freedom, Empowerment and Illumination -. iUniverse. "Krishna is the primeval Lord, the original Personality of Godhead, so He can expand Himself into unlimited forms with all potencies." page 161
  104. ^ Dr. Kim Knott (1993). "Contemporary Theological Trends In The Hare Krishna Movement: A Theology of Religions". Retrieved 12 April 2008...."Bhakti, the highest path, was that of surrender to Lord Krishna, the way of pure devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead".
  105. ^ K. Klostermaier (1997). The Charles Strong Trust Lectures, 1972–1984. Crotty, Robert B. Brill Academic Pub. p. 206. ISBN 978-90-04-07863-5. For his worshippers he is not an avatara in the usual sense, but Svayam Bhagavan, the Lord himself. p.109 Klaus Klostermaier translates it simply as "the Lord Himself"
  106. ^ "Sapthagiri". www.tirumala.org. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2008. Parashara Maharishi, Vyasa's father had devoted the largest Amsa (part) in Vishnu Purana to the description of Sri Krishna Avatara the Paripoorna Avatara. And according to Lord Krishna's own (instructions) upadesha, "he who knows (the secrets of) His (Krishna's) Janma (birth) and Karma (actions) will not remain in samsara (punar janma naiti- maam eti) and attain Him after leaving the mortal coil." (BG 4.9). Parasara Maharishi ends up Amsa 5 with a phalashruti in an identical vein (Vishnu Purana .5.38.94)

Bibliography

  • Brannigan, Michael (2009), Striking a Balance: A Primer in Traditional Asian Values, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 978-0739138465
  • Elkman, S. M.; Gosvami, J. (1986). Jiva Gosvamin's Tattvasandarbha: A Study on the Philosophical and Sectarian Development of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Movement. Motilal Banarsidass Pub.
  • Flood, G. D. (2006). The Tantric Body: The Secret Tradition of Hindu Religion. IB Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-012-3.
  • Fowler, Jeaneane D. (2002), Perspectives of Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Hinduism, Sussex Academic Press, ISBN 978-1898723936
  • Indich, William (2000), Consciousness in Advaita Vedanta, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120812512
  • Matchett, Freda (2000), Krsna, Lord or Avatara? the relationship between Krsna and Visnu: in the context of the Avatara myth as presented by the Harivamsa, the Visnupurana and the Bhagavatapurana, Surrey: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-7007-1281-6
  • Olivelle, Patrick (1992). The Samnyasa Upanisads. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195070453.
  • Potter, Karl H. (2008), The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Advaita Vedānta Up to Śaṃkara and His Pupils, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited
  • Raju, P. T. (1992), The Philosophical Traditions of India, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited
  • Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (2006), Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Infobase, ISBN 9780816075645
  • Sharma, B. N. Krishnamurti (1962). Philosophy of Śrī Madhvācārya. Motilal Banarsidass (2014 Reprint). ISBN 978-8120800687.
  • Sharma, B. N. Krishnamurti (2000). A History of the Dvaita School of Vedānta and Its Literature, 3rd Edition. Motilal Banarsidass (2008 Reprint). ISBN 978-8120815759.
  • Sarma, Deepak (2000). "Is Jesus a Hindu? S. C. Vasu and Multiple Madhva Misrepresentations". Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies. 13. doi:10.7825/2164-6279.1228.
  • Delmonico, N. (2004). The History Of Indic Monotheism And Modern Chaitanya Vaishnavism. The Hare Krishna Movement: The Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant. ISBN 978-0-231-12256-6. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  • Gupta, Ravi M. (2007). Caitanya Vaisnava Vedanta of Jiva Gosvami's Catursutri tika. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-40548-5.

External links

Acintya

Acintya, also Atintya (Sanskrit: "the inconceivable", "the unimaginable"), also Tunggal (Balinese: "Unity", "Divine Oneness") is the Supreme God of Indonesian Hinduism (formally known as Agama Hindu Dharma), especially on the island of Bali. Acintya is equivalent to the metaphysical concept of Brahman of Indian Hinduism, and is the Supreme God in traditional wayang (shadow puppet) theatre. Acintya is also known as Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa, also Sanghyang Widi Wasa (the "Divine Order"). All gods, goddesses and existence are believed to be the manifestation of the Acintya in Balinese Hinduism.

Bhagavan

Bhagavān (Sanskrit: भगवान्, Bhagavān) is an epithet for deity, particularly for Krishna and other avatars of Vishnu in Vaishnavism, as well as for Shiva in the Shaivism tradition of Hinduism, and is used by Jains to refer to the Tirthankaras, more particularly Mahavira and is used by Buddhists to refer to the Buddha. In north India, Bhagavān also represents the concept of abstract God to Hindus who are religious but do not worship a specific deity.The term Bhagavān does appear in Vedas, in early or middle Upanishads. The oldest Sanskrit texts use the term Brahman to represent an abstract Supreme Soul, Absolute Reality, while using names of deities like Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva to represent gods and goddesses. The term Ishvara appears in later Vedas and middle Upanishads where it is used to discuss spiritual concepts. The word Bhagavān is found in later era literature, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Puranas.In Bhakti school literature, the term is typically used for any deity to whom prayers are offered; for example, Rama, Ganesha, Kartikeya, Krishna, Shiva or Vishnu. Often the deity is the devotee's one and only Bhagavan. Bhagavan is male in Bhakti traditions, and the female equivalent of Bhagavān is Bhagavatī. To some Hindus the word Bhagavan is an abstract, genderless God concept.

In Buddhism's Pali scriptures, the term is used with Gautama Buddha, referring to him as Bhagavān Buddha (translated with the phrase 'Lord Buddha' or 'The Blessed One') and Bhagavān Shakyamuni. The term Bhagavān is also found in other Theravada, Mahayana and Tantra Buddhist texts.

Brahma

Brahma (Sanskrit: ब्रह्मा, IAST: Brahmā) is the creator god in Hinduism. He is also known as Svayambhu (self-born) or the creative aspect of Vishnu, Vāgīśa (Lord of Speech), and the creator of the four Vedas, one from each of his mouths. Brahma is consort of Saraswati and he is the father of Four Kumaras, Narada, Daksha, Marichi and many more.Brahma is sometimes identified with the Vedic god Prajapati, he is also known as Vedanatha (god of Vedas), Gyaneshwar (god of Knowledge), Chaturmukha (having Four Faces) Svayambhu (self born), Brahmanarayana (half Brahma and half Vishnu), etc, as well as linked to Kama and Hiranyagarbha (the cosmic egg). He is more prominently mentioned in the post-Vedic Hindu epics and the mythologies in the Puranas. In the epics, he is conflated with Purusha. Although, Brahma is part of the Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva Trimurti, ancient Hindu scriptures mention multiple other trinities of gods or goddesses which do not include Brahma.Several Puranas describe him as emerging from a lotus, connected to the navel of Lord Vishnu. Other Puranas suggest that he is born from Shiva or his aspects, or he is a supreme god in diverse versions of Hindu mythology. Brahma, along with other deities, is sometimes viewed as a form (saguna) of the otherwise formless (nirguna) Brahman, the ultimate metaphysical reality in Vedantic Hinduism. In an alternate version, some Puranas state him to be the father of Prajapatis.According to some, Brahma does not enjoy popular worship in present-age Hinduism and has lesser importance than the other members of the Trimurti, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma is revered in ancient texts, yet rarely worshiped as a primary deity in India. Very few temples dedicated to him exist in India; the most famous being the Brahma Temple, Pushkar in Rajasthan. Brahma temples are found outside India, such as at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok.

Devi

Devī (Sanskrit: देवी) is the Sanskrit word for "goddess"; the masculine form is Deva. Devi – the feminine form, and Deva – the masculine form, mean "heavenly, divine, anything of excellence", and are also gender specific terms for a deity in Hinduism.

The concept and reverence for goddesses appears in the Vedas, which were composed in the 2nd millennium BCE; however, they do not play a central role in that era. Goddesses such as Parvati and Durga have continued to be revered into the modern era. The medieval era Puranas witnessed a major expansion in mythology and literature associated with Devi, with texts such as the Devi Mahatmya, wherein she manifests as the ultimate truth and supreme power. She has inspired the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism.The divine feminine has the strongest presence as Devi in Hinduism, among major world religions, from the ancient times to the present. The goddess is viewed as central in Shakti and Saiva Hindu traditions.

Ekam

Ekam is the Sanskrit for "one, single, solitary" (neuter gender), as a noun meaning "unity".

In spirituality, it refers to a concept of monism akin to that of Brahman in Advaita philosophy and Smarta theology.

Ekam (Tamil: ஏகம், "the supreme oneness") is the term used in Akilathirattu Ammanai, the holy book of the religion of Ayyavazhi, to represent The Ultimate Oneness. In Thiruvasakam-2 it was stated that it was from this Ekam that all objects, including the separate Godheads, Devas and asuras, of the universe formed. As per Akilam, this state of ekam is beyond the consciousness and derived to beyond the state of changing and is the extreme state in which the whole universe exists.

In Saivism, Ekam is used commonly to refer to the oneness of God, but in Ayyavazhi the basic oneness is separately symbolized to be supreme and ultimate beyond all God-heads and powers.

The derivations of Ekam in Ayyavazhi scriptures are sometime close to the pantheistic form of theology. In the mythology of Ayyavazhi God-heads such as Siva, Vishnu are said to be the godheads who have power to rule this Ekam, varying from time to time, Siva until Kaliyuga and Vishnu from the starting of Kaliyuga. There are separate quotes in Akilam for focusing Siva as well as Vishnu as capable for position. But, still the Ekam is addressed beyond these god-heads.

But when Vaikundar, is jailed in Singarathoppe, he says "I am the one who created the Ekam and the one who is omnipresent everywhere". By this, the theology reveals Vaikundar (God) as beyond the attributes of Ekam, which moves the theology of Ayyavazhi more towards pantheism.

Gautama Buddha in world religions

Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is also venerated as a manifestation of God in Hinduism and the Bahá'í faith. Some Hindu texts regard Buddha as an avatar of the god Vishnu, who came to Earth to delude beings away from the Vedic religion. He is also regarded as a prophet by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Gayatri

Gayatri (Sanskrit: गायत्री, IAST:gāyatrī) is the personified form of popular Gayatri Mantra, a hymn from Vedic texts. She is also known as Savitri and Vedamata (mother of vedas). Gayatri is often associated with Savitr, a solar deity in the vedas. Saivite texts identify Gayatri as the consort of Shiva, in his highest form of Sadasiva with five heads and ten hands and according to Skand Puran, Gayatri is the consort of Lord Brahma.

Hindu deities

Hindu deities are the gods and goddesses in Hinduism. The terms and epithets for deity within the diverse traditions of Hinduism vary, and include Deva, Devi, Ishvara, Ishvari, Bhagavān and Bhagavati.The deities of Hinduism have evolved from the Vedic era (2nd millennium BC) through the medieval era (1st millennium AD), regionally within Nepal, India and in southeast Asia, and across Hinduism's diverse traditions. The Hindu deity concept varies from a personal god as in Yoga school of Hindu philosophy, to 33 Vedic deities, to hundreds of Puranics of Hinduism. Illustrations of major deities include Parvati, Vishnu, Sri (Lakshmi), Shiva, Sati, Brahma and Saraswati. These deities have distinct and complex personalities, yet are often viewed as aspects of the same Ultimate Reality called Brahman. 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 Harihara (half Shiva, half Vishnu), Ardhanārīshvara (half Shiva, half Parvati), with myths and temples that feature them together, declaring they are the same. Major deities have inspired their own Hindu traditions, such as Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Shaktism, but with shared mythology, ritual grammar, theosophy, axiology and polycentrism. Some Hindu traditions such as Smartism from mid 1st millennium AD, have included multiple major deities as henotheistic manifestations of Saguna Brahman, and as a means to realizing Nirguna Brahman.Hindu deities are represented with various icons and anicons, in paintings and sculptures, called Murtis and Pratimas. Some Hindu traditions, such as ancient Charvakas rejected all deities and concept of god or goddess, while 19th-century British colonial era movements such as the Arya Samaj and Brahmo Samaj rejected deities and adopted monotheistic concepts similar to Abrahamic religions. Hindu deities have been adopted in other religions such as Jainism, and in regions outside India such as predominantly Buddhist Thailand and Japan where they continue to be revered in regional temples or arts.In ancient and medieval era texts of Hinduism, the human body is described as a temple, and deities are described to be parts residing within it, while the Brahman (Absolute Reality, God) 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. Deities in Hinduism are as diverse as its traditions, and a Hindu can choose to be polytheistic, pantheistic, monotheistic, monistic, agnostic, atheistic or humanist.

Indreswor

Indreshwar is a village development committee in Kabhrepalanchok District in the Bagmati Zone of central Nepal. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 3878 and had 659 houses in it.Nepali Hindu legend suggests that the king of the heavens, Indra seduced Ahalya, the wife of the sage Gautama. It is said that Ahalya was converted into a stone, which is now at the north eastern corner of the temple's platform. The temple whose history could date back to the early Kirata age in the 6th century became the shrine for Indra, the Rain God in Hinduism in the 13th century when a princess from Banepa named Viramadevi established the Indrakuta. This has been mentioned in the Gopalarajavamshali, a 16th-century chronicle. The temple stands at the south eastern portion of the town of Panauti. This spot is also situated at the confluence of the Rosi and Punyamati rivers.

Ishvara

Ishvara (Sanskrit: ईश्वर, IAST: Īśvara) is a concept in Hinduism, with a wide range of meanings that depend on the era and the school of Hinduism. In ancient texts of Indian philosophy, depending on the context, Ishvara can mean supreme soul, ruler, lord, king, queen or husband. In medieval era Hindu texts, depending on the school of Hinduism, Ishvara means God, Supreme Being, personal god, or special Self.In Shaivism and for almost all Hindus, Ishvara is synonymous with "Shiva", sometimes as Maheshvara or Parameshvara meaning the "Supreme lord", or as an Ishta-deva (personal god). For a few Vaishnavists, it is synonymous with Vishnu. In traditional Bhakti movements, Ishvara is one or more deities of an individual's preference from Hinduism's polytheistic canon of deities. In modern sectarian movements such as Arya Samaj and Brahmoism, Ishvara takes the form of a monotheistic God. In Yoga school of Hinduism, it is any "personal deity" or "spiritual inspiration". In Advaita Vedanta school, Ishvara is a monistic Universal Absolute that connects and is the Oneness in everyone and everything.

Manifestation

Manifestation is the act of becoming manifest, to become perceptible to the senses.

Manifestation may also refer to:

Manifestation of God, the prophets of the Bahá'í Faith

Avatar, a manifestation of God in Hinduism

Materialization (paranormal), the creation or appearance of matter from unknown sources

Glaze manifestation, the act of applying markings to make a sheet of glass obvious; see Building regulations in the United Kingdom → Part N. Glazing - safety in relation to impact, opening and cleaning

Manifestation (album), a 2000 compilation album by death metal band Malevolent Creation

Para Brahman

Para Brahman (Sanskrit:परब्रह्मन्) (IAST: Para Brahman) is the "Highest Brahman" that which is beyond all descriptions and conceptualisations. It is described in Hindu texts as the formless (in the sense that it is devoid of Maya) spirit (soul) that eternally pervades everything, everywhere in the universe and whatever is beyond.Hindus conceptualize the Para Brahman in diverse ways. In the Advaita Vedanta tradition, Nirguna Brahman (Brahman without attributes) is Para Brahman. In Dvaita and Vishistadvaita Vedanta traditions, Saguna Brahman (Brahman with qualities) is Para Brahman. In Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Shaktism, Adi Narayana, Parama Shiva and Adi Shakti respectively are Para Brahman. Mahaganapati is the ultimate truth Para brahman who created brahman first to create the world. Mahaganapati represents Ganesha as the Supreme Being and thus the most important deity of the Ganapatya sect, which accords the status of the Supreme God to Ganesha.

Paramatman

Paramatman (Sanskrit: परमात्मन्, IAST: Paramātmāṇ) or Paramātmā is the Absolute Atman, or supreme Self, in various philosophies such as the Vedanta and Yoga schools in Hindu theology, as well as other Indian religions like Sikhism. The Paramatman is the "Primordial Self" or the "Self Beyond" who is spiritually practically identical with the Absolute, identical with the Brahman. Selflessness is the attribute of Paramatman, where all personality/individuality vanishes.

Parameshwara (God)

Paraméshwara (IAST: Parameśvara, Sanskrit: परमेश्वर) or Paramashiva is the term usually referred to the Hindu god Shiva as the Supreme being according to Saivism which is one of 4 major sampradaya of Hinduism. Parameshwara is the ultimate reality and nothing exists that is non one with Paramashiva. He is the totality controlling the triple forces of creation, preservation and destruction.

Saguna brahman

Saguna Brahman (lit. "The Absolute with qualities") came from the Sanskrit saguṇa (सगुण) "with qualities, gunas" and Brahman (ब्रह्मन्) "the Absolute", close to the concept of immanence, the manifested divine presence.

Sahasranama

Sahasranāma is a Sanskrit term which means "a thousand names". It is also a genre of stotra literature, usually found as a title of the text named after a deity, such as Vishnu Sahasranāma, wherein the deity is remembered by 1,000 names, attributes or epithets.As stotras, Sahasra-namas are songs of praise, a type of devotional literature. The word is a compound of sahasra "thousand" and nāman "name". A Sahasranāma often includes the names of other deities, suggesting henotheistic equivalence and/or that they may be attributes rather than personal names. Thus the Ganesha Sahasranama list of one thousand names includes Brahma, Vishnu, Shakti, Shiva, Rudra, SadaShiva and others. It also includes epithets such as Jiva (life force), Satya (truth), Param (highest), Jnana (knowledge) and others. The Vishnu Sahasranama includes in its list work and jñāna-yājna (offering of knowledge) as two attributes of Vishnu. The Lalita Sahasranama, similarly, includes the energies of a goddess that manifest in an individual as desire, wisdom and action.A sahasranama provides a terse list of attributes, virtues and legends symbolized by a deity. There are also many shorter stotras, containing only 108 names and accordingly called ashtottara-shata-nāma.

Shakti

Shakti (Devanagari: शक्ति, IAST: Śakti; lit. "power, ability, strength, effort, energy, capability") is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism, and especially the major tradition of Hinduism, Shaktism.

Shakti is the concept or personification of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as "The Great Divine Mother" in Hinduism. As a mother, she is known as "Adi Shakti" or "Adi Parashakti". On the earthly plane, Shakti most actively manifests herself through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form. Hindus believe that Shakti is both responsible for creation and the agent of all change. Shakti is cosmic existence as well as liberation, its most significant form being the Kundalini Shakti, a mysterious psychospiritual force.In Shaktism, Shakti is worshipped as the Supreme Being. Shakti embodies the active feminine energy of Shiva and is synonymously identified with Tripura Sundari or Parvati.

Tridevi

The Tridevi (English: three goddesses; Sanskrit: त्रिदेवी, tridevī) is a concept in Hinduism joining a triad of eminent goddesses either as a feminine version of the Trimurti or as consorts of a masculine Trimurti, depending on the denomination. This triad is typically personified by the Hindu goddesses Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati. In Shaktism, these triune goddesses are the manifestations of goddess Yogmaya also known by the names of Adi Parashakti, Devi.

In the Navaratri ("nine nights") festival, "the Goddess is worshiped in three forms. During the first three nights, Parvati is revered, then Lakshmi on the fourth, fifth and sixth nights, and finally Saraswati until the ninth night."

Trimurti

The Trimūrti (; Sanskrit: त्रिमूर्ति trimūrti, "three forms") is the Triple deity of supreme divinity in Hinduism in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified as a triad of deities, typically Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the destroyer, though individual denominations may vary from that particular line-up. When all three deities of the Trimurti incarnate into a single avatar, the avatar is known as Dattatreya.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.