Worshipping Gods and Goddesses achieve the same ends. Brahman Brahman is seen as the "Supreme Spirit" of all creation. Brahma is GOD in Hindi. From this aspect, all reality is a unity. Brahman is seen as the one divine entity that is at one with the universe and transcends it as well. Those who see God as one indestructible, formless, omnipresent, and everlasting essence believe in the existence of Brahman. Brahma Lord Brahma The creator, appears seated on a lotus flower, a symbol of glorious existence. He is seen as having four heads and hands. Each hand is holding a sacrificial tool (sruva), the Vedas (knowledge), a water pot (kamandalu) and a rosary respectively. His vehicle is a swan (hans), which is known for its judgment between good and bad. Lord Brahma's companion is the Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of Learning. Vishnu Lord Vishnu is regarded as the preserver of the universe. Whenever the balance of power in the world is upset in favor of evil, then Lord Vishnu is believed to descend to earth in a human form (his avatar) to save humankind or the world. Similarly, whenever dharma is threatened, Vishnu goes to the earth in one of his ten avatars, Ram and Krishna being the most popular to rescue the world. Shiva He is the destroyer of evil. Shiva destroys in order to create. Goddess Durga also known as Parvati is the wife of Shiva. Death is the medium for rebirth into a new life so within Shiva resides the capacities for life and death. Shiva, when not riding his vehicle, Nandi, the bull, he is often shown with a cobra, the Naga, symbol of fertility and strength, wrapped around his neck. The God has four arms, signifying his superhuman powers. Ganesh The elephant-god, as Lord Ganesh is also called, is the son of Parvati and Shiva. Most prayers and poojas begin by the invocation of Ganesh. He is renowned for being the remover of all obstacles. Ganesha's head depicts the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence whereas his human body defines the earthly existence of humankind. In his left hand, he holds a noose, which catches all of life’s hassles and difficulties and keeps them away. In his trunk he keeps ladoo, which implies that one must find the sweetness and bliss of the atman. He keeps a snake around his waist, which symbolizes all of the universe’s energy. Though his power is infinite, he is still humble enough to ride the lowest of all creatures – a mouse. Rama Lord Rama is one of the most commonly adored gods of Hindus. He is always seen holding a bow and arrow indicating his readiness to destroy evils and protect Dharma. More commonly he is pictured in a family style, (Ram Parivar) with his wife Sita, brother Lakshman and devotee Hanuman who is sitting near Lord Rama's feet. Krishna Many Hindus think of Krishna as God himself, the Supreme Being. Krishna is the focus of the Gita where he advises Arjuna on the ways of the world. Krishna is one of the avatars of Vishnu. He is always depicted as with the flute-music of life and the cow, since he represents the simple and ordinary. Venkateshwara He is another form of Lord Vishnu who is also very popular as a Hindu deity. He is also known as Lord Balaji. He has four hands. In his two upper hands he holds a discus -a symbol of power and a conch shell -a symbol of existence. With his lower hands extended downward he asks devotees to have faith and surrender to him for protection. Satyanarayana Lord Satyanarayana is another form of Lord Vishnu. The Lord is worshipped on the full moon (purnima) day of the month. People worship by reciting the gracious story of the Lord, which was once told by Lord Vishnu himself to the saint Narada for the benefit of humankind. Reading of this paath is a key element in the pooja for Lord Satyanarayana. He has four hands like Lord Vishnu, however, his fourth hand does not hold a lotus rather it is extended upward to bless people. Hanuman On account of his devotion to Lord Rama he has gained the status of a divine personality. Hanuman offers courage, hope, intellect and devotion to his devotees. He is pictured holding a mace (gada), which is a sign of bravery, and has a picture of Lord Rama tattooed on his chest, which is a sign of his devotion to Lord Rama. He is also called Mahaveera (The great hero) or Bajarangbali. Hinduism consists of diverse female expression of the Divine such as Lakshmi and Sarasvati Durga, Kali, Gauri and Gayatri. Lakshmi She is the goddess of material wealth and prosperity. For this reason, she is worshipped daily in most Hindu homes, especially during Diwali time. Lakshmi is often depicted as a fair and beautiful lady sitting on a full-bloomed lotus. She has four arms, which represent the four aims of human life. From those hands, gold coins are always falling reinforcing her power of bestowing wealth, as does her red sari which denotes prosperity. Saraswati She is the goddess of knowledge. It is said that Lakshmi and Saraswati were sisters who never liked to be apart. Thus, if one worships Saraswati, by studying hard, Lakshmi comes automatically because she wants to be with her sister. So kids, the moral of this story is study hard and success and prosperity will be yours. Durga She exists in various divine forms including both friendly and fearful. Two of her fierce but very powerful forms are Durga - goddess beyond reach and Kali - goddess of destruction. Both, Durga and Kali, have eight hands bearing the 8 mighty powers of this universe. Durga rides on a lion and Kali rides on a corpse of a demon. Gauri She represents purity and austerity. She is the Kanya (young, unmarried) Parvati who had undergone severe sacrifice in order to get Lord Shiva as her husband. Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, had worshipped Gauri to fulfill her wish of marrying Rama. Unmarried girls worship Gauri in order to get good husbands. Gayatri It is the name of one of the most important Vedic hymns consisting of twenty-four syllables. This hymn is addressed to Lord Surya (Sun) as the supreme generative force. One of the sacred texts says, "The Gayatri is Brahma, Gayatri is Vishnu, Gayatri is Shiva, the Gayatri is Vedas". Gayatri later came to be personified as a Goddess. She is shown as having five heads and is usually seated within a lotus. The four heads of Gayatri represent the four Vedas and the fifth one represents almighty God. COUPLE UP: Hindi gods, Hindu goddesses – don’t they ever couple up? Yes, they do. There are some perfect matches: Brahma-Saraswati, Lakshmi –Narayan (Vishnu), Uma-Mahesh, Sita-Rama, and Radha-Krishna.