A must read article for all hindus and also others who have some doubts about Hinduism}} Simon Smite, Shwetakshi Sharma, Es Ra , Caralee Wilkins and many others have same question:: Why there are so many Gods in Hinduism?? Thank you for asking such a question I am waiting for someone to ask this question. I have given answer to this question in all my analysis in my recent posts. In this post we will examine some of my posts and examine is there is one God or there are many. First you have to learn what is God actually is:: Lets examine what Bhagwat Gita say about it: Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Nine verse 4: "Sri Krishna said: By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them. Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Nine verse 6: "Sri Krishna said: Understand that as the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, rests always in the sky, all created beings rest in Me." Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Nine verse 8: "Sri Krishna said: The whole cosmic order is under Me. Under My will it is automatically manifested again and again, and under My will it is annihilated at the end." Bhagwat Gita: Chapter Two verse 17: "Sri Krishna said: Know that to be imperishable & indestructible, by which all this is pervaded; for none can bring about the destruction of this indestructible substance, the imperishable soul." Now everything which is present in whole universe this planet or that planet is manifestation of Brahman i.e Brahman present in everything everywhere, Brahman can be with form or without form. The Rig Veda says that by desire (RV 10.12.94), the initial manifestation of the material universe came into being from Hiranyagarbha (literally "golden womb"), out of which the world, organisms and divine beings (devas) arose: "Great indeed are the devas who have sprung out of Brahman." — Atharva Veda. Saguna Brahman with infinite attributes and is the source of the impersonal Nirguna Brahman, and Brahman's energy is regarded as Devi or shakti. Vishnu is traditionally derived from the root "Vish" which means to enter or pervade, and He is called Vishnu because He pervades the whole universe. Brahmanda Purana (1.4.25) says that He is called as Vishnu because He has entered into everything in the universe. The most important aspect is that the whole universe is covered by only three steps of Vishnu which is referred to several times in the Vedas (Rig Veda 1.22.17, 1.154. 3, 1.155.4, Atharva Veda 7.26.5, Yajur Veda 2.25). In His three steps rests the whole universe (Rig Veda 1.154.2, Yajur Veda 23.49). All indeed is Brahman, which can thus be identified with Vishnu, based on the Vedas. Brahman is neither limited to abstract or concrete concepts. But it is easier to establish a conscious relationship with the Providence in terms of benevolent fatherhood or an affectionate, kindly motherhood ....than by the concept of an unfathomable void. Brahman is devoid of qualities, in reality, ......but a relative superimposition of the positive ideals of goodness and virtue is essential for self-culture and spiritual progress of the aspirant. The Upasana or the worship of the Universal Mother leads to the attainment of the knowledge of the Self. The Yaksha Prasna in KenOpanishad supports this view. • Approach Her with an open heart. • Lay bare your mind with frankness and humility. • Let your thoughts be pure and sublime. • Become as simple as a child. Pulverise your individual entity, the egoistic nature, cunningness, selfishness and crookedness. • Make a total unreserved, ungrudging self-surrender to Her. • Chant Her Mantras. • Worship Her with faith and unflinching devotion. Please find the whole post here-->> http://www.thehinduforum.com/threads/who-is-god.1099/ http://www.thehinduforum.com/threads/i-have-question-about-hindu-god-and-godesses.1100/ Now one may say Krishna is manisfestation of Vishnu, then what about Shiva. Shiva and Vishnu are one and the same. Lets examine how: , let me quote from Annamaacharya, the great Vaak-geya-kaaraka of Aandhra Pradesh, in one of his divya sankeertana “Enta maatramuna evvaru talichina ….” says: How much ever one imagines that much only are You: For Vaishnavas You are Vishnu For Vedaantas You are Parabrahma For Shaivas and other bhaktas You are Shiva For Kaapaalikas You are Kaala-Bhairava For Shaakteyaas You are Shakti For people with alpa-buddhi You appear as alpam For people who know Your Garima and have Ghana-buddhi You are a Ghana For people who are Sharanaagati You are Venkateshvara. One episode from Mahabharat :: Once Shri Krishna, the avataar of Mahaavishnu, came to Upamanyu maharshi, when he was at Himaalayas. Shri Krishna said “Upamanyu muniindra! You are the greatest in the Shiva Bhaktas. I came here to do Tapas of Paramashiva to get santaanam. Please teach Me Shaiva-vidhi and vidhaanam”. Upamanyu replied “O Shri Krishna! I know who You are. Shiva puuja is not new to You. Though You know it, to make everybody know, I will tell You …” Saying thus, Upamanyu told Shri Krishna how to do Shiva-aaraadhana. There are thousands of such kind of Incidents in puranas, if I tell you them one by one memory of facebook will be scrapped. This happened after the episode of Naarada, coming under Vishnu maaya, gives shaapam to Vishnu: (This is one of the reasons of Shri Raama avatar) Naarada says “Svaami! Please forgive Me. I, coming under influence of Your maaya, got ahankaar and did Your ninda. Please tell Me what can save Me from this ghora-paapam”. Vishnu says: “O Priya Naarada! You go and do paaraayana of Shankara Shatanaamams. Then You will get Shaanti. Shiva is whom I respect the most. Even by mistake dont forget this. One who doesnt have Shiva-anugraham cannot be My Bhakta. Believe this … Then My maaya wont affect you.” Once Vyaasa Bhagavaan came under the influence of Shiva-maaya and started telling in his Pravachanams that Vishnu is greater than Shiva. Once Nandeeshvara also heard Vyaasa Bhagavaan saying this. Vishnu Murty then appeared before Veda Vyaasa and told Him “O Maharshi! Dont you know that I and Shiva are the same? Knowing this why are you telling like this in your pravachanams?” Veda Vyaasa then had great pashchaattaapam and asked Kshama from Nandeeshvara. The phalam of Vishnu Pooja is Shiva Bhakti — the example is that of Arjuna. Arjuna ofcourse was the greatest Shri Krishna Bhakta. But it was Shiva who gave Arjuna moksham, when Arjuna was born as Bhakta Kannappa, in the great Kaalahastsi Kshetram. Similarly the phalam of Shiva Pooja is Shri Raama Bhakti — the examples are stories of Kaaka Bhushundi and Valmiki Maharshi. Kaaka Bhushundi was a great Shiva Bhakta and hence Shiva grants him Raama Bhakti Saamraajyam. Valmiki did tapas for Shiva using the Panchaakshari mantram given to him by the great Saptarshis and as a result became the Aadi Kavi and wrote the great Raamaayanam. That means what you thinks of God, because of your devotion and love, God becomes what you think. Shankaracharya of Advaita philosophy says there is nothing but God in this world. That means everything in this world is manifestion of the God’s power. Rig Veda 1.164.46 tells the same truth: Indram Mitram Varunamagnimahuratho divyaha sa suparano garutamaan | Ekam sadvipro bahuda vandyatyagnim yamam maatarishwaanmaahuh || ‘They (the men of wisdom) call him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni, and he is the heavenly, noble-winged Garutman. The God is one, but sages call it by many names; they call it Agni, Yama, Matarishvan (and so on). Now question arises that if God is one what about quarrels about two god and one god is helping other?? One may now wonder why Puranas mention Shiva, Vishnu, Agni, Yama, Indra, etc as seperate Gods/demigods. This question has been answered by great prophets like Ramanujacharya and Madhwacharya as below: Antaryami (residing in the heart or the source) of each demigods is one God, which the prophets called as Lord Vishnu. The prayers when addressed to gods it is addressed to “antaryami” of each devata which is Vishnu (or Narayana or Krishna). This is also emphaised in Srimad Bhagavatam. Everything in this world is a manifestation of the God. Dvaitha and Vishistadwaitha philosophies of Ramanujacharya and Madhwacharya infact gave clearer picture of Vedas. These are called as leelas of one God, so that normal Human Being can get teaching and morals from that story, cant you recycle your memory in go into childhood when your dadi nani told you a story about Hanuman, Vishnu, Shiva and give a moral line after that. The is the basic meaning.