“In the Chāndyoga Upanisad it is said, ‘In the beginning,(of creation) all this was nothing but Sat (Truth) alone, and it (Truth) is One without a second.’-Swami Tejomayananda
I wish that statement was widely spread and made aware of in Hindu culture. It would certainly answer the “do you guys really have that many Gods, how can there be so many God’s?, and how is possible for your religion to have so many Gods and other religions talk about one?” A question I KNOW every Indian child grown up in a Western World has faced. In the Upanishads, which are among the basis truths of the Hindu way of life, it is stated that there is only God, creator, almighty. So the next question would be, why the deities and why does it appear to be so polytheistic?
“The truth, brahman is pointed out as that which is indescribable nameless formless and attribute less pure existence. Brahman truth also has the infinite power to express in many ways through manifold forms. “-Swami Tejomayananda
Now how can that be explained to humans? The almighty is indeed indescribable, nameless and formless. However in man’s attempts to describe the infinite power, the deities of Hinduism were manifested. There is a belief that there are 10 avatars of the supreme that were manifested through each time period, to revive humanity when it was at its lowest and establish righteousness. There are different forms and stories behind each avatar. Hindu’s have different forms of One God. Each deity represents a different aspect of humans, and you’ll find each story has a moral purpose behind it.
I’ll talk about my interpretation of the different avatar’s in blogs to come. The purpose behind this specific post is that Hinduism is very much One God centered. I know that growing up in a western world, every Indian child has faced this question from friends. Most of us don’t have answers and and are unable to explain. Why? Because it really is each of our responsibilities to get educated on our culture so we can then educate those who ask us. For me my journey of exploring spirituality and religion started in high-school, when I was surrounded by people of different faiths an was asked questions I didn’t have answers to. I also was SO curious to understand, why there was such a difference in culture and why there was hatred because of difference in culture.
I always believe in personally seeking the sources to find the truth. Interpret it in your mind because what you interpret and someone else interpret’s will be different. Of course, we can all learn from others, but seeking to understand ourselves and then learning from others widens our exciting knowledge and perspective. Next time you get asked about how many God’s hinduism has and how it is possible we can educate the individual on our religion, yes Hinduism believes in ONE God, and there are reasons for personifying the different avatars.
“The Indian Girl”
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