Hinduism views existence as composed of three worlds. The First World is the physical universe; the Second World is the subtle astral or mental plane of existence in which the devas, angels and spirits live; and the Third World is the spiritual universe of the Mahadevas, "great shining beings," our Hindu Gods. All gods are the various representation of one true God. the Vedas call him Brahman. The vibratory aspect of Brahman is called Aum or Om.
From Aum came the three most important Hindu gods (or Trimurti); Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer).
Trimuti (the Triad)
- Brahma (Creation. Progenitor or Great Grandsire of all human beings). In order to create the world and the human race, Brahma made a goddess out of himself. The woman Gayatri "Saraswati".
- Vishnu (Preserver and Protector of Creation) The embodiment of mercy and goodness, the self-existent, all-pervading power that preserves the universe and maintains the cosmic order Dharma.
- Shiva (Siva, Mahakala, God of the Yogis, Protector of Dharma). Lord Shiva is the destroyer of the world. He is responsible for change both in the form of death and destruction and in the positive sense of destroying the ego, the false identification with the form. Kronos in Greek.
Hinduism has two different Trinities. The first trinity is the three Hindu gods "Brahman, Vishnu, and Shiva". They represent the cycle of rebirth and reincarnation. The second trinity is the three gods and wives of the gods of the first trinity. The double trinity of Hinduism represents the MerKaBa.
Each God in the trinity has his consort. To Brahma is Saraswati. For Vishnu is Lakshmi. and For Shiva is Kali (Parvati).
- Saraswati (Gayatri, Goddess of Knowledge, Music and all the Creative Arts) Vak Devi, the Goddess of Speech. Athena in Greek.
- Lakshmi (Goddess of Light, Beauty, Good Fortune and Wealth) Lakshmi also signifies Love and Grace. Hera in Greek.
- Parvati (Doorga, Goddess of Love and Devotion). Skill, power, prowess, and genius while infusing the world with her magic.
10 Avatars of Vishnu “dasavatara”
The 10 avatars are divine intervention provided by Vishnu during the various stages of human evolution. The “dasavatara” (ten avatars) is meant to re-establish dharma or righteousness and destroy tyranny and injustice on earth. The last Avatar is yet to appear. The ninth is mentioned as Lord Buddha.
- Matsya (the Fish). A giant fish. As a giant fish, Vishnu warned the world of a great flood, rescuing both a famous sage and the Vedas from the flood.
- Kurma (Koorma, the Tortoise). Retrieved the elixir of immortality, which was lost after the flood in the depths of the ocean.
- Varaha (Varaha, the Boar). After the demon Hiranyakasipu plunged the earth into the ocean, Vishnu, in the form of a boar, hoisted the world above the water on his tusks.
- Narasingha (the Lion). In order to destroy another demon, Vishnu became a half-lion. This was because the demon, Hiranyakasipu, could not be killed by neither animals nor man alone.
- Vamana (the Dwarf). When Vishnu first came asa human avatar, he did so to outwit the demon-king, Bali. As a dwarf, he convinced Bali to give him as much land as he could cover in three steps. Immediately, Vishnu transformed himself into a giant, striding across the universe.
- Parasurama (the Angry Man). Vishnu returned as Rama with an axe to defeat the ruling warrior class and restore the Brahmins to power.
- Rama (Ramayana, the Model of Reason) Ramayan is the very soul of India. Rama represents an ideal man, A perfect son, devoted brother, true husband, trusted friend, ideal king, and a noble adversary.
- Krishna (the Staesman). Embodiment of Love and Divine Joy, that destroys all Pain and Sin. As a youth, the cowherd Krishna became renown as a love, the sound of his flute sent the wives and daughters of the cowherds out of there homes to dance ecstatically with him in the forest. He is the protector of sacred utterances and cows.
- Buddhi (Buddhism, the golden mean) Buddha began his meditation as a Hindu. He was awakened with a new enlightenment only to denounce Hinduism and emerge as the founder of a new religion, Buddhism.
- Kalki (the Mighty Warrior). Yet to come, some Hinus believe Kalki is the next Avatar of Vishnu. He will appear, riding his white horse and drawing a flaming sword, at the end of the Kali Yuga, the dark age through which we are passing. His task will be to exterminate the evil and restore the Dharma. Thus will begin a new cycle.
the Devine Mother "Goddesses of Strength and Power"
Hindu men and women conduct regular pujas to the deity known as Devi, or sometimes simply the Goddess. For some she is their primary deity, while for others she is part of a greater pantheon. Embodying the feminine principle, she has innumerable aspects and manifestations.
- Shakti (the Divine Force, manifesting to destroy demonic forces and restore balance). The mother goddess, the source of all, the universal principle of energy, power or creativity.
- Devi (the Goddess). The goddess who appears in some form in every region of India. She is often identified as the creative energy of the universe, and is considered by her followers the equal of Vishnu and Shiva.
- Kali (Goddess of Time and of the transformation that is Death) Kali is the Kundalini energy that paralyses the attachments produced by the solar and lunar currents. Symbol of all of the wild and chaotic forces of nature.
- Durga (Unified symbol of all Divine Forces) The Goddess Durga manifested when evil forces threathened the very existance of the Gods. To destroy these demons, all gods offered their radiance to her creation and each formed part of Durga's body. Radiant goddess of power and beauty, killer of the horrific buffalo demon, destroyer of greed, egotism and ignorance.
The Pantheon "the Mahadevas"
Approximately six forms of godheads are worshipped in India today. Apart from the Vaishnavas’ Vishnu, Shaivites Shiva and Shakta’s Devi, there are three more godheads that are adored. Sauras worship Surya, Ganapatyas worship Ganesha and Kaumaryas treat Skanda (Muruga in the Tamil lands), as their godhead. Collectively these six forms of divine worship of Hindus are called as Shanmatas.
- Agni (the God of Fire) Agni has three forms: fire, lightning and the Sun. He is the supreme director of religious ceremonies and duties, and figures as messenger between mortals and gods.
- Ashwini (Asvin Kumars, Divine Physicians). Twin sons of Vivaswat and Suranyu. Their skill in therapeutics and surgery is the theme of more than 50 hymns of Rig Veda. They were celebrated for the skill of restoring youth to old, curing the sick, weak, blind and the lepers.
- Balrama (Balarama) Protector from Desires, the Divinity of Strength or the Strength of the Divine, symbolizing Duty, Honesty and Simplicity. Elder brother of Krishna.
- Ganesha (Isha, Ganesa, Ganapati or Vinayaka) Creates the Faith to remove all obstacles, forcing one to look beyond form, removing doubts and pointing out the spiritual side of everything. Traditionally, Ganesha comes in 32 different forms. With his elephant head and four hands, he has power over civil matters.
- Hanuman (the Monkey Deity). Renowned for his courage, power and faithful, selfless service). The child of a nymph by the wind god; accompanied by a host of monkeys, he aided Rama in recovering his wife, Sita, from the demon Ravana. Pan in Greek.
- Indra (God of Thunder). King of the Gods. Ruler of the Heavens. God of thunder and rain and a symbol of courage and strength. Regarded as the generous bestower of sons, riches, houses, and various pleasures. Zeus in Greek.
- Lalita (Tripur Sundari, the fountain of beauty). Beautiful Goddess of the Three Cities. There are three forms of deity: physical (sthula), subtle (suksma) and supreme (para). Extraordinarily beautiful and forever young. She is the fountain of beauty and inspiration. The Tantric Parvati.
- Soma (the God of the Moon). In the Vedas, Soma is portrayed as sacred and as a god (deva). The god, the drink and the plant probably referred to the same entity, or at least the differentiation was ambiguous. In this aspect, Soma is similar to the Greek ambrosia (cognate to amrita); it is what the gods drink, and what made them deities.
- Surya (the God of the Sun). His Power was conceived of as Dispelling Darkness, Curing Disease, and Heating and Illuminating the World. He dwels in the body of the sun and is described as the husband of dawn. Guardian of the southwest quadrant. His father is the sky god Dyaush or Indra.
10 Mahavidyas (Wisdom Goddesses)
Maha-Vidya means great knowledge. The Mahavidyas are thus ten insights covered by ten mysteries about 10 essential energies, that are also 10 goddesses. Their worship is a main path in Tantra Yoga. The spectrum covers the whole range of feminine divinity, encompassing horrific goddess's at one end, to the ravishingly beautiful at the other. Mahavidya means (Maha - great; vidya - knowledge) Goddesses of great knowledge.
- Kali (Goddess of time and of the transformation that is death) Kali is the Kundalini energy that paralyses the attachments produced by the solar and lunar currents.
- Tara (the Compassionate Goddess). Star, Protectress of Navigation and Earthly Travel. The star of our aspiration, the muse who guides us along the creative path.
- Tripur Bhairavi (Terror of the 3 Worlds). Bhairavi is also a title for a female adept in Kundalini Tantra. She is also called Shubhamkari, good mother to good people and terrible to bad ones.
- Bhuvaneshwari (Ishvari, Queen of The Universe) Welfare of her Subjects and resides in the Hearth Chakra.
- Bhairavi (the Fierce and Terrifying Aspect) Hardly indistinguishable from Kali. Consort of Bhairava which is the fierce manifestation of Lord Shiva associated with the annihilation.x
- Chinnamasta (Chopped Off Head) Self-sacrifice as well as the awakening of the Kundalini. She is considered both as a symbol of self-control on sexual desire as well as an embodiment of sexual energy, depending upon interpretation.
- Dhumavati (Beholder of Smoke) Portrayed as an Old, Ugly Widow, and is associated with things considered Inauspicious and Unattractive in Hinduism. Bagla Mukhi (Power to Stop Speech) Smashes the Devotee's Misconceptions and Delusions.
- Bagalamukhi (the Goddess of Hypnotic Power). She can be the face of evil in case of any wrong doer. She is focused on her intent and gaze like the crane who waddles in the waters looking at its target.
- Matangi (Power of Intellect) Governs Speech, Music, Knowledge and the Arts. Matangi is often associated with pollution. She is described as an Outcaste (Chandalini) and offered Left-Over or Partially Eaten food (Ucchishta) with unwashed hands or food after eating.
- Kamala (Kamalatmika, Goddesses of great knowledge). She is shown as seated in padmasana (lotus posture) on a lotus, symbol of purity.She promotes ongoing faithfulness in our relationships inspired by mutual enjoyment and an abundance of love.
Demi Gods and Goddesses
- Dhanwantari (The physican of the Gods) Considered as a great surgeon who taught Ayurvedic surgery to Susrutha, the father of Ayurvedic surgery.
- Kartikay (the Scientist of the Gods) Kartikay bears 31 names.
- Usas (Personification of Dawn).
- Marici (Associated with Light and the Sun) Dipper Mother.
- Viswakarma (All-Accomplishing, Maker of All) He is the presiding deity of all craftsmen and architects. He is believed to be the "Principal Architect of the Universe. Hephaestus in Greek.
- Annapurna (Goddess of Food and Cooking, Divine Aspect of Nourishing Care) The cook provides his guests with the energy to best follow their destiny. When food is cooked with a spirit of holiness, it becomes alchemy. Annapurna is an incarnation of the Hindu Goddess Parvati, the wife of Shiva.
- Matangi (the Dark One) Mother of the Veda's and the repository of Brahma's creative intelligence. Saraswati is also called Vak Devi, the goddess of speech.
- Murugan (God of War and Victory) Ares in Greek.
- Garuda (King of the Birds) Messenger between the Gods and Men.
- Maya (the Divine Power which brings out the Evolution of this Present World) "Maya" is illusion. Maya creates the ignorance of the individual self. Cosmic Consciousness becomes individual consciousness by its own maya. Maya also stands for a demon that was the architect of the demons and the creator of the magical arts.
- Kama (the God of Love) Personified cosmic desire, or the creative impulse, and was called the firstborn of the primeval Chaos that makes all creation possible. Cupid in Greek.
- Varuna (Waruna) God of the Water and of the Celestial Ocean, as well as a God of Law of the Under Water World. Poseidon in Greek.
- Yama (Yamaraja, Lord of Death) Guardian of the Directions of the south. Yama is said to have been the first mortal who died. By virtue of precedence, he became the ruler of the departed. Hades in Greek.
- Saraswathi (Goddess of Knowledge, Music, Arts and Science) Athena in Greek.
- Gayatri (the Goddess of Education) Considered to be the Veda Mata, the mother of all Vedas, the 4 most sacred scriptures of Hinduism.
- Aghasura (form of an Enormous Serpent) He is a demon.
- Radha (Radhika, Radharani, or Radhikarani) the Original Goddess or Shakti.
- Manu (Progenitor of the Human Race) His original name was Satyavrata, is the 7th Manu and considered the first king to rule this earth, who saved humanity from the great flood. Same as Noah.
- The Ashvins (twin Physicians to the Gods).
- Karna (Radheya, a great Warrior of the Sacred Epic the Mahabharata) son of Surya and Kunti.
- Sugriva (Sugreeva, or SugreevKing) ruler of the Vanara or Monkey kingdom Kishkindha.
- Kasyapa (the Law-Minded Grandfather of the World) An ancient sage.
- Anjana (Punjikastala) Who came to earth and married Kesari, a monkey chief. Vayu, god of the wind, carried the divine power of Lord Shiva to Anjana's womb, and thus Hanuman was himself an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
- Vayu (Lord of the winds, the Wind God) the Spiritual father of Lord Hanuman.
- Ravana (Ravan) He is described as a devout follower of the god Shiva, a great scholar, a capable ruler and a maestro of the Veena.
- Brihaspati (lord of Prayer or Devotion, God of Wisdom and Eloquence, God of planet Jupiter.) Personification of Piety and Religion, and the chief 'offerer of prayers and sacrifices to the gods. He is the guru of the Devas (gods) and the arch-nemesis of Shukracharya, the guru of the Danavas (demons).
- Shukra (Shukracharya) Preceptor of the Daityas, and the guru of the Asuras, identified with the Planet Venus. son of Bhrigu.
- Kapila (one of the founders of the Samkhya School of philosophy) Incarnation of the supreme-being Vishnu.
- Drona (Great Teacher and Warrior) He was a master of advanced military arts, including the Devastras.
- Prajapatis ("Lord of Creatures" is a group Hindu deity presiding over Procreation, and Protector of Life).
- Vishvakarman (All-Accomplishing, Maker of All, All Doer) Presiding deity of all Craftsmen and Architects. Principal Architect of the Universe.
- Marichi (Ray of Light) the Cosmic Creator.
- Atri (Legendary Bard and Scholar) Atri is the seer of the Fifth Mandala (book) of the Rigveda.
- Angiras (Great Divine Glow) An inner spiritual capacity that emanates Wisdom, Power, and Divinity.
- Pulastya (He was the medium through which some of the Puranas were communicated to man).
- Pulaha (This Rishi does not figure largely in Hindu mythology).
- Kratu (He is one of the Seven Glorious Spirits who abide in the Orb of the Sun, Scattering Light throughout the Universe).
- Vashistha (He's the only mortal besides Bhava to have a Rigvedic hymn dedicated to him) Credited as the Chief Author of Mandala 7 of the Rigveda.
- Daksha (Daksa was a Great King).
- Bhrigu (Father of Hindu Astrology) The first Astrological treatise Bhrigu Samhita is attributed to his authorship. This treatise is said to contain over 5 million horoscopes. Only about a hundredth of these horoscopes have survived to this age.
- Narada (Ancient India's most travelled sage with the ability to visit distant worlds and realms) Pure, elevated soul who glorifies Vishnu through his devotional songs, singing the names Hari and Narayana, and therein demonstrating Bhakti Yoga.
- Apsara (Female Spirit of the Clouds and Waters) Apsaras are beautiful, supernatural female beings. They are youthful and elegant, and superb in the art of dancing.