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published: 3/17/04
updated: 11/22/13

Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Who are the gods and goddesses in Hinduism?

The gods of modern Hinduism are many, and include the chief gods Shiva, Vishnu and the Goddess Shakti as well as a myriad of local community gods.

Devotion to these various deities is based primarily on one's region and needs, and even when devotion is given to only one, the existence of others is acknowledged. Hindu worship virtually always involves sculptures and images, to which offerings are made and rituals are performed.

Is Hinduism Polytheistic? One God or Many?
Is Hinduism a polytheistic, pantheistic, or monotheistic religion?
Devi: The Mother Goddess
Devi, the Divine Female, is also known as the Mother Goddess.
The beloved elephant-faced deity known as Ganesh or Ganesha clears away life's obstacles.

The "Destroyer" and one of the chief deities of Hinduism. His name means "Auspicious One."
Vedic Gods
The ancient Vedas describe a number of deities, most of whom are personified forces of nature.
Vishnu, the "All-Pervading," is the protector of the world and the restorer of moral order (dharma).


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