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Generally, Hindus worship many gods and goddesses.
So, is Hinduism really a polytheistic religion or is it still a monotheistic one? Do multiple Gods exist? This article will answer all these questions.
Most of the Hindus believe that there are three main gods — Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Some of them believe that Vishnu is the supreme lord, while some believe that it is Bhagwan Shankar who is the supreme personality of godhead.
Some say Shri Krishna is the supreme personality of godhead.
If you carefully read the scriptures, you will realise that they are all one — There is only one Bhagwan!
Let me give you some scriptural references to support my claim.
Shri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita’s tenth chapter says:
– आदित्यानामहं विष्णु — Of the Adityas, I am Vishnu
– रुद्राणां शङ्करश्चास्मि — Of all the Rudras, I am Lord Shiva
– धाताहं विश्वतोमुख: — Of creators, I am Brahma
The last verse of Narayan Suktam from the Yajuraveda says:
तस्या: शिखाया मध्ये परमात्मा व्यवस्थित:,
स ब्रह्म स शिव: स हरि: सेंद्र: सोक्षर: परम: स्वराट।
“In the middle of that Flame, Parmatma dwells. He is Brahma, Shiva, Hari and Indra. He is the Imperishable, the Absolute, the Autonomous Being.”
In the Bhagwat Purana (Srimad Bhagavatam) 4.7.51-54 श्रीभगवान् (श्रीभगवान् means Vishnu bhagwan. Whenever Vishnu speaks in Bhagwat purana, it is written as श्रीभगवानुवाच) says to Prajapati Daksha that:
– I become Brahma, Vishnu and Shankar to create, maintain and annihilate this universe.
– Only the ignorant person thinks that Brahma and Shiva are different than me.
– One who thinks that We (Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh) are one, realizes peace; others do not.
In the Shiva Purana, Bhagwan Shankar says to Daksha that
– Brahma, Vishnu and I are one. One who does not see any difference between the three deities, attains peace.
– If a devotee of Vishnu criticizes me and if my devotee criticizes Vishnu, then the curses given to you will be received by both of them.
Therefore, one must not criticize them.
Even Devatas are not separated.
That is why Shri Krishna says in Gita’s tenth chapter:
– देवानामस्मि वासव: — Of devatas, I am Indra
– वसूनां पावकश्चास्मि — Of the Vasus, I am Fire (Agni dev)
– ज्योतिषां रविरंशुमान् — Of lights, I am the Sun (Surya dev)
– नक्षत्राणामहं शशी — Of Nakshatras, I am the Moon (Chandra dev)
In fact, even we are the eternal parts of Bhagwan.
– We are the souls having body. In the Srimad Bhagwatam 3.25.41, Bhagwan Kapila (Lord Vishnu’s incarnation) says आत्मनः सर्वभूतानां which means I am the soul of all beings.
He adds — “Therefore, I, the Supreme Soul who is living in these bodies should be worshiped by proper charity, (दान) respect (मान), friendly behaviour (मित्रताके व्यवहार) and equanimity (समदृष्टि)” Sadly, we have forgotten our real form. That is why we do not follow any of these things.
Even non-living things on this planet are not separate from Bhagwan.
– They are made of Panchmahabhutas. In the Bhagwat Purana 7.6.20-21, Shri Prahlad Ji says that ‘Parmatma is situated in Panchmahabhutas’
– Shri Shukadev Ji (son of Ved Vyasa) says that — For those who know the real form of Bhagwan Shri Krishna, everything — stationary or moving is the manifest form of Shri Krishna.
There is no natural or unnatural object other than Shri Krishna.
Narsinh Mehta, a great devotee, says that
– અખિલ બ્રહ્માંડમાં એક તું શ્રીહરિ, જુજવે રૂપ અનંત ભાસે (In the entire universe, you alone exist, Shri Hari, yet, in infinite forms you seem to be)
Doesn’t Shri Krishna’s Vishwaroop prove all these things? Arjuna saw every Devata, Brahma, Bhagwan Shankar etc. in it.
Finally, I want to conclude by quoting Shri Narad Ji and Prajapati Daksha.
– Shri Narad Ji said to Yudhishthira that “इन समस्त रूपोंमें जीवोंके बाहर और भीतर वही एक स्वयंप्रकाश भगवान्, जो सम्पूर्ण आत्माओंके आत्मा हैं, मायाके द्वारा अनेकों प्रकारसे प्रकट हो रहे है; तुम केवल उन्हींको देखो”
– Prajapati Daksha said to Vishnu Bhagwan that “इसके (जगतके) रूपमें बननेवाले भी आप है और बनानेवाले भी आप ही है।
So, the great Sages, Devotees, Vedas, Puranas and Bhagwan himself say that — there is only one Bhagwan and there is nothing in this world except Bhagwan.
In this way, Hinduism is monotheistic and polytheistic both. It is polytheistic because we worship different forms of same Bhagwan and monotheistic because there is only one Bhagwan.
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