Who is your favorite god of destruction

Advent calendar of religions (4): Hindus have many gods

There are innumerable gods in Hinduism. Each deity is responsible for something and looks different. Together they carry the great secret of the world within them. This is called Brahman. Many Hindus have a favorite god that they worship. There are many exciting stories about the gods. The main gods also have mounts. Hindus believe that these mounts complement the power of the gods.

Here is a small overview of important Hindu gods and what they did or can do according to the Hindu belief:

Brahma This god was the only one who hatched from the egg of the universe and then created the world. Brahma has four heads - each one looks in a different direction. In some pictures he also has four arms. His mount is a goose.

Shiva This god can be terrible and also kind. On the one hand, Shiva stands for calamity and destruction. On the other hand, he is the god of dance, meditation and renewal. Many Hindus believe that Shiva dissolves the world at the end of time before it is recreated. You can recognize Shiva by his three eyes. The third is sometimes only shown as a stripe on the forehead. Sometimes he also has a snake hanging around his neck. Shiva's mount is a bull.

Vishnu This god ensures a balance between good and evil and protects people and the other gods. You can recognize him by the jewelry on his four arms and by the things in his four hands: a club, a shell, a lotus flower and a wheel of fire. These objects are supposed to show his power, which every being reaches and defeats. His mount is an eagle.

Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu are the three main gods of the Hindus. Together they are called Trimurti. But these gods are also important:

Krishna This is a "nice" god and the favorite of many Hindus. He proclaims divine truths. In many stories Krishna is mentioned as a hero or king who is kind to people and protects them. Hindus believe that Krishna is a different form from Vishnu. But Krishna also has tasks of his own: for example, he is also the god of the cowherd. You can recognize him by his shepherd's flute and his blue skin.

Sarasvati This is the goddess of language, music and science. Her husband is Brahma. You recognize Sarasvati because she plays a special stringed instrument in pictures.

Parvati She is Shiva's wife. And she is the mistress of life and death. Many Hindus like Parvati because she is a loving mother and wife. She is something like the world mother. You can recognize them on representations by their lotus seat. Your mount is the lion.

Lakshmi She is the goddess of happiness, beauty, wealth and abundance. She is also Vishnu's wife. Lakshmi is sitting on a lotus flower and has four arms. She holds lotus blossoms in two hands. These flowers represent purity and beauty. With the other hands she blesses the viewer.

Ganesha This is the god with the elephant head. Hindus see in him the bringer of happiness, the god of wisdom, ingenuity and success. His parents are Shiva and Parvati. And he got his elephant head after his father chopped off his head in anger and had a replacement quickly found. As a mount, Ganesha has a rat. (lea)

More information at religionen-entdecke.de

Did you know …

... that the word "Hindu" is very old? It is the Persian word for the "Indus" river. It flows through the north of India and through Pakistan. People who lived next to or behind the Hindus were called "Hindus" by the Persians a thousand years ago. Later, when Muslims and Christians came to the area, the word helped to differentiate the population groups. The original inhabitants of India were then named as Hindus. European scholars came up with the word "Hinduism" about 200 years ago. The word stands for the many religions of India. (lea)

Would you also like to read the other episodes of the Advent Calendar of Religions? Here is an overview that leads directly to all episodes.