Hinduism is the dominant religion of the Indian subcontinent. It comprises of three major traditions, Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Shaktism, whose followers Shiva, Vishnu and Devi are considered to the supreme deity respectively. Within Hinduism, a large number of personal gods (Ishvaras) are worshipped as murtis. These beings are significantly powerful entities known as devas. Shiva and Vishnu are regarded as Mahadevas ("great gods") due to their central positions in worship and scriptures. These two along with Brahma are considered the Trimurti - the three aspects of the universal supreme God.
The Tridevi or triplet goddesses of Hinduism have equal importance as the Trimurti and function as their consorts. Brahma is creator, so he needs knowledge or goddess Saraswati to create. Vishnu is preserver, so he needs the goddess of wealth and prosperity, goddess Lashmi. Finally, Shiva is destroyer and re-creator, so he needs goddess Parvati, Durga or Kali for power. They are the manifestation of Goddess Shakti.
In their personal religious practices Hindus may worship one or more Ishwaras. The particular deities worshipped are a matter of individual preferance, although regional and family traditions can play a large part in influencing this choice. Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism and the Ganpatya sects of Hinduism states that Vishnu, Shiva, Devi (Shakti) and Ganeshma respectively equate to Brahman.
Many deniminations of Hinduism, such as Vaishnavism and some schools of Saivism, teach that occasionally , a god comes to Earth as a human being to help humans in their struggle toward enlightenment and salvation (mokhsa). Such an incarceration of god is called avatar, or avatara. The most famous of the divine incarcerations are Rama, whose life is depicted in the Ramayana, and Krishna, whose life is depicted in the Mahabharata and the Bhagvata Purana. The Bhagvad Gita, which contains spiritual teachings of Krishna, is one of the most widely read scriptures in Hinduism.
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