The Different Gods Worshipped in India – India is a vast country with a huge population and a long, long history. Its primary religion is Hinduism and has been for thousands of years. Hinduism offers its followers not just one Hindu God but many Gods to worship. The origins of these Gods date back to India’s long ago Vedic Period.
In that ancient time, the rise of Hinduism among the Indian population resulted in the worshiping of many Gods, each of whom has a specific purpose. To begin, there was Deva, the father of all Gods. He watched over the many Gods that served the various needs of the Indian people.
The most popular God was Indra. Considered “The Warrior God,” Indra was depicted as a man who rode a chariot while holding a thunderbolt in one hand. Associated with thunder and storms, this God is actually closely associated with the Greek God, Zeus. He was not only the most popular God in ancient India he was the also the most important.
The second most popular and important God was Veruna. Considered Holy and pure, he was the Guardian of the Laws of Nature.
That God was followed by Surya, the Sun God, who was followed by Agni, the Fire God. This God actually acted as an intermediary between mortal men and the Supreme God. The Indians of long ago also worshipped Soma, the Moon God and Rudra a fierce and dangerous God who had the power to cause disease … and to heal illnesses.
The final God worshipped by ancient Indians was Yama, the God of the dead. He was the last God one worshipped as life ebbed away and eternal peace beckoned.
Interestingly, modern Hinduism fosters a belief in a single Universal God. While there are hundreds and hundreds of Gods, all of whom have specific names, it is believed that they are merely faces of a single force – one Universal deity.
There are currently three main faces of this Universal God. Shiva evolved from the ancient God Rudra and is believed to meditate most of the time. He is the God of Death and Time. Vishnu is the Protector of all Humanity and is a very important God to people who practice the Hindu faith. The remaining God is Brahma. He was once the most popular of Gods, but is now fading in importance and popularity. Brahma is the God who created the world.
While God Shiva, God Vishnu and God Brahma are the three primary manifestations of the Universal God, there are seemingly countless other Gods of lesser importance that are regularly worshipped by India’s Hindu population. Most of these Gods are benign or benevolent although some are not, but all play a prominent role in Indian society.
It is important to note again that, while Hinduism celebrates the existence of hundreds of deities, it is believed that, in the end, they are merely different faces of a single Universal God. Therefore, it can be said and it should be said that followers of the Hindu religion worship a single deity.