Why Hindus Worship Many Gods?

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Million Gods, One Logic

There are many gods worshiped by Hindus. According to some people, the gods are as many as millions. Others argue that this is just a metaphorical figure.

Nevertheless, the majority of people are in agreement that these gods are almost infinite in number. But why have so many gods in the first place? Why not have just one god and be satisfied? After all, we all live in one world.

Hindus have fighter gods, peaceful gods, gods who rule over communities and villages, gods who have done away with worldly affairs, and gods who represent love. They also have gods who symbolize some concepts like devotion and knowledge, elemental gods, and gods appearing to be birds and other animals.

This diversity appears contrary to the norm that only one god exists, as supported by monotheistic religions. However, things are not really that simple. There is always a diversity of natures in any community or group of people.

One person may be aggressive while another wants peace, and another is keen in pursuing knowledge, yet another finds inspiration in nature. There will always be people from different communities.

Shiv_Mandir_Bangalore
Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shiv_Mandir_Bangalore.jpg

It is also common to find people who are not interested in any such groupings and choose their own paths. If such diverse groups of people are placed under one god, they may feel left out.

If god represents peace, then a warrior would be left out. If devotion is what god wants, then an atheist wouldn’t belong. If god only prefers people from a certain nation, then what would become of those living elsewhere?

Hence, there can never be a single perfect solution to this problem. This is the reason why Hindus prefer having many gods to choose from.

No matter what any individual prefers, there is a god in Hindu religion for him or her to worship. No one is ever left out. Hence, all Hindus belong somewhere.

In the end, all gods are bound to an image of their own divinities. What an individual finds in the divine is usually a reflection of his or her personality.

Any peaceful person will see the universe as peaceful. A war-like individual will see a conflict in every place. Neither of them would be right, and neither of them can be said to be wrong.

The world is full of diversity and multiple realities. The main reason why Hindus prefer having many gods is that Hinduism acknowledges and appreciates this religious diversity.

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