Hindu Deities: A Mythological Dictionary with Illustrations
"Hinduism is the term now used to summarize the religious aspirations of the majority of Indians. It includes a variety of highly intellectual, metaphysical and philosophical systems, as well as the naive demonology and magico-religious beliefs of the masses. Hinduism is also a synthesis of three, originally separate religious traditions: the Dravidian, the Aryan and the aboriginal." "Although many Westerners regard Hinduism as polytheistic, this view does not take into consideration the sophisticated basis of the tradition as seen in the ancient Rgveda where a transcendental Oneness is perceived that manifests Itself only partially in this world to "create" apparent forces which appear to human beings as separate deifies, thus there are as many gods as there are aspects of creation." "Many deifies are depicted with a multiplicity of arms, heads, and emblems, so distinguishing them from ordinary mortals as well as pointing to the immense potentiality of the Divine that is forever beyond the comprehension of human beings."--BOOK JACKET.
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According Adityas Agni Ancient Indian Magic animal Aryan aspect of Siva associated Asvins Atharvaveda Bhairava body Brahma Buddhist called consort cosmic creation creatures cult dance death deity demon denotes depicted destruction Devi devotees divine Durga earth embodiment energy epithet female Feuerstein fire form of Siva Ganesa goddess goddess personifying gods hence Hindu Hinduism horse human identified incarnation Indra Indus Valley civilization invoked Kali Krsna Kubera Laksmi later Liebert linga Lord lotus Mahavidyas manifestation mantra Manu mother myth Nirrti non-Aryan originally Parvati portrayed Prajapati Purusa regarded represents Rgveda rites ritual Rudra sacred sacrifice Saiva Sakta Sakti Sarasvati serpent Sesa signifies Siva Siva's Skanda snake solar soma sometimes south India spiritual Stutley Supreme Surya symbolizes Tamil Tantric temple tric tutelary universe Upanisad Vaisnava Varuna Vedas Vedic Vedic goddess Visnu waters whereupon wife worshipped Yaksas Yama Yoga yogic yogin