Names of Main Hindu Gods and Goddesses


Names of Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Names of Hindu Gods and Goddesses

There are four main sects within Hinduism: Shaivism, in which Shiva is worshipped as the main god; Vaishnavism, in which Vishnu is the main god; Shaktism, in which the female aspect of god is primarily worshipped; and Smartism, in which six main gods are worshipped: Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesh, Murugan and Surya.

Main Hindu Gods – THE TRIMURTI (Hindu Trinity)

Name of Hindu God - Brahma

Brahma

The Creator

Vehicle: swan

has 4 heads, 4 arms, and a reddish complexion

not commonly worshipped

not to be confused with Brahman (the ground of all being) or the Brahmin (priestly caste)

 Name of Hindu God - Vishnu

Vishnu

The Preserver

Vehicle: garuda (bird)

has 4 arms, a blueish complexion, and rests on a snake

was incarnated (born as an animal or human) nine times with one more still to come

is the main god of Vaishnavism

 Names of Hindu Gods - Shiva

Shiva

The Destroyer / Transformer

Vehicle: bull

has matted hair, a third eye, a blue throat and a trident in his hand

often worshipped in the featureless lingam form

is the main god of Saivism

Main Hindu Gods – SHAKTIS (female aspects)

Names of Hindu Goddesses - Saraswati

Saraswati

Goddess of knowledge, music, and the arts

Vehicle: swan

wife of Brahma

sits on a white lotus playing a veena

 Name sof Hindu Goddesses - lakshmi

Lakshmi

Goddess of wealth and prosperity

Vehicle: owl

wife of Vishnu

usually shown bestowing coins and flanked by elephants

 Names of Hindu Goddesses - parvati

Parvati

The Divine Mother

Vehicle: lion

the reincarnation of Shiva’s first wife

has many forms, such as the popular Durga and Kali (see below); often shown together with Saraswati and Lakshmi as the tridevi (‘triple goddess’)

Main Hindu Gods – THE TRIMURTI (Hindu Trinity)

Name of Hindu God and Goddess - Ganesh

Ganesh

God of the intellect and the remover of obstacles

Vehicle: mouse

son of Shiva & Parvati

has an elephant’s head

 Name of Hindu God and Goddess - murugan

Murugan

God of war

Vehicle: peacock

son of Shiva & Parvati

popular in Tamil areas

also known as Skanda

 Name of Hindu God and Goddess - Durga

Durga

A fiercer form of Parvati

Vehicle: tiger

has ten arms holding many weapons

 Name of Hindu God and Goddess - Kali

Kali

Goddess of time and death

Vehicle: donkey

usually portrayed as dark and violent

 Name of Hindu God and Goddess - Rama

Rama

The 7th avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu

the central figure in the epic storyRamayana

 Name of Hindu God and Goddess - krishna

Krishna

The 8th avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu

usually portrayed as a child and a prankster; often shown playing the flute

 Name of Hindu Gods and Goddess - hanuman

Hanuman

an ape-like god known for assisting Rama

 Names of Hindu Gods and Goddess - surya

Surya

God of the Sun

pulled on a chariot by horses

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