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Hinduism : The Eternal Tradition Sanatana Dharma
Index

Preface 

Perennial Wisdom 

Sanatana Dharma

Religion And Spirituality...

Religion Or Dharma

The Eternal View Of Hinduism

Idolatary And Dogmatism

Religion And Spirituality..

Religious And Spiritual Practices

Civilization And Social Issues

Hinduism And Sanatana Dharma

Hinduism And Other Religions

Appendices

       

Major Sections
Books By David Frawley
Arjuna

Awaken Bharata

From The River Of Heaven How I Became A Hindu
The Myth Of Aryan Invasion Of India

Hinduism : The Eternal Tradition, Sanatana Dharma

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CIVILIZATION AND SOCIAL ISSUES

Why Do Hindus Worship Many Gods?

Human beings through history have formulated many different names and forms for the Divine or Eternal. Just as we have many names and forms for other things, whether it is foods, or types of art, so too, in religion a similar great diversity has been created.

The Western world has prided itself in monotheism, the idea that there is only One God as the highest truth. Western religions have said that only the names and forms which refer to this One God are valid but those which appear to worship another God, or a multiplicity of divinities, must be false. They have restricted the names and forms they use in religious worship, and insist that only one set, which is their's, is true and correct and others are wrong or unholy.

As a universal formulation Hinduism accepts all formulations of Truth. According to the universal view there is only One Truth or Reality, but this reality cannot be limited to a particular name or form. Though it is One it is also Universal, not an exclusive formulation. It is an inclusive, not an exclusive Oneness. It is a spiritual reality of Being-Consciousness-Bliss, which could be called God but which transcends all names. The different Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism represent various functions of this One Supreme Divinity, and are not separate Gods.

Having many names for something is not necessarily a sign of ignorance of its real nature. On the contrary, it may indicate an intimate knowledge of it. For example, eskimos have forty-eight different names for snow in their language because they know snow intimately in its different variations, not because they are ignorant of the fact that all snow is only one. The many different deities of Hinduism reflect such an intimate realization of the Divine on various levels - which non-experiential belief-oriented religions seldom even approach. It is hardly a crude polytheism.

 

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