What is Hindu Theism?
As a universal tradition
Hinduism naturally includes theism or a recognition of the One
Creator of the universe. However it does not regard theism as the
only approach to the spiritual life, nor does it have only one
formulation of theism that everyone must follow. Hindu theism may be
formulated from the standpoint of any number of names and forms,
like those of Brahma, Vishnu or Shiva, who stand for the Divine in
its roles of creating, preserving and destroying the universe. It
may emphasize the Divine as female rather than male in attributes,
like Sarasvati, Lakshmi and Durga.
Hindu theism is an
experiential system, not a mere code of belief. It says that it is
not enough merely to believe in God; we must come experience God
through yogic practices. It emphasizes our inner relationship to
God, not any mere outer formal identity.
Hindu theism includes monism
or the idea that there is only One Reality. It recognizes that God
as a personal reality rests upon God as the principle of existence
or the Absolute. Like other systems of Hindu thought, Hindu theism
recognizes karma and rebirth, and the practice of Yoga as the way to
experience God. According to Hindu theism God has created us not to
reward or punish us, but to know Him/Her and to become part of
His/Her eternal and infinite delight, which is the ultimate destiny
of all souls.