Vishnu is an
important form of the Sun God and later all forms of the Sun God
were merged into him. Shiva is present as Rudra, the seldom invoked
but very much respected and feared father of all the Gods.
Each God or Goddess represents
certain Divine qualities. They are present as the guiding forces
both in nature and in the human psyche. Hence they are largely a
personification of ideas, of the truth perceptions, the great
archetypes of the Divine Mind. For example, the God Mitra, whose
name literally means friend, stands for friendship and its
importance in life as a divine or spiritual quality.
Each God or Goddess can be any or all
the Gods. The concepts of monotheism, polytheism, pantheism and
monism are all woven together in the Vedic vision of totality. The
Divine is seen as both One and Many without contraction. The Divine
is all the universe and all the cosmic powers which rule it but it
also transcends the world. Such a wholistic view of the world was
quite confusing to the scholars who first translated the Vedas, but
perhaps today we can appreciate in better in light of our larger
view of the world and the psyche.