The Hindu Gods

Creating balance in our universe and our lives

Who are these Hindu gods and are they significant? Some say they are and some say they are not and there are perhaps tens of millions of conflicting opinions as to the nature of these gods so let's examine them in the light of science and reason.

It is said that before this universe was created there was a state of nothingness or emptiness yet this emptiness was not completely empty because it contained the potentiality from which existence emerged. It is perhaps an argument of logic and reason that seems to defy reason and yet modern science has an inclination to agree.

This state of emptiness or nonexistence is referred to as Siva and because we live in a dualistic universe there is also Shakti representing two sides of the possibility of eternal nothingness or a movement from which creation emerged.

Lord Shiva is the personification of Siva and Lord Shiva's wife Parvati the personification of Shakti. As light and dark, these two elemental aspects of nature coexist and are inseparable in the same way that electricity cannot flow without a positive and negative pole.

Offering appreciation in the form of thoughts and to the potentiality that all life emerged from and the potentiality of continued existence is as sensible, practical and as valuable as appreciating parental love and affection. The sacrifice here is not necessarily to make a physical offering, but to take time to be appreciative towards something that cannot be understood.

Next within the Hindu Trinity we have Lord Brahma and his feminine counterpart Saraswati. When I speak of Brahma I also speak of Saraswati and it is this force that shapes creation. The universe emerged as a burst of possibility to be shaped into galaxies and solar systems. We don't know if there are other planets carrying life besides our own yet we know we are alive yet so few today seem to appreciate that fact.

Brahma is the God of creation not only shaping the planets but if you look closely you will see his presence in every leaf and blade of grass. Perhaps it would be fair to say that Brahma is dealing to the nuts and bolts during from the potentiality of life to create new cells whereas Saraswati in her dance shapes the form.

Within modern understanding, Brahma receives little praise or recognition. People take nature for granted and trample all over her yet they elevate Saraswati because she is seen as an object of beauty forgetting that someone had to do the heavy lifting. Yet it is the combined efforts of Brahma and Saraswati that shapes our day to day evolution. Plants and animals on reaching a certain maturity produce seeds, bundles of perfectly shaped matter awaiting a touch to bring forth a new life from the great emptiness, the realm of Siva and Shakti.

One may also do well to reflect that Brahma within what is referred to as Hinduism is the one and only creator adopted and renamed by Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Next in the Trinity we have Vishnu the sustainer and his counterpart Lakshmi who in some places is referred to as a sun god. This is logical because without the sun, all life would cease. It is through the heat of the sun the oceans are stirred and the winds blow.

We can all feel and celebrate the warmth of the sun, the breeze through our hair and know that this is Vishnu at work, the joy it inspires engenders a sense of Lakshmi.

Appreciating the Trinity

These six aspects are most central to our existence. Without the potentiality, without the positive and negative we would not exist. Without the creative principal that shapes all life, we would not exist at nor would we have any means of survival. Without the sun, the wind and the life-sustaining waters, we could not survive.

In the modern world we not only take life for granted, we think of it as a personal right without any regard for the origins of our lives and nor for what makes and sustains us. People have created a plethora of other gods that are supplemental representing something meaningful and dear to them. There is no problem with this, in fact it is probable that everyone should create their own personal deity.

Appreciation can be as simple as taking a few minutes of your time every day to offer praise and gratitude to these unseen forces that have culminated in you.

Have you ever noticed that when you express your gratitude or praise someone, you feel better about yourself? It is important to offer praise and gratitude to people because it makes everyone feel better about themselves although such offerings must be genuine and in accord with Dharma.

Praising someone for doing wrong and this is something that happens amongst those who live an immoral life as a form of slow suicide because it dulls the spirit within. The spirit within, what we refer to as our souls contains elements of the Trinity so described. The emptiness potentiality for new life exists within our cellular structure from which the energy to create new atoms and molecules emerge to be shaped by Brahma and nourished by Vishnu.

The Gods do not exist independently, Shiva exists in Brahma and Vishnu, and all the lesser gods and likewise all in him, even the eyes of the perceiver for none can exist without each other and us. All are mutually inclusive, masculine, feminine, positive and negative.

Our lives are advanced and our intelligence and perception increased by retaining a degree of mindfulness toward these elements of creation. A vegetarian diet supports the creative processes within our bodies and balanced exercise improves the flow of energy while taking time out to meditate or wonder as to our true nature makes that nothingness of the dark warm and comforting.

In offering this interpretation I'm on one hand presenting the idea that life is simple and that by following a Dharmic lifestyle, these forces in the background behind our lives will function more harmoniously. We all have a choice as to how we live our lives, we can live unconsciously stumbling from one scenario or drama to the next, or we can live consciously and appreciate that we are part of something much greater than what we can perceive.

By developing a small degree of mindfulness and appreciating all that we can perceive we began to nurture those elemental horses and comprehend them more easily yet it's also important not to be attached to them.

The Hindu Gods have a marvellous sense of humour:
Jealousy also befalls young Krishna’s beloved cowgirl Radha, in the most popular love-affair of Indian literature (though it is not in the Mahabharata). The cowherd-prince is, after all, the beloved of each and every milkmaid, including married women. Once he walked by the riverside, where he saw the girls bathing. He grabbed the clothes they had left ashore and installed himself in a tree with an excellent view of the girls, who now had no choice but to appear naked before him. Modern Hindu moralists, like the reformist Arya Samaj movement and Mahatma Gandhi, are annoyed at such scenes and their popularity. But more seasoned Hindu preachers give them a spiritual twist: the girls are the souls of all sentient beings, the girls’ infatuation with Krishna is the souls’ longing for God, their nakedness before him is God’s knowledge of our most intimate thoughts, the infidelity of the cowherd wives is the souls’ renunciation from their worldly involvements." Konrad Elst

A footnote on offerings:
Millions of people have small alters in their homes as do the myriad of churches and temples. Offerings may consist of water, food, flowers, incense along with appreciative thoughts and praise. Under no circumstances should any living thing be sacrificed (flowers accepted for the sake of tradition). The offerings of animals and even people in some places over the past thousand's of years is counter-productive and the gravest insult to the forces of creation.

Appreciate and thank these elemental forces we call God's for your life and place in the world but don't being or plead for favours, that will diminish your spirit.

"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour."
~ William Blake


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