Are Hindus Worshipers of Many Gods?

An Ancient Sculpture of Tridev: Bramha-Vishnu-Mahesh Considered to be the Same Person With Different Forms.

Polytheism or Monotheism


What does Bhagwad Geeta say on the issue of One God or many Gods? 

Bhagwad Gita suggests worshipping only one supreme God who is sitting in the heart along with soul. The purpose of worship should be liberation from the cycle of birth and death. 

Bhagvad Gita gives many suggestions but, no commands. According to Bhagwad Gita worshipers of Devtas & Devis are either distressed or motivated by small desires and are less intelligent people. They are in ignorance (tamas gun) and passion (rajas gun) and are not spiritually evolved. They take shelter of Devtas & Devis for immediate fulfillment of material desires. 

We present simple translation of certain verses from Bhagwad Geeta which will throw light on the subject. 


Krishna Advises Arjun to Surrender to God in the Heart

Bhagvad Gita's Perspective

Those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto different Devtas/Devis and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.  

 B.G. 7.20

I am in everyone's heart as the Super-soul. As soon as one desires to worship someone I make his faith steady so that he can devote himself to some particular deity.  

 B.G. 7.21

Endowed with such a faith, he seeks favors of a particular demigod and obtains his desires. But in actuality these benefits are bestowed by Me alone.   

B.G. 7.22

Men of small intelligence worship devi/devtas and their fruits are limited and temporary. Those who worship the demigods go to the planets of the demigods, but My devotees ultimately reach My supreme planet.   

B.G. 7.23

Those who study the Vedas and drink the soma juice, seeking the heavenly planets, worship Me indirectly. They take birth on the planet of Indra, where they enjoy godly delights.   

B.G. 9.20

When they have thus enjoyed heavenly sense pleasure, they return to this mortal planet again. Thus, through the Vedic principles, they achieve only flickering happiness.   

B.G. 9.21

Whatever a man may sacrifice to other gods, O son of Kunti, is really meant for Me alone, but it is offered without true understanding.   

B.G. 9.23

Those who worship the devi/devtas will take birth among the demigods; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; those who worship ancestors go to the ancestors; and those who worship Me will live with Me.


Many Vedantists Consider Supreme to be Formless & Without Features. They Concentrate on This Symbol or Consider Him to be All Luminous. 



God has given independence to everyone; therefore, if a person desires to have material enjoyment and wants very sincerely to have such facilities from a deity, the Supreme Lord, as Super-soul in everyone's heart, understands and gives facilities to such persons.

A person wanting some particular desire to be fulfilled is advised in the Vedic literature to worship particular devta / devi. For example, a diseased person is recommended to worship the Sun-god; a person wanting education may worship the goddess of learning, Sarasvati; and a person wanting a beautiful wife may worship the goddess Uma, the wife of Lord Siva. Thus there are recommendations in the sastras (Vedic scriptures) for different types of worship for different demigods. 

But it is further mentioned that the results achieved by the benedictions of devi and devtas are perishable. This is because within this material world, the planets, the devi/devtas and their worshipers are all perishable. They are not beyond the cycle of birth & death and thus can not award such blessings to their devotees. Their worship does not lead one to Moksha, Mukti or Nirvan and it does not release a soul from the cycle of birth and death. 

Because all the results achieved by worshipping devi-devtas are perishable, performers of such worship are considered less intelligent. They are engaged in temporary benefits and do not want the ultimate benediction of Mukti-Moksha-Nirvan. Such people think that for certain purposes demi-gods are better than the Supreme God.

Three Deities Widely Worshipped as Supreme Presently

Difference Between God & Devi/Devtas.


God is refered to as Brahman, Par-brahman, Parmatma, Ishwar, Parameshwar or Bhagvan. These titles are given to Shri Krishna, Shri Ram, Shri Vishnu and His Avtars by Vaishnavs. Shaiv or worshipers of Shiva accept Him to be Supreme. While Shakt consider Devi to be supreme but they are very few in number. One school of thought considers Supreme God to be beyond form and qualities and considers everyone else to be Devi / Devta. All the above thoughts are accepted to be interpretation of Vedas. These have the backing of Puranas and other Vedic litratures.

 As far as Bhagvad Gita is concerned Shri Krishna is God. Bhagvad Puran which is an extended study of Bhagvad Gita states the following.

1.    BP 1.1.1 Shri Krishna is Supreme Truth

2.  BP 1.2.23 Supreme God takes the form of Bramha, Vishnu and Mahesh to reveal three qualities of Satv, Rajas and Tamas.

3.    BP 1.3.28 Shri krishna is Supreme God Himself.

All the Avtars of Vishnu are God and have same potency


All the others are devtas or devis example Ganesh, Kartikeya, Vayu, Surya, Chandra, Indra, Sarswati, Laxmi, Kali etc.  They are responsible for managing a particular department or work in the Universe. Though scriptures advise worship of God for liberation they also state that Devi/Devtas are never to be disrespected.  




Only worship of Supreme can release a person from the bondage of birth and death the ultimate purpose of Vedic texts. Thus Krishna advises everyone to worship only the Supreme Parmatma seated in the heart. (BG 18.61)

Shakta Sect Worships Kali or Durga as Supreme

Believers, nonbelievers, skeptic, agnostic, rationalists, philosophers, logicians, worshipers of multiple Devtas, worshiper of one God, worshipers of Nirakar-Nirgun (formless), worshipers of Sakar-Sagun (with form and qualities), meditative yogis, ,  etc. all have place in the Vedic society. Vedic literature accommodates all of them, all have scope to evolve spiritually at their own pace and realize the Self. Thus no one is condemned to hell.

Shaiv Worship Shiva as Supreme

Bhagvad Gita's Conclusion on God: Shri Krishna


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