Friday, May 23, 2008

Why there are so many Gods in the Vedas?

The Supreme (Brahman) has willed that there shall be many Gods for the benefit of the seekers. Based on the inherent impressions (Vasanas), one’s personality is built up. Each person is made up of the three-fold attributes (Trigunas) of Satva, Rajas and Tamas. One who is predominantly Satvic (peaceful) worships Satvic Gods. One who is Rajasic (egoistic) worships Rajasic Gods and one who is Tamasic (indolent) chooses to worship Tamasic Gods.

Though there are many Gods the root source of all is the same Lord Vishnu, who is omniscient and omnipotent. He is the efficient and material cause of creation of the Universe including all other Gods. Lord Krishna declares in the Bhagavad Gita that whomsoever worships whatsoever deity, He makes their faith steadfast in that deity and He alone bestows the blessings to the seeker through that deity. He further states that one reaches the abode of the deity of his choice. More importantly, one who worships Lord Krishna reaches His abode and he is not re-born in the world of misery again.

Thus in the Vedic scheme of things there is absolute freedom for one person to choose his preferred deity and there is no compulsion for all to worship mechanically the same deity. Based on one’s own understanding, faith and determination, a person can worship a deity of his option. Though God is one in the ultimate analysis, the learned describe it as many from the standpoint of the ability and inclination of the individual seekers to grasp Him.

There is a scheme of divine decentralization and delegation of powers amongst the Gods. Each God has a specific role and responsibility. This helps the seeker to go in for the specific God seeking certain results. The divine hierarchy is a manifestation of the will of the Supreme to establish the principle of peaceful co-existence and unity in diversity.