Hindu Gods and Goddesses


Agni is the chosen Priest, God, minister of sacrifice, who lavishes wealth and dispels the darkness. Truthful, most gloriously great, ruler of sacrifices, no sacrifice is complete without his presence. His presence ensures the success of a sacrifice, because whatever sacrifice he accepts goes to the gods. Agni is the messenger, the herald, master of all wealth, much beloved, who brings the willing Gods from the heavens and makes them sit on the grass with him near the sacrificial altar. 


Brahma is the creative aspect of the Trinity, the first god to have been separated from Iswara. Brahma is the Lord of creation & is assisted in this process by his consort Saraswathi, who is the possessor of ultimate knowledge. Together, they thus introduce the soul into the cycle of life.


Mother Goddess (a.k.a, Parwati, Uma, Durga, Kali and a number of other names), Lord Shiva's wife is often described by texts and sculptures as the ferocious Durga, typically characterized by twelve weapons. Goddess Parvati is also glorified in Indian literature and sculptures as being beautiful, as a mediator in the conflicts of heaven, as a daughter of the Great Himalayan Mountains, and a sister of the sacred river Ganga (the Ganges).


Ganesh is the first among the gods, the leader of the gods and the Siva Ganas. He is remover of all obstacles and impediments, who is worshipped invariably by devout Hindus, before starting any venture or offering worship to other gods. The only exception to this rule is when you are worshipping Siva...


Ganga is the goddess of the river Ganges, India's most sacred body of water. Hindus believe that bathing in her holy waters will help wash one's sins away, and hence they conduct repeated ritualistic washings in the river to secure a place in heaven. Her power to wash away sins and liberate is so strongly believed that the ashes of the dead are spread over her. Ganga is usually represented as a beautiful woman with a fish's tail in place of legs, and she rides on the Makara, a water monster. 


Indra is the lord of the heavens and the blue sky. He rides a white elephant called Airavata and wields the dazzling weapon of lightening. He fought many battles to drive the demons away and ensure victory to the gods. He killed the demon of the dark skies (symbolically the clouds) with his weapon (the lightning) and released the cows (waters) that were held in captivity by him. 


Krishna is the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and was born as the "Dark One." Krishna is the embodiment of love and divine joy, who destroys all pain and sin. Krishna is the protector of sacred utterances and cows. Krishna is a trickster and lover, an instigator of all forms of knowledge and born to establish the religion of love.


Parvathi is the consort of Siva. She got the name because she is the daughter of the mountains (parvathas) and also because she as Prakriti occupies one half (parva) of the universe while the other half is occupied by Siva in his aspect as Iswara or Purusha.


Siva is the destroying and evolving aspect of the universe. He is the most powerful, popular and dynamic god of Hinduism with roots definitely outside the pale of Hinduism. 


Surya is the blazing sun. He is "the light that is most excellent," golden colored, who rides the skies in his golden chariot drawn by seven bay horses. He is said to be extremely brilliant, with radiant hair, who files in the skies like a bird and shines brightly like a jewel. Giver of power and strength, destroyer of laziness and darkness, with bright light radiating from him, he knows all that lives. He is described as golden eyed, golden handed and golden tongued. 


Vishnu is the preserver and maintainer of the worlds. Lord Vishnu possesses a complexion the color of the dark clouds. As proof that opposites attract, Vishnu's outer appearance is dark while he is associated with bringing light & peace to the world. He rests on the ocean on his bed of Adisesha (serpent with 1,000 heads). Any time Lord Vishnu sees great trouble, He rescues the people from evils. He is all merciful, ever rushing to serve his devotees.