Gods and Goddesses of the Hindus

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Gods and Goddesses of the Hindus

Post  Admin on 10/24/2008, 3:19 am

Gods and Goddesses of the Hindus


Adimurti An avatar of Vishnu.
Aditya Twelve sun gods who represent the twelve months of the year. They protect against various diseases and belong to the Devas. They are: Ansa, Aryman, Bhaga, Daksha, Dhatri, Indra, Mitra, Ravi, Savitri, Surya, Varuna, and Yama.
Agastya Protector and companion of the god Rama.
Agni Vedic god of the divine fire, both of real fire (in the hearth) and the fire that consumes the soul and the food in the belly. He is the spark of life, and so a part of him is in every living thing. He is red in color, with black eyes and wild, black hair. He has two faces smeared with butter, seven firey tongues and gold sharpened teeth, seven arms, three legs and seven rays of light that emanate from his body. He either rides on a ram, or on a chariot, pulled by goats or sometimes parrots. The proper offering to Agni is ghee, which is clarified butter. Agni also has the power to impart immortality on mortals, as well as remove all sins at the time of one's death. Agni is closely associated with Indra, and is sometimes said to be his twin brother. Thus Dyaus Pita and Prthivi are named as two of his parents. He has many others as well. Kasyapa and Aditi are also his parents. Dawn and Night are his sisters, his wife is Svaha, and he is the father of Karttikeya.
Ambika A form of Parvati, she lured demons to their death. She would announce that she would not sleep with anyone who had not bested her in battle. The eager demons would agree to fight her, at which point she would transform into the fearsom Kali and kill them.
Ammavaru Ancient goddess who existed from before the beginning of time. She laid an egg which hatched the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Anala Attendant god. One of the eight Vasus who serve the god Indra.
Anantesa One of the eight Vasus who serve Indra.
Anila One of the eight Vasus who serve the god Indra.
Annamurti A form of the Hindu god Vishnu.
Annapurna An avatar of the goddess Durgha who ruled over food production.
Ansa One of the Adityas, minor sun gods who rule over the months.
Anumati A moon gddess whose name means "divine favor". She is a giver of wealth, prosperity, fertility and children.
Anuradha Goddess of fortune. She is the daughter of Daksha and wife of Chandra.
Apa One of the eight Vasus who serve the god Indra.
Apam Napat God of fresh water.
Apsaras Nature spirits, and the mates of the Gandharvas. They were all female, and all depicted as very beautiful. They were beings of dance, and often performed for the gods in their palaces. Seen as protectorers and inspirers of love.
Aranyani Woodland goddess.
Ardhanari Name for Shiva in his half-male, half-female aspect, signifying the his incarnation as both the male and female principles of the world.
Ardhanarisvara A Hindu composite deity of Shiva's male and female aspects.
Ardra Goddess of misfortune.
Arundhati Astral goddess.
Aryman One of Adityas, the guardian deities of the months.
Aslesa Goddess of misfortune.
Astamatara A Puranic group of mother goddesses.
Asuras Sometimes called demons, another group of deities that often opposed the Devas.
Asvayujau Goddess of fortune.
Asvins Twin sons of Saranyu, Dawn, and Surya, the Sun, known as the "Divine Physicians". Represent the morning and evening stars.
Atri Bardic god, sage and son of Brahma.
Avatars of Vishnu Personifications of the god Vishnu who decended to Earth, usually to help mankind. There have been nine avatars of Vishnu so far: Matsya; Kurma; Varaha; Narasingh; Vaman; Parasuram; Rama; Balaram or Budha; Krishna; and Kalaki. The tenth avatar will be called Kalki Avatara, and will help to end this age of existence and usher in the next.
Ayyappan God of growth, and the son of Shiva and Vishnu.
Bala Mother goddess.
Balakrsna The child form of Krishna.
Balarama God of agriculture and physical strength, and the eighth avatar of Vishnu. He is the brother of Krishna, and is white-skinned where Krishna is dark-skinned.
Bali Demon and king of the Daityas. He was the god of the sky until Vishnu wrested it from him in the avatar Vamana, the dwarf. Since then he is ruler of the Underworld.
Banka-Mundi Goddess of hunting.
Bhadra Goddess and attendant of Shiva.
Bhaga Vedic god of prosperity, wealth and marriage. He is one of the Adityas, and the month of March is dedicated to him.
Bharani Goddess of misfortune. Consort of Chandra.
Bharat Mata Mother goddess.
Bharati Goddess of sacrifices. Occasionally mentioned as the consort of Ganesha.
Bhavani One of the terrible aspects of Parvati.
Bhumidevi A fertility goddess and the second wife of Vishnu.
Bhumiya A fertility god, later regarded as a form of Vishnu.
Bhutamata A demon goddess, form of the goddess Parvati.
Bhuvanesvari Goddess, one of the ten mahavidyas.
Brahma Creator god and Cosmic Mind of the Hindu Trinity, the three major gods of Hinduism that make up the whole of the godhead. He appears seated on a lotus, with four heads and four hands that hold a sacrificial tool, the Vedas, a water pot and a rosary. His consort is Saraswati, the goddess of learning.
Brahmani Hindu mother goddess.
Brihaspati The lord of prayer, the celestial god who created the Universe and protects the gods with his magic formulae.
Buddha Founder and father of the Buddhist faith. He is said to be an avatar of Vishnu. He was born an enchanted child and already full of wisdom. He received Enlightment under a Bo tree, and forsook Nirvana to remain on Earth and travel, preaching the law.
Budha Astral god associated with the planet Mercury.
Budhi Pallien Forest goddess of northern India. She roamed the jungles in the form of a tiger.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses of the Hindus

Post  Admin on 10/24/2008, 3:19 am

Chaitanya Merchant god. Later believed to be an avatar of Vishnu.
Chama God of young love.
Chandanayika A form of the goddess Durgha.
Chandika Goddess of desire.
Chandra The original Indian god of the moon. He was white in color, and drove the moon chariot across the sky with ten white horses. Also a god of fertility, he was prayed to when a couple desired children. Later merged with the god Soma.
Chinnamastaka A terrifying goddess, portraled holding her head in one hand. Form of the goddess Durgha.
Chitra Goddess of misfortune.
Chitragupta The recorder of the virtues and vices of men. The judge who sends people to heaven or hell.
Danu Goddess of the primordial waters.
Devaki Mother goddess, and the mother of Krishna and Balarama.
Devapurohita God associated with the planet Jupiter.
Devi The 'divine mother', she is the mother of everything, including joy, pain, life and death. She is the mother of life, and as such brings fertile rains.
Dhanistha Goddess of misfortune and malovent intent.
Dhanvantari The divine physican. Originally a sun god, he is the carrier of Ambrosia from the ocean and the teacher of the healing arts to mankind.
Dhara One of eight vasus who attended the god Indra.
Dharma God of the divine inner law (dharma). Originally a creator god, he is now considered an avatar of Vishnu.
Dharti Mata Mother Goddess. She appears first in the Puranic texts.
Dhatar Sun god and one of the adityas.
Dhatri Sun god and one of the adityas.
Dhisana Goddess of prosperity.
Dhruva God of the Pole Star. He is an avatar of Vishnu and one of the vasus.
Durgha A powerful form of Parvati. Durga (goddess beyond reach) has eight hands and great power and energy (Shakti). Durga rides on a tiger or a lion and is also known as Lalitha. The gods could not defeat the buffalo-demon Mahisha. So they turned to Shiva who advised all the devas to release their shaktis (spiritual prowess) locked within their bodies. The shaktis of the gods emerged in female form – Shivani from Shiva, Vaishnavi from Vishnu, Brahmani from Brahma, Aindri from Indra, Kaumari from Kumara. These goddesses fused together in blinding light from which arose a magnificent goddess with many arms. The gods called this goddess Durga.
Dyaus Pita The original sky father of Vedic myth. He is the counterpart of the Earth goddess Prthivi. The two were originally one deity known as Dyavaprthivi. He is pictured as a great red bull who bellows thunder, or as a black horse covered in pearls. In this form he is the night sky, with the pearls as stars.
Dyavaprthivi The embodiment of the entire cosmos, the sky and the earth. Eventually split into two deities, Dyaus Pita and Prthivi, by Varuna.
Gandharvas Male guardians of the air, forests and mountains. They were the mates of the Apsaras.
Ganesh God of wisdom and the remover of obstacles. He has four hands, elephant's head and a big belly. His vehicle is a tiny mouse. In his hands he carries a rope (to carry devotees to the truth), an axe (to cut devotees' attachments), and a sweet dessert ball -laddoo- (to reward devotees for spiritual activity). His fourth hand's palm is always extended to bless people. He represents wisdom, intelligence and presence of mind.
Ganga The goddess of the sacred Ganges river in India. She is literally the river, and her waters will wash away one's sins.
Hanuman This deity is a provider of courage, hope, knowledge, intellect and devotion. He is pictured as a robust monkey holding a mace (gada) which is a sign of bravery and having a picture of Lord Rama tatooed on his chest which is a sign of his devotion to Lord Rama. He is also called Mahaveera(the great hero ) or Pavan-suta (son of air). The monkey god, a patron of learning and the epitome of the ideal warrior, humble yet brave.
Harihara A deity who represents the combination of the gods Shiva and Vishnu.
Hiranyagarbha God of creation and the Hindu primordial being. He was the progenitor of Indra.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses of the Hindus

Post  Admin on 10/24/2008, 3:20 am

Ida Goddess of prayer and devotion.
Imra The Supreme god of Kafirstan in Hindu Kush.
Indra In Vedic myths, the supreme god and lord of the thunder and lightning. He was the ruler of the gods, and weilded his weapon, a lightning to protect them and the humans from the forces of evil. In later eras his supremacy was supplanted by Vishnu and Shiva, and he became simply a weather god and the ruler of the lesser deities.
Indrani Wife of Indra, originally just a feminine form of that god. Came to personify jealousy and wrath.
Kali A mother goddess and the symbol of dissolution and destruction. She destroys ignorance and maintains the world order, as well as blessing those who strive for knowledge. Kali is depicted with black skin and a hideous tusked face, the forehead bearing a third eye like Shiva's. She has four arms. One holds a weapon, another a giant's slain head. The other two are raised to bless her worshippers. Her body is naked except for ornaments that incluse earings and necklaces of skulls and belt from which hang demon's hands. This belt signifies Karma (action and deed).
Kalki The tenth and final Avatar of Vishnu, who will come to earth to destroy the wicked and renew creation.
Kama God of love. Seen as a winged youth carrying a bow and arrows.
Kartikeya War god and bestower of knowledge and power. He has six faces and carries a spear. Kartikeya, the second son of Lord Shiva, is also known as Subramaniam and represents a person of perfection. In one hand he carries a spear called sakti which symbolizes the destruction of negative tendencies in humans. With his other hand he always blesses devotees. The Lord's vehicle is a peacock which is capable of destroying harmful serpents (symbolizing harmful ego and bad desires of people). He is the most masculine and firey of the Hindu gods.
Karttikeya God of war and the general of the celestial armies. He is pictured with six arms and six legs.
Krishna The eighth avatar of Vishnu, Krishna is one of the most popular gods of India. He is seen as the defender of people and the symbol of love between gods and men. He is often depicted playing the flute. He is also shown with his childhood devotee Radha. The Lord is usually remembered and worshipped as Radha-Krishna. The pair symbolizes the eternal love between people and god. Lord Krishna is also shown with his pet cow, his childhood favorite.
Kubera God of wealth.
Kurma The cosmic tortise, on which the world sits in Vedic myths. Second avatar of Vishnu.
Lakshmi The goddess of prosperity, purity, happiness and generosity. She has four arms, representing the four spiritual virtues. She sits on a fully-blossomed lotus, a symbol of divine truth. Her palm is always outstretched to bless those in need. She has an aura of divine happiness, mental and spiritual satisfaction and prosperity. She is the wife of Vishnu.
Maitreya The Buddha who is to come in the future.
Manasa-Devi Serpent goddess.
Maruts Minor storm deities, agressive and violent in temperment.
Matarisvan Messenger of the gods in Vedic times.
Matsya The first incarnation of Vishnu. A fish who saved Manu from the great flood in the Indian version of the Noah's Ark story.
Mitra God of the sun and brother of Varuna. He is the good-natured god of friendships and contracts. One of the Adityas. His worship survived in the Near East and ancient Rome as the god Mithras.
Nakshatras The stars and the divine attendants of Indra.
Naryana The original supreme being. Associated with the original man and with Vishnu.
Nirriti Vedic goddess of evil, deceit and destruction. Sometimes associated with Kali.
Parvati Parvati is the wife of Lord Shiva and exists in various divine (both friendly and fearful) forms, including Kali and Durga. A mountain goddess. Parvati is also the mother of the beloved deity, Ganesh, the potbellied god with the head of an elephant and Kartekeya, the god of war.
Prajapati Lord of creation.
Prisni Goddess of the earth and darkness.
Prthivi The earth goddess of the Vedas, counterpart of the Sky Father Dyaus. They were originally one being, Dyavaprthivi.
Puchan God of meeting.
Purusha Male half of Brahma, of which Satrap is the female half.
Pushan God of fertility, wealth and cattle. He is also the guide of travellers and the dead.
Raktavija General of the demon army.
Rama The ideal man and hero of the Ramayana, he is the protector of the family and destroyer of evils. He is pictured holding a bow, usually among his family. Seventh avatar of Vishnu. Considered the perfect hero warrior.
Rati Goddess of sexual desire.
Ratri Goddess of night.
Ravi One of the Adityas, the guardians of the months.
Rhibus Group of deities who watch over crafts, equestrian pursuits and the sun.
Rudra God of storms, winds and Death. He is the personification of the uncultured force, causing destruction and disarray. Gradually became seen as a gentle protector of hunters and animals, and eventually his name changed to Shiva.
Rukmini Wife of Krishna.
Sadhyas Minor gods who guard the rites and prayers to more important deities.
Saranyu Wife of the sun god Surya and sometimes seen as goddess of the dawn.
Saraswati The goddess of speech, wisdom and learning. She has four arms, representing the four facets of human personality in learning: mind, intellect, alertness and ego. She holds sacred scriptures in one hand, a lotus in another, and plays the veena (violin) with the remaining two. She is the wife of Brahma.
Satyanarayana A form of Vishnu, he is a god of the home and is often worshipped there. He has four hands as does Vishnu, but his fourth hand is extended upwards to bless people.
Savitar Sun god who urges men and beasts into action. Rides a golden chariot across the sky.
Savitri One of the Adityas, possibly the same as Surya.
Shasti Goddess of the protection of children.
Shiva Trancendent god and lord of the calmness and victory of humanity of the Hindu Trinity of Gods. Shiva is the destroyer and destroys all of the old or useless so that new can be created. He is part of the on-going circle of life and one of the three main gods. He is also known as Lord of the Dance and is often portrayed as the image of the dancer in red. Shiva was married to Parvati and together they created another of the most well known Hindu gods: Ganesh. He is often pictured in a meditating position, with ashes covering his body and matted, flowing hair which contains the Ganges River and a crescent moon. He has a snake coiled about his neck and a trident in his hand. His consort is Parvati.
Sita Wife of Rama and an incarnation of Lakshimi. Seen as the personification of female fertility.
Soma The 'sap of life', god of inspiritation, poetry and the life force. He is a drink, the Ambrosia of the Vedic gods.
Surya The personified deity of the sun, much like the Greek god Helios.
Tara Celestial deity and the goddess of the Pole Star. Seen in some areas as an important aspect of the Mother Goddess.
Trimurti The triad of deities who embody all aspects of the Universe: Brahma, the Creator; Vishnu, the Preserver; and Shiva, the Destroyer.
Tvashtri Artisan and creator god of the Vedas, he created the sun, moon and the three worlds.
Uma A name of the goddess Parvati, embodying the divine light and wisdom.
Urvasi One of the apsaras, the goddess of success in love.
Ushas Goddess of Dawn and the breath of life.
Vach Goddess of speech and eloquence. Later identified with Sarasvati.
Vamana Fifth avatar of Vishnu. A dwarf who claimed the heavens and earth back from Bali.
Vanadevatas Tree spirits of the Vedic myths.
Varuna Vedic god of the sky and keeper of the divine order of things, known as rta. With the rise of Indra as supreme deity, he became the lord of the rivers and oceans.
Vasus Eight attendants of Indra in Vedic times, later became the attendants of Vishnu.
Vayu Deity of the wind.
Vishnu The preserver and Cosmic Lord of the Hindu Trinity of gods, Vishnu is seen as the universal principle of order and justice. He is pictured as a man of a dark (or blue) color with four hands, holding a conch shell, a disk or chakra, a lotus and a mace. He is also known as Hari, the remover. His consort is Lakshmi, goddess of beauty, happiness and wealth.
Visvakarma The god of artistry, crafts, and smiths.
Vivasvat The divine architect who built the cities of the gods.
Yaksha Semi-divine beings who live under the Himalayas, guarding the riches of the earth. Led by Kubera, the god of riches.
Yama God of the Dead. He is pictured as a green man in red clothing riding a black bull. He holds a loop with which he pulls the soul from the body of the deceased.

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