Thursday, February 12, 2009

Gods and Gods part 3

By the first Century AD most educated hindus were eihter Vaishnavas or Saivas , but they lived amicably side by side, since both Siva and Vishnu are both only aspects of Brahman . Amongst the Trimurti , the worship of Brahma the secondary creator never became popular , instead , with the coming of the Agamas ,or ritual temple worship guides, three important broad divisions evolved . Saiva , Vaishnava and Sakta . The followers of the Sakta cult worship God in the female form , as Sri or Lakshmi , Saraswati , Sharada , Kali , Durga etc all considered aspects of the divine mother , the attributeless Brahman in the female form .

Adi Sankara in the eighth century approved of the worship of God ( Brahman ) in 6 different categories /aspects .

1. As Vishnu , Narayana , Kesava , Rama , Krishna ,Narasimha etc and other avatars of Vishnu ;

2. As Siva , Rudra , Nataraja , Dakshinamurti , Iswara etc , aspects of Siva .

3. As Lakshmi , Sharada , Saraswati ,Durga , Kali , Parvati , Bhavani , etc as the Divine mother .

4. As Surya , the Sun .

5. As Ganesha the elephant headed God , the son of Siva and Parvati .

6. As Subramanya /Skanda /Muruga etc , also the son of Siva and Parvati , popular in south india .

Collectively known as Shanmatham , or the six systems of beliefs .

The Vedic gods did not dissappear completely since hinduism doesnt suppress any beliefs but merely adds new ones .
Today Vedic fire sacrifices are still a formal part of temple ritual and various domestic sacraments in most hindu denominations on the occasion of weddings and so on .

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