Gautama Buddha in Hinduism
In Vaishnava Hinduism, the historic Buddha or Gautama Buddha, is considered to be an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. Of the ten major avatars of Vishnu, Vaishnavites believe Gautama Buddha to be the ninth and most recent incarnation. Buddha's portrayal in Hinduism varies. In some texts such as the Puranas, he is portrayed as an avatar born to mislead those who deny the Vedic knowledge. In others, such as the 13th-century Gitagovinda of Vaishnava poet Jayadeva, Vishnu incarnates as the Buddha to teach and to end animal slaughter. In contemporary Hinduism, state Constance Jones and James D. Ryan, Buddha is revered by Hindus who consider "Buddhism to be another form of Hinduism"; the Buddha has been important to Hinduism since the ancient times, given his teachings and royal support. The Hindu views for the Buddha have neither been constant, they have ranged from contesting the Buddhist premises and theology to sharing or adopting terminology, concepts as well as more the persona of the Siddhartha as someone, born in and matured into the Buddha in a Brahmanical system.
One such integration is through its mythology, where in Vaishnava Puranas, the Buddha is adopted as the ninth avatar of Vishnu. Buddha is considered by traditions within Hinduism. Buddhists traditionally do not accept the Buddha to be a Vishnu avatar; the adoption of Buddha may have been a way to assimilate Buddhism into the fold of Hinduism. Much like Hinduism's adoption of the Buddha as an avatar, Buddhism legends too adopted Krishna in their Jataka tales, claiming Krishna to be a character whom Buddha met and taught in his previous births; the adoption of the Buddha in texts relating to Hindu gods, of Hindu gods in Buddhist texts, is difficult to place chronologically. According to Alf Hiltebeitel and other scholars, some of the stories in Buddha-related Jataka tales found in Pali texts seem slanderous distortions of Hindu legends, but these may reflect the ancient local traditions and the complexities of early interaction between the two Indian religions. In contemporary Hinduism, state Constance Jones and James D. Ryan, Buddha is revered by Hindus.
They consider "Buddhism to be another form of Hinduism". However, regional Hindu texts over the centuries have presented a spectrum of views on Buddhism reflecting the competition between Buddhism and the Brahmanical traditions; some pre-13th-century Hindu texts portray the Buddha as born to mislead the asuras to the false path, some to stop all killing of animals. Some pre-14th-century Hindu temples include Buddha reliefs with the same reverence they show for other avatars of Vishnu. In recent and contemporary Hinduism in India, Buddha is considered a holy being and revered as one, awakened. Outside India, some contemporary Hindus revere the Buddha along with other gods during their festivals. Scholars contest whether the Hindu perceptions and apologetic attempts to rationalize the Buddha within their fold are correct. Though an avatar of Vishnu, the Buddha is worshipped like Krishna and Rama in Hinduism. According to John Holt, the Buddha was adopted as an avatar of Vishnu around the time the Puranas were being composed, in order to subordinate him into the Brahmanical ideology.
Further adds Holt, various scholars in India, Sri Lanka and outside South Asia state that the colonial era and contemporary attempts to assimilate Buddha into the Hindu fold are a nationalistic political agenda, where "the Buddha has been reclaimed triumphantly as a symbol of indigenous nationalist understandings of India's history and culture". According to Lars Tore Flåten, Hindu perceptions in the literature by Hindu nationalists, are that "Buddha did not break away from the spiritual ideas of his age and country", they claim that scholars such as Hermann Oldenberg, Thomas Rhys Davids and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan state there is much in common between "Buddhism and the contemporary Hinduism". These perceptions cite, for example, the Pali scholar Rhys Davids' analysis in Buddhism: Being a Sketch of the Life and Teachings of Gautama, the Buddha, where he wrote, "But the foregoing account will be sufficient, I hope, to remove at least one misconception – the prevalent notion that Gautama was an enemy to Hinduism, that his chief claim on the gratitude of his countrymen lies in his having destroyed a system of iniquity and oppression and fraud.
This is not the case. Gautama was born, brought up, lived, died a Hindu". In present-day scholarly consensus, Buddhism is considered different from pre-Buddhist Indian religion, however. For example, Indologist Richard Gombrich wrote that the Buddha was a radical religious reformer, making religious practice and salvation a more personal matter than it was before the arising of Buddhism; the Oxford professor and President of India, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan states that "as a matter of fact, nowhere did Buddha repudiate the Upanishad conception of Brahman, the absolute". Buddhologists like K. R. Norman and Richard Gombrich meanwhile, argue that the Buddha's anatta theory does indeed extend to the Brahmanical belief expounded in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad that the Self is the Universal Self, or Brahman, they point to the Pali Alagaddūpama-sutta, where the Buddha argues that an individual cannot experience the suffering of the entire world. Gombrich and other scholars have argued that the Buddha did not begin or pursue social reforms, nor was he against caste altogether, rather his aim was at the salvation of those who joined his monastic order.
According to Gombrich, modernists keep picking up these erroneous assumptions "from western authors". B. R. Ambedkar, the Dalit leader who in 1935 declared his intention to co
Over the millennia of its development Hinduism has adopted several iconic symbols, forming part of Hindu iconography, that are imbued with spiritual meaning based on either the scriptures or cultural traditions. The exact significance accorded to any of the icons varies with region and denomination of the followers. Over time some of the symbols, for instance the Swastika has come to have wider association while others like Aum are recognized as unique representations of Hinduism. Other aspects of Hindu iconography are covered by the terms murti, for icons and mudra for gestures and positions of the hands and body. Hindu sacraments are physical objects or markings that are considered sacred and used as a sign of devotion by the followers of Sanathana dharma; these are objects associated with a puja or religious ceremony. The tilaka is a mark worn on the forehead or other parts of the body as a sign of spiritual devotion. Hindus may wear a tilaka or on religious occasions; the shape of the tilaka is an indicator of devotion to a certain deity.
For example, a'U' shape tilaka denotes devotion to Vishnu, while Shiva devotees wear it in the form of three horizontal lines. It may be made of saffron, turmeric, clay or ash. To denote marriage and auspiciousness, married Hindu women wear a decorative vermilion dot or bindu, or bindī on the forehead; this is analogous to a wedding ring worn in western countries. In southern India, the mark is called pottu; the exact shape and location of the bindi or pottu shows regional variation. In east India in West Bengal, traditionally larger bindis are worn as mark of devotion towards Goddess Durga. Vibhuti is the holy ash obtained from sacred puja rites involving fire. A variant called Basma used as Vibhuti is prepared from the purified ashes of cow dung. Ash as the product of fire is considered intrinsically pure, it is used on the forehead as three horizontal lines representing Shiva. Some Hindus meld both the three horizontal vibhuti lines of Shiva and the'U' shape thilaka of Vishnu in an amalgam marker signifying Hari-Hara.
In addition, sacred ash signifies that the body's origin is from dust and ash and to dust and ash it shall return. The ash is a marker of impermanence. Everything in the interim is but an illusion. Vibhuti, when applied to the forehead symbolizes the willingness to destroy negative thoughts and qualities, as these negative qualities, if not destroyed, will bring all kinds of pains in life. Rudraksha are seeds of the rudraksha tree, they are threaded into a necklace and used as a rosary to accompany prayer and meditation. Among the most revered symbols in Hinduism, three are a quintessential part of its culture, are most representative of its general ethos: Om is the sacred sound symbol that represents Universe, it is sometimes suffixed to all Vedic mantras and prayers. Aum is said to represent God in the three aspects of Brahman and Shiva; as the Divine primordial vibration, it represents the one ultimate reality and encompassing all of nature and all of existence. The written syllable ॐ called omkara serves as a significant and distinctly recognizable symbol for Hindu dharma.
The pronunciation of Aum moves through all possible human linguistic vowel sounds and is different from the pronunciation of Om. Both are symbolically equated, although they are sonically distinct. Swastika is a symbol connoting general auspiciousness, it may represent purity of soul and stability or, Surya, the sun. Its rotation in four directions has been used to represent many ideas, but describes the four directions, the four Vedas and their harmonious whole, its use in Hinduism dates back to ancient times. Sri Chakra Yantra of Tripura Sundari is a mandala formed by nine interlocking triangles. Four of these triangles are oriented upright, representing the Masculine. Five of these triangles are the Feminine. Together, the nine triangles form a web symbolic of the entire cosmos, a womb symbolic of creation, together express Advaita Vedanta or non-duality. All other yantras are derivatives of this supreme yantra. Several symbols in Hindu iconography are associated with particular devas, vice versa.
In certain cases the deities themselves are personifications of natural forces, for instance Agni, Vayu and Prithvi. In other instances, the associations arise from specific incidents or characteristics related in Hindu theology; the iconography serve to identify the particular deity in their pictorial or sculptural representations. The symbolism often links the deities with a particular natural or human attribute, or profession, it is important to understand the symbolism, in order to appreciate the allegorical references in not only Hindu scriptures, but in both ancient and modern secular works of authors from the Indian subcontinent. The art and science of designing temples includes the study of sculpture and the ornamentation of religious significance as described in sacred texts. In Ancient India twelve years of theoretical and practical training used to be given to the student by an able experienced
Brahma is a creator god in Hinduism. He is known as Svayambhu or the creative aspect of Vishnu, Vāgīśa, the creator of the four Vedas, one from each of his mouths. Brahma is consort of Saraswati and he is the father of Four Kumaras, Daksha and many more. Brahma is sometimes identified with the Vedic god Prajapati, he is known as Vedanatha, Chaturmukha Svayambhu, etc, as well as linked to Kama and Hiranyagarbha, he is more prominently mentioned in the mythologies in the Puranas. In the epics, he is conflated with Purusha. Although, Brahma is part of the Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva Trimurti, ancient Hindu scriptures mention multiple other trinities of gods or goddesses which do not include Brahma. Several Puranas describe him as emerging from a lotus, connected to the navel of Lord Vishnu. Other Puranas suggest that he is born from Shiva or his aspects, or he is a supreme god in diverse versions of Hindu mythology. Brahma, along with other deities, is sometimes viewed as a form of the otherwise formless Brahman, the ultimate metaphysical reality in Vedantic Hinduism.
In an alternate version, some Puranas state him to be the father of Prajapatis. According to some, Brahma does not enjoy popular worship in present-age Hinduism and has lesser importance than the other members of the Trimurti and Shiva. Brahma is revered in ancient texts, yet worshiped as a primary deity in India. Few temples dedicated to him exist in India. Brahma temples are found outside India, such as at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok; the origins of Brahma are uncertain, in part because several related words such as one for Ultimate Reality, priest are found in the Vedic literature. The existence of a distinct deity named. A distinction between spiritual concept of Brahman, deity Brahma, is that the former is a genderless abstract metaphysical concept in Hinduism, while the latter is one of the many masculine gods in Hindu tradition; the spiritual concept of Brahman is far older, some scholars suggest deity Brahma may have emerged as a personal conception and visible icon of the impersonal universal principle called Brahman.
In Sanskrit grammar, the noun stem. Contrasted to the neuter noun is the masculine noun brahmán, whose nominative singular form is Brahma; this singular form is used as the proper name of Brahma. One of the earliest mentions of Brahma with Vishnu and Shiva is in the fifth Prapathaka of the Maitrayaniya Upanishad composed in late 1st millennium BCE. Brahma is first discussed in verse 5,1 called the Kutsayana Hymn, expounded in verse 5,2. In the pantheistic Kutsayana Hymn, the Upanishad asserts that one's Soul is Brahman, this Ultimate Reality, Cosmic Universal or God is within each living being, it equates the Atman within to be Brahma and various alternate manifestations of Brahman, as follows, "Thou art Brahma, thou art Vishnu, thou art Rudra, thou art Agni, Vayu, thou art All."In the verse, Brahma and Shiva are mapped into the theory of Guṇa, qualities and innate tendencies the text describes can be found in all living beings. This chapter of the Maitri Upanishad asserts that the universe emerged from darkness, first as passion characterized by action qua action, which refined and differentiated into purity and goodness.
Of these three qualities, Rajas is mapped to Brahma, as follows: While the Maitri Upanishad maps Brahma with one of the elements of Guṇa theory of Hinduism, the text does not depict him as one of the trifunctional elements of the Hindu Trimurti idea found in Puranic literature. The post-Vedic texts of Hinduism offer multiple theories of cosmogony; these include Sarga and Visarga, ideas related to the Indian thought that there are two levels of reality, one primary, unchanging and other secondary, always changing, that all observed reality of the latter is in an endless repeating cycle of existence, that cosmos and life we experience is continually created, dissolved and re-created. The primary creator is extensively discussed in Vedic cosmogonies with Brahman or Purusha or Devi among the terms used for the primary creator, while the Vedic and post-Vedic texts name different gods and goddesses as secondary creators, in some cases a different god or goddess is the secondary creator at the start of each cosmic cycle.
Brahma is a "secondary creator" as described in the Mahabharata and Puranas, among the most studied and described. Born from a lotus emerging from the navel of Vishnu after emerging on order of Shiva, Brahma creates all the forms in the universe, but not the primordial universe itself. In contrast, the Shiva-focussed Puranas describe Brahma and Vishnu to have been created by Ardhanarishvara, half Shiva and half Parvati, thus in most Puranic texts, Brahma's creative activity depends on the presence and power of a higher god. In the Bhagavata Purana, Brahma is portrayed several times as the one who rises from the "Ocean of Causes
Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, art and learning. She is a part of the trinity of Saraswati and Parvati. All the three forms help the trinity of Brahma and Shiva to create and regenerate-recycle the Universe, respectively; the earliest known mention of Saraswati as a goddess is in the Rigveda. She has remained significant as a goddess from the Vedic period through modern times of Hindu traditions; some Hindus celebrate the festival of Vasant Panchami in her honour, mark the day by helping young children learn how to write the letters of the alphabet on that day. The Goddess is revered by believers of the Jain religion of west and central India, as well as some Buddhist sects. Saraswati, is a Sanskrit fusion word of saras meaning "pooling water", but sometimes translated as "speech". Associated with the river or rivers known as Saraswati, this combination therefore means "she who has ponds and pooling water" or "she who possesses speech", it is a Sanskrit composite word of surasa-vati which means "one with plenty of water".
The word Saraswati appears both as a significant deity in the Rigveda. In initial passages, the word refers to the Sarasvati River and is mentioned as one among several northwestern Indian rivers such as the Drishadvati. Saraswati connotes a river deity. In Book 2, the Rigveda describes Saraswati as the best of mothers, of rivers, of goddesses. अम्बितमे नदीतमे देवितमे सरस्वति — Rigveda 2.41.16Best of mothers, best of rivers, best of goddesses, Sarasvatī. Saraswati is celebrated as a feminine deity with healing and purifying powers of abundant, flowing waters in Book 10 of the Rigveda, as follows: अपो अस्मान मातरः शुन्धयन्तु घर्तेन नो घर्तप्वः पुनन्तु | विश्वं हि रिप्रं परवहन्ति देविरुदिदाभ्यः शुचिरापूत एमि || — Rigveda 10.17May the waters, the mothers, cleanse us, may they who purify with butter, purify us with butter, for these goddesses bear away defilement, I come up out of them pure and cleansed. — translated by John Muir In Vedic literature, Saraswati acquires the same significance for early Indians as that accredited to the river Ganges by their modern descendants.
In hymns of Book 10 of Rigveda, she is declared to be the "possessor of knowledge". Her importance grows in Vedas composed after Rigveda and in Brahmanas, the word evolves in its meaning from "waters that purify", to "that which purifies", to "vach that purifies", to "knowledge that purifies", into a spiritual concept of a goddess that embodies knowledge, music, muse, rhetoric, creative work and anything whose flow purifies the essence and self of a person. In Upanishads and Dharma Sastras, Saraswati is invoked to remind the reader to meditate on virtue, virtuous emoluments, the meaning and the essence of one's activity, one's action. Saraswati is known by many names in ancient Hindu literature; some examples of synonyms for Saraswati include Brahmani, Bharadi and Vachi, Kavijihvagravasini. Goddess Saraswati is known as Vidyadatri, Pustakdharini, Veenapani and Vagdevi. In the Hindi language, her name is written Hindi: सरस्वती. In the Telugu, Sarasvati is known as Chaduvula Thalli and Shārada.
In Konkani, she is referred to as Shārada, Pustakadhārini, Vidyadāyini. In Kannada, variants of her name include Sharade, Sharadamba, Vāni, Veenapani in the famous Sringeri temple. In Tamil, she is known as Kalaimagal, Kalaivāni, Vāni and Bharathi, she is addressed as Sāradā, Shāradā, Veenā-pustaka-dhārini, Vāgdevi, Vāgishvari, Vāni, Varadhanāyaki, Sāvitri, Gāyatri. In India, she is locally spelled as ￼￼Assamese_language:সৰস্বতী,Saraswati, Bengali: সরস্বতী, Saraswati?, Malayalam: സരസ്വതി, Saraswati?, Tamil: சரஸ்வதி, Sarasvatī?. In Odia as ସରସ୍ଵତୀ Saraswati. Outside Nepal and India, she is known in Burmese as Thurathadi or Tipitaka Medaw, in Chinese as Biàncáitiān, in Japanese as Benzaiten and in Thai as Suratsawadi or Saratsawadi. In Hindu tradition, Sarasvati has retained her significance as a goddess from the Vedic age up to the present day. In Shanti Parva of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Saraswati is called the mother of the Vedas, as the celestial creative symphony who appeared when Brahma created the universe.
In Book 2 of Taittiriya Brahmana, she is called “the mother of eloquent speech and melodious music”. Saraswati is the active power of Brahma, she is mentioned in many minor Sanskrit publications such as Sarada Tilaka of 8th century CE as follows, May the goddess of speech enable us to attain all possible eloquence, she who wears on her locks a young mo
Matsya is the fish avatar in the ten primary avatars of Hindu god Vishnu. Matsya is described to have rescued Manu and earthly existence from a great deluge; the earliest accounts of Matsya as a fish-saviour equates him with the Vedic deity Prajapati. The fish-savior merges with the identity of Brahma in post-Vedic era, still as an avatar of Vishnu; the legends associated with Matsya expand and vary in Hindu texts. These legends have embedded symbolism, where a small fish with Manu's protection grows to become a big fish, the fish saves earthly existence. Matsya iconography sometimes is zoomorphic as a giant fish with a horn, or anthropomorphic in the form of a human torso connected to the rear half of a fish. Matsya is a Sanskrit word and means "fish"; the term appears in the Rigveda. It is related to maccha, which means fish; the section 1.8.1 of the Shatapatha Brahmana is the earliest extant text to mention Matsya and the flood myth in Hinduism. It makes no mention of Vishnu, instead identifies the fish with Prajapati-Brahma.
The central characters of this legend are Manu. The character Manu is presented as the ancestor king. One day, water is brought to Manu for his ablutions. In the water is a tiny fish; the fish states it fears being swallowed by appeals to Manu to protect him. In return, the fish promises to rescue Manu from an impending flood. Manu accepts the request, he puts the fish in a pot of water. He prepares a ditch filled with water, transfers him there where it can grow freely. Once the fish grows further to be big enough to be free from danger, Manu transfers him into the ocean; the fish thanks him, tells him the date of the great flood, asks Manu to build a boat by that day, one he can attach to its horn. On the predicted day, Manu visits the fish with his boat; the devastating floods come, Manu ties the boat to the horn. The fish carries the boat with Manu to the high grounds of the northern mountains. Manu re-establishes life by performing austerities and by performing yajna. According to Bonnefoy, the Vedic story is symbolic.
The little fish alludes to the Indian "law of the fishes", an equivalent to the "law of the jungle". The small and weak would be devoured by the big and strong, needs the dharmic protection of the legislator and king Manu to enable it to attain its potential and be able to help later. Manu provides the protection, the little fish grows to become big and saves all existence; the boat that Manu builds to get help from the savior fish, states Bonnefoy, is symbolism of the means to avert complete destruction and for human salvation. The mountains are symbolism for the doorway for ultimate liberation; the tale of Matsya appears in chapter 12.187 of the Vana Parva, in the epic Mahabharata. The legend begins with Manu performing religious rituals on the banks of the Cherivi River. A little fish called Matsyaka comes to him and asks for his protection, promising to save him from a deluge in the future; the legend moves in the same vein as the Vedic version. Manu places him in the jar. Once it outgrows it, the fish asks to be put into a tank.
The fish outgrows the tank, with Manu's help reaches the Ganges River to the ocean. Manu is asked by the fish, in the Mahabharata version, to build a ship and be in it with Rishis and all sorts of grains, on the day of the expected deluge. Manu accepts the fish's advice; the deluge begins, the fish arrives to Manu's aid. He ties the ship to the fish, who steers the ship to the Himalayas, carrying Manu through a turbulent storm; the danger passes. The fish reveals himself as Brahma, gives the power of creation to Manu; the key difference between the Vedic version and the Mahabharata version of the allegorical legend are the latter's identification of Matsya with Brahma, more explicit discussion of the "law of the fishes" where the weak needs the protection from the strong, the fish asking Manu to bring along sages and grains. According to George Williams, there are many versions of the Matsya mythology in the Puranas; the names of the characters, the details, the plot and the message diverge in this genre of texts.
The Matsya Purana evolves the legend further, by identifying the fish-savior with Vishnu instead of Brahma. The Purana derives its name from Matsya; the legend as it appears in section 1.12 states that when a little fish appears to Manu, he recognizes Vishnu Vasudeva in the fish. The fish tells him about the impending fiery end of kalpa accompanied by a deluge; the fish once again has a horn. The gods build it, they build it big enough to carry and save all life forms, Manu needs to just carry all types of grain seeds to produce food for everyone after the deluge is over. When the great flood begins, Manu ties the Ananta Sesha to the fish's horn; the fish carries everyone to safety. According to Bonnefoy, the Matsya Puranic story is symbolic though quite different; the fish is divine to begin with, needs no protection, only recognition and devotion. It ties the story to its cosmology, connecting two kalpas through the cosmic symbolic residue in the form of Sesha. In another version of the Matsya Purana, the story is closer to the Mahabharata version.
At the end of Kalpa, Brahma is resting and the demon Hayagriva steals the Vedas. Vishnu discovers the theft, he descends to earth in the Matsya avatar. One day, the king of Dravida desha named Satyavrata cups water in his hand to offer it to his ancestors. There he finds a
Deva means "heavenly, anything of excellence", is one of the terms for a deity in Hinduism. Deva is a masculine term. In the earliest Vedic literature, all supernatural beings are called Asuras; the concepts and legends evolve in ancient Indian literature, by the late Vedic period, benevolent supernatural beings are referred to as Deva-Asuras. In post-Vedic texts, such as the Puranas and the Itihasas of Hinduism, the Devas represent the good, the Asuras the bad. In some medieval Indian literature, Devas are referred to as Suras and contrasted with their powerful but malevolent half-brothers, referred to as the Asuras. Devas, along with Asuras and Rakshasas are part of Indian mythology, Devas feature in one of many cosmological theories in Hinduism. Deva is a Sanskrit word found in Vedic literature of 2nd millennium BCE. Monier-Williams translates it as "heavenly, terrestrial things of high excellence, shining ones"; the concept is used to refer to deity or god. The Sanskrit deva- derives from Indo-Iranian *daiv- which in turn descends from the Proto-Indo-European word, *deiwo- an adjective meaning "celestial" or "shining", a vrddhi derivative from the root *diw meaning "to shine" as the day-lit sky.
The feminine form of *deiwos is *deiwih2, which descends into Indic languages as devi, in that context meaning "female deity". Deriving from *deiwos, thus cognates of deva, are Lithuanian Dievas, Germanic Tiwaz and the related Old Norse Tivar, Latin deus "god" and divus "divine", from which the English words "divine", "deity", French "dieu", Portuguese "deus", Spanish "dios" and Italian "dio" "Zeys/Ζεύς" - "Dias/Δίας", the Greek father of the gods, are derived, it is related to *Dyeus which while from the same root, may have referred to the "heavenly shining father", hence to "Father Sky", the chief God of the Indo-European pantheon, continued in Sanskrit Dyaus. The bode of the Devas is Dyuloka. According to Douglas Harper, the etymological roots of Deva mean "a shining one," from *div- "to shine," and it is a cognate with Greek dios "divine" and Zeus, Latin deus "god". Deva is masculine, the related feminine equivalent is devi. Etymologically, the cognates of Devi are Greek thea; when capitalized, Devi or Mata refers to goddess as divine mother in Hinduism.
Deva is referred to as Devatā, while Devi as Devika. The word Deva is a proper name or part of name in Indian culture, where it refers to "one who wishes to excel, overcome" or the "seeker of, master of or a best among"; the Samhitas, which are the oldest layer of text in Vedas enumerate 33 devas, either 11 each for the three worlds, or as 12 Adityas, 11 Rudras, 8 Vasus and 2 Asvins in the Brahmanas layer of Vedic texts. The Rigveda states in hymn 1.139.11, Some devas represent the forces of nature and some represent moral values, each symbolizing the epitome of a specialized knowledge, creative energy and magical powers. The most referred to Devas in the Rig Veda are Indra and Soma, with "fire deity" called the friend of all humanity, it and Soma being the two celebrated in a yajna fire ritual that marks major Hindu ceremonies. Savitr, Vishnu and Prajapati are gods and hence Devas. Parvati and Durga are some goddesses. Many of the deities taken together are worshiped as the Vishvedevas. Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, Shiva the destroyer, Ganesha the god of intelligence, Hanuman the god of protector and bhakti, Kartikeya the god of wars, Narada the god of news, Vishwakarma the god of architect, Dhanvantari the god of doctors and ayurveda, Kubera the god of wealth, Dyaus the god of sky, Vayu the god of wind, Varuna the god of water, Agni the god of fire, Samudra the god of sea, Kamadeva the god of love, Bariyadeva the god of diseases, Chitradeva the god of art, Indra the king of gods and rain, Surya the god of sun and light, Chandra the god of moon and night, Mangala the god of Mars Budha the god of Mercury, Brihaspati the god of Jupiter and teacher of gods, Shukra the god of Venus and worship, Shani the god of Saturn and deeds, Rahu the god of Neptune, Ketu the god of Uranus, Yamaraja the god of Pluto and death and one of the shivagana.
In Vedic literature, Deva is not a monotheistic God, rather a "supernatural, divine" concept manifesting in various ideas and knowledge, in a form that combine excellence in some aspects, wrestling with weakness and questions in other aspects, heroic in their outlook and actions, yet tied up with emotions and desires. Max Muller states that the Vedic hymns are remarkable in calling every single of different devas as "the only one, the supreme, the greatest". Muller concluded that the Vedic ideas about devas is best understood neither as polytheism nor as monotheism, but as henotheism where gods are equivalent, different perspective, different aspects of reverence and spirituality, unified by principles of Ṛta and Dharma. Ananda Coomaraswamy states that Devas and Asuras in the Vedic lore are similar to the Olympian gods and Titans of Greek mythology. Both are powerful but have different orientations and inclinations, with the Devas representing the powers of Light and the Asuras representing the powers of Darkness in Hindu mythology.
According to Coomaraswamy's interpretation of Devas and Asuras, both these natures exist in each human being, both the tyrant and the angel. The best and the worst within each person struggles
Krishna is a major deity in Hinduism. He is worshipped as the eighth avatar of the god Vishnu and as the supreme God in his own right, he is the god of compassion and love in Hinduism, is one of the most popular and revered among Indian divinities. Krishna's birthday is celebrated every year by Hindus on Janmashtami according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar, which falls in late August or early September of the Gregorian calendar; the anecdotes and narratives of Krishna's life are titled as Krishna Leela. He is a central character in the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana and the Bhagavad Gita, is mentioned in many Hindu philosophical and mythological texts, they portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero, as the universal supreme being. His iconography reflects these legends, shows him in different stages of his life, such as an infant eating butter, a young boy playing a flute, a young man with Radha or surrounded by women devotees, or a friendly charioteer giving counsel to Arjuna.
The synonyms of Krishna have been traced to 1st millennium BCE literature. In some sub-traditions, Krishna is worshipped as Svayam Bhagavan, this is sometimes referred to as Krishnaism; these sub-traditions arose in the context of the medieval era Bhakti movement. Krishna-related literature has inspired numerous performance arts such as Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi and Manipuri dance, he is a pan-Hindu god, but is revered in some locations such as Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh, the Jagannatha aspect in Odisha, Mayapur in West Bengal and Junagadh in Gujarat, in the form of Vithoba in Pandharpur, Nathdwara in Rajasthan, Guruvayur in Kerala. Since the 1960s, the worship of Krishna has spread to the Western world and to Africa due to the work of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness; the name "Krishna" originates from the Sanskrit word Kṛṣṇa, an adjective meaning "black", "dark", or "dark blue". The waning moon is called Krishna Paksha, relating to the adjective meaning "darkening"; the name is interpreted sometimes as "all-attractive".
As a name of Vishnu, Krishna is listed as the 57th name in the Vishnu Sahasranama. Based on his name, Krishna is depicted in idols as black- or blue-skinned. Krishna is known by various other names and titles that reflect his many associations and attributes. Among the most common names are Mohan "enchanter"; some names for Krishna hold regional importance. Krishna is with some common features, his iconography depicts him with black, dark, or blue skin, like Vishnu. However and medieval reliefs and stone-based arts depict him in the natural color of the material out of which he is formed, both in India and in southeast Asia. In some texts, his skin is poetically described as the color of Jambul. Krishna is depicted wearing a peacock-feather wreath or crown, playing the bansuri. In this form, he is shown standing with one leg bent in front of the other in the Tribhanga posture, he is sometimes accompanied by a calf, which symbolise the divine herdsman Govinda. Alternatively, he is shown as a romantic and seductive man with the gopis making music or playing pranks.
In other icons, he is a part of battlefield scenes of the epic Mahabharata. He is shown as a charioteer, notably when he is addressing the Pandava prince Arjuna character, symbolically reflecting the events that led to the Bhagavad Gita – a scripture of Hinduism. In these popular depictions, Krishna appears in the front as the charioteer, either as a counsel listening to Arjuna, or as the driver of the chariot while Arjuna aims his arrows in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Alternate icons of Krishna show him as a baby, a toddler crawling on his hands and knees, a dancing child, or an innocent-looking child playfully stealing or consuming butter, holding Laddu in his hand or as a cosmic infant sucking his toe while floating on a banyan leaf during the Pralaya observed by sage Markandeya. Regional variations in the iconography of Krishna are seen in his different forms, such as Jaganatha in Odisha, Vithoba in Maharashtra, Shrinathji in Rajasthan and Guruvayoorappan in Kerala. Guidelines for the preparation of Krishna icons in design and architecture are described in medieval-era Sanskrit texts on Hindu temple arts such as Vaikhanasa agama, Vishnu dharmottara, Brihat samhita, Agni Purana.
Early medieval-era Tamil texts contain guidelines for sculpting Krishna and Rukmini. Several statues made according to these guidelines are in the collections of the Government Museum, Chennai; the earliest text containing detailed descriptions of Krishna as a personality is the epic Mahabharata, which depicts Krishna as an incarnation of Vishnu. Krishna is central to many of the main stories of the epic; the eighteen chapters of the sixth book of the epic that constitute the Bhagavad Gita contain the advice of Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield. The Harivamsa, a appendix to the Mahabharata contains a detailed version of Krishna's childhood and youth; the Chandogya Upanishad, estimated to have been composed sometime between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE, has been another source of speculation regarding Krishna in ancient India. The