The Top Ten most popular Hindu
As a result of our first visit to a Hindu Temple in Felicity
for Divali - it made us wonder who the top ten most popular Hindu God's were.
There is a huge amount of information on the net. Hindus have a multitude of
gods and goddesses that symbolize the one abstract Supreme Being or Brahman. The
most fundamental of Hindu deities are the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
But many other gods such as Ganesha, Krishna, Rama, Hanuman, and goddesses like
Lakshmi, Durga, Kali and Saraswati top the popularity chart with Hindus across
1. Easily recognizable as
the elephant-deity riding a mouse, Ganesha is arguably he most popular Hindu
God, and one of the commonest mnemonics for anything associated with Hinduism.
The son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha is depicted has having a curved trunk and
big ears, and a huge pot-bellied body of a human being. He is the lord of
success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the god
of knowledge, wisdom and wealth.
2. The most powerful and fascinating deity in Hinduism, who
represents death and dissolution. One of the godheads in the Hindu Trinity, and
known by many names - Mahadeva, Pashupati, Nataraja, Vishwanath, Bhole Nath -
Shiva is perhaps the most complex of Hindu deities. Hindus recognise this by
putting his shrine in the temple separate from those of other deities and
worshipping Shiva as a phallic symbol called the ‘Shiva Limgam’ in most temples.
3. The great exponent of the Gita, Krishna is the ninth and the
most complete avatar of Vishnu, the Godhead of the Hindu Trinity. Of all avatars
he is the most popular and perhaps the one closest to the heart of the masses.
This blue-skinned deity has influenced the Indian thought, life and culture in
myriad ways - not only its religion and philosophy, but also into its mysticism
and literature, painting and sculpture, dance and music, and all aspects of
4. Rama, the perfect avatar of the Supreme Protector Vishnu, is
an all-time favorite among Hindu deities. The most popular symbol of chivalry
and virtue, Rama is “the embodiment of truth, of morality, the ideal son, the
ideal husband, and above all, the ideal king." He is widely believed to be an
actual historical figure - a "tribal hero of ancient India" - whose exploits
form the great Hindu epic of Ramayana or The Romance of Rama.
5. Hanuman, the mighty ape that aided Lord Rama in his
expedition against evil forces, described in the epic Ramayana, is one of the
most popular idols in the Hindu pantheon. Believed to be an avatar of Lord
Shiva, Hanuman is worshipped as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and
devotion. In times of trouble, it is a common faith among Hindus to chant the
name of Hanuman or sing his hymn - "Hanuman Chalisa". Hanuman temples are among
the most common public shrines found in India.
6. The peace-loving deity of the Hindu Trinity, Vishnu is the
Preserver or Sustainer of life with his steadfast principles of order,
righteousness and truth. When these values are under threat, Vishnu emerges out
of his transcendence to restore peace and order on earth. Vishnu’s earthly
incarnations have 10 major avatars. The devout followers of Vishnu are called
Vaishnavas, and his consort is Lakshmi. Vishnu is popularly worshipped as Lord
Venkateshwara in the southern India.
7. Goddess Lakshmi means "Good Luck" to Hindus. The word
'Lakshmi' is derived from the Sanskrit word Laksya, meaning 'aim' or 'goal', and
she is the goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual. She is
the household goddess of most Hindu families, and a favorite of women. Lakshmi
is depicted as a beautiful woman of golden complexion, with four hands, sitting
or standing on a full-bloomed lotus and holding a lotus bud, which stands for
beauty, purity and fertility.
8. The Mother Goddess — known variously as Durga, Bhavani,
Sherawali, Amba, Chandika, Gauri, Parvati, Vaishno Devi — represents the fiery
powers of the gods. The name “Durga” means “inaccessible”, and she is the
personification of the active side of the divine “shakti” energy of Lord Shiva.
Durga is usually portrayed as riding a lion, and carrying weapons in her many
arms. She is the protector of the righteous, and destroyer of the evil.
9. Kali, or the dark goddess, is the fearful and ferocious form of the mother
goddess Durga. She is depicted as having born from the brow of Goddess Durga
during one of her battles with the evil forces. Kali is represented with perhaps
the fiercest features amongst all the world's deities. Her tongue protrudes from
her mouth, her eyes are red, and her face and breasts are sullied with blood.
She stands with one foot on the thigh, and another on the chest of her husband,
10. Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge and learning,
represents the free flow of wisdom and consciousness. She is the mother of the
Vedas, and chants to her, called the 'Saraswati Vandana' often begin and end
Vedic lessons. The goddess of wisdom, art and music, she is the daughter of Lord
Shiva and Goddess Durga. It is believed that goddess Saraswati endows human
beings with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning.
ALL IN ALL GOOD TO KNOW A LITTLE ABOUT
THIS INTERESTING AND COLOURFUL RELIGION