Brahma is known as the Creator of life among the three major gods. The
other two being Lord Vishnu (The Sustainer) and Lord Shiva (The
Destroyer). He is the first member of the Hindu trinity. He is not
regularly worshipped in houses. It is believed that life exists on earth
as long as Brahma stays awake. When he sleeps everything except the
saints and gods in heaven perishes. One day of Brahma lasts for more
than 8 billion years. The only existing temple of Brahma exists in the
town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan in India.
is the son of Vayu (the god of wind). He is a prominent character in
Ramayana. He is the biggest devotee of Lord Rama. Having superhuman
abilities he helped Rama fight Ravana and rescue Sita (the wife of
Rama). His great devotion and superhuman strength has made
him a popular deity. People pray to him for strength and ability to have
a devotion towards their life just as Hanuman had a devotion towards
Shiva is known as the Destroyer among the three major gods. The other
two being Lord Vishnu (The Sustainer) and Lord Brahma (The Creator).
Lord Shiva is worshiped by all Hindus. Some consider him a householder
being married to Goddess Parvati while some consider him an ascetic
living alone on Mt. Kailash in the Himalayas. It is believed that the
river Ganga came to earth from heaven through the hair or Lord Shiva.
The most common symbol of Lord Shiva is the linga. It is a cylindrical black
stone set in a circular base. It is believed that the linga
represents the completeness of the Hindu world view.
Vishnu is known as the Sustainer of life among the three major gods. The
other two being Lord Brahma (The Creator) and Lord Shiva (The
Destroyer). Vishnu symbolizes the qualities of permanence and continuity
in life. Lord Vishnu has appeared on earth in various human forms for
the destruction of evil and restoration of purity and justice. It is
believed that an ascetic Brighu cursed him to take birth ten times on
earth. Till date he has appeared on earth nine times in different
avatars (forms). Out of these nine the first five are just mythological.
is the eldest son of Shiva and
Parvati. This elephant headed deity is
considered to be the remover of obstacles and is worshipped at the start
of every Hindu religious ceremony. There are various legends explaining
the origin of this deity. The widely accepted one is that goddess
Parvati created Ganesha from a portion of her body to act as her
bodyguard. While going for a bath she told him not to let anyone enter.
It so happened that Lord Shiva came by and Ganesha refused to let him
enter. Shiva got mad and cut his head of. When Parvati told him the
truth about Ganesha, Shiva brought him back to life with using the head
of an elephant. Ganesha is worshipped everywhere and a rat is considered
to be his vehicle.
Goddess Parvati is the wife of Lord
Shiva and mother of Lord Ganesha. She is the constant companion of Lord
Shiva and is often shown sitting with Lord Shiva on Mt. Kailash
(this is believed to be where Lord Shiva resides).
Goddess Lakshmi is the goddess of
wealth and beauty. The wife of Lord Vishnu, she has appeared on earth in
the form of Sita and Rukhmani when Vishnu took the form of Ram and
Krishna respectively. The following hymn addressed to her by lord Indra
best described Goddess Lakshmi :
thy propritious gaze, O mighty goddess,
Men obtain wives, children, dwellings, friends, harvest and wealth.
Health, strength, power, victory, and happiness are easy attainment for
those whom thou smiles upon."
Goddess Saraswati considered to be the
wife of Lord Brahma is the goddess of learning and wisdom. It is
believed that "Gayatri" and "Sarswati" are one and
the same. She is the inspirer of art and science and is worshipped to
Goddess Durga is the sister of Lord
Vishnu. Once a demon named Mahisasura defeated the gods in battle. The
enraged gods went to Shiva and Vishnu for help. In turn these two
combined their powers and from that emerged Goddess Durga. She
fought Mahisasura for nine days and nights and on the tenth day defeated
him. So every year in celebration of this victory the festival of
Navratri takes place.