Originally Posted by Sublime
Why are there so many gods in Hinduism? I mean in all other religions there are more or less one god but in Hinduism there are thousands of gods.
Who is the main god, the god of all the gods?
Brahman Absolute (not Brahma) is the 'main God' of all the Gods. Every other God just represents it in a form that is pleasing to the devotee, so that Brahman can be experientially realised.
Why are there so many Gods? To give us the choice of who/what shall represent Brahman in a form we can directly
relate to the formless. This is known as 'Ishta Devata' or 'personal God'.
Of course, we could say that "Vishnu is God" or "Shiva is God" or 'Brahma is God" or even "The Trimurti (all three of them) is God" or even "the 33 crore of Gods is God" but that still places a human limitation on what God is
when He/She/It is all of that and more
Think of them all as signposts along the way of whatever path (sampradaya) you follow. The signpost isn't the destination but without the signpost showing you which way to go, the destination will never be reached.
Let's just say that Hinduism likes to give people the choice and yes, if you worship a chair or an article made of clay to be God, Brahman will eventually be found also.
It's all about bhava (inclination/intention).
I worship Shiva. Shiva is also Vishnu, Brahma, Krishna and all the 33 crore devas...Brahman Absolute.
To those who worship Vishnu, Vishnu is also Shiva, Brahma, Krishna and all the 33 crore devas...Brahman Absolute.
Is there any difference between a Shaivite (Shiva devotee) and a Vaishnava (Vishnu devotee)? Nope, none whatsoever and only those who have realised Brahman can actually see that.
Then after we reach the destination, we still go back and hug the signpost anyway...funny that. lol
Here's another thread about it, according to The Upanishads:
Aum Namah Shivaya