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Ask A Hindu: Brahman and Other Gods


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Ask A Hindu: Brahman and Other Gods

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By Sreedharani Nandagopal

Hinduism claims it is monotheistic (Brahman). But we know that millions of gods are worshipped. My question is, why would The one God (Brahman) desire, want, or allow us to worship other gods? In other words, why wouldn’t Brahman desire or want us to worship only Him without any other things (manifestations) that can easily get in the way? I would think Brahman would ultimately want us to move beyond these ‘gods’ and come to worship only Him. 

Sanathana Dharma (Eternal Order or Eternal Righteousness) or Hinduism does have one Supreme Being. This Supreme Being can be experienced within oneself which, holds the Paramathma (The Great Soul) or outside in all The Great Souls that are in the world.  

This Great Soul is the only constant, changeless one in this ever-changing world and it is very unique. So in Sanskrit there is a saying which says Thatvamasi which translates to “You are That (Soul).” 

The Bhagavat Geetha (equivalent to Bible, Quran, etc) is a conversation between the Divine and a Human Being. The human being is conflicted with his own self and the Divine answers all his questions saying that one can worship the Divine wherever, whenever, however and can be called by any name.  

Hinduism says that Brahma created the world, Vishnu protects the world, and the Shiva destroys (the evil) the world. All these Divine powers and their reincarnations, and so many other Divine powers are like executives in a branch and serve different purposes, where the Supreme Being is the ultimate. Hinduism is both monotheistic and henotheistic. 

Sreedharani Nandagopal
Sreedharani Nandagopal
Sreedharani Nandagopal followed her physician sister to Seattle in 1969. She attended University of Washington to get her Physics and engineering degree. Then, In 1975 went back to India and got married to an electrical engineering professor (Mallur Nandagopal, Ph.D.) and at the same time I received her immigrant visa. Together they returned to Seattle. In 1977 they moved to Spokane. Her husband has done some innovative things for the city of Spokane, one of them being rebuilding the Upriver Dam Hydroelectric project which produces annually over $3 million in revenue to the city. Sreedharani taught for the Community Colleges of Spokane for 27 years and other colleges in this area including NIC. Together they do volunteer work for the schools and community at large by giving presentations about Indian culture, Hinduism, etc. They also try to educate the Spokane and the vicinity citizenry by bringing classical concerts and dance-dramas from India with the help of Rotary, Spokane Arts, Spokane city, Innovia Foundation, and many other organizations, and individual donors.

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