Hindu Deities
A Mythological Dictionary
with Illustrations

By Margaret Stutley
April 2006
Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers
ISBN: 812151164X
207 pages, Illustrated, 7 ½” x 9 ¾”
$39.50 Hardcover

Hinduism is the term now used to summarize the religious aspirations of the majority of Indians. It includes a variety of highly intellectual, metaphysical and philosophical systems, as well as the naïve demonology and magico-religious beliefs of the masses. Hinduism is also a synthesis of three, originally separate religious traditions: the Dravidian, the Aryan and the aboriginal.

Although many westerners regard Hinduism as polytheistic, this view does not take into consideration the sophisticated basis of the tradition as seen in the ancient Rgveda where a transcendental Oneness is perceived that manifests Itself only partially in this world to “create” apparent forces which appear to human beings as separate deities, thus there are as many gods as there are aspects of creation.

Many deities are depicted with a multiplicity of arms, heads, and emblems, so distinguishing them from ordinary mortals as well as pointing to the immense potentiality of the Divine that is forever beyond the comprehension of human beings.


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