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The Hindu trinity is of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They are respectively the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe. They are also aligned as the transcendent Godhead, Shiva, the cosmic lord, Vishnu and the cosmic mind, Brahma. In this regard they are called Sat-Tat-Aum, the Being, the Thatness or immanence and the Word or holy spirit. This is much like the Christian trinity of God as the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Also the ICM Library Hindu Trinity. The trinity represents the Divine in its threefold nature and function. Each aspect of the trinity contains and includes the others.
Each God in the trinity has his consort. To Brahma is Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge. For Vishnu is Lakshmi, the Goddess of love, beauty and delight. For Shiva is Kali (Parvati) , the Goddess of power, destruction and transformation. These are the three main forms of the Goddess, as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are the three main forms of the God. The three Goddesses are often worshipped in their own right as well as along with their spouses.
A Little More Concerning Hindu Deities.
"If God is our
father, why cannot God be our Mother! If we are the children of our
heavenly Father, why cannot we be the children of our heavenly Mother!"
This rhetorical question is the basis of why Hindus recognize and accept
both male and female aspects of Nature and worship the Supreme Reality
in the form of Mother, Father, Friend, Master, Guru, and Savior. Thus
Lord Krishna declares in the Bhagawad Gita:
The personal aspect of the Ultimate Reality is known as Saguna Brahman, that is Brahman with attributes. Saguna Brahman is the creator, sustainer and controller of the universe. Saguna Brahman cannot be limited by one form and is therefore worshipped by Hindus in both male and female forms. As the male aspect, Saguna Brahman is called by various Sanskrit names, such as Ishvara, Parameshvara, Paramãtma, Maheshvara, and Purusha. These Sanskrit names represent more or less the same concept as the word God in other religions.
As the female aspect, Hindus refer to Saguna Brahman by various names, such as Divine Mother, Durgã and Kãlî. Hindus further worship the male and female aspects of Saguna Brahman in many forms, called deities.
Hindu view of the Ultimate Reality is expressed in the following revelation of the Rig Veda, the oldest Hindu scripture:
"Ekam sat vipraha, bahudha vadanti."
"Truth is one, the wise call It by various names."
This doctrine recognizes that the Ultimate Reality possesses infinite potential, power and intelligence, and therefore cannot be limited by a single name or form. Thus, Hindus view the Ultimate Reality as having two aspects: impersonal and personal (see Figure 1). The impersonal aspect of the Ultimate Reality is called Nirguna Brahman in Hindu scriptures. Nirguna Brahman has no attributes and, as such, is not an object of prayer, but of meditation and knowledge. This aspect of the Ultimate Reality is beyond conception, beyond reasoning and beyond thought.
Integral Yoga; "Truth is One, Paths are Many."
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