Does Hinduism follow the same God as Christianity, or do Hindus believe in a separate God entirely?
Yes, Nearly all Hindus do believe in God, however, the nature of which particular deity they believe in can vary. Traditionally, Hinduism has been considered to worship many gods, otherwise known as polytheistic.
However, it may be better described as worshipping one god without disbelieving in the existence of other gods.
This is known as henotheistic. Hindus believe that god takes on infinite forms, saying that “god is in everyone, and god is in everything”.
In this article, we will be going into more detail about the belief in gods within Hinduism, including who their gods are. We will also provide some basic Hindu beliefs on heaven and the afterlife.
Which God Do Hindus Believe In?
Unlike other religions, Hinduism has no founder or prophet, it is instead a fusion of many beliefs.
Most members of the Muslim, Sikh, and Christian religions believe that there is only one god, however, Hindus believe that there is one god with many manifestations.
In Hinduism, many people believe that god can even be manifested in people, such as spouses. However, very few members believe god can manifest in people who have done wrong.
There are several Hindu deities, some with great powers and some with limited powers.
Hindus will select the god which they feel closest to, or which they regard as the most supreme, and give their primary devotion to this one particular deity.
The main Hindu deities are;
- Brahma – the god of creation
- Vishnu – the god of preservation
- Shiva – the god of destruction
- Lakshmi – the goddess of prosperity
- Saraswati – the goddess of learning
- Parvati – the goddess of power
- Rama – the god of truth and virtue
- Krishan – the god of love
- Durga – the goddess of war
- Ganesha – the god of success
The three most important gods form the ‘trinity’, these gods are Brahma, Vishu, and Shiva.
When Hindus select the god that they feel closest to, many choose Shiva.
Despite Shiva being the god of destruction, this is not necessarily considered a negative thing.
The greatest deities have complex natures and take on several different physical characteristics.
Do Hindus Pray to God?
Hindus formally pray as part of puja, translated as ‘adoration’. Although there are temples for prayer, most Hindus do daily worship in their home, often in the morning.
Worshipping provides Hindus with a way of directly communicating with the gods.
Prayer is not a communal thing in Hinduism as it is in other religions, instead, members pray individually, as it involves them making personal offerings to their deity.
During puja, Hindus will repeat the names of their gods and goddesses that are important to them and make offerings of water, fruit, or flowers.
Throughout the strains of Hinduism, most will be active animists. In an attempt to appease bad and good spirits, they will purposely worship at auspicious times.
Often, Hindus study horoscopes and wear protective amulets to ward off evil and disease.
Does Hinduism Have the Same God as Christianity?
Hindus do not have the same god as Christians. Christianity is a devoted follower of Jesus, whom they believe is the one and only God.
Hinduism does not base their god on one personality or being, however, some Hindus do believe that Jesus could be a deity form of their gods – one of many.
Do Hindus Believe in Heaven?
Teachings about heaven vary throughout the Hinduism religion. Some believe that heaven is the final resting place for those who have lived a kind, honest life.
Whereas others believe that heaven is only a temporary home between rebirths.
Lastly, some are taught that heaven is simply a state of being that people can and should aspire to experience during their lifetime.
What Do Hindus Believe Happens After Death?
Hinduism follows the law of Karma.
Hindus believe that the soul is immortal, so when a person’s physical body dies, the soul transmigrates into a new life on earth.
This life may be better or worse than the previous depending on how much good or bad was done in the past life. Creating a series of good lives will break this cycle and lead to the ultimate adsorption of the soul.
Rather than worshipping one god, Hindus worship many.
They believe that gods can take on different genders, animals, and personalities.
Hindus will generally pick one god that they feel bonded to and focus their primary devotion here, however, they do not disregard the existence or belief of other gods.