Why does Hinduism have so many Gods?

Hindus worship one Supreme Being, though by different names. This is because the people of India with different languages and cultures have understood the one God in their own distinct way.

All deities are reflections of the One God! Due to this diversity, Hindus are profoundly tolerant to other religions, respecting the fact that each has its own pathway to the one God.

Freedom to seek vs. blind faith!

One of the unique understandings in Hinduism is that God is inside each and every soul, in the consciousness, waiting to be discovered. Spirituality is each individual’s path to find the One God! Hinduism gives us the freedom to approach God in our own way, encouraging a multiplicity of paths, not asking for conformity to just one. Thus Hindus of various sects may call the one God by many different names, according to their denomination or regional tradition.

Some Hindus believe only in the formless Absolute Reality as God; others believe in God as personal Lord and Creator. This freedom makes Hinduism, the oldest living religion, the richest in all of Earth’s existing faiths.

Hindu’s view of One God

Hinduism is both monotheistic and henotheistic. Hindus were never polytheistic, in the sense that there are many equal Gods. Henotheism (literally “one God”) better defines the Hindu view. It means the worship of one God without denying the existence of other Gods.

We Hindus believe in the one all-pervasive God who energizes the entire universe. This view of God as existing in and giving life to all things is called panentheism.

Hindus also believe in many Gods who perform various functions, like executives in a large corporation. They should not be confused with the Supreme God.