Hinduism is generally associated with a multiplicity of Gods, and it does not advocate the worship of one particular deity. The Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism amount to thousands, all representing the many aspects of only one supreme Absolute called “Brahman”. However, people who don’t know this, misinterprets the fact that Hinduism has a multitude of Gods! What one should understand is that although there are many manifestations of Brahman in the forms of deities each deity is really an aspect of the Brahman or, ultimately Brahman itself.
What is Brahman?
In Hinduism, the impersonal Absolute is called “Brahman”. According to this pantheistic belief, everything in existence, living or non-living comes from it. Therefore, Hindus regard all things as sacred. We cannot equate Brahman with God, because God is male and is describable, and this takes away from the concept of the Absolute. Brahman is formless or “nirakara”, and beyond anything that we can conceive of. However, it can manifest itself in myriad forms, including Gods and Goddesses, the “sakara” form of the Brahman.
According to Prof. Jeaneane Fowler of the University of Wales College, Newport: “The relationship between the many manifest deities and the unmanifest Brahman is rather like that between the sun and its rays. We cannot experience the sun itself but we can experience its rays and the qualities, which those rays have. And, although the sun’s rays are many, ultimately, there is only one source, one sun. So the Gods and Goddesses of Hinduism amount to thousands, all representing the many aspects of Brahman” (Hinduism: Beliefs, Practices and Scriptures)