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Gods and Goddesses of India By B.K. Chaturvedi [DP]

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INTRODUCTION

he Hindu population spread throughout the vast land of India has a common basis of religious faith, which furnishes a good evidence of the original unity of the Aryan inhabitants of this country during prehistoric days. Hinduism is like a big fig tree growing from a single stem and then sending out numerous branches destined to strike roots to the ground and themselves becoming big trees in their own right. Thus a simple pantheistic doctrine has spread out into a vast polytheistic system with innumerable gods and goddesses and voluminous mythological literature

Popular Hinduism believes in one Universal Being-Brahm or Omkar, that adopts so many appearances-can one having a distinctive character or displaying in part one or more attribute of the Almighty, and this provides the basis of polytheism and the pantheon of gods and goddesses. "Three" is a sacred number constantly appearing in Hindu religious system. Agni, Indra and Surya constitute the Vedic riad of gods. There are frequent allusions in Vedas to thirty-three gods, which gain is a multiple of three. Although Trimurti is not named as such in the Vedic hymns, yet Veda is the basic source of this Triad of godly personification

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