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Who Are the Gods and Goddesses?

Vishnu, one of the gods and goddessesQ: I am a Hindu but am confused about our Gods and Goddesses. Who are they?

The words god (deva) or goddess (devi) can mean different things.

  1. Those highly evolved beings who rule or direct natural forces on the material plane, such as Indra, Surya, Vayu, Varuna, etc.
  2. Highly evolved beings who rule or direct the worlds beyond this earth.
  3. Those divine forms through which the Absolute (Parabrahman) has appeared and communicated with human beings, such as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Durga, Kali and others who are recorded in the Puranas and other scriptures.
  4. Avatars of the foregoing deities, such as Rama, Krishna, Sita, Radha and others whose lilas are also found in the Puranas and other scriptures.

The main question to ask ourselves is: Who Am I? When that is known, everything is known.

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