There are multiple things to know. Just list of names don’t help understand the concept of god in Hinduism.
Just do some research on polytheism and monotheism… it is a much debated topic among the best of the brains of philosophers around the world on which( poly or mono) Hinduism follows. Which is good and which is better are beyond our discussion in this article.
According to you what is god? Does he/she has a job description, roles and responsibility, any powers and any special hierarchy of relationships to perform his responsibilities? Who decides these and why? How about god/s in other religion/s? — think about these when you want to say who is god.
Coming to how Hindu gods came into picture. Hindus believe in the concept of multiple gods. The details of how these gods have come into picture can be found in the reference describing the creation of universe according to ancient Hindu scriptures written a few 1000 years BC.
This was the time when Hindus gained in-depth understanding of the universe/ astronomy and planetary movements. As per the astronomy of Hindus, the calculations for sunrise/sunset/eclipses etc… are calculated to the precision of one hundredth of a second. These techniques and calculations are still available to experts in India. Imagine how the rest of the world was living in forests as tribes during that time.
Coming to why so many gods. Hindus believe in a concept called ‘ Sankalpam’ – in English it means -Intention. Anyone who wants to do anything on this earth need to first think of doing it at least once. So thought is the initiation (first step) for action. Without action, there is no result of it. If you want to achieve something, you have to do something towards achieving that. And if want to do something, you need to think of it before doing it. Now… how far you will achieve it depends how much you do and that depends how determined you think about it and how confident you are to pursue the activities.
[gn_pullquote align=”left”]Hindus believe in a concept called ‘ Sankalpam’ – in English Language it can be translated as -Intention.[/gn_pullquote]
If you have strong determined intentions… you will take more actions and achieve more while pursuing.
If you have week wishes… you may not pursue it and may not make any progress at all.
The question is – are only intentions and determination sufficient for achieving success?
According to Hinduism, you need more than intention. You need confidence, support, character and values, you need to build confidence and take action every time you face a difficulty in your pursuit of achievement. And all these you need to do/ gain on your own without depending on any other person.
Hinduism gives many simple techniques to help you like archana, abhishekam, puja, yagna, homa, pilgrimages and visiting holy places etc…
One of the outcomes of these techniques is the concept of multiple gods dedicated for different achievements over variety of difficulties. Read the story of lord Ganesh why Hindus first pray to lord Ganesh before starting any activity.
[gn_column size=”1-2″ last=”0″ style=”0″]For Hindus, lord Ganesh is not just one idol or image or just name… it is a concept Hindus carry in their hearts and souls that when faced with a challenge, don’t focus on what you don’t have or what you lack but focus on what you can do to reach the goal. [/gn_column]
[gn_column size=”1-2″ last=”1″ style=”0″]Read about lord Hanuman. How he identified his own strength to fly to Lanka and how he behaved in the court of the enemy( Ravana). How he was treated there and how he responded. [/gn_column]
All these describe a character and way of thinking required at a time when you need to be in front of your enemy and there is only cold war. Learn how Hanuman implemented various techniques to understand the strengths of his enemy kingdom before the war to inform to his King( lord Rama) . Learn how he was tortured in foreign land and in spite of these, how he came out with the required information for starting the war.
There are many people who confuse which god to choose from out of so many options. The problem is they do not understand their own responsibility to solve the challenge at hand, they want help from outside in the form of God doing miracles. Instead, Hinduism says take inspiration from the God who faced similar challenges and achieved success. For this you need to know the stories of many different gods and these stories need to be learnt from the divine scriptures and epics of Hinduism in the right perspective.