Hinduism: One God or Multiple Gods?

Originally posted 2019-06-11 12:54:56.

The Hindu God Vishnu with many faces and hands.

This is a short video that contains an important question on Hinduism with its answer. This question occupies a lot of minds interested in the Indian culture and philosophy. Is Hinduism based on idol-worship or on worshipping One God?

Is Hinduism Polytheist or Monotheist?

The speaker was asked about the philosophy of one God and many gods or the concept of monotheism and polytheism in Hinduism. Whoever studies Hinduism finds a clear reference to the concept of monotheism especially in its theoretical and philosophical aspects. But the question is: What about polytheism in Hinduism? Are there proofs that support the philosophy of many gods or idol-worship in Hinduism?

One God in Puranas and Upanishads

In fact, the Vedas or the earliest Sanskrit texts represented in four Vedas have the concept of monotheism or the concept of one god, but the Upanishads or the Puranas that are later scriptures have the concept of polytheism or many gods. According to the opinions of the well-known thinkers, the later scriptures have been added and subtracted over the ages and polytheism is one of the innovations of some afterward Hindu philosophers and thinkers.

Nehru’s Opinion on Hinduism

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in his book “The Discovery of India” has concluded that Hinduism is not a religion. Furthermore, the idol-worship has been created by some Hindus and was added into the Hindu system of worship due to their own worldly interests and benefits. However, the Vedas had the basic teachings of only one God.

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