IN GENERAL HINDUISM CONSIDERS GOD NOT JUST AS THE SUPREME ALL-POWERFUL GIGANTIC ONE, WHO COMMANDS THE HUMANITY TO TREAD THE WAY HE/SHE/IT SAYS, BUT ALSO A PERSONAL GOD WHOM THE INDIVIDUAL CAN WORSHIP OUT OF LOVE AND NOT NECESSARILY OUT OF FEAR ! THE FEAR BRINGS ONE ONLY UPTO CERTAIN POINT AND BEYOND THAT IT REPELS, BUT LOVE TAKES THROUGH TO THE POINT. DEVOTION OR BHAKTI AS OFTEN REFERRED TO IS A VERY KEY CONCEPT IN HINDUISM, EVEN FOR THE PHILOSOPHICALLY INCLINED ONES. WHILE THE SHASHTRAS – BE IT VEDAS, AGAMAS, PURANAS – DESCRIBE THE GLORY OF GOD, ONE FINDS ABUNDANCE OF STOTRAS THAT PRAISE THE GOD IN LOVE.
GOD IS FORMLESS OR WITH FORM?
FOR HINDUS GOD, AS IS, IS BEYOND ANY ATTRIBUTES OF FORM, COLOR, SHAPES … THAT IS, GOD DOES NOT HAVE ANY SPECIFIC FORM OR NAME. IN THIS STATE GOD IS REFERRED TO AS NIRGUNA BRAHMAN (ATTRIBUTELESS GOD). HOWEVER GOD TAKES FORMS AS PERCEIVED BY HUMANS AND THIS PERCEIVED FORM IS CALLED SAGUNA BRAHMAN (GOD WITH (GOOD) ATTRIBUTES). THESE FORMS COULD RANGE FROM CALM TO FIERCE TO YOGIC (1). EACH FORM HAS ITS SIGNIFICANCE.
FOR EXAMPLE WHEN ONE IS DEPRESSED AND SEES THE FORM OF GOD STRONG AND POWERFUL, THE SEEKER FEELS THE MORAL BOOST THAT GOD WOULD DEFINITELY BE THE SUPPORT FOR THE RIGHT THING. SIMILARLY WHEN IN AN AUSPICIOUS CEREMONY WOULD LIKE THE GOD TO BE THE CALM PROVIDER OF BOONS. IN A SPIRITUALLY ELEVATED STATE, THE CHOICE WOULD BE THE YOGIC FORM OF GOD. THE FORMS PROVIDE A BASIS FOR THE HINDU WORSHIPPER TO EASILY PURSUE THE OTHERWISE INCOMPREHENSIBLE SUPREME. SO HINDUISM SUPPORTS BOTH FORM AS WELL AS FORMLESS WORSHIP OF THE GOD. WHETHER ONE WORSHIPS IN SAGUNA OR NIRGUNA WAY, IT IS ULTIMATELY THE SAME GOD.
Let us hail the God, Who does not have a name or a form or anything like that, by singing thousands of Its names! – thiruvAcakam
IS THERE AN EVIL FORCE AGAINST GOD?
God is the Almighty and Supreme. So how can there be anything good or bad against It ? If the good things are the creation of God and bad things of some other evil force, will the gravitational force of the earth be attributed to God or the other force, as it is vital good element for us to live at the same time kills somebody who falls down from a high-rise building! In the system made by God, normally one gets to enjoy the good or bad things based on what have been their inclinations and the actions they made because of that. (This is called karma). There is no evil (satan type) against God. In factatharva veda puts it very clearly,
“na dvitIyo na tR^itIyashchaturtho nApyuchyate
na pa.nchamo na ShaShThaH saptamo nApyuchyate
nAShTamo na navamo dashamo nApyuchyate
ya etaM devamekavR^itaM veda”
There is none second to It, neither third not even fourth.There is none fifth to It, neither sixth not even seventh. There is none eighth to It, neither ninth not even tenth.It is the only Supreme. This is to be known.
The concept of good and bad things is at a lower level and that too in a different way than strictly good and evil. The divines called devas are the protectors and the essentials who support the worlds. For example, air, sun, moon, water, fire etc. Those who disrupt the life supporting mechanism are the daemons called asuras. The conflicts between the two often arise and the Hindu epics talk in detail about them. However it should be kept in mind that as specified in purANas all the devAs are not the perfect beings and the asuras the worthless evils.