Hindu Gods and Goddesses
A Brief Introduction to “Rama’s
Initiation” pg 1053
Epics and Legends
The Three Main Gods
• Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva are the three
main gods of Hinduism
• Brahma is the creator god
• Vishnu is the preserver god
• Shiva is the destroyer god
• Vishnu is responsible for maintaining the
world, or else Shiva will destroy it
Brahma
•
•
•
•
Creator God
Has 4 heads
Used to have 5 heads
Children are named
after emotions (Anger,
Greed, etc.)
Vishnu
• Preserver of the
World
• Portrayed as blue or
black
• Has 4 arms
• Has 1,000 names and
people repeat his
names to worship him
Shiva
• Destroyer God
• When one of Brahma’s heads lied to Vishnu,
Shiva cut it off as a punishment for deceit.
• Will destroy the world is Vishnu does not protect
it.
Ganesh
• The Elephant God
• God of Good Fortune
• Newlyweds honor
Ganesh at their
wedding in hopes that
he will bless them
Kali
• Dark and violent goddess
• Lives in cremation grounds
• Thuggee (pronounced Tug-ee): Followers of Kali
(Thugs)
Lakshmi
• Goddess of Wealth,
Fortune, Love, and
Beauty
• She has 4-6 arms and
8 different forms,
depending on what
one is praying for
Krishna
• The hero in the
Mahabharata
• Usually depicted as a
baby or an adult
playing the flute
• Bhakti (devotion) to
Krishna is usually for
strength or
compassion
• Very strong warrior
Rama
• Hero of the
Ramayana, the other
great epic in
Hinduism
• His story shows what
happens when one
has good Dharma
and Karma
• His wife, Sita, is
Lakshmi in another
form