What may be more accurate is that humans create the gods in their image and likeness, believing that what happens on earth must be a reflection of what happens in the heavens. Is Hinduism really a polytheistic religion or is in fact an amalgam of monotheistic religions? That being the case, we should focus instead on the ramifications and practical usefulness of the various theological conceptualizations on the people who hold them as well as on the rest of the world. Therefore, Hinduism is not polytheistic. This is a nondualistic monotheism. Unlike what is found in most polytheistic traditions, he demands allegiance and punishes those who do not worship him exclusively. Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! ), that it controls a particular realm (such as a spirit realm or a specific location in the physical world), or that it possesses a specific power or range of powers. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! Christianity is a monotheistic religion. Mesopotamia and Egypt. Then, is Hinduism monotheistic polytheistic or atheistic? Polytheism characterizes virtually all religions other than Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which share a common tradition of monotheism, the belief in one god. Show more answers (5) Hence, Hinduism is monotheistic, At the most henotheistic but not polytheistic as there is only one God and the others are Brahman's manifestations. Hinduism incorporates diverse views on the concept of God. *Ex. Believed to be the first religion known to mankind. Especially in contemporary times, religious narrow-mindedness is a prevalent and major cause of much of the violence and hatred in the world, and both Western monotheistic and atheistic thinking have been major contributors. Is Sikhism Monotheistic Or Polytheistic? It is not only the source and reality of all other deities, but also of all creation, both animate and inanimate. In Hinduism a believer of religion indulging in rituals considers Hindu religion to be polytheistic. The origin of Hinduism is shrouded in antiquity of the distant past far beyond the times of known history. The merging of polytheistic and monotheistic concepts in this way is unique to Hinduism. He asks again and is told, "There are six." One who finds self incapable of indulging in spirituality unable to follow teachings […] In monotheism, especially as expressed in the Abrahamic religions, ultimate power is in the hands of a single male divinity. Nowadays, the term is essentially used to refer to any belief system in which multiple spirit beings are worshiped. Hindu texts and practices suggest the simultaneous existence of polytheism and what seems to be monotheism, but some Hindus find it insulting to be called polytheists. PLAY. On the human level, one typically finds such a being in monarchies, dictatorships, and societies run by a ruling tribal leader or warlord like those currently found in many Middle Eastern countries. A polytheistic religion is when the followers of a religion believe in more than one god. Panentheism, a system wherein Divinity/God is believed to be both transcendent of and immanent within the world. If one looks at the monotheistic concept, in which there is a solitary omnipotent divinity, on the other hand, we find a very different approach to the divine and also to the likely world experience of those who formulated it. Technically speaking, polytheism is the belief in many gods, none of whom participate in the divine essence of any of the others. For them, their respective Gods are most important, just like in any other Temple. All theories regarding the divine are based on faith, supposition, and individual experience. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, an important Hindu sacred text, a man asks a great teacher, "How many gods are there?" From time to time you will also receive Special Offers from our partners that help us make this content free for you. And there is one Hindu school that is more explicitly monistic than others: Advaita Vedanta or just Advaita. Among the myriad of others who receive attention and reverence are Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth), Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge and Learning), and Hanuman (Devotion Incarnate), to name just a few. What Is the Purpose of Spiritual Gifts, and How Do You Discover Yours? For Hindus, this makes total sense. When Waking Up is Falling Asleep, "The Church supports the use of vaccinations", The GOP's Double Standard on Christianity, The Soul of Gospel Music Explored in New Netflix Series "Voices of Fire", Seven Ways to Think About Christian Mysticism. Answer #11 | 11/12 2014 00:44 It can be any of them. After one final query, the teacher says to him, "There is one god." It is impossible to unambiguously answer the question about the nature of religion: the direction shows signs of both polytheistic and monotheistic religion that honors the Hinduism Brahman. As it says, it is only one god who has manifested and taken many forms like one body with many different parts. Hinduism. Sri Swami Chidananda. Hinduism is the most ancient religion among all the great living religions in the world today. It allows people to believe in and pray to their own conceptualizations of the divine in whatever form they choose, while at the same time elevating all of them to their ultimate reality, which is the singular omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient divinity, who demands no allegiance, punishes no one for lack of belief, yet provides wisdom, comfort, compassion, and freedom to those who seek it. Among these are a belief that each divinity or spirit being has a specific function (such as healing, protection in travel, etc. All rights reserved. But Hinduism is unique, at least in the scope of my own knowledge about religion, in the way it presents its "monotheistic" and "polytheistic" facets. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Polytheism, the belief in many gods. Hinduism names hundreds of gods, … They may work in conjunction with one another or at cross purposes. Literature, especially Indian, has its crux implanted in the Hindu beliefs and ideas as the Indian way of life is the Hindu way. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Monism, a system wherein Ultimate Reality is believed to be the unpersonified essence underlying (or encompassing) all life. The term was first popularized in the writings of eighteenth century European ethnographers as they encountered, then sought to identify and label the religious beliefs of "primitive" peoples they studied. There are several significant characteristics typically found in nearly all polytheistic traditions. “…But in reality Hinduism is monotheistic. The latter can include forces of nature, such as rain, thunder, a celestial body, the seasons, or may involve dominion over characteristics of human personality, like love, devotion, compassion, jealousy, revenge, and so forth. In Sanskrit, this concept is "tat tvam asi," which can be translated as "you are that" or "that you are.". Today, the two most popular theological beliefs in the West are monotheism (the belief in a single all-powerful divinity) and atheism (the belief that there is no divine entity). When did Hinduism begin? The vast majority of individuals in such societies remain weak and powerless unless they observe strict adherence to the being in power and do whatever they are told. An organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods ... Polytheism. He is all knowing, all powerful, and ever present. Is Hinduism Pantheistic, Panentheistic, Polytheistic, monotheistic or henotheistic? Finally, many Hindus would classify themselves as adherents of. Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism,panentheism, pantheism, monism, and atheism, and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each particular tradition and philosophy. However, Hindus rarely worship all of the gods and goddesses simultaneously; instead, Hindus generally worship only one God/Goddess as being higher than the others (although, in theory, they are all equally Brahman). The more conservative monotheists even equate them with evil and demonism. 30 million deities which are nothing but forms of ONE God. This view also implies the superiority of monotheism over different formulations of the sacred that may have their own value. It takes on apparent form or characteristics solely to allow humans the ability to relate to it. Both were correct in their perception. It should be noted at the outset, however, that this is chiefly a western difficulty: the Indian mind is much more inclined to regard divergent views as complementary rather than competing. When he questions this answer, he receives the reply, "There are thirty-three gods." The Ancient Greeks had polytheistic beliefs and this Hellenistic tradition has greatly influenced modern western thought due to the stories of these gods. Polytheism is the belief in, and worship of more than one god. The many deities are like the spokes, all of which emanate from the hub and each playing an important role. A polytheistic religion, on the other hand, is a religion that believes in the existence of many gods or deities. Are the Semitic religions monotheistic or polytheistic? These may include gods, goddesses, semi-divine beings, good or evil spirits, or the spirits of departed ancestors. It is said to be the source, the hub, from which all deities are manifest. Jews and Muslims would surely say that Hinduism is polytheistic—for them, worship of anything that is not the Supreme Being is a sin. This is seen as the only means of survival. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion. Hindu monists, then, would argue that Hindu gods and goddesses have only a provisional reality and are, ultimately, illusory/unreal. The term “Hinduism” embraces a wide array of philosophies and practices, and while certain Hindus may think and worship in an essentially monotheistic way, the practices of others may be more readily labeled polytheistic or pantheistic. The merging of polytheistic and monotheistic concepts in this way is unique to Hinduism. With over a billion adherents, many claim that the religion is monotheistic and helmed by the supreme being, Brahma. Finally, singular devotion to one specific divinity is not necessary. Brahman is the unchanging, infinite, immanent, and transcendent reality which is the Divine Ground of all matter, energy, time, space, being, and everything beyond in this Universe. Religion. In Hinduism, polytheism and monotheism coexist in a relationship much like the parts of a wheel. Yet, in much of the rest of the world, polytheism, or a belief in multiple divinities, has been a long held and popular conviction. Hinduism is both monotheistic and polytheistic. This thing about everything being one, is sometimes called monism. They believe that God cannot manifest … Add your voice. While such individuals are then believed to not receive divine assistance, they are typically not understood to be punished for this choice. Like with the gods in polytheistic traditions, he has human personality traits. Another common belief is that spirits possess or adopt a specific form, often human-like, and are endowed with human-like characteristics, such as love and compassion, but also jealousy and revenge. Then, there is the Hindu form of monotheism, in which the Divine is formally referred to as Brahman (not Brahmin, the priestly caste). (Poly = many.) Simultaneous propitiation of several deities tends to be common and accepted. Atheists and Western monotheists together denigrate polytheists and their beliefs as either ignorant or pagan. Additionally, one can choose to focus exclusively on a divinity who appeals to one's own personality. Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world. The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam preach the former, while those who base their world view exclusively on material or scientific rationality tend to adhere to the latter. Every Hindu has the right to decide which embodiment of God to give preference to, at which point in time. Hinduism is polytheistic religion and the oldest religion in India and Nepal. However, to call Hinduism monotheism would be, in most cases, erroneous as well. Again he asks and is told, "One and a half gods." At some levels one perceives gods, at another, God. Important conversations are happening now. Therefore, Hinduism is not polytheistic. Other forms that spirits may embody include those of animals, of aspects of nature like a volcano, or a combination of several, thus making reverence toward and worship of both human-like and non-anthropomorphic forms commonplace. The other criteria for polytheism is that these separate and autonomous gods are all of equal status with each other and are worshipped simultaneously. It transcends all attempts at defining or qualifying it. With characteristics, the Divine can love, protect, and show compassion; beyond qualifications, it is all encompassing. One of the most well known and widespread polytheistic religions is Hinduism. Advaita means not two. Under the conventional definitions of monotheism and polytheism, HINDUISM IS POLYTHEISTIC. Among the most ancient of these concepts is polytheism. At the same time, one can choose to ignore all deities. So you can say that Hinduism is polytheistic, monotheistic, or monistic. Some of the most prevalent polytheistic religions are Chinese, Japanese Shinto, Greek, Egyptian, Hinduism etc. 1. In monotheism, there is belief in and worship of only one god that is a separate entity. Monolatrism, a religious system wherein one recognizes many gods (though in Hinduism, these are not of different essences) but only worships one of them. The deity worshipped in each is seen by Hindus to simply be a different manifestation of the deity they already worship. Second, if Hinduism is not monotheistic, the general implication is that Hinduism must be polytheistic, meaning heathen, pagan, primitive, superstitious and idolatrous. Sikhism is a relatively young religion. I mean Islam and Christianity are monotheistic. STUDY. Thus, in many ways polytheism is a pragmatic theological view that, as mentioned above, reflects aspects of a democratic style system. The more common of these deities to be propitiated by rural agriculturalists Bhudevi (Mother Earth), Surya (the Sun God), Ganesh (Lord of Auspiciousness and Success), regional deities, and various river goddesses. A polytheistic religion. You can opt out of these offers at any time. Such narrow minded views and biases have hampered many who adhere to western thinking from understanding the value and validity of polytheistic beliefs for the people who hold them. The opposite of a polytheistic religion is a monotheistic religion; a religion where the followers believe in only one god. The Gods have 33 (Siva Visnu) etc. In conceptualizing such a theology, then, the adherents obviously drew upon their own human experiences. In the process, he alludes to a concept found in various Upanishads that equates the unchanging reality that exists in each individual with the Supreme Changeless Divinity. Judaism is monotheistic, while Hinduism is polytheistic. 2. Therefore, while there are many different types of Hinduism (and therefore many different types of "isms" with which these different traditions can be labeled), none of them is technically polytheistic. 3. Who was the first of the 10 Gurus of Sikhism. All they need to do is look within. One then approaches and propitiates the being with the requisite power to fulfill his or her needs or desires. Monotheism is the belief in one god and polytheism is the belief in more one than one god. All these names thus refer to a Qualified Absolute that is simultaneously beyond qualifications. Polytheism, then, often mirrors the human experience of family, village, and state. Hinduism is a decidedly theistic religion; the difficulty lies in determining whether it is a polytheistic, pantheistic, or perhaps even monotheistic religion. Is Hinduism monotheistic, or polytheistic? Different divinities, like different bureaucrats, have different powers. No human has demonstrable or irrefutable proof for or against a belief in a divinity or a lack thereof. Of and immanent within the world 's faith through different perspectives on religion and!... All these names thus refer to any belief system in which multiple spirit beings are.. 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