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How many gods are there in Hinduism?

If you are looking for a short answer, there is only One God in Hinduism. But then where these numbers, 33 million and sometimes 330 million come from, you may ask. Answer lies in the word Koti कोटि which is a homonym meaning “crore (10 million)” as well as “category”. The word if translated according to the context means 33 categories here.

But due to reasons unknown, it has been translated as crore, may be intentionally. So, now you know where these words 33 million or 330 million come from. Now let understand the concept of Devas/Devis and Ishwara, which is not understood well by most causing all sorts of distortions.

Deva देव

Deva is something that is usually non-living but gives life to others. There are 33 koti (categories) of devas. Supernatural concepts(2 conscious + 31 non-conscious) that helps to maintain the balance of everything around us.

  • 12 Adityas: Month of year
  • 8 Vasu: elemental devas
    • Prithvi
    • Varuna
    • Agni
    • Vayu
    • Dyaus or Akasha
    • Aditya
    • Chandramas
    • Nakstrani
  • 11 Rudras (Prana or Upa-Prana)
    • Prana
    • Apana
    • Udana
    • Vyana
    • Samana
    • Naga
    • Kurma
    • Devadatta
    • Krikala
    • Dhananjaya
    • Atman
  • Indra or Supreme consciousness
  • Prajapati or Yajna

Ishwar (God) ईश्वर

The supreme consciousness which is the origin of everything around us. According to Traitvada tradition, Ishwar, in addition to Prakriti and Jiva are the 3 ever existing reality.

In Vedas, Ishwar has been given innumerable names, some of which we will discuss here. ShivaVishnuIndraNarayanaGaneshaBrahmaSaraswatiShakti etc are some of the few names Ishwar has been called with.

To know about Ishwar in details you can read this post here.