Vedic Gods and Goddesses in Hinduism
Worship of Vedic Gods and Goddesses
The Vedas are associated with the deities or gods and goddesses. The Vedic sages have highlighted the greatness of these deities through various hymns. In the Vedic age, the method of worship was Yajna or Homa-based. The practice of worshiping idols was not a tradition then. The sages used to worship the deities by reciting mantras and invoking the deities by lighting fires. The Vedic gods and goddesses who were worshipped by the sages are very important in Hinduism.
Natural Forces and Vedic Gods and Goddeses
The Vedas are the sacred words of God. Various aspects of truth and knowledge are described here vividly. The Vedic sages had wonderful power. They could realize those aspects of truth and knowledge. They praised the powers of Almighty in various ways in the Vedas. These different powers of Almighty are named gods and goddesses. The Vedic sages have praised them for realizing the infinite power of Almighty in the natural forces of Agni (fire), Vayu (wind), Usha (dawn) and Ratri (night). The praise and adoration of these natural forces are expressed in the form of hymns through the voices of sages. The sages received these hymns from Almighty God through meditation. That is why it is said that the sages viewed the Vedas. And so the Vedas are also called Apoureshya (unspoken by man). It is now proved that the Vedas are not created by any person. These sacred books are obtained through meditation.
33 Types of Gods and Goddesses
It is said that Hindus worship 33 crore Devatas(gods and goddesses).
The Vedas refer to not 33 crore Devatas but 33 types (Koti in Sanskrit) of Devatas. They are explained in Shatpatha Brahmana very clearly. These include –
8 Vasus (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Sky, Moon, Sun, Stars/ Planets) that form components of universe where we live,
10 Life Forces in our body or Prana (Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana, Samaana, Naga, Kurma, Kukala, Devadatta) and 1 Soul called Rudra,
12 Aditya or months of year,
1 Vidyut or Electromagnetic force that is of tremendous use to us
1 Yajna or constant noble selfless deeds done by humans (Source:www.agniveer.com)
Three Dimensional Gods and Goddesses
Vedic sages gave importance on some of the Vedic deities in their hymns. These major gods and goddesses are Indra, Surya, Agni, Ushas, Vayu, Varuna, Vishnu, Mitra, Aditi, Yama, Soma, Saraswati, Prithvi, and Rudra. In fact, Vedic gods and goddesses belong to 3 dimensions of the universe or heavens, the earth, and the intermediate space. The gods and goddesses of heaven or universe do not come to the earth. Only the power of the deities of heaven or universe can be understood. Vishnu, Surya, Varuna etc. gods belong to this group.The gods and goddesses of intermediate space come to the earth, but they do not stay here for a long time. Indra, Vayu, Rudra etc. gods are included in this group. The gods and goddesses of earth are visible and they stay here. Agni, Apah, Soma etc. gods belong to this group. These gods are invoked through the offering Agni Deva.
Significance of Vedic Gods and Goddesses
Vedic gods and goddesses are very significant in Hinduism. For reaching the supreme goal of Vedic knowledge, we should have the knowledge of Vedic gods and goddesses as they are the most important gods in Hinduism. Vedic deities represent different aspects of knowing ourselves. Nowadays devotees of different Hindu sects worship particular gods and goddesses. Sometimes they involve themselves in conflict or virtual conflict on social media. The complete knowledge of Vedic gods and goddeses can solve this problem among them.