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Concept Of God In Hinduism

  • Introduction
  • Hindu Scriptures
  • RigVeda
  • Brahma Sutra of Hinduism
  • Yajurveda
  • Samaveda
  • Atharvaveda

Hinduism is commonly perceived as a polytheistic religion. Indeed, most Hindus would attest to this, by professing belief in multiple Gods. While some Hindus believe in the existence of three gods, some believe in thousands of gods, and some others in thirty three crore i.e. 330 million Gods. However, learned Hindus, who are well versed in their scriptures, insist that a Hindu should believe in and worship only one God.

The major difference between the Hindu and the Muslim perception of God is the common. Hindus’ belief in the philosophy of Pantheism. Pantheism considers everything, living and non-living, to be divine and sacred. The common Hindu, therefore, considers everything as God. He considers the trees, the sun, the moon, the monkey, the snake and even human beings as manifestations of God!

Islam, on the contrary, exhorts man to consider himself and his surroundings as examples of Divine Creation rather than as divinity itself. Muslims therefore believe that everything is God’s i.e. the word ‘God’ with an apostrophe‘s’. In other words the Muslims believe that everything belongs to God. The trees, the sun, the moon, the monkey, the snake, the human beings and everything in the universe belongs to God.

Thus the major difference between the Hindu and the Muslim beliefs is the difference of the apostrophe‘s’. The Hindu says everything is God. The Muslim says everything is God’s.

We can gain a better understanding of the concept of God in Hinduism by analyzing Hindu scriptures. THE BHAGAVAD GITA The most popular amongst all the Hindu scriptures is the Bhagavad Gita.

Consider the following verse from the Gita:

"Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures."
(Bhagavad Gita 07:20)

The Gita states that people who are materialistic worship demigods i.e. ‘gods’ besides the True God.

"The three suicidal gates leading to hell are lust, anger, and greed. Therefore, they must be completely abandoned."
(Bhagavad Gita 16:21)

The below mentioned Bhagavad Gita verses clearly states that we should study the scriptures sent by God and lead our lives according to the commandments of God given in the scriptures, but not according to our own will.

"A person who transgresses the injunctions of the scriptures and behaves whimsically13 can never attain perfection, happiness, or the supreme destination."
(Bhagavad Gita 16:23)

Therefore, the scriptural injunctions concerning duty and nonduty are your only precedent. Having understood the scriptural command in this plan of action that is, to act exclusively for the Lord's pleasure it behooves you to now apply these teachings practically.
(Bhagavad Gita 16:24)

THE UPANISHADS The Upanishads are considered sacred scriptures by the Hindus.

The following verses from the Upanishads refer to the Concept of God:

“Ekam evadvitiyam”
“He is One only without a second.”
(Chandogya Upanishad 6 : 2 : 1)

“Na casya kascij janita na cadhipah.”
“Of Him there are neither parents nor lord.”
(Svetasvatara Upanishad 6 : 9)

“Na tasya pratima asti”
“There is no image of Him.”
(Svetasvatara Upanishad 4 : 19)

“His form is not to be seen; no one sees Him with the eye.”
(Svetasvatara Upanishad 4 : 20)

The oldest of all the Vedas is Rigveda. It is also the one considered most sacred by the Hindus. The Rigveda states in Book 1, hymn 164 and verse 46:

"Sages (learned Priests) call one God by many names."
( Rigveda 1 : 164 : 46)

The Rigveda gives several different attributes to Almighty God. Many of these are mentioned in Rigveda Book 2 : hymn1.

Among the various attributes of God, one of the beautiful attributes mentioned in the Rigveda Book II hymn 1 verse 3, is Brahma. Brahma means ‘The Creator’. Translated into Arabic it means Khaaliq. God can have no objection if Almighty God is referred to as Khaaliq or ‘Creator’ or Brahma. However if it is said that Brahma is Almighty God who has four heads with each head having a crown, God won’t accept this and it 100% violates the sayings of God Almighty.

The following verse from the Rigveda Book 8, hymn 1, and verse 1 refers to the Unity and Glory of the Supreme Being:

"Ma cid anyad vi sansata sakhayo ma rishanyata"

"O friends, do not worship anybody but Him, the Divine One. Praise Him alone."

(Rigveda 8 : 1 : 1)

"Devasya samituk parishtutih"

"Verily, great is the glory of the Divine Creator."

(Rigveda 5 : 1 : 81)

MAYEST Thou O God, who art Friend of all Holiest of all, and controller of the universe be merciful unto us Mayest thou O lord Almighty the lord of the universe, the support all, endow us with knowledge and power Mayest thou O Almighty and omnipotent being, shower thy blessings all around us.

(Rigveda 1)

He is one, but the wise call him by different names such as Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni, and Divya ->one who pervades all the luminous bodies, the source of light; SUPARNA->The protector and preserver of the universe, whose works are perfect.
(Rigveda 1 : 22 : 164)

An ignorant man has eyes to see but sees nothing, has ears to hear but hears nothing, has a tongue to speak but speaks nothing. The ignorant can never understand the hidden mysteries of knowledge. But it is to the learned alone that knowledge reveals its true nature just as a woman longing to meet her husband dresses in her best and puts on her finest jewellery so as to display her charms to him.
Rigveda 10 : 17 : 4)

What good can the Vedas do unto him who does not know the great being, who is All Pervading and Eternal, Holiest of all, who sustains the sun and the earth. They are atheists and of weak intellect and continually remain sunk in the depths of misery and pain who do not believe in, know, and commence with, him who is Resplendent, Allglorious, All-Holy, All-Knowledge, sustainer of the sun, The earth and other planets, who pervades all like ether, is the lord of all and is above all devatas. It is by the Knowledge and contemplation of God alone that all men attain true happiness.
(Rigveda 1 : 164 : 39)

Love and worship that supreme spirit, Omen, Who is the support of all the luminous bodies (such as the sun) the one Incomparable lord of the present as well as of the future worlds who existed even before the world came into being and has created all things that exist in space between the earth and the heaven.
(Rigveda 10 : 121 : 1)

Do we know (there are) two classes of men- Arya’s and Dasyus.

The virtuous, learned, unselfish, and pious men are called Arya’s, while the men of opposite character such as dacoits, wicked, unrighteous and ignorant persons are called Dasyus.
(Rigveda 1 : 51 : 8)

Just as God created the sun, the moon, the earth, and other planets and the objects there in the previous cycles of creation the same has he done in the present creation.
(Rigveda 10 : 190)

O Lord Thou who are the protector of the universe and the Veda, and art omnipotent & Holy in nature cannot be approached by a human soul that has not been purified by means of through control of the senses, truthful speech, subjugation of the animal in man, conquest of the lower self.
(Rigveda 9 : 83 : 1)


The Brahma Sutra of Hinduism is:

"There is only one God, not the second; not at all, not at all, not in the least bit."
[Rigveda Samhita vol. 9, pages 2810 and 2811 by Swami Satya Prakash Saraswati and Satyakam Vidyalankar]
[Rigveda Samhita vol. 6, pages 1802 and 1803 by Swami Satya Prakash Saraswati and Satyakam Vidyalankar]

The above mantra of Rigveda very clearly stating that there is no second besides the one true God who has created this entire universe, so we have to think seriously about this before worshipping others in the place of true creator. If we do the deeds which are totally against to these Holy Scriptures sent by God then how can we think that we are in the right path and how can we think that we can attain Moksha (Salvation), thus only a dispassionate study of the Hindu scriptures can help one understand the concept of God in Hinduism.


The following verses from the Yajurveda echo a similar concept of God: Describing Almighty God in anthropomorphic terms also goes against the following verse of Yajurveda:

"Na tasya Prati`ma asti"
"There is no image of Him."

(Yajurveda 32 : 3)

Another beautiful attribute of God mentioned in the Rigveda Book II hymn 1 verse 3 is Vishnu. Vishnu means ‘The Sustainer’. Translated into Arabic it means Rabb. Again, God can have no objection if Almighty God is referred to as Rabb or 'Sustainer' or Vishnu. But the popular image of Vishnu among Hindus, is that of a God who has four arms, with one of the right arms holding the Chakra and one of the left arms holding a ‘conch shell’, or riding a bird or reclining on a snake couch. God will never excuse those who put any image of God. As mentioned earlier this also goes against Svetasvatara Upanishad Chapter 4 verse 19.

"Na tasya pratima asti"
"There is no image of Him"
(Svetasvatara Upanishad 4 : 19)

"shudhama poapvidham"
"He is bodyless and pure."
(Yajurveda 40 : 8)

"Andhatama pravishanti ye asambhuti mupaste" "They enter darkness, those who worship the natural elements" (Air, Water, Fire, etc.). "They sink deeper in darkness, those who worship sambhuti."
Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc.
Sambhuti means created things, for example table, chair, idol, etc.
(Yajurveda 40 : 9)

He is the Creator of Bhumi - the adobe of all, etc.
(Yajurveda 13 : 18)

Then Was Created Virat, Etc
There After Was Created Bhumi-Earth

(Yajurveda 31)

In the beginning was Hiranyagarbhya – The One Lord of Creation. He sustains the SUN and EARTH. We adore Him the all Blissful Being
(Yajurveda 13 : 4)

SAMAVEDA We bow unto thee, o prana – who controls & governs the whole universe, just as the vital forces in the body control and govern the whole physical system, etc.
(Samaveda 7 : 3 : 8 : 16 : 2 : 3 : 2)

It is also mentioned in Atharvaveda as


The Atharvaveda praises God in Book 20, hymn 58 and verse 3:

"Dev maha osi"
"God is verily great"

(Atharveda 20 : 58 : 3)

He is Indra (ALMIGHTY), etc.
(Atharveda 11 : 2 : 1)

That God who is unaffected by time, and is imperishable sustains the sun and the earth and all other planets.
(Atharveda 14 : 1 : 1)

As the man is illuminated by the sun, so are other planets (such as the earth) illuminated by the light of the sun.
(Atharveda 14 : 1)
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