There are three main deities or demi-Gods in Hinduism namely, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva and one main Goddess, Mata Parvati. Most of the other Gods are incarnations or other forms of Vishnu and Shiva and Goddesses are also incarnation or other forms of Devi Parvati.
Besides that there are a number of other demi-Gods and local deities, which are popular in particular areas only. These demigods and deities are known as Devas and Devis. It is very difficult to cover all of them but we are trying to cover as many names as possible.
Brahman (not to be confused with Brahmin caste) is considered as the God of Hindus. He is formless and genderless. He is the supreme soul. He is omniscient and omnipresent. He is also called as Parmeshwara, Om, or Parmatma. He created the trinity who are carrying out their job of taking care of the universe. Other demi-Gods are considered as manifestations of Him.
List of Hindu demi-Gods:
1. Lord Dattatreya: Lord Dattatreya is the most powerful deities of Hindus. This deity is formed by the combination of three main Hindu deities viz Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva and he is the most powerful than any other deities.
2. Lord Ganesha: Lord Ganesha is the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is blessed to be worshipped first in all deities and at the start of all rituals and new activities. His head is that of an elephant and the body is that of a human.
3. Lord Brahma: Lord Brahma is the creator of the universe. He is not worshipped individually as he is cursed because of his misbehavior. He is worshipped in the form of trinity.
4. Lord Vishnu: Lord Vishnu is the protector of the universe. So far, he has incarnated himself nine times. The 10th incarnation is expected to come soon.
5. Lord Shiva: Lord Shiva is considered as destroyer of the universe. He is also called as God of Gods (Mahadev). He is very popular and is worshipped mainly in the form of a Lingam.
6. Lord Kartikeya: Lord Kartikeya is the elder son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. He is also known as Lord Murugan.
7. Lord Krishna: Lord Krishna is considered as eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He killed many demons. He told Bhagvad Gita, the divine song, to Arjuna. Vaishnavites consider him as incarnation of Brahman, Supreme Being.
8. Lord Rama: Lord Rama is the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He killed Ravana, the demon king and established an ideal kingdom which is known as Ramrajya.
9. Lord Narsimha: Narsimha is the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu who killed the demon king, Hiranyakashyapu. Hiranyakashyapu was a very despotic ruler and was trying to kill his own son, Pralhad, who was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Narsimha’s head is that of a lion and the body is that of a human.
10. Lord Hanuman: Hanumn is known as monkey god who belonged to the ape race. He served Lord Rama and helped him kill Ravana. He is immortal and Hindus believe that he is still alive.
11. Yama: Yama is considered as God of death. His ambassadors come to take the soul of the dead person.
12. Lord Venkatesha or Balaji: Lord Venkatesha is considered as incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
13. Parshuram: Parshuram is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. When the warriors became powerful, they started bullying common people. Hence, Vishnu incarnated as Parshuram and defeated them seven times.
Natural powers worshipped as deities:
1. Indra: Indra is considered as king of the paradise and is a deity of storm. Hindus do not worship Indra because he is cursed as he is not of a good character.
2. Agni: Agni means fire. Agni is considered as a deity by Hindus. It is believed that the sacrifices offered through Agni go to the heaven.
3. Vayu: Vayu means wind. The wind is worshipped as Vayu devta. Lord Hanuman is considered as the son of Vayu devta.
4. Surya: Surya means sun. Sun worship is prevalent in many parts of India since ancient times. Sun worship is also common to many other cultures in the world. Hindus consider Sun as a deity and is depicted in many epics and Puranas as a person.
5. Kamdev: Kamdev is the god of sex in Hinduism. The desire for sex is because of him.
List of Hindu Goddesses:
1. Devi Parvati: Mata Parvati is the wife of Lord Shiva and the mother of Lord Ganesha. She reincarnated in many forms to kill demons on the earth. She represents the feminine power.
2. Devi Saraswati: She is the goddess of education and daughter of Lord Brahma. She is always depicted as having a Veena, a stringed musical instrument, in her hands.
3. Devi Laxmi: Devi Laxmi is the goddess of wealth and prosperity. She is the wife of Lord Vishnu. Hindus worship Laxmi so that she would make them wealthy. In Diwali, Laxmi Pujan is celebrated and Devi Laxmi is worshipped. This is one of the biggest Hindu festival.
4. Annapurna Devi: She is the goddess of food. She is also a form of Devi Parvati.
5. Maa Durga: Devi Durga is the incarnation of Devi Parvati who killed Mahishasur, a very cruel and powerful demon. Mahishasur was invincible for men. Hence, Goddess Parvati had to reincarnate as Durga and kill him.
Some regional important deities in Hinduism:
2. Yallamma Devi.
6. Chamunda Devi.
7. Tuljabhavani Mata.
8. Kali Mata.
10. Saibaba of Shirdi.
More Articles Related to Hindu Gods and Goddesses: