Deity

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Hymn

What is a Hymn? A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification. The word hymn derives from Greek ὕμνος (hymnos), which means “a song of praise“. A writer of hymns is known...

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Petition

Petition A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity. Petitions to a deity are a form of prayer called supplication. In the colloquial sense, a petition is a document addressed to some official and signed by numerous individuals. A petition may be oral rather than written, or...

Ahura Mazda relief

Ahura Mazda

Ahura Mazda Ahura Mazda (Avestan: Mazdā Ahura also known as Oromasdes, Ohrmazd, Ahuramazda, Hourmazd, Hormazd, and Hurmuz) is the creator and highest deity of Zoroastrianism. Ahura Mazda is the first and most frequently invoked spirit in the Yasna. The literal meaning of the word Ahura is “lord”, and that of Mazda is “wisdom“. Ahura Mazda first appeared in the Achaemenid period (c. 550 – 330 BCE) under Darius...

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What is God?

What is God? Few concepts in human history have generated as much fascination, intense longing, rapturous devotion, somber contemplation, and endless debate as the topic of God. In the English language, the term God, when capitalized and singular (as a proper noun), is typically used to refer to the sole Divine Being in monotheistic religions, and...

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Omnipotence

Omnipotence Omnipotence is the quality of having fully unlimited power. Monotheistic religions generally attribute omnipotence only to God or deity of their faith. In the monotheistic philosophies of Abrahamic religions, omnipotence is often listed as one of God’s characteristics among many, including omniscience, omnipresence, and omnibenevolence. The presence of all these properties in...

In Tibetan Buddhism, emptiness is often symbolized by and compared to the open sky[92] which is associated with openness and freedom.

Divinity

Divinity Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a god or God. What is or is not divine may be loosely defined, as it is used by different belief systems. The root of the word divine is literally godly (from the Latin deus, cf. Dyaus, closely related to Greek zeus, div in Persian and deva in Sanskrit), but...

Goddess Durga and a pantheon of other gods and goddesses being worshipped during Durga Puja Festival in Kolkata. This image was taken in Block - G.D, Saltlake Durga Puja 2018 in North Kolkata.

Murti

Murti Murti (मूर्ति, Mūrti; lit. ’form, embodiment, or solid object’) is a general term for an image, statue or idol of a deity or mortal in Indian culture. In Hindu temples, it is a symbolic icon. A murti is itself not a god in Hinduism, but it is a shape, embodiment or manifestation of a...

A 10th century triad – Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma – from Bihar.

Hindu Deities

Hindu Deities Hindu deities are the gods and goddesses in Hinduism. The terms and epithets for deity within the diverse traditions of Hinduism vary, and include Deva, Devi, Ishvara, Ishvari, Bhagavān and Bhagavati. The deities of Hinduism have evolved from the Vedic era (2nd millennium BC) through the medieval era (1st millennium AD), regionally within Nepal, India and in Southeast Asia, and...

Vishnu avatars at Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangapatna Karnataka India including Narasimha and Vamana

Bhakti Movement

Bhakti Movement The Bhakti movement refers to the theistic devotional trend that emerged in medieval Hinduism and later acted as the de facto catalyst to the formation and subsequent revolutionization in the form of Sikhism. It originated in eighth-century south India (now Tamil Nadu and Kerala), and spread northwards. It swept over east and north India from the 15th century onwards,...

Lord Ganesha Ganapati Statue Idols Religion

Ganesha

Ganesha Ganesha (गणेश, Gaṇeśa), also known as Ganapati and Vinayaka, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali (Indonesia) and Bangladesh and in countries with large ethnic Indian populations including Fiji, Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago. Hindu denominations...

The Angkor Wat Temple was built as a dedication to Vishnu.

Vishnu

Vishnu Vishnu (विष्णु, Viṣṇu) is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. The “preserver” in the Hindu triad (Trimurti), Vishnu is revered as the supreme being In Vaishnavism as identical to the metaphysical concept of Brahman (Atman, the self, or unchanging ultimate reality), and is notable for adopting various incarnations (avatars such as Rama and Krishna) to preserve...

Adiyogi Shiva statue,

Shiva

Shiva Shiva (शिव, Śiva, lit. ”the auspicious one”), also known as Mahadeva (lit. ”the great god”), is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is the supreme being within Shaivism, one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism. Shiva is known as “The Destroyer” within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu. In...

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Incarnation

Incarnation Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient being who is the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial. In its religious context the word is used to mean the descent from Heaven of a god, deity, or divine being in human/animal form on Earth. Buddhism...

Devas in Heaven

Deva in Buddhism

Deva in Buddhism A deva (देव, Mongolian tenger (тэнгэр)) in Buddhism is one of many different types of non-human beings who share the godlike characteristics of being more powerful, longer-lived, and, in general, much happier than humans, although the same level of veneration is not paid to them as to buddhas. The concept of devas was...

The Udasi Sikhs have been one of the sects of Sikhism that accept murti in temples, unlike the Khalsa Sikhs. Above: an Udasi shrine in Nepal with images.

Idolatry in Sikhism

Idolatry in Sikhism Sikhism prohibits idolatry, in accordance with mainstream Khalsa norms and the teachings of the Sikh Gurus, a position that has been accepted as orthodox. Growing Sikh popular discontent with Gurdwara administration and practices during the 1800s, revivalist movements in the mid-1800s who opposed idolatry like the Nirankaris (who strongly opposed the practice,...

Mother Goddess sculpture from Madhya Pradesh or Rajasthan, India, 6th-7th century, in the National Museum of Korea, Seoul

Mother goddess

Mother goddess A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of motherhood. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. The concept is complementary to a “Sky Father” or “Father Sky“. There is difference of opinion between...

Complex of deities at an outdoors fountain-altar with incense burners at a pilgrimage area in Weihai, Shandong. At the centre stands Mazu surrounded by the four Dragon Gods (龍神) and various lesser deities. Distant behind Mazu stands the Sun Goddess (太陽神).

Chinese gods and immortals

Chinese gods and immortals Chinese traditional religion is polytheistic; many deities are worshipped in a pantheistic view where divinity is inherent in the world The gods are energies or principles revealing, imitating and propagating the way of Heaven (Tian 天), which is the supreme godhead manifesting in the northern culmen of the starry vault...

Greek gods

god (male deity)

god (male deity) A god is a male deity, in contrast with a goddess, a female deity. While the term “goddess” specifically refers to a female deity, the plural “gods” can be applied to deities collectively, regardless of gender. The Greek and Roman pantheons were ruled by Zeus, and Jupiter. When ancient Egyptian religion developed closer to monotheism, it was Amun, a male god,...

Personal god

Personal god A personal god is a deity who can be related to as a person[1] instead of as an impersonal force, such as the Absolute, “the All”, or the “Ground of Being”. In the scriptures of the Abrahamic religions, God is described as being a personal creator, speaking in the first person and showing...

Yoga Buddhism

Deity Yoga

What is Deity Yoga? Deity yoga (Devata-yoga) is a practice of Vajrayana Buddhism involving identification with a chosen deity through visualisations and rituals, and the realisation of emptiness. According to the Tibetan scholar Tsongkhapa, deity yoga is what separates Buddhist Tantra practice from the practice of other Buddhist schools. Deity...

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