According to the purna avatara of Vishnu, in Mahabharatha, depicted in Bhagavad Gita, In his complete form Vishnu advises yoga states and core of the upanishads and vedas to Arjuna.At the start He shows himself as the "one and only",with all the gods and entire cosmos in him. Being "Advaita". The question is: how come Hinduism still is the most supported Polytheism? Why did Krishna Give the knowledge of vedas to a Kshatriya,as Arjuna was instead of anyone Brahmana kula ? Why should the single god as in Krishna worship someone in himself as in Shiva?

  • What is the point of one form of complete God adoring another form? Jul 21 '16 at 6:44
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    The 'polytheism' that you and many Westerners see in Vedanta (Hinduism) is not polytheism in the Western meaning of the word. The many 'gods' - the real term is 'devi' and the literal translation is 'shining one' not 'god' - are actually offices (like governor or minister) held by a particular soul for a cycle. After the end of a cycle, a new soul becomes that 'devi' in a new cycle, the previous soul takes rebirth back on earth. Jul 21 '16 at 9:51
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    A good book that explains all the different schools and philosophies and the relationship of the different scriptures to each other is Swami Prabhavananda's book "The Spiritual Heritage of India" Jul 21 '16 at 10:04
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    Thank you very very much. I actually cant express my gratitude.I will keep u in my Prayers. Jul 21 '16 at 13:31
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    Why is Hinduism the most supported polytheism? Because of two reasons. 1. Not everyone understands about Advaita etc. They just merely follow all the rituals, lest they lose their worldly benefits! 2. Because Hinduism inherently supports it. Just as the same sugar can be made into various sweets, such as Gulab Jamun, Ras gula, Cake, etc. the Same Essence i.e. Brahman can be worshipped according to the devotee's bhava or emotion. :)
    – Sai
    Jul 21 '16 at 14:30

Hinduism recognises one non Dual Supreme God. Many Gods seen are just the forms of the one Supreme Lord. Actually these Gods are called Devatas but in English they are wrongly translated as Gods, some also translate them as demi-gods.

So, most of the Gods in Hinduism are either direct form of Supreme Lord or they are just title and one can get them by doing virtuous action. For eg. Indra is a name of Devata (god), but every person has potential to become Indra by doing Virtuous action.

However the Supreme Lord is non dual and only one.

Svetasvatara Upanishad (6.11) states:

एको देवः सर्वभूतेषु गूढः सर्वव्यापी सर्वभूतान्तरात्मा। कर्माध्यक्षः सर्वभूताधिवासः साक्षी चेता केवलो निर्गुणश्च ।।
The non−dual and resplendent Lord is hidden in all beings. All−pervading, the inmost Self of all creatures, the impeller to actions, abiding in all things, He is the Witness, the Animator and the Absolute, free from gunas.

As the term Eko Deva is used it means one Lord.

But now philosophical difference arises. As per Advaita the self of all including Gods also is Nirguna Brahman which is formless and attributeless. So, Nirguna Brahman became the only one Lord and self of all.

As per Vishishtadvaita one God which has form is the self of the self or Antaryami of the self. As per Vaishnavas it is Lord Vishnu who remains as self of self and as per Shaivites it is Lord Shiva who remains as self of self. But still they all tell there is only one God who is self of self.

Regarding many varieties of Gods having various name and forms, they are just manifestations of the single non dual God.

Regarding worship of different Gods, if they are worshipped by desiring salvation/ liberation all finally lead towards the single non dual lord finally. Skandha Purana [Yajna Vaibhava Khanda] states:

यथा तोय प्रवाहाणां समुद्र परमावधि ।
तथैव सर्व मार्गाणां साक्षान्निष्ठा महेश्वर ।।

Just as all path of streams finally reach to the Great Sea. Similarly all Paths for God lead to the Great God himself.

  • More apt word is en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantheism Jul 21 '16 at 7:34
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    @VineetMenon No pantheism is not Vedanta. Pantheism is closest to vishishtadvaita. Jul 21 '16 at 9:38
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    Although your answer is good, I disagree with your first statement at the beginning. The Western theological concept of monotheism is not a fit for all of Vedanta. 'monotheism' is a good fit for dvaita, but not for advaita or vishishtadvaita. I would for an opening statement say Vedanta is theistic. Jul 21 '16 at 9:43
  • @Swami Vishwananda ok thanks!... I've edited my answer... I think it's fine now...
    – Tezz
    Jul 21 '16 at 10:28

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