What is the relation between gods of vedas and brahman or tad ekam? How do they relate to each other? I have read Aurobindo's Secret of Vedas partly, but still not clear.

Why are deities worshipped but not Brahman/Isvara? Why did Swami Vivekananda say Brahman cannot be worshipped?


1 Answer 1


Brahman according to the Upanishads is ekamevadvitiam, i.e., one without a second. There is no second person to worship Brahman. Moreover it is stated quite clearly:

That which cannot be comprehended by the mind but by which the mind is cognized know that alone to be Brahman, and not this that people worship here.

Kena Upanishad I.6

Brahman is nondual in nature and hence is not worshiped. The Deities and the Supreme Being, Isvara, is at the level of duality and can be worshiped.

All the deities are channels to the Supreme.

Sri Suka said, "One who desires to have the lustre of Vedic learning should adore Brahma from whom the Vedas have come; those who seek power of the senses should worship Indra, and those who desire progeny, the Prajapatis. The seeker of wealth should worship Sri Devi; of brilliance, the deity Agni; of wealth, the Vasus; and of power, the Rudras. The seekers of food stuffs should worship Aditi; of heaven, the twelve Adityas; of kingdom, the Visve-devas; and of popularity, the Sadhyas. The seeker of longevity should worship the Asvinidevas; of strength of body, the Bhumi Devi; and of security, Dyo and Bhumi who are the parents of the worlds. The seekers of beauty should worship the Gandharvas; of women, the Apsara Urvasi; and of sovereignty over all, Brahma, the Lord of the worlds. The seeker of fame should worship Vishnu; of immense wealth, Varuna; of learning, Parameswara; and of happy conjugal life, Uma. The seeker of Dharma should worship Vishnu as Uttamasloka; and of increase in progeny, the Pitris; of security from possession by ghosts, Yakshas; and of strength, the Maruts. The seeker of kingdom should worship the Manus and the Devas; of the destruction of enemies by black magic, the Rakshasa Nirritti; and of sexual satisfaction, Soma. But those who have no desires worship the Supreme Being who transcends Nature. But the one Being to be adored with intense devotion by all - whether they be devoid of all desires, or whether they be desirous of all enjoyments, or whether they be seekers of Moksha - is that Supreme Person, the one God of all. (In other words all the Deities mentioned above are nothing but His manifestation, and all their powers stem from Him alone. So a man of intelligence worships the Supreme Being alone through all Deities.) The ultimate object of all worship is the generation of unswerving devotion to the Supreme Being. It leads to liberation, the highest destiny of man. By association with holy men devotion develops in an aspirant.”

Srimad Bhagavata Purana II.3.2-11

  • So the person who has realized Brahman will see no point in worshipping a deity anymore? Oct 6, 2016 at 17:36
  • A realized person will have a friendly relationship with the deities. This is stated explicitly in a passage in Mahabharata: The swan [Brahman] said, ‘I disclose unto you a great mystery. There is no status that is superior to that of humanity. ....... A person of restrained soul, who becomes the object of adoration with all by becoming the foremost of the supporting pillars of the universe, and towards whom only agreeable words are spoken by all, attains to the companionship of the deities.’ Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CCC Oct 7, 2016 at 2:23
  • thanks for the response..could you add more reference from Samhitas than puranas...great answer anyway. Oct 7, 2016 at 2:51

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