According to Chapter 11 of Gita, Lord Krishna while showing the ViswaRoop (Universal form vision) to Arjun said that

Behold the two Adityas, the eight Vasus, the eleven forms of Siva, the twin Aswins as well as the forty nine Maruts. Behold at once the whole universe of moving and stationary beings situated in this one part of body of Mine.

Arjun could see Brahma and Siva, the Gods of creation and destruction are seated within His body. I think this Gita chapter symbolizes the hypothesis that all Gods are nothing but different manifestations of the same God (Paratma).

However, the Gita doesn't mention anything about the Shakti (energy) or the Prakriti (nature), the female counterpart of this Universal Being.

So, my question is does the Hindu religious philosophy suggest bi-theism, i.e. two distinct Gods - the Prakriti and the Purush, or is it the case that it is essentially mono-theistic with both Prakriti and Purush being again two manifestations of the same Supreme Being?

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    Different darshans have different notion of it. Like Advaita vs Dvaita.
    – Bharat
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 1:55
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    as @Bharat puts it various sects have different interpretation of the scriptures and thus spell out the nature of God differently. At most, what one can ansewr is by specifying each philosophy differently. There are currently 8 schools of Hindu philosophy (majorly accepted). Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 10:06
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  • @PratikBhat This question is not a duplicate of that question, but related. The title seems similar, but the context of the question is different.
    – Be Happy
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 7:08
  • This is a very broad topic in hinduism we consider both as equal we concentrate on one object made by parmatma to attain the ultimate salvation through mediation and also to burn our previous life karmas. As we see a beginner(or new sadhak) cannot see as a total jeevanmukta he needs to concentrate his vision or mind on one part/face of reality (bramhan) so as to get control on mind ,to get peace and attain salvation
    – Yogi
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 12:53

3 Answers 3


Hinduism is a religion that compromises of many schools of thought among which there are six prominent philosophical systems that try to assert the nature and reality of our existence.

The Prakruti and Purusha concept of our existence belongs to the Samkhya school of thought. As per Samkhya philosophy there is no God (a supreme ruling deity) who created the universe. The universe came into existence from primordial matter (Pradhana). Before the creation the three qualities Satva, Rajas and Tamas were in perfect equilibrium. But in course of time the symmetry broke and the universe came into existence. But pradhana or prakruti being inert, there exists another fundamental unit called purusha, which is responsible for all that is sentient in the universe. Hence, the world is an interaction between these two aspects.

So as per Samkhya Philosophy Prakruti and Purusha are the two fundamental units of our existence, but not deities who can be worshipped. So this can be stated as a dualistic philosophy not bi-theistic.

Now regarding Gita, it does talk about prakruti, the female counter part. Prakruti is shakti (energy), God is shaktimaan (reservoir or withholder of energy). So it is the sentient Shaktimaan who always controls the inert energy. Hence, controlling prakruti, God creates all the universes:

prakṛtiṁ svām avaṣṭabhya visṛjāmi punaḥ punaḥ [BG - 9.8]
- Subduing the prakruti under myself, I create the worlds again and again.

So the Samkhya Philosophy only asserts upto the two fundamental units of our existence. It doesn't accept the existence of God above it because there are no direct proofs. But if we go through other scriptures, then we will find that prakruti and purusha are nothing but two energy aspects of the Lord Himself. So God is the controller of the two:

eṣa vai bhagavān sākṣāt pradhāna-puruṣeśvaraḥ [SB - 7.15.27]
- God Himself is indeed the lord of pradhana (prakruti) and purusha

And the 13th chapter of Gita is completely devoted to the discussion of prakruti and purusha. So the core of Vedic philosophy is monotheistic (God or Paramatma is one without a second). But unlike other religions it accepts that the same God takes on many different forms and names as may be necessary. You may also want to read this answer on a similar topic.


Vaishnava Acharyas have interpreted Hindu scripture in a monotheistic manner. The Samkhya system is dualistic postulating two ultimate realities, Purusha (Self - not the empirical self) and Prakriti, primordial nature.

Advaita Vedanta says Brahman is not two. What does this statement mean? Brahman is silence, according to Sankara (c. 788-820 AD). In a passage preserved only in Sankara's commentary (quoted by Swami Prabhavananda in 'The Spiritual Heritage of India') Brahman is described as silence:

'"Sir," said a pupil to his master, "teach me the nature of Brahman." The master did not reply. When a second and a third time he was importuned, he answered: I teach you indeed, but you do not follow. His name is silence."'

If you accept Sankara's view then Hinduism can not be classified into any system!


What is Prakruti?

Prakruti(nature) is body made of material

What is Purush?

Purush is Ansh of Parmeshwara , which is known as Aatma(Soul). By combination of these two only a living being is possible.

What is Shakti?

According to Shiva Maha Puran,

Shiva was in Ardhnareshwar Roop (Half Female and half male)

But to create the world lord Brahma asked Shiva to separate Shakti so that the universe can begin.

Shakti is energy which is in various forms in universe. Also in Prakruti and also in Purush but in different manner and form.

And Shiva is the energy manager.

As per hinduism Shiva has never taken birth. And who has never taken birth can not die. So is eternal.

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