Concept Of God In India Vedas Other Systems

All In One, Virat Rupa

Hinduism and in India The concept of God is wide and varied.

Broadly speaking Indian Thought is classified into two groups.

The Astika and The Nastika.

Astika (means who is devoted) Systems are those which believe in the authenticity of the Vedas and take them as the founding facts, Axioms, they are not questioned,

Under these categories come  The Vedas, containing Brahmnanas,Arnayakas Uoanishads, The Bhagavd Gita , Brahma Sutra.

Of these the Vedas, The Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutra are called The Three Jewels, Ratna Traya.

These are unwavering in their adherence to The Vedas.

Puranas , signifying very old, are only supplementary to these.

If there are any conflicts between the Vedas and the Puranas, Views of the Vedas shall prevail.

The Vedas are called Sruthis,learnt by being heard, not written.

The others are called Smritis,learnt by memory, indicating historical events recorded and recollected..

Under these Astika System the Concept of God is not uniform.

While the Vedas and the others believe in the existence of God,Theistic the other Astika systems like Nyaya, Vaishesika  Samkhya and Purva Mimamsa are Atheistic, though all of  them accept the Vedas as the Authority.

So we have these  systems in the Astika group.




Mimasa(Purva Mimasa) and

Uttara Mimasa, The Upanishads.

On the other hand we have the Nastika Sytems,( means denial of God) are those which do not believe in the authority of The Vedas.

Under this we have,

The Carvakas,

Buddhism and


While Buddhism and Jainism do not accept the authorit of The Vedas, they follow the Theory of Karma of the Vedas in a great detail.

While the Carvakas reject out right the Concept of God, Buddhism and Jainism are not as vehement in their  denial of  God.

The name and attributes of the God  are changed.

While decrying worship of idols(in fact this was one of their main grouse against Hinduism of The Vedas,) they ended up worshiping their Founders, The Buddha and Mahavira.

In the case of Mahavira, The Jainism go back to the previous births of Samkhya Muni and worship the Adi Mahavir.

Now lets us see what the Vedas and Upanishads say on the concept of God.

The Vedas.

The Vedas contain the concepts of God as Non Dulaism, Qualified Non Dualism, Dualism_Advaita, Visistsadvaita, and Dvaita.

Apart from this, we have,

Polytheism,(worship of many deities).

Monotheis(worship of One God)

Henotheism where on God is praised at the cost of another.

Under Polyheism/Henotheism, we have Varuna, Agni,Vayu,Aditya Maruts Indra Yama,Kubera, Vaiswanara,Prithv,i Brahma , Vishnu, Rudra, Ganapathy Skanda, Saraswarthy, Lakshmi as Sri.

Of we these, we find Brahma , Vishnu and Rudra being elevated as the Three Supreme Gods.

Siva and Narayana, on the other hand are considered the direct manifestation of the Reality, Brahman, along with Uma.

To simplify the method of worship and to avoid confusion Sankaracharya  groupe six as Shanmathas(Six Systems)

They are ,

Ganapathyam (Ganapathy)

Saumaram (Surya, The Sun)

Kaumaram (Skanda, Subramanya)

Saivam, Sakthi (Parvati,Uma) and


The other deities may be worshiped on individual fancies, but these remain the Main Deities.

As society developed ther have been additions and continuation of tribal worship as well.

Under this, we have Village deities, which are responsible for the welfare of the Village,(Sastha, Mariamman worship come under this)

Boundary Deities(Ellaichamy)-Karuppannasamy worship comes under this.

We also have Forest Deities, Vana Durga.

Mountain deities, Muruga, an avatra of Skanda

In addition we have family deities which a family worships by custom.

All these myriad of deities come under the the three main Deities along with Uma, Parvati.

However the Supreme priciple of the Vedas is that Reality Brahman has no attribute, nameless, Formless.

This is called Nirguna, with out attributes.

People can find, in important Stothras, Nirgana Aaradhana and Saguna Aradhana.

We have the Narayana Suktham is a Nirguna Aradhana, Vishnu Sooktham is Saguna Aradhana.

In Sri Lalitha Sahasranama, one finds Nirguna and Saguna Stuthis.

And in Attribute-less worship one can find Non dualism,Qualified Non dualism and Dualism.

It is astonishing to find that all individual views are taken into consideration and are synthesized in the concept of Reality.

Even Atheism is taken into consideration and the Atheists were not ostracized or ignored.

This is the greatness of the Indian Thought, that none can arrogate only  themselves to knowledge.





Author: ramanan50

Retired Senior Management Professional. Lectures on Indian Philosophy,Hinduism, Comparative Religions. Researching Philosophy, Religion. Free lance Writer.Blogger

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