Hindu Cosmos

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Hindu Cosmology – Many Paths to One God

Hindus believe that the world is created, destroyed, and re-created in an eternally repetitive series of cycles.

In Hindu cosmology a universe endures for about 4,320,000,000 years (one day of Brahma or kalpa) and is then destroyed by fire or water. At his point, Brahma rests for one night, just as long as the day. This process, named pralaya, repeats for such 100 years, period that represents Brahma’s lifespan.

After Brahma’s “death”, it is necessary that another 100 of his years pass until he is reborn and the whole creation begins anew. This process is repeated again and again, forever.

Brahma’s life is divided in one thousand cycles (Maha Yuga, or the Great Year). Maha Yuga, during which the human race appears and then disappears, has 71 divisions, each made of 14 Manvantara (1000) years. Each Maha Yuga lasts for 4,320,000 years. Manvantara is Manu’s cycle, the one who gives birth and govern human race.

Each Maha Yuga consists of a series of four shorter yugas, or ages. The yugas get progressively worse from a moral point of view as one proceeds from one yuga to another. As a result each yuga is of shorter duration than the age that preceded it.

Yuga

Duration (years) God

Virtue

Satya Yuga 1,728,000 Brahma Meditation
Treta Yuga 1,296,000 Vishnu Knowledge
Dvapara Yuga 864,000 Vishnu Sacrifice
Kali Yuga 432,000 Vishnu Shiva-Rudra Charity
4,320,000

Krit or Satya Yuga

Krit Yuga is the first yuga of a Maha Yuga. This is the age of virtue and moral perfection. It is a bright, golden age on earth. The great god Vishnu, in his form of Brahma, the creator of the world, is the presiding god, and dharma (ideal, righteous behavior or moral duty) walks steadily and securely upon all four feet.

The Satya Yuga lasts for 1,728,000 years.

During Krita Yuga, human beings need no shelters. There are no shortage of food. Gift-giving trees provide them with an abundant supply of food, clothing, and decorative objects. Everyone is born good and lives a happy, contented, unselfish, and beautiful life.

People are devoted to meditation, the highest virtue, and spend their lives being loyal to dharma. They work for the pleasure of it, rather than from necessity. Sorrow does not exist.

Treta Yuga

Treta Yuga is the second age in each Maha Yuga.

Treta means three. During this yuga, dharma walks less steadily, on three of its four feet. Virtue and moral perfection still exist, but they have declined by one-fourth. The duration of the age has similarly declined by one-fourth to 1,296,000 years.

Vishnu, the preserver of life on earth, is the presiding god during Treta Yuga.

People are devoted to the pursuit of knowledge, which they consider the highest virtue.

As in Kriti Yuga, the gift-giving trees supply food and clothing to everyone in abundance during the Treta Yuga. But greedy people try to make the trees their private property. When that happens, the special trees disappear, and life on earth becomes difficult for the first time. Heavy rainfall creates rivers. The soil is fertile for the growth of many new kinds of trees. The new trees bear fruit; but as opposed to the gift giving trees, these are ordinary trees. People must work hard to acquire food and clothing. Because of the rain and severe changes in the weather, they also need to construct houses for shelter.

In the Treta Yuga people are more passionate and greedy. They are no longer happy with what they have. Dissatisfaction, resentment, and anger replace satisfaction, peace, and contentment in their hearts. They covet their neighbors’ possessions. The strong take land from the weak in order to possess more food and greater wealth. Many men take the wives of others.

Dvapara Yuga

Dvapara Yuga is the third age in each Maha Yuga.

As the name Dva suggests (Dva means two), eternal dharma now has to balance on two of its four feet, creating a precarious and shifting balance between good and evil. Virtue and moral perfection still exist, but they have declined to one-half of what they were in the Krita Yuga. As a result, the duration of this age is half that of the Krita Yuga (864,000 years).

Vishnu, the preserver of life on earth, is still the presiding god during Dvapara yuga. People devote themselves to sacrifice, which they consider the highest virtue.

In the Dvapara Yuga, disease, misfortune, suffering, and death are part of everyone’s existence. People have become more passionate and greedy, and war is commonplace. Religious doctrines are developed in an attempt to guide human behavior toward dharma, but the gradual process of moral deterioration continues.

Kali Yuga

Kali Yuga is the fourth age in each Maha Yuga. Kali means quarrel and war. This is the dark age. Dharrna has to stand on only one of its four feet, and virtue barely exists. This age is only one-fourth the length of the Krita Yuga (432,000 years).

Vishnu is still the presiding god, in his form of Shiva-Rudra, the destroyer of life on earth.

In the Kali Yuga people achieve noble rank in society based on the amount of money and property they own rather than their moral virtue. The quality of virtue is measured only in terms of material wealth. Sexual passion alone binds husband and wife together in marriage. People become successful in life through a succession of lies, and their only source of enjoyment is sex. They live with continuous fear of hunger, disease, and death.

In the Kali Yuga only the poor are honest, and the only remaining virtue is charity.

Harsh weather and primitive living conditions make them prey to devastating illnesses. One who attains the age of twenty-three is considered very old

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Hinduism is a collective term applied to the many philosophical and religious traditions native to India. Hinduism has neither a specific moment of origin nor a specific founder. Rather, the tradition understands itself to be timeless, having always existed. Indeed, its collection of sacred texts is known, as a whole, as Sanatana Dharma, “The Eternal Teaching.”
It is thus a complex tradition that encompasses numerous interrelated religious doctrines and practices that have some common characteristics but which lack any unified system of beliefs and practices.
Hinduism encompasses a number of major sects, as well as countless subsects with local or regional variations. On one level, it is possible to view these sects as distinct religious traditions, with often very specific theologies and ritual traditions; on another level, however, they often understand themselves to be different means to reach a common end.
The Hindu worldview is grounded in the doctrines of samsara (the cycle of rebirth) and karma (the universal law of cause and effect), and fundamentally holds that one’s actions (including one’s thoughts) directly determine one’s life, both one’s current life and one’s future lives.
Many, but not all, Hindus hold that the cosmos is populated by numerous deities and spiritual beings — gods and goddesses, or devas — who actively influence the world and who interact with humans.
The tradition is typically divided into four major sects:
-Shaiva (devotees of the god Shiva),
-Vaishnava (devotees of the god Vishnu),
-Shakta (devotees of the goddess),
– Smarta (those who understand the ultimate form of the divine to be abstract and all encompassing, Brahman).
 By Jacob N. Kinnard.
Source: http://www.patheos.com/Library/Hinduism
Hindu cosmology: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Panchdev worship system of sanatan dharma 
A brief introduction of  Gods and Goddess
Aditi Aditi Aditi
Aditya Aditya Aditya
Agastya Agastya Agastya
Aghasura Aghasura Aghasura
Agni Agni Agni
Aindri Aindri Aindri
Airavana Airavana Airavana
Airvata Airvata Airvata
Alakshmi Alakshmi Alakshmi
Amba Amba Amba
Ambika Ambika Ambika
Ananga Ananga Ananga
Ananta Ananta Ananta
Anata Anata Anata
Anata-Shesha Anata-Shesha Anata-Shesha
Andhaka Andhaka Andhaka
Anjana Anjana Anjana
Anjaneya Anjaneya Anjaneya
Annapurna Annapurna Annapurna
Aparna Aparna Aparna
Apsaras Apsaras Apsaras
Ardra Ardra Ardra
Arishtha Arishtha Arishtha
Arishthaka Arishthaka Arishthaka
Arjuna Arjuna Arjuna
Arka Arka Arka
Arkasodara Arkasodara Arkasodara
Ashvins Ashvins Ashvins
Asura Asura Asura
Avatar Avatar Avatar
Balarama Balarama Balarama
Balrama Balrama Balrama
Bhagavan-Dhanvantari Bhagavan-Dhanvantari Bhagavan-Dhanvantari
Bhanu Bhanu Bhanu
Bhaskar Bhaskar Bhaskar
Bhima Bhima Bhima
Bhu-devi Bhu-devi Bhu-devi
Bhuma-devi Bhuma-devi Bhuma-devi
Bhumi-devi Bhumi-devi Bhumi-devi
Bibhishan Bibhishan Bibhishan
Brahma Brahma Brahma
Brahminicide Brahminicide Brahminicide
Chitragupta Chitragupta Chitragupta
Chitragupta Maharaj Chitragupta Maharaj Chitragupta Maharaj
Daityas Daityas Daityas
Daksha Daksha Daksha
Dakshayani Dakshayani Dakshayani
Danavas Danavas Danavas
Danda-Dhara Danda-Dhara Danda-Dhara
Dantavakra Dantavakra Dantavakra
Danu Danu Danu
Deva Deva Deva
Devaki Devaki Devaki
Deva-Pati Deva-Pati Deva-Pati
Deva-vardhaki Deva-vardhaki Deva-vardhaki
Devi Devi Devi
Dhanwantari Dhanwantari Dhanwantari
Dhanvanthari Dhanvanthari Dhanvanthari
Dharmarja Dharmarja Dharmarja
Dharti Dharti Dharti
Dherma Dherma Dherma
Dhra Dhra Dhra
Dhritarashtra Dhritarashtra Dhritarashtra
Dhrithri Dhrithri Dhrithri
Dhumavati Dhumavati Dhumavati
Diggajas Diggajas Diggajas
Dikpala Dikpala Dikpala
Diti Diti Diti
Divakar Divakar Divakar
Draupadi Draupadi Draupadi
Durga Durga Durga
Durvasa Durvasa Durvasa
Duryodhana Duryodhana Duryodhana
Dyaus-Pita Dyaus-Pita Dyaus-Pita
Gajasura Gajasura Gajasura
Ganapati Ganapati Ganapati
Gandhari Gandhari Gandhari
Ganesha Ganesha Ganesha
Ganga Ganga Ganga
Gavampati Gavampati Gavampati
Ghatotkacha Ghatotkacha Ghatotkacha
Grahapati Grahapati Grahapati
Hanuman Hanuman Hanuman
Hayagriva Hayagriva Hayagriva
Hidimbaa Hidimbaa Hidimbaa
Hidimbi Hidimbi Hidimbi
Hiranyakashipu Hiranyakashipu Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyaksha Hiranyaksha Hiranyaksha
Holika Holika Holika
Indra Indrani Indra Indrani Indra Indrani
Jamadagni Jamadagni Jamadagni
Jambha Jambha Jambha
Jambu Jambu Jambu
Jara Jara Jara
Jarasandha Jarasandha Jarasandha
Jatasura Jatasura Jatasura
Jatayu Jatayu Jatayu
Jaya Jaya Jaya
Jhoting Jhoting Jhoting
Jisnu Jisnu Jisnu
Kabandha Kabandha Kabandha
Kali Kali Kali
Kali (2) Kali (2) Kali (2)
Kalki Kalki Kalki
Kama Kama Kama
Kamadeva Kamadeva Kamadeva
Kamaksi Kamaksi Kamaksi
Kamsa Kamsa Kamsa
Kandarpa Kandarpa Kandarpa
Kannapan Kannapan Kannapan
Karna Karna Karna
Karttikeya Karttikeya Karttikeya
Khar Khar Khar
Krishna Krishna Krishna
Kubera Kubera Kubera
Kumbhakarna Kumbhakarna Kumbhakarna
Kunti Kunti Kunti
Kurma Kurma Kurma
Kuvera Kuvera Kuvera
Lakshmi Lakshmi Lakshmi
Lokapala Lokapala Lokapala
Lalita Lalita Lalita
Madambara Madambara Madambara
Madana Madana Madana
Maghavan Maghavan Maghavan
Maha-devi Maha-devi Maha-devi
Maha-lakshmi Maha-lakshmi Maha-lakshmi
Mahendra Mahendra Mahendra
Mahishasura Mahishasura Mahishasura
Manasa Manasa Manasa
Manjushri Manjushri Manjushri
Manmatha Manmatha Manmatha
Manosij Manosij Manosij
Mara Mara Mara
Maruts Maruts Maruts
Marutvan Marutvan Marutvan
Matrikas Matrikas Matrikas
Matrs Matrs Matrs
Matsya Matsya Matsya
Meru Meru Meru
Mitra Mitra Mitra
Mohini Mohini Mohini
Mritu Mritu Mritu
Nagamalla Nagamalla Nagamalla
Nagas Nagas Nagas
Narasimha Narasimha Narasimha
Nila Nila Nila
Nit Nit Nit
Niti Niti Niti
Nurayana Nurayana Nurayana
Pandava Pandava Pandava
Pandavs Pandavs Pandavs
Pandu Pandu Pandu
Parvati Parvati Parvati
Peerless archer Peerless archer Peerless archer
Pishachas Pishachas Pishachas
Prajapati Prajapati Prajapati
Prasuti Prasuti Prasuti
Pitripeti Pitripeti Pitripeti
Poulomi Poulomi Poulomi
Preta Preta Preta
Prithvi Prithvi Prithvi
Puchan Puchan Puchan
Puloman Puloman Puloman
Punjikastala Punjikastala Punjikastala
Pusha Pusha Pusha
Pushan Pushan Pushan
Pushpadhanva Pushpadhanva Pushpadhanva
Pushpavān Pushpavān Pushpavān
Putana Putana Putana
Radha Radha Radha
Ragavrinta Ragavrinta Ragavrinta
Rahu Rahu Rahu
Rama Rama Rama
Ramachandra Ramachandra Ramachandra
Ramayana Ramayana Ramayana
Rati Rati Rati
Ratikānta Ratikānta Ratikānta
Ravan Ravan Ravan
Ravana Ravana Ravana
Ravi Ravi Ravi
Rig Veda Rig Veda Rig Veda
Rivanna Rivanna Rivanna
Rudra Rudra Rudra
Rukmini Rukmini Rukmini
Sachi Sachi Sachi
Sadadana Sadadana Sadadana
Sagar Sagar Sagar
Sakra Sakra Sakra
Sumeru Sumeru Sumeru
Samudra Samudra Samudra
Manthan Manthan Manthan
Sangya Sangya Sangya
Sanjna Sanjna Sanjna
Saranja Saranja Saranja
Saraswati Saraswati Saraswati
Sati Sati Sati
Savita Savita Savita
Sesanaga Sesanaga Sesanaga
Shachi Shachi Shachi
Shakambari Shakambari Shakambari
Shakti Shakti Shakti
Sheetla Sheetla Sheetla
Sheetla-Devi Sheetla-Devi Sheetla-Devi
Shesha Shesha Shesha
Shishupala Shishupala Shishupala
Shitala Shitala Shitala
Shitala-Devi Shitala-Devi Shitala-Devi
Shiv Shiv Shiv
Shiva Shiva Shiva
Shoorpanakha Shoorpanakha Shoorpanakha
Shurpanakha Shurpanakha Shurpanakha
Sinhika Sinhika Sinhika
Sita Sita Sita
Siv Siv Siv
Siva Siva Siva
Sivakamini Sivakamini Sivakamini
Soma Soma Soma
Sri Sri Sri
Sujata Sujata Sujata
Sunda Sunda Sunda
Surya Surya Surya
Svarga Svarga Svarga
Svarga-Pati Svarga-Pati Svarga-Pati
Taraka Taraka Taraka
Taraka (2) Taraka (2) Taraka (2)
Tilottama Tilottama Tilottama
Tripathaga Tripathaga Tripathaga
Tvashtri Tvashtri Tvashtri
Tvastar Tvastar Tvastar
Tvastr Tvastr Tvastr
Uluka Uluka Uluka
Uma Uma Uma
Upendra Upendra Upendra
Vaikhunta Vaikhunta Vaikhunta
Vaishvakarman Vaishvakarman Vaishvakarman
Vajri Vajri Vajri
Vala Vala Vala
Vamana Vamana Vamana
Varaha Varaha Varaha
Varuna Varuna Varuna
Vasava Vasava Vasava
Vibhishana Vibhishana Vibhishana
Vijaya Vijaya Vijaya
Vinayaka Vinayaka Vinayaka
Viprachitta Viprachitta Viprachitta
Virupaksha Virupaksha Virupaksha
Vishahara Vishahara Vishahara
Vishnu Vishnu Vishnu
Vishvakarman Vishvakarman Vishvakarman
Visvakarma Visvakarma Visvakarma
Vivasvan Vivasvan Vivasvan
Vivasvat Vivasvat Vivasvat
Vivaswata Vivaswata Vivaswata
Vritra Vyasa Vritra Vyasa Vritra Vyasa
Yama Yama Yama
Yama Dutas Yama Dutas Yama Dutas
Yami Yami Yami
Yamuna Yamuna Yamuna
Yudhistira Yudhistira Yudhistira

Source: http://www.godslaidbare.com/pantheons/indian/index.php