Vedas teach us of One Godhead, the unmanifest and formless,
who is pure energy and pure consciousness, who is absolute truth,
action and bliss. Contrary to widely popular thinking among those
not knowledgeable, Hinduism is not a religion with Pantheism or
Polytheism. Hindus believe in a single Godhead as a formless entity
in "Nirguna Brahman"
the Unmanifest form. He created the phenomenal universe and the
worlds with His Yoga Maya (Divine illusion of Yoga).
takes the universal manifest form as "Saguna
Brahman" or "Isvara", also called Siva,
Narayana and Maha Sakthi, a form ordinary people can visualize and
comprehend, for the benefit of the phenomenal world. He then created
Himself in various forms to carry out the activities of creation,
protection and dissolution and several other actions. He manifests
Himself in several forms to be understood by people and to come
to protect them in the form that people visualize and pray to Him.
Vedas teach us of "gods" or Devathas in various forms. Vedas often
do not teach of prayers and rituals to the Formless Brahman directly,
but often through one or more of the various "Devathas" representing
the stars, planets, natural forces and energy created by God to
perform the various actions of nature. Vedic rituals are performed
with prayers for Fire, Water, Sun, Earth, Agni, Indra, Varuna, Vayu
and several manifestations of the deities and Celestial beings (Devas)
that we pray.
of the earliest verses of the Rigveda is a prayer to the god of
Fire: "O' Agni (Fire), warm golden dust of the Gods, Life and
Light of Existence; ...Infinite Energy of Consciousness, Destroyer
and Preserver!!"; "Agni (as Daksa) entered into Adithi (the Sun)
to produce Adhithya; ...and they gave Light to the world !!"; "All
things on Earth are, therefore, the handy-work of Agni, ...and the
climax of them all is reached in life!!"