Significance and symbolism of worship of Hindu deity

A person approaching the temple from a distance can see the gopura/pinnacle and kalasha on top of that, but he or she enters the temple first to worship the personal form of the God inside. This means that from a distance we see the highest goal we want to attain the impersonal/formless Nirguna Brahman, without attributes, but to reach there we must go through the practice of worshiping the Saguna/personal form of God with attributes. Thus, the path of spiritual aspirant is indicated, through worship of the God with attributes, we reach the highest formless Brahman.

Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha is the primordial Hindu deity in human form. He is depicted with the body of a man, and the head of an elephant. He represents the power of the Supreme Being who removes obstacles and ensures success in human endeavors. For this reason, Hindus worship Lord Ganesha first before beginning any religious or worldly activity. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Ganehsa is the first son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi Devi. He is accompanied by his trusted companion, the mouse – Mushika, who is also his vehicle.

Lord Sri Venkateshwara

Lord Venkateshwara

In the Vedik language, “Ven” means sin, “Kata” means remover, and “Eswara” means Lord. Therefore, Lord Venkatheswara’s name means “The Lord who removes sins.” He is one of the incarnations of Lord Maha Vishnu, who is the in charge of preserving the universe in Kali Yuga (Iron Age). Lord Vishnu is seen holding the Sudarshana Chakra (discus) in his upper right hand, which signifies the tool to cut down evil. In his left upper hand, he holds the Sankha (white conch shell) which embodies goodness and purity. In his lower right hand, he holds the Varada Hastha bestowing boons to his devotees, and his lower left hand holds the Kati Hastha Mudra signifying the ocean of Samsara (passage of life). Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) and Goddess Bhu Devi (Goddess of the Earth) live in his chest and help him carrying on his functions of preserving the universe.

Goddesses Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi

Goddess Lakshmi is the Goddess of fortune, and wealth, and is the consort of Lord Maha Vishnu. It is stated that she resides in Lord Vishnu’s chest symbolizing their eternal love giving Lord Vishnu the name “Srinivas”, meaning “the dwelling place of Sri (Lakshmi).” Goddess Lakshmi is often shown in a lotus seat, carrying lotus flowers in her hands. Her right has the Abhayamudra ensuring that her devotees fear nothing. Her left hand shows the Varada Hastha, indicating her desire to bestow her blessings in the form of wealth on her devotees. It is said that, those who worship her shall be blessed with wealth and preservation.

Lord Rama and Parivar

Lord Ram Parivar

Lord Rama is a very popular deity in Hindu mythology and religion. One of the greatest epics of our time, The Ramayana – written by the great Saint Valmiki, boasts Lord Rama as the protagonist. He is shown carrying a bow and arrow depicting that he is ready to destroy evil and protect righteousness. With his wife Sita Devi, and humble brother Lakshmana, Lord Rama sets on an epic adventure. On his journey he meets Lord Hanuman, and other friends who become his dearest devotees and legends themselves.

According to the Ramayana, the purpose of Rama’s incarnation is to fight evil and subdue it. In this incarnation, that evil takes the form of Ravan – the demon king of Lanka. Rama is THE IDEAL MAN, IDEAL KING, IDEAL SON, IDEAL BROTHER, and the form of righteousness (Ramo Vigrahavan Dharmah).

Lord Radha Krishna

Lord Radha Krishna

Lord Krishna is the eighth incarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu, venerated as a Purna Avatara or complete incarnation. He is also the preacher of the Bhagavad Gita, the holy book of Hinduism which was sermonized to Prince Arjuna in the middle of the battlefield during the Kurukshetra War. Bhagavad Gita literally translates to the “Song of the Lord”. 


In the gardens of Brindavan, Lord Krishna was known to spend time with the Gopis (cowherd ladies), as they danced with him with love and devotion. Of all the Gopis, Radha loved Krishna the most. And Lord Krishna shared this passion, often shown as Radha’s childhood lover. The Lord is usually indicated as Radha-Krishna, the pair symbolizing eternal love between God and his devotee.

Lord Hanuman

Lord Hanuman

Lord Hanuman is known by many names such as Anjaneya, Pavana Tanaya, and Maruthi. He is the symbol of devotion and service, due to his service of Lord Rama with pure unconditional love and devotion. Lord Hanuman helped Lord Rama in liberating Goddess Sita Devi from the demon Ravana. Lord Rama praised Lord Hanuman for his bravery and devotion and bestowed upon him the boon of “Chiranjeevi” (immortal life). Hanuman is the chief of Lord Rama’s armies and played a prominent role the war against Ravana. He is most known for his popular adventure that involved him jumping across the ocean to reach Lanka, finding Sita Devi, and setting fire to the city.

Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva

Shiva or Siva is one of the three main deities of the Hindu trinity. A God of Constricting features, creation, .and destruction, good and evil, fertility and asceticism. He has three eyes the third eye between the eyebrows being usually closed, which not only allows him inward vision but can destroy whoever it looks out on. He wears long hair, supports the holy Ganga River on his head and crescent moon on his matted hair. He has four arms holds a trident in his hand, is naked /Digambara except for a tiger skin, besmears himself with holy ash and decorated with snakes on his head, neck, and arms. His consort is Parvathi or Durga, and he is the father of Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikeya. He is usually represented by the symbol of Linga form which is worshipped in Hindu temples.

Goddesses Durga Matha

 Godess Durga Matha

Durga Matha is the Mother Goddess. She is also the Goddess of Power. In Sanskrit, the word “Durga” means unattainable / difficult to reach without austerity. She is the consort of Lord Shiva, and the mother of Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikeya. She protects mankind from dwell and suffering by destroying evil forces including the inner enemies of sin – lust, anger, greed, hatred, ego, and jealousy. Goddess Durga is shown in female form, wearing red clothes, and has eighteen arms that carry many objects. She is often seen riding her trusted companion the Lion, Dawon. During the Dassera festival (which usually falls in October), she is propitiated over ten nights, praising her for destroying the ten demons and protecting the universe.

Lord Kartikeya

Lord Karthikeya

Lord Karthikeya is the younger son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi devi. He is also known as Sri Subrahmanya, Sri Skanda, Sri Murugan, and Sri Kumaraswamy. He was created by Lord Shiva for the special purpose of destroying the demon Tarakasura. Lord Karthikeya has six faces, and rides on his trusted companion, the Peacock Paravani. He is the Commander of the Divine Army, leading with his supreme intelligence. The Sakti Vel / Spear is his divine weapon given to him by his mother. The weapon also signifies the source of all knowledge and is the dispeller of ignorance. It is said that Lord Karthikeya is the vanquisher of diseases, and protects his devotees from illness.

Navagraha: Nine Heavenly Planets

  • Surya

Surya is Sun god. He is facing east, while the other planets stand around him in different directions. He rides a chariot that has one wheel and pulled by seven horses, those represent seven colors of light and seven days of the week.

  • Chandra

Chandra is Moon God. He is facing west. His qualities are, waxing and waning, riding on a chariot drown by ten horses.

  • Mangala

He is Mars. Mangala is facing south, very auspicious god and turbulent. His vehicle is Ram.

  • Budha

He is Mercury. He is depicted with four hands and facing east. Riding upon a lion. Holding Varada mudra/gesture of giving boons.

  • Guru

He is Jupiter. The teacher of the divine beings. He is facing north. Riding eight horses’ chariot those representing eight branches of schoolings.

  • Sukra

He is Venus. Sukra is the teacher of the demons and author of ethics. He is facing east, holding Varada mudra/gesture of giving boons.

  • Sani

He is Saturn. Sani is troublesome and facing west. His position in the planetary system for which he is invariably feared and worshiped by those who believe in Indian astrology. He is riding a crow bird slow mover that is why also he is called sanaischara/slow walker in planetary position, and he stays two and half years in each planetary house.

  • Rahu

He is Ascending Node, Human head, and serpent body demonic shadow cone planet, and who faces south. He is generally shown riding a dark lion. He is also holding Varada mudra/gesture of giving boons.

  • Ketu

He is Descending Node, Facing south, demonic planet. serpent hood and human body, like Saturn very ferocious planet, turbulent and troublesome, riding on a vulture and holding mace.

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