Why don't Hindu gods have surnames?

The main gods and goddesses of Hinduism

Hindus believe that God is the absolute, formless and only reality: Brahman, the Supreme, the universal soul. Brahman is the universe and everything in it - it has no form and no limits, it is reality and truth. Therefore, Hinduism is a pantheistic religion (pantheism = the doctrine according to which God and the universe are identical). But Hinduism is also a polytheistic religion, with a myriad of gods and goddesses who personify aspects of the one true God. With the multitude of gods comes a multitude of worship and rituals - depending on family traditions, communities and regional practices that put one or the other deity more in the foreground.


... which, however, represent only a fraction of the huge Hindu pantheon:

Brahma the Creator

Brahma the Creator

Brahma is the first member of the Hindu Trinity. He is the Creator because everything in the universe creates over and over again.

Vishnu the keeper

Vishnu, the keeper

Vishnu is the second member of the Hindu Trinity. He maintains order and harmony in the universe, which is periodically created by Brahma and destroyed by Shiva (for a new creation). Vishnu is worshiped in different ways and has several avatars (manifestations). Vishnu is an important and somehow very mysterious god. He is less visible than the nature gods who watch over the elements (like fire and rain). He is the Penetrator, the divine essence that pervades the universe.

Shiva the destroyer

Shiva the destroyer

Shiva is the third member of the trinity. His task is to destroy the universe, because only through him can it be created again. Its destructive power is therefore of great importance, because without it there is no renewal. Hindus usually call him at the beginning of a religious or spiritual undertaking. Namely, they believe that the mere utterance of his name or his worship will destroy negative vibrations.

Ganapati, the remover of obstacles

Ganapati - or also called Ganesha

Ganapati is usually better known in the West under the name Ganesha. He is the first son of Shiva with an elephant head and holds a very special place in the hearts of the Hindus because he removes obstacles. Who doesn't struggle with obstacles in their life? Therefore there is at least one picture or statue of him in almost all Hindu households. I also have a little picture of him hanging in cars and trucks.


Rama - an avatar of Vishnu

Rama is an avatar of Vishnu. Avatars are “savior manifestations” of a deity who descend to heaven to intervene or help in some form and to restore Dharma (moral order) and peace. Rama is one of the 10 avatars of Vishnu. He is one of the most revered gods in Hinduism and is the hero of the epic Ramayana. He is portrayed as an ideal son, brother, husband, and king. He is also a strict adherent of the Dharma.


Krishna - another avatar of Vishnu

Krishna is another avatar of Vishnu and known worldwide. Krishna is the teacher of the scriptures - Bhagavad Gita - and the friend and mentor of Prince Arjuna in the epic Mahabharata. Krishna is a real joy for his devotees and his stories are full of playful pranks. He promises mankind to descend to them whenever the Dharma is in danger.

Saraswati, goddess of wisdom


Saraswati is a consort of Brahma and is worshiped as the goddess of learning, wisdom, language and music. Hindus call them especially when they are at the beginning of an intellectual venture. It is also very popular among students, especially before exams.

Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and wellbeing

Lakshmi - the goddess of wealth and well-being

Lakshmi is the goddess of happiness, wealth and wellbeing. She is the wife of Vishnu and like him she has several manifestations - as Sita she is the wife of Rama, as Rukmini the wife of Krishna.

Durga Devi

Durga Devi

Durga Devi is the powerful and often terrifying goddess who fights with all her might to restore the moral order (the Dharma). While she can be terrible towards her opponents, she is full of love and compassion for her followers.

Indra, the king of heaven

Indra, the Lord of Heaven

Indra wields a thunderbolt and is a protector and bringer of rain.

Surya, the sun god

Surya, the sun god

Surya is a golden warrior who arrives on a carriage pulled by seven white horses.

Hanuman, the monkey king

Hanuman, the monkey king

Hanuman also plays a role in the great Hindu epic Ramayana. He became a deity by promoting Rama (Avatar of Vishnu) in innumerable events with strength, devotion and courage.


Daniela Luschin-Wangail2020-10-22T08: 33: 05 + 02: 00