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Hindus are Monotheists


Surprise! Surprise! Contrary to the beliefs of many, Hindus believe in only one supreme being or God—one God with multiple functions. And each function has a name, an image, and a mystical story about it. For example, Brahma is the name of God in his function as creator of the universe; Ganesh or Ganesha is the name of God in his function as remover of obstacles in life; and Shiva is the name of God in his function as recycler of the universe. Hindus have a large number of names for God because they identify a large number of his functions.

The Hindu and Christian versions of identifying the functions of God are similar, except that the Christian version is not as detailed. Christians identify God in only three persons or functions. God in his function as supreme being and creator is simply called God or Jehovah, God in his function as human messenger of his word to humankind, as well as its savior, is called Jesus, the Messiah or Christ, and God in his function as a spirit that empowers humankind to live the God-pleasing or righteous life is called the Holy Spirit. Contrary to Christian teaching, the trinity is not a mystery when viewed in the light of the Hindu version of one God in multiple functions.

Copyright © 2004 Frank Zahn

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