Monotheism in Sanatan Dharma

Meaning of Monotheism
1. Monotheism: The faith of One God, who is Superior to all His creations and creates, protects and dissolves the entire universe and all the created beings. Here the "God" is different from the Human Soul. Visishta-adhvaita and Dvaitha follow this path. Here the Divine Soul - "Paramaathma" is identified as separate from the Human Soul - "Jivatma". To a large extent, Advaitha also follows this path, except that here the Jivatma is a part of the Divine Soul or Paramatma and is capable of a merger with the Divine ultimately, so somewhat like Monism.

2. Monism: This is the ultimate faith of a Yogi who has understood the true nature of the Supreme and the true Philosophy of Hindu Dharma. Here, the Paramatma and Jivatma appear as the two aspects of the One and the Same Supreme Truth and are Non-differentiated. They appear in their intuitive mind as just two aspects of One Supreme, just as all His Avatharas, Manifestations and Creations and also of all the worlds in the Universe are different aspects of the same Self in various forms and shades.

3. Henotheism: the practice of elevating one Deity as a "Superior" for a particular ritual while keeping other forms at a lower level and at another ritual or function raising another one etc. Ancient European Religions used this method and possible some times ancient Vedic worship also had such practice.

4. Polytheism: This is the level of the lowermost form of the Faith and also similar to the practice of Hinduism as practiced according to Agamas and Temple worship where, we see "God" as in several forms to serve different purposes as the need may be and believe in different Gods, similar to the beliefs of Hellenic faiths [Greek], Druids and Pagans. Here Hinduism differs in that as we evolve in our thoughts, the different "Gods" slowly merge into different aspects of One Supreme. Please visit in my site the topic "Concept of God in Hindu Religion".

By: Bala N. Aiyer, M.D.

The Unifying Concepts of Vedic Dharma ⮜ Previous                 Next ⮞ Vedic Organization of Social of Divisions

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