A Hindu deity represents a particular aspect of the Supreme Being. Thus, if a Hindu wants to pray for acquiring knowledge and understanding, he prays to Saraswati. If we do the same to all deities, we will receive the power from them and we will succeed in our work and life. Here are 10 life lessons from Hindu Deities that we must know :
Lesson 1 : Lord Brahma As creation is the work of the mind and the intellect, Lord Brahma symbolizes the Universal Mind. From the standpoint of an individual, Brahma symbolizes one's own mind and intellect. Since an individual is naturally gifted with the mind and intellect, he or she may be said to have already realized Brahma. If you can manage your mind and intellect wisely, you will be success in your life.
The four faces symbolize that Brahma is the source of all knowledge necessary for the creation of the universe. The four arms represent the four directions. The four hands represent the four aspects of human personality: mind (back right hand), intellect (back left hand), ego (front right hand), and the empirical self or conditioned consciousness (front left hand).
Lesson 2 : Lord Shiva Lord Shiva is the Lord of mercy and compassion. He protects devotees from evil forces such as lust, greed, and anger. Lord Shiva annihilates evil, grants boons, bestows grace, destroys ignorance, and awakens wisdom in His devotees. If we respect Shiva, we will also be the destroyer of our illusion and ignorance that stands in the way of our perfect union and enlightenment.
His most characteristic weapon is the trident, which may also reflect the three qualities of goodness, passion and darkness which are in all things in different proportions. The snake may represent the evolutionary power within the human body, the spiritual power which may de developed through yoga and also Shiva's power to deal with death.
Lesson 3 : Lord Vishnu Lord Vishnu represents the aspect of the Supreme Reality that preserves and sustains the universe. He reminds his devotes to live in this world with kindness and compassion towards all living beings. Lord Vishnu taught us to show love and respect to our own self and all people. When a sincere devotee of the Lord controls his desires, the Lord fulfills the devotee's genuine desires and helps him on his path.
The four arms indicate Lord's omnipresence and omnipotence. The two front arms signify the lord's activity in the physical world and the two back arms signify His activity in the spiritual world. The right side of the body represents the creative activities of the mind and the intellect. The left side symbolizes the activities of the heart; that is, love, kindness, and compassion.
Lesson 4 : Lord Ganesha Ganesha is worshipped as the deity who removes barriers and bestows wisdom and good fortune. He is also worshipped at the beginning of any new venture such as a wedding or the building of a new house. Ganesha is often shown with an open hand, palms upturned, sometimes holding a gift to show him granting favors to his devotees. He taught us to take actions and be persistent on everything we do.
The elephant's head symbolizes the gaining of knowledge through listening (ears) and reflection (large head). Ganesha is shown with one leg on the ground and the other one folded as if he were meditating. This reflects a balance between the practical and spiritual life, a theme which is repeated in the symbolism of some of the objects associated with him.
Lesson 5: Lord Rama Rama is the model of reason, right action and commendable virtues. He is often depicted with a tall conical cap which symbolizes his royal status. Rama represents an ideal man, as conceived by the Hindu mind. In the story of Ramayana, Rama's personality depicts him as the perfect son, devoted brother, true husband, trusted friend, ideal king, and a noble adversary. Follow him!!!
In images and pictures, Rama is shown carrying a bow and arrow. The bow and arrow convey that Rama is always ready to destroy evil and protect righteousness. He is himself an embodiment of dharma.
Lesson 6 : Lord Krishna Krishna, 'one who attracts or draws' people, or 'one who drains away' sins is the eighth and most important avatar of Vishnu, embodying joy, freedom and love. He also often appears as a god in his own right. In the BhagavadGita he is the divine instructor of Arjuna and the supreme Deity. If we respect Krishna, we must enjoy doing what we love, and love what we have in the present.
He is typically depicted with blue-black skin, wearing a yellow loin cloth and a crown of peacock feather. His involvement with the gopis in amorous dance becomes the model of passionate union with God. Some images show him in dance mode, playing his irresistible flute to summon the gopis.
Lesson 7 : Lord Hanuman Hanuman symbolizes the qualities of an ideal devotee of God, which can be represented by the letters of his name, as follows: H = Humility and hopefulness A = Admiration (truthfulness, devotion) N = Nobility (sincerity, loyalty, modesty) U = Understanding (knowledge) M = Mastery over ego (kindness, compassion) A = Achievements (strength) N = Nishkama-karma (selfless work in service of God)
He is a symbol of strength and loyalty and represents the concept that animals are also a creation of God. The worship of Hanuman, therefore, symbolizes the worship of the Supreme Lord, for acquiring knowledge, physical and mental strength, truthfulness, sincerity, selflessness, humility, loyalty, and profound devotion to the Lord.
Lesson 8 : Goddess Durga Goddess Durga represents the power of the Supreme Being that preserves moral order and righteousness in the creation. Durga, also called Divine Mother, protects mankind from evil and misery by destroying evil forces such as selfishness, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, anger, and ego.She is also called by many other names, such as Parvati, Ambika, and Kali. She taught us to win ourselves first!
On Her images, Goddess Durga is shown in a female form, wearing red clothes. She has eighteen arms, carrying many objects in Her hands. The red color symbolizes action and the red clothes signify that She is always busy destroying evil and protecting mankind from pain and suffering caused by evil forces.
Lesson 9 : Goddess Sri Lakshmi Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, both material and spiritual. The word ''Lakshmi'' is derived from the Sanskrit word Laksme, meaning "goal." Lakshmi, therefore, represents the goal of life, which includes worldly as well as spiritual prosperity. We should seek for good opportunities by having a vision of what we are doing and working step by step to achieve our goal.
As goddess of good fortune she is depicted with four arms. Two of her hands hold lotus flowers and a third pours out wealth in the form of gold coins. Her fourth hand is held out in the gesture of blessing. But she is also the goddess of beauty and as such is shown as a young and beautiful goddess decorated with jewels and with only two arms.
Lesson 10: Goddess Saraswati Saraswati is the Goddess of learning, knowledge, and wisdom. The Sanskrit word sara means "essence" and swa means "self." Thus Saraswati means "the essence of the self." Saraswati is represented in Hindu mythology as the divine consort of Lord Brahma, the Creator of the universe. Goddess Saraswati is worshipped by all persons interested in knowledge. We must learn and develop ourselves continually.
In Her popular images and pictures, Goddess Saraswati is generally depicted with four arms, wearing a white sari and seated on a white lotus. She holds a book and a rosary in Her rear two hands, while the front two hands are engaged in the playing of a lute. Her right leg is shown slightly pushing against Her left leg. She uses a swan as Her vehicle. There is a peacock by Her side gazing at Her.