Question: Baba, often in Hinduism we talk about different Gods like Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu but we also talk about God in general. Would you be able to talk a little bit about this?
Actually, God is only one, there are no different Gods. We must feel ourselves to be lucky, if there were ten Gods they would have been fighting for Supremacy. Thank God there is only one God. I will talk about Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara, of the Hindu Gods. These are all the concepts. Actually God is not sitting in space, in anywhere in these forms as a human form or such things. Like Brahma is the concept of the Divine consciousness erupting and coming into wild imagination through which this creation has happened. That's what is known as the Brahma, that is the concept of Brahma. Vishnu - protecting this imagination widely, He sustains. That is why Brahma is known as the creator, and Vishnu is known as the protector. These two are the different aspects of the same God. And Shiva means, your existence in total thoughtlessness state. So if you all have seen the terminology of shava for the dead body, means Nishchestith is the Sanskrit word, when it does not move or do anything. It has become inert. This physical body, it comes to be known as shava, dead body. But Shiva means, it is not actually inert, but supremely conscious, it exists in total standstillness. So these three are the three aspects, concepts of the same one God.
In very, very ancient times when they realized Divinity, when they did not know about these terminologies, Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara, if you look back into the Rig Vedic era, they have called the Divine as tattva, first terminology that has been used. Tattva means 'That'. Because when they Realized God it was so amazing and so beautiful, they thought, "You can call it in any form, in any name, in any formlessness, anything.'' That is why my Guru also always said, "You can believe God in any form, formlessness, whatever way you want, just do not condemn others' beliefs," that is how He always taught. This is how we were also taught. And later on they used the terminology of 'Parabrahma,' like in 'Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheshwaraha, Gurur Sakshat Parabrahma, Tasmai Sri Gurudevnamah."
Parabrahma means that which is beyond all imaginations, 'Para,' meaning it is beyond all imaginations. And Paramatma, also they have used. Paramatma means Supreme Being. That's how these things, have come about. Later on only these concepts have come as Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara, all these things and Devi, Shakti also. Shakti, also how this came into existence means, the legend says, when the Divine wanted to create, His Consciousness erupted. This eruption of the Consciousness is known as the Rudra, it came to be known as Maharudra. You see when you start thinking, your mind erupts. Its energy also expands, all such things. When you are quiet it contracts and it becomes quiet. The same way that is known as Rudra and along with that, enormous energy got created that became like a huge fire ball it says. But the legendary story, what it says, when this fire came into existence, whatever the Divine went on creating, this fire engulfed everything. Just like you all hear about black holes sucking in everything. So then Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwara and the first Yogis - Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatsujata and Sanatkumara - they are said to have prayed to this fire of the Divinity to take shape of a mother. They thought this concept would be the best in this creation because Mother can be the kindest and would be ready to forgive her creation unconditionally. So that is why it came to be known as Adi Parashakti in Sanskrit, the first terminology used for mother. Adi means the first, para means invisible, shakti is energy. And later on it became Mother, Goddess. So many names and shapes have come, artists have give. So many imaginations have happened.