“The most common forms of God in current times, revered by almost all Hindus, include Vishnu and his Incarnations, Shakti and her manifestations, and Shiva. Traditionally, through widely circulated mythology, Vishnu is seen as our protector or the caretaker who comes to earth to live with us and establish righteousness. Out of his many visits to earth (incarnations), the ones in the form of Rama and Krishna are the most celebrated. Following the social impact of the devotee saints of the last millennium, Rama and Krishna have become the most loved forms of God for Hindus. Shakti, representing Brahman as primordial energy, is worshipped as the Mother of creation in her many forms like Durga and Kali. … Shiva is the form of Brahman who liberates souls and recycles the universe. Just like Vishnu, many consider him the Supreme Lord. His son Ganesha and incarnation Hanuman are also very dear to the masses.
(Excerpted from Devotional Hinduism
by M.S. Goel (2008), p. 2.)
So are Hindus monotheistic? We can say that. Many devotees believe that all forms are manifestations of the same Brahman. Others create a hierarchy and see their favorite form (Personal God) as the Supreme God.
Edited on April 10, 2019