There is a major misunderstanding present in present world regarding true meaning of word deity… mostly made worse by some non hindu religion heads who strongly oppose the very existence of any deities… they think of Only one Supreme God… but how blind it is to ignore his creation? And in his creation, are more subtle energies and function of him!
So lets Clear :
Although, entire existence is a creation of God only, or rather say, is a part of God only.
Still, deities are like his more manifest forms of God for getting specific actions done.
Actually, the right word is Deity. In Sanskrit Dev = Male Deity, Devi = Female Deity, while God = Bhagwan! So the word God is usually meant for the Supreme God as such, still, western culture uses word God Goddess because people are used to it.
Gods and Goddesses (that is Deities), do have an Identity.
A Super Causal Body => They have I feeling
A Free Will Body => They can choose certain thoughts, actions
A Mental Body => They have reservoir of thoughts, feelings
Still, they are not Human Beings. They they do not have direct physical body.
A Deity body is composed of at-most 3 Absolute Elements = Sky (Akash) + Air (Vayu) + Fire (Agni)
If you consider Sun deity, then his physical body is actually sun and its effect! So Sun Deity is like the soul of sun. But he can manifest himself in human form if he wants.
And another thing to remember is, although you can please them by certain Puja (worships), but eventually, they are also bound by certain laws of Universe, which cannot be transcended unless higher spiritual practice is done, like Sadhna.
As per authentic spiritual texts of Sanatan Dharma, there are 33 Koti (Categories) of Gods and Goddesses.
It is like, White Light has all the other color light within it. Still, RGB are three main colors.
There are myriad colours in the world when we have only three primary colours i.e. red, blue and yellow? The lead to millions of combinations.
Similarly, multiple permutation and combinations of these three basic deities, in varying quantities, give rise to 33 Categories deities, who perform unique function of God.
There is only one supreme God, in the Unmanifest Form, we call it “Par-Brahma”, “Param-Atma” (supreme soul), Bhagwan etc. It is one. However in manifest, from the
God basically does three things in Universe : Generation (Creation) + Organization + Dissolution
And for these core purpose, Three Basic Gods are : Brahma Vishnu and Mahesh
|Mahesh (Shiva as Mahesh)
These are the three Highest Gods (Deities).
Still, just as the Human Backbone (Vertebral Column) base for human structure to stand, and it is based 33 bones (vertebra), the entire system of 33 categories deities in Sanatan Dharma is based based on the core 33 Deities.
|The starting base of those 330 Million are these :
1) Â Â Ganesh (The Obstacle Remover God, first Worshiped, Son of Shiva Parvati)
2) Â Â Rudra (Lord Shiva in his Angry/Fiery Form to remove Evils)
3) Â Â Gauri (The Manifest from of Shakti, fair wife of Shiva)
4) Â Â Agni (The Fire God)
5) Â Â Vishnu (The Supreme God of Universe Preservation)
6) Â Â Indra (The Head of the Deities of Heaven)
7) Â Â Brahma (The Supreme God of Universe Generation)
8) Â Â Vaayu (The Wind God)
9) Â Â Gayatri (The Goddess of Ved, Spiritual Texts)
10)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Pruthvi (The Earth Goddess)
11)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Sarasvati (The Goddess Knowledge of arts and sciences, consort of Brahma)
12)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Lakshmi (The Wealth and Preservation Goddess, wife of Vishnu)
13)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Rudrani (The Wife of God Rudra)
14)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Yam (The God of Death)
15)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Shukra (The Venus Planet God)
16)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Kuber (The Money God)
17)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Ganga (The Holy Gangess River Goddess)
18)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Surya (The Sun God)
19)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Pitru (The Ancestoral God)
20)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Chandra (The Moon God)
21)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Indrani (The Wife of Indra)
22)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mangal (The Mars Planet God)
23)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Shani (The Saturn Planet God)
24)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Budh (The Mercury Planet God)
25)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Brahmani
26)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Aakash (The Sky Element God)
27)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Naag (The Snake God)
28)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Ketu (The Dragons Tail)
29)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Vastu (The Edifice Science Directional Energy God)
Shri Krishna Showing his great form as Maha Vishnu to Arjuna.
|The Importance of Deities in Tantra :
In world of tantra, for most types of Tantras, it is must to have knowledge of the deities, their powers… there taste preferences etc is a must and how to use their powers (God functions), how to do their respective “Sadhna” (spiritual practice) and get your desired spiritual/material purpose served. Every deity has unique importance.
Like for focused Wealth purpose, you can worship Laksmi, Goddess of wealth.
Like this, so many purpose, so many Gods.
(Note : A point to remember is, some deity will always be more close to you… his frequency closest to you, he is your Isht, one who will get happiest on you soonest as you soul resonated similar, and if through that Deity you reach unmanifest god, then that is an even faster way.)