Spiritual Yet Appearing in Material Form
Hinduism’s divine beings are spiritual in nature, yet often appear to people in material form looking like human beings. In art, Hindu divine beings are usually depicted as especially handsome or beautiful people. Krishna states in the Bhagavad Gita that his appearance may sometimes be confusing to people who lack spiritual understanding: “Fools deride me in my divine human form, unable to comprehend my supreme nature as the ultimate controller of all living entities.”
Some Helpful, Some Harmful
Divine beings can either help or harm people’s spiritual journeys. Many of the angelic beings, such as the devas and devis, are benevolent spirits who positively influence people and work to protect them. But angelic beings called asuras are evil spirits who exert negative influences over people and can harm them. Chapter 16 of the Bhagavad Gita describes some qualities of both good and evil spiritual beings, with good spirits marked by characteristics such as charity, nonviolence, and truthfulness and evil spirits marked by characteristics like pride, anger, and ignorance.
One of the main ways the angelic beings help people is by communicating spiritual knowledge to them that will help them grow in wisdom. In Bhagavad Gita 9:1, Krishna writes that the knowledge he is providing through that sacred text will help readers “be liberated from this miserable material existence.”
Connecting Spiritually With Those Who Worship Them
People can choose to direct their worship toward any of the various types of divine beings, and they’ll spiritually connect with the type of being they choose to worship. “Worshipers of the demigods go to the demigods, worshipers of the ancestors go to the ancestors, worshipers of the ghosts and spirits go to the ghosts and spirits, and my worshipers certainly come to me,” proclaims Bhagavad Gita 9:25.
Giving Earthly Blessings
The Bhagavad Gita declares that if people make sacrifices to both major and minor gods (demigods like devas and devis) that act in angelic ways, those sacrifices will appease the divine beings and lead to people obtaining the blessings they desire in their lives. Bhagavad Gita 3:10-11 says in part: “… by the performance of sacrifice may you evolve and prosper; let sacrifice bestow all that is desirable for you. By this sacrifice unto the Supreme Lord the demigods are propitiated; the demigods being propitiated will mutually propitiate you and you will obtain supreme blessings.”
Sharing Heavenly Pleasures
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