Discuss in detail the general nature of the vedic gods.

Nature of the Vedic Gods

The Vedic pantheon included many gods, because there were too many natural forces, which they worshipped. But all these gods were characterized by one particular quality. In Sanskrit, god means ‘deva’. According to the Nirukta, which is Vedic dictionary, ‘deva’ means, two things: one which gifts and one which shines; i.e., the source of light. Life depends upon light. So, naturally, life depends upon the gods. These Vedic gods are classified differently. Hiriyanna M. classified them as: (i) gods of the sky, (ii) gods of the mid-air and (iii) gods of the earth. Bloomfield classified them as (i) gods of prominent aspects of nature, (ii) gods of action and (iii) gods of concept.

In the Vedic tradition, we can only find either impersonal gods (like all nature gods) or quasi-personal gods. In many respects, the Vedic gods resemble human beings, like gender difference, procreation, etc. However, it is wrong to think that gender difference, procreation, etc. are restricted to human beings. Surely, they characterize life as such. Gods ought to have life. Admittedly, it is impossible to imagine lifeless gods. When every natural force or agency (including day and night) is animated, the whole universe (nature = universe) becomes animated.

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