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Detractors of Hinduism claim that it is a contradiction to say that God is One yet Many. Is this true? Keep reading to see my 𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘶𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 of this claim.

This claim has two common variations:

1. It cannot be said that God has more than one form while still being one in essence, because this would be a numerical contradiction.

2. If God has many forms, then presumably they would be in competition with each other. This being the case, it would mean that God, who is also said to be one, is hostile to himself. This would imply imperfection, and God cannot have any imperfections.


In Hinduism, God is one. He is also deemed to be limitless, so logically he can have several forms. If he does have several forms (as we believe) then this does not stand in conflict with the nature of his oneness, since what is one in essence can yet have more than one form.

This may be demonstrated with the following analogy to the sun. The sun emanates rays which, though innumerable, are yet inseparable from it. Nor can it be said that the rays are essentially different from the sun, for 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘥𝘰 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘪𝘵. Indeed the rays of the sun 𝘢𝘳𝘦 the sun: many yet one. In the same way, God and his forms are also Many yet One.

Having established that God is one in essence, it may further be said that He has a 𝘴𝘶𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮 by which all of his other forms are upheld. This supreme form of God, which we call Paramatma, is the first cause and permanent underpinning of everything in existence; His other forms depend on Him for their existence but He does not depend on them; nor is He affected by them. Hence, God's perfection and supremacy remain untouched by His plurality. Therefore, the claim to the contrary is an artificial one that cannot serve as an objection to the concept.

This counterargument demonstrates the utter lack of substance of the charge in question. It can be used to refute missionaries and other detractors who seem to relish in using it.


Shantanu Panigrahi

If you start off as a baby growing up into and towards a full adult at the age of 18, you are a ray and Parmatman is the Sun, distinct from each other. Now I do not know which school of Hinduism you subscribe to or whether you are just making an argumentative theological refutation of separateness and identical as in achintya bhed abheda tatwa, so I am not sure where do you think the Paramatman resides and is accessible to the ray as a god, but without the experience of searching for the Parmatman in your mind itself when it transcends the gunas and egos and desires and in actual fact all attachments of the body (the ray) one is the atman alone operating at the interface between the self and the Self as Paramatman; otherswise known as Om, the Supermind. The Parmatman lies dormant unless there is bhakti and devotion to the Paramatman whereupon advaita is manifest and the ray disappears leaving only mahatman acting as purnavatar purushottma. This is the Vishista Advaita Vedanta conception. One becomes a living God when the sadhaka engaged in satya-advaita yoga strives for the truth trhrough sanatan dharma of the relationship between the ray (from baby till 18 years of age) as he matures through life from life experiences and learings from a blend of scriptures and experiences. The rays in life forms are jivas (gods or asuras) so Hinduism has rightly said that there are 330 million gods, even more than that is possible. In other words the rays (gods/asuras) have to acquire oneness with the Paramatman and this is entirely possible; I believe as one such person, a purnavatar. What do you have to say to that?, Hindusim at its purest.

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