The Path of Kane
Hindu Deities (a brief list)
Agni: Hindu god of fire.
Asura: A demon.
Bonbibi: The Lady of the Forest; a guardian deity of the forests worshipped by both the Hindu and the Muslim residents of the Sundarbans and West Bengal. She is worshipped mostly by the honey-collectors and the woodcutters before entering the forest for protection against the attacks from the tigers.
Brahma: The creator god; in both Hinduism and Buddhism, the highest god; with Vishnu and Shiva forms the Hindu trinity.
Daityas: Giants who fought against the gods.
Dakshin Rei (Dakkhin Rai): “King of the South”; revered deity of the Sundarbans who rules over beasts and demons. Alt. a demon king (asura) and arch-enemy of Bonbibi who appears in the guise of a tiger and attacks human beings.
Deva: A god or deity; half-brothers to the asuras. Also called suras.
Durga: The Mother Goddess; an incarnation of Devi, a unified symbol of all divine forces. She manifested when evil forces threatened the very existance of the gods. To destroy these demons, all gods offered their radiance to her creation and each formed part of Durga’s body. She carries a chakra and a trident.
Ganesha: Elephant-headed god, the son of Paravati and Shiva, whose principle attribute is that of removing obstacles.
Garuda: A great mythical hawk; the vahana of Vishnu.
Hanumam: Monkey god; a beneficial guardian spirit.
Indra: *The greatest god of the Aryan Warriors, the god of war and of the weather, combining many characteristics of the Greek god Zeus and the Norse god Thor; war god of the Vedic-era.
*Kali: Manifestation of Durga, the Mother goddess, wife of Shiva, particularly popular in Bengal.
Krishna: An earthly incarnation of Vishnu.
Kubera: The god of wealth; a hideous dwarf and one of the eight guardians of the world, he is the appointed guardian of the treasures of the gods. He often rides in his airborne magic chariot Pushpak and showers jewels and other precious objects onto the lands he passes over to succor the poor. He is the king of the Yakshas.
Kumthakarna: A rakshasa and brother of Ravana; despite of his monstrous size and great hunger, he described as having good character.
Lakshmi: The goddess of wealth and fortune; favored wife of Vishnu.
Mahisha-Asura: A fierce demon. A threat to the world, Mahisha was invincible. Even the Hindu gods who had challenged him could not kill him. In desperation they created the goddess Durga to be their champion and gave her their weapons.
Manasa: a goddess who protects and saves humans from snake-bites, disease and poverty. Her cult is most prevalent in Bengal where she is ceremoniously worshipped in temples. At the onset of the rainy season, when the snakes are most active, she is ritually invoked with sacrifices and offerings.
Nandi: The great bull and Shiva vahana; the gate keeper to Shiva and Parvati. Temples venerating Shiva and Parvati display stone images of a seated Nandi, generally facing the main shrine. There are also a number of temples dedicated solely to Nandi.
Parvati: Goddess of the Mountain, consort of Shiva. She rides a lion.
Rahu: A dragon-headed demon that causes eclipses. He rides a chariot pulled by eight black horses, with his mouth wide open, ready to devour the sun or moon. If he succeeds, a solar or lunar eclipse will follow.
Rama: *An earthly incarnation of Vishnu.
*Ravana: The ten-headed, twenty-armed demon king of Ceylon in Hindu myth, he is the brother of Kumthakarna. Highly intelligent and master of astronomy, he is said to have possessed the nectar of immortality, which was stored under his navel.
Sesha: the thousand-headed snake god of the Vedas, said to have been born from the mouth of Balarama just before his death. Sesha was chief of the mythical Nagas, a clan of snake worshippers.
Shiva: Hindu god characterized by his cosmic energy manifestation in many creative and destructive forms. The genius of fertility, Shiva is commonly worshipped in the form of a standing phallic pillar, or Linga.
Sita: *"The Furrow", the personified goddess of the female principle of fertility.
*Vahana: Vehicle, usually a bird or beast, traditionally ridden by a Hindu god.
Vishnu: Together with Brahma and Shiva one of the great gods of Hinduism, Vishnu is regarded as the preserver and maintainer of the established order, the god of accepted behavior and the home, and of love and emotion; he appears in a number of incarnations of which the seventh and eighth, as Rama and as Krishna, are the most widely worshipped. His favored wife is Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and fortune, and his vahana is the mythical hawk, Garuda.