What are the important beliefs of Hinduism?
According to traditional Hindu beliefs there are many gods and goddesses. The three central gods are Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Shiva, the dissolver of evil. It is important to note that just like the concept in physics that matter cannot be destroyed, only changed, Shiva dissolves and changes things, but cannot actually destroy. Together they are referred to as the “three basic forms” of the Vedic notion of the Brahman, the ultimate or absolute. This Absolute assumes both male and female forms. Durga, or Kali is the awesome power of the Great Goddess who is able to devour the demonic and evil forces in the world; she often associated with Shiva. The Absolute also at times assumes an androgynous form, half male and half female, known as the Ardhanarishvara or “The Lord who is half woman.” This concept of the Absolute that is not purely male or female probably results in the Hindu belief that a religious service from a married person is not complete unless both husb