The One Godhead Beyond All the Gods

There are innumerable Gods that have been and are worshiped around the world and through time. Each of these represents a particular aspect of divinity. The form or aspect that is worshiped corresponds to the specific need or circumstance of the individual or community that undertakes such worship; and each one responds to the devotees in relation to the desired response. The Gita acknowledges and accepts this multitude of Gods, but is clear to point out that none of them represents a complete, full appreciation or understanding of the Eternal, which exceeds all, while pervading and including all. Each of these represents also a starting point, an opportunity to expand beyond the strict limits of the mental awareness, the vital response or the physical need of the being, and thus, serves a role in the evolutionary progression.

The Kena Upanishad takes up this theme when it indicates that the Gods in their pride believe they are the true power of action, and they fail to recognize the Eternal as the true source of their power. Eventually, when the Gods are humbled in their pride, they find out that they too are aspects or powers of the One Eternal, and they orient themselves toward their true role.

Sri Aurobindo summarizes the true relation of things as described by the Gita: “There is a supreme, a divine Nature which is the true creatrix of the universe. All creatures and all objects are becomings of the one divine Being; all life is a working of the power of the one Lord; all nature is a manifestation of the one Infinite. He is the Godhead in man; the Jiva is spirit of his Spirit. He is the Godhead in the universe; this world in Space and Time is his phenomenal self-extension.”

Sri Aurobindo, Essays on the Gita, Second Series, Part I, Chapter 7, The Supreme Word of the Gita, pp. 328-329