Pantheism IS Monotheism

by Aranyakananda

The way I see it, Pantheism, the view that God is in all aspects of nature, is not contradictory to Monotheism, the view that God is a single entity. The dictionary actually defines Monotheism as “belief in one God, or the oneness of God.” A fine distinction there, the oneness of God. This would suggest that even if you do see God in every part of the natural world, God is still One. I would suggest that God is so infinitely vast that encompassing all yet still maintaining oneness would not be beyond God’s ability. I think that probably goes without saying.

I am a Vaishnava Hindu, which is classified as Monotheism, but being that Vishnu is the sustainer of Creation, I believe that Lord Vishnu is not only twirling the cosmos upon his spinning discus, but that the Lord makes Himself at home in all aspects of the cosmos. We invite the Lord, daily, to make Himself at home in all of our activities anyway, don’t we?

I just read recently that a couple of years ago Ringo Starr re-embraced monotheism after a period of flirtation with pantheism. His comment on this change was “thank God.” But it made me wonder what had really changed. I hope Pantheism never gets confused with polytheism. There is a common misconception that all Hindus believe in multiple gods, anywhere from three to thirty-three million of them. Some Hindus do literally believe in various astral beings conduction various business throughout Creation and the astral plane. The truth is most do believe in one all-pervading entity, whether they call it Ishvara, Brahman, etc. Yet all Hindus I have met have greeted one another by saying Namaste or Namaskar to each other, which, by definition, recognizes that Divinity dwells within me, as well as you.

Feel free to add your thoughts on the difference between these two views, if there really is one.

This entry was posted in Brahman, Comparitive Religion, God, guru, Hinduism, inspiration, Ishvara, life, meaning of life, monotheism, myth, pantheism, philosophy, polytheism, Ringo Starr, Trimurti, Uncategorized, Vaishnavism, Vishnu and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Pantheism IS Monotheism

  1. thoughtofvg says:

    I must admit knowing very little about hinduism and i always saw it a polytheistic religion, but it does interest me. Thank you for an interesting read.

    • treadmarkz says:

      Thank you for reading. Some of my other readers can probably shed more light on this than I, but I will say that Hinduism has different images so that devotees can, depending on our individual make-up and our individual spiritual needs, we can see the Lord in any of “His” different aspects, of which their are many.

      • Tāṇḍava says:

        Hinduism is a vast religion and there are many variations in belief. There are some branches that are purely monotheistic. The belief of most Hindus is that there is one Ishvara (untimate God) and many Devas (divine beings). This is often confused in Western books, by translating both as “God”.

        The divine beings are created, and range in powers, similar to archangels. angels, seraphim, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition. The main difference is that Hindus are instructed to pray to the Devas for help in the areas that they have dominion over, so an artist could pray to Saraswait for artistic inspiration, etc.

        To complicate things even further, Ishvara, the ultimate God can appear in different forms, so to Vaishnavas Vishnu can appear as Narayan, as Lakshmi-Narayan (often seen as male and female but really two aspects of the whole), venkateshvara, etc.

        Vaishnavas also believe in avatars, forms that Vishnu takes to come to earth, the most famous ones being Krishna and Rama.

        Vaishnavas are just one group within Hinduism, but I won’t complicate things further in this comment.

      • treadmarkz says:

        Thank you, Namaste Tandava. I knew I could count on you to explain the situation fully. 🙂

  2. Lori DiNardi says:

    Well, I don’t know much about the Hinduism. I did read the Bhagavad Gita during a period of seeking in my life, but that’s about all. I don’t claim any specific religion, and I’m not really an organized religion type of person. But, in all of my seeking, and from my own personal, spiritual experience(s), I’d have to agree with what you said.

    I’d say that the closest thing to what I believe is Pantheism. I do believe in one all- encompassing Higher Power that IS ALL. I believe It’s the Higher Mind of the universe … which runs the universe, and IS the universe. It is the Creator manifest as all, and It is to this Creator that I pray.

    I’m not sure if I’m making any sense, but again, I do agree with you. I don’t see the difference between Monotheism and Pantheism. At least from my perspective.

  3. Tāṇḍava says:

    Technically the term for the belief of many Hindus is panentheism. Very simply pahtheism means that God is the world, and panentheism that God is the world and more.

  4. Annika says:

    I am a Pantheist and yes Pantheism is technically a kind of monotheism. It is also a kind of monism. All is One and One is All. I resonate with some Hindu pantheistic philosophies that regard the Universe as Brahman. Pantheism is the belief that God is the Universe, and the Universe is infinite and eternal (or eternally cyclical).

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