The millions of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, to be exact 330 million, represent the various aspects of the Supreme Being – Brahman. In Hinduism, Brahman is the supreme soul of the universe, self-existent, absolute and eternal, from which all living and non-living emanate, and to which all return.
When a Hindu climbs up the ladder of knowledge, the concept of gods and goddesses begins to vanish and he/she will finally merge with the Brahman. So, in reality, there are no gods and goddesses in Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism. This is because the gods, goddesses and devotee all merge into the Brahman. Yes, this is hard to digest for an ordinary human being.
For an average human being, god is someone who helps to climb that extra yard. Who helps when in pain. Who helps to pass examinations. Who helps to get promotions. And who helps in all the desires that arise in the mind of a human being. So he/she cannot easily understand the concept of Brahman.
He/She needs something to concentrate upon and something to express the desires and the numerous gods and goddesses in the form of idols and images serve the purpose of concentration.
In the words of Sir C P Ramaswamy Iyer “Hinduism has recognized different stages of evolutionary progress in the case of several races and classes of mankind and has not only authorized but actually encouraged the adoration of pictures and images as a means of concentration.”
Thousands of years ago Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism flourished in an India (Bharat) which had many races and tribes. They worshiped multiplicity of objects, gods and goddesses and many of them were manifestations of different aspects of Mature Nature.
Take a look at the three main deities in Hinduism – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Brahma creates, Vishnu sustains and Shiva destroys. They are nothing but three different faces of Mother Nature. Nature creates, nature sustains and nature destroys.
Each god and goddess in Hinduism is a path to reach the ultimate reality. If you are not happy with the 330 million, create a new god and pray to it. This new god will be a new path to merge with the Brahman.