Hindu deities are the gods and goddesses in Hinduism. The terms and epithets for deity within the diverse traditions of Hinduism vary, and include Deva, Devi, Ishvara, Ishvari, Bhagavān and Bhagavati.
The deities of Hinduism have evolved from the Vedic era (2nd millennium BCE) through the medieval era (1st millennium CE), regionally within Nepal, India and in Southeast Asia, and across Hinduism\'s diverse traditions. The Hindu deity concept varies from a personal god as in Yoga school of Hindu philosophy, to 33 Vedic deities, to hundreds of Puranics of Hinduism. Illustrations of major deities include Vishnu, Lakshmi, Shiva, Parvati, Brahma and Saraswati. These deities have distinct and complex personalities, yet are often viewed as aspects of the same Ultimate Reality called Brahman. From ancient times, the idea of equivalence has been cherished for all Hindus, in its texts and in early 1st millennium sculpture with concepts such as Harihara (Half Vishnu, Half Shiva) and Ardhanārīshvara (half Shiva, half Parvati), with myths and temples that feature them together, declaring they are the same. Major deities have inspired their own Hindu traditions, such as Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Shaktism, but with shared mythology, ritual grammar, theosophy, axiology and polycentrism. Some Hindu traditions, such as Smartism from the mid 1st millennium CE, have included multiple major deities as henotheistic manifestations of Saguna Brahman, and as a means to realizing Nirguna Brahman. In Samkhya philosophy, Devata or deities are considered as “natural sources of energy” who have Sattva as the dominant Guna.
Hindu deities are represented with various icons and anicons, in paintings and sculptures, called Murtis and Pratimas. Some Hindu traditions, such as ancient Charvakas, rejected all deities and concept of god or goddess, while 19th-century British colonial era movements such as the Arya Samaj and Brahmo Samaj rejected deities and adopted monotheistic concepts similar to Abrahamic religions. Hindu deities have been adopted in other religions such as Jainism, and in regions outside India, such as predominantly Buddhist Thailand and Japan, where they continue to be revered in regional temples or arts.
In ancient and medieval era texts of Hinduism, the human body is described as a temple, and deities are described to be parts residing within it, while the Brahman (Absolute Reality, God) is described to be the same, or of similar nature, as the Atman (Self), which Hindus believe is eternal and within every living being. Deities in Hinduism are as diverse as its traditions, and a Hindu can choose to be polytheistic, pantheistic, monotheistic, monistic, agnostic, atheistic, or humanist.