Buddha is widely worshipped by both the Buddhists and Hindus of Nepal. The five Dhyani Buddhas Vairochana, Akshobhaya, Rathasambhava, Amitabha and Amoghasiddhi, represent the five basic elements earth, fire, water, air and ether. Buddhist philosophy conceives these gods to be the manifestation of Sunya or absolute void. Mahakaala and Bajrayogini are Vajrayana Buddhist deities worshipped by Hindus as well.

Hindu Nepalis worship the ancient Vedic gods. The much worshipped are Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer, different manifestations of the Supreme Hindu Trinity. Shiva Linga or the phallic symbol of Lord Shiva represents the supreme power in most Shiva temples.

Female deities are revered and feared in this Himalayan Kingdom. Their Shakti cult aspires to appease the dynamic element in the female counterpart of Shiva. Mahadevi, Mahakali, Bhagabati, Ishwari are some of the names given to Shiva Shakti. Many temples in Nepal are dedicated to Shakti. Kumari, the virgin goddess, also represents Shakti.

Other popular deities are Ganesh for luck, Saraswati for knowledge, Lakshmi for wealth and Hanuman for protection. Krishna, believed to be the human incarnation of Lord Vishnu is also worshipped widely. Hindu holy scripts Bhagawat Gita, Ramayan and Mahabharat are widely read in Nepal.

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Information provided by Nepal Tourism Board.


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