The Gods and Goddesses of India
In Hindu religion, there are three best known writings speaking of the Gods and their exploits.  These three writings are:  The Rig Veda, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Ramayana.  In Hindu belief lies reincarnation, various forms of yoga to raise awareness, time as a revolving circle, karma, mantras, yantras, etc.

There are several creation myths in Hindu religion.  One myth is that the universe came out of chaos when a God (sometimes said to be Indra and other times Vishnu) seperated the heavens from the Earth.  The Sun rose from the center of the Earth.  This now made three worlds:  The heavens, earth, and the air between.


The Gods and Goddesses

Aditi
Description:  Mother of the gods.
Rules Over:  Sky, earth, past and the future.

Agni
Other Names:  Pramati.
Description:  Has seven tongues which he uses to consume sacrifices.  Fire God.   Pictured as a man with three flaming heads, three legs and seven arms, clothed in black with smoke forming his standard and headdres.
Rules Over:  Rain, weather, storms, protector of the home, wealth, power, new beginnings, light, rebirth, immortality, justice, forgiveness, love, virility, mediation between the gods and men.

Aryaman
Description:  God of the Heavens.
Rules Over:  Sun, Moon, winds, waters, seasons.

Asvins
Other Names:  Aswins, Nasatyas.
Description:  Twin gods of the morning.  They rode in a gold car drawn by horses or birds.  The physicians of the Gods.
Their Names:  Dasra and Nasatya.
Rules Over:  Morning and evening stars, healing, old age, protection of love and marriage.

Brahma
Other Names:  Prajapati (A form of him, at least).
Description:  Part of the triad with Vishnu and Shiva.  Father of the gods, men and the world.  Guardian of the world.  Shown riding a swan and has red skin, four heads and wore white robes.  In his four arms he carries his scepter (or a spoon/string of beads), the Vedas, a bow and a water jug.
Rules OveR:  Magick, wisdom, knowledge.

Brihaspati
Other Names:  Bramanaspati.
Description:  Master of magickal power and the priesthood.
Rules Over:  Magick, priesthood, created things.

The Buddha
Description:  Divine Teacher.  Avatar/Incarnation of Vishnu.
Rules Over:  Spiritual illumination, wisdom, self-realization.

Chandra
Other Names:  Soma.
Description:  Moon god whose name came from the intoxicating, hallucinogenic drink made for the gods.
Rules Over:  Psychic visions and dreams, rising on the inner planes, pleasant forgetfulness.

Devi
Other Names:  Mahadevi, "Shakti".
Description:  Shiva's Consort.  Most powerful of the Goddesses.

Durga
Other Names:  Jaganmatri (aspect of them, at least).
Description:  One of the triad with the Goddesses Uma and Parvati.  In her aspect of Durga Pratyangira, she is a yellow woman with ten arms who carries a trident, sword, drum and bowl of blood.  Mother Goddess.
Rules Over:  Death, destruction, futility, ruin, comfort, help, power, nurturing, protection, defense.

Gandharvas
Description:  Gods of the air, rain clouds and rain.  Adept horsemen and musicians.
Rules Over:  Truths, medicines, musical skills, air, cloud and rain.

Ganesha
Other Names:  Ganesa, Ganapati, Gajani.
Description:  Elephant-headed god of scribes and merchants.  Invoked before any undertaking to ensure success.
Rules Over:  Wisdom, good luck, literature, books, writing, worldly success, prosperity, peace, beginnings, successful enterprises, journeys, building, overcoming obstacles, taming dangerous forces, combination of force and cunning.

Ganga
Description:  Goddess of the river Ganges.
Rules Over:  Purification.

Gauri
Descriptoin:  Benign aspect of the Great Goddess.
Rules Over:  Wealth, good fortune.

Indra
Other Names:  Parjanya, Svargapati, Meghavahana, Vajri, Sashra.
Description:  King of the Gods, Guardian of the Eastern quarter.  Pictured as fair with golden skin riding an horse, elephant (Airavata) or in a chariot drawn by two tawy horses.
Rules Over:  War, weather, fertility, lightning, sky, warriors, violence, weather, fertility, lightning, sky, warriors, violence, reincarnation, rain, strength, bravery, horses, elephants, love, sensual desire, rainbow, personal intervention, law, magick power, rivers, time, seasons, storms, opposition to evil, creativity, the sun, hunting dogs, offerings.

Jyeshtha
Description:  Goddess of bad luck.
Rules Over:  Revenge, dark magick.

Kali
Other Names:  Kali Ma.
Description:  "The black mother" who has a dual personality exhibiting traits of both gentleness and love, revenge and terrible death.  Wife of Shiva.  As the female Holy Trinity she is called Prakriti (Nature).  Pictured with black skin, hideous face smeared with blood, fur arms and bare breasts.  She despises most males.
Rules Over:  Regeneration, revenge, fear, dark magick, sexual activities, protection of women.

Kami
Other Names:  Dipaka, Gritsa, Mayi, Mara, Ragavrinta, Titha.
Description:  God of desire.  Ever-yojng man riding a parrot and is accompanied by his wives Rati, Vasanta, and the Apsaras.
Rules Over:  Physical love, pleasures, sensual desire, spring, women, flowers.

Karttikeya
Other Names:  Skanda, Subramanya.
Description: Chief war god with six heads and twelve arms.  Defender of the gods.  Women cannot enter his temples.
Rules Over:  Revenge, dark magick, war.

Krishna
Other Names:  Vishnu (Incarnation of him).
Description:  Most famous avatar of Vishnu.  Had 180 wives.  His birth was announced by a star and angelic voices.  It is said that Krishna returns at the end of each age to save the righteous, destroy sin, and establish goodness and holiness.
Rules Over:  Erotic delights, sexual pleasures, love, music, savior from sins.

Kubera
Other Names:  Kuvera, Khanapati, Dhanapati, Jambhalla.
Description:  Dwarf god of Earth and treasures of the earth enthroned in the Himalayas.  Fat, white, bejeweled, hideous dwarf with three legs and only eight teeth.
Rules Over:  Fertility, wealth, treasure, minerals, gold, silver, jewels, pearls, precious stones.

Lakshmi
Other Names:  Rukmini.
Description:  Goddess of love and beauty.  She gave Indra the drink of soma (wise blood) from her own body so he could produce the illusion of birth-giving and become king of the devas.
Rules Over:  Good fortune, prosperity, success, love, feminine beauty.

Manjusri
Description:  Patron of grammatical science.
Rules Over:  Enlightenment, wisdom, civilization, books and writing.

Mara
Description:  Master magician.
Rules Over:  Illusion, dark magick.

Parvati
Other Names:  Mena, Haimavati.
Description:  God of the Himalayas, Virgin Mother Goddess.  Represents union of god and goddess, man and woman.
Rules Over:  Desire, ecstacy.

Puchan
Other Names:  Pushan.
Description:  Lead souls to the afterworld.  Considered a good guide, leading his followers to wealth.
Rules Over:  Marriage, journeys, roads, cattle, meetings, prosperity, material gain.

Rama
Other Names:  Ramachandra.
Description:  Princely incarnation of Vishnu.  Hero God.

Rati
Other Names:  Mayavati.
Description:  Goddess of sexual passions.  Wife of Rama.
Rules Over:  Lust, sexual activities.

The Ribhus
Description:  Artisan elves who are the sons of Indra by Saranyu.  Gods of crafts, horses and the Sun.
Rules Over:  Herbs, crops, streams, creativity, blessings.

Rudra
Other Names:  Pasupati, Tryambaka.
Description:  Lord of beasts, ancient Vedic god of the dead and prince of demons.  Ruddy or swarthy man with a wild temper.
Rules Over:  Healing, herbs, death, disease, the jungle, wild animals, the woodlands, cattle, intelligence, song, sacrifice, creation, prosperity, thieves, storms, wind, judgment.

Sarasvati
Description:  Inventor of Sanskrit and discoverer of soma in the Himalayas.  Graceful woman with white skin, wearing a crescent Moon on her brow and seated on a lotus flower.
Rules Over:  Arts, science, music, poetry, learning, teaching.

Savitri
Description:  Rising and descending aspects of the Sun.  Golden-haired goddess who rides in a car drawn by two brilliant horses.
Rules Over:  Night, rest, healing, long life, immortality, dispels tribulation.

Shiva
Other Names:  Siva, Mahakala, Lingodbhava, Rudra, Pashupa, Bhutapati, Tryambaka, Digambara, Nataraja, Natesa, Shiva Ardhanari.
Description:  Member of the Hindu triad with Brahma and Vishnu.  Merciful fertility god who is also an ascetic who practices yoga.  Always represents great power.
Rules Over:  Fertility, physical love, destruction, strength, medicine, storms, warriors, long life, healing, magick, weapons, cattle, rivers, fire, death, dance, rhythm, meditation, war, righteousness, judgment.

Siva Jnana-Dakshinamurti
Description:  God of all wisdom.
Rules Over:  Wisdom, meditation.

Siva Lingodbhava
Description:  God of reproduction and fertility.
Rules Over:  Fertility, procreation.

Surya
Description:  Chief Sun God.  Some stories say he is the original source of soma which he gave to the moon to be distributed to the gods.  Dark red man with three eyes and four arms who rides a chariot pulled by seven mares, each one representing a day of the week.
Rules Over:  Measures, understanding, waters, winds, complete dominion, blessings, spiritual enlightenment.

Tara
Description:  Mother Goddess who helped to control human sexuality in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
Rules Over:  Knowledge, compassion, punishment, threats, control, enlightenment.

Tvashtar
Other Names:  Tvashtri.
Description: Creator of all things and craftsman of the gods.  Created magickal weapons for the gods.
Rules Over:  Arts and crafts, skill with the hands, creativity, source of all blessings, granter of prosperity.

Uma
Other Names:  Uma Haimavati.
Description:  Corn Goddess who is part of the trinity of the Great Goddess.  Mediates conflicts between Brahma and the other gods.
Rules Over:  Light, beauty, fertility, harvest, crops, the Earth, the dark seasons, yogic asceticism.

Vajrapani
Description:  God of lightning.  Similar to Pan.
Rules Over:  Woodlands, physical love, ecstasy.

Varuna
Description:  God of the Sun.  Judge of man's deeds.  Created the heavens , earth and the air between them.
Rules Over:  Rain, wind, rivers, the Sun, truth, justice, punishment, heavenly gifts, law, magick power, snakes, demons, white horses, oceans, the creative will, seasons, death, rewards, prophecy.

Vishnu
Description:  With three steps he measured the seven worlds.  Intermediary between the gods and man.  Sun God.  To help man, Vishnu appears on Earth as a human avatar.  Nine avatars are said to have already come, with a tenth yet to appear.
Rules Over:  Peace, power, strength, compassion, love, abundance, success, victory.

Visvakarma
Description:  God of smiths and craftsmen.  Creator and maintainer of everything in the universe, making things hold their individual shapes.
Rules Over:  Animals, horses, creativity, weapons making, architecture, building, smiths, craftsmen.

Yama
Other Names:  Dharmaraja, Samana, Pitripati, Sraddaheva, Dandadhara.
Description:  Judge of the dead.  God of death, truth and righteousness.  Judges men's dharma.
Rules Over:  Judgment, destiny, death, punishment.