The main Hindu Gods are 33 in number and NOT 330 million

There are a pantheon of Hindu Gods and the common belief is that they number 33 crores which equals 330 million. Looks like a huge number to me and I have heard a lot of people ( Hindus as well as non Hindus ) ridiculing the number. If you consider the time when the statement was made (probably at least a few thousand years back), the number of Gods will be more than the number of people. Seems a little out of proportion. There are a lot of such mis-interpretations which has given Hinduism a bad name. The term is “koti” which can mean crores ( 10 million ) but can also mean “class” or “category”. A popular but unfounded belief has been spread that Hindus have 33 crore (33,00,00,000) gods. It is a misunderstanding of the Vedic concept of the State, and hence a misinterpretation of the word koti. Thirty-three divinities are mentioned in the Yajur-veda, Atharva-… Tibetan masters who translated Sanskrit texts into Tibetan, rendered koti by rnam which means ‘class, kind, category’. The thirty-three supreme deities are specified

Thus the original saying meant 33 primary deities and NOT 330 million deities

From the wiki about 33 main Gods

The Thirty-three gods is a pantheon of Hindu deities, some of Vedic origin and some developed later. It generally includes a set of 31 deities consisting of 12 Ādityas, 11 Rudras, and 8 Vasus; the identity of the other two deities that fill out the 33 varies, though their roles are generally a creator deity, presiding over procreation and protector of life and the 33rd is an all powerful supreme ruler.

The 31 are:

  • Twelve Ādityas (personified deities) – Mitra, Aryaman, Bhaga, Varuṇa, Dakṣa, Aṃśa, Tvāṣṭṛ, Pūṣan, Vivasvat, Savitṛ, Śakra, Viṣṇu. This list sometimes varies in particulars.
  • Eleven Rudras, consisting of:
    • Five abstractions – Ānanda “bliss”, Vijñāna “knowledge”, Manas “thought”, Prāṇa “breath” or “life”, Vāc “speech”,
    • Five names of ŚivaĪśāna “ruler”, Tatpuruṣa “that person”, Aghora “not terrible”, Vāmadeva “pleasant god”, Sadyojāta “born at once”
    • Ātmā “self”
  • Eight Vasus (deities of material elements) – Pṛthivī “Earth”, Agni “Fire”, Antarikṣa “Atmosphere”, Vāyu “Wind”, Dyauṣ “Sky”, Sūrya “Sun”, Nakṣatra “Stars”, Soma “Moon”

Other sources similar to the Vedas include the two Aśvins (or Nāsatyas), twin solar deities.

  • Indra also called Śakra, lord of the gods, is the First of the 33 followed by Agni
  • Prajāpati “Master of creatures”, a creator deity.

The generic title, though not the particular names of the deities, was borrowed in Buddhist sources as a name for the heaven “of the Thirty-three gods” (Trāyastriṃśa).

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