Posted by Zia H. Shah MD - Twitter: @ZiahShah1
It is very simple!
Many if not all of you think that there is one ultimate God, Bhagavan or Brahman, if you will. If you think of Him as the Creator and every thing else, 330 million wonderful products, as His creation that glorify Bhagavan or Brahman, then you are thinking like a Muslim. Some biologists estimate that there are 30 million different species of different animals and plants on our planet earth. So, God’s creations may well be 330 million or more. The Holy Quran states:
The seven heavens and the earth and those that are therein extol His glory; and there is not a thing but glorifies Him with His praise; but you understand not their glorification. Indeed, He is Forbearing, Most Merciful. (Al Quran 17:45)
In other words please do not take the symbolism too literally and take it metaphorically, like a Muslim will, in the understanding of the above verse. Now let me quote from a Hindu blog so you fully understand, what I mean:
Do Hindus worship 330 million gods? The number 330 million is constantly heard when any discussion regarding the gods in Hinduism take place. But the initiators of the discussion, who are mostly totally unaware of Hindu religion and want to take a dig, deliberately skip the symbolism of the numerous Hindu gods. The symbolism of the 330 million that it represents the Brahman, which has different names, forms, activities, attributes and powers owing to differences of function. All animate and inanimate and those yet to appear is nothing but a manifestation of Brahman.
It is a known fact that it is impossible to worship the 330 million gods. But, why the number 33? In Brhadaranyaka Upanishad while discussing Brahman, Yajnavalkya is asked how many gods are there. He says that there are three hundred and three and three thousand and three gods. When the question is repeated? He says, thirty three. When the question is again repeated he says, six. Finally, after several repetitions he says ONE. (Chapter I, hymn 9, verse 1). 1
So in the final analysis God is One but things that glorify Him run in millions!
As most of you have also read about the Big Bang, so now you know that material things are not eternal and God the Creator is, even though many of the Hindu scholars in the nineteenth century or the first half of twentieth century may have pleaded otherwise. Time to evolve and change!
Here let me link one of my articles about Religion and Science, titled: The anesthesia of familiarity: There should be a Creator for this universe.