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An English word used to translate a variety of Indian-language terms. Its precise denotation depends on the context: each of the all-powerful deities of sectarian Hinduism (i.e. Śiva, and various forms of Viṣṇu—especially Kṛṣṇa and Rāma) is likely to be referred to as ‘God’ by his devotees. The term may also be used to refer to the monistic absolute, brahman (neut.), either viewed as an impersonal principle, or as synonymous with one of the great sectarian gods. See also Bhagavān; Bhagavatī; gods (Vedic); Ῑśvara.

Subjects: Hinduism.

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