December 21, 2012

Words for “God”

Since India has been influenced by many cultures and Hindi draws from other languages, it is natural that there are many words for “God” in Hindi. This note discusses a few of the most common words.

Perhaps the most common term is भगवान (“Holy One”/”God”, from Sanksrit).

Other common words include परमेश्वर (“The Supreme God”, from Sanskrit), ईश्वर (“God”, Sanskrit), रब (“God”, Punjabi), खुदा (“God”, Persian).

The word अल्लाह (Allah, Arabic word for God) is used, usually among Muslims.

The words देव (deity/God), देवता (demi-God/deity/God), and देवी (Godess) are also common.
The term “ऊपरवाला” (i.e., “the one above”) is also used.