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See also Conscientious objection. The words 'a Supreme Being' have no narrow technical meaning in the field of religion. Long before the birth of our Judeo-Christian civilization the idea of God had taken hold in many forms. Mention of only two - Hinduism and Buddhism - illustrates the fluidity and evanescent scope of the concept. In the Hindu religion, the Supreme Being is conceived in the forms of several cult Deities. The chief of these, which stand for the Hindu Triad, are Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Another Deity, and the one most widely worshipped, is Sakti, the Mother Goddess, conceived as power, both destructive and creative.

Though Hindu religion encompasses the worship of many Deities, it believes in only one single God, the eternally existent One Being with his manifold attributes and manifestations. This idea is expressed in Rigveda, the earliest sacred text of the Hindus, in verse 46 of a hymn attributed to the mythical seer Dirghatamas (Rigveda, I, 164): 'They call it Indra, Mitra, Varuna and Agni And also heavenly beautiful Garutman: The Real is One, though sages name it variously - They call it Agni, Yama, Matarisvan.' See Smart, Reasons and Faiths, p. 35, ...

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