Why does God have many different names?

Acharya Prashant
6 min readOct 28, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner: Acharya Ji, in essence, all is one; all is Beloved. What is the significance of different genders of God?

Acharya Prashant (AP): So, the gender of God! Why do you call Him or Her or That, God in the first place? You call Him God because you are human, right? Please understand this. God will never come to call Himself God. That which you are referring to as the ultimate God, Unnameable is called anything only in the caller’s context. It’s you who calls, God has no business calling himself. God has no business calling herself. That has no business calling upon Himself.

In fact, there is no entity outside of That, which would call out to Him. Therefore, God is never going to refer to himself or herself in any way or in any language, let alone in any specific gender. So the first absurdity is when God is referred to; referred to not as Him or Her, the first absurdity is when God is referred to at all in the first place.

Who is talking of God? If God is all and everywhere, from where did this speaker emerge to call out to God or to exclaim towards God or to refer to or point to God? So, the first thing you have to see is that when you are referring to God it is not God you are referring to; it is “your God” that you are referring to. God cannot be referred to.

God is so total that making any reference to him is impossible. God is so total that the reference itself would be inside God, not outside. How do you refer to a body, something, anybody? From inside of him, it is impossible. You have to be away, outside somewhere. You have to be separate to talk of somebody.

So whenever somebody talks of God as no matter what, it is the first absurdity. Now that absurdity explains the next absurdity. What is the next absurdity? That not only do we refer to God, we refer to God in a particular gender. Not only do we refer to God in a particular gender, we also refer to God in myriad other ways, especially the Hindus. Millions of ways they have to refer to God. The Muslims too, the Sufis fondly talk of the hundred names of Allah.

Now, what is happening? What are these hundred names? These hundred names come from the hundred…

Acharya Prashant