Shiva is the Hindu god that represents both the destructive and creative forces of the universe. He is often depicted wearing a cobra around his neck and the Ganges River flowing from his head. Shiva is also the god of selflessness and meditation. Some Hindus worship Shiva as the supreme deity. Hindus also consider him as the god of salvation and destruction.
Kali, Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi and other forms of the Divine Mother, or Devi, are depicted as consorts of particular gods and major powers in their own right. Through the Divine Mother, all life comes to have form. Her power is often referred to as shakti.
Vishnu is the other major god of Hinduism. He is thought of as the preserver of the universe. Some writings refer to him as the eternal, almighty spirit that existed with primitive waters believed to have been present before the creation of the world. Vishnu, when in one of his mortal forms is shown sleeping on a great serpent and floating on water. While in his godly form, he is seen in either black or blue. He can be seen in various colors while in mortal form. Normally, in his godly form, he is seen with four arms: One hand holds a lotus; a second holds a conch; a third holds a discus, which always returns by itself after being thrown; and the fourth carries a mace.
Rama is a Hindu deity worshiped throughout Hinduism as the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. Rama is represented as the ideal hero of the Sanskrit epic poem the Ramayana. He was meant to be a secular hero in the epic, but he is seen in the first and sixth books as an incarnation of Vishnu. Rama comes to earth to kill the demon king Ravana.
Krishna is the eighth incarnation of the god Vishnu. According to legend, Vishnu appeared as Krishna to rid the world of a tyrannical king named Kamsa, a son of a demon. Many legends tell of Krishna's miracles and heroic exploits. He mostly appears in the epic poem Mahabharata in which he helps the hero Arjuna. Right before a decisive battle, Krishna delivers a speech to Arjuna. This speech became the famous commentary on duty and life known as the Bhagavad-Gita.