Supreme Being

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Supreme Being is a term used by theologians and philosophers of many religions, including Christianity, Islam,[1] Hinduism,[2] Judaism, Sikhism, Jainism, Deism[3] and Zoroastrianism, often as an alternative to the term God.

Use of the term[edit]


In Christian theology, the term Supreme Being is used to refer to God.[4]

Cult of the Supreme Being[edit]

Festival of the Supreme Being, 8 June 1794 Paris

The Cult of the Supreme Being (French: Culte de l'Être suprême) was a form of deism established in France by Maximilien Robespierre during the French Revolution.[5] It was intended to become the state religion of the new French Republic and a replacement for Roman Catholicism and its rival, the Cult of Reason.[6]


In Hinduism, the term is used by several traditions. It is used by the Vaishnavite traditions in reference to Vishnu/Krishna,[7][8] and by the Shaiva tradition in reference to Shiva.[9]


Islamic scholars have used the term Supreme Being to refer to Allah, Arabic for "the God".[10]


Jainism posits two kinds of Supreme Beings. They are Arihants and Siddhas. Arihantas are finite in number while siddhas are infinite in number. They possess only one kind of omnis out of four viz. Omniscience. The other three Omnis are not considered positive attributes in Jainism.[citation needed]


Sikhs personally use Waheguru, or the term Ik Onkar, meaning "One God."

Yoruba religion[edit]

In the Yoruba religion the term "Supreme Being" is used in reference to Olorun, one of the three manifestations of the Supreme God in the Yoruba pantheon.[11] In Yoruba cosmology, Olorun is the Supreme Being whose supremacy is absolute.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Revelation – Sacred Theology
  2. ^ The Hindu Online edition of India's National Newspaper, Monday, Sep 22, 2003
  3. ^ website showing usage by Deists during the French Revolution.
  4. ^ [ God – the Supreme Being
  5. ^ Jordan, pp. 199ff.
  6. ^ Neely, p. 212: "(T)he Convention authorized the creation of a civic religion, the Cult of the Supreme Being. On May 7, Robespierre introduced the legislation...."
  7. ^ Delmonico, N. (2004). "The History Of Indic Monotheism And Modern Chaitanya Vaishnavism". The Hare Krishna Movement: the Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant. ISBN 978-0-231-12256-6. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  8. ^ Elkman, S.M.; Gosvami, J. (1986). Jiva Gosvamin's Tattvasandarbha: A Study on the Philosophical and Sectarian Development of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Movement. Motilal Banarsidass Pub. 
  9. ^ Maha Shirvratri website, About Lord Shiva
  10. ^ Allah, al-llah
  11. ^ God – Olorun
  12. ^ The Yoruba Religious System