What is the difference between the Kaali, Shiva, Lalita, Ganesha and Hanuman paths to Enlightenment?

Greetings, thank you for asking this intriguing question
It’s important to recall that, in Hinduism, there are some 330 million different named deities. Hinduism teaches absolutely that there is one and only one God, and that the multitudinous deities (gods) are all aspects of that one Supreme Deity (God). Quite similar to the concept of a multifaceted diamond, where each facet has a name, powers, virtues and stories which in total, comprises The Gem.

Guruji said, “As is the approach of a devotee, so shall God appear to him.” Thus, God assumes a variety of aspects, tailor-made to a particular devotee’s predilection or the “bend of his mind.”

Two in your list of named deities are “female,” or names of Shakti, the Divine Feminine Energy. The first is Kaali (pronounced with a stretched out ‘a’ sound as in faather) who is the Divine Mother assuming a fierce aspect to destroy Evil,  i.e., Kali—pronounced with the shorter ‘a’ sound as in father. This facet of God will appeal perhaps to the bold warrior-type mind who just loves to see justice done, righteousness upheld and evil summarily dispatched both within themselves and in the worlds without. Such a soul isn’t upset at any amount of mayhem required to accomplish the goal.

The Lalita aspect of Divine Mother, on the other hand, is softer, playful, more gentle. Equally adept at destroying ignorance, when She’s done the battlefield looks a whole lot less gory, you might say. She might appeal to a mind which wants a more warm and cuddly God and just naturally shuns violence.

Shiva might appeal to a mind attracted to silence, meditation, the unthinkable, the formless. His son Lord Ganesha, on the other hand, might appeal to a mind attracted to details, the manifested, the divine sciences and the so-called supernatural powers (siddhis).

Hanuman might attract the mind of those of devotional nature, toward service of God and humanity using gifted intelligence. Guruji said that both Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman give quick siddhis. He also cautioned that one should not worship God for attaining the superpowers as often, fascination with them becomes an obstacle on the path to the goal. Or worse, they are misused for personal purpose.

It would seem to me that, although all the paths lead to the same destination, once one knows which path truly attracts or the path has been pointed out by one’s guru, stopping and starting and stopping and starting to examine all the others (even though equally beautiful and true) would slow down attaining the goal. And that phenomenon likewise looks to me to be another way God ‘tricks’ us with that maya of His (illusory power)! He just LOVES to drag out the game, don’t He?!

OM and Prem,
Sw. Vandana