Religion plays an very important role in the lives of Indians. The Indo-Aryans came in massive sweeps
through the lofty passes in the northwest, bringing with them the rudiments of the Hindu faith,
later to be developed on Indian soil into one of the most philosophically subtle and complex of all religions.
While it is only in recent years that Hinduism is again having a major influence outside the Indian subcontinent, Buddhism,which grew out of Hinduism,is a major world religion.But India has also received the gifts of Islam, Christianity,Zoroastrianism and on a very small scale but very significantly,Judaism.
India has been the proverbial sponge in matters religious.
There are very few towns in India that are without a church,mosque or Hindu temple .
There are Sikh Gurdwaras in major towns AND few Synagogues in Mumbai,Calcutta, New Delhi & Pune.
An insight to Indian Gods & Goddess.
"India has two million gods, and worships them all.
In religion, all other countries are paupers;
India is the only millionaire." Mark Twain,
The creative aspect of `Brahman', Brahma `creates'. He is assisted by his spouse Saraswati -
the Goddess of Learning and Knowledge. Brahma is depicted as having four heads representing
`Manas', `Buddhi', `Chitta' and `Ahamkara', all of which are essential for the work of creation.
He is sitting on a lotus, the lotus standing for purity or the saatwic element present in man
The concept of Vishnu stands for that aspect of 'Brahman', which is engaged in the work of preservation
of what has been created and is called `Purushottama' - the ideal in masculinity (not mere brawn
but masculine qualities). Vishnu is shown holding a fully blossomed lotus, a discus, a conch, and a mace,
all in four different hands symbolizing different virtues. The concept of Vishnu is widely worshipped as
Narayana - the power behind and beyond man.
Shiva is known as the fearsome God. The third member of the Hindu Trinity, he represents
Godhead in its aspect of 'Annihilator' (the constructive destructor). He has a third eye in the center
of the forehead, the eye of wisdom as well as annihilation. When the eye opens, the universe of names,
forms and duality must stand annihilated. Supreme knowledge cannot but be followed by austerity.
The deer skin, holy ash, matted hair that Shiva sports are all symbols of supreme renunciation
Literally means `the one who gives the essence (sara) of our own self (swa).
The goddess of knowledge and learning, she is mostly shown sitting on a lotus, holding the sacred
scriptures in one hand, the lotus in the second. With the other two hands she plays the Indian lute (veena). Saraswati is wedded to the creator, Brahma; for all creative endeavors can spring forth from and
sustain themselves only by the knowledge of what and who to create.
When `Brahman' was reduced in concept to the "ideal man" or "Purushottama", the necessity
automatically arose to provide a conceptual counterpart in an "ideal woman"
and Lakshmi was the result. She is the goddess of wealth and prosperity
(no wonder she is one of the most widely worshipped deities in India!)
and is supposed to provide these in abundance to sustain the creation,
which is the portfolio of Vishnu, her divine consort.
Also known as `Parvati', she is symbolic of Power, Strength and Energy and is `Shiva's consort.
She represents the female energy of Shiva and is said to have nine forms of which four
are fierce and others are mild ones. Uma or Parvati is worshipped in different parts of India
in different forms and called by different names like - Durga, Bhawani, Kali
and Adiparashakti (the first and supreme power).
Called the god with the `mostest', Ganesha is endearingly rotund and the remover of all obstacles.
Like the elephant whose head he wears, he has an infallible memory. The god of wisdom and learning,
food rates high on his priority list! Ganesha is the son of Shiva and Parvati and no festival or
auspicious occasion begins without an invocation to the lovable elephant God.
One of the most dearly loved deities in India, the 'Monkey God' was known for his total and
single-minded devotion and loyalty to Rama and Sita, the heroes of the great epic-Ramayana.
According to it, Hanuman (son of Vayu or Marut, the wind) was the leader of the invading armies of Rama.
He was also the one who set fire to the mighty Lanka and flew to the Himalayas to bring the life-giving "Sanjeevani" to save the life of Rama's brother. He is portrayed as a bachelor and is worshipped
as the god of strength, health and agility.
Mahabharat & Ramayana
In sanskrit the word Krishna means `dark', not as opposed to light, but in the sense
that it is unseen or unknown to one as long as one remains rooted in earthly experiences.
Radha on the other hand was the most beautiful and beloved of all `gopis' (milkmaids).
The love of Radha and Krishna is symbolic of the eternal love affair between the devoted mortal and the Divine. Radha's yearning for union with her beloved Krishna is the soul's longing for spiritual awakening to be united
with the one source of peace and bliss from which it has become separated..
The hero and heroine of the evergreen epic Ramayana present humanity with an ideal man and
woman whom they would understand, adore and emulate. They represent the culture of India, and
are considered the incarnations of Vishnu and Lakshmi. If Rama was the ideal man, son, brother and king,
Sita was the ideal daughter, wife, mother and queen; the embodiment of all that is great
and noble in Indian womanhood
For Pilgrimage tours of your religion, please click below as per symbol
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