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Hw: Ganesha 1. Watch the following youtube video – Birth of Ganesha: – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnUuLSuDXI&feature=related 2. Type a summary of the video (at least 1 paragraph) Many Rivers One ocean Many rivers one ocean •“There is only one God, but endless are his aspects and endless are his names. •Call him by any name and worship him in any aspect that pleases you, you are sure to see him.” Monism • Most, though not all, Hindus believe in monism- only-oneism • Eastern traditions • The doctrine that all reality is one • Monists believe that similarly all forms of reality- gods and goddesses, plants and animals, the material universe, and humans- share a common essence. • Hindus call this essence Brahman Brahman – Abstract= gods/goddesses •Infinite and eternal •The ground of existence, the eternal essence of reality, and the source of the universe •Beyond the reach of human perception and thought •Brahman is impersonal, without characteristics that can be seen heard, or even intelligibly thought about. Atman • The notion of Atman is related to Brahman • Atman is translated as self or soul – But it is different from the notion of an individual soul • In Hindu belief, each person has an individual soul (jiva) and the individual soul confers uniqueness and personality – Jiva is not the same as Atman Svetaketu and Uddalaka • How does this story help us understand what is Brahman? The Big Three Trimurti • Trimurti means triple form • Brahma- the Creator • Vishnu- the Sustainer • Shiva- the Destructor • The Hindu Trinity is an old tradition (Vedas) that is not necessarily widely practiced today. Brahma Creator •Represents the creative force that made the universe •It is depicted as ancient/old, thoughtful king sitting on a throne •It has four faces- each looking in one of the four directions •Eight arms- each holding symbols of power •In his hands are the Vedas Brahma • Often pictured seated on a lotus blossom growing out of the bellybutton of Vishnu. • Brahma’s companion animal is a white goose • Brahman is NOT the same as Brahma Vishnu - Sustainer • Represents the force of preservation in the universe. • He has four arms which hold symbols of power. • Carries a conch, a mace, a discus, and a lotus. • Is often pictured seated on the coils of the snake god, Adisesha. • Vishnu’s companion animal is a great eaglelike bird, called Garuda, on whom he flies through the universe. Shiva: the god of destruction • The third of the Trimurti • Most complicated of the gods • The god of destruction • Destruction is a type of recycling, the necessary loss of form, which occurs so that new forms may appear; and death is always thought of as leading to new life. • Shiva is also associated with recreation • The destructive side of Shiva is portrayed in the bronze statues called Shiva Nataraja= ruler of the dance/ Lord of the dance • As he dances, he is surrounded by a ring of fire – symbolic of destructive and transformative power • His long yogi’s hair flies in the air • He has four arms • In his upper right arm is a drum- symbolizing creation and the beginning of time • In the upper left arm is a flamesymbolizing destruction • His lower left arm is pointing to his upraised foot- suggesting that everyone should join him in his dance. • His lower right arm is extended in blessing- in a symbolic way says “don’t be afraid.” • He dances on a dwarf-demon – representing ignorance of all those who do not understand that death is part of the divine process. • Often pictured in meditation or dancing. • The moon is in his hair, and the Ganges river flows from it, • and has a third eye Shiva The aspect of Shiva that brings re-creation is represented by sexually suggestive forms. It is important to keep in mind that in nonindustrial societies the bearing of children is crucial- both for the economic survival of the family and for the care of the parents in their old age. Parents pray to have many healthy children. Shiva •A frequent representation of Shiva is a columnar lingamoften black •The lingam usually rests on a yoni- a circular base that is the female complement to the lingam. •The lingam may be a large, natural stone worshiped outdoors, or a metal object small enough to be worn around the neck or a wooden piece of an appropriate size for worship in the home. •Shaivites (devotees of Shiva) pour various liquids: over the lingam in an act of devotion milk, rosewater Nandi •Fertility is further emphasized by Shiva’s companion animal Nandi- a bull • and by Ganesha- the elephant-headed son of Shiva •A symbol of strength and abundance.