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Hw: Ganesha
1. Watch the following youtube video
– Birth of Ganesha:
2. Type a summary of the video (at least 1
Many Rivers
One ocean
Many rivers one ocean
•“There is only one God, but endless are his aspects and endless are his
•Call him by any name and worship him in any aspect that pleases you, you are
sure to see him.”
• Most, though not all, Hindus
believe in monism- only-oneism
• Eastern traditions
• The doctrine that all reality is
• 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 – 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.
• 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
– Jiva is not the same as
Svetaketu and Uddalaka
• How does this story help us understand what is
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
• Often pictured
seated on a
lotus blossom
growing out of
bellybutton of
• Brahma’s companion animal is a white
• Brahman is NOT the same as Brahma
Vishnu - Sustainer
• Represents the force of
preservation in the
• He has four arms which
hold symbols of power.
• Carries a conch, a
mace, a discus, and a
• Is often pictured seated
on the coils of the
snake god, Adisesha.
• Vishnu’s
animal is a
great eaglelike
bird, called
Garuda, on
whom he flies
through the
Shiva: the god of destruction
• The third of the Trimurti
• Most complicated of the
• 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
• 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
• Often pictured in meditation or dancing.
• The moon is in his hair, and the Ganges river flows
from it,
• and has a third eye
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
Parents pray to have
many healthy children.
•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
•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
•Fertility is further
emphasized by Shiva’s
companion animal
Nandi- a bull
• and by Ganesha- the
elephant-headed son of
•A symbol of
strength and