Gods of India - Art

With 330 million manifestations of truth, the works in this gallery is just a humble beginning. Each image of a Hindu deity is unique, tells a story and is rich in symbolism. The religions that are believed to be originated in the sub-continent of India are Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. These religions are also classified as Eastern religions and are connected through the history and mythology of India. Religious diversity and religious tolerance are both established in India by the law and custom. In Hinduism, Ganesha is the most famous and commonly worshiped God. He has at least 108 names and is the personification of material universe in all its various magnificent manifestations. The image of Ganesha represents man's eternal striving towards integration with nature. The three main gods in Hinduism consists of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (i.e.Shiva). Together they are know as the Trimurti. The Tridevi or triplet goddesses of Hinduism have equal importance as the Trimurti and functions as their consorts. Brahma is the creator. His consort is goddess Saraswati, the epitome of knowledge. Vishnu is the preserver, so he needs the goddess of wealth and prosperity, goddess Lakshmi (Shri). Shiva the destroyer needs strength and hence his consort is goddess Parvati, (i.e.Durga or Kali). Buddhism is religion based on teaching of Gautam Buddha. Buddhists do not worship an image expecting worldly or spiritual favors, but pay their reverence to what it represents. A Buddhist in general does not pray to be saved, but relies on himself and wins his freedom. This path teaches meditation that leads to self-control, purification and enlightenment. Meditation is neither a silent reverie nor keeping the mind blank. It is an active striving. It serves as a tonic both to the heart and the mind. Jainism contains many elements that are somewhat similar to parts of Hinduism and Buddhism and its birth dates to the 6th century B.C.E. in India. The religion derives its name from the "conquerors") (i.e. Jinas), a title given to twenty-four great teachers (i.e tirthankaras), through whom their faith was revealed. Mahavira, the last of the tirthankaras, is considered the founder of Jainism. The ultimate goal of Jainism the liberation of the self from re-birth, which is attained through the elimination of accumulated karma (i.e. the consequences of previous actions). The word 'Sikh' in the Punjabi language means 'disciple', Sikhs are the disciples of God who follow the writings and teachings of the Ten Sikh Gurus. The founder of the Sikh religion was Guru Nanak who was born in 1469. He preached a message of love and understanding. Guru Nanak passed on his enlightened leadership of this new religion to nine successive Gurus. The final living Guru, Guru Gobind Singh died in 1708. Sikhism does not have priests, which were abolished by Guru Gobind Singh. Sikhs only have custodians of the Guru Granth Sahib (i.e. the book/religious scripture), and any Sikh is free to read the Guru Granth Sahib in the Gurdwara (a Sikh temple) or in their home. People of all religions are welcome to the Gurdwara. The most significant historical religious center for the Sikhs is Harmiandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) at Amritsar in the state of Punjab in northern India.

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Collection: Gods of India