I've been to India 8 times and learned to love Indian traditional art!
|HANUAN (MONKEY GOD)|
I thought I'd share some of it with you...
The Indian Pantheon is very intricate. The main representations are Krishna, Vishnu and Brahma--and their consorts, in order, Lakshmi, Parvati (and Kali and Durya, depending on the powers needed), and finally Shiva, a name more familiar to Westerners. These are all "avatars" of God.
Then there are devis that are representations of the avatars (I think 33 altogether, though somehow in history it became 330 million to indicate eternity--are you getting the picture of how confusing this can be?) that are very powerful entities like Ganesh, Hanuman, Rama, Sita, (the Rama/Sita story is a romantic legend that involves Hanuman--very well known throughout the Hindi cultures) Indra, Agni, Viruna, Soma, Prajapati, Mitra.
Interestingly, the Krishna/Vishnu/Brahma depictions are the main aspects of God. It is called the "Trimurti" or "Tridevi" (like a Godhead?) ("Tria" means 3 in Greek.) There are no depictions of the ultimate God that I know of. Atman is name of the ultimate God--he is at the top. God is everywhere and in everything. I'm not sure but perhaps it is prohibited to depict God in Hindu religion as in Islam?
I find it interesting that many of these names are also Greek words (Agni=pure; Mitra=womb; Soma=body). Mmmm. Does anyone know if there is a connection here?
Anyway, fascinating stuff!
|THE MANY FACES OF BRAHMA (The Main Hindu Avatar)|
If these depictions strike you as androgynous, don't feel like the lone ranger. I think it is like creating an ideal of both sexes--the best of both. Just my opinion...or the artists were gay...bah, just because they're artists, they're not gay, right?
Anyway, aren't they beautiful??? Or am I alone?
One of the times I went to India, I made sure to buy postcards replete with Hindi Gods and Goddesses. (I sold many in Greece, but I still kept a stack just for me!)
Sometime, I will post on my experiences in India. Are you interested? Many times people have told me to write a book, because of my travels and experiences. I don't have the confidence that such a book will be interesting to many people. This blog is the closest I may get! NAMASTE!
Addendum: If I got any of this information wrong, feel free to correct me. I don't want to be perpetuating myths about myths!