A visual guide to Shiva symbolism

Shiva is one of the most widely known and revered Hindu gods. In the Hindu mythology, Shiva is the Destroyer, working in concert with Brahma the Creator and Vishnu the Protector. Shiva has always fascinated his followers by his unique appearance: he has not two but three eyes, has ash smeared all over his body,Continue reading “A visual guide to Shiva symbolism”

Decoding the symbolism of the cosmic dancer

Nataraja is a well known sculptural symbol in India and popularly used as a symbol of Indian culture. It depicts the Hindu god Shiva as the cosmic dancer and the Sanskrit word actually translates as Lord of Dancers. His dance is called Tandavam or Nadanta, depending on the context and the pose and artwork isContinue reading “Decoding the symbolism of the cosmic dancer”

Understanding the Hindu use of Ash

In seeking to understand Hinduism more thoroughly I came across an interesting little article called, “Hindu Rituals and Routines – Why Do We Follow Those?” It covers a number of aspects of Hindu practice that, while familiar enough from observation, I’ve never heard explained so well for before. One in particular was the Hindu use ofContinue reading “Understanding the Hindu use of Ash”

What is the difference between the Trimurti and the Trinity?

I have frequently heard non-Christians assert that the Trinity of Christianity and the Trimurti of Hinduism are equivalent “triple god” concepts. This, however, is a gross misunderstanding. Yes, the number three features promenantly in both teachings, but that is where the similarity largely ends. Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer) are temporally differentiated.Continue reading “What is the difference between the Trimurti and the Trinity?”

The Co-Existence of Violence and Non-Violence in Hinduism

I have a huge amount of respect for Ghandi, and I imagine many of you reading this have too. But as I have come to understand Hinduism in more depth I have become increasingly aware that Ghandi was not, and is not, universally representative of Hindu ethics. There is an ethical spectrum in Hinduism that is notContinue reading “The Co-Existence of Violence and Non-Violence in Hinduism”

Who can tell me more about the Hindu festival of Holi?

I was wondering if anyone out there can enlighten me on the significance of the Hindu festival of Holi? From what I’ve read it seems to be celebrating (a) Krishna’s play with the cow-herding girls, (b) the slaying of the demoness Holika by Prahlad, a devotee of Vishnu, and (c) the arrival of spring. Is it aContinue reading “Who can tell me more about the Hindu festival of Holi?”

Not Quite Christian Art: Hindu Jesus

An image of Jesus in India by an unknown artist. Whatever its artistic merits I can’t help thinking that art like this is too syncretistic to properly be called Christian. It is one thing to depict Christian stories in Hindu style. It is another to depict Jesus as a Hindu. This strikes me as moreContinue reading “Not Quite Christian Art: Hindu Jesus”

That Old Black Magic

It seems a Hindu Astrologer has set up business near the puja supply shop in the centre of Pendle Hill. Promising “Protection from any Black Magic” with a “100% success” rate, it suggests there are many out there seeking divine protection. Few seem to be seeking it from Christian communities however, or, given my conversations,Continue reading “That Old Black Magic”

What makes a person a Hindu?

As a Christian who lives in a predominantly Hindu suburb I know from personal experience that it is important to understand Hinduism through the eyes of Hindus (and not just their Western interpreters). So when a Hindu writes on “What makes a person a Hindu?” or “What does following Sanatana Dharma mean?” I pay attention.Continue reading “What makes a person a Hindu?”