Sunteți pe pagina 1din 37



 The main religion of India which includes the worship of
many gods and the belief that after you die you return to
life in a different form.

 Within Hinduism a large number of personal gods are

worshipped as murtis. These beings are either aspects of
the supreme Brahman, avatars of the supreme being, or
significantly powerful entities known as devas. The exact
nature of belief in regards to each deity varies between
differing Hindu denominations and philosophies. Often
these beings are depicted in humanoid, or partially
humanoid forms, complete with a set of unique and
complex iconography in each case. In total, there are 330
thousand of these supernatural beings in various Hindu
 Kali is considered the goddess of time and change;
Hindu goddess associated with eternal energy.

 The name Kali comes from ’kale’ , which means

black or "the black one", time, and death.

 She is also revered as Bhavatarini (literally

"redeemer of the universe").

 Kali as a benevolent mother goddess.

 Kali is represented as the consort of Lord Shiva, on

whose body she is often seen standing. Since Shiva
is called Kala - the eternal time, Kali, his consort,
also means "the Time" or "Death" (as in time has
 Shesha Naga is a cosmic serpent who is believed
to support all the planets of the universe on its
thousand heads.

 Lord Vishnu, protector of the universe, is often

pictured lying down on Shesha’s body. It is said
that every time the divine serpent uncoils, the
creation of life takes place but when he finally
coils back, the world will cease to exist.

 Shesha, which means ‘the one who remains’, is

the only one who will continue to abide when
everything else in the universe is annihilated.
This is why Shesha is also known as Ananta,
which translates to infinite.
 Madhavi is a female character in Indian mythology who only
bears male children, all of whom go on to become warriors.

 She also has the power to restore her virginity after every

 As gurudakshina (offering to a teacher after the completion of

one’s education), Galava has to find 800 white horses with
black ears for his guru, Vishwamitra.

 This brings him to King Yayati, who hands over his daughter,
Madhavi, to Galava instead. The latter then gives Madhavi to
three different kings, who in turn furnish him with 200 horses
each. Finally, he offers these 600 horses to guru Vishwamitra
along with Madhavi.

 Feminists have argued that such legends have constantly

reinforced and justified patriarchy in Indian society.
 Brahma is the Hindu god (deva) of creation and one of the

 His consort is Saraswati, the goddess of learning.

 Brahma is often identified with Prajapati, a Vedic deity.

 According to the Puranas, Brahma is self-born (without

mother) in the lotus flower which grew from the navel of
Vishnu at the beginning of the universe. This explains his
name Nabhija (born from the navel).

 Another legend says that Brahma was born in water. In this he

deposited a seed that later became the golden egg. From this
golden egg, Brahma the creator was born, as Hiranyagarbha.

 Brahma is also called Kanja (born in water).

 Brahma is said also to be the son of the Supreme Being, Brahman
and the female energy known as Prakrti or Maya.

 At the beginning of the process of creation, Brahma created eleven

Prajapatis (used in another sense), who are believed to be the
fathers of the human race. The Manusmriti enumerates them as
Marichi, Atri, Angirasa, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Vasishtha, Prachetas
or Daksha, Bhrigu, and Narada.

 He is also said to have created the seven great sages or the

Saptarishi to help him create the universe. However since all these
sons of his were born out of his mind rather than body, they are
called Manas Putras or mind-sons.

 Within Vedic and Puranic scripture Brahma is described as only

occasionally interfering in the affairs of the other devas (gods), and
even more rarely in mortal affairs. He did force Soma to give Tara
back to her husband, Brihaspati.

 He is considered the father of Dharma and Atri.

 Vishnu the Maintainer, Preserver is most
famously identified with His avatars, or
incarnations of God, most especially Krishna and

 Vishnu also called Narayana.

 The Vishnu Sahasranama declares Vishnu as

Paramatma (supreme soul) and Parameshwara
(supreme God). It describes Vishnu as the All-
Pervading essence of all beings, the master of -
and beyond - the past, present and future, the
creator and destroyer of all existences, one who
supports, sustains and governs the Universe and
originates and develops all elements within.
 In the Puranas, Vishnu is described as having the
divine color of water filled clouds, four-armed,
holding a lotus, mace, conch (shankha) and
chakra (wheel).

 Vishnu is also described in the Bhagavad Gita as

having a 'Universal Form' (Vishvarupa) which is
beyond the ordinary limits of human perception.

 The Purana also describe each of the Dasavatara

of Vishnu. Among these ten principal avatara
described, nine have occurred in the past and
one will take place in the future, at the end of
Kali Yuga.
 At the same time, Indian mythology also has
fierce warrior goddesses, like Durga, who is the
destroyer of evil.

 But Durga is also known to be kind and nurturing

like a mother figure when she needs to be.

 In the eastern states of India, like West Bengal,

the Hindu festival of Dussehra is centred around
a legend surrounding Durga. The celebrations
commemorate the homecoming of the goddess
after defeating the buffalo demon Mahishasura,
who was blessed with a gift that no male could
ever kill him.
 Shiva is considered to be the supreme deity in
Shaivism, a denomination of Hinduism.

 The worship of Shiva is a pan-Hindu tradition,

practiced widely across all of India.

 Shiva is one of the five primary forms of the

Divine in Smartism, a denomination of Hinduism
that puts particular emphasis on five deities, the
other four being Vishnu, Devi, Ganesha, and

 Shiva is one of the three primary aspects of the

Divine in Hinduism, known collectively as the
Trimurti. In the Trimurti system, Brahma is the
creator, Vishnu is the maintainer or preserver,
and Shiva is the destroyer or transformer.
Attributes of Shiva

 Third Eye: Shiva is often depicted with a third eye with which he burned
Desire (Kama) to ashes.

 Serpents: Shiva is often shown garlanded with a snake.

 Crescent: Shiva bears on his head the crescent of the fifth day
(panchami) moon. This is placed near the fiery third eye and this shows
the power of Soma, the sacrificial offering, which is the representative of
moon. It means that Shiva possesses the power of procreation along
with the power of destruction.The moon is also a measure of time; thus
the Crescent also represents his control over time. Thus Shiva is known
by the names of Somasundara and Chandrashekara.

 Sacred Ganga: Ganga, the holiest of the holy rivers, flows from the
matted hair of Shiva. Shiva allowed an outlet to the great river to traverse
the earth and bring purifying water to human beings. The flowing water
is one of the five elements which compose the whole Universe and from
which earth arises. Ganga also denotes fertility one of the creative aspect
of Shiva.
 Drum: A small drum shaped like an hourglass is known as a "damaru". This is
one of the attributes of Shiva in his famous dancing representation known as
Nataraja. A specific hand gesture (mudra) called damaru-hasta (Sanskrit for
"damaru-hand") is used to hold the drum. This drum is particularly used as
an emblem by members of the Kapalika sect.

 Vibhuti is three lines of ashes drawn on the forehead that represents the
essence of our Being, which remains after all the malas (impurities of
ignorance, ego and action) and vasanas (likes and dislikes, attachments to
one's body, world, worldly fame, worldly enjoyments, etc.) have been burnt in
the fire of knowledge. Hence vibhuti is revered as the very form of Shiva and
signifies the Immortality of the soul and manifested glory of the Lord.

 Ashes: Shiva smears his body with ashes (bhasma). Some forms of Shiva,
such as Bhairava, are associated with a very old Indian tradition of
cremation-ground asceticism that was practiced by some groups who were
outside the fold of brahmanic orthodoxy. These practices associated with
cremation grounds are also menteioned in the Pali canon of Theravada
Buddhism. One epithet for Shiva is "Inhabitant of the cremation ground"
referring to this connection.

 Tiger skin: He is often shown seated upon a tiger skin.

 Elephant and Deer Skin: Shiva also wears elephant skins.
Similarly deer represent the jumping of minds
(flickering mind). Shiva wears deer skin which indicates
that he has controlled the mind perfectly.

 Trident: (Sanskrit: Trishula) Shiva's particular weapon is

the trident.

 Nandi, the Bull, is his Vahana (Sanskrit for vehicle).

 Lingam: Shiva is often worshipped in the form of a

lingam.These are depicted in various forms.

 Mount Kailasha in the Himalayas is his traditional abode.

 He is often represented as immersed in deep meditation.

 He is said to eradicate Kama (sexual desire), Moha

(material desire) and Maya (mundane thoughts) from his
devotees' minds.
 Aditi - Hindu Great Goddess, as the Woman Clothed
with the Sun. Sun Goddess, Mother of all the Lights of
Heaven. She gave birth to the twelve zodiacal spirits.

 Ananta - Indian Serpent Queen. aka Sarparajni. She

enveloped all gods during their death, sleeping
between incarnations.

 Banka-Mundi - Hunting Goddess of the Khoud.

Merely uttering Her name made one fearless against
jungle beasts.

 Bardaichila - Assamese Storm Goddess.

 Bentakumari - Assamese Water Goddess. First fish of

the season was given to Her.

 Bhasundara - Tibetan Goddess of Prosperity.

 Bisal-Mariamna - Shakti of Sunlight in Mysore.
Symbolized by a brass pot full of water called the
Kunna-Kannadi or 'eye mirror'. Into this pot are put
pepper leaves and coconut flowers, a small metal
mirror leans against it.

 Budhi Pallien - Assamese Forest Goddess, appears as

a tiger roving through the Indian jungle.

 Chomo-Lung-Ma - Goddess Mother of the Universe,

original name of Mt. Everest. One of the oldest Indian

 Devi - Dearly Beloved Goddess

 Durga - the Queen Mother, Warrior Goddess, rode

tigers into battle defending Her children, the gods.
 Hudigamma - Hindu Mother Goddess served by
eunuch priests dressed in women's clothes.

 Indrani - Queen of the gods.

 Ista Devata - Tantric Patroness of the Self.

Individual Guardian Angel of the Enlightened

 Kadru - Serpent Goddess, Mother of the Nagas,

or Cobra people.

 Kauri - Indo-European Swan Goddess. Cowrie

shell was sacred to Her.

 Khon-Ma - Mother Earth, Ruler of All Spirits

emanating from the Earth element.
 Kundalini - Serpent Goddess representing the inner
power of the human body.

 Kurukulla - Dravidian Goddess of Caverns.

 Lakshmi - Goddess of fortune,wealth and abundance.

Portrayed as a golden skinned woman sitting or
standing on a lotus, Her symbol. Hindu Goddess of
Sovereignty. Source of the divine drink Soma. aka
Padma, Lady Lotus. Goddess of Beauty and Good

 Manasa-Devi - Serpent Goddess of Bengal, identified

with the Moon, bearing the Moons's magic name

 Marici - Buddhist Diamond Sow, Great Goddess

seated on a lotus surrounded by 7 pigs. Glorious
One. Sun of Happiness.
 Trimurti 'three forms' - is a concept in
Hinduism "in which the cosmic functions of
creation, maintenance, and destruction are
personified by the forms of Brahma the
creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver,
and Shiva (Kali) the destroyer or transformer."

 These three deities have been called "the

Hindu triad" or the "Great Trinity".

 Of the three members of the Trimurti, the

Bhagavata Purana, which espouses the
Vaishnavite viewpoint, explains that the
greatest benefit can be had from Vishnu.
Kali Yuga

 One of the four stages of development that the world goes

through as part of the cycle of eras, as described in Hindu

 Yuga in Hindu philosophy is the name of an 'epoch' or 'era'

within a cycle of four ages.

These are the Satya Yuga (or Krita Yuga), the Treta Yuga, the
Dvapara Yuga and finally the Kali Yuga.

 A complete yuga cycle from a high Golden Age of

enlightenment to a Dark Age and back again is said to be
caused by the solar system's motion around a central sun.

 The end of Kali Yuga occurs "When flowers will be begot

within flowers, and fruits within fruits, then will the Yuga
come to an end. And the clouds will pour rain
unseasonably when the end of the Yuga approaches."
Ram Setu Bridge

 Adam’s Bridge, most commonly known as Ram

Setu Bridge, connects Pamban Island near
Rameshwaram in India and Mannar Island off Sri

 According to the Hindu epic, Ramayana, the

bridge was built by Lord Rama’s Vanara (ape
men) army to help him rescue his wife, Sita, who
was a captive under Ravana, the king of Lanka.

 Interestingly, the documentary What on Earth,

which airs on Science Channel, claims that the
bridge is man-made and not natural as
previously thought. This has added fresh
credibility to the legend in the Hindu
mythological text.
Valmiki’s Curse

 Valmiki, the author of Ramayana, is honoured as

Adi Kavi, or the first poet. There’s a fascinating
legend behind how he composed the first ever
Indian shloka (couplet) by accident. One day, the
sage witnessed a hunter shoot down a male bird
with an arrow. Unable to bear her partner’s
demise, the female bird, too, dies of sorrow.
Consumed by rage and grief himself, Valmiki put
a curse on the hunter, which he unconsciously
uttered in a poetic metre. Later that day, Lord
Brahma appeared before Valmiki and urged him
to write the story of Lord Rama in that very metre
and thus the epic poem, Ramayana, came to be.
 As with many religions and cultures, Indian mythology also
mentions a great flood, which once threatened to destroy earthly
existence. It is believed that Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of
a fish called Matsya to save the world when this deluge took
place. However, some ancient texts also suggest that Matsya was
an incarnation of Lord Brahma.

 Legend has it that a tiny fish approached Manu, the leader of the
human race, pleading him to save him from a big fish. In return,
the aquatic creature promised to protect the earth from the
impending flood. Heeding the request, Manu put the small fish in
a pot. Day by day, the fish grew bigger and bigger until it had to
be placed in the ocean.

 To save himself from the deluge, the fish asked Manu to take
shelter in a boat along with his family and also instructed him to
take various animals and plants and seven wise sages on board
with him. The legend is intriguing because of its uncanny
similarity with the story of Noah’s Ark.
Legend of Mahabalipuram
 Mahabalipuram is a town in the south Indian state of Tamil
Nadu renowned for its group of monuments.

 The legend of Mahabalipuram states that there were six

other temples that stood alongside the famous Shore
Temple, which was built during the eighth century.

 The so-called ‘Seven Pagodas’ was so beautiful that even

the gods became jealous of it. This caused Lord Indra to
instigate a storm that submerged the entire city
underwater except for one temple.

 During the tsunami of December 2004, century-old

sediments were removed from the ocean floor and
structures suspected to be remains of the submerged
temples were revealed.