OF DEITIES AND EDUCATIONAL
VALUE OF HINDU SCRIPTURES
the beginning of Humanity man has believed in a certain power
that governs the universe and he has felt a need to worship
it. However, it was difficult for him to conceive of a God
with no form or face. The wise old men understood this need of
the common man. Maybe that was the reason why the deities were
attributed to have four hands. That may have been intended to
show that God has more powers and qualities than a normal
of the deities are represented with the pointing finger
touching the thumb of form a circle leaving the rest of the
three fingers aside. This is called the Gyan Mudra or the
symbol of true knowledge.
pointing finger represents the Ego; the thumb the True
consciousness or the Atman and the other three fingers
represent body, mind and intellect.
all know that the hand is ineffective without the thumb;
similarly the body is ineffective without the true spirit that
resides in it. So. when leaving the body, mind and intellect
aside, the ego surrenders to true consciousness; it becomes
eternal as symbolised by the circle formed by the joining of
pointing finger and thumb.
Shiva has been called the Nataraja - The Lord of the Dance,
Birth and death, formation and decay, change and movement
occur all the time as it is the law of the universe. The above
is symbolised in the dance of Siva.
Ganesh is one of our earliest deities and as explained earlier
is always worshipped before any other God, during any
ceremonial prayer because he is considered to be the dispeller
why did the masses give an elephant head to one whom they
wanted to worship as the Almighty? The legend claims that Lord
Siva had cut his own son, Ganesha’s head in a fit of temper
and when his wife Parvathi implored him to restore her son’s
life, he promised to do so.
Siva said that he would cut the head of the first living
creature that passed by and use it to replace his son’s
head, and that is what He did. However, it makes me wonder why
Lord Siva said that He would cut the head of the first living
creature that passed. The theory is far-fetched, but could
Lord Siva have performed head transplant?
all. Eric Van Daniken In his book Chariots of the Gods does
claim that humanity was very advanced in early history and
far-fetched theories like the above one should be taken
literally. Also there are some ancient paintings, in which
what seems like, transplants of internal organs!
above is, as far as
story of Sri Ganesh, goes.
us come to the symbolic aspect.
Lord Ganesh has big ears denoting that God is able to
hear everything. The long trunk of an elephant has the quality
of being able to uproot a tree; and at the same time pick up a
tiny needle from a haystack which is again a quality
attributed to the Lord as we believe that in spite of his
great power, the tiniest creature does not pass unnoticed by
Him. Lord Ganesh’s
large belly denotes prosperity.
carriage is a rat. How could an
elephant sit on
a rat? Seems absurd-but It is not so. The lord in spite of
being the Lord of the Cosmos attends to our Earth which is but
a speck of dust
in the universe.
Hindus worship the Goddess Lakshmi. She is considered the
Goddess of wealth and is the consort of Lord Vishnu, the
Preserver of mankind.
to the scriptures and paintings that have come down from
ancient times, if the Goddess Lakshmi travels alone she
travels on an owl. If she travels with Lord Vishnu she travels
on the Garuda (Eagle).
Nirmal Chetan explains the symbolism thus. An owl is supposed
to be blind during the day and a wealthy person without the
right kind of intellect cannot see beyond his richness.
whenever Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth, travels without Lord
Vishnu she makes the person whom she visits metaphorically
blind. However, when the Goddess Lakshmi travels with Lord
Vishnu, she travels on a Garuda (Eagle) who is the symbol of
a lighter vein the word “Doulat” (wealth) is derived from
the words do laat (two kicks)
wealth comes to a person without right discrimination he gets
one kick-this makes him blind, egoist and a bigot. When wealth
decides to make its exit It gives the person another kick-that
of blood pressure or heart attack!
is the most worshipped deity as well as the most controversial
one. We Hindus believe that Krishna was a true yogi. He did
everything in life, but with total detachment. In fact, in the
Gita, He states that there is nothing to be renounced in this
world, but attachment to the senses and desires. Yet it seems
He lived His life to a point of absurdity, marrying 16,108
women, stealing butter while he was a child and bothering
and teasing the gopis (ladies) in the village.
through His pranks, one message comes out clear-Love. His
profound Intellect is proven later in the philosophy that He
expounds to Arjuna on the battlefield, which Is known as the
the Srimad Bhagavat. Krishna freed 16100 women who were
Jarasandha’s prisoners. Jarasandha was planning to sacrifice
them arid Krishna gave them refuge. During those days women
would consider it below, their dignity to live under the protection of a man unless they
were married to him. Maybe that is the reason why Lard Krishna
had to make them His wives.
us not forget that morality differs with time. What may have
been perfectly ethical during those days may not be so today:
but we have to live according to the rules prevailing during
the age that we live in.
symbolic aspect is that Krishna’s main wives were actually
his two hands, two legs, two ears and two eyes. The rest of
the 16,100 wives were the veins in His body. This means that
just like a wife is supposed to be under the husband’s care
and protection so was Sri Krishna the Lord of His sense organs
to the extent of even being in control of the blood that
flowed within His veins.