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Who is Lakshmi? Hindu goddess – India

By |2017-07-21T11:07:45+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Lakshmi (Sanchi Stupa, central India, 200s BC) Lakshmi was (and is) a Hindu goddess of light, wealth, good luck and success. Her name comes from the Sanskrit word laks, which can mean "light" or "goal". And that comes from an earlier Yamnaya word for "bright and shiny". There are statues of Lakshmi starting about 500 BC, but she probably became a [...]

What is Hinduism? A religion of India

By |2017-10-14T16:35:20+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion, What|

Arjuna fighting Karna, with Krishna as his charioteer (Duttapara Temple, ca. 1500s AD) The word Hindu comes from the river Indus, and it just means the people who live near the Indus river (actually in modern Pakistan). The Harappa people who lived near that river about 2500 BC carved images of several different gods on their clay seals. We can't read Harappan writing, [...]

Hinduism project – India religions

By |2017-07-21T08:39:17+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Airavetesavara temple to Shiva in southern India (1100s AD) For a great project on Hinduism, and to learn the important vocabulary of this religion, write words related to Hinduism on pieces of paper and put them in a hat. Two kids draw a word, and then have to act it out or tell a story [...]

What is dharma? Hinduism – India

By |2017-07-21T08:23:46+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Arjuna fights Shiva (in a story from the Mahabharata) Dharma is a Sanskrit word originally meaning order or solidity or normality. It comes from an earlier Indo-European (Yamnaya) word meaning firm, solid, like wood or a tree. Hindus later on used it to mean something like "law" or "duty" - it's the laws of nature that keep order [...]

Brahma – Hindu god – Indian religion

By |2017-07-21T07:36:29+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Brahma (Musée Guimet, Paris,from Madhya Pradesh, about 1100 AD) Brahma was, along with Vishnu and Shiva, one of the three main gods of Hinduism. Vishnu came first, according to Hindu stories, and then Brahma was born out of Vishnu's belly-button. In Hindu thought, Brahma was the creator god, while Vishnu preserved the universe and Shiva was the [...]

Mauryan India – history of India

By |2017-09-13T08:21:08+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

These punch-marked silver coins might be from the time of Chandragupta I Alexander went back to Babylon in 324 BC. Then a man named Chandragupta overthrew the old Vedic kingdom of Nanda and formed a big new empire. He ruled all of northern India and into Afghanistan. Greek historians said that Chandragupta got the idea from Alexander. But it [...]