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Who is Vishnu? – Hinduism – India

By |2017-07-21T13:35:30-07:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Vishnu and Lakshmi (Kashmir, 1000s AD now in Los Angeles) Vishnu was one of the Hindu gods. He was mentioned in the Rig Veda as a god of light and the sun. But people first began to worship Vishnu as a really important god around 300 BC. About this time, people began to think about Vishnu as being like the sun's energy, everywhere, [...]

Who is Krishna? Hinduism in India

By |2017-07-21T10:37:03-07:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

The god Krishna killing the horse demon (Guptan Empire, 400s AD,now in Metropolitan Museum, NYC) Krishna was one of the Hindu gods. He was actually just one of the many forms of the god Vishnu. People thought of Krishna as one reincarnation of Vishnu. The god Krishna doesn't appear in Indian stories before about 300 BC. Probably he [...]

What is karma? Hinduism – India

By |2018-09-24T07:45:54-07:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

What is karma? Jataka Tales about karma: King Siva offers his body to save a dove from a hawk, and King Candraprabha is so generous that he gives away his own head (Mogao Caves, China, about 500 AD) What is karma? Karma is the Sanskrit word for "action" or "doing something." It comes from an [...]

Diwali – the Festival of Lights – Hinduism – India

By |2019-05-13T13:22:56-07:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Flowers and Diwali lamps - the Diwali festival What does "Diwali" mean? Diwali is a Sanskrit word originally meaning "a row of lights". "Dipa" is the Sanskrit word for "light". Diwali is an Indian harvest festival. It celebrates the end of the hard work of harvesting food. People are happy that now there is plenty [...]

What is dharma? Hinduism – India

By |2019-05-07T07:12:30-07:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

What is dharma? Arjuna fights Shiva (in a story from the Mahabharata) because that is his dharma Dharma is an Indian idea 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. Who were the Yamnaya? What is [...]

Guptan temples – Indian architecture

By |2017-07-19T12:10:33-07:00July 19th, 2017|Architecture, India|

Tigawa temple, 350 AD When the Mauryan empire collapsed, about 200 BC, for more than five hundred years Indian leaders were too busy fighting wars against each other to build any big buildings. But around 350 AD some victorious leaders formed a new empire, the Guptan Empire. Once there was peace, people began to build again, and, for the first [...]