Sunday, August 29, 2010

Visiting the Hindu Society Temple

As I suspected when entering the Hindu Society Temple, I saw many people walking around without shoes. As soon as I walked in I was directed to what looked like a walk-in closet full of shoes. After removing my shoes I walked directly into a big, carpeted room where everyone was seated on the floor facing what looked like a stage. After I was seated I looked around and saw to my left the statue of the gods in their many extravagant garbs. In the very middle of all of the gods I recognized Ganesha. The other figures looked familiar except for one to the very left that had many different colors and fabrics surrounding it.

The unfamiliar god’s appearance I learned was so different from the others because it is made of granite and so it is black unlike the other gods that are white. In southern India, where the statue came from, they make their statues out of granite. It also wore a lot more accessories than the other gods and was surrounded by many colorful objects.

While listening to the speaker, the one topic I found most interesting was the description of the gods and the meanings of their different stances and positions. For example, if the right hand of the god is held up and the palm is facing you it symbolizes the god blessing you. If the left hand is held down with the palm facing you, but slightly slanted toward the knee and feet, that means to surrender to the gods.

The speaker cleared up for me that in Hinduism they worship only one god and they believe there is only one god that every religion ulitimately believes in. The statues that seem like they are each a different god are actually elements to the one god.

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