Welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Coffee Hour on Street Prophets. This is our communities’ open thread where we can talk about what’s happening in our lives, our thoughts on current events, and anything else that strikes your fancy. I thought I’d start today’s discussion with some comments on Hinduism.
Hinduism is an ancient and very complex religion. There is no founder: Hinduism seems to have emerged organically in India several thousand years ago. In addition, Hinduism, unlike Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is not a religion of the book: there is no closed scriptural canon.
Hinduism teaches that human beings are subject to a series of goals in life. The central concepts of Hinduism are transmigration and karma. Transmigration means that the soul passes from body to body according to its works. The nature of the new life to which the soul passes is determined by karma—“action,” “work,” or “deed.” As a person acts in one life, so he or she enjoys happiness or sorrow in the next.
Shown above is Ganesha, Lord of Ostacles. The elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha removes obstacles to material success and spiritual progress. At the start of each day and at the beginning of any important project, Ganesha is invoked. He is the patron deity of wisdom, literature, and the pursuit of knowledge. He is the master of yoga and dancing. His big belly signifies that Ganesha contains all of the universes: past, present, and future.
In the Hindu tradition, Durga (shown above) is a multi-armed warrior goddess who was created to subdue the buffalo demon Mahisha. She incorporates all the powers of the other gods of the Hindu pantheon. Small bronze sculptures like this one shown Durga victorious over Mahisha are made to adorn household shrines.
Now let’s explore your life. What’s happening? What are you thinking about? And, most important, what’s for dinner?