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Untouchable Art Art of the Hindu People Hinduism

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Untouchable Art

Art of the Hindu People

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Hinduism

n 1: the dominant religion of India; characterized by a caste system and belief in reincarnation 2: a complex of beliefs and values and customs including worship of many gods especially the Trimurti composed of Brahma the Creator; Vishnu the preserver; and Shiva the destroyer.

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Shiva

  • Shi·van.Hinduism
    • One of the principal Hindu deities, worshiped as the destroyer and restorer of worlds and in numerous other forms. Shiva is often conceived as a member of the triad also including Brahma and Vishnu.
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http://www.mandalas.com/hindu_gallery.htm

Visit this site to view

beautiful Hindu art.

Then, compare the beauty of these images

to the reality of an untouchable Hindu.

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casteAny of the hereditary, endogamous social classes or subclasses of traditional Hindu society, stratified according to Hindu ritual purity, especially the Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra castes.

Su·dra (Untouchable)A member of the lowest of the four major castes of traditional Indian society, comprising artisans, laborers, and menials.

How would it feel to be untouchable?

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Hindus bathe in the

sacred Ganges River.

Untouchables are

discouraged

to bathe there.

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God with Form:Hindus say that it is not enough just to believe in God. We have to make an effort to find God in this life. One of the best ways to find God is to think of him/her as a person. This allows us to build a relationship with him and thus allows us to get closer to him. Many Hindus have found God in this manner. The form of God they choose then becomes very special because it is a tried and tested path used by a person to reach God. This is why we see God being portrayed in so many different ways in Hindu temples. These are all different ways used by different people to reach the same God. Many people including some Hindus get confused when they see so many different forms of God. Vedas - the scriptures of Hinduism teach: - "There is only one God but there are many different ways to reach him".

Different Forms of God:

Brahma: God seen in the role of the creator of the universe. He is shown with four heads looking in all four directions. He is sometimes shown holding scriptures, beads, and a water pot.

Vishnu: God seen in the role of the preserver of the universe. He is normally shown with four arms holding lotus, mace, discus and conch.

Mahesh (Shiva): God seen in the role of the destroyer of the universe. Shown sometimes as 'Natraj' holding a drum as a symbol of creation and fire as a symbol of destruction. Hinduism says that if God is the creator of the universe then God is the only one who can be the destroyer of the universe. Sometimes 'Shiva' is shown in the posture of meditation (yogiraj) with a snake curled around his neck. His body is smeared in ashes and he is shown with a third eye (the eye of discrimination).

Rama and Krishna: Avatars ( God descending to earth) like Rama and Krishna are also the forms of God Hindus like to worship.

Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Ram and Krishna

Mother Goddess: Some Hindus like to think of God as their mother in heaven.

She is sometimes shown as the consort of Shiva and is addressed as: - Parvati: Goddess referred to as Shakti (Energy).

Durga: Parvati in the role of a warrior. Shown sitting on a lion or a tiger and holding many divine weapons.

Kali: Parvati in the role of the 'all-destroying' mother goddess shown standing on Siva as her support.

Sarasvati: is shown wearing a white sari and playing the Veena. She is referred to as the Goddess of all learning, music and art.

Lakshmi: Is considered to be the goddess of wealth and beauty. She is shown wearing a red sari and offering gold coins to her devotees.

God without form but with qualities: Some Hindus like to think of God as being formless. The best way that they can describe God is as Truth and Love. They say that if we try and find out the real nature of these qualities, we can find God. They do not like to think of God with form. Two recent movements in India that promoted this approach to God are called: Arya Samaj andBrahmo Samaj.They both promote God as impersonal but with qualities like truth and love. Swami Dayananda Sarasvati (1825-1883) was the founder of the Arya Samaj. Ram Mohan Roy was the founder of Brahmo Samaj. Both these movements brought about important social reforms within Hinduism.

God with and without form: Most Hindus are not very keen to think of God as being formless. The best explanation of God as being both with and without form comes from a recent Hindu prophet called Ramakrishna (1836-1886). He explained why there is no contradiction in thinking of God as being both with and without form. He gave the example of ice and water.           It is the same thing with and without shape. He says that the love of the devotee freezes the formless God into the form of his choice. Hence any approach to God is fine. Any form of God we decide to worship is fine. He said God is both with and without form and much more.

Sri Ramakrishna

Brahman and Atman - Ideas of God beyond form and quality:Hinduism also teaches that God can be beyond form and quality. Hinduism refers to God as the ultimate reality -'Brahman'. It teaches that this ultimate reality 'appears' as the physical universe. It adds that this same ultimate reality also 'appears' in a more clear form as all living things. Hence they are sacred as they represent an image of God. Mankind is the most sacred image of God as it represents the most transparent manifestation of God. What sparkles in all of us as the 'I' say Hindus is the clearest manifestation of God. The name given to God as our true self is 'Atman'. This is one way in which we can think of God as being beyond form and quality - just as the witness to everything.

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http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/india/

View these sites to read about the violence committed against Untouchables.

http://www.pucl.org/from-archives/Dalit-tribal/violence.htm

http://indianterrorism.bravepages.com/violenceagainstdalits.htm

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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/06/0602_030602_untouchables.htmlhttp://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/06/0602_030602_untouchables.html

View this link to read about Untouchables and

Their dreadful lives in National Geographic.

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http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/section/caste_CastesinIndia.asphttp://www.encyclopedia.com/html/section/caste_CastesinIndia.asp

Read more about the caste system in India.

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http://pub18.ezboard.com/fbalkansfrm21.showMessage?topicID=19.topichttp://pub18.ezboard.com/fbalkansfrm21.showMessage?topicID=19.topic

More about Untouchables

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http://www.kamat.com/

How can you make Untouchable Art?

http://www.hindupaintings.com/paintings/FolkArt/

These are a comprehensive sites of Hindu art, artists, and phtographs etc.