Last spring I took a course with the advertising department on the subject of curiosity. (What it is, how we get it, and how we can harness it to do great things in our field.) It was one of the most interesting courses I’ve taken in college, the kind of class that you know is preparing you for more than a test, or final project, or even just to get a job once you graduate, but is actually preparing you for LIFE. It taught me that in order to make something interesting for other people, I need to make it interesting for myself, and the way to do that is to have an insatiable sense of curiosity. Anyway, we had a term-long project to research and present on any subject imaginable, as long as we were curious about it.
My project was on the Hindu faith, and I chose to present with a sequence of images and facts.
World’s Third largest religion
started in Indian subcontinent
oldest practiced religion- 8500 years old
Belief in rebirth, reincarnation. Life is cyclical, soul is born into many bodies
The main texts are the vedas, the mahabharata, the bagadvad gita.
But what does this really mean?
panthiesm: many gods
henothiesm: many gods, but one worshipped as your special diety
trimurti: brahma, vishnu, shiva
monothiesm: Brahman, the one supreme being, existing everywhere.
But Hinduism is considered to be all of
these things, yet none at the same time.
The richness of storytelling and importance
of mythologies in the Hindu faith can be
expressed through an example found in the
the story of Ganesha, who takes the form
of a man with the head of an elephant.
Born of Devi, the consort to Shiva the destroyer while he was away. Because offspring of the gods are born within a day of conception, Ganesha came somewhat as a surprise to Devi. She decided, like any mother would, to take a break and get in the bath, and told Ganesha to guard the door, ordering him that no one should enter. In the meantime, Ganesha’s father Shiva returns, sees a strange man at his house, and is justifiably suspicious. He demands entrance. Because neither knew the other for what they were, Ganesha refused to let his father in, and Shiva grew angry and decapitated him. Devi hears the commotion, runs out, only to find her son beheaded and the father standing over him. She explains the situation to Shiva, and begs him to bring their son back to life. Shiva, now realizing his mistake, returns him to life, giving him the head of the first animal he saw-the elephant.
learn the tenents of hinduism, which are:
artha- economic prosperity
kama- senses, pleasure.
moksha-liberation from samsara, the cycle of rebirth.
At this point, your soul is joined with brahman.
But what is the personal interaction between
a person who practices Hinduism and their faith?
Flowers at rajghat- site of a cremation memorial for Ghandi
Hinduism, like any religion, will mean
something different to every different
“If I know Hinduism at all, it is essentially inclusive and ever-growing, ever-responsive. It gives the freest scope to imagination, speculation and reason.”