Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Why Hindu Gods and Godesses have many heads and hands

(This post does not induce religion or encourage Hinduism in any sense. It is only my view of why Hindu deities have many heads and hands.)

After reading a few times about how westerners, or non Indians, view a Hindu deity as someone who has 8-12 heads and many hands, I thought I'd present my view on this subject. There are a lot of pictures like the one here that show a Hindu God/Goddess having many heads and hands. 
Hindu God Vishnu with his many "faces" and "hands"

This led to the belief that a Hindu deity is multi-headed and "spider" handed, sort of. In fact, I find many Hindus refer to God as someone with the same physical description. 

This is what I think:
In a picture, personality traits / characters are depicted via a face. So a gentle character has a gentle face, an angry character has a red face, a frightening character is depicted as someone who has gorging eyes and probably a tongue coming out of mouth. When an artist wants to show the various traits/characters (read "faces") of a Hindu god/goddess, there is a dilemma. A single face won't be able to cover all the traits. Hence, the artists chose to give the god/goddess the many heads - in fact many faces.

Hands denote ability. Even in English language, the use of the word "ambidextrous" is used to denote skill of the person and not just "someone who can use both hands with equal skill". To show that a person is skillful at sword fight, a sword is painted in his hand. Thus, to denote many abilities, the artist drew many hands, each  depicting a particular skill. 

Thus a Hindu deity is shown having many heads and many hands.

(This explanation is entirely my own and I find this quite logical. If someone else has said the same thing, I haven't read it.)

Thursday, 17 May 2012


It's in you.. the life.. the blood that runs through you.. the strength in you.. the miracle of life.. the best of the possibilities.. it's here.. it's in everyone of us.. The question we have to ask ourselves is "What have I done lately ?"

Monday, 7 May 2012

The Man in the Arena - Theodore Roosevelt

Have you ever, by any chance, read "The Man in the Arena" by Theodore Roosevelt ?

I say "chance" because it was by chance that I came across it. I was searching for a wallpaper of Rudyard Kipling's "If". I've been wanting to have that as my desktop wallpaper for some time now. I chanced upon the wallpaper in a website "The art of manliness" - they were announcing posters that are now available for purchase. The first one, "The Man in the Arena" by Theodore Roosevelt caught my eye and I enlarged it to see what was said. The website boasted of 'manliness' as an art and so I thought it'd be worth to check that out. And yes, how true it was. I read it, was spellbound, and just sat in silence for a couple of minutes. Or it must be my mind playing tricks because I thought I sat in silence. Sometimes when you find something give form to a feeling that you have, in a way that matches the feeling, you feel happy. I mean, I do. I have to write this down tonight, I told myself. Serendipitous discoveries really have a thrill that very few things can match!

Here's the poem and picture directly linked to the website (I guess there would be some copyrights, so I didn't reproduce the pic. But the problem with linking the pic directly is that if they link, this would be useless. Anyway, that's alright.)

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic" delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 by Theodore Roosevelt

Hats off to you, Mr.Roosevelt. That was fantastically said.
(Do visit The art of manliness if you want to buy the poster. By the way, I have no affiliation whatsoever with that website)

Friday, 4 May 2012

Reasons unknown

I go deep into the forest
to find the flowers that grow on the edge of the mountain
where the water falls into the emptiness below
I weave a garland for you
I carry it in a bag tied close to my heart and come to you
You ask "Why ?"

I go to the lake and sit quietly
Look at the waves talking to the rocks
whispers all over the place
You come wandering and sit by my side
I see the sky and your smile
I write a sonnet and offer it to you
You take it and ask "Why ?"

Late in the night you are making your bed
Engrossed in other chores that are trivial but yet need attention
I am sitting in my garden watching the stars
with the sounds of crickets and frogs giving music to the night
And I look to the heaven's above and ask "Why not ?"