Monday, January 20, 2014

Statue hunt

There are a lot of statues around the house, so today we did a statue hunt and writing exercise, to learn to write the names of some of the kids' favorites. These included:

  • Guanyin (Sanskrit: Avalokiteshvara), the female Buddha, goddess of kindness and compassion;
  • Kali (an incarnation of Parvati, wife of the supreme god Shiva) who represents time, change and destruction. We studied the statue in front of one fireplace, where Kali dances on Shiva's body, Shiva having thrown himself on the ground to protect the world from her earth-shattering dance. He is the only one who can eventually quell her rage!
  • Ganesha, son of Shiva and Parvati, the elephant-headed lord of learning and letters, and remover of obstacles.
We also talked about Chinese guardian lions a.k.a. Foo dogs, manifestations of yin and yang. There are big lion statues at our door, and the kids love to climb on them. The yin (female) rests her paw on her cub and yang (male) rests his paw on a sphere depicting the world. What do they stand for? "Caring for babies and being powerful!"

All the statues are very familiar to the children since they see them almost every day – but they don't yet know all the stories associated with the gods and goddesses. Hindu (not to mention Chinese!) mythology is so rich and complex that we can learn about them bit by bit.

No comments:

Post a Comment