Religion committed one more murder the other day.
And Hindus commemorated Shiva, one of the numerous gods of Hinduism just the other day. For the uninitiated, Shiva is the guy who's responsible for the destruction of the world as opposed to Vishnu who is the creator of worlds ... Brahma is responsible for the day-to-day upkeep of worlds ... correct me if I am wrong since it's a long time since my childhood when I learnt these things.
So, you've got a guy who's basically responsible for the Big Bang and another guy who's responsible for the Big Crunch ... so to say. Pretty nifty.
Anyway, this god Shiva or Lord Shiva as Hindus would have it has got some interesting characteristics such as:
- He lives on the top of one particular mountain named Kailash ... in the Himalayas of course. I would imagine it would be pretty cold (as in sub-zero temperatures) up there. But clearly, since he's a god, he doesn't need too much of winter wear. In fact, he manages quite well with only wearing something quite scanty. He sits on the hide of a tiger ... or is it that he sort of 'wears' the hide. Again, my memory of the 'facts' is not quite strong.
- He has a snake around his neck — don't ask me why. May be there's a reason that old folks would be able to answer. And he has the crescent moon on his head too. Oh, and the Ganga river flows from his head as well.
- He does an angry dance ... when he's angry of course. So, Hindus like to propitiate him ... keep the guy happy.
- He is married to a goddess of course (well, gods marry goddesses, right? Simple. Can you imagine for example Shiva being married to Britney Spears or Rihana or Mariah Carey or Paris Hilton or Priyanka Chopra??? No, I can't imagine that.) named Parvati.
- And they of course have a baby god named Ganesha. That's the god with an elephant head of course. The story of how he got to have an elephant's head is quite interesting. But as usual, I have forgotten most of it so I won't recount it here.
- Oh, Ganesha had (or is it 'has') a brother too ... I had almost forgotten. So, there's this nifty story about how clever Ganesha is. Once the two brothers had a contest (I forgot who 'initiated' the contest). The challenge was to go around the world seven times and see who does it first. The slow-witted brother actually went around the world seven times ... clearly, lots of hard work considering the Earth has a diameter of some 40,000 kms. And clever Ganesha just went seven times around the parents. So, there's a lesson to be learnt there ... don't ask me what lesson though. Hindus like to repeat this story as a 'teachable moment' to use a hot phrase.
Well, that's about it when it comes to one particular god and his immediate family. Hinduism has got many crazy gods. There's a god with 10 hands, one god with four hands, and one with four heads. One famous villain had 10 heads.I am thinking whether it would be quite advantageous to have four heads or four hands or ten hands. Well, it could be advantageous of course. Imagine if you had four hands. You could be driving a bike using two hands and hold your cell phone with one hand and still have one more hand left over if you need to scratch your nose while driving your bike and talking on the cell phone. Good.
Four heads could be useful too. One advantage that immediately strikes me is that you would be able to look all around you ... all 360 degrees without having to rotate your one measly head. Although, I anticipate some trouble while sleeping ... and the sleeping bit gets even more complicated when you go up from four heads or hands to ten heads or hands ... just imagine that.
And it's not like you have to live with these deformities for 50 or 70 years ... being a god, you gotta live forever, right? Ohhhhhhhh, that's quite a pain ...
And BTW, why do gods (and goddesses) have one word names? Why don't they have a first name and a last name like we do?