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The photos cannot be sold. For commercial purposes other than the web, pay as specified here. Select photos by using the SEARCH function under the Archives, found at the bottom of page (my email id is there too) or labels at bottom of each post. To see original image, click on image or ask me for a bigger and better one.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Significance of Animals and other life in Hinduism

Even if one is not a religious Hindu, one cannot help revering the religion for one thing - it's understanding, love, and respect for animals. Animals have a right to be here, just as humans do, and no religion understands this better than Hinduism.Animal, mammal and even reptile imagery is common in Hinduism. Indian literature is also full of references to animals. And the references do not paint the creatures as evil.
The fables of West has few references to animals, and some paint the animals negatively. For example, the evil wolf in Red Riding Hood. On the other hand in Indian fables such as in the Panchatantra, The stories are full of animal characters and morals for humans and many of these stories date back to the  2nd or 3rd century BC.
And then, we have our Hindu Gods who are often depicted complete with their favourite animals, whether cows, elephants snakes or even rats! Used either as pets or vehicles. This made animals sacred for many centuries and helped preserve our wildlife although now the influences of the West has changed us to some extent.

Animals were always a part and parcel of our culture, and I am very proud of it. The Gods showed us the way.

Strangely westerners ridicule our "worship" of animals and even have contempt for it. They have ofcourse killed off most of their wildlife! They have little or not understanding of the importance of animals in Hinduism and even less about the right of a form of life to live, a right others have as much as humans. All their recent efforts to preserve animals are esoteric in nature, without a base in spiritualism. It's good ofcourse, a way for them to make up for the many centuries of animal slaughter.

Krishna loved milk and milk products and this is him with a pet cow.

Nandi, the Bull, is Lord Shiva's ride and found outside many temples.

Here is Shiva with his Nandi bail and also a snake around his neck. There are various interpretation of why there is a snake around the neck. The interpretation  is that "a snake hoards nothing, carries nothing, builds nothing, lives on air alone for a long time, and lives in mountains and forests. The venom of a snake, therefore, symbolizes the yogic power".

This is at the pre-historic site of the Kailashnath Temple at Ellora. This temple has several sculptures of lions and elephants. In Hinduism animals are considered on par with humans, not inferiors and that is why they have a place with God.

Turtles are often found in temples, at the feet of the Gods. In Hinduism, a tortoise is one who carries the world on his back, upholding the Earth and the sea. Turtles are revered in some other ancient cultures as well.

Read more about the importance of animals in Hinduism here.

You might also like or Krishna Temple in Mahabaleshwar or Diya graphics and illustrations and Sketch or other Hindu Religious symbols or check out all the photographs filed under Hinduism, Ellora, Art, Culture or Religion or Temples
The Image of different Religions is well illustrated in this post by taking random first images off the internet.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hindu Religious symbols

There are many things which are held sacred by the Hindus and these symbols are usually either found near the dieties or used in religious rituals.

This is an image of a copper vessel and a coconut standing in it. Used as an offering to the Gods. The Swastika, an ancient Hindu symbol is also seen in the image.

Hindu religious symbol

Each arm of the Swastika as per archaeological evidence represents "the processional equinox and solstice around the pole start". Other old civilizations around the world like Turkic, Iranian, Armenian, Nepalese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and European have also been associated with this symbol. It is still commonly used in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It signifies wealth, prosperity and auspiciousness.

Indian swastika

Flowers are commonly used for worship in all religions but Hinduism favours certain flowers. The 
The Chapha or Plumeria in English is used frequently for the worship of Hindu Gods. Here it is seen decorating a Trishul, another sacred Hindu symbol. 

chapha flower on trident

The Trishula considered a sacred symbol for Buddhists as well as Hindus. The Hindu God Shiva uses this three pronged weapon as seen here in this picture. So does the Goddess Durga and also some other Hindu dieties.  The three points of the Trishul are supposed to represent the trinities of  creation, maintenance and destruction - The Past, the Present and the Future.
In the human body, the trishula is also meant to signify the place where the three main nadis, or energy channels (ida, pingala and shushmana) meet at the brow. 

And don't miss the Om symbol on Lord Shiva's palm. Written as ॐ in Devanagari, the Om is a type of mantra and mystical Sanskrit sound of Hindu origin. It is used for chanting during Yogic exercises. It is important in various religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sanatana Dharma and Jainism. 

Lord Shankar with Trident and Om symbol

Orange Marigold flowers are usually used in religious rituals and have now taken on a religious tone. They are hung in doorways and used in puja or Hindu religious rituals not just on festivals, but on any auspicious occasion.

home decorated with yellow flower garland

A small temple in Thailand where orange marigold flowers are used for worship. Incense is also seen here. Again frequently used for the worship of God in most religions, including Christianity in India.

Flowers and incense in small temple

The Areca Nut is believed to be an auspicious ingredient and used in religious ceremonies in Hinduism and also in some schools of Buddhism. Here in this picture it is seen placed carefully on a mound of rice and used in a religious ceremony.

Hindu religious ritual items

The Rudraksha is a necklace made of the beads from the seeds of the Rudraksha or Rudraksh tree, which is a large evergreen broad-leaved tree. These beads are used prayers and rituals in Hinduism and are also made into jewellery. Many fake ones are also available. The ones on the extreme right of the photograph are the rudraksha bead necklaces, the dark brown ones. These are usually available outside some temples or religious places.

Rudrakshas on sale

Or check out all the photographs filed under HinduismElloraArtCulture or Religion or Temples
More Related Images: Indian cities lit up at night with Diwali lights or  Priest performing a Pooja or Hanuman Temple

Monday, March 24, 2014

Rickshaw passengers in India

Images of some Indian Auto Rickshaw Passengers. The men and women on the streets of India. The rickshaw driver is in the picture too. Taken in the Mumbai area.

Rickshaw passengers

Cycle rickshaw passengers in Agra.

Cycle rickshaw passengers

A smiling woman passenger in an auto rickshaw in Agra.

Smiling woman in rickshaw in Agra

On the way from Delhi to Nainital. Photograph taken in Uttar Pradesh, a northern Indian state. Between Ghaziabad and Bareilly, in western U.P. A Muslim woman and her child, alongwith other families.

rickshaw passengers

You might also like to see more pictures of Hand Pulled Rickshaws or pictures of Cycle Rickshaws in India
Or Cabbies or taxi drivers or or Truck Drivers in India
More related pictures: Rickshaws in Pune, India or Auto Rickshaws and Cycle Rickshaws in China or Taxis and auto rickshaws crammed with people or School Rickshaws with small children or Man sleeping on tractor or Matheran narrow gauge train pictures
Or check out other images filed under the label of Transport 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Foreigners, students, bachelors and Spinsters not allowed as tenants

This signboard is hilarious. And in the modern city of Pune.
For those in search of a home it can cut to the quick.

In India we have a ghetto mentality. And a narrow minded view of how people should behave. While prejudices against Muslims (being your neighbor) cannot be openly voiced, biases against youngsters are openly voiced.

True, all of us have a right to choose his/her tenant. A vegetarian does not want a beef eater as a next door neighbor. Even in western democracies there are rules and restrictions but they put the rules on behavior not people. For example they may say no pets, or even no small children!  It's not a blanket rule against a particular type of person. Noise is frowned upon, whoever you are.

To assume that all youngsters lead a free wheeling and noisy life are often just biases.
If there are compunctions on whether the person has friends of the opposite sex, these are narrow-minded and petty views. What in the world is wrong if a young person has a sex life? It is a private matter.
It's time such boards and attitudes became illegal. Instead just say quiet tenants needed!

Rental sign

Monday, March 17, 2014

Hand Pulled Rickshaw Drivers Portraits

Business is not always good in Matheran, especially during the off season. Here are photographs of rickshaw drivers waiting for fares. Motorized vehicles are not allowed in the hill station of Matheran in Maharashtra, India. These men pull these rickshaws with their bare hands.
These are hand-pulled rickshaws found in various parts of the country even now.

Bored but alert.

Cycle Rickshaw Drivers in Matheran

Staring thoughtfully at the camera.

Rickshaw driver in Matheran in India

Wondering why his picture was being taken.

Cycle Rickshaw Driver waiting for a fare

You might also like to see more pictures of Hand Pulled Rickshaws or pictures of Cycle Rickshaws in India
Or Cabbies or taxi drivers or or Truck Drivers in India
More related pictures: Rickshaws in Pune, India or Auto Rickshaws and Cycle Rickshaws in China or Taxis and auto rickshaws crammed with people or School Rickshaws with small children or Man sleeping on tractor or Matheran narrow gauge train pictures
Or check out other images filed under the label of Transport 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Tribal woman in a city

An Indian tribal woman in Pune city. She has drums with her. She sings and asks for alms.

Indian tribal woman

You might also like Portraits of a Gujarati tribal woman or African orgin tribe of Gujarat the Siddi  or The Tarpa Wind Instrument of Indian Tribes from Maharashtra, or Adivasi Dancers from Matheran or Pilgrims singing and playing the Manjira musical instrument
Or Village women from India - sketches and silhouettes or Rural women carrying water and firewood or Tribal women in India

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Indian Men Portraits

Some pictures speak a thousand words and these are such pictures.

Mehendi is used for dying hair commonly in India. This man has hair which appears a reddish colour because of it.

Man walking on street

A man with a thoughtful expression in rural India.

Man with thoughtful expression

A man in the traditional Muslim wear with the white cap and beard.

Muslim man

Man drinking chai or tea in a small glass which is common on the streets of India.

Man drinking chai or tea in a glass

You might also like: 
Old Rural Indian Men portraits and expressions or Elderly Indian men in ethnic clothes or A village in Maharashtra Old and elderly women in India or images of Old men reading newspapers in India or Pilgrims singing and playing the Manjira musical instrument

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Indian Men

These are photographs of young Indian men, waiting or hanging around on the streets of India. Photos of crowds and groups.

These men are waiting for a bus.

Men waiting for bus

These men are waiting to cross the road.

Group of men waiting to cross the road

These men have just got off a train at a railway station and are walking on the pavement outside.

Men walking on the pavement

These men are hanging around near a chai shop near a highway. Either having tea or taking a break from their ride.

Men outside a tea shop

You might also like Crowds in India or images of Bustops in India or crowds of people waiting for a bus without a proper queue: Waiting at a bus stop in India or
Old Rural Indian Men portraits and expressions or Elderly Indian men in ethnic clothes
or A village in Maharashtra or Old and elderly women in India
More images: Old men reading newspapers in India or Pilgrims singing and playing the Manjira musical instrument

Monday, March 3, 2014

Portraits of a Gujarati tribal woman

She is an elderly Indian lady, and poor. You can tell that she has had a tough life. Standing and staring. Wearing her traditional Gujarati dress she was seen on the Somnath temple grounds in Gujarat. Gujarati women wear colourful clothes as opposed to the dull whites and blues of the Gujarati men. This woman is wearing a nose ring and has a large tikka on her forehead. The bright red and green (traditional colours of Gujarati textiles) pallav is covering her head. Her arm is tattooed, common amongst tribals.

Hindu Gujarati Tribal woman

Her son is by her side. By the looks of him this woman could not be more than fifty, but looks older due to the hard life and exposure to the sun. Or is he her grandson?

Indian Tribal woman from Gujarat

You might also like pictures of Women filling water from village well in India or Tribal women in India or Rural women carrying water and firewood or Village women in Gwalior District, India
or Women in burkhas or burqas - photos or Woman Gardener in India or Mothers and children
Or photos of Young girls enjoying an ice-cream bar or Young Women Walking Silhouettes or Silhouette profile of an Indian beauty
Or check out the scores of photographs of Indian Women on this blog.