Project Conversion

Welcome back to Project Conversion: Hinduism!

Today is pretty special as we celebrate what appears to be a nice alignment of events. January 14th marks the beginning of Makar Sankranti, a time when Hindus celebrate the passage of the sun from the Sagittarius constellation into Capricorn. This event carries on with festivities lasting four days! More on that tomorrow as I visit the local temple for a closer look.

In the meantime, I thought we’d mark the end of our Arts and Culture Week of Hinduism with an art debut by my oldest daughter! She’s six years old, loves anything to do with the visual arts, and swears she wants to be a fashion designer. She gets a big kick out of watching me apply the sacred ash and bindi to my forehead. For Arts and Culture Week, she decided to sketch a rendition of the murti (image) I use for Shiva.

An image of my Shiva murti

My daughter's Shiva

Bravo! Thanks for helping Daddy out and sharing your work with us.

As a highly visual and expressive faith, Hinduism has a rich tradition of artistic depictions of the divine. Shiva himself is replete with color and symbolism. Here are a few samples of Shiva art:


The Nataraja Temple. Possibly the holiest temple to Shiva, it is said to house the eternal dance competition between Shiva and his consort, Parvati.

Large statue of Shiva at Kemp Fort, Bangalore

Shiva's most popular form is that of Nataraja, the Lord of the Dance. This "dance" is one that represents the cosmic cycle of creation and destruction.


I’d watched and listened to this remix before, however once I began Project Conversion and learned more about Shiva’s dance, this video took on a whole new meaning. Watch and listen. One can see the “dance” in motion as stars are born with fiery brilliance, die, and thereafter sow the seeds for the next generation. Enjoy!

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