Why is Krishna colored blue?
One of the theories is that Vishnu, because of his association with water, is
depicted blue; therefore all his incarnations including Krishna, are shown as
such. In Hinduism, persons who have depth of character and the capacity to fight
evil are depicted as blue skinned. Another theory refers to Vishnu implanting
two hairs, one black and the other white in Devaki's womb which miraculously
got transferred to Rohini's and as a result, from the black hair Krishna tool
birth, with a dark skin, and from the white hair his brother Balarama.
The theory of the blue coloring of Krishna goes to the fact that the Creator
has given the maximum of blue to nature i.e. the sky, the oceans, the rivers
and lakes. The deity who has the qualities of bravery, manliness, determination,
the ability to deal with difficult situations, of stable mind and depth of character
is represented as blue colored. Lord Krishna spent his life protecting humanity
and destroying evil, hence he is colored blue.
Why do Hindu Deities have so many arms?
Image worship crept almost imperceptibly into Indian religions and was not only
finally sanctioned in the religious scriptures but the images themselves, and
the rituals for their worship were also described in greater detail. One of the
results of this process, more especially the merging of two or more deities,
was that some of the gods were shown as having several qualities. Showing them
with several arms when he made images of the gods solved the visual problem that
this created for the sculptor or artist. Each hand would hold some object, which
would symbolize or represent the various qualities of that particular deity.
Some of the hands would be empty but the position of the fingers and the palms
would signify the character of that god. For example, if the fingers are pointing
towards the ground, it means that the god is of a charitable disposition whereas
the fingers pointing upwards, as in a blessing, signify a protector. These gestures
symbolized their individual powers and differentiated them from other deities.
What is Atman (soul)?
Atman is that part of the living being that is eternal and beyond physical description.
It is the true Self, the eternal soul that dwells within but has no personal
characteristics. Atman is the birthless, deathless reality that is at once the
innermost being of each person and the inmost being of all that, which exists.
Atman, more fully, is that which pervades all; which is the subject and which
knows experiences and illuminates the subjects and which remains always the same.
In many of the Upanishads the meaning of atman is uncertain, since it may designate
either the supreme and transcendent spirit or the finite individual self of man.
According to Vedanta philosophy, the atman is of the same nature as the Universal
Soul (Brahman), and as such seeks union with it in mystical liberation (Moksha).
What does Namaskar mean?
Namaskar is the most popular form of greeting in India. It is a general salutation
and is used as a welcome and also a farewell. Namaskar also means 'I BOW TO THEE'.
The palms are placed together and raised to touch the forehead, the position
of the Third Eye. Together, the hands symbolize the One Mind; or the Self, meeting
the Self; the right hand representing the holy, or higher nature, and the left,
the worldly, or lower nature. Another term used for this greeting is namaste.
Namaste may have originated in the ancient times as a showing of hands to prove
that no arms were being carried.