Festival of Light: Diwali

WEB RESOURCE This British website for children has a slide show of a Diwali celebration in Jaipur. There are also five simplified chapters from the Ramayana.

Hindu Temple Dedication

WEB VIDEO & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS This video from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly shows Hindus in the state of Maryland worshiping two highly revered deities, Vishnu and Shiva, in the same temple. Generally, Shiva, the creator and destroyer, and Vishnu, the preserver, are worshiped and adored in separate temples. Maryland's Sri Shiva Vishnu Temple is constructed in the shape of a reclining human being to highlight the Hindu concept of unity in diversity. A background essay is also included.


WEB VIDEO This PBS video shows a reenactment of the event that most Hindus observe as the inspiration for Diwali: Lord Rama's return from exile. Diwali, the annual five-day Festival of Lights, welcomes what is hoped to be an auspicious new year. Hindus also make a "Grand Puja" or ritual prayer towards the end of the Diwali celebration using the elements of both fire and water to communicate with God.

Ganesha Chaturti

WEB VIDEO CLIP This video, originally created by Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly describes the rituals and spiritual significance of an 11-day Hindu celebration called Ganesha Chaturthi, honoring Lord Ganesha. Widely regarded as the Remover of Obstacles, Lord Ganesha is one of the most popular gods of India. On the final day of the festival, Lord Ganesha's image is paraded through the streets accompanied by drumbeats, devotional songs and dancing, and then immersed in a river or sea. Go to http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/awr09.socst.world.glob.ganesha/ for discussion questions and background reading.


WEB VIDEO & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS Download this short streaming video, produced by Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly. It shows Hindu pilgrims from India and beyond gathering to celebrate Kumbh Mela, which involves the ritual of purification by bathing in four sacred rivers. The pilgrims in the video walk hundreds of miles to bathe in the River Ganges. Kumbh Mela is based upon ancient Hindu mythology and occurs four times during a twelve-year cycle. A background essay and transcript support use of the video clip in the classroom.

Devi: The Great Goddess

WEB RESOURCE This article by the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian provides a detailed, hyperlinked overview of the aspects and interpretations of the Hindu goddess Devi.

Faces of the Divine: Ancient Indian Art

WEB RESOURCE In 1,500-year-old temples, Indian artists portrayed their gods as visions of perfection.Fifth-century painters created stunning murals in dim man-made caves. A gifted photographer brings them to light.This site features photos of these murals by Benoy Behl.

What You Will See Inside a Hindu Temple by Mahendra and Vandana Jani and Neirah Bhargava

CHILDREN'S BOOK Young readers are introduced to the sites within a Hindu temple. The authors explain how the art, artifacts, and structures relate to Hindu beliefs, worship practices, scriptures, celebrations, blessing ceremonies, and family shrines in homes. There are many photographs, each focused on some aspect of the temple supported by several paragraphs describing it and its role in worship. Skylight Paths Pub., 2005. Elem. - MS

Indian Religions

WEB RESOURCE Although this website has resources related to a range of religious practices in India, the majority has to do with practices loosely organized as Hinduism.

BBC: Hinduism

WEB RESOURCE This BBC site provides and overview of Hinduism and has links to other resources. In some ways Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world, or at least elements within it stretch back many thousands of years. Yet Hinduism resists easy definition partly because of the vast array of practices and beliefs found within it. It is also closely associated conceptually and historically with the other Indian religions Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.

Religion Facts - Hinduism

WEB RESOURCES This Religion Facts site provides a balanced overview of Hinduism with information about the beliefs, history, holidays, symbols, and more.

Fireworks, Lights Brighten Diwali Hindu Festival

WEB RESOURCE This National Geographic news article features Diwali, one of the most widely celebrated festivals in the world, being a national holiday in India, Fiji, Nepal, and Trinidad. This article has basic information

The Broken Tusk: Stories of the Hindu God Ganesha by Uma Krishnaswami

BOOK This collection of Hindu folktales for features stories about the god, Ganesha, who is easily recognized because of his elephant head. Krishnaswami introduces the stories and offers a mythological context for the tales. Included among the tales are Ganesha's Head, The Broken Tusk, and 'Why Ganesha Never Married. MS

Hinduism and Modern India

WEB RESOURCE This Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly site looks at the place of Hinduism in a modernizing contemporary India through the experience of the Gupta family that has seen much prosperity in recent years. As is common in Hindu households, this one has an altar but other aspects of religious life is changing.

India's Sacred Cows

WEB RESOURCES This short Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly video features a discussion of cows in India. Cows are considered sacred by Hindus in India. They were the favorite animal of Lord Krishna, and they serve as a symbol of wealth, strength, and abundance.

Story of India

WEB VIDEO This PBS video looks at the ancient and modern history of India with an emphasis on how the beliefs and culture of the people have evolved and influenced events. The narrator is Michael Wood and has a FAQ section answering questions from people who have viewed the program.

Hindus in America, Part 1

WEB VIDEO This short PBS video gives an overview of Hindu immigrants to the US and how they have set up their faith communities, temples, and worship practice in their new land. It shows and explains Hindu rituals and practices and the beliefs than underlie them.

The Aryan Migration & Influence on India

WEB FILM National Geographic explores the origins of Sanskrit through linguistic analysis that is related then to historical places and peoples. It looks at the influence of the Aryan people on South Asia on religion and culture.

Beliefs of Hinduism

RESOURCE VIDEO & ART Common to virtually all Hindus are certain beliefs, including, but not limited to, the following: * belief in many gods, which are seen as manifestations of a single unity. These deities are linked to universal and natural processes. * preference for one deity while not excluding or disbelieving others * belief in the universal law of cause and effect (karma) and reincarnation * belief in the possibility of liberation and release (moksha) by which the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (samsara) can be resolved