Animals, birds, trees and flowers in Hinduism | Daily News

Animals, birds, trees and flowers in Hinduism

The place of animals, birds, trees and flowers in Hinduism Bharatha Natyam is deeply rooted in Hinduism. There are two different varieties of hand gestures available in this great art. One is single-hand gestures and the other is double hand gestures. There are altogether 28 to 31 single-hand gestures and 23 double-hand gestures. Through different hand gestures, numerous symbols of animals, trees, gods, fruits, leaves, and Vahanams (vehicles of different gods) are beautifully depicted in Bharatha Natyam to the needs and necessity of the Abhinaya.

This is the only Indian dance form with elaborate categories of different hand gestures for different gods, leaves, fruits and trees.

While performing Bharatha Natyam the performing artiste according to her own imagination imbibes the categorised hand gestures to portray the appropriate scene or theme.

Different purposes

Hindu religion is generally known as Hinduism. In Hinduism, there are numerous gods for different purposes. Each god is associated with a bird or animal. The association with a bird or animal is called Vahanam. The term Vahanam means the sacred vehicle of the concerned god. The presiding deity of each temple gives a special place for the Vahanam or vehicle related to that particular god. Lord Shiva’s sacred Vahanam is the bull which is often referred to as Rishapam or Nanthi Vahanam. That’s why Lord Shiva is often referred to as Rishaparudar.

To depict Lord Shiva appropriate hand gestures should be adopted. Similarly, to portray different gods Vahana gestures are adopted to emphasize the selected theme of the song. Hence, mere learning Bharatha Natyam will not help a dancer to establish anyone in the dance field without knowing Hinduism. Hindu religious knowledge is very much needed for a dancer to become a fully-fledged dancer in the Bharatha Natyam field. The Lord Brahma is the God of Creation whose vehicle is the white swan. Meanwhile, Lord Maha Vishnu is the God for Protection whose Vahanam is the

The Vulture or Karuda can be described as the Eagle. According to Hinduism, the Trimoorthy or Trinity (Three main Gods), Lord Siva is considered the supreme God who acts in accordance with the universal cyclical creation and destruction. Lord Brahma is the Creator and Lord Maha Vishnu is the Protector. Yet it is believed that Lord Siva is the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer. In performing these three functions together he takes the form of Lord Brahma and Vishnu. Goddess Kali is believed to be the wife of Lord Shiva. She is often referred to as Parvathi. Different incarnations of Goddess Kali’s Vahanam is the lion.

According to Hindu legends, there are numerous incarnations of Goddess Kali. Most of the Kali images are portrayed along with Lion Vahanam. That is the reason for Goddess Kali being referred to as Simavahini. (The Goddess is the possessor of the Lion). The cow is another Vahanam of Goddess Amman.

Hindu Literature

The Lord Ganesha is the God with the elephant face. That is the reason for referring him to as YaanaiMugan. In Tamil Yaanai means elephant. Yaanai Mugan means the elephant-faced God. Hindu literature refers to God Ganesha as the God of Wisdom. The rat is the Vahanam of Lord Ganesha. Ganesha is the elder son of Lord Siva and Parvathi. Ganesha is also popularly known as Pillayar or Vinayagar or Ganapathy in Tamil.

The peacock is the Vahanam of Lord Murugan (Skanda). At all the temples the peacock Vahanam is used to carry Lord Murugan’s idol. The cock is depicted in the flag of Lord Murugan. At the temple towers (gopurams) of the Murugan temples, this flag can be seen.

Aiyanar is another important god in the Hindu religion. His Vahanam is a white horse. Lord Hanuman is another important god in Hindu worship. Even at many events, Lord Hanuman is referred to as Anjaniyar. The Monkey-faced God is always worshipped by devotees. God Hanuman is God for protection, health, strength and prosperity.