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This is the sacred Om which is the sound-symbol in Sndskrit for Brahman. The Om is a mantra which is repeated over and over again in change-like prayers. Brahman is thought to be God to some Hindus while others think of Brahman in a more impersonal way, a power beyond all imagining.
Yoga is an important part of the practice of Hinduism. Yoga promotes self-dicipline of the mind and body.
This is Shiva, one of the trinity of principle Hindu gods; Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the protector, and Shiva the destroyer. Hindus worship many gods and believe all represents different aspects of Brahman. Shiva represents samsara, the basic Hindu belief in the cycle of life, death and rebirth. The flaming torch, the serpects and the skulls are symbols of destruction. Shiva's third eye is a symbol of higher consciousness.
The goddess Shiva is said to ride on the back of Nandi the bull. Cows are sacred in Hinduism. Cows provide milk, butter and dung for fuel but are not killed for beef.
Followers of Hare Krishna, a Hindu group formed in the Western world, worship of a God called Krishna by chanting, meditating, singing and dancing.
A bell is wrung during Hindu worship which usually takes place in the home at a shrine. The shrine contains objects which represent each of the five senses. Hindus access all five senses during worship in order to involve the whole self in worship.
This Hindu holy man is practicing yoga. Hindu holy men give up family and possessions in order to be free to wander and t oseek union with Brahman.
Sacred symbols are very much a part of Hinduism. Symbols are drawn from plants, animals, birds, geographic features such as the Ganges River, and from more abstract ideas such as the qualities and characteristics of the gods and goddesses or the sound-symbol Om

This web site attempts to introduce young people to the wonder and diversity of the world's religions and spiritual traditions. We have tried to present simple, straight forward, accurate information about the world's five major religions and many other smaller religions and spiritual traditions. We recognize the complexity and challenges of this task. Please feel free to email us at [email protected] with your suggestions.

© 2002 United Religions Initiative