India has a long and vibrant history. I could probably write a post every day for a year and not cover everything. It is the birthplace of four major religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. India is also one of the oldest civilizations in the world, with the Indus River Valley being the birthplace of the Indo-European cultures.
Hinduism is considered to be the oldest religion in the world, stretching back over 5000 years, and has over a million gods, some of which have many incarnations.
An avatar is an incarnation of a god; most often the god Vishnu. Avatars descend to earth to bring Dharma, or righteousness back to the earth. Two of the most popular avatars are Krishna and Rama. Both were avatars of the god Vishnu.
Karma is the belief that every action has a reaction. It is believed that your actions in this life will affect the actions in the next. I am vastly understating this, but that is the basic concept.
Ganesha is the most widely worshiped god in Hinduism. He is often depicted with an elephant head and four arms. One of the legends behind his appearance says that the god Shiva beheaded Ganesha when he came between him and the goddess Parvati, and replaced it with that of an elephant.
Kali is the goddess of time and change. She is also considered “The Redeemer of the Universe”. She is most often depicted as violent and bloodthirsty. She is also largely depicted as a demon slayer. Other, more recent accounts see her as more benevolent sort of ‘mother goddess’.
The Taj Mahal was built as a mausoleum by the emperor Shah Jahan for his third wife Mumtaz Mahal. Her death had caused him so much grief (she died in giving birth to their 14th! child) that he wanted to create something beautiful in her memory.
Once again, I am posting a John Green video, this one about Buddha and Ashoka the Great.
Books for reading challenges: