Indian Dance has the oldest history and tradition among all dances in the world. It is closely related to the philosophy of ancient religion. Before comprehending Indian Dance, we have to have some knowledge of the Gods and Goddesses of Hindu culture.
God and Goddesses of Indian Myths
Indian mythology says there are about 800 millions Gods and Goddesses. They are
v Indra – The God of thunderstorm and rain. Indra is a representative of God in the myth of Rig Veda.
v Surya – Surya is the Sun. People worshipped the Sun and prayed to it as a God.
v Vishnu – Vishnu is also worshipped as the Sun but from the viewpoint of a source of light. He is one of the Trimurti or Trishakti.
v Agni – This is the God of fire.
v Saraswati – She is the Goddess of river and is the holy goddess, cleaning human and giving it food, honour and wealth. She is the goddess of knowledge.
v Lakshmi –She was born from the sea when Vishnuji stirred up the sea for creating the world. She is the beautiful and auspicious goddess of happiness and luck.
v Shiva – Shiva means happiness or auspiciousness. In the age of the Rig Veda, Rudra, the God of storm, wind and rain came to be known as Shiva. He is one of the Trimurti’s of Hindu mythology.
v Uma – Uma is another name of Parvati. She is Shiva’s wife. Her ancestor was a cruel Goddess, Kali, who lived in the snowy mountains.
v Ganesha – ‘Ganesha’ means a ruler of Ken tribe. He is the God of knowledge and learning, a God who removes obstacles and bestows good fortune. He is the child of Lord Shiva and Parvati, whom the latter created by her strength. He has the body of a man but the head and the face of an elephant.
v Naga – This is a snake God and is worshiped in other Asian countries as well.
v Varuna – He is the God of blue sky. He gives discipline to the world and rules the movements of days, time and other heavenly bodies.
v Soma – He is the God of ecstasy. Soma is the name of a plant, but it was used to make liquor for Gods festivities.
v Usha – This is the God of dawn, which kills evil.
v Vayu – This is the God of wind. It tops all the Gods in speed.
v Kali – Goddess Kali kills the devil and sucks its blood. She is a terrific Goddess. She also protects the weak, righteous people from difficulties.
v Kinnara – She is a fairy. She lives in the Himalayas. Her female form has a woman’s face and body of a bird. While her male form has a horse head with a horn.
v Manu – Manu signifies the first man on the earth as it means a human being. Manu is considered as an ancestor of man and is also said to be the first priest. Manu made the “Manu Code of Laws”, in which he spelt out the order of the society.
v Yama – Yama or Yamaraja is the king of the dead as he brings death to humans on the earth.
v Ravana – This King was a gigantic devil that lived in Sri Lanka. Lord Rama killed him in the famous epic, Ramayana.
v Krishna – He is a human-like God, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
v Rama – Prince Rama is also an incarnation of Lord Vishnu but he was ideal, unlike Krishna who was clever, diplomatic and worldlier. He was the consort of Sita and the destroyer of evil, in form of Ravana.
(to be conti….)