Recently I attended a lecture on the Goddesses of India. I did not expect to leave with so much information. The energetic, enthusiastic and brilliant professor not only covered the origin of Hinduism but explained the anthropology of the Indus Valley and how certain cultures merged, creating different stories of the origins of certain deities.
We covered Brahma (Creator), Sarasvati (Organizer) and Vishnu (Preserver) or the Trimurti like the Trinity. We learned why and how the indigenous Matriarchal worship turned into Indo – European Patriarchal worship. We learned about Durga, Kali, Parvati, Shiva and Lakshmi, including fascinating tales. We covered Yakshis (personified nature spirits) and shakti (strong female power). We learned about ancient rites that the Bhakti movement incorporated, how their temples open up to the sky, the etymology of certain names and the amalgamation of the feminine goddesses.
Besides adding to my yoga path, this history lesson underscored intriguing connections between ancient beliefs and modern day realities.
Outstanding information delivered in an entertaining way is true education.