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Vedic Symbolism

The classic paintings of Indian gods and goddesses are filled with symbolism.  Every item depicted has meaning and serves a purpose in telling a story.  For example, a snake is wrapped around Shiva’s neck.  It symbolizes the cycle of time, the kundalini shakti and release from the bondage of nature.  Shiva also holds a trident, which represents the threefold aspect of creation, preservation, and destruction.  Durga holds a sword, which cuts the knot of illusion.  It shows that we can free ourselves from error and ignorance.  In one hand, Ganesh holds a goad that offers encouragement to follow the path of righteousness.  In another hand, Ganesh holds a Modhak, a sweet that represents knowledge and wisdom.  The rat shown with Ganesh symbolizes the crafty intellect, which is dominated by Ganesh’s wisdom.

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