This page presents our answers to questions from students and/or teachers. Please submit your question here

Central Primary School Yr 4

Why do your Gods have lots of extra body parts?

Four armed form of Lord Vishnu in the causal ocean. From his body the various universes are created.

Hindus believe God is limitless so there is no end to his power, creation or particular form that he would take.

Many images of Hindu Gods show them with many arms. The many arms represent the different strengths and powers each god has. The Item that they hold in their arms represents the focus of their meditation.

Lord Brahma has 4 heads. He is the creator and his four heads represent the 4 directions: north, south, east and west.

Who is the founder of Hinduism? Who is the founder of your type of Hinduism?

Hinduism has no single founder. Also refer to Q&A from previous schools.

ISKCON or Hare Krishnas follow the teachings of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who founded Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Gaudya Vaishnavas believe that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is a direct avatar of Krishna/Vishnu. He came to this world to revive the teachings of Bhagavad Gita, spread the message of bhakti yoga (loving devotional service to God) and establish the sankirtan movement (singing and chanting the names of God).

How many Gods are there altogether?

Gaudiya Vaishnavas and many other Hindus believe that there is only one God, and that God chooses to have many helper gods . The scriptures say that there are 33 million helper gods or demigods.

Have cows always been sacred to you?

Krishna with the cows and his cow herder friends

Yes cows have always been sacred to us. Lord Krishna was a cow herder as a young boy and cows are very dear to Him. Without ghee (clarified butter made from cows milk) fire yajna/sacrifice cannot be performed. The cow is also referred to as our mother because she gives us milk.

How many Hare Krishna temples are there and where are they?

In our specific branch (ISKCON) there are about 600 worldwide and 11 in the UK.  For a full list of temples visit: http://centers.iskcondesiretree.com/

Why do you wear Bindi?

Young lady wearing a red bindi with other decorative bindis

Most married women would wear a red (or similar colour) bindi. Red bindis are also worn by both men and women after they have performed a puja/ritual prayer, for protection. Sometimes young children would wear a black bindi for protection. Colourful bindis are worn as a form of decoration.

Are the male Gods more important than the female Gods?

We would not say that one would be more important than the other. Both male and female Gods are equally revered and important by the worshiper.

What are the names of your traditional clothing?

The women would wear a sari and the men a dhoti accompanied by a turban. Both men and women would wear a chuddar or shawl.

Yr 4 St. Albans High School for Girls

When was Hinduism founded?

The word Hindu, refers to the land on the south side of the Sind river (or Indus) where the people were following The Sanatan Dharma. It is very difficult for scholars to pinpoint exactly when Hinduism was founded and there is no single founder. Hinduism is believed to be the oldest religion in the world. Many of its followers say there is no beginning since they believe it is eternal (no beginning, no end), hence also known as The Sanatan Dharma (eternal truth).

Is there an animal God?

Hindus belief that God is the Supreme Soul and he come many times and in many places and in different forms. Each form that God takes has a particular role to play:

Animal
Name
Purpose
Fish Matsya He came to save the Vedas (holy scriptures from the floods)
Turtle Kurma Mount Meru was placed on his back while the ocean was being churned to get the nectar.
Boar Varaha Fought with Hiranyaksha the demon and raised the earth from the bottom of the universe)
Half man/half lion Narasimha Dev He came to save his special worshipper Prahalad.
What does the paint on your skin represent?

Tilak

The marking is called a tilak (mark or marking). Just like a school badge tell us which school you belong to the tilak shows which form of God we worship.

The two long markings represents the feet of Lord Vishnu or Krishna and the little leaf shaped marking represents Tulsi (the leaf of the Tulsi plant/holy basil)

Why is there such a thing as religion/Hinduism?

From a Hindu understanding there is something to life beyond our work, education or body. The different world regions are ways of answering and exploring these kinds of questions.

From Hindu belief, we believe god comes in different times and situations with a message and teaching that the people of that place are able to understand and practice.

Why do you wear a dot on your forehead? What does it mean?

The red dot on my forehead is called bindi. The colour red for most women would mean that they are married. Some Hindus, wear a red bindi after they perform their puja (ritual prayer).

How many festivals are there?

Radha Astami (birthday of Srimati Radharani)

There are many festivals in the Hindu calendar. Our spiritual teacher, Srila Prabhupada, said that every day is a festival.

There are three types of festivals:

  1. Celebrating a significant event in the life of a Deity e.g. Janamastami (Krishna’s birthday)
  2. Celebrating a significant event in life of a holy person e.g. the birthday of a particular teacher.
  3. Seasonal festivities or custom, e.g. spring festivals like Holi.

The main festival celebrated at Bhaktivedanta Manor is Janamastami. Other major festivals celebrated would be Diwali (new year), Gorvadan Puja (celebrating the cows), Gaura Purnima (birthday of Lord Chaitanya), Rama Navmi (birthday of Lord Ram). We also celebrate the birthday of our spiritual teacher, Srila Prabhupada and many other smaller.