INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION: RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
Respect to my elders
Greetings ladies and gentlemen
Alola friends. Today we are going to talk about the religious beliefs of the Indus Valley People. There were no temples or shrines dedicated to these gods found when Harapppa and Mohenjodaro were unearthed but evidence of figurines have been found from settlements. They worshiped Idols in there houses and did not impose their beliefs on other people.
Worship of Mother Goddess
The mother goddess was one of the chief deity of the Indus Valley people whose worship was very important in their religion. A number of statues have been unearthed, one is a semi naked women figure wearing a band around her loins with fan shaped dress. Historians associate her with the Mahadevi( Mother Goddess) of the valley. Some of these tera cotta statues are smoke stained which perhaps means that the Indus Valley people used some kind of incense burning with oil to please their gods. In short they can be compared to the gods like Kali, Amba which the Hindus worship in the present time.
Worship of Shiva
Lord Shiva was worshiped by all in the Indus Valley. I have not found any writings about Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, that they were worshiped by the people. Hence, it is evident that Shiva was not yet part of the trinity. Lord Shiva has been revered as formidable god, whose worship was done with care. A seal has been unearthed from Harappa showing a three faced deity, sitting cross legged on a throne and surrounded by many animals such a cow, buffalo, tiger. These three things point towards the three concepts of Lord Shiva:
- Trimukh or the three faced deity,
- Pashupati or the Lord of the Animals,
- Yogeshwar or the Supreme Monk
The concept was later taken by the Invading Aryans but they acknowledged him by another name, Lord Rudra.
It seems that the modern day Hinduism owes a lot to the Indus Valley people and the Aryans.
Worship of Animal
Animal worship was also done by the Indus Valley people as many animals representations on the seals have been found at both of the major sites. They animals they worshiped can be categorized:
- Mythical Animals: They were semi human. Heads of different animals attached to central human body.
- Ambiguous Animals: These were the strange animals like Unicorns
- Actual animals: The actual animals like tiger, rhino, buffalo fall under the third category worshiped by the people. These animals were the vahanas or vehicles for the gods. For example, bull is regarded as the vehicle of Lord Shiva
Worship of Nature
After this mostly the Indus Valley people were Nature worshipers. Perhaps they understood how nature was so important to us. Trees of Peepal and Neem appear to have been worshiped. Several birds such as Duck were considered sacred. Worship of sun and fire is also evident as depicted by seals. Water was also worshiped. It was considered to be a purifier. The Great Bath at Mohenjodaro was considered sacred. Before any ritual or puja people came and took a dip in the bath.
That’s all. Lets talk about the social-economic life of the Indus Valley people next time.
Ok bye… I hope I continue in future.