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Some people think that they should spend money they earn now enjoying life, while others think that the money should be put into savings for future. Discuss both views and give your opinion. Band...
Dec 04, 2013 · Disclaimer: I am not a vegetarian
In the main stream Hinduism, cats do not enjoy much importance. However, they are not harmed or hurt because of various beliefs associated with them. They are not considered truly loyal as in case of dogs. Hence, they are used to symbolize deception and insincerity. Although they are violent and hunt rats, rodents and birds whose remains they hide in lofts and roofs, many Hindu households in rural areas let cats live amidst them, knowing well that they will keep the houses free from rats and other pests. As stated before, Hindus have an ambivalent attitude towards cats. Hindu texts use the symbolism of cats to suggest religious and ascetic hypocrisy. They label those who are insincere, impure and indulge in evil practices as cat ascetics, and the gullible devotees who trust them and fall into their trap as rat devotees. There is a stone relief at Mahabalipuram in Tamilnadu, depicting the descent of Ganga. It contains the statue of a cat ascetic in a meditative pose, standing on one leg and holding his hands above his head, with a few rats praying to him at his feet. It is based on a story from Tantropakhyana, a tantric text, which describes how a cat posing as a pious ascetic before a group of mice kept eating them until they realized their folly and escaped. In ancient India cats were also used to refer to certain outcasts and low castes, who were unclean or ate forbidden food. Manu characterized cats as covetous, deceptive, harmful and hypocritical, suggesting that one should stay away from those who represented such qualities. On the positive side, Hinduism has an ancient school of devotional theism known as the cat school. Followers of this school base their conduct upon the example set by the kitten in allowing themselves to be carried by their mothers by the scruff of their necks. They believe that just as the kitten totally surrender to their mothers and let them carry them across several obstacles to a new home, devotees should totally surrender to God and let him carry them across the ocean of Samsara. Some superstitious beliefs are also associated with cats in Hinduism. For example, killing a cat is considered a grave sin, for which one may have to offer prayers and give in charity at least seven golden images of the killed cat. You can now understand why Hindus let cats live in their households or do not harm them. Many Hindus also believe that encountering a black cat before going on a journey, or staring a new day or a new project is considered highly inauspicious. There is no widespread practice of worshipping cats in Hinduism. However, in folk tradition, a local goddess named Shasti has the cat as her vehicle. The frequent movements of cats from one home to another carrying their kitten is often compared to a soul's journey from one birth to another.
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Lioins and tigers enjoy an exalted status in Hinduism as symbols of royalty, strength, and ferocity. However, because of the large size of their population and their wider geographical presence, tigers receive more attention and religious importance than lions. One of the ten incarnations of Vishnu is Narasimha, who has the head and shoulders of a lion, but the torso of a human. Narasimha is one of the fiercest forms of Vishnu in his aspect of Kala, or Death. He manifested as a lion to destroy the demon king, Hiranyakasipu and save his son Prahlada from his fatherâs abuse. Many Shaktis have either a lion or a tiger, or both as their vehicles, suggesting that from a symbolic perspective they represent the same qualities and energies. Lions are mentioned in the Vedas and the Puranas. Goddess Durga, a fierce form of Parvathi or Shakti, has a golden lion as her vehicle, while Rahu, a planetary guard, rides upon a black lion as his vehicle. Like the tigers and elephants, lions represent royalty, ferocity, majesty, strength, courage and commanding power. Lions form an important part of Hindu religious art. The face of the lion (simha-mukha) is used in images and sculpture in many Hindu temples to decorate the doors, walls, arches, and windows. Their fierce form, bloodshot eyes, and large teeth, represent Kala, the devourer. A similar form is used in the masks, kirti mukhas, which are worn by actors in traditional Hindu dance dramas to enact ancient legends and stories from the Puranas and the epics. Lions also appear in the art of ancient India as symbols of royal authority. The memorial pillar at Saranath which was erected by Ashoka after his conversion to Buddhism contains four beautifully carved standing lions at the top on a round abacus representing the imperial power. They now constitute the official emblem of the government of India.