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  Ganesha
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Taoism is considered as an entity that defies definition, which can be properly understood only by experience. The most approximate meaning with respect to English language is “the way” or “the path”.   Taoism corresponds to a power, which envelops, surrounds and flows through all things, living and non-living. In simple words, it can be considered as a way of spiritual living.

Origin

Taoism evolved from both a philosophical tradition linked with the Tao-te Ching (Lao-tzu); Chuang-tzu,Lieh-tzu and other texts, and a Taoist religious tradition. (Tao-chiao). This religious tradition has got an organized doctrine, formalized cultic activity and institutional leadership. Both these traditions are well connected though there are some conflicting ideas.  By tradition, Taoism is accredited  to three sources- Yellow emperor, Lao Tse’s Tao Teh  Ching  and Chuang Tse’s untitled work. Many consider ‘I Ching’, the book of changes as the original source of Taoism. Click here to read more.


The Shinto religion of Japan is considered, along with Buddhism as the official religion of Japan.  Over 80% of the population of Japan is either Buddhist or Shintoist.  It is interesting to note that while most weddings are performed by Shinto priests most funerals are conducted by Buddhist priests! 

We believe that Shinto was the earliest Japanese religion.  Experts do not have much information about the beginning of the Shinto traditions, but we do know that Shintoism started around the middle of the first millennium BC.  As the Yamato dynasty consolidated its rule over Japan around the 6th century AD, the adoption of the Shinto religion seems to have accelerated.  The name, "Shinto" means "The Way of the Gods" in Chinese - 'shin tao'. 

The Shinto religion is unusual when compared to other ancient spiritual traditions in several key aspects.  For one thing, the Shinto religion is not based on any body of religious law.  Most religions can trace their concepts back to one or more ancient texts that define what laws are to be followed, at the very least.  Some religions, for example Buddhism have centuries of writings that are rich in philosophy and interpretation of the original teachings of the founder.  Click here to read more.


GANESHA

Ganesh, the elephant headed son of Lord Shiva and Parvati is the first and foremost deity in the Hindu pantheon whom devotees worship, prior to any important undertakings. Whatever the devotee’s desires, whatever he wishes to venture into, the blessings of Lord Ganesha are first sought. 

GANESHA ACQUIRES AN ELEPHANT HEAD

Legend has it that once when Parvati wanted to take a leisurely bath and requested her son Ganesha to mind the entrance to her chamber and prevent anyone from entering the chamber. The obedient Ganesha did as he was told. Soon, Lord Shiva himself walked in, but was stopped by young Ganesha. This enraged Shiva who in a fit of temper, cut off Ganesha’s head! When Parvati learnt of her husband’s wrath and misdeeds, she was overcome with grief and lamented her son’s plight. Shiva realized his foolhardiness and ordered his attendants to bring the head of the first living creature they found in the forest.

The attendants gleaned through the forest and the first creature they saw was an elephant, whose head they severed and brought to Shiva. Shiva fixed the head on Ganesha and lo and behold, Ganesha sprang back to life! Click here to read more...


Shiva-Nataraja

Shiva the destroyer in the Hindu pantheon is popularly known as the hermit of the netherworld, as the one who resides in cremation grounds. However, there is another aspect to Shiva- as Nataraja. Nataraja literally translates as the Lord of the Stage.

The western world is familiar with Shakespeare’s words, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely actors.” The soul assumes a physical form only to perform certain functions, duties, to give and receive pleasure, learn karmic lessons, and finally move on to a different realm. In this gross body, we humans who are supposed to be of a higher intellect are merely players and puppets in the hands of an unseen force called God.

Every birth gives us new pleasures, even as it gives us pain. We as living beings, are caught in the grasp of illusions, attachments, bonds that further pull us towards more cycles of birth. Suffering bothers man who ultimately seeks salvation, and he finds himself grappling with the results of his deed. Even as the soul leaves one gross body, it steps onto another womb, in the hope of fulfilling unfulfilled desires, to cleanse itself and perform certain karmas.

Nataraja in his cosmic dance form shows us the path to liberate ourselves from this continuous cycle of birth and death. Shiva stands majestically on the body of ‘Apasmara purusha’ and performs his dance. This body represents the ego, ignorance, the soul’s illusions. By trampling on it, Shiva is seen as controlling this ego and urge. Click Here to read more...


SUN WORSHIPING

The worship of the sun, or heliolatry (Gr. ‘helios’: Sun and ‘latry’: worship or excessive devotion), is known to have been prevalent since the beginning of recorded history of man. Sun worship was very important among many cultures; particularly the Egyptian, Indo-European (Greek, Roman, Babylonian, Persian, Sumerian, Vedic Aryan etc), and Meso-American (Aztec, Mixtec, Maya etc) cultures. The influence of the sun was also important or formed an integral part of religious beliefs of, among others, the Druids of England, the Incas of Peru and many Native North American tribes. Among Eastern religions, Japanese mythology refers to ‘Amaterasu’ the Sun Goddess, while there are distinct influences of sun worship in certain forms of Buddhism. Sun worship has been a very important element of ancient and modern Hinduism.   


Tibetan Medicine

According to Buddhist preaching nothing is constant in the universe and everything keeps moving in the cosmic universe. Tibetan medicine is a fine blend of science, art and philosophy.  It provides a holistic approach to health care.  As a science its principles are systematic and logical. This is based on an understanding of the body and its relationship to the environment. As an art it uses creativity, insight, subtlety and compassion of the medical practitioner. As a philosophy it embraces the key Buddhist principles of humanity, destiny and beliefs. 


Kali

Kali, the feminine force in the Hindu pantheon is none but the destroyer of sorts. Revered throughout India, in different forms, she is in the form of destroyer. Even today, we cannot digest the fact that women and the feminine force existing even in animals can ever destroy! A woman is ‘care’ personified, chirpy as a young girl, radiating with hope as a young maiden, empathizing as a wife, nurturing as a mother, and wise as a crone! But, the human psyche finds it hard to accept her as a person capable of rage and fury.

Kali is a force to reckon with. She is the dark, fierce mother who delivers her devotees from the evil forces that scare or engulf them.

If you have several children to look after and you patiently deal with each of them, dispensing wisdom through stories, teaching them life skills, feeding them, and goading the one lagging behind. You are at your benign best! You are Goddess Lakshmi ever-smiling! 

We offer the Internet's largest selection of Asian Arts, Crafts, and Collectibles with over 4,000 different items in stock in our Maryland warehouse. Our products are handcrafted and imported from Japan, China, Korea, Bali, India, Vietnam, Russia, Ceylon, Nepal, and Thailand. So sit back, relax, and enjoy your visit.

 
Sushi & Sake Set for Two
Sushi & Sake Sets
White Rabbits / Brown Rabbits
Chinese Snuff Bottles
Netsuke, Inro, Ojime
Gold Leaf Painted ~ 10 Inch Turnip Vase
Gold Leaf Lacquer
Pair of 10 Inch Closionne Vases
Cloisonne
 
 

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