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Transcript

A Comparison Between Hindu and Lutheran Worldviews

Religous Iconography

Organ Resonators

Color Symbolism

Stained Glass

Bhajan Room

Color Symbolism

Paintings of Hanuman

2A Africa

Rohan Bansal

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A staple of churches around the world is their use of stained glass windows. This was wonderfully executed in the Preston Meadows Lutheran Church with pieces that portrayed significant events of Jesus’ life. My favorite stained glass was the one featuring the Last Supper. One commonality between all the artworks was the theme of generosity. Christianity believes in giving back to the community and many people opt to show their devotion to Jesus through artistically representing his worldviews. This is very similar to the Hanuman Temple as the temple also features artistic representations of their God’s worldviews and values.

Stained Glass

One thing that surprised me about the church was the influence of music on Christianity. Not only did the church have an organ, but its resonators were exposed and placed in the center of the room right above the cross. The prevalence of the metal resonators showed how music played a huge role in Christianity. In addition to the organ, the church also had a place for an orchestra. This is almost identical to the temple as it featured a separate space for music recitals and education. Both religions like communicating their worldviews and showing their devotion to their God through music.

Organ Resonators

Through the temple, many different paintings came together to tell the story of Hanuman. This greatly enhanced my experience as it allowed me to learn more about Hanuman’s life story in a more engaging way than reading and listening to someone recite it. Some of the most memorable moments from His life were expertly painted such as when Hanuman tried to eat the Sun. These paintings showed off the Hindu value of devotion. Just as Hanuman dedicated his life to Lord Rama, many Hindus choose one form of the Brahmin that they particularly identify with and devote their life to them. This is very similar to the Lutheran Church as their members also show their devotion to Jesus through art. Though the art medium differs between the two places of worship, both communities visually portray significant points of their God’s life.

Paintings of Hanuman

One thing that might have surprised many first-time viewers of the Hanuman temple was the color of Hanuman in the altars. While many people might assume Hanuman is either brown or blue, he is depicted using a very jarring black. This color is used to reference a specific story of Hanuman and show his devotion and perseverance. Even after being “cursed” to have a dark complexion, he completed his task without fail. This black symbolizes Hanuman’s strength in the face of adversary and many Hindus strive for this quality. This is different from the church’s use of color as their color symbolism pertains to events rather than values.

Color Symbolism

Another thing that connected the church and the temple was the use of color symbolism. Specifically, the church featured a lot of purple. This is because it was around Easter when we visited and the purple was to represent that. In fact, throughout the year many different colors are rotated through to show the coming and going of significant events. This shows the importance of certain colors in Lutheran Christianity and their value of community. The colors unite members during significant times of the year. This is a significant differentiation between Christian and Hindu color symbolism. While the colors in Christianity are obvious and temporary, In Hinduism, meaningful colors are spread through the permanent altars.

Purple Symbolism

When we entered the Hanuman Temple, we were brought through the main altar and led to the bhajan room. It was an impressive space primarily used for religious musical education and performance. Music plays a large role in Hinduism and it was very apparent in my visit. Not only did the temple feature a painting of their Guru holding a sitar, but bhajans were constantly playing in the main altar. Many Hindus use music as a way to connect with Hanuman and invoke his blessings. This is similar to the churches as many of their prayers are in the form of songs.

Bhajan Room