DISCUSSION TOPIC:  OF ELEPHANT GODS, MONKEY KINGS AND SACRED COWS


Some Questions

What is most interesting about Ganesha and Hanuman, and where would you place each within the Hindu pantheon?  How would you compare and contrast them with other Hindu deities?

Are cows "sacred" in India?

To what extent does study of the theme of animals and animal deities within Hinduism offer an entry point into a better understanding of that religion?


Possible Starting Places

  "India's Sacred Cows," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, February 7, 2014.

  Wendy Doniger, "Hinduism And Its Complicated History With Cows (And People Who Eat Them)," The Conversation, July 16, 2017.

"Rock On Hanuman":  A musical tribute to the monkey god from MC Yogi.


Ganesha Web Sites

  Ganesha -- Wikipedia:  An entry from the on-line encyclopedia.

Ambaa Choate, "Ganesha: Everything You Need To Know," Patheos (September 16, 2014).

  Hindu Gods And Goddesses -- Ganesha:  A very brief description from Indian Heritage.

  Subhamoy Das, "Ganesha: Lord Of Success," About.com Hinduism.

Ganesha or Ganapati:  An analysis of the symbolic significance of the god from the Hindu Website.

  Ganesh Chathurthi -- Wikipedia:  An entry from the on-line encyclopedia.

  Ganesh Chathurthi, BBC Religions:  A very brief description of the annual festival commemorating the birthday of Ganesh.

Ganesha Drinking Milk Miracle -- Wikipedia:  An entry from the on-line encyclopedia.


Hanuman Web Sites

  Hanuman -- Wikipedia:  An entry from the on-line encyclopedia.

  Hindu Gods And Goddesses -- Hanuman:  A very concise description from Indian Heritage.

  Subhamoy Das, "Lord Hanuman: About The Simian God Of The Hindus," About.Com Hindusim.

Symbolic Significance Of Hanuman, The Most Ancient Superman:  A focused analysis from the Hindu Website.

Sri Hanuman:  A chapter from the Essence of Ramayana by Sri Swami Sivananda.

  Hanuman Jayanti -- BBC Religions:  A very concise overview of the Hindu festival.

  Hanuman Jayanti -- Wikipedia:  An entry from the on-line encyclopedia.

Shoba Narayan, "May Hanuman Be With You," Beliefnet.


The Sacred Cow

  Subhamoy Das, "Holy Cows: Hinduism's Blessed Bovines," About.com Hinduism.

  Cattle In Religion -- Wikipedia:  An entry from the on-line encyclopedia.

Rohit Arya, "Why Is The Cow Sacred?," Beliefnet.

  "Holy Cow: Hinduism's Sacred Animal," Nature, PBS:  Background materials for a 2004 American public television documentary.


Hanuman In The News

Hanuman -- Times Of India:  An anthology of news articles.

  "Hindu God Issued With Court Summons In East Indian State," Guardian, February 18, 2016.

  "Obama Carries Around A Hanuman Statue In His Pocket," India Today, January 16, 2016.

  Andrew Buncombe, "Arkansas Rejects Proposal For Statute Of Hindu Deity Hanuman On Grounds Of State Legislature," Independent, August 24, 2015.

  Sopheng Cheang, "Ancient Statue Of Hindu God Hanuman Returned To Cambodia," Huffington Post, May 12, 2015.

  "India Probes Identity Card For Monkey God Hanuman," BBC News, September 12, 2014.

"Fans Mourn Dara Singh, India's All Action-Hero," BBC News, July 12, 2012.

  Gardiner Harris, "Indians Feed The Monkeys, Which Bite the Hand," New York Times, May 22, 2012.

"Islamic Leaders Decry Tea Party Reference To Muslim 'Monkey-God,'" CNN, May 20, 2010.

  Amarnath Tewary, "Hindu Gods Get Summons From Court," BBC News, December 7, 2007.

  Omer Farooq, "Court Orders Release For 'Monkey God,'" BBC News, August 29, 2002.

Suzanne Charld, "With Monkeys And Giants, Rescuing A Lost World," New York Times, August 12, 2001.

Haresh Pandya, "Guru Hanuman," Guardian, June 21, 1999.


Ganesha In The News

Lord Ganesha -- Times Of India:  An anthology of news articles.

  Gautam Doshi, "Covid Turns Tide On India's Ganesh Festival Traditions," Guardian, August 28, 2020.

    Lauren Frayer, "Indians Are Partying And Praying For Elephant-Headed God Ganesh," Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR, September 22, 2018.

  "Texas Republicans Apologise To Indians For 'Offensive' Hindu Ad," BBC News, September 21, 2018.

  Alison Lesley, "Hindus Are Outraged By An Australian Ad," World Religion News, September 7, 2017.

  "Museum Of Oxford Displays 800-Year-Old Ganesha Statue," BBC News, September 28, 2015.

"India's Ganesh Festival Goes Green," BBC News, September 28, 2015.

  "Over 50,000 Ganesha Idols Immersed In Mumbai," The Hindu, September 28, 2015.

  Shivali Nayak, "In Photos: Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations For Hindu Elephant God's Birthday," ABC News, September 27, 2015.

  Chhavi Sachdev, "Why The Ganesh Festival Is Noisy, Colorful And Insane," PRI's The World, September 21, 2015.

  "Why The Ganesh Festival Is Noisy, Colorful And Insane," World, PRI, September 11, 2015.

  Alison Lesley, "Lord Ganesha New Incarnation In The Form Of Baby Girl From Aligarh India," World Religion News, April 9, 2015.

Andy Newman, "A Deity Made Of Chocolate Spurs A Religious Debate," New York Times, February 8, 2015.

  Maseeh Rahman, "Indian Prime Minister Claims Genetic Science Existed In Ancient Times," Guardian, October 28, 2014.

  Emily Murdoch, "The Hindu Celebration Of The Elephant God Ganesh," World Religion News, August 28, 2014.

  Ashley Lau, "Court: Gods Can't Trade Stocks," NPR News, July 19, 2010.

  Liz Neisloss, "India's Idol Rituals Take Toll On Environment," CNN, August 31, 2009.

  "In Pictures: Celebrating The 'Elephant God,'" BBC News, August 22, 2009.


Sacred Cows In The News

Sacred Cows -- Times Of India:  An anthology of news articles.

  Zainab Sikander, "Cow Is A Constant Cool In Indian Politics; But BJP's Mix Of Faith And Science Troubling," Print, January 11, 2021.

"India To Hold Nationwide 'Cow Science' Exam," Al Jazeera, January 7, 2021.

  "Hindu Group Hosts Cow Urine Drinking Party To Ward Off Coronavirus," DW, March 14, 2020.

  Kunal Purohit, "India Struggles With Religious Lynchings," DW, August 8, 2019.

  "India 'Cow Vigilantes' Lynch Three Men," BBC News, July 19, 2019.

  Charlie Phillips, "The Hour Of Lynching: The Killing Of Muslim Cow Farmers In India," Guardian, May 24, 2019.

  "India's Vigilante Cow Protectors Are Reportedly Killing Dozens Of People," ABC News, February 20, 2019.

"India: Vigilante 'Cow Protection' Groups Attack Minorities," Human Rights Watch News, February 18, 2019.

"Indian Farmers Blame Narendra Modi As Sacred Cows Run Amok," Al Jazeera, February 6, 2019.

Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee, "How Cow Vigilantism Is Undermining The Rule Of Law In India," Al Jazeera, January 3, 2019.

  "Indian Police 'Took Tea Break' Before Attending To Lynching Victim," Guardian, July 23, 2018.

  "India: Suspected Vigilantes Kill Muslim Man Transporting Cows," Guardian, July 21, 2018.

  Corey Barnett, "The Truth About Hindus Killing Muslims Over Beef," World Religion News, March 22, 2018.

Shakeeb Asrar, "India Suspends Ban On Trade Of Cattle For Slaughter," Al Jazeera News, July 11, 2017.

  "Modi Condemns Rise In Mob Violence Against Beef-Eaters In India," Guardian, June 29, 2017.

Ellen Barry, "Toll From Vigilante Mobs Rises, And India Begins To Recoil," New York Times, June 29, 2017.

  Afroz Alam, "'Cow Economics' Are Killing India's Working Class," The Conversation, June 22, 2017.

  Derek Welch, "Cow Ban In India Faces Backlash For Restricting Religious Freedom," World Religion News, June 21, 2017.

  Julie McCarthy, "Vigilantes In India: Protecting Sacred Cows, Promoting A Hindu Way Of Life," Parallels, NPR, May 2, 2017.

  "Indian Mob Beats Two Muslims To Death Over Suspected Cow Theft," Guardian, May 1, 2017.

  Aftab Alam, "Holy Cow: As Hindu Nationalism Surges In India, Cows Are Protected But Minorities Not So Much," Conversation, April 28, 2017.

  Mohammed Hanif, "The Cows Between Us," New York Times, April 7, 2017.

  Suhasini Raj, "Hindu Cow Vigilantes In Rajasthan, India, Beat Muslim To Death," New York Times, April 5, 2017.

  Nida Najar and Suhasini Raj, "Indian State Is Expanding Penalty For Killing A Cow To Life In Prison," New York Times, March 31, 2017.

  Michael Safi, "Cow Slaughter To Be Punishable By Life Sentence In Gujarat," Guardian, March 14, 2017.

  Sandip Roy, "India's War On Biryani Mixes Caste, Religion, Cow-Avenging Vigilantes," The Salt, NPR, September 12, 2016.

  "'Cow Vigilante' Attack On Low-Caste Workers Prompts Clashes In India," Guardian, July 20, 2016.

  Lakshmi Chaudhry, "India's Beef Sanctity," Al Jazeera, November 25, 2015.

Alexandra Ma, "Striking Images Of A Vigilante Group Protecting India's Cows," Huffington Post, November 11, 2015.

David Barstow and Suhasini Raj, "Indian Muslim, Accused Of Stealing A Cow, Is Beaten To Death By A Hindu Mob," New York Times, November 4, 2015.

  Michael Safi, "On Patrol With The Hindu Vigilantes Who Would Kill To Protect India's Cows," Guardian, October 27, 2016.

Hari Kumar and David Barstow, "Cattle Become A Trigger For Sectarian Violence In India," New York Times, October 16, 2015.

  Soutik Biswas, "Why The Humble Cows Is India's Most Polarising Animal," BBC News, October 15, 2015.

  Max Bearak, "Indian Beef Workers Fight To Bring Back The Bull Market," New York Times, June 25, 2015.

Stephanie March, "India's Government Hints At National Ban On Cow Slaughter; Beef Exporter Warns Of Job Losses," ABC News, March 30, 2015.

Nida Najar, "Rumors Of Cow Killings In India Deepen Rift Between Hindus And Muslims," New York Times, October 14, 2014.

Elizabeth Soumya, "Sacred Cows And Politics Of Beef In India," Al Jazeera, April 20, 2014.

  "Five-Legged Cow Thought To Bring Luck On Tour In India," BBC Newsbeat, February 24, 2014.

Stephanie March, "Holy Cow: Smuggling Indian Cows To Bangladesh," ABC News, July 8, 2013.

  Arezou Rezvani et al., "Growing Beef Trade Hits India's Sacred Cow," CNN, April 19, 2012.

"Wee Dram: Hindu Group Launches Cow's Urine Drink," ABC News, February 13, 2009.

Stephanie Kennedy, "Hindus Angry Over Euthanasia Of Sacred Cow," ABC News, December 18, 2007.

  "Court Upholds Cow Slaughter Ban," BBC News, October 26, 2005.

Jyotsna Singh, "India Targets Cow Slaughter," BBC News, August 11, 2003.

  "Beef Book Sparks Hindu Protest," BBC News, August 9, 2001.

  "No Beef In McDonald's Fries," BBC News, May 4, 2001.

Inder Malhotra, "Holy Men Stir Up Rights In Delhi -- Archive," Guardian, November 8, 1966.


Audio And Video

  "The Legend Of Hanuman," Hotstar Specials, Official Trailer, January 2021.  (2 mins)

  "Hindus Work Around Coronavirus To Celebrate God Ganesh, Remover Of Obstacles," Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR, August 27, 2020.

"Living Planet: India's Paradox Of The Holy Cow," DW, May 14, 2020.

"The Violent Rise Of India's Cow Vigilantes," Vox Borders, July 24, 2019.

"India's 'Cow Vigilantes,'" BBC Newsnight, February 21, 2019.

  "The Hindu 'Milk Miracle,'" Witness History, BBC World Service, December 14, 2016.

  "India Beef Ban," Religion And Ethics Newsweekly, PBS, January 21, 2016.

  "Ganesh Is Fresh":  A musical tribute from MC Yogi.

"Birth Of Lord Ganesha," YouTube:  A  short animated story.

  "A Lynch Mob Killed A Man In India -- After Rumors He Ate Beef," World, PRI, October 2, 2015.

"India's Ganesh Festival Goes Green," BBC News, September 28, 2015.

"Hanuman -- Hindu," Words Of Faith, BBC World Service, February 28, 1995.

"Ganesh -- A Deity Of The Imagination," Words Of Faith, BBC World Service, August 3, 1993.


 

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