I know I said I would link to an old post today... but I find it's also nice for me to type out what's going on.
Maybe I already talked about them on here. If you find these same stories in a different post, well bully for you!
Good gods, bad gods:
Growing up, I always thought of Hinduism as having "good gods" and "bad gods." For instance, Brahma - the creator, and Vishnu - the preserver were "good gods," and Shiva - the destroyer was a "bad god." I'm not sure whether this idea came from what I was taught of Hinduism, or from applying my Judeo-Christian culture/ world-view into the context of Hinduism.
For instance, in Christianity, God the Father is the Creator. And He is good. Satan destroys, and he is bad. Technically, I'd argue he's the worst. Literally... the worst. Jesus says in Matthew, "Don't fear anyone who can destroy your body, rather fear the one who can destroy your soul."
So, maybe I thought Satan destroys... destruction is bad... Shiva destroys... Shiva is bad.
But that's not the approach Hinduism takes.
I told the kids it's more like this.
Think of a gallon of milk.
The milk is created. And that's good. Your parents go to the store, and buy it. They put the gallon in the fridge, where' it is preserved. And this is also good.
Now, I have a 2 year old daughter. Sometimes we give her a sippy cup of milk. And sometimes she loses it. There have been times we found the sippy cup days later. Have you ever smelled spoiled milk?
We destroyed whatever was left in that sippy cup. Poured it down the drain and washed the cup before the stench filled the house.
And that was a good thing. The destruction was good.
Shiva destroys when it is time for something to be destroyed. And it's a good thing. And Shiva - the destroyer is also the re-creator.
To all my Hindu readers out there, I know that this is a vast over-simplification. And I realize that - just like Christianity - there are many different beliefs in Hinduism. If anybody ever wants to leave comment or thoughts, or clear anything up. Please feel free.
In the mean-time, if you're in my class and want extra credit for reading and discussing my blog, discuss the milk analogy with the adult you read the blog with. Write 2 or 3 sentences telling me whether you guys agree with the analogy. Then, have the adult sign the paper.
Turn it in on Monday. Have a great weekend.