Hinduism is one of the oldest faiths in the world and many of its Gods and Goddesses are shown as killers and murderers. Many of the statues also show the Gods or Goddesses with just the head of their enemy and some paintings even show blood dripping from the necks. What are they trying to convey to their followers?
Hinduism, along with Buddhism and Jainism or any other religious faith, teaches their followers strongly about the peaceful ways of living without harming even the neighbor for any reason. However, when the newcomer comes and sees some of their Deities to be very gory and frightening, they would tend to think that this line of faith is meant to encourage extremism, but it is not meant to be so.
Fighting Is Never Encouraged:
All the principles of the various texts that elucidate the rituals clearly state that everyone in the world is equal and there should never be communal disharmony or riots amongst the various ranks. Since the stranger and the blood relation are considered to be equal, as well as the animals, the societies were encouraged to express and enhance love amongst each other and never indulge in atrocities.
Since the history reveals that the great leaders of the society and the kings of the past are shown as Gods and Goddesses, it becomes their responsibility to fight off the predators and those who assume evil to their followers. This has translated into the drawings, paintings and sculptures of the Deities also reflected the same. Even if the Supreme Beings are represented as warriors, they never fought for fuel or to invade other’s lands, but to conquer one’s self so as to enable the person with total self control.
Fighting Evil Thoughts:
The religious texts revealed that the headless demons and those that the Gods and Goddesses have fought off and killed are the various feelings and extreme emotions that would devastate the humankind; such as lust, pride, sloth, gluttony, wrath, vainglory, boasting, greed, envy, illusion, etc., which have to be kept under proper control so as to lead the life filled with happiness. This is the representation of the good minds with positive thoughts having consistent victories over minds filled with evil thoughts and negativism.
One of the concepts that are conveyed by praying to the God that would murder or fight is that one has to believe in Supreme Being and face the problems boldly. When they see that their Deities can fight off evil and bad attitudes shown by the demons and devilish creatures, one would gain lots of confidence to live life by choosing the righteous ways. This is one of the best ways to teach the people to live ethically, or else they would be punished (read as overtaken) by the “Good” minded people.
It is important that the truth behind the intellectual representations of the Deities have to be analyzed before arriving at any conclusions.