Shravanabelagola, Karnataka, India (15th August 2014)
Hinduism as a religion is a very attractive lure for many foreigners visiting India. More often than not belonging to a monotheistic faith themselves, they marvel at the hundreds of gods that Hindus worship. As I was walking near the Shravanabelagola temple in Karnataka, I noticed these idols of Hindu deities associated with numerous natural species and objects, for sale. There is the Monkey God (Hanuman), the Snake God (Adishesha), the Elephant headed God (Ganesha), the Bull (Nandi), the Tortoise God (Kurma), the Phallus (Shivalinga) and also the Buddha! Despite the abundance of gods, I believe that the essence of Hinduism teaches that all these deities ultimately represent the many aspects of the one supreme absolute God.