A talk by Anuradha Dooney of the Oxford Centre For Hindu Studies
Images of divinity in Hindu traditions are replete with animal association. A snake adorns Shiva’s neck; a gigantic bird carries Vishnu while Durga is depicted atop a lion or tiger. Other deities like the elephant-headed Ganesha and the half- man, half-lion Narasimha combine both animal and human form in one. Yet what do Hindu traditions teach of our relationship with animals? Is vegetarianism the ideal? What of hunters and animal sacrifice? Are cows really sacred and do hogs and dogs really rank lowest in the scheme of things? This talk explores the world of wildlife in Hindu sacred text and offers insights into how Hindu teachings regard our fellow creatures.