All posts tagged: Hindu gods

Hanuman’s emergence as a pop-culture icon shows West is waking up to Hinduism

Hanuman’s emergence as a pop-culture icon shows West is waking up to Hinduism

(RNS) — The new movie “Monkey Man,” which premiered earlier this month at the South by Southwest festival, will appeal to most viewers as a revenge action thriller and, of course, to fans of British actor Dev Patel, who also directed the movie in his feature directing debut. But “Monkey Man” is also the latest and most prominent introduction to American audiences of Hanuman, the Hindu deity in monkey form who has already seen cameos in the 2018 blockbuster “Black Panther” and its sequel “Wakanda Forever,” as well as Pixar’s Oscar-nominated short, “Sanjay’s Super Team.” Patel, a Hindu whose breakthrough role came in 2008’s “Slumdog Millionaire,” wanted his movie — which was co-produced by Jordan Peele — to highlight India’s social inequalities. But he admits that he’s fascinated by Hanuman’s superhero mystique. “What baffled me growing up was this iconography of this super-strong being who could hold mountains in one hand and split his chest open,” Patel told an audience after the screening at SXSW. “It reminded me of the iconography of Superman. I was, …

‘Our gods were locked in the basement.’ Now Nepal is pursuing sacred items once smuggled abroad

‘Our gods were locked in the basement.’ Now Nepal is pursuing sacred items once smuggled abroad

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal’s gods and goddess are returning home. An unknown number of sacred statues of Hindu deities were stolen and smuggled abroad in the past. Now dozens are being repatriated to the Himalayan nation, part of a growing global effort to return such items to countries in Asia, Africa and elsewhere. Last month, four idols and masks of Hindu gods were returned to Nepal from the United States by museums and a private collector. Among them was a 16th century statue of Uma-Maheswora, an avatar of the gods Shiva and Parvati, that was stolen four decades ago. It was not clear who took it or how it ended up at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, which handed it over to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Devotees celebrated its return in Patan, south of the capital, Kathmandu. The stone-paved alleys were crowded with devotees offering money and flowers. Men in traditional attire played drums and cymbals and chanted prayers. “I cannot say how extremely happy I am right now,” said Ram Maya …