chapter  5
26 Pages

Self and Society: Norms of Life

The historical origins of Hindu devotionalism cannot be located. Vatara and a Upaniads shows that devotion to God was clearly compatible with recognition of the ultimate reality as the transcendent, quality-less ground of all existence, it does not establish the beginnings of devotionalism. Artifacts from the Indus civilization and the character of many of the major deities of the Hindu pantheon suggest a direct linkage to Hinduism in its classical form. After all, the art of Indus civilization reveals a proto-Shiva seated in yogic position, poised, calm, and perfectly controlled, but with penis erect, suggesting his function as Lord and controller of the universe and as its source or generative principle both here combined as different aspects of the one reality from which all this proceeds. Perhaps a continuous development of indigenous religious devotionalism, directed toward one or the other of the various Gods or Goddesses, eventually came to be taken over and adopted by the Vedic tradition.