Classroom Activities & Projects
Hinduism and VishnupadaLevel: High school-Grade 11 to 12
- Understand the role of sign and symbol in religion
- Identify ways in which religion is reflected in specific works of art
- Identify the origin and significance of various symbols
- Identify sacred beliefs from a variety of religions and explain any commonalities
- Effectively communicate the results of research, using a variety of methods and forms
Explore the religious importance of footprints in Hinduism in the first part of the web exhibition ('Introduction', 'In the Footsteps of the Divine' and 'Vishnu'), discussing the varied use of symbolic footprints as representations of a deity.
Note the silver shatari with its stylized lotus border and Vishnupada, or footprints of Vishnu. The shatari is a ritual object usually placed in Vaishnava shrines at the feet of the principal deity. Once the worship of the deity is complete, the devotees are offered milk and the shatari is placed on the devotees head, symbolizing total protection by the deity. The custom of placing a shatari on the head of a devotee is well over a century old.
Research the lotus as a universal symbol. Why has it been the inspiration for the stylized border of the shatari?