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Teacher's Resources

Classroom Activities & Projects

Hinduism and Vishnupada

Level: High school-Grade 11 to 12

Goals:

Description:
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 Topic:
Research the lotus as a universal symbol. Why has it been the inspiration for the stylized border of the shatari?