Source: News Bharati English29 Apr 2016 13:59:42

Glasgow, (Scotland), April 29: Bronze sculpture of “Shiva Nataraj” is one of highlights of award-winning Saint Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art (SMMRLA) at the heart of medieval Glasgow in Scotland.

SMMRLA has three galleries of permanent displays exploring some of the world’s major religions through religious objects and works of art, as well as a gallery dedicated to the role of religion. “Magnificent” sculpture of Shiva Nataraj is at the far end of the Gallery of Religious Art.

Glasgow museum: Cast bronze figure of Hindu deity Lord Shiva as Nataraja, made in Southern India

Galleries of SMMRLA “explore the importance of religion in peoples’ lives across the world and across time” and it “aims to promote understanding and respect between people of different faiths and of none”. It reportedly hosts talks relating to religion regularly.

Commending SMMRLA for showcasing Hindu artifacts and efforts at promoting understanding among diverse religions, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that art had a long and rich tradition in Hinduism and ancient Sanskrit literature talked about religious paintings of deities on wood or cloth.

Glasgow Museums has a collection of 207 objects relating to Hindu deities. This collection includes statues, paintings, clothing and textiles, works on paper, plaques, door hangings, a mask, a scroll, an offering tray and other related ephemera. There are bronze domestic shrine images mostly depicting Krishna, Vishnu and various forms of the mother goddess. There are five large painted and vested clay images of the mother goddess Durga and her four children, which were donated by the Glasgow Durga puja committee. There are also small miniature paintings showing stories from the life of one of the most popular deities, Krishna and his consort the goddess Radha. Other items include a stone sculpture of the bull deity Nandi, a large cast bronze image of Shiva, a stone relief of Surya the Sun god and a small clay portable personal image of Hanuman the monkey god. There are many gods and goddesses within Hinduism, with regional variations within the Indian subcontinent. For Hindus, the use of images is essential to communicate the reality of the deity's existence. In Temple worship, deities are incarnated in image form by a lengthy ritual process called Murti Pratishta. Most Hindus believe in one god or reality called Brahman. In general most Hindus believe in the Trimurti of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the sustainer and Shiva the destroyer. Each of these deities has a consort goddess and sometimes children. There are eight incarnations of Vishnu including Krishna and Rama. These two have goddesses and sometimes extended families. There are also a myriad of demi-gods and regional variations of the principal deities.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged major art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d’Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc., to have exclusive Hindu galleries, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world.

Glasgow’s patron saint Mungo reportedly brought the Christian faith to Scotland in the 6th century.