Japan Wants to Encourage Studies of Hindu Gods

February 21, 2007

Author: Satyen Mohapatra

Source: Hindustan Times

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1934077,000600010001.htm

Japan wants to encourage studies of Hindu gods and goddesses found in their country. Saraswati, Laxmi, Brahma, Ganesha among large number of other deities are still prayed to there though under a different names.

Saraswati's sketches (Benzaiten in Japanese) sanctify kitchens in rural areas of Japan even now, says Director International Academy of Indian Culture Lokesh Chadra.

Japanese understood her as sa-rasavati or the goddess of the kitchen, Rasavati is 'rasoi' in Hindi.

Talking to the Hindustan Times the Japanese Cultural Counsellor Shigeyuki Shimamori said, "We would like to encourage more studies by scholars on the Hindu deities found in Japan."

It is the Mantrayana sect of Buddhism emphasising mantras (chants) and rituals through which Hindu deities reached Japan, Dr Chandra said. The Japanese also perform "homa" known as "goma" to their deities even today, they get ghee flown from Australia, he added.