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Murti

From Academic Kids

Murtis are statues or images used by Hindus during worship as points of devotional and meditational focus. They are sometimes abstract, but more often anthropomorphic representations of forms of God like Shiva or Ganesh, Ram or Krishna, Saraswati or Kali. Because the mind is in turbulence (vritti) and incapable of focussing on God as a formless, abstract concept, God is given form.

Devotional (Bhakti) practices are centered on cultivating a deep and personal bond of love with God through one of His or Her forms, and often make use of murtis. Some Hindu denominations however reject image-worship.

Murti worship is commonly equated with idolatry by many followers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This view of murtis being idols misapplies Judeo-Christian ideas to Hindu practices and fails to reflect actual Vedic philosophy and Hindu belief. The Hindu concept of murti worship is far closer to that of the icon, and consists of veneration of the image or statue as representative of a higher ideal or principle rather than objectifying divinity as the material object itself.

Topics in Hinduism
Shruti (primary Scriptures): Vedas | Upanishads | Bhagavad Gita | Itihasa (Ramayana & Mahabharata) | Agamas
Smriti (other texts): Tantras | Sutras | Puranas | Brahma Sutras | Hatha Yoga Pradipika | Smritis | Tirukural | Yoga Sutra
Concepts: Avatar | Brahman | Dharma | Karma | Moksha | Maya | Ishta-Deva | Murti | Reincarnation | Samsara | Trimurti | Turiya
Schools & Systems: Schools of Hinduism | Early Hinduism | Samkhya | Nyaya | Vaisheshika | Yoga | Mimamsa | Vedanta | Tantra | Bhakti
Traditional Practices: Jyotish | Ayurveda
Rituals: Aarti | Bhajans | Darshan | Diksha | Mantras | Puja | Satsang | Stotras | Yajna
Gurus and Saints: Shankara | Ramanuja | Madhvacharya | Ramakrishna | Vivekananda | Sree Narayana Guru | Aurobindo | Ramana Maharshi | Sivananda | Chinmayananda | Sivaya Subramuniyaswami | Swaminarayan | A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Denominations: List of Hindu denominations
Vaishnavism | Saivism | Shaktism | Smartism | Agama Hindu Dharma | Contemporary Hindu movements | Survey of Hindu organisations
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