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"Om!": this mystic syllable, a sacred primordial sound that surges forth from chaos, symbolizes Hinduism, one of the world's oldest religions.
The divine, eternal and fundamental Brahman principle (the Absolute beyond which there is nothing) is divided into a trinity called the "Trimurti": Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer). These divinities are often represented by symbols, like the lingam, the phallic form that evokes the god Vishnu. There are also a number of minor deities, like Ganesha, who is related to Shiva.
In the ancient Hindu epics, two main avatars appeared on Earth: Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, and Krishna, the most important protagonist of the Mahabharata, the seventh and eighth incarnations of the god Vishnu.
A ritual art of dance was born in the temples, the Bharata Natyam being the most ancient form, and the Kathakali taking its themes from the major episodes of the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Paris, musée Guimet - musée national des Arts asiatiques
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