Showing posts with label Anser indicus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anser indicus. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is A Hamsa? What Is The Symbolism Associated With Hamsa In Hindu Iconography?


The name for the Barheaded Goose (Anser indicus), a bird with various symbolic meanings, the most notable of which being purity and transcendence, given the bird's entirely white coloring.

It flies at very high altitudes and is said to nest in the high Himalayan Lake Manasarovar, which is said to be the realm of the gods.

Because it is widely thought to be able to distinguish between milk and water—drinking the former and rejecting the latter—the hamsa is also a metaphor for a discerning individual who can seek advice from a variety of sources and discern what is good from what is harmful.

The hamsa is also the term for a sort of Hindu ascetic, perhaps because of these associations.

The Hamsa ascetics were regarded as peripatetic since they were only allowed to dwell in a hamlet for one night or five nights in a town.

They were also told to engage in other ascetic practices, such as surviving on cow's urine or dung, fasting (upavasa) for a month at a period, or following the chandrayana ritual, which entails increasing and decreasing one's food consumption in accordance with the moon's waxing and waning. 


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