Symbols and Meanings

Relationship of Buddhist and Hindu Deities

Buddhist and Hindu traditions spread side by side in the same communities in India and Nepal, and some of the deities in the two religions are associated with similar myths.

The same groups of artists often created both Hindu and Buddhist images, and artistic depictions of these deities share a visual language that originated in India, including hand gestures, body postures, and implements. Some local communities across the Himalayas, both Hindu and Buddhist, celebrate several deities and their images in daily rituals and at annual festivals. It is common for a deity to go by different names based on where it is worshipped and by whom.

Objects in the Exhibition