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Three Hundred and Thirty Million Gods

            "Three Hundred and Thirty Million Gods".
             The documentary "Three Hundred and Thirty Million Gods", narrated by David Gyre, explores the ancient religion of Hinduism in it's native India, elucidating its philosophies and offering first-hand accounts of its rituals and practices. By exposing western minds to the radically dissimilar mentality of Hinduism and the lifestyles if its practitioners, this film succeeds in explaining the central ideas of the practiced religion as well as the philosophy of Hinduism. Several of those concepts examined include: the many Gods and Goddesses; the ritual practice of image worship; and the lives of ascetics who denounce society and wander off alone in search of enlightenment.
             Throughout the fifty minutes of this film, Gyre introduces his viewers to the realities of rural Indian life; the modesty of their existence, their strife during difficult times of drought and famine, and the traditional caste system in which they live. Gyre explains the divergent practices of Hinduism throughout the country, the reverence of specific gods such as Krishna and Shiva, as well as the fundamental philosophies such as karma and reincarnation. By enforcing the idea that Hinduism is practiced differently, and has different meaning for every individual, Gyre succeeds in exposing the universal nature of Hinduism and its philosophy. .
             In Hinduism, there are several main gods. Gyre introduces the audience to many of these deities, including Brahma, who is considered to be the creator God; he is traditionally depicted as having four faces, representing the four Vedas. The god Vishnu represents the preservation and salvation aspect of god, and is often represented as one of his ten avatars, or incarnations, such as Krishna or Rama. As Goddess worship in India can be traced back to the Indus Valley civilization, it is not difficult to imagine why he majority of Hindu gods are readily depicted in both art and literature with their female consorts.

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