• Incarnations, Manifestations, Forms and Vehicles

    While travelling in Nepal, backpackers will realise how complex Hinduist and Buddhist religions are. Nepal has a complete mastery of gods, goddesses, bodhisattvas, buddhas, deities’ incarnations and manifestations, all them worshiped through statues, images, paintings and symbols. There is a slightly difference between incarnations, manifestations and forms. Vishnu has 10 incarnations in total, Narsingha (the lion man), Krishna (the cowman) and Buddha among others. Shiva is the God with a thousand names, although they are mere manifestations (the way he shows himself) and not incarnations. Each God also has a related animal or vehicle (vahana), in which he rides, as well as a consort with different skills and features. You can recognise the God by identifying his vehicle or the symbols he holds in his hands, but it will take you a while to understand this dense mythology.

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