Kriyaa Hi Vastoopahutaa Praseedati


Harappan Civilization: Religious Life

From the seals, terracotta figurines and copper tablets we get an idea on the religious life of the Harappans.

Pasupati Seal

Things to Know

  1. Male deity: Pasupati also called Proto-shiva
  2. Female deity: Mother Goddess
  3. Linga worship was prevalent
  4. Nature worship was prevalent
  5. No evidence of temples
  6. Harappan religion was the lineal progenitor of HInduism

Important Points to Remember

1. The chief male deity was Pashupati represented in seals as sitting in a yogic posture with three faces and two horns. He is surrounded by four animals- elephant, tiger, rhino and buffalo each facing a different direction. Two deer appear on his feet. The animal surrounding proto-shiva might have been worshipped. In later times, Linga worship was prevalent.

2. Chief female deity was the Mother-Goddess represented in terracotta figurines.

3. Many trees such as Pipal, animals such as bulls, birds (dove, pigeon) and stones were worshipped. Unicorn was also worshipped.

4. Practice of fire-cult evidenced from Lothal and Kalibangan may suggest ritual sacrfice.

5. Swastika was a sign of good luck. Portrayal of crocodiles on some seals may symbolize river god.

6. Primitive animism, that is worship of spirits and beliefs in the other world is shown by fact that with the dead bodies, a large number of pits and toilet objects such as mirror, antimony rod, pearl shells etc. were kept.

7. Amulets and charmers found in large number suggest superstition and beliefs in demons and ghosts.

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