The Museum of Art of Mormon-run Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo (Utah) has launched a “quiz” on its website which finds your Hindu ishta-devata (favorite deity) after nine multiple-choice questions.
After one goes through questions asking one’s personality traits and paintings of Hindu deities like Krishna, Shiva, Rama; it “calculates” and tells your favorite Hindu deity, which can be Shiva, Lakshmi, etc. “Complete this quiz to discover which benevolent Hindu god may best assist you at this time in your life”, website announcement states.
This “quiz” is part of Museum’s Hindu-themed exhibition dedicated to Hindu deity Vishnu titled “Loving Devotion: Visions of Vishnu”, which will run till March 21 next, and which: “illuminates the rich heritage and symbolism of Hindu worship in the lives of believers”…”focusing on images of Vishnu and Krishna” …”reveals the depth and intimacy of their relationship towards the divine”…“through powerful images of these Gods inscribed on stone, in bronze or in paintings, worshippers and viewers alike are invited to learn that god is love and not fear”.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commended BYU for promoting Hinduism and educating others about the deities and concepts of this oldest and third largest religion of the world offering deep philosophical thought.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that although Hindus did not choose their ishta-devatas through quizzes, but any efforts at educating and creating awareness about Hinduism were welcome.
Rajan Zed urged major art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d’Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc., to frequently organize Hindu art focused exhibitions, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world.
BYU, established in 1875 and which ranked #62 in “best national universities”, “is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”. About 99% of its about 30,000 students are Mormon and its website suggests: “While you are a freshman, your first religion class at BYU should be Religion C 100, Introduction to Mormonism” and to “graduate from BYU you must complete 14 credit hours of religion”.
Kevin J Worthen is BYU’s President, while Mark Magleby is director of its Museum of Art, which claims “thought-provoking exhibitions”.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called Mormon Church), launched in 1830 in upstate New York and currently headquartered in Salt Lake City (Utah), now has over 15-million adherents.
Hinduism has about one billion adherents and there are about three million Hindus in USA.