Art Institute of Chicago (USA), one of the major art museums of the world, has developed a “lesson plan” for classroom activity in which students of 4-8 grades solve a global issue by taking the role of one of Hindu deity Vishnu’s avatars (incarnations).
Lesson plan says that Vishnu has 10 avatars, or incarnations, savior gods who come to earth to save humanity from evil at different intervals during the cycles of existence. In this activity students write a story about a problem on earth. They imagine themselves as one of Vishnu’s avatars who can solve the problem. Students are encouraged to incorporate recognizable attributes to their avatar.
Applauding Art Institute of Chicago for acquiring various Hindu artifacts and developing “Be a Vishnu Avatar” lesson plan, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that art had a long and rich tradition in Hinduism and ancient Sanskrit literature talked about religious paintings of deities on wood or cloth.
Meanwhile, Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged other 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), 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.
The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879 as both a museum and school, whose collection now encompasses more than 5,000 years of human expression from cultures around the world, and the school’s graduate program is continually ranked as one of the best in the country. Thomas J. Pritzker is Board of Trustees Chairman while James Cuno is President. Search of “Vishnu” at Institute website reveals 22 artifacts related to Vishnu, including 9th century bronze from Eastern India.
Vishnu is “preserver” in the Hindu triad with Brahma and Shiva as the aspect of the Supreme. He has ten incarnations to establish dharma (divine law). Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.