The best way to illustrate the diversity of Hinduism is through the story of ‘A Mysterious Beast.’ A ‘Mysterious Beast’ (essentially an elephant!) came to the Land of the Blind; the king set his courtiers to find out what it was. Each man described a different part of the elephant, all the men in the story are correct and telling the truth but only in part, as with the elephant, Hinduism is made up of many parts, though beneath all this verity there is one unchanging reality: Brahman.
Brahman is believed to be the underpinning spirit of the world and to be found in everything. He has many different characteristics represented in different forms which are called avatars, or murtis. There are thousands of gods and goddesses whom which Hindus can worship, all with their own special individual characteristics, which allow followers to choose their own deities. Many believe all these gods and goddesses are different aspects of the unchanging ultimate supreme Brahman.
These worksheets include a game which explains how each part of the elephant is described by the blind men and asks the students to explain how this is linked to the Hindu religion. In groups the students are given an opportunity to create a poster which will come together with the rest of the class to show as many of the Hindu god and goddesses as possible – possibly about 30 depending in the size of your class (!)