Debunking Misconceptions

January 6, 2007

Author: David Fleischer

Source: The Liberal

(Richmond Hill) - Tucked behind a statue of Mahatma Gandhi, at the corner of Yonge Street and Hwy. 7, is a small treasure, unique in Canada.

Since 2004, The Canadian Museum of Hindu Civilization has been part of the Vishnu Mandir Temple site, with its distinctive lotus-shaped tower. Though you could easily drive by without noticing the museum, will step into the spotlight with a community festival in May.

Vaishali Panwar, a choreographer and dancer who is also the project director for the upcoming Festival of India, makes an ebullient museum tour guide.

One of the 17,000-square-foot museum's primary aims is to dispel misconceptions about Hinduism, Ms Panwar explains. For example, she says that the religion is not polytheistic as some think.

"We believe that God is formless but what we do is we invoke the formless into a form and then we pray," she says.