Symbols - What does heaven look like
Yet another symbol to represent Spirit Input is butter.
This symbol is found in particularly Hindu as well as Buddhist literature, - the symbolism is centred particularly on clarified butter which is golden in colour. This is why many temple rites involve being anointed with clarified butter, it is symbolic of being anointed with spirit input.
In many Hindu legends the creator churns chaos – symbolically represented as milk – which is turned into butter – spirit.
The Rig Veda [translated by Wendy Doniger]
Enclosed in butter are sky and earth, beautiful in butter, gorged on butter, grown on butter. Broad and wide, they are the first priests in the choice of the priest of the oblation. They are the ones that the priests invoke when they seek kindness.
It is from the symbolism for butter and milk that some of the symbolism of sacred cows and bulls is derived [but see also Bull and cow].
The use of bulls and cows in Indian myth and legend is extensive, and the legendary figures are often represented as temple statues and ritually celebrated with actual clarified butter, or in this case with coloured liquid made to appear to be clarified butter.
This is the ‘Pradosha Abhisheka’ to Nandi at Tanjore.
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