Upset Hindus are urging Ventura (California) based clothing company “Zen Fuego” for immediate withdrawal of yoga towel carrying image of Hindu deity Lord Ganesha, calling it “highly inappropriate”.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Lord Ganesha was greatly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to lie/sit/stand/tread/walk on or put abdomen, ankles, body, buttocks, calves, feet, genitals, groin, heels, hips, knees, legs, thighs, toes, umbilicus, etc. on or for absorbing/handling/wiping one’s sweat. Inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged “Zen Fuego” to offer a formal apology, besides withdrawing the objectionable Lord Ganesha yoga towel.
Clothing companies should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply trivializing of the immensely venerated Hindu deity Lord Ganesha to be displayed on a yoga towel, Rajan Zed emphasized.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled; Zed noted.
Rajan Zed further said that Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it were painful for the followers, Zed added.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.
This objectionable Lord Ganesha “Microfiber Yoga Towel with silicone dots” claims to give you “improved grip for sweaty yoga or a soft place for your Yin practice” and contain “super absorbent microfiber”. Priced at $45, its description states: allow Ganesha to help you remove obstacles from your path.
“Zen Fuego”, which claims “enlightenment through awesomeness”, sells yoga towels, women’s tops, men’s tees online.