Upset Hindus are urging Congleton (Cheshire, England) based microbrewery Cheshire Brewhouse to apologize and re-name and re-label its two Govinda (another name for Lord Krishna) beers carrying sacred Hindu symbol Om; calling it highly inappropriate.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that Lord Krishna was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer for mercantile greed. Moreover, linking Lord Krishna with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful.
In Hinduism, “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, is used to introduce and conclude religious work. Usually considered the most powerful mantra, Om has been equated with brahman, isvara, atman, etc. It was highly trivializing to place such a sacred symbol on a beer-bottle, Rajan Zed stated.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 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.
Lord Krishna is the eighth avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu and subject of major Hindu scriptures such as the Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord) and Bhagavad-Purana.
Single bottle of these objectionable beers, “Govinda Organic Plumage Archer” (ABV 6.4%) and “Govinda ‘Chevallier’ Edition” (ABV 6.8%), both “Heritage” India Pale Ales, is priced at £5 each. With recipes claimed to be dating from the early 1800’s, both are stated to be “Vegan & Vegetarian-friendly” and provide high bitterness.
This awards-winning artisan craft brewery, established in 2012, whose tagline is “Craft Beer From Cheshire That’s Far From Plain”; besides a taproom, also sells beer online. It claims to use “animal-free process” and Shane Swindells is the Head Brewer.