Upset Hindus are urging Athens (Georgia) based apparel and home goods company Vision Lab for immediate withdrawal of yoga mat carrying image of Hindu deity Lord Ganesh; calling it highly inappropriate.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Lord Ganesh was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to sit on or put feet/buttocks/legs on or sweat on. 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, also urged Vision Lab to offer a formal apology.
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, Rajan Zed noted.
Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu deity was disturbing to the Hindus. 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 hurt the followers, Zed added.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Products of Vision Lab, which describes itself as “Visionary Art Apparel and Goods” and states that its “single-pointed focus” is to “inspire the world with art”; include apparel for women and men, art prints, tapestries, pillows, yoga mats, etc. Founded 2011, it claims to design and manufacture everything at its facility in Athens and plant 10 trees for each garment sold. Objectionable “Galatik Ganesh Yoga Mat” was priced at $90.