Upset Hindus urge Texas brewery to withdraw Lord Shiva beers

Upset Hindus are urging New Braunfels (Texas) based New Braunfels Brewing Company (NBBC) to withdraw three beers named after Hindu deity Lord Shiva, calling these highly inappropriate.

These are: “Shiva’s Tears”, “Shiva’s Wrath” and “Cosmic Dancer”.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada 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 Shiva was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer. Moreover, linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful, Zed added.

Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one 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.

According to NBBC website, which describes Shiva as “the god of destruction and rebirth” in Hindu faith: Shiva’s Tears (Weizenbock Of The Destroyer), which it terms as “a study in sinful grace and ultimate power”, “is our pathway to beer truth. Meditate on a few of them and you may just cry a few tears of your own.” Shiva’s Wrath (Eisbock-condensed version of Shiva’s Tears) “is cosmic destruction in a glass. Take heart. For even in destruction there is rebirth.” Why the name “Cosmic Dancer”? …“When Shiva destroys the universe (and subsequently creates a big bang) he does a dance in the heavens. And because of it, he is also called The Cosmic Dancer”. Images of both Shiva’s Tears and Shiva’s Wrath show picture of Lord Shiva’s trishul (trident).

Founded in early 2011 by Lindsey and Kelly Meyer, NBBC, whose tagline seems to be “Here’s to Life”, claims to brew “hand-crafted beer inspired by old-world German recipes with a Texan disregard for the rules” and their “base beers are a hefeweizen, dunkelweizen weizenbock and Oktoberfest”.

In Hinduism, Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu deities. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

City of New Braunfels, founded in 1845 under German charter, is a home-rule city under Texas State Law. Comal River, known as one of the shortest rivers in the world, runs through it. Every November, it holds a German-style sausage festival “Wurstfest”. Prominent people associated with it include baseball player Lance Berkman, astronaut Charlie Duke and singer-songwriter Leigh Nash. Barron Casteel and Robert Camareno are Mayor and City Manager respectively.

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