As Hindus we can be light hearted

Clay Ganeshas for Ganesh Chaturthi

Some of you might have noticed that I have changed the rating images from stars to images of Ganesha. When you rate a post, comment or page you will be blessed with an image of Shri Ganesha. For those of you who are interested in the technicalities of changing the image, or who would like to use these images themselves I have described how to do this on my technical blog.

While looking at these images of our endearing Lord, it occurred to me that Hinduism is probably unique among the major religions in that we can do this. I doubt if many Christians would use images of Jesus for post ratings, and a Muslim would risk severe consequences for doing the same with Muhammad.

In my opinion God and the Devas encompass everything in life. They can be mysterious, awesome, majestic, and even intimidating. They can also be playful, funny, and endearing. Perhaps this is something that other religions lose site of.

om gam ganapataye namaha


Images created from existing images from Wikimedia and the Open Clipa Art Library, which are in the public domain. These are available for use under the Creative Commons attribution license. The actual ratings images are released into the public domain and free for any use, see my technical blog page.

13 responses to “As Hindus we can be light hearted

  1. Nicely done, Tandava, and thanks for sharing the “how to” with the rest of us!
    Aum Sri Ganeshaya Namaha

  2. Very cool Tandavaji

  3. Very much agreed. I think there are different aspects to the Gods. There are the transendental timeless aspects and the very “human” aspects. The transendental aspects connect us to the greater spiritual reality and the human ones make them lovable and close to us as we travel in human form.

  4. First let me say that I have no problem with the Ganesha ratings, its a good indication of the freedom you CAN find in the various dharmas. But, I would encourage you to take note that the use of religious iconography in India and within Hindu communities is often highly contested and controversial. Before assuming Islam and Christianity to be stricter in this regard, I might encourage more meaningful critique of Hinduism itself. Critique can only make us stronger.

    I really do enjoy our blog’s message.

    Best.

    • Namashkar Miliatasana,
      That is something we don’t often hear of in the West. Most of the complaints about images that we hear are obvious misuses; the image of Saraswati to advertise beef burgers, lakshmi on leather shoes and so on. Most of these are by large non-Hindu companies like Burger King. I would hope that most people would know the difference in someone taking delight in the playful aspects of the Gods, and someone just using their images as advertising gimmicks.
      Aum

    • As I understand it, perhaps not Christianity, but Islam is much stricter. While certain Hindu groups might have issues with light-hearted uses of images, almost all Muslim groups have a ban on any kind of images of the Prophet, God or any other religious figure. I would say a universal ban is much stricter than objections raised regarding certain uses that are only raised by some sects/traditions.

  5. It isn’t the lighthearted use that is complained about most but the downright obscene/despicable depictions & wanton/willful disrespect that we protest about in India or out.

  6. In fact,In India,we don’t mind question our God’s logic or actions. We have a kind of poetry that praises God by seemingly abusing him,especially in Sanskrit & Tamil[I don’t know of other languages.] that uses the Figures of speech [Alankara in Sanskrit ;ANi in Thamizh -both meaning ‘decorations/jewels’ for the language] called nindAsthuthi in Sanskrit & Vanchapughazhchi aNi in Tamil respectively.Puns are also used for the same effect.
    In fact Lord Shiva , Lord Krishna ,Lord Ganesha & Lord Skanda have alot of verses penned in this way that seemingly mocks them but actually praises them.
    It is the purposeful defilement of Gods that is not tolerated.

  7. An example from Tamil for you.I got this from R.Prabhu’s blog “R.Prabhu’s Notes” by KAlamEgapulavar on Murugan but takes a dig at all the Others also like Shiva,Parvathy,Vishnu & Ganesha
    “Appan Iranthunni Aathaal Malai Neeli
    Oppariya Maaman Uri Thirudi Sappaikaal
    Annan Peruvayiran Arumuga Thaanukku
    Ennum Perumai Ivai”
    The superficial meaning is His father is a beggar who lives by begging food. His mother is a mountain devil. His incomparable uncle is a great thief. His flat footed brother has a large tummy. These are things that Lord Murugan has to be proud of.Visit this link ,please, for a detailed explanation http://rprabhu.blogspot.com/2007/03/classy-kaalamegam-part-4.html}

    • Namashkar Sita Ji,
      I apologise for not answering sooner, we have been on holiday without computer access. What an interesting verse! It definitely shows a very different attitude to that of the Abrahamic religions. Perhaps it helps you look beyond the obvious and see the divine paramatman in real beggars and even thieves.

  8. Hello; I followed you here from your errand of mercy in the forum. Thank you. I have a small interest in the world’s great religions, and I can see that you will fill in some gaps for me. I’ll be back…Joe

  9. Here’s a Bollywood song on Ganesha from the movie Agneepath – [Tandava: inline video replaced with link] http://goo.gl/m0P5W Enjoy!

  10. I agree with you whole heartedly. In fact, I just read a novel “Man and the Gods” which presents the Gods in a light hearted manner engaging in rivalry with us humans!!! I highly recommend you read this book. It is available on Amazon at “http://www.amazon.com/Man-Gods-Nandan-Prasad-Sinha/dp/1479115703/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353373521&sr=1-1&keywords=Man+and+the+Gods”. The Kindle version is also available at “http://www.amazon.com/Man-and-the-Gods-ebook/dp/B009UXBFL6/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1353373697&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=Man+and+the+Gods+by+Ram+Nadnan+Prasad+Sinha”

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