Not to be outdone by the Satanists, a Hindu organisation also wants to place a monument on the grounds of the Oklahoma state capitol. The proposed monument is of Hanuman, a monkey-like Hindu deity. Hanuman statues are very common in India, the highest of which is 135 feet high. Politicians haven’t been as quick in dismissing the Hindu deity as they were with the Satanic monument. Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is continuing with a lawsuit to have the 10 commandments monument removed, which caused all this in the first place. It’s all quite amusing. Maybe we should propose a monument to Apathy? No, I think you have to care too much.
Ganesha is one of the most recognizable Hindu deities, thanks to His elephant head. He is revered as the Lord of Beginnings, patron of arts and sciences and the God of intellect and wisdom. When the council of Coeur D’Alene in Idaho allowed a sculpture of Ganesha to be displayed on it’s streets, the local Constitution Party published an article calling it a Hindu demon, approved by a godless group of individuals. The anti-gay, anti-abortion party claim to stand for the ideas of the original founding fathers of the United States, but have clearly dismissed the idea of separation of religion and state. A call for a protest against the so called abomination last Friday, drew a handful of protestors along with another handful of supporters for the art. It was overall a demonstration of Apathy by the masses. Well done everyone!
Today, the Hindu festival of Maha Shivratri begins, celebrating the marriage of Lord Shiva to the Goddess Parvati. This great night of Shiva occurs on the night before the new moon in the month of Maagha. Every year thousands of pilgrims travel to the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal including Sadus, or holy men, who live like hermits in caves. As part of their celebration the Sadus smoke cannabis. A loophole in the law allows this and at one time the government used to provide marijuana for the festival. However, this year in response to complaints from locals, the authorities, while still permitting the Sadus to smoke, are not permitting any sale of the drug. It seems like some unscrupulous people were posing as holy men to deal in drugs. So far plain-clothes officers have arrested 18 people.
Are you ready to honour Lord Murugan, the Hindu god of war and fertility? If so you have probably been on a vegetarian diet and abstaining from sex for over a month, in preparation for Thaipusam. The Thaipusam festival follows the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai, which this year will be celebrated tomorrow on January 20th. Many people in Malaysia attribute conceiving children or surviving serious illness or accident to this god. The bigger the request that was answered, the bigger the ritual offering must be. On the day of the festival many followers will pierce their bodies with hooks carrying fruit and trek to temples, where the piercing will be removed and the debt is paid. Others carry their newly conceived babies to the temple for blessing and others carry pots of milk or wooden floats on their head. Some also shave their heads and smear sandalwood all over their bodies. In Malaysia the prime minister is attending the celebrations, which are expected to draw a crowd of 200,000. It all makes Sunday Service, or Mass, look a bit dull.