Upset Hindus are urging European Commission to persuade various headshops of Europe to withdraw cannabis paraphernalia with images of Lord Ganesha and other Hindu deities, which they feel is highly inappropriate.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Lord Ganesha and other Hindu deities depicted were highly revered in Hinduism and were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to adorn ashtrays, chillums, bongs, rolling papers, mixing trays and other cannabis related paraphernalia. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
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, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.
Rajan Zed further said that such trivialization of Hindu deities was disturbing to the Hindus world over. 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.
Some headshops in Germany, Netherlands and Spain; which carry paraphernalia used in consumption of cannabis/tobacco and related items; sell ashtray, bongs (filtration device usually used for smoking cannabis/tobacco), chillum, rolling tray, mixing tray and cannabis seeds carrying images of Lord Ganesha. Description of Ganesha wood chillum with carved image of Lord Ganesha at such headshop includes: “enjoy marijuana under the watchful eye of Ganesha”. “Hindu Collection” of rolling papers claims to show “all nine gods/goddess of the Hinduism”; including Lord Brahma, Lord Ganesha, goddess Durga and Lord Hanuman.
In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.