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Eastern Mind
08 October 2007, 03:02 PM
In my city there was recently a controversy over some art pieces depicting Lord Ganesha, and on public display. I am wondering what others here would have to say. If you search Edmonton + Ganesha art controversy, much will pop up. It was carried on local news, as well as some international newspapers. Thanks for maybe taking the time to respond. Aum Namasivaya

Agnideva
08 October 2007, 04:10 PM
Namaste EM,

I always have trouble taking sides on these things. On the one hand, I think the artist should have the freedom to sculpt Ganesha in the manner he pleases. I think all the 32 types of Ganesha icons we have came about due to artistic freedom. On the other hand, I can also understand why Edmonton Hindus would object to a public display of a nude or headless Ganesha.

From the articles I just read, it seems that the artist made the sculptures of Ganesha because he was fascinated by Indian art, rather than to put it down in some way. Perhaps the bigger question is not whether he has the right to sculpt Ganesha in the manner he chooses (which he obviously does), but whether it should be displayed in public at the conference center. One of the articles made a good point about how almost anything could be said to hurt sentiments of one group or another.

Personally, I can understand both sides, and would love to hear other opinions.

Aum,
A.

Znanna
08 October 2007, 04:41 PM
Namaste,

I also can argue for both sides, here.

But, being a contrary sort, I'd also note there perhaps is a third side (or more). As it is the representation of Godz which is at issue, I wonder would Sri Ganesha be offended by being the focus of so much attention by artist, public, news media and folks like us?

WWGD?

:)


ZN

Eastern Mind
08 October 2007, 05:17 PM
Aum Ganesha: Thank you both for checking it out. It did cause quite a stir here. Lots of letters to the editor on both sides etc., and as I knew some of the participants well, I followed it with some interest. I did have the opportunity to sign the petition, but didn't, mostly because I don't like being a follower. When the community leaders bring about a petition in such a way, to me its like voting. Its your duty to be informed first. I suspect some weren't. Just because such and such says its a good idea doesn't mean it is. I guess I'm saying I think for myself. Lean on your own spine. Aum Namasivaya.

saidevo
09 October 2007, 11:55 AM
Is that hideous figure a representation of Lord Ganesha? The Western Civilization is so much obsessed with pornography and pervisity that the western scholars and skilled people who seek expressions of Hindu imagery invent some excuse or other to justify their work.

To call such perversity freedom of expression is the height of folly and arrogance. The immediate question that arises is why such freedom is not taken with the icons of other faiths. For example, why not paint a headless nude Jesus or Mary or Jehova and go gaga about it? How would the orthodox Christians feel if such an image is painted or sculpted by a Hindu (no true Hindu would do it, however).

I normally have strong feelings and take strong exceptions to such expressions, whoever does it (specially a non-Hindu), because I believe that the imagery of Hindu gods and goddesses should not be on any other lines than what has already been provided by our ancient Hindu sculptors, painters, artists and scholars. Their works represented the divinity of the concerned god in the form it was represented with and the devotion of the artist. Thus the litmus test is perhaps to what extent do any such modern work express the divinity of the god in form, the divinity being perceived not just by the artist but by the ordinary onlooker.

In India, during Ganesh Chaturthi festival, Lord Ganesha is represented as a cricket player, a modern youth wearing jeans, etc. Such representations express the love the Hindu public has for their First God who has the largest number of images placed everywhere in the Hindu walk of life such as a river bank, a tree shade, a house gate or in a shrine. No other God is represented in India in such mega numbers.

Such knowledge and sensitivity being absent in Ryan McCourt, he should really be ashamed to call himself an artist. I condemn this particular work of his in the strongest possible terms and I am glad that the authorities seem to have some sense to remove the offending piece from the exhibition. I am not surprised at the persisting arrogance of the artist in defending his piece because arrogance is often a cover for ignorance.

If you ask me why there are erotic images in temples and caves, and even some Hindu paintings of gods representing nudity, my answer would be that only Hindus can know and read the divine message beneath the surface eroticism. Most non-Hindus would only see the superficial eroticism and pass their own judgments about the piece, its artist, and the Hindu public who possess them.

I have expressed my own views which may be right or wrong or only partially right or wrong.

saidevo
10 October 2007, 01:12 AM
I have briefly recorded my protest to the so called Ganesha Art by McCourt, which may be read here:
http://www.nesw.ca/studiosavant/2007/09/mandels-art-censorship-in-international.html

sm78
11 October 2007, 12:08 AM
Namaste EM,

I always have trouble taking sides on these things. On the one hand, I think the artist should have the freedom to sculpt Ganesha in the manner he pleases. I think all the 32 types of Ganesha icons we have came about due to artistic freedom. On the other hand, I can also understand why Edmonton Hindus would object to a public display of a nude or headless Ganesha.

From the articles I just read, it seems that the artist made the sculptures of Ganesha because he was fascinated by Indian art, rather than to put it down in some way. Perhaps the bigger question is not whether he has the right to sculpt Ganesha in the manner he chooses (which he obviously does), but whether it should be displayed in public at the conference center. One of the articles made a good point about how almost anything could be said to hurt sentiments of one group or another.

Personally, I can understand both sides, and would love to hear other opinions.

Aum,
A.

Things always have 2 sides...its which side we want to be that matters :).

I think hindus in the present case should protest (in a civilized manner), as it is important for the community not to be taken for granted in the society they live in.

AG, I also think so called artistic freedom without sraddha is abuse.

However these things should not be the biggest headache for hindus, there are far more pressing issues at the moment :)

yudhamanyu
11 October 2007, 02:09 AM
Things always have 2 sides...its which side we want to be that matters :).

I think hindus in the present case should protest (in a civilized manner), as it is important for the community not to be taken for granted in the society they live in.

I approve of this. We should act in a proactive and not at all in a reactive manner.

At the same time we should be assertive and not let others abuse Hindu sensibilities in the name of artistic licence.

If they want to do it, let them do it in their homes . Why the need to put it in a public display, knowing well that it can hurt and inflame religious sentiments.

That in itself is rudeness and sheer insensitivity on the artists and organisers part .





However these things should not be the biggest headache for hindus, there are far more pressing issues at the moment :)

True, our pressing issues is the ridding of casteism, ignorance , illiteracy , poverty and low morale from India at the moment.

Much has been done, but more has to be done still .

And I am sure we can achieve these goals, as we are indeed the descendants of the Rishis, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira and Guru Nanak and Guru Govind Singh.

Which nation on earth possess such illustrious ancestry.

As their descendants it is our holy duty to get rid of the evils afflicting Hindu society at the moment, and bring it to the ideals of perfection and truth and justice , as envisaged by our ancestors.

And the rise and perfection of Hinduism and India is of great strategic importance to the world , and will do a lot to eradicate evil and injustice from earth.

ARISE, AWAKE AND STOP NOT TILL THE GOAL IS REACHED.

--- SWAMI VIVEKANANDA

Eastern Mind
11 October 2007, 07:46 AM
Namaste all: Thank you all for taking the time to look. The thought that "there are bigger things to protest' crossed my mind several times during the debate. By the way, it's all over now, the statues are down. I believe they were purchased by various individuals. I guess one good result is that the various Hindu groups are better organised now, and if a more serious issue arises, it won't take 10 months to get the protest going. One thing that really bothers me is the proposed dredging between Sri Lanka and India of Ram's bridge. Besides that it could be declared a religious historic monument, it could also be a tremendous ecological tragedy. But from here in Canada, I don't know how to protest. Who can I send a letter to, or donate money to? Any ideas? I do in my own way protest overt deceptive conversion tactics. Shepherd's Purse will not be operating out of my school here this year, due to my protest last year, I believe. Aum Namsivaya.

saidevo
11 October 2007, 09:41 AM
Namaste EM.

I am glad HDF has started discussing this serious issue which is likely to snowball into an environmental diaster.

Most of the technical experts have pointed out that the Sethu Samudram Project will most likely bring in serious environmental disasters. And then there is the question of the Thorium-rich sea sand coming into the possession of LTTE and the USA (both are terrorists in their own way!).

It was only Sri Rama's grace that the issue took a religious turn and has been postponed temporarily. The Central Government of India has sought three months time in the Supreme Court to re-examine the project in all its ramifications by listening to the opinions of everyone concerned and find out an alternate channel to implement the project without demolishing the Rama Sethu bridge. The Central Government has formed a committee with highly questionable credentials because the committee has for its head and arms people connected with the project in the Shipping Ministry. Prominent Indian citizens are planning to oppose this kind of prejudicial formation of the committee and also present before it a detailed 'white report' on (why) the project (should be scrapped).

The issue is discussed threadbare in this link, and the news about the committee may be found in Sri Anusha Chennai's post dated 7th Oct. 2007.

Sethu Samudram Project – Secret Agenda!
http://www.kanchiforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2078&start=250

You may find it useful and interesting to go through important posts in this thread to get an idea of what is going on and what you can do to lodge your own protest.

satay
11 October 2007, 10:26 AM
Shepherd's Purse will not be operating out of my school here this year, due to my protest last year, I believe. Aum Namsivaya.

Namaste EM,
What's a "Shepher'ds purse"?

Eastern Mind
12 October 2007, 07:25 AM
Satay: Shepherd's Purse is the wrong name. Its called Samaritan's Purse. Sorry about that. My memory is going, I guess. It is a deceptive evangelist marketing of Jesus in India, started by the son of Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, the American evangelist. It works like this. Propaganda is sent to western schools, or groups, where boxes of toys, candy, pencils, and the like are packaged and sponsored by students in the guise that it is straight charity. So the children think they are doing a charitable act, and buy into it at Christmas time. They collect it all by the truckload and ship it off to India, Latin America, etc. Except at the distribution center, a religious tract promoting Jesus as the only way is added to the boxes, and invitations to 'meetings'. Then they are distributed freely to the pagans. Firstly, its deceptive to the children in the west by not being upfront. Secondly, its a tool and preys upon children when it's distributed. "Wow, look at all the nice stuff I got from the Christians, must be a good religion." Typical Christian deceptive marketing. Aum Namasivaya

saidevo
03 April 2008, 09:17 AM
Here is some latest news about Rama Sethu:



Rama Setu: archaeology
http://kalyan97.wordpress.com/2007/07/29/480/

It is well known that Rama Setu is referred to in sangam literature: in Akananooru, Purananooru and in many other texts in all bharatiya languages — in Sanskrit, in Prakrit, in Bauddham and Jaina texts and in scores of historical maps in South Asia Atlas ed. by Schwarzberg of Univ. of Chicago and in Survey of India maps, Netherland maps of 18th century (details below). Thousands of ’setu’ coins with the word ’setu’ written in Tamil script have been discovered in Jaffna (Yaazhpaanam) in Srilanka related to ‘ariyachakravarti’ coinage. Parantaka Chola of 10th century has left a copper plate inscription (Velanjeri plate) stating that he performed setutirtha and tulaabhaara at Setubandha.

There is evidence to show that people lived on the bridge in the 18th century and wood was growing on the bridge, just as people lived in Dhanushkodi until it was submerged in 1948 and 1964 cyclones. On Srilanka side, there are archaeological sites across Talaimannar a site called Mantai or Mantotta, recollecting the memory of Ravana’s sister Mandodari. There is a tirthasthana called Mahatittha there and also a S’ivalinga called Tiruketees’varam just as there is a S’ivalinga called Rames’varam. A third S’ivalinga was said to have been installed in the middle of the bridge according to Skanda Purana. This S’ivalinga mandiram has to be discovered.

Unlike the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, Rama Setu is always referred to as a ‘bridge’. ‘Setu’ itself means a man-made bund in all bharatiya languages, also called setubandha. The word bandha enters the English language as ‘bund’.


For more details and pictures, check Dr. S.Kalyanaraman's blog at the above link.

For the articles by V.Sundaram on 'Rama Sethu: Historic facts vs political fiction', check this link: http://www.ivarta.com/columns/OL_070526.htm

varaaroho
17 May 2008, 11:44 PM
Namaste,

This is my first post on this forum.

As far as this thread is concern I think that people take Hindu religion for granted.:o

Now its our job to make them believe that we are a force to reckon with.

saidevo
01 February 2009, 08:35 AM
More news on protection of Rama Sethu:

Kusum Vyas’ Global Quest Secures Sacred Site Nomination for Gulf of Mannar, South of India
Last updated: December 19, 2008
http://www.indoamerican-news.com/Stories/121908/KusumVyas.html

Pretnath
07 February 2009, 06:23 AM
Namaste All,

Saideo G, :goodpost: and :ontopic:, but one thing is wrong-


On Srilanka side, there are archaeological sites across Talaimannar a site called Mantai or Mantotta, recollecting the memory of Ravana’s sister Mandodari. There is a tirthasthana called Mahatittha

Mandodri was Ravan's wife and not sister. Ravan's sister was Shurpnkha

saidevo
07 February 2009, 08:34 AM
Namaste Pretnath.



Mandodri was Ravan's wife and not sister. Ravan's sister was Shurpnkha


Thanks for your correction; I am sorry for not noticing this error while copy-pasting;)

izi
13 March 2009, 11:25 PM
I really would only protest if it did not look beautiful and Ganesha did not have a an equally beautiful penis I think that would be quite an insult - and by god that painting IS ugly and very poorly done. Why is it getting so much attention?

screw all of this other Christianized morality **** - one of the things Hinduism has going for it is a celebration of sexuality, which is only natural...

None of these arguments will matter one wit once our species is down the drain - why should the universe bother to care about wearing a loincloth? That's pathetically human.

this art of Ganesh is ugly and horrible to look at, and it's not done with respect. Making retarded comments about the artist like "let's kill him" as i have seen on blogs elsewhere just makes Hindus sound like crazy extremists and I want no part of it.

I don't see anyone protesting Parvati's firm gorgeous bared breasts on the old temple walls - if they were protesting it I'd suspect the protestors more of Christianity than Bhakti yoga.

Leave the sexual paranoia to the Christian and Islamic perverts please, and stop giving the troglodites attention over what amounts to nothing at all really...

narenrh
25 May 2009, 12:41 AM
Well, I would disagree Naomi. If its ok to depict any idol, which we treat as god, naked - then I believe it is like anyone can depict anyone's father mother or guru (and god as well) naked and his/her son/daughter/disciple should not be worried about it and should see it as an art and embrace it. Its pure absurd. People dare to do this to Hindu Gods as everyone knows Hindus are very tolerant and liberal and non-egoistic. Does anyone dare to do this to jesus or Allah (though no form)? This extreme tolerance by Hindus have shrunk our land by taking out all geographical areas now called Afghanistan, Pakistan, POK, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka, etc. How more tolerant should we be?