Come festival seasons, news papers & portals publish photographs & news about persons or institutions that make ‘different’ kind Ganesh Idols (Yeah… I refuse to call it Murti). Idols that are made of by anything other than what it should be. Recently I came across a news that a lady making Ganesh Idol out of chocolate. She will do Visarjan the idol in milk and afterwards she’ll distribute the chocolate milk to underprivileged kids.
Sounds great? No! Why mix religious ritual with charity??? These are two different things. Let it be so. If she wanted to do something for under privileged children, then she could have done it directly by giving food or donating cloths & other materials they need. Mixing Ganesh Idol in milk after Visarjan and feeding them to kids seems unhygienic even if it is made of chocolate.
There are some definitive procedures laid in our ancient Shastras for how Ganesh Murti should be made, such as, the materials to be used, the colors, the ideal height and proportion, etc. The recommended materials are clay or mud to make Murti and natural color to decorate it. Here is a link for those who want to go deep.
But if we look around we’ll see idols made of all kind of materials we can imagine i.e. Chocolate, Scrap Metals, Utensils, Plaster of Paris, Biscuit, Bundi, Til, Gems, Laddus, Vegetables, and God knows whatever things, in different avatars like Cricket Player, Bahubali, Spider Man, Kargil Soldier, Fighter, Dancer etc. Even some brands have made it promotional event to promote their products. Example: Here & Here. When we see such kind of Idols we might feel WOW and may praise the person/team behind it. But do we feel revered to bow our head in Bhakti just like when we visit a temple??? No… na? Then what is the purpose of making such things?
My point is, why make Ganesh Murti (Yeah… I refuse to call it Idol by today’s standards) by anything other than what has been recommended? Is Ganesh Puja a fun activity like school fancy dress competition??? The answer is No. It is an annual ritual for one of our revered God. Then why make it a silly showcase of talent? There are other platforms for that. Why Ganesh Puja???
Bhagwan Ganesh is the most loved God of Hindus. But we Hindus have made him paper weight, wall showpiece, gift item, car dashboard items, etc. Even his Annual Puja is a creative platform to showcase our talent. Is this the right way to do Puja & respect our God? If we Hindus won’t show respect to our God and rituals how can we expect same from others? No wonder many fringe elements advising Hindus what to do what not do and how to conduct our festivals. Because we ourselves have made it a joke. It’s time we should go back to our basics and do puja with Bhakti & Bhav.
Disclaimer: This article is not meant to hurt anyone’s religious feelings. It is also not against the ritual of Ganesh Puja. The image collage is used for illustrative purpose only. All the images in collage are creation of their original owners.