Piss Krishna

Penises of Paradise: You could be forgiven for thinking a post with this subtitle refers to the prowess of the male Mutineers. Alas, our significant others demand truth in advertising. Actually, our old friend Beads of Paradise has thrown a new wrinkle into its exotica-dealing ways: it’s encircled Ganesh with a garland of penises. A dangle-sutra. A dick-lace.

I’m bemused by the dildos strewn around the feet of the idols, and the well-hung Buddhas dangling off Christmas trees. Is this Inuit-Hindu totemic mashup? Is it a newfangled fertility ritual? Are they invoking the subcontinental symbol of disgrace, the garland of shoes? Andrés Serrano would be proud.

Color me unimpressed by the gonads on display. Here’s what a real New York set looks like, from this year’s Halloween parade (NSFW after the jump).





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ABC Home has suddenly redone exactly one window in its holiday display, the one treating a Ganesh statue like a bathroom decoration. Were there complaints? Is someone newly enlightened? Does someone at ABC (shock) read SM? Here’s the sanitized window:



Related posts: Krishna for Christmas, Exotica shop, Pounding leather, Scene in New York, Hinduism as kitsch, Warmth and Diesel: The selling of Indian kitsch

77 thoughts on “Piss Krishna

  1. If and when, I find out who these bastards are and where they are from, I’m going to photoshop them and their families with midget porn in the background, blow up the pictures and paste it outside their shops and homes (wherever that is). Anyone wanna join me?

  2. What I want to know is…WHERE ARE THE VAGINAS?! Where where where? Is there only room for penises in paradise?

    What

    almost

    every engineering student is thinking as they sit through another lecture.

  3. I know this is pissing off a lot of you, but it it seems like the store’s window designer (whatever that position is called) cluelessly thought they were being cute and humorous. I see no malicious intent on their part, it’s just plain ignorant.

    And that means we have an opportunity here — to enlighten the Beads of Paradise people on exactly why the penis-mala is distasteful and offensive to anyone who is familiar with Hindu deities.

  4. I’m going to photoshop them and their families with midget porn in the background

    that’s offensive to little people culture. they aren’t simply there for you to degrade.

  5. I find the draping of dildos over deities tasteless and dumb and maybe culturally dense. But it almost seems a little un-Hindu to find it blasphemous, insofar as I understand Hinduism to be a flexible religion, with no rigid scriptural rules, and no hard and fast lines of blasphemy. (Not that anyone here has called it blasphemous per se.)

    But there’s something of secondary interest to this window display, something that links it to the ABC display and even those silly Verizon Christmakwannakahmas ads. Namely: this is a Christmas window, with dominant motifs that are non-Christian. It seems like a theme this season: the multi-culturalization of Christmas (in tasteless ways, maybe, but still, it’s interesting).

  6. But it almost seems a little un-Hindu to find it blasphemous

    I didn’t say blasphemous, but offensive.

    Moreover blasphemy does apply – “flexible” means we can create new forms based on philosophical or devotional motivations, not that we are ok with random modifications or those with a disrespectful intent.

  7. love how you changed the word from mutiny to brown… brown to the bone, and offended by the damn shop keeper… ugh, this chana is masala mad

  8. Deepa writes:>>Moreover blasphemy does apply – “flexible” means we can create new forms based on philosophical or devotional motivations, not that we are ok with random modifications or those with a disrespectful intent.

    Hinduism is the only religion where there is no such thing as blasphemy. Yes, most forms that have withstood the millennia are those that Hindus created with philosophical and devotional intent, but there were many forms that were created (and continue to be created) with disrespectful intent. Just see MFHussain’s paintings for a recent example.

    But Hinduism is also the only religion where you have a right to disrespect – so let the ABC Home’s and MFH’s have their day. As they fade away from public eye and memory, their “creations” will fade as well.

    M. Nam

  9. Well spoken MoorNam. Things like these are too trivial for a “religion” as old as ours. I put the quotes around religion because Hinduism is above a religion. Raja Rammohan Roy defined Hinduism as a way of life. And this way of life has not only persisted but flourished for around 7000 years now.

  10. I think the problem is the commercialization of it all, not necessarily blasphemy… and of course, the ignorance of those who mistake dildoes for lingams. You’d think people who claim to be all cross-cultural and tolerant would know a little more about what they’ve got on display.

    Speaking of which, andrea, I’m not sure if your “Fight kitsch with kitsch” remark was a joke too. But if it wasnt, I’d have one or two things to say about that :) I was pretty much joking. I would never say every offended person should go out and disrespect someone else’s religion in response… plus, it’s all been done before, and by the same team at that. (first link: search for “Sweet Jesus Chocolate”).

  11. way of life ? bullshit. How is an average Hindu different from an average Christian/Muslim living in India, in the realm of spirituality ?

    It is not a way of life, it is a religion, plain and simple, and comes with all the things that accompany a religion. It has holy books, holy places where people go and pray, fanatic religious leaders who entice the followers of the faith to kill, followers of the faith who kill.. what more do you need before you call it a religion ?

  12. that’s offensive to little people culture. they aren’t simply there for you to degrade.

    I did not mean it that way but big boo….frickin….hooo. They can always complain about it on their blogs. After all that is exactly what we are doing too.

  13. If and when, I find out who these bastards are and where they are from, I’m going to photoshop them and their families with midget porn in the background, blow up the pictures and paste it outside their shops and homes (wherever that is). Anyone wanna join me?

    There would certainly be a tort action law suit waiting for you, provided you are rich.

  14. but there were many forms that were created (and continue to be created) with disrespectful intent. Just see MFHussain’s paintings for a recent example.

    Those paintings are not created as part of the religion.

    But Hinduism is also the only religion where you have a right to disrespect

    No, you don’t have a right to disrespect, it’s just that we don’t kill you if you disrespect.

  15. No, you don’t have a right to disrespect, it’s just that we don’t kill you if you disrespect.

    Everyone has the right to disrespect, but they must also be willing to face the consequences of said disrespect (loss of face, public humiliation, disrespect in return) and accept responsibilities for their actions/words (regardless of the right/wrong).

    And Hindu fundamentalists, just like other fundamentalists do go around threatening, intimidating, and killing people when they feel ‘disrespected’.

    Blasphemy is a Judeo-Christian-Islamic concept, doesn’t mean people don’t feel there is something analogous to it in Hinduism. It’s a very human concept with translations of these feelings of disrespect all over the place. All those times I’ve seen TV versions Ramayan and Mahabharat (I know, not the best sources), there always seems to be one Rushimuni or the other who decrees that they, or the Gods have been insulted, and the standard curse ensues.

    Feeling insulted, relgiously, has more to do with a group mentality of true believers. It doesn’t matter what the scriptures or books say, all that matters is the interpretation of the leader of these true believers for it to become true in that group’s mind.

    “Under the Banner of Heaven” by John Krakauer is a great read, even though it’s about Mormon fundamentalism, the ideas of what true believers are willing to do to justify their beliefs via their own interpretations is universal.

  16. Everyone has the right to disrespect, but they must also be willing to face the consequences of said disrespect (loss of face, public humiliation, disrespect in return) and accept responsibilities for their actions/words (regardless of the right/wrong).

    Thank you, you put it better than I did. I was responding badly to the comment that people have a “right” to disrespect in Hinduism, which seems to imply that it’s part of Hindu thought or something, as opposed to other religions where it’s not part of the religion. Fact is everyone has a “right” to disrespect any religion, under the conditions you specify above.

  17. And Hindu fundamentalists, just like other fundamentalists do go around threatening, intimidating, and killing people when they feel ‘disrespected’. Blasphemy is a Judeo-Christian-Islamic concept, doesn’t mean people don’t feel there is something analogous to it in Hinduism. It’s a very human concept with translations of these feelings of disrespect all over the place.

    I’d just like to note here (not an attack on you, GujuDude) that both “blasphemy” and “fundamentalism” are Abrahamic concepts, technically (after all, both concepts depend upon the belief in one absolute doctrine) – yet, while people don’t stint in extending “fundamentalism” to Hindus, they resist extending “blasphemy” to Hinduism. If one is extensible, I think the other is as well – for the reason that GujuDude states above:

    It’s a very human concept with translations of these feelings of disrespect all over the place.

    As long as I’m at it, I might as well reiterate that to me the real point of outrage here is not:

    *Are our religion/beliefs/deities truly affected by frivolous uses?

    *Does our outrage indicate intolerance/fundamentalism/prudishness?

    but rather that application of sexual imagery to any concept tends to render that concept a joke, and when members of a majority culture thus debase a popular symbol of a minority culture, that debasement accordingly transfers to that culture and those who are perceived to be of that culture. Then you have to wonder about the motivations of the people who perpetrated the debasement. Whether those motivations consciously exist, the effect is undeniable.

    Anyone who is perceived to be Hindu, that is, anyone who is brown, is affected by the attitude of disrespect to Hindu culture which is thus perpetuated.

    It’s more a question of power than of religion.

  18. Many people mention they were “offended” or they found it “offensive.” My question is, why do you think people have a right not to be offended? Offense is only in the mind; it is in how someone interprets things. Why should one be responsible to ensure that someone else doesn’t choose to interpret their statements or actions negatively?

    I worry about things that affect me that actually harm me and that I cannot control such as when someone steals from me or when someone causes me or someone else real physical harm. I can’t be bothered to worry about people “offending me” because it diverts far too much of my mental energy away from doing positive things and being a positive person.

    In elementary school most of us learned that if we were offended by something then that something is exactly what the other kids would do. So most kids learn not to be offended. Why are adults so much less intelligent than elementary school children on being “offended?” Sheesh.

  19. i dont see anything wrong . maybe someone needed some prayers awnsered to help concieve a child . it is common practice in japan .dont act like a bunch of christian extremists that go nuts over the display of the piss christ( christ on a cross in a jar of urine).