Brussels: A Belgian garment company has apologized and withdrawn from circulation an undergarment with the picture of Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth, following strong protests from the Indian community in Belgium. The firm known as DOD based in Brussels in an email to INEPNEXT said “we are very sorry for having offended you, but not being conscious of the origin of the picture, we didn’t do it on purpose. Of course all these items will be sent back to where they came from and today I will ask the shop to take them out of the shelves,’’ said the email Monday.
“Please accept our deepest apologies, we respect all religions and didn’t mean any harm,’’ it added.
Even a brief (no pun intended) study of Hindu mythology yields a plethora of sexual imagery in a religious context. Among others, the legend of Krishna is replete with discussion of the “lingam” and the “yoni,” and well…Hindu religious artwork and architecture is often blatantly sexual, with columns and other shapes acting as barely disguised penises. It seems Hindus are in general are far more comfortable than, say, Christians in blending sexuality and worship.
So why are modern Hindus getting their panties in a bunch about…Lakshmi on panties?? As if it couldn’t get any more contradictory, Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of fertility. Can someone please tell me a better place to have the goddess of fertility than next to your genitals?
Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth, light, wisdom, the lotus flower and fortune, and secondarily of luck, beauty, courage and fertility. Representations of Lakshmi (or Shri) are found in Jain and Buddhist monuments, in addition to Hindu temples. She is also kind to children and gives presents. Due to Her Motherly feelings and being the consort of Narayan (Supreme Being), She is believed as the Mother of the Universe. –Wikipedia
This ruckus reveals most strongly that the people involved lacked knowledge of even their own traditions. And the garment manufacturer is walking down a perilous road by claiming to “respect all religions.” This kind of spineless cultural relativist appeasement simply emboldens the conservatives. When it comes to that ultimate human train-wreck-collision of cloth and flesh, one would be hard pressed to come up with anything less modest than a burqua that would satisfy everyone.
And whenever these cultural dustups arise, it seems utterly futile to point out that people who are offended could…you know…not buy the product? I mean since it’s underwear, if you don’t buy it or sleep with someone who does, theoretically there’s no way to be offended since you would never see it.
Of course beneath all of this ‘cultural’ shame and modesty, we find at the core weak controlling men and fading jealous women. Both these groups find common cause in shackling and covering the expression of the life-affirming power that is human youth, beauty, and sexuality.