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Ganesha Yoga Pants Pulled From Amazon for Offending Hindus

in Fashion, YD News

In an effort to remove all obstacles to create a Hindu deity-free marketplace, Amazon is the next to pull Ganesha clothing off its virtual shelves. This time the culprit resides in the print of yoga pants, and the instigator of the complaint, none other than Rajan Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, whose harsh criticism helped remove Ganesha socks from Urban Outfitters not too long ago.

Ganesha is a Hindu god of wisdom known as the remover of obstacles. Zed’s just pointing out that we need not wear him on our butts and/or crotches to enlist his assistance. ”Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be worn around one’s legs, crotch and hips,” he said. Zed has also stated that Ganesha should not “be denigrated by trampling under one’s feet or buttocks or legs, licked by animals and used as animal clothing,” when he got CafePress to stop selling Ganesha yoga mats a couple of years ago. What about Shiva, Kali and Lakshmi, btw?

Anyway, it’s an interesting and valid point – we’ve broached the cultural appropriation topic many times before in yoga culture and fashion – but going after every piece of yoga gear with Ganesha on it in the wild world of Western yoga culture is definitely a tough path to clear. Especially if these things are kind of pretty.

The items in question, made by Teeki, an up-and-comer making wild prints on pants made from recycled plastic bottles:

Ganesha’s Dream Hot Pant

ganeshas-dream-teeki-pants

(Above: Butt shot because Ganesha’s on the back)

(Below: Zoomed in because it’s actually pretty hard to find)

ganeshas-dream-closeup
And Ganesha’s Dream Bell Bottoms:

ganeshas-dream-bell-bottom-frontOffensive? Not offensive?

[Via Business Insider]

18 comments… add one

  • I am curious…I have been wanting a Ganesh tattoo for some time now and had considered getting a large piece on my thigh or as a half sleeve….would the thigh be considered offensive??

  • Brandi

    Christine, I have a large half-sleeve Ganesha tattoo and it means more to me than I can put into words. I chose my placement because I look at my arm so much during Yoga, and Ganesha is my remover of obstacles. I don’t believe that someone else’s opinion should ever be taken into consideration when choosing your tattoo/placement, especially if it is someone you do not know. This decision is yours, and yours alone.

  • Personally, I want a half sleeve FAR more, and for personal reasons as well, but i was afraid i wouldn’t have enough room for the design I want… normally with my tattoos I don’t care what anyone else thinks, but if its offensive to the culture, not just some jo-schmoe i don’t know, I wouldn’t want that.
    Thank you though, I think my decision has been made a little easier!! xo

  • I am curious…I have been wanting a Ganesha tattoo for some time now and had considered getting a large piece on my thigh or as a half sleeve….would the thigh be considered offensive??

  • YD

    In reply to Christine, good question. We found this statement, also from Rajan Zed on celebrities getting Hindu and Sanskrit tattoos:

    “We are all for the celebrity interest in Hinduism and our sacred texts, but celebrity tattoo artists worldwide really should undertake some basic training in ancient Sanskrit language and culture to get this right.”

    “We are delighted that so many celebrities choose to pay tribute to Hinduism with tattoos. We only ask that the tattoo artists take the trouble to get it right.”

    (via WENN – http://www.express.co.uk/news/showbiz/96231/Celebrity-tattoo-artists-urged-to-get-their-Sanskrit-right)

    There doesn’t seem to be an issue as long as its accurate as far we can find. Hope that helps!

  • katy
  • YD

    That is simply amazing. CafePress is a gold mine for the absurd.

  • My mind as such tends to travel to the consumerism involved in this situation. Not so much the lovely image on the pants, but the fact that Yoga has become a highly marketed system..I feel it takes away from this sacred path which offers so much to it’s practitioners, and has it’s origins in non-materialism, a confusing message for sure!
    The motivation behind the pulling of this design off the market makes the whole situation more palpable. This man only had his faith in mind and the protection of his belief system as a pure vehicle to transport one to freedom and bliss, not something to be marketed to the masses for a price, I say kudos to him. ~Namaste

  • Gopi

    Christine, From my general understanding it is considered disrespectful to wear sacred symbols (including images of the demigods) below the waist. Om Shanti!

  • Carol

    Intent should be considered. Symbols help set intention. Profit motive or social status do not promote personal evolution.

  • S.

    It shows how we Western practitioners are so willing to adopt another culture’s spiritual materialism i.e. statues of Hindu gods without understanding what they stand for. I went to a yoga studio where they had a Shiva poster in the bathroom. If you still can’t figure it out, imagine if you saw another culture promoting a Jesus Christ bikini bottom. Yes, we look that ridiculous to devout Hindus.

  • I love those pants! Where can I buy them?!

  • VQ2

    “… and God said, ‘Let there be no idols before me’ ” … Eastern religion beat the “chosen people” to THAT one …

  • L

    Whose god?

  • Jonny rose

    This is dogma. Nobody has the right to say how images of aspects of the divine should be used. Connecting to the Ganesha energy of the universe is every bodies right. Just because it comes from or through a lineage called Hinduism it does not make them the keepers and rulers of the energy or image. No to dogma.

  • arlet

    i mean i guess i can understand where people are coming from; being offended by the commercialization of believes and religion, but really? jesus’s face is printed on all sorts of “urban” clothing (t-shirts, hats, etc). i’ve never heard anyone bring too much attention to that. if you find it disrespectful, then don’t buy them. maybe it’s actually bringing awareness to gods/goddesses/hinduism/where yoga came from… and people who are buying these clothes might research what they are wearing on their bodies and actually learn something.

  • Jayadev

    Of course is disrespectful and I agree deities’ pictures shouldn’t be appearing on clothes. Did you ever see any indian yogi wearing clothes with deities print on? No. Picture of any deity, spiritual master or holy man respresents the ultimate reality for a sincere yogi. I’m not a christian, but I wouldn’t wear Jesus’ face on my clothes, especially on some “lower” parts. Or Buddha’s, or Krishna’s, etc. As someone said in a comment before, you wouldn’t put shiva’s poster in a bathroom. It all comes to a principle – as much as you value something, that much value you get out of it. If you don’t respect the image representing God (Guru, Cosmic consciousness, Ultimate reality, the Absolute, however you call it – and no matter from which religion or spiritual tradition the image originates) – then you’re nothing more than a poser. Then do your yog.., sorry, gimnastics and don’t call yourself a yogi (or yogini). Sure you won’t get any credit for wearing God’s image on your butt.

  • Stephanie

    I would ask Mr. Rajad Zed’s take on the Ganesha Credit card offered on the home page at the Temple in Mumbai. http://www.siddhivinayak.org/index.asp

    It seems bullyish to pick on Teeki, designers of a pair of pants when going through the “siddhivinayak.org” site, no?

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