Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eco-friendly Idol

Each year on Anant Chaturdashi, the last day of the Hindu festival of Ganeshotsav, countless idols of Lord Ganesha are submerged in the sea or a nearby body of water. This is called the Visarjan (sacrifice). Many of the modern mass-produced idols used for this purpose are made with materials and paints that are toxic to aquatic life, and sometimes decorated with plastic garlands. Here is an example of a traditional, eco-friendly statue, made from clay and painted with organic pigments such as turmeric. To be auspicious, an image of Ganesha should be made by an artisan with a connection to the Divine, out of an attitude of devotion rather than commercial motives.

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