Bathing the Gods

Diwali – Bathing the Gods

Music; Ambience: Hindu priest chants, bell, Hindu temple, loud

JM: The festival of Diwali is a time when Hindus make sacred offerings of yogurt, milk and honey at their places of worship. The sweet offerings are poured over statues of popular deities such as the Hindu god Ganesha, who has the head of an elephant and the body of a child. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. According to Swami Bramananda of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, Ganesha is a favorite among worshippers during the celebration of Diwali.

SB: “Ganesha is considered to be the lord of the obstacles. He is supposed to give obstacles for doing the wrong things. He is supposed to give obstacles for the cruel, weaker, jealous people. He is supposed to remove obstacles for the good people. So he controls the obstacles. He knows when to cause an obstacle, when to remove an obstacle.”

JM: After the statues of Ganesha and the other deities in the temple are ritually bathed, they’re draped with garlands of fragrant flowers and jeweled necklaces.

SB: “They apply the sesame seed oil, and then they clean the oil with the herbal powders, and then they pour milk. Milk is considered to be purity. Then they pour honey, then they pour yogurt, one after the other – chanting mantras that, Oh Lord this is your gift we offer back to you. This is for the whole world not to suffer because of poverty to milk; let our thoughts be always sweet, let our lives be always sweet – so we offer honey. It is a symbolic representation, it is very symbolic.”

JM: We’ll have more about the Hindu festival of Diwali in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I’m Jim Metzner.

Bathing the Gods

Divine statues are bathed with milk, honey, and other symbolic offerings during the Hindu celebration of Diwali.
Air Date:10/16/2021
Scientist:
Transcript:

Diwali - Bathing the Gods Music; Ambience: Hindu priest chants, bell, Hindu temple, loud JM: The festival of Diwali is a time when Hindus make sacred offerings of yogurt, milk and honey at their places of worship. The sweet offerings are poured over statues of popular deities such as the Hindu god Ganesha, who has the head of an elephant and the body of a child. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. According to Swami Bramananda of the Hindu Temple Society of North America, Ganesha is a favorite among worshippers during the celebration of Diwali. SB: "Ganesha is considered to be the lord of the obstacles. He is supposed to give obstacles for doing the wrong things. He is supposed to give obstacles for the cruel, weaker, jealous people. He is supposed to remove obstacles for the good people. So he controls the obstacles. He knows when to cause an obstacle, when to remove an obstacle." JM: After the statues of Ganesha and the other deities in the temple are ritually bathed, they're draped with garlands of fragrant flowers and jeweled necklaces. SB: "They apply the sesame seed oil, and then they clean the oil with the herbal powders, and then they pour milk. Milk is considered to be purity. Then they pour honey, then they pour yogurt, one after the other - chanting mantras that, Oh Lord this is your gift we offer back to you. This is for the whole world not to suffer because of poverty to milk; let our thoughts be always sweet, let our lives be always sweet - so we offer honey. It is a symbolic representation, it is very symbolic." JM: We'll have more about the Hindu festival of Diwali in future programs. Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I'm Jim Metzner.