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Hindus Upset Over Posters Portraying Jimi Hendrix as Deity

Discussion in 'Dharmic Religions DIR' started by DreadFish, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. Planets and the Sun

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    I'm not Hindu but I agree with those who have said that it's an issue of appropriation and that it's not up for the offender to decide. It sounds mainly like it stemmed from ignorance on the part of non-Hindus, thinking it sounds more "mystical" and trying to attach themselves to it without truly getting it, which I think was very common in the 60s and still sometimes seems to be common today, people stereotyping certain religions and ethnicities as "more mystical and magical" and thinking therefore that they can come across that way by attaching themselves to it in a superficial manner.

    I also think that among people of any group who is offended by something, you'll find people who don't care or don't find it offensive, but you'll also find people who do find it offensive. I think in such cases, it's important to listen to the perspective of the people who find it offensive, since it's often for very nuanced but valid reasons that are hard to miss, instead of assuming it's just fundamentalism speaking. Asking that outsiders have some respect for sacred elements in your religion is not necessarily fundamentalist.

    Just my two cents for what they're worth.
     
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  2. ShivaFan

    ShivaFan Satyameva Jayate
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    Namaste

    Actually, for those who may have encountered this iconic LP cover (and also popular poster) from the 67 album Axis: Bold as Love, which depicts Jimi and two band members as enclusive heads of the multi-faceted Universal Form, who were not living in those times, who may be a Hindu from some nation (such as Malaysia) who have never seen it nor understand it's iconic stature, some may be offended.

    I am not.

    That image was an expression that the Universal Form is all encompassing - it might not have been accurate to project oneself as one facet of the Universal Form in terms of strict Hindu iconography, but that was all that the band was projecting. They were not saying Jimi Hendrix is Vishnu or anything like that, it was introducing this ageless Hindu image of the Universal Form for the first time in many cases to millions of "Westerners". In fact, Hendrix himself was taken back by the art cover, he dispproved at first and it was not his idea. But to fans, it became an interesting art depiction, and not only to his fans but to those who were interested in art from many venues.

    Iconic indeed, the fact is, this image implanted in the minds of large numbers a curiosty, and then interest, in Hinduism. It, in no small measure, contributed in part to the 60s-70s rise of Hinduism consciousness.

    I won't share the image (in case someone unfamiliar with the history of it and it's role in a broader part to the 60s and inclusive of Hindu consciousness be offended), but that image was important then, less so today, but lives on in the psyche of many. So iconic is this image, I am actually surprised that 50 years later it would be a new encounter to some in Malaysia even but I suppose as time moves on there will be new generations in countries such as Malaysia who have no idea about it and have never seen it before.

    I wouldn't be surprised, however, if 1000 years from now, a first release of this album cover will be displayed in an art museum somewhere.

    Jimi Hendrix was a great guitar player. The drug culture of that time, with the introduction of heroin, did him in. It actually crippled his ability and did not give expression to it, heroin then killed him as it does to the fools who go down that path. At the Winterland concert it was clear, he had lost his ability and it was heroin addiction that destroyed it. So in one way, we should not make too much of him, but there was a special magic to his ability as well that will not be forgotten. His spookie will still be all along the watchtower.

    Om Namah Sivaya
     
    #22 ShivaFan, Jun 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
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  3. Andal

    Andal resident hypnotist

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    I am far more offended by children going to bed with out food, families ripped apart by violence, and discrimination.

    There are things in this world that are far more important than a Jimi Hendrix poster.

    Aum Hari Aum!
     
  4. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    If it was a veg-cheese burger, I would not mind it, and take it as the blessing of the Goddess, Annapoorna - Dhanyalakshmi.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    #24 Aupmanyav, Jun 5, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  5. Nyingjé Tso

    Nyingjé Tso Potato catto

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    I think you get it that the whole point is not that there is a god name or picture in food package, but that it is Laxmi on a non veg buger... So... yeah ?:shrug:
     
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  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    Yes, any snack is sacred. At the Gurudwara, they put the bread on your extended palms, a gift from God. The Jains would consume the last grain of rice in the plate religiously and then put some water in the plate, clean it, and drink the water. The Hindus would start with portions of food to be given to birds, animals, sanctify the food by sprinkling water around the plate, bow to it at the start of the meal and also at the end of the meal. Food is considered a gift from the divine. No one is supposed to waste food. No one is supposed to rise without completing the meal. It is considered a disrespect to food and to the Gods.
     
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  7. Blackstar11

    Blackstar11 New Member

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  8. Blackstar11

    Blackstar11 New Member

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    Fantastic post!:)
     
  9. Don Penguinoini

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    Can't say I like the image of Saraswaati Maa being used to sell beer.

    But Hendrix on the other hand...
     
  10. Vishvavajra

    Vishvavajra Active Member

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    I didn't know Jains did that too. We are encouraged to do that at Buddhist retreats, although the rationale is to make the dishwasher's job easier (the person, not a machine) and to practice leaving a minimal footprint as we go through life.

    But there is a pre-lunch liturgy that we repeat, in which we acknowledge the hard work of many people that led to the production of the food we're about to consume and we pray to be worthy of it.

    As for the Hendrix cover, I know how annoying appropriation can be, especially when the people using the imagery don't know or care what the significance is supposed to be. But it doesn't do any good to get upset about it. Informing people about the original meaning is good, to make them think more deeply in the future, but getting angry won't accomplish much of anything. And it's almost always done out of ignorance rather than malice. We can see it as an opportunity to practice equanimity. After all, as someone mentioned above, there are many much worse things to be offended by, and the suffering of real people should always trump the (mis)use of images.

    Buddhists know a lot about this too, as most people keep mistaking Budai (the fat Chinese monk) for the Buddha, treat Buddha statues like garden gnomes, wear prayer beads as jewelry, etc. It's all part of being the exotic thing that people think is cool but don't really want to learn about in depth.
     
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