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Yoga pants with sacred chants removed from online shop after educative protests

April 29, 2011
Chaitra Krushna Dwadashi , Kaliyug Varsha 5113


Recently, Forum for Hindu Awakening (FHA) received an email complaint from a Hindu about the denigration of sacred chants. He had come across the online store ETSY – Kayayogawear (http://www.etsy.com/search/handmade?q=Kayayogawear) for some apparel, and had found that sacred chants, such as ‘Om namah shivaya’ were printed on the back side of the pants.

Accordingly, a seeker (sadhak) Srinivas wrote to the store (Kayayogawear) owner, Kate regarding the Denigration of sacred chants that was taking place through the pants. Some correspondence followed. Soon, the store owner replied with apologies and removed the pants from the store. She also promised not to make them in the future. (Please see her below email.)

(“Let us pay gratitude to God for this success ! It shows that not everyone may be aware of denigration and that protests, such as the one by Srinivas, educating the concerned person regarding denigration, are effective in stopping the denigration.

Forum for Hindu Awakening has now come across some other apparel, such as tee-shirts with image of Lord Ganesh on ETSY, and urges Hindus to take inspiration from Srinivas’ efforts and protest to ETSY, educating the store owner about denigration caused by such apparel. – Editor.)

 

The correspondence between the seeker and the owner is given below.

 

Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 12:06:37 +0000
To: Srinivas
Subject: Etsy conversation from Kayayogawear
From: [email protected]

——————
SUBJECT: Protest letter on Yoga pants – ETSY Kayayogawear

To whom it may concern,

I want to convey my apologies for any offence i caused by the use of Sanskrit words in my yoga pant designs. It was never my intention to offend, abuse and certainly not ridicule these ancient teachings.
I have been practicing yoga daily and devotedly for the past 15 years , and my only intention in using these words was not only because the Sanskrit text is so beautiful, but also to educate ,in whatever small ways i can, about the teachings and practise of yoga. I have been a yoga teacher for over 7 years, and in my experience over this time,realised that many practitioners in the west have no idea of the deeper more fundamental aspects of the yoga practise, other than for exercise. By introducing ideas and symbolism of yoga into design, i was hoping to appeal to the more conventional individuals, who perhaps were not so open to learning and being made aware in the more traditional sense.

That said, i have upmost respect for Hindu beliefs and those practising them , and for this reason have removed these pants from my shop, and will not be making them any more in the future.

Thank you for your time,
kate

 

Message sent on February 25, 2011
———————

From: Srinivas
To: [email protected]
Subject: RE: Protest letter on Yoga pants( Kayayogawear) – ETSY community Affaires team [Incident:
110221-000937]
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 12:24:02 +0000

To ETSY community representative,
I sent below updated letter to Kayayogawear with more listings no. that will disturb and annoy the
Hindu populace.
Please follow up.

Thanking you,
Srinivas Shakelly

To ETSY Kayayogawear,

This is to convey my strong protest against selling the Yoga pants (Listing no.
68199851,67826540,67826515,67407016,67406926,56605390, and many more.) with sacred Sanskrit Chants and Icons, symbols on it. These Images, Chants or Mantras are uttered, worshiped by billion Hindu populace with utmost faith, devotion and surrender attitude to experience the divine (God).
We Hindus have great respect to these Icons, Pictures, Chants (Sanskrit) and they are sacred as you mentioned in your articles. They are revered with all devotion. As per the scriptures (Dharma) anything considered sacred should follow certain norms, some of them are below:
• Should not be abused (The pants in process of washing are twisted/tumbled/dried with hot air, squeezed)
• Should maintain Sanctity (Wearing them we visit restrooms/Filthy places, mix them with other dirty clothes/)
• Should not be ridiculed (Showing them on butts)
If anything considered as sacred or divine treated in the above manner is called Denigration of Dharma (Hinduism) is tama predominant act. No one will benefit from this (Tamasik act) and at same time it is sinful act. It create a doubt about the credibility of the Divine or its Symbol. Eventually, it can erode Dhaarmik practices and moral, social and spiritual values.
I sincerely request you to make a public apology and remove all defamatory pants from the market.
Make sure not to manufacture or sell these pants in the future. This really hurts my sentiments. This is not a letter from a single Hindu, but it voices the religious sentiments and feelings of millions of Hindus worldwide. Do the needful at the earliest.

Thanks,
Srinivas
Source: Our Correspondent

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