I had to go and buy some tea mugs downtown. Little did I know that I would literally come face to face with my own past. Instead of ‘face off, it was more a case of ‘head off’. Browsing the shop, a survival holding out against the corporate onslaught on the high street, I notice see a group multicolored Buddha heads( above pic) in the decor section of the shop.
I stood there thinking here is a Hindu prince named Siddhārtha Gautama, born thousands of miles away and thousands of years ago only to end up as a decoration piece somewhere in the West, on a shelf surrounded by dust and dead flies.
This however provided a fitting symbolism and analogy with what happens when someone else dominates the Hindu narrative, where Hindu imagery and icons are slowly stripped of their sanctity and the principles they reflect under the guise of modern art; an art which conforms to western standards. It is something that the whole of the Hindu civilisation seems to be under threat from as it is unable to even formulate its own perspective and instead relies on an outdated colonialist paradigm in order to define itself.
Buddha’s head just reflects the spiraling degradation of the an ancient civilisation that the Western Borg Collective seems intent on devaluing with commercialisation because it dominates the ‘universal narrative’ and is the only one which it understands.
Its the same with the issue over Yoga is Hindu or not where it resembles a head hunter carrying decapitated heads as trophies which then fits into a different narrative far away from its Hindu roots
Hindu art and imagery have always reflected deep spiritual and philosophical meanings. For this very reason it is incredibly disturbing to witness them brought down as mere decorations, profaned and degraded on toilets seats and bikinis, or where a head (the most sacred part of the body) becomes a door stop or a garden piece next to a gnome when it is divorced from something much more deeper and spiritual.
But then why blame the West when we have a whole legion of Indian elite suffering from the post colonial syndrome where most of the day is spent practicing the Ps and Qs of the Queens English in a front room decorated with Natarajas and other ‘hindoo’ decorations.
Then the blame can go even further when the Hindus themselves dump their sacred imagery into the rubbish during festival times or at their most sacred river the Ganga which is totally polluted.
Hindus seriously need to ask these inconvenient questions about their Hindu heritage and then decide to act on protecting it if they are not to end up like the Buddha’s head as trophies in some London high street..
by S. Arjun
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