Religion vs Science: Mystery of Lord Ganesha Drinking Milk in 2001

A priest named Radhakrishna Bhardwaj served in a little temple in Delhi. His comfortable sleep was abruptly interrupted by a tap at the door. He was sipping milk when a follower of Lord Ganesha urged him to stand up immediately. Hearing this stunned the priest. He hurriedly rose and headed before Lord Ganesha. The priest attempted to give Lord Ganesha a ladle full of milk. Hearing that the milk had vanished astonished him. Within a short time, the news became viral. Indian temples carried out the same investigation and came to the same conclusion. And this was taking place in every temple on earth.

It was an odd tale. Then it vanished after flashing over the globe. This incident was covered by several national and international newspapers. Millions of people visited the temple as a result of the widely spread news. The stock markets were closed, many businesses were closed, and milk was 10 times more costly due to the increased demand. In Punjab, there was a report that Lord Vishnu had taken on a new form. The Kaliyug would come to an end as a result. According to a priest at a Hanuman temple in Delhi, Lord Vishnu himself has come to earth to put an end to all of our worries. There were also some weird tales. It was forbidden to milk a picture of Lord Ganesha at a Delhi stock exchange. In the heart of Delhi In addition to milk, Lord Ganesha also drank juice. Even the wine that some people sought to pour for Gandhiji’s monument in Bombay vanished. The Bhaujan Samaj Party’s activists attempted to provide milk to the statues of Ambedkar and Lord Buddha. Whether it was a statue of God or a person, everyone was feeding it milk. According to a writer, the episode, which appeared to be a miracle at first, eventually developed into a drama. But did Lord Ganesha genuinely consume milk on that particular day? What was the real story behind this widely publicised incident?

The Investigation

” Actually, the people who are giving milk to Lord Ganesha are being fooled by the spoon, so the milk disappeared. This mentality of ours that makes us want to believe in miracles That’s why these things are being discussed on a bigger scale.” 

Gopinath Munday, the Deputy Minister for Maharashtra, learned about this incidence. He gave the Mumbai Police the order to launch their inquiry at the Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Mumbai. He saw an intriguing item while they were investigating. In the temple, there were two sculptures of Lord Ganesha. While the statue next to it wasn’t sipping milk, the other statue was. There were several Lord Ganesha idols that weren’t sipping milk. Lord Ganesha did not even consume milk when he was at the Shri Man Dagduset Halwai Ganpati temple. As a result, the priest shut the doors to the temple and up a sign declaring that Lord Ganesha was not consuming milk. Both the clergy and the populace were perplexed. They believed that Lord Ganesha drank milk in certain locations while not doing so in others. What is happening? There is a scientific justification for this.

The Science behind Miracles

Gohar Raza is a researcher of the National Institute of Science, Technology, and Development Studies. When this occurrence became the news of the entire nation, his director instructed Gohar Ji to look into it because so many media had approached him with inquiries. Gohar Ji saw anything odd as he left his institute to meet with media. He came upon Dullichand Arya, a shoemaker. The anvil of this cobbler was being watered in front of the media. The cobbler uses an anvil as a tool to polish shoes. Dullichand saw the disappearance of the water. Declaring that he had discovered the conspiracy, he screamed. Gohar Raza then drove Dullichand to the television channel’s offices where they discussed the event.According to Raza and Jayaraman, this miracle is the result of several scientific concepts. The capillary action principle was the most crucial one. Let’s examine the scientific explanation for how Ganesh Ji’s miracle occurred.

Capillary Action 

Any liquid that wants to flow through a surface does so through capillary action. Water travels from the tree’s roots to its leaves due to capillary action. And as a result of this capillary action, the water level in a glass bends toward the sides rather than being straight as you pour water into it. Any liquid may defy gravity by moving against the grain because of capillary action. Additionally, the capillary action of a tube increases with its thickness, allowing water to rise higher. When Lord Ganesha performed his miracle, the milk was drawn up by capillary action using the trunks of his sculptures. The more milk it could draw, the thinner the trunk had to be. Since temple sculptures are composed of stone or porcelain, they include many apertures that allow the statues’ trunks to suckle milk by capillary action. We didn’t see such a miracle in those sculptures since the Ganesha statue at the Siddhi Vinayaka temple was made of silver. There were no apertures in the sculptures, so the milk could not have been sucked up.The puzzle is why, given the scientific explanation, so many individuals continued to believe in this experience. Some of you would suggest that individuals who adhered to it were uneducated, unemployed, and illiterate. But that wasn’t the case. Following this incidence, a lot of urban educated middle-class individuals visited temples to donate milk to Lord Ganesha. In fact, a probe revealed that even those in California with decent employment believed in this occurrence.

Question of Faith 

There were actually 3 reasons behind this incident.

1. Religion 

Mumbai’s Mahim Creek has foul-smelling water and a highly unclean surface. Here is due to the fact that this is where the whole city’s industrial trash gets deposited. However, a story that this water became pleasant due of Haji Magdum Baba began to circulate around 2006 instead. Despite warnings that this water is contaminated, many individuals continued to consume it. Even storing it and returning it to their residences According to experts, this occurred because water is being released from an underground rock formation near Mumbai’s shore, altering the flavour of the water. But people didn’t take these scientists seriously. This is another another illustration of how Indians have the belief in miracles. This may be due to the intense religiosity of most Indians. According to a poll, 97% of Indians believe in God. Approximately 80% of individuals genuinely hold this belief. When we have such a strong belief in religion and we observe an occurrence that defies explanation: Why did the water in Mahim Creek suddenly become sweet? Additionally, why is Ganesh sipping milk? We presume that a miracle is to blame. It’s not true that every single individual in the world is a scientist. They thus believe that this is a miracle as a result of the Lord’s benevolence. Do not assume that it is just observed in Hinduism.

Let’s discuss an event that happened in 2012. Many Christians in Mumbai had gathered around a statue of Jesus, believing that water was dripping from his feet. They thought this was taking place because Jesus was sobbing. Later evidence indicated that the local sewage system was malfunctioning as a result of this. This is why the water began to leak. Ironically, the individual who reported this act was threatened with jail time! Indians were known to practise religion. In addition, understanding history is necessary to comprehend this episode.

2. Socio-economic Environment 

Backtrack to 1995. At this period, India was going through a lot of changes. The Mandal Commission was the first modification. Indians of higher caste were enraged as a result. The OBCs were to receive a quota in government positions, according to this article. As a result, many Indians had no idea what their future held. In addition, India’s economic liberalisation had already occurred four years before to 1995. If we want to prevent India from being further marginalised in the changing global economy, we must embrace the necessity for restructuring and change. We are aware of the extent of our gains from liberalisation now. Due to the escalating rivalry at the time, many firms were unsure about their ability to survive. Additionally, politics was undergoing significant upheavals. The Babri Masjid controversy was at its height at this time. As a result, new political equations were emerging. Bomb bombings occurred in Mumbai after the Babri Masjid controversy had been ongoing for a year. Therefore, if you consider all of these factors, you can conclude that India at the time wasn’t particularly stable. Every aspect was shifting. whether it be in politics, society, public employment, or the economy. We want to rely on those things that are steady if there is an atmosphere where there are so many changes taking place and we are unsure of what will happen in the future. And our faith was a dependable thing for Indians. As a result, when this episode occurred, everyone thought it was a miracle. However, there was another factor at play in this occurrence, and that concerned politics.

3. The Hindutva Brigade 

In 1995, Sitaram Kesari served as a cabinet minister. And he thought that right-wing organisations were responsible for the Ganeshji event that had occurred. He asserted that the BJP carried it out in order to ensure Hindu votes for the elections. It was also asserted that the RSS had alerted its NRI network of the occurrence, causing US, Canadian, and UK temples to get reports of it. Why was this miracle only observed in places like Delhi and Punjab, it was questioned. Why wasn’t South India seeing it? One response is that Ganeshji wasn’t as revered in South India. The second defence is that RSS was not particularly well-liked in South India. It’s unknown if RSS contributed to this incident’s popularity. However, it is true that various political parties helped popularise this tragedy. One publication received faxes from the general secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad stating that this miracle was a significant day for Hinduism. Whether or not there was a political group behind this tragedy, individuals nonetheless made a mistake by placing their faith in this miracle. People were at blame.

Lesson for us

According to Swami Vivekananda, “Hinduism is a collection of principles.” Principles are crucial, but should any faith allow for the spread of such rumours? Not only in Hinduism, though. There were reports of a horse flying above Mecca in 2014. In the US, there was a story that the statue of the Virgin Mary was sobbing in 2008. All of them were later shown to be rumours. These instances highlight how, when religion is present, we frequently abandon science. In fact, occasionally we are so captivated by religion that we begin to mistreat individuals who attempt to refute these marvels. For instance, Narendra Dabholkar was assassinated after spending his whole life dispelling such myths. Our constitution states that we should cultivate a scientific mindset. In other words, we ought to encourage science in our culture. We have pushed science, which is interesting. This is evident from ISRO’s achievements. On the other hand, humans frequently hold beliefs that are totally at odds with science. Why then do we have both ISRO and such wonders in our nation at the same time?

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