holy offerings: Hindu devotees line up to offer milk to the Ganesh murti at the Barrackpore Temple yesterday. —Photo: NICHOLAS RAMJASS

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Ganesh murtis 'drink' milk

Hindu devotees: It's a miracle phenomenon

By Ariti Jankie South Bureau

Murtis of Sri Ganesh "drank" or accepted milk, offered as part of a religious ritual by Hindus yesterday.

The "miracle", as it was called by believers, was first noted at midday on Tuesday at the Om Shanti Mandir, Cunjal Road, Princes Town, where devotees have been observing the holy period of Ganesh Utsav.

Other mandirs began observing the "phenomenon" yesterday.

A steady stream of devotees stood in line yesterday to make offerings to the elephant-headed god, remover of obstacles in the Hindu faith.

Ganesh Utsav began on September 11 and ends today when mandir groups will take the clay murtis, carved specially for the festival, to large bodies of water for immersion.

Chief executive officer of Radio Jaagriti Devant Maharaj said yesterday the Hindu milk miracle was a phenomenon considered by Hindus as a miracle.

"It occurred on September 21, 1995, all over the globe, and again, on August 20-21 in 2006, in almost exactly the same fashion," he said.

He said the first report locally came in from the Om Shanti mandir and since then, mandir groups from all over the world have been reporting similar experiences of the murtis drinking milk.

"At Radio Jaagriti, devotees began standing in line to offer milk, fruits and flowers to a Ganesh murti kept at the radio station," he said.

He said Hindus had seen the hand of divinity in the miracle.

"God is among us," he said.

Spokesman for the Om Shanti Mandir Harrilal Bridgelal said only those Hindus who kept a strict fast and participated in the daily ritual worship were allowed to enter the mandir during the auspicious ten-day festival of Ganesh Utsav.

"We feel that our prayers were heard, and Sri Ganesh has given us a sign that he is pleased with our offerings and devotion," he said.

Ganesh Utsav is a festival of Mumbai, India, first introduced in Trinidad by indentured labourers at Ramai Trace, Penal.

Hindus believe Sri Ganesh descends on earth during the period and makes wishes come true. The statues are taken through the streets at the crack of dawn for immersion by mandir communities, and it is believed Sri Ganesh took with him the sins of the world.

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