Does GOD Need Branding?

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Photo-4-hindu-gods-vishnu

US v. THEM

Does God actually need brand promotion to remain Almighty? Something that has come up to my mind whenever I see right-wing politicians cook up some story or the other to entwine religion and politics to meet their sinister objectives. I do not endorse any political party or belief systems when it comes to politics. Instead I go by the policy of live and let live.

The other morning I woke up to the continuing unpleasant noise from the neighbouring religious institution which prevented me from having a peaceful sleep the previous night. It got me thinking – Is it necessary to make noise all night to carry out a religious function? What would happen if they did not resort to the use of loudspeakers all night? As the said organization was a multinational institution that promoted the “consciousness” of a certain deity, and given that a right-wing government is ruling the nation, I don’t see any immediate solution to this impending problem.

‘Localization’ of Gods

Based on the Hindu mythology, there are 3.3 billion Gods and Goddesses. Some of them are considered more powerful due to their seniority, the responsibilities they handle or their personality traits. Others are less popular or live in oblivion – away from people’s prayers or not having temples dedicated to them. The ones who are popular have millions of devotees across the country, or in many continents and have temples dedicated to them across geographies so much so that their regional selves are more popular than the original selves found in the scriptures.

Out of sheer curiosity I did a broad overview on the popularity of three of the very famous Gods in India. Here are some interesting results from the first page of the search engine. I intentionally chose the first page only, else there would be pages after pages of religious madness:

(a)    Tirupati Balaji

  • Original Diety: Reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, the sustainer of all creatures on earth
  • Located in Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh, India
  • 2 Wikipedia pages
  • 7 Dedicated websites

(b) Guruvayoorappan

  • Original Diety: Reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, the sustainer of all creatures on earth
  • Located in Guruvayoor, Kerala, India
  • 1 Wikipedia page
  • 1 Facebook page
  • 7 Dedicated web sites

(c) Velankanni (Vailankanni) Matha

  • Original Diety: Holy Mary, mother of Jesus
  • Located in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, India
  • 1 Wikipedia Page
  • 4 Dedicated web sites
  • 2 YouTube Links
  • 1 Blog
  • 1 Facebook page

(d) Vaishno Devi

  • Original Diety: Durga, the mother Goddess
  • 1 Wikipedia page
  • 5 Dedicated pages

This is not a comprehensive list. I just picked up a few names that are popular with my neighbours. As usual my life remains ‘un-Googled’ or ‘less-Googled. Hence I have used two alternate search engines to summarize my results.  Do you live in a city or visited a city with a localised God? Share your thoughts.

Image Couresty: zensationalliving.com

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One thought on “Does GOD Need Branding?

    williamchasterson said:
    December 12, 2014 at 14:30

    Great article! I’ve also experienced the noisy intrusive practices of some churches. I’ve developed a hypothesis on why those who claim to be Christian do this. Christ ordered his followers to preach like he did, but today’s ‘Christian’ is too ashamed to go from door to door talking to people. It’s easier to shout from a megaphone. That way they don’t have to worry about the person talking back and perhaps even touching on a point that could shake their faith. I’m in Central Africa right now. We have this Nigerian snake oil salesman named TB Joshua on the TV. He claims to be a prophet and has millions of devoted followers. I would say he is the localized god of West Africa. Because although he claims to be a Christian he accepts glory and worship just as a god would.

    Liked by 1 person

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