Upset Hindus are urging Christchurch (New Zealand) based acupressure mat firm Shakti Mats for immediate withdrawal of sacred Hindu symbols “Om” and “Yantra” from their mats; calling it highly inappropriate.
Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA), said that both “Om” and “Yantra” were greatly revered icons in Hinduism and it was highly trivializing and disrespectful to lie/sit/stand/tread/walk on these. Inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu concepts or symbols or icons or deities for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Mat companies should not be in the business of religious appropriation, sacrilege, and ridiculing entire communities. It was deeply trivializing of immensely venerated Hindu icons to be displayed on a mat, Rajan Zed emphasized.
Ancient “Yantra”, visual equivalent of mantra, which represented the Goddess and the cosmos, is a serious and sacred symbol/concept used for Hindu liturgy and meditation; and is installed in many Hindu temples. Its intersecting triangles represented Siva and Sakti, and many times it is meditated upon as a deity; Rajan Zed indicates.
Shakti Mats, whose tagline is “Meet Your Personal Masseuse”, sells acupressure mats (describing those as “a daily self-care tool based on the Indian bed of nails”) and accessories. Each mat has 4,000 to 8,000 spikes and priced at $69. Besides seemingly selling on its country-specific websites— New Zealand, Australia, USA-Asia, Europe, United Kingdom—it sells over Amazon and at various retailers in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga, Dunedin, Whangarei, Invercargill, etc. Georg and Jon are the founders.