Hundreds of liters of milk is wasted daily in offerings to lord Shiva. This figure spikes every Monday, a day supposedly sacred for Shiva. On Mahashivratri day, while devotees celebrate the marriage of God Shiva and Goddess Parvati, this wastage reaches its highest limits. Devotees compete with each other for offering milk, and sometimes as high as one-hundred-one liters of milk is showered on the shivlinga (object symbolizing Shiva).
Many years back, the rumor of ‘milk drinking Ganesha’ saw a squandering of thousands of liters of milk in a single week.
Does God need milk to be pleased? Do we – Hindus in particular – need to squander valuable resources in order to appease the deity with material goods? To me this looks as simple as either:
a. bribing the God (because I want something)
b. fear punishment from God (because I did something wrong)
c. incorrect interpretation of religion (It is our duty to feed the God)
I’d rather feed the hungry little boy sitting outside the temple. I’m sure God will prefer that.