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The Newsweek magazine cover of November 22, 2010 captioned "God of All Things" depicts US President Barack Obama as the Hindu God Nataraja. The pose the President is made to strike apes the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva in his Nataraja avatar.

Nataraja, the dancing form of Lord Shiva, is a symbolic synthesis of the most important aspects of Hinduism, and contains the summary of the central tenets of the Vedas. The term 'Nataraja' means 'King of Dancers' (Sanskrit nata = dance; raja = king).

In a marvelously unified and dynamic composition expressing the rhythm and harmony of life, the 9th century iconography of Nataraj shows the Hindu deity with four hands representing the four cardinal directions. But the Newsweek cover shows Obama with an extra pair of hands. Obama is seen holding objects representing the various challenges he is dealing with at the same time - from finance and defense to health care, housing and global peace. However, like Nataraja, he is seen dancing, with his left foot elegantly raised and the right foot on the ground.

From a visualizer's perspective, it is indeed an eye-catching way of depicting Obama in his present predicament on a magazine cover. And this is not new! I have seen several other depictions of Hindu deities, especially beautiful goddesses with multiple arms holding different products in various advertisements and periodicals.

Is it okay to creatively use such sacred symbols? No. Such trends should not be condoned as creative license. Hindu imagery and divine symbolism is tuned to the way the followers of the faith look at God, perform their rituals and pray every day. Imagine a Nataraja devotee closing his eyes before the statue of the Lord in order to pray but can't forget the image he saw on this magazine cover, which keeps flashing back in his mind! By the same logic, it may mean 'Obama = Nataraja' for the uninitiated. Somewhere you need to draw the line since a lot of meanings and sentiments are attached to these age-old and sacred symbols, which we cannot afford to dilute and disrespect because of their religious value.

What do your think? Please post your comments below.

Comments
November 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm
(1) Darla says:

I wonder how Obama feels about being put into the shoes of God? What a way to point out someone’s inadequacies!

November 22, 2010 at 9:29 pm
(2) Premala says:

I am a first and foremost a devotee of Lord Thillai Nataraja and have also been a fan of Obama but this depiction is totally unacceptable and offending.

In a similar consensus, I am sure that the Christian world will find it offending if creativity is depicting Obama nailed to the cross with his challenges.

Newsweek has certainly lost its ethics and integrity in allowing such a magazine cover that is religiously offending to the Hindus. They may choose not to understand Hinduism but it certainly does not give them the right to be so insensitive as a global magazine. Shame to the Editor and his Team!

November 22, 2010 at 11:16 pm
(3) Sivapragasam says:

The editor and his team of a globally popular magazine should have seriously thought of the feelings of their readers of different faith when publishing such images. Please withdraw this picture and publish a public apology and hereafter learn to respect other people’s feeling please.

November 23, 2010 at 1:47 am
(4) PRAGASAN says:

Typical western arrogance – they don’t even know how to cover their ‘shame’

November 23, 2010 at 2:05 am
(5) SAMANTHA says:

This is absolutely disrespectful to Hindus and their beliefs. Yes – it’s the ignorance and/or arrogance of the Newsweek team to have published such a photo – but what about Barack Obama – he is the President of the USA – surely he must realise the implications of this photo and his actions. Shame on you Obama and Newsweek!!!!!

November 23, 2010 at 2:21 am
(6) yousser says:

The Newsweek writer may not have known what exactly Nata Raja ‘s divine significance is and what it really symbolizes. So , simply and as His holiness Maharishi mahesh Yogi, the great temporary Vedic sage said” He who has the light should lighten the way to those who are in darkness.” Simply explain to him and to all who don’t know including me what it really signifies and that this bothers that divine law of Nature the magazene is using its symbol so lightly.Best regards and great gratitude.

November 23, 2010 at 2:39 am
(7) R Sivasubramaniam says:

This is typical Western arrogance/ignorance.
They take Hindus for granted. They would not have dared to portray him as Christ or Mohammed.
Far too long Hindus have been allowing the West to many fun of our religion. India should have banned that issue.

November 23, 2010 at 3:06 am
(8) Theisen Moodley says:

Absolutely disgusting display of Western arrogance. One cannot achieve a truly free and democratic world if one cannot respect other relgions and beliefs. Newsweek should remove this picture and extend an apology on their next front page to all Hindus.

November 23, 2010 at 3:51 am
(9) Sandy Singh says:

Geez, how insensitive!! Did the editor actually THINK of the consequences or is it that they just don’t give a damn!

November 23, 2010 at 4:06 am
(10) DR Krishna says:

Hey, we are Hindus, not muslims or Cristians. Nothing to be so insecure. Why during Ganesh Chaturathi we have Ganesha in every imagainably pose, even carrying a Criket bat, a AK 47 etc.
Relax.

November 23, 2010 at 4:41 am
(11) Vernon Ram says:

In the same league as Prophet Mohammed cartoons — unforgivable bad taste for an international media icon like Newsweek.

November 23, 2010 at 5:46 am
(12) Yogaflow says:

I understand the points of view completely, but look at it this way. There are thousands of more persons now exposed to hindu imagery which means it is becoming more mainstream in America! I am one of a only handful of American people in the deep South who love have any basic understanding about Hinduism and care to explore and embrace it. Lets try to make that number grow!

November 23, 2010 at 7:08 am
(13) Chris Jones says:

I didn’t think anything could make me like Obama less …given that he has merely extended and amplified Bush’s foreign policies and helped usher in a police state in the USA.
But this picture did it.

November 23, 2010 at 7:11 am
(14) Jogendra M. says:

It was very arrogent and ignorant of Newsweek team to do this. However in the west there is a freedom of speech and some sick praverse individual decided to make my religion a very big joke and took the spiritual out of and made the symbolism very mundane and equated the two (Obama and Nataraja) as the same. They are cleary not.

I do have to remind you that there are Hindus here in the US and some us are Western born Hindus. Please do not blame an entire group of people (Westerners) or lump all westeners into a large group and label that all of us are arrogent and ignorant, because in actualality; using an absolute like this is very ignorant, arrogent and rude of those who have chosen to spur out hatred.

Newsweek should take responsibility for this Atrosity that they have created and send a public appology to all Hindus everywhere.

November 23, 2010 at 7:28 am
(15) svarupa shakti giri says:

Pranams Prabhujis,
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
As an Hindu and as a respectfull human being i am of the same opinion as other commentator here.It´s not Obama decision probably to get pictured in that way but it is definetly his responsability to make a statement clearing up his opinion on this design on the magazine.I think this is showing a typical american mentality of selfconvinction of supremacy.Although even in Bharat nowadays there are several Swamis having their own face depicted with Devas like Ganapathi,Sri Krsna and Mahadev as well. You can google pictures and you will see many (Sai Baba and such included)
We all must be aware that this is Kali Yug in East and West alike.
Action reaction of others is not our business.Our business is to reach Vaikunta and never come back to this mad house again!I agree with all fellow brothers and sister that feel disturbed by this cover of the magazine but if there is anything positiv about it is again Sri Nataraj : stating GOD OF ALL THINGS is it clear that BHAGAVAN MAHADEV is considered GOD OF ALL THINGS.He only is Mahadev Shambo worshipped in Bharat, outside Bharat, in this and in all other planets of this and all other Universes.There may be people having Mr. Obamas picture hanging at the wall now in America, but this picture will go as soon as an other human president will be given temporary power as it happened with all the other presidents, so called stars etc in the past.
As we learn in the Sastras even the pious Kings of Bharat are gone…but SRIMAHADEVA BHAGAVAN SHIVAJI WAS,IS AND WILL BE ! And as far as people is concerned they all will be gone…What a riduculous mark they will leave in comparison ?
Ever heard of anyone chanting Japas on Obamas name?CHANT OMNAMAHSHIVAYA !!!,OMSRITRIPURANTAKAYANAMAH III:)
OMSRIMAHESVARAYANAMAH III:)OM SRI UGRAYA NAMAH III :)

November 23, 2010 at 7:31 am
(16) Narayani says:

looking at the very bright side of this: ocident is mixing with orient culture – even if this happens in an very inconscious and distorted way this can’t be bad. This is acctually very, very, very interesting, because after all, Shiva isn’t responsible for destruction? Obama is trying to do Vishnu’s “job”, but acctually he has a very big Shiva role right now. I don’t feel comfortable about the image, but it made me wonder these things…

November 23, 2010 at 8:36 am
(17) Radhika says:

I think the image is funny. But instead of referring to Lord Nataraja I’d have called him an Ashta-avatar!
Lighten up Hindus–dont turn into a Taliban.
Radhika

November 23, 2010 at 9:47 am
(18) Chellam says:

What is funny here that the uninformed reporter who did the story and the creative head that conjured up the picture is also in lack of perspective. First and foremost, OBAMA is NOT, and I reepeat NOT GOD!!!!
Rightly said though, on the other hand, Lord Shiva/ Nataraja is the Lord death. In conclusion, indeed OBAMA is dancing the dance to kill his ignorant pretentious mentality!!!! Har Har Mahadev!!!!!

November 23, 2010 at 10:10 am
(19) S Sharma says:

Why can’t we leave religious figures out of magazine covers ? We should show respect for the religious sentiment of all people and not offend anyone by such depictions.

November 23, 2010 at 10:41 am
(20) LaQuietta says:

I am currently studying the Hindu religion and I feel the picture is way out of line. We really need to understand the importance of respect for other religions.Newsweek needs apologize point blank !!!!!!!!

November 23, 2010 at 10:42 am
(21) P.Murugiah says:

THE PUBLISHER ”NEWSWEEK” HAD USED A RELIGIOUS FIGURE FOR COMMERCIALPURPOSE AND IT IS AN OFFENDING PICTURE AND IT HUMILIATES THE COMMUNITY.THIS IS NOT ONLY BEING OFFENSIVE TO HINDU BUT A CHEAP AND DEGRADING SALES GIMMICK. IT IS USING RELIGION FOR COMMERCIAL GAIN.

November 23, 2010 at 11:02 am
(22) Zero-Tolerance says:

It’s time to stop weeping in our coffee about the “DISRESPECT” these Luciferic types chasing the ‘almighty dollar’; are displaying…. with blatant disregard for the consequences of their selfish, un-informed, discriminating….
…..ACTION!!

WHERE Pray tell, are our super-accomplished “TANTRICS”??

Very easy solution: Cut some of these Tantric-guys loose and see how fast “RESPECT” enters the reality of these mis-guided, God-less, one-world-Govt, Luciferics!

Their ANTI-CHRIST is apparently waiting in the wings. Seems they are paving the way (Trivialize the DIVINE)
for their GOD the Anti-Christ.

November 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm
(23) Dhanya says:

Definitely very disrespectful. Just becos Hindus are patient and we “somewhat” are tolerant, that does not mean we are ok with all these teasing. I remember the model Heidi Klum dressed as ” Goddess Kali” during one of the Halloween in Germany.

I wonder how the westerners would feel if we poke fun at Jesus…or rather someone dressed as Jesus Christ during Halloween. Real ignorant & educated fools !!!!!

November 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm
(24) CC says:

I think more and more Hindu culture is becoming part of mainstream America. I don’t think that western society is trying attack Hindu culture. I think it is more of imitation is the best form of flattery. I don’t like the cover and think it isn’t conveying the same message that the sacred symbol conveys. I also do not want to be categorized as being a bad person because I happened to be born in America. I don’t think anyone should be grouping people together because we are all different. I may live in the west, but I will not include myself in any “typical westerner” stereotypes.

November 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm
(25) suresh says:

This is disgraceful. Why the hell he wants to get into our religion stay out Obama nobody wants you how dare you disrespect all hindi peoples

November 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm
(26) Laurette havranek says:

Namaskar! I am a Western person who has converted to the Sanatana Sharma, and I am in particular a Shiva person.
I have seen many people of the Hindu faith here offended, which is sad, but some have raised some good points, on both sides of the issues. Here are two things to consider:
Everyone’s faith must be respected, and it is up to those of the faith to make a demand for respect, therefore, everyone here of the Sanatana Dharma who is offended should write to Newsweek and explain *why* the Obama cover is offensive.
Now, I am not offended, and not because I am a Western person, but rather because I have perfect trust and perfect faith in the Mahadeva, as I know He can contain all things humans put before Him, including irreverent pop culture sampling. He is all that there is, and all illusion and things of illusion shall be dissolved by Him in the end. Shiva shall be, long after all human memory is gone from this Universe. Shiva was, long before humans became, and Shiva IS, so we need not defend Him, we need instead demand fair and equal rights for our faith. Everyone write and tell Newsweek that they can’t use our symbols of faith in irreverence just because it is not understood by their employees, and Namaskar.

November 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm
(27) J. Lawson GaMarsh says:

To equate Obama with Lord Shiva is blasphemy. He can’t even rule his own little part of the world much less the universe.

November 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm
(28) Rishi Nityabodhananda says:

Any symbol of God, is a symbol of God, God may show himself in any of his infinite forms. Obama doing a Nataraja pose does not in any affect my relationship with the magnificence of Shiva, in fact his picture on Newsweek helps to remind me of Shiva.
I think we should not borrow attitudes of exclusive devotion from the monotheists. We say Ram Ram when we drop the milk and we say Ram Ram when listen to the beautiful stories of Ramayana. Bhakti mei koi gulti nahi!

November 23, 2010 at 9:28 pm
(29) sha says:

The westerns seriously got to learn how to respect our religion, even any other religion…the act of depicting The Lord Shiva simply reveal the stupidity of the westerns…to be specific the editor of Newsweek.

November 23, 2010 at 11:09 pm
(30) Jawahar Pandita says:

Whether to accept or not Lord Shiva belongs to all, Obama included. There is no special god for people living outside India. Satyam, Shivam Sundaram. Individually Obama seems to be an intelligent and blessed man. Yes he dances like Natraja but when wearing only two gifted arms. Only Lord Natraja can dance in all the four directions symbolised by His arms. It is poor imagination and ignorance of the illustrator who depict Obams dancing like Natraja and wearing shoes. He has not done the requisite intelligent work. Just photoshoped extra hands to his dancing pose, which needs to be visualised in its original form.

November 24, 2010 at 12:20 am
(31) guruji subra says:

Om Nama Sivaya,Sivaya Nama Om!!!!
News Week has shown the arrogance and ignorance of the western on insulting other religions and the hindu community. Please call the news week editor team go to Jaganathswami Temple at Haridawar,India and make a public apologization to the Hindu community in this universe for insulting the supreme god,Shiva(Nataraja),the meaning of Nataraja,’Nata’ is dance while ‘Raja’ is king, therefore it means he is the king of dances.Om Nama Shivaya,BOLIH BOLIH BOOM BOOM BOLIH MAHADAVE.

November 24, 2010 at 8:21 am
(32) Derryck S Griffith says:

ATTENTION:

It is high time rational people learn to see the humorous side of human nature.

President Obama was depicted in many ways. Some less savory (to say the least). If we allow our religious beliefs to cloud our sense of humor and ability to laugh at life.

Then what are we but mere animals that cannot think, smile, or even appreciate who and what we are.

Derryck.
NYC.

November 24, 2010 at 9:21 am
(33) kumar says:

Shame on NewsWeek…. Lets see them portraying obama as Christ on the cross , but that wont happen as its disrespectful to christians , but a Hindu god is alright , its just creative freedom, …This is the height of arrogance and stupidity.

November 24, 2010 at 9:39 am
(34) Mr. V says:

I do not think this is offensive or should be taken offensively.

I think this is only Symbolic of the many responsibilities and concerns the President has to handle.

Like a juggler, the President has a issue to handle in each hand an 6 more issues in the air to handle. What a mind boggling and thankless job.

November 24, 2010 at 9:42 am
(35) indrani says:

I want to present another side of the argument. I did not see this representation as being distasteful but rather drawing upon a powerful religious symbol. The Hindu image is going mainstream globally and we need to manage this, of course. The pictures of deities on slippers etc is distasteful. But I do not see it as distasteful in the literary context.

November 24, 2010 at 10:02 am
(36) Mr. V says:

And I thought Hindu’s where more tolerant and no-judgement people. Maybe I was wrong.

This picture is only Symbolic of the many responsibilities and challenges the President has at hand.

Some people would start a Holy War just based on this picture. I don’t think dis-respect was intended; even though perceived by some.

Why are so many people uptight nowdays? Is it because of the Age of Kali Yuga (Age of Quarrel and Hypocrisy) we currently live in?

Peace!

November 24, 2010 at 10:19 am
(37) Deva says:

Namaste! Hare Krsna! Jai Sri Nataraj!

Okay, people let’s focus on the important things.

Lord Siva takes the form of Nataraj during the cosmic annihilation. By rolling over and letting the corporations take over America, Obama is in effect destroying this country. Notice how he won’t support whistle blowers who risk their lives to expose corporate greed?

Assuming the pose of Nataraj is not that offensive (of course I wish he would have taken his shoes off first) in the larger scheme of things.

Instead of being hyper offended by this, better you spend your time boycotting the degradation of Vedic music and dance (Bharat Natyam, Odissi, etc.) in Muslim influenced Bollywood crap.

Since Hindus (not Vaishnavas) are so concerned with being materialists that most of the world doesn’t even know who Lord Siva in the first place, be grateful that there any exposure to him at all.

Last point, sound vibration is more important than visual representations. If people are saying “Nataraj” at all, the benefit is still there.

Your well wisher,

Deva

November 24, 2010 at 10:20 am
(38) tushar says:

We certainly should initiate legal proceeding against such organizations that take vedic culture lightly. The hindu community and all others who are concerned about vedic culture should join hands to fight and object to such a disrespectful way of depicting the culture of the country.

November 24, 2010 at 2:58 pm
(39) Abhay Charan Dasa says:

When I visit India I see far more offensive images of God’s various forms being used in all manner of commercial contexts. All of them demean and cheapen God; and all appear to be acceptable to the general population. Look at the billboards and newspaper advertisements and you will see what I am referring to. Rather than worry about what Newsweek is printing in the USA – take a look closer to home – that will put this particular issue into perspective.

November 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm
(40) subhra chakrabarty says:

obama- as nataraja ,news letter is strongly objectionable. person who does not know the story about natraja and have no idea about hinduism,should not depict all this non sence.As a human being ,i am strongly protesting ,on the subject.

November 24, 2010 at 4:57 pm
(41) xela says:

Yeah point made earlier: why didn’t they show Obama nailed to a cross with those things around him. I bet the Christian Right would have loved that.

November 24, 2010 at 7:59 pm
(42) Richard says:

Typical liberal arrogance, making are country be hated again because of the propaganda that the progresives spew on a daily basis.

November 25, 2010 at 12:13 am
(43) Sumit says:

Just like an attempt to become god that many powerful people have made since time immemorial.

November 25, 2010 at 1:06 am
(44) Shivram says:

I wish editor knew what he was trying to even depict. No knowledge is bad. Half knowledge is dangerous. Shame on the so called developed world.

November 25, 2010 at 3:10 am
(45) Muhammad Ali says:

Allah is One and Only. There is no one to be worshipped except Allah. He is the Supreme Authority all over the universe. He does whatever He wants. He provides sustenance to all the human beings and the living creatures that are surviving in this universe. His Kingdom is everlasting. His decisions are eternal; no one can dare to challenge His decisions. He will call all the human beings and the living creatures on the Day of Resurrection. On that day, everyone would be responsible for his/her bad deeds. He has made Heaven for the pious guys (none other than Muslims) and the Hell Fire for the wicked people regardless of Muslims and Non-Muslims. No one can challenge His justice and equity. If anyone wants to know anything about Allah, please do contact me.

Regards,

Muhammad Ali
Karachi-Pakistan

November 25, 2010 at 4:38 am
(46) sovereign hindu vaishnava mandir says:

this is just a display of the real nature and will of the politic man .they just want to be god, they acting in this way but do mostly wrong thing because they are only puppets on the hands of occult powers.the ethic of the vedic culture is the answer to the material hardships.
chant hare krishna and be happy

November 25, 2010 at 7:17 pm
(47) Devika says:

I REALLY DON’t appreciate this misuse of depiction of Vedic tradition!!!! Also not very powerful, because mass of people no absolutely nothing about Hinduism or Vedic tradition. We need not react in other ways than words!! so Bas! Kah diya! (so that’s it i Said it,) now let it go!
AUM shanti!

November 25, 2010 at 7:55 pm
(48) ROGER says:

I am a Hindu Lord Shiva’s Bhagat. I don’t like what obama had copy and also the news week people what they had did .They have NO RIGHTS TO DO SUCH THINGS FOR OUR HINDU GODS.MAY LORD SHIVA WILL GIVE JUSTICE TOTHEM.

November 25, 2010 at 8:00 pm
(49) ROGER says:

THIS IS NOT RIGHT WHAT OBAMA AND NEWSWEEK PEOPLE HAD DID.WHY NOT THEY PUT HIM SAME WAY WITH PICTURING MECCA THEN YOU WILL SEE THE RELIGIOUS WAR.

November 25, 2010 at 11:16 pm
(50) Lala says:

I don’t really think that President Obama is trying to be offensive. He just came back from India so I think they are trying to depict him trying to take a huge step forward and using many hands to handle these worldly issues. I am sorry if this has offended anyone. Perhaps it is my fault because I keep writing him trying to get help with a Vedic Village I have proposed in Detroit. I also proposed some plans that are on the way to bringing trillions back into our economy worldwide.

I have big hopes, and I really think President Barrack will come through for these families from India that live here. Right now they are trying to build up apartment complexes next to the Temple and that land was supposed to be preserved for wildlife. Officials that fell into an idiotocracy dozed the land even after much protest. They even chased a friend of mine down the road with a powered sledge hammer after she stood in front of the gate to stop them because they did not have permits.

If they get away with doing this to this land it will show how my Dear President feels about our Vedic Society and other ethnical groups here. That land was formally where hundreds of American Indians were slaughtered and was not supposed to be developed. I went and talked to people around, both Hindus and Americans, and they want the land preserved. It is not right to steal this land from these people.

Lala…..

November 25, 2010 at 11:17 pm
(51) Lala says:

I watched this world in great despair and proposed Build It Here, Ship It There; Anywhere to put everything back into proper perspectives and bring families back together. It can be viewed at iwe108.com on the projects page. Please forgive me for any offenses this may have brought on. Things aren’t always as they seem. I have been through a lot and am very upset about the misuse of the trillions of dollars I have made. Please get with other Hindus across the world and find some way to help support these people before it turns into another form of ethical abuse. I love these people and they deserve the best. I also want to eventually come visit India and help on planting trees, trumpet lilies and flowers of high pollen content. I wanted to preserve my contacts in India for there, but I am now at the point where I have become fortunate to beg the mercy of all of you. I started International WaterWay Enterprizes LLC for this project because it is on a border, but I can see now it is meant for more than that. I don’t know how to run a business and am not very comfortable with everything, but someone has to do it. I will need a lot of help. I always get stuck with the worst jobs in the world. I look at Lord Brahma and our relationship in this world and can see that materially we may all end up just being fertilizer for the daffodillies.

Please write Mayor Bing of Detroit and President Obama to show support for my friends. I am trying to make everyone think about the safety of people before we rebuild our cities. With current climatic conditions it is not safe to have everything right up on the water’s edge. No one wants to listen to me even though everything I write soon shows its truth. I am sorry I have failed all of you. Please forgive me.

Namaste,

Lala
International WaterWay Enterprizes LLC/Owner (In Search of CoOwners)

November 26, 2010 at 10:00 am
(52) R B says:

Religious symbols should not be tampered with. The message can be conveyed without offending the sensibilities of a religious group.

November 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm
(53) AM I A HINDU? Best Seller says:

1———Newsweek was NOT at all malicious or trying to offend Hindus, but they are using Hindu symbols to send a message that what Obama is trying to accomplish is a Herculean task.

2———-Hindus should not develop “Knee jerk “reactions every time something is reported about Hinduism.

3———-Nataraja represents FEROCIOUS ACTIONS and capability to deal with MULTIPLE TASKS at the same time and almost all James Bond movies show status of Nataraja every now and then to bring up the fact that what James Bond is trying to achieve is indeed a “mission impossible.”.

4——–Apart from that with masses in the west having no clue what so ever about Hinduism, any publicity is GOOD PUBLICITY as far as I am concerned.

November 26, 2010 at 6:07 pm
(54) Richard says:

It is said that the next anti-christ will be compared to God as well as to be called god. Hmmmm
It didn’t say in what form. Scary….
This is totally disrespectfull of all religions!
Does the White house have to approve things like that?

November 27, 2010 at 4:41 am
(55) Madhu says:

Lets not do such cheap things to criticize hindu gods. What are you gaining out of these things.No where you can find other then hindu gods being critized. If it would have been any other religion the magazine would have been banned or even burnt. One should be proud of the rich hindu traditons, customs & values. Let the media have some sense to write.

November 28, 2010 at 7:29 pm
(56) Jerry W Barrington says:

“Somewhere you need to draw the line since a lot of meanings and sentiments are attached to these age-old and sacred symbols, which we cannot afford to dilute and disrespect because of its religious value.”

Why? What is so important about religious symbology? The world is inexorably moving away from religion towards humanism. People need to deal with that, not try to fence off their own little garden of not being offended.

November 28, 2010 at 7:33 pm
(57) Jerry W Barrington says:

And for those condemning Obama: do you *really* think he posed for this picture?

November 29, 2010 at 8:45 am
(58) Siva says:

Its best to ignore the pic.Its free publicity….many westerners never heard of Nadarajah.

If they do some research they will find the most ancient picture being the most scientific.

Read what Carl Sagan had to say about the Nadarajah.

So ignore it and transfer the fustration in learning more and spreading the ‘good news’

Hari Bol

November 30, 2010 at 1:52 am
(59) Kogie Naidoo says:

PORTI NAMASIVAYAH HAIL TO THE LOTUS FEET OF SIVA – NATARAJA!

THIS IS PURE INSENSITIVITY TO THE HIGHEST …. ANY OTHER LINGUISTIC GROUP WOULD HAVE HAULED OBAMA OVER THE COALS…. AS FOR THE EDITORS OF THE MAGAZINE… SHAME ON YOU FOR ALLOWING THIS PRINT….. WE HINDUS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TOLERANT… MAHATMA GANDHI TAUGHT NON VIOLENCE AND AHIMSA …..TOLERANCE AND WE MUST UPHOLD THAT…..

November 30, 2010 at 3:43 am
(60) PRAGASAN - SA says:

It is very easy to trivialize a religion that doesn’t have a dogmatic international watchdog group to monitor (or threaten to blow up the Pentagon).How can religion/spirituality which forms the basis of man’s existence be trivialized – this is what gives meaning to life for the many billions of people irrespective of their faith.It is well & good to say that these things will happen in the Kali Yuga & should be accepted;that is nonsensical – why don’t we just invite the forces of negativity & join in destroying the world;we have to object to any trivialization of religion,be it verbally or otherwise.
Others are purporting tolerance – did you know that because of the tolerance of Hindus,India was ruled for close on 1000years by foreign forces who imposed themselves on her culture & religion ,which,thank God has stood the test of time.
But the highlight of Newsweek’s ignorance is equating religion/spirituality with politics.How many truly religious people do you get in politics?

November 30, 2010 at 6:31 am
(61) Sriraam Subramaniam says:

It is very pathetic that We are comparing Obama with Lord Nataraj the Lord Of the Universe.

We Hindus should not be tolerant with this abuse.

We strongly protest on this ie Obama being visualised as Lord Nataraja.

Why Hinduisam the most tolerant of all should always be critised?

November 30, 2010 at 7:27 am
(62) Nick Sant Nicola says:

Harmless satire…. where is the offense?

Im sure Lord Shiva doesn’t mind…. lets not be extremists but be glad for a nod to and reminder of the merciful Lord of Dance/ Lord of Destruction.

Better to critic Hindu ‘holy’ men , gurus, pandits and swamis that have preached in Europe and America that men are as good or equal to the Gods….. or that some process will make them God….. or that the Vedic Gods are not persons, but energies that emerge from some mystical cosmic Light …… or that the Demi-Gods [numbering 333 million] are equal to Lord Visnu.
These are the real offenders to God, Truth & Hindu faith!

Bhagavad-Gita clearly states that LORD KRSNA [Visnu] is the Supreme Person and Father of ‘all’ living beings, not just Hindus, east Indians or ancient people.

I pray that the eternal religious – science of Sanat-Dharma be understood and spread around the world. May people of greater India [Barath] wake up to their ancient heritage and not spend valuable time in becomming materialists, capitalists, athiests or modern demons!!

November 30, 2010 at 8:34 am
(63) PRAGASAN - SA says:

The one thing I know (taught in various religions)is that God wants your worship & devotion in whatever manner.About taking a satirical approach to divinity is not mentioned as far as I know.This is tantamount to having a casual regard for spirituality,which,as I have previously mentioned is the basis of man’s approach to life.Yes,you can have a satirical approach
to Divinity,but what will this attitude lead to – sinning all your life and then expecting to be forgiven on your death-bed.This approach to divinity
can be detrimental to a youngster’s spiritual development,by sending out the message that God is not serious.Lord Krishna also says that learned people should not confuse the understanding of neophytes.The concept of God certainly commands the utmost respect/reverence,and certainly not satire.

November 30, 2010 at 8:42 am
(64) irene says:

I think it is really disrespectful to the Hindus. This is not a cartoon etc. It is one of the saints we pray to and respect.

I think this should have been really disucssed before it was published.

November 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm
(65) PT.Sharma Basdeo says:

Just after being elected he boasted about carrying around a pendant of the “MONKEY GOD”with him. No Hindu protested or commented.Hanuman is also known as “SHANKAR SUVAN”.So now through the SON he has become the father.What blasphemy! How arrogant!So insnsitive! Power really corrupts the human mind.Soon OBAMA will become OGOD or OCHRIST or OSH**.

November 30, 2010 at 4:47 pm
(66) Melanie says:

Even more than the arrogance is the ignorance. Does such a large magazine really not know the disrespect it was showing? Why not displaying him as a juggler or other non-sacred figure? Truly sad.

November 30, 2010 at 5:56 pm
(67) marty says:

Everybody takes their religions way too seriously. Pretty much everybody is wrong. The Hindus and Buddhists seem to have a grain of truth, each, but no more than that.

November 30, 2010 at 9:48 pm
(68) Vedic Tradition says:

Obama didn’t pose for this, it’s all photoshop; so we can leave him out of it. The powers that be at Newsweek just wanted to show they are hip and controversial. Probably it would have been best for them not to create this cover.
But the reactions from those offended just demonstrate the inner security of Hindus who for the greater part are not so insecure in the time-tested knowledge they possess that they have to go out and do harm to others, unlike some people we know. I look at the people at Newsweek as children who will learn as they mature in their understanding of deeper values and what really matters.

December 1, 2010 at 2:00 am
(69) Parbhudayal Preetam says:

I don’t consider the picture of OBAMA on the NEWSWEEK cover to be least offending.Hinduism is a great religion and we as hindus must not become fanatics.We should not find petty faults in others when we ourselves are full of all sorts of evil both in our daily actions and thoughts. We may raise our voice when there is blasphemy but this is not the case here.True devotees of lord shiva have a pure and tolerant heart full of bhakti (devotion).All the rest is insignificant and irrelevant.Let us devote our energy in becoming true hindus than wasting it on futile debates.

December 1, 2010 at 3:05 pm
(70) jerry thomas says:

News week people make a public apology to all Indians in creating all this issues.Please don’t let the god to destroy all of us.om namah sivay.

December 1, 2010 at 4:08 pm
(71) Atin Bhattacharya says:

Let us not go where others have gone.
We Hindus have been arguing, defying, even kicking (Vishnu on the chest) and making fun of our Gods – in our folklore, in our dances, dramas, in our writing, our epics – for ever.
That, I am convinced, makes us the best there is. God, we do not believe, sits some where up in the heavens with a big whip in his hands. Hence, we have Balagopala, we have ganja smoking Shiva and gopi chasing Krishna.
So, relax, take it easy and let Obama be a Natarja for a bit.
Cheers

December 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm
(72) Dave Lockwood says:

I have seen a simular graphic in a German history book,showing a political satire of the statesman ‘Otto von Bismark’ trying to juggle several different roles in nineteen century german affairs.

December 1, 2010 at 8:08 pm
(73) Premla Salavan says:

Very simple. No man who, what and where – statements about Hinduism and beliefs are being questioned – my belief is our foundation is very strong so nothing can shake us – all others can do is JUST TRY … this and that but WE ARE GREAT IN OUR OWN WAY. Give them the benefit of doubt to enjoy TRYING to copy .. IT IS NOT ORGINAL – HINDUS all over the world are wonderful people and WE BELIEF no one can PENETRATE OUR GREAT BELIEFS AS OUR FOUNDATIONS ARE SOLID.

December 6, 2010 at 1:34 am
(74) Ajay says:

Obama- as Nataraja, is strongly objectionable. person who does not know the place of Natraja in the hearts of Hindus and have no idea about Hinduism, should not depict all this non sense. As a Hindu I strongly protest. The magazine should apologize for this.

December 6, 2010 at 1:59 am
(75) bl pandita says:

TO me they are fools or athiests who have no dharma and do not know how to respect ohter dharma . even OBAMA WILL BE ASHAMED to see this dis-respect to SHIVA

December 6, 2010 at 2:04 am
(76) venkat says:

Hindus are the most tolerant and the newsweek has no moral or ethics. Newsweek should have depicted this with the Christian cross and will know what reaction they would have had. These people have one tongue with several versions. Shameless magazines!!!

December 8, 2010 at 2:55 am
(77) mohit says:

i think people of NEWSWEEK are a bunch of materialists and and don’t bilieve in god, they only want to make money. obama is innocent and not involved in this controversial activity.this is the irresponsible behaviour of newsweek. I condemn this activity and protest it

December 23, 2010 at 11:36 pm
(78) PV Ramana says:

Dirty business by Newsweek. Newsweek has no right to hurt the feelings of the Hindus. Shame and boos to Newsweek.

February 27, 2011 at 12:10 am
(79) jarah says:

i can see how this might be upsetting. But in another light this gives people a reason to want to know what does this mean and to try to find out about hinduism. As far as i know he is the only president to publicly acknowledfge hindu holidays and wish a happy diwali on national television. I wonder for some people was this a thing of skin color or tru feeling on the religon.Because it’s sad to say dark or black looking people are looked to highly which is crazy but dna and history education is another topic.

February 27, 2011 at 12:13 am
(80) jarah says:

excuse the typos. that is darker skinned people are not looked on highly

March 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm
(81) Oma says:

I am not offended but the pic. I think it was in good taste. He isn’t holding a ham or other meat product. He isn’t demonizing Shivji. I do get offended at nonsense and disrespect. I thought it was in a good light.

March 1, 2011 at 7:45 pm
(82) sai says:

If people doesnt belive in other religion no,, issues but dont disrespect other’s seniment an feelings .There are lot of things going on like this everday, one or the other is done to hurt the feeling of hindus these days . I feel every Hindu should get united an fight against such things and pass a message to this world ,so that it never happen again an again

March 2, 2011 at 8:06 am
(83) Jaso says:

I enjoyed the Obama Picture on Newsweek cover – could not see all the fuss by those objecting etc. Some Hindus are such hypocrits. Our opium drinker Shiva would have loved the picture and would have wished Obama well with managing Corporate USA – all the struggles he inherited. Good hindus and all should pray for Obama to make the world a safer and better. Stop all this false indignant comments – turn your energies and heart to a more useful cause.
Cheers. JC

March 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm
(84) ANSH MALHOTRA says:

OM NAMAH SHIVAYA
As an Hindu and as a respectfull human being i am of the same opinion as other commentator here.It´s not Obama decision probably to get pictured in that way but it is definetly his responsability to make a statement clearing up his opinion on this design on the magazine.I think this is showing a typical american mentality of selfconvinction of supremacy.Although even in Bharat nowadays there are several Swamis having their own face depicted with Devas like Ganapathi,Sri Krsna and Mahadev as well. You can google pictures and you will see many (Sai Baba and such included)
We all must be aware that this is Kali Yug in East and West alike.
Action reaction of others is not our business.Our business is to reach Vaikunta and never come back to this mad house again!I agree with all fellow brothers and sister that feel disturbed by this cover of the magazine but if there is anything positiv about it is again Sri Nataraj : stating GOD OF ALL THINGS is it clear that BHAGAVAN MAHADEV is considered GOD OF ALL THINGS.He only is Mahadev Shambo worshipped in Bharat, outside Bharat, in this and in all other planets of this and all other Universes.There may be people having Mr. Obamas picture hanging at the wall now in America, but this picture will go as soon as an other human president will be given temporary power as it happened with all the other presidents, so called stars etc in the past.
As we learn in the Sastras even the pious Kings of Bharat are gone…but SRIMAHADEVA BHAGAVAN SHIVAJI WAS,IS AND WILL BE ! And as far as people is concerned they all will be gone…What a riduculous mark they will leave in comparison ?
Ever heard of anyone chanting Japas on Obamas name?CHANT OMNAMAHSHIVAYA !!!,OMSRITRIPURANTAKAYANAMAH III:)
OMSRIMAHESVARAYANAMAH III:)OM SRI UGRAYA NAMAH III
OBAMA IS WRONG HERE………..

April 10, 2011 at 3:12 pm
(85) shan says:

hey people..i cant understand why hindus are disturbed on this issue.. i am a hindu i did not get upset seeing the picture. my understanding of hinduism is godliness(ananda)not to attach ourselves to symbols. see the lighter side of life and laugh. satnam

June 1, 2011 at 12:05 am
(86) BN says:

This is sheer OUTRAGEOUS

October 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm
(87) Awotarsing says:

Western showing Nataraj in any form : even in OBAMA -nothing to be scared ! Newsweek/Obama and the entire civilastion were Hindu at creatiions. That TIME when LORD created this planet Eartg ALL WERE ONE. The root is one. It is manifesting naturally. Be patient you will see more to come. If tou will go the Gotras and as we call it today DNA we are ALL ONE. Not the seas./oceans/language/colour/our physical look that will seperate us.ALL BLOODS are RED.
Geographical and lingiustics and reliugious barriers are seperating us >This is the world ignorance.
I learnt one telling that I am converted into Hindus I Pray Shiva or Rama or Krishna> In Hinduism there si no CONVERSION .You were born Hindus You didnt knew.You are still IGNORANT ! Hinduism is to be born in India or you are identified by your NAME> Creator open the mind Thank You NEWSWEEK.

March 8, 2012 at 5:20 am
(88) Sami says:

The article rightly says that it should not be allowed to dilute the strong relegious belief of Hindus by publishing such pictures.
As the world has become too small due to the internet, the creator of this picture should change his perception on the effect of such picture . I hope he does not repeat this.

November 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm
(89) Lynn says:

As an American I am ashamed. I’m not Hindu but I revere Lord Nataraja and this is akin to showing Obama hanging on a cross. Shame on you Newsweek.

April 6, 2013 at 9:59 am
(90) Memy says:

As a non- Hindu, non-Christian, Neo-Pagan, I find the cover of this magazine somewhat offensive. Would they have published a picture of a political leader nailed to a cross or ascending into the Christian heaven in the manner of an historic ,well known work of art? Would they portray Mrs. Obama in the garb of the Virgin Mary? Would Mitt Romney sitting at “The Last Supper” Table in place of Jesus be considered for the cover? I doubt it. So why is it considered fine to portray the sacred imagery of a non-christian Deity in this manner?

At no point in time is religious insensitivity acceptable. Along with the power wielded by the press ought also to reside the responsibility to stay unbiased.

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