India Post News Service
CHRISTCHURCH (NZ): An acupressure mat firm Shakti Mats has agreed to remove sacred Hindu symbols “Om” and “Yantra” from its mats after Hindus protested, calling it “highly inappropriate”.
Jonathan Heslop, Director at Shakti Mats, in an email to RajanZed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, wrote: our company has been made aware that the Om symbol and Yantra which appears on our Shakti Acupressure Mats, may cause offence…we have agreed with our suppliers to remove the Indian Holy symbol Om and the Yantra from our future production…I apologize for any offense that we have caused.
Rajan thanked Shakti Mats and Heslop for understanding the concerns of Hindu community that felt that such a product was insensitive. Both “Om” and “Yantra” are revered icons in Hinduism and any. Inappropriate usage of sacred symbols or icons or deities for commercial or other agenda hurt the devotees.
In Hinduism, “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, is used to introduce and conclude religious work. Usually considered the most powerful mantra, “Om” has been equated with brahman, isvara, atman, etc.
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.
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. George and Jon are the founders.