Known as the ‘Hindu Milk Miracle’ a Ganesha idol in South Delhi’s reportedly drank the milk offerings, creating a nationwide media buzz. What really happened?
Sometimes we are so blinded by superstition that we don’t see something that we otherwise would have, as a process of science and not a miracle. In the case of the ‘Hindu Milk Miracle’ it was mass superstition – scores of people around the world began thinking that Ganesha idols were indeed, drinking milk!
This miracle considered by the Hindus occurred on 21st September 1995, stating that the statue of Lord Ganesha in a temple in South Delhi reportedly drank the milk offerings! This phenomenon created a lot of buzz, and the worshipers began calling it as a ‘milk miracle’.
When this incident happened it attracted great attention by the media, and across the whole country.
A Hindu worshiper in the temple in South New Delhi on 21st September 1995, made an offering of milk to a statue of Lord Ganesha, and he held a spoonful of milk from the bowl to the trunk of the statue. Surprisingly the liquid was seen to disappear! Word was spread everywhere that the Ganpati idol was drinking milk. It was found by mid-morning that all the Hindu Deities were taking milk from their worshipers across the nation.
By afternoon the news had spread across the world and it was observed in all the temples around the world! Some unexplained miracle was happening, according to the people.
Till late evening there was a massive jump in the sale of milk going of upto 30%, in one gateway store in England there was a sale reported of nearly 25,000 pints of milk.
This phenomenon needed to be explained so, Ross McDowall from India’s Ministry of Science and Technology travelled to the temple in South Delhi where the incident was reported and researched on it.
McDowall offered milk containing food colouring. He noticed that there was a drop in the level of the liquid in the spoon. He noticed that the milk did disappear into the coating beneath the statue.
This action was termed by the scientists as the ‘capillary action’ as the statues of the Gods were made up of porous ceramic and the material would inevitably move up, where the surface tension of the milk was pulling the liquid up and out of the spoon, the gravity was the main cause to run it down in front of the statue.
This capillary action is similar to the way how plants derive nourishment from the soil – taking in water. It is an extremely common phenomenon which was given the name of a ‘miracle’.
This incident proved to be a master story for many news services around the world, where in the Hindus were coaxed into believing this as a miracle. Such similar incidents also happened in India after 11 years and in the same process with the statues of Ganesh, Shiva and Durga. The first incident reported was in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly and once again the word spread across the country. Later this was also termed as ‘capillary action’ by the scientists.
So the next time, the mob screams, ‘miracle, miracle’, think twice. Or even thrice!