Little Bits of History

Got Milk?

Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 21, 2013


September 21, 1995: A miracle occurs. Ganesha is a Hindu god with a variety of names: Ganesa or Ganesh and also called Ganopati, Vinayaka, and Pillaiyar. Devotees include Hindis, Jains, and Buddhists. Ganesha sports an elephant head, making him extremely recognizable. He was one of the five principle deities of Smartism (from the 9th century). He is given the task of Remover of Obstacles. Due to the great admiration for the god, the title of Shri (a Hindu title of respect) is often placed before his name.

On this date, before dawn, a pilgrim in New Delhi, India approached a temple. A spoonful of milk was offered to Lord Ganesha and as the spoon was held to the trunk, the milk disappeared. Word of the miraculous occurrence quickly spread. Other devout Hindis brought milk to shrines and temples. By mid-morning it was noted that statues all across North India were greedily drinking milk. Not only statues of Ganesha, but the entire Hindu pantheon was thirsty.

By noon, worshipers in other countries were witnessing the same from their statues. Hindu temples in Britain, Canada, Dubai, Nepal, and others also contained thirsty gods. The World Hindu Council declared the day’s events a miracle. As believers flocked to temples, traffic was blocked, especially near major houses of worship in large cities. The sale of milk skyrocketed. One store in England sold over 25,000 pints of milk while in New Delhi sales jumped 30%.

Scientists from India’s Ministry of Science and Technology arrived at a New Delhi temple. They added food coloring to the milk. The milk’s movement was found to be a matter of surface tension and capillary action pulling the liquid up. The dry statue seemed to drink up the liquid, but then gravity worked and the area under the spoon was found to be stained by the dye. By noon, the statues were getting sated and the miracle ended before nightfall. Believers were unimpressed by the scientific explanation. A similar miracle took place in August of 2006. This time, the events were seen only in India.

“A fact never went into partnership with a miracle. Truth scorns the assistance of wonders. A fact will fit every other fact in the universe, and that is how you can tell whether it is or is not a fact. A lie will not fit anything except another lie.” – Robert Green Ingersoll

“As we become purer channels for God’s light, we develop an appetite for the sweetness that is possible in this world. A miracle worker is not geared toward fighting the world that is, but toward creating the world that could be.” – Marianne Williamson

“Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.” – Walt Whitman

“Everyday holds the possibility of a miracle.” – Elizabeth David

This article first appeared at in 2009. Editor’s update: Hinduism is the dominant religion of the Indian subcontinent. There are four major branches or denominations of the religion: Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Shaktism, and Smartism. There are a variety of other traditions as well. There are traditions or philosophies regarding daily morality. These are based on dharma, karma, and the norms of the prevalent society. There is no single founder of the religion and roots stem from the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India. Hinduism is often called the “oldest living religion” of the world. There are a number of religious texts which are classified into two types: Sruti or revealed and Smriti or remembered. There are about one billion followers today with about 950 million of them living in India.

Also on this day: Yes, Virginia – In 1897, Virginia finds out there is a Santa Clause.
Monday Night Changes – In 1970, Monday Night Football premiered.
Ablaze – In 1776, New York City was on fire.