Milk-Drinking Statues

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Milk-Drinking Statues

On the morning of September 21 (the fall equinox ), 1995, a priest of a Hindu temple in New Delhi awakened from a dream in which the deity Genesha asked for a drink of milk. He soon left for a nearby temple dedicated to Genesha and offered the statue a spoonful of milk. To his surprise, the statue drank (absorbed?) the milk. News of the occurrence spread through the neighborhood and across New Delhi within hours. Devotees flocked to the temple to offer Genesha milk and as lines formed, people soon discovered that statues at other temples (almost all of which have a Genesha statue, in the shape of an elephant and located near the door) were also drinking up the milk. By evening, accounts of the event (and the accompanying milk shortage in the Indian capital) were on the news. Phone and e-mail messages went to Indian expatriate communities. By the next day, reports of statues at temples around India drinking milk began to appear, and on the 23rd they were joined by reports from North America, England, and Southeast Asia. Television coverage of the statues showed some of the offerings in which the milk actually disappeared. On the 22nd in Toronto, more than 100 people lined up to feed the statue. The leaders at the temple indicated that the massive feeding frenzy was the sign that a great soul was being born somewhere in the world. They also indicated that the phenomena would cease in some 48 hours.

The Indian government became concerned about the event and sent scientists from its Department of Science and Technology to investigate the situation. They suggested that the small amounts being offered to the statutes were being absorbed by the porous material out of which they were constructed and were coating the surface with a thin film. Other scientists reported similar findings at other locations. Puddles of milk soon appeared around all of the drinking statues. By the end of the day on the 22nd, most of the frenzy had died down, and reports of further drinking by the statues dropped perceptively, and disappeared altogether soon afterwards. Many Hindus consider the events of September 21-22 to have been a miracle. Skeptics have dismissed it as a hysteric reaction to a very mundane occurrence. Many government officials saw it as a move by political conservatives to spread Hindu nationalism.

An archive of e-mail messages and wire service reports has been preserved by the Australian government's Distributed Services Technology Centre in Bribane on an Internet file, "Genesha Is Drinking Milk!!!" at


Genesha Is Drinking Milk!!!. March 4, 2000.