Hindu Statues Drinking Milk.

On 21st September 1995, reports started to come out of New Delhi of Hindu statues drinking milk. Worshippers were offering spoonfuls of the substance as a sacred gift, and the symbolic carvings of Lord Shiva and Ganesha were actually consuming it. Queues built up around temples, and the local authorities had to increase the city's milk supply by 100,000 litres because of a shortage. Sceptics immediately suggested it was a case of mass hallucination, or that the porous quality of the statues that created the phenomenon. Others said the milk was just being spilt, but the ground around the statues did not hold anywhere near the amount of milk that was being offered.

Certainly, those who came had no doubts that it was a true miracle, and as Indian communities heard about the phenomenon, other reports about similar events appeared across the world. By the next day, Hindu worshipers were standing in long lines outside London temples, eager to offer the statues milk. Anila Premji was one lady who waited during the night to attend the Vishwa temple in Southall, west London, to offer a spoonful to a marble figure of Nandi, a bull ridden by Shiva. ‘I held the spoon out level, and the milk just disappeared,' she said. At the main Swaminarayan temple in London, the situation was so busy that authorities were refusing entry to people bringing their own milk cartons.

In Canada, Germany and the United States the miracles were continued. Hindu worshipers at Chatsworth Hindu Temple in California also reported milk being accepted by their idols. Stories were run by Reuters, CNN, the BBC and most of the world's major newspapers. Despite sceptics giving scientific explanations, the devoutly religious said it was a sign of God. Even those Hindu worshippers who did not regularly attend the temples witnessed the events and said they felt a reassured sense of an almighty power protecting them. Perhaps that is the point. No matter what practical explanations are advanced, sometimes a resurgent faith in a divine presence is a great comfort for those who want to believe.