Upset Hindus have urged for the immediate withdrawal of yoga pants carrying image of Lord Ganesha sold by a New York City headquartered designer yoga and activewear firm Nóli Yoga Clothing, calling it inappropriate.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be worn around one’s legs. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Nóli to withdraw these pants from other vendors also besides its own website and also offer a formal apology.

Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed noted.

Zed further said that such trivialization of Lord Ganesha was disturbing to the Hindus world over. Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers, Zed added.

Yoga pants which Hindu devotees are finding objectionable are called “Graffiti Yoga Pants” ($68), which are claimed to “allow ease of movement that lends to our ability to explore and discover your creativity within the yoga”.

“Eco friendly” Nóli, whose tagline is “where yoga fashion and performance meet”, sells yoga pants, capris, shorts and tops; mostly aimed at women. With offices in New York City and manufacturing in Los Angeles and Miami, it claims providing “balance between fashionable and comfortable activewear”, “designed to fit and flatter”, and leggings “sleek enough to wear for any occasion off the mat”.

In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. There are about three million Hindus in USA.