We usually go to the temples to find contentment and as an escape from the busy hectic daily schedule. Temples has always been a place where most of us would hit to as soulfully we feel someone is listening. Our prayers getting heard is totally a different part 😛 but still someone is listening and some peace is there, right? 🙂
It is believed that temples are a place where everyone are seen as equal in the eyes of God. It is true, we are everyone same to Him as we are the flesh he created. But!
But it is the same flesh which is categorizing us in the temples. It is the same flesh which is categorizing us as VIP , Special and General. We are getting judged on the basis of money by the same flesh, while our deity is inside watching all the discrimination.
Not all temples are same, but the famous ones are. Sometimes we go the temples to pray for more money than what we have but now it has become a place where we loose the money which we have. Once we enter the temples we can see big boards near the entrance as Special ticket, General ticket with each at different price.
Yes we have to pay price to see God!!! Special ticket gets privilege of seeing the deity more closer and for a longer time while the General gets less time and gets pushed to get keep moving. It is not about the prayers and chanting but the way people are treated based on the money in a place where everyone should be seen as equals.And yes it is the same flesh who is the discriminator, be it the priest or the pilgrim.
Been to a temple in Srivilliputhur recently , where I too paid the Special price to get keep going fast. While waiting in queue in front of us was a couple who brought their newly born to do pooja and behind us was a group of well dressed high sophisticated ladies talking in English. When I was already standing with frustration of paying money for tickets everywhere, the ladies behind me were keeping on complaining as “In spite of paying money we have to stand in queue” and they kept pushing against others standing in the queue saying they paid Rs.200 and kept coming forward. While I was already at the peak of frustration, as the queue moved front and came to halt straight to deity when I was getting prepared to pray I again heard their voice calling out to the couples “Can you move forward we paid 200 and we have to pray fast”
I ignored first, the couples smiled and continued with their pooja. The second priest who was doing the chants was also little annoying as he didn’t allow anyone to pray for more than minute and kept shouting to move. Again the ladies called out “Can you move fast we paid Rs.200” . It irked me more on seeing the priest and the ladies actions, that I had to shout back.
First at the ladies, “Can’t you wait? Yes you have paid so what!? So has everyone here standing in the queue. The couples are praying for their newly born can’t you have little sense to let others pray peacefully“. Second at the priest, “Why are you shouting why are you asking everyone to move fast!? Doesn’t everyone have the right to stay and pray even for a minute. Can’t they pray peacefully here also? Why do they have to keep hearing only your voice! ”
And yes, just cause I shouted at them I was been stared at like an alien and I was made to stand for more than a minute!. But who needs that , I really didn’t want to see the historic God this way. When the priest asked me to stay for longer time I ignored, ignored his offerings and just left.
Then went to another temple in Thiruchendur, where the priests sit in groups waiting for pilgrims. We need not get tickets we can just give the money to the priest they will take us straight near the karuvarai. As we entered, we were approached by a priest but my dad ignored him and went to get tickets saying the tickets money will go to the Government. On seeing my dad’s action, the priest got irritated and said “Ok go, go and see for yourself. No one will pay attention to you” were the exact words. When my trip started I was excited on paying visit to the historic temples , but on seeing how things are going around at those temples it saddened me a lot, it saddened me why is it money everywhere! Why are getting treated based on money! Why even in temples!!??
At another temple in Madurai where I decided not to pay, a famous actor who came to pray was not made to stand in the queue. He was taken directly to the karuvarai while we stood in queue for hours.
Another famous temple where people are pushed like animals. People run to get glimpse of the deity. Everyone push and run! The very first time, I felt do I really have to see you in this way. Why everyone are categorized why is it only money!?
The only place I really found a meaning to visit was at another historic temple in Thirunelvelli, yes I did not pay did not get any special attention. Everyone were treated same and people were so nice so kind.
The point of this post is not to criticize any specific temple , but to the categorizations that is happening inside the temples. I believe there are 2 places where everyone are to be treated same, School and place of worship. Education has already become a business and now places of worship are also going in the same way.
God doesn’t want our money, humans do!!