Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Temple Visit

This thought has been lurking on my mind for a long time now and I really get agitated with it. I have noticed that whenever I visit a temple, the people guarding the place, as well as the pujaris behave in a very harsh manner with the people coming for darshans.

After standing in the queue for a long time when you finally reach the idol, you are shooed away briskly. And that half a minute darshan is almost always marred by shouts like "jaldi karo' "aagey badho" etc. Do the devotees not have even that much respect towards others to let them pray in silence for a moment? From Pashupatinath mandir in Nepal, to our very own temple here in Dubai - they all seem to be following the same procedure. It's as if if you dont shout and create a scene, the mandir is not a popualr one.

In Pashupatinath temple, I was appalled to see people spitting inside the temple area, throwing prasad everywhere, the most commercial pujaris doing pujas everywhere and not cleaning up ever after it - and one needed to walk barefoot throught this place. I felt ashamed. A place so sacred that you are not allowed to enter with your slippers on, but dirty enough for all and sundry to spit around!

Any place of worship is a place where one can unite with the divine, pray in silence and seek the guidance of the lord. It has to be a quite, humble and polite atmosphere where all devotees get a chance to pray whole heartedly - undisturbed. And everyone has to respect others. Instead of shouting and shooing people around, one can be humble and ask them to move faster in a polite manner. Some such temples that I visited were the AksharDham temples (in Delhi, Gandhinagar and Toronto) and the Golden Temple in Amritsar. No one utters a word, no one pushes you around, and every devotee is given their due respect.

16 You Spoke:

Piper .. said...

Have you visited The Kalighat Temple in Kolkata? Well, lets just say that it isnt the nicest place to visit! I really wonder too - how do you pray in places like these?

Renu said...

True, one wants a minute silent communication with the divind....but you see , like I went to Kanchipuram and i wanted to see the temple, and we had limited time, and there was long queue everywhere, and so i wanted the administration not to let the people stand there , because there are two options only..one that I miss the darshan as i have limited time, but in that case i may not get the second chance tovisit that city.
Second is that one minute darshan....I will definitely go for the second one

Goofy Mumma said...

Oh my God! Is Pashipatinath that bad? That is really shameful. About the pushing and shouting indeed it is bad, but on the other hand, if there are too many devotees, the priests need to ensure that everyone gets a chance too isn't it? Really unfair to both sides I must say.

Just call me 'A' said...

do you know i was discrimated at a temple once...the priest refuse me prasad. when i put out my hand he just ignore it and ask me to move on with his other hand....why?..i still don't know. was it because i wore jeans? there were not even tight jeans or anylike like that. and i wore a kurta over my jeans which was pretty long and had a stole over my head. so it can't be the jeans. but i was so angry and i told the pujari that God will never forgive him. as it is i have very little faith and belief in priest and temples and churches and the likes. God for me has always been a universal concept and not confine or define culturally. priest are suppose to be messengers of God and welcome anyone at his place of workship, right? my God, i feel so angry just remembering this. it was so insulting.

DeeplyDip said...

@Piper: No I haven't been to Kolkata but I can imagine what you mean. Keeping a place dirty, especially a temple which everyone believes in, is totally unacceptable.

@Renu: I agree that since these temples have a high footfall, everyone gets limited time. My issue here is not the short time one gets, but the fact that that short time is also marred by shouts and nudges from all and sundry. One has to keep telling the devotees to move faster, but then one can either shout or they can request humbly. Anyone would anyday prefer the latter - a humble request. The same people who push, and nudge and shout in these temples, behave beautifully in a properly managed place like say at the Golden temple or Akshardham temple. These places also have a very high footfall, but everyone is treated with respect and dignity. Also, these places are kept very clean and tidy. If the caretakers of the temples themselves start dirtying the place then it becomes very difficult to keep that positive environment a place of worship should have.

DeeplyDip said...

@Goofy Mumma: Yes sadly it is! I went with so many expectations, but believe me after I saw the man spitting there, I hated to walk barefoot inside...Yes I agree that one needs to be told to move faster in queues, but as I mentioned in my reply to Renu, it has to be a humble request and not a shout. To maintain a positive environment in any place, it is important to keep it clean, the attitude of the caretakers should be to help and respect others and not misbehave with them at the drop of a hat. If one is short tempered and ill-mouthed, then that person should not be doing this job.

Just Call me 'A' : That's shocking! Temples do not discrimate or stop anyone from visting right? But afterall priests are humans too and they have their likes and dislikes...and this is the point I want to put across - because it is a place of worship, most people don't say anything about it. But tell me would God like his people to be talking and behaving like this to others? You should've stood there for the parsad...he would have to give it to you na...but I know how you feel. This is disgusting...the priests should be encouraging positive energies rather than creating negative ones...

Renu said...

I agree totally..but still I would like tell my thought which i ask my children to do is...leave all your anger behind, we are going to a sacred place..we must not get angry( which they do seing the mismanageent or other things) we should not bother about any other thing except that particular God,cleanliness, management, facilities..if we get them..good, if not accept it without any regret:) if you want all that only, u may go to sight seeing.....mandir aur pooja aashtha ka vishay hain tark ka nahi.
and what happened with A is shocking, and deplorable, havent seen it so far anywhere>
I have visited Kaali ghat, and I have utmost faith in Ma Kaali, still sometinmes I give some money to someone going to Calcutta to take parasad there from my side:)

Mampi said...

Right said.
Sometimes I refuse to go inside the Sanctum Sanctorum of the temple because I am afraid of the rush inside-even in Golden TEmple, though it is quite a disciplined one.

Another Kiran In NYC said...

They have temples in Dubai??? who knew!

Nisha said...

thats one reason i dont believe in temple philosophy. the priests are bored of their monotonous 'job' plus there are all kinds of people visiting the temple and rightly so. when u talk of temples like akshardham or some temples that are more isolated, they have a different crowd and i guess thats y they are more 'sober'
i wish temples had no prasad n no garlands, wish there was a silence please kinda rule...then they would have been as pretty and quiet as churches.

Preeti Shenoy said...

What you mentioned happens a lot in Tirupathi temple too.Its really sad.
The Golden temple is one of the BEST places of worship i have visited. Entering the premises itself is enough to flood one with a sense of immense tranquility.I absolutely loved it.

Cheers
Preeti

Piper .. said...

read your comment to "Just Call me A". Temples DO very much discriminate! My sis-in-law who happens to be a christian was denied entry into the Konark Temple,Cuttack. We were astounded!! It happens even today!

DeeplyDip said...

@Renu: Yes one should go to a temple to only see the god and not worry about other stuff...but what to do this bothers me and a lot of other people...

@Mampi: Golden temple is very well maintained and the people out there are very nice to all the visitors...would love to visit it again soon

@Another Kiran in NYC: Yes! just one temple for the whole of Dubai - where 70% of the population is Indians!

@Nisha: Akshardham and Golden Temple get all kinds of people - you should visit the Akshardham temple in delhi and you will see what i mean...they are very nice and humble people and the devotees visting are the same as any other temple.

@Preeti: thanks for dropping by:). Yes i agree totally with you

@Piper: Guess fanatics exist in all religions...it is ridiculous to refuse entry to anyone based on religion....

Shalom said...

Damn, that is disgusting! Sadly, its sort of similar in some churches too. There are some people who feel they're superior to the rest of the church-goers just because they're part of some committee or help with church activities ..... the authority goes to their head and they behave quite rudely with people. Same goes for many priests and nuns.

I feel that if you've chosen to follow God in any capacity, it should make you more humble, not arrogant.

Mumbai Diva said...

very rightly said. I love the Golden Temple though. It provides me with a certain peace I don't find elsewhere.

DeeplyDip said...

@Shalom: sorry for the reply but it's great to have you back!
Wohi na, these people think because they are preists, and they are managing the place of worship, they themselves are gods!

@Mumbai Diva: I would love to go back to the Golden Temple - and go for the early morning ardaas...heard its excellent...

Post a Comment