Hindu temples - Places of worship or business

AniM By AniM, 31st Jan 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Religion>Hinduism

Temples of the Hindu religion double up as places of business bordering on extortion

Prayer to Extortion

A temple, of any religion, is a place of worship, also known by different names. It means as per the dictionary - a building devoted to the worship of a god or gods. Hinduism is one of the World's oldest religions, tolerant, theosophically rich and widely accepting of differing practices and faiths. Unfortunately, this largely tolerant and peaceful faith has been marred by widespread commercialization, bordering on extortion, rampant at most of its Temples - the place of worship and communion with God.
Walk into any temple in Eastern India, and before you come across the deity, you will invariably be accosted by the 'pandas' (please don't confuse them with beautiful animals of the same name). They are touts, who claim to have taken God's agency, and promise to facilitate your visit to God's abode. On suitable remuneration, they will find place to park your shoes, provide the best quality offerings, arrange for a comfortable holy dip if available, take you close to the deity and almost get you an exclusive tete-a-tete with the Supreme Being!
I am yet to come across any religious text of Hinduism which speaks of this practice and condones this ugly practice of 'Fees for Prayer'. It may have stemmed from people providing assistance at temples to the elderly and physically challenged and over the centuries has morphed into this extortionary vulgarity of demanding fees for taking you close to God. At times it gets downright ugly, when either a patron refuses to pay/wants to pay less or these touts fight among themselves over a lucrative patron. Why can't I, as a normal average Hindu, visit a temple without the accompanying tension of being hounded by a crowd of vultures asking for money as fees?
Pacification and molly coddling by political regimes have led to the proliferation of this disease as various governments have never tried to rein in this obnoxious practice, for the fear of upsetting their votebanks. The number of touts are increasing day by day and no amount of resentment from the general public deters them. The mental state or convenience of the devotee does not bother them a bit, these repulsive creatures put you off so much that many stop visiting temples altogether and prefer to pray from the safety of their homes.
It is time for change, of the existing order, of this irritating practice. Time to rid our temples of this scourge. Let us pray in peace!


Hindu Deities, Hindu Gods, Hindu Ritual, Hindu Temples, Hinduism, Place Of Worship, Temples

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author avatar AniM
I have been an avid reader since my childhood and that is my biggest passion! I will write on Telecom, Cricket, Book reviews and some politics

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author avatar Archana
31st Jan 2015 (#)

Sad but true.... any temple worth it's salt is teeming with people looking forward to exploiting u in the name of faith.....and most of us know it but still let them thrive.

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