Graceless Acts While Seeking Grace

Born into a Hindu family, temples are usually the next best spot I find myself in most of the times. The huge pillars with intricate carving and those paintings on the roofs, innumerable sculptures, those huge doors and the heavy locks and huge bells usually catches me ogling at them awe.  Every little shrine would have a decorated archway and the main shrines would have dwarabalakas; each prahara would be distinctively marked; mandapas on the sides would be raised on a platforms where artwork would take up the main sphere.

These mega structures were built and preserved over decades and centuries (in some cases); however in the recent times, they face a silent mishandling in the hands of ‘pilgrims’. It starts from the time when they enter the temple; they carry flowers and other pooja articles in thin plastic covers which are often cast away within the temple premises; people flick in coins into theppakulams or wells which they consider as sacred. Perhaps one of the most disgraceful thing to do it to cast away the Prasad (kumkumam and viboodhi) on the pillars instead of the little cups that are provided. It settles down on the pillars and sculptures and sadly more keeps piling on them.

Pillar taking the blow

While this is happens to most of the inanimate objects in there, let’s see what do devotees get when they are in the temple. This happened when I was in Tirupathi last week. After hours of waiting, the usual jam-packed crowd started moving towards the main altar, I never had the need to take the pains to walk down; I was pushed forward by the crowd. All the tall men started to pray with raise hands and some even lifted their toddlers and made them sit on their neck nearing blocking the view of many. The crowd constantly marched down and took a U turn to walk out. Well I could see many of who were refusing to take a step back and let someone else come in, all they wanted was to look at the Lord. Devotion I guess. They gave angry stares to those helpless volunteers who tried to steer them off and let others come in. After some persuasion, the crowd walking out became ace back marchers and kept peering upwards till they got the last sight of the Lord.

Why is the concept of ‘Live and Let Live’ still not sink into people especially before the Almighty?

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