The Rich Almighty
Famous Lines of Sant Kabir “Moko Kahan dhoonde re bande, Main to tere paas mein. Na mandir mein, Na Masjid Mein.. Na kabe kailash mein. Main to tere paas mein bande. Main to hoon Vishwas mein “ State that “Where are you looking for me o human. I am inside you. I am neither in a temple nor in a mosque. I am inside you. i am in your faith “
Those who believe in God always state that he never differentiates. He is omnipresent and he is not biased towards his believer based on their wealth and the amount of donation the believer renders to his temple.
Even then we see V.I.P Lines in Siddhi Vinayak temple where celebrities get the darshan discreetly and are allowed to stay for as long as they wish to. Whereas commoners are ushered and pushed away as soon as they catch a glimpse of their deity .
The Focus today is on whether or not we should donate to temples. Does donating gold, valuables and cash to the temple work towards any cause. The Statues of gods are laden with Heavy jewelery. Does it make them more pious ?
According to a report from a mainstream media house named Dainik Bhaskar
The Appropriation of funds in some of the major temples all across India has come into questioning. The Trustees have not been maintaining their accounts and have not even done an audit for years.
Below mentioned are the basic figures of how much some of the major shrines are worth
1) Shirdi Sai Baba Temple – Gold and Jewellery worth 32 crores. Yearly income 350 crore in Donations .
2) Siddhi Vinayak temple mumbai- The dome over Lord Ganesha is 3.7 kg Gold and the temple gets 48 crore annually in donations
3) Vaishno Devi Mandir, Kashmir- A rough estimated income of 500 crore every year
4) Tirupati Balaji ,- The temple gets a whooping 650 crore in donations and the gold on the deity itself is 1000 kg
5) Padmanabhaswamy temple, Kerala- Gold Treasure worth 20 billion was found in this temple. There were sacks of diamonds and tonnes of gold jewellery mysteriously untouched for years
Public Figures like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Agnivesh and Baba Ramdev have come in support and stated that instead of donating money in temples. We should ideally take care of a poor child’s health and education. There are many below the poverty line who do not get basic necessities and helping them would please the Almighty even more.
God does not want our riches and materialistic mode of exchange
Have you ever read the small writing inscribed above the charity box in a temple.
In all likelihood it reads ‘All donations will go towards building the corpus of the temple fund”. They may even mention the names of the great benevolent souls that poured their heart out in charity. They may even mention the amounts that they had donated. But what they will never mention is what was that donation used for and how were those funds utilized. In india they say Charity should be done according to your willingness and Capability. But what they forget to tell you is that it should be done for a cause and not wasted in giving gold to a deity
From my perspective Shirdi Sai Baba would have been terribly hurt when a devotee donated him a golden throne. He was a true fakeer who had given up all materialistic things in his life. All his life he lived in a broken hut called Dwarka Mai which only had a pot of water in it as his belonging . He relied on the charitable food which his devotees prepared for him. He had left all worldly pleasures and hence we was known as a saint.
If he would have been alive. He would have utilized this golden throne donation for a true charitable cause and helped mankind.
Another aspect is Anonymous donations that add up to the temple corpus. Such donations are not considered as the temple’s income and hence the temple pays no tax on such donations. The Fake donor does so to avoid tax or convert the money earned by unethical means and the real donor that really wants to do something good does not realize that there is no accountability of his generosity
if you light up a diya in front of your deity. it is not necessary that it should be done with expensive ghee.On your religious or spiritual journey monetary gains or monetary show off should be of least importance .
If you donate a gold rath (vehicle) when your deity is carried out for rath yatra and the news makes headlines.it is purely showing off of your wealth and indirect advertising to prospective business associates. It can never please your deity, if millions of his creations suffer for a daily two time meal. Your Riches and finances if you have in abundance , i request you to use your head and try for maximum optimum utilization of your resources for the growth and benefit of mankind .
Article 26 of The Constitution of India states that the temples governance will have no interference from the government.
In Spite of this the government has intervened in the process on their false pretext of streamlining it.The Appointment of officers, Archnayaks and head priests in some temples is in the hands of the government
On Tuesday March 8th 2011. High court issued a notice against the Andhra Pradesh Government for diverting Tirupati temple funds towards other activities .
I was born in a priest family and i have stolen coins from the temple many times for my personal entertainment in my childhood.
I was a small child then but the government is full of corrupt people that come into power only to utilize their tenure to their maximum personal benefit and entertainment
The last thought gave me a very wild imagination. The Money you donated to your shrine for purely pious reasons might just be getting used by a small minister for his Bangkok Pleasure trip
Wake up now.. Donate with our own hands and for the right cause to the right person that is actually in need. God is already the Almighty. He does not need your money or your riches, He lives in a non-materialistic world and he has nothing to do with your currency notes. What holds value for him is your humanity and devotion.
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This article has featured in the Magazines Jan- Feb 2016 issue