Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Temples and crowds

In the last three months, I have had two harrowing experiences at temples. One was at Tirumala and one was near my aunt's place at Raja Rajeshwari Nagara (Mysore road).

I believe a temple should be a peaceful place, where people respect others' need to pray, maintain silence and you can really focus on the one thing you are there to focus on. The GOD.

But these two experiences left me wanting never to go back. The crowd. The jostling. In Tirumala, it was so nasty that the son started to cry as soon as we entered any line. He was so fed up with the noise, the commotion, the pushing and prodding.

The same in the Raja Rajeshwari temple. Years ago (more than a decade now) when I used to regularly go to this temple while visiting my aunt and when this whole nagara was not so full of people, with sparsely populated blocks and so on, it used to be a good experience. But now, all you are left focusing on is, how to get to the priest and take that harathi without causing a stampede. Or how to protect your 10 month old, (who is sleeping on you, with confidence that you'd see him through) from people who are in a mad rush to go somewhere and don't care if they kick an infant in the process.

I didn't pray in these temple visits. I was too busy battling the crowds. This is not what a temple visit should be like. I am certainly not going back in a hurry.


Anonymous said...

I never get a good feeling in Tirupati. People are constantly shoving, yelling and pushing. Even the ushers there are rude. I get it that it is a popular temple with all the bhakts but surely there should be a more peaceful way to think about God.

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