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Sunday, April 24, 2011


Although I am not a very religious person, being in Mumbai, today I decided to go to the Siddhi Vinayak Temple. Despite it being a Sunday, the place was crowded and the lines were running to some distance. I decided to take my chances and collected the courage to forge ahead. I decided to take the flowers and other things that are required for the pooja to be performed. I headed to the entrance of the temple and was being accompanied by the man who sold me the flowers. As we came close to the entrance I saw a big line for entry tickets. The flower man told me that I had to buy an entry ticket for Rs. 50/. He also told me that if I wanted to enter as a VIP then the ticket would be Rs.1001/ or that he could arrange for me to enter as a VIP by paying him just Rs.500/. He would then call his contact who would take us inside the temple and I would not have to wait.

I started to get some interest in his bargain knowing that he will never get it from me; I would rather leave the temple, but would not enter by paying money. Well I was fortunate that my wife was with me. She is generally the more vocal among the two of us and she does not like to be taken for a ride. She just decided to walk up to a group of policemen who were standing at the entrance where the tickets were being sold and asked them of the details of the types of tickets. The policeman told us that there is only one ticket and that is for Rs. 50/, there are no VIP tickets for Rs. 1001/. He also told us that be careful these people at the flower shop are there to fool the visitors coming from outside Mumbai. Finally, knowing that we were visitors to the city the policeman asked us to get in to the temple and have the darshan. This was a new face of a policeman I could see. Under normal circumstances you would expect them to be hand-in-glove with the touts.

I started recollecting several of my previous visits to temples in various parts of India, such as Mathura, Vrindavan, Tirupati, etc. There is one common element that comes across in all such religious centers and that is the lack of fear of God. Right under the nose of God all types of corrupt and unethical practices to deceive people are being committed. The general feeling is as if, it is all acceptable to the Gods or maybe there is a feeling that at the end of the day they could ask for forgiveness for whatever sin has been committed during the whole day.

India is considered to be the cradle of civilization, a place where religion emerged and the greatest of epics were written. We are supposed to be very God fearing people..  so what has gone wrong with our society. Corruption has got into every aspect of our life and it has not left even the great temples and religious centers of the country. Right in front of God and in his name we are willing to lie and cheat innocent visitors. I am unable to digest that we as people have started to degenerate so fast and are heading towards a disintegration of moral values which are so essential for any society.

This is one of the main reasons that I do not go to Temples or religious places. I cannot accept such evil taking place right in front of God and no one cares anymore. I think we all need to introspect and look within us and see if we are all individually and collectively responsible for such things taking place in our society. Some where the Indian value system seems to be giving way to new thinking where making money is the only important thing irrespective of the means used for the same. Here I am not talking of politicians and people at positions of power, but of ordinary people. This is the worst form of corruption, where the ordinary man becomes corrupt and corruption is from the top to the bottom. In most societies we expect politicians and leaders to be corrupt, but in general the common man is honest and that is what makes life worth living for all. Unfortunately, we in India have got corruption rooted to the bottom of the core of society. It will take God to take birth again in our society as stated in our scriptures…

Happy waiting for God to be born…


  1. If there are monkeys in the garden should the garden be deserted...OR let us handle the monkeys...

  2. Hi Sanjay, my not going to the temple has so many philosphical reasons and some day i will write in my post here. As you can see I am not against going to the temple.. as I just went today and wrote the blog.