Last week visited Shirdi and a Jain temple in Nashik
1. In Shirdi after waiting for hours in a long queue as soon as we entered the main temple finally saw the divine face of Sai Baba smiling at all of us. Again after waiting for quite long in the crawling queue, finally managed to reach near the serenely seated Baba. But what is this? I was there only for just a second when the Pujari pushed me ‘” go ahead let others come”. I told him that after waiting for hours, at least let me quench my thirst of his darshan. Please allow me to stand for a few more seconds. But No, I was pushed by the Pujari from one side and the impatient crowd from the other side and I was literally thrown out. I just wondered, what was the point in waiting for so long if I was not allowed to even fold my hands or bow down to him or touch his platform. I didn’t drive all the way from Mumbai to Shirdi just to wait and get pushed out. I have heard similar is the case in Tirupati Balaji, Shrinathji or many other such famous temples. Many from the crowd were complaining about this but no one had the courage to raise their voice or do something about it. And like so many others I just meekly walked out and thanked God and my stars that I could alteast touch the very ground where Sai baba had spent his life and which is considered to be God’s abode on earth.
2. On my way back to Mumbai we visited Gajpanta, a Jain pilgrimage. Enduring heavy rains, chilly winds, aching knees but with excitement to be the first one (we were a group of 17 family members) to reach the top I climbed a mountain which had 435 steps (only). I forgot to mention this is a holy place where it is believed millions of saints attained salvation. After reaching the top and doing darshan of centuries old idol of Bhagwan I noticed that many devotees had offered rice, fruits, almonds etc to the God,( this is a commong practice in all jain or Hindu temples where devotees place sweets, fruits, dry fruits etc in front of the idols of the God.)
but sadly this was all being savored by crows, birds and rats..
I am neither an atheist or I have anything against any religion (I am a very God fearing person and turn to him for even small -small problems of mine and have faith that he will save me from all troubles or tensions of life) but I just wondered
why do we offer fruits, sweets or such eatables in the temples, which either become the lunch of birds or goes into the all ready overflowing personal kitchens of the pujaris.
Why can’t we give all these eatables to some needy person or hungry person to satisfy his hunger?
What is the point in placing food items in front of the idols of God? After all it has all been provided by the almighty himself.
Are we not insulting the God by returning the things which he himself has given to us? Won’t the God be happier with us if we fed his other starving children?
This again brings a thought that, when we say and believe that God is omnipresent, then why do we visit some specific places to be near God
Why can'nt we sit at home , think about him and feel that we are near him, why visit temples or other religious places.
actually this is very confusing as even I visit a temple daily and I feel guilty in the night if by chance I am not able to touch the ground of a God's home on earth that particular day. Not that only, I even walk to various far off temples either to pray for peace of mind or thank God when ever something good happens in my life. but such thoughts do enter my mind that why am I doing this?
why should I go to a particular temple or such place to offer my prayers, Why can't I do that sitting at my home only
but then I suppose this is human tendency to be always in a dilemma
because the ways of God are beyond us.
I find no answers to these questions as whenever I raise these issues with others rather I am condemned, crticised and ridiculed for harboring such thoughts which are anti religion.