Home > My Views > Money Brings God Closer?

Money Brings God Closer?

Like thousands of people, thinking to drive away my sins and get a safe seat to heaven by paying a heartfelt visit to Lord Venkateswera’s, I also made a quick trip to Tirupati Balaji last weekend. I had to fit Balaji Darshan and then Padmawati Darshan (located at the foothills of Tirumala) into my tight schedule which had to be completed within 12 hours anyhow. I, along with my friend, started the enchanting journey to Tirupati on Saturday night. We reached Tirupati early morning next day. In order to beat the time crunch, we felt not to waste our time running around for hotels and thus decided to use Indian Railway’s waiting room for getting fresh. Immediately after that, we put our bags in the cloak room and left for Tirumala.

By 9:00 AM, we made ourselves a part of a long queue to getting a “Quick Darshan” ticket. As I was proceeding towards the God (or Darshan to be more specific), all the reverence and spiritual sentiments were being refurbished by the eccentric emotions that even God has started loving to those who are rich. At least this is what I found there. If you are a VIP, you might get a chance to even touch the Lord, if you have purchased Rs. 300 Ticket, you could get Darshan with in 2 hours, if you have Rs. 50 ticket, Lord might take some where 7-8 hours or more to bring you closer to him and if you do not have any ticket, then even Lord cannot tell how long would it take you to have his Darshan. Does it mean that the more money you have, the closer you are to God? The tickets reminded me of Land allotment schemes of Development Authorities in cities based on an individual’s income. If you have little money with you, you can buy a small piece of land under Low Income Group (LIG) plan, if you have little more money, you can buy a bigger piece of land under Medium Income Group (MIG) plan and if money is not a problem for you then you can buy a land under Higher Income Group (HIG) plan. Possibly Lord Venkateswera never wanted to draw a line of demarcation between his devotees, but we have taken the exploitation of people’s faith (which has truly no boundries) to a different level all together.

Gali Janardhan Reddy hit the media and news channels when he “gifted” Lord Venkateswara at Tirupati a 20 kg diamond-studded crown which came for an astounding Rs. 42 crores. And then he might have been allowed (which I feel) to put the crown on Lord’s head. But Rs. 300 ticket which I had bought was not enough to even stand for a few seconds in front of the deity. I know there is always a second side of the story. Thirupathi Devasthanam has taken several steps to improve the livelihood of people living in Andhra and surrounding states. But haven’t we over commercialized our God? It is not only a common man, but Saints and “Dharm-Gurus” say that everybody is equal in front of God, then why do we have free, special, VIP and VVIP entries at privileged temples. I do not think that God would attempt to wear 20 kg crown as he would probably break his neck. Then how much sense does it make to donate such a costly item to God, probably that much money could have fed thousands of poor people for months.

I seriously cannot figure out what made Bill and Melinda Gates to form a society worth $21.8 billion for charity and influenced Warren Buffet giving away $44 billion to them, why did not they donate the same money to some holy shrine instead.

  1. anoop
    January 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Very valid point Anupam………….its really ironical that at the door of almighty all r not equal.Even worst the differentiation is made on the basis of money.

    But I want to make one distinction here. It’s not the God who created this money system to make him tangible. It’s us who let this happen in order to see, feel or touch him at earliest.

    Despite we all know that there is one almighty power and he is omnipresent and inside each living and non living being…………..we run pillar to post in search of that elusive, non tangible thing known as “Lord”.

    If we really want to make a change then the starting point may be (no offence meant) we should believe the god is every where and is in everyone, so love each one hate none and help all, then probably Lord will visit yours place instead of you visiting the Lord’s Place.

    “Agar hai Ujaale ki darkar to dil apne jalao,
    Mitti ke chiragon se roshan jahan nahi hota.”

  2. Faraz
    January 25, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    A gentleman named George Orwell famously said “All are equal, but some are more equal”

    January 26, 2010 at 2:20 am

    very well said……. a bitter truth and the same thing can be seen in many other temples. i myself have been a silent witness to such surprising preferential allotment of almighty to a few chosen one…
    well even God is not able to protect himself from corruption………if we have to pay for “MITHAI” of employees to get our that work done for which he has been employed……

    good work upmaan………
    but tell me who gave a bright idea like this to go to mandir……………..even when so much BAWAL is there for SWINE FLU……….. take care…..

  4. Anuj
    February 8, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Well said dost but we are not different from Mr. Reddy brothers. Just take our example, if our wish get fulfilled, will go to temple and donate there money. if we are happy then it would be 100 more happy then 200 or 500 even more happy then 1000. If it happens with a very poor man then he may donate 5 or 10 or 50. So what Rs. 50 is for very poor man, 500 for us 45 crore is for Mr Reddy. We could also donate 500 or 1000 to some NGO/charity but we don’t rather we donate in temple. Same thing Reddy is also doing. This is how our sociaty is developed.

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