Wednesday, August 5, 2015

And now, a demat account for Lord Venkateswara @ Tirupathi.

In a first of its kind in the world, the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam - the administrator of the Tirupathi temple - has opened a demat account to accept donations to the good Lord in the form of shares and securities! This was based on observations, over a period of time, that devotees deposited shares and securities along with cash, gold and other precious ornaments.

To offer something to god has been a tradition since times immemorial, the most famous being that of Lord Krishna's friend Kuchela offering the former with his favourite dish made of rice called, 'aval'. Krishna had devoured the offering at one go, simply because he was fond of it.

Most devotees feel that they must offer their god and if they don't, they feel that their prayers might not be taken heed of. By such thinking aren't they insinuating that their god is susceptible to bribery and corruption? I've seen people - known to be extremely parsimonious in spending money otherwise - on a 'no-holds barred' offering at places of worship! Another sight that has never failed to amuse me is the penance offered to Lord Ganesha by many, in the form of cross-holding of the ears accompanied with repeated and rapid bowing.

To my mind, the people who offer donations to god, quite generously, could be anyone of the following categories:-

     (a) those who're heavily guilt ridden for their wrong doings.
     (b) those that have immense wealth, perhaps ill gotten and do not know how to spend it.
     (c) those who do not want to part with their wealth for the needy but do it for a 'good' cause by
           passing a part of it to their god.
     (d) those who want god to help them get through difficult times viz. passing an examination,
           getting a job or a promotion or achieving something that is desired.

My take.

While I do admit that there are many who offer genuinely with no thoughts of return, there's an urgent need to utilise the donations in a reasonable manner, for the overall good of the society rather than accumulating wealth for subsequent manipulation and corrupt ways!

I'm of the opinion that the donations received, must be used for the following in that order:-

     (a) improve the facilities in and around the place of worship along with infrastructural support
          of the surrounding areas.
     (b) provide succour to the needy.
     (c) deploy for developmental activities.


Tailpiece.

Quite a while back, I remember having read a news item that talked of four human ears with gold ornaments being found in the 'hundi' of a place of worship. Wonder what the guiding factor of that individual was.........er, a pardon from god for his misdeeds?

PS.
I seem to have missed out another important reason for offerings. It's a thanksgiving factor too!      

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