Sadhu’s Weblog

Archive for August 2007

Often we get to hear about some industrialists or business tycoons donating money and/or gold ornaments worth crores of rupees and we wonder why those people never think of spending atleast some part of that amount on charity. And yesterday, I saw a news channel broadcasting news about a golden temple in Vellore, Tamilnadu. Out of anxiety I watched the brief coverage and I was shell-shocked after knowing the details. A grand ‘golden temple’, of Goddess Mahalakshmi, has been constructed in an area of 100 acres at Sripuram, near Vellore in Tamilnadu, by Sri Narayani Peetham, headed
by spiritual guru Sri Sakthi Amma (Amma). Surprisingly, as much as 1.5 tonnes of gold was used for the temple and it took six years for the construction. The consecration (Kumbhabhishekham) of the temple was to performed on 24th August. The temple is open to all religions and is proclaimed “Amma’s gift to mankind”. The path to the temple will have messages from the Geeta, Bible and Quran. While this might evoke a great response from millions of devotees, many I believe might be shocked to know the fact that it cost around Rs. 600 crore. I find it astonishing. Many have been criticising the authorities for the amount of money that went into the construction of this temple, which could have been used for helping the poor. But the temple authorities claim they spend a lot on charity and the criticisms about the temple are unwarranted.

We hear people (read politicians, leaders and religious heads) talking about eradicating poverty, helping millions of economically backward, upbringing of the downtrodden and thus developing mankind. But when will such talks turn into action, when will those ideas and thoughts materialise and when will India develop. Is it by building golden temples or preaching the importance of religion and greatness of God? How can one expect to serve the humanity by constructing a golden temple? We have been taught since our childhood “Service to Humanity is Service to God” but are we really bothered. People are busy promoting their respective religions, in their own ways. Seldom do we think of those millions starving to death because of hunger. There are millions of Indians who are deprived of basic facilities to live (food, shelter and clothing) and hundreds of thousands of people in the country who do not have access to proper living and education or who have lost their living due to natural calamities. Why can’t we think of helping them in improving their standard of living?

There are thousands of charity homes, orphanages and old age homes in India. Does our god ask for golden temples? Does God curse if we donate money to those orphanages and charities? One cannot help but wonder thinking what these golden temples would do for the betterment of mankind. I am not against religious practices or sentiments but I follow a basic rule of life – helping those in need. God has given us a wonderful life as human beings. Let us make it meaningful.

Here I enter the bloggers’ world for the first time. After thinking a lot about what to write and how to start, I decided to begin with something about myself, a blog about one of the most memorable birthdays (5th August 2006) of mine.

I had just finished two years of my job life after MBA. I had a Hero Honda splendor (6yrs old by then) to move around. Even though it was pretty old, I had the same love for my splendor and was quite happy with its performance. My father, and even my friends, suggested me to go for a new bike instead. A week before my birthday, my father told my friends “I want to see my son with a new bike on his birthday and I leave it to you my boys.” And I was like “Jaane do yaar, one week is too short a time sell this bike and buy a new one.”
4th August, 9am – I was about to start for my workplace when my friend asked me for my choice of bike, if I were to buy a new one. Sure shot and I told it would be Bajaj Pulsar 150cc, black. But as I had already made up my mind I told him that it was not possible to go for a new bike in two days for which he gave a gentle smile. I was busy at work all day long and at 4pm my friend called me and to my surprise he told me that he had booked a Bajaj Pulsar and that I was supposed to visit the showroom to sign on some papers. I was told that the bike would be delivered in 2 days meaning I would get it only on 6th. I requested the showroom guy to deliver it on 5th evening at least, but of no use. I had no idea that something was happening beyond my knowledge. I reached my room by 9pm, and my friends joined me by 11:30pm.

As a regular activity, at 12 mid night I cut the cake and got a lovely kick bash from my friends. They sang the birthday song, put the cake in my mouth and presented me the bike keys (I was under the illusion that those were dummy keys to give me the feeling of possessing the bike)…. They asked me to follow them downstairs…… and there it was the New Shining Black Pulsar; believe me, it was a wonder, great surprise of my life… Tears filled with joy and unbelievable happiness rolled out from my eyes… I hug my friends, felt the warmth. “Happy Birthday, Ram. Here is your gift.” they said. What else could I ask for? A sense of achievement (the reflection of happiness in my eyes) was visible in their eyes. I called up my parents, immediately, told them about the splendid gift I got from my friends. I had no words to express my happiness. I am so grateful to my friends who have made it one of the most memorable birthdays of my life. I did not even think of going for a new bike in just one day, not even in my dream. My friends showed me how much they love me and what our relationship meant.

And, with this blog, I just want to make a point to all – Money alone does not fetch you everything, you need to have your loved ones around to lead a happy life.