Returned with guilts from pilgrimage ..:(

@vandana7 (68542)
India
September 2, 2012 10:44am CST
I went to Tirupati, which is supposed to be a very holy place out here. More precisely Tirmala. But normally there is a queue there for a glimpse of the diety. It can be miles long. At times pilgrims do not get to see the diety (they allow less than 5 seconds per pilgrim) even if they stand the whole day in the queue. Those who can afford to buy special tickets (seva tickets) get to see the god before the others, may be for a few moments longer as well. Many of those people who stand in the queue climb the stairs. Many are too poor and come there with faith which is definitely a whole lot more than mine even though god has fared better with me. Now, when I went there, I bought a ticket because I could afford it today. The trick to get inside earlier is to give in writing that we will not be around for the "seva", so we may be allowed ahead of the other people in the queue. What this sort of ticket surrender does is it cuts down the length of queue to less than half for the people who buy the tickets, effectively lengthening the queue for those who are standing there from fairly long. My excuse was ..I have elderly people accompanying me, and one of them had a heart surgery last year. And that I was sort of somebody who would be around to look after them should something happen. In truth, they were looking after me because I truly dont know much about all these things. And there were many places where I compromised on my values, which under normal circumstances I would not, if I were traveling alone. For example, we were getting late, and security check would have taken us at least another 10 to 15 minutes. So the driver cleverly indicated that the passengers were from State Bank of India, and we were allowed in without security check. Will I go to hell considering the fact that I have wronged others who climb those mountains to see god? Remember many were older than me, many were physically weaker than me, many were poorer than me, many were carrying their children in the queue, and as I said, I went in taxi, while many of them climbed the tedious steps of the mountain. Would you have compromised your values in such situation? Would you have used any "influence" or devious methods to be ahead in the queue? What if you had a train to catch?
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9 responses
@Juliyan23 (600)
• Indonesia
2 Sep 12
Well - Actually I'm not that familiar with the pilgrimage. But I try to link it with my experiences :) But I do have my pilgrimage (Umrah , it was like Hajj) a couple years ago. There's alot of people who be able to cut the line to touch "Haj'r Aswad" in Makkah. They were cheating? Since there were a lot of elderly people too in there who tried to touch it but went failed over and over. Even some of them had been helped but still went failed. My dad was one of people who successfully touched Haj'r Aswad. He said that we as a human has a right try to reach something , an easy way or a hard way - BUT it is a God's decision to give certain people an easier way than other people to reach it. :)
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@vandana7 (68542)
• India
2 Sep 12
" BUT it is a God's decision to give certain people an easier way than other people to reach it." That relieves my conscience in some way I suppose.. Thank you so much Juliyan..this response really helped. :)
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
2 Sep 12
You are most welcome, Vandana :) I hope the God always brings the joy and happiness to all of us .. Have a wonderful day =)
@vandana7 (68542)
• India
2 Sep 12
samar..I was just wondering..you have been to Mecca twice, and I have been to Tirupati almost 5 times. Shouldnt one time suffice? I mean, if we go to such places once in our lifetimes, we allow others to go and suffer less in those queues. Everybody gets to wait for 10 minutes after climbing those stairs. Something like that needs to be thought of. More than one visit to holy shrines need to be reduced. These regular visitors make pilgrimage expensive.
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@allknowing (70751)
• India
3 Sep 12
I am not so bothered about your having compromised but having gone there in the first place. Religion is a commercial venture. All this thing about getting to jump the 'Q' just because one has paid is hogwash to me. Everywhere religion is commercialised. No priest for example points a finger at me for not fulfilling the Sunday obligation because I donate generously. Ugh I say.
@vandana7 (68542)
• India
3 Sep 12
I agree that religion is commercialized. :) I also noticed that when I donated well to the priests directly in the plate that has the camphor light, I got better class of blessings than when I donated smaller amount there, and donated larger sum in the donation box. :) I went because long ago, I learnt that I do need to fulfil the obligation in a particular way. The previous couple of times I did not perform the entire ritual in the prescribed manner, which made me feel that all my trials and tribulations were coming from that failure. Silly I know, but I associated them with my failure to do the pooja the right way. So this time I did it the right way, even partially compensating for my lapses on previous ocassions. Lets see what god has in store for me now. :) It most certainly was not to encourage the commercial nature of the religion. :(
@allknowing (70751)
• India
3 Sep 12
Not you of all the people vandana. From the little I know about you here, you appeared to me to be someone who has gone beyond rituals. I am liberated from all this. I believe in God and I know what He expects from me. I will pray for you!
@allknowing (70751)
• India
3 Sep 12
Fair enough. But all this has to stop. Did you taste the Tirupathi laddoos? There is a website dedicated to it. I cannot understand how even the likes of Amitabh Bachhan and others are blind to what is going on at these places. They say these places are used to hide money. They are all hand in glove. The world is full of misery and wrong doings despite all what one does in the name of God. This is wrong vandana because in the name of religion wealth is collected Unless and until all this changes nothing not much can be expected. Sorry to be lecturing you but I wanted you to know what I think about all this.
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
13 Sep 12
I don't think you will go to hell for that, it's just my opinion. But I am sure, somebody will do the same to you someday, bypassing you who have stood in line for a long time. That is karma, I guess.
@vandana7 (68542)
• India
13 Sep 12
Oh dear, that sounds so ominous..I need to ensure I dont visit any holy shrine ever in future..lol
@jennyze (7048)
• Indonesia
13 Sep 12
Doesn't mean to sound ominous... it's just what I believe. So, whenever I feel someone is stepping on me I would think I must have done the same to others in the past....
@vandana7 (68542)
• India
15 Sep 12
I'd rather think just wait for your turn..lol
• India
6 Sep 12
Hello my friend vandana7 Ji, Well, between we both, my hubby went first time Tirumalla hills in Nov-1961 and after getting married he took me in 1970 , and then we both had been together for more than 7 times and he alone with my children another 4-5 times. But we never dared to go since 2000 as atmosphere ha stotally changed. lot many stories could be heard. We had darshan in 'BRAMH-MUHURT' we were never in hurry, at times we waited for 24 hrs, but we never broke the quee or the system of Darshan. As you said, we would never have done that. But everyone is in hurry, they do not have time for worshipping sincerely. My hubby brings some memories, when Pap-nasham was being constructed. May God bless You and have a great time
@vandana7 (68542)
• India
7 Sep 12
We are better off thinking of god at home than in temples. :) Jostling and trying to be ahead of others is hardly holy. lol
1 person likes this
• India
7 Sep 12
Hello my friend vandana7 Ji, Well, all temples are very big bussiness centres, people managing hav eno sincerity towards their duty. May be because of old age, we understand the meaning of 'DIL EK MINDIR' May God bless You and have a great time
@rambansal (575)
• India
2 Sep 12
I too have similar experience of being unethical for Darshan at Badrinath long-long back. At the exit gate, I posed as a great saint and my companion kept on shouting 'keep away, baba is coming'. As people looked back at me, I calmly cruised ahead with no obstacles. This I did on seeing a well-known Baba entering the temple in this way. Now, I am a determined atheist, won't go to darshan of any diety, hence won't be required to be unethical for such a nonsense.
@vandana7 (68542)
• India
3 Sep 12
Wow.. Basically, I am not a very good person. However, when I am on my way to temples, I try to be what shall I say not add to my list of sins. lol
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• India
3 Sep 12
All those who think are good persons. And you are one of the best in the world..
@samar54 (2456)
• Egypt
2 Sep 12
Climbing mountainbe difficult, especially for those with children .
@vandana7 (68542)
• India
2 Sep 12
Yeah, and even elderly, and disabled people, :(
@samar54 (2456)
• Egypt
2 Sep 12
But I think they be happy
@thesids (22357)
• Bhubaneswar, India
2 Sep 12
O O O! Happens. You feel sad if you do such things because you have a heart. The logic of the pay-to- get away from Queue is Indian tradition. Dont feel upset about it. Be thankful that they make things easier for many - you get a quick glimpse, and thus shorten the queues. Also the money... I told you there are many ways people use to make some! The day we were asked to be on earth, it implied that we are in hell. So no more of hell later. Here at Jagannath Temple, pay 500 INR and the pujari (priests) would allow you to hug the idol of the diety. That is what money is supposed to do and be - inherent qualities of money - power - maybe to make you stand next to your God. For me, I have never done it (maybe as I dont have money for God). Seriously, I think this whole thing is good for many and would be good for me too when I would be more ill and god would need me to visit him.
@thesids (22357)
• Bhubaneswar, India
3 Sep 12
I dont want to hurt anyone but then, Gods of ours are corrupt too. I would not blame us being corrupt. The rich become richer and poor poorer (I know this is Economics here but - ) if everything was from God, why this discrimination? Again, we dont see the poor organizing the Geeta Paths, Or even the Satyanrayan kathas and many others - it is only the rich and those who can afford - the showoff - and unfortunately God favors the rich more as they do the show off, get noticed and thus also publicize God. The next are the Celebs, Politicians - they go to any place of worship and it gets printed on Media (publicity for God too accompanies that visit and Celeb or Politico) so they benefit more. Have you seen any ordinary person visiting a place of worship and it getting printed? Yes, it might get published if there was a massacre or a bomb blast kind of thing! For me, thanks for the wishes. I thank him for whatever he has for me - keeps me going which is more important to me than the God.
• India
2 Sep 12
No matter whether I had to catch a train or not I would have taken the special darshan queue. Because I can afford it. Though I feel such queue and VIP darshans should be removed. But since the facility is available, I won't mind availing it, because if only I stop using it that won't make much difference. Last I have been to Tirupathi in 1994. Those day it was only one queue, at least that's what I remember.
@vandana7 (68542)
• India
3 Sep 12
1994 is almost 20 years ago, trust me, I too went to Tirupati around that period, and was able to go for two darshans in the same day. Today it takes a minimum of 6 hours standing after climbing those stairs. That is off season visit. I mean the days when there is no Purnima or any other festival or any good month like Shravan, Bhadrapad, Maagh, Chaitra, Kartika, etc. Mrigasira (around December before Makar Sankranti - Jan 11th) may be the best period if you want to visit Tirupati. Devout pilgrims dont visit temples around that time, so chances of finding god in good mood may be more. :)
@bhanusb (5709)
• India
2 Sep 12
Hi vandana, it is foolishness to wait in a long queue for paying homage to a god or goddess. I don't know how much virtue or blessing we can gain by a glimpses of the deity. It is just madness. The whole surroundings are so dirty that it can not be called a place of pilgrimage.
@vandana7 (68542)
• India
3 Sep 12
I have to agree with you. Not only dirty, it is noisy as well. :) Priests also utter selected verses to make you feel better or worse. If they see you offering some monies, they are swift in uttering the words that would make you feel all your sorrows and troubles would vanish and something good would happen to you. You can then leave the temple with feel good factor. If you, for some reason, are unable to offer enough while taking the aarti, you may even have to ask for "teerth", lol. Tell me about struggling to get all that in an environment that is decentralized. lol We have one place to get the glimpse of god, we have one place to take teerth. lol. They even have water flowing continuously at the entrance so that you dont have to wash your feet, your feet get automatically washed..lol
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