The title of this post was the question which came in mind on my last trip to puri, odisha, India. Puri, place famous for its beach and most importantly very old janagnaath temple where people from all over India come to worship lord Janganath.
I was standing in front of outer entrance of jaganath temple where I saw thousands of people were going inside the temple with fear on their faces and beliefs that god will solve their problems. Some of them were scared of god and some of them had a long wish list for which they need help from god. The only smiling face which I found in crowd were small kids who actually didn’t know what does a god mean. But same kid who was smiling will come again after few years and will be hard to identify among other faces of that crowd.
I followed the crowd and was moving towards the main temple where on the entrance of main temple I found a priest who had kept his leg on stairs . He was looking somewhere upside(as if he was talking to god) and randomly picking people who were crossing his leg. The one caught by him should pay something to him to enter into temple. As soon as I reached near him, he caught me. He started saying something in his language(odiya) and was pointing me towards the stairs where other people had kept some money. I knew he was asking for money but I behaved as if I didn’t understand a single word. A lot of people took benefit of this and passed from the other side as the priest was busy with me. I think he understood after some time that I am not going to give him anything and a lot of people had passed while he was busy with me, so he let me go inside the temple murmuring some words(I guess he cursed me) . Finally I was inside the temple and I started following the crowd again to reach the statue of god for which people from all other the world come. At around 50 meter away from the statue I was stopped by priests again and they asked me for ticket. I was confused for a moment. Its not a movie theater where I have to show ticket . I asked him “why are you asking ticket to see god?”. He told me to get a ticket or see god from this much distance only. As I was discussing with him one police man also came and asked me to get a ticket or move towards the exit door.
I didn’t have option other than to get a ticket to visit god. I took the ticket but I was wondering what happen to poor people if they spend 25rs for each god visit. They can’t visit this temple daily. Now with ticket I was allowed to see the god from near distance. I was standing on the side where I met one more priest . He grabbed my hand and asked me to bow down in front of god. I had already done that but since he had asked so I did that again. I moved my head up and now this priest started pointing me towards the place where other people have kept money . He didn’t let me go until the time I get angry on him. I told him directly that I will not pay anything. I was surprised as well as shocked to see the scene and that was the time when a few thought came in my mind
“God made us, he knows what we do. He can do anything .He can make us reach or poor, healthy or weak. If he is the one who has given us that money than why are we giving this money back to him. It is like taking money on loan from a friend and then returning same money to same friend on higher interest”
I came out of the temple and one priest was selling PRASAD(priest give something to eat which is consider as blessing from god) for Rs 100. So I decided not to buy that prasad and donate same money to poor people . I hope god would have thought same. Instead of giving money to him , this world would be a better place to live if people help each other and give food and extra money to poor
PS: This time I don’t have any photo as photography was not allowed in the temple