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Temples and the Hindu Dharma    by Anurag Sharma

The newspapers and the blogs are covering the stories about the vip treatment of the celebrities at high profile temples at the cost of the average devotees who have to wait for hours in hot sun without even drinking water for children. My friend IdleMind wrote a good story on this issue recently. This issue tells us how our temples see some people more equal than others.

A devotee like Yesudas should be allowed to enter into the temple. There is another side of the coin. That is about the issue of denial of entry to some people. The Hindu scriptures are full of the description of the Gods's presence into entire universe that includes all the creatures too. In Geeta, Lord Krishna says:

विद्या विनय संपन्न ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनी,
शुनि चैव श्वपाके च पंडितः सम दर्शिनः

[Vidya Vinay Sampanne Brahmane Gavi Hastini,
Shuni Chaiva Shwpake Cha Panditah Sam Darshinah]

Which means that a Pandit is one who sees no difference between a scholarly and humble Brahmin, an elephant, a cow, a dog and even a person who can eat a dog. That should be the spirit of a person who is close to the philosophy which is the basis of the Temples. But what we see is the exact opposite. The management of the temples has been stolen from the scholarly Brahmins and given to the semi-commercial trusts. They do all kind of stints to seek publicity. Every alternate day we hear stories about discrimination and ill-treatment of people at various temples. Recently an American tourist was insulted at Puri temples. Another temple in Orissa was closed after the entry of so called lower class after a court order to allow entry. Devotee and Pop singer Parvati Khan was humiliated at various temples by Shiv Sena cadres in the past.


Famous Bhajan singer Yesudas is now facing a similar hurdle. Yesudas, who has sung several songs in praise of Lord Krishna, was denied entry to the temple because he was born a Christian.

Poet Yusufali Kecherry, who has penned some of the best Malayalam devotional songs on Lord Krishna, has similarly not been not allowed to enter the Guruvayoor temple because he is a Muslim.

I see the need of a movement to reform the temples and restore their original idea of equality among all and kick the power hungry politicians, greedy contractors and jack-of-all IAS lobby out of temple management completely.  

© Anurag Sharma