Columns
Vantage Point : Appeal And Appease!
This is not intended to hurt anyone, least of all any religious sentiments. Aarti questions certain behaviour that does not seem to make any sense to her at all.
On Oct 07, 2014

I remember when I was little I used to go to temples, see all the deities one by one, lay down my prayers, and put one tiny shiny coin of 25ps in those huge belly-sized donation. When I look back, I can clearly comprehend the reason why I used to do that.

It was perfectly clear in my head and I had a completely logical explanation which made absolute sense then. I used to think those were piggy banks of each god and that all of us supplicants who submitted our grievances were "supposed to" (you know like that was mandatory) bribe them with a little something if we were to be granted a favourable outcome for our requests/complaints/wishes.

There were times when I used to run short of coins by the time I reached the last deity, and I would promptly append my prayer request with, “Sorry, next time I’ll make sure I’ve even valued coins to give everyone” or “Please collect your share from Ganesha, OK?” (since Ganesha never failed to get his cut from my kitty owing to his placement in temples).

To think that all this hokum made perfect sense to me then is quite a wonder to me now. I can only describe it as the naivety of an 8-year old. But the fact that this kind of appeasement seems quite logical to many ('many' would be an understatement) fully-grown adults makes me again wonder, in fact leaves me baffled. Is it because they are as gullible as little children or is it plain stupidity? And sadly and rationally I can only go with the latter!

I wish I could get into these people's heads and rack their ‘upstairs’ a little to find the answer as to why in the world they would not only think but also believe with complete conviction that the so-called gods (whose existence and the practice of putting faith in them is again debatable) would actually shower them with blessings if they pour them with gold, silver or pieces of paper. Gods, if you are somewhere around, I have only one thing to ask of you. Save these blockheads from squandering their money on things that You are actually least bothered about. Enlighten those dim-wits not to expect your philanthropic wand to cast magic over their lives, just because they dropped off a sack full of bankrolls in front of you in some temple, church or mosque!
I totally get it when people donate into charity boxes of religious institutions thinking the goodness would be returned somehow, somewhere, sometime in their lifetime. How much of the money actually does go to those who are worthy of it is another question altogether. However, it still makes sense in being altruistic even if you don’t make certain your kindness reaches the deserving. But splurging your hard earned money on these so called exorbitant "offerings" does not make any sense to me at any level of logic that I'm capable of thinking! I’m sure such behaviour totally irks the guts out of many, but feel handcuffed at not being able to even comment on it, because they are bound to turn explosive at the drop of a hat.

There is nothing more pathetic than such people parading right in front of you, and 'flaunting' with pride their bribery list and expecting you not to at least mutter under your breath ‘moron’! Our people are so eager to pour money in truckloads, to be on the good books of these benevolent Gods. It’s almost as if they get high on shelling out money for making ‘gifts’ for Gods – 5-million dollar veil, bonsai-sized gold idol replicas, gem studded jewelries, beautification of idols inside shrines, and not to mention a gazillion other ridiculously extravagant religious practices.

It is so disturbingly appalling that these people with their fully developed functional brains, think these so-called almighties expect them to spend even on building new palatial abodes for them that cost millions, in a world that is supposed to be home to a 100 million* odd people who are actually homeless! Have heard the adage that helping hands are holier than praying lips. And we seem to be living in a world where people are under the delusion that bribing hands are the holiest!

Source: * United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 2005.




Aarti Panikkar

Business Analyst by day, entrepreneur by evening, aspiring writer. Car crazy, adventure chasing, animal-adoring lass; She has pledged her eternal love for books and books alone.
Aarti blogs at
http://snippetsofmydelirium.wordpress.com/

 
<< Previous    
 
Report Abuse    Report Error    Comments SMS/E-Mail
Bookmark and Share
 
 
First of all a big round of applause for writing this down which was going on my mind for sometime and on which I ended up in some verbal fights with my loved ones. I had the same feeling for these people who are superstitiously blind. But nowadays I started thinking from their perspective and ended up in a totally contradicting answer. We all lead our lives on some assumptions and belief's. My assumption could be your belief. And if I am confused with my own belief, then I would be obliviously stuck up in some crossroad. Let them throw coins and freshly smelling Gandhi's into that fat piggy banks with aplomb. I believe that their lives are more important than our rationales on them.
Sandeep, on Oct 08, 2014 12:02:13 PM
 
 
@sandeep : yea u r right.. it's perception basically.. we might not be able to fathom theirs and they won't be able to fathom ours.. but wat I was thinking was more along the lines as to how sometimes ppl get so drunk in their beliefs that they plan to leave their brains at home.. ;)
Aarti, on Oct 08, 2014 10:15:17 PM
 
News Features Columns