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May 2, 2010

One of my friends vacated her flat as she was shifting to another city. Before vacating she kept some old calendars and framed photos of various Gods as well as some small idols of different Gods which she did not want to take with her  under a tree near her house.

She visited her old neighborhood after two years. She saw a small temple which had been erected on the same place where she had left some idols of God two years back. To her utter surprise she realized that people were worshipping the same photos and same idols which she had left before vacating the house.

This sort of thing is not new. We can find innumerable temples built on the roadsides, under various trees, on the corners. And most of them have the same story behind their constructions. A big MATA KA MANDIR near my house carries the same history.

Few days back while visiting one of the famous temples, I saw a lady distributing some card size photos of the main idol of that temple to everyone visiting the temple. Not only that the Prasad which was being sold also had a small card with the Idol’s photos on it.

Now I was in a dilemma.

“I cannot refuse to take the photo (I will be termed as atheist) I cannot throw it after taking it (I will be called insensitive to the religious sentiments of people), I do not want to accumulate tons of such photos (don’t want to keep unnecessary clutter in the house).”

Most of us are so fearful about annoying the God that we don’t throw the old calendars, photos or anything that has a picture of any God in it, least it will antagonize the concerned God and we will get punished by him for insulting him by throwing his photo somewhere.

Some people believe that by distributing photos/pictures of any God they are doing something PUNYA KA KAAM.  May be it is their way of announcing to the world that they are very religious.

If, a gift has to be given then what better gift to give than a idol of some God.

Often I have heard people saying. “It is not a gift, it is Bhagwan, you cannot refuse to take God” and now how can one refuse to accept God who himself has decided to visit him in the shape of some gift. And thus a huge collection of such gifts is accumulated in the house.

Old photos, broken idols should not be thrown in the dust bin (you cannot just throw God and his symbols in the dustbin) so you put them in river, sea or well.

It doesn’t matter, if by doing so the water is getting contaminated, the environment getting polluted, proper respect has been shown to the God by putting the articles related to him in water.

How can we forget the scene at various beaches and rivers after Ganpati Visarjan. All puja items, different body parts of Ganpati can be seen thrown all over the ground isn’t it funny that we worship the idol for 10 days and then after the visarjan we are not concerned about the same idol. It then just becomes some trash, some mud or scarps of plaster of Paris which is pushed around with feet.. just visit this link and see the condition of the murtis that had enjoyed 10 days of BHAKTI, PUJA, PAMPERING AND DEVOTION.

But isn’t God omnipresent, isn’t everything is made by God then why do we throw other things in the dustbin? Why not give them also proper respect?

I am confused with these double standards. If I don’t attend a puja, if I don’t go to a temple then I am called as non conformist, an atheist, an insensitive person.

But if I attend the puja, go to temple but there I indulge in gossip, I talk about politics, I back bite, I look at my watch every now and then, if after coming out of temple I immediately start talking ill about others — that is permissible?

What is being religious? A show off, exhibition of some acts or a inner most feeling, some values and some beliefs?????????

10 Comments leave one →
  1. prashchopra permalink
    May 3, 2010 12:56 am

    A bold and contemporary blog!

    I also wrote a short story on a similar topic (The God). Perhaps you will enjoy that too:

    Good job, keep more coming…

  2. May 3, 2010 6:24 am


  3. May 3, 2010 1:08 pm

    You ask:
    “IS IT BEING RELIGIOUS???????????”

    My answer:

    It is being pseudo religious!!

    Nice blog. Take care.

  4. May 3, 2010 2:38 pm

    Yes we all accept this because we do not want to anger the God.
    The fact is that such temples are coming up at public places.

  5. May 3, 2010 7:38 pm

    Thought provoking post. I checked that link…omg why have such huge Idols of Ganesh…
    I agree that sometimes it is difficult to make people understand your religious preferences.

    We also do Ganesh puja but since past 5 years for environment sake we have bought an idol which we use each year and then keep it away after the pooja is done. No Visarjan, no pollution.

    I believe in doing what I feel is right, when it comes to religion.

  6. Sonali permalink
    May 4, 2010 12:36 am

    being ritualistic and being religious are too different things and not many people know the difference:-) and being ritualistic does not make u religious!!

  7. neha permalink
    May 4, 2010 3:30 am

    i completely agree…
    people sometimes are impractical and are governed strongly by faith and superstition..myself included…

    disposing anything related to religion or faith may be considered bad omen … so one doesnt shy away from putting them in rivers…leaving them under trees…or just never letting it go

    i cannot comment on this because i myself m sooo superstitious..that wont do anything that would “enrage” or disrespect the One I believe in

  8. May 4, 2010 7:01 am

    I think a lot of the rituals and customs that people blindly follow are reinforced by people who gain from them. Fear instilled by them make you wonder if you are displeasing God. Can you love and fear at the same time…’God fearing’ is just saying that you do no bad becoz God is watching! Does that mean that you don’t trust yourself and need someone to keep you in check?

    If you are the type that lives by fear, traditions are for you.

    If you feel that thru thick and thin, you can maintain your integrity, then you don’t need a marshal to keep you in check. Simple?

  9. May 4, 2010 6:39 pm

    Too many double srandards, what with 3,00,00,000 odd gods around:)

  10. ajay permalink
    August 19, 2015 3:00 pm

    By rreading your blogs I just feel that you just put what is in your mind and these people who answer you are also same as you except for some.
    Now about religion 1st of all please do read geeta if you have so many questions about God. 2nd god never said that please come and please me by saying prayers doing pooja etc. 3rd if you have attended school in india / maharashtra you must know that during British rule Indians were slaves group meetings , roaming was banned. So lokmanya tilak started this ganesh festival on grand scale so that all revolutionaries can meet discus nd planne freedom. Yes god is in everything so why you should through things in dustbin , actually I think you never went in school or you never studied properly if you have aany knowledge of vedas from vedic time Indians are following some standards that today’s world (british) taught us. Cleanliness , tidy Ness etc. Why idols of God are making you so afraid ?? If you do not want to go temple don’t want to do pooja please do not do it. God has so many avatar because human beings like you don’t trust until you see. So whenever there had been any activity against humanism god will come. He is not answerable to you when he will come. You are not crcreator of world so let him do his work. And if yyou realy studied Hinduism and still you are confused then help yourself. And to reach god there are several ways given in geeta in which 1st is idol worshiping. And so on. First read then discuss.

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