I am not an Atheist. I believe in God, and have my faith in the power of almighty. I worship and pray daily. I occasionally go to Temple as well and always donate towards the temple’s cause.
I have always been God Loving, not God fearing, and I learned early in my childhood that if you are a true believer, you’ll be successful and your actions are always towards the greater good of humanity. As I have read in several books, they say, “I can do anything through Jesus, who gives me strength…” , I believe I can do anything through my God, who gives me strength.
The challenge is, right now, I do not feel strong. My God is with me. But, my family is not. They are thousands of miles away in India, where more than 250,000 people have died because of COVID19. With over 23 million cases and 19 million recoveries, India is going through one of the worst times of this pandemic. I have seen families and friends die. One of my wife’s friend has lost all of her family – father, mother, 2 brothers- and is left alone.
Even though I convince myself to be strong and support everyone who is going through this, I can’t help but wonder what must be going on with people who are struggling to get a bed. What is the situation of someone whose oxygen cylinder is approaching the bottom and prospects of their life – an abyss. What is happening to 25 year olds who can’t even see the face of their parents one last time because they are quarantined.
I can’t help but wonder, how one of the most prominent person in our city, whose name is written on every wall of our colony temple succumbed to COVID19 and no one was their to put his name in the Hospital books because he couldn’t find a bed!
I can’t help but wonder, what is the meaning of the millions of rupees of donations that we (Indians) give every year to build new temples. What is the purpose of so called “babas” – priests – who earn Rs. 1 Crore every day as we donate that money for the illusion of a better life. The richest temple, Tirupati, that earns Rs. 220 crores every month. None of these are able to give life, a bed, Oxygen, ICU or ventilators to people in need.
If we had invested that money in building schools and hospitals, instead of Temples and Ashrams – may be, a lot of people who died while waiting for their turns would be alive today! What is the purpose of money if it can’t save a life?
When we want something from God, we bribe him by the way of donating to the Temple or the ashrams (middlemen). The best way to get anything from God though is to serve his people. If we can not save the lives of people and serve them, then we are anyways not going to be in the good books of God, doesn’t matter how much donation you give.
We lost a lot of lives trying to build a Ram Mandir. Years and year of resources, money and power “wasted” in an effort that is useless, if we can not fulfill the words of Lord Ram – a state with Ram Rajya – where everyone is happy, content and justice prevails. Where is the justice in taking a bath in Kumbh because its auspicious, when Covid19 is spreading everywhere?
I agree that Temples are a necessary part of society and they connect us with our culture. But Hospitals and Schools are a biggest part of our society and they will help us create our future.
COVID 19 will hopefully be over in a short time. But this pandemic has given us a lot of questions to think about, and a lot of reasons to revisit our normal beliefs and change them for good.
What do you think? Next time, would you be donating to building a temple, or building a Hospital?