Saturday, 28 January 2012

While attending a religious ceremony

I'm tired today though I slept for almost 2 hours in the evening after coming back from a Jain religion's pretty big ceremony.  Today my Uncle and Auntie celebrated their 25th marriage anniversary.  I congratulate them and wish they celebrate their golden jubilee too.  My aunt belongs to the Jain religion.  It was her wish to have this big religious ceremony on her 25th wedding anniversary and invite families from her and my uncle's side.  The venue was a small village name SHERISA some 25 kms from Ahmedabad.  Most of the family gathered there on 26th evening itself after visiting some few religious places and were suppose to stay there for the next day's religious function.  I don't know much about this religious ceremony as i'm not very much inclined to religion and also I don't belong to this religion.  But still I know some what as lot of people from my business circle belong to Jainism.  This ceremony that was conducted today is called SIDDH CHAKRA PUJAN. (You can read more on this ceremony on this link

The ceremony started at 10:00 hours instead of 09:00, that is 60 minutes late.  I was told by my uncle that it will last for 3 hours.  I somehow didn't feel like sitting along side other people in this ceremony as somehow I am not able to believe in such religious ceremonies.  There were few priests.  One was showing each steps of conducting the ceremony.  There were few women priests who were narrating interesting stories on why people should follow Jain religion and while narrating the moral of this stories they were saying and trying to portray that Jain religion is the greatest and supreme religion.  And lastly there was one guy who was controlling the whole ceremony.  He was chanting the Shloka's, singing prayers and spiritual songs.  I was sitting there watching all the proceedings.  

In some time I started feeling uncomfortable being part of it when the guy who was controlling this ceremony made some comments and remarks which kind of degraded the existence of human being.  While asking for some women to perform some part of the worship, he particularly announced that the woman should not be a widow.  A widow is not allowed to do that particular part of the worship.  I was like, does that mean being a widow is kind of a punishment not to worship God.  What's the women's fault if she became a widow ?  And with what right you deny a person to worship God ?  When God never discriminated between his disciples why should we ?  

Soon during while narrating a story, one of the lady priest declared that Muslim religion is famous for unity, Vaishnav religion is famous for its passion of worship and Jain religion is famous for mercy.  I was shocked.  How can that be possible ?  So I waited to hear the reason and the reason she gave was simply unacceptable to me.  The base of her declaration was the number of cow shelters that were run by the money donated from people belonging to Jainism.  As per the lady priest this was one reason why Jainism is suppose to be the greatest religion.  Again the rebel inside me got furious.  Who gave this person the right to again make discriminatory remarks against different religions ?  I strongly believe that every religion in a way preaches the same and its main purpose is to provide spiritual peace to human beings.

Voluntary money donations to religious bodies have always been there.  But asking for money in this religion seems to be a routine exercise.  The person who was controlling the ceremony announced for voluntary donations from everyone.  When in a gathering of about 100 persons it all comes down to show business.  As my uncle is a very popular person among his social circle, everyone started pouring good amount of money to look good to him.  And lastly what will happen to this money ?  As per the announcement, all the money was to be donated to the keeping of cow shelters where hundreds of them shall be fed and protected from getting slaughtered.  Yes in my state slaughtering of cow for beef is illegal and a punishable offence.  Why only cow ?  Because in India and in Hindu or Jain religion cow is a holy animal and it is worshiped as Mother Cow.  But strangely the same people hate this animal a lot when they see them strolling on the road and when it becomes so dangerous to drive.

It hurts me more to see that this same people have money to donate for a cause for an animal but most of them do not donate for millions of poor people that live in my country.  There are millions who do not get even 2 times of food, millions who do not have warm clothes in winter, thousands who do not have a shelter and there are millions of kids who lack proper education facilities.  The problems are huge and need huge amount of contributions.  If millions of this donations to the temples are channeled to the causes of human beings in this country.  In just few years poverty and illiteracy can be eradicated from this country.

All this priests from Jain, Swaminarayan and other religions they preach and ask for huge donations from rich people and they get it too.  This donations are used to built lavish temples and to organize ceremonies where thousands of people belonging to the community are fed.  Instead why not built houses to the homeless, why not create better schools for the poor and why not teach the population basic things of cleanliness and public hygiene.  Why can't this priests ask the rich people to take pledge, not to resort to corrupt ways of earning money ?  In a country where religion is considered so big that it can affect the sentiments of millions why not use this energy to create a better country instead of illogically wasting it in building grand and more grand temples.  Its shockingly surprising that my city Ahmedabad has the most Jain temples than all Jain temples built in the world together.

I just hope that better sense prevails at least on the young generation and they start a revolution that would change the religious scenario in this great country and instead the poor and needy people are benefited from huge monetary donations.  AMEN.  


  1. Nipun, I totally agrees with your point of view. Why waste time, money & energy for building lavish temples, community halls. Better utilize the same amount of energy & other resources building India better by educating those who really needs & by building better Schools.

    Well, myself being Jain I agree that are such drawback are there but it's there in mostly every religion. Every religion wants to prove them superior than other. It's time to change that mentality & move forward towards one religion of humanity.


  2. Hi Nipun.... life has paradoxes and this is one of them - donations in the name of religion when there are numerous better causes... heretthe donation aims to attain a "personal" bonding with God who will be benevolent and have mercy and that the individual does not suffer - and that is the paradox. If there is no negativity there is no way anyone can appreciate positivity - and so on ... the individual greed to be in the good books of God is what drives individuals to donate - and lavish their own view of God....can God be so easily bought?

  3. Sooo very nice to read what you are writing:)
    And so, ofcourse, I finaly had to make a comment! The thing with money, and money spended in wrong ways, is always making people frustratet thinking there shouldn't existe any money in this world at all...:P
    But ofcours, that is abit difficult..
    Also made me think of valuation. The amount of money we put on things is the way of showing how much of value the thing is to us. But, valuation to our self is never in another hand to make, and therefore never the same in every hand.
    Some people see a bigger value in nice buildings instead of poor people because of the distanse thay have to it all I guess.. Just sad...

    And sooo nice with the gesture from your friend in South Africa!! Made me think of an other bracelet you maybe have...:)

  4. Nipun,I understand you, but who gives you right to judge them? It is their own business. If you want to do something good you should do it by yourself.