Monday, December 11, 2006

Devotion or Discipline?

Firstly, let me make it clear- This article is not about any religion or their practice. This is more to do with the people and bureaucracy than a god and his devotees.
The Golden Temple, Amritsar, stands out as one of the most beautiful places of worship in the world, not only is it outwardly beautiful, but as the seat of the Guru Granth Sahib, is also spiritually very unique.
However, i'm not here to talk about the spiritual part of the temples. Each day on average a Lakh people visit the temple / eat in it's Langar (Free food/prasada centre). I've been there 4 times till date, the last visit being 4 days ago and i've not seen a single policeman or security guard till now!!! And there is absolute peace and awesome discipline in the people there. Best of all, there are almost no restrictions. In a place so narrow and so old, there is no one guiding / pushing / shoving people around into proper direction. There are no no-entry boards or traffic stoppers and still, the place is in utter peace all round!
I'm not comparing places, but i've seen a lot of busy temples / places of worship and always, more than the devotees, the bureaucracy and the employees placed there to help the people create chaos. Pushing, jostling, shoving and shouting are integral aspects of darshan in any busy temple, except in Amritsar.
Believe it, there is no line jumping, no recommendations for special darshans, no VVIP seva etc in the Golden Temple.
The reason being the upbringing there, which is so much service oriented that people do not have these concepts of inequality before god.
And they sincerely believe that you cannot forcefully discipline someone. It has to come from within. When thousands of people around you are so serene and calm, you naturally cannot be otherwise!
In my limited wisdom, another reason for this has to be the Free darshan concept. When we say that everyone is equal before god, why differently priced tickets?? and why separate gates and queues to go into the temple? We are preaching something and practicing something else.
In fact, our authorities are making sure that we are unequal before God. Hence, the experience here is different from there. What say you?


Anonymous said...

Well written Aditya! where there is devotion, discipline flows in automatically. its an irony that in some of our temples we try to seek devotion and peace through indiscipline. But on the other hand very proud that we also have beautiful places(like the golden temple) in india itself to learn from.

Aditya said...

Well said :)

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