This article – Shunning the Brahmin! – was inspired by a non-Brahmin. We met the man when we had visited a hotel in New Mumbai. This man said that it is not right to drop money in the hundi of any temple because the money goes to the Brahmin priests, who are already rich according to him. Instead, he preferred to donate the money to the less privileged. While I am not saying that his intention is wrong, I would like to ask him, “Is he sure that the money donated to the NGOs and the orphan homes are used to give a better life to the underprivileged?”
I had asked the same question that the above man had asked me; to the PRO from the Tirupati Temple, during an interview. He replied to me that there are several employees, who needed to be paid for their services.
It’s fine as far as this goes. Let’s not talk about big temples. Big temples might be very rich. Let’s talk about the smaller temples closer home. I know the actual situation in the priestdom and that some priests are doing jobs elsewhere. One of them is also a farmer most of the year and performs his duties as a priest in non-farming season. Farmer-suicides is a real issue faced by India today. Same is the case with other professions due to the reservation (which we will deal with in the second part). That is the condition of the priests. If priests were not there, how would we be able to pray to God? Do we know the mantras that they use to praise God? Most of us do not. Ok, our prayers without mantras can be answered but mantras play a very important role in connecting with God.
Mantras or Mumbo-Jumbo:
That brings me to the topic – mantras or mumbo-jumbo. Words are powerful – even simple ones. But, when they take the form of mantras, they become more powerful. These are tried and tested lyrics and phrases that have worked magic in several lives.
Shunning the Brahmin!
Another man, Vivek Shukla has had an issue with the priests. He is aggressive when he says, “I was born in a North Indian Brahmin Family. But, I don’t follow any religion. I have seen priests through my life and found that they are nothing more than agents of god to run their business which is very funny. Why does God need an agent? I have come across many such incidents where priests have said that only through them the prayer would reach God. If it is so and God hears only them, then why these priests are not happy in their own lives?”
I believe that happiness is a state of mind. I would like to ask Vivek if he is happy. Will he reply honestly?
He adds, “As we can see every priest is talking the same language and justifying their role as an agent of God so yes it is justified to generalize the opinion about them. Appah Deepo Bhavah… Be your own light.”
If this is so, Vivek, you have not met the priests, I did. Asked that everybody has a right to earn a living in the way they know, he replied, “To make fool of others? In that case, we should legalize all crime because the criminals are indulging crime for their living.”
Asked, do you agree that there are bad apples and fly-by-night operators in every profession? He replied vehemently, “Yes and when you couldn’t throw the bad apple earlier, then you get to throw all bad apples now.”
I will have to leave this as a matter of opinion.