Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A new rule in temples of Tamil Nadu


Imagine this! You get invited to a party.  It is not a big splash, event of the year party but just a very simple get together party of your friends and you.  Days together we would start planning - the dress, the jewels, the accessories and even the shoes.  We just don't walk in with our plains just because they are our close friends, who really know and understand you.  We really would do every step to enjoy the evening.  So much work and time for one evening.

Again Imagine this! Your star birthday is next week.  The elders of your family ask you to visit the temple and perform a few rituals.  Do we really bother much about anything?  Do we really plan about our dress, the way we look.  We simply enter the temple with the same attire we had been donning since morning.  Why such difference?  Because we really know that people would judge us and God does not.

Recently in Tirupathi, the world famous Hindu temple, there has been a rule to wear only traditional dress otherwise one cannot enter the temple.  It was followed strictly for a while and then they had to be changed only for special tickets.  Tirupathi is a small town only known for this famous temple.  There cannot be anything important for a devotee who has planned the trip months ago, securing special darshan tickets.  Yet people visit this 'kshetram'- holy place with all kinds of trendy dresses.

A similar rule has been passed in Tamil Nadu's famous temple as well.  It has come effective 1st of January 2016.  People were outraged by this atrocity(?!) simply because they could not enter the temple with the dresses they had attended the party with.  Gone was the plan to kill two birds with one stone.  They had to go home and change simply to enter the temple.  What would have happened if this were vice versa.  Would they have attended the party with the traditional dresses.  I don't think so.  They would definitely have gone home to change into stylish, trendy dresses.  Who would want to look like a country bull anyways?? So why this fury only with temple.  why do people take everything granted with temples.

I read a 'whats app' message a couple of days ago.  It says, if a pub says one is not allowed if they don't wear shoes, we accept it.  But if the temple says we cannot enter without traditional dress, we oppose.  Well said.  A temple is a place of peace.  It is a place where we become one with God, through our undivided meditation and chantings.  How bad it would be if trendy clothes do just that.  It would be a mere distraction and nothing more.  If we should want to flaunt ourselves there are other places.  A temple requires no jewels, no make ups, no gaudy perfumes, just sincere devotion.  It is a place where we can be ourselves without others judging us.  So please wear our traditional attire at least in temples.  Please don't get me wrong.  I too wear western clothes.  But I simply cannot understand the need to wear them in temples.  If we can take hours to dress for a party or a function, why not take minutes to change into a comfortable Salwar Kameez before entering the temple.

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