Simple and ornate...

March 21, 2013

I’ve been recently seeing pictures of several places of worship…all of them very ornate and fancy, indeed. (The latest being a very grand Gurdwara in Dubai..

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I thought of something different when I saw all this finery. I find it somewhat problematic that when the seers and the prophets are themselves simple people, we seem to want such opulence in revering them, and the amount of gold and money spent on a place of worship seems so important to us. I’ve often heard the comment in the temple…“Look at that crown of diamonds, it cost X crore rupees!”, “Don’t forget to see the golden kalashas!” and so on…so it’s there in every religion. I often think that if Christ were to come, in his poor carpenter’s garb, or bleeding from the cross, He would not be admitted to any of the grand churches…if Rama came to one of his temples in the apparel of tree-bark that he wore during his exile in the forest, he would be turned away….

To me, Mother Teresa’s home in Calcutta, where she lovingly tended to lepers and the terminally ill…is more of a temple to God.

I expressed the same thoughts, when I visited the Shirdi Sai Baba temple,