Friday, March 22, 2019

Treasure of the Hindu Temple: Basic Rules of Ownership and Lessons from the Past

padmanabhaswamy-temple1.jpgThe underground vaults of a 16th-century Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala have revealed treasure estimated to be worth $22 billion (and growing). As of now 5 of the six vaults have been opened.

Since the money is huge – almost unbelievably large amount – there is a clamour to get the piece of the pie by everyone. There seems to be this idea that is thrown out by naive and idiotic people – who perenially have this halo-ed view of the “Government”, no matter what it does – where everything that happens in Hindu Temples should be handed over to the Government. And, even used for development work.

Well, there are specific funds for Development of the public works and the economy and the last time I checked, this (or previous Governments) have not done such a stellar work on using them. In fact most of the tax payers’ money – given for the development work ends up in the foreign bank accounts of the politicians and the bureaucrats. Given the track record of those who handle the public money, there is no reason why money from just the Hindu temples and organizations should end up with the Government.

Interestingly, there is a certain bias in how the moneys are handled when it comes to the Hindu organizations as opposed to the Islamic or Christian organizations. For example, no Government body oversees the funds in the hands of the Churches in the country. There is no interest in knowing where the money to erect Churches and to do evangelism comes from. And is all that in the national interest? Moreover, it is a perception in a lot of Hindus that the money from the Temples that goes in the hands of the Government is used to fund and subsidize activities for other religious organizations and bodies.

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That isn’t a very balanced or fair use of the money. Here are some figures.

As for the money from the temple of Kerala – the principle of basic ownership should be followed. It belongs to the temple. Period.

Just because someone poor or uneducated has suddenly hit upon wealth is not a good enough justification for all the Smart Aleks of the society to jump up and say, that the money shouldn’t belong to the village bumpkin. This is a direct violation of the ownership principle. Education and self appropriated intelligence cannot be allowed to be a cloak for looting someone else off of his wealth!

This exploitation under the changed “White man’s burden” (or “Burra Sahib’s burden” in this case) has to be stopped! No matter how much you think of yourself, if you don’t own it, you don’t own it!

So, first things first, the wealth belongs to the Temple.

Next how to care for it? Well for that one needs a good enough security system and the temple management should start work on how to use the earnings from the wealth to handle the situation better.

Overall Hindu Organization Umbrella

Time has come to create an Umbrella Body over all the Hindu organizations . Given the diversity in Hinduism, it is a very tough deal, but it is needed.

The body may stay away from the spiritual and the religious interpretations but should be well equipped to handle managerial, communications and media issues. In today’s world, where the pressure is from all sides for any spiritual pursuit, it is very important that the way various small, diverse and scattered organizations dispersed over the world respond and engage with the world is done properly. It is no longer good enough to say your mind.

The manner in which Swami Ramdev’s persecution by the Government of the day was undertaken, shows that there is a well thought out strategy in this “competitive” world.

India is a microcosm of a unique but an important battle in this world – probably its the last bastion – the battle between Inclusive and Exclusive forces. A certain group wants to assert its own mindset on everyone. They have already figured out what is good for others and what is not, despite the fact their recipe has made themselves no happier!

Those who assert don’t want to listen. They want to tell others. If anything bad is brought out by others about them, its a direct invitation to fight.

Stay shut or else “We will hit back” – is the new motto of the Exclusivist and Fascist forces in India.

Their governance is the 21st century style dictatorship. It is folly to assume that India isn’t a dicatatorship these days. It is. It’s just that the dictators in India are far smarter than those in the failed states like Pakistan. Indian dictators of today have taken over the media control – not directly but via a cartel-style connivance. It is tough to bring out the “you scratch my back I will scratch yours” ideological background of this new force. But it is very obvious in the way it works. The footprints of this collective work are unmistakable.

In a scenario where the epicenter of threat to the nation has been firmly installed within the country and in the hearts of those who own the polity and the governance, the fight for the next freedom – to uphold the Inclusivity of the national character – will be a very tough one.

And it will need a lot of patience… lot of intelligence.. lot of swallowing egos and lot of working together. We need a framwork organization that can handle the overall wealth of the Organizations and the interaction with the media or even manage media assets aligned with the over-arching Organizational set up. The current fight of bows and arrows – however romantic it may sound – will yield no dividends .. in the world of laser guided missiles.

The leaders of current Hindu society need to have the strategic foresight of Chanakya, the oratory of Vivekananda, the spiritual foundation of Adi Shankara and the heart of a Buddha. We need another Krishna, not for any divine purpose but to establish the basic human consciousness once again.

Fall of Prithviraj and lessons for Hindu Religious Leaders

The story goes that when Ghori had lost 16 times and he came back to fight Prithviraj for the 17th time, the battle was lost by Prithviraj in the most unusual way. In the main royal temple, there was a priest who had aspirations of being the Head Priest. But Prithviraj didn’t favor him. So, in order to upstage his king with the hope that this outsider – Ghori – will help him be the Royal Priest, this guy went through the back door of the fort and beckoned Ghori in. Once Ghori came in, he caught Prithviraj and his army unexpectedly and won.

Prithviraj was killed. The Royal Temple was destroyed. And the priest who wanted to be the Royal Priest was executed as well.

There are enormous lessons in Prithviraj’s story. Lessons that every generation of Indians should learn well. And lessons that Hindu Priests and clergy would be best served with.

No Ghori will ever anoint you where a Prithviraj didn’t. No matter what the promises are. If the temple is no more there, what use will be the title of a Royal Priest?

And Ghoris of today can come with unusual names like Digvijay now.

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