Temples are probably the best examples to see how deeply ingrained is the VIP culture in our society in India, something that a rational and logical mind instantly disapproves.
But then what can you do?
But to keep you straight, up according to the norms – as humanity desires and as God decrees – and not as some of us, so called rulers or the ruling elite, lay out.
My first experience to this VIPism was some 10 years ago – back in Chennai – when I was in queue to the famous Ashtalakshmi Temple near some beach – when I saw this VIP line – for people who would pay some amount to bypass the longish queues of sinners like us to get nearer to God.
Now only they can tell or the priests can vouch for if getting in a VIP queue at all helps the purpose – in feeling God – in going near to Him.
What can you achieve by saving some moments by rushing to have your presence in that Sanctum Sanctorum when you cannot toil to see even God?
And this is when our scriptures say that it takes ages of Tapasya (austerity, penance, strict meditation, whatever you want to say) to meet the Almighty in any possible form.
Our scriptures say, our tradition says, the Hindu codes of worship say – that even Goddess Parvati had to do Tapasya for ages to marry Shiva.
But this VIPism has only got worse. From some temples, it is now becoming a regular feature of large temples across the country.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey