Busy God and Crazy people
Recently, we had visited Tirupathi. I don’t wonder why he is called as the richest God in the world. Oh my goodness, it looks like there is only one God who can solve all their life problems. Am not sure, where to begin my experience.
My wife called the priest and asked for auspicious dates for the first tonsure of our baby. My bad luck the dates fell exactly on the weekends. I am scared of the crowd during weekends, asked her to postpone the event, but sometimes the wife will never give up on such silly things.
On our lazy cab drivers advice started to climb steps from Tirupathi at 7.00PM. It was my mother’s vow for reason only known to her and my enthusiasm to take a challenge we started at alipiri (foot of Tirumala). At the starting point Just like my daughter, everyone felt happy with loud chanting of “Govindaaaa… Govindaa..”. People are buying coconuts, camphor, aroma sticks, flowers, vermilion, and sandalwood powder. With the adrenaline rush, we begin to climb stairs briskly, now and then turning back to look how my mother and wife doing. Within 50 steps, I see the mistake in my wife's eyes thinking why she took up this challenge and pain in my mothers. My father looks steady and giving his interpretations about this calorie burning devotion (journey). We had covered a quarter of our journey, just then my daughter feeling discomfort and want to be in her mother’s lap. We tried hard to console her but it was gone in vain until her mother made her sleep. As we had to climb lot many steps, I took my daughter in my arms and made her head rest on my shoulders. She got tired and sleeping well, but then I had to curse my skin which is spitting sweat like poison. It eventually made her wet and woke her up from sleep. I tried to ignore my wife’s look and conveyed with my eyes that, hey... “It’s not me... It’s just my skin”. However, my wife continued to stare as if I intentionally perfusing and I am not kind enough to take care of my daughter.
All throughout our journey, we saw boards saying that first 14,000 people of the day who climb stairs can have “Divya darshan (quick dharshan)”, but sadly, we never know what is our rank until we reach halfway through - However, we already seeing stars and god at every step. After knowing that they are not giving token’s on weekends, we felt that biggest buggers on the earth are TTD (Tirumala Tirupati devasthanam) organizers. After having a big contest about the importance of their lucky number 14,000 and bias against weekends, we had to voluntary retired from discussion to conserve energy and focus on next 2000 steps to climb.
Throughout the journey, we saw many pilgrims from various states with different attires and moods.
- We saw some couples holding each other hands and sharing earphones as if they are in romantic trip
- While other bought small speakers playing film songs, completely ignoring that they are visiting the sacred place but not a movie theatre. Cursing the disturbance which may cause to my daughter’s sleep, I tried to cross them and move away as quickly as possible.
- Some men have removed their shirts, showing their obese belly juggling like ball at each step, while others with dark skin are shining under the tubelight as if they had smeared oil throughout the body
- We also saw people lighting up camphor at each every step, while others smearing vermilion at every step – then I thanked God not allowing my mother to vow such complicated things.
Already it was three hours since we begin our journey, everyone got used it and their muscles are working with more efficiency than before. Just then to my utter belief, we saw people climbing stairs on their knees. I just cleared my eyes and saw was it real, oh my gosh! it is the zenith of their craziness. I am not sure whether I should call it as devotion or madness. Could not swallow, holding my nerves I crossed them briskly. Finally, at 12.00AM we had reached Tirumala and saw my family completely exhausted. But still, it was like daylight, no one was in a sleepy mood, some people are going for darshan, while others are coming back from Darshan. It was like a festival, food stalls are serving food and people who had tonsured their head are holding prasadam (Tirupathi ladu) and walking away. Who would care for sleep here on Tirumala, every wants to have a peek at God and get rid of sins, wondering when would they sleep and allow God to take rest.
I am really trying to understand why lord Balaji on Tirumala such famous, I didn’t hear Great War stories and miracles as with Lord Ram and Lord Krishna. What is that made him more popular,
- Are that rich person donating huge bundles of paper with Gandhi image on it (money)
- Are that people started giving diamonds, gold and other ornaments to giveaway gods share in the business profits
- Is that the real power of the god which is attracting these many people or is that mad crowd who are pulling more devotees to this temple each year.
Ignoring the above thoughts, we were in “Q” for darshan, maybe we should not say that it is a “Q” it is like a rat race and trying to push each other to had a glimpse of the god. Especially, when people entered garbha gudi, it was like God has suddenly got into them and pushing more hard to be one with him. Wow… the lighting and gold plating which has covered temple walls made it more vibrant. Just then people are close to God, the sevaks (scouts) push the devotees away. I saw the lard Balaji idol in the sanctum and saw it real with shining ornaments; the idol was still and vibrant. It was exhilarating and was like roller coast ride where you just need to stand, people behind you will roll you like a ball until you see Lord Balaji idol in the sanctum.
Day has gone after the journey; reviewing devotee’s state of mind I had classified them into different types:
- Some thinks that they got rid of their sins, and have to start fresh – which means they can do sins again and wash away coming to Tirumala whenever they feel burdensome
- Other think their soul got sanctified, and they are nothing but god – after two days their soul gets spoiled with weird thoughts, they have to visit again
- One owes that they will visit again if god fulfill their wishes – as if God wants to see them every year
- Some will take oath to tonsure their head if God gives what they want – God is rich already, why does he need your dirty hair
- While others like me pray to god not to allow their family members to take up Tirupathi journey during weekends and bless them to think that God is everywhere – not only in Tirupati