11 May, 2006

No cross talk plz...

When I visited SreeKalahasti temple for the first time, I was awed by its splendour. It is really an architectural marvel. But when I went there again, what caught my attention was an altogether different matter. It was this:

A devotee was performing some yagna. I don't know what it was. Only one priest was officiating this yagna on his behalf. Flames were lit and the oblations were thrown into the flames one by one. So far so good. Suddenly a cell phone rang. And the ring tone was a romantic song! Whose was it anyway? Definitely it was not mine for two reasons:
1. My cell phone always plays THE BORING(?) TRING TRING.
2. While entering any place of worship or any library, I never forget to switch it off.

Well, Whose was it anyway? To my astonishment, it was the PRIEST's! He didn't show any signs of embarrassment, and lifted the phone and talked as if he was expecting the call. I got furious and also curious and kept watching him. At least 4 or 5 times he talked over the phone and more frequently he kept yacking in the middle of the yajna with whoever comes there. Meanwhile the devotee started showing signs that he was restive but chose to remain silent and be patient! 'What is this?' I asked myself about the priest. Isn't this asking God to 'hold on' in the middle of a dialogue/process that too done on behalf of a third party? How can a priest behave in such an outrageously irresponsible way? Is he really a believer? Does he really understand the importance of the yagna he is performing and what it means to the devotee? and the feelings of the devotee who entrusted him with the task of speaking on his behalf with God???

In the first place, why don't some people switch off the cell phones in the premises of the temple? How disturbing and nauseating it is if the cell phone rings while others are meditating on God? Temple, or for that matter any place of worship, is and should be a place which gives us peace of mind and the best way to get that mental peace is to forget about the outside world for a while and concentrate on God. For this, a peaceful atmosphere is a prerequisite. If THAT is lacking there, if the silence is broken by crazy ringtones, what is the use of going to temples and where else can we go? We only get more disturbed.

I don't really understand those who purposefully let the cell phone ring and respond to the calls in such places and those who MAKE calls from there. They should understand the feelings of their fellow devotees. If they are really expecting any important calls, they had better stay away fom temples till they answer all their important and urgent calls.

In Chilukuru Balaji temple near Hyderabad, everyday the priest keeps reminding the devotees repeatedly to switch off their cell phones.


Bhale Budugu said...

really really good post.

చదువరి said...

Good observations, Trivikram! And, once again, a good blog!

The Eternally Confused... said...

Devudu varam icchina poojari palakaledu antarru kada! Perfect example of the same thing... By the way, I guess the gentleman could have complained with the temple authorities... Sad! Such a respected place, such an important shaiva temple and SUCH appaling behavior... My native place of all places! Very disturbing indeed...

త్రివిక్రమ్ Trivikram said...

Bhale Budugu and Chaduvari: Thank you.

The eternally confused: It's really sad. Seems that devotees should also be made aware of their rights.