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deponti to the world

my 2 cents

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Religion and opulence
I was looking at photos of a new place of worship coming up somewhere in the world, and
felt strongly....I feel contrary once again, and wonder, why do we have to invest the objects of our faith or reverence with so much opulence? Why must we decorate our gods with gold and diamonds? I very often find that devotees seem to appreciate the materialistic opulence more than the deity enshrined.

I was particularly struck, when we visited the temple of Shirdi Sai Baba, by the difference between his simple, spartan life-style, and the grandeur of the temple. I had the wayward thought that if Shirdi Sai Baba came as he was to the temple today, he would not be admitted, as he did not have enough influence!

I remember being awed by the rock just south of Kanya Kumari, where a small raised rock formation in the shape of a human footprint faced east, resisting all that the sea and sky could throw at it. But now, enshrined in a great temple, with the Vivekananda Memorial looming over it, it has lost its appeal to my spiritual and religious feelings.

Your thoughts on this?

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I don't like big temples and by and large, avoid visiting any. But it's only partly because of their grandeur. I think the opulence is fine in some cases - for instance if it's an expression of artistic creativity and does not take away from the "spiritual" element of the place. European churches, a few of our older temples etc. But 98% of our places of worship are just grossly opulent, mercenary almost. And that only ends up taking away whatever little spirituality they possibly evoke. For me at least.

The kanyakumari rock was further spoiled after the addition of Thiruvalluar's statue.

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