This golden crown weighing 14.5 kg has recently been donated by a Mumbai based business tycoon to Lord Venkateswara of Thirumala temple. While the business tycoon prefers to remain anonymous for obvious reason , guess in whose presence the crown was offered ? Sri Jayendra Saraswathi , Chief Pontiff of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham !
As the saying goes ‘rich becomes richer” , looks like this applies equally to Lords as well. While I am not aware of any Forbes list of world’s richest deities , I understand Lord Venkateswara is the richest Deity next only to the Vatican Church. The Apollo hospital Chief has come forward with a further donation of jewellery weighing 4.03 kg to the Lord around the same time.
In India we have so many children suffering from congenital heart diseases. Just calculate 20 kg gold @ Rs 2000 per gram ( not even considering those pieces of diamonds and stones adorning the jewellery !) and assume Rs 2 lakh per surgery for correction of hearts. So how many hearts could we have corrected ?
While I cannot comment on how one should spend the hard earned money , I could not just stop commenting on such devotional hypocracy especially by those who are projected as the ones creating values in society and receiving national awards for their meritorious services.
I also have a suggestion to make – to have a nationwide common fund where all such donations received in various temples across the country will be deposited and a trustee ( not including Lalit Modi or Suresh Kalmadi) headed by someone like Ratan Tata would decide how to best utilize them in the society .What’s the point of having a deposit of tonnes of gold as idle asset when Americans are borrowing in America at 1-1.5% and investing the same in India ? I have seen how many temples across the country ( take for example temples in Kanyakumari or Chidambaram ) are struggling for fund for the much needed facelift and welfare of the priests.