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Temples and Places of Worship – They Are Open to Service If Not for Public Puja

temples and worshiping places

India’s finest tradition of practising dharma is not restricted to worship and offering prayers. The institutions have always stood for their service of mankind. It is more than evident in times of crisis like the present scenario, when the nation is coping with the unavoidable lockdown in the fight against Corona. Prominent temples and worshiping places across India are shut to public to avoid public congregation; however, they are open to serving humanity by donating money and feeding the needy. We try to showcase some such efforts here. This is not an exhaustive list and certainly there are thousands of such examples. But here are some that reflects the spirit of service.

Everyone knows about the Akshay Patra initiative of ISKCON that primarily serves school-children nutritious meals. Now in the times of lockdown, it is reaching across many parts of the nation to feed the needy.

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in Delhi is known for serving food to the needy. In times of lockdown their volunteers are fanning out across many parts of the city with their service.

Shri Saibaba Sansthan Trust, Shirdi (Ahmednagar) announced a donation of ₹51 crore to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The Mahalakshmi temple of Maharashtra also donated ₹2 crore.

The Mahavir Mandir trust of Patna donated ₹1 crore to the Bihar CM Relief fund. The Hanuman Mandir Trust of Patna also contributed ₹1 crore to the fight against Corona.

The Ujjain Mahakal temple made arrangements to feed the needy besides making contribution to the relief funds.

In Gujarat, the renowned temples of Somnath and Ambaji both donated 1 crore each to the Gujarat CM Relief Fund.

Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha, BAPS is known for grand temples. Its service in the times of lockdown is also grand.

Mumbai’s famous Siddhi Vinayak temple is shut for public like all other religious places in the fight against Corona. But its service spirit never shuts. The temple trust is helping the frontline fighters of this disease.

This report from India Today also notes that the trust has kept its medical centre open for the service of people. It quoted the temple trust saying, “medical health centre of the temple would remain open. Those who need money for medical treatment can approach and get relief from the health centre”

The ashrams across India have this tradition of providing meal at their place. In this time of lockdown, it is helping even more. An example from Tamil Nadu.

In another example from Tamil Nadu’s temple town of Srirangam, Mannargudi Jeeyar Swami has been working to feed families around his matha. His followers have also been trying to raise money for the same.

A handful of people on social media have been seen to simply indulge in spreading negativity, claiming that religious and spiritual exercises are meaningless in times of crisis. On the contrary, the above examples show how the religious institutions are playing their role in mitigating the difficult time. Hopefully, they will revise their stand after seeing these initiatives.