Worshipping At The Cost Of Malnutrition Eradication

Posted by Preeti Singh
February 25, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

So it was the Big Day “Mahashivratri” yesterday. One of the religiously celebrated and most worshipped festival of our country. Everyone was forwarding wishes on social media. But no one read about million litres of milk that was wasted in the country. Not to forget we live in a country where India accounts for the highest number of deaths of children under-five years of age with 50% of such deaths caused mainly due to malnutrition. One child die every minute due to severe acute malnutrition as per 2016 reports.
Apart fron what I read and researched, what else made me write something about it.

Well, it all started when me and my brother, as per the tradition went to worship shiv ji at our nearby temple just after getting up early in morning, bathing and getting dressed up in new clothes.

The first glimpse of the temple was the crowd that was gathered in and around that small temple. I could hardly see the idol I came so far to worship. But that’s ok. In our culture we call it “Darshan tabhi milenge jab bulawa aayega”.

So we thought one of us could stand in that so called “line of worship”and other one could buy all those chadhawa needed to make bhole baba happy which included all those ber, dhatura, bael leaves, paan leaves and all other stuffs. And most importantly MILK to bathe bhole baba.

We almost stood there in “line of worship” for about an hour. As we were getting closer for our turn, we wittnesed people were giving bhole baba a tender bath of uncountable litres of milk. This was not something unusual, we knew this would happen.

The Shiv Ling is bathed with milk and in spite of a separate sect of people who feel this is a waste of milk, the millions of devotees worshipping the Lord continue to worship him with this scared liquid. Surprisingly, whole of that milk was floating on road and drains, also on one hand people were pouring milk on Shiva Lingam and chanting prayers/mantras and on other hand everyone was stepping on the same milk that just touched the holy Shiva Lingam, in ritualistic words just purified the Shiva Lingam.

Ironically, when the same people who so patiently and religiously worshipped the idol came out of the temple, they were resistant to even offer a sweet to the beggars outside even though they were holding the same idols.

When my turn came to worship, I was absolutely numb to see the milk floating all over, those sweets banana ber getting rotten and were almost not edible anymore, but maybe yes those beggars outside will still eat them. If I speak honestly yes, if not for a longer duration than just for a minute I found myself standing exactly in the situation of the movie Oh My God to some extent.
So we decided we are just putting water and few ml of milk on Shiva lingam along with those leaves. Finally we came out handed over those milk we bought to a lady holding three kids, those fruits to another physically abled old man.

After coming home I thought about it for a while, that did I just break any ritual? My heart said No.
The smile and sense of relief that the lady had when she said thanks because now she could feed those babies, the blessings we heard from that old man were just so pleasing and satisfying. I personally feel that the lesson I learnt from those movies was applied by me yesterday and yes it gave me immense amount of inner happiness.

I no where say that we should stop all of this in totality. There are measures that can be taken so as to make it a win-win situation. For instance, we can make a new arrangement where the devotees who bring milk can hand them over to volunteers of the temple committee like a donation. This milk is then distributed among the devotees in which they can give certain amount of milk mixed with water to each devotee for pouring or why not just touch the packet or pour few drops of that milk you bought on the deity and give rest for donation or to some child outside. Note this will not show u less devoted towards God..!!

  • I’m neither trying to go away from the rituals nor am I being offensive to anyone who followed these rituals. All I’m trying to portray is firstly, when we see what’s happening in front of our eyes our planned actions can change and if its changing for the good there’s nothing wrong in it. Secondly, when we come out of the movie hall after watching those inspirational movies, it’s upon us to catch moments to apply it. And lastly, it’s better to feed an open mouth that’s asking for food for survival rather than forcefully trying to feed someone of which we are not even sure will eat/drink or not.

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