Temples came into existence through propagation of religious practices. Though its function was to unify people under a single roof in the presence of God, strict adherence to hierarchies of accessibility was practised. The ruler, usually the person who had initiated its construction, was without doubt given undue precedence and access to the sanctum sanctorum, while others had to await entry. Centuries after kingdoms have been erased, reeling under democracy Indian temples still pursue hierarchy in accessibility to the shrine.

Power of money has pervaded all walks of life, and it is no different in one’s accessibility to temples. Differentiation begins at the entrance where counters are installed to channelize the devotees into queues respective of the price of tickets purchased. The speed of access to the sanctum sanctorum increases with the price paid. Then there is always the VIP Darshan or Special Darshan, to those who have attained heights professionally, have wealth and the contacts to lead them directly into the sanctum sanctorum, with much proximity to the deity which the masses are denied access to. They are usually welcomed with red carpets and spend considerably less time in waiting to see the Lord. Their arrival stalls the thousands of devotees waiting to get a glimpse in caged lines, for hours together devoid of food and water.

So does this mean, the Lord is testing the patience of his/her devotees or that s/he blesses only based on their financial capability or the structures of hierarchies and accessibility enforced by those in administration of the temples indicate their weakness to wealth in the name of power. People, though entrapped in these classifications, still unquestioningly throng in thousands to those temples in fervent belief. Is it due to ignorance or a reluctance to defy hierarchy and assert equality? Under whose creation all beings are equal, are continuously and consciously being classified and declassified in their physical access to the Lord, by the exacting measures which one is expected to renounce to realise the Divine presence.


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