Tirupati to allow only one visit per year

A news article caught my eye two days ago. It said that the famous Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) plans to restrict the number of Darshans (devine viewing, being in the presence of the deity) to only one per year.

tirupati

At present, 60,000 to 75,000 devotees visit the temple every day. In next three years, this number is likely to grow to 100,000 a day. Even today, the waiting period for the darshan is approximately 12 to 15 hours. And approximately 4000 devotees do the darshan every hour. And in an hour there are just 3600 seconds.

To control the crowd, TTD plans to use modern biometric technology. Every devotee will be finger printed and photographed, a la American consulate, and this biometric identification will be used to restrict the devotee to a single visit per year.

Many people are opposed to this move and they want to be allowed to visit the temple any number of times.

Reading this, a very different set of thoughts arose in my mind. I am a devout Hindu and a believer. We believe that the god is omnipresent. We also believe that god makes his presence felt in many different forms and all the forms are equally divine. Each one of us is representation of the divine.

Given this, I have never understood this obsession to visit a particular place of worship to do the darshan. People go to great extents to visit these places. In Mumbai, thousands of people walk long distances on Monday nights to reach Siddhi Vinayak temple, and them wait for hours in a queue. I respect all these people, their devotion, their feelings, but fail to understand the thinking behind it.

What do you think? Why do you think people go to specific places to offer their prayers?

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4 Responses to Tirupati to allow only one visit per year

  1. BAPTY.S says:

    thats faith, one can say faith is blind. BUT EACH INDIVIDUAL IS DIFFERENT. he or she lives by that faith, so they get peace by doing that. walking to siddhi vinayak is good exercise, during that time ,they concentrate & dont spend time in useless things. its also a way of guiding the YOUNG. AWAY FROM SHEER MATERIALISM. IT COULD SHOW THE PATH TO SPIRITUALISM, RATHER THAN EVERYTHING BEING MEASURED BY ECONOMIC YARDSTICKS ALONE.
    BRINGS INNER PEACE OF MIND.

  2. Rahul says:

    My mother,all mawshi’s & grandparents are die-hard fans of Vithoba(thats what i tease them :-P) & visit Pandharpur & Aalandi twice a year each. I have been few times with them to Pandharpur. My Kaka is Veenekari & he walks to Pandharpur evry year. All these members are over 55yrs of age & grandparents more than 70.
    Still their excitement is equivalent to kid’s excitement who is travelling to some amusement park. I dont know from where they get so much of energy.
    I think the answer lies in their devotion. Their faith. Their trust in god whom they believe above all. If they feel good about it, then i think they shouldn’t be stopped from going there how many ever times they want to go.
    When we are kids our aim is to score good marks, when we grow older we want to have good package, then good family, good house etc etc.
    By old age everythng is earned & visiting holy places like these might give them reason to look forward to life with new ambitions…
    The omnipresence of god is like air, present everywhere. But when we feel hot we look for fan switch😀

    • @Rahul. Vey nicely put. When we need fan, we reach for a fan switch. As I have said in the post, I absolutely and completely respect their devotion. I don’t really understand the need to visit.

      Having said that, I personally want to do a Pandharpur wari one, not to do the Darshan of Vithoba, but to do the Darhsan of his devotees and try to figure out their psyche.

  3. Ranjit Patwardhan says:

    What do you think? Why do you think people go to specific places to offer their prayers?

    1. People believe that certain places have more potent divine presence[ jagrut devasthan]. so they believe that an appeal to the Almighty done at such a place has a greater chance of reaching him than if done at home. It all depends on one’s belief. Also people with such a belief tend to pray more intensely when it is done by them at such a place .In many cases it strengthens their resolve to overcome the difficulties faced by them in their day to day life. for eg a weekly visit to Siddhivinayak at Prabhadevi or maybe a yearly visit to Tirupati acts as a tonic to face and cope up with the extremely fast and stress filled day to day life in today’s “dog eat dog world”

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