Ahh yes, what’s up Uchiha’s, I’ve chosen a rather ominous topic, one that I hope doesn’t get much attention, but also one that I have to get of my chest. I want to add a disclaimer that the views expressed in this blog are my personal views and experiences, and also I will strictly be focusing on Hinduism, not any other religion to avoid any potential bias, prejudice and simply because I am Hindu.
As you might have already guessed, I’m a Hindu currently residing in Durban, South Africa. In the past when I was much younger, about 12 to 14 years ago, I remember going to the temple. It was and still is such a great temple with such a consistent welcoming and auspicious atmosphere. But things have most definitely changed, and not just in my temple but in other Mandhirs as well.
What do I mean by changed ? I mean when I was younger, there were Hindu’s of all age groups at the temple. Toddlers, children, teens, adults and senior citizens would all be at the temple, for regular Satsang (discourses/service) as well as the bigger celebrations and observances. And yet now it feels like they’re just Hindus who are fifty plus currently residing and attending temples, ashrams or mandhirs. And it’s really sad, no not sad, but heartbreaking to say the least. These old people are basically the last line of defense, after they are gone or unable to attend, who will take charge ? Who will hold the temples together ? Who will help establish and spread Dharma ?
“These old people are basically the last line of defense”, you may think I’m exaggerating or being overly dramatic when I make this statement but it’s true. I mean before the big so called observances and festivals, a lot of work is required to help prepare the Mandhir/temple, to set decorations, to prepare the prasadaam, to prepare for the actual prayer, to clean up in and outside. There’s also a ton of other things to organize and take care of during the actual Satsung/service such as controlling to sound and audio, arranging the seating, welcoming people etc.
When all of this preparation and work and effort is required and carried out, do you know who does it ? It’s the old people, the people who suffer with arthritis who climb ladders to set up the roof decor, the people who suffer with diabetes who cooks the tasty briyani and beans curry, the people who suffer from back problems who carry and set up the heavy speakers and amps. Isn’t it ironic, I mean it’s satirical so to speak. Some of you may be thinking, “Why go through all that effort?” , but it’s because you very people who will go to the temple once every blue moon and complain about the silliest thing even if everything is set up properly.
Maybe we should start calling Temples Ghost Towns ?
Another observation that I’ve made is the number of tabla players and harmonium players that are present in the temples. Being a Tabla player or a harmonium player means you’ll be in the temple a lot because you’ll be singing bhajans or playing for bhajans. Ten years ago, every temple or Mandhir had about a surplus of 3 or more tabla and harmonium players each. And these musicians were guided by the more older and experienced folk. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about a group of musicians full of youth that just resonates dynamism and positive energy that captivates devotees in the temple including myself.
But something happened,… Suddenly the number of youth decreased, there were no more young musicians ?! A lot of temple satsang groups either simply faded away or had to gather as many older devotees and try to find a decent Satsang group. Again this is heartbreaking especially for being a musician who frequently plays at Mandhirs, it’s simply heartbreaking. And the energy and vibrations that young Satsang groups created had now disappeared.
Devotees that have attended the temples have decreased drastically as well. It seems like all the young people aged between 8 and 30 have disappeared !!! It’s just the old devotees. It’s the old devotees who attend Satsang or classes, the older devotees who attend spiritual classes, not the youth, the ones who need it most. Just a few years ago, we had something called the Hindu Youth Development Program, which encompassed many Youth. This exciting and informative event was a camp over 3 days where Hindu Youth would learn various scriptural teachings, have regular Satsang and have fun with people like minded as well being their age ranges.
It’s so amusing and I mean this in the sourest way possible, whenever I share invitations to spiritual classes or scriptural classes aimed specifically for the youth, they can never make it. They’ll just hit that like button on social media and that’s it, nothing else. They don’t have time for that. But I’ll tell you what they have time for. They can “vibe” at the clubs, get drunk, wasted, overdose on substances, have illicit and a lot of sex, drag races etc. And they’ll cry about it the next morning, they’ll squeal like pitiful fools that their indiscretions of the previous night did not dispel the inner sorrow that plagues them.
And yet now there is nothing. There is nothing that annoys me more than to hear a young Hindu say,
“I don’t attend the temple often, only once or twice for religious occasions, but it’s fine because I believe in God and I do my best to be good to people”.
Listen up Hindu Youth, it doesn’t work like that. Most of the Hindu Youth don’t even know what the teachings of Hinduism are. I’ll give you a rough picture of what Hindu Youth see Hinduism as, they believe Hinduism is adorning an orange cloth and giving up everything and meditating atop a mountain. That’s the mental image that they have, which is one of the most false perverted untrue ridiculous notions ever.
Hinduism is about learning how, why and when to serve the Lord, to serve the people, to do your duty be it in society or in a household or a relationship, how to love and treat everyone, how to find inner joy and peace, to confront and deal with you inner anger, greed, anxiety, sadness, lust etc. The Lord Himself/Herself has taken so many forms to show us in so many ways the right way to live, and yet we the Youth of Hinduism, we just walk over it with our filthiness. Our scriptures are brimming with so much of beauty, with so much or wisdom, be it the Ramayan or Bhagvada Gita or the Bhagavatam or the Vedas or the Shiva Purana.
You know how in music, you get fake fans, they don’t really follow an artist or genre of music, they simply do it for whatever reason. I feel like there are devotees like that in Hinduism. They do things, these weird prayers and rituals that they “heard about from their neighbour or that uncle or aunty”. Sacrifice is the biggest nonsensical practice of these fake Hindu Youth. These same very youth who can’t even hold a proper fast for a week, who can’t conduct a simple pooja or yagna for just a day, the same Hindu youth who do not attend regular Satsang…
I could go on about this, about converting from Hinduism to other religions, but I’m not here to cause wars on religion, I guess I just wanted to share just a drop of my raw feelings. I don’t think I did a good job, I think my usual persona was replaced by a tempest like persona. This was just the tip of the ice berg, I guess. Enjoy your night.
Until next time young Uchihas 🙂
Jai Sri Ram
Jai Sri Krishna