A Shrine – A Teacher

By Dr. Sunil Ji Garg on 08-10-2014

I always wonder about the logic of visiting a certain shrine to do some worship at a specific place. If we know that God is everywhere, how come I have to visit a certain place, offer some prayers and in return raise our wish in front of the deity. In search for answer to this simple question, I reached Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Jammu and Kashmir. The answer I got, I would share after I share my experience with you.
After a walk of about ten hours to complete a fourteen kilometer steep hilly stretch our family reached the Mata Vaishno Cave campus also known as “Bhavan”, at 8 PM. This was definitely a very slow walk that was full of rest periods. My family meant me, my wife and my two children who have already crossed their teens. The queue for “prasaad” and for “locker” ate up another one hour. Then came the moment of learning Life’s Lessons. Children refused to stand in the long queue that might take about four to five hours to reach the place of “deity darshan” for which we came all the way, thousand kilometers far away from our place of dwelling. After seeing the queue and the hustle and bustle there, children declared themselves as complete non believers. Not only the queue was long, it was a highly mismanaged crowd standing in multiple mixed-up queues, spreading about a kilometer length. The queue was not moving. We were told that it would move after the “Aarti” only, but even after one hour of Aarti timings, the queue did not move.
After lot of deliberations, my son agreed to stand at the back of the queue and decided that others can join the queue later in his front. After an hour we found that there was no movement in the queue as many others had also decided our way and number of new people entering the queue was balancing the movement. Due to increasing fear of stampede I decided to withdraw my son from the queue. All of us were rather dejected and sat down at a place nearby. On way to this place we saw hundreds of people lying or sleeping on the ground. They all may also be as indecisive as we were. 
The moments that followed between four of us were quite like a chapter on “Conflict Resolution” from management books. We postponed the discussion for some time. After about an hour we decided to talk to local shop-keepers and other experienced pilgrims. All of them advised us to wait for some time and think of joining the queue when its movement is swift. I tried to convince my children to watch the swift movement of the queue themselves, before they decide to return back. At around 1.00 AM, although still quite long, the queue started moving quite fast. We quickly joined the queue and finally the moment of ‘Holy Darshan’ came in about one and half hours later. The return to the base camp was rather easier with our hands full of “Prasaad bags”.
Our whole family as a group, as well as Individuals learned many important lessons. Truly, such experiences are a great teaching moments. Visit to the holy shrine not only gave us the pleasure of being together on a mission, but to me it gave a better insight to understand the question, “Why people visit temples and face deities to raise their wishes”. Yes, you got it right. All this is a social togetherness exercise. Thanks for being together with me till this point.

About The Author

Dr. Sunil Ji Garg

Dr. Sunil Ji Garg, presently Managing Director of Sunmitra Education, Lucknow, is a holistic healer, writer, social activist, scientist and individuality development trainer, who is noted for his commendable contributions in Data-Communication, Software Engineering and Multimedia.