Monday, November 23, 2015

Temple Entrepreneurs

Temple Entrepreneurs

Do you know, Hanuman had a Son?

Brahmchari, who was celibate from the birth and had a son? 

There is a story in Valmiki Ramayana. Ram and Lakshman were taken away to Patal Lok by Ahiravan and Mahiravan, the step brothers of Ravan, during the war between Ram and Ravana. When Hanuman went to rescue them in Patal lok, he was challenged by his son, Makaradhwaj, a creature part reptile and part monkey. Hamuman was amazed with the warrior, had duel, defeated him, killed Ahiravan-Mahiravan with a trick, rescued Ram-Lakshman and established Makardhwaja as the King of Patal Lok. 

The story of Makardhwaj's birth is interesting. After burning the Lanka with his fire burning tail, when Hanuman took a dip in the waters of sea, a drop of his sweat fell into mouth of a crocodile. Out of this the Makardhwaja was born.

There is a temple of Hanuman and Makardhwaj at Hanuman Dandi, 5 kms east from Bet Dwarika, the residence of Bhagwan Shri Krishna. This is the place where Hanuman met his son Makardhwaj, first time. The idols of Hanuman and Makardhwaj (father and son) are in human form, father is on the right side of the son. Both are in joyous mood without holding any weapon. The idol of Makardhwaj is taller than Hanuman. The idol of Hanuman is going down in Patal lok by a sesame seed size every year and it will submerge when the Kaliyug ends.  

People come here and take mannat. The temple is famous for a mannat of getting a child. The couple take betel nut from the temple to worship it at home as Hanuman and return it with offering after fulfilling of their mannat.

Brahmanandji is the present Mahant of the trust managing the Hanuman Dandi temple and it's property. 

The story of Brahmanandji is very interesting. He is a Punjabi, born in Pakistan. His father was a trader in Burma. He had to leave Burma in 1942 due to WW-II. While returning, he had passed through hardships and died on the third day after reaching home in Pakistan. Due to local disturbances during partition time, the widow moved with her children to a relative's place in Jharkhand. She stitched cloths of people and took care of her children and provided them with education. 

Her son Brahmanand had serve in a company for many years, started with a salary of Rs.50, he voluntarily retired when he was earning Rs. 15000/month. He got married and has two daughters. After the death of his wife, he tried to stay with the daughters but as per Indian tradition, a father won't feel good staying at daughter's place. He started pilgrimages and one day left home forever taking his last savings of Rs. 50,000 in pocket. After staying in Shiradi for few months, he moved to this place, 25 years ago. 

He is a well read man of hindu dharmashastras. He understood the value of spiritual energy manifested in the  Ram naam mantra (Tarak Mantra) that regulates the nerves and kill animal passions. He believes that Ram Naam jap in Hanuman Dandi due to its location multiplies the benefits 1000 times. He decided to settle at Hanuman Dandi with the Mahant.

The property of the Hanuman Dandi is owned by the Bet Dwarika trust, but it has been given to the trust on 99 years lease at the rent of Rs. 25/month. When he came to this place before 25 years ago, it was not in a good condition. He has developed this place with ashram, dharmashala, and is able to feed 800 pilgrims everyday and serve food to 15000 people on festival day. The campus has accommodations, kitchen, under ground water storage tanks, public toilets, etc. He has developed the facilities with the donations and offerings coming from the people. The activities of constructions, serving pilgrims, etc are generating employment opportunities and income source to the local people. The visitors are getting facilities. He files IT returns every year.

Brahmanandji is a real entrepreneur, converted the temple into a employment and GDP generating unit. If we look at the temples and other religious organizations as units of economic activities on which many families survive, our approach to the religious organizations will change. It is better than some of the activities of modern world, those are harmful to the mental and physical health of humans.

Not only industries, trades and commerce; but temples are also the places of entrepreneurship development.

23 November 2015


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