Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Downsides of Tourism, Progress and Development-2 - Holy and unholy truths

Are our temples too benevolent and too sacred to be maintained physically clean?

Why do pilgrims travel far and wide, in an effort to cleanse their souls while caring a hoot for the surroundings they visit? Be it Sabarimala, or Rameswaram, or any other holy abode of the Lord, pilgrims leave too many tell-tale (tell-truth actually) signs of their visit: used food packages, used clothes, used water bottles, and the worst habit of all: human expectorated spittle all over the place.

Rama theertham (most holy, but nearly dead)
There are well over 50 theerthams in the holy town of Rameswaram. 22 of them are located within the main temple and several more are scattered  over a few km distance in multiple directions.

Most of the ones frequented by tourists show plenty of signs of poor maintenance and care, by both authorities and tourists. At the Rama Theertham, no fish survives in the pond, you can see a few live ones struggling in a bucketful of water for the purpose of being fed by the pilgrims.

Lakshmana Theertham (maintained)
So what I mean to say is that there is no dearth of wells and water. Sea water, holy pond water, well water. All offering different tastes, and some possessing curing and purifying properties.

Jada Theertham (clean and clear)
One view of beach at Dhanushkodi

Villondi Theertham, on a pier jutting out to the sea

Rameswaram island has been invaded and taken over by packaged drinking water and immense amounts of plastic. So if you believe in 'Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu' seek solace within yourself!

a vessel merchant's ware is only packaged water

collections of used water bottles

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i appreciate that you have some thoughts to share, and are taking the effort to do so.

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