The lack of adequate and proper toilet facilities and washrooms in temples

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The lack of adequate and proper toilet facilities and washrooms in temples

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:58 am

Let’s look at this problem critically (I also have two blogs on this, listed below -- A & B).

First of all, given the illogical systemic considerations in the past, nobody should be surprised about the current messy conditions in India in terms of dirty buildings, roads, streets, washrooms etc. Everyone thinks that doing manual and menial work is bad, below dignity and a sign of backwardness. There is even the Govt. help (in the form of quotas etc.) to avoid such work and train for other jobs and occupations (such as in offices etc.). Don't forget the caste based quotas and benefits for “backward” (including “deprived”) people seemed to have been established by those (usually the well-to-do and Convent-educated) whose idea of backwardness etc. included anyone having a surname (hailing from a caste) which reflected ancestral occupations (traditionally farmers, carpenters, shoemakers etc.) requiring hands and other body parts becoming dirty and sweaty. This not only has created the system of caste based benefits / quotas for people from Govt., but also created a culture in which the thinking is that manual and menial jobs are undesirable and need to be shunned, even while using the help from Govt. in the form of quotas etc. to train for other types of work / professions.

Next, people religiously (including gurus, pujaris, devotees and temple administrators etc.) think that the spirituality and holy work involve only the singing of bhajans, making offerings of money and food to the deity, providing help in the temple kitchen in cooking pradsad / food, making religious sermons (by guru, swami or pandit), devotees listening to lectures / sermons by guru / swami, visiting as many temples and holy places as possible, and nothing else (such as maintaining and cleaning washrooms / toilets, even in temples). Naturally, the result of this ill-advised thinking is right there, in the form of mess all over the place and lack of toilets (especially, clean and well-maintained).

(A)  “Aiding the society as a janitor (bhangi)” --- http://www.geocities.ws/lamberdar/dalit.html

(B)  “Improving the sanitation situation in India” --- http://www.geocities.ws/lamberdar/sanitation_india.html

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Re: The lack of adequate and proper toilet facilities and washrooms in temples

Post by Vakavaka Pakapaka on Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:04 pm

Looks like some people don't know the traditional temple customs.

In a temple, you have a priest, a fellow that plays musical instruments to wake the deity up, plays music at different times of the worship, etc., a fellow who does the laundry, a fellow that sweeps the floors, a fellow that does the pankha, a fellow who walks towards the deity before a procession starts,  etc. They all receive compensation (usually, from the endowment lands, the income is split between all these "employees" on an annual basis). When the deity is taken on a procession, unless ALL these people participate, the function CAN NOT proceed.

So, whoever thinks that the priest is the only one benefiting from temples is an ignorant moron. In fact, for example, the priest's compensation is not as good as that of the fellow who plays the musical instruments.

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Re: The lack of adequate and proper toilet facilities and washrooms in temples

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:57 pm

Vakavaka Pakapaka wrote:Looks like some people don't know the traditional temple customs.

In a temple, you have a priest, a fellow that plays musical instruments to wake the deity up, plays music at different times of the worship, etc., a fellow who does the laundry, a fellow that sweeps the floors, a fellow that does the pankha, a fellow who walks towards the deity before a procession starts,  etc. They all receive compensation (usually, from the endowment lands, the income is split between all these "employees" on an annual basis). When the deity is taken on a procession, unless ALL these people participate, the function CAN NOT proceed.

So, whoever thinks that the priest is the only one benefiting from temples is an ignorant moron. In fact, for example, the priest's compensation is not as good as that of the fellow who plays the musical instruments.
Frankly, anyone (including the temple priest) shouldn't be allowed to go near the Deity if he is willing to put up with the dirty and poorly maintained toilets and washrooms in the temple.
There is a Hindu temple in Toronto area in which the toilet cleaning and other menial jobs are done by non-Hindus (Buddhist and Sikh etc.) and not people of Hindu faith whose temple it is. Btw I once heard a girl complaining about lack of toilet paper in the women's washroom, which I replaced immediately. I then asked one of the pandits in the temple to keep track of things needed the washrooms, such as toilet paper and soap etc., his immediate reply "that's not my job." I naturally didn't agree with his response. IMO, it is his job to make sure, even while getting it done by others, that washrooms and other facilities in the temples are well-maintained and well-equipped.

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Re: The lack of adequate and proper toilet facilities and washrooms in temples

Post by Seva Lamberdar on Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:28 am

Something related to the above discussion,  "Mistaking workers as dalits and milking the holey Manusmriti"  ---  http://creative.sulekha.com/mistaking-workers-as-dalits-and-milking-the-holey-manusmriti_492399_blog

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Re: The lack of adequate and proper toilet facilities and washrooms in temples

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