Devotion or bhakti is a sacred feeling at all times. Whether it is towards God, music, lover, nature or anything, being devotional can make you happy and relieved at least for some moments. Earlier in India, temples were the main centers of civilizations. Culture, traditions, trade and life revolved around these worship centers. Even now Bhakti is a profitable business.
I have always wondered about the growth of tiny devotional centers into mighty organizations. Once the institution grows, it also has the power to develop its location into a major spot of worship as well as tourism. Just like antivirus companies generating toxic viruses, bhakti organizations spread words of superstitions in order to drag devotees towards them and pay huge amount for getting moksha.
When I visited a temple last weekend, I could observe many tiny businesses around it. Small temples, shops selling religious stationeries (books, pictures of gods, pooja items, etc), handicrafts and fancy ornaments, cool bars, textiles, restaurants, meditation centers, hotels and so on. These business ventures are not only confined to this temple.
Every temple, church, mosque, ashrams and centers of human god will have such little associated trade centers. The only difference will be in number and as the fame of a spiritual center increases, the count of related businesses also go up.
In spite of all the criticism against the business of the bhakti centers, I’d appreciate the fact that they give employment to millions of people. From minister to sweepers, there are a lot of jobs associated with devotion. Every coin has two sides and it is up to the people to decide which side to choose.