And what is God’s work, gentlemen?

After listed companies and the RTI, the pressures of transparency and disclosures are now flying towards temples and religious places. If temples get donations, they need to be accounted for. The money, after all, does not belong to the temple staffers or priests but to the Lord, the argument goes. So, it is Sri Padmanabhaswamy who owns the Rs 90,000 crore of wealth at the temple by that name in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

How this money — arguably the most that any temple has collected, though I feel there could be others whose books, or doors we should say, get opened will turn out wealthier — is to be used will be decided by the deity, not the people.

“All this wealth belongs to the deity since it has been given in the name of the idol,” Karnataka advocate general Ashok Harnahalli said today. “Some people have demanded that this wealth be used for public good. But this is not possible as per the law. If ornaments and other treasure had been given to the temple, it is in the name of the deity which has sole right over it.”

True, but how do we decide how the deity wants it to be used? Perhaps it means the money needs to be used to do God’s work. If we agree to that as a starting point, we will need to get rid of all social do-gooders, moral-keepers of society. We also need to keep all acts of philanthropy out.

All these are driven by the Ego — I use the capital E to distinguish it from the popular use of egotists or egoists — and hence the identity is with the body, its feelings and emotions and its mind. Noble they may be. Needed they could be. But they need not necessarily be God’s works. Morality is a man-made construct. Divinity is the God-ordained destiny of man.

When we talk about doing God’s work, what we probably mean is the ascent of consciousness from the lower vital through the higher mind into a state of the psychic being. Any work that enables an individual to evolve into this higher state of consciousness is God’s work.

God doesn’t need man’s money to do his work. So, the Rs 90,000 crore that has been found at the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple is an exercise in wealth creation or wealth collection. You could even call it the collective expression of millions of devotees, articulated through the dominant but also demonic force of our civilisation — money. In fact, the money so collected in God’s name is really a collection in the name of religion — and religion has very little to do with God. So, the disclosures demanded are valid.

For anyone wanting to do God’s work, all she has to do is to follow her Dharma in the highest possible way, explore the depths of the being in the deepest possible manner. Which means, doing what you have been born to do in the best way possible, with sincerity, devotion, love — and as an offering to God. Then wait for God to do his work on you and expand your consciousness.

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