The Wall Street Journal has a story on the Chilkur Balaji Temple in Hyderabad. The temple has been around for over 100 years, but it’s only in the last few years that it has discovered its USP: as the abode of the Visa God.
Technical colleges have sprung up around it; as many as 100,000 visitors a week come to pray to Lord Balaji for visas to travel or move to the United States and other Western countries; and its head priest Gopala Krishna tells students to go around the temple 11 times if they want their visa wishes fulfilled.
“Mohanty Dolagobinda is one of the Visa God’s believers. Three years ago, a US consulting company applied for a visa on his behalf. It was rejected.
“When the company tried again the following year, Dolagobinda’s friends told him to visit the Chilkur Balaji temple ahead of his interview at the US consulate. Weeks later, he sailed through the interview. “I’ve never heard of anyone who’s gone to the temple whose visa got rejected,” says Dolagobinda.”
Of course, it is wrong to question blind faith, or make fun of it, but do we need God’s help to get to God’s Own Country? Is He booking profits by blessing those who could help Him later? Can a temple really have such influence on matters temporal and diplomatic? From where does Balaji’s hold over the State Department stem? Is it only H1B or B1B2, too?
Or is it just silly superstition?
On second thoughts, is there anything to lose by praying? Does Lord Venkateshwara love us so much that he wants us to depart His soil and shores? Soon, will we have immigration officers at the US consulates having a faint smile on their faces when asking: “Who is sponsoring your trip?”
Read the full article: Divine intervention? Indian seek help from Visa God
Link courtesy S.K. Shama Sundara