In the Puranas, there is an awe inspiring history of a dacoit (thief) who, due to his karma, was going through a difficult period in life. One evening, he shared the camp of a group of pilgrims who invited him to share their meal as well. While honoring their prasadam together, the pilgrims who were devotees were describing the wonderful opulence of the beautiful temple of Lord BALAJI which they had recently visited. On hearing the same, the dacoit prayed in his mind as follows, “O Lord, You are the cause of all causes and the maintainer of every living being, by Your transcendental sanction (anumanta), my destiny is that of being a thief, and it has been many months since I have been able to steal anything worthwhile in order to maintain my livelihood. My situation has now become so desperate that I shall now steal from You at this opulent temple that these pilgrims have described to me”.
And so, the dacoit went to the holy place where the temple of Lord Krishna was situated and upon entering the temple through the seven gates, he saw that the opulence was much more than he had expected. SHREE BALAJI were decorated with fabulous gold ornaments incrusted with huge diamonds, rubies and emeralds, even Lord Krishna’s aratiplates and bowls were made of solid gold. Following the example of the pilgrims, he offered his prostrated obeisance and mentally prayed to the Lord for forgiveness for coming to steal from Him. But that he had no choice seeing his situation was so desperate.
After carefully studying the rounds of the guards and the temple timings, he made his plan and, choosing a stormy night during the new moon, he climbed over the temple walls and entered into the temple. Due to the stormy weather, he noticed his feet were covered in mud. On the marble floor slabs of the temple entrance, there was one corner of a floor slab that was missing, so he scraped the mud off his feet against the hole, thus filling up that missing corner of the slab. Then he broke in. Once in front of the Deity, he offered his obeisance, took the Deity’s dhoti off, spread it on the floor, put all the valuables and gold articles on it, thus making a bundle. Then he again offered his obeisance, praying to the Lord for forgiveness for having stolen from Him, and made his escape. While climbing over the last wall, due to the rain he slipped from the rope and fell down. The bundle of paraphernalia made a loud clattering sound which alerted the soldiers guarding the entrance gate. Upon discovering that the thief had dared to steal from their Lord, they furious and beat the dacoit to death. The Yamadutas (the servants of the demigod of death and hell, Yamaraja), came to take him to hell, but were prevented from doing so by effulgent Vishnudutas (four handed servants of Lord Vishnu) who suddenly appeared before them. The Yamadutas inquired, “How come you want to save this sinful soul from punishment in hell? All his life he has been committing all kinds of crimes and sinful activities, and now he has had the audacity to steal from the Supreme Lord Himself.”
The Vishnudutas replied, “By his prostrated obeisance, when first entering the temple, all his past sinful activities were forgiven. By having filled up that missing corner of the temple room floor slab, even though only with mud, he has acquired a house in Vaikuntha (the anxiety-free Kingdom of God). After stealing from Lord Krishna’s Deity, he prayed for forgiveness while offering his humble obeisance. Thus the all merciful Lord has pardoned him and sent us to bring him to His spiritual world.”
From this story, we can guage how beneficial it is to participate in even the smallest way in the construction of a temple where the Supreme One is worshipped with love and devotion.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam we find the following verses: “By installing the Deity of the Lord, one becomes king of the entire earth; by building a temple for the Lord, one becomes ruler of the three worlds; by worshiping and serving the Deity, one goes to the planet of Lord Brahma, and by performing all three activities one achieves a transcendental form like My own. But one who simply engages in devotional service with no consideration of fruitive results attains Me. Thus whoever worships Me according to the process I have described will ultimately attain pure devotional service unto Me.”
And, “One who offers the Deity gifts of the land, markets, cities and villages so that the regular worship and special festivals of the Deity may go on continuously will achieve opulence equal to My own”
In the Narsimha Purana we find: “O devoted one, one who builds a beautiful temple for Lord Narsimhadeva will be freed from all sinful reactions and he will enter the Vaikuntha planets.”
In the Skanda Purana a verse says: “Just by starting the construction of a temple for Lord Krishna, sins committed in seven births will be wiped out and one will deliver his forefathers who are suffering in the hellish planets.”
In the Vamana Purana we find the following verses: “Whoever constructs or helps to construct a Vishnu temple will protect eight generations of fathers, grandfathers, and forefathers from falling into hell.” And, “By building a temple for Sri Madhava, one can attain the eternal spiritual world (Vaikuntha). One who offers a garden laden with fruits and flowers for the service of the Deity will attain heavenly pleasures.”
In the Vishnu Dharmottara, “A person who builds a temple of Sri Vishnu will get the same results as performing the Rajasuya Yajna and Ashwameda Yajna. O best of the Brahmanas, as many atoms as there are in the temple, for so many thousands of years will he be able to reside in the heavenly planets.”
As you can see from the above quoted Puranic histories and verses, all of those who have helped with financial and material contributions, or physically given a hand, and are still helping, how much spiritual benefit they will derive! All those who have not yet had the opportunity of helping in the construction of SHREE BALAJI temple need not despair. There are many aspects of the temple that are as yet unfinished, due to insufficient funds and time. SHREE BALAJI temple has mainly been built from numerous small donations from the poorer sections of our society. However, it is unfair that everyone in INDIA, rich and poor alike, do not get the opportunity of benefiting from engaging in devotional service to the Supreme Lord.
Our humble entreaty to all INDIAN compatriots is “Please make your lives perfect by rendering loving devotional service to the Supreme Lord Vishnu.” In the Bhagavad-gita (2.44), Lord Krishna says, “In the minds of those who are too attached to sense enjoyment and material opulence, and who are bewildered by such things, the resolute determination for devotional service to the Supreme Lord does not take place”. If one contributes towards temple construction, devotional service becomes increasingly a more tangible and feasible reality in one’s life. The intent to build temples around the world is especially to provide an opportunity for fallen souls everywhere to acquire spiritual benefit by participation and charity. This is known as ‘Ajnata Sukriti’, which means pious credit acquired unknowingly.
Please take advantage of this rare occasion by coming forward and helping us in our service to construct SHREE BALAJI temple. By doing so, you will realize that your lives have become happier and prosperous and that the Lord of all our hearts (Paramatma - Supersoul) will fulfill all desires!