Q: Now-a-days temples have become a target of robbery. Money, jewelry and costly clothing are reported to be stolen from the temples and God is inactive. I mean, God is not able to stop it. Do you think that in this Kali Yuga, the power or the influence of God has diminished?
A: I would say that the power of God has not diminished but your understanding has certainly taken a beating (laughter). Just as wealthy people have security guards at their gates, do you assume that God is also a temple security guard, one who protects the wealth?
Have they (God) ever demanded any material wealth for themselves? Have they ever told you that we need a house so build a temple for us or that we do not have nice clothes so adorn us with fine clothing and jewelry? You have done all that according to your wishes so why would God protect and take care of such opulence? Are they servants of the temple?
People have interest in the temple, its jewelry, costly clothing and money, so it’s their duty to protect it. Why leave that to God? Moreover, why blame God if anything goes wrong?
For realized saints everything holds the same value – a stone, a piece of gold or a handful of soil. It does not matter to them whether people offer anything or nothing at all. Even if someone take away their offerings, they remain nonchalant. If saints behave that way then why would one - who is above all, the supreme deity or God would feel attraction towards any object? It’s the ordinary people that fight for money, fame and position not God. If you offer God all the articles or you offer nothing - that does not affect Him in any way.
So my answer is, God’s supremacy or influence has not lessened but peoples comprehension about God has reduced at large.
Q: Are you in favor of building temples? Are you going to build any?
A: I am not against the building of temples nor I am in favor of them. However, I wish that temples would become centers of service. I am in favor of temples where social services are performed, where activities aimed at benefiting the masses are taking place. Yes, most definitely I am in favor of such temples.
In response to your second question I would say that in my own way I am already building temples. I am talking about moving temples (human body) where the supreme deity the ‘atman’ resides. I love to build such temples which inspire the masses, which exhibit to mankind the righteous path of progress. I strive to rejuvenate such dilapidated human temples by invigorating their faith and devotion. I show them the way to worship the supreme deity ‘atman’ that resides inside their own temple ‘panchmahabuta’ - the physical body. I feel satisfaction in my efforts. I have always endeavored for reconstructing such temples and I will continue to do this in the future.