Autobiography of an Old Temple for Students

I am an old temple. I was born to worship. My place in Hinduism is the highest. I don’t know how and when I was born. Now I am 100-year-old. I want to look back into my past history. You may laugh to hear that Im going to write my autobiography. Men write their autobiographies, then why do I not?

One day a saint dreamt of Lord Shiva to emerge in the form of black stone of Shiva Linga in a field near the playground of a village by the side of a river. Next day he came to the spot and found the stone covered by mud. He cleaned it and announced his dream in the public. The villagers gathered there and promised to build a small temple of Lord Shiva. But soon the zamindar of the locality heard the news and bore all the expenses for constructing the temple.

Thus I was formed with Lord Shiva in my heart in the lap of nature. Day by day my name and fame spread around the surroundings. Besides the daily worships, I felt very proud as the followers of Lord Shiva came to me with their devotional offerings and prayed to the Lord on the special occasions of Shiva Chaturdashi, Charak, etc. At the time of Charak, there was a fair around me. I was really glad to see the children coming with their parents to visit me. I felt very proud when the devotees cleansed me and coloured me from time to time. I used to pray to Lord Shiva to retain my beauty and glory for a long time. However I was sometimes shocked to see the treatment of the orthodox Hindus, They did not allow the low caste people to enter the temple, and I witnessed the misery of being untouchable. At that time I couldn’t control myself. I thought of protesting against it. But I am a temple made of rocks and stones. I cannot express my feelings publicly. So I remained a mute observer of the sin. The scene changed when a devastating flood washed away my front part and I was abandoned.

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Time rolled on. I grew old. Now I do not have my youthful glamour any more. I was open to the scorching heat and biting cold of nature for many years. And, in course of time, I bear many cracks on my body of brickwork. It is a pity that now I cannot provide and shelter for the idol of Lord Shiva from rain and sun. And so I have invited some creepers and weeds to grow over me and protect the idol from exposure. One day, the huge bell hanging from the ceiling fell down with a loud thud and broke into pieces. Now I am a shelter of pigeons and bats and rats. Occasionally, someone peeps into my cracked-down structure out of curiosity.

Actually the present and past are a contrast in my life. Once I had been the happy meeting ground of many pilgrims. And now nobody comes to visit me. However, I think my name would find a place in the pages of local history.