March 1st, 2023 might eternally stand as a reminder of a big lesson for everyone. It was on this day that Sachin Panchal, working as a delivery boy in a company called Swiggy in Delhi, received a message to deliver a non-vegetarian food item to a designated place. Sachin collects the parcel and sets off to deliver it to the customer at the address. The address was the ancient Hanuman Temple situated at the Yamuna Bazar Kashmiri Gate in Delhi. It is daily visited by thousands of devotees. The belief is that Lord Hanuman, himself appeared here centuries ago. Reaching the temple precinct, he came to know that the place to which the parcel was to be handed to the customer was located in the temple complex itself. He considered it fundamentally wrong to deliver a non vegetarian food item in the temple premise. So he called the customer and said, 'Your shop is located within the four walls of the temple. Also, in my view, since you distribute prasad from your shop, it is inappropriate for you to get this meat delivered there. I am sorry. I cannot deliver the parcel to you because of the temple." Abhishek Sharma, the owner of this establishment called Ram Kachoriwala shop, told him that we order such parcels throughout the year and also take delivery here. But sachin, who was well versed with Hindu traditions and faithful to its beliefs and values didn't deliver the parcel.
As per certain reports, when the company came to know about this, Sachin was fired from his job. One can say that Sachin considered the importance of such an ancient place of worship more valuable than his job. There are many companies and many individuals, who believe that religion should not interfere with business or job.
But when one thinks about it, due to the very existence of Hindu religion and consequently its staunch followers, businesses will flourish by default. In order to earn a little profit, If one can't follow the basic rules and manners of religion, then what has one achieved in life? What is the use of an immoral business or a job that is devoid of religion? In today's times, people abandon religion for a meagre profit or for some business deal. But, we are not discussing it out here today.
Instead, let's look at another inspiring example like Sachin who has valued religion more than any financial gain. This is the story of Aryan Kulkarni, a young man from Mumbai. Two years ago, he received an interview call for a job with a global company based in England. It conducted three rounds in a span of few days. In accordance with Aryan's education and abilities, his job was confirmed. The HR department of the company also offered him a package of eighteen thousand pounds per month, which was very good. Within these rounds there were some video calls too. When Aryan was interviewed on video, the personnel from the company observed the Tilak Chandlo on his forehead and asked him, "Is this a scar left by something that hit you in the head?" Aryan said no it is not a scar. This is our religious symbol called Tilak Chandlo. We do this regularly every day after our daily morning pooja. Our BAPS Swaminarayan temple located in Neasdon area of London is internationally famous for its amazing carvings and beauty. The HR person listened carefully and immediately realized that he must be doing this Tilak Chandlo every day. The boy was selected according to his qualifications and ability, but then the HR person slowly talked to him and said that our company is a very big multi national company. The profile which we are offering you includes meeting a lot of clients. Video calls, too will have to be made and if someone sees Tilak Chandlo on your forehead, then it could have an adverse effect on the company. We have a lot of diversity in our company, so when you join the company it is better not to do Tilak Chandlo. The interviewer again offered him a higher salary, Aryan told them very clearly that whether I am employed with the company or not, I will still continue doing Tilak Chandlo. This has nothing to do with my work. It occurred to the HR person that he is trying to bargain for a higher package. So he told him through a third party that we are ready to pay him twenty two thousand pound. And also informed that it is better if he joins the company without applying Tilak Chandlo. Without giving in to any temptation or greed or thinking about his future, Aryan politely replied that I am not trying to bargain for a higher salary or a fat package. This is our religious symbol and I am going to continue doing it. Now he got a very job in Mumbai with better package.
In this Kali Yuga (age of materialism), when people do not spare a second thought to compromise with their principles for every penny and and their mouths start watering at the slightest benefit, youths like Sachin and Aryan are giving the society the right trajectory by keepin religion in the forefront.
In Manusmriti it is said that:
Dharma eva hato hanti,
Dharma rakshati rakshitah.
Karmanah mansa vaachaa
tato Dharma Charennar: ॥
Abandoning religion kills man, while Safeguarding religion Protects man.
So, man should practice religion in thought, word and deed. Whichever religion one follows, one should be faithful to it. Because ultimately, being faithful to, and safeguarding our religious values is what protects us.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Sadhu Amrutvadandas. We thank swamiji for his research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about life and peace being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.