I remember reading this short note about how Shirdi- the pilgrim destination for Sai Baba devotess- quickly evolved from a small-hamlet-nowhere-in-the-map to a prominent-travel-destination-within-Maharastra…. all within the author’s lifespan.
The thought was re-inforced by a friend who visited Shirdi and got into a conversation with a cabbie there. The cabbie believed that this family was saved from abject poverty by Baba’s grace- he had decided to come back to Shirdi when nothing else was working and leave everything in Baba’s hands. He bought land there and within 8-10 months its price was up some 5-6 times- he sold a bit of that and bought himself a cab- and you can well predict the rest.
I was watching Evan Almighty yday -guess a sequel to Bruce Almighty- and one dialogue stayed with me. The “GOD” says- when you pray to be brave, god doesn’t make you brave- he just gives you an opportunity to be brave !If we juxtapose the above with the cabbie’s experience, I guess we will start seeing things in a clearer light. Pilgrim destinations not only generate a lot of positive energy, they create a lot of opportunities for people- complete economies start evolving around them.
India is home to many places that rank high on spiritual index. Over time, most of these places start having
– better connectivity (buses, roads, private carriers)
– more places to eat
– places to stay and rest
– Charitable trust/society- that might in due course invest in schools/colleges/hospitals etc
It thus not only creates a lot of employment, but re-inforces the circle of belief- so many people get so many opportunities ….