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The Story of Hundi in Hinduism: Mythology and Beliefs

Donating money in the hundi to one's best allowance is considered as a 'yagna' in itself- that the individual can give up his material financial gains for serving the lords

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Hundi in Venkteswara temple. Image source: www.daiwikhotels.com
  • Hundis are drop boxes where worshippers put money as a token of material sacrifice for Lords and Goddesses
  • The significance of Hundi carries a legend behind it. It was by the end of Dwapara Yuga and the beginning of Kali Yuga when Vyas wrote Hindu scriptures
  • The money doesn’t reach any God, but it helps to sustain the service of God in his own temples

India is a mystical land of many religions and faiths that work on various beliefs, miracles and legends. India as a secular nation believes in harmonious coexistence of people belonging to multiple sects and religions where religion or one’s faith in God is not just a guiding spirit, but a celebration.
Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma, as argued is the world’s oldest religion. With its own share of legends and stories dating back across yugas has the story of Vishnu and Kuber, which depict the significance of ‘Hundi’ that we find in temples. Hundis are drop boxes where worshippers put money as a token of material sacrifice for Lords and Goddesses.

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The significance of Hundi carries a legend behind it. It was by the end of Dwapara Yuga and the beginning of Kali Yuga when Vyas wrote Hindu scriptures. It was in the Kali Yuga when Venkateshwara (the form of Vishnu) took a loan of fourteen lakh Ramamudras from Kubera, the Lord of wealth. He took the loan from Kuber with Lord Shiva and Brahma as the witnesses for his own marriage and agreed to repay him until the end of Kali Yuga. On the seventh day of Vysakha during Kali Yuga, Srinivasa took the credit from Dhaneswara.

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Tirupati Balaji. Source: www.tirumala.org

This is stated in Tirupati’s Sthal Purana that as a result of the loan, a ‘Hundi’ was set up by the temple authorities to supposedly help Lord Vishnu repay the debt to Kuber. Later, many temples across the world, especially in South India, installed hundis for the same reason.

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While the story has attracted the faith of many devotees and temples gather huge amounts of funds through the hundis and other donations, they are used as the temple fund for the maintenance and development of the temple, to pay for the staff’s salary and for the sustenance of the chief priests. The money doesn’t reach any God, but it helps to sustain the service of God in his own temples.

Revenue collections at Tirumala Balaji Source: Telegu Mirchi
Revenue collections at Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam
Source: Telegu Mirchi

Donating money in the hundi to one’s best allowance is considered as a ‘yagna’ in itself- that the individual can give up his material financial gains for serving the lords. Disciples and devotees donate money in large amounts in hundi and the similar ‘trend’ has been followed by other temples as well. It was reported in April this year in 2016, that in the drop box/daan patra of Shirdi’s Sai Baba Mandir were found diamond necklaces worth Rs. 92 lakhs. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) has estimated an income of more than ₹ 1,000 crores for the years 2016-2017. On the other hand, there are also temples like Chilkur Balaji temple in Hyderabad that does not have a hundi, and the temple authorities manage their own expenses.

– by Chetna Karnani, at NewsGram. Twitter: @karnani_chetna

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The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

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The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)