Brandingbranding godWhen I was in Indore,I visited Omkareshwar, on one of the weekends. Before visiting this place I had read about it and got to know that there are two temples of Lord Shiva which are considered important. So as we reached there I tried to locate those two. One was clearly evident from its structure I could see across the river and as per books the first one had to be on the same side of river that we were standing. So I tried to locate it but couldn’t really find second one. There was one temple on the hill top. We went there and it was indeed a Lord Shiva’s temple but from its condition that it was in, I didn’t think it was that important. The absence of even a priest was supporting this thought. That time I couldn’t find any other temple so when I returned I searched more about it and found that the temple which we saw in miserable condition was the important temple. But when 1000s of people were gathered in crowd to see Shiva on the other (main) temple, hardly anyone noticed this even though it fell first on their way to the other one. There were so many priests competing aggressively in the ‘Main’ temple but none thought of being in this temple.
I thought may be the condition it was in was the reason for this. But it was for the branding, I understood only after I came to B school.I happen visited Varanasi two days back.
In Varanasi, which is known for a number of temples, thousands of people come in this season but mostly with the purpose to visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple (main temple). In the premise of the main temple, there are more than hundred statues of Lord Shiva. But there are three statues which are located in the center of three different temples which are especially made for them. These temples separated hardly by 15 meters. I visited the main temple and felt that the condition in which the Lord was, he was disrespected. It was very crowded too and hence everyone was aggressive to have his few seconds in front of the God. The queue to see the Lord was growing continuously. As I came out I saw another temple similar to the first one, I thought maybe it was of another god. We went inside to find out it too was of Shiva. The temple was in a proper condition and the priest even yelled at someone who tried to disturb “Shringar” of the Lord. Yet the crowd here was less.
Just outside this temple there was a third temple and this one was in much better condition and you would actually feel the calmness and peace which you tried to find when you pray to the god. But the crowd was null.
Being a believer in god and knowing few of the thought processes behind the statue that after a proper process of pooja god resides in a statue, I respected all those statues. I questioned myself; why there is a difference in the attention they were getting; may be the main temple had been successful in branding themselves. They got loyal devotees for them. They even associated complete Varanasi to it. For the temples who were having exactly same god and were created later, they were not able to give differentiating factor to the Devotees