Chikkamagalur, Nov 25, 2021: Devotion manifests itself differently for different people. While some keep it a very personal choice, others try and express it. Here is a very rare case wherein a destitute woman, who begs outside a temple for her living, donated her hard-saved money to the deity she believes in. On a regular Tuesday, 65-year-old Kempajji walked into Kote Paatala Anjaneya Temple in Kadur, Chikkamagalur district, Karnataka. She is a familiar face to the devotees of Sai Baba in the town as she usually sits outside the Sai Baba temple begging alms. When she entered the Anjaneya Temple, several people tried to send her away, assuming she had gone to beg from people inside the temple. Minutes later, those same people who had been shooing her away, could be seen clicking selfies with her. This is how it unfolded.
Once inside the temple, Kempajji insisted on meeting the head priest or the administrator. When she met the priest, Dattu Vasudev, she pulled out 40 currency notes of Rs 500 each and handed it over to him. A surprised Vasudev asked her why was she giving money to him. She said she had saved the money for a purpose and requested him to get a silver face mask for the deity, Lord Anjaneya (Hanuman), of the temple. Soon after, news spread like wildfire and in no time, people started flocking around Kempajji to click selfies with her. She refused to speak to anyone and left the temple.
Kempajji usually sleeps on the steps of Sai Baba temple or at the town bus stop at night. A local restaurant gives her free meals out of sympathy. “The money she gave is priceless. We will get the silver face mask for the Lord’s idol as desired by her. Since she doesn’t have anybody, the temple will look after her," said Mallikarjun, President, Paatala Anjaneya Temple. “She must have saved this money for years. She herself is in such a needy state, but still saved the money to do her bit out of devotion. This is the pure form of devotion," said Dattu Vasudev, priest of the temple.