Tuesday March 20, 2018

Annual Hindu Thaipusam Fest celebrated by thousands in Malaysia

Temples all across Malaysia were filled with huge crowds of Hindu devotees who came together from faraway lands to celebrate the Thaipusam festival

A fete during Hindu Thaipusam fest, Facebook

Batu Caves (Malaysia), Feb 9, 2017: Temples across Malaysia were filled with more than a million Hindus today to celebrate the annual Thaipusam festival. Many even pierced their bodies with hooks and skewers to show devotion to the deity Lord Murugan.

According to PTI, Massive crowds filled with devout Hindus and other enthusiasts descended on the stunning Batu Caves temple complex on the outskirts of capital Kuala Lumpur to be a part of the festival, which commemorates the day when the goddess Parvathi bestowed her son Lord Murugan with a powerful lance to fight evil demons.

With handful of gifts including milk pots and coconuts which are eventually smashed as offerings, worshippers walked barefoot up 272 steps to reach the temple which is an important religious site for Tamil Hindus.

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Many displayed their dedication by carrying heavy ornate metal structures called kavadis, affixed to their bodies with sharp metal spikes that are hammered into the skin. Some devotees looked like they were in a state of trance as they carried the kavadis, which can weigh as much as 100 kilogrammes or even more.

Some of them pierced their faces with tridents or hung multiple hooks and chains from their bodies in an act of penance.

While talking to PTI, A.Yuven, a devotee said, “My brother is carrying a kavadi today to help the family and… also for our other brother who is suffering from a neurological disorder,” as a group of men chanted prayers and percussionists encouraged and cheered.

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Prior to Thaipusam ceremony, devotees are supposed to typically join daily prayer sessions, abstain from sex and stick to a strict vegetarian diet for weeks.

“I have no special demands. I am just here to offer my prayers,” said Aiyya Valmundi, who has been participating in Thaipusam festivities for more than a decade.

Even though most of Malaysia’s roughly 31 million people are Muslim, the country has around two million ethnic Indians. Most of the Indians are descendants of laborers brought from ethnic Tamil areas of southern India by former British colonial masters of Malaysia.

Lord Murugan is particularly worshipped in southern India and among ethnic Tamil communities in South East Asia.  Thaipusam is also celebrated in India and Singapore with great excitement and enthusiasm.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang



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Life Lessons We All Should Learn From Lord Shiva

There are lot's if life lessons that one can learn from this Hindu deity

There are many life lessons that one can learn from the philosophies of Lord Shiva. Wikimedia Commons
There are many life lessons that one can learn from the philosophies of Lord Shiva. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • Lord Shiva is the supreme Hindu Deity
  • He is a symbol of peace and tranquillity
  • There are lot’s if life lessons that one can learn from this Hindu deity

Lord Shiva as everyone knows is a Hindu God. He is one of the Trinity and is the principal deity of Hinduism.  God Shiva is considered the “destroyer of evil and the transformer” of the world. The Birth and history of Lord Shiva are topics of great discussions and confusions.

Lord Shiva is one of the principle deity of hinduism. Wikimedia Commons
Lord Shiva is one of the principle deity of Hinduism. Wikimedia Commons

Lord Shiva is known to have no end and no beginning, yet, the origin of his birth is a much sought-after topic for several generations. Many ‘Puranas’ claims Shiva to be ‘aja’ meaning the one who has no birth. Some other scriptures claim that Lord Shiva was born out of Lod Narayana or Lord Vishnu. However, the authenticity of all the claims remain unclear, and there is still a solid mystery which surrounds the origin and birth of Shiva.

Shiva is also known Mahadev, i.e., the gods of all gods and rightly so. Throughout the Hindu mythology, Shiva has been portrayed as a tranquil and peaceful figure who grants all prayers of his followers and devotees. His another name is ‘Bhole Bhandari’ because of his innocent nature.

Lord Shiva is known for his peace and tranquillity. Pixabay
Lord Shiva is known for his peace and tranquillity. Pixabay

However, other than his peaceful nature, the other thing Lord Shiva is famous for is his flaring temper. Indian mythology is full of stories about Lord Shiva causing mass destruction due to his anger. The opening of his third eye is said to cause mass destruction.

Also Read: Enigmatic Mount Kailash: The abode of Lord Shiva

Lord Shiva’s appearance is a beautiful shade of blue because of him consuming the poison from the sea to save the world. However, just like his body is shades of blue there are many shades to his personality as well. Here are few life lessons of Lord Shiva that we all need to take a note of.

  • Come what may never tolerate the evil. Being destroyer of the evil himself, Shiva teaches us to never tolerate or bow down in front of the evil.
  • Self-control is the key to living a fulfilled life. Excess is of everything is bad and losing control ourselves is worse. One should always have a control over themselves to live a successful and fulfilled life.
  • Materialistic happiness is temporary. To be happy, be adjustable like water. Shiva says that attaching our happiness to earthy, material things won’t give us long-lasting happiness.
  • Keeping calm is very important. Lord Shiva used to meditate for hours and is easily the epitome of calmness and that’s what he advocates too.
  • Desires lead to destruction. Shiva believes that desires lead to obsessions which in turn leads to destruction. Never desire more than what you deserve. Be happy with what you have and work hard for what you want to achieve.
  • Respect your family. Lord Shiva is husband to Goddess Parvati and father to Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. He respected his children and especially wife a lot. Respecting one’s  family is very important for living a successful life.
  • Control your ego and let go of pride. Ego prevents us from achieving greatness. Let go of your pride and control your ego to live a fulfilled life.
  • Everything is temporary. Everything in this world is temporary. Time changes as do we and our choices and desires. It is better to let go of all the ‘moh maya’ and live in the moment happily with what we already have.