Sunday November 17, 2019

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

0
//
Malaysia
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.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

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.

NewsGram brings to you top news around the world today.

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

 

 

Next Story

Fireworks Might Extinguish the Flame of Laxmi Puja

We can have various kind of festival enjoyments on Festivals but without ever causing problem to others and the environment

0
Fireworks
There is no mention in any corners of the voluminous scriptures of Fireworks blasting during a PUJAS that “upset” the harmony of peace and tranquility of others. Pixabay

BY SALIL GEWALI

If one wants to connect Hindu culture with the senseless bursting of crackers and boisterous fun then he is absolutely wrong. There is no mention in any corners of the voluminous scriptures of Fireworks blasting during a PUJAS that “upset” the harmony of peace and tranquility of others. To disturb others’ tranquility falls under the heading of vices. Preserving the sanctity of the environment, and more importantly, inner purity of mind and heart is the “prime doctrine” of SANATAN DHARMA which is popularly known as Hinduism. This Hindu culture now seemingly run the risk of having been defined by other communities with what is not very pleasant to hear.

Fireworks
It should not be misunderstood ever that Hinduism disapproves of all kinds of fun and frolic. No, it is never so.  We can have various kind of festival enjoyments but without ever causing problem to others and the environment without Using Fireworks.

I’ve overheard many toxic comments against this blatant desecration of auspicious “puja celebrations”. During Holi festival, many people fear to move out of their homes, particularly in certain the plane areas in India. You might be blasted with a bucketful of dirty water by pranksters from the 5th floor of the building. Is this sadism the part of the puja and holi celebration? One is afraid, with each passing year, this festival of color of joy, though having strong spiritual significance, has only painted the very face of Hindu culture with vulgarity and depravity.

Fireworks
If one wants to connect Hindu culture with the senseless bursting of crackers, Fireworks and boisterous fun then he is absolutely wrong.

Matter of fact, peace in one’s life and his efforts to help bring peace in others’ lives is essentially the fundamental basis of Hindu culture and festivals. Practically speaking, there is no devotion to God without “peace”.  Therefore, “Shanti” (peace) is one of the most paramount peace mantras in Sanskrit, not “Ashanti” which, of late, is the hallmark of such Hindu puja celebrations. The profound objective behind this peace mantra, as propounded in Upanishads, inspired even one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century – TS Eliot who underlined it with the purpose of life which he brought out in his epic poem – The Waste Land. That poem finally ends with the same peace mantra — Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Fireworks
TS Eliot who underlined it with the purpose of life which he brought out in his epic poem – The Waste Land.

It should not be misunderstood ever that Hinduism disapproves of all kinds of fun and frolic. No, it is never so.  We can have various kind of festival enjoyments but without ever causing problem to others and the environment. There are sufficient mentions of fun and frolic, merrymaking even in the spiritual activities — like Krishna LilaRam Lila…; and there exist endless nritya shashtras for healthy recreation. But they all are within the “purview of Dharma”. Ancient sages in their meditation conceived and authored a number of treatises in which we find the elaborate approaches and procedures to evolve oneself spiritually through fun-filled dances and music. There are “ragas and layas” (musical modes and rhythm), which are meant to “recharge” the mind for the meditative concentrationThe objective behind being to climb up the ladders of realization of oneness and universal uniformity.

Fireworks
There are sufficient mentions of fun and frolic, merrymaking even in the spiritual activities — like Krishna Lila, Ram Lila…; and there exist endless nritya shashtras for healthy recreation and not Fireworks. But they all are within the “purview of Dharma”.

However, there is absolutely no scope or prescription for deriving pleasure or fun by causing pain and anxieties to others? How come bursting high decibel fireworks at 2 AM or 3 AM or 4 AM is puja? In fact, it is called “adharma” or irreligion leading to self-degeneration.

ALSO READ: How Automation Can Help Scale Continuous Testing in Agile?

Therefore, it is DIYA, as per Vedas, which symbolizes the LIGHT to dispel the darkness of ignorance, the darkness of vices, and bring forth the light of knowledge to awake the “inherent” divinity. Goddess Laxmi is the “flame” of feminine ENERGY in the infinite cosmic creation. So, indulging in earsplitting fireworks and causing continuous problem to HER creatures, and HER environment, is totally against the fundamental principle of the devotion in Hinduism. Very sadly, with the blasting of the fireworks in the name of Goddess Laxmi we have invariably set off the tank of vices alone.

Salil Gewali is a well-Known Writer and Author of ‘Great Minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali