Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Lately we have been hearing on radio and reading on news about one individual who have been actively professing his brand of Hinduism. I've heard his 'speech' where he collectively labeled all Hindus as Saivites, all pujas must be only conducted in Tamil. In response to this, my good friend Mr. Kannan Loganathan penned down this piece.


By Hinduism I am referring to what the scriptures (and some people) call Sanathana Dharma. Shan  Matham  refers to the worship of   the 6 main deities in Hinduism :

Shaiva (Lord Shiva) , Vaishnava (Lord Vishnu), Shakta ( Shakti) Kaumara (Lord Muruga),  Ganapthyam ( Lord Ganesha) and finally Soura (Sun). Emmathamum sammatham sonatthu  ithey thaan.


I am a Tamil ( I can read and  write Tamil of course) , I  sing the Thevaram and I hold in high esteem the great poet seer Thiruvalluvar. But does being a Tamil impose  an obligation that one must know Thevaram and should only worship in Tamil ?  Does Thevaram give sufficient information on what Hindus should know ? How did the Universe came into being ?  Who was the first man and woman in Hinduism  ?  What are  our Holy  books?  Is there a doomsday for Hindus?  What are the do’s and don’ts  of  Hindus. ?  At least 85 %  Hindus do not know  the answer to the above.   But you can’t blame them because they have not been taught all these ; and the ones who have learnt are not too keen to share.  Athai vida kevalam  ennavenna intha shanmatha followergal sandai. En saami thaan perusu  , un saami sariyalla .  

There are now quite a number of people  running around proclaiming that Thevaram is a must and only means to worship if you are a Tamil native. Thevaram  (Devotional hyms ) is a sacred product of intense devotion  (Bhakti ). But preaching about Bhakti without teaching the basics of religion is akin to climbing a tree to catch a fish.  It smacks of extreme foolishness and ignorance to speak of  God being North Indian and South Indian . It is equally mischievous to label the Vedas and other Scriptures as being in North Indian  or Aryan  lingo. While it is always convenient to pray in a language that we understand  it does not mean  you can’t worship God using any other languages . More importantly it DOES NOT mean that a Tamil native MUST worship in Tamil. God transcends all languages. Is He  not the Creator ?  If language is so important how would a mute  pray ?

In this country Hinduism classes (samaya vaghupu) is synonymous with Shaivism . We hear only of Thevaram and Thrikural competition. That is wrong.  What is needed  is a comprehensive guide on the fundamentals of Hinduism and it cannot ignore the exposure of  the Vedas ,  Upanishads ,  Puranas and and Itihasas.

Children must be taught the existence and importance of all these before they move on to the Shan matha worship. Lord Shiva is an embodiment of love (Anbe Sivam) . He did not instruct us  to alienate other deities or devotees. It is due to the lack of proper study and understanding of the religion the Hindus in this country have become “cultish”. The situation is so severe that I think it is high  time the Malaysian Hindu Sangam takes a couple shots of Viagra.

The Tamil Shaivites here should embrace others in their family of ShanMatha with love not suspicion. Fanatical attachment to  language is a hindrance to spiritual development. Shower the love of Lord Shiva on all ; regardless of who they are , as true Shaivites will always live by the prayers  Inbamey Soolgha ELLORUM Valgha.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Hindu 'temples' demolished? But why?

Note: This posting is not supporting demolishing exercise of any Hindu places of worships. I'm not siding the party that builds or party that demolishes, nor I'm aligned to any party in case you're wondering. However, I'm writing with questions running in mind, hoping to find sensible answers, if any. Views expressed here are personal, accept and reject at your own will. Thanks.

Before we get into the 'matter', let's analyse some basic terms used for places of worship in Hinduism. 

A Mandir, Kovil , Devalayam, Deul or a Hindu temple is a place of worship for followers of Hinduism. A characteristic of most temples is the presence of murtis (statues) of the Hindu deity to whom the temple is dedicated. They are usually dedicated to one primary deity, the presiding deity, and other deities associated with the main deity. (click to read further)

Hinduism is notable for its emphasis on home worship. Most Hindus have a shrine at home, which is also called altar. (click to read further)

Now matter-ku varuvom. "Sepang-il Hindu kovil idikkapatathu, ellorum atthiramaga tirandu varungel!!". You would have already heard about this and seen how simple matter can be blown out of proportion and made into a political issue between parties involved.

I know the matter is still simmering and many are harping on the issue to get some media mileage. While this was going on, yesterday I saw another 'news' of 100 years old temple to be demolished. Quick search revealed this 'ancient temple'.

My curiosity made me to write this piece with few questions on the above.
  1. Was there any permission/approval sought from the neighbors, authorities like local council / fire department? If yes, where's proof of application?
  2. Why build illegal structure outside the home and term it temple? If its a temple, who is the moolavar and are pujas done according to proper Hindu customs & rites?
  3. When even a small renovation to kitchen or balcony at private property must be properly planned and approval sought from local authorities, why went ahead and build the structure first?
  4. What if his neighbors builds a bigger structure on both sides of his house and start to do things that may disturb his life at home? Will he complain to the authorities?
  5. Why the need for a 'temple' in every home? A shrine or altar can do the same, inside the house.
  6. If we Hindus regard temple as sacred, why must everyone to simply erect any structure and call it a temple without respect to the design, construction and rules of a proper temple?
  7. In the event of a fire in the house, if the structure hampers firefighters from helping him, who will he blame then?

More questions:
  1. More than 100 years old temple is not even registered, why?
  2. Were there any application for land made during all those years? Proof?
  3. The ancient temple's 'committee' can only build a wooden & zinc structure over 100 years period? Seriously?
  4. Why only now political party's are jumping on the issue, when over the years there were hundreds of shrines may have been cleared in many states? Where were they at that time?

Who's at fault? Who to blame? Who is the victim? Who is the opportunist? There are many other questions running in my mind on this issue. 

While reading more articles, I found this news which earned the guy massive brickbats, but his points makes sense to me : "Failure of the Malaysia Hindu Sanggam (MHS) to explain how and where the temples and shrines can be constructed was the reason why Hindus in the country are building such places of worship according to their whims and fancies." 

He said MHS, as an influential religious body, should not encourage construction of shrines or temples at houses. "Running religious classes alone is not enough. MHS must initiate a large-scale awareness campaign to tell Hindus about their own religion. It would be better if MHS comes out with a declaration stopping people from building places of worship in their house compound,” said Thiruvengadam.

A temple for me is a sacred place, it should not be build without proper care, in a private premise. Thanks for reading.

Nam Hindu mathatai naameh sirumai padutha vendam. Valipaadu talanggalai katti athai vazhinadattha sila poorvigha vazhimuraigal undu. Vittuku munpuram seruppu veikum idathilum, naai padukum idathillum, kusiniku pinnal kuppai kottum idathilum 'kovilgal' yena kuri kudaram katta tevei illei. Nam panpaadu, kalachaaram matrum aanmiga valarchiyai olukkathudan todarvom.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Child abuser extraordinaire - he needs 'treatment'

I'm writing this piece with simmering anger. If only I can get hold of the culprit, and step on his genitals ...

Probably you may have already seen the sickening video of an adult bastard abusing a small kid, which went viral on the social media.

The 'brave' potteh hero have been caught and remanded. While in custody, I wish he meets some burly character who will abuse him in any possible ways. He is now facing potential jail term and fine, I hope he gets both.

While there are couples who yearns of having kids of their on for many years, here we see a kid who's born to a couple where the father left while his mother is carrying him, and she eventually became the '2nd wife' (I don't know how the F its possible) to this hero. In the video he goes on to abuse the kid physically while being filmed by hie 1st wife, is she even human?

The video is 2 months old, in that time the kid could have been killed and buried by this bastard anywhere. So friends, if at all you come across suspected child, wife or husband abuse, lend your hand by at least sending a SMS to the police. You may save someone's life. Don't ignore these cases ... a life lost, will never return. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

2012 Tour of Shiva temples (5 elements)

My first ever posting in this blog was about our trip to Aarupadai Veedu (6 sacred temples) of Lord Murugan in September 2011. Upon landing in KL after that trip, I got a phone call the very next day from my friends to arrange another temple tour in India this year. The plan for this year's journey begun to take shape. 

At first 3 of us booked, then another 4 joined in. We decided to tour the 5 temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and the 5 elements, the Panchabootha Sthalas ("pancha" – meaning five, bootha – meaning the elements: earth, water, fire, wind and space and "sthala" meaning location) : 
  • the Jambukeswarar temple at Thiruvanaikaval, in Tiruchirapalli, where the Lord is worshiped in his manifestation as Water
  • the Natarajar temple at Chidambaram, where the Lord is worshiped in his manifestation as space, some refers to sky
  • the Annamalaiyar Temple at Tiruvannamalai, where the Lord is worshiped in his manifestation as Fire 
  • the Ekambareswarar temple at Kanchipuram, where the Lord is worshiped in his manifestation as Earth  
  • the Kalahasti temple at Srikalahasthi, where the Lord is worshiped in his manifestation as air/wind. 

After a year of waiting, last month we managed to complete the tour of the temples, together with some other famous temples across Tamil Nadu. The story of our journey is depicted in the images below:

Our 1st stop was Trichy's landmark Pillayar (Ganesha) temple. It was raining non-stop for few days in Trichy, which made our climb on top of the 83 meter high steep rock formation was treacherous and dangerous.

The 5 of us, who began the tour of temple (with umbrellas). From left Jayabalan (JB), Sureshkanna (Boy), Sujendran, Shanmugam & me.

The awesome view of whole Trichy, from the top of the rock hill.

Sri Ranggam temple can be seen in the rain mist from the rock hill, with mighty river Kaveri running in the foreground. I'm already thinking of another tour around Vishnu temples in the future :).

The 'cute' Pillayar Sannathi, it can't fit more than 20 people at a time, I wonder how Vinayaga Chathurthi crowd will be.

Carving of Naalvar on the rock face.

The 5 element temples that we planned to visit is scattered around the south east of Tamilnadu - Trichy, Chidambaram, Tiruvanamalai, Kanchipuram and Kalahashti (Andhra).

1st temple - Water element : Tiruvanaikka Jambukeswarar Temple. This column is more than 20 meters high, hand carved in the ancient times.

Another view of the mass columns.

Auto-timer shot at the temple.

View of the Gopuram at Tiruvanaikka Jambukeswarar Temple. In this temple, the Lingam is situated on water source (ootru) from river Kaveri. The water is visible for 6 months in a year.

2nd temple - Space element : Chidambaram Natarajar temple. In this temple, there's a space which is usually  referred as Chidambara Rahasiyam (the secret of Chidambaram). In this area it was believed the Lord and his consort has taken the form of space.

Huge space, built entirely on carved granite. Makes you wonder how they managed to build these temples without any modern technology.

We met with JB's cousins (2 on the right) who've been studying music at Annamalai University for the last 8 years. With them is a Japanese, who got hooked on learning Tavil drum after watching some videos. He's also based in Chidambaram for the last 5 years!!

We took a day off to rest at Pondycherry (Pudhucherry) the French colonial settlement. Here you can see the state-town built on grids similar to France. This particular building was featured in movies like Ayyan. 

The view of Bay of Bengal from the beach cafe. Its still raining, continuously.

JB is wondering if the rain will ever stop.

Wet, but largely clean Pondy is definitely a place to spend some good time, in summer.

Colonial architecture, this is a Dutch church.

Inside a huge cathedral in Pondy.

Inside a huge cathedral in Pondy.

Cathedral in Pondy.

3rd temple - Fire element : Annamalaiyar Temple, Tiruvannamalai. Online resource stated :
History of the temple:
There is a very interesting story behind the existence of this temple. It is said that goddess Parvathi once closes the one eye of Lord Shiva in a playful mood for a moment’s time. But to the earthly world, it is equivalent to thousands of years. Upon the prayers of all humans and Devathas, Mata Parvathi requests lord to emerge on earth to provide light. He accepts the request and emerges as fire from Annamalai Hills. Hence the temple here is related to the element fire. The very hills of Annamalai are considered as the Linga of Shiva.   

So far completed the tour and darshans at 3 out of 5 targeted temples. The feeling is great.

We had our well-deserved rest at Kanchipuram after hours of traveling from Tiruvannalamalai. In the morning, we got ready to visit the temples in Kanchipuram. The set is now dressed for the occasion :)

View from the main entrance of the Kanchi Kamatchi temple. I was instructing the 'cameraman'!

4th temple - Earth element : Ekambareswarar Temple. Legend has it Goddess Parvathi, was once separated from her husband, came to Kancheepuram and made a Sivalingam out of sand and installed it under a mango tree on the banks of a river and worshipped it and got Shiva's hand in marriage.

The legend of earth Lingam formation under the mango tree. We witnessed the unique Lingam during our darshan.

Complex carved granite columns at the temple. Very minute detail are seen.

Happy crew, JB begining his varma kalai mudras.

Inside the temple.

We briefly stopped at the Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple, which was built using mixture of sand. This temple preludes the Tanjore big temple, which has striking resemblance.

From Kanchipuram, we head to Chennai before our trip to last temple of Panchabootha Stalam in Andhra.

5th temple - Air element : Sri Kalahasthi Temple. Among the 5, this temple's Lingam is the most unique. Read the info in following picture.

About Sri Kalahashti and the Lingam.

The shape of the Lingam at Sri Kalahashti

5 friends, 5 temples across 1000 kilometers. We've done it! Thank you God for keeping us safe throughout the journey.

En route to Tirupathi Tirumala temple. One of the 7 hills leading the Ezhumalaiyan temple.

Tirupathi Tirumala temple in view.

View of Andhra from top of the hill.

We completed the journey and waiting, for almost 7 hours in total. Fulfilling though.

At the foot of the hills, after completion.

The gang of 5, we'll be back for more!!