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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thaipusam Inside Batu Caves & Sai Baba



What was in the cave? Why were people 'sardin-ing' themselves to get up here?

Just... more temples. More people. And more staircase :O



They actually painted the wall as background. Nice.
Note the fence beneath the idols. Perhaps there are really some people who will carry the idols back home to worship, so that nobody can share with them the god's power?
Or maybe they will keep molesting the idols until their color goes off...

More staircase to go O_O

Note the St John Ambulance tent.

Yes. This many people!




That's how terrible I looked after squeezing with people under hot sun, with an empty stomach.

Roosters... seriously? Brought to be freed here. Just roosters, no hen. Erm can they actually survive in the cave???

And monkeys!!! This was a clever one. He took away the whole plastic bag containing food and ran far away from other monkeys to eat alone. But uh oh, here came another monkey! Haha!

Long tail! Many monkeysssss but hard to take picture, 'cuz they moved very fast. They climbed back to the trees at the upper opening of the cave right after they grabbed food.

What a Malaysian habit. Plastic bags containing worshiping materials were thrown in the cave just like that.

While leaving the cave, we saw a person dressing like Cai Shen Ye (财神爷, Chinese God of Wealth) among the crowd. Just when we were wondering what he was doing there, came another person dressing like Guan Yin Ma (观音娘娘, bodhisattva associated with compassion as venerated by East Asian Buddhists). And then came another Chinese dressing like yet another Chinese god which I could not recognize. Really? Was it sorta like exchange student program? O_O

There was also a milk river in front of one of the idols, formed as Hindus poured the milk in their kavadi there.

On our way leaving, we heard the emcee welcoming our Prime Minister with a complimentary speech, emphasizing how his visit was a practice of 'One Malaysia', and later, Prime Minister's speech. He was on the second floor of a 3-floor 'tent' (what's that called? Temporary building for special occasions) near the entrance, some other VIPs sitting behind him. As we walked past, we could see that his skin was very fair, lips very red, feature very sharp. Totally nothing of a typical Malay's look!

Walking back to the bus, we saw big banners of Sai Baba at the roadside. By that time he was still alive. He passed away in April, which is last month. One of the groups in my World Religion class did a presentation about him, they showed a video of him manifesting necklaces for his followers--like magic! He just did a fast grabbing motion in the air, and when he opened his fist(s), there would be things on his palm(s); then he gave them to the followers.

"Devotees said they observed Sathya Sai Baba manifesting vibhuti (holy ash), and sometimes food and "small objects" such as rings, necklaces and watches.

In books, magazines, filmed interviews and articles, Sathya Sai Baba's followers reported miracles of various kinds that they attributed to him.

Internationally, devotees reported that vibhuti, kumkum, turmeric powder, holy water, Shiva lingas, statues of deities (brass and gold), sugar candy, fruits, herbs, amrita (a fragrant, nectar-like honey), gems, colored string, writings in ash and various other substances spontaneously manifested and materialized on the walls, furniture, pictures and altars of Sathya Sai Baba."

--Wikipedia

Miracle or just scam? I don't know. I only know that he predicted he would remain healthy until he dies at 96, but he died at 84 due to health problems. Hmm.

So that's it, my Thaipusam trip was a great experience, not just physically but spiritually too.

Now, are you moved to join the Thaipusam festival next year? ;)


xoxo
Crazenne

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