Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thaipusam without piercing

Welcome to the second posting on the Hindu Festival Thaipusam. The first, if you missed it is here. There is no health warning this time as there are no photos of piercing!

The shots are mostly of people that caught my attention, like the lovely profile of this young lady.

The Festival was a fascinating glimpse of an Indian culture of devotion. It was an honour to witness it and it stimulated further my fascination for India, its culture and its people.

The following two lines of a poem called "Listen" by Mirabai, a devotee of Krishna, give an insight into the "road" of the Guru-devotee relationship.

"Listen, my friend, this road is the heart opening,
kissing his feet, resistance broken, tears all night"

I hope you enjoy the photos.

And next time, I hope you like Orchids! Do come and have a look.


Music is an essential part of the festival

Part of the Sri Perumal Temple

The entrance to the Temple.
The Gopuram (tower) shows
the different incarnations of
Lord Vishnu.

Lord Vishnu with his wife Lakshmi,
the goddess of prosperity and abundance.
Thaipusam is an expression of
devotion to Lord Murugan.
Vishnu is his maternal uncle.
(Relationships between Hindu
Deities are a bit complicated)

Warming up for the procession

Not sure why these ladies attracted my
attention! I'll leave it to you to work out.
I'd love to know what they were talking about

A Brahmin priest one cannot ignore

Puja at a Vishnu shrine that
will get pulled by one of the
devotees in the procession

Not sure why these young people are dressed
in yellow

Little ones surrounded by photographers. It
all got a bit too much for one of them, but....

....Dad comes to the rescue and all is forgotten,
including the photographers

What a great instrument. I used to
have lessons in playing the recorder at
primary school. But mine wasn't as
grand as this one!

Quiet contemplation

Another striking profile

Washed and cleansed and eager to participate

That "recorder" again. Notice the
finger tips of the drummer

The priest without the shades.
What a great beard!

The guy in the middle needs to tie, very
tightly, the waistband of the guy on the right

So the guy on the left is helping him draw in
his stomach

Flowers adorn this lady. And I love the specs!


These houses overlook the road where the
procession takes place. The man, looking
down at the street is probably a foreign
worker, wondering what's going on!

Free breakfast was being served here.
A place to rest for the elderly lady

What a shirt and hat!

Devotees wear these uncomfortable sandals
as part of their sacifice to Lord Murugan.
They are in the shape of padukas, shoes
worn by the Guru. Except the guru's
padukas would not have the spikes

Festival equipment for the devotee......

.......and a moment of stillness in the hustle
and bustle

Offerings of rice and bananas are favourite
offerings to the Gods. Limes signify protection
and the coconut is the purest form of offering
one can offer

Devotee preparing himself, surrounded
by his friends and family

Out on the street, a deserved rest for four
colourful ladies and a little one

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