(File pix) The Malaysia Hindu Sangam today again cautioned Hindu temples against remaining open or performing rites during the hours of the lunar eclipse on Thaipusam Day on Jan 31, saying it clashed with Hindu belief.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Hindu Sangam today again cautioned Hindu temples against remaining open or performing rites during the hours of the lunar eclipse on Thaipusam Day on Jan 31, saying it clashed with Hindu belief.

MHS president Datuk RS Mohan Shan said Hindu communities all over the world had held on to this belief since time immemorial due to the negative impact of the eclipse on them.

“Usually, temples will not open during the eclipse and Hindus are also not encouraged to leave their houses for fear of the negative vibrations created during the phenomenon.

“Apart from that, pregnant women should also stay indoors and the people should not hurt animals or cut trees or branches and must abstain from food and drink as its impact may last for generations,” he told Bernama.

Mohan Shan was commenting on the announced decision of the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam chairman Tan Sri R. Nadarajah yesterday that religious ceremonies at the Sri Subramaniam Temple in Batu Caves on Thaipusam Day on Jan 31 would proceed even during the period of the eclipse.

Mohan Shan said the lunar eclipse was expected to occur from 7.48 pm to 11.11 pm on Jan 31

“Devotees are advised to fulfill their vows or carry out other religious rites before 7.30 pm or perform the rites after 11.30 pm,” he said and added that the MHS would not stop any Hindu devotee from going to Batu Caves during the eclipse.

Mohan Shan said the Balathandayuthapani Temple in Georgetown, Penang, Sri Subramaniya Swami Devasthanam Temple in Sungai Petani, Kedah, (two other important Thaipusam locations) and even the temples in Singapore and India would also close during the lunar eclipse.

“We have disseminated complete information on the eclipse and it is up to individuals to heed the advice or otherwise,” he said.

Nadarajah, at a media conference yesterday, said the Hindu community need not feel uneasy about fulfilling vows or prayers during the eclipse on Thaipusam Day as special ‘remedy’ prayers would be held on the night of Jan 31 after the occurrence of the lunar eclipse.

“Most Hindus will not leave their houses and temples are normally closed during an eclipse but due to the large number of devotees fulfilling their vows on Thaipusam Day, we have decided to hold the special remedy prayers.

“This parigara pooja will be held at 11.30 pm. The temple management obtained the advice of Hindu religious experts before making the decision and it was told that the religious ceremonies could go on as usual,” he said.

He also said that the gold and silver chariot would begin its procession at 10 pm on Jan 29 from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee in Kuala Lumpur and arrive at Batu Caves at 2 pm the next day.

“The chariot will make the return journey on Feb 1 starting from Batu Caves in the afternoon and will reach the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at midnight on the same day,” he said.

Nadarajah advised devotees and visitors to use public transport such as trains to prevent traffic congestion in the temple area.

“Security would be stepped up with additional police personnel,” he said.

Thaipusam is a celebration of Hindus all over the world during the month of ‘Thai”, which is the 10th month in the Tamil calendar.

It is to honour Lord Murugan who received the holy spear from his mother Goddess Parvati to eradicate the evil Soorapadman and restore prosperity and peace for the people. - Bernama

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