17 August 2018

Temples must be closed during lunar eclipse: Hindu Sangam

Temples must be closed during lunar eclipse: Hindu Sangam

KUALA LUMPUR - All Hindu temples must be closed for prayers for the duration of the lunar eclipse on Thaipusam Day on Jan 31, the Malaysia Hindu Sangam reiterated today.

MHS president Datuk RS Mohan Shan said the MHS and 20 other Hindu NGOs concurred that all sacred places in the temples must be closed during that period.

"This is because, according to our religion, the eclipse has a negative energy which will leave a negative impact. That is why we are prohibited from conducting any form of prayer and ritual during that time. This has been practised for hundreds of years," he said at a press conference here.

The Balathandayuthapani Temple in George Town, Penang, Sri Subramaniya Swami Devasthanam (Temple) in Sungai Petani, Kedah, which are two important locations for Thaipusam, and the temples in Singapore and India would also close during the lunar eclipse.

However, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple Dhevasthanam chairman Tan Sri R. Nadarajah had said that religious ceremonies at the Sri Subramaniam Temple in Batu Caves on Thaipusam Day would proceed even during the period of the eclipse, which has raised a controversy among the Hindu community.

The lunar eclipse has been calculated to occur from 7.48 pm to 11.11 pm on Jan 31, which will shorten the time for Hindu devotees to conduct their prayers on Thaipusam Day.

Mohan Shan also said that even as the Thaipusam celebration this year would not be as festive as before due to the eclipse, there were no calls to boycott it.

"We are just asking that the inner sanctum (inner part of the temple where prayers are conducted) be closed during the (eclipse) time and no kavadis or other rituals are to be allowed then. Other parts of the temple can remain open," he said.

He also called on devotees to follow the guidelines for kavadis that had been set for the Thaipusam celebration all these years.

"Parang, cigars and other items that are not allowed by the religion must never be used during Thaipusam," he said.


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