If you have clicked on the post thinking that you are about to read an account of an act of terrorism, then I assure you that you will be disappointed. This is a peaceful post, written with love.
Recently, I got the chance to visit Batu Caves, Malaysia during the Hindu pilgrimage of Thaipusam. My sister, Fareha Nizam and friends, Shalini and Hariwindran accompanied me to the mystical place. And I must tell you that I had a fabulous time in witnessing the event. I got to learn plenty about Hinduism.
Batu Caves is a temple built in a cave. It is named after the Batu River, which streams past the hill and is said to be around 400 million years old. Some of the cave entrances were utilized as shelters by the indigenous Temuan people (a tribe of Orang Asli). The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, has a very high ceiling and features ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors must climb a steep flight of 272 steps. And it was heck of a job to climb the staircase!!! I had to take a few breaks to either rest or fend away the monkeys trying to steal our food. 😀
I had great fun in looking at the rituals and befriending the worshipers. The cave was lighted warmly and was sufficiently vast to accommodate the crowd. Hindus carried pots of milk on their heads to the cave to serve to the Gods. Some Hindus carried statues of their Gods on stands that were tied to their waists. The stands seemed quite heavy but the devotees showed dedication. People had set up stalls to distribute food and drinks, and also to sell shirts and other goods. I got to taste cuisines of several counties for FREE!!! 😀
Why exactly have I written this post?
Well, I have written this post is to encourage people to stop tagging extremists to a particular religion. Terrorists have created images of religions, a banner, under which they perform their evil deeds. I say terrorists have no religion because no religion promotes unrest and inhumanity. The terrorists are not Christian, not Muslims, not Hindus, not Buddhists… Terrorists are terrorists.
It is important that we respect each other’s religions. Instead of defending our’s through force and terrorism, we should create an example of humility, generosity and love. If a religion requires its followers to create fear and chaos in the world, then maybe it is not worth it.
Media and politics have contributed its fair share in spreading biased information about religions. They have assisted in creating a rift between the religions rather than bridging the gap. Centuries of differentiation has caused the followers of the religions to be reluctant towards learning the other religions and has caused fear and phobia. Therefore, I want to request everybody to be open-minded about the diversity of religions and not believe everything media informs you about. May peace prevail in this world. 🙂