Thaipusam and the Vow

Well, as you might have expected, Thaipusam is over and this post would be dedicated entirely for my experience during Thaipusam. I would separate this article and tell you the story in a chapter by chapter sequence. That way, I guess it would make a better understanding. It will be accompanied by lots of pictures, plus videos (of poor quality, I’m sorry), so just let it load for a while.

The preparation

As I’ve told before, preparation started quite early, as early as 3 weeks in advance, although my fasting started only 9 days in advance. All 9 days, I was a vegetarian, which is of course not a big deal. I guess it directly affected my body weight, in which my current weight might only equal up to a few stacks of A4 papers; I just feel I became much thinner.

Putting that aside, we arrived in Batu Caves on the 28th(Thursday) around 8 pm. Together with me is my friends and family (Brother Vasu, Brother Deva, Brother Lizard, Brother Kumaran, Brother Lughen,Brother Kannan and Kumba) and the rest of other family members of Brother Lizard. Immediately after arriving, we went all the way to Attangarei(Riverside) to prepare our milk pots and other stuff.

Since the hooks and mini pots had already been prepared earlier, the only part which was left is taking bath and getting ready. We all took bath, and after tying up our vehti, we started the prayers.

The Atmosphere

By the time we were there, the crowd is unimaginable. Bear in mind that this is 2 days in advance. The thundering sound of Urumee Melam aside, and with air filled with incense and other prayers materials, the atmosphere was simply fantastic and perfect.

The Hooking

The hooking up was done by one of priest who did the prayers for us. So, with the chants of “Vel,vel”, the hooking  started. The video shows the entire hooking up part, so you can see the whole situation there. Before hooking, the priest applied lots of thiruneer(holy ash) on my back, and with the chants and screams, combined by the music of Urumee Melam in the background, I felt all spiritually lifted up, and one by one the hook was pierced through my body.

It took about few minutes for the entire hook to be applied off, and I had a lemon which I used to bite, in order to forget the pain.

The full hooking up clip

The pain

I would not lie to you that I was not feeling any pain. I do not believe in getting trance; so that I personally can feel the pain. The pain was extreme and excruciating of course, but when you’re there, in that atmosphere, you’re just so lifted up spiritually that the hooking up went on smoothly. After the hooking up, together with my friends (all of them carrying milk pots expect Brother Lizard-Pal Kavadi), we started our walkabout towards the temple.

Each step reinforces the hooks inside the body, in which I couldn’t explain it by words here. It’s like when you walk under normal circumstances, your body automatically trembles or vibrates, so with hooks behind your back, when you walk, the vibration causes the hooks to puncture through a bit in your body and comes out again. So, I was walking really slowly needless to say, and all my friends were way in front. We only met up inside the cave after that.

The science part

Practically, although I told you the pain was overwhelming, I feel that we can actually explain it by science. It becomes much easier for a person who is a bit on the heavier side, because they compact more fat in their body.

During the piercing part, the amount of distraction you have in the background would bury any fear that you might have, and you will be calmer once the hooking started. If you ask me, it can be done by anyone. There arise no need to be in trance because the pain is taken away that way, in which I strongly believe you do not have to have ‘Kaliamma’,’Sanggili’ , Benggali , Gangguli or Bruce Lee. Mental and spiritual preparation is all you need.

The Walk Up

This is another challenging part, I was already feeling tired by the time I arrived near the stairs. With hooks behind my back, getting up on the 272 steps of Batu Caves was agonizing. I somehow managed to climb through and finally reached inside the cave.

The Unhooking part

The unhooking part was done immediately after I’m done with the prayers inside the cave temple, and it was done together by Brother Vasu and Brother Kumaran. The problem was most of the hooks are buried deeper than expected, and the unhooking part was as much painful as the hooking part. Nevertheless, it was done skillfully and it was over, finally.

You can see how deep the hooks are buried

The Overall Experience

This whole experience had taught me to be a better person, and a holy person, and I feel I’ve been purified and born again as a new person, as if all my sins had been washed away.

The previous liner was just a joke. I would not lie to you all that crap, I never had all that feeling anyway, all I had is the vow is over, and I’ve fulfilled the promise I’ve made completely without any interruption. My sins wont be washed away of course, I just have too many.

The whole experience will remind me about the pain I might have caused others; also unlucky, poor and innocent children’s who are suffering because of the way their fate had been written. Having all of you with me, we shall re-write their fate. That is what this whole hook up is all about, as a personal spiritual experience for me, and to tell you in detail about what it is all about, and how some children’s are going to be having a better future with your money and my vow(at least for this time).Salam.


19 comments to Thaipusam and the Vow

  • Geetha

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    First of all,congrats !!! Thank you so much for sharing the experience honestly !!! I was practically checking yr blog everyday for this post (and it didn’t disappoint)!!!really this is the first time i am hearing it without all the ‘special effects’….anyway, good luck with the charity event next…

    this two points made my day !!!

    ‘in which I strongly believe you do not have to have ‘Kaliamma’,’Sanggili’ , Benggali , Gangguli or Bruce Lee. ‘

    ‘This whole experience had taught me to be a better person, and a holy person, and I feel I’ve been purified and born again as a new person, as if all my sins had been washed away.

    The previous liner was just a joke. I would not lie to you all that crap’

    ROTFL !!!

  • Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. I am linking this post to my blog. I hope you dont mind. :)

  • Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Nice experience bro.

    One question bro, did it bleed during the hooking process, even a single drop of blood?

  • Thumb up Thumb down 0

    @Geetha : Thanks Geetha, it has always been ‘telling the story as it is’ over here :)

    @Makkez : No bro, I think most probably it would have been stopped by the thiruneer(because it’s dry) even if there is any.

  • Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is a beautiful article! I’ve seen and read so much about Kavadi bearers during Thaipusam. Your article has enlightened me about the entire process. Really in depth and informative. Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers!
    mylo

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    Hi Durai!

    mylo again. You will LOVE these amazing pictures of Thaipusam 2010 captured by Jeff. Here is the link:

    http://tinyurl.com/ye9vnx3

    Best Wishes!

  • honest

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    thanx for the honest text on ur recent experience. only wondering abt this line of yours:`I do not believe in getting trance; so that I personally can feel the pain.’ – are you saying that it is people’s choice to get into trance in order not to feel the pain. Sad to say, thaipusam witnesses Indian youths hvg field time on street dancing for vettaikaran songs. some were even drunk

  • linda

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    I admire you honoring your commitments, thinking of others, and believing in mental and spiritual discipline. life doesn’t contain as many sins as mistakes-don’t be so hard on yourself.Yuo have a huge heart
    blessed be you!

  • linda

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    also–put on a few pounds if you can!! lots of rice , etc!!

  • random

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    i f a question here…hw much do u knw bout the Trance…i mean ur opinion bout it…i did a research bout it…n i came across a book of HOFFMAN in 1998 n according 2 him s the anthropologists and ethnologists tell us, there are no traditional rituals or ceremonies that truly work and change our reality without the use of trance.n d book of wier says as being caused by cognitive loops where a cognitive object (thoughts, images, sounds, intentional actions) repeats long enough to result in various sets of disabled cognitive functions. Wier represents all trances (which include sleep and watching television) as a dissociated trance plane where at least some cognitive functions are disabled such as volition but not consciousness within the trance typically termed hypnosis.Our brain controls d beta, alpha n theta wave…as massive piercing occurs and cause the massive pain the amount of wave the brain need 2 decept is beyond the frequency.So this is the main cause a particular person losing d ability 2 remember on wat hppn AMNESIA.It is totally a guilt 2 admit maself tht i don trust in god.of coz i do.we al do.but its juz a curiosity bout life.medically i learn lot bout diz.so hw far is true bout this trance.GOD is sum1 2 guide u.Lemme tel u a story bout wat hppn in ma life…few months ago i knw sum1 who al of sudden says he can c god..he c light n hear d voice of god.he feel he hd been purified by d GOD n he shud b d follower.Wel s a doc of coz i do feel sumthing is wrg in his brain.so wat i did ws lots of scanning…n guess wat he ws having d brain tumour.a vy tiny 1.n been compressing d audio n optic nerve causing intra-sound n light.if it ws our indian community…dey might even build a temple 4 diz guy n call him GOD.wat wil hppn in d end…diz poor guy end up helpless…m nt insulting any ppl out der.GOD is Superior n trance is sumthing different.ders is no connection btw dem.hope ull leave ur opinion.thank you.

  • Thumb up Thumb down 0

    @mylo : Thank you for the beautiful pictures mylo. I’m sure other readers would be excited looking at those beautiful pictures.

    @linda: Thanks Linda:)

    @honest : Yes, I’m saying it’s the people’s choice to get in trance or not. Most of this people who get in trance summon this souls inside their body, in the form of asking the priest or anyone else to cast the manthrems . While some other would actually sit down and pray to get in trance. Either way, it is a method of summoning the spirits inside the body.

    @random : I’m really sorry. But your words are constructed in a confusing manner that I’m getting lost between facts and fiction there. Anyway, how much I know about trance is not the topic being widely debated over here.

    I do not believe in trance as being the way of approaching God as being practiced here in Malaysia. As simple as that, I’ve explained this in detail in lots of articles. Maybe you can refer this below articles.

    http://ragedindian.com/2009/06/23/spiritology/

    http://ragedindian.com/2009/09/13/macam-macam-ada-la-hinduism/

    http://ragedindian.com/2009/06/08/whats-god-and-whats-not/

    Btw, thanks for reading and welcome :)

  • random

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    d articles r awesome….thanx 4d reply

  • inba

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    ‘This whole experience had taught me to be a better person, and a holy person, and I feel I’ve been purified and born again as a new person, as if all my sins had been washed away.’

    naanen bayenthuthen neengge thirunthitingge nu…..

  • Thumb up Thumb down 0

    @inba : Hahaha…kavale padathingge bro…:p …ningge irekere verikum nan apdethan irupen :p

  • honest

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    Durai,tks 4 the explanation. Frightening to think that ppl dare to summon other souls into their body. what if the souls refuse to exit their body afta thaipusam. Luckily u came out clean without any unknown souls dwelling in ur body.Lol.

  • Joline

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    Hola! I’ve been following your website for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!

  • Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Hey, I think your page was good.

  • Venny

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    I just went to batu caves for the first time today.. I saw a guy who did the same thing like what you do and keep wondering whats going on.. And your blog answers all.. I’d love to share this unique tradition wth my friend by sharing your links if you don’t mind.. I admire your will for this Thaipusam thing.. Hopefully more people have the same way of thinking..

x

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