THE ABSENT

THE ABSENT
THE ABSENT - out now!

CRIPPLED HEARTS

CRIPPLED HEARTS
Out Now - For sale on Amazon and other onlne book sellers

SOLIDARITY WITH THE FLESH EATING MOSAIC AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju

SOLIDARITY WITH THE FLESH EATING MOSAIC AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju
Out Now

THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT NINNY AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju

THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT NINNY AND OTHER POEMS by Raj Dronamraju
My first book of poetry available through Amazon and other online booksellers www.rajbooks.com

Sunday, February 8, 2009

PONDERING THAIPUSAM PLUS HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHARLES DARWIN


In a book as yet unpublished that I wrote about my first couple of years in Malaysia, I spent a little bit of time on attending my first Thaipusam at Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur….I won’t go into a huge explanation of the origins and story behind the Thaipusam celebration but basically it involves people taking on a vow for something they or a loved one need and the repayment is them performing an act for the Gods as an offering.

A lot of these acts involve self-mutilation such as piercing ones cheek or tongue or placing hooks in one’s flesh and then bearing a heavy chariot on their shoulders then walking a distance from one temple to another….In Ipoh, where I live no,w the distance is relatively short perhaps a couple of miles….The latest new form of self- flagellation is sandals with spikes built in that one must walk on the entire distance.

I have physically stood next to people undergoing this prior to walking between the two temples….I have seen the needles go into cheeks and tongues and the hooks go into the flesh….However, I can’t help but feel there is some trick to it….I know the tongue and the cheek are not particularly sensitive and hooks can be placed in skin not too deep without a lot of discomfort.

One should look at the preparation for Thaipusam….A number of weeks before the event, the devotees switch to all-vegetarian diet, start sleeping on the floor, and refrain from sexual relations, alcohol, cigarettes etc. ….It is the purer state of mind created by living this way that allows them to slip more easily into a trance….Being in a trance is the key as that is how one is able to deal with the pain when undergoing the piercings etc….However, the trance seems to consist of a lot of fidgety movement, dilated pupils, weird noises….I have witnessed the devotees smoke a large cigar as they are undergoing this….I am told that this is the custom but it makes me wonder what is in the cigar? (I don’t mean any disrespect here….I just have a hard time believing in things like this and so am looking for a logical explanation….Mind-altering drugs are a possible explanation).



Speaking of science, logic, and the rest, February 12th is Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday….I honestly believe that along with Copernicus establishing the Sun as the center of the universe and Sir Isaac Newton establishing the laws of gravity and motion, evolution is the most important scientific discovery of all time….For me, it perfectly explains nature and man’s place in it….The real beauty of evolution it does not require a belief in a supreme being to function.

On my other blog, I posted an entry a few months back about what I felt was the death of science in today’s society and I did mention evolution in that posting….I received a response from someone I assume of a Christian bent who posted a link to a cartoon lambasting evolution and also college professors and scientists in general….Well, as someone who lived for awhile as a teenager in a rural area of America wherein religious fundamentalists (in this case Christians) tried to get on the local school board with the intended purpose of ending the teaching of evolution or at least forcing the teaching of creationism, I can tell you I regard evolution as a FACT not as a theory and I think it should be called that way.

I’m not a scientist but here are the main arguments (proven I believe) for evolution….

http://www.news-medical.net/?id=12840

http://salmonriver.com/lightscience/evolution2.html

http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2007/03/evolution-is-fact.html


Interestingly enough, last year I read a news article about how the thumbs of today’s children are becoming bigger and stronger due to the overuse of computer games….This is a perfect example of adaptability to the surroundings.

3 comments:

Ashwin said...

I heard that the National Geographic channel is airing a documentary celebrating Charles Darwin's 200th birthday and the publishing of his revolutionary "On the Origin of Species".

Kian Seng said...

I can't help but agree with you on this.

Its entirely silly to even propose that there was an Eden Garden somewhere and Adam and Eve just sprung up from nowhere.

Rivrix said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kent_hovind

You can see how stupid and ignorant some people are.