Tuesday 5 February 2019

Malaysian Mariamman Temples and Negligence of Local Deities

Image for illustration purpose.

Malaysia being a hub for Mariamman temples has helped strengthen the path of Shaktism in this nation.

We have a plethora of Mariamman shrines in Malaysia, founding navigation signboards in the urbanest metropolitan to rural interior.

Of course, the popularity of Mariamman shrines sparked when they were largely established in the estates when the Indian diaspora crossed seas to Malaya. Mariamman is a form of shakti associated with rain, which holds an important aspect in plantation and agriculture.

However,the spark initiated took some ugly forms.

At one point of time, people began to recklessly convert already existing sites of worship into Mariamman temples.

Samayapuram Mariamman
Our nation is rich with mysticism.Many of our ancient shrines have an associated unique history to it - many of them which are spine chilling.Not all temples were actually built for Mariamman. Most of them actually have a presiding deity who was once a healer, philanthropist, divine child, a yogini or saint.

They would have experienced an intense moment in their life or been someone who was spiritually advanced, such that upon leaving their body, preserved an enlightened consciousness that still vibes in their land of origin.

This was how the worship of Pechiamman sprouted. Her intense moment was when she expressed her Shakti in an act of nobility to save a child. Today, she stands as a Goddess who serves as a pediatrician.

Pechiamman - Who is also worshiped as Kali without distorting Her own unique identity as an obstetrician and paediatrician.

Pechiamman is today related as an expression of Kali,as she has a ghora ( fierce ) manifestation. However, we do not Kali-fy Pechiamman but rather access the energy of Kali through Her form.

Another example in the Shiva aspect - Madurai Veeran, who is a synonym for refuge and protection is worshiped as Bhairava, without distortion to His own unique identity as the hero of Madurai.

Madurai Veeran - who is an expression of Bhairava.People still preserve His unique identity and history as the hero of Madurai.

What has happened in Malaysia is that, most of the century-old shrines with their own unique history have lost their originality as they were all converted to Mariamman shrines after some time.

Many temples which initially housed a local deity were upgraded into Agamic temples.In this process,an unrelated name was rebranded to the deity.

The deity may be called Mariamman or Kali,but the entity presiding may be something else.Devotees may not be aware of this.I do not wish to shock you by providing some examples as the list would include many prominent temples of Malaysia.

By preserving the authentic history of a temple, we get to learn about the great beings who walked this land, establish a stronger devotional attachment to the local deity, etc. Many families will be able to relocate their ancestral deity or lineage. All these possibilities are lost when we blatantly demolish such shrines and construct typical Mariamman temples over its remnants.

 Is it wrong to upgrade local shrines to a Mariamman temple? 

Ultimately, the deities themselves express the same energy of Shakti. However, we lose a lot of potential history of our land when we blatantly replace them all.

Even if you choose to do such a thing, inscribe the history of the shrine and preserve it - like how it is being done in Taiping Ayyanar Temple.

Taiping Ayyanar.The history of this temple is expressed through sculptures within the temple premise.
The famous Ayyanar temple in Taiping is built on the samadhi of a Siddha. As the awareness on the origins of the temple is preserved, we do not slaughter or offer alcohol here.

Imagine what ought to happen when we forget its history - a samadhi of a Siddha polluted by beer cans and blood.

The temple is that of Ayyanar but the shakti ( battery ) to it is the samadhi of a yogi.

Similarly, most Mariamman and Kali temples of Malaysia have a Shakti which has its whereabouts unknown.



  1. Very true.

    Hey people just think about it lah..

    There are many mariamman temple but why some have stronger vibration than the other even tho the puja done is same ?

    Becoz of the shakti or battery like how brother has says.

    Jalan baru ayya temple is very power becoz the shakti is a local man who lived in penang very long ago. He was a nattamai in the area.but now no one knows about it. This is something i heard but i cannot confirm it also...

    Very much misteri is there in our temples.

    Thats why many etate temple is very vibration even though no puja done.. bcoz of the battery concept ( shakti )

    1. If you ask the older generation, they will say how there was no Madurai veeran in jalan baru muniswaran temple.It was Muniandy...today madurai veeran stands in place of Muniandy.

      The names used do not matter because the energy of Bhairava expressed by all these forms are the same..

      In addition, the battery is the core.the cover for it - be it white or blue, does not matter.

  2. Wow.. so just asking.. it doesn't matter what temple we build on a energy centre then rite ? Eg.. instead of mariamman temple , if we build nagamma it will be functioning the same ?

    1. The vibe of the temple and its function depends on how one runs the temple..based on how the pujas are done etc.. the battery is there, but how we utilise it matters...

  3. agree wuth FADO Blog