Wednesday 20 February 2019

Penang Theppa Thiruvilla : When the Beach Gets Coloured

 Singamukha Kaliamman Temple, Teluk Bahang, Penang

 This more than a century beach side temple has its vast perimeter footed by thousands during the auspicious 'magi masam Theppa Thiruvilla'.

 This festival attracts a massive crowd,being second only to Thaipusam.It remains unique to date as this is the only festival where the deity is boated to the sea.Despite its location,devotees from near and far brave the nausea inducing wavy road to experience this event.

When The Divine Mother roofed the scaled entities

 So why did Mother Kali's grace go afloat on the aquatic kingdom in this annual event ? 

 The temple was founded by fishermen back in 1896.This festival was started to honour the deity.However,due to lack of road,they decided to boat the chariot adrift in the sea.

 The festival was originally purposed to secure a safe journey for the fishermen.With time,modification took place and currently,devotees from all backgrounds come to experience the vibrance of shakti by the sea.

 Snaps from 2019 :

Lamps mimic the night stars across the sea

They are housed in creative designs

When myriad line of sights focus on the chariot

Sightly explosives symbolise the festive spirit

            Video : Tappu Melam

Utsava Murti entering temple post sea darshan

     The echo of Namasmarana


As the Vedas ( in Durga Suktam ) describe Fire ( Agni ) and Durga as one,a bring back message that ought to aid our realisation :

1.The flame of Arati and the deity appear distinct,though both represent the same kriya shakti ( power of action ).Likewise,though distinct and individually unique,devotees who gathered yesterday inevitable inhaled the common sea-flavoured air.Even if we differ morphologically,we share a common essence - which is divinity.The atmic self of mine and yours is no different.We are just the same consciousness functioning through different bodies.

  May Shakti break all illusions and unite us under the simple yet profound quote of 'Love all ,Serve all, ' Hurt never, Love ever'.

Arati - the final touch

2. Agni is personified as the boatman who ferries us across the sea of illusion towards liberation / enlightenment in the Vedas.Likewise,as Devi ventures to the sea,let us seek Her grace so as to enable us to also,brave the rough tides and reach self-realisation.Let our prayer be - O Mother ! Lead me to Mukti

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