Dear Brother,

I think that you got me wrong. I do not critcise the temples or the priests. Nothing wrong with them. Its we, who got to change.

Usually, when I throw a stone at somebody, it normally falls on a Hindu who does not know anything about Hinduism but claims that he knows everything about Hinduism. But this time it fell on a Hindu who knows something. And you turned back to see from the stone comes. Its from me.

There is something common in us. That is we both intended to do something for our community. Otherwise I would not have stumbled over your blog. But the difference is that I started some 40 years ago, while you just started. I am not saying anything abruptly. It is the result of observing something gone wrong with our society. I was born and brought up in an estate. I am not a graduate like you. I was only a President of a large temple. I want to share with you my experience of observing Indian problems (especially Hindus) in Malaysia. I have traveled widely including Sabah and Sarawak. I have read several books including Bhagavad Gita, Thiruvasagam, Thevaram. I have read the life history of saints and sages like Mahatma Ghandi, Swami Vivekhaanandha, Rabindranath Tagore, Paramahamsa Yogananda including Sai Baba. After reading such books and having a glimps of Vedhas and Upanishads, I must tell you that we are a proud lot of Hindus.

It all started when I was in the upper secondary school in the 60’s. Every Friday, about 11.00 am Christian boys from that school used to go to Bible studies while the Muslim students would go to Quran studies. But we hindus about 40 of us were left wondering at the corridors or play-grounds for the whole period. While the Christians and Muslims gained knowledge and discipline based on their respective religious text, we Hindus were not exposed to this spiritual knowledge and discipline. This was going on not only in my place but almost everywhere even till today. We are an ignorant lot.

After my secondary education, I got a job as a temporary teacher in Kulim during the early 70’s. I use to see fightings in temples in Kulim as I used to witness in my hometown, almost 200km away. There was hardly any festivals that went without fighting. Did you read in ‘Malaysia Nanban’ the fighting that erupted during the last ‘Chitra Pournami’ day? You can read in papers almost everyday the ongoing social problems faced by our community. We cannot deny this and sweep under the carpet. I can go on listing but that is not my purpose here for the moment. Please refer to dated Tues, 28th May, 2008.

When you want to do something for our community, you must first identify their weaknesses and formulate rectification. To do this, you must be sensitive enough to observe what’s happening. Compare with other communities in Malaysia. The Blacks in America came as slaves. Today, they emerge as an outstanding lots in every field, be it in music, sports, politics, fashion and education. In Malysia, look all the buildings and vehicles around. They are mostly owned by the Chinese. What is the secret behind this? It is their discipline. They are disciplined even in drinking, I mean liquior. They know when to drink and what to drink. But what is lacking in our Indian society today is spiritual discipline. Once we are disciplined spiritually, nothing can shake us. We will be strongly united. In future all our activities will be based on this discipline be it social, economy or political.

Now let me analyse one by one the points.
  1. I know what the temples are doing and I know what is temple ‘thondu’. Temple ‘thondu’ alone is not enough to alleviate thesufferings of the people. There are many poor Indians in Malaysia. They go to temple to pray so that God will come to their rescue. God will not come to the rescue; it is we who has to got to the ground to do service to them. Remember : ‘servive to manking is service to God’.‘Maanava sevai Maathava sevai’ In temples, I involve in meaningful ‘thondu’ that brings benefit to the members as well as non-members.

  1. Yes, the real purpose of chanting the mantras in Sanskrit is to derive the joy of communicating and praising the Lord. Slowly, but surely those who chant the mantras will be allevated to a higher level. Thereare several familiar God forms which we can invoke daily during our prayers; eg. Vinayaga, Siva, Vishnu, Muruga, Saraswathi, Mahalakshmi, Durga and other Prarthanais. (I will send you later themantras and their meaning). If you make effort to teach the childrenat an early age, they will surely benefit. They will feel proud to be a Hindu culture. Our youths and women folks in future will slowly get to know our God. This is my experience in the Sai Centres everywhere. Our Hindu children attending Bal Vikas in the centres, are chanting chanting these mantras in one voice. I use to wonder, why our Hindu children are not taught in the temples. I do not want to see our children in the temples deprived of this opportunity. When chanting this mantra (with knowing its meaning) together it promotes unity among the Hindus. Increase the knowledge on Hinduism. Only then we can organize other activities for the youths, women, studentsand others, thereby laying the foundation for progress of our community. Progress should proceed from the temple. Why can’t we teach the laymen and normal people these mantras. It is happening in Sai centres. When Chinese devotees can chant surely our people can. But the problem is that, due to the absent of good system, it is very difficult to adopt and implement such programmes in temples.

  1. Yes, about the youths, that was my comment after interviewing many Youths and observing their behaviour, whether they are university students or working. Because they lack knowledge on Hinduism, you cannot expect spiritual discipline among these youths. So, join a Sai Centre and learn their knowledge, expertise, skill and methodology of serving society.

Will be writing more.

Kalidas Subramaniam