Malaysians ready to honor Hindu god of war, fertility

January 13, 2011

To give thanks to a powerful god for blessing him with a longed-for daughter, Sharma Muthu will skewer his tongue with a spear for Malaysia’s largest Hindu festival.

The government official will be one of many thousands who will go into a trance and pierce their bodies with hooks and spears to honor Lord Murugan, the god of war and fertility, at his limestone cave temple in the Malaysian capital next Thursday.


(Photo: A Hindu devotee with skewers pierced through her cheek and tongue, carries a milk pot as she makes her way to the sacred Batu Caves temple during Thaipusam festival in Kuala Lumpur, Jan 30, 2010. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad)

“I have five sons and I always wanted a daughter. No medicine could have helped me in this so I turned to the god and put my faith in him. Now I must repay this miracle,” Muthu said after he offered prayers at the Batu Caves shrine ahead of the festival.

Malaysians are increasingly seeking spiritual aid from an assortment of gods and faith healers to solve personal problems in this mostly-Muslim but multi-religious Southeast Asia nation.

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