A towering golden statue of Murugan, the Hindu god of war and victory stands guard at the entry of the Batu Caves at Kuala Lumpur’s city edge. (Incidentally, Yahweh, was known as the god of metallurgy and war prior to being elevated to the position of creator God in the Hebrew Scriptures.)
November 12, Hindus around the world will celebrate Deepavali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, which marks the triumph of light over darkness and the victory of good over evil and the celebration of knowledge over ignorance.
Hinduism is the world’s oldest living faith, dating to almost 2300 B.C.E. It is an intriguing polytheistic faith with millions of gods. These gods are responsible for everything under the sun…even including the sun!
Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs and many other faiths also have festivals of light. The triumph of light over darkness is a common theme among world faiths, dating to the origins of ancient mythology from which our religious traditions evolved.
At Batu Caves, thousands of faithful ascend the brightly colored stairs to reach the shrine at the top. Hundreds of playful, scavenging monkeys climb the elaborately decorated Hindu temple columns and perch themselves atop shrines, seemingly unaware of their importance. They pilfer the food offerings to the gods and eat their god-given bounty to the adoration of the visitors more interested in them than the shrines.
At the summit, sunlight bleeds through the tree-lined opening. Raindrops pierce the canopy, cooling us from the late morning heat that only gets hotter as the sun climbs higher in the midday sky.
After the Batu Caves, we stopped to see the king’s palace, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the tallest twin towers in the world and then a lunch break at the local markets for an incredible Malay lunch of curry dumplings and chow min.
We saw so many incredible sights on our day tour of this remarkable city, yet what sticks in my mind is how clean this city really is, the fact that it has FREE local electric busses and that Kuala Lumpur manufactures a sweet butter caramel flavored Pringles that taste like a delicious salted caramel corn.
Mind blown. I know.