Penance with a difference for Thaipusam

Thaipusam is generally known as a time of fulfillment of penance.

In Malaysia, a usual sight of the Thaipusam celebrations are the “Kavadi” which is carried by devotees as “Kannikkai” or a fulfilment of vows to Lord Murga, as form of gratitude and thanksgiving for answering their prayers and keeping them safe from all forms of evil.

In Johor Bahru, besides the usual offering of pots of milk and fragranced rose water, there was a special “Kannikai” which took place at Arulmigu Thandayuthabani temple at Wadihana.

In the midst of stalls offering sour buttered milk or also known as “mooru” to devotees who have walked miles accompanying the “Kavadis” in blazing heat, the Sri Satya Sai Baba Organisation Johor Bahru prepared a unique site for the devotees.

Here, Aaspecial “Divine Kaanikkai” in the name of Lord Muruga took place this Thaipusam in the form of blood donation and organ donation pledges.

According to event coordinator P Muniandy, this has been the practice of the organisation for the past 12 years.

“As today is a Sunday and a holiday, the crowd was overwhelming, we have managed to collect 153 pints of blood and 35 pledges for organ donation,” said Muniandy.

The response was overwhelming as most of the donors who came to the site which was set up at a Buddhist temple have to wait at least 30 minutes before their numbers were called up.

“Most Hindu regard this as special “Kaanikkai” as their blood can save lives,” added Muniandy when asked about the overwhelmed response.

“We are planning to continue this service for many years to come for the benefits of mankind,” he added.

Blood donated in the event will for the utilized and managed by Sultanah Aminah General Hospital in Johor Bahru.

According to Skantha Purana, Thaipusam is celebrated as remembrance victory over evil when Lord Muruga who is also known as the “Tamil God” defeated the evil demon, Soorapathman.

Thaipusam is celebrated in the month of “Thai” where most Tamils all over the world celebrate this month as the first month of the Tamil calendar.