Recently, our traveling Swami's who are currently in Malaysia, woke up early and made their way to Batu Caves before sunrise. This famed pilgrimage site for Lord Murugan is a large natural cave structure in a small mountain, the entrance of which was thought to look like Muruga's Vel.
Our Swami's first stopped at the small Ganesha temple down below. It was still dark when they began their climb up the stairs. Tillainathaswami noted, "I headed up the stairs a few minutes early from the group. It's a good exercise to scale those tall steps and was very much worth the huffing and puffing. Arriving at the top before even the priest, I was able to spend a few serene minutes completely alone in the whole of Batu Caves. Just the cool water dripping off the cave walls and the bat-like chirps of the cave swallows. The monkeys were still asleep. No mumble of people, no music. A very, very special experience. I went up the high steps in the back of the cave and found an overlooking spot at one end of the top step, nestled in a vertical cone-like formation that exaggerated the subtle sounds of the wind as it blew through the heights of the cave. As you may know there is one small opening hundreds of feet up in the main chamber, and a huge opening to the mountain top in the upper chamber, replete with green jungle plants. Sitting in this unique little spot allowed me to hear the softest wind coming through the cave which, in the morning, comes in quiet pulses like a breath or heartbeat. It felt like all the temple-structures and shrines were simply decorations, and that it was actually the cave itself that was Muruga. I meditated there for a long while Paramacharya enjoyed some special meditation time in front of the main shrine—a Vel in the side of the cave. It's an area where the cave walls have been gilded in gold, and a temple built around it. After a long mediation I made my way down to sit there as well. Other Malaysia shishya had arrived, and a beautiful crystal-light-filled alankaram was revealed."
The Muruga that is placed there for the puja was holding two Vels. A silver one and a bronze one. At the end of the puja, the priest took the bronze one from the shrine and gave it to our monks to take back to Kauai. Before leaving, below at a Palani shrine, another bronze Vel was gifted.
After heading down from the cave, talking to the monkeys along the way, our swami's also had a short sit-down with members and then the priest of the small Siva Temple that's there, brought our swamis over for a blessing from the Sivalinga.
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