KOTA KINABALU: Close to a thousand Hindu followers spent yesterday at the Sri Pasupathinath Temple in Bukit Padang here to celebrate the Maha Kumbabishegam or consecration ceremony which is held once in every 12 years.
The consecration ceremony is celebrated at all Hindu temples in the world once in every 12 years. It is a form of ceremony to celebrate the cleansing or renovation of the temple, in this case, the Sri Pasupathunath temple, which underwent renovation and repairs that began last year in preparation for this ceremony yesterday.
According to the president of Sri Pasupathinath Temple, Datuk Dr K. Mathavan who is also chairman of Sabah Hindu Temple Association, the consecration ceremony held yesterday turned out to be better than expected.
“With the allocation of RM50,000 from the State Government for this ceremony alone, and with additional funds obtained from donations, we were able to make this ceremony a success,”Mathavan said, adding that he was very happy with the turnout of the followers yesterday.
Hundreds of visitors from the Peninsula attended the ceremony, and temples from Lahad Datu, Tawau, Sandakan, Labuan and other places also each sent their representative teams to support the ceremony.
“I hope that with the new look and new vibration of this temple, it will attract more believers to come for the prayer and worship rituals,” Mathavan said.
The main highlights of the event were the pouring of sacred water to sanctify the newly-renovated temple and the raining down of 150 kgs of flowers from two helicopters onto the temple.
The auspicious event was witnessed by the guest of honour, Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang who represented Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.
Musa disclosed in his speech which was read by Teo that the Sabah Government had allocated RM200,000 for the renovation of the temple, and another RM50,000 for the consecration ceremony, marking it the third consecration ceremony of the temple, here.
He also said that an annual fund is allocated to non-Muslim religious bodies and Chinese schools by the state government, with the temple receiving its share for maintenance and development activities.
According to Musa, the temple’s founder chairman, Datuk Jim Rajaratnam, and his committee members took the initiative in the past to set the temple up, leading the State Government of Sabah to donate the 2.45 acres of State land and RM250,000 for construction expenses, back in 1987.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Sabah Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) state liaison committee, Datuk V. Jothi JP, shared yesterday that temples should not be just a place of worship, but could also serve as a centre for the Hindu community.
“Efforts must be made to impart religious knowledge to devotees, especially the younger generation,”he added.
The ceremony will go on for another 48 days as part of the ritual to complete all spiritual formalities.