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Showing posts from October 11, 2008

Theemidhi – Fire Walking Festival and Ritual at Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore

Theemidhi is the annual Fire Walking Ceremony at the SriMariammanTemple in Singapore. In 2016, the date of Fire Walking Festival and Ritual at SriMariammanTemple in Singapore is October 23 and 24 ( Sunday night and Monday early morning). The unique ritual dedicated to queen Draupadi of Mahabharata attracts thousands of Hindus especially Tamilians settled in Singapore, who walks over a bed of hot burning coal. Draupadi, also known as Panchali, the wife of Pandavas, is worshipped as Draupadi Amman in South India.
Legend has it that Draupadi once walked over a bed of burning coal to prove her innocence. She walked over the burning coal bed and came out unscathed. Most devotees do the fire walking as a sort of thanksgiving for the favors received by praying at the SriMariammanTemple. Some do it for fulfilling longstanding wishes.
The highlight of the festival is devotees young and old walking over a four meter pit of burning coal specially prepared at the MariammanTemple. The chief prie…

Heinrich Zimmer on the Importance of Myth and Symbols in Hindu Thought

The ultimate and real task of philosophy, according to Indian thought transcends the power and the task of reason. Access to truth demands a passage beyond the compass of ordered thought. And by the same token: the teaching of transcendent truth cannot be by logic, but only by pregnant paradox and by symbol and image.Indian philosophy insists that the sphere of logical thought is far exceeded by that of the mind's possible experiences of reality. To express and communicate knowledge gained in moments of grammar-transcending insight metaphors must be used, similes and allegories.Indian philosophy, therefore, frankly avails itself of the symbols and images of myth, and is not finally at variance with the patterns and sense of mythological belief.In the Hindu world, the folklore and popular mythology carry the truths and teachings of the philosophers to the masses. In this symbolic form the ideas do not have to be watered down to be popularized. The vivid, perfectly appropriate picto…