Batu Cave (Black Wind Cave)

■Book 104 - A Plethora Of Scenic Splendours

■Written by GrandMaster Sheng-yen Lu

On a windy and drizzling day, we visited the Batu Cave.

As the name implies, it is a cave on top of a hill. We had to climb a long and steep flight of steps to reach the top, which is wide enough to hold more than a thousand people.

A Hindu temple is built there. The lamps brighten up the place.

Mahabrahman is the creator of universe; and the main god worshipped by the Hindu. With four arms and four faces, his image shows him wearing a crown, and sitting on a seven-geese wagon.

Another image is Yamadevaloka, who is in charge of the nether world. His image sits on a water Buffalo, with his right hand holding a human skull and his left palm facing upwards. And two heavenly girls in attendance.

There is also an image of Sarasvati. On the his left is the image of Goddess Piniu, who holds a pipa in her left hand and plays with her right hand. She is also known as Goddess of Mystic sound.

I saw the image of Isvaradeva, the main god of Hindu. He is the valiant Siva who rides on a black and greenish water buffalo.

I also saw garuda ridden by Narayana-deva, and Ganesa, the elephant head fortune god......................

These images of Hindus symbolize the vibrating life and the culmination of human spirit.

The cave was spacious. We strolled from the front to the back and made our journey back quietly. We did not utter a word as this was the sacred place for the Hindus.

We could not stop showing our respect and admiration once we stepped inside the cave. The images of the gods were vigorous and nimble and the images of the goddess showed the ability to sing, dance, drink and play the instruments.

(In fact, Buddhism originated from Hinduism. Buddha lived under the strong influence of Hinduism. The four noble truths, the twelve nidanas (chain of existence), the noble eightfold path, the three signs of Hinayana (i.e. Non-permanence, Non-personality, and Nirvana), the law of Karma, all showed traces of Hinduism. Even the heavens mentioned in Buddhism were borrowed from Hinduism.)

Shakyamuni Buddha at first practised Asceticism at the snowy mountain for six years. He was cultivating the ascetic meditation taught by the Hindu deities .

Later on, when Shakyamuni Buddha gained his enlightenment, he founded Buddhism.

To many Indians, Buddhism is just a branch of Hinduism that went on to become a new religion.

What a coincidence! We saw the fire Puja ritual of Hinduism being held at the entrance to the cave.

All the priests did not wear their tops when they recited prayers and chanted mantra, to the accompaniment of musical instruments. They put their offerings into the fire.

One of the older priest who had a loud voice, was seen to be moving forward and backward, with his body twisting and turning.

All the believers seated silently in front of the altar. They were all Indians. The females dressed in sarong, with a cinnabar dot between their eyebrows.

As we moved closer to them, they knew we were Buddhist monks, since we were cleanly shaved and wore lama costumes. But they did not mind.

I have conducted many fire puja in my life. But this is the first time I saw a fire puja of Hinduism dedicated to the heaven. I was nervous, excited and enthusiastic. I stayed there from the beginning of the ritual right to the end.

As an expert, I could feel the heavenly beings coming to receive their offerings. My spiritual response was definitely right.

Living Buddha Lian Shen concedes:

 

“Hinduism has its mystic powers. So are the prayers of Christianity, Catholicism, and Islam. All of them have mystic powers.”

Facing the sky, I took a deep breath. Although there is only one sky, we have prejudice because of the different faiths. The prejudice of revelation of the whole or the part, complete enlightenment or partial. The difference lies in the level of achievement, although the apex is one and the same. Shakyamuni Buddha is an enlightened one, since he made a distinction between functional and perfect teaching, expediency and reality, normal unenlightened ideas and sacred dogmas.

As an enlightened person, I know everything. I am able to endure all kinds of slander and insults.

 

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