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Murugan or Muruka is a popular Hindu deity among Tamil Hindus, and is worshipped primarily in South India and Sri-Lanka. He is the God of war and the patron deity of the Tamil land (Tamil Nadu). According to the Tamil devotional work, “Murugan never hesitates to come to the aid of a devotee when called upon in piety or distress”.
Lord Muruga is worshipped for giving the meaning of the Pranava Mantra ( OM ) to Lord Shiva himself.
Murugan is venerated through out the Tamil year. There is a six day period of fast and prayer in the Tamil month of Aippasi known as the Skanda Shasti. He is worshipped at Thaipusam, celebrated by Tamil communities worldwide near the full moon of the Tamil month Thai. This commemorates the day he was given a lance by his mother in order to vanquish the demons. The full moon of the Tamil month of Vaikasi signifies his birth. Each Tuesday of the Tamil month of Adi is also dedicated to the worship of Murugan. Tuesday in the Hindu tradition connotes Mangala, the god of planet Mars and war. This reveals the link between Skanda and Kujan (Mangala)
Sydney Murugan Temple, Mays Hills, NSW;
The intricate designs of the idols, the refreshing aroma of sandalwood and the reverent chanting of Hindu priests to the many deities, makes the Sydney Murugan Temple in Mays Hill, one of the most treasured Hindu temples in Australia. The main deity that the temple was created for is Lord Muruga, as there are a large proportion of Tamil speaking individuals in Sydney and Lord Muruga is seen as the creator of the Tamil language. The temple is beige in colour, embedded with small idols and difficult to miss as it sits over the peak of Mays Hill, parallel to the Great Western Highway.
The easiest way to get to the temple is by car as the temple has its own parking area, however, there are both bus and train stations nearby (closest to Westmead station, walking distance of 1.5km). Sydney Airport is the nearest airport to the temple.
There are certain customs that must be followed prior to entering the temple, these customs include the removal of shoes and the washing of the feet, as this is a sign of respect to the Hindu deities.
Every day, auspicious poojas (rituals to deities) occur at different intervals of the day, along with monthly Hindu festivals and the hosting of several Hindu weddings. The atmosphere surrounding the temple is peaceful yet powerful making it ideal for meditation.
It is almost impossible to leave the temple, without feeling cleansed of bad energy, effects and vibrations. The temple allows people to conduct personalised poojas, by paying the administration office $20. The pooja involves a plate of flowers, fruits and holy powder being offered by the priest on your behalf to the deity and sacred hymns being recited by the priest for your wellbeing. However, there is no obligation to conduct a personalised pooja as just witnessing the daily temple poojas that occur, provide the same sense of fulfilment and tranquillity that are felt by observing sacred rituals in India.
The temple is a stunning arena to experience the spiritual intensity of those who practice Hinduism and get a real feel for how integrated culture, religion and language are in India. So, for all those mothers who are eager to have the same spiritual experiences of Elizabeth Gilbert in India, look no further than the Sydney Murugan Temple in Mays Hill.