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Lord Vinayaga, a deity adored by all – April 1st, 2006

It was a sunny Sunday. I got into a taxi and it sped through the Singapore’s hot traffic. That was my long journey. To ease off the boredom, I took my daily paper. Soon, the Chinese-taxi driver switched on to the Tamil songs.

I was quite moved by his action.

It is not unusual for the Chinese to exchange few Tamil words with the Tamil people. I thought this driver was no different. Quickly I noticed, a ‘Pillayar patti Vinayaga’ (an Indian God) adorning his taxi. Soon he started to talk in terms of ‘Tamil Culture’.

He had a good knowledge about Lord Vinayaga and shared a lot of information on him. He even wanted to visit ‘Pillayarpatti Vinayaga’in the deep down South India, worship him and get his blessings. He sounded a staunch devotee of Lord Vinayaga, as he says, Lord Vinayaga has helped him get rid off his string of problems.

When he had a problem with his step mother, this aesthetic Chinese turned out pious, and implored to Lord Vinayaga, for help. Soon, his problems started to reduce, and he became a regular devotee of Lord Vinayaga.

While still pondering over this incident, I visited ‘Lian Sithi Vinayaga Temple’ at Keong Saik Road, Singapore. I came across yet another incident. I was quite astonished to see three Chinese devotees worshipping Lord Vinayaga. This reminded me of the Chinese taxi driver, and I spoke with them as what was the catalyst that brought them over to Lord Vinayaga.

They are Mr. Jefrey (42), Mrs. Chung Ken Chin (49) and Mr. Chee Boon Chai (65).

Mr. Jefrey says, he came to know of Lord Vinayaga through an Indian friend at his work place. He had encountered a lot of problems with his neighbor. The obsession to the place did not allow him to move out. At this point, he started to worship Lord Vinayaga. To his surprise, very soon his neighbors instead moved to another place. From that day till today, he says, he is a Vinayaga devotee.

When an Indian captures a figure in black elephant form in a dream, then it is believed to be a wake up call to fulfill the outstanding vows to Lord Vinayaga. What would be the state of a Chinese woman, if she captures such a scenario?

In 1994, Mrs. Chung Ken Chin, who was 36 years old then, was hospitalised, diagnosed for colon cancer in the third stage.

When she was enduring through the pain, she had captured a black figure in an elephant form. Immediately, she realised it as an Indian god, as she had come across Vinayaga idols in Malacca, where she was brought up. This incident did not have any impact on her, at that time.

When she got discharged from the hospital and was in home, again she has visualised the black elephant figure. Now, it had an impact on her. She gave a serious thought to this uncanny incident, and has discussed with her brother on this.

His brother’s friend, upon hearing this incident has introduced Mrs. Chung Kah Chin to Lian Sithi Vinayaga.

Mrs. Chung Kah Chin who has never been a pious, now started to believe in Lian Sithi Vinayaga. When asked her on the significance of Lord Vinayaga she was clue less. She is a staunch devotee of Lian Sithi Vinayaga as he has helped her to have got over her string of problems.

When her husband suffered from ‘Gullian barre syndrome’ a virus that attacks the nervous system, he was unconscious for two weeks and was admitted in Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Then when he had regained his consciousness, he was transferred to the Ang Mo Kio rehab therapy. At that time, he was out of work for eight months. The whole family started to circum-ambulate 108 rounds, faithfully.

Very soon, her husband got over his problem, and became normal. Since then Layan Sithi Vinayaga has become a darling of Mrs. Chung’s household.

Since then be its children’s public exams, job hunts, or even a head ache, one can spot Mrs. Chung Kah Chin’s family in the Keong Saik Road, posting petitions and seeking the blessing of Layan Sithi Vinayaga.

When asked on the pattern of praying, she says she circum ambulates 108 rounds of the sanctum, breaks coconuts, and also proffers daily archana.

She further recommends a number of her friends to this temple on the virtue of this adorable God and his formidable power.

A lot of Chinese do patronize Lian Sithi Vinayaga. They believe in Lian Sithi Vinayaga and are regular patrons to the temple. They jostle through the crowd to circum ambulate 108 times, break coconuts, participate in the monthly events, and take part in homams.

To distinguish Lord Vinayaga from the other Indian gods, they refer to him affectionately as ‘Elephant God’.

There is another story of Mr. Chee boon Chai, who has been associated with this temple for nearly four years. He also believes that Vinayaga has helped him to get over his series of problems. He has hands on experience to prove the extra ordinary power of Lian Sithi Vinayaga. He is clearly obsessed with this temple, and volunteer to help out in the temple.

He started to visit Vinayaga for benediction, when his sister fell off and had a back problem. She had to be operated upon for this. He implored to God and took the ashes from the homam in a leaf and had applied at the spot, where the pain was so intense. His sister had started to feel better. He attributes this to the extraordinary power of Lord Vinayaga.

He pronounced this effect further by saying that, another lady who was in a similar predicament as her sister, was complaining of the pain, while his sister was getting better.

He has set his own rules to pray. He says, he buys three types of flowers, two bottles of co-conut oil, three types of flowers, arukambul (he refers to it as green grass) and puts all the items in a plate and gives it to the priest, and puts his hand on the plate, while the priest chants the mantras. When his prayers are fulfilled, he does this again in thanks to for fulfilling his vows. He too breaks 108 coconuts and he makes sure he cleans it.

He is subscribed to an idea, that one must clear the heap of the 108 coconuts broken by them and not let others do it. He finds the homam ashes to be the most powerful.

There are many other Chinese and other races patronizing this temple for benediction and we learn that Lian Sithi Vinayaga bestow his blessings on all.

Catherine who joined her husband after a long time, Ten beng chee, who prospered in his business are a few other examples, who are regular worshipers of Lord Vinayaga.

The temple staffs say, these Chinese devotees have strong faith in Vinayaga and are curious to learn the history of the temple and of the significance of the events.

Yes, Lian Sithi Vinayaga is a Deity adored by all, indeed.

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