Sri Kandaswamy Kovil is a Saivite style temple that has been gracing Malaysia for over 100 years. Sri Kandaswamy Kovil appears elegant and graceful with lofty towers, beautiful vimanas bearing golden domes, well decorated halls, elegant and majestic pillars, mind inspiring architecture and sculptural works to instill devotion in one’s mind.
The Residing Deity, Sri Shakthi Vel Peruman, has been gracing devotees for over 100 years. Together with Sri Shakthi Vel Peruman, Lord Shamugar has been worshipped in Sri Kandaswamy Kovil for over 80 years. Other deities installed at Sri Kandaswamy Kovil are Idampuri Vinayahar, Sri Raajaarajeswari, Navakkirahams (9 planets), Sri Saneeswarar and Sri Vairavar, Sri Sandeswarar, the recently installed Sri Utchava Vel Perumaan and the Samaya Kuravar (the 4 chief Saivite saints).
Among the notable features in Sri Kandaswamy Kovil are the huge golden Kodimaram, the Vasantha Mandapam and Yagasalai Peedam.
The temple has a sacred pond called Skandapuspakarani. A sacred Kadambam tree and a sacred garden with the pond, Saravanapoikai, also adds on to the charm of the temple compound; two pairs of peacocks enhance the beauty and popularity of the garden.
Sri Kandaswamy Kovil is hailed as one of the first temples in Malaysia to have celebrated the Soora Samhara festival and one of two temples in Malaysia to celebrate the Kathirgama Kodiyetram festival.
MATA – HINDU DENOMINATION
Sri Kandaswamy Kovil is a Hindu temple of the Saivite tradition. In Saivism, Lord Siva is hailed as the Supreme Being, while other Gods are also worshipped. According to Puranas, Lord Siva Himself manifested himself as Lord Shanmugar adding the sixth face, Adhomuham (the face inclined downward) to His five faces for the purpose of wiping off the sorrow of the Devas. Lord Shanmugar is none other than the Supreme Being itself.
The 3 pillars of Hinduism is the house of worship (Temple), the spiritual guide (Satguru) and the scriptures (Vedas and Agamaa). The Vedas and Agamas are the primary source and supreme authority for ritual, philosophy and temple construction. The Agama,”Kumara Tantiram” is strictly followed for the rituals performed in the temple, and for erection of the temple as well.
MOORTTHI – THE DEITY
The earliest forms of worship of man were symbols; amongst them was the Linga, the Vel (Spear) and the Thrisul (Trident). Vel which is the emblem of spiritual wisdom is capable of bestowing grace on the soul and saving them from the miseries of the challenging world. Lord Shanmugar manifests Himself as Sri Shakthivel Peruman, who embodies the attribute ‘One whose knowledge is deep, broad and sharp’, in Sri Kandaswamy Kovil and reigns gracefully.
ARCHAHAR – THE PRIEST
In Saivite temples, only Saivite brahmins of the hereditary Adisaiva priest lineage were entitled to conduct rites in Agamic Siva temples, Sri Kandaswamy Kovil follows this rule. The first priest of Sri Kandaswamy Kovil was Siva Sri R. Somaskanda Kurukkal. He was well known for his steadfast devotion to Lord Shanmugar, that even during the air raids by the Japanese during the early part World War 2 and later by the B.29 bombers of the Allied forces, the priest would continue with the daily poojas as if everything was normal. Somaskanda Kurukkal was succeeded by Siva Sri Kamatchi Sundareswara Kurukkal.
Siva Sri Parameswara Kurukkal is currently the Chief Priest of Sri Kandaswamy Kovil.
DARSHANA – THE PHILOSOPHY
The age old philosophy of pluralistic theism expounded by Saint Meikandar (ca 1250 ad) called Saiva Siddhantha is followed by those in Sri Kandaswamy Kovil. Saint Meikandar explains Saiva Siddhantha philosophy which states that there are 3 eternal entities, namely, Pati (The Lord), Pasu (the soul) and Paasam (bondage) , and explains that bondage of the soul to material things prevent it from knowing its own nature and God.
ANUBHAVA – THE VISION
The idea of a temple for us was first mooted on 24th December 1890 when 50 of our then leaders met at the residence of one Mr. V. Sinappah who was the Acting Traffic Inspector of Selangor Government Railway and a very influential member of the Ceylon Tamil Community. They were anxious to have a temple in order to practice and observe the Saiva Siddhantha Tenets and religious observances such as “Viratham” (fasting), “Thithis” (commemoration rituals), “Punniyaahavaasam” (purification ceremony), “Kantha Sasthi” and so on. The matter was discussed and a decision was made to purchase an appropriate piece of land for that purpose.
A very large percentage of the small Ceylon Tamil Community of Kuala Lumpur lived in the Government Quarters at Scott Road. It was for this reason that a piece of land comprising two lots was acquired in the immediate neighbourhood of the quarters to build a Temple and Hall. The locality was for some years known as “Sinna Yalpanam” or “Little Jaffna”.
The Sri Kandaswamy Temple was inaugurated in 1902 with the installation of the “VEL” by His Holiness Sri Murugaswamy, an eminent Saivite. The small temple had a wall around it and a Gopuram. The first Maha Kumba Abishegam was held on 9th February 1909.
The Temple was administrated by the Selangor Ceylon Tamils’ Association. On 6th August, 1927 the late Mr. R. N. Thambythurai President of the Selangor Ceylon Tamils’ Association at an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting initiated the formation of the Ceylon Saivite Association. The Selangor Ceylon Saivite Association was officially registered and gazetted vide of F.M.S. Govt. Gazette Notification No.3144 of 26th May, 1928 which by then had a membership of 221. Today the associations is known as Malaysian Ceylon Saivites Association (MCSA).
On Thursday 28th June, 1928 the Diety Arumugaswamy, with His two Consort, was ceremoniously enshrined.
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