Isha in South-East Asia
Thaipoosam is an annual festival celebrated around the world, especially among the Tamil community. The volunteers of Penang, Malaysia decided to make use of this year’s festivities to spread the word about Isha, which generated much attention. Below is the sharing of one of the volunteers about the experience.
For a person who usually stays far away from crowds, I surprised myself when I agreed to volunteer to man a booth during Thaipoosam at the hilltop Murugan temple in Penang, Malaysia.
Crowds thronged in large numbers to the newly opened Arulmigu Balathandayudhapani temple, which is said to be the largest temple dedicated to Lord Muruga outside of India. Our booth was situated at the temple’s foothills. From the moment we opened the stall, we were flooded by a steady influx of visitors who spent a significant amount of time quizzing us on Isha, Sadhguru, the programs and meditation processes offered, and various other aspects of yoga.
A dozen of us volunteered at the booth from 7.30 a.m. to midnight every day for three days in succession. We weathered the heat and the high decibel levels from the speakers that aired devotional songs all day and night. One of our volunteers had managed to get the temple committee to play a few songs of “Sounds of Isha” on a regular basis, and that always recharged us. Standing there all day with the sole focus of spreading the joy of Isha around and creating an awareness of Isha to the public gave me the experience of what it really means to put your personality aside and just throb as life.
As everyone knows, the most difficult time is ending an Isha session. At the stroke of midnight on the third day, we wrapped up with a heavy heart. However, all of a sudden, the speakers came alive with the sounds of “Alai Alai”! It was the most surreal feeling. Amongst tears of joy and happiness, we went our ways, with the promise to make this an annual endeavor.
- Isha Malaysia Volunteer