Posted in Indian

Hindu influences deeply embedded in our cultural roots

When my late mother was alive, no beef was allowed to be served in the house.

She was a Buddhist who observed the taboo.

Below is her picture taken when she prayed at the reclining Buddha temple in Tumpat, Kelantan – snapped by the Star‘s Kota Bharu bureau photographer Rohaizat Md Darus. (I was at that time a staff of the paper’s Saturday Weekender pullout.)

I remember as a child asking my mom why she would not let me eat beef.

She replied the cow contributed a lot of goodness as well as suffered tremendously and sacrificed for us humans. I can still recall that she was rather emotional in explaining this and even close to tears when reminding me how we must respect this sacred animal.

Her belief is not all that much of a surprise considering that Buddhism originated from the Indian subcontinent and hence some of the Hindu practices would have also historically seeped into our faith.

The photo above is, I believe, the Menghadap Rebab ceremony which I witnessed in Besut, Terengganu many years ago. It was part of a Makyong folk art performance.

There are traces of Hindu salutations and spiritual incantations in the Buka Panggung proceeding. Under PAS, however, the Makyong dance theatre was banned whereas Wayang Kulit was sanitized for show to the tourists, that is after its Hindu rituals were suitably excised.

Hindu influences permeated many aspects of Malay life before the advent of Islam. One of my favourite songs connected with Terengganu, Ulit Mayang – music video below – is an offering to the spirits of the sea. The mantra is pre-Islamic.

Karma: ‘Is Zakir Naik the reason for T’ganu MB losing titles?



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69 thoughts on “Hindu influences deeply embedded in our cultural roots

  1. in my humble opinion dr. maza made a mistake. most probably he was trying to get a backlash over hindraft intervention in his invitation of dr. zakir naik recently

    nevertheless, islam prohibits insulting other religions

  2. rephrasing adj3 comment @lowyat

    “just apologized like Nan Yang Siang Pau, then all settle!”

    now this is mine.

    “kalau nak tegakkan Undang Undang India dipersilakan dengan segala hormatnya berhijrah dan memohon kerakyatan India”.

  3. dr. zakir naik once said…the malaysian hindus are against him even more than the hindus in india

  4. Thanks Helen for reminding me of Ulek Mayang. I’ve always liked listening to this mantric song.

    The rest of your audience can go on living in denial of how Hinduism is the foundation of Malay culture.

    1. Historical Indian influences in South-East Asia certainly my friend, but it was Mahayana Buddhism centred in Palembang Muara Jambi of Sri Vijaya kingdom. That was the most outstanding contribution of Indian metaphysic spiritual thought to mankind – where the great Bodhicitta master Dharmakirti transmitted the vast learning to his well known student Atisha of India.

    2. It never bothers me that Hinduism is the foundation of classic Malay culture. So what? Malay culture now is so much difference with the ones found centuries ago.

      But the influence of Hindu culture has largely been eroded when Islam was embraced by the Malays.

      I thank God from bringing Islam to this part of the world. The ease and speed of classic Malays conversion to Islam as it was being introduced to them in those days showed how fragile the Hindusm influence on them back then.

      Allah is Great.

      1. “showed how fragile the Hindusm influence on them back then.”

        Unlike Christianity and Islam, and I am a Christian myself, Hinduism doesn’t teach that there’s an eternal hell, as traditional Hinduism believes in the concept of non duality.The Abrahamic religions do however, and I believe many people converted to these religions purely based out of a fear of having to spend eternity in hell fire if they didn’t accept the new faith that was preached to them. Fear mongering was a great tool used by the early missionaries.

        Islam and Christianity instructs its followers to spread the message whereas Hinduism doesn’t do that so it’s no real surprise that the conversions happened so rapidly.

        Hinduism is a beautiful religion, filled with complexities and levels that most Muslims and Christians couldn’t ever possibly imagine, so respect it as a great religion.

      2. ‘There are many other Hindu religious terms that have lost their original meaning and are being freely and unconsciously used by Muslim Malays in connection with the religion of Islam. This shows that Hinduism exerted a profound influence on Malay culture before the coming of Islam to Malaysia. And this influence has survived, despite the strict monotheistic restrictions of the Islamic faith, to the present day. So, in religion as well as in other aspects of Malaysian culture, we cannot treat the influence of India as something belonging to the past. The political influence of old India which was climaxed by the great Empires of “Sri Vijaya” and “Majapahit” is today at an end, but the cultural influence of India which began at the beginning of the Christian era is still very much alive, and it will be alive for many, many centuries to come because it has become part of the life of the Malaysian peoples.’

        1. re: “There are many other Hindu religious terms that have lost their original meaning and are being freely and unconsciously used by Muslim Malays in connection with the religion of Islam.”

          Yes, the word “dukkha” comes to my mind, meaning: “suffering, dissatisfaction, pain” which Buddha taught that it is resultant from our mental cravings for sensual pleasures and selfish ambitions – our egotism. I think Malay word for it is dukacita.

          And also “bodhi” meaning “spiritual enlightenment and awakened moral conscience” which transform the individual ego towards perfected man. Also I think the Malay equivalent term is “budi”.

  5. I have no idea as to why many Malays here revere Naik. His talks are more comedic than scholarly and his knowledge of Hinduism and Christianity is frankly a joke. Most of of his arguments are a carbon copy of the late Ahmed Deedat’s, who was also a charlatan. He has stated many times that a good Muslim must respect the law of the land, and the hypocrite refuses to go back to his homeland to face the music. Just shows what a toothless bunch UMNO really are, giving a hate preacher a PR just because he’s a popular Muslim televangelist.

    1. Your comment is more comical than two lions of Islam.
      India is ruled by a barbaric thug using allegations against him so why should he go back? He said he will help their investigations but they won’t meet him
      You are upset he is opening Muslims eyes to your trickery.

      1. Lions of Islam? Thanks for your comedic relief. You truly are a clueless clown. I would consider these two as nothing more than charlatans. Seriously, don’t comment on a subject that you clearly know nothing about. Name me one established and credentialed Christian debater that Naik has ever debated? Deedat did once against Josh McDowell and got his arse handed to him in no uncertain terms.The coward refused to debate Josh after that. That debate is on youtube for all to see.

        Your hatred for Christianity and its perceived western connection is obvious . Get over yourself.

          1. Go to a zakir naik ceramah la bob. U might get yr answer or u might get what these hindraf people do not want u to possess, enlightenment. Don’t ask those people here who talk louder when u aren’t speaking the same language as them or god forbid having a different perspective from what they see. They may say they love just like snake spit venom.

            1. A snake is as effective as the venom it spits.
              Pray answer us in the language of enlightenment what makes a “strong” Islam sir?
              I don’t see how this conversation involves Hindraf people 😗.

              1. Who says anything about hindraf? Hindraf ada love love love kah? If i wanna go aesop on hindraf i would use kutu beras. Some sporadic little black spot on an otherwise pure and innocent community. I told you where u can get yr answer so go get it. Asking same stupid question twice is not the way to enlightenment. Or are u here just to annoy other people?

                1. Wow! An “otherwise pure and innocent community”? Is this the same as “strong” Islam?
                  Please enlighten us: What is “pure and innocent”?


    1. During dr. zakir naik lecture none of this hindraft member come forward to challenge him but now macam2 pulak. Mengaku jela tak berani sebab mesti kalah punya.

    2. “Serial rapist who may have attacked 1,000 women to be deported from Canada”….a scary headline by The Bintang lima…
    All I remember none of this hindraft come forward to oppose our gomen from allowing this rapist’s return to Malaysia. Imagine….our girls and ladies are much more at risk walking outside their homes. also surgeon suresh nair ? where is the voice of hindraft ? RACIST or HYPOCRITE !!!!!! they just don’t care about Malaysians.

    1. I agree that HINDRAF are divisive and are not needed in Malaysia. They are no different to Perkasa. Having said that, they are not wrong about wanting Naik to be sent back to India.

      He is a hate preacher, plain and simple. Watch the video below from 4.34-4.46 of Zakir Naik preaching in Malaysia recently. He basically tells his majority Malay audience to not associate with non Muslims or they will later on get into positions of power. Now, if any other Malaysian had publicly stated this, that person would in all likelihood be charged with sedition. He being a popular Islamic televangelist however gets away with it.

        1. I have shown you clear evidence that this man is dangerous and preaches hate, not to mention has made a seditious statement according to Malaysian law and yet you defend him. What’s wrong with you man? I know, it looks like you are one of those people who is prepared to throw the law book out the door in favour of your religion. That’s pretty pathetic in my view. No man should be above the law.

            1. Good news, truth. The fat idiot from Perkasa is trying to ensure your hero will keep his residency. You should be happy.

    1. but most of what tis rpk wrote is half truth, either bec he is poorly educated, or he know his readers r easily deceived.

      show u 1 example, u read above comments some boastful type talked abt how hinduism contribute to mankind especially to asia. however the rpk type can easily twist how hinduism brought poverty n backward to us, just compare any hinduism country against most christian state.

      zakir naik is the rpk type, n he know the inferiority complex among many muslim.

      is that also y ghandi wear a dhoti n not a suit wakaka.

  7. lucu….

    dr zakir naik tries to prove the true origin of hinduism base on the teaching of their religious book….bukan main marah penganut2 hindu

    pastu kat malaysia penganut2 hindu bkn main nak prove that malay culture is originated from hinduism….

    pelik….zakir naik tak boleh buat tapi diorang buat okay pulak….

    boleh ke treat other people camtu ?

    orang buat tak boleh tapi you all buat takpe ?

    boleh ke camtu ?

    1. Boleh, sebab racist is only for malay. Salah satu hak istimewa orang melayu. Bangsa lain jangan jeles….

  8. i bukan ape teringat article kat atas tu :
    Quran : Surah Al Kafiruun

    1). Katakanlah: Hai orang-orang kafir

    2). Aku tidak akan menyembah apa yang kamu sembah

    3). Dan kamu bukan penyembah Tuhan yang aku sembah

    4). Dan aku tidak pernah menjadi penyembah apa yang kamu sembah

    5). Dan kamu tidak pernah (pula) menjadi penyembah Tuhan yang aku sembah

    6). Untukmu agamamu, dan untukkulah, agamaku

    (the word ‘deen’ is best translated as ‘way of life’ rather than religion. i’m holding on to this translation because ‘way of life’ can be someone religion, culture etc….this can even be included the atheists who don’t belong to any religion but they have their own way of life)

    ‘for you is your way of life and for me is mine’

    1. Don’t expect al-kafirun especially the harbi ones to accept those ayat. Please truth, lower your expectation. You will be less disappointed.

  9. “dr zakir naik tries to prove the true origin of hinduism base on the teaching of their religious book….bukan main marah penganut2 hindu”

    Are you honestly so gullible to believe that the thousands of Hindu Scholars over the centuries, who are all a lot more credentialed that Naik on Hinduism somehow missed out on what their own Holy Scriptures teach? And Zakir Naik, who obviously is a beacon of objectivity, has come to set them straight all these years later?

    Please la, use a bit of logic and common sense

    1. And here we have you thinking that you are a better judge of character of a muslim preacher than muslim themselves?


      1. AE, you can’t just help it can you. This clown claims to be a student of comparative religion, so I am judging him based on his idiotic claims on Christianity and Hinduism.

        I am not bothered about what he has to say on Islam. That’s for you to judge.

        1. So are you a student of comparative religion? Well, if you are please do debate him on stage. More productive than shit stirring here. If not…well…we all know who the three shit stirrer stalking HA comments space are. Show us your credentials la since you are so hung up on his credential. Takde kan? Yilek? So my question is what makes u so special other than the way you stir shit up?

          1. I have posted a video below where your hero said that a according to science, one who eats pork behaves like a pig…and you are asking me what my credentials are.

            As for me being a shit stirrer, I guess better that than an ultra racist such as yourself.

            Re the debate challenge, many top Christian debaters such as David Wood, James White, Patrick Madrid, Robert Sungenis etc have challenged him, but since he knows he will get destroyed by them, he has told them that unless they can bring 10,000 supporters with them, there will be no debate.

            A bit hypocritical of him of course considering that the bunch of no names that he has debated so far have been done in front of crowds of no more than a couple of hundred people.

            Like I said, he is only respected by the gullible and impressionable. In other words, he’s only respected by people like you.

      1. truth,

        You are right, so far I have been blown away by your logic and reasoning. Unfortunately, anyone who follows a charlatan like Zakir Naik immediately loses all credibility.

        I watched a video of a few weeks ago and have never laughed so hard in my life. Even an Eddie Murphy stand up session doesn’t bring in the laughter like a Naik lecture.

        The clown that Muslims revere said that people who eat pig (he doesn’t even realise that the correct term is pork) will behave like pigs, and he goes on to say that it’s been confirmed by science. He really said this.

        Later on in the talk (don’t worry, I will post the video below in case you don’t believe me), he says that because pork has high fat content, people will become fat and develop the old beer belly. Doesn’t this clown know that fat has nothing to do with gaining weight, and it’s actually carbohydrates/sugar that makes a person put on weight.

        I don’t understand how any educated person can take this guy seriously

        1. Video link as promised.

          Zakir Naik: “Westerners are like Pigs”

          1. Hindu Gods are Satan?
            Hinduism is the path to hell?

            Wakakaka. Where is the LOVE?

            1. Nice one, AE. Just pick some random Christian that no one has ever heard of to take the attention away from your hate preacher.

              Unlike you though, I will call out idiots from my own religion, and the guy in the video is an absolute tool.

              1. If the preacher is a fool, well, says as much about the preached, right? Isn’t that the gist of your tirade all these while? Same rule applies to evangelist too i suppose, or did jesus say otherwise? You are not fooling anyone la Faaart. Stop hiding behind zakir naik and say what you really mean. I am anti islam, i am anti hindu and i am anti buddhist but i need to be seen to love them so i can save them from Dante’s Inferno. Or else stop preaching.
                How does it feel to be smeared with the shit of your own stirring?
                P/s: google chose that preacher. Doesn’t that say something about his popularity?

                1. “If the preacher is a fool, well, says as much about the preached, right?”

                  Such ignorance.You are assuming I even know who this guy is, I don’t. I do not even belong to his denomination. I am a Catholic, we belong to the original Church and he’s a Protestant who belongs to one of the thousands of Protestant denominations. It would be the equivalent of me posting a video of a Wahhabi preacher and challenging your beliefs based on what he says.

                  And don’t for a moment pretend that this no name preacher commands anywhere near the following that Naik does. You really are not comparing like for like. Naik is a current topic of discussion as he has undoubtedly caused division among Malaysians, this guy hasn’t.

                  Besides, I totally disagree with the Christian preacher anyway and I have said that. If you don’t want to accept it, it’s your problem.

                  “I am anti islam, i am anti hindu and i am anti buddhist but i need to be seen to love them so i can save them from Dante’s Inferno. Or else stop preaching.

                  You would think like that as you are pro Islam and anti everything else, including anyone who is not Malay. I am not so don’t accuse me of being like you. Catholicism teaches that everyone can obtain salvation anyway, not just Christians, so once again your are showing you total ignorance.

                  Finally, when did I preach? Can’t you read? I just attacked Naik for being a clown, misinterpreting other religions deliberately and for being a hate preacher which I think most people agree with, unless they are one of his brainwashed supporters.

                  1. longa rebuttal. But we already lost interest la moe and every one wanna go home now. I didnt know protestant and evangelist is a whole different religion than catholics. Seems to say a lot about christian divisiveness. And if everyone can obtain salvation why dont the christians leave everyone be? Why the need to prosetylize either at the point of a gun or through deceit if everyone get salvation?
                    Btw u should really check back yr statement about salvation against your holy books. U wont want yr own lord to smear shit all over yr argument like in Rev 20:10-15? Oops he just did…..

                    I am anti shit stirrer, i.e you, no matter their religion or skin color. Especially those loud minority that think after attacking the sensitivities of the majority they can still play the victim card to avoid the consequences of their actions.

                    1. reading yr incoherent reply, i can savely ascertain that u r sama dgn itu zakir naik. i can easily recognized one wakaka. the diff between both us n zakir naik is he got much brainless followers.

                    2. Lu tak pandai baca meh? Baca balik la. I know big long words is trouble 4 yr small mind. Read sssllloooowwwwllllyyyy n hv a dictionary ready. Thanks for reading btw.

                    3. “I didnt know protestant and evangelist is a whole different religion than catholics. ”

                      Even my 10 year old niece knows this. Have you been living under a rock? Btw, evangelicals are protestants. Also, not different religions all together, but quite different teachings.

                      “Seems to say a lot about christian divisiveness.”

                      Yep, can’t deny that. Damn that Luther! We are like Muslim, totally divided.

                      ‘And if everyone can obtain salvation why dont the christians leave everyone be?”

                      In a nutshell, protestants believe that you and other non Christians are screwed. We don’t. You should ask Muslims to leave everyone else alone too. Start with Zakir Naik. That would be fantastic.

                      ‘U wont want yr own lord to smear shit all over yr argument like in Rev 20:10-15?

                      What does that verse have to do with salvation? It refers to the devil and the false prophet. For your sake, you don’t want to know who Christians believe the false prophet is. You won’t be happy if you found out.

                      “I am anti shit stirrer, i.e you, no matter their religion or skin color.”

                      Great, since you claim to be colour blind and not influenced by a person’s religious status, do you want to join me in trying to get rid of the shit stirrer and everybody’s favorite fake debater, Zakir Naik? Come on man, let’s help him balik India ASAP to face the money laundering charges against him.

                    4. Ass Epiphany:
                      “Why the need to prosetylize either at the point of a gun or through deceit if everyone get salvation?”


                      — The so-called Islamic State is the enemy of Islam. In fact, ISIS is the enemy of Judaism, Christianity, Yazidism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, atheism and all others who oppose its evil and barbaric agenda. The difference, however, is that Muslims suffer by far the most from ISIS’ horrific attacks. —

                    5. I dont care and not interested in christianity very unlike u so interested with islam, learn just enough to put shit back into their/your mouth whenever the occasion arises :p
                      Come on man, u are trying to deflect by being too literal. Those verses are about NON BELIEVERS. The Pope says so :p
                      I dont see zakir naik as a shit stirrer. But you are one mr faaart and modi’s govt is too. I/c for cow? Better give ic to hindraf la. Gila babi bullshit….So invitation declined. Give political asylum to Zakir Naik. :p

                    6. “I dont care and not interested in christianity very unlike u so interested ”

                      Yet you seem so convinced and knowledgeable about the fact that Paul changed Christianity lol…

                      “Those verses are about NON BELIEVERS. The Pope says so :p”

                      Any evidence of this, genius? When did the pope say this? Since you claimed to be not interested in Christianity, why now pretend to know what a biblical verse means? You are so out of your depth it’s not funny.

                      “I dont see zakir naik as a shit stirrer”

                      There’s clear video evidence posted above of him telling Muslims not to associate with non Muslims. Only ultra racists and gullible idiots will say that’s not shit stirring. It’s a lot more than shit stirring actually, it’s a seditious remark.

                      “So invitation declined. Give political asylum to Zakir Naik.”

                      Ok, let’s give asylum to a guy who has been banned in many countries, including Islamic Bangladesh. Let’s also give asylum to a guy facing money laundering charges by his home country. Your stupidity AE really knows no bounds.

                    7. Stop making personal attacks (name-calling) a fellow commenter. Be civil.

                    8. Now that is like declawing a cat, Helen. How will his desperate deflections and word twisting going to work without name calling?
                      On my end, cease and desist.

            2. AE,

              You are going to have to try harder. You should look up the definition of hypocrite, as that word describes you in a nutshell.

              Does Mr Faaart or gila babi not constitute name calling in your mind? Be civil.

              As for deflections, which reality are you living in? I have answered all your unbelievably ignorant and silly questions/claims. I have proven Naik to be a charlatan, extremely uneducated and a hate preacher by providing videos that you of course choose to ignore. If this guy is the best you have got….

              You have not refuted anything as usual. Let’s face it, all you have in your comer is your bully mentally that has been afforded to you by the virtue of your race. I bet you wouldn’t last five seconds on a level playing field where meritocracy determines who gets the final laugh.

              Still waiting on a reference of what you claimed the pope said. Don’t chicken out like you normally do.

              1. Qualification other than shit stirring? No answer…. And did i ask
                YOU anything else ? I dont think so. So what are u going on about? Hearing voices perhaps?
                Go get help.

                The pope. Enjoy.
                Utusan punya link mau?

                1. You never fail to embarrassed yourself. Just give up man..

                  Firstly, I am still laughing at the fact that you have posted a link from a hardcore protestant and anti Catholic in John Ankerberg who rejects Catholicism the same way you reject Christianity.

                  Surely you should quote Catholic sources to prove what the Catholic Church teaches. But since you don’t know the difference between the two, I am not surprised.

                  Secondly, from that same link above, John actually quoted what a Vatican representative confirmed per the Catechism of the Catholic Church…. and then tried to debunk it. This is what he quoted.

                  “Rev. Thomas Rosica clarified with quotes from the Compendium.

                  “According to this document those who have not yet received the gospel and this without any fault of their own are given the possibility of eternal salvation. God ‘in the unknown ways’ of his grace can give the faith without which there is no salvation even to those who have not yet heard the preaching of the gospel”

                  As you can see AE, the Church teaches per the official Catechism that everybody can achieve salvation…. and that you have made a fool of yourself yet again.

                  It’s funny when you post links that you think support your case but in reality totally refutes it.

  10. I see you all still bickering about religion. So what else is new?

    Please, do carry on…

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