City celebrates Mahashiva

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K.A.Viswanathan

Media Eye News Bureau: All Shiva temples across the country were reverberated with the chants  of “ Om Namashivaya” on Mahashivaratri .

It  is one of the biggest Hindu festivals  celebrated with great enthusiasm. This festival was celebrated on February 13/14  on the new moon day in the Krishna Paksha in the month of Phalguna or Maagha according to the Hindu calendar. Out of the 12 Shivaratris in the year, the Mahashivaratri is considered to be the most auspicious one.

The devotees thronged to the nearby Shiva temple to offer pooja  with milk and bilwa leaves to Linga , a symbol for the worship of Lord Shiva, It is believed that the people who fast on this day and night and offer prayers to Lord Shiva get peace and prosperity in their life.

According to a legend , after the Earth was faced with an imminent destruction, Goddess Parvati pledged with Lord Shiva to save the world. Pleased with her prayers, Lord Shiva agreed to save the world on the pretext that the people of the Earth would have to worship him with dedication and passion. From that day onwards, the night came to be known as Mahashivratri and people began worshipping Shiva with a great enthusiasm. Shiva is considered as the ideal husband and unmarried girls and women pray for a husband like him.

 

According to another popular legend, Maha Shivaratri is the night when Shiva performs the heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction.

The Mahasivaratri is divided into four Yaamas. All temples with Shiva Linga perform Rudra Japam , Rudra homam during the day. The first Yaama begins in the evening when Mahanyasa Rudra Japam is performed. The second Yaama starts from night and continues with other two Yaamas till early morning the next day and ends before Sun rise. During the Yaama the Linga is bathed with Holy water, milk, Chandan, bhasma, coconut water, Dhahi , honey and Bel leaves with chanting of ‘Om Namashivaya’.

The Sankara Mattham at Matunga had made elaborate arrangements as the day also coincided with the important day of the Lord – Maha Prodosham. After the Pradosha pooja , there was,  Laksharchana with Bel leaves – with the chanting of Om Namashivaya one lakh times  said the secretary S.Sivasubramanian, Maha Deeparadhana was performed early morning after all four Yaamas. Two other temples in the vicinity Sri South Indian Bhajana Samajam and Bhuvaneswari Shiva temple also conducted poojas  from evening to next day morning.

Bhabulnath Mandir at Chowpathy is the most sought after temple for the devotees who come from all over Maharashtra on this day.

Milk vendors were selling milk several times more than the normal days. A vendor at Matunga  said he sold around 1500 ltrs of milk on that day as two important Shiva temples were around. Sri Sankara Mattham alone received nearly 1000 ltrs of milk from their devotees for abhishekam said the Mattham secretary.

Mahashivratri is not only celebrated in India but also in Nepal and other regions where Lord Shiva is worshipped. Among the various popular shrines, Amarnath temple pilgrimage or Mount Amarnath (about 140 km from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir) is believed to be the holiest in Hinduism. Surrounded by fascinating mountainous terrains and picturesque snowy mountains this shrine remains crowded by pilgrims throughout the year especially on Mahashivratri.

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