Mar 10, 2013 News
The Hindu community will today be observing the festival of Maha Shiv Raatri.
Maha Shiv Raatri is said to be a deeply spiritual occasion for Hindus. The occasion is being celebrated on the 14th day in the Hindu month of Phalgun called Chaturdasi. It is a day consecrated for the worship of ‘Bhagwan Shiva’.
On a day like today, hundreds, if not thousands, would flock Mandirs all across the country for its services. Many also travel from far off parts of the country to visit particularly, the Cove and John Ashram.
In explaining the features of this occasion, President of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud, has said that on this day, devotees will be performing a ‘Puja’ to Bhagwan Shankar starting from 6:00 a.m. and every ‘prahar’ thereafter until the day is completed. Maha Shiv Raatri is believed to be an opportunity for aspirants to do homage to Shankar Bhagwan both in His Sakaar and Nirakaar roop – personal and impersonal; form and formless.
Large numbers of devotes worship Shiva through the medium of the Murti and the Lingam. The Lingam connotes Formlessness while the Murti has a Form and features symbolically many aspects of Shiva Shakti.
“Shiva is unchanging consciousness. He is the destructive aspect of the Trinity. In destruction there is automatic re-creation. He is the Supreme reality. He is eternal, formless, omnipresent, one without a second. He is not limited by time. Shiva is infinite bliss and infinite intelligence. Shiv Raatri emphasizes the omniscience of God and the Shiva Lingam or the shapeless stone used in His worship connotes his formlessness.
“The Lingam, unlike other images, has neither head nor limb. The symbol denotes something which has neither beginning nor end. The symbol is used as an aid to bring together our mental comprehension of Shiva who is the motive power within. This symbol like others used in our puja is simply the means not the end. It will be recalled that Lord Rama consecrated the Lingam and did puja before he crossed to Lanka for the combat with Ravan. He sits on a tiger’s skin symbolic that he has conquered anger. The snake around his neck is a reflection of the Kundalini Shakti (power). From the Damaru Lord Shiva has produced the Sanskrit language.
The three-streamed chandan on his forehead reminds of the Trimurti – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Devotees are absorbed during the day of Shiv Raatri in vigorous fasting and Meditation.”
Persaud added that in the Maha Shiv Puran, the Panch Akshara Mantra are provided for chanting and it is done in the form of Akhand (incessant) Kirtan and thus all the devotees will be absorbed in the chanting of Om Namaha Shivaya. Bramha, Vishnu, and Mahesh constitute the Trinity – God’s creation, sustenance, and dissolution. Shri Ram in his seventh incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu and so as Shri Krishna both worshipped Shiva Bhagwan during their sojourn on this earth.”
The Guyana Hindu Sabha is calling on all affiliates and Mandirs to organize appropriate Satsangh to commemorate the deeply spiritual day.
Satsangh will be held at Dharmic Rama Krishna Mandir, Barr Street, Kitty at 8:00 a.m. and Shri Krishna Mandir, Campbellville at 7:00 p.m Puja will be conducted by Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud who will be by Pandit Jagmohan Persaud and Pandit Bramanand Prashad.
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