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Mahashivratri celebrated with exuberance, warmth

MAHASHIVRATRI, THAT falls at the onset of spring and symbolises new beginnings, was celebrated with traditional fervour in the City today.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 13:35 IST

MAHASHIVRATRI, THAT falls at the onset of spring and symbolises new beginnings, was celebrated with traditional fervour in the City today.

Young and old made offerings of milks, honey, water, sandalwood paste and flowers to Lord Mahakal to seek blessings for a new lease of life.

A large number of people left for Omkareshwar and Ujjain today for a holy dip and to pay at Omkareshwar, Mamaleshwar and Mahakal.

Others visited local temples that were tastefully decked up for the occasion. Fasting and devotional songs sung in the praise of Lord Shiva, the destroyer of evil, made the religious celebrations complete.

Social and cultural organisations distributed saboodana khichdi and mawa sweets to the devout at temples and road junctions. Opium lovers savoured bhang sweets and beverages on the occasion.

For the Shaivaites, Mahashivratri poojan includes a ceremonial offering of wood apple (bael) leaves to the deity representing the purification of soul and vermilion paste applied on the idol or linga that represents virtue.

Then there is an offering of food, which is conducive to longevity and gratification of desires; incense that yields wealth; the lighting of lamp, which symbolises attainment of knowledge and betel leaves that marks satisfaction with worldly pleasures.

Adi Shankaracharya has interpreted the name Shiva to mean the “One who purifies everyone by he utterance of His name” or the Pure One as Œhiva is unaffected by the three gunas (characteristics) of prakarti (matter): satva, rajas and tamas.

According to a theory, Œhiva is the third form of God as one of the Trimurti (popularly called the ‘Hindu trinity’). In the Trimurti, Œhiva is the destroyer, Brahma is the creator and Vishnu the preserver.

However, even though he represents destruction, Œhiva is viewed as a positive force. Other views contend that Œhiva produces Vishnu who produces Brahma. This leads to the beginning of creation within which the cycle of Trimurti exists.

Œhiva also assumes many other roles including the Lord of Ascetics (Mahadeva), Lord of Boons (Rudra) as also the Universal Divinity (Mahesvara).

The worshippers of Shiva, who are called Shaivaites, believe that their deity represents the Ultimate Reality.


Thousands offer prayers at Mahakal Temple
THOUSANDS OF devotees thronged at Mahakaleshwar Temple for darshan on the occasion of Mahashivratri here on Sunday. Elaborate arrangements had been made by the police in and around the temple premises to facilitate comfortable darshan.

Though darshan began after Bhasmarti at 5 am, pilgrims had started queuing up from last night onwards. A large number of devotees from various parts of the country flocked to the temple on the pious day.

With the expansion of Nandigrah, the time for waiting in queues has come down to about 30 minutes instead of the four to five hours till a few years back. Four rows of devotees ran simultaneously before entering the sanctum sanctorum.

However, several devotees complained that policemen pulled them away even before they could have a glimpse of the deity and that too from a distance of about 25 feet.

Mahashivratri is the wedding ceremony of Lord Shiva. A special Sehra would be put up on the Shivling tomorrow to mark the day.

The temple will remain open throughout the night today and tomorrow’s Bhasmarti would take place noon. Several social organisations rendered services at the temple. Institutions like the Shiv Welfare Trust, Mahakal Bhakt Mandal and others distributed milk, fariyali khichri and curd in the form of prasad to devotees.

The Ujjaini Sewa Samiti arranged fariyali food for the devotees at Mahakaleshwar Temple Dharmashala. Thousands of devotees took advantage of the same. Samiti convener Ghanshyam Patel said that free meals were arranged for pilgrims coming from outside Ujjain. State Ministers Paras Jain and Laxmikant Sharma offered prayers at the temple.

Collector’s directives flayed
COLLECTOR NEERAJ Mandloi had directed the Western Region Power Transmission Company to spare Ujjain, Barnagar and Nagda from regular power cuts on the occasion of Mahashivratri. However, no heed was paid to this and the City saw power cuts as per schedule.

The Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board (MPSEB) officials said that they had received instructions from the headquarters for uninterrupted supply to the Mahakal feeder only, and hence, cuts were made in other areas.

First Published: Feb 27, 2006 13:35 IST