Shivaratri in Om Ashram
On 18th March 2023, Vishwaguru Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda celebrated Mahashivaratri in the Shiva Mandir in Om Ashram.
The Shiva Temple was inaugurated in 1992 by His Holiness Hindu Dharma Samrath Paramhans Swami Madhavananda Ji Maharaj, beloved Holy Guruji.
Sri Ganesh Ji Maharaj
Pandit Madhav Vyas performing Rudra Abhishek
Ceremony in the temple
Stone brought directly from Kedarnath is installed in front of the Shiva Temple.
Vishwaguruji explains the meaning of Shivaratri.
Vishwaguruji gives ceremonial pagri to Swami Avatar Puri at the end of the ceremony.
Mahashivaratri, also known as the Great Night of Shiva, is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated annually in honour of Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in Hinduism. The festival usually falls on the 14th night of the dark half of the Hindu month of Phalguna, which typically occurs in February or March, according to the Gregorian calendar.
The word 'Mahashivaratri' literally translates to 'the great night of Shiva', and it is believed that on this night, Lord Shiva performed the Tandava dance, which is considered to be the dance of creation, preservation, and destruction. It is also believed that on this night, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were married, and devotees fast and pray throughout the night to seek their blessings.
The festival is celebrated across India, Nepal, and other countries with significant Hindu populations. Devotees observe a strict fast on this day and spend the night in prayer, meditation, and chanting of hymns and mantras in honour of Lord Shiva. Many devotees also perform special pujas (worship ceremonies) and visit Shiva temples, where they offer milk, flowers, fruits, and other offerings to the deity.
One of the most famous celebrations of Mahashivaratri takes place in Varanasi, also known as Kashi, which is considered to be one of the holiest cities in Hinduism. The city is home to numerous Shiva temples, and on the night of Mahashivaratri, the ghats (riverbanks) of the holy river Ganges are lit up with thousands of lamps as devotees perform aarti (a ritual of offering light to the deity) and take a dip in the river to cleanse their sins.
Mahashivaratri is also a time for cultural festivities and social gatherings, with people coming together to sing and dance in honour of Lord Shiva. In some parts of India, processions are held with devotees carrying a lingam, a symbol of Lord Shiva, on their shoulders and singing devotional songs.
The festival holds great significance for Hindus, as it is believed that observing the fast and performing pujas on this day can bring blessings and fulfilment of one's wishes. It is also believed to be a time for spiritual awakening and introspection, as devotees seek to rid themselves of their sins and impurities and attain a closer connection with the divine.
Mahashivaratri is an important festival that celebrates the glory of Lord Shiva and is observed with great fervour and devotion by Hindus around the world. The festival serves as a reminder of the importance of spiritual practices and the need to connect with the divine, and it offers a time for introspection, renewal, and seeking blessings from Lord Shiva.