Observing Maha Shivarathri

2016-03-03 06:00
Photo: supplied Lord Siva Peruman the destroyer or the transformer.

Photo: supplied Lord Siva Peruman the destroyer or the transformer.

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Om Tryambakam Yajaamahe Sugandhim Pushtivarddhanam Urvaarukamiva Bandhanaan Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritaat

ON the 7 March 2016, we will celebrate the great night of Maha Shivarathri.

In Hinduism we speak of the Trimurthi or Trinity which is Lord Siva Peruman the destroyer or the transformer. In sanskrit the word Shiva means ‘auspicious, kind or gracious’.

In English transliteration we can either say Siva or Shiva. In Tamil however, Shiva means ‘the supreme one’.

He is also known as Nama Shivaya, Mahadeva, Maheshvara, Parameshvara, Neelakandha and Lingeshvara.

On the night of Shivarathri, we not only worship the various images of Nama Shivaya, we also worship the sacred Shivalinga with great love and reverence. The Shivalinga is regarded as the symbol of our Great Lord Shiva who is all auspiciousness.

There are various beautiful stories and legends about Nama Shivaya which can be found in the Shiva Purana.

The night of Shivarathri is divided into four jamams. Each jamam has its own special colour coding. In the first jamam, the colour yellow is adorned.

A yellow garland is used and is significant of the presence of Mangalam, meaning auspiciousness. In the second jamam the colour red is used as a symbol of Shakthi as Lord Shiva demonstrates in the form of the Thandava dance. Similarly, a red garland of flowers are used.

In the third jamam, the colour blue is adorned demonstrating. Sumudra Manthan (the churning of the ocean.)

During the churning of the ocean by the Gods and the demons, Haalaa - halam, a poison came out of the ocean. It was so toxic, it could have wiped out the entire creation.

On the advice of Maha Vishnu, Lord Shiva consumed the poison to protect all living beings and became as Neelakantha, the blue Throat God. The blue Nilambium lotus flower is used, but here in South Africa, we use a blue sprayed flower.

The final jamam is in pure white symbolic of peace and calm. White flowers and ash is adorned on the Shivalinga.

The trustees and members of the Shri Siva Subramaniar Alayam of Umdloti Drift Verulam, extends an invite to the Public and its devotees to join them for their 114th Maha Shivarathri prayer.

All devotees wishing to participate, should contact Guru Ramalingam Veeramuthu on 032 5333696. Prayer groups wishing to visit the alayam on the night of Shivarathri are welcome. All those wishing to contribute in cash or kind should contact Guru Ramalingam.

Shivarathri takes place on 6 March from 6pm to 6am at 6 Temple Road, Umdloti Drift, Verulam.

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