Mahashivaratri and pashupatinath

पर्यटन बजार१३ फाल्गुन २०७५, सोमबार मा प्रकाशित

Mahashivaratri and pashupatinath

25 February 2019, Maha Shivaratri hindu festival celebrated annually in honour of Lord shiva. There is a Shivaratri in every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month’s 13th night/14th day, but once a year in late winter (February/March, or magha) and before the arrival of Summer, marks Maha Shivaratri which means “the Great Night of Shiva”.

It is a major festival in hinduism ,this festival is solemn and marks a remembrance of “overcoming darkness and ignorance” in life and the world. It is observed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty, noninjury to others, forgiveness, and the discovery of shiva. The ardent devotees keep awake all night. Others visit one of the Shiva temples or go on pilgrimage to jyotirlingams . This is an ancient Hindu festival whose origin date is unknown.

 Unlike most Hindu festivals which are celebrated during the day, the Maha Shivaratri is celebrated at night. Furthermore, unlike most Hindu festivals which include expression of cultural revelry, the Maha Shivaratri is a solemn event notable for its introspective focus, fasting, meditation on Shiva, self study, social harmony and an all night vigil at Shiva temples.

History and significance

Many legends explain the significance of Maha Shivaratri, one being it is the night of Shiva’s dance . According to a few God realized Yogis, Maha Shivaratri was the day when Shiva drank poisonous negativity to protect the world. The Maha Shivaratri is mentioned in several puranas , particularly the skanda purana , linga purana and padma purana . These medieval era Shaiva texts present different mythologies associated with this festival, but all mention fasting and reverence for icons of Shiva such as the Lingam.

Maha Shivaratri and Tantra

Maha Shivaratri is considered the day when adiyogi or the first guru awakened his consciousness at the material level of existence. According to Tantra, at this stage of consciousness, no objective experience takes place and the mind is transcended. The meditator transcends time, space and causation. It is regarded as the dark night of the soul, when the yogi attains the state of shoonva or Nirvana , the stage preceding samadhi or illumination.

In Nepal

Maha Shivaratri is a National Holiday in Nepal and celebrated widely in temples all over the country, but especially in the pashupatinath temple. Thousands of devotees visit the famous shiva shakti peetham nearby as well.Holy rituals are performed all over the nation. Artists from various classical music and dance forms perform through the night. On Maha Shivaratri, married women pray for the well being of their husbands, while unmarried women pray for a husband like Shiva, considered as the ideal husband. Shiva is also worshipped as the Adi Guru (first teacher) from whom the divine wisdom originates.

Arrangements for Maha Shivaratri at Pashupatinath Temple

Maha Shivaratri is known as one of the most celebrated religious festivals for Hindus. Every year Hindus from all over the world are seen thronging many Shiva temples during this festival. Pashupatinath Temple is the place with the biggest crowd on this day.

This year, on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri, the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) is expecting a crowd of 1.3 million people from across the world. For the successful celebration of the festival, the management unit in Pashupatinath have started cleaning the area. Also, this year more importance has been given for figuring out an easier way to manage crowd so that devotees can carry out their Puja and Darshan faster and more conveniently.

Spring is one of the best times to visit Nepal, and Indian tourists enjoy visiting during the most auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri. Special provisions are made to ease Darshan for Indian pilgrims at Pashupatinath during Maha Shivaratri, which falls on Feb 13 this year, according to officials at the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT). The PADT will also make available Pashupati Darshan passes at easy outlets near Pashupati area to facilitate pilgrims from India.

Apart from Puja and Darshan other attractions for visitors to the temple vicinity at the time will be the colorful crowd including gorgeous Sadhu Babas from different parts of Nepal and India. People come to Pashupatinath to observe and see the different kinds of Sadhu Babas and their activities; some Sadhus are covered is ashes while some prefer to be completely naked.

According to Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) Chairman Mr. Govinda Tandan , “A huge crowd is expected and we are working to manage a fine parking facility and a good place for devotees to sit. Also, as many devotees show eagerness to distribute food to the people present there, we are trying to manage a proper place for the devotees to enjoy their meal.”

As Maha Shivaratri is mainly related with the night, the devotees stay up all night and pray to Lord Shiva. The four Prahars of Puja is carried out all night long, the devotees usually stay in tents along the Gaushala road.

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