Friday, February 20, 2009

Maha Shivaratri - Shivratri Festival

Sri Maha Shivaratri - The Night of Universal Lord Shiva. Shiva means "Auspicious". This is one of the famous festival celebrated by all Hindus in honor of Lord Shiva. The festival would be on Monday, February 23, 2009. The ceremonies mainly take place at night in all shiva temples. The legend says Lord Shiva married Parvati Ma on this occasion. On the auspicious occasion, devotees observe fast and keep vigil whole night. Mahashivaratri marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava. The devotees offer fruits, flowers and bel leaves otherwise called as Vilva leaves to Lord Shiva Linga on this day. Bel leaf is the favorite of Lord Shiva.

Legend of Maha Shivaratri

A tiger was chasing a man and the man out of fear ran and ran and finally climbed a tree and sat on its branch. He did not know the tree which he climbed was the bel (Vilva) tree. The tiger was also following the man and sat just under the tree. A Shiva Linga was available under the tree. The man out of fear started plucking the leaves (bel leaves) and dropped them one by one just below the Shiva Linga the whole night. Next day morning, Lord Shiva appeared before the man and blessed him. The man attained moksha which means soul liberation. Hence the people believed that observing fast and performing abhisekams & pujas on Shiva Linga during the Shivaratri occasion will facilitate the soul liberation.

Shivaratri at Meenakshi Amman Temple

At Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, Sri Maha Shivaratri festival is celebrated in a grand manner every year. During Shivaratri festival, Lord Sundareswarar is performed four time abhisekams and pujas the full night. The first puja will be at 10 p.m., the second puja will be at 12 a.m., the third puja will be at 2 a.m., and the fourth puja will be at 4 a.m. Devotees are requested to participate in the Shivratri festival and attain the Lord's grace on this occasion. Specifically, Shivaratri festival is celebrated in all twelve Jyothirlinga temples in a splendid manner. More than thousands of devotees visit the Jyothirlinga temples on this occasion.

Jyothirlinga Temples
  • Somchandra
  • Mallikarjuna
  • Mahakaleshwara
  • Omkareshwara
  • Vaidhyanathan
  • Bhimashankar
  • Rameshwar
  • Nageshwar
  • Viswanath
  • Triambakeshwar
  • Kedareshwar
  • Grishneshwar

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi visited Madurai Temple City

Honourable Gujarat State Chief Minister Narendra Modi visited Madurai today to meet the sourashtrian community. In Madurai, various kinds of people are living like Tamil, Sourashtra, Telugu, Rajasthan Marwadi, etc. Among them Sourashtra community is the one third of the population of Madurai city. These sourashtra community people hailed from the Sourashtra region of Gujarat during the ruling period of King Thirumalai Naicker in order to help him. Their major occupation is the weaving silk and cotton textiles. During Thirumalai Naicker period, they weaved the Silk Dhoties and Sarees for the King Thirumalai Naicker family. The King was very much impressed by their artful weaving and felt very happy. So he planned to provide them gift as shelter to all Sourashtrians around the palace area.

A great get-together function for the Sourashtra people held in Madurai at K.L.N. College of Engineering today. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was the chief guest for this sourashtrian community function. He arrived at the spot at 2.30 p.m. and addressed a gathering of 5,000 people from Sourashtrian community in Madurai. Thousands of sourashtra community people participated in this function. Later Chief Minister Narendra Modi launched a Research Institute of Sourashtra Heritage & Immigration (RISHI), a project in association with Sourashtra University, Rajkot. Also he unveiled the statue of K.L.N. Krishnan, founder of K.L.N. Sourashtra Engineering College, Madurai.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,