BOSTON: Hundreds of devotees thronged Shivalaya Temple of Greater Boston for Mahashivaratri celebrations with great religious fervor and piety on Friday February 24 to pray and offer flowers, bel (wood apple) leaves, milk, honey and more to the Lord Shiva.
They in a way joined thousands of devotees who with their families and children crowd many Shiva shrines, big and small in towns, cities as well as rural areas, all over India and abroad. The festival is celebrated especially by singing praises of Lord Shiva by the devotees while observing a rigorous fast for absolution of sin and looking for Moksha on this day.
On this day,devotees were visiting the temple since early morning but in the evening, we witnessed serpentine queues of devotees, each carrying offerings for the Lord and offered to Lord Shiva their praises and prayers for his blessings. Swami Nalinanand Giri Ji delivered enlightening discourse on Shiva Purana Katha for two evenings from 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Wed Feb 22nd – Thu Feb 23nd.
On Shivaratri day, the Maha Rudra Abhishek was performed by the temple priests Pandit Jay Narayana Badal Ji and Swami Nalinanand Giri Ji along with devotees with all the Vedic rituals. Swami Ji also performed Shiva Ling shringar while devotees were singing Shiva Bhajans and chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaya in chorus.’ Maha Mritunjaya Mantra was also chanted with great devotion to seek divine blessings of Lord Shiva.Temple President Shri Vijay Kumar Selhi Ji offered beautiful fresh water garlands to Lord Shiva and Ma Parvati with utmost reverence.
Shiva Vivah play was performed by the young children from 8:30pm to 9:00pm as it is also believed that on this auspicious day there is convergence of divine powers of Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti and Lord Shiva was married to Ma Parvati.Their wedding was performed with all the Vedic chanting and rituals by Pandit Badal Ji.
On this day, the planetary position in universe evokes the spiritual energies very easily.Married women, therefore, pray for the well-being of their husbands and children, unmarried women pray to goddess Parvati asking for a good husband. Worshippers smeared holy ash on their forehead just like Shiva and wore Rudraksha garlands. The religious acts were performed with a sense of utmost devotion. The devotees showed their gratitude to Shiva god, for having saved the world.
Pandit Jay Narayana Badal Ji prayed and blessed all the devotees for their prosperous life filled with joys, happiness, affluence, success, and peace. “We wish you all a very Happy Shivratri. May Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati shower their blessings to everyone.
May this festival be a purposeful one to everybody,” said President Shri Selhi. Swami Nalinanand Ji also wished happiness and peace for every one with His eternal love and strength.”
Shri Sudershan Sharma Ji thanked every devotee for their participation and making the event a grand success. He also thanked profusely all volunteers for their time and meticulous job. Maha Mangalarati was followed by very delicious Maha Prasad for more than 400 fasting and non-fasting devotees.