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Mahashivratri celebrated with devotion in Bay Area

March 13
21:18 2013

webSANTA CLARA, CA: Maha Shivratri, the grand night of Shiva falls on a moonless February night, and Hindus offer special prayer to the almighty Lord of Moksha. Shivratri is the night when Shiva is said to have performed the “Tandava” or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction.
Sri Maha Kaleshwar Mandir in Santa Clara celebrated Maha Shivrathri puja spread over two days on March 9 and 10. Sri Maha Kaleshwar Mandir is the first Jyotirlingam Shiva temple in the United States. Its two ton granite Sahasralingam was inaugurated on August 28, 2010, by Swami Sathasivom, head priest of Sri Kalikambal Temple in Chennai, India, and President and Founder of Sree Narayanee Kalikambal Sathasivom Foundation.
Maha Shivratri celebrations started with Nataraja abishekam, Sri Kalikambal Devi and Ardanarishwara abhishekam. In Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is considered as the God manifested by himself. His consort is considered as the manifestation of power or Shakti. He is the Lord who liberates your soul from the cycle of death and rebirth. Attainment of His feet will remove the fear of death.
On the holy night of Maha Shivratri there were four ablutions or abhishekams for Shiva Linga. Sadashiv, the absolute formless God, appeared in the form of “Lingodbhav Moorti” at midnight on Maha Shivratri. The entire twelve hours were divided into four parts or Kalam and there was ablution or Abhishekam for Shiva Linga after every three hours. The priests performed the ablution with the prescribed eleven ingredients. Devotees chanted Panchakshara ‘Om Namah Shivaya,’ 1008 Shiva Namahvali (1008 Holy Names of Lord Shiva) and offered holy Bilva Patras to the Lord.
During the holy night Vedic scholars recited Sri Rudram. It is the most powerful Vedic hymn, praises Lord Shiva with all his names and forms. Arathi was performed at the end of each kalam and over 3000 devotees attended this grand celebration. Dance and music performances were showcased by Bay area tots and adults for all two days.

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

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