Devotees throng temples to offer ‘Jal’
The Times of India, 23 February 2009, 11:28pm IST,
No wonder, devotees had to wade hard, jostling through the flanking crowd to get a glimpse of the `Shivling’ at Mankameshwar Mahadeva, Siddhanath, Koneshwar and other Shiva temples to seek the deity’s blessings on his special day. But the overwhelming crowd and serpentine queues outside the temples of the God of snakes, failed to deter the spirit of the devotees. Amidst reverberating chants of `har har mahadeva’ and `jai shiv shambhu’, Mahashivratri was celebrated with fervour and gaiety all over the state capital.
Known for fulfilling the wishes of every person, Siddheshwar or Shiva is very popular among the masses. So, people offered milk, honey, sandal wood paste and leaves of woodapple tree amidst vedic chanting and bhajans. The visit to the temple was incomplete without the ritualistic parikrama. Many people organised lingabhishek and sringaar of Shivlings too.
It is said that Shiva showers all his blessings on those who remember him with an honest and true heart. Probably the belief motivates thousands of `kanwariyas’ who travel long distances to pay a visit to Shiva Jyotirlinga named Lodeshwar Mahadev in Barabanki.
Pain on legs arising from lengthy walks, abrasions on shoulders and sprain in hands become redundant before the enthusiasm to get a glimpse of Bhole Shanker. Devotees and `kanwariyas’ thronged the Shiva temples across the country to offer jal to Him. Most `kanwariyas’ were in a thanksgiving mood and visited temples to complete their mannat – a special prayer in lieu of which the devotee has to promise and complete a religious deed (like offering water to Shiva in this case).
According to Hindu tradition, Shiva-Parvati is said to be a perfect couple. Shiva married Parvati in different incarnations for seven times. Wedding ceremonies are solemnised in their names and the couple promises to loyal to each other just the way Shiva and Parvati did.