From Our Correspondent
SILCHAR, February 17: Shivaratri or worship of Lord Shiva was observed and performed with great devotion and dedication by men, women and children across the temples of the God. One of the famous pilgrimage is to the temple of Shiva located atop the Bhuban hills, close to the borders of Mizoram and Manipur, 45 km from here. From last night, pilgrims and devotees were seen taking the help of all sorts of vehicles, two wheelers to four wheelers to make their sojourn to the hilly shrine in order to offer their prayers. Till this evening, according to the sources, around 50000 devotees have visited the shrine.
The well–known Kapil Ashrama, popularly known as Siddheswar Shiva temple, located at Badarpurghat, witnessed the huge turnout of devotees. The number of people swelled many times today, as the Shivaratri started at 10.41 am this morning. Puja was performed in many small temples across the valley. Many women and girls offer obeisance to Lord Shiva keeping day long fast.
Shivaratri or taking refuge in Shiva was observed with all solemnity and serenity by the devotees and worshippers of the great Lord of peace, infinity and beauty. He is regarded as the meditative aspect of the entire universe. He is power incarte and a source of strength and courage. Shivaratri or worshipping the Lord is a rest not only for the body, but also for the mind, intellect and instinct. Shivaratri is an occasion to awaken from all sorts of slumber, it is believed pointed out the priest, Muktalal Bhattacharjee. Man has to be grateful for the happiness which has led to growth and also for sadness which gives depth to life. This is the right way of observing Shivaratri.
No worship is complete without offering something to the deity. Shiva is very simple, he is innocent, hence he is called Bholath. One just needs to offer bel-patra to him. There is a deep message here. Bel-patra offerings signify the surrender of all three aspects of one’s ture, tamas, rajas and sattva. One has to surrender the positives and negatives of one’s life to Shiva and become carefree, pointed out Hiralal Bhattacharjee, a well-known purohit (priest). The greatest offering is to surrender to the Lord. It brings eterl peace and tranquility. Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram, is the worship of Lord Shiva. And this cardil ideal makes one good and benevolent. Meditation on this day has deep significance as it ennobles the mind and soul, explained Bhattacharjee.
Shivaratri is the transcendental, divine peace which brings solace to all layers of existence. Lord Shiva is worshipped throughout the length and breadth of India. An ascetic for the yogi, a father for those seeking blessings, a house-holder for innumerable women who perform Shiv archa, Mahadev is a holistic god. This makes Shivratri a much revered and celebrated festival for millions who fast and perform night long pujas. Bhattacharjee added to say Shiva is worshipped only in the form of a ling and the best way to worship him is to sing bhajans. Further, as he pointed out Shiva puja is incomplete unless Belpatri is offered to the lord. It has also a cooling effect.
According to the Puras, the festival marks the protection of the world by Shiva from the deadly poison that emerged during the churning of the ocean.
The lord drank the poison and saved the world from destruction. Shivratri celebrates this event by which the world was saved. There are many other legends too.