Woodlands, Texas, Mar 11, 2017: A magnificent MahaShivratri celebration was organised by a Hindu temple of Woodlands, Texas; on February 24 – the night of Shiv Puja – continuing till Saturday morning at 8 a.m reported the Indo American news.
At 8:30am on Friday morning, the MahaShivratri festivities commenced with the Rudra Abhishekam. The Abhishekam, which is the bathing of the lord was done by the presiding priest using traditional substances. Following the bathing, was the adorning of the Shiva Lingam or the Alankaram.
A smaller Murti of Lord Shiva was temporarily added on a platform between the idols of Lord Ganesha and Maha Shiva. The devotees who had come to witness the Maha Abhishekam were able to carry out a small abhishekam of their own, pouring water and milk on the small murti. This opportunity was again open to the devotees starting from 6:00pm throughout the night.
After the first Abhishekam of the day, the Tirtham (liquid prasadam) and fruit prasadam were distributed among the devotees and the temple was closed for some time till evening.
At 6:30, the next type of Abhishekam, the Ekadasa Dravyam ( eleven materials, eleven fruit juices in this case) began. A traditional Tamil banana puree and dried fruits along with other items were also used during this ritual. The alankaram after this abhishekam consisted of the Shiva Linga draped in different kinds of fruits and vegetables.
The chants of Vedic Mantras and different Bhajans of lord Shiva echoed in the temple in the evening.
At 10 pm, Bhasma (Ashes) Abhishekam was carried out, succeeded by Chandana (Sandalwood) Abhishekam on Saturday Early morning. After each, the priests did a beautiful and colorful alankaram, using bhasma and dried fruit for the respectively. The final Abhishekam was of cooked rice which was served as prasadam for devotees on Saturday morning. The final alankaram for the celebration was of many different types of beautiful flowers.
The celebration for all was one of great beauty, devotion, and religious fervor, to be long remembered.
The next main festival after MahaShivratri at the Hindu temple was Holi – the festival of colours. The festivities were carried on today, from 11 a.m. in the morning to 3 p.m. within the temple premises. It included playing with Colored Powder, Music, dance and Indian snacks and sweet prices moderately. The festivities were open to all to attend, participate and enjoy.
-Prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf