Maha Shivaratri To Be Celebrated Amid Covid Restrictions In Odisha
Bhubaneswar: The famous Hindu festival of Maha Shivaratri is being observed on Tuesday all over Odisha amid Covid restrictions.
Reportedly, the Twin City Commissionerate Police issued a traffic advisory for hassle-free traffic arrangement during Maha Shivaratri at the Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar in view the large congregation of thousands of devotees here.
Khordha Collector Sangram Keshari Mohapatra informed that the Mahadeepa will be raised atop the Lingaraj temple at 10 PM on Maha Shivratri. The devotees can light diyas on the premises of the Lingaraj Temple by following the Covid norms.
However, they will not be allowed to go into the temple’s garbha gruha (sanctum sanctorum), they can have darshan of Lord Lingaraj from near the Adakatha. The abakasa niti of Lord Lingaraj will be held from 3 AM to 3.30 AM on Maha Shivratri day.
Family members of the sevayats of the temple will be allowed to have the darshan of Lord Lingaraj till 5 AM while the devotees can go for darshan after 5 AM.
Adding to it, the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) also issued Covid guidelines in view of large gathering congregations outside/ within the temple premises.
What is the significance of Maha Shivaratri?
Maha Shivaratri is one of the most auspicious Hindu festivals celebrated annually in honour of Lord Shiva. It is considered auspicious as it is supposed to be the night of convergence of Shiva and Shakti – the embodiment of love, power, and oneness.
According to Hindu mythology, it is believed that Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati got married on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri. While Lord Shiva signifies Purusha – which is mindfulness, Maa Parvati signifies Prakriti – which is nature.
This festival is also a reminder of overcoming darkness and ignorance in life.
It is also believed that Lord Shiva performs his cosmic dance of creation, preservation, and destruction. This heavenly dance is known as tandav among his devotees.
This festival is celebrated with religious fervor and enthusiasm by the devotees who visit the temples. They also keep a full-day fast that begins in the morning of the festival and ends the following day after the Mahadeepa gets raised atop the Shiv temple.
How to prepare for Maha Shivaratri fasting?
- On the day of the fast, one should wake up early in the morning two hours before sunrise.
- Take a bath and wear clean clothes followed by a sankalp. They can take sankalp by taking some rice and water in their palm.
- People who are suffering from certain health conditions or are on medication should consult their doctor before going ahead with the fasting
- People observing the fast are advised to do ‘Om Namah Shivay’ chanting several times in a day.
- Devotees should take second bath in the evening before doing shiv puja.
- Milk, dhatura flower, belpatra, sandalwood paste, yogurt, honey, ghee, sugar should be offered to the Shivling during the puja.
- One should not consume food made of wheat, rice, pulses as it is strictly prohibited during the fast. Non-vegetarian food, garlic, onion should also be avoided.