Piety and seriousness will mark the Shivaratri Festival being celebrated by the Brahmakumaris Raja Yoga Centres in Auckland and Wellington.
‘Maha Shiv Darshan’ will be held in Wellington at the Indian Cultural Hall (48 Kemp Street, Kilbirnie) from 9 am to 8 pm on January 23 and in Auckland at Shiv Mandir (54 Holmes Road, Manurewa) from 7 am to 7 pm on February 5.
Shivaratri symbolises the divine incarnation of Lord Shiva on Earth.
The night indicates the moral degradation that sets in due to the darkness of ignorance in this world. Shiva is the ocean of knowledge who leads humankind from darkness to light (from untruth to truth by imparting true knowledge).
Shivaratri is one of the main festivals celebrated in India and around the world by the devotees of Lord Shiva. It is said that Lord Shiva asked his devotees to perform ‘Jaagharan’ and ‘upavas’.
‘Jaagharan’ symbolises the need to be awake from the sleep of ignorance, while ‘Upavas’ is the combination of ‘upa’ (closer to) and ‘vas’ (to live). It denotes proximity to God.
Some believe that it was on the auspicious night of Shivaratri that Lord Shiva performed the ‘Tandava,’ the dance of the Primal Creation, Preservation and Destruction. Another popular Shiv Ratri legend, found in the ‘Linga Purana,’ states that Lord Shiva manifested himself in His original form on this day.
Devotees believe that sincere worship of Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Shivaratri absolves people of sins and liberates them from the cycle of birth and death.
The Maha Shiv Darshan would feature 12 Shiva Lingams. This would be a lifetime experience for some devotees. Each Shiva Lingam has its own speciality.
Shri Ghumeshwar: ‘Ghumesh’ means gharshan or friction. God is the point of light, similar to a spark that emerges during friction of material elements.
Shri Omkareshwar: ‘Om’ means ‘soul.’ Omkareshwar is the Father of all souls.
Shri Mallikarjuna: ‘Mallik’ means white jasmine and ‘Arjuna’ is one who is clever in absorbing (arjan) knowledge. Lord Mallikarjuna transforms the soul into a pure fragrant flower by giving knowledge.
Shri Trimbakeshwar: ‘Trimba’ means Trimurti or three deities created by Brahma (Generator), Vishnu (Operator) and Shankara (Destroyer).
Trimbakeshwar is the father of Trimurti deities.
Shri Mahakaleshwar: ‘Kal’ means death. Mahakaleshwar is the conqueror of death or beyond death.
Shri Bhimeshwar: ‘Bhim’ means strength. Bhimeshwar is the Lord of strength, who protects His devotees from obstacles.
Shri Rameshwar: God creates ‘Rama Rajya’ (Heaven) on earth and makes the souls worthy to go to Heaven.
Shri Kashi Vishwanath: ‘Kashi’ means luminous and ‘Vishwanath’ means Father of the Universe. Lord Shiva is a luminous point of light who is the Father of all the souls.
Shri Nageshwar: ‘Nag’ means snake, which is compared to vices in human beings. Nageshwar is one who destroys the vices and purifies the souls.
Shri Vaidyanath: ‘Vaidya’ means doctor. Lord Vaidyanath is the Supreme Doctor, who cures the diseases in the soul.
The above article was sent by the Brahma Kumaris of New Zealand.
What: Maha Shiv Darshan
By Whom: Brahmakumaris New Zealand
Where: Indian Cultural Hall, 48 Kemp Street
When: Monday, January 23, 2012 from 9 am to 8 pm
Where: Shiv Mandir, 54 Holmes Road
When: Sunday, February 5, 2012 from 7 am to 7 pm