BHUBANESWAR, MARCH 4
Thousands of devotees thronged Shiva temples across the State today to offer puja on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri.
Devotees in large numbers visited Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar, Lokanath Temple in Puri, Dhabaleswar Temple in Athagarh, Chandrashekhar Temple at Kapilash in Dhenkanal, Panchalingeswar in Balasore, Ladukeshwar in Nayagarh, Gupteshwar in Koraput and Akhandalamani Temple at Aradi in Bhadrak to pay obeisance to Lord Shiva.
Since early morning, devotees thronged Lord Shiva shrines to offer prayers. Many Shiva temples were bedecked for the celebrations.
Devout Hindus observed fast on the day till “mahadeepa” was raised atop the Shiva temples in their respective areas.
The devotees offered wood apple leaves, flowers and fruits to the Lord and chanted mantras like Om Namah Shivaay (for eradicating fear), Om Namo Bhagwate Rudraay (to seek Lord Shiva’s blessings) and Mahamrityunjay mantra (to increase longevity) in His praise throughout the night.
Many women lighted Diyas and remained awake throughout the night seeking blessings for the well being of their families.
Adequate security measures had been taken to ensure smooth ‘darshan’ for devotees in the Shiva shrines.
Fire tenders were also kept ready as a precautionary measure.
Notably, Maha Shivaratri, otherwise known as ‘Jagar’, is observed in a ritualistic way with much serenity to appease Lord Shiva. The festival marks a remembrance of “overcoming darkness and ignorance” in life and the world. It is observed by remembering Lord Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, and meditating on ethics and virtues such as self-restraint, honesty, non-injury to others and forgiveness.