Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Shivrathri Experience

Shiva Temple near our place was very busy, today being Sivarathiri. Though could not spend the whole night at temple, I decided to attend atleast the night service. This time I took a vow to fast, something very rare for which I convince myself to do. After, reaching home at 9.00 PM, started immediately to temple cleansing myself properly. By that time, the first set of pooja was over and Lord Shiva stood majestically, looking gorgeous with the simple flowers that decorated Him.

I was informed that service will start by 11.00 P.M. I decided to wait, as it was already 10.00 PM by then, and leaving at that time would be unwise, as I expected more crowd. To pass an hour, Brahmans chanting ruthram earlier, started singing. They sing to control sleep and keep themselves occupied. Hence expecting to hear Yesudas or Nithyashree will be too much. Everyone tried his voice and I really enjoyed. But a young girl sang excellently well, a real treat to Lord Shiva. That momentary performance came to an end soon and our fervent old men continued.

It was just 10.30 PM and to my astonishment, priest pulled the screen down and went inside. That means, he is preparing for pooja, removing all decorations and making Him ready for next abishekam. So we were happy as the service was going to start half an hour earlier. Head priest came out, removed the screen and we saw Shiva standing royally with His decorations removed, ready for abishekam.

By that time I noticed a lady, clothed very well, to be exact in a manner that did not suit the occasion. Priest, who was ready to perform abishekam, dressed up Lord Shiva once again and I got confused. There stood a small screen star with that lady and God was forced to dress up well just to please these fake stars. Once again karpoora aarathi was taken. I could only laugh when that lady prayed seriously.

As this went on for half an hour, our devotees got distracted and started talking about worldly things. One was worried about her little daughter’s breakfast menu for the next day while the other was admiring the sari of another.

Atlast everything settled down and my Lord became ready once again. It started with Pal abishekam (milk bath) and we all had a hearty look at our Lord who was relishing His regained glory. But for the above mentioned incidents, the other things went on well and brahmanas did a perfect job, with Head Priest involving himself too much, eventually, giving us the satisfaction.

Abishekam was over and again the curtains were pulled down. This time it is to decorate the Lord. The gap was filled in the old way by chanting slokas and singing songs. When the curtain rose, it was really a divine experience and He was really magnificent. Equally skillfully adorned was Goddess Parvathi, looking splendid. It was worth waiting there for three hours.

Everything went on well till the main villain of today’s episode, a young Brahmin announced about distribution of Prasadam. I usually do not take the pain of going in queue to collect the Prasadam and will be content with sacred ash given. Today my mother accompanied me and she was dutiful enough to get some prasadam. When I came out of temple saying goodnight to God, my mother standing outside offered me His Prasadam and I gleefully gulped few mouthfuls. Alas, only afterwards I remembered my vow and became terribly guilty. Cursed the villain once again and started walking slowly, determined to continue with my decision despite of that tempting puliyodarai‘s successful attempt to dissuade me. Ah, I am my own master and I make and break rules. God doesn’t care about these rule breakings. When he accepted the breach by Priest, will not he bear with me for my temptation? Consoling myself, I went to bed thinking about His enchanting looks once again.


Post a Comment

<< Home