Maha Shivarathiri Day

This year the Maha Shivarathri Day is on Friday, February 21, 2020

On this sacred day the Hindu Devotees throughout the island will hold vigil staying up all-night in observing and worshiping ‘Maha Shivarathri’ as it is a special worship day. Devotees will be blessed with an abundance of positive results and all sins committed in previous births would be destroyed with the roots after a day of worshiping and a night of vigil. A day that would test piousness, focus and self-control: observing vigil all-night and avert having a nap when it has dawned, as that would defeat the purpose of staying up all-night.

The most popular Lord Shiva temple in the City of Colombo is the Shri Ponnambalawaneshwaram Temple at Kochchikade, that is famous for an out-of-the-ordinary architecture built in granite. Whereas the Pancha Ishwarams (five abodes of Shiva) are five coastal ancient kovils built in dedication to the Hindu supreme being Ishwara in the form of the god Shiva, located along the circumference of the island, known as “Then Kailayam” (Southern Kailash), because it lies on the same longitude as Mount Kailash. These ancient Pancha Ishwarams are built in coastal areas in the island; its initial constructions of these five Hindu temples were done by the royal architects of the Naga kingdom. These are well known Lord Shiva shrines that are the most sacred pilgrimage complexes for devotees of the Hindu faith, they are polytheistic in nature with a central shrine for Shiva. These temples are Naguleswaram Temple in the northern peninsula, Koneswaram Temple in the east , Tondeswaram Temple in the south, Munneswaram Temple in the west and Ketheeswaram Temple in the north and the Shiva lingams in each kovil are recorded as being Ravana’s installations, while one of his descendants, the ancient Yaksha queen Kuveni was a devotee of Ishwara. Eventually, the kovils became international focal points of their classical era capitals in their respective districts, maintaining their own historical records, traditions and broad influence across Asia.

Though majority population of Sri Lanka is Sinhala-Buddhist, many of them are from ancient times ardent worshipers of Hindu Gods ; when the need arises, they even indulge in Hindu ritualistic practices. evident from the spread of these famous Lord Shiva shirines that are located round the island. Further in almost every Buddhist temple in the country has shrines for a variety of Hindu and pre-Buddhist divinities. One of the most deeply entrenched and enduring beliefs among the Sinhala-Buddhists is that Vishnu is the defender and protector of the country. The shrine of Skanda at Kataragama, in the south is a popular pilgrimage destination for the Sinhala-Buddhists as well as for the country’s Hindu Tamils. Many also visit the said Lord Shiva shrines mentioned in this post, reflects well on the cordial coexistence for many generations between these two religious communities.

It is regrettable, that today extreme followers among both religions in the country are acting in a manner to damage the bond that was formed many thousands years ago. To them in particular, let us chant ‘om namah shivaya shivaya’ on this maha sivarathiri day. It is very beautiful chanting of lord Shiva, a peaceful devotional song that is very relaxing and therapeutic, do share this video @ and earn the blessing from Mahadeva Lord Shiva.

On Maha Shivarathri in the Lord Shiva shrines spread across the world would be crowded with Hindu Devotees will hold vigil staying up all-night in observing and worshiping. Many will involve in marathon hours of chanting this ‘om namah shivaya’ mantras collectively and some even staging cultural and educational programs, burning midnight oil.

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