Maha Shivratri: ‘Mahadeepa’ lifted atop Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], February 19 (ANI): On the occasion of Mahashivratri, thousands of devotees broke their fasts as the Mahadeep was raised atop Lingarah Temple in Bhubaneshwar on Saturday night.

The temple priests told ANI about the significance of the festival. He also informed that this year the ritual got a little delayed.

"This time, our ritual of the Mahadeep raising program got delayed by three hours. But we request the devotees to keep patience," he said.

The priest further added saying, "This is a very prestigious temple, and whoever keeps the fast and lights the diya here, gets their wishes fulfilled by Lord Shiva."The devotees told ANI that the ceremony holds great significance for them, as they don’t break their fasts before the Mahadeep is placed on top of the temple.

A devotee named Mamata Das said, "As per the beliefs, on this day, Lord Shiva and Lord Parvati married. So, we also celebrate the festival like a marriage ceremony. We light the diyas of ghee, Mahadeep is put on top of the Lingaraj temple, and all the devotees keep complete fast till the rituals are over."Another devotee named Prashant said, "My family and I are on a complete fast. In any other part of the country, people don’t keep fast for so long, but here we will eat only after all the rituals are completed. This Lingaraj temple is one of the most prestigious temples in the country. A huge number of devotees have thronged to the temple, and more and more people should come here."Purnima Nayak, another devotee told ANI that Odisha is known as the City of Temples.

"We all have kept fast and we will break it only after worshipping the Mahadeep. This ritual is seen only in Odisha, and not any other state," she said.

"The festival celebrating the marriage of Lord Shiva has been going on since the very beginning," another devotee Manisha Gupta added.

On Maha Shivratri, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshipped by devotees all across the country.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva married Maa Shakti, his divine consort, for a second time on this night. It is in celebration of their divine union that the day is celebrated as ‘The Night of Lord Shiva’. While Lord Shiva signifies Purusha, which is mindfulness, Maa Parvati signifies Prakriti, which is nature. The union of this consciousness and energy promotes creation.

Followers and devotees of Lord Shiva observe fast and special puja is performed in several temples across the world on the auspicious day. They also offer milk to the Shivalinga and pray for Moksha. (ANI)