[GHHF] Bala Samskar Kendras in Annamayya District, AP – Teachers talked about the importance and Significance of Maha Shivaratri and encouraged students to attend Shiva Puja and Abhishekam

18 Feb 2023 773 Views

We have to change this whole earth into a tremendous festival, and it is possible because man brings all that is needed to transform this earth into a paradise.
Global Hindu Heritage Foundation is very happy to inform that some of our Bala Samskar Kendras in all five States talked about Maha Shivaratri, its significance and what we should celebrate. The teachers talked about Mahasivaratri and encouraged children to go to the Shiva Temples and attend Shiva Pujas and Abhishekams.
The Maha Shivaratri is mentioned in several Puranas, particularly the Skanda Purana, Linga Purana, and Padma Purana. These medieval era Shaiva texts present different versions associated with this festival, and mention fasting, reverence for icons of Shiva such as the lingam
Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival, celebrated annually in honor of Lord Shiva, the God of destruction. Shivaratri is celebrated in every month of the luni-solar calendar, in accordance with the Hindu calendar but once a year either in February or March, Maha Shivaratri is celebrated to commemorate the oncoming summer. Maha Shivaratri, literally translates as ‘the great night of Shiva’ and according to legend, it is on this night that Lord Shiva performs his heavenly dance or ‘tandav’.
In Hindu culture, this is a solemn festival that marks the remembrance of ‘overcoming darkness and ignorance in life’. Different legends, throughout history, describe the significance of Maha Shivaratri and according to one of them, it is on this night that Lord Shiva performs his cosmic dance of ‘creation, preservation and destruction’. Another legend dictates that on this night, offerings of Lord Shiva’s icons can help one overcome and let go of their sins and start on the path of righteousness, allowing the individual to reach Mount Kailash and achieve ‘moksha’.
But, why is Shivaratri celebrated? There is more than one Mahashivaratri story surrounding this occasion. Here are a few:
•    One is that Lord Shiva married Parvati on this day. So, it is a celebration of this sacred union.
•    Another is that when the Gods and demons churned the ocean together to obtain ambrosia that lay in its depths, a pot of poison emerged. Lord Shiva consumed this poison, saving both the Gods and mankind. The poison lodged in the Lord’s throat, turning him blue. To honor the savior of the world, Shivaratri is celebrated.
•    One more legend is that as Goddess Ganga descended from heaven in full force, Lord Shiva caught her in his matted locks, and released her on to Earth as several streams. This prevented destruction on Earth. As a tribute to Him, the Shivalinga is bathed on this auspicious night.
•    Also, it is believed that the formless God Sadashiv appeared in the form of a Lingodhbhav Moorthi at midnight. Hence, people stay awake all night, offering prayers to the God.
These are some of the stories that can possibly answer why we celebrate Shivaratri. But, what do we do during Shivaratri?
Mahashivratri is the day to honor and celebrate Lord Shiva—honor life and celebrate existence. 
•    If possible, observe a vigil on Shivratri. Do not sleep throughout the night and spend the night contemplating on spirituality.
•    Attend Shiva Abhishekam at midnight
•    Listen to stories of Lord Shiva, sing songs, chant mantras and meditate.
•    Visit Shiva temples. In most Shiva temples, a prayer is performed throughout the night. Participate in the nightly prayers.
•    If possible, you can also perform prayers and pujas at home. Start the puja after sunset on Shivratri and continue to do puja till the sunrise.
•    Offering Bilva leaves, white colour flowers, water from the Ganges, sacred ash, sandalwood paste, and milk to Shiva. It is considered auspicious.
•    At the end of Shivratri puja, donate Prasad, food, clothes and other items to the poor and needy.
All students are encouraged to go to the nearby Shiva Temple and attend Maha Shivaratri festival.
We appreciate it if you can help in hiring more people who can go to these villages to do Ghar Waapasi. We have employed 26 people so far. More people we hire, more villages can be covered to welcome them back and also create Chaitanya (Awareness) among the students and villagers. Also,  we are conducting 150 Bala Kendras in five States. Support one or more Kendras. 
1) Sponsor one Bala Samskar Kendra for $1000.00
2) Sponsor one Pracharak: In order to expand our base and hire one Pracharak, it would cost approximately $3000.00 - $3500.00 per year. We have five anonymous donors who sponsored 9 Pracharaks.

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For more information, call Prakasarao V Velagapudi ; Email: ghhfusaorg@gmail.com


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