Shivaratri Countryside Temple Abishekam

Shivaratri means the night of Shiva and the tradition is to stay up late and visit temples to enjoy the many different pujas. In our case, we have been supporting a countryside temple for many years. In the beginning 6-7 years ago there were just three people there for the night time abishekam. Now, the whole village comes to enjoy some free food and an elaborate Rudra abishekam.

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The temple itself is fairly small and is built around a large Shiva lingam.

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Nandi is the bull that Shiva rides on. There is a charming tradition of whispering your wishes into Nandi’s ear because he will then convent them to Shiva at just the right time for him to grant your desire.

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We supply all the ingredients…especially some wonderfully huge flower malas.

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Young brahmin pundits-in-training from the local patasala came to help out.

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The lingam is bathed in various liquids; water, milk, and as you can see here a lot of sandal paste.

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This container is full of milk – 20 gallons I would guess.

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The lingam had fluted sides which make the milk run down in beautiful rivulets.

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In person the effect is quite hypnotic.

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It take almost 45 minutes to decorate the lingam with all the malas and flowers. Then there is the final aarti – an offering of light symbolic of the light of consciousness.

This whole process will be repeated 3-4 times throughout the night.