Hindus observe Shivratri amid Carnival activity

Ratri161642Away from fetes, dancing and merry-making as T&T observes Carnival over the next two days, devout Hindus will visit temples and other public places to observe the annual Shivratri tomorrow. 

Thousands of Hindu women dressed in saris and men in kurtas will spend the night in over 400 temples across the land, offering special jhalls (a mixture of milk, dhai, flowers, sugar-cane, sweets) to Lord Shiva.

For the past three weeks, Hindus maintained strict adherence and did not eat meat or indulge in alcoholic drinks in preparation for Shivratri.

Scores of temples hosted special Lord Shiva Yagnas.

Ramesh Tiwari, spiritual leader of the Edinburgh Hindu temple in Chaguanas, has called on the nation, “to embrace the teachings espoused in the Shiva Puranas and other Hindu religious texts.”

“The observance of Shivratri gives mankind another chance to reconnect with Lord Shiva. The world continues to travel down the pathway of spiritual, oral and ethical decline,” Tiwari told devotees.

Pundit Seereeram Maharaj, of the Shiv Kailsha spoke of the need for, “our young people to move away from all forms of criminal activities, and obeisance to Lord Shiva will help them to drift away from these intercine habits and practices.”

The observance of Shivratri was brought by the indentured Indian labourers who came from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar between 1845 and 1917. Shiva Raatri is one of several sacred Hindu observances that were brought here by our forefathers. Others include Divali, Phagwa, Lord Rama and Lord Krishna Janamashti

Out of a population of 1.3 million people, some 25 per cent are devout Hindus.

Source: Guardian