It takes a while for photos to move from the war torn nation of Sri Lanka all the way to a scanner in USA and then to the Aadheenam. But it is inspiring to see that at Gurudeva’s small mission in Jaffna, the holy rites and festivals are carried on with deep faith and enthusiasm
The Sri Subramuniya Kottam organized the Maha Sivaratri celebration this year. The celebrations began on the morning before the great night of Lord Siva. Devotees assembled at the Katpaga Pillaiyar Temple in Kopay at 10:00 am for puja.
After the puja, devotees carried paal kudam (milk pots) with the sacred bilva leaves in a procession lead by a Naathaswaram and Thavil musical ensemble to the Sri Shanti Lingam temple.
ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) Volunteers escorted the procession, and keeping the war situation in mind, an ICRC Ambulance followed the procession.
On the way to the Sri Shanthi Lingam Temple, the Paal Kudam procession stopped and worshipped at the Kottam’s Gurudeva’s Thiruvadi Temple.
The devotees’ paal kudams were used for the abhishekam of Sri Shanti Lingam which Gurudeva had installed. The ceremonies ended at 2:30 pm and then resumed again in the evening, all through the night until early next morning.
The devotees appreciated the grandness of the celebrations as nowhere else in Jaffna was a paal kudam procession, which is a tradition of the Kottam, performed for Maha Sivaratri.
"Temples with multiple deities can be confusing, especially for today's Hindu youth. For clarity, we need to bring forward a more precise understanding of the different Hindu denominations and how the different Gods are viewed from within each denomination. For spiritual advancement it is best to focus on one deity and get to the vibration that deity. When we hear teachings from various Hindus, it is important to understand and identify which denomination they are speaking from. This will avert confusion when that teaching gets contradicted in a different context where someone is talking about the same subject but from a different philosophical background."
Bodhinatha reviews the main characteristic of Saivite philosophy and practice with an indepth focus on the four stages of religions evolution, chariya, kriya, yoga and jnana. He highlights how this shows that Saiva Siddhanta is unique and quite from the modern practice of Hinduism as Vedanta