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.
The blessings of Lord Murugan awaken wisdom which resides in his chakra. "Pray to Lord Murugan to unravel the great mysteries of the universe." When we get emotional we lose touch with our wisdom. Murugan inspires penance to soften karmas and purify the mind, chitta-shuddhi. If you do kavadi in the right spirit, to get the full blessing, have in mind specific misdeeds, apologize to the deity, learn from it, promise to do your best. Visions are still happening. Feeling the energy of the deity is stronger during festivals such as Skanda Shashti.