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.
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "The Difference in Practice of Theism and Monism" (September 3, 2014)
During a puja we're in Theism, to receive the blessings of the Deity. After a puja we can go within our self in meditation, giving up the idea of an external Deity, Monism. Monistic Theism: Advaita Ishvaravada. Advaita means the Monism; Ishvara means the Theism.
In Shum we use two words that relate to that: shumif and dimfi. First, perfect your Theism. Then become a monist. That's called Saiva Siddhanta; one leads to the other.