Speech by H.E. Mr. V. Mahalingam on the Occasion of Maha Shivratri
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Remarks During Maha Shiva Rathri celebrations at Cove and John Ashram on 7th March 2016


His Excellency President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana
Hon'ble Ms. Amna Ally, Minister of Social Cohesion
Swami Bhajanandaji from Canada
Swami Shivashankarandaji, Administrator of Guyana Sevasram Sangha
Mr. Indi Beharry of Beharry Group of Companies
Hon'ble Judge Nandram Kissoon
Mr. Jailall Kissoon
Ms. Rajkumari Singh, Principal of Hindu College and Students of Hindu College
My dear Brothers, Sisters and lovely Children,


Namaskar! Vanakkam! Good Morning


Today all over the world Maha Siva Rathiri is celebrated with great fervour by Hindus. I am happy to see the congregation of large devotees of the Almighty Lord Shiva here in Cove and John Ashram. Today in India particularly in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh there will be a huge gatherings of this kind. What more can I expect in Guyana. I am extremely glad to say that I am blessed to be amongst you on this auspicious occasion of Maha Siva Rathiri celebrations.


All of you may know the origin of Maha Sivarathiri celebrations.


There are interesting popular legends. One says Maha Shivarahiri marks the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Some believe that it was that auspicious night Lord Shiva performed the Cosmic dance "Thandava". Another legend stated in Linga Purana states that it was that night Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of LINGA. Yet another legend says that it was that night the poor hunter LUBDHAKA saved his life from wild animals by praying all through the night throwing Wood apple or bhel leaves on a Shiva Linga without knowing its presence down there when he climbed to that Wood apple tree to spend the night. Hence the same night is considered to be extremely auspicious by all Shiva devotees and they celebrate it as Maha Shiva Rahiri - The grand Night of Shiva.


In Hinduism, Women play a great role. Women are the ones as mothers who inculcate the sense of piousness in the mind of young children and help to perpetuate the Hindu religion. Maha Shiva Rathiri is an important occasion for them. Married women pray for the well being of their husbands and sons, while unmarried women pray for ideal husband like Shiva who is the spouse of Parvati, Durga, Kali - various manifestations of Easwari. It is our abundant faith that all those women who fast and penance on this auspicious day are blessed with whatever they wish and pray for.


PENANCE or VIRATH involves abstention from food and it is superior to all kinds of penance.In Hinduism, there is no penance higher than abstention from food. The Rishis, the Gods, human beings, beasts, birds, and whatever other creatures there are, mobile or immobile, are all devoted to penances, and whatever success they win is won through penance. Thus it was through penance that the Gods acquired their superiority. We believe the penance and devotion to the Almighty Shiva would bring in all good for the devotees.


In today's modern world, Domestic Violence is the most talked about social evil. I believe,in an ideal Hindu family, Domestic violence has no place. Because in ancient India, women occupied a very important position, in fact a superior position to, men. It is a culture whose only words for strength and power are feminine -"Shakti'' means "power'' and "strength.'' All male power comes from the feminine.


Literary evidence suggests that kings and towns were destroyed because a single woman was wronged by the state. For example, Valmiki's Ramayana teaches us that Ravana and his entire clan was wiped out because he abducted Sita. Veda Vyasa's Mahabharatha teaches us that all the Kauravas were killed because they humiliated Draupadi in public. The great Tamil Epic- Elango Adigal's Sillapathigaram teaches us Madurai in Tamil Nadu , the capital of the Pandyas was burnt because Pandyan Nedunchezhiyan mistakenly killed her husband on theft charges.


The moral is an ideal Hindu family has no place for domestic violence.


Brothers, Sisters and lovely Children,
I am thankful to Guyana Sevasram Sangha and its Cove and John Ashram for giving me this wonderful opportunity to participate in this event of Maha Shiva Rathiri and get blessings of Lord Shiva. I too wish Lord Shiva bestows all that you aspire for.
Om Namashivaya
Thank you

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