Trinidad Hindus observe Shiva Raatri on Carnival Monday

Trinidad Hindus observe Shiva Raatri on Carnival Monday

Port-of-Spain: Whilst Carnival lovers will dance to steelpan music and soca songs, devout Hindus will observe the annual ritual of Shiva Raatri on Carnival Monday night, March 4 at mandirs, homes and other places of worship. Hindus will keep all-night vigil.

And this year’s observance will focus on encouraging young people to participate. Carnival is a frolic which takes place before the Christian observance on Lent.

With bhajans, rituals and devotion, Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean will mark Shiva Raatri following weeks of abstinence from all alcohol, meats and frolicking. Over 300 temples strategically located across the twin-island republic will have crowds lining up with offerings and sacrifices to Lord Shiva, one of the Hindu Trinity.

The Indian diaspora in these Caribbean isles constitute 45 per cent out of a population of 1.4 million people, of whom about 25 per cent are Hindus.

Shiva Raatri remains one of the observances or festivals which early settlers brought with them from India during the period 1845 to 1917, when they were brought here to work on enhancing the agricultural capacity of the then colonial territory.The several radio and television stations carried live broadcasts throughout the night, and Radio and TV Jaagriti owned by the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS), the premier Hindu organization which was founded in 1954, will provide non-stop broadcasts to mark the occasion.

There are several programmes on the radio stations which are linked to the Indian diaspora, while the national newspapers will carry special supplements.

Satnarayan Maharaj, secretary general of the SDMS, said at the recent inauguration of the 12 Shiva Joyti Lingam, at the Lower McBean Hindu Temple, the only one of its kind outside India, that Westerners who conquered India not only repatriated the wealth of "our ancestors to Europe, but they also tried to demonize the Hindu  and demonize many of our worshipping procedures."

"The Shiva Purana describes the origin of the Lingam, known as the Shiva Linga, as the beginning-less and endless cosmic pillar of fire, the cause of all causes," Maharaj told over 400 devotees.

Pundit Ramesh Tiwari, spiritual leader of the Edinbugh Hindu Temple, saw the observance of Shiva Raatri as "an opportunity to bring all the religious leaders here to workout a strategy to wipe out the spiralling crime rate in this country and the immoral acts bordering on human degradation and insolence."

Pundit Tiwari called on all ethnic and religious groups to join in this observance, as only, ”positive vibes would emanate from its participation.

Pundit Seereeram Maharaj of the Shiva Kailsh Temple, Caparo, said that Shiva Raatri is one of the most auspicious observances in the Hindu calendar, and his Temple continues to encourage young Hindus to participate.

 

 

 

 

Trinidad Hindus observe Shiva Raatri on Carnival Monday March 4, whilst others fete for Carnival

By Paras Ramoutar

Port-of-Spain: Whilst Carnival lovers will dance to steelpan music and soca songs, devout Hindus will observe the annual ritual of Shiva Raatri on Carnival Monday night, March 4 at mandirs, homes and other places of worship. Hindus will keep all-night vigil.

And this year’s observance will focus on encouraging young people to participate. Carnival is a frolic which takes place before the Christian observance on Lent.

With bhajans, rituals and devotion, Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean will mark Shiva Raatri following weeks of abstinence from all alcohol, meats and frolicking. Over 300 temples strategically located across the twin-island republic will have crowds lining up with offerings and sacrifices to Lord Shiva, one of the Hindu Trinity.

The Indian diaspora in these Caribbean isles constitute 45 per cent out of a population of 1.4 million people, of whom about 25 per cent are Hindus.

Shiva Raatri remains one of the observances or festivals which early settlers brought with them from India during the period 1845 to 1917, when they were brought here to work on enhancing the agricultural capacity of the then colonial territory.The several radio and television stations carried live broadcasts throughout the night, and Radio and TV Jaagriti owned by the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS), the premier Hindu organization which was founded in 1954, will provide non-stop broadcasts to mark the occasion.

There are several programmes on the radio stations which are linked to the Indian diaspora, while the national newspapers will carry special supplements.

Satnarayan Maharaj, secretary general of the SDMS, said at the recent inauguration of the 12 Shiva Joyti Lingam, at the Lower McBean Hindu Temple, the only one of its kind outside India, that Westerners who conquered India not only repatriated the wealth of "our ancestors to Europe, but they also tried to demonize the Hindu  and demonize many of our worshipping procedures."

"The Shiva Purana describes the origin of the Lingam, known as the Shiva Linga, as the beginning-less and endless cosmic pillar of fire, the cause of all causes," Maharaj told over 400 devotees.

Pundit Ramesh Tiwari, spiritual leader of the Edinbugh Hindu Temple, saw the observance of Shiva Raatri as "an opportunity to bring all the religious leaders here to workout a strategy to wipe out the spiralling crime rate in this country and the immoral acts bordering on human degradation and insolence."

Pundit Tiwari called on all ethnic and religious groups to join in this observance, as only, ”positive vibes would emanate from its participation.

 

Pundit Seereeram Maharaj of the Shiva Kailsh Temple, Caparo, said that Shiva Raatri is one of the most auspicious observances in the Hindu calendar, and his Temple continues to encourage young Hindus to participate.