The Indian community in Atlanta celebrated Mahashivaratri on March 5th and 6th, 2008 with enthusiasm at the Hindu temple of Atlanta (HTA), Riverdale and Shiv Mandir in Global Mall. A large number of devotees thronged various Shiva temples in the city. While many waited in long queues for darshan, some took part in cultural and religious programs. Shri Shakti mandir, Shirdi Sai temple, IACA, Hindu temple of Georgia and Pandit Ved Joshi in Global Mall also conducted poojas to mark this festival.
Hindu temple of Atlanta, Riverdale:
On March 5th, 2008 'Maha-Havarti' with special worship, and bhajans were conducted at HTA. A Rudra homa (havan) was held in the presence of devotees followed by Ekadasa rudrabhisheka amidst vedic chanting by the priests of the temple. In the evening every visiting devotee offered milk to the Shiva Lingam. There was special pooja, abhishekam, and arati on all four ‘praharas’ (quarters) of the night. Simultaneously the devotional bhajans on Lord Shiva also continued through the night. HTA will conduct the Mahakumbabhishekam celebrations of Shiva temple from March 19th through March 23rd. More information on HTA’s schedule of poojas and festivals can be availed at www.hindutempleofatlanta.org
Maha Shiva Ratri Pooja at Shiv Mandir of Atlanta:
Shiv Mandir of Atlanta celebrated Mahashivratri on March 5th, 2008 with great devotion. The group pooja was organized in Ashiana Banquet Hall where 151 special pooja spots were arranged for the families that signed up for the group pooja. Thousands of devotees thronged to the Shiv Mandir on 5th & 6th to offer milk/jal on the Shiv Lingam. It is said that a devotee who performs sincere worship of Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of ShivRatri is absolved of sins and attains moksha (salvation).
The group pooja, conducted by Dr. Ganesh Prasad Ojha, Shiv Mandir priest, started after a brief welcome message from Chairman, Mr. Dinesh Purohit. The main yajman families for pooja were Dr. Aman Kakkar, Mr. Dinesh Purohit and Mr. Sanjay Gupta. Devotees enjoyed performing elaborate Ganesh poojan, Shiv Parivar poojan, Rudrabhishek, Shiv Archana, Arti and chanting of ‘Om Namah Shivaya.’
After the pooja, Mr. Pushpraj Verma, President of Shiv Mandir, informed the community about Shiv Mandir’s regular activities and events planned for 2008. Mr. Ajeet Das, Vice Chairman of the Board, updated the community about Shiv Mandir’s progress and current year’s goals. Bhajans and Shiv Aarti followed by a vote of thanks concluded the program. Mandir’s annual souvenir book, 2008 calendar, Maha Prasad and Thandai were distributed to all devotees. Later a Prahar Pooja was conducted. Please visit www.ShivMandirAtlanta.org for details.
~Ravi R. Ponangi & Pushpraj Verma
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