Hundreds of devotees thronged the temples and community centers here in Atlanta on Maha Sivaratri. Hindu temples and community centers in Atlanta resounded with chanting of prayers and hymns of Lord Siva. Siva Mandir in Global Mall, Hindu temple of Atlanta at Riverdale, Shree Shakti Mandir at Lake city and other community centers wore a festive look. Thousands of devotees wearing traditional dresses visited these places and worshipped Lord Siva with abhishekam to Siva lingam and offered prayers to lord Siva.
Maha Sivaratri is one of the most important festivals associated with Siva worship. In the morning of Sivaratri, devotees take a ritual bath in a river like Ganga, Cauveri, Godavari, Krishna etc., if possible. Then visit a Siva temple and worship or witness the worship of Lord Shiva. The worship is continued throughout the night. The night is divided into four quarters called yama. Devotees stay awake and fast during the night while worshipping the Lord.
Hindu temple of Atlanta at Riverdale: Maha Sivaratri festival has a special significance to devout Hindus and is celebrated through out India. Maha Sivaratri is chiefly celebrated in night where as other festivals are celebrated in daytime. Sivaratri means “ night of Siva”. Lord Siva married to Parvati on Maha Sivaratri. This day is being celebrated in honor of Siva. The temple has organized three-day special programs on Maha Sivaratri from 15-17, February. The temple observed Maha Sivaratri on 15 as per the Atlanta timings of Sun rise and sun set. Other temples and community centers here observed Maha Sivaratri on February 16 as per Indian calendars. Devotees attended different pujas that started in the wee hours of Thursday with Anugna and Mahaganapati puja, 108 Rudra kalasa puja, Rudra homam, and continued to the next day early hours of Friday. The day and night program included Mahanyasa parayanam, ekadasavara rudrabhishekam, bilvapatra ashtottara sata (108) Nama puja, and Parvati parameswara kalyanam, followed by lingodbhava abhishekam at midnight. Temple has also organized sahasra nama lingarchana puja on Saturday for the benefit of those who missed Maha Sivaratri celebrations held on Saturday. On the eve of Maha Sivaratri, local amateur singers from Amrutvarshini presented devotional songs at temple auditorium on Saturday.
At Shiv Mandir: On Friday 16th February 2007, Shiv Mandir of Atlanta celebrated the auspicious festival of ‘Maha Sivratri’ in a grand way in Global Mall. More than 2000 devotees offered prayers. Despite a large queue, devotees standing in queue patiently offered prayers to Lord Siva one by one in the shrine. In the Impact Conference hall of Global Mall, over 500 devotees participated in the group puja and thousands of other devotees worshipped and offered Abhishek at the Shiv Mandir.
Acharya Ved P. Joshi, mandir priest explained the glory of Lord Shiva while performing Abhishek with Vedic chanting. He conducted the group puja.
The hall was filled with divine energy when over 500 devotees chanted Lord Shiva’s name 108 times. After puja Mr. Ramjee Pathak, President of the Executive Committee thanked all volunteers for their hard work and support as well as thanked all devotees for their continued support. Maha Prasad was served to all fasting and non-fasting devotees. Ratri puja was performed in the Mandir later and finished past midnight.
Shiv Mandir of Atlanta has made a strong presence in the Northeast suburb of Atlanta serving the spiritual needs of the Hindu community for last 5 years at our current location in Global Mall. Within Mandir’s limited resources, besides the regular Mandir’s activities, Shiv mandir has been hosting regular Children’s classes, Bhajans, Yoga classes and discourses by renowned speakers and saints.
Shree Shakti Mandir in Lake city, Shirdi Sai temple in Suwannee, Satya Sai Seva Samiti in Duluth, Indian American cultural association, Brahman Samaj, Pujari group and others are also celebrated Maha