MAHA SHIVARATRI, THE HINDU TEMPLE OF CANTON 3.7.08
A festival that is both markedly beautiful and deeply symbolic occurred on March 6 at the Hindu Temple of Canton. Amid chants of ‘Om Namah Shivay’, the crowds performed the rituals of worship and devotion, while graciously allowing the Visionalist crew to learn, listen and film.
By Hindu tradition, Maha Shivaratri, the night of the worship of Shiva, occurs on the 14th night of the new moon during the dark half of the month of Phalguna. It falls on a moonless February night, when Hindus offer special prayer to the lord of destruction.
Many of the devotees wore the traditional three stripes of smeared ash on the forehead, meant to symbolize absolute knowledge, purity and penance, and many wore rudraksha beads. Overseen by priests Shastriji
Shri Shiva Kumar Bhat, Panditj, Shri Prasad Ishwar and Kiranji Shri Kiran Subramanya, the rituals centered around the granite lingam stone and its stunning bathing with the sacred offerings of the cow as well as the foods of immortality including milk, clarified butter, curd, honey and sugar. Dhatura and jati, though poisonous fruits, are believed to be sacred to Shiva and thus offered to him as well.
Formed by a small group of people gathered for a Diwali Dinner on October 26, 1986, they agreed on the necessity of having a temple on the west side of Detroit. Since opening the following year, the temple has been involved in many community oriented activities, including the scholarship program for Plymouth Canton High School graduates.
For more information on this celebration, and to learn about upcoming events and celebrations please visit the Hidu Temple of Canton's website.