KATHMANDU: The Nepali Hindus are observing the Mahashivaratri festival by conducting prayer and worship of Lord Shiva today, on the day of Phagun Krishna Chaturdashi (the fourth day of the waning moon in the month of Phagun) as per the lunar calendar.
Chairperson of Nepal Calendar Determination Committee, Prof Dr Ramchandra Gautam, said that the Brahma took the form of Shiva in the midnight of Krishna Chaturdashi of Falgun. So this day is observed with prayers, pooja, visit to Lord Shiva’s shrines. Hindus believe that the observation of the Mahashivaratri brings peace and prosperity to one’s life.
From early morning today, the Hindu devotees take bath in river and ponds, visit Lord Shiva’s shrines and pay homage. The Shiva purana has mentioned that Shivaratri is the holy festival as Kalaratri, Moharatri and Shukharatri.
The day is regarded as the most favourite day of Lord Shiva, who brings happiness in the heart of those living in difficulty.
Even the fasting is observed today and the night observed with vigil (jagram), praying and celebrating Lord Shiva. There is a religious belief that vigil and fasting takes one to heaven after death.
Similarly, there is a belief that Lord Shiva faced too much cold today, so the people make fire at home, on public squares and at temples; chant hymns and take prasad.
Classical dances are performed at Kailashkut and Kirateshwor of Pashupati area, Kathmandu.
The Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu is thronged by the devotees from across the country and neighbouring India.
Meanwhile, Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) has said it has made special arrangement for facilitating the devotees. All four gates of the temple would be opened since 4:00am on Thursday.
The marijuana has been banned in the Pashupati area for three years, which is continued this year too.
There will be three major queues for devotees to wait for their turn to reach the main temple. (RSS)