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Thread: Shiva Mahotsavam

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    Shiva Mahotsavam

    Namaste

    One of my not-so-local temples (it's on the other side of the city) will be celebrating(?) Shiva Mahotsavam this March but due to the fact that many of the priests do not speak even passable English (not their fault, I am not blaming them!) I have no idea what it is. They had a pamphlet but it does not explain what it is? It will be occurring 1 week to the day from Shivaratri (oh gosh, can't wait!) but when I have tried to look it up I have not received much information.

    Could someone kindly inform me about Shiva Mahotsavam?

    Thank you kindly,
    DK

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    Re: Shiva Mahotsavam

    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Kala View Post
    Namaste

    One of my not-so-local temples (it's on the other side of the city) will be celebrating(?) Shiva Mahotsavam this March but due to the fact that many of the priests do not speak even passable English (not their fault, I am not blaming them!) I have no idea what it is. They had a pamphlet but it does not explain what it is? It will be occurring 1 week to the day from Shivaratri (oh gosh, can't wait!) but when I have tried to look it up I have not received much information.

    Could someone kindly inform me about Shiva Mahotsavam?

    Thank you kindly,
    DK

    Namaste Divine Kala Ji,

    'Mahotsava' means a great festival.It is celebration of rituals at a grander scale in comparison to daily temple activities.Based on the resources available with a temple the scale of Mahotsavam varies,for example,in great South Indian temples like Srishaila Jyotirlingam,Madurai Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwara Temple,Sri Arunachaleshwara Temple etc. Mahotsavas are usually conducted for 10 days or even go on continuously for a month.In local shrines,depending on the availability of resources the Shaiva scriptures state that celebration may be conducted for 1 or 2 days or more.




    From the above shlokas in Srimat Shaiva Agama,we can see that there are many types of Utsavas/festivals.It is not clear what type of Mahotsava is being conducted in the temple mentioned by you.If possible,could you upload a pic of the pamphlet.
    He dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram, Let us worship His rosy anklet girt Feet.

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    Re: Shiva Mahotsavam

    Namaste Ram11 ji

    Here is an image of the pamphlet.


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    Re: Shiva Mahotsavam

    Namaste Divine Kala Ji,

    In Srimat Shaiva Agamas,the Utsava mentioned in the pamphlet is discussed in detail running into many pages,I’ll try to put it briefly. This ‘Mahotsavam’ is one of the most elaborate Shaiva festivals as it is performed for many days,usually for 10 days(here 14-24 March).One of the reasons it is a 'great festival/Mahotsavam' is because it combines many other activities like Abhishekas,Yajnas etc. which are done on an individual basis.The most important and joyful part of the festival is daily procession of Lord Shiva(along with the Great Goddess Parvati,Sri Ganesha and others).During the course of the festival ,each day Lord Shiva parades outside the temple,mounted on various celestial vehicles accompanied by the congregation of devotees amid much fanfare.Generally,on a day closer to the completion of the festivity,Radothsava i.e. a chariot festival takes place,with the Bhaktas pulling the chariot.Apart from this many other elaborate auspicious rituals are carried out for the well-being of the community.

    In the below video we can see glimpses from the festival held at Chennai.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmFTPHIXz7w


    He dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram, Let us worship His rosy anklet girt Feet.

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    Re: Shiva Mahotsavam

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté



    Quote Originally Posted by Ram11 View Post

    Namaste Divine Kala Ji,

    'Mahotsava' means a great festival.It is celebration of rituals at a grander scale in comparison to daily temple activities.Based on the resources available with a temple the scale of Mahotsavam varies,for example,in great South Indian temples like Srishaila Jyotirlingam,Madurai Sri Meenakshi Sundareshwara Temple,Sri Arunachaleshwara Temple etc. Mahotsavas are usually conducted for 10 days or even go on continuously for a month.In local shrines,depending on the availability of resources the Shaiva scriptures state that celebration may be conducted for 1 or 2 days or more.


    If possible, please translate the śloka-s above to transliteration... if this is not easy , then point me to the actual agama itself on-line and I will be happy to offer the translation to the reader.

    thank you,

    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Shiva Mahotsavam

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Another point of view...

    It would seem to me ( and me only) this 10 day festival would begin on March 7 and run for the 10 days.
    Why so? March 7th begins mahaśivarātri ; śivarātri ( śiva + rātri or the night of śiva) falls on the 14th lunar day ( tithi)
    or caturdaśī¹ – this tithi is owned by śiva. It is that tithi that spills into āmāvāsyá ( the new moon).

    Yet for me, while in India the 10 day festival aforementioned began 10 days BEFORE mahaśivarātri and the completion of this event finished on mahaśivarātri.

    The most notable event ( amongst many) is sāhasrakalaśābhiṣekam (sāhasra+kalaśa+abhiṣekam) pūjā
    • sāhasra 1,000 or belonging to 1,000
    • kalaśa – a water pot; kalasa – ‘above’; so a water pot from above
    • abhiṣekam – sprinkling, bathing, anointing. Note too with a long ‘a’ we have ābhiṣekam - relating to the inauguration of a king


    Hence the sprinking/ablution 1,000 times from above.

    10 days @ 101 kalaśa=s or pots ( note 1+0+1 = 11 = rudra¹) = 1,010 ( 1+0+1+0 = 11 = rudra).
    Some use 100 silver pots and 1 gold pot. Also some use pure milk from freshly milked cows; others use ganga water.

    Now let me ask our astute reader… why is this abhiṣekam offered to the Supreme (śiva) ?

    iti śivaṁ

    words


    • Where to find the start of caturdaśī tithi ? Here is a pachanga ; type in your city and it will give you the information http://www.drikpanchang.com/panchang/day-panchang.html?date=07/03/2016
    • rudra

      • ​Here is another view on ru + dra. This is offered via an explanation abhinavagupta-ji gives on one sutra in the parātrīśikā vivaraṇa.
      • ru denotes rodhana रोधन - stopping, restraining, checking, preventing, impeding and is another name for;
      • saṃhāra संहार - drawing in, contraction, dissolution, or conclusion +
      • dra denotes drāvaṇa द्रावण - putting to flight; causing to run. Another word used is;
      • sṛṣṭi सृष्टि - letting go, letting loose, mission, production, procreation, hence creation or manifestation.
      • If we put them together we get restraining and contraction or saṃhāra + creation and manifestation or sṛṣṭi.

    Hence we have rudra, He who takes in, and ends ( dissolution) + He that makes manifest or creation.
    It is through rudra's svātantrya ( freedom or some call Divine Autonomy) that this occurs, via His icchā śakti.
    Last edited by yajvan; 08 March 2016 at 07:55 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Shiva Mahotsavam

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté


    let me ask our astute reader… why is this abhiṣekam offered to the Supreme (śiva) ?


    I wrote in another post:
    With the rules of saṃdhi applied ahar becomes ahaḥ. If we look at each term we may see a certain insight a+ha+ḥ.

    • a is another name for the Supreme; it is recognized ( in the 6 derivation of ‘a’) as viṣṇu
    • ha – used in the masculine gender is a form of śiva or bhairava
    • ḥ is called visarga and is defined as sending forth , letting go , liberation , emission , discharge; It too is another name for śiva that is called out in the mahābhārata.


    What was not mentioned in that post was ‘ha’ is also considered ( or classified) as ūṣman. What does this term ūṣman mean ?
    Within saṁskṛt and the devanāgarī script it is written in, it is defined as heat , glow. That is, this ‘ha’ which is another name for śiva, is ūṣman,
    He glows, He is heated.
    Just to be complete, this ‘ha’ along with ‘sa’ ‘śa’ and ‘ṣa’ are also grouped as ūṣman and can lead us deeper into the subject matter which at
    this point will not serve our needs at the moment. So back to ‘ha’.

    Why heated?
    Now why is this ‘ha’ which is śiva heated? We know that śiva is the Lord of yoga and therefore lord of tapas. What is tapas?
    It is tapa and defined as ‘consumed by heat’. Via the practice of yoga, one is purified, just as fire purifies metals, rock, etc.
    So, we adore śiva and offer the coolness of abhiṣekam for Him. Not for favor, not as a transaction to get something in return
    ( that is the love of a shop keeper);it is done because we adore Him. Let this ablution (abhiṣekam) bring coolness to Him. Let
    me do it 1,000 times ( code for wholeness, fullness. let me pour fullness into fullness itself)

    Yet there is more …
    Why does He heat up? We know of this tapas and tapa , but it is also the swelling and expansion of His own nature.
    It is said within non-dual kaśmir śaivism ( some call svātantryavada) that sadāśiva, īśvara, śakti, and śuddhavidya come about by the swelling/expansion of heat of His own nature.

    And, on additional note – we are aware that this ‘ha’ is the last consonant/sound found in saṁskṛt’s devanāgarī script.
    The first vowel is ‘a’ . Both of the sound forms (phonemes) are the names/expressions of śiva ‘a-ha’. He is the 1st (a) and the last (ha).
    This informs us ( in code) of the 36 tattva-s called out in kaśmir śaivism, all is contained in Him – He is the 1st and last, the beginning and the end – all of everything and anything and no-thing fits between ‘a’ and ‘ha’. He, in other terms, is the bookends of everything.

    A bit more…
    As usual there is a long version and a short version to this next part. Let me offer the short version and avoid ‘brain cramps’ for the HDF reader.
    We are told by kṣemarāja, the student of abhinavaguta-ji in his śivasūtravimarśinī (vimarśa = discussion, reasoning, knowledge) on the
    śivasūtra-s , 2nd chapter, 7th s
    ūtra , regarding bindu. We know bindu is a point. Where do we find a bindu ? On śiva’s forehead.

    Within saṁskṛt and devanāgarī script this bindu is recognized as anusvāra (ṁ). The term anusvāra is defined as that which always belongs to a
    preceding vowel
    ; a nasal sound. Now where does this fit in ? a+ha+
    This ṁ as bindu ( a point, and some write vindu) is defined as knowing; also as ‘all knowing’ within this school of thought.

    Hence a+ha is ‘ṁ’ = all knowing. He is the bookends of every and any and no thing as mentioned before. Yet when we assemble these
    3 phonemes we get ahaṁ. This term is defined as ‘I’. It is the Supreme ‘I’ suggesting in no uncertain terms He is unsurpassable (anuttara ,which is another name for the ‘a’). This ‘I’ is none other than pure awareness, pure Being, pure SELF, caitanya or pure consciousness and is the base/core of you…

    Every day you go about and say, ‘I’ am going to the store, ‘I’ am going to school, ‘I’ am going to work, ‘I’ am going to this, there, the other thing. ‘I’ feel good, bad, happy, sad, harmonious, in love, hate, etc.

    This ‘I’ you are applying is a throttled down version of this Supreme ‘I’, this pure consciousness. Yet just as one takes a cup and scoops it into the ocean, that water is non-different than the ocean, no? It just now has boundaries, the cup.

    Like that , when this ahaṁ is throttled down to the individual it becomes ahaṃkaraṇa literally meaning ‘I’ doer. It is the Supreme in the world
    of limits that ‘does’… and you say it every day : ‘I’ am going, ‘I’ am flying, ‘I’ am happy, sad, ‘I’ am in a rush, etc.

    Yet in every case it is ahaṁ throttled down into the world of limits. But when one wakes-up, they come to re-recognize their core being, pure awareness , all knowing ()ness.

    One must be aware that this is one’s real nature; We are ‘individual’ because that is His play, your play, His/your expansion.
    If one wishes to return to their universal status so be it; many wish to do so. Yet in both cases, the cup of water or the ocean, both are of the same material.

    So, let’s close this out
    There is two ways one can look at this abhiṣekam. I am cooling śiva’s ūṣman. Yet too I am cooling mySelf, to calm down, to once again recall who I really am.

    iti śivaṁ

    Last edited by yajvan; 08 March 2016 at 08:03 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Shiva Mahotsavam

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram11 View Post
    Namaste,

    Festivals mentioned in Siddhanta Shaiva Agamas are rituals such as purification,ablution,regular monthly, seasonal,annual,fresh offerings,reconstruction,great festivals etc.I’ve observed most of these are performed in some shrines only(the ancient ones),for whatever reason,others don’t seem to follow these standards with the same rigueur.
    He dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram, Let us worship His rosy anklet girt Feet.

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    Re: Shiva Mahotsavam

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~~

    namasté

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram11 View Post
    Namaste,

    Festivals mentioned in Siddhanta Shaiva Agamas are rituals such as purification,ablution,regular monthly, seasonal,annual,fresh offerings,reconstruction,great festivals etc.I’ve observed most of these are performed in some shrines only(the ancient ones),for whatever reason,others don’t seem to follow these standards with the same rigueur.
    I think perhaps my request was mis-understood. When we use saṁskṛt’s devanāgarī script on HDF we ask the author to translate the verses so we can learn and see them.
    We ask ( if possible ) that the origin ( by name of the agama in this case, the chapter and verses) can be identified/recognized so others that have interest can read on or look
    deeper into that section offer.

    If this is possible please provide this... if it is not, let me know the ~exact~ agama (chapter, section, verses by number) from which these verses come from and I will do the transliteration,
    and the word-for-word translation.

    thank you,

    iti śivaṁ



    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Shiva Mahotsavam

    Namaste,

    Sri Kamikagama,Sakalarchanavidhi tritiya patala,shlokas 36-38

    utsavaM snapanaM chaiva damanArohaNa kriyaM
    pavitrArohanaM samyak kR^ittika dIpa eva cha
    saMvastarAdi lekAnaMcha vasantAkyam tadutsavaM
    mAs^otsavam tathA mAse navanaivedya karma cha
    prAyashchittaM cha jIrnAnAm uddhAraM gurUttamAh
    devoktaM akhilaM sarvaM devyAschApi samAcharet
    He dances in the golden hall of Chidambaram, Let us worship His rosy anklet girt Feet.

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