In a sure sign of its commitment to devotees, the Hindu Mandir of Lake County, Illinois, kept its doors open overnight to celebrate Maha Shivaratri Feb.13 and 14, to meet the needs and convenience of its members.
Thousands of devotees belonging to all age groups from surrounding areas thronged to the temple to participate in and witness special ceremonies such as the Abhishekams and Alankarams, a press release from the mandir said.
The main attraction of this year’s Shivaratri was Kailash Parvat, the mountain abode of Lord Shiva, constructed from the snow collected in the parking lot.
Another highlight was the organic milk and Bilva Patras or fresh leaves distributed to all the devotees to offer toShiva Lingam during the arati. Four priests performed four special Abhishekams and prepared Basma, Haldi-Kunkum, and Pushpa Alankarams, one after each Abhishekam. Special Archanas were performed by the priests after every Alankaram. In between these Alankarams, Rita Patel, Ravi, and Vasu Choksi sang devotional songs. Devotees chanted prayers and sang bhajans.
The Maha Mangal Arati to Lord Shiva was performed with all the devotees before Maha Prasadam. The temple had arranged Prasadam for both fasting and non-fasting devotees.