The Gayatri Chetna Center in Piscataway, New Jersey, celebrated the festival of Maha Shivratri with devotion and reverence.
The celebrations began on the night of Feb. 23 when the shiv-linga was offered abhishek by devotees visiting in the late night hours. The following day, the day of Mahashivratri, numerous devotees paid visit to the center from morning to late evening and made offerings to shiv-linga amid holy chants.
The main event was held Feb. 26. As the evening rose near, devotees started to gather in the main hall at the center, as representatives from Shantikunj, Haridwar, the head quarters of the All World Gayatri Pariwar, initiated the ruder abhishek of Lord Shiva. In the midst of vedic chants and the devotional atmosphere the rituals were conducted in parallel with collective chanting and teachings from the great Lord Shiva. The program was concluded with Mahakal aarti and prasad distribution to all the attendees.
Winners of the Yuva Kranti competition were also announced during the Maha Shivratri festivities. This competition was hosted in January this year to inspire the kids to showcase their talent in the form of arts, essays and poems depicting the importance of youth in the modern times.
The center is a chapter of the All World Gayatri Pariwar working under Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharya and Mata Bhagwati Devi Sharma, under guidance of Dr. Pranav Pandya and Shail Jiji.
The center will be celebrating Chaitra Navratri from March 28 through April 5. On April 5, the center will perform a yagya ceremony at 7:30 a.m. and a purnahuti yagya from 4:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. Hanuman Jayanti will be celebrated on Saturday, April 15 with collective recital of Hanuman Chalisa and Sundarkand from 5:00 p.m.