The Bay Area Fremont Hindu Temple witnessed a unique grand Utsav for Mahashivratri on Wednesday February 26th through Monday March 3rd, the weekly day of veneration for Lord Shiva.
The celebrations began with Kalasha Sthaapana on Pradosham, with water in sanctified vessels placed close to the altar, to become energized with the japam and chanting of Om Namashivaya over the next few days. On Thursday, Mahashivaratri Day, thousands of devotees queued up in lines that snaked all the way out of the temple spilling into the street. All day long every visitor had an opportunity to bathe the Siva Linga placed on center stage in the main hall.
Meanwhile Kshirabhishek, Panchamruta-abhishek went on every three hours in the Balaji temple from morning all through the night. Each Abhishekam was followed by eye-pleasing Alankara, Archana and then a grand Arati accompanied with rigorous chanting of mantras. Saturday saw a colorful Shiva-Parvati wedding, a special feature of this six-day program. A huge turnout in the evening witnessed and participated in the Jyotir Linga Laksha Panchakshari Japam, Rudrabhishekam. The geometric placement of lamps for Jyotir Linga was an endeavor of love and a feast for the eyes. The following day, Sunday, Her Holiness Sri Karunamayi Ma graced the occasion leading a Maha Rudra Yagyam with a full house in attendance.
The celebrations culminated with an auspicious 108 Sankhabhishekam on Monday. Deeksha devotees led by Priests Vishwamji and Ravikantji served Lord Siva by carrying the sacred Kalashas on their heads in the Uthaapana ceremony during pradakshina, circumambulating the temple. The Lord was bathed again amidst more japam with the Kalasha waters gently cascading on the Siva Linga through the Sahasra Dhaara (a silver plate having thousand small holes). Lord Siva wore the resplendent Ardhanareeswara Alankar on this last day, all present were blessed with the beaming Divine energy.