Tuesday, March 01, 2011

" A Quiz about Shivarathri which is observed today "

- P.Natarajan.

Q-1) ' Mahashivarathri ' falls on which day ?

(Ans:- Tamil Month 'Masi'(Kumbha), Krishnapaksha Chathurdasi Day (Pradhosham), is observed as Mahashivarathri. People fast and keep awake whole night worshiping Lord Shiva. This year Shivarathri falls on March 02, the Wednesday.

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-Picture of the presiding Deity Shiva in the Temple in Old Airport road in Bangalore.

Q-2) Name the five Shivarathri(s) !

(Ans:- (1) Nithyashivarathri which occurs on Prodhasham day during Krishnapaksham & Suklapaksham in all the 12 months of the year . (2) Paksha Shivarathri - worship of Shiva - starting in Makara month in Krishnapaksham from Prathama to Chathurdhasi day.
(3) 'Shivarathri that occurs in every month apart from the Chathurdhasi day and which is notified in the Panchangam. (4) Yoga Shivarathri falls on Somavara or Monday when Amavasya coincides for the full day (5) Mahashivarathri which occurs in Tamil month 'Masi'.

Q-3) Describe in what ways Shiva and Number '5' are connected .

( Ans:- NO.(1) Puranas worship Shiva as having Five faces. 'Esanam, Tatpurusham, Agoram, Vamadevam, Sathyojatham are the Five Faces. Manikkavachagar says Shiva's five faces have five colours. Esanam in the center is transparent and glass like. East facing Tatpurusham is Golden, South facing Agoram is Black, North facing Vamadevam is Red, West facing Sathyojatham is White. Five Faces having Five Colors face Five directions.

No.(2) Lord Shiva dances in Five Sabhas (halls). First one is Chitrasabha in Kutralam, second Copper Sabha in Tirunelveli, third 'Rathna Sabha' in Tiruvalangadu, fourth 'Velli Ambalam' in Madurai, Gold Sabha in Thiruchitrambalam (Chidambaram)

(3)The Five Deed that belong to Shiva:
Creation, Protection, Destruction, Thriyodhanam, (concealing)& Anugraha (Compassion).

(4) The Five Puranas which are sung in Sivasannidhi are Thevaram, Thiruvachagam, Thiruvisaippa, Thiruppallandu, and Periapuranam.

(5) ' N A M A SHI VA YA' - Shiva is worshiped by chanting this name many times. People apply (1) Vibhoothi on their foreheads, (2) wear rudhraksha, (3) do Panchakshara Japa 'OHM NAMASIVAYA', (4) perform archana with Vilvam leaves, (5) recite five puranas on Mahashivarathri day.

Q-4) Do you know the mythological stories connected with Shivarathri ?

Ans:- There are 4 stories which figure in Puranas prominently.

1) A tussle arose once between Brahma and Vishnu - ' Who is superior of the two?' They both agreed that whoever finds first the head and feet of Lord Shiva and return would be the winner. The whole world trembled witnessing the fight between the Omnipotents and darkness prevailed everywhere. Lord Shiva took the form of a Jyothi which obviously has no head or feet. Brahma, Vishnu and Devas and Rishis realized the whole truth about Lord Shiva and offered worship on that day which is now observed as Mahashivarathri.

2) When Parvathi Devi playfully closed the eyes of Shiva the world plunged into utter darkness. The people wept and prayed for light. Lord Shiva brought the jyothi forward and illumined the world. That day is celebrated as Shivarathri.

3) 'Neelakanta' ( Neelagreeva in Sanskrit ) as the name refers to the incident of Shiva taking the 'Aalahala poison' that emerged when Devas and Asuras churned the 'Ksheerabdhi' by Manthra mountain with the help of Vasuki the Serpent God, with an intention to save the world from the ill-effects of the poison. The poison stayed at the throat level of Shiva, when Parvathi stopped Siva from devouring it, and Shiva's throat turned 'neela'. The Devas prayed for the safety of Lord Shiva and that day is observed as Shivarathri.

4) 'Pralaya Kalam' begins at the end of a Yuga when everything perishes leaving only Shiva and Parvathi when the latter pleads to Shiva to save the world from destruction by offering puja in 4 phased 'Kala' extensively. The world got a new life and that day when Parvathi worshiped Shiva has come to be known as 'Mahashivarathri'.

Q-5) Do you know the meaning of the word "SHIVAM " ?

Ans:- Shivam means " Prosperous or Auspicious ". Paramashivam spells elevated Success. Surya Deva, Lord Subrahmanya, Yama, Indra, Kubera, Manmatha, Agni - all came to know about the significance of Shivarathri through Nandi, the Bull God. They all observed 'vrata' and worshiped Lord Shiva on Shivarathri day to bring prosperity to the whole world.

Shivam also means 'Exalted Peace'!

Q-6) Which 'Shivalaya' in South India , is worshiped as 'Markanteyasthala' where Shiva saved Markanteya (who is a Chiranjeevi ) from the clutches of Yama?

Ans:- Thirukkadaiyur near Mayiladuthurai which place is also famous for conducting "Sashtiabdapoorthi Poorthi Kalyanam" , the 60th birthday for longevity!

Q-7) Name the place where VEERABADRAMURTHY ( Shiva )enjoys the showers after destroying Daksha and SHOWERS HIS GRACE !

Ans:-Thirparappu Falls near Cape, 40 miles from Nagerkoil is famous for its cool and copious showers. Veerabadra in the name of Mahadeva is showering his blessings here.

Q-8) What vratam (rituals) did Brahma undertake to marry Saraswathi and Vishnu to obtain "Chakrayudham" ?

Ans:- Both worshiped Lord Shiva and observed " Shivarathri Vrata " to attain their goals.

Q-9) Where did Sri Rama undertake the worship of Lord Shiva to get rid of the sins of Rama - Ravana yuddha?

Ans:- Rameswaram in South India. Rameswaram is considered as holy as Varanasi in the North and a bath in the sea and performing rituals in the sea shore at least once in a life time is aspired by religious people.

Q-10) Where is " 108 Sivalayam " ? What its significance ?

Ans:- The Temple (108 Sivalayam ) is situated in Papanasam in Thanjavur District in Tamil Nadu. The presiding deity is known as Ramalinga Swamy.

Kudamurutti River (KAVERI River at this place is called by this name) in Papanasam where Sita was playing with the sand and making small heaps. Sri Rama who saw these queried Sita whether she was making Shiva Lingams. Sita had already made 107 sand heaps looking like Shiva Lingams. Rama's inquiry proved true & the sand heaps turned into 107 real Shiva Lingams. Hanuman who was deputed to Varanasi to bring One Shiva Lingam from there finally arrived at Papanasam where Sita had already made 107 Lingams. What Hanuman brought from Varanasi came to be known as the 108th Lingam and called the 'Hanumantha Lingam '. This place is a cure for those whose horoscope suffers the adverse effect of Saturn in the 8th place (Ashtamasani) or 7.5 years of the rule of the Saturn.

Q-11) Shiva is called a Physician in this famous Temple in Tamil Nadu Name it

Ans. The place is " VAITHEESWARAN KOIL " near Chidambaram. The Shiva Deity is also known as ' VAITHEESWARAN " . The place is famous for cure for 'Angaraha - Dosha ' in the horoscope. 'Vaitheeswaran in Tamil means Doctor of Medicine.

Q-12) List some names of Shiva and Rama in one ?

Ans:- Ramalingam, Sivaraman, Ramanathan, Sivaramakrishnan, Rameswaran, Ramasubramanian, Ramdev, Ramananda, Ramasubban ...... ( Lingam, Nathan, Eswaran, Subramanian, Dev and Subban - all refer to Shiva's names )

Q-13) Where is world's tallest Statue of Lord Shiva is situated ?

Ans) It is located in Nepal, 25 k.m. east of Kathmandu and measures 108 feet from feet to head and 143feet from feet to Thirushul. (see picture above)

Q-14) Where the tallest statue of Shiva located in India ?

Murdeshwara, the tallest in India is located in Karnataka, the place is also known by the Idol's name. It is 123 feet tall and located in Bhatkal TK. in Uttara kannada District in the sea shore.. It is also considered tallest in the world measuring from feet to the head.

In Q-13, the measurement is from feet to the Thirushul, hence tallest. If the measurement is considered from feet to head, Murdeshwara is the tallest in the world.

A small piece from Rudram for reciting on the occasion of Shivarathri as the quizzing stops here:-

" Namasthe asthu Bhagavan Visweswaraya, Mahadevaya, Triambakaya, Triupuranthakaya, Trukagnikalaya, Kalgnirudrya, Neelakantaya, Mruthyunjayaya, Sarveswaraya, Sadasivaya, Sriman Mahadevaya Namaha " ( These are the names of Siva in Yajur Veda and each name bears a significant 'tatparyam'!

Ohm Namo Bhagavathe Rudraya Vishnave Mrithyurme Pahi ! ( these ending words of Rudram is a prayer meaning :- " Salutations to Lord Shiva to bless us with a long and peaceful life )

Ohm Shanthi Shanthi Shanthihi !!!!!!



Blogger Shantha said...

A good collection and a sincere attempt. I enjoyed it. From where have you collected all these details?


March 2, 2011 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Shantha said...

Nice thing to read on Shivarathri day! Congrats on your effort and thanks for the same!


March 2, 2011 at 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Encyclopedia and eye catching photos are worth reviewing.

March 3, 2011 at 6:52 AM  

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