Sri Shiva

Lord Shiva is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, the other two being Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. Lord Shiva is the Lord of mercy and compassion. He protects devotees from evil forces such as lust, greed, and anger. He grants boons, bestows grace and awakens wisdom in His devotees. Lord Shiva’s consort is Devi Parvati. 

The creation sustains itself by a delicate balance between the opposing forces of good and evil. 

When this balance is disturbed and sustenance of life becomes impossible, Lord Shiva continuously dissolves the universe in the cyclic process of creation, preservation, dissolution and recreation. This continuous cycle presents another opportunity for unliberated souls to liberate themselves from bondage with the physical world.

Lord Shiva protects the souls from pain and suffering caused by a dysfunctional universe. Five is a sacred number for Lord Shiva. His most important mantra has five syllables (namah shivaya). Lord Shiva’s body consists of five mantras, called the pancha brahmans, each with a distinct name and iconography: Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora,Tatpurusha, Isana.

These are represented as the five faces of Lord Shiva, and are associated in various texts with the five elements, the five senses, the five organs of perception, and the five organs of action. Lord Shiva is usually worshiped as the Shiva Linga. In images, He is generally represented as immersed in deep meditation or dancing the Tandava upon the demon of ignorance in His manifestation of Nataraja, the lord of the dance.

Sri Ganesha Temple celebrates Maha Shivarathri in a grand three-day celebration beginning with Maha Pradosham. During each Kaala Puja on Maha Shivarathri Day (Day 2), special pujas will be performed. Ekadasa Rudrabhishekam, Shiva Sahasranma Archana, Bilva Archana, and Shiva Trishati Nama Archna are among special pujas which are typically performed along with all-night bhajans by various communities. On Day 3, the celebrations conclude with the Shiva Parvathi Thirukalyanam.

This day is considered to be one of the most powerful full moons of the entire year and coincides on the day where the moon aligns with Magham, the birth start of the Kinds and Ancestors. This day signifies the descent of heavenly beings on the Earth Plane in the astral form to purify their own karma as well as the karma of all mankind. Sri Ganesha Temple worships Shiva on this day by chanting Rudram & Chamakam while performing abhishekam followed by special alankaram.

Shiva is heavily worshiped during Aippasi, Tulaa, or Karthika Masa in many South Indian temples. The month commences as the Sun enters the Thulaa Raasi or Libra. Sri Ganesha Temple observes Karthika Purnima and performs the special Shiva Annabhishekam.

It is believed that Lord Shiva vanquished the demon Tripura on Kartik Purnima. Hence, it is also known as Tripuri Poornima or Tripurari Poornima. Legends say that it was  Lord Shiva’s dance of destruction, “Tandava,” that ended the tyranny of the three demon sons of Tarakasur.

On this day, the Lingam idol is entirely covered in cooked rice and decorated with vegetables. The covered rice is distributed as Prasad (offering) to everyone, not letting a single grain go to waste.

Pradosham is an auspicious 3-hour period, 1.5 hours before and after the sunset and is observed bi-monthly on Trayodashi (13th day of every fortnight). There are two Pradoshams per month, one in the waxing phase and one in the waning phase. On this day, Lord Shiva and his vehicle, Nandi (the bull), are highly revered, and Abhishekam along with Rudram Chamakam chanting is performed.

Dhara is performed with jalam (water) with the chanting of mantras of the priest. It is believed that by performing this purification puja, one can restore the balance of the mind and bring calmness and reduce anxiety.

Monthly Pujas

9:45 am Shiva Dhara
(every fourth Saturday)
6:45 pm Pradosham
(twice a month on Trayodashi)