“Maha Shivarathri Yatra” procession, directed at “Universal Peace”, will cover about seven kilometers on February 19 in Lenasia, a part of City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, in South Africa.
Organized by Hindu Coordinating Council, this annual “Maha Shivarathri Yatra” will include many floats. Starting with a hawan at six am from Saiva Sithantha Sungum Mandir, it will culminate at Shree Siva Soobramanian Tirukoil, where a lunch will be served after the program. At the hawan, prayer will be held for peace and love for all beings, “irrespective of religion, colour or creed”. Dress-code for both men and women is white during Yatra, reports suggest.
It will pass through various Hindu establishments enroute—Swaminarayan Mandir, Rameshwarmahadev Mandir, Brahmakumaris Ashram, Gayatriparivar Ashram, Sivagnana Sabay, Vishnu Mandir and Lakshminarayan Mandir.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended efforts of Yatra leaders and area community for realizing this wonderful procession year after year.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this Yatra would help in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.
Yatra will be preceding Maha Shivarathri, which is on February 24 this year. Yatra organizers include Rameshbhai Kara, Indira Mathura, Vijaybhai Naran, Kishore Badal, Harrybhai Govind, Javie Ravjee, Narendrabhai Gangaram and Ishara Singh. This Yatra, which is sometimes described as a pilgrimage, is expecting devotees from all over the province and beyond.
Lenasia, in Gauteng Province of South Africa, is about 35 kilometers from Johannesburg central business district.
Maha Shivarathri (Great Night of Shiva), a festival held in honor of Lord Shiva, involves fasting and performing various Shiva pujas. In Hinduism, Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu deities. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents.