Monday, March 14, 2011
Celebrations were observed in over 500 mandirs and temples,most of them controlled by the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, the premier Hindu organization here, in addition to countless homes and private places of worship.
Pundit Seereeram Maharaj, spiritual leader of the Mt. Kailash Hindu Mandir, told devotees that Lord Shiva actually personified a human form unto the physical earth, and He represents physical, spiritual and physiological energy in the entire cosmic creation. Devotees converged at places of worship to offer milk, dahee, ghee, honey, cane juice, bay leaves, tilak cake, flowers and rice to Shiva Lingams.
Strict devotees have been observing fast and abstinence from worldly pleasures for more than 21 days in preparation for Shiva Raatri. Religious leaders concur that there was 'a great turnout for this year's Shiva Raatri'.
The Indian Diaspora here consists of 44 per cent of a national population of 1.3 million people, with about 24 per cent being strict Hindus. They came from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, India between 1845 and 1917 when over 148,000 East Indians were brought here to work on the sugar planations