Celebrating Independence Day through Durva Abhishek at Ashtamukhi Lord Pashupatinath Temple
Independence Day took on a unique hue at the renowned Ashtamukhi Lord Pashupatinath Temple in Shadab/Mandsaur. The occasion was marked by a special ritual called Durva Abhishek, conducted in accordance with the Hindu Panchang. Devotees gathered to perform this ritual, offering prayers for the prosperity and well-being of the nation.
A Time-Honored Tradition
Durva Abhishek, a distinctive tradition, has been observed for 38 years at the temple. Its inception dates back to 1985, and despite the passage of 38 years, the practice continues to be upheld. This longstanding tradition holds deep significance for the temple and its devotees.
The Significance of the Date
Pandit Umesh Joshi, the founder of ‘Jyotish Evam Karmkand Parishad,’ an organization of priests and custodians of the Ashta Mukhi Lord Pashupatinath Temple, revealed that India gained independence from British rule on August 15, 1947. According to the Hindu calendar, this date coincided with Krishna Paksha in the month of Shravan, specifically Chaturdashi. As per this tradition, Durva Abhishek is performed during the Krishna Chaturdashi of the Shravan month. This year, the alignment of Sunday and Krishna Chaturdashi led to the observance of this ritual on Independence Day. The priests of the temple offered prayers, seeking the welfare of India on this auspicious occasion.
The Gathering and Devotion
The observance of this unique event witnessed the presence of various dignitaries, including the chief priest of Pashupatinath Temple, Kailash Chandra Bhatt, along with Pandit Surendra Acharya, Pandit Rakesh Bhatt, Pandit Shyam Pandya, and numerous devotees. As the sacred month of Sawan attracts a large number of visitors to the temple, the Independence Day celebration added to the fervor. With two months of Sawan this year, the enthusiasm among devotees has been notably high.
The Ritual of Durva Abhishek
Durva Abhishek holds a special place in the hearts of devotees. It is a distinctive way of celebrating Independence Day according to the Hindu calendar. At the Ashta Mukhi Lord Pashupatinath Temple, this ritual involves the elaborate decoration of the idol of Lord Pashupatinath. Approximately 2 to 3 quintals of Durva grass are utilized for the adornment of the idol and the sanctum sanctorum. The decoration also incorporates elements like cannabis, Gomti Chakra, green pumpkin seeds, green cardamom, and mawa. Additionally, sandalwood paste is applied, adorned with Shami leaves.
The celebration of Independence Day through Durva Abhishek at the Ashtamukhi Lord Pashupatinath Temple beautifully showcases the fusion of cultural and national sentiments. The continuity of this tradition and the enthusiasm it generates among devotees stand as a testament to the deep-rooted connections between religious practices and patriotic celebrations.