Vancouver Shiva Ratri
BY: SUN STAFF
Feb 27, VANCOUVER, CANADA (SUN) Last night's Shiva Ratri festival at ISKCON Vancouver attracted a large crowd of guests. The devotees were greeted by Sri Sri Radha Madana-Mohan, who presided over the festivities. A beautiful display of Lord Shiva, Parvati and Ganesh was situated inside a replica of Lord Shiva's Mount Kailash abode. (Although as the assembly was reminded, Parvati and Ganesh were with Lord Shiva at his Kasi abode.) The mountain cave was situated above the temple fountain, reminiscent of the mouth of the Ganges.
All evening the devotees proceeded around the temple to various stations, making offerings to Lord Shiva, giving abhisheka to the linga, etc., while kirtana was performed.
Akrura dasa gave class on Lord Shiva
A highlight of the festival was the dramatic performance offered by Bhakta Peter and a troupe of very talented dramatists, who put on an excellent play about Lord Shiva and Parvati's pastimes disguised as forest hunters. Arjuna went to the forest in search of Lord Shiva, hoping to acquire a great boon from him. To test him, Lord Shiva engaged Arjuna in a battle of weaponry, wands and wits, besting him at every turn. Arjuna finally concluded that only Lord Shiva could have defeated him in so many ways, and he offered all obeisances to Shiva, who in turn gifted Arjuna with the pasupati weapon, which is so strong even Lord Indra could not defeat it.
The play was replete with color, mystic smoke, and enchanting background music. At the beginning of the play, the appearance of a wild boar, who wished to kill and eat Arjuna, brought shrieks of delight to the children. The play concluded with Arjuna offering a large flaming lamp to Shiva, whose costume was most authentic and convincing, down to the crescent in His wild black hair.
Arjuna offers lamp to Lord Shiva
After the devotional program, everyone was pleased to enjoy wonderful prasadam in the large tents set-up outside the temple. As the local devotees well know, the quality of prasadam at ISKCON Vancouver is absolutely first-class. Sri Sri Radha Madana-Mohan gave their Mercy to the devotees in the form of wonderful sabji, dal, rice chapattis, sweet rice, nectar and cake.