Written by Dominique Fung, Hong Kong
Shubhraji was invited to give a speech for the celebration of Maha Shivaratri in Mauritius by Mauritius Sanatan Dharma Temples Federation (MSDTF) on February 9, 2010. The evening, hosted at holy lake Ganga Talao, was broadcasted by television and radio to over 150 countries worldwide. Shubhraji was in the company of other esteemed speakers such as the Prime Minister of Mauritius, as well as senior government and religious officials of Mauritius. While at Ganga Talao, Shubhraji also perform a Shiv Abishek at the local temple. MSDTF is the administrative body of over 300 temples in Mauritius.
Celebration of Maha Shivaratri in Mauritius is especially well known among the international Hindu community for its elaborate tradition. Each year during this week, thousands of pilgrims would make day-long trips from villages all over the Indian Ocean island by foot to the remote holy lake Ganga Talao. These pilgrims carry on their shoulders their village deity, encased in heavy and colorfully decorated chariots made of wood, on the arduous journey to pray, chant and participate in Shiv Abishek at the lake. Ganga jal (or holy water) collected from the lake during this auspicious period is believed to be powerful, and the pilgrims take bottles of the water back to their villages.
In addition to speaking at the festival, Shubhraji’s teaching was also warmly and enthusiastically received by personnel of Mauritius Broadcast Corporation (MBC), broadcast a TV interview of Shubhraji’s. was This was so successful and well-received that Shubhraji was invited back for 3 additional radio interviews, and four 10 minute TV clips on topics in Vedanta, Lord Shiva and Shivaratri. The programmes would be broadcasted in the weeks to follow Maha Shivaratri and people of Mauritius will certainly benefit from the teachings.
MSDTF also invited Shubhraji to speak at Gita Mandir Temple and Mahakaleshwar Mandir. Attendees at these talks listened attentively and asked many earnest questions. In addition Shubhraji was invited to a private satsang hosted at the Tulsi Sham Mandir Temple. At the bhiksha afterwards, Shubhraji hardly had a spare moment to herself, as again, she was surrounded by eager attendees with sincere questions.
February 12 was Maha Shivaratri. Shubhraji rose early on this day to perform a Shiv Abishek at the Ganeshwar Mandir at 5 am in the morning. Later on during the morning, Shubhraji also visited a few temples around the island, including the Kashinath Mandir. The ancient temple housed the interesting legend that the stone statues of the temple deities, Lord Shiva and Pavarati, were naturally formed and rose out of the earth and were discovered by the natives some 200 years back. Over the years, the temple was built around these two statues.
Mauritius is an island steeped in tradition and rituals. Shubhraji’s trip there brought a new meaning as her talks set the tone for people to move deepr into the philosophy and inculcate spiritual teachings into their everyday life
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