Pashupatinath temple sees sea of devotees

Kathmandu, July 23:

Thousands thronged the Pashupatinath temple in Gaushala today — the first Monday in the month of Shrawan — to worship Lord Shiva.

Religious scriptures regard Shrawan as the most auspicious month and Monday as the holiest day. Lord Shiva drank Halahal (poison) that came out during the Samundra Manthan (churning of the ocean) in Shrawan to save humans. Shiva is also believed to have been born on Monday.

Barefooted devotees clad in red, yellow and orange-coloured dresses went to pay obeisance to Shiva at the temple with water and leaves of the Bel tree. People waited in queues for hours to worship Shiva, who is believed to be pleased with his devotees and grant their wishes very soon.

Sangeeta Mainali, of Dhumbarahi, said she stayed in a queue for over two hours to get into

the temple. “I am fasting today, wishing for a long life for my husband,” she said, adding, “It is said that if we worship Shiva today, we will die before our husbands.” The Pashupati Area Development Trust had managed four lines to enter the temple from four doors. Hundreds of volunteers were mobilised to maintain order. Volunteers from the Pashupatinath Hospital were mobilised to provide free treatment to the needy devotees.

Earlier, Suraj Rajbhandari, an assistant priest of the temple, said that over 50,000 were expected to visit the temple today. “People began lining up from 4 am. People from different parts of the country and India have come here.” He said devotees will continue to throng the temple every Monday in the moth of Shrawan.

Dr Punya Prasad Dangal, chairman, Vedic Dharma Samrakshyan Samiti, told this aily, “Mondays

in the month of Shrawan are very auspicious. If a person fasts, offers water and offers Bel leaves to Shivalingas, his/her desires will be fulfilled.”