Again, it is that time of the year when I cannot eat or drink anything that has been made anything outside my house most importantly Bourn Vita which I add to my milk every morning. It is not that I diet for like five days a year, surely not. But it is something that you would love yo know about. It is the time of Shivratri. Shiv as in Lord Shiva and Ratri as in night. According, to normal Hindus, it is the day when Lord Shiva was marries to his wife Adishakti (Adi-half Shakti-Power) or better known as Parvati after a many and more so overdue lives.
But in Kashmir Valley, it is the time when people worship Bahirav, a fierce form of Lord Shiva. Also a Bhairav is place specific sort of a local guardian. So, it a sort of an offering that you make to him to keep the place safe from every harm. The Kashmiri Shivratri actually falls before the day on which normal people celebrate it. Also for the normal Hindus, it is a one day fever, but for the Kashmiris, it lasts for almost 7 days.
Now Lord Shiva is already known for his anger, which he gets pretty rarely but when he gets, it well is actually the end of the world because he opens his third eye on his forehead which can cause havoc on earth.
Coming back to the main thing, why can’t I eat and what is it to do with the festival of Shivratri or in Kashmiri Herath. Well, might I tell you why now, but be patient. Kashmiris have a very important goddess by the name of Maa Sharika. In her court was a minister by the name of Gorat who was also the one in whom goddess confided in. Secrets are called ‘Raaz’ in both Hindi and Kashmiri and so the one who keeps your secrets safe will be called a ‘Raazdan’. And all those who originated from this guy Raazdan Gorat have a very special way of celebrating Shivratri.
Some key points:
- You can’t eat anything that is not made in the home, you can’t even drink water at other people’s place or share form your friend’s lunch.
- Very specific vegetables are made during these seven days of celebration.
- You need to offer food to god first before you eat.
- There is a huge Havan( a sacred purifying ritual )
- You need to keep a fast on the first day.
- Funny thing, you can’t have coffee but you can have tea, probably because they did not know about coffee at that time.
- You cannot have Non Veg, which the Kashmiris have because of the cold climate they hailed from.
The main purpose behind so many restrictions is that one needs to learn to control one’s senses and learn to live without material pleasures.
Stay tuned for more info. 🙂