Guwahati Celebrates Mahashivratri With Prayers, Diyas & Marijuana

Mahashivaratri is a festival which marks the beginning of spring. Photo: TIME8
Mahashivaratri is a festival which marks the beginning of spring. Photo: TIME8

Guwahati, March 4, 2019

Devotees across Guwahati are celebrating Mahashivratri on March 4th, 2019, worshipping Lord Shiva, who is also known as the ‘destroyer of evil’.

It may be noted that the Narcotic drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act allows consumption of bhang, various states have their own laws banning or restricting its use. In Assam, the Assam Ganja and Bhang Prohibition Act, 1958 prohibits sale, purchase, possession and consumption of ganja and bhang.

Long queues of devotees were seen at various temples of Lord Shiva since the break of the dawn on March 4th, 2019. Devotees were seen offering bael leaves, flowers, fruits, milk, water and honey to Shivling and chant the name of Lord Shiva. The celebrations will continue until the morning of March 5th, 2019.

Scores of devotees were seen lighting earthen lamps and burning incense sticks at the Sukreswar and Umananda Temples in Guwahati.

The Sukreswar Temple is an important Shiva temple in Assam and was constructed in 1744 by Ahom King Pramatta Singha. The Umananda Devaloi is a Shiva temple located at the Peacock Island in the middle of river Brahmaputra just opposite the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup or the Kachari Ghat in Guwahati.

Smoking marijuana on the Mahashivarati festival is also century-old practice. Many devotees also hold a day-long fast. The 55-day long Kumbh ends on this day.

Shivartri is observed by devotees with great enthusiasm chanting, meditating, and fasting before offering a puja with milk, bael leaves, bhang, dhatoora, fruits, sweets. Photo: TIME8
Shivaratri is observed by devotees with great enthusiasm chanting, meditating, and fasting before offering a puja with milk, bael leaves, bhang, dhatoora, fruits, sweets. Photo: TIME8

Markets in the city wore a festive look on the occasion of the Mahashivratri. People thronged the markets to buy puja essentials.

Devotees and sadhus, smeared with ashes, on the day of the festival are seen taking a puff of a chillum or a pipe containing marijuana buds as a homage to the Mahadev.

Mahashivaratri is a festival which marks the beginning of spring. This major festival, also known as ‘the great night of Shiva’, celebrates the overcoming of darkness and ignorance.

The celebration will start from the early hours of the morning on March 4th, 2019 and will continue till late at night. This year, the Chaturdashi Tithi begins at 4.28 pm on March 4th, 2019 and ends at 7.07 am on the next day that is March 5th, 2019.