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    Pray Shivalaya Oottam : Run For Shiva Chanting Vishnu’s Names


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    Kanyakumari sees a very special spiritual marathon on Maha Shivaratri that has devotees Shiva run for 88 km chanting the names of Vishnu


    Shivalaya Oottam : Run For Shiva Chanting Vishnu’s Names




    'Gopala Govinda' resounds the air, as a voice chants the names aloud. 'Gopala Govinda' answers the group.

    'To see whom we run?' cries one in a Tamil that is peculiar to the area with a heavy tinge of Malayalam.

    'To see Shiva we run' chant others. 'Gopala Govinda' the chant roars again. 'By seeing Him what do we get ? ' (சிவனை கண்டால் என்ன கிட்டும்) the man leading the group asks. 'Liberation we get' (மோட்சம் கிட்டும்) cry the others. 'And where do we get this liberation' (எவிட கிட்டும்) he asks again in a lyrical chant as he runs. 'Here and now we get liberation' (இவிட கிட்டும்) answers the group in an equally lyrical manner in unison.

    The youths start running, some bare feet even, through the serpentine roads that worm through the villages that rarely see any visitors otherwise. The scenic narrow roads often end at small but ancient Shiva temples. The saffron clad youths enter the temple after taking a ceremonial dip in the temple pond. With water dripping down, they go and see their Lord - Shiva, but the air is filled with the chants of 'Gopala Govinda'. It is the day of Maha Shivarathri - the great night of Shiva but here in his temples the air resounds with words glorifying Vishnu in the voices of Shiva’s own devotees who would have run 88 kilometre in a day by the time this great night of Shiva begins.

    Welcome to Shivalaya Oottam – the great spiritual marathon for Shiva that is peculiar to Kanyakumari district. And attached to this spiritual marathon is a beautiful legend, a puranic story set in the Mahabharatha.

    Read more at: https://swarajyamag.com/culture/shiv...ampaign=bufferKanyakumari sees a very special spiritual marathon on Maha Shivaratri that has devotees Shiva run for 88 km chanting the names of Vishnu
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