Sambalpur: After a week-long of pre-celebrations, the divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati was solemnized according to vedic rituals on Friday night as Sital Sasthi festival came to an end in Western Odisha.
This festival has been celebrated since time immemorial. According to legends, the demon Tarkasur had a boon that he would be killed by Lord Shiva’s son. But Lord Shiva was busy in meditation on Kailash after the death of Sati. So the devtas appealed Shakti to take the form of Parvati and marry Lord Shiva.
Parvati (an incarnation of Goddess Sati) performed rigorous ‘jap’ and ‘tap’ (rigorous devotion and penance) to get Lord Shiva as her husband. On the day of ‘Jyestha Shukla Paksha Sasthi’ Shiva was pleased and satisfied with her austerity, and the divine marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took place.
Just like ‘baraats’ in Hindu weddings, Lord Shiva arrived in a huge procession with drumbeats, lights and crackers. Devotees including politicians, artists and transgenders flocked the ceremony and attended the procession along with deities of Jageshwar, Balunkeshwar and Lokanath temples. The ‘haathaganthi’ ritual between Shiva and Parvati took place at midnight amid prayers and ‘hulhulis’. Elaborate arrangements were made by the district administration and the mega-festival ended peacefully without any untoward incident.
The “jugal darshan” of the divine duo is set to kick off from Saturday evening.