OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE UNITED NATIONAL CONGRESS, The Official Opposition In The Republic Of Trinidad And Tobago.

Message on the occasion of Maha Shivratri 2024

Tonight, as Hindus throughout Trinidad and Tobago join with their counterparts across the globe in observing the auspicious festival of Maha Shivratri, I extend my very best wishes for a safe, harmonious, and truly devout celebration.

This is a testament to the greatness of our people that so many thousands of citizens can celebrate this sacred event in peace and harmony in our multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society.

Trinidad and Tobago is truly blessed, for, while hate and mayhem consume many global societies in the name of religion, all of our diverse peoples co-exist peacefully and are free to celebrate all their festivals.

Maha Shivratri is an invitation to spend the night in the company of Lord Shiva. It is a night of rebirth, when we reflect on our existences, identifying those aspects of our lives that require renewal.

From sunset to daybreak tomorrow, devotees will gather in their respective temples or at their homes and stay awake all night in deep religious contemplation, making offerings, saying mantras, and singing bhajans in a committed quest to remove all negative influences and adopt a path that is spiritually enlightening, supported by positive values.

The symbolism of this event sends an important message to all our people that devotion and spirituality are vital components of a progressive society.

The personal reflection that forms such an intrinsic part of the observance of Maha Shivratri, the commitment of devotees to abandon negative influences and commit to a better life, the hope it offers for rebirth into a place of positivity, undoubtedly applies to not only the Hindu community but our country as a whole.

For, as a nation undergoing a state of crisis on almost every level, but especially crime and violence, Trinidad and Tobago is in dire need of prayers, transformation, and progress.

But nations transform through their individual citizens and the ways in which they improve their collective consciousness about their fellow human beings.
Maha Shivratri is an annual opportunity for such resolve, for it reinforces that nothing is possible without God’s will.

Tonight, we pray for the intervention of Shiva in our personal lives and our nation’s future. There is much that needs to be dissolved and much to change if we are to progress.

Given the fact that Maha Shivratri is observed predominantly in our nation’s multitudinous temples, and in light of the current unprecedented, pervasive crime and violence wave in Trinidad and Tobago, I make a special call to the police authorities to ensure that devotees are safe to engage in their religious observances.

I therefore look forward to seeing increased police patrols in the vicinity of the temples for the duration of the observance.

And to the Hindu community, and nation as a whole, I wish you a safe, fulfilling Maha Shivratri observance. May your Maha Shivratri be filled with moments of serenity, devotion, and spiritual awakening.

May the divine presence of Lord Shiva bring joy and unity into our lives, may our prayers to Lord Shiva, whose very name means auspiciousness, bless us all with peace, prosperity, and success, and may this auspicious festival infuse new hope into our hearts and lives.

Om Namah Shivaya.


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